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Andhaira

Robert Arryn being renamed.

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It feels unnecessary to change that particular name. 'Robert Arryn' could have been used during official styling (I gather that some kind of herald will announce him and his mother in the wake of Tyrion's trial-by-combat), and 'Sweetrobin' would easily fit in as nickname, as it does in the books (in volume three and four, though, not in AGoT; there are not many intimate moments shown between Robert and other characters in this book).

About the same names in TV shows, just watch the X Files. Not because a whole bunch of most important characters does not have any names at all (it works, though, kind of), but because of the various Williams presented during the series:

- William Scully, father of Dana Scully

- William Mulder, alleged biological father of Fox Mulder (and true father in spirit)

- William Scully, jr, elder brother of Dana Scully

- William Scully III, son of Dana Scully and Foy Mulder

No one gets confused by this. The audience is not stupid. And certainly no one will confuses the whiny, sickly Robert-boy with the fat and loud King he is named after, although they share the same name.

By the way: Don't be so sure that there will be Jon-Arryn-flashbacks. It might be possible, but the leaked script had a scene with Jon's corpse in it. Someone has to play it (they might include this scene with Pycelle and Cersei now, when they reshoot much of the pilot anyway).

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Quite. If this change annoys you, I think you're going to have some major problems with the TV adaptation. (And remember, it is an adaptation.) Yes, it's minor, but clearly it's felt to be necessary, and there will be lots of other changes that fall into the same category.

QFT.

FFS, people. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being a complete, soul-killing retcon change (ie: From Hell or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and one being a minor edit for adaptation's sake (ie: organic webshooters) this is like... -4.

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By the way: Don't be so sure that there will be Jon-Arryn-flashbacks.

They've cast John Standing to play Jon Arryn, so there obviously are going to be flashbacks.

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QFT.

FFS, people. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being a complete, soul-killing retcon change (ie: From Hell or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and one being a minor edit for adaptation's sake (ie: organic webshooters) this is like... -4.

Sing it, brother.

Don't even know why anyone would bother worrying about this at all.

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well... compared to other changes you See when Reading the leaked Script this One isnt really worth mentioning

I might have missed something, but... what leaked script? :stunned:

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They've cast John Standing to play Jon Arryn, so there obviously are going to be flashbacks.

Indeed.

'Robert Arryn' could have been used during official styling and 'Sweetrobin' would easily fit in as nickname

Or maybe they thought it was easier to give him one name rather than have 2 floating around? One can argue about how the audience is not stupid but choosing the simplest solution seems smart. :) And given the second name was another Robert...

Sure, they didn't have to do it but why not?

That X-Files example is reaching. Lots of very minor characters been called William (which I had forgotten about).

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The irony of their reasoning is that any idiot who can't tell the difference between an infant and a big fat guy because they share the same name will also have difficulty grasping the subtle distinction between Robert and Robin.

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blackfish, I don't Know if it's allowed to post the Link here... just do a quick google search, its all over the internet and I stopped liking it right after the prologue =/

Thanks CD, I gather it's quite old and probably outdated, and I've decided I'll just wait for the surprise. :)

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The irony of their reasoning is that any idiot who can't tell the difference between an infant and a big fat guy because they share the same name will also have difficulty grasping the subtle distinction between Robert and Robin.

Think about it...somebody is reading the credits. Robert...that must be the king. Sounds pretty adult. Robin, sounds more like a child. Must be that whiny kid...

But if there were 2 Robert's in the credits! Arrrghhh. Is Robert Baretheon or Robert Arryn the king?

See...confusion avoided. Win! :)

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I mean, imagine if HBO didn't list Stringer Bell as Stringer in the credits, but as....you know, Tyson Bell or something. People would be scratching their heads.

Russell. Or possibly Achmed, if you're trying to borrow some FBI surveillance on short notice. BUT, in the Wire, they didn't have a formalised cast list - they'd list the names of the fulltime cast members without mentioning who played who.

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Russell. Or possibly Achmed, if you're trying to borrow some FBI surveillance on short notice. BUT, in the Wire, they didn't have a formalised cast list - they'd list the names of the fulltime cast members without mentioning who played who.

Damn. Was that really his name?? D'oh! :P

I'm probably not the best person to ask, though. I have a lot of trouble with names and faces, usually can't tell you the names of some characters on shows I've watched for years and can't recognize them out of context. Usually don't know the actors' names either. I could be Annoyingly Clueless Audience Member Stand-in for most discussions amongst geeks here, which is why I stick up for the lowest common denominator.

