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Cron

Is There Anything On The Show That You Think Is Better Than The Books?

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15 minutes ago, Cron said:

Having said that, do you believe Cat and Stannis were neglected in the show?  Cuz I sure don't.  There are lists available that give "total screen time" for all characters.  I've seen them, but I don't have one handy.  Maybe someone reading this does have one handy, though.  If so, I'd be interested to see how many minutes of screen time Cat, Stannis and Margaery have all had, and of course we have to be careful to weight it according to how many seasons each of them have appeared in.

Of course I do. I think it's pretty obvious. And it's not about screen time, though Cat did got a lot less screen time in the show than she has in the books. About Stannis, he doesn't appear much or too often in the books, but thanks to Davos who always has him on his mind Stannis is strong presence in the overall story. In the show he has some "extra scenes" with Shireen, but all in all he's boiled down to "man consumed by his ambition", which is how D&D described him. I don't remember anything about him that isn't about his ambition, except couple of things: his sexual desire for Melisandre (which is absurdly explored in its own right, but that's another subject) and his occasional expressions of love for Shireen. Actually, I remember just that one scene in season 5 where he tells her "You are my daughter" and she hugs him. maybe there were more scenes with two of them but I don't remember at the moment. Now about Shireen, his love for her serves only one purpose, and that is to make his final choice more shocking or more hard, depending on the viewpoint. But all in all, Stannis in the show is a story about "man consumed by his ambition" and his ultimate demise. On its own, it doesn't have to be bad. I disliked it because I saw many stories with the same theme that were better done, but many viewers liked Stannis' story in the show, but I can't say that his story in the show is necessarily bad. But compared to the source material, it is a travesty. In the books he is not about ambition but about duty, and since his understanding of duty changes with time, he's much more dynamic as a character. His relationship with Davos is much deeper and richer in the novels, as literally any of their scenes there can testify. In the show Davos is just someone who Stannis tasks occasionally with something, you don't really get how important to each other they truly are, but in the books they truly are best friends to one another and it's visible in any of their scenes. His attitude toward Robert is explored a lot in the books, and as Asha notices it in ADWD it shapes a lot of his decisions, but in the show this is not explored at all. I don't think that he ever mentions Robert in the show. His relationship with Renly is much deeper and more layered in the books, starting with their parlay which is lacking in the show in both time and substance. And not to mention his argument with Davos about Renly late in ACOK, which wasn't even possible in the show because they didn't even bother to keep the bloody peach (or some other fruit) which Stannis could later refer to when remembering Renly. And last but not least, he really is a competent military commander in the books, who cannot be undone by something as absurd as "20 good men" like in the show.

About Cat, in the books she is the most trusted adviser to Robb. In the show, I don't remember if he ever consulted with her about anything after meeting Talisa. Tullys in general are underused in the show and since in the books Cat spent a lot of time in Riverrun dealing with Edmure and Blackfish, it ate her screen time too. And not to mention her most controversial decision to free Jaime which was played insanely in the show. "Karstark troops want to kill Jaime so let's send him back to the Lannisters"? Does that look reasonable? Is that how crucial plot points should be written?

I'll reply about Margaery later.

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51 minutes ago, Cron said:

Mmmm...maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I don't view Margaery as a "minor" character in the books or show.  To me, we have primary, secondary, and tertiary characters, and I consider the tertiary characters "minor."  To me, Margaery is a secondary character, in books and show.  I get the impression you believe the show expanded her role from a tertiary character to a primary character, but that's not how I see it.

I think part of what makes Margaery interesting to me is the mystery surrounding her, in certain ways.  She behaves one way a lot of the time (a very prim and proper lady), but we are regularly given reasons to believe that behind the scenes she goes much deeper than that (without necessarily contradicting who she is at other times;  for example, I think Margaery is fundamentally good, in books and show, in public and private.  It's just that, in private, she's got a wild side that most people would never suspect.  Privately, she's a plotting, scheming party girl, but still fundamentally good)

Seems like we agree about some things, and it's not clear to me whether we agree about other things.

I'll say this, though:  IF you believe book-Margaery is "naive and innocent," then I strongly disagree.  I believe that in both the books and the show, it's like I said above:  Publicly, she is a prim and proper lady, privately she's a plotting, scheming, wild party girl, but fundamentally GOOD publicly and privately in the books and show.   There is much evidence for this.

Hmm.  I think it's a big leap to say anyone's personality could be changed without changing their story.  Seems to me that there are many possibilities on this subject, and many different types and degrees of "change."  You might be right under some circumstances, maybe not right under others

I agree that Margaery in the books is still a mystery, but that is what I meant that she's a minor character. Minor characters in prominent positions are mysterious almost by definition. GRRM can utilize that mystery, or he can flesh her out more in future novels, but either way there's potential for a very decent arc. But anyway, I don't think that Margaery is naive and innocent in the books. There are hints already that she's much tougher and angrier than at first glance (though who can blame her for lashing out at Cersei in that scene), but in the books Loras is already naive and innocent, and two children that are naive and innocent coming from family like Tyrells would be too much I think. And just to be clear, when I say that Loras is naive and innocent, it doesn't mean that he isn't capable of cruelty, because he clearly is, he killed those guards just because he was mad after Renly's death. But everything he does comes from his beliefs in ideals like love and honor and courage, and that is why I consider him naive and innocent, and why I don't think Margaery will be the same, because so far she didn't do anything out of any ideal or belief (and in reality she didn't do much at all).

But about the show, I don't see anything in Margaery except poor writing, for all the reasons I already put in my other posts.

About personality changes, of course that I didn't mean in every way. If you turn Margaery into a schizophrenic of course that her story has to change. But what I had in mind is that you can't change anything significant about Ned for example, and keep his storyline the same. If he isn't so honor bound, he wouldn't be outplayed by Cersei because he'd never warn her because he'd never care for her kids. If Jon wasn't so desperate to finally belong somewhere, he'd use any opportunity to leave The Night's Watch and his story would be much different. That's what I had in mind, that all the arcs are formed by the character's personality, but with Margaery in the show that is just not the case, because everything that happens to her is because of the role she plays in her family's schemes, and that has nothing to do with her personality. And that is why I keep saying that even if Margaery was a well developed character in the show (she wasn't), it'd be utterly pointless even for her arc, let alone for the overall story.

