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That the show runners had a very cavalier attitude towards towards the actors’ safety seems quite clear to me.

WRT Rory McCann, disregarding great lines from the book (eg “only Cat”, “Ed, fetch me a block), was a constant.

Drogo/Dany in the books is pretty disturbing.  But, it was intended as a romance.  I think that having Dany explicitly raped was there for shock value.  It was a great character arc;  molested by her brother, raped by her husband, and finally stabbed through the boob by her nephew/lover.

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Chapter 6 is about the final two episodes of S1 and is fairly brief. If you followed the show while it was on, there isn’t much in FCKAD that’s new. Most of the quotes are recycled from old interviews. GRRM is one of the few people who appears to have provided a number of new quotes. Some highlights:

- George loved how Ned’s death was filmed and considers it better than the books. The scene took three days to shoot.

- George wanted to have one of the heads on spikes from the finale modeled after him, but he was told it was too expensive.

- It’s pretty clear from listening to the showrunners/producers talk about Ned’s death that they consider(ed) Arya to be a much more interesting character and more of a “true Stark” than Sansa. I think that was pretty obvious to everyone all along (and in fairness, the first book gave a much more flattering portrayal of Arya than Sansa too) but they tried to walk it back after receiving criticism for S5. 

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9 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Chapter 6 is about the final two episodes of S1 and is fairly brief. If you followed the show while it was on, there isn’t much in FCKAD that’s new. Most of the quotes are recycled from old interviews. GRRM is one of few people who appears to have provided a number of new quotes. Some highlights;

- George loved how Ned’s death was filmed and considers it better than the books. The scene took three days to shoot.

- George wanted to have one of the heads on spikes from the finale modeled after him, but he was told it was too expensive.

- It’s pretty clear from listening to the showrunners/producers talk about Ned’s death that they consider(ed) Arya to be a much more interesting character and more of a “true Stark” than Sansa. I think that was pretty obvious to everyone all along (and in fairness, the first book gave a much more flattering portrayal of Arya than Sansa too) but they tried to walk it back after receiving criticism for S5. 

Sansa is stuck up and stupid, through most of Book 1, which must be a remnant of her originally being intended as a villain.

After Ned’s death, she learns empathy and compassion.  The two D’s followed that quite closely (and I love pretty much all her scenes in season 2).

But, her tale goes wrong in Season 5.  She would never have willingly wed Ramsay.  The two D’s then “put it right”, subsequently, by turning her into Cersei 2.0.

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Highlights from Chapter 7, about S2:

  • Some lighthearted casting stories about the new actors. One big overarching theme is that everyone was intimidated by the success of the show and was certain that they were going to blow their chance.
  • Davos originally auditioned for Jorah and Margaery auditioned for Melisandre; both received a callback asking them to read for different parts.
  • Carice Van Houten and Gemma Whelan mostly starred in comedies prior to GOT.
  • Natalie Dormer describes Margaery as a cross between Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton, and Princess Diana.
  • Gwendoline did a lot to prepare for her role, including cutting her hair, reading the books, and putting on muscle. She threw Renly's actor a birthday party because she said that was the sort of thing Brienne would have done for Renly.
  • Sophie tried to set Sibel up on a date, but Sibel said she was too old to date any of Sophie's friends.
  • Some talk about sexposition, but again, the book mostly just dances around it. Despite usually defending the use of nudity, Carice didn't think it was necessary for her to be naked during the shadowbaby scene.
  • Liam gives a lot of great quotes. He goes to bat for Stephan Dillane here, saying that Stephan is a straightforward guy who's often misunderstood. Ironically, the rest of the cast seems to find him somewhat mystifying.
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Creating a much bigger role for Margaery was one thing I welcomed in the show.

I find her an enigma in the books.  Is she just her family’s pawn, or is she sly and ruthless in her own right?  In general, the Tyrells are just as brutal as the Lannisters, but they make better use of PR.

