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Fickle Characters

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3 hours ago, Chebyshov said:

Most TV shows have writers' rooms, and they don't have anywhere near the problems with consistent characterization that GoT has. 

This. Pretty much no piece of media is being written by a single person these days. I would go as far as say that D&D could have solved a lot of problems by allowing more people to contribute to the script while they focus on the show production issues.

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On 8/27/2017 at 3:46 PM, Satoshi Takeda said:

I am sure many of you have noticed the inconsistency in how the characters think and behave from one episode to the next.  Is it due to excessive fan service again?  I think it is one of the reasons or causes.  One other reason: the show is not written by one person so there will be inconsistency.  The books have no inconsistencies in the characters because it is written by one man. 

How do you determine when something is "fanservice"? I see people using words like "fanservice" "fanfiction" "deus ex machina" "plot hole" (as well as many others) and I propose that people using these words don't actually know what they mean. And how do you determine "inconsistent" in a character with a range of behavior? Is Rob Stark "inconsistent" when he married the foreign woman after vowing to take one of Frey's daughters? Is Ned Stark "inconsistent" for trusting Littlefinger?

 

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Let me give you some examples of what I mean by fickle characters,

  1. Arya.  She goes from full on psycho at the twins.  Not too long after she lets the Lannister soldiers live.  She goes from psycho killer to reasonable traveler.  Then she goes to question Sansa's loyalty and her character.  Which is a reasonable thing to do.  Let's face it.  Sansa has a lot to answer for.  This is reasonable sister asking the tough questions.  Then we find out she's collecting souvenirs from her victims.  She collects their faces!!!  Now, if that's not full on insane then nothing is. 

That is how the faceless assassins operate, by taking faces to be able to disguise themselves. Arya is really no more or less "psycho" than virtually anyone else in the story who kills people. How is this "inconsistent" with her character, who has a list of people to kill and has trained as a faceless assassin?

 

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  1. Theon.  He is one of the few well written characters on the show.  And it's because the writers don't have to worry what Theon's fans will think so they have kept his character consistent.  It's consistent with Theon's character to lose it and revert to the broken man that he is when he jumped overboard instead of helping Yara.  Theon fighting Euron would have been inconsistent and a joke.  I will argue with anyone who was disappointed with Theon's cowardice.  That is consistent with a broken man.

You have access to the minds of the writers in order to explain this? Obviously not, so how can you even make the claim?

 

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  1. Varys.  Why in hell is Varys so concerned about the execution of the Tarlys when it was him who brought Elaria Sand and her girls into Dany's camp.  The Sands are the most violent people on the show outside of Slaver's Bay.  He didn't seem bothered then.  So why the sudden weakness now.  He was the one who advised Aerys of Rhaegar's possible plot to usurp the throne.  He's not Mr. Nice Guy and so it is uncharacteristic of him to have reservations about a completely just execution.

Varys explained his reasoning when talking to Tyrion in that very scene - he was there when the Starks were burned alive, and it has haunted him. Do you see the correlation between a father and son being burned alive, and, a father and son being burned alive?

 

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  1. Sandor.  This dude is afraid of fire.  So afraid he froze at the burning bear wight.  This same dude jumps on the back of a dragon and flies away. 

The dragon wasn't on fire, and wasn't breathing fire at Sandor. He's afraid of fire because he was burned by fire, and now has a fear of situations where he can be burned.

Honestly, I've read threads and watched videos where people talk about how bad the writing on the show is, and in the end I've come to the confident conclusion that the writing on the show is fine, the real problem is with a percentage of the audience which cannot understand what they're watching, and have trouble connecting and correlating information which is being given to them along a plotted timeline. So really, "This show has bad writing" translates into "I cannot understand or correlate information being given to me along a plotted timeline": it's basically become statements about the self, and not about the writing.

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On 8/28/2017 at 8:38 AM, Orphalesion said:

So he finally has said something that wasn't complete horse shit? Good for him. Then again it's probably just like Nostradamos, if someone says a lot of confused horseshit they are bound to get something right, eventually.

I don´t think you need to be disparaging. It is OK if you do not buy his theories, but the has been doing quite funny review videos for the last seasons and his critical view of the show is quite incisive. 

On 8/30/2017 at 0:29 AM, Maid So Fair said:

It's because while in the books the story is very much character driven and that is GRRM's approach to writing, the show is smooth more plot based. This is especially apparent now when the showrunners don't have all the character material to work with but just a list of plot points. Pretty much any interview with them you listen to its apparent that their writing process is to think of a cool scene and work backwards from there. This results in the characters being asked to fill different roles each week and in the lack of consistent character arcs.