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21 hours ago, Cron said:

VERY interesting.  Sounds like Margaery was NOT crossed off cuz the actress wanted out early, though.  Sounds like she asked to be released, they told her no, but as it turned out she was released not too long after that anyway (cuz Margaery was destined to die at the Green Trial)

That's what I come away with, as well.

Wow, you must be extremely well learned on that period!!  I'm impressed!!  Too bad you haven't watched it all, if you had it would have been great fun for me to watch it (maybe episode by episode) and discuss it with someone who knows that era so well, but oh well.

Dear me,not learned at all. It's an interesting period and I step into the Prado museum at least once a month to gaze upon those rulers of the known world.

Hey, once thee 7th season is over, why don't we coordinate an episode  by episode viewing. That could be really fun!!!

Hey, it warms my heart that there are more people out there than just me who do NOT view book-Margaery as some underdeveloped, hollow shell, which seems to be the prevailing view!!  I really don't understand why more people don't see her the way we do!!  

 

 

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11 hours ago, StepStark said:

Of course I do. I think it's pretty obvious. And it's not about screen time, though Cat did got a lot less screen time in the show than she has in the books. About Stannis, he doesn't appear much or too often in the books, but thanks to Davos who always has him on his mind Stannis is strong presence in the overall story. In the show he has some "extra scenes" with Shireen, but all in all he's boiled down to "man consumed by his ambition", which is how D&D described him. I don't remember anything about him that isn't about his ambition, except couple of things: his sexual desire for Melisandre (which is absurdly explored in its own right, but that's another subject) and his occasional expressions of love for Shireen. Actually, I remember just that one scene in season 5 where he tells her "You are my daughter" and she hugs him. maybe there were more scenes with two of them but I don't remember at the moment. Now about Shireen, his love for her serves only one purpose, and that is to make his final choice more shocking or more hard, depending on the viewpoint. But all in all, Stannis in the show is a story about "man consumed by his ambition" and his ultimate demise. On its own, it doesn't have to be bad. I disliked it because I saw many stories with the same theme that were better done, but many viewers liked Stannis' story in the show, but I can't say that his story in the show is necessarily bad. But compared to the source material, it is a travesty. In the books he is not about ambition but about duty, and since his understanding of duty changes with time, he's much more dynamic as a character. His relationship with Davos is much deeper and richer in the novels, as literally any of their scenes there can testify. In the show Davos is just someone who Stannis tasks occasionally with something, you don't really get how important to each other they truly are, but in the books they truly are best friends to one another and it's visible in any of their scenes. His attitude toward Robert is explored a lot in the books, and as Asha notices it in ADWD it shapes a lot of his decisions, but in the show this is not explored at all. I don't think that he ever mentions Robert in the show. His relationship with Renly is much deeper and more layered in the books, starting with their parlay which is lacking in the show in both time and substance. And not to mention his argument with Davos about Renly late in ACOK, which wasn't even possible in the show because they didn't even bother to keep the bloody peach (or some other fruit) which Stannis could later refer to when remembering Renly. And last but not least, he really is a competent military commander in the books, who cannot be undone by something as absurd as "20 good men" like in the show.

My friend, I read this, but to be honest, replying to it all in detail would be extremely difficult.  By my count, this paragraph you have here is literally over 500 words, and covers many subjects.  Because there are no paragraph breaks in it (to break it up in replying by paragraph, as I am doing right now in replying to your post), replying in detail to this first paragraph of yours would be a monumental task.  

Now, I DID read it all (I try to read everything addressed to me), but I would respectfully suggest that if you want more people to read what you are writing here (much less reply in detail), you need to break this stuff up into several paragraphs (at least), organized by discrete subjects.  

I hope you take this feedback in the spirit in which I'm offering it, which is one of friendship to a fellow GoT fan.

11 hours ago, StepStark said:

About Cat, in the books she is the most trusted adviser to Robb. In the show, I don't remember if he ever consulted with her about anything after meeting Talisa. Tullys in general are underused in the show and since in the books Cat spent a lot of time in Riverrun dealing with Edmure and Blackfish, it ate her screen time too. And not to mention her most controversial decision to free Jaime which was played insanely in the show. "Karstark troops want to kill Jaime so let's send him back to the Lannisters"? Does that look reasonable? Is that how crucial plot points should be written?

I'll reply about Margaery later.

Well, I hear you about some of this stuff, but Cat's motivation in freeing Jaime was a LOT more than just a concern that the Karstarks would kill Jaime.  Cat's motivation in freeing Jaime was that she was trying to make a deal, Jaime in exchange for Arya and Sansa.   And many people (not necessarily saying you), I think, get confused about who Cat was TRUSTING when she released Jaime.  Cat was NOT trusting Jaime, she was trusting Littlefinger and Tyrion.

As I recall, Tyrion sent Littlefinger to treat with Cat, and offered her a deal of Arya and Sansa in exchange for Jaime.  The deal was not presented to Robb b/c it was strongly believed (and rightly so) that Robb would never agree to it.  So the deal was proposed to Cat, and sure enough, she bit on it.   Sure, she had Jaime swear an oath, but ultimately, when Cat released Jaime she was trusting that TYRION would honor his end of the deal, and return Arya and Sansa to Cat.

