Jump to content
Black Crow

Heresy 213 Death aint what it used to be

Recommended Posts

7 hours ago, SirArthur said:

 

I don't think the Night's King is alive in the books (besides in the trees maybe). The point was more about the architecture approach. Most people use a pattern if they design things and then make small changes to the pattern. The Night King is just a architectural pattern approach with smothed edges. In an ironic way they gardnered the Night King as a pattern into the show and watched where it went. (It went nowhere).

IMO the show is setting up Bran to be the Nights King. They wear similar clothes. 

The show tries to combine elements to condense the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JNR said:

I was smacking myself on the forehead and complaining how obvious D&D had made it waaaay back in season two, with their radically rewritten and simplified HOTU visions.

I agree with your interpretation of that season 2 scene--which is why I don't think it fits as one of the three things that drew a strong reaction out of them during the Santa Fe meeting, since the Santa Fe meeting was in 2013. 

Either they made up their minds early to fashion their own distinct ending for Dany, or GRRM gave them enough broad strokes to prompt their version of the HotU--before Season 1 aired, D&D did give an interview in which they said they'd had conversations with GRRM about Dany (they cited her specifically) and the ending that assured them that GoT wasn't going to "pull a Lost," or have an unsatisfying/cop out ending.

Edited by Matthew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's so obvious that Daenerys dies in the end that it would be a shocking twist if she were not.

Like Daario said, she's not a ruler but a conqueror, and these die early. And all the heroes from ancient times die in their story (Achilles, Beowulf, Siegfried …), so Daenerys has to, too. "Happily ever after" is just another trope to invert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

IMO the show is setting up Bran to be the Nights King. They wear similar clothes. 

The show tries to combine elements to condense the story.

Depends how you see the Night's King. I think that the real one, per the book, is no more than what we're told in the story: a Stark who went over to the dark side. We can already see Bran being insidiously drawn to the dark side, but unlike anything we might yet see [assuming we watch it] in the Mummers version, there's going to be no transformation into a mythical character, but rather the Bran we know, developing powers and using them for the best of intentions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I agree with your interpretation of that season 2 scene--which is why I don't think it fits as one of the three things that drew a strong reaction out of them during the Santa Fe meeting, since the Santa Fe meeting was in 2013.

I suppose it comes down to what you think a "holy shit" moment means.

I think they did abstractly know

Spoiler

Dany was going to die at the end of her storyline

earlier than that meeting, agreed, but... as with Shireen... the specific circumstances are hugely important in delivering an emotional WHAM! to the audience. 

15 hours ago, Matthew. said:

before Season 1 aired, D&D did give an interview in which they said they'd had conversations with GRRM about Dany (they cited her specifically) and the ending that assured them that GoT wasn't going to "pull a Lost,"

We know GRRM still worries about this, years later!  So I doubt there was any real detail available back then.  "Broad strokes" was the phrase used, and I think any of us could have given them that sort of thing too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, alienarea said:

It's so obvious that Daenerys dies in the end that it would be a shocking twist if she were not.

Like Daario said, she's not a ruler but a conqueror, and these die early. And all the heroes from ancient times die in their story (Achilles, Beowulf, Siegfried …), so Daenerys has to, too. "Happily ever after" is just another trope to invert.

The thing with Dany is ... Iron throne claims on Targaryen grounds haven't even been discussed in the books. Viserys was the crown prince / crowned king after Rhaegar died. And woman cannot inherit by the council of 101. I have even checked this on grounds of the main books alone and I think Tywin explains it somewhere.

She thinks she has a claim, but the hard bitter truth is, she hasn't without a succession crisis council. And for that she has to establish a Targaryen rule in the first place.

It would be far easier for her just to conquer and create a new kingdom without the established Iron Throne rules.

Edited by SirArthur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, alienarea said:

It's so obvious that Daenerys dies in the end that it would be a shocking twist if she were not.

Like Daario said, she's not a ruler but a conqueror, and these die early. And all the heroes from ancient times die in their story (Achilles, Beowulf, Siegfried …), so Daenerys has to, too. "Happily ever after" is just another trope to invert.

