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

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On Thursday, September 01, 2016 at 0:01 AM, LatrineDiggerBrian said:

Did you read the books? Anyone who read the books seems to hate season 5. I didn't have the same problems with Dorne or the other stuff. Overall I rate season 5 as up there with the previous 4 seasons, but it's probably my least favorite of those 5.

Season 6 just didn't do it for me. Lot of disappointing payoffs to storylines. The end to the House of B & W was awful, just a very very simple, tropey, by the numbers end to a very complicated / mysterious / fascinating storyline. Tyrion's storyline was terrible, just a disparate group of scenes that added up to nothing in the end and had very little impact on the characters or story. Jon and Sansa feud was forced and didn't add up for me. The whole storyline in the North was so predictable and going through the motions. I get that it was Ramsey's time to go, but how about some suspense? Or twists and turns? Don't have it play out like any fan fiction writer would. And that's just scratching the surface for me, there was just a lot of sloppiness, a lot of quickly and haphazardly dispatching of characters. It wasn't dark. Hands down it was well well well below the other seasons for me.

Yes.  I read the books and Season 5 suffers from lots of the issues that ADWD did.  There is the infamous Meereen knot.  And new plots in places like Dorne.  I actually thought that Season 5 corrected some errors.  There was no FAegon, a personality free waste of space.  We did not spend chapters with Tyrion discussing where whores went. There was no Quentyn.

And some of the issues with Season 6 are due to book flaws.  I am not sure why Arya needed to go to Braavos other than Martin thought it was cool.  I thought the North ending as well as the KL ending were both great.  Winds of Winter was a masterpiece IMO.  

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I agree with the aging up part, mostly, especially for the Stark children and Dany.

But it also created some problems imho: 
- Brienne just becomes a totally different character being aged up 10+ years and it raises the question what the hell she was up to in her 20s
- Tommen and Pod being played by adult men but still acting like kids
- Marg staying unwed until her mid/late 20s is quite strange. But that's a nitpick.

According Bronns extended role: I agree for the first seasons, he was great, being this cynical and sinister guy. But I couldn't stand him in the last two seasons, where he was reduced to a cheap comic-relief sidekick for Jamie.

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10 hours ago, illinifan said:

Yes.  I read the books and Season 5 suffers from lots of the issues that ADWD did.  There is the infamous Meereen knot.  And new plots in places like Dorne.  I actually thought that Season 5 corrected some errors.  There was no FAegon, a personality free waste of space.  We did not spend chapters with Tyrion discussing where whores went. There was no Quentyn.

And some of the issues with Season 6 are due to book flaws.  I am not sure why Arya needed to go to Braavos other than Martin thought it was cool.  I thought the North ending as well as the KL ending were both great.  Winds of Winter was a masterpiece IMO.  

Arya goes to Braavos so she can train to become a killer and avenge her family. So she can be reunited with Jacquen from season 2 and he can help initiate her into this mysterious band of assassins. You don't think that sounds like a cool idea? It was a great storyline, but wow the ending to it on the show was so indescribably disappointing, it's really the point for me where season 6 became irredeemable.

For me the story in the north was ruined by two main things:

1) The Sansa Jon feud was forced and didn't add up to me, I didn't believe it at all, it was solely there for the purpose of creating drama

2) I understand that the season was the inevitable march towards Ramsey's death, but there were absolutely no twists and turns, everything played out like how a fan fiction writer would've wrote it (much like the ending to Arya's story). It was really meh and not on par with the great story telling of season's past. 

Also, the whole scene where they crowned Jon King of the North was one big eye roll for me and had no emotional weight.

But to each their own, I get a lot of people enjoyed season 6 but it just didn't do it for me.

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1 hour ago, Rhollo said:

But it also created some problems imho: 
- Brienne just becomes a totally different character being aged up 10+ years and it raises the question what the hell she was up to in her 20s
- Tommen and Pod being played by adult men but still acting like kids
- Marg staying unwed until her mid/late 20s is quite strange.

There is nothing unusual when an actor portraits a much younger character. In most teen movies 16-17 y.o. are played by actors in their 20s. The viewers just accept it.

In GoT s1-s2 Bran, Arya nad Sansa are played by actors who were close to the age of their characters. But there's no way Robb or Jon could be considered 14-15 (as in the books) or 17-18 like in the show. Marg is supposed to be 16 in the books, but in the show she's definitely not.