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11 hours ago, StepStark said:

I agree that Margaery in the books is still a mystery, but that is what I meant that she's a minor character. Minor characters in prominent positions are mysterious almost by definition. GRRM can utilize that mystery, or he can flesh her out more in future novels, but either way there's potential for a very decent arc. But anyway, I don't think that Margaery is naive and innocent in the books. There are hints already that she's much tougher and angrier than at first glance (though who can blame her for lashing out at Cersei in that scene), but in the books Loras is already naive and innocent, and two children that are naive and innocent coming from family like Tyrells would be too much I think. And just to be clear, when I say that Loras is naive and innocent, it doesn't mean that he isn't capable of cruelty, because he clearly is, he killed those guards just because he was mad after Renly's death. But everything he does comes from his beliefs in ideals like love and honor and courage, and that is why I consider him naive and innocent, and why I don't think Margaery will be the same, because so far she didn't do anything out of any ideal or belief (and in reality she didn't do much at all).

Sounds like our opinions are actually fairly close on a lot of things.  Sounds like we have slightly different applications of the word "minor," but that's okay, of course.

In the books, I don't believe Margaery underdeveloped, but I do believe she's mysterious.  If I understand you correctly, I think that's basically what you are saying, too.

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But about the show, I don't see anything in Margaery except poor writing, for all the reasons I already put in my other posts.

Hmm. Well, maybe we can discuss that another time, then.  I try to read everything addressed to me, but I'm not going to go up, track down all of that, read it and reply to it (not that I think you're asking me to).  Perhaps we'll get into it another time.

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About personality changes, of course that I didn't mean in every way. If you turn Margaery into a schizophrenic of course that her story has to change. But what I had in mind is that you can't change anything significant about Ned for example, and keep his storyline the same. If he isn't so honor bound, he wouldn't be outplayed by Cersei because he'd never warn her because he'd never care for her kids. If Jon wasn't so desperate to finally belong somewhere, he'd use any opportunity to leave The Night's Watch and his story would be much different. That's what I had in mind, that all the arcs are formed by the character's personality, but with Margaery in the show that is just not the case, because everything that happens to her is because of the role she plays in her family's schemes, and that has nothing to do with her personality. And that is why I keep saying that even if Margaery was a well developed character in the show (she wasn't), it'd be utterly pointless even for her arc, let alone for the overall story.

Well, Ned's honor is just one aspect of his personality.  And, in fact, what would you say if I told you I believe Ned's honor is HIGHLY overrated?  Cuz yes, that's what I believe.  Lots of people say "Ned died for his honor!!"  But did he really??  In my opinion, Ned died b/c he NAIVELY believed Cat was playing by the same rules as Ned, but she wasn't oh no, not even close.

Let me get your opinion on this:  If Ned had known how it would all turn out, do you think he would have done the same thing in warning Cersei?   My opinion:  HELLS, NO!!  No way.  I believe there is NO WAY Ned would have done the same thing if he had known the catastrophic consequences for his entire family.  But...if he died for his honor, and he's SO honorable, wouldn't that mean his honor would compel him to do the same thing even if he knew the consequences in advance??  I think so.

Still not convinced? Then consider this.  Did you notice that when Howland Reed stabbed Arthur Dayne IN THE BACK, Ned did not seem to have ANY problem with it???  Cuz I did.  Not a peep from Ned about that, no sir.   I noticed Ned did NOT say to Howland "What did you do THAT FOR???  My goodness, that was dishonorable,you should have let him kill me!!"  (In fact, I think that's why that part of the scene was included, to show that Ned was not quite as pure as many people believe.  In fact, not ONLY did he have no problem with Howland stabbing Arthur in the back to save Ned's life, but Ned may well have LIED about what happened for years after, too.  Remember what Bran was saying during that scene?  That Bran had heard the story many times, and that Ned BEAT Arthur?? Uh, no, Ned did not beat Arthur Dayne, as we now know.   Even if Ned did not outright lie about it (perhaps Howland started the lie), it seems highly probable to me that Ned at least knew about the lie and let it stand for many years.)

Still not convinced about Ned?  How about the LIE that he told Cat about Jon, and let her believe for about a decade and a half?  Was Ned's act of lying to his wife about Jon an honorable or dishonorable thing??

But hey, I'm not saying Ned is DIS-honorable overall.  On an "nonor-scale" from 1 to 10, with 10 being "perfect," I'd probably put Ned at a 9, with his closest competition being Brienne.

So...in light of all that, are you SURE that Ned's story would be very different if he was less "honorable"?  Let's say he was an "8," or a "7."  Different outcomes, in any of that?

Regarding Jon: Well, as you probably recall, Jon DID try to leave the Night's Watch, but his "brothers" brought him back.  But hey, I'm not saying there's no merit to what you're saying here.  I do agree that, sure, big personality changes could lead to different story outcomes, sure.

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5 hours ago, Prof. Cecily said:

 

Oh, you're replying within my post,, so when I hit "quote," your reply did not transfer down here.

Well, I'll try to reply anyway, your comments were pretty short, I think I can remember them.

Ohhh, so you know the hair color by looking at a painting of her, huh?   I guess that makes sense.  Cuz otherwise, I was pretty amazed that you knew the hair color of someone from so long ago offhand!  (And I figure you're a purist, too, if you were put off by a change in hair color, but that's okay, to each his (or her) own.

Regarding the Tudors-watching project, sure, I'd be open to discussing that.  If you want to discuss it more, feel free to PM me about it, cuz otherwise it will quickly be way off-topic for the GoT boards, obviously.  If you don't have time now, that's fine, but if we don't at least start talking about it soon, we'll probably both forget, but if that happens, oh well.

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Tywin is a much better character in the Show.  To be honest book Tywin isn't someone I think men would follow.  He's just a little too extreme.  Show Tywin still has gravitas and an air of powerful authority, but the actor does such a good job with him that he becomes a better character.  I think it's also just luck, but his introduction in the series was perfect as well - a great decision for the director to have him cleaning a deer. (A lot fuckin smarter than sexposition - wish the rest of the jackasses understood that)

 

Bronn is more sympathetic and interesting too, but I don't know if it's an improvement overall to the character's role or whether it just makes up for other small characters getting absorbed.

 

Also have to agree with whoever pointed out the Hound vs Brienne fight.  That was an awesome fight!

