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TheKnightOfJests

Do the show writers hate religion?

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3 hours ago, protar said:

It really isn't though. The obsession some religious groups have with homosexuality is quite new. In the past (and in the books) homosexuality was seen as an embarrassing little piece of court gossip. You were expected to keep it to yourself but so long as it didn't interfere with marrying or getting an heir who cared. 

Making Loras' sexuality the focus of the Sparrow plot line is very much a modern conceit. It strikes me as anvilicious moralising. Which is incredibly galling coming from a show as unintentionally homophobic as Game of Thrones.

What in the world made you come to the conclusion that Loras' sexuality was the focus of that story line?  

The high sparrow doesn't care who's having sex with who, whether it be an affair or with the same sex.  He's merely using the rules to get what he wants, which is to overthrow the elite class.  I thought that was pretty clear. 

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There's this one too:

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Cost_of_Faceless_Men

November 15, 1999

THE COST OF FACELESS MEN

[Note: This mail relates to a discussion on one of the boards, where an estimate at the cost of hiring a Faceless Man was made based on comments by Littlefinger. Martin responded, when presented with the estimates, that Littlefinger's statements were taken too literally.]

The Faceless Men don't post a list of prices on their door. The way it works, you go to them and tell them who you want killed, and then they negotiate the price. The prominent the victim, the more difficult to get to, the more dangerous for the assassin and the guild, the higher the price.

 

To me, it seems that while they may kill people for the "greater good" on occasion, they still function as assassins for hire. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Noveson said:

What in the world made you come to the conclusion that Loras' sexuality was the focus of that story line?  

The high sparrow doesn't care who's having sex with who, whether it be an affair or with the same sex.  He's merely using the rules to get what he wants, which is to overthrow the elite class.  I thought that was pretty clear. 

Because Margaery's arrest entirely hinges on Loras' trial for homosexuality. It's a non-element in the books, they make it the inciting incident in the show.

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Just now, protar said:

Because Margaery's arrest entirely hinges on Loras' trial for homosexuality. It's a non-element in the books, they make it the inciting incident in the show.

First of all no it doesn't, but that's besides the point.  Her trial can hinge on whatever it wants to, it doesn't mean his sexuality is the focus of the plot.  The focus of their plot is to be a foil for the royal class, the HS is using whatever means he can to lawfully accomplish that.  And homosexuality happens to be against the law. 

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37 minutes ago, TheKnightOfJests said:

I doubt it was too, and honestly if the religious attitudes of characters weren't ever really shown I wouldn't have a problem with it, it just seems like they've gone out of their way to create negative attitudes on it. So much of the negativity of religion comes from just the show.

If there wasn't a focus on showing the good, then there shouldn't be a focus on only showing the bad either.

I think this is the part of the main issue with religion on the show, especially the HS. We are told what to think by watching the bad guys beat people up and verbally threaten others. There is little neutrality in the storytelling here, very much like the news channels on tv. It's either one extreme way or the other. Reporters have forgotten that their job is to tell the story, not tell people what they think of it or how to react to it. 

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43 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

There's this one too:

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Cost_of_Faceless_Men

November 15, 1999

THE COST OF FACELESS MEN

[Note: This mail relates to a discussion on one of the boards, where an estimate at the cost of hiring a Faceless Man was made based on comments by Littlefinger. Martin responded, when presented with the estimates, that Littlefinger's statements were taken too literally.]

The Faceless Men don't post a list of prices on their door. The way it works, you go to them and tell them who you want killed, and then they negotiate the price. The prominent the victim, the more difficult to get to, the more dangerous for the assassin and the guild, the higher the price.

 

To me, it seems that while they may kill people for the "greater good" on occasion, they still function as assassins for hire. 

 

Yes, they are assassins, and they can be hired, but the pricing/sacrifice can vary immensely. Arya throws an axe into a burning cage and she gets 3 names, and she can chose whichever name she wants. She could have named Tywin, Joffrey and Cersei -aka a warden and hand, a king and his queen-mother-regent.