Taking Arya as an example, they clearly wanted her to murder the Freys because *cool scene*, then they wanted a scene with Ed Sheeran and then they wanted to create some drama in Winterfell. Arya's character and motivation never came into it. She's not even the worst offender - Sansa was a different person in each of her scenes last season.

 

 

Agree

1 hour ago, Maid So Fair said:

This. Pretty much no piece of media is being written by a single person these days. I would go as far as say that D&D could have solved a lot of problems by allowing more people to contribute to the script while they focus on the show production issues.

So true. Show defenders are running out of excuses.

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17 minutes ago, John Meta said:

How do you determine when something is "fanservice"? I see people using words like "fanservice" "fanfiction" "deus ex machina" "plot hole" (as well as many others) and I propose that people using these words don't actually know what they mean. And how do you determine "inconsistent" in a character with a range of behavior? Is Rob Stark "inconsistent" when he married the foreign woman after vowing to take one of Frey's daughters? Is Ned Stark "inconsistent" for trusting Littlefinger?

This

19 minutes ago, John Meta said:

Honestly, I've read threads and watched videos where people talk about how bad the writing on the show is, and in the end I've come to the confident conclusion that the writing on the show is fine, the real problem is with a percentage of the audience which cannot understand what they're watching, and have trouble connecting and correlating information which is being given to them along a plotted timeline. So really, "This show has bad writing" translates into "I cannot understand or correlate information being given to me along a plotted timeline": it's basically become statements about the self, and not about the writing.

And this...

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25 minutes ago, John Meta said:

Honestly, I've read threads and watched videos where people talk about how bad the writing on the show is, and in the end I've come to the confident conclusion that the writing on the show is fine, the real problem is with a percentage of the audience which cannot understand what they're watching, and have trouble connecting and correlating information which is being given to them along a plotted timeline. So really, "This show has bad writing" translates into "I cannot understand or correlate information being given to me along a plotted timeline": it's basically become statements about the self, and not about the writing.

I find quite interesting that those people who "cannot understand what they are watching, and have trouble connecting and correlating information" are usually quite literate and respectful, and try to politely argue their points, while some show defenders can not think of any more arguments than: "the show is popular, so you should like". And if we don´t, they go into a borderline disrespectful attitude. 

It basically become an statement about the self, not about the quality of the show

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1 hour ago, John Meta said:

...

Honestly, I've read threads and watched videos where people talk about how bad the writing on the show is, and in the end I've come to the confident conclusion that the writing on the show is fine, the real problem is with a percentage of the audience which cannot understand what they're watching, and have trouble connecting and correlating information which is being given to them along a plotted timeline. So really, "This show has bad writing" translates into "I cannot understand or correlate information being given to me along a plotted timeline": it's basically become statements about the self, and not about the writing.

I have come to a similar conclusion. It's a generalisation, and I'm not making judgements, I just think that different viewers parse information differently. And/or a different level of immersion into what is a different world for a shot period of time.  

I love the show and it's obvious I have a different viewing experience to other people who make complaints. For me it's not about blindly accepting plot holes, time jumps or continuity errors, but more about going with the flow and not letting quibbles get in the way of enjoying something. I have no problem filling in any gaps with my own imagination. Or assuming a lot of time went by if someone has moved 100 miles between scenes. It's not turning your brain off, but letting it go on a ride.

For me in any story, the story is 'true'. It can't have plot holes because it's the one true story (obviously with an adaptation that's not quite right, so rather, this is this universe's one true telling). So as such can't be wrong, because it's what happened.

Marvel comics used to have this concept of No Prize's whereby if they printed a continuity error or other mistake they would ask fans to write in with ideas to explain it away - because everyone makes mistakes but the stories could not be wrong. And personally I loved that approach.

I do find it odd that 'fanfiction' is thrown around so much as an insult when the real story is the one on the screen and it is people knocking the show saying 'no, no, it should be done like this'.

'Fanservice' just seems to be the phrase of this season. How dare you keep your fans happy after 6 seasons of their favourite characters being killed off! How dare they do a Arya-Brienne fight. That's just not entertainment! Give them something they don't want! Bloody twenty million fans, ruining everything for the couple of hundred that don't like the show anyway!