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1 hour ago, giant snake said:

Tywin is a much better character in the Show.  To be honest book Tywin isn't someone I think men would follow.  He's just a little too extreme.  Show Tywin still has gravitas and an air of powerful authority, but the actor does such a good job with him that he becomes a better character.  I think it's also just luck, but his introduction in the series was perfect as well - a great decision for the director to have him cleaning a deer.

I'd say the point of Tywins character is that he doesn't necessarily exude authority because of his personality, he instumentalizes fear to make people follow him, just staying short of being considered a tyrant.

But I agree with his introduction on the show, him competently working on that dead stag was great symbolism.

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1 hour ago, Cron said:

Oh, you're replying within my post,, so when I hit "quote," your reply did not transfer down here.

Well, I'll try to reply anyway, your comments were pretty short, I think I can remember them.

Ohhh, so you know the hair color by looking at a painting of her, huh?   I guess that makes sense.  Cuz otherwise, I was pretty amazed that you knew the hair color of someone from so long ago offhand!  (And I figure you're a purist, too, if you were put off by a change in hair color, but that's okay, to each his (or her) own.

Regarding the Tudors-watching project, sure, I'd be open to discussing that.  If you want to discuss it more, feel free to PM me about it, cuz otherwise it will quickly be way off-topic for the GoT boards, obviously.  If you don't have time now, that's fine, but if we don't at least start talking about it soon, we'll probably both forget, but if that happens, oh well.

 

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Ohhh, so you know the hair color by looking at a painting of her, huh?

As if it were so easy!

We have description of this personage from a number of sources,and also portraits and descriptions of her parents.

 

And I agree, it's a project for post season 7!

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54 minutes ago, Rhollo said:

I'd say the point of Tywins character is that he doesn't necessarily exude authority because of his personality, he instumentalizes fear to make people follow him, just staying short of being considered a tyrant.

But I agree with his introduction on the show, him competently working on that dead stag was great symbolism.

Maybe but I think there is a limit to this.  I can name some true rule by fear historical figures but they still knew now to inspire loyalty.  Even in a modern, professional military with endless rules and regulations, there are limits to what people will do for you.  Tywin, as portrayed on screen, is believable as a man who would have reversed the fortunes of a great house, consolidated power, and managed to hold off superior numbers of the enemy.  Humanizing him helps but the actor plays it so well that he pulls it off without making him appear weak.  Not lying, Tywin is one of my least favorite characters in the book but one of the best characters on the show.  Overall a vast improvement.

 

  Contrast is Stannis.   I loke the character in the show but he's done so poorly it irritates me. A great performance from the actor, but totally the wrong role and the way they did "Stannis the Mannis" either shows that they didn't like the character as he was or thought that audiences are too stupid to understand him.  The whole point of Stannis is that he is a bad leader. I don't want to derail by talking about how TV Stannis is done so wrong, but he both a good commander AND an inspiring leader in the show...but plot has him unpopular because that's the plot. 

 

Another improvement I just remembered: Tyrion's trial at the end of Book Three.  He was flippant all through it even thouh his words were quite reasonable and obviously true.  The show is much better though - the scene is played in total seriousness and not at all of the humorous tone of his trial in the Vale.

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3 hours ago, Cron said:

Still not convinced? Then consider this.  Did you notice that when Howland Reed stabbed Arthur Dayne IN THE BACK, Ned did not seem to have ANY problem with it???  Cuz I did.  Not a peep from Ned about that, no sir.   I noticed Ned did NOT say to Howland "What did you do THAT FOR???  My goodness, that was dishonorable,you should have let him kill me!!"  (In fact, I think that's why that part of the scene was included, to show that Ned was not quite as pure as many people believe.  In fact, not ONLY did he have no problem with Howland stabbing Arthur in the back to save Ned's life, but Ned may well have LIED about what happened for years after, too.  Remember what Bran was saying during that scene?  That Bran had heard the story many times, and that Ned BEAT Arthur?? Uh, no, Ned did not beat Arthur Dayne, as we now know.   Even if Ned did not outright lie about it (perhaps Howland started the lie), it seems highly probable to me that Ned at least knew about the lie and let it stand for many years.)

There are two separate issues here and I'll address both (heeding your advice, I'll break it into paragraphs more often than before).

1) Howland Reed didn't do anything wrong there, because stabbing someone in the back is not dishonorable at all once the fight started. "Stabbing someone in the back" shouldn't be considered literally, it means attacking someone without giving him a fair chance of defending. But in this case, Arthur did have a fair chance because initially nobody was taken of guard at the beginning of the fight. Once the fight starts, it's on fighters to take care of themselves and their back, it's not on their opponents to do that for them. By your criteria, even starting the fight 7 against 3 is dishonorable, but in reality, the entire point of having advantage in numbers in such situation is to use that advantage to distract opponents. It doesn't matter if Arthur had his back turned to Howland, all that matters is that he forgot about Howland or was distracted from seeing him.

2) Bran's line is just another example of poor writing and how little D&D understand characters actually. In the books, Ned specifically doesn't talk to anyone about what happened in ToJ, which is both logical (he's protecting Jon's identity so it only makes sense that he's going to be silent about everything even remotely related to it), and in line with his character (it's really not honorable to brag about your killings because that actually qualifies as "stabbing your victims in the back" symbolically because they're dead and can't reply or tell their side of the story).

Lines like that are the reason I can't take D&D's writing seriously, because they don't seem to think that much in the process. Viewers usually don't think too much about those lines either, and that's okay because for many viewers GOT is just escapism. But when you put D&D's writing under any scrutiny, it falls apart. It can't hold against the simplest of analysis. Really now, can you imagine Ned actually telling the detailed story of ToJ fight to anyone? Why would he? It's directly against his interest to do that. It's in his interest that that fight and everything about ToJ is forgotten as soon as possible. And to repeat once more, it is dishonorable to brag about your killings.

And it's not just about book Ned. In the very first episode of the show Ned tells Jaime "I don't fight in tournaments because I don't want my opponents to know too much about my fighting skills". Do you really think that a guy like that would then go on and brag about killing Arthur Dayne and also lie about it?

