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Black Crow

Heresy 207 :skinchanging

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38 minutes ago, JNR said:

But Osha died on May 15, 2016, almost three months later, in the episode "Book of the Stranger."

True but that episode will have wrapped long months before and been plotted and scripted long months before that - but then again of course both Osha and Rickon have turned up their toes in the mummers' fantasia, so something involving two people with only one having shuffled off may not fit.

Nevertheless I still think that whether she figures in the "twist" or not, her fate in the book is going to be very different from that portrayed by the mummers, and Rickon's too. I have a strong suspicion that when it comes to Winterfell he will either turn very bad, or will be last man standing.

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I can't imagine that Shaggy Dog would amount to nothing given that he is also an outlier among the direwolves (besides Jon).  Black rather than grey and green fire for eyes. 

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

I can't imagine that Shaggy Dog would amount to nothing given that he is also an outlier among the direwolves (besides Jon).  Black rather than grey and green fire for eyes. 

That's why I can see Rickon coming back as the Big Bad Wolf

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, JNR said:

So it seems this character was already dead in Show World, but not Book World, as of February 2016.

But Osha died on May 15, 2016, almost three months later, in the episode "Book of the Stranger."

It's possible GRRM, as executive producer, knew they were going to kill her, of course.  But in that scenario, I don't think he would have used the simple past tense (above in boldfaced) if he were talking about a future death.  He's historically quite cautious and painstaking in his choice of words about anything resembling a spoiler for either Book World or Show World.

As an addition to this, GRRM's initial statement about his twist was that the show had made a couple decisions on a particular character that would preclude the twist, an initial comment that was published April 3, 2015, before season five had aired.

I may be over-interpreting GRRM's word choices here, but this is my impression:

- that the show has "made decisions" implies to me that, even before GRRM decided to commit to his twist, the show was already diverging from GRRM's vision for the character (eg, deciding to kill the character earlier and under different circumstances than what GRRM had in mind)

- that he is choosing his words carefully in the 2015 comment about the twist, while more overtly saying it involves a character that is dead in the show in the 2016 comment, suggests to me that the character died within season 5 and GRRM didn't want to say anything at the time that might be construed as spoiling season 5

Edited by Matthew.

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

I can't imagine that Shaggy Dog would amount to nothing given that he is also an outlier among the direwolves (besides Jon).  Black rather than grey and green fire for eyes. 

I can understand the expectation that Shaggy Dog/Rickon won't amount to anything, if only because the direwolf names appear to have mostly skewed toward being on-the-nose; eg, Lady is the least wild and savage, Nymeria has become a figurative queen of the Trident (in echo of the queen of the Rhoynar), and Ghost is possibly hosting Jon's ghost/second life.

Nonetheless, I can see the potential for both Shaggy Dog and Summer to be names that are ironic in retrospect.

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4 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I may be over-interpreting GRRM's word choices here, but this is my impression:

- that the show has "made decisions" implies to me that, even before GRRM decided to commit to his twist, the show was already diverging from GRRM's vision for the character (eg, deciding to kill the character earlier and under different circumstances than what GRRM had in mind)

- that he is choosing his words carefully in the 2015 comment about the twist, while more overtly saying it involves a character that is dead in the show in the 2016 comment, suggests to me that the character died within season 5 and GRRM didn't want to say anything at the time that might be construed as spoiling season 5

Spot on. 

6 hours ago, Black Crow said:

her fate in the book is going to be very different from that portrayed by the mummers, and Rickon's too

I agree, since her current situation is already apparently fairly different.  

She and Rickon seem likely to be much further away from Winterfell (Skagos is almost twice as far as their show destination), so it would make very little sense for GRRM to move them back to Winterfell quickly.   Such a journey would probably take months.

We can infer this in another way.  Since D&D said they had only learned three "holy shit" moments about post-ADWD canon from GRRM, and we know two of them pertain to completely different topics, and the third is something from "the very end," it seems they didn't learn what happens to Osha and Rickon from GRRM.

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A twist around Lady Stoneheart is also something the show can't do,  and fits with GRRMS latest comments that she plays an important part in Winds of Winter. 

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9 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I can understand the expectation that Shaggy Dog/Rickon won't amount to anything, if only because the direwolf names appear to have mostly skewed toward being on-the-nose; eg, Lady is the least wild and savage, Nymeria has become a figurative queen of the Trident (in echo of the queen of the Rhoynar), and Ghost is possibly hosting Jon's ghost/second life.

Nonetheless, I can see the potential for both Shaggy Dog and Summer to be names that are ironic in retrospect.