Embarrassingly enough, I was co-president/founder of the X-Files club in high school and I forgot Scully had a brother at all named William. (I knew the others...:worried:)

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Please, guys, you are the audience as well. Do you really consider yourselves as stupid as being unable to tell a fat old guy with crown apart from a feeble epileptic child that sucks at his mother's breast at the age of six? Just because they have the same forename? This is as ridiculous as it sounds. Really, such decisions show you that the movie industry apparently considers the people consummating their products dim-witted.

Please don't go along with that.

I admit that I've failed to keep people apart in movies, but only when watching Asian movies where the characters resemble each other too much for my untrained eye (especially some women; it is an art to keep Gong Li apart from Zhang Ziyi when the lighting is bad).

But I never ever confused characters because of their names. We won't get much names anyway. They will be introduced and that's it. Occasionally someone will address them by their name, or they will be referred to by name.

A new viewer will keep the characters apart by their physical attributes and functions. Sean Bean playing some Lord. The Sean Bean's wife. Sean Bean's bastard. The King. The effeminate King in exile. The exile King's gorgeous sister. The elder Stark boy. The cripple Stark boy. The unlike Stark sisters. Lena Headey playing the Queen. The Queen's handsome brother. The Queen's dwarf brother. The eunuch. The Two-Face-guy. The huge guy. And so on.

There will not be a guy crying out 'This is Robert Baratheon, in case if you have forgotten' whenever he appears on screen. And if truly it is spoken that much about Robert Arryn (there are only a few scenes), they could omit the forename, by calling him the 'new young Lord Arryn', 'Jon Arryn's sickly son' or something like that. And by the way, people don't really care about the names of the characters in movies. They are not going to read them all the time. The important thing is that they do not look alike, not that there names does not sound alike.

And no one, I repeat, no one would ever confuse Robert Arryn and Robert Baratheon.

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And no one, I repeat, no one would ever confuse Robert Arryn and Robert Baratheon.

Not looking at the actors, no.....but if you're just talking about 'Robert did _________' it could potentially be confusing, especially once Robb Stark gets in the mix.

I know you don't want to underestimate the audience here, but let me give you another example of how confusing this shit can get. For various reasons, although I read a lot of sci-fi as a teenager, I never read Tolkien. I was very averse to reading the books. I had to be dragged to see FOTR when it came out. I ended up enjoying it, but when talking to people right after the movie--and you will admit that there are fewer named characters in that movie than in ASOIAF--I had a hard time asking someone questions because a) the only characters who I remembered the names of were Frodo and Gandalf, and B) if you had given me a pop quiz, I probably would have guess there were 6-7 people in the Fellowship. The king guy, the blond guy, Gandalf, Frodo, another hobbit....wait, maybe more than one? And wasn't there another guy with a beard? Wait, no that was the king. Then who was the guy who died at the end? :tantrum:

Luckily I have a good memory for plot and character details once I've read a book, but costume dramas are difficult, especially when there's a lot of characters and a complex plot to keep track of. I will be the first to admit that I do have particular trouble telling faces apart and have failed tests on that before. I often don't recognize people after several hours of being around them, if I see them out of context. But when it's a bunch of scuffy bearded guys in armor? Come on! When I used to have to meet all ~250 new freshmen and remember them for a week in college, the nightly reviews of who I met would usually fall into groups of 'Asian guy with glasses', 'White guy with glasses', 'Asian guy without glasses', 'White guy without glasses', and I could generally remember anyone who didn't fall into one of those categories better because they were less common. So if I were a new viewer of GOT, I would expect to remember...a handful of distinctive-looking recurring characters.

It's very easy to forget what NOT being a geek is like, if you are one. Most people who haven't read the books will not be able to pick up most of the names the first time around. People won't be sitting there with a cast list. They might look it up on IMDB after the show if they're curious. They may or may not be paying close attention while they are watching; there's stuff that goes on in a house like roommates and pets and kids and phones and that noisy guy next door. There's really no reason to make things unnecessarily complicated for these people. I know HBO's audience is more invested with material than your average viewer--but even some people who have heard rave reviews give up on The Wire after the first two episodes because it's hard to figure out what's going on. We don't want that to be the case, do we?

(By the way, it's easy to assume that the actors will look totally different from each other to everyone. This is not universally the case. You know how you just said you had a hard time telling the difference between people in Asian movies? I teach high school with another guy who I think has a pretty distinctive face. He has some photos of himself with his family and friends up on his wall at school. I was looking at them with some of our students (who are mostly Asian) one day. A few of them asked me which one he was in a few of the photos, because 'all these white guys look the same.') Remember that GOT is going to be shown in many countries on several continents, many of which are not populated primarily by people who are used to telling scruffy white guys in armor apart.