Bran's line is just stupid. And the funnies part is, it serves nothing. It only adds to confusion, but doesn't serve anything actually. Remove that line from the scene and nothing would be missing, but in fact there'd be one less confusion.

4 hours ago, Cron said:

Let me get your opinion on this:  If Ned had known how it would all turn out, do you think he would have done the same thing in warning Cersei?   My opinion:  HELLS, NO!!  No way.  I believe there is NO WAY Ned would have done the same thing if he had known the catastrophic consequences for his entire family.  But...if he died for his honor, and he's SO honorable, wouldn't that mean his honor would compel him to do the same thing even if he knew the consequences in advance??  I think so.

We're discussing Ned's honor not his sanity, and what you're suggesting would be insane. Only insane person would do everything the same so of course that Ned would do something different if he knew the outcome, but that doesn't make him dishonorable. But because he's honorable, even in this alternate scenario of yours he'd try to protect Cersei's children. That's what honorable means. It doesn't mean being honorable to the point of insanity, but always trying to find the most honorable (or the least dishonorable) course of action.

4 hours ago, Cron said:

Still not convinced about Ned?  How about the LIE that he told Cat about Jon, and let her believe for about a decade and a half?  Was Ned's act of lying to his wife about Jon an honorable or dishonorable thing??

In the books section on this site I've read many threads and discussions about this. I advise you to do the same, if you haven't already. First, you'll see how complex and deep the books truly are, because only the most complex and deepest storytelling can merit such discussions. And second, to see how big a mistake it was to downplay all that in the show. As far as I can recall, Jon's mother is never mentioned by Cat in the show, only once in passing ("You came back a year later with another woman's son"), so the viewers don't really have any idea how big a deal it was for Cat and how strongly Ned protected the secret about Jon's mother.

GRRM delivered that through exposition, but D&D could deliver it through dialogue, not between Cat and Ned because that would be odd, but with all those characters around they surely could find someone who can hear from Cat or someone else that all those years ago when Cat insisted on hearing the truth Ned forbid everyone to even talk about Jon's mother. Jon himself could tell it to Tyrion for example, when they're traveling to The Wall: they're talking about Jon's bastard status anyway.

And really, isn't that what adaptation is supposed to be? Taking important stuff from exposition and delivering it through dialogue. But D&D were obviously more concerned with putting enough prostitutes in the show.

So anyway, there is no easy answer to your question about Ned. Some think it was stupid and wrong of Ned not to tell Cat the truth about Jon. Some think he couldn't trust her at the beginning of their marriage, and later on it was already too late. But the fact remains that he promised Lyanna not to tell anyone, so in a way there really was no honorable solution to his situation, because his duties were conflicting each other and either way he'd betray one of the two most important women in his life.

I think that he made a mistake there, but the fact is that in the books he's thinking about it all the time which means that he was still struggling and that he never actually came to a resolution in his mind, which is realistic. But in the show that struggle of his is not even hinted at. And on top of everything, the stupid Bran's line proves that D&D don't understand anything at all about Ned and his principles.

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5 hours ago, Cron said:

Well, I hear you about some of this stuff, but Cat's motivation in freeing Jaime was a LOT more than just a concern that the Karstarks would kill Jaime.  Cat's motivation in freeing Jaime was that she was trying to make a deal, Jaime in exchange for Arya and Sansa.   And many people (not necessarily saying you), I think, get confused about who Cat was TRUSTING when she released Jaime.  Cat was NOT trusting Jaime, she was trusting Littlefinger and Tyrion.

As I recall, Tyrion sent Littlefinger to treat with Cat, and offered her a deal of Arya and Sansa in exchange for Jaime.  The deal was not presented to Robb b/c it was strongly believed (and rightly so) that Robb would never agree to it.  So the deal was proposed to Cat, and sure enough, she bit on it.   Sure, she had Jaime swear an oath, but ultimately, when Cat released Jaime she was trusting that TYRION would honor his end of the deal, and return Arya and Sansa to Cat.

That's one of those situations where things make less and less sense the deeper you look at them. Because when Littlefinger presented the offer to Cat, she outright turned it down and explained how absurd the offer really is ("Jaime Lannister for two little girls"), so it's really not clear why did she change her mind later on.

It is true that Winterfell was captured by Theon in the meantime, but in the show Cat doesn't think that Bran and Rickon are dead, she just thinks they are captured, and she knows that Roose's bastard was sent to retake Winterfell. So later on when she says to Robb that she released Jaime because four of her children are prisoners, it doesn't really sound like a strong argument. Karstark is right ("You committed treason just because your children are prisoners?"), and so is Robb ("Jaime has played you for a fool").

Her decision is highly controversial in the books too, and that is why GRRM gave her stronger motives. First, she witnessed Stannis threatening Robb and she's terrified (rightfully, after witnessing how Renly ended). In the show, that is never even addressed. Stannis doesn't even threaten Robb in the parlay. Second, she just heard the news that Bran and Rickon are dead.

In the books, both Cat and Robb do irrational things when they hear about Bran and Rickon: he breaks his promise to Walder, and she releases Jaime. That is because the news of Bran and Rickon is as devastating as any, and both of them have natural, emotional reactions.

But in the show, only Cat reacts to Bran and Rickon being held in captivity. If that's such a big deal, how come Robb is not concerned at all but continues to spend his time with Talisa? Does he care for Bran and Rickon less than Cat does? Or is Cat really a liability who just committed a huge treason? One of those has to be true, either Robb doesn't care for his brothers or Cat was just played for a fool, and I'm not sure D&D even thought about it at all.

And not to mention the fact that, as it was filmed, Cat actually trusted Littlefinger after all! After everything she knows about him (in the show she somehow knows that he betrayed Ned), she still accepts his offer eventually, which really makes her quite stupid.

None of that makes sense. Cat's decision to release Jaime can never be rational, just like Robb's decision to break a promise to Freys can never be rational. But in the books both decisions are quite understandable, because there are reasons for Cat's and Robb's irrationality. Their reactions are emotional and human. And the very fact that both of them react the same way speaks a lot.

