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Angel Eyes

Benioff and Weiss didn’t necessarily make problems, they just made things worse

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In a post on the Master Thread on what the Show means for the Book, I have made some remarks as to how there are things that are complained about with how Benioff and Weiss didn’t necessarily create new problems, but there were problems in GRRM’s text that Benioff and Weiss proceeded to make worse.

  1. Plot Contrivance. With how much GRRM complains about the ease that Aragorn does things, he makes a number of things happen because he wanted them to:
    1. Ramsay in Book 2. Like Euron in Seasons 7 and 8, he's mainly a plot device; In his case, for Theon to get captured and make Bran, Rickon, Meera, Jojen, Hodor, and the direwolves flee Winterfell, Rodrik Cassel doesn't understand how there's a Bolton army coming around if he supposedly killed the Bolton in the North and his force is slaughtered to a man. He essentially takes down the Northern power base in a matter of weeks.
    2. Robb and the Blackfish leaving Edmure out of the master plan. Edmure gallivants off on his own with thousands of men and fights a battle, not knowing that the idea was to allow Tywin to chase Robb into a trap; instead, Tywin gets enough breathing room to receive word of Stannis attacking King's Landing and gets back in time to relieve Tyrion and stop Stannis from taking the city.
    3. Jon Snow never once brings up the fact that the White Walkers make wights and therefore it would be pragmatic to try to save the wildlings. Wildlings are easier to negotiate with than wights. Since this issue is never brought up, the other Night’s Watch brothers don’t give a whit of thought as to how screwed they are without a leader to defend against the White Walkers and wights.
  2. Gross and degrading sex scenes. The show actually toned down Jaime's sex scene with Cersei (she's on her period in the books), Cersei refers to Taena Merryweather's privates as a "Myrish swamp", while Sam's penis is described as a "fat pink mast". There's also Daenerys and Jeyne Poole's Stockholm Syndrome.
  3. Cynicism.
    1. A Song of Ice and Fire is generally pessimistic about the human condition, with the main protagonists (the Starks) doing a number of idiotic things because they think it's the right thing to do and getting killed or disgraced (Ned telling Cersei to leave, Robb marrying Jeyne Westerling, Catelyn's decisions to capture Tyrion and free Jaime) while the survivors become progressively darker and nastier (Bran robbing Hodor of his free will, Arya becoming a Faceless Man, Sansa being under Littlefinger's tutelage) with others doing horrible things (Tyrion raping a prostitute) and character development setting more up for a fall (Jaime is being led into a trap by Brienne and Lady Stoneheart is not inclined to be forgiving towards him).
    2. Glorification of psychopaths. Ramsay and Littlefinger have come out the victor in nearly everything they've done, rising higher and higher as the book series has gone on.
    3. Thanking abusers. This is something that is specific to Sansa. The show has Sansa “thanking” Ramsay for “empowering” her in a dialogue from Season 8, Episode 4, but in the books, Sansa imagines the Hound kissing her at the Blackwater despite the fact that he tried to rape her that night and belittled and bullied her almost every time they were in the same room.
    4. And all the while everyone ignores the threat imposed by the White Walkers and the wights, including those who are tasked with defending against them.
Edited by Angel Eyes

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I largely agree with the above three points. I would add Daenerys stumbling upon the dragons to the plot contrivances. While we don't know what exactly made the eggs hatch, I don't think Dany did anything special to hatch them. She was grieving (her captor really) and in the process just happened upon nuclear weapons.

One of my gripes about the series has been how sex is portrayed as a means of gaining power or control. The sex scenes in the books are devoid of almost all intimacy, like pornography. The show kept up with that theme. 

 

Which brings me to my biggest gripes about the series, the cynicism and nihilism. Almost at all stages in the books, it's the schemers that win the day. Because Ned got killed, any kind of morals and principles are viewed with contempt. Arya becomes an assasin, Sansa turns into LF, Brienne is almost killed and ends up leading her friend Jaime to be captured. Even Jaime started out idealistic, but his experience with Aerys made him extremely bitter. This is my opinion, but had Jaime not hardened with time, he probably would not have been so co-dependent on Cersei. He may have escaped her toxic influence and made better choices. Any character that tries to take some principled stance pays for it badly.