I'm hoping for a Shaggy God Story.  :D

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

The question raised is difficult because the show was already willing to take real plot points and tell substantially different stories around said plot points, such as "Talisa of Volantis" in seasons 2 - 3; thus, the show already changed things up for reasons of budget, adaptability, incompetence, hubris, etc. even before they ran out of 'real' plot points and written material.

D&D and GRRM's public comments on what they've discussed, outside of the Santa Fe meeting, suggest that the two parties believe that they're telling two different stories that are still heading toward the same destination.

OTOH, both parties have also stated that the show isn't spoiling the books because of how much the stories have diverged, though I think that's a comment that is to be read in broad terms - "the show isn't spoiling the way the story will play out on the page" - rather than something that is to be read strictly, literally, as "the show and the books will not share a single plot point with one another."

Here's one of D&D's oldest interviews concerning the show's ultimate destination:
http://www.tvguide.com/news/game-thrones-lost-1031645/

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"We've talked through what the final episode, the final season will be." Executive producer David Benioff adds: "We can't wait to write that episode. Of the many different fears we have about the show, long-term momentum is not one of them. We're very confident."

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Fortunately for fans, Martin has been serving as an available advisor for producers, and they say the partnership, however loose, has given them inside knowledge about what lies ahead for Jon Snow, Daenerys and the other denizens of Westeros. "George has proven through the discussions we've had that he's always known in the rough, broad strokes where this is going to end up," Weiss says."And we think it's going to end up in a way that is uniquely satisfying."

"It's not some 'it was all a dream' story," Benioff clarifies. "It's not an M. Night Shyamalan movie where there's a massive twist at the end. It all actually makes sense. You can kind of feel in the roughest sense where it's moving towards. It's going to a fantastic place."

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Working with Martin comes with another perk as well: They don't have to wait till July to read the fifth A Song of Ice and Fire novel.

"We got the first 600 pages of A Dance With Dragons early from George," Benioff reveals. "Getting to read that is incredible. It's so much fun, but it's also really helpful for us because George had created such an immaculate beautiful world and we want to make sure that if there are going to be major developments in future seasons, we make sure we seed it properly in the first season."

At the least, there was a point in their relationship where GRRM was willing to share written but unpublished material, though it sounds like their conversations about the ending were far more vague.
_____

Personally, I find it entirely believable that D&D are willing to wildly change things concerning the Others, Jon Snow's parentage, and even who lives and who dies; what I don't find believable is that, moving into pre-production for season 6, and faced with the reality that there were no more books left to adapt, that GRRM became a wall of obstinate silence, that he would refuse to answer direct questions concerning Jon Snow's 'death' in ADWD, his return, the future of the Others, etc.

The latter speculation paints a portrait wherein a ~68 year old GRRM is being a petulant and uncooperative participant in the 100 million dollar season of television for which he is an executive producer, while at the same time, he is negotiating with HBO for the development of four different GoT spin-off shows; to me, that just isn't a credible suggestion.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

A twist around Lady Stoneheart is also something the show can't do,  and fits with GRRMS latest comments that she plays an important part in Winds of Winter. 

I do wonder whether or not Lady Stoneheart is the sort of character that GRRM might consider "alive in the books, dead in the show," even though she technically never existed within the show in the first place.

I assume you're referring to GRRM's interview with the Chinese version of Esquire.
https://www.esquire.com.cn/2017/1108/255994.shtml With rough, presumably inaccurate google translation:
 

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TV always has time and budget limitations. The first game of the Game of Thrones was originally expected to be ten episodes, ten hours. Other previous HBO dramas such as "Rome", "Deadwood" and "The Sopranos" were all 12 or 13 episodes. It's a pity that the "Game of Thrones" is only about 10 episodes per season. The behavior of some small characters cannot be shown well. If there are 13 episodes, they can be integrated into them. The biggest difference is Lady Stoneheart. Catelyn Stark was killed at the Red Wedding. This is the end of her fate. But in the book, the dead character sometimes comes back to life. After Catelyn's resurrection, it was Mrs. Shi Xin (??) who became a vengeful and merciless killer. In the sixth book, I still continue to write her. She is an important part of the entire book. If possible, this is the change that I most hope the show does not make.

If one is willing to dig around in some of the foreign interviews and public Q&A's that GRRM did in 2016/2017, they're fairly interesting, as he occasionally speaks in a more candid and revealing fashion than is typical; in particular, his Q&A in Guadelajara and his interview with Russian Esquire are both available in video form (though the latter has Russian overdubbing GRRM's answers, so one probably needs to read a translated transcript), and both provide some nuggets that I personally found interesting.

Edit: And, for entirely selfish reasons, I hope it's true that Stoneheart will be important throughout TWOW, as she's integral to my theory for how Lightbringer 2.0 will be forged.