While I have zero faith in the true remaining at all true to George's vision I think that the HOTU scene may be a bit misleading.  I think that the dragon has three heads refers to one dragon housing three separate human consciousnesses.  So Dany reuniting with Drogo, and her unborn son, might refer to an afterlife, but a very specific one, her consciousness will join that of Drogo and her unborn son, within one of the dragons, presumably Drogon.  

I think the significance of the blood dragon tent, was that Mirri inadvertently (?) transferred the soul/spirit/consciousness/shadow of Drogo into one of the dragon's eggs.  Then when Dany entered the tent, her unborn son's soul was likewise transferred.  The third soul was slated to be Dany's at the funeral pyre.  The reason that Dany didn't burn, was Mirri may have some awareness of what was happening, and the final spell she cast wasn't to keep herself from burning, but it was to keep Dany from burning to fulfill the prophecy and become the third consciousness of the dragon.

If you recall Dany has two very specific dragon dreams leading up to the pyre.  In the first she dreams of a black dragon consuming her with dragonfire, cleansing her.  In the second dream she dreams of literally transforming into a dragon.  I think ultimately that's her destiny, if she reunites with her husband and son, it will be as the third consciousness in The Dragon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JNR said:

I suppose it comes down to what you think a "holy shit" moment means.

...

...the specific circumstances are hugely important in delivering an emotional WHAM! to the audience. 


The latter is right, and they have articulated what a "holy shit" moment meant in an interview where they spoke about Hodor and the Santa Fe meeting. They're having this week long meeting in a hotel room that is, in essence, a business meeting, a character by character discussion that is a bit emotionally sterile, a bit abstract in story terms, so when GRRM is telling them about "Hodor's backstory" and "the meaning of his name" (their words) it was one of the moments that, in spite of the storytelling circumstances, was still enough to draw a "holy shit" out of them.

So, it's "holy shit" relative to their personal perspective and the setting of the meeting, and not necessarily "GRRM was only willing to give away three secrets," or however else it might be interpreted.

That said, I feel as though, for both people who want to use show choices as "proof" of their theories, or alternately, to use show choices to speculate that it is unthinkable that GRRM told D&D anything whatsoever, there's an incredibly important caveat here.

Weiss, in a 2017 Time interview, about the Santa Fe meeting:

Quote

There were some details that were added later — but pretty much the actual endgame, the main climactic moments, we had in mind then. We had ninety percent of this crucial chunk of the story for the final season, and we were mainly talking to George to see how our notion of where things ended up jibed with his notion.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were some details that were added later — but pretty much the actual endgame, the main climactic moments, we had in mind then. We had ninety percent of this crucial chunk of the story for the final season, and we were mainly talking to George to see how our notion of where things ended up jibed with his notion.

I wonder how carefully these words were picked. Story-lines, the logistics to support those story lines and the actual words spoken by the chosen actors all have to be sorted out before anybody sets foot on the set [ok, I have hastilyly re-written lines while sitting cross legged in a corner of the set, while an actor spoke what was on the preceding page - but it was very much a shoestring production] and as I read the above they had a their ending all all roughed out. What this doesn't say is that IF GRRM revealed all, they went home and rewrote their version. These things have a momentum and once you've ordered and trained the troupe of dancing elephants it aint easy to cancel.

Rather than make major changes to conform to GRRM's vision I rather expect that this meeting was about managing the differences.

It does, however confirm that GRRM has figured his ending

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Matthew. said:

There were some details that were added later — but pretty much the actual endgame, the main climactic moments, we had in mind then. We had ninety percent of this crucial chunk of the story for the final season, and we were mainly talking to George to see how our notion of where things ended up jibed with his notion.

They still didn't know what GRRM was doing... although they'd made up their minds what they were doing.  Completely unsurprising.

What did he tell them?  Scraps, as far as I can see.

As for this:

3 hours ago, Matthew. said:

so when GRRM is telling them about "Hodor's backstory" and "the meaning of his name" (their words) it was one of the moments that, in spite of the storytelling circumstances, was still enough to draw a "holy shit" out of them

Maybe, but I doubt it.  After all, the dramatic scene on the show, re Hodor, literally can't happen in the books.  There simply is no such door for Hodor to hold:

Quote

 

"Is this the only way in?" asked Meera.

"The back door is three leagues north, down a sinkhole."

 

So we know that if they said "holy shit" in response to whatever GRRM told them about Hodor, it wasn't really either holy or shitty enough for them to use on TV as it was. 