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On 3/26/2023 at 1:55 PM, $erPounce said:

I am going to express what will probably become a very unpopular opinion here...

I consider the praise fans gave D&D for "trimming the fat off FeastDance" to be completely undeserved. After all, what they did was remove all the depth from FeastDance and replace it with empty air. 

I agree with you.

Now adapting AFFC/Dance in toto would have been difficult.  But, they dumbed both books down horribly, (eg the Kingsmoot, Porne, most of the Northern storyline).  Even Meereen, which drags in Dance, was actually made worse in the show, by having Dany bullying Hizdahr, and making Tyrion her chief advisor for no reason.  Dany is also made a lot less heroic in Daznak's Pit, basically leaving her friends in the lurch, rather than risking her life to fly Drogon out. 

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Highlights from Chapter 8, about the Battle of the Blackwater:

  • BOTB was the first major battle of the show and was way over budget. Some ideas to make it more manageable included having it happen off-screen or changing it to a land battle. One way they saved money was by turning it into a nighttime battle (although wasn't it primarily a nighttime battle in the books too?)
  • Every naval scene in GOT was shot on the same boat, which was then digitally multiplied to create a fleet (the exception being the prow of The Silence). It was also shot in a parking lot, with the water edited in later.
  • Most of the battle was shot in the rain, but it stopped raining during the last day, so they had to funnel water from the bottom of a quarry to create rain for the remaining shots.
  • Blackwater is George's favorite episode of the ones he wrote, and is one of his favorite episodes from the entire show. 
  • Peter Dinklage was really excited to get to lead a battle and swing an axe.
  • The original director had to drop out at the last minute and is even briefly quoted in this chapter. . . but we're never given his name for some reason.
  • Unfortunately, there's very little about the characters themselves in this chapter, which I find disappointing, since there were so many great character moments from that episode and I'm sure George had plenty of thoughts to contribute. Equally unfortunate is that Hibberd does not include the semi-famous quote from the director about one of the executives telling him he was required to include female nudity at the last minute. 
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Highlights from Chapters 9 and 10:

  • Kit is surprisingly gushy and romantic talking about his experiences filming with Rose. He told one of the directors that the day he met her--when they filmed the scene where Jon decides at the last moment not to behead Ygritte--was the best day of his life.
  • Lots of fun banter between Nikolaj and Gwen. So far, they're the only ones (along with maybe Emilia) who talk about their characters' psychology and development. Gwen is particularly open and introspective, which shouldn't surprise anyone who has read or watched any of her other interviews.
  • Nathalie's excitement over joining GOT is heart-warming, although she commits book snob-sacrilege by saying that Missandei is from the Summer Isles.
  • Jacob was told to think of Grey Worm as "a robot built out of trauma."
  • I had always assumed Ed Skrein left the show for another project, but it turns out there was some undisclosed drama behind the scenes. Skrein claimed he left for "political reasons," but the showrunners say it was because his "voice wasn't quite right" and had to be dubbed. (Wouldn't they had noticed that during the audition?)
  • More talk of on-set injuries and medical problems, including Emilia's brain aneurism, Locke's actor accidentally breaking one of Nikolaj's ribs when he kicked him, and Kit breaking his ankle when he drunkenly tried to climb up through his bedroom window after forgetting his keys at home. Kit's injury is played for laughs, but it's a little awkward considering that he went to rehab right after S8 aired. 
  • Nikolaj had the flu when filming his hand-chopping scene and barely remembers shooting it. He doesn't say if he read the books or not, but he at least read enough about the character that he was looking forward to Jaime's big bathtub confession since S1. 
  • Explosives were illegally smuggled into Morocco during the Arab Spring to film the scene where Dany roasts Astapor. 
  • Olly was originally only supposed to appear in a few scenes, but the showrunners decided to keep him around longer.
  • I would have thought that D&D would have used this as an opportunity to try to contextualize Dany's descent into madness, but so far they haven't. It's just been glowing commentary on Emilia's performance and how awesome Dany is. FCKAD is generally well-organized, but I think Hibberd should have tried to create a link between Dany's journey and her ending throughout the course of the book. That's the beauty of hindsight.
  • There are many mentions of how one of the Ds stopped reading right after a major scene in the book happened just so they could pick up the phone and tell the other about it. Whatever their other faults, there is something sweet about their friendship.
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Highlights from Chapters 11 and 12 (these chapters are all really short, and most of the information is recycled, so it's easy to read through quickly):