Edited by Matthew.

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4 hours ago, Matthew. said:

Personally, I find it entirely believable that D&D are willing to wildly change things concerning the Others, Jon Snow's parentage, and even who lives and who dies; what I don't find believable is that, moving into pre-production for season 6, and faced with the reality that there were no more books left to adapt, that GRRM became a wall of obstinate silence, that he would refuse to answer direct questions concerning Jon Snow's 'death' in ADWD, his return, the future of the Others, etc.

I don't think anyone's suggested he became an obstinate wall of silence... but rather that he simply never told them -- at any point -- the solutions to many key mysteries, as well as quite a few specific plot developments/twists.

For instance... with respect to Jon's parentage, it's often argued that if you know the mother, you know the father because the one inexorably leads to the other.  

Well, if this were true, GRRM's test question way back when very likely would have been "Who are Jon's parents?"  Because any reasoning D&D might have used to get the mother would inexorably have led them straight to the father.

But he did not ask them about Jon's parents.  He asked about Jon's mother solely.  I suggest this was not an arbitrary decision on his part, but quite a deliberate one, even as far back as 2005, and that the same reticence he showed on that occasion never went away, and extends to several other areas that will hugely influence future canon (should any actually be published) and are major twists that took a lot of work on his part.

It's also just an objective fact that D&D said that he told them about only three holy-shit moments remaining in the books, and that we know two, and those two don't even concern major characters.  

They do concern minor character deaths... but those deaths can't possibly happen in the books the same way they do on the show.  Well, what about the major characters?  Aren't major characters going to die in future books?  Why yes, they surely are.  More than one.

But we know that GRRM told them about, at most, only one such holy-shit moment, very likely a major character death (which I am on record as believing is Dany's death, meaning she dies in both books and show).

So we know, almost for sure, that while he was much more engaged with them when they were shooting his canon, in recent years at least, GRRM has been throwing them de facto table scraps and calling it a day.  As to why, or whether this trend has become more pronounced as their relationship has per public accounts significantly deteriorated, I can't say.

However, as to the premise that he cares more about making money, at this stage in his life, than preserving the integrity of what he considers his life's best work -- ASOIAF -- I'm not sure why anyone would find that credible.  Money isn't, hasn't been for many years, and never again will be, any kind of concern in his life.

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I think that the reasons for the dichotomy are probably straightforward enough. GRRM has an idea of where he's going. Going right back to the 1993 synopsis, GRRM stressed how the story was going to centre around the children of Winterfell and I think that its reasonable to suppose that even then he then had an idea as to who among them was going to live and who was going to die by the end. But, and its an important but, he may not have figured out the mechanics and indeed may still be figuring it out. Whatever the state of his relationship with the mummers he can't tell them what he himself doesn't know.

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25 minutes ago, JNR said:

I don't think anyone's suggested he became an obstinate wall of silence... but rather that he simply never told them -- at any point -- the solutions to many key mysteries, as well as quite a few specific plot developments/twists.

Right, and that makes sense for questions they don't know (or don't care) to ask in the first place, but there are certain plot points where I find it difficult to believe they had never been a topic of discussion, and that if they became a topic of discussion, GRRM would refuse to answer.

Above all, I would put in that category: the Others, the fate of the Iron Throne, and the fate of the Starks, Dany, and the Lannisters, the characters that might be described as the central protagonists of Show World.  

That doesn't mean they're following GRRM's vision, but that such things were never discussed seems an unreasonable proposal.
 

32 minutes ago, JNR said:

It's also just an objective fact that D&D said that he told them about only three holy-shit moments remaining in the books, and that we know two, and those two don't even concern major characters.  

They do concern minor character deaths... but those deaths can't possibly happen in the books the same way they do on the show.  Well, what about the major characters?  Aren't major characters going to die in future books?  Why yes, they surely are.  More than one.

What they said was that there was three things GRRM told them during the Santa Fe meeting that made them have a "holy shit" reaction, which is not the same thing as saying that those were the only major plot points that were discussed during the meeting, nor is it the same thing as the Santa Fe meeting being the only point at which "holy shit" moments were discussed between 2005 and the present.

This is D&D's own characterization of the purpose of the meeting:
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/game-thrones-showrunners-know-how-687589

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“Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be," Benioff says in the April issue of Vanity Fair. "If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character.”