 

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On 02/09/2017 at 10:13 AM, Daske said:

For me in any story, the story is 'true'. It can't have plot holes because it's the one true story (obviously with an adaptation that's not quite right, so rather, this is this universe's one true telling). So as such can't be wrong, because it's what happened.

What a load of rubbish! Of course an original story can have plot holes. Very few stories don't have plot holes.

 

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I don't trust Varys.  Cersei knows every Dany's move.  Could be Tyrion, but could be Varys too.  Could be borh, the two are very close.

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On 02/09/2017 at 8:35 AM, John Meta said:

Honestly, I've read threads and watched videos where people talk about how bad the writing on the show is, and in the end I've come to the confident conclusion that the writing on the show is fine, the real problem is with a percentage of the audience which cannot understand what they're watching, and have trouble connecting and correlating information which is being given to them along a plotted timeline. So really, "This show has bad writing" translates into "I cannot understand or correlate information being given to me along a plotted timeline": it's basically become statements about the self, and not about the writing.

This statement is not an accurate or fair assessment of those who have issues with the writing on the show. 

You are basically accusing anyone who thinks the show has poor writing (which it does) of misinterpreting the plots presented, which is simply not true.

The reason many regard the show as bad writing is because it fails in many of the established criteria for good storytelling.

For one thing, in the early seasons the show writing worked off a strong well written source in George RR Martins books. However, since the show ran out of source material, the writers have done things differently.

At this point, it is perfectly clear the writers arent even trying to write a natural flowing story anymore and when you stop doing that, pretty much by definition characterisation and consistency will go out the window.

The writers now think about what they want to accomplish with certain scenes and the reaction they want from the audience and then fill in the details from there.

Is that style of writing prone to creating successful shows and getting mass audiences? Absolutely

Is it by any objective measure high quality storytelling? Absolutely not.

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2 hours ago, Gaz0680 said:

This statement is not an accurate or fair assessment of those who have issues with the writing on the show. 

You are basically accusing anyone who thinks the show has poor writing (which it does) of misinterpreting the plots presented, which is simply not true.

The reason many regard the show as bad writing is because it fails in many of the established criteria for good storytelling.

For one thing, in the early seasons the show writing worked off a strong well written source in George RR Martins books. However, since the show ran out of source material, the writers have done things differently.

At this point, it is perfectly clear the writers arent even trying to write a natural flowing story anymore and when you stop doing that, pretty much by definition characterisation and consistency will go out the window.

The writers now think about what they want to accomplish with certain scenes and the reaction they want from the audience and then fill in the details from there.

Is that style of writing prone to creating successful shows and getting mass audiences? Absolutely

Is it by any objective measure high quality storytelling? Absolutely not.

Well said, sir!!!

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4 hours ago, Gaz0680 said:

What a load of rubbish! Of course an original story can have plot holes. Very few stories don't have plot holes.

 

It's back to lack of imagination again. You misunderstand then what I'm saying. I'm not saying that a writer doesn't make mistakes and that these won't transfer to the screen (or book).. Or that sometimes a writer intentionally does not present all the facts at face value for various reasons. But rather than a story doesn't need to have plot holes if you can explain them yourself. And if you have the imagination then you can explain anything. And you can enjoy the ride without getting all hissy. Just assume you have not witnessed the reason something seems odd and fill in the blanks with something that makes sense. And don't forget to allow a little leeway for poetic license too.

 

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4 hours ago, Gaz0680 said:

This statement is not an accurate or fair assessment of those who have issues with the writing on the show. 

You are basically accusing anyone who thinks the show has poor writing (which it does) of misinterpreting the plots presented, which is simply not true.

The reason many regard the show as bad writing is because it fails in many of the established criteria for good storytelling.

For one thing, in the early seasons the show writing worked off a strong well written source in George RR Martins books. However, since the show ran out of source material, the writers have done things differently.

At this point, it is perfectly clear the writers arent even trying to write a natural flowing story anymore and when you stop doing that, pretty much by definition characterisation and consistency will go out the window.

The writers now think about what they want to accomplish with certain scenes and the reaction they want from the audience and then fill in the details from there.

Is that style of writing prone to creating successful shows and getting mass audiences? Absolutely

Is it by any objective measure high quality storytelling? Absolutely not.

Of course it's high quality storytelling. It's style is just not for you. (What is 'objective high quality storytelling' anyway? Is your metric for objectivity that a few hundred fans on this site don't like it?).