  • Michelle and Richard both read the books, but the Red Wedding was spoiled for them by fans long before then.
  • Crew members were crying during the filming of the Red Wedding.
  • Roose's actor considers Roose to be more of an obvious bad guy in the books, and claims Roose turned on Robb because he was ignoring his advice. (I honestly don't remember enough about Roose to judge either way).
  • D&D describe Tywin as "lawful neutral." :rolleyes:
  • Chapter 12 is all about the pranks played on set, mostly by D&D themselves, and will probably annoy a lot of people who already don't like them. Most of their jokes were in the form of sending fake scripts to the actors with embarrassing and/or difficult scenes in them, but some were more elaborate. Hibberd manages to make it sound mostly innocent, but some of it was just mean. For example, an industry friend of theirs suggested a director to hire for S7, so the Ds thought it would be funny to send him an angry email while shooting that episode complaining about said director and saying he was destroying the show. They kept this going until the friend got so worked up that he considered calling his agent to help sort things out. (This is also all quite ironic since, according to Miguel Sapochnik, D&D kept the set very serious and didn't want people joking around.)
  • Kit thinks Bran was the prince that was promised. 
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“Lawful neutral” is a ridiculous interpretation of Tywin’s character, and it goes to show just how badly wrong they got the Lannisters.

And that mattered in the end.  If the Lannisters are not villains, then you have to vilify other characters.

A very big change between books and show is that Dany’s advisors are always urging her to be more ruthless and I expect that to be Tyrion’s approach, when they meet.  Tyrion believes his father’s approach to war to be the right one.  The show, by contrast, has Dany wanting to be more ruthless and her advisors urging restraint.

Book Tyrion would be telling her “mercy is just another word for cowardice”, and “it is far better to be feared than to be loved.”

Going back to Tywin, he is vile, petty, spiteful, snobbish, and misogynistic, and not at all the great statesman he believes himself to be.

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Yeh, I found the practical "jokes" remarkably unfunny, and the behaviour of true arseholes.  It started with making Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams cry by saying they were too young to come to the wrap party.

Practical jokes are only good if the target can laugh at them.

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Highlights from Chapters 13 and 14:

  • Not surprising, but playing Theon took a big emotional toll on Alfie Allen off-screen.
  • The box Yara received of Theon's "favorite toy" did indeed include a prop in it.
  • When discussing Arya and the Hound, everyone involved talks about how he taught her the "savage ways of the world" and how to be a brutal killer as if this was a good thing. I found that very jarring.
  • George loved the Hound's "every fucking chicken" line. 
  • Rory was told to channel Clint Eastwood for his performance.
  • Circling back to the last chapter, Maisie reminisces about the scene where Arya bursts out laughing after she finds out that Lysa's dead, and how it was "so weird to be able to laugh and joke around on set and not be told off for it."
  • Much like in the books (and Hollywood), the extras at Joffrey's wedding were primarily older men paired off with younger women.
  • D&D met Samuel L. Jackson at Comic-Con, and he went on a rant about how much he wanted Joffrey to die.
  • They tried getting a pig for the dwarf jousting scene, only to learn that it's nearly impossible to ride a pig.
  • Benioff refers to Joffrey as a "bridezilla."
  • George affirms that Joffrey's death was supposed to look like an accident.
  • Jack Gleeson announced that he was retiring from acting on his last day on set, but it's noted that he has since returned.
  • Hibberd claims that the Purple Wedding got its name because purple is the color of royalty, but I was under the impression it was because Joffrey's face turned purple from the poison?
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I do hope we get the barn-storming session where D & D start saying “Why don’t we turn Dany into a Nazi, and why don’t we give Arya superpowers, and we’ll make Bran king because he spent a season staring into space.”

