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Rant & Rave Season 8 [Spoilers]: When you are cool like a cucumber, as evil as the mother of madness, but never as perfect as the pet!


The Fattest Leech

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I agree with Ghostlydragon, I can't imagine that Game of Thrones will stand the test of time (even in an alternative reality where the last seasons weren't so bad). The popularity of the series was mainly due to the very high production values and scale that were unseen for a TV series at the time. Game of Thrones is at times soulless and has no personality of its own - they didn't even try to capitalize on the strengths that the book series had.


The book series is of a high level because of the emphasis on the characters and how they grow as a person. With the POV perspective you have a view on the mental state of the characters, you see how they struggle with certain choices and how their  thoughts evolve.  This was always what George R. R. Martin wanted to achieve, according to him the central theme of ASOIAF is "The human heart in conflict with itself".


Breaking Bad is highly regarded because Vince Gilligan knew to realize how Walter and Jesse evolved. Because of Walter's POV, the viewing public tends to rationalize or justify his morally unacceptable actions by his seemingly good intentions. The viewer is likely to support him to a distant stage, until one realizes that Walter's actions ultimately have a disastrous impact on his immediate environment.


The same applies in ASOIAF. The reader also tends to understand/pity these characters, will justify their controversial actions (and is generally blind to the bad influence they have on the outside world). For example, we are supportive of all the deeds that Jon does, even if the violation of the political neutrality of the Night Watch means breaking the oath (political interference can mean the end of the Night Watch). We have similar situations with Tyrion, Daenerys etc.


David Friedman Benioff and D.B. Weiss have never been very good at realizing character development. They prefer superficial characters and that led to some radical character changes in the TV adaptation. Catelyn loses her ambitions from the books and becomes the average sad housewife in the TV series. A narcissistic Cersei who tries to resist a patriarchal society becomes just a mother who loves her children. Stannis loses the characteristics that make him "gray" in the books. Tyrion has been completely whitewashed in the TV series and has never really done morally unacceptable deeds (e.g. the murder of Shae suddenly becomes self-defense). This is equally more evident in the later seasons, when characters become cold, soulless caricatures (Sansa, Daenerys, Bran etc.).


However, it is incredibly difficult to transfer the internal thinking of a specific character to the visual medium, especially if it has an important function. Experienced scriptwriters already have trouble with it, let alone David and Daniel who have hardly any experience. But it's a damn shame how they can't even create rich characters that evolve in a natural way, even in the first four seasons in which they relied on book material.


Characters are central to ASOIAF, not the action as in the TV series. Game of Thrones has no themes, personal style or focus and that is extremely noticeable. The actors and crew have put a lot of effort and have worked with passion, but everything stands or falls by how the showrunners work. It is mainly thanks to the decisions of David and Daniel that Game of Thrones resembles an upwardly falling soap show.

Edited by $erPounce
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26 minutes ago, $erPounce said:

I agree with Ghostlydragon, I can't imagine that Game of Thrones will stand the test of time (even in an alternative reality where the last seasons weren't so bad). The popularity of the series was mainly due to the very high production values and scale that were unseen for a TV series at the time. Game of Thrones is at times soulless and has no personality of its own - they didn't even try to capitalize on the strengths that the book series had.


The book series is of a high level because of the emphasis on the characters and how they grow as a person. With the POV perspective you have a view on the mental state of the characters, you see how they struggle with certain choices and how their  thoughts evolve.  This was always what George R. R. Martin wanted to achieve, according to him the central theme of ASOIAF is "The human heart in conflict with itself".


Breaking Bad is highly regarded because Vince Gilligan knew to realize how Walter and Jesse evolved. Because of Walter's POV, the viewing public tends to rationalize or justify his morally unacceptable actions by his seemingly good intentions. The viewer is likely to support him to a distant stage, until one realizes that Walter's actions ultimately have a disastrous impact on his immediate environment.


The same applies in ASOIAF. The reader also tends to understand/pity these characters, will justify their controversial actions (and is generally blind to the bad influence they have on the outside world). For example, we are supportive of all the deeds that Jon does, even if the violation of the political neutrality of the Night Watch means breaking the oath (political interference can mean the end of the Night Watch). We have similar situations with Tyrion, Daenerys etc.


David Friedman Benioff and D.B. Weiss have never been very good at realizing character development. They prefer superficial characters and that led to some radical character changes in the TV adaptation. Catelyn loses her ambitions from the books and becomes the average sad housewife in the TV series. A narcissistic Cersei who tries to resist a patriarchal society becomes just a mother who loves her children. Stannis loses the characteristics that make him "gray" in the books. Tyrion has been completely whitewashed in the TV series and has never really done morally unacceptable deeds (e.g. the murder of Shae suddenly becomes self-defense). This is equally more evident in the later seasons, when characters become cold, soulless caricatures (Sansa, Daenerys, Bran etc.).