In fact thats why I think the books will have an ending as unsatisfying as the show. And I'm dreading it.

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1 hour ago, Apoplexy said:

I largely agree with the above three points. I would add Daenerys stumbling upon the dragons to the plot contrivances. While we don't know what exactly made the eggs hatch, I don't think Dany did anything special to hatch them. She was grieving (her captor really) and in the process just happened upon nuclear weapons.

One of my gripes about the series has been how sex is portrayed as a means of gaining power or control. The sex scenes in the books are devoid of almost all intimacy, like pornography. The show kept up with that theme. 

 

Which brings me to my biggest gripes about the series, the cynicism and nihilism. Almost at all stages in the books, it's the schemers that win the day. Because Ned got killed, any kind of morals and principles are viewed with contempt. Arya becomes an assasin, Sansa turns into LF, Brienne is almost killed and ends up leading her friend Jaime to be captured. Even Jaime started out idealistic, but his experience with Aerys made him extremely bitter. This is my opinion, but had Jaime not hardened with time, he probably would not have been so co-dependent on Cersei. He may have escaped her toxic influence and made better choices. Any character that tries to take some principled stance pays for it badly.

In fact thats why I think the books will have an ending as unsatisfying as the show. And I'm dreading it.

And even then there were lines the show wouldn’t cross in regards to sex scenes, like Jeyne Poole and the dogs.

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On 12/30/2020 at 2:51 PM, Angel Eyes said:

but there were problems in GRRM’s text that Benioff and Weiss proceeded to make worse.

Yes, I can see some of these things as starting in the source material that weren't helped by inexperienced showrunners.

The deleted scene with Sandor making Sansa cry was panned on Youtube with commenters realizing that he was being a total creep with her. They should have kept that in to make it more clear there's nothing actually romantic there, with Sansa's woobifying lens removed from the situation. Sansa didn't need to endure abuse to see the world more clearly and Sandor isn't helping.

Littlefinger is the quintessential slimey nice guy abuser. But, if he's the only person who has "affection" for her, I can see why they had her sadly say, "in his own way he loved me." If no one else is going to love her in canon, I mean...?

Tyrion is just someone she shouldn't even be thinking about, let alone apologizing to, but GRRM's praise of Tyrion makes me wonder if we're supposed to see him as another Drogo/Dany situation where "it's forced marriage! but he's unexpectedly nice!"

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Yes, I can see some of these things as starting in the source material that weren't helped by inexperienced showrunners.

The deleted scene with Sandor making Sansa cry was panned on Youtube with commenters realizing that he was being a total creep with her. They should have kept that in to make it more clear there's nothing actually romantic there, with Sansa's woobifying lens removed from the situation. Sansa didn't need to endure abuse to see the world more clearly and Sandor isn't helping.

Littlefinger is the quintessential slimey nice guy abuser. But, if he's the only person who has "affection" for her, I can see why they had her sadly say, "in his own way he loved me." If no one else is going to love her in canon, I mean...?

Tyrion is just someone she shouldn't even be thinking about, let alone apologizing to, but GRRM's praise of Tyrion makes me wonder if we're supposed to see him as another Drogo/Dany situation where "it's forced marriage! but he's unexpectedly nice!"

So why do people romanticize Sandor and Sansa? I don’t see him as much better than Littlefinger, they’re very similar outside of their skill sets. I’d be more likely to romanticize Jon and Sansa or Podrick and Sansa, to give examples.