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21 hours ago, Cron said:

My understanding is that GRRM is already signed on with HBO for something beyond the current run of GOT.  It is not guaranteed to be set in the Planetos universe, but I can't imagine why HBO or GRRM would favor anything else over more Planetos.  I think it would be a mistake for HBO to lightly dismiss GRRM's involvement in more such material.  Many fans react negatively to certain changes in the show just b/c the fan is a purist, and if it's not GRRM, it's not canon.  As for GRRM, my understanding is that the show already is his major source of income, I don't believe he's likely to lightly try to walk away from the relationship either (last I heard, GRRM makes about $10 million per year from the books and about $15 million per year from HBO, which means the show is about 60% of his income)

Arya/Logan:  The matter could still be patched up with a "magic" explanation (e.g., Lady Crane had some sort of magic, probably in the potions she was giving Arya), but I never believed Jaqen was Arya or the Waif.  Jaqen is too tall, and to my knowledge Faceless Man stuff can't fix that whenyou're impersonating someone (but maybe someone on these boards knows otherwise, I guess).  I considered the Arya  Durden theories very unlikely, too, so I'm just holding out hope that it will be explained by magic.  Otherwise, I have to admit that while I liked the Arya and the Waif storyline overall, the notion that Arya could survive such injuries and activities would be ludicrous.

Yes, but "signing up" for something beyond GoT in the GoT universe is basically just selling that extra story. It doesn't guarantee that he will be heavily involved with the creation, especially that he is less and less involved with HBO GoT too. As for book purist fans... First and foremost I do not believe that they are the major proportion of the GoT audience and therefore, quite understandably, HBO does not prioritize meeting their expectations over pleasing the non-book-purist audience. Secondly, book purist fans (be it GoT or any other fans) need to understand and respect how adaptation works and not expect to see the book, word by word, on the screen. Thirdly, television is business, it will never not be business, and so decisions will always be based on the business aspect, not on the aesthetic, the literary or any other aspect. Money and business interest will always be a priority over what book fans or even the writer wants. 

I don't think anything can patch up the Arya story. If it was magic, which I'm sure it wasn't meant to be, it should have been made clear and explicit. The whole Arya story from episode 7 on bled from a thousand wounds and while the  Jaquen and fight club and dream fan theories made no sense, what we ended up getting was weaker and made less sense than any of those theories. I can't quite decide if it was the most, the second most or the third most ridiculous notion in the show, but it's undoubtedly up there in my top three with Queen Cersei First of Her Name and Prince Sandsnakes Martell of Dorne.  

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3 hours ago, LatrineDiggerBrian said:

Arya goes to Braavos so she can train to become a killer and avenge her family. So she can be reunited with Jacquen from season 2 and he can help initiate her into this mysterious band of assassins. You don't think that sounds like a cool idea? It was a great storyline, but wow the ending to it on the show was so indescribably disappointing, it's really the point for me where season 6 became irredeemable.

For me the story in the north was ruined by two main things:

1) The Sansa Jon feud was forced and didn't add up to me, I didn't believe it at all, it was solely there for the purpose of creating drama

2) I understand that the season was the inevitable march towards Ramsey's death, but there were absolutely no twists and turns, everything played out like how a fan fiction writer would've wrote it (much like the ending to Arya's story). It was really meh and not on par with the great story telling of season's past. 

Also, the whole scene where they crowned Jon King of the North was one big eye roll for me and had no emotional weight.

But to each their own, I get a lot of people enjoyed season 6 but it just didn't do it for me.

We are getting to the end game so they are going to start killing off bad guys.  Ramsay really needed to go and the Starks needed to win one. 

I thought many of the notes like the realistic reaction of the Northern lords to Sansa and Jon's request were good, but yes it might have been better to have Jon do something that made him worthy of the crown during the battle.  But as a fan, it was just nice for the Starks and Jon in particular to win one. 

And Arya's story makes no sense no that it was ended.  I don't get how Arya fits into the end game.  

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2 hours ago, RhaeBee said:

Yes, but "signing up" for something beyond GoT in the GoT universe is basically just selling that extra story. It doesn't guarantee that he will be heavily involved with the creation, especially that he is less and less involved with HBO GoT too. As for book purist fans... First and foremost I do not believe that they are the major proportion of the GoT audience and therefore, quite understandably, HBO does not prioritize meeting their expectations over pleasing the non-book-purist audience. Secondly, book purist fans (be it GoT or any other fans) need to understand and respect how adaptation works and not expect to see the book, word by word, on the screen. Thirdly, television is business, it will never not be business, and so decisions will always be based on the business aspect, not on the aesthetic, the literary or any other aspect. Money and business interest will always be a priority over what book fans or even the writer wants. 