...and GRRM's own characterization of the role he's playing as the show goes "off book:"
http://time.com/4791258/game-of-thrones-george-r-r-martin-interview/

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I’ve sat out seasons 6 and 7 too, just trying to concentrate on this book, which as you know is massively late. So in that sense, my involvement in the show has diminished over time, though, I’m still here whenever they want to talk to me, and I’m always glad to weigh in. David and Dan have come to Santa Fe and we’ve discussed many of the ultimate developments, those landmarks that I spoke to at the end of the road that we’re both driving for. So I don’t need to be quite as involved as I was at the beginning.

.......aaand his own notablog about what they aspire to for the end game between the two respective versions of the story being told:
https://grrm.livejournal.com/427713.html
 

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And yes, more and more, they differ. Two roads diverging in the dark of the woods, I suppose... but all of us are still intending that at the end we will arrive at the same place.


The point being that, according to both parties, they have had talks where they went through each character, discussed important landmarks, and attempted to establish where "everything ends," with GRRM ostensibly still being interested in them arriving at the same place.

Is it possible that they had these conversations while, at the same time, never addressing key mysteries and major character deaths? Personally, I think not, which is what I meant when I talked about GRRM not being obstinate--that the Santa Fe meeting, and any further questions the writing staff had in season six and season seven, were addressed in good faith.
 

1 hour ago, JNR said:

However, as to the premise that he cares more about making money, at this stage in his life, than preserving the integrity of what he considers his life's best work -- ASOIAF -- I'm not sure why anyone would find that credible.  Money isn't, hasn't been for many years, and never again will be, any kind of concern in his life.

I'm not suggesting he's being driven by money specifically, but (to the chagrin of fans) he values projects beyond TWOW, and my point was that GRRM wasn't behaving unprofessionally on one massively expensive HBO project while negotiating the development of four (now five) other projects with HBO.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

I think that the reasons for the dichotomy are probably straightforward enough. GRRM has an idea of where he's going. Going right back to the 1993 synopsis, GRRM stressed how the story was going to centre around the children of Winterfell and I think that its reasonable to suppose that even then he then had an idea as to who among them was going to live and who was going to die by the end. But, and its an important but, he may not have figured out the mechanics and indeed may still be figuring it out. Whatever the state of his relationship with the mummers he can't tell them what he himself doesn't know.

Speaking of the 1993 synopsis...

My personal context for the show can be summed up with two questions:

-Would it be accurate to say that season five of the show "spoils" AFFC and ADWD?

-What would GoT look like if the first four seasons had been adapted from the 1993 letter?

In short, there's a difference between a plot point and a story; season five is the AFFC/ADWD season of the show, and the show shares some core plot moments (eg, Jon is stabbed by the Watch) with those books, but the storytelling is so dramatically different that I don't think the one spoils the other.

Similarly, if one were to adapt the 1993 letter, you'd end up with a show that shares a lot of major plot points with the books - Dany acquires dragons, Winterfell is razed, Eddard Stark dies, Robb dies and loses the civil war to the Lannisters, Jon becomes LC of the Night's Watch, Tyrion is framed for the poisoning of Joffrey - but still differs greatly in other plot points, as well as in the actual story being told.

Thus, my context for the show is that it contains some true plot points, some invented plot points (because GRRM's plans wouldn't work for the show, because D&D liked their own ideas more, and because GRRM himself can't always predict how things will play out), and a whole lot of bad D&D storytelling surrounding those plot points.

Edited by Matthew.

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6 hours ago, Matthew. said:

Edit: And, for entirely selfish reasons, I hope it's true that Stoneheart will be important throughout TWOW, as she's integral to my theory for how Lightbringer 2.0 will be forged.

For me it is too much a coincidence that Cat and potentially His corny Snowiness will both receive a gift prolonging their existence. Maybe it would be too much drama if they will ever meet afterwards... but the parallels are there. 

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9 hours ago, Matthew. said:

The question raised is difficult because the show was already willing to take real plot points and tell substantially different stories around said plot points, such as "Talisa of Volantis" in seasons 2 - 3; thus, the show already changed things up for reasons of budget, adaptability,

Just wondering... Does this also make Jeyne and her family possibilities for who this plot twist centers upon? Jeyne may not be a part of the show, but Talisa is, and she is, most certainly dead. For that matter, the same could be said of Grey Wind. There’s just enough doubt that he could be alive and with Talisa’s brother to make it possible. 

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I think that this particular thread can safely be wrapped by saying that whatever the reasons, the mummers' version has diverged so far from the book that it can no longer be regarded as a spoiler. Even if the final bittersweet ending of the mummers' play works out exactly as GRRM intended all along, we're not going to believe it and will retain our anticipation until we actually read it on the page.

So for Heresy 208 - back to the written book

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If you're looking for characters cut by the mummers, I have to ask, what did they ever do with Val?

The only way I can wrap my head around Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon is if Jon marries both Val and Dany.

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