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I am not too sure where to post this, so move it as you will!

I enjoy both the book and the show versions of ASOIAF/Game of Thrones.  They are different entities at this point, and there are certainly parts I don't care for, but I can enjoy them all the same.  I know many folks disagree. This isn't a post to debate whether the show is a good adaptation, etc. There are plenty of those out there.   What I am looking to discuss is something different. 

GRRM set out to create something unadaptable - he didn't want to be constrained by budgets, CGI, etc. Kudos!  D&D decide to adapt and GRRM gives his blessing, and even wrote for the first 4 seasons.  GRRM also worked in TV.  He knows that things get cut. 

So, adaptations are done.  Plot lines are cut and combined. 

I feel most of the changes that have been made are for the purpose of combining plot points.  By discussing what has already been combined, I think we may be able to determine how the books may unfold.
For instance  (spoilers!) -

Spoiler

 

Jon Connington

They have cut out Jon Connington from the show, but interestingly enough, they have given his plot point of Grey Scale to Jorah Mormont.  Why? Jorah's plot in show followed mostly in line with where he is in the book (kidnaps Tyrion, travels with him to Dany, gets caught by Slavers).  Certainly, there are deviations, but why is the particular plot point of grey scale transferred when, otherwise, Jorah and Jon do not share similar storylines. 

Now, in the show, Jorah ends up at the Citadel with Samwell Tarly, who cures him of his grey scale.  What if Jon Connington ended up at the Citadel with Sam?  Possible implications:
1. It would unite the Night's Watch arc with Aegon arc and, possibly, the Faceless Men at the Citadel arc.
2. Jon Connington may be very interested to hear that Ned Stark brought home a bastard son from Dorne after Robert' s Rebellion.  What if he found out, with Sam, that Jon was Rhaegar's son?  Or, does Jon know more from the Rebellion that he has let on in his POV chapters?  Would Jon Connington try to unite Rhaegar's "children"? (I am neutral on Aegon/Faegon.  Not sure either way, though leaning towards Faegon) 

 

Thoughts?

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I'm not sure. I think it was a bit convenient that Sam just found a book that could cure greyscale, and I don't think GRRM would make it that simple. Personally, I think Jon Connington is either going to die kamikaze style, and take out some of Aegon's enemies, or he is going to live, and end up infecting King's Landing. 

I feel like at the very least Connington wouldn't dislike anything that came from Rhaegar. If he had undoubtable proof that Jon Snow was Rhaegar's son, he'd probably want to meet him. Unfortunately I doubt there is any sort of proof, so he probably just wouldn't believe it. 

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I don't think D&D are doing much to keep books and show to diverge exponentially. They liked Grey Scale, so they gave it to Jorah. They liked Sam to cure it, so he did it. In books I'm sure it is impossible. It would have been done before if it was possible. But maybe Moqorro could do it. And bring Jon C to Daenerys? Jon C meeting Sam at the Citadel and learning of Jon S is possible. But he would learn something more likely useful at Starfall.

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I doubt Connington will live long enough to put two and two together.  But what he may well reveal to Sam is that Rhaeger and Lyanna were in love and that Lyanna was with child.

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47 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

I don't think D&D are doing much to keep books and show to diverge exponentially. They liked Grey Scale, so they gave it to Jorah. They liked Sam to cure it, so he did it. In books I'm sure it is impossible. It would have been done before if it was possible. But maybe Moqorro could do it. And bring Jon C to Daenerys? Jon C meeting Sam at the Citadel and learning of Jon S is possible. But he would learn something more likely useful at Starfall.

I think book readers who are show haters are going to be quite disappointed when they realise just how many events that sneered at in the show are actually from GRRM's brain.....!

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Entertainment Weekly interview with George from a few days ago. 

https://ew.com/tv/2019/03/06/george-rr-martin-game-of-thrones-season-8-interview/

Quote

The producers previously told EW one dramatic season 6 scene — the tragic reveal of Hodor’s backstory — came directly from their talks with the author. And Jon Snow’s parentage is almost certainly the same as his plan. But the rest of Martin’s narrative is a mystery, which is how the showrunners hope to keep it. “[The concern] used to be that the books would spoil the show for people — and luckily it did not for the most part,” Benioff says. “Now that the show is ahead of the books, it seems the show could ruin the books for people. So one thing we’ve talked to George about is that we’re not going to tell people what the differences are, so when those books come out people can experience them fresh.”