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I don't know what it is about Asians that makes people unable to recognise distinct faces. Gong Li and Zhang YiYi look as different from each other as Cameron Diaz and Gywneth Paltrow.

The name change isn't really a problem. But it makes me wonder, if they think the audience can't cope with shared names. What else are they dumbing down? Will they be holding the audience's hand through the mysteries and plots?

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GRRM's "Whatever" kind of implies that he agrees with those who feel it's a silly change. I'm guessing it was done to make executives happy. That said, he also seems to feel that this is a very minor point, like it doesn't matter. I think we can be sure that he (and David and Dan) aren't going to be doing any "hand-holding" for essential parts of the story. Robert Arryn's name isn't an essential anything, so one can see why they'd just shrug their shoulders.

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I will be the first to admit that I do have particular trouble telling faces apart and have failed tests on that before. I often don't recognize people after several hours of being around them, if I see them out of context.

I doubt this (face-blindness?) is all that uncommon too. People process information very differently.

I'm always surprised when someone has read through 3000 pages of ASOIAF and still can't spell Jaime correctly. Well, what were you paying attention to if not the words?? Of course, I realize that I see words as words (the typographic shape of the word -- change the font and it sometimes is a different word!), so notice spelling immediately, while others sees words more as images -- in their mind's eye they have a strong idea of what Jaime looks like, but maybe don't retain the spelling of his name. I have to consciously create images from the words; for other it is unconscious.

On the other hand, I have a great memory for faces, but will not be able to attach names to those faces UNLESS I see it in words. Nothing is more frustrating than someone trying to give me instructions or directions verbally. It's a totally wasted effort with me. Write it down or don't bother.

So -- Robert Arryn and Robert Baratheon having the same first name would be a problem for some people and not others, and I don't think it has anything to do with stupidity -- but probably no more troublesome than any other name.

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I 100% agree with Kat's post. It seems that most of the people who don't like this change are disparaging the intelligence of the viewers, when that has little to do with it. It's a different medium meant for a broader audience than the built-in fans. Any changes they make to this production to make it more accessible to a wider audience without compromising the core story is a good thing. More accessible means more people watching means more seasons for us to enjoy.

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Kat,

I agree with you that PJ did a terrible job of introducing the characters by name. Especially with Boromir, who is never properly addressed by name until somewhere in the second half of the movie (my father actually asked who this Gondor guy is, Boromir is ranting about at the Council of Elrond ;-))

But this is a thing this series can do correctly, as pretty much every character is of noble birth, and thus properly styled even in the books from time to time, so I doubt that the names of important lords will be not mentioned often (the leaked script included the styling of Viserys and Dany in Drogo's mansion, for example).

I don't see the danger that Robert Arryn is going to be confused with Robert Baratheon, as it will be probably only Ned and Robert who are going to talk about Robert Arryn (during this Warden of the East scene, where Robert tells Ned that he will not let the child that was named after him keep the title - if they care to include it).

Robert Arryn does pretty much in this story despite sucking at his mother's breast and shaking. There might be considerable talk about Lysa and Jon Arryn, but no one will talk much about Robert - and the people who do think/talk about him are mostly people who already met him, and they can refer to him as the abomination he is (and Tyrion and Cat do so, if I remember correctly). Lord Walter also does not remember him fondly, when he gives the reader his clue about the real murderer of Jon Arryn (I'm not confident that writers will include these lines).

So I stick to my point: No one will confuse Robert and Robert when they are just referred to by name, as this a) will most likely not be done that often (if altogether), and B) talk about Robert Arryn always will refer to his rather special nature. He - and Robert Baratheon - are characters easily distinguishable.

We should also keep in mind that the (regular) audience will already be familiar with the main characters (i.e. the Starks, the Lannisters, and Robert's court) when Lysa and her brat first appear on screen. But there will be plenty of hints and talk about House Arryn before the episode where Cat ascends to the Eyrie (starting in the pilot when the Arryn family is first mentioned).

I agree that it might be pretty difficult for a new audience to follow the plot, and keep the people apart. But that's how complex costume dramas do work. There is no way around it. When I watched the first episode of Rome I did not see through all plots and layers of intrigue either, but that why such a series is fun. You have to watch it more than one time. And you have to do so, when you are not easily distracted.

'A Song of Ice and Fire' is pretty complex stuff. That's what makes it interesting. If the series breaks it down to be less complex, it won't be fun anymore. I doubt that this will happening, but, for instance, if they stay true to the story we will not learn who was behind Jon Arryn's murder until the very end of the 3rd season. If they reveal it there, people who don't yet know the books, will be motivated to re-watch the show to look for clues.

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