I don't think anything can patch up the Arya story. If it was magic, which I'm sure it wasn't meant to be, it should have been made clear and explicit. The whole Arya story from episode 7 on bled from a thousand wounds and while the  Jaquen and fight club and dream fan theories made no sense, what we ended up getting was weaker and made less sense than any of those theories. I can't quite decide if it was the most, the second most or the third most ridiculous notion in the show, but it's undoubtedly up there in my top three with Queen Cersei First of Her Name and Prince Sandsnakes Martell of Dorne.  

(1) Hard to say for sure whether 50% of show watchers have read some or all of the books.  Gotta be honest, though:  My guess is "yes."  The books have been around a long time, and, as I recall, have ALL spent large amounts of time on the New York Times bestseller list (not to mention massive sales in other countries).  My understanding is that this year, the show had about 25 million viewers per week.  Sorry, but it is easy for me to assume that half of them or more have read some or all of the books.  How many have read all 5 major books?  Dunno, but I do have an opinion that people on these boards who have not read the books are quite rare, although of course members here are not exactly casual fans.  HAR!

(2)  My understanding is that THE reason GRRM's involvement in the show decreased is so he could finish Winds of Winter.  Now, is there some tension between GRRM and HBO?  That would not surprise me at all.  I'm guessing that he, like nearly everyone on these boards, likes a lot of what the show has done, but dislikes other stuff, maybe even intensely.   But as you say, t.v. is a business.  Guess we'll just have to see what happens.

(3)  I agree about the "purist" stuff.   I know some people who are so rigid in their thinking that they can't even enjoy an adaptation b/c they love the original source material so much that any change is totally unacceptable.  Personally, I actually feel a little sorry for such people, cuz they're missing out on a lot of enjoyment, I think.

(4)  Arya/Logan:  i agree with a lot of what you wrote about this, definitely including that those other theories would be better than asking us to believe that what we saw was what happened, no more and no less (since what we saw was essentially ludicrous).   I still think "magic" would be the best explanation, though, but certainly still not fully satisfactory.  Magic could be what I basically called a "patch," though.  Is that ideal?  Not really, at this point, but to me all other possibilities are even worse.

(5)  I'm assuming your reference to Cersei means you didn't like Season 6 ending with Cersei as queen, but I'm not sure what the "Prince Sandsnakes Martell of Dorne" reference means.  If you want to say a bit about these things that would be cool, but if not I understand, since it seems you were just making comments about them in passing.;

 

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For me it's that the show fixed a major flaw with the books:  Tyrion and Jamie's relationship.  I did love that the two were so close in the books, and that Jamie always looked at himself as Tyrion's protector.  The idea that Jamie would have participated in the deception of Tyrion (regarding his marriage), and then confess it as Tyrion is exiled, leaving Tyrion angry and seeking vengeance, is awkward and unsettling.  Although the show now has Jamie as the aggrieved party (he tells Bronn he will kill Tyrion on the Dornish trip), I think the events regarding Cersei/Tommen will put an end to that.

I enjoyed simply seeing Tyrion and Jamie part still close, I suppose. 

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3 hours ago, Cron said:

(1) Hard to say for sure whether 50% of show watchers have read some or all of the books.  Gotta be honest, though:  My guess is "yes."  The books have been around a long time, and, as I recall, have ALL spent large amounts of time on the New York Times bestseller list (not to mention massive sales in other countries).  My understanding is that this year, the show had about 25 million viewers per week.  Sorry, but it is easy for me to assume that half of them or more have read some or all of the books.  How many have read all 5 major books?  Dunno, but I do have an opinion that people on these boards who have not read the books are quite rare, although of course members here are not exactly casual fans.  HAR!

(2)  My understanding is that THE reason GRRM's involvement in the show decreased is so he could finish Winds of Winter.  Now, is there some tension between GRRM and HBO?  That would not surprise me at all.  I'm guessing that he, like nearly everyone on these boards, likes a lot of what the show has done, but dislikes other stuff, maybe even intensely.   But as you say, t.v. is a business.  Guess we'll just have to see what happens.

(3)  I agree about the "purist" stuff.   I know some people who are so rigid in their thinking that they can't even enjoy an adaptation b/c they love the original source material so much that any change is totally unacceptable.  Personally, I actually feel a little sorry for such people, cuz they're missing out on a lot of enjoyment, I think.

(4)  Arya/Logan:  i agree with a lot of what you wrote about this, definitely including that those other theories would be better than asking us to believe that what we saw was what happened, no more and no less (since what we saw was essentially ludicrous).   I still think "magic" would be the best explanation, though, but certainly still not fully satisfactory.  Magic could be what I basically called a "patch," though.  Is that ideal?  Not really, at this point, but to me all other possibilities are even worse.