And then we have the waif's story. Her stepmother wanted her dead so her own child could be heir of the House, lands, keep and riches. She inquired with the FM. But she didn't want to pay the price. She does it herself with poison, does not succeed and the waif's father goes to the FM. Price: the daughter and half he owns. At first glance that seems gargantuan a price, espeically since he's suffering the pain of what his daughter has become and has to be rid of his second wife. BUT half he owns is basically half the inheritance, which would have gone to the waif. The waif was permanently damaged in such a way she could not have heirs, it would be a big problem to find a decent husband for her, not even mentioning how she would be ridiculed and treated like a freak and pariah (see Lollys Stokeworth and mercenary Bronn). What seems a steep price can also be seen as solution: they take in the waif, give her a purpose and standing within the FM, life board, and the FM gets half the inheritence to do it. Meanwhile the father has his second child to become the heir and has half left to give.

We can speculate what they woudl have asked the stepmother for a price. Let's say exactly the same thing: her child and half of her husband's assets that she is to inherit in the future. It's the exact same price, but exactly because of the motivation of the request the same price defeats the stepmother's purpose - greed.

It seems to me the pricing is used to separate the ones in need of revenge-like-justice from the greedy-power-hungry ones. The latter want to get it all with the least cost to themselves.

For the same reason I think Euron had to pay the FM with a dragon egg (and they might indeed have asked him to toss it to the bottom of the ocean). They realized why he wanted Balon dead. But they didn't want this reaving, rapist to get a throne + dragon. I suspect they did not know about him possessing the dragon horn though, or believed he'd kill himself using it.

The portrayal of the FM when Arya arrives there is way more subtle and thoughtfully built up by George than his SSM of '99, which predates those books when we get to the HoBaW. And it's not a clear cut death cult that are assassins for hire without dissuading the greedy-power-hungry requesters versus those in need. It's why I don't like the portrayal of the FM in the show at all. They don't beat children into being 'no one'. The only time a cane is used in the books is when she is blind, and it is aimed to make her trip, her feet and legs, not her face. It certainly is not a punishment. And despite the KM insisting Arya is not to judge (she's an apprentice, not one of the decision makers in the HoBaW), he gives her enough info about the insurance man that Arya realizes that some desitute widow or child prayed for the fraudulous insurance man's death, just like she prays for Joffrey's death.

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4 hours ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Which characters do you suddenly expect to believe in Gods, and why? And why should that be different to the books, and why should there be any focus on it at all if its already established that large portions of society are believing in religion more?

 

Any character who's ever seen anything supernatural for starters.  Davos should absolutely be a 100% believer now that he's seen Milasandre pray to Rhillor and then a dead person came back to life.  But will he?  I doubt that. 

It's not that there should be focus on it.  It's that the focus is already on it.  There's too many atheistic quotes.  It feels bizarre.  And this again is coming from an atheist. 

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1 hour ago, TheKnightOfJests said:

I doubt it was too, and honestly if the religious attitudes of characters weren't ever really shown I wouldn't have a problem with it, it just seems like they've gone out of their way to create negative attitudes on it. So much of the negativity of religion comes from just the show.

If there wasn't a focus on showing the good, then there shouldn't be a focus on only showing the bad either.

Well it could be said that the bad often far outweighs the good anyway, so in that its pretty realistic!:D

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I think the show does go out of its way to portray religion in a negative light. And perhaps that says something about the showrunners, perhaps it says something about the show itself being near-fully negative all the time.

I would hope to see

Spoiler

the Septon Meri-Brother character as at least sympathetic to the religion he serves. We'll see if we get a good take on him and his soliloquy to the broken men.

(thread didn't specify about spoilers, so . . .)

Personally, I would also hope to see the show take the angle of moving up out of the darkness and into the light, getting more positive as more magic comes into play and that the final resolution has some upbeat characterization. So far, it's a bleak hope based on the show's history though. It seems terrible to think that this zeitgeist show is going to be all about boobs and gore and nihilism.

What an opportunity lost if they don't try to make some positive statement.