This is what I don't understand about the bit in bold, and I see this here a lot. You are not comparing like for like. The showrunners are not doing anything differently now from the strong source material because you have no way to compare. The old books were the old books, and that would be comparing like for like in the earlier seasons. But you're comparing the more recent show story and ongoing character work on the show with what was in the earlier books. There is absolutely no guarantee that the special nature of the earlier books will be continued in any latter ones.

Hypothetically, let's assume the new books do come out. They might be pants. It's not such a stretch. Most fans agree they have declined in quality as it is. Or maybe they will be concentrating more on plot and story completion that the earlier character and world building work - which would make sense for the books to do so too, despite the show being criticised for it. Or most likely they won't come out at all because Martin himself cannot finish them. He has created these open ended arcs and plots and now cannot successfully work out the logistics or satisfactory closures himself - and he has had decades to do so.

The showrunners are telling the final acts of the story in a way which may or may not be very close to Martin's planned outline. But it's crazy to compare the style of show to the books at this point. Because those books do not exist and probably never will, and if they do will probably struggle with many of the same so-called 'issues'. 

 

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On 27/08/2017 at 8:46 PM, Satoshi Takeda said:

I am sure many of you have noticed the inconsistency in how the characters think and behave from one episode to the next.  Is it due to excessive fan service again?  I think it is one of the reasons or causes.  One other reason: the show is not written by one person so there will be inconsistency.  The books have no inconsistencies in the characters because it is written by one man.  Let me give you some examples of what I mean by fickle characters,

  1. Arya.  She goes from full on psycho at the twins.  Not too long after she lets the Lannister soldiers live.  She goes from psycho killer to reasonable traveler.  Then she goes to question Sansa's loyalty and her character.  Which is a reasonable thing to do.  Let's face it.  Sansa has a lot to answer for.  This is reasonable sister asking the tough questions.  Then we find out she's collecting souvenirs from her victims.  She collects their faces!!!  Now, if that's not full on insane then nothing is. 
  2. Theon.  He is one of the few well written characters on the show.  And it's because the writers don't have to worry what Theon's fans will think so they have kept his character consistent.  It's consistent with Theon's character to lose it and revert to the broken man that he is when he jumped overboard instead of helping Yara.  Theon fighting Euron would have been inconsistent and a joke.  I will argue with anyone who was disappointed with Theon's cowardice.  That is consistent with a broken man.
  3. Varys.  Why in hell is Varys so concerned about the execution of the Tarlys when it was him who brought Elaria Sand and her girls into Dany's camp.  The Sands are the most violent people on the show outside of Slaver's Bay.  He didn't seem bothered then.  So why the sudden weakness now.  He was the one who advised Aerys of Rhaegar's possible plot to usurp the throne.  He's not Mr. Nice Guy and so it is uncharacteristic of him to have reservations about a completely just execution.
  4. Sandor.  This dude is afraid of fire.  So afraid he froze at the burning bear wight.  This same dude jumps on the back of a dragon and flies away. 

Arya did as she said she always would. She killed those that wronged her family. She has no psychotic break, she's perfectly lucid. Those men murdered at least one of every house in the North when they were guests in their home and she killed them in turn. That seems reasonable in their world. What else was she do to? Accept that she is a meek little girl and run and hide? The faces are the tools of her trade, not trophies. 

Theon is not going to click and be the man he was. That was never ever going to happen

 

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Re. Arya, yeas, she goes full calculating psycho at the  Twins. That is not berserk, she knows what she's doing. Frey Pies were there mostly because Wyman Manderly could not prepare them at Winterfell and we needed a closure on the Rat King story (though many people missed it). Mass poisoning then was just a simple revenge murder. But she does not seem to kill indiscriminately - she even makes the point mentioning responsibility for the Red Wedding.

Her not murdering a group of Lannister soldiers she did not know and who did not really have any harmful mission... Is consistent. She has no quarrel with them (and they offered her their fire and food freely).

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4 minutes ago, AryaNymeriaVisenya said:

Arya did as she said she always would. She killed those that wronged her family. She has no psychotic break, she's perfectly lucid. Those men murdered at least one of every house in the North when they were guests in their home and she killed them in turn. That seems reasonable in their world. What else was she do to? Accept that she is a meek little girl and run and hide? The faces are the tools of her trade, not trophies. 

Theon is not going to click and be the man he was. That was never ever going to happen

 

Not every Frey participated in the Red Wedding. Many of them were kept out of the secret because Walder thought they would spill the beans. Probably many of the ones that participated were just following orders (not a complete excuse, but still...). Collective punishment and mass murder is wrong in almost everyone´s book, including Arya´s beloved father that she loves to talk about so much. She could have just done Walder and some other leaders.