(5)  I'm assuming your reference to Cersei means you didn't like Season 6 ending with Cersei as queen, but I'm not sure what the "Prince Sandsnakes Martell of Dorne" reference means.  If you want to say a bit about these things that would be cool, but if not I understand, since it seems you were just making comments about them in passing.;

 

Now now now, I never said that. I'm sure there are many fans maybe more than 50% of the audience who read one/more/all of the books, but that's not what we were talking about. Book purist fan =/= fan who read one/more/all of the books. And this board is not a representative sample of the GoT audience. This board has some if not most of the hardest core book fans out there. 

Yeah, that's what we were told, but there's no Winds of Winter, so go figure. Besides--- no, I'll not go on a rage spree about this. My understanding is that there has been an increasing amount of tension between the writer and the show runners which I can understand from both perspectives, but maybe just a tiny bit more from the show runners' perspective. 

What I don't like is having all the double standards. If the books do something, it's fiction and literature and descriptive and historically accurate, if the show does the same, it's fan service and porn and all kinds of 21st century -isms. I know, double standards are human nature, I tolerate twice thirty times as much crap from my sister than from random people, but it's just unfair to the show. 

I understand, for my part I'm just sticking with sloppy writing instead of magic. And no, I didn't, S6E10 was without question the worst season finale, may common sense, physics and primogeniture rest in peace. 

 

 

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19 hours ago, illinifan said:

Yes.  I read the books and Season 5 suffers from lots of the issues that ADWD did.  There is the infamous Meereen knot.  And new plots in places like Dorne.  I actually thought that Season 5 corrected some errors.  There was no FAegon, a personality free waste of space.  We did not spend chapters with Tyrion discussing where whores went. There was no Quentyn.

And some of the issues with Season 6 are due to book flaws.  I am not sure why Arya needed to go to Braavos other than Martin thought it was cool.  I thought the North ending as well as the KL ending were both great.  Winds of Winter was a masterpiece IMO.  

Arya had to go to Braavos to learn skills. IMO they failed with Braavos in th show. I enjoyed the theatre part of it but the purpose was not as clear as in the books. She should have learned more things there like in the novels.

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All imo: The last two novels were in need of editing, and the show edited them:

Removal of the Griffs, their crew, Arianne, Quentyn, LSH, Penny, Shavepate, Strong Belwas, Victarion, Moqorro, deaths of Barristan, Doran, Hotah streamline a series that's lost in space atm.

GRRM loses the Walkers amongst all the new characters. The show keeps them in the forefront.

The short version of Tyrion's journey to Meereen was better than the novel version, in that it gets Tyrion to Dany without adding characters and detours.

The short version of Gilly and Sam's travels to Oldtown was better than the novel version. Instead of hearing about Gilly weeping and nursing, we got to see the Tarlys. This is a good thing.

Sending Sansa and LF to Winterfell gave them something to do other than sit on their asses in the Vale.

The show Cersei, unlike the novel Cersei, is a human being, can't be dismissed as a cartoon villain. That means her relationship with Jaime can't be dismissed. Given that this is a key relationship, the show's decisions here are superior to the novel's.

Gilly of the novels spends most of her travels sobbing, lactating, or fucking Sam. Show Gilly is not so limited, even has a few good lines.

Having said that, seasons 5-6 suffered from the same problem the novels did, in that they were plagued with filler:

  • Most of what went down in KL in season six was filler, until the last episode. It could have all gone boom in the second episode, and nothing would have been lost. I mean...I could say the same about the novels, with Dany's rinse-repeat chapters in Dance, Aegon's inclusion as yet another heir to the throne as examples. That the novel has similar problems doesn't excuse the show.
  • The episode with Brother Ray was filler. Nothing would have been lost if the Hound had begun the episode with Beric.
  • The difficulties Dany had with the Dothraki were filler, as Drogon was floating overhead as bodyguard all through those episodes.
  • The pre-Dany Meereen passages were filler: Tyrion makes a deal with the slavers. It means nothing. Tyrion and Varys meet a red priestess. It means nothing. Tyrion wastes time teaching Greyworm and Missendai to crack jokes. It means nothing.
  • Brienne in the North was filler. She then goes to Riverrun. Still filler. ...ok, not as bad as the misadventures of Brienne in Feast, but still, not good.
  • The Braavosi mummers: Nothing comes of them. Filler.
  • Dorne, until Olenna goes there and everyone declares for Dany, is filler.
  • Arya in Braavos: She could have left second episode of season 6, and nothing would have been lost. I can say the same thing about Arya, whose adventures in Braavos can be summarized as a city guide and repeat fighting montages. Doesn't excuse the show.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, kimim said:

*Snip*

 

While some things needed to be edited the books never suffered from the plot holes and logical fallacies that show has in recent years. Sending Sansa to WF has got to be one of the dumbest changes from a source material I have ever seen and saving she "did something" while in WF is stupid because she played no role in the Stannis Bolton fight at the S5 climax and she is motivated to go back to WF in S6 to save Rickon which she didn't need to be in WF to motivate her to do.