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13 minutes ago, Karmarni said:

I think the show does go out of its way to portray religion in a negative light. And perhaps that says something about the showrunners, perhaps it says something about the show itself being near-fully negative all the time.

I would hope to see

  Hide contents

the Septon Meri-Brother character as at least sympathetic to the religion he serves. We'll see if we get a good take on him and his soliloquy to the broken men.

(thread didn't specify about spoilers, so . . .)

Personally, I would also hope to see the show take the angle of moving up out of the darkness and into the light, getting more positive as more magic comes into play and that the final resolution has some upbeat characterization. So far, it's a bleak hope based on the show's history though. It seems terrible to think that this zeitgeist show is going to be all about boobs and gore and nihilism.

What an opportunity lost if they don't try to make some positive statement.

Some speculation on the show.  It's really not spoilers but I'm spoilering it anyway so people can decide if they want to read it or not.

Spoiler

I don't think Septon Meribald is cast for the show but the Elder Brother is.  So, if we see the Broken Man speech at all i believe it will be given to the Elder Brother to say.  I mean, he sort of alludes to the same things when talking to Brienne anyway.

And I agree with you about hoping the show does a bit more balancing of hope with the seeming ever-present nihilsm and despair soon. 

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Can I ask, are those complaining about this, religious themselves? 

Why should a tv show like Game of Throne consider 'a balanced view of religion' one of its objectives or even something it should be thinking about.

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9 minutes ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Can I ask, are those complaining about this, religious themselves? 

Why should a tv show like Game of Throne consider 'a balanced view of religion' one of its objectives or even something it should be thinking about.

I'm an atheist, but that speaks only about my own views on gods, afterlife, and all such matters. The fact that I don't believe in god or gods or religion doesn't prevent me from acknowledging that there are many, many positive aspects in such beliefs for those who are religious. And that there are probably many more good people involved in any religious movement than bad extremists. The fact that show opts to portray the FM as homophobic extremists annoys me for many reasons. It's very one-note and boring; it tries to force viewers to reach one conclusion (religion = bad) instead of portraying a more realistic and balanced view; and it backfires completely when it attaches a clumsy "homophobia = bad" in the most homophobic way possible. Seriously, better writers probably could get away with a "religion is bad" statement, but that's definitely not the case here. 

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38 minutes ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Can I ask, are those complaining about this, religious themselves? 

Why should a tv show like Game of Throne consider 'a balanced view of religion' one of its objectives or even something it should be thinking about.

Like I said here, 

I'm atheist but it's very annoying when I see atheists talk about believers like they're stupid, talk down to them, and need to shove in people's faces that it's not real at any mention of religion.  That's the impression I get with D & D now.  Every religious main character on the show is bad and insane.  Every good and/or smart people needs to say it's not real, it's a story for children, and make jokes about the gods any time they're mentioned.  Not only is it annoying but it's unbelievable for the time they're living in and what's happening around them.  Also feels very childish.  Like the equivalent of the "Play with her arse" sexposition scenes from early on or the "Bad Pussy" dialogue in Dorne.  Feels like childish storytelling and dialogue.   

It's like of course Davos should have his devout character switched to Stannis and he should be an atheist because Davos is a good character.  Stannis should be a fantatic and evil.  Littlefinger is smart, he should make quips about it and not take it seriously.  Same for Tyrion.  We like Arya, so she should remark about how there's nothing after death.  Beric has died, we should use this chance to say there's no afterlife, haha.  Let's do it again with Jon.  Let's have Davos say "fuck the gods" again.   Let's make the Sparrows as extreme as possible to show religion as bad.  Let's have Sansa say she doesn't pray anymore.  

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1 hour ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Can I ask, are those complaining about this, religious themselves? 

Why should a tv show like Game of Throne consider 'a balanced view of religion' one of its objectives or even something it should be thinking about.

I am. This is what I've already addressed. It wouldn't be bad if they just didn't go into religion, like we know it's there, but it's just not touched upon or something like that.

They did go into religion though, and where the books have a balanced view point on it, the show does not. It shows every religion pretty much in a negative light, and there's not a single example of a good religious character in the show.