They decided to warp it into a different thing -- a manifestly noncanonical thing.

We also know they must have done this for Shireen... who in the books, simply did not go south with Stannis at all, and thus, can't meet the same fate at the same time in the same way that we've been shown.

D&D took what they were given, and they did what they could to add some weight, but the books (if we get any) will be far superior to the post-canon show, because GRRM is just... better than they are, in practically every way except punctuality.  That's a "theory" I'd expect almost every Heretic can get behind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JNR said:

So we know that if they said "holy shit" in response to whatever GRRM told them about Hodor, it wasn't really either holy or shitty enough for them to use on TV as it was. 

I'm not assuming that when they say "these are things that GRRM told us," that those comments are meant to imply that they adapted, verbatim, every single aspect and circumstance of whatever iteration of those respective stories GRRM might theoretically tell--the implication is that the "holy shit" comes from the essence of the idea (Shireen is sacrificed and Stannis is complicit, "Hodor's backstory" and "the meaning of Hodor's name," as they characterize the twist), as distinct from the narrative they built around those ideas. For example, "Talisa of Volantis, the Field Medic" is a very stupid narrative that is, nonetheless, bundled around a 'real' plot point.

So, is GRRM going to tell a story in which Shireen is sacrificed near Winterfell, before a failed battle with the Boltons? No, but that doesn't mean he can't tell a story in which Stannis is complicit in her sacrifice. Win or lose, if he survives Winterfell (not certain, but we'll see), he's going to be at his nadir, which could prompt a "heart in conflict" moment--law, tradition, morality vs. the pursuit of the Iron Throne, his unyielding nature in conflict with itself. Would he acknowledge the futility of his cause and bend the knee, or will he break? If it's the latter, then Mel's pitch that she can wake dragons from stone might eventually win out.

8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Rather than make major changes to conform to GRRM's vision I rather expect that this meeting was about managing the differences.

I agree--well, that, and deciding how much of AFFC and ADWD were on the chopping block.
 

8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

It does, however confirm that GRRM has figured his ending

GRRM has said occasionally that he knows what he's working toward--and Anne Groell claims that he has told her Bran's ending, and told Daniel Abraham Tyrion's ending, so I would guess that he's always known what he's working toward with the Starks, Lannisters, Dany, the Others, and the broken seasons.

I'm not worried about whether or not GRRM has an ending in mind, I'm worried about whether or not he's capable of writing his way toward that ending. I'm repeating myself, but that SSM where GRRM happily declares that he "solved" the Meereenese knot by adding a bunch of unplanned Barristan chapters, in hindsight, seems like a real canary in the coal mine in terms of how much longer the wait for TWOW was going to be--that the author is not learning from his mistakes.

Edited by Matthew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Matthew. said:

GRRM has said occasionally that he knows what he's working toward--and Anne Groell claims that he has told her Bran's ending, and told Daniel Abraham Tyrion's ending, so I would guess that he's always known what he's working toward with the Starks, Lannisters, Dany, the Others, and the broken seasons.

I'm not worried about whether or not GRRM has an ending in mind, I'm worried about whether or not he's capable of writing his way toward that ending. I'm repeating myself, but that SSM where GRRM happily declares that he "solved" the Meereenese knot by adding a bunch of unplanned Barristan chapters, in hindsight, seems like a real canary in the coal mine in terms of how much longer the wait for TWOW was going to be--that the author is not learning from his mistakes.

I wouldn't necessarily be quite so pessimistic, if the battle of Meereen turns into a "with one bound Dany was free" moment, although I think that there are a number of other knots that need a swift chopping motion to reduce the bloated cast and plot-lines.

From what GRRM has said, he is looking towards the cleansing power of blizzards, disease and starvation - none of which are so swft and sudden as a bloody battle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Matthew. said:

the implication is that the "holy shit" comes from the essence of the idea (Shireen is sacrificed and Stannis is complicit, "Hodor's backstory" and "the meaning of Hodor's name,"

Well, this definition of "essence" is only your subjective concept, though.  How do you know what GRRM said, or what he considered essential about it?

For instance: I find it remarkably unlikely that Book Stannis has a single thing to do with Book Shireen's death (assuming she dies in TWOW).   From both character and logistical standpoints it just seems very doubtful to me.