Edited by Angel Eyes

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13 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

So why do people romanticize Sandor and Sansa? I don’t see him as much better than Littlefinger, they’re very similar outside of their skill sets. I’d be more likely to romanticize Jon and Sansa or Podrick and Sansa, to give examples

Yeah, they're all in "stay away from the underage girls" jail. I think Sansa is heading for a realization like she had after Ned's death that she has storybooked the Hound and Littlefinger into her life and that this is harmful to her ability to see the world more clearly. Which makes it look like Sansa needed to experience this shit, so I cant exactly blame the show for it. But someone tell GRRM, its more powerful if she still believes in love and happy endings, despite all that's happened to her and despite the creeps who try to beat/scare it out of her.

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On 12/30/2020 at 4:51 PM, Angel Eyes said:
  • Plot Contrivance. With how much GRRM complains about the ease that Aragorn does things, he makes a number of things happen because he wanted them to:
    1. Robb and the Blackfish leaving Edmure out of the master plan. Edmure gallivants off on his own with thousands of men and fights a battle, not knowing that the idea was to allow Tywin to chase Robb into a trap; instead, Tywin gets enough breathing room to receive word of Stannis attacking King's Landing and gets back in time to relieve Tyrion and stop Stannis from taking the city.
    2. Jon Snow never once brings up the fact that the White Walkers make wights and therefore it would be pragmatic to try to save the wildlings. Wildlings are easier to negotiate with than wights. Since this issue is never brought up, the other Night’s Watch brothers don’t give a whit of thought as to how screwed they are without a leader to defend against the White Walkers and wights.
  • Gross and degrading sex scenes. The show actually toned down Jaime's sex scene with Cersei (she's on her period in the books), Cersei refers to Taena Merryweather's privates as a "Myrish swamp", while Sam's penis is described as a "fat pink mast". There's also Daenerys and Jeyne Poole's Stockholm Syndrome.

I disagree here.

First of all, King Robb and the Blackfish leaving Edmure in the dark isn't a plot contrivance.

It's a very realistic human oversight (bosses not telling employees that they are planning to stay open despite threats of gov't shutdown because supervisors are afraid of losing leverage/control of a situation, distrust the employees, too busy, working an angle or any of the above) that is made worst by understandable human overreach (employees doesn't know that the boss is keeping the store open so the employee tells everyone they know that the store is closing down and then the employee is forced to settle for a newer, more secure job that requires him to sign a contract and that doesn't pay as well)

It's a matter of miscommunication. Miscommunication in war and business was a huge issue before the advent of telegrams in WWI. And even after in our modern age, it's still a problem.

On the matter of Jon Snow, do you have textual evidence for that? Because I don't at all remember Jon failing to tell them that the Others make and/or control wights. Even if he did fail to tell them, don't they already know that to be true? The black brothers who survived the attack at the Fist and the mutiny at Craster's Keep would know and say something. They did say something. I'm pretty sure that they did.

Gross and degrading sex scenes? I agree on Jaime and Cersei's reunion sex. Everything about that scene -- from having a sexual tryst next to the body of their dead child to the incest of it all to the undertones of rape -- was gross. But it was supposed to be that way. That said...not everything needs to be shown on screen.

And I have major issue with your other two examples. LOL what is wrong with a description of Sam's penis. It's pink (he is a white man and let's be honest adults...white men have pink or pinkish penises), it's established to be fat/big (good for Sam) and it's described to resemble the mast of a ship which -- as everyone who has seen a ship has noticed -- is tall/long (also good for Sam). Considering that they have been on several ships for quite some time it's a fitting metaphor. It's a book: not only are metaphors good but EVERYTHING NEEDS DESCRIPTIONS!!!

Show not tell. Everything from the colors of Sansa's favorite dress, the way Daenerys feels after riding a horse for over 50 miles to, yes, Sam's penis.

Likewise, what's wrong with the descriptions of Taena's vagina? The point of its description as a Myrish swamp is simple: Taena's vagina is hairy, very wet, has its own distinctive smell...duh! It's a vagina before the advent of 20th and 21st century inventions like douches, breathable underwear, genitalia-friendly razors and perfumes. Plus as Taena is Myrish and Taena's vagina is a part of Taena...what's wrong with the description of Myrish. Plus, it's a story told from the eyes of Cersei. Makes sense why she would say something like that as anything from or relating to Myr is exotic and thus eroticized.