The showrunners note that they’re not entirely sure of Martin’s future storylines anyway (“George discovers a lot of stuff while he’s writing,” Benioff says). But more surprising is that Martin is likewise somewhat in the dark on the show’s ending. “I haven’t read the [final-season] scripts and haven’t been able to visit the set because I’ve been working on Winds,” Martin reveals. “I know some of the things. But there’s a lot of minor-character [arcs] they’ll be coming up with on their own. And, of course, they passed me several years ago. There may be important discrepancies.”

 

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17 hours ago, Ser Gareth said:

I think book readers who are show haters are going to be quite disappointed when they realise just how many events that sneered at in the show are actually from GRRM's brain.....!

It is you who use the word "haters". I just like the books better. I'm OK with the show being different and simpler.

I'm not overmuch concerned with discovering the dumb things happening in the show will be as dumb in the books. I'm more concerned with not having the books to read.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Lollygag said:

Entertainment Weekly interview with George from a few days ago. 

https://ew.com/tv/2019/03/06/george-rr-martin-game-of-thrones-season-8-interview/

 

Key thing said there for me is “I know some of the things. But there’s a lot of minor-character [arcs] they’ll be coming up with on their own."

That insinuates that the major character arcs will be what GRRM told them.  So the key thing is who GRRM defines as a minor character.

Edited by Ser Gareth

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1 hour ago, BalerionTheCat said:

It is you who use the word "haters". I just like the books better. I'm OK with the show being different and simpler.

I'm not overmuch concerned with discovering the dumb things happening in the show will be as dumb in the books. I'm more concerned with not having the books to read.

Talking generally, not specifically about you.  So many people on this forum especially will say the show is dumb because X,Y and Z and that they were D&Ds ideas.  I don't think they realise just how many of the "dumb" ideas came directly from GRRM.

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18 minutes ago, Ser Gareth said:

Key thing said there for me is “I know some of the things. But there’s a lot of minor-character [arcs] they’ll be coming up with on their own."

That insinuates that the major character arcs will be what GRRM told them.  So the key thing is who GRRM defines as a minor character.

Any claims of knowledge either way are based only on speculation, or by cherry-picking info to support one's own desired outcome while arbitrarily ignoring info to the contrary, or on the implied claim of not only being able to read GRRM's mind, but also being able to read his mind in the future. 

What this article means is that we can't claim certainty about how the show and the books match up until GRRM actually publishes the series ending himself. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Any claims of knowledge either way are based only on speculation, or by cherry-picking info to support one's own desired outcome while arbitrarily ignoring info to the contrary, or on the implied claim of not only being able to read GRRM's mind, but also being able to read his mind in the future. 

What this article means is that we can't claim certainty about how the show and the books match up until GRRM actually publishes the series ending himself. 

 

And on what we've been told of course.  We know that GRRM knows how the story ends for the major characters and the story in general.  We know that he told HBO the outcomes.  We know this because GRRM confirmed this himself and D&D have also confirmed this.

GRRM also confirmed that he doesn't know the journey as to how the characters will get to the end (I've always refuted this to an extent, if this was strictly true then there wouldn't be much in the way of prophecy and foreshadowing).  So that'll certainly be different in lots of ways.  But we've always known the end game is going to be almost identical.

 

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3 minutes ago, Ser Gareth said:

And on what we've been told of course.  We know that GRRM knows how the story ends for the major characters and the story in general.  We know that he told HBO the outcomes.  We know this because GRRM confirmed this himself and D&D have also confirmed this.

GRRM also confirmed that he doesn't know the journey as to how the characters will get to the end (I've always refuted this to an extent, if this was strictly true then there wouldn't be much in the way of prophecy and foreshadowing).  So that'll certainly be different in lots of ways.  But we've always known the end game is going to be almost identical.

There's also stuff in the article above which contradicts your conclusions. I can pull sources which indicate the exact opposite. 

http://time.com/3994289/george-rr-martin-game-of-thrones-song-of-fire-and-ice-ending/

It's all cherry picking and there are loads of contradictions. We won't know anything until GRRM publishes the ending himself. 

 

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59 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

There's also stuff in the article above which contradicts your conclusions. I can pull sources which indicate the exact opposite. 

http://time.com/3994289/george-rr-martin-game-of-thrones-song-of-fire-and-ice-ending/

It's all cherry picking and there are loads of contradictions. We won't know anything until GRRM publishes the ending himself. 

 

D&D  quote from their meeting with GRRM - "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."