If on the other hand, GRRM simply told D&D "Mel burns Shireen," then that IMO would accord neatly with the books.  Book Mel and Book Shireen were both left behind at the Wall, after all...  a complete reversal from the show... and so there's no apparent reason to think Stannis is connected.

Similarly, if GRRM told them "Hodor's name derives from the phrase hold the door," and never said a single word about which door, or when, or anything involving Bran, that too would work for me.  D&D have made a dog's breakfast of many concepts, like the "annulment" Rhaegar supposedly got despite his two children as irrefutable proof of marital consummation, and I think the Hodor business is just another on the list.

Of course we may never get future books, so we may never know one way or another. 

But on the subject of the third "holy shit" moment they think GRRM gave them, clearly we will know, and in less than a year.  If my prediction is wrong, and it's not a particularly memorable death for the previously-discussed character, we'll know what it was instead, because D&D will almost certainly tell us in some interview ("Yep, that was the third one").

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I think that there are a number of other knots that need a swift chopping motion to reduce the bloated cast and plot-lines.

To say the least.

This kind of optimization is exactly what I had in mind in suggesting he get a world-class consultant -- if there is one who has both the requisite skills and the deep mastery of the canon.  The last eighteen years have not been promising for the future of the series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JNR said:

Well, this definition of "essence" is only your subjective concept, though.  How do you know what GRRM said, or what he considered essential about it?

For instance: I find it remarkably unlikely that Book Stannis has a single thing to do with Book Shireen's death (assuming she dies in TWOW).   From both character and logistical standpoints it just seems very doubtful to me.

If on the other hand, GRRM simply told D&D "Mel burns Shireen," then that IMO would accord neatly with the books.  Book Mel and Book Shireen were both left behind at the Wall, after all...  a complete reversal from the show... and so there's no apparent reason to think Stannis is connected.

Similarly, if GRRM told them "Hodor's name derives from the phrase hold the door," and never said a single word about which door, or when, or anything involving Bran, that too would work for me.  D&D have made a dog's breakfast of many concepts, like the "annulment" Rhaegar supposedly got despite his two children as irrefutable proof of marital consummation, and I think the Hodor business is just another on the list.

Of course we may never get future books, so we may never know one way or another. 

 

The big problem we have at the moment is that in the early days of the mummers version we could see what they had cut out, and to an extent could see why it had been cut out and why it may not matter because we had the original text to refer to. 

Now, we know that the butchering and re-imagining has continued, but because we don't have a text to compare with the mummers farce we don't know whether anything is true, has been condensed and changed by way of a short-cut or is a total work of fiction - in terms of fidelity to what GRRM is writing.

We do know of course that GRRM has grumbled about characters being killed off prematurely; characters who still have not just a role but a purpose in the story to come.

We're also of course losing a lot anyway, just as the BBC version of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell lost all of the deep magic from the book, which far from being a mere detail was what actually makes the book the masterpiece which it is.

Similarly, just by way of a single example, in the mummers version, the consequences of Beric Dondarrion's resurrection were never explored, far less the yet more terrible consequences of bringing back Catelyn Stark from the dead, and that in turn has permitted the mummers to bring another prominent character from the dead, again as I understand without obvious consequences.

Yet everything in GRRM's work has consequences. We have seen this with bringing the Lightning Rod and Mrs Stark back from the dead and how they have been affected by it. Both were brought back by Fire [as was Danaerys the Dragonlord] and given that this is the Song of Ice and Fire we can expect the said prominent character to come back - or rather be preserved by Ice rather than consumed by Fire - with a whole set of very different consequences. 

And the trouble there of course is that the mummers didn't bother to include the character most likely to accomplish this, far less kill her off too early, leaving the wrong lot to do the deed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

The big problem we have at the moment is that in the early days of the mummers version we could see what they had cut out, and to an extent could see why it had been cut out and why it may not matter because we had the original text to refer to. 

I always have the impression, a lot of characters were merged or compressed into others. Like Aegon. E.g. the show has always had a tendency to cut the Hightowers from the story. It was understandable in the early stages, as they played no significant role. They are also absent in the books, although a lot of story points run together at house Hightower: Gerold Hightower the LC, Leyton Hightower the Lord of Old Town (and his Florent wife),  Alerie Hightower (married to Tyrell), Lynesse Hightower (Jorah's wife).