But in the show their decisions are given much weaker motives for, and they're not even reacting the same way. Robb marries Talisa not after he hears that Winterfell is captured by Theon, but after he sees that his mother was careless enough to let Jaime go. That's hwo silly everything is.

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7 hours ago, Prof. Cecily said:

 

As if it were so easy!

We have description of this personage from a number of sources,and also portraits and descriptions of her parents.

 

And I agree, it's a project for post season 7!

Well, I'm tempted to ask more questions about that, but it's probably "off topic" here, so I guess I'll just let it go.

Good conversation, though!

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5 hours ago, StepStark said:

There are two separate issues here and I'll address both (heeding your advice, I'll break it into paragraphs more often than before).

1) Howland Reed didn't do anything wrong there, because stabbing someone in the back is not dishonorable at all once the fight started. "Stabbing someone in the back" shouldn't be considered literally, it means attacking someone without giving him a fair chance of defending. But in this case, Arthur did have a fair chance because initially nobody was taken of guard at the beginning of the fight. Once the fight starts, it's on fighters to take care of themselves and their back, it's not on their opponents to do that for them. By your criteria, even starting the fight 7 against 3 is dishonorable, but in reality, the entire point of having advantage in numbers in such situation is to use that advantage to distract opponents. It doesn't matter if Arthur had his back turned to Howland, all that matters is that he forgot about Howland or was distracted from seeing him.

Very interesting.  This is one of the things I like about hanging around, here, getting different perspectives.

I suppose a case could always be argued that "All's fair in love and war" (my words here), but I think most people (both in Westeros and in the "real world") would believe that Howland stabbing Arthur Dayne in the back was highly dishonorable, and, in my opinion, that's why lies were told about what happened, and why Bran never heard THAT version of the story (that is, the truth).

Still, you make an interesting argument.  It could be said that they were in a free for all melee, and Arthur was simply stupid to turn his back on a known adversary (Howland) in such a situation.  I'd have to watch the scene again, but it's also my memory that Howland was just standing there watching, though, until Ned was about to die, at which point Howland stabbed Arthur in the back.

Could be a great topic-thread for discussion, though.  "Was Howland Reed Dishonorable When He Stabbed Arthur Dayne In The Back?"

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

2) Bran's line is just another example of poor writing and how little D&D understand characters actually. In the books, Ned specifically doesn't talk to anyone about what happened in ToJ, which is both logical (he's protecting Jon's identity so it only makes sense that he's going to be silent about everything even remotely related to it), and in line with his character (it's really not honorable to brag about your killings because that actually qualifies as "stabbing your victims in the back" symbolically because they're dead and can't reply or tell their side of the story).

Well, I've already allowed for the possibility that Ned did not actually tell the lie, and that possibly Howland started the lie.  But even if that's true, it seems HIGHLY probable that, minimally, Ned let the lie stand, without correcting it, cuz show-Bran clearly says he's heard the story many times.  

I gather that you have a big problem with a possible divergence between the books and the show on this subject, but I think we won't know for sure unless and until we're positive whether the book version follows this or not.   Even if it doesn't, though, the show is the show, and the books are the books (as I believe GRRM himself has said), so that will never change what happened in the show (although it's fine, of course, for a person to say they intensely disliked it, just as I intensely dislike SOME things from the show, such as the shoehorning of Sansa into Jeyne Poole's storyline, so far as we know.) 

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

Lines like that are the reason I can't take D&D's writing seriously, because they don't seem to think that much in the process. Viewers usually don't think too much about those lines either, and that's okay because for many viewers GOT is just escapism. But when you put D&D's writing under any scrutiny, it falls apart. It can't hold against the simplest of analysis. Really now, can you imagine Ned actually telling the detailed story of ToJ fight to anyone? Why would he? It's directly against his interest to do that. It's in his interest that that fight and everything about ToJ is forgotten as soon as possible. And to repeat once more, it is dishonorable to brag about your killings.

Well, as I believe I've mentioned twice now (once above, in this post, and once in a prior post) I'm not necessarily claiming Ned told the story, and Bran (to my memory, but maybe I'm wrong about this) didn't claim Ned told him, either (if someone has a direct quote from Bran on this, then I will stand corrected).  To my memory, Bran just said he's heard the story many times.  As I've speculated, it's possible that the story (lie) was told by Howland Reed, and then it spread and grew from there.   Minimally, though, as I've said, I've GOT to believe show-Ned knew perfectly well that lies were being told about what happened, and show-Ned declined to correct those lies with the truth, which would clearly be a mark against his "nonor."  It is unimaginable to me that Bran has heard that lie many times, from any source, and Ned is unaware that such lies were being told.

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

And it's not just about book Ned. In the very first episode of the show Ned tells Jaime "I don't fight in tournaments because I don't want my opponents to know too much about my fighting skills". Do you really think that a guy like that would then go on and brag about killing Arthur Dayne and also lie about it?

Please see above.  You may be making a strong and persuasive case that it is very unlikely that Ned himself told the lie (although we might have to check Bran's exact words to be reasonable sure), but that does not preclude the possibility that Howland told the lie, and Ned at LEAST knowingly let the lie stand, which seems EXTREMELY likely to me (at least in the show)

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

Bran's line is just stupid. And the funnies part is, it serves nothing. It only adds to confusion, but doesn't serve anything actually. Remove that line from the scene and nothing would be missing, but in fact there'd be one less confusion.

As I mentioned in a prior post, to me, it seems likely that the line was put in there, and having Howland stab Arthur in the back was put in there, precisely to convey the fact that Ned is NOT as honorable as people generally believe.  Again,though,don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Ned is highly DIS-honorable, just that, in my opinion, he's not as honorable as people think.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I think a lot of people would give Ned a "10" in honor but I'd say a "9."  What would your number be for Ned's honor?