 Not trying to be a crazy "shove Jesus into everything" person, because George R.R. Martin has even called himself an agnostic, and I can totally respect that, and I'm not saying they just need to make up a token religious character for the show, but I am saying that they were definitely sure to write in a bunch of anti religious lines that were never present in the books.

Like I said before, they should show all of it, not just the bad, or they should not show at all.

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What bugs me is that the show has different religious portrayals than the books. Sansa, for instance, has a strong religiosity about her and having her say, snarkily, I realize, and it was a dig, but still, say to Tyrion that she doesn't pray anymore irks me. There could have been a different way for her to snark at him. She did pray, and why did they show that? And then she says she doesn't. She seems a little less preoccupied with it in the books now that she's with Littlefinger, but there's a lot going on there, and perhaps she thinks 'Alayne' shouldn't have it, so she doesn't think about it, but still, I think she'll return to it again in the future. Perhaps she'll feel betrayed by the gods. I doubt it, but perhaps.

There has not been enough on the old gods in the show either. And having Sansa-Jeyne marry Ramsay in front of the heart tree sucks too. Out of all that sucked about that choice in story line for Sansa, this is a small thing, but it still bothers me that we get to witness an old gods ceremony, and what could be a beautiful marriage ceremony is with Ramsay! 

Also, I'm agnostic. But religions interest me, just like philosophy and sociology do. It's an insight into how people (or characters) think and respond to the world around them.

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As for the High Sparrow, I'd say he is just a cynical, power-hungry politician like all the others and is using religious/idealistic blabbering because it's expected of him. It's a tool for revolution/gaining more control/elevating himself to the power. For example I have read his scene with Margaery as a blatant try to buy her off.

Because if he was serious with this 'Do you believe yourself to be pure? Ha! So you're admitting to have SOME sins, because any of us do! That's good enough reason to keep you locked!' talk, then lol.

Also the pissing contest with a super-sinner Jaime and not even trying to arrest him... I guess The Faith is at their most brave when it comes to locking women and fruits (what? that's how Loras is portrayed in the show, not even a person anymore, but a flat, campy bimbo made of worst stereotypes).

 

And about other religions, Melisandre's is shown to actually WORK, so I'd say it's a pretty generous depiction.

 

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5 hours ago, Lothar said:

Any character who's ever seen anything supernatural for starters.  Davos should absolutely be a 100% believer now that he's seen Milasandre pray to Rhillor and then a dead person came back to life.  But will he?  I doubt that.

Maybe Davos considers Rh'llor (ok, I give up trying to write it) to be a devil, or just Melisandre being an evil witch (which would be correct-ish), or just counted her mistakes? OK, the last one is unlikely, given his recent 'oooh, Miracle-Woman, please revive Jon Snow, you are SO reliable in my eyes now!' character stray.
 

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17 minutes ago, Tianzi said:

As for the High Sparrow, I'd say he is just a cynical, power-hungry politician like all the others and is using religious/idealistic blabbering because it's expected of him. It's a tool for revolution/gaining more control/elevating himself to the power. For example I have read his scene with Margaery as a blatant try to buy her off.

Because if he was serious with this 'Do you believe yourself to be pure? Ha! So you're admitting to have SOME sins, because any of us do! That's good enough reason to keep you locked!' talk, then lol.

Also the pissing contest with a super-sinner Jaime and not even trying to arrest him... I guess The Faith is at their most brave when it comes to locking women and fruits (what? that's how Loras is portrayed in the show, not even a person anymore, but a flat, campy bimbo made of worst stereotypes).

 

And about other religions, Melisandre's is shown to actually WORK, so I'd say it's a pretty generous depiction.

 

How is R'hllorism depicted generously? A religion that uses immolation as a means to and end? It doesn't get much more evil than that, regardless of whether it works or not. Books and show, btw.

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I've considered R'hllorism a fake religion, actually. Given it's name, I'd say it's close to Holy Rollers. It's like the belief in speaking in tongues, etc. and yet mainly a type of tent revivalism.

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