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1 hour ago, RhaenysB said:

Now now now, I never said that. I'm sure there are many fans maybe more than 50% of the audience who read one/more/all of the books, but that's not what we were talking about. Book purist fan =/= fan who read one/more/all of the books. And this board is not a representative sample of the GoT audience. This board has some if not most of the hardest core book fans out there. 

Yeah, that's what we were told, but there's no Winds of Winter, so go figure. Besides--- no, I'll not go on a rage spree about this. My understanding is that there has been an increasing amount of tension between the writer and the show runners which I can understand from both perspectives, but maybe just a tiny bit more from the show runners' perspective. 

What I don't like is having all the double standards. If the books do something, it's fiction and literature and descriptive and historically accurate, if the show does the same, it's fan service and porn and all kinds of 21st century -isms. I know, double standards are human nature, I tolerate twice thirty times as much crap from my sister than from random people, but it's just unfair to the show. 

I understand, for my part I'm just sticking with sloppy writing instead of magic. And no, I didn't, S6E10 was without question the worst season finale, may common sense, physics and primogeniture rest in peace. 

 

 

Oooooh, I like your sharp tongue!

I'd LOVE to hear more about your problems with Cersei and the Prince Sandsnakes!!!

If it's too off topic, you can PM me, but if not then I understand, and that's cool, too.

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The show's depiction of Cersei's descent into madness/ruthlessness is more interesting to watch, because it's gradual. She's always been cold and cunning, but watch her suffering slowly transform into hardness is very good writing. 

In the books she literally falls asleep one night as a cold-hearted politician, and wakes up the next morning a full blown crazy person. There's no transition. She's just crazy now. 

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1 hour ago, kimim said:

All imo: The last two novels were in need of editing, and the show edited them:

Removal of the Griffs, their crew, Arianne, Quentyn, LSH, Penny, Shavepate, Strong Belwas, Victarion, Moqorro, deaths of Barristan, Doran, Hotah streamline a series that's lost in space atm.

GRRM loses the Walkers amongst all the new characters. The show keeps them in the forefront.

The short version of Tyrion's journey to Meereen was better than the novel version, in that it gets Tyrion to Dany without adding characters and detours.

The short version of Gilly and Sam's travels to Oldtown was better than the novel version. Instead of hearing about Gilly weeping and nursing, we got to see the Tarlys. This is a good thing.

Sending Sansa and LF to Winterfell gave them something to do other than sit on their asses in the Vale.

The show Cersei, unlike the novel Cersei, is a human being, can't be dismissed as a cartoon villain. That means her relationship with Jaime can't be dismissed. Given that this is a key relationship, the show's decisions here are superior to the novel's.

Gilly of the novels spends most of her travels sobbing, lactating, or fucking Sam. Show Gilly is not so limited, even has a few good lines.

 

:agree::agree::agree: 

1 hour ago, Cron said:

Oooooh, I like your sharp tongue!

I'd LOVE to hear more about your problems with Cersei and the Prince Sandsnakes!!!

If it's too off topic, you can PM me, but if not then I understand, and that's cool, too.

I don't have a sharp tongue, I just kind of feel strongly about the whole stupid show vs books "battle". 

I just bitched about Cersei and her non-existent claim to the throne in the other thread, that's all about this topic. 

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4 hours ago, RhaenysB said:

:agree::agree::agree: 

I don't have a sharp tongue, I just kind of feel strongly about the whole stupid show vs books "battle". 

I just bitched about Cersei and her non-existent claim to the throne in the other thread, that's all about this topic. 

Oh, okay, I was just kidding around, but I'm sorry if I stepped on your toe, figuratively speaking.

Hopefully we're cool.

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8 hours ago, Cron said:

Oh, okay, I was just kidding around, but I'm sorry if I stepped on your toe, figuratively speaking.

Hopefully we're cool.

No, you didn't, we are perfectly cool :) Sorry if I unintentionally  implied otherwise! 

And of course thanks for the good conversation!  One does not often get to debate these questions without finding oneself in a cyber battle field. 