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

We're discussing Ned's honor not his sanity, and what you're suggesting would be insane. Only insane person would do everything the same so of course that Ned would do something different if he knew the outcome, but that doesn't make him dishonorable. But because he's honorable, even in this alternate scenario of yours he'd try to protect Cersei's children. That's what honorable means. It doesn't mean being honorable to the point of insanity, but always trying to find the most honorable (or the least dishonorable) course of action.

In my opinion, if Ned's action in warning Cersei was one of pure honor, and IF Ned was truly a man of PURE HONOR, he would do the same thing irrespective of whether he knew the consequences in advance or not.

Hey, it's EASY to be "honorable" when a person is reasonably sure everything is going to turn out fine anyway.  But when a person is NOT sure, and/or when a person is confident things will NOT turn out well if that person does the honorable thing,  THAT'S when honor is really tested, in my opinion.

Similar to Ned telling Bran (or maybe it was Robb) that it's only when a person is afraid that a person can be truly brave, or courageous, or whatever.

 

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10 hours ago, giant snake said:

Tywin is a much better character in the Show.  To be honest book Tywin isn't someone I think men would follow.  He's just a little too extreme.  Show Tywin still has gravitas and an air of powerful authority, but the actor does such a good job with him that he becomes a better character.  I think it's also just luck, but his introduction in the series was perfect as well - a great decision for the director to have him cleaning a deer. (A lot fuckin smarter than sexposition - wish the rest of the jackasses understood that)

 

Bronn is more sympathetic and interesting too, but I don't know if it's an improvement overall to the character's role or whether it just makes up for other small characters getting absorbed.

 

Also have to agree with whoever pointed out the Hound vs Brienne fight.  That was an awesome fight!

I agree with all of your points.

And in addition to being a great fight between Brienne and Sandor, I felt it really amped up the drama, as compared to the books.  In the books, as I recall, Sandor just got weaker and weaker, and at one point couldn't go on anymore.  It was fine writing by GRRM, and I had no "problem" with that, but yeah, the show did it better, in my opinion.

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5 hours ago, StepStark said:

That's one of those situations where things make less and less sense the deeper you look at them. Because when Littlefinger presented the offer to Cat, she outright turned it down and explained how absurd the offer really is ("Jaime Lannister for two little girls"), so it's really not clear why did she change her mind later on.

In my opinion, it is crystal clear that Cat let Jaime go in the hope that Tyrion would honor the deal, and release Arya and Sansa.

I'd have to check the exact words from the scene you mention, but I THINK she tacks on to what you basically said with something like "Robb would never agree to that."  In other words, the part that you are referencing, was her view of Robb's view, I think.

But hey, I might revise my opinion about that last part if someone has exact quotes.  Nevertheless, I'll be stunned if anyone can change my opinion that when Cat released Jaime, she was trusting TYRION, not Jaime.  I think we agree that it would be ludicrous for Cat to trust Jaime himself, especially at that point in the story.

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

It is true that Winterfell was captured by Theon in the meantime, but in the show Cat doesn't think that Bran and Rickon are dead, she just thinks they are captured, and she knows that Roose's bastard was sent to retake Winterfell. So later on when she says to Robb that she released Jaime because four of her children are prisoners, it doesn't really sound like a strong argument. Karstark is right ("You committed treason just because your children are prisoners?"), and so is Robb ("Jaime has played you for a fool").

Hmmm.  Not sure what that stuff has to do with Cat releasing Jaime in the hope that that would result in Arya and Sansa being released and/or returned to her.  I took Cat's comment to simply mean that b/c so many of her children are, at a bare minimum, in great peril, she'll do whatever she can to save any of them she can.

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

Her decision is highly controversial in the books too, and that is why GRRM gave her stronger motives. First, she witnessed Stannis threatening Robb and she's terrified (rightfully, after witnessing how Renly ended). In the show, that is never even addressed. Stannis doesn't even threaten Robb in the parlay. Second, she just heard the news that Bran and Rickon are dead.

Interesting, but I think ultimately, it's clear in books and show that she released Jaime in hopes it would lead to Arya and Sansa being released and/or returned to her.  The stuff you mention might have amplified her willingness to do that, but ultimately she released Jaime for Arya and Sansa. 

By the way, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you about stuff you just posted, just saying I don't think it changes the fact that she did it for Arya and Sansa, and I don't think it sheds light on exactly who Cat was trusting when she released Jaime.

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

In the books, both Cat and Robb do irrational things when they hear about Bran and Rickon: he breaks his promise to Walder, and she releases Jaime. That is because the news of Bran and Rickon is as devastating as any, and both of them have natural, emotional reactions.

Um, I don't think news about Bran and Rickon had anything to do with Robb breaking his promise to Walder.   Robb broke his promise to Walder when he married Jeyne Westerling, and he didn't do THAT cuz of Bran and Rickon, he did that b/c he had fallen in love with her (possibly via a love potion from Jeyne's mother, there is substantial evidence for that), and then, after he had sex with Jeyne, he believed marrying her was the honorable thing to do, which, again, had nothing to do with Bran and Rickon.

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

But in the show, only Cat reacts to Bran and Rickon being held in captivity. If that's such a big deal, how come Robb is not concerned at all but continues to spend his time with Talisa? Does he care for Bran and Rickon less than Cat does? Or is Cat really a liability who just committed a huge treason? One of those has to be true, either Robb doesn't care for his brothers or Cat was just played for a fool, and I'm not sure D&D even thought about it at all.

Similarly to my opinion above about Robb's breaking of his promise to Walder having nothing to do with Bran and Rickon, I believe the same is true for the show.  In my view, Robb's relationship with Talisa had nothing to do with Bran and Rickon, and his act of marrying Talisa (thus breaking his promise to Walder) had nothing to do with Bran and Rickon either, and I don't know why it would be otherwise.

Robb lusted after Talisa, he had sex with her, he fell in love with her, and he married her, and that last act was what broke his promise to Walder, none of which, in my opinion, did have, or should have had, anything to do with Bran and Rickon.

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

And not to mention the fact that, as it was filmed, Cat actually trusted Littlefinger after all! After everything she knows about him (in the show she somehow knows that he betrayed Ned), she still accepts his offer eventually, which really makes her quite stupid.