Some (like Lynesse) were mentioned in season one and never again. And the show is simply lost (maybe even LOST), when it comes to plots from the earlier books that were not progressed asap. 

So, which Hightower has been merged ? Alerie with Olenna ? :dunno: Leyton with Olenna ? Some Ironborn with Leyton ? The Unsullied with Oldtown units ? :dunno:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, JNR said:

If on the other hand, GRRM simply told D&D "Mel burns Shireen," then that IMO would accord neatly with the books.

Maybe? I'm going by interview phrasing--"Stannis sacrifices his daughter," "Hodor's origin story (or backstory, depending on the interview)," and something "from the very end."

One can go down the speculative road of assuming the interview has inaccurately paraphrased them, or that they're lying, or that they just made a massive leap without any elaboration from GRRM on the ostensible twist, but I'm not sure that's entirely convincing.

In any case, in the absence of Stannis' involvement, it becomes less clear as to why this particular plot point is one of the ones that generates a strong reaction from D&D in the room, why it has a particular weight for them--they say the meeting took place between Season 2 and 3, so at this point they hadn't even bothered with casting Shireen or including her in the Stannis plot line.

9 hours ago, JNR said:

Book Mel and Book Shireen were both left behind at the Wall, after all...  a complete reversal from the show... and so there's no apparent reason to think Stannis is connected.

This is only true of the very specific scenario within the show, and not broadly true of what Stannis might be capable of before series' end. I am talking about the potential of the plot point in the abstract, and not the specific circumstances and storytelling choices.

If Stannis wins the Battle of Winterfell - or loses, but escapes with his life, as he did at the Blackwater - and returns to the Wall, then he would eventually reunite with Shireen--more ominously, reunite with her at the Nightfort, which he is planning to make his seat. This, and other logistical scenarios, for now, remain possible in Book World.

For clarity, I don't object to the characterization argument (I disagree with it, but I think it's a fair argument position), I object to the premise that Stannis sacrificing Shireen is logistically impossible, especially since we don't know how much longer he might be sticking around in the books; logistics and circumstance play out differently in the show even when they're working from published material, for reasons of budget, hubris, incompetence, and the limitations of the medium.

Edited by Matthew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I wouldn't necessarily be quite so pessimistic, if the battle of Meereen turns into a "with one bound Dany was free" moment, although I think that there are a number of other knots that need a swift chopping motion to reduce the bloated cast and plot-lines.

I don't think the situation is entirely hopeless, but my pessimism specifically stems from GRRM seeming to follow an approach where he "solves" the problem of his narrative being unwieldy by adding new eyes to ease the storytelling--then giving those new "eyes" an arc unto themselves, and then having the sudden inspiration for a twist he thinks is great, then reworking the story to accommodate new character arcs and new twists, only to discover the narrative has become even more unwieldy.

On the one hand, I can see the value in GRRM following his instincts--if GRRM weren't a gardener, maybe he would have focused on writing Avalon instead of following the whim that spawned Bran I and ASOIAF wouldn't exist at all, or maybe he would have delivered the underwhelming version of AGOT laid out in the 1993 letter, instead of the arc that eventually grew into AGOT/ACOK/ASOS. 

On the other hand...20+ years of a writing process that includes excessive rewrites, an aversion to planning, and Anne Groell eventually convincing him he needs to publish some of what he has, and push the rest of his material to a future novel--it almost feels like his bad habits are only getting worse with time, rather than being improved and corrected by experience.

Edited by Matthew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JNR said:

For instance: I find it remarkably unlikely that Book Stannis has a single thing to do with Book Shireen's death (assuming she dies in TWOW).   From both character and logistical standpoints it just seems very doubtful to me.

I agree.  I think it's much more likely that the decision to burn Shireen will come from Mel with Queen Selyse being the fanatic that agrees to it.

I think that Mel's strong desire to burn Edric Storm would transfer easily to Shireen.  Both characters combine the bloodlines of the Storm Kings and the Gardner Kings. 

Edited by Frey family reunion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most "realistic" book scenario for me is that Melisandre takes the pink letter for real and assumes Stannis is dead. She then has a vision that Shireen needs to get sacrificed to revive the true king, and Selyse agrees to it. But instead of Stannis Jon Snow rises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×