For me it was clear that things went wrong when they didn't put the show on hiatus (like GRRM wanted them to do until he got TWOW out) and then when they let slip about Shireen's fate coming straight from GRRM.  Since then both parties have been a lot more PR about what they know and what they don't know.  Prior to that, it was all pretty open.  The main milestones for the story are known, the general fate of the main characters are known.  It's the minor character fates that need to be addressed.

However, you're correct in the point we have no counterfactual.  And we probably never will have because the books haven't been written and are unlikely to be finished.  I have long held the belief that GRRM is intentionally waiting for the show to end so he can deviate his books away from a similar ending.  He'll add more characters, more complexity that wasn't in the show.  Unfortunately that is another reason why I don't think he'll ever finish the books.

 

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On 3/9/2019 at 9:59 PM, Ser Gareth said:

I think book readers who are show haters are going to be quite disappointed when they realise just how many events that sneered at in the show are actually from GRRM's brain.....!

Will Hodor die? Yes. Will Shireen die? Yes, I believe so. Will Starks reunite? Of course. Will Sansa kills LF, probabaly with the aid of Arya? Quite possibly. We already know that things in the show are from GRRM's brain. But, here is a thing. It is not just the event that makes the story what it is. We have already set Stannis on the road where his limits are going to be tested in such way that sacrificing Shireen will be a culmination of a very powerful inner struggle of a man who has to face impossible choice. We have been set up for that since Book 3. Making a sacrifice of that magnitude for something "20 good men" did is an insult to the source material. Same goes with Littlefinger and Stark girls. It is not that we don't buy certain outcomes, but we don't like the road they took to get to those outcomes. 

And I actually believe that, once we do get those books, we will see the full scope of D&D's failure in adapting ASOIAF. And it will have nothing with the outcome, but the incredible road Martin has made for his characters in this series.

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11 hours ago, Risto said:

Will Hodor die? Yes. Will Shireen die? Yes, I believe so. Will Starks reunite? Of course. Will Sansa kills LF, probabaly with the aid of Arya? Quite possibly. We already know that things in the show are from GRRM's brain. But, here is a thing. It is not just the event that makes the story what it is. We have already set Stannis on the road where his limits are going to be tested in such way that sacrificing Shireen will be a culmination of a very powerful inner struggle of a man who has to face impossible choice. We have been set up for that since Book 3. Making a sacrifice of that magnitude for something "20 good men" did is an insult to the source material. Same goes with Littlefinger and Stark girls. It is not that we don't buy certain outcomes, but we don't like the road they took to get to those outcomes. 

And I actually believe that, once we do get those books, we will see the full scope of D&D's failure in adapting ASOIAF. And it will have nothing with the outcome, but the incredible road Martin has made for his characters in this series.

Well we know they've failed to adapt ASOIAF because they finished before ASOIAF!  You can't faithfully adapt what doesn't exist.  Also the last two ASOIAF weren't suited to TV and would've sounded the death knell of the TV series.  Viewers were starting to get bored and frustrated with the lack of progress Dany was making on the TV show.  Can you imagine having to sit through another five or six seasons of little progress?

For most people it's not about the journey or the end.  It's about both, but if you know the end then the journey no longer matters.

I don't believe we'll see another ASOIAF book (or if we do it will be a high level view of events) but for me there have been a ton of spoilers now, especially at a broad strokes level.   In a lot of ways the biggest spoilers aren't what the show have included.  It's what (who) they have not included.  We know those subplots or characters will have very little bearing on the outcome.

As for Stannis, I doubt he'll make the decision to burn Shireen.  GRRM has given the game away that Ramsay's hounds will be involved in an epic fight against the Direwolves.  This would strongly suggest the Battle of the Bastards is going to happen.  Which means Ramsay at the very least survives the Battle of Ice and with some power behind him and for it to happen at all would also suggest there has to be something at stake.  Winterfell.  So the strong chance is that Stannis actually loses the Battle of Ice.  My personal take is that he'll be heavily wounded (even killed) and then taken back to the Wall.  Mel will attempt to raise him and will burn Shireen (with her Mum's blessing) and Jon will come back to life instead.  The TV show has to get its pacing right and can't really afford to be paying an actor to be a corpse for a couple of episodes in a new season, so I can understand why they approached what they did, the way they did.