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32 minutes ago, Armand Gargalen said:

Not every Frey participated in the Red Wedding. Many of them were kept out of the secret because Walder thought they would spill the beans. Probably many of the ones that participated were just following orders (not a complete excuse, but still...). Collective punishment and mass murder is wrong in almost everyone´s book, including Arya´s beloved father that she loves to talk about so much. She could have just done Walder and some other leaders.

Hence "Gathering every Frey who is worth a damn". Guess the key used to select them...

Following orders is not a valid excuse even in the modern times.Let alone following orders in breaking as sacred trust as the Guest Right.

Arya's father did not hesitate to bring fire and death to Pyke. He also would not hesitate to swing the sword if Balon Greyjoy made trouble again. 

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3 hours ago, Armand Gargalen said:

Not every Frey participated in the Red Wedding. Many of them were kept out of the secret because Walder thought they would spill the beans. Probably many of the ones that participated were just following orders (not a complete excuse, but still...). Collective punishment and mass murder is wrong in almost everyone´s book, including Arya´s beloved father that she loves to talk about so much. She could have just done Walder and some other leaders.

The poison was in the toast, those who toasted to the Red Wedding, to the destruction of her family, were killed. A toast is about support and affirmation. And she chose the exact men she wanted in that room

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I know it's disappointing for GoT, but that's just how TV works most of the time. Characters are vague and they'll do whatever the writers need them to do, no matter how inconsistent it is. It's like writers start from a point of "What do we want to happen?" and then ask "And how can we squeeze these round characters into our square-shaped plot?" E.g. "Wouldn't it be cool if Sandor went north and Dany met Cersei?" "Yes it would! Now we just need an excuse for them to do these things!"

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18 minutes ago, Ser Petyr Parker said:

I know it's disappointing for GoT, but that's just how TV works most of the time. Characters are vague and they'll do whatever the writers need them to do, no matter how inconsistent it is. It's like writers start from a point of "What do we want to happen?" and then ask "And how can we squeeze these round characters into our square-shaped plot?" E.g. "Wouldn't it be cool if Sandor went north and Dany met Cersei?" "Yes it would! Now we just need an excuse for them to do these things!"

Sandor was living a nomadic, ordinary life after his encounter with Brienne. So I dont think it's incredible that he got bored with it and then choose a side to fight for. 

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On 8/27/2017 at 8:46 PM, Satoshi Takeda said:

I am sure many of you have noticed the inconsistency in how the characters think and behave from one episode to the next.  Is it due to excessive fan service again?  I think it is one of the reasons or causes.  One other reason: the show is not written by one person so there will be inconsistency.  The books have no inconsistencies in the characters because it is written by one man.  Let me give you some examples of what I mean by fickle characters,

  1. Arya.  She goes from full on psycho at the twins.  Not too long after she lets the Lannister soldiers live.  She goes from psycho killer to reasonable traveler.  Then she goes to question Sansa's loyalty and her character.  Which is a reasonable thing to do.  Let's face it.  Sansa has a lot to answer for.  This is reasonable sister asking the tough questions.  Then we find out she's collecting souvenirs from her victims.  She collects their faces!!!  Now, if that's not full on insane then nothing is. 
  2. Theon.  He is one of the few well written characters on the show.  And it's because the writers don't have to worry what Theon's fans will think so they have kept his character consistent.  It's consistent with Theon's character to lose it and revert to the broken man that he is when he jumped overboard instead of helping Yara.  Theon fighting Euron would have been inconsistent and a joke.  I will argue with anyone who was disappointed with Theon's cowardice.  That is consistent with a broken man.
  3. Varys.  Why in hell is Varys so concerned about the execution of the Tarlys when it was him who brought Elaria Sand and her girls into Dany's camp.  The Sands are the most violent people on the show outside of Slaver's Bay.  He didn't seem bothered then.  So why the sudden weakness now.  He was the one who advised Aerys of Rhaegar's possible plot to usurp the throne.  He's not Mr. Nice Guy and so it is uncharacteristic of him to have reservations about a completely just execution.
  4. Sandor.  This dude is afraid of fire.  So afraid he froze at the burning bear wight.  This same dude jumps on the back of a dragon and flies away. 

Liked your post, but number 4 is ridiculous. I could be deathly afraid of fire but wouldn't think twice in standing on top of a fireplace if it could magically fly me away from impending death. 

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