However, it is incredibly difficult to transfer the internal thinking of a specific character to the visual medium, especially if it has an important function. Experienced scriptwriters already have trouble with it, let alone David and Daniel who have hardly any experience. But it's a damn shame how they can't even create rich characters that evolve in a natural way, even in the first four seasons in which they relied on book material.


Characters are central to ASOIAF, not the action as in the TV series. Game of Thrones has no themes, personal style or focus and that is extremely noticeable. The actors and crew have put a lot of effort and have worked with passion, but everything stands or falls by how the showrunners work. It is mainly thanks to the decisions of David and Daniel that Game of Thrones resembles an upwardly falling soap show.

I think that Vince Gillian could have pulled off adapting the books’ POV structure.  Tyrion’s book persona is the closest to Walt’s, IMHO.  Dany’s persona is quite close to that of Kim Wexler, in Better Call Saul, in my view.

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3 hours ago, Count Balerion said:

interesting comments about the characters. they're the backbone of the story in the books; but by the end of the show, they had no consistency whatsoever. there's no arya, only maisie making faces. etc.

i'm reserving judgement on ramin djiwadi for the moment.

There is no Arya, only Maisie...

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21 hours ago, SeanF said:

I think that Vince Gillian could have pulled off adapting the books’ POV structure.  Tyrion’s book persona is the closest to Walt’s, IMHO.  Dany’s persona is quite close to that of Kim Wexler, in Better Call Saul, in my view.

I think so, too. BB and BCS are all about that. Inner journeys are shown in a visual medium all the time. So many wonderful shows and movies come to mind.

A skillful screenwriter and director can guide the actors to tell rich stories on film. In some ways the visual medium makes showing such things easier, not harder.

You can't read their thoughts, but they can speak, they can react, and you can see and hear how they feel, which is powerful. The script and direction points the way.

Benioff/Weiss refused to leverage film techniques to show these things in tried and true ways. They left many effective tools in the toolbox out of ignorance.

I just saw Hitchcock's Rear Window again (TCM!), and there were all of these wonderful shots, where you knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling.

On GoT the actors had no idea what was going on, and in truth, nothing really was going on. Benioff, Weiss, Cogman, & Co. should never have had those jobs.

There are much more qualified people who could have told this story perfectly well.

Edited by Le Cygne
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51 minutes ago, Le Cygne said:

I think so, too. BB and BCS are all about that. Inner journeys are shown in a visual medium all the time. So many wonderful shows and movies come to mind.

A skillful screenwriter and director can guide the actors to tell rich stories on film. In some ways the visual medium makes showing such things easier, not harder.

You can't read their thoughts, but they can speak, they can react, and you can see how they feel, which is powerful. The script and direction points the way.

Benioff/Weiss refused to leverage film techniques to show these things in tried and true ways. They left many effective tools in the toolbox out of ignorance.

I just saw Hitchcock's Rear Window again (TCM!), and there were all of these wonderful shots, where you knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling.

On GoT the actors had no idea what was going on, and in truth, nothing really was going on. Benioff, Weiss, Cogman, & Co. should never have had those jobs.

There are much more qualified people who could have told this story perfectly well.

Hopefully in ten or fifteen years, they will adapt ASOIAF again and do a much better job. We might even see some of the original actors again, but playing older characters, e.g. Alfie Allen as Balon Greyjoy, Richard Madden as the Blackfish, etc.

Edited by Ghostlydragon
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1 hour ago, Le Cygne said:

I think so, too. BB and BCS are all about that. Inner journeys are shown in a visual medium all the time. So many wonderful shows and movies come to mind.

A skillful screenwriter and director can guide the actors to tell rich stories on film. In some ways the visual medium makes showing such things easier, not harder.

You can't read their thoughts, but they can speak, they can react, and you can see and hear how they feel, which is powerful. The script and direction points the way.

Benioff/Weiss refused to leverage film techniques to show these things in tried and true ways. They left many effective tools in the toolbox out of ignorance.

I just saw Hitchcock's Rear Window again (TCM!), and there were all of these wonderful shots, where you knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling.

On GoT the actors had no idea what was going on, and in truth, nothing really was going on. Benioff, Weiss, Cogman, & Co. should never have had those jobs.

There are much more qualified people who could have told this story perfectly well.

Book Tyrion has so much in common with Walt.  The same pride, and anger and bitterness.  A real rage at a world that refuses to give him the recognition which is his due.  But, tempered by occasional impulses towards kindness.

Edited by SeanF
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I've always liked the soundtrack, and while I definitely hear the similarities with that movie's theme, it's not quite at the same level as Ice Ice Baby and Under Pressure.

There is another theme, "A Lannister Always Pays His Debts" from season 3 that has a very similar rhythm at one point with a song from the video game Homeworld 2 (or 1). I can't find that particular song on youtube to show it. 

 

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Imagine writing music for GoT. So you'd ask, what are you showing here? Other showrunners would talk about character development and themes.

Benioff and Weiss would say, uh, well... awesome!... boom!...  boobs!... what a badass!... what a stupid girl!... I got me some revenge!!!