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Chapters 15 and 16 both have a lot going on, so I'll post them separately. Chapters 15 for now:

  • The editing team for this book didn't really do their due diligence. There are a lot of typos.
  • FKCAD devotes a full page to talking about Cousin Orson Lannister the Beetle Killer, and how Peter D. apparently loved that monologue. (Not mentioned: Orson having been named after Orson Scott Card, who gave the show a bad review and allegedly turned down D&D's pitch to adapt his book).
  • Ser Pounce was only in one scene because the cat was so difficult to work with. They had to throw him on the bed at one point because he refused to jump. (Not mentioned: Natalie Dormer insisting that that scene be rewritten before she would film it because she found Margaery's attempt to seduce Tommen so creepy).
  • Phrasing it in the nicest way possible, Sibel didn't agree with the way Shae was written in S4. She doesn't think that Shae would have turned on Tyrion and Sansa to the extent that she did. Her headcanon is that Tywin and Cersei threatened to kill her if she didn't cooperate. (I can understand why they changed Tyrion and Shae's relationship on the show, since it makes Tyrion look like less of a moron and gives him a real relationship for the first three seasons, but it didn't fit with the resolution from the books--kind of like another plotline or two. . . )
  • Tyrion's big speech was originally even angrier and more dramatic, but they decided to tone it down.
  • Lena doesn't think that Cersei truly believed that Tyrion was guilty of killing Joffrey, but that she was blinded by her hatred of him. Charles Dance didn't think Tywin was convinced either way, but that he needed a scapegoat.
  • The producers had to reach out to several yacht owners to make sure that their yachts were out of shot during the outdoor trial by combat scene. One person reneged on this, however, and sailed his yacht back and forth during the filming. Rumor is that it was Bruce Willis. 
  • Pedro considers Oberyn's death a victory because he still got the confession out of Gregor.
  • Peter on Tyrion and Tywin's relationship:

    I loved working with Charles Dance. I love their relationship too, as horrible as it was. It's so loving in a way within a fucked-up relationship. God, I sound like somebody who was abused and says it's their own fault! I just loved how Charlie played it. He respected Tyrion, but he couldn't help it.

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Now Chapter 16:

  • Hibberd starts this chapter by saying that there wasn't any particular episode that caused GOT to shoot to superstardom, but I disagree. I started watching the show after the Red Wedding because people were talking about it everywhere. 
  • At Comic Con, some guy snuck up on GRRM with a pair of scissors in an attempt to cut off part of his beard as a souvenir :ph34r:
  • Joe Dempsie was frequently mistaken for Podrick. Kit often had strangers telling him that he looked like a shorter version of Jon Snow. 
  • Pilou was meeting a producer for a potential movie role who mistook him for Alfie and asked what it was like to get his dick cut off. Pilou went along with it.
  • Sophie talks a bit about how people hated Sansa during the earlier seasons, but that she had to take it all in stride. (Unfortunately, we know from more recent interviews that she was so depressed by all the online hate that she was nearly suicidal.) 
  • Many other people on the show also had a hard time with social media and online commentary, particularly D&D, who talk a bit about how criticism messes with their heads. This is one of those moments where I feel bad for them, since I can only imagine what it was like after S8. 
  • I remember reading that filming in Spain was pretty hectic, but I didn't realize just how hectic it was. The casting department received 86,000 emails responding to a local casting call. Hundreds of people crowded outside of the actors' hotel waiting to catch a glimpse of them. When they put up sheets around one of the sets to stop onlookers, people burned holes in them to peep. Kit and Nikolaj were particularly popular among the Spanish women. Liam has an amusing story about how he needed a bodyguard to accompany him while out buying underwear.
  • Obama received advance copies of every episode.
  • There's discussion about when the first four episodes of S5 leaked and HBO's data hack in 2017, but nothing about how most of the plot for the final four seasons also leaked online. They say the worst leak was a picture of Jon killing Dany, which I vaguely recall, but ironically, most people thought it was just the two of them standing close to each other, since it looked like it was filmed on a beach.
  • Confirmation that, yes, HBO has put out fake leaks in the past. 
  • In order to stop paparazzi and onlookers, Northern Ireland established a no-fly zone over the sets, and sets in Spain were guarded by the Spanish military. I get that GOT brought in a lot of money and tourism for both countries but. . . Jesus, people, it's just a TV show. Are spoilers really that big of a deal? People who want spoilers go looking for them. People who don't want to be spoiled don't go looking for them and usually remain unspoiled. This fixation on everything being a surprise is so silly to me, especially in the case of GOT, which was in turn spoiling at least some of the books that predated the show by nearly two decades. 
  • There is a sense of wistfulness among some of the people that worked on the show, such as Bryan Cogman, for the time before GOT blew up and was more of a passion project. 
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Posted (edited)

We're getting to the meatier stuff now. Chapter 17 is about the show overtaking the books:

  • GRRM can't go to bookstores anymore because he's always recognized.
  • George has been positively ebullient for most of this book, but he shows quite a bit of sadness and disappointment here. One of the first things that disappointed him was when they killed off Marillion early. He was later dismayed to learn that they planned on covering Feast and Dance in just one season; he had thought there was three seasons' worth of material between the two. Most of all, he was depressed that he was unable to get Winds out before S5, which had been his goal. 
  • Bryan Cogman was part of the big plot-reveal meeting in Santa Fe. He describes it as "like learning the meaning of life. Like God was coming down and telling you the future."
  • Major quote that, while well-known, is usually truncated:

    It wasn't easy for me. I didn't want to give away my books. It's not easy to talk about the end of my books. Every character has a different end. I told them who would be on the Iron Throne, and I told them some big twists like Hodor and "hold the door," and Stannis' decision to burn his daughter. We didn't get to everybody by any means. Especially the minor characters, who may have very different endings. 

    Wow, there's a lot there. Since this quote is about the meeting that occurred in 2013 (meaning after S3 was finished but before S4), I think it's pretty clear that "every character has a different end" means that each character has their own story, not that every character has a different end from what we saw on the show. He also explicitly confirms that it's Stannis' decision to burn Shireen. "Who would be on the Iron Throne" leads me to wonder if the throne isn't getting melted down in the books (of course, it could just be phrasing).

  • D&D didn't want to add in too many new characters because they didn't know if the audience would warm up to so many new players this far in, and they had concerns about what it would mean for production, which was already split off into multiple separate crews.

  • Having read ahead, this is where D&D start to come across as a bit arrogant and dismissive.

  • George specifically mentions Arianne, Quentyn, and Stoneheart when talking about important characters that were removed from the story. 

  • They originally planned to use the direwolves more, but the special effects for them was more of a struggle than anticipated. 

  • Hibberd insists that there were no hard feelings between D&D and George.

Edited by The Bard of Banefort
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I hadn’t realised that Sophie Turner had received so much abuse.  I didn’t like late season Sansa, but I wouldn’t dream of abusing Sophie Turner just because of it.

I agree that Shea’s shift in character was abrupt and unexplained, like Doreah’s in Season 2.  At the start, Dany and Doreah seemed almost in love with each other, then she suddenly turned traitor.

Peter Dinklage’s enjoyment of the (utterly stupid) Cousin Orson scene is a bit more evidence that he’s pretty unpleasant.

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