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15 hours ago, kimim said:

The pre-Dany Meereen passages were filler: Tyrion makes a deal with the slavers. It means nothing. Tyrion and Varys meet a red priestess. It means nothing. Tyrion wastes time teaching Greyworm and Missendai to crack jokes. It means nothing.

I can hear Ellaria Sand saying this words:D

 

15 hours ago, kimim said:

The episode with Brother Ray was filler. Nothing would have been lost if the Hound had begun the episode with Beric

They tried to give a short version of the QI and show the Hound's transformation into a less hateful person. But kinda failed. I don't know how it would be played out in the books, but showing a long transformation process in a half of episode just didn't work out. And the dialogues were lame. I agree with you, it would make more sence and pass in a tight timing if f.e. Thoros would cure the Hound and he would travel with Beric.

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8 hours ago, RhaenysB said:

No, you didn't, we are perfectly cool :) Sorry if I unintentionally  implied otherwise! 

And of course thanks for the good conversation!  One does not often get to debate these questions without finding oneself in a cyber battle field. 

Good, good.

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On 23 août 2016 at 7:54 AM, A spoon of knife and fork said:

Quentyn was supposed to convince Daenerys to come to Westeros immediately.  Doran sent Quentyn with a ten-year-old document showing there was a marriage pact between Viserys and Arianne Martell, hoping by some transitive property that it would now apply to Daenerys and Quentyn.   Furthermore, Doran only sent Quentyn (or any help whatsoever) after hearing that Dany had hatched dragons, demonstrating he only cared enough to bother about the lives of the Targaryen children when he saw they could be of use. And despite this, he didn't even give Quentyn a plan for a way to get the dragons back to Westeros...

Personally, I think that George shot himself in the foot with the Dorne plot - he didn't think through the consequences of the "Vengeance, Justice, Fire and Blood" speech (a major problem with his whole "gardening approach" IMO).  He sets us up with an idea that Doran is a mastermind and that Quentyn will be the answer to getting Dany to westeros.  But then once again, eh realizes he's not ready for Dany to come to Westeros, so Quentyn has to fail.   In order for Quentyn to fail and Dany not to be an idiot for rejecting him (which she's not, given she'd essentially be giving herself up as a hostage, INCLUDING her dragons), Doran must be an idiot.  Oh but then another Targaryen will fall into his lap and he'll support him instead.  Demonstrating he's not just an idiot but a two-faced idiot.  

 

On 23 août 2016 at 7:42 AM, A spoon of knife and fork said:

I'm sorry, but Doran's so-called plan for vengeance was so weak that if the SS and Ellaria were the same (evil, power hungry) characters as in the show, they would have shanked him just the same whether they knew about his plan or not.  

Quentyn brought literally nothing of use to Daenerys.  Doran might as well have sent a raven offering alliance with Dorne as his useless son with no army or ships.  He expected Dany to be some damsel in distress I suppose, desperate for any help.  It didn't have to do with Mereen being a shit show.  Quentyn failed because going with him, Dany would lose all of her own forces.  She would be giving up her own sovereignty and putting herself entirely at the mercy of a lord she didn't know anything about, and his army.  Dany had already made the choice NOT to do such a thing when she decided to get an army in SB rather than going to Illyrio.  

A Doran with a simple plan to keep Dorne out of war is a stronger and more defensible character, IMO.  Book Doran is an ineffectual schemer out for vengeance.  And he's so bad at it that his plan entirely fails, including a Coup attempt by his own daughter because he completely failed to understand the political climate of his own country - or even family.  And in the end, Book!Doran is entirely willing to kill Tommen if necessary to get his son (or before that, daughter) on the Iron Throne and complete his vengeance for Elia and her kids.  I think he'd even be willing to have Myrcella killed if it was demanded by whichever Targaryen he backs (and remember, in the beginning he backed Viserys, who definitely would have demanded a scorched earth policy on every living Lannister, Stark, and Baratheon)  

On 25 août 2016 at 6:45 AM, A spoon of knife and fork said:

I don't have a problem with Quentyn failing per se, and I enjoyed his arc on its face (would have enjoyed it more if it had just been from Dany's PoV like Robb's was from Cat's).  My main issue is the total hash it made of the Dorne plot and in particular, the character of Doran Martell.  I think that this is the main reason as well, why ADWD was delayed so long.  The core of the Mereeneese knot.  GRRM has said in interviews that one of the big sticking points was who would arrive in Mereen when and under what circumstances.  I think in some versions, he probably wrote Quentyn as having much stronger footing - like, perhaps he has enough ships to move her army and Dragons...  or he arrives before Xaro makes his offer about the ships, and before she's engaged to Hizdar.  Or even that he's a better negotiator, and he works with her to come up with a plan.