(a)  I don't think Cat EVER knew LF betrayed Ned (someone might correct me on this, though, I guess)

(b)  I don't view Cat's decision as "stupid." Here's I view it:  She knew it was a very long shot, but she was so desperate, that she gambled against the odds and took that long shot anyway, cuz the stakes were so high (Arya and Sansa).  In fact, you may believe she was stupid, but actually in the end, I think it's QUITE likely that her long shot will pay off, albeit in a much more roundabout, and delayed, way than she had hoped.  

5 hours ago, StepStark said:

None of that makes sense. Cat's decision to release Jaime can never be rational, just like Robb's decision to break a promise to Freys can never be rational. But in the books both decisions are quite understandable, because there are reasons for Cat's and Robb's irrationality. Their reactions are emotional and human. And the very fact that both of them react the same way speaks a lot.

But in the show their decisions are given much weaker motives for, and they're not even reacting the same way. Robb marries Talisa not after he hears that Winterfell is captured by Theon, but after he sees that his mother was careless enough to let Jaime go. That's hwo silly everything is.

I do agree with some of the stuff you're saying (in this post, and in others), but I'm curious about something.

What would your overall grade for the show be, on a scale of 1 to 10, with "1" being "garbage," and "10" being the best show you ever saw?

I'm just curious.  We all have different opinions on lots of stuff, and that's what makes these boards interesting.  Wouldn't it be boring if we all agreed on everything all the time?

P.S. Nine days to Season 7!!! Will you be watching?

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48 minutes ago, Cron said:

Um, I don't think news about Bran and Rickon had anything to do with Robb breaking his promise to Walder.   Robb broke his promise to Walder when he married Jeyne Westerling, and he didn't do THAT cuz of Bran and Rickon, he did that b/c he had fallen in love with her (possibly via a love potion from Jeyne's mother, there is substantial evidence for that), and then, after he had sex with Jeyne, he believed marrying her was the honorable thing to do, which, again, had nothing to do with Bran and Rickon.

This is from ASOS, when Robb returns to Riverrun with Jeyne and speaks with Cat:

Quote

 

“I took her castle and she took my heart.,’ Robb smiled. “The Crag was weakly garrisoned, so we took it by storm one night. Black Walder and the Smalljon led scaling parties over the walls, while I broke the main gate with a ram. I took an arrow in the arm just before Ser Rolph yielded us the castle. It seemed nothing at first, but it festered. Jeyne had me taken to her own bed, and she nursed me until the fever passed. And she was with me when the Greatjon brought me the news of . . . of Winterfell. Bran and Rickon.” He seemed to have trouble saying his brothers’ names. “That night, she . . . she comforted me, Mother.

Catelyn did not need to be told what sort of comfort Jeyne Westerling had offered her son. “And you wed her the next day.”

He looked her in the eyes, proud and miserable all at once. “It was the only honorable thing to do. She’s gentle and sweet, Mother, she will make me a good wife.”

“Perhaps. That will not appease Lord Frey.”

“I know,” her son said, stricken. “I’ve made a botch of everything but the battles, haven’t I? I thought the battles would be the hard part, but . . . if I had listened to you and kept Theon as my hostage, I’d still rule the north, and Bran and Rickon would be alive and safe in Winterfell.”

 

And just a little later, in the same chapter, in the same conversation, when Cat asks him why Grey Wind isn't with him, he answers:

Quote

 

“I used to think the same as you, that the wolves were our guardians, our protectors, until . . .”

“Until?” she prompted.

Robb’s mouth tightened. “Until they told me that Theon had murdered Bran and Rickon. Small good their wolves did them. I am no longer a boy, Mother. I’m a king, and I can protect myself.”

 

So I think it's pretty obvious how deeply Robb was affected by Bran and Rickon's deaths, just as any loving brother would of course. It's pretty obvious that for him everything changed after he heard of their deaths. It affected even his relationship with Grey Wind. And just look how many times he mentions their deaths in a single conversation (parts that I emphasized). So I don't think there is any room for thinking that the news didn't have anything to do with him breaking his promise to Walder Frey. Ever since he heard the news, that's practically all Robb was able to think about. He even became obsessed with providing an heir to his throne, because Bran and Rickon can't inherit it in case something happens to him.

And one more correction: when Littlefinger approaches Cat in Renly's camp in season 2, she specifically accuses him of betraying Ned. He defends with some weak excuse like "those are false rumors", but she insists that he repaid the Starks with treason. So yes, according to the show, Cat somehow knew that it was Littlefinger who betrayed Ned in KL. And then, as it's often the case with D&D, that issue just disappeared, never to be mentioned again, and Cat even goes on and releases Jaime TRUSTING THE WORD OF LITTLEFINGER (even by your interpretation, she at least has to trust him that Tyrion promised to release the girls for Jaime, though I don't know how can she ever believe that even that part is true and not one of Littlefinger's schemes).

I'll answer the rest of your points soon.

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1 hour ago, Cron said:

What would your overall grade for the show be, on a scale of 1 to 10, with "1" being "garbage," and "10" being the best show you ever saw?

I'm just curious.  We all have different opinions on lots of stuff, and that's what makes these boards interesting.  Wouldn't it be boring if we all agreed on everything all the time?

P.S. Nine days to Season 7!!! Will you be watching?

The show on its own is between 4 and 5. Even the highs are something I've already watched in other shows or movies, only written more competently. And the lows are just terrible and cringe-worthy. If I wasn't already invested in the source material, I would quit long time ago.

As adaptation, it is between 1 and 2. I don't think I ever saw anything as good as ASOIAF transformed into something so mediocre and flawed as GOT.

Previous two season I watched only after they ended. For no particular reason. I guess I just don't have the patience to wait between episodes, because I'm really not emotionally invested in the show at all. It will probably be the case with the new season, though I have to admit that based on trailers cinematography looks much improved and those large scale battles look intriguing, so maybe I'll watch it in real time.

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