 

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1 hour ago, Ser Gareth said:

Well we know they've failed to adapt ASOIAF because they finished before ASOIAF!  You can't faithfully adapt what doesn't exist.  Also the last two ASOIAF weren't suited to TV and would've sounded the death knell of the TV series.  Viewers were starting to get bored and frustrated with the lack of progress Dany was making on the TV show.  Can you imagine having to sit through another five or six seasons of little progress?

You misunderstood my point. No one here argues that they should have blindly followed Martin. TV is a different medium, it has its own rules and changes are necessary. However, we are speaking about some things that could have been done (AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN) in order to present GRRM's ideas in the best possible way. That doesn't mean no changes, but it means a full understanding of author's writing. For example, Phyllis Nagy adapted "Price of Salt" for 2015 movie "Carol". She made a lot of changes, but she was successful in making that story every bit as poignant as Patricia Highsmith did.

1 hour ago, Ser Gareth said:

I don't believe we'll see another ASOIAF book (or if we do it will be a high level view of events) but for me there have been a ton of spoilers now, especially at a broad strokes level.   In a lot of ways the biggest spoilers aren't what the show have included.  It's what (who) they have not included.  We know those subplots or characters will have very little bearing on the outcome.

I understand that for some people GoT will provide all the answers they need. I respect that. However, for me and those of us here who grew to love Martin's literary work and talent, the characters we have known and have been reading about are not just about what title they'll have at the end of books/show or whether they'll be alive or dead. So, whether the show included this one or that one, I simply don't care as Martin's world, the world those characters are in, is far more complex. And that is the story some of us fell in love with.

 

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On 3/8/2019 at 11:38 AM, Lady Rhodes said:

I am not too sure where to post this, so move it as you will!

I enjoy both the book and the show versions of ASOIAF/Game of Thrones.  They are different entities at this point, and there are certainly parts I don't care for, but I can enjoy them all the same.  I know many folks disagree. This isn't a post to debate whether the show is a good adaptation, etc. There are plenty of those out there.   What I am looking to discuss is something different. 

GRRM set out to create something unadaptable - he didn't want to be constrained by budgets, CGI, etc. Kudos!  D&D decide to adapt and GRRM gives his blessing, and even wrote for the first 4 seasons.  GRRM also worked in TV.  He knows that things get cut. 

So, adaptations are done.  Plot lines are cut and combined. 

I feel most of the changes that have been made are for the purpose of combining plot points.  By discussing what has already been combined, I think we may be able to determine how the books may unfold.
For instance  (spoilers!) -

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Jon Connington

They have cut out Jon Connington from the show, but interestingly enough, they have given his plot point of Grey Scale to Jorah Mormont.  Why? Jorah's plot in show followed mostly in line with where he is in the book (kidnaps Tyrion, travels with him to Dany, gets caught by Slavers).  Certainly, there are deviations, but why is the particular plot point of grey scale transferred when, otherwise, Jorah and Jon do not share similar storylines. 

Now, in the show, Jorah ends up at the Citadel with Samwell Tarly, who cures him of his grey scale.  What if Jon Connington ended up at the Citadel with Sam?  Possible implications:
1. It would unite the Night's Watch arc with Aegon arc and, possibly, the Faceless Men at the Citadel arc.
2. Jon Connington may be very interested to hear that Ned Stark brought home a bastard son from Dorne after Robert' s Rebellion.  What if he found out, with Sam, that Jon was Rhaegar's son?  Or, does Jon know more from the Rebellion that he has let on in his POV chapters?  Would Jon Connington try to unite Rhaegar's "children"? (I am neutral on Aegon/Faegon.  Not sure either way, though leaning towards Faegon) 

 

Thoughts?

I agree with much of this. This cut & combine idea extends to each and every show character at this point- Jon, Dany, Sansa, Sandor, Asha (Yara), all of them. I used to lightheartedly call it "plotzee". I get that the show cannot show every literal line of the books, but it is up to the showrunners to decide what to use based on what they are given. This is not new information, and the merging is sometimes necessary, but often (as it is now) just confusing because the show character comes across as inconsistent from one episode to the next. Very few characters have been consistent.

I am reminded of a quote by one of GRRM's editors from a few years ago:

He noted [Martin noted] that if HBO wanted aliens to invade, he couldn't stop them. He advises, but does not decide.

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42 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I agree with much of this. This cut & combine idea extends to each and every show character at this point- Jon, Dany, Sansa, Sandor, Asha (Yara), all of them. I used to lightheartedly call it "plotzee". I get that the show cannot show every literal line of the books, but it is up to the showrunners to decide what to use based on what they are given. This is not new information, and the merging is sometimes necessary, but often (as it is now) just confusing because the show character comes across as inconsistent from one episode to the next. Very few characters have been consistent.