(Oh and there was the Exorcist music when Cersei blew up the sept...)

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OK, in our most recent perusal of FCKAD: needless to say mostly pranks played by D&D on cast and staff. whether they're pranks or bullying is another matter. they told sophie and maisie they were too young to go to cast party, and made them cry. they told harrington he was going to get disfigured and they told alfie allen he'd get killed by (disabled) bran. alfie allen wasn't fazed and thought it a riot; so they told him he was going to be a "dead ... naked ... zombie" (as opposed to a live zombie?). they also had a riot putting a chap into a fit of anxiety b/c he'd recommended someone as director and they claimed he was a disaster. (the target said it "went on too long".) not uproariously funny; but hey. there was an amusing incident where NCW told them he'd got a buzzcut to fit better his character and sent them an old photo.  Here's an apposite comment by a showrunner: "Near the end pranks became difficult. No one believes you anymore." well duh, boy who cried wolf.

we also read a chapter about torture. alfie allen and iwan rheon were good friends; but their on-stage relation began to affect their RL relation, which is kind of creepy.

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1 hour ago, Count Balerion said:

also, when hibberd asked the Ds if jon was azor ahai, they said "ask kit", which fits another pattern: deflecting questions onto the actors. kit said "they didn't tell me cr*p."

Good point. They did that all the time, instead of writing an actual story.

Some actors were wise and said "I don't know" and others made up their own stories, which made no sense and were proven wrong an episode or season later.

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8 hours ago, Count Balerion said:

OK, in our most recent perusal of FCKAD: needless to say mostly pranks played by D&D on cast and staff. whether they're pranks or bullying is another matter. they told sophie and maisie they were too young to go to cast party, and made them cry. they told harrington he was going to get disfigured and they told alfie allen he'd get killed by (disabled) bran. alfie allen wasn't fazed and thought it a riot; so they told him he was going to be a "dead ... naked ... zombie" (as opposed to a live zombie?). they also had a riot putting a chap into a fit of anxiety b/c he'd recommended someone as director and they claimed he was a disaster. (the target said it "went on too long".)

Dumb&Dumber ran a huge, successfull show like they'd run some group project in college - a bit of work, tons of beer, weed, dick jokes, etc.

I'm sure all the cast and the tech crew would hate having to work with them again…

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10 hours ago, Count Balerion said:

OK, in our most recent perusal of FCKAD: needless to say mostly pranks played by D&D on cast and staff. whether they're pranks or bullying is another matter. they told sophie and maisie they were too young to go to cast party, and made them cry. they told harrington he was going to get disfigured and they told alfie allen he'd get killed by (disabled) bran. alfie allen wasn't fazed and thought it a riot; so they told him he was going to be a "dead ... naked ... zombie" (as opposed to a live zombie?). they also had a riot putting a chap into a fit of anxiety b/c he'd recommended someone as director and they claimed he was a disaster. (the target said it "went on too long".) not uproariously funny; but hey. there was an amusing incident where NCW told them he'd got a buzzcut to fit better his character and sent them an old photo.  Here's an apposite comment by a showrunner: "Near the end pranks became difficult. No one believes you anymore." well duh, boy who cried wolf.

we also read a chapter about torture. alfie allen and iwan rheon were good friends; but their on-stage relation began to affect their RL relation, which is kind of creepy.

Mentally, I don't think they ever progressed beyond the age of about 14.

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1 hour ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Oh god....the deflection.

One of the OFFICIAL reasons, 8 official reasons, I gave in my assessment of why Austin Film Fest was so damaging for them:  they truly haven't done "real interviews" since before Season 4 aired....with only two exceptions:  PBS Idaho post-Season 6, and Austin Film Fest post-finale.  

That they only came out in public in "controlled" circumstances - 10 minute, short late night talk show interviews don't count.  But in the early seasons, they did a lot of hour long panel interviews to promote it. Those dried up after they became mega-hits with the Red Wedding.

So just....right from the start, I listed off:  they've done TWO interviews that didn't have cast members also present, since 2013.  

And if you actually follow these...they performed terribly both times.  They haven't even done that many other interviews since 2013, but they could fake their way through SDCC 2016 or even that Oxford Union panel....by shamelessly deflecting to the cast members.  Hiding behind Kit Harington at Oxford Union....literally deflecting to Emilia Clarke at the post-Emmys 2019 Q&A?!?!?  I"m still enraged that NO major news sites called them out on specifically that point; "pathetically deflecting to Emilia Clarke".  

I'm not even upset at them for doing it anymore, I'm upset that news sites don't report on it.

 

WinterIsComingNet sure as hell didn't list that as one of their big notable points from this book, but it's such a big question and say so much that they avoided it.

It's a disgrace. I would like to see the excuses used for their absence when they failed to give interviews or show up at press events other than the few they did. Surely HBO or GRRM wanted to see them do more interviews. I bet the excuses they made were golden.

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