 Because he would like us to think Dany is a (at least somewhat) reasonable person - and a heroic figure, generally speaking, he discarded these ideas.  Dany had to be engaged to / married to Hizdar first, so that she had a 100% solid reason to say no to Quentyn's proposal (though honestly she should probably say no anyway).  Dany had to have no reasonable way to get the majority of her troops or her dragons out of Mereen.  And ultimately Quentyn had to completely fail to bring her anything useful enough to make him a reasonable ally.  So, Quentyn therefore had to come entirely unprepared.  This makes Doran look foolish, IMO.  Especially because Quentyn/Daenerys was supposedly his trump card, holding together the crumbling foundations of Dornish politics.  

Then again failing to properly prepare his children is a big part of Arianne's AFFC story as well.  This again, IMO, was a narrative "trick" played by GRRM.  He wanted a "big shocker" at the end of the book (Quentyn reveal), thus Arianne couldn't know anything about "The Plan".  But of course, this means that Doran (the master planner) is the kind of father that does not trust his heir, nor does he train her, but instead leaves her with the impression she's going to be passed over.  Doran Martell is basically a cardboard, plot device-y kind of character.  His actions don't make much sense other than so we can be surprised by the plot developments.  

I think the show runners realized this, and that is why Doran Martell in the show is a much simpler character.  He is a good man who genuinely desires peace.  He doesn't want to be the kind of man he hates, who would kill children.  And, unfortunately, such a man - no matter how clever - can often be a victim of stronger political winds.  Dorne in general was not willing to accept a peace under these circumstances, and in particular his nieces and his brother's lover believed themselves to be superior and more "worthy" of Nymeria's legacy.  

Well, Robb was never a PoV character - Robb's story, ultimately, is Catelyn's story.  Catelyn's story (along with Ned's) was about the fall of House Stark, which is a necessary piece to get to the end game.  But again I don't mind a character failing - it's people acting stupidly (especially when we are supposed to think they are brilliant schemers) that gets to me. 

I'll answer all your Dorne post here: It's great when you have hinsight and know about what the character thinks. As a reader we can think Doran's plan is dumb (although I still wouldn't agree). But if you get in his shoes you'd see why it's actually smart. 

We are in a world were this kind of deal is not cast away that much. Your word is your bond, and I'm sure Doran was sure Dany would know about the deal. I'm pretty sure Viserys knew but kept it secret. And even if he didn't, Varys and Illyrio probably told him that the deal was a sure thing. So he is right to believe that the deal should work. When you make this kind of deal, in general you don't expect the other to not follow through. And you say he sends help just when she has dragons, but you don't know wether he helped in one way or another during dany's earlier life. Also, the plan was for Arianne to marry Viserys. He planned that for 10 years, and he couldn't know that he was going to die like that. So he had to change his plan quickly and did the best he could. So yeah, he is unprepared, but you don't have time to plan that well, especially with the distance between the different characters...

As for what he can bring Dany: how about one of Westeros kingdom. That's not such a tiny thing. Support from Dorne would help her win the throne. 

As for the whole Dany being hostage. Even if Dorne has some sort of progressive view of women being able to lead, Doran knows that only a king can rule westeros. So he probably assumes she doesn't want to rule. Why would she, it's not something that is that common, especially for a young woman. When he send Quentyn he is pretty sure it's a great idea because it's a girl who has dragons and doesn't know shit. He treats her like most lords would treat a marriage: the dower is what interests him. Now it might be a stupid assumption, but that's because we know Dany's character. He doesn't.

As for Doran treating Arianna and not preparing her: he did not know if he could trust her. Also, you can't spill this plan to everyone, it's treason, you keep it under wrap. I admit it's a bit stupid on his part to have done so, but that's one of the reasons why I like the Martells: they made assumption and did not talk, basically they are human. They were both sure of their plan, and they fucked up in a way. I like that. 

I don't like the idea that GRRM somehow got overwhelmed by his plot. I think he planned it and made the decision this way for a reason. And maybe Doran will be a complete fool in the end, but what he did made sense from his perspective.

 

On 23 août 2016 at 11:48 AM, Not a kneeler said:

Actually, I think that making Cersei a more dimensional character made the transition to the split between her and Jaime too abrupt. In the books he was having doubts about her much sooner, so I do not think that I would name that as a strength in the show. I think the omission of the Quentyn storyline and the Faegon storyline were strengths. I loved the Hound and Arya travelogue and I liked show Brienne much more than Brienne in the books. In the show she was much more human. 