Laughable. And honestly, the books have done a better job with sex scenes than the show did. Sam and Gilly having sex for the first time was a triumphant moment, Cersei fondling Taena's privates is a twisted moment meant to show Cersei's characters. For every Cersei/Taena situation, there has been Ned/Cat moment or a Daenerys/Drogo moment.

And speaking of Daenerys/Drogo....stockholm syndrome. What's wrong with it? Not with the Stockholm Syndrome but with GRRM's decision to write about it. It's a real situation that GRRM is writing about. What is he supposed to act like Stockholm Syndrome doesn't exist? Or that patients and students don't develop feelings and desires for their teachers, doctors and therapists? I find it very fascinating for GRRM to compare Stockholm Syndrome with statutory rape and marriages of convenience and politics to illustrate that they are all in closely related. Very telling.

 

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Posted (edited)

I think that Ramsay and Littlefingr are definitely riding for a fall.  Ramsay, well, he'll just end up being flayed by his victims.  I expect Sansa will play some role in bringing down LF in the Vale, although I'm not sure how.  I think it will involve Sweetrobin dying of poisoning, LF attempting to frame Sansa for it in order to control her further, and her turning the tables in some way.  LF is trying to make Sansa his accomplice.

As to cynicism, I'm not sure.  Every one of the six main characters could get worse, or better.

Edited by SeanF

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, SeanF said:

I think that Ramsay and Littlefingr are definitely riding for a fall.  Ramsay, well, he'll just end up being flayed by his victims.  I expect Sansa will play some role in bringing down LF in the Vale, although I'm not sure how.  I think it will involve Sweetrobin dying of poisoning, LF attempting to frame Sansa for it in order to control her further, and her turning the tables in some way.  LF is trying to make Sansa his accomplice.

As to cynicism, I'm not sure.  Every one of the six main characters could get worse, or better.

I don't think it will come to that. Mainly because, all Sweetrobin has to do is have a shaking fit in front of the Lords, and that would raise questions about their stewardship and make her look like the guilty party. So, Littlefinger could then attribute these shaking fits to Sansa's "miscare" (when really, it's his negligence and lack of concern).

Sweetrobin has epilepsy and they are both trying to hide it. However, Sansa is trying to do what she thinks is right by Sweetrobin, both as a kid but also as a lord, and is also torn by her "duty" to her "father" (ick).

I think what's more important than anything is that, Sansa knows Sweetrobin on a personal level, better than his own maester. She knows his personalities, his moods, what brings him joy. These efforts, even though she's annoyed by him at times, will pay dividends. It's one way that power will flow to her, in contrast to others.

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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2 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I don't think it will come to that. Mainly because, all Sweetrobin has to do is have a shaking fit in front of the Lords, and that would raise questions about their stewardship and make her look like the guilty party. So, Littlefinger could then attribute these shaking fits to Sansa's "miscare" (when really, it's his negligence and lack of concern).

Sweetrobin has epilepsy and they are both trying to hide it. However, Sansa is trying to do what she thinks is right by Sweetrobin, both as a kid but also as a lord, and is also torn by her "duty" to her "father" (ick).

I think what's more important than anything is that, Sansa knows Sweetrobin on a personal level, better than his own maester. She knows his personalities, his moods, what brings him joy. These efforts, even though she's annoyed by him at times, will pay dividends. It's one way that power will flow to her, in contrast to others.

People will see and hear about how she has been caring for Robin. And as there is no love for Baelish, I can't see him managing to get Sansa blamed for his death. That could be the thing that finishes Baelish so I really can't see it going down that way.

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5 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I don't think it will come to that. Mainly because, all Sweetrobin has to do is have a shaking fit in front of the Lords, and that would raise questions about their stewardship and make her look like the guilty party. So, Littlefinger could then attribute these shaking fits to Sansa's "miscare" (when really, it's his negligence and lack of concern).