I am reminded of a quote by one of GRRM's editors from a few years ago:

He noted [Martin noted] that if HBO wanted aliens to invade, he couldn't stop them. He advises, but does not decide.

D&D seem almost disrespectful of GRRM sometimes. He argued hard to put Stoneheart in the show as she'll have a big part in the books, but they wouldn't listen. Then they'd hack up his scripts. 

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/12/game-of-thrones-george-rr-martin-last-script-the-lion-and-the-rose

Quote

But that last episode aired in 2014, at the halfway mark of the series—and Martin hasn’t penned an episode since. An early version of the last script Martin wrote is available to the public, along with many others, at the Writers Guild of America Library in Los Angeles, though—and unlike the versions of his earlier scripts in the archive there, this Martin draft of “The Lion and the Rose” differs wildly from what ended up airing on HBO. Changes from page to screen are not at all uncommon, this is just a particularly extreme case. A close reading of this draft may help explain why Martin stopped writing for the show.

 

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I for one believe the books will be wildly different. D&D are simply adapting the ending of the original outline that was leaked a few years back (which George already said he isn't sticking to), so in that sense they can say they "followed the intended ending" and George can say that they are "using his ideas", while in reality D&D are trying not to spoil the books and George is trying not to steal their thunder.

There is no way that Ramsay vs Jon would work in the books, there is no depth to this conflict. In the show, Ramsay held Rickon hostage and had abused Sansa, he had the support of most of the North and he was a brilliant strategist. In the books there is no pressing goal, no score to settle, and no real threat from Ramsay, since he is nothing but a psychopath with low cunning and very few loyal followers, I dare say even among the Boltons. Stannis also can't burn Shireen if he loses to Ramsay, and even if you find some contrived way to cram that plot point in, his thematic arc would still be ruined.

On the other hand, Dany has a much much more complicated situation in Essos than she did in the show. In the show, the Battle of Fire was a one episode side quest, and there was no involvement from Qarth and Volantis, no schemers trying to steal or kill her dragons. It also took her no time at all to sail for Westeros and reach Dragonstone. Also, her campaign in season 7 basically spun in place, with no real plot or character advancements aside from falling in love with Jon and losing a dragon, both of which were forced. If George was going to write stuff like that, he would have been done in less than a year.

No, the books will feature a great Exodus to Essos in the wake of the Others' invasion, which is going to lead to plot lines most of you show watchers never even dreamed of. The show is either going to hide this entirely, or it's going to feature it in the last 2 or 3 episodes just to stay "loyal" to books (not that big a spoiler, since the Exodus will actually start in Winds).

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Risto said:

You misunderstood my point. No one here argues that they should have blindly followed Martin. TV is a different medium, it has its own rules and changes are necessary. However, we are speaking about some things that could have been done (AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN) in order to present GRRM's ideas in the best possible way. That doesn't mean no changes, but it means a full understanding of author's writing. For example, Phyllis Nagy adapted "Price of Salt" for 2015 movie "Carol". She made a lot of changes, but she was successful in making that story every bit as poignant as Patricia Highsmith did.

I understand that for some people GoT will provide all the answers they need. I respect that. However, for me and those of us here who grew to love Martin's literary work and talent, the characters we have known and have been reading about are not just about what title they'll have at the end of books/show or whether they'll be alive or dead. So, whether the show included this one or that one, I simply don't care as Martin's world, the world those characters are in, is far more complex. And that is the story some of us fell in love with.

 

The first three books maybe.  And even then only the European derived characters (minus the Iron Isles and Mountain tribes, both of which are pretty pathetic and have about as much depth as a teaspoon).  The minor characters away from Westeros are meh, even in the first three books (Daario, Pyat Pree, ugh).

Then it all jumped the shark in AFFC.  We had even more Iron Isles and they lacked depth even more than in the first three books.  And Dorne?  One stereotypical sulky teenager who could be fast forwarded to any number of TV shows in the modern era combined with a whole load of cardboard characters.

And what's worse is that most of them don't seem to be important other than Euron.  Which concerns me considerably because Euron is by far and away the worst protagonist in the whole series (and that includes Ramsay, who is another cardboard cutout villain who the books really could've done without).

Edited by Ser Gareth

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