How is she not human in the books? She shows us all her doubts about her path, about Jaime etc. In the sho she is a machine that fight well basically.

On 23 août 2016 at 1:46 PM, Masha said:

 

Final Twist in the end actual makes a completely perfect sense to me since basically episode or two before HS with help of Margaery and unwitten Tommen literally backed her in a corner and made it death or life decision for her with no other choices remaining. And with the death of her last child, it could be explained that she will become completely unhinged next season, unlike in AFFC where it came out of nowhere.

What doesn't make sense for me in the books is Cersei's crazy prophecy-based fixation on Margaery who is far less defined character in the books and who manipulation skills are not that as clearly shown as in the show.

Actually, I think we understand a lot of how Cersei acts like she does in the books. There is the prophecy, but mainly there is the fact that she hates being a woman and that she wants her father to see how smart she is. That's what makes her not so cartoonish to me. She has a deep reason to act like she does. But I understand why some people still think she is a caricature. And about Margeary: Cersei is super paranoiac. That's why she's crazy about Margeary, when clearly she might not be such a threat. That's why I like her making wrong decisions for wrong reasons. She created this world where she is the only smart person on earth and everyone is an enemy. I like that. But I get why people don't.

On 3 septembre 2016 at 9:11 AM, lancerman said:

The biggest problem for me with Dorne is that in both mediums it was a massive waste of time and misdirection to set up an event at the end.

People plotting around Myrcella's safety and future only for all the plans to go bust in the end. Then in the books it's revealed that Doran has his fire and blood speech and is still plotting, and in the show Myrcella is killed and it's revealed that the Sand Snakes will be taking their revenge. Both ultimately leading to Dorne allying with a Targaryen (Aegon in the books, Dany in the show).

If we are being technical, Arianne's plot was a waste of time and a complete failure only to get scolded by her father. But it was presented better. While the Sand Snakes in season 5 eventually did kill Myrcella, take over Dorne, and facilitate an alliance with Highgarden and Danearys, But it was presented worse.

 

 

 

A waste of time? Why? Because the plot did not advance? That is not what litterature is about. The fact that "nothing happens" does not mean you don't learn things or that ideas are not developped. We learned a lot about Dorne, Arianne, Doran and many other characters through that arc. I think it was a great way to analyse how someone might think and assume things. I loved it, even if it did not produce something.

On 2 septembre 2016 at 6:38 AM, RhaenysB said:

 

I know it's a bit of shallow thinking, but lack of closure drives me insane. ASOIAF is a fantasy fiction, a story you read for the plot and not the literary orgasm that you read Orwell or Tolstoy or Gogol for. Therefore I neeeeeeeed closure. This is the general reason why I'm pissed at the books, closure is nowhere in sight at the end of book 5 and god knows when/if there will be a book 6, let alone 7. I jumped on the ASOIAF bandwagon quite late, essentially after the show aired and got me hooked, and even that has been 5 years. Can't imagine readers who were there from the first couple books. And sure, these stories live on and inspire the fantasy of readers to complete sub-stories the author neglected or close plotlines and characters the way they imagine. Still, an actual canon closure is always coveted, in my opinion. 

 

I don't get why you would assume we won't get closure on nearly everything. Two huge books can largely be enough (and there might be an 8th if need be...). I need closure as well, and I'm sure we'll get it. As for everyone that says: we would get more ASOIAF canon if GRRM would do the show: that means you only like the plot. That's all you care about. It skips all the beauty of the books: that a whole world with nearly every aspect detailed (food, clothing, laws, tradition, religion, politics and so on) was created. People that say that are interested in the destination, and not the journey. Then wait for the book to go out and read a wiki page, it will save you some time... I'm not saying you said that entirely but you did mention you think the author failed to cut some stuff. I disagree. There are some plotline I don't like in ASOIAF (mainly Jon and Dany, each chapter is a pain for me to read, but I'm in the minority, I know), but I get why they are here. It's his art, if he believes it's necessary, than it might be. And most of the stuff that people think are filler or waste of time actually tell us a lot about the ASOIAF world, and I love it. Not everything has to be plotdriven :p. And I love the fact we have so many characters with different agenda, even if it seems pointless.

 

As for ASOIAF just being a fantasy fiction: I strongly disagree, there is great literary work put into it. Much more than in HP or others (even if I love HP). GRRM writes well. He writes damn well I would say and I think he is very good on a literary level. I don't read ASOIAF only for the plot but for all those things. You seem different, and I respect that, but I disagree.

 

There are many other point I was ready to talk about with what you said about the books, but my post is already super long, so basically I'll say that I mostly disagree, but I liked reading your opinion :)

 

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