Sweetrobin has epilepsy and they are both trying to hide it. However, Sansa is trying to do what she thinks is right by Sweetrobin, both as a kid but also as a lord, and is also torn by her "duty" to her "father" (ick).

I think what's more important than anything is that, Sansa knows Sweetrobin on a personal level, better than his own maester. She knows his personalities, his moods, what brings him joy. These efforts, even though she's annoyed by him at times, will pay dividends. It's one way that power will flow to her, in contrast to others.

 

2 hours ago, Ghostlydragon said:

People will see and hear about how she has been caring for Robin. And as there is no love for Baelish, I can't see him managing to get Sansa blamed for his death. That could be the thing that finishes Baelish so I really can't see it going down that way.

I think it goes beyond LF simply neglecting the boy.  I think he is deliberately overdosing him with Sweetsleep, with a view to finishing him off, under the guise of controlling his fits.  I could see him telling Sansa they're both in this together, if and when he dies, just as he got her to lie for him about her aunt's death.  I think he's trying to make her his partner in crime.

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15 hours ago, SeanF said:

I think it goes beyond LF simply neglecting the boy.  I think he is deliberately overdosing him with Sweetsleep, with a view to finishing him off, under the guise of controlling his fits. I could see him telling Sansa they're both in this together if/when he dies, just as he got her to lie for him about her aunt's death.  I think he's trying to make her his partner in crime.

This.

Sansa needs to be very careful.

She's playing a very dangerous game with Littlefinger. If you look at it with another pair of glasses, Sansa is in a similar predicament her father was in in Game. Except Sansa is in more danger than Ned ever was: her perceived advantaged of knowing Littlefinger inside and out is a double-edged sword. Ned didn't know enough but Sansa knows way too much.

If she is caught or something goes awry, then it's goodnight not only for Sansa but House Stark, as a whole, takes a massive L. You can shrug off the kingslaying of Joffrey Baratheon as vengeance for the Red Wedding and the advancement the northern independence movement. You can't do that if the deaths of Lysa and Sweetrobin are traced back to her...which they will be if something doesn't change.

On 1/6/2021 at 9:31 AM, SeanF said:

I think that Ramsay and Littlefingr are definitely riding for a fall.  Ramsay, well, he'll just end up being flayed by his victims.  I expect Sansa will play some role in bringing down LF in the Vale, although I'm not sure how.

So you think that Sansa will take Littlefinger down in the Vale? Not anywhere else?

I don't think Sansa is taking him down in The Winds of Winter. I think she'll pull it off at some point during A Dream of Spring.

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2 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

This.

Sansa needs to be very careful.

She's playing a very dangerous game with Littlefinger. If you look at it with another pair of glasses, Sansa is in a similar predicament her father was in in Game. Except Sansa is in more danger than Ned ever was: her perceived advantaged of knowing Littlefinger inside and out is a double-edged sword. Ned didn't know enough but Sansa knows way too much.

If she is caught or something goes awry, then it's goodnight not only for Sansa but House Stark, as a whole, takes a massive L. You can shrug off the kingslaying of Joffrey Baratheon as vengeance for the Red Wedding and the advancement the northern independence movement. You can't do that if the deaths of Lysa and Sweetrobin are traced back to her...which they will be if something doesn't change.

So you think that Sansa will take Littlefinger down in the Vale? Not anywhere else?

I don't think Sansa is taking him down in The Winds of Winter. I think she'll pull it off at some point during A Dream of Spring.

I’m really interested to see how it turns out.  I suppose one can’t even rule out Sansa’s story ending very badly for her, which would be something of a gut punch.     Of the six main characters, I think Dany is the least likely to survive past the end of the series, but I don’t think the survival of any of the others is assured.

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30 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Of the six main characters, I think Dany is the least likely to survive past the end of the series, but I don’t think the survival of any of the others is assured.

I think it's a very good chance that all of them except for Bran will die. As far as I'm concerned, Bran is the only one who is confirmed to survive the series.

And even then, I think Bran will still die. I think the last chapter or the epilogue will be a Bran chapter, a timebending smorgasbord that takes place over the course of decades or maybe even a century that ends with Bran dying at a ripe old age.

If Bran dies of old age in the last chapter instead of the epilogue, then I see the epilogue POV as some outsider who is reading about the heroes, the villains and the in-betweeners of the Long Night and actually lives to see the beginning of spring.

 

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On 1/5/2021 at 11:51 PM, BlackLightning said:

I disagree here.

First of all, King Robb and the Blackfish leaving Edmure in the dark isn't a plot contrivance.

It's a very realistic human oversight (bosses not telling employees that they are planning to stay open despite threats of gov't shutdown because supervisors are afraid of losing leverage/control of a situation, distrust the employees, too busy, working an angle or any of the above) that is made worst by understandable human overreach (employees doesn't know that the boss is keeping the store open so the employee tells everyone they know that the store is closing down and then the employee is forced to settle for a newer, more secure job that requires him to sign a contract and that doesn't pay as well)

It's a matter of miscommunication. Miscommunication in war and business was a huge issue before the advent of telegrams in WWI. And even after in our modern age, it's still a problem.

On the matter of Jon Snow, do you have textual evidence for that? Because I don't at all remember Jon failing to tell them that the Others make and/or control wights. Even if he did fail to tell them, don't they already know that to be true? The black brothers who survived the attack at the Fist and the mutiny at Craster's Keep would know and say something. They did say something. I'm pretty sure that they did.

Gross and degrading sex scenes? I agree on Jaime and Cersei's reunion sex. Everything about that scene -- from having a sexual tryst next to the body of their dead child to the incest of it all to the undertones of rape -- was gross. But it was supposed to be that way. That said...not everything needs to be shown on screen.

And I have major issue with your other two examples. LOL what is wrong with a description of Sam's penis. It's pink (he is a white man and let's be honest adults...white men have pink or pinkish penises), it's established to be fat/big (good for Sam) and it's described to resemble the mast of a ship which -- as everyone who has seen a ship has noticed -- is tall/long (also good for Sam). Considering that they have been on several ships for quite some time it's a fitting metaphor. It's a book: not only are metaphors good but EVERYTHING NEEDS DESCRIPTIONS!!!

Show not tell. Everything from the colors of Sansa's favorite dress, the way Daenerys feels after riding a horse for over 50 miles to, yes, Sam's penis.

Likewise, what's wrong with the descriptions of Taena's vagina? The point of its description as a Myrish swamp is simple: Taena's vagina is hairy, very wet, has its own distinctive smell...duh! It's a vagina before the advent of 20th and 21st century inventions like douches, breathable underwear, genitalia-friendly razors and perfumes. Plus as Taena is Myrish and Taena's vagina is a part of Taena...what's wrong with the description of Myrish. Plus, it's a story told from the eyes of Cersei. Makes sense why she would say something like that as anything from or relating to Myr is exotic and thus eroticized.

Laughable. And honestly, the books have done a better job with sex scenes than the show did. Sam and Gilly having sex for the first time was a triumphant moment, Cersei fondling Taena's privates is a twisted moment meant to show Cersei's characters. For every Cersei/Taena situation, there has been Ned/Cat moment or a Daenerys/Drogo moment.

And speaking of Daenerys/Drogo....stockholm syndrome. What's wrong with it? Not with the Stockholm Syndrome but with GRRM's decision to write about it. It's a real situation that GRRM is writing about. What is he supposed to act like Stockholm Syndrome doesn't exist? Or that patients and students don't develop feelings and desires for their teachers, doctors and therapists? I find it very fascinating for GRRM to compare Stockholm Syndrome with statutory rape and marriages of convenience and politics to illustrate that they are all in closely related. Very telling.

 

And the rest about where things are going and thanking abusers?

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