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Westeros Blog: Blackfish Delayed

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Fun idea but i'm not sure how it would work continuity wise? The Blackfish is fighting but nobody mentions his arrival?

That's a job for the scriptwriters. They are paid to solve problems, and from what I hear they are good enough to do it well. There are lots of options: a particularly heated moment, everybody coming and going, lots of messages exchanged... Maybe you see various reinforcement units approaching from a distance, and one is lead by a knight who wears that distinctive helmet, but in the excitement of the situation nobody says aloud who he is.

I think that kind of idea would work better for somebody like Thoros of Myr at the meelee. Seeing a guy walking around in the distance with a flaming sword would be hilarious. Or even have a fleeting glimpse of Beric (but he isn't as obvious as Thoros).

:agree: Thoros and Beric are among my faves. I so wish to see a madman swinging a flaming sword in the middle of the melee; maybe it's a bit more difficult because, IIRC, Thoros doesn't wear a helmet, but the scene could be shot in a way that his face is not seen and an extra can be used. Indeed, Beric is more difficult. A pavillion surmounted by the forked lightning standard? I feel it would not be as satisfying, and casual viewers are unlikely to remember it, but still it would be a nice tip for the fans. Then again, I believe the Tourney of the Hand will be chock-full of standards that eagle-eyed fans will recognize.

While including the Blackfish in the background is neat, it just complicates his introduction in S2. Or at least, I can't think of a simple way to do it. The adaptation is complicated enough without making it more complicated by employing an injoke.

Maybe, but we still don't know how S1 is going to end, and how such an end would segue into S2. So we don't know how likely it is for Brynden to be both in the ending scene(s)/episode(s) of S1 and the initial scene(s)/episode(s) of S2.

I don't see it as only an injoke; maybe it will even make things easier for S2. We'll just have to wait until we have more data.

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That's a job for the scriptwriters. They are paid to solve problems, and from what I hear they are good enough to do it well.

True enough. If they really want the Blackfish to appear they can put him in but is it worth the effort? I'm thinking no. They have lots of other things to get right.

So we don't know how likely it is for Brynden to be both in the ending scene(s)/episode(s) of S1 and the initial scene(s)/episode(s) of S2.

Well, we do know that the Tully's wouldn't be appearing in S1. So its optimistic to expect even a wink to the fans about Brynden. I'm not saying its impossible but I don't want my expectations to get out of control.

Then again, I believe the Tourney of the Hand will be chock-full of standards that eagle-eyed fans will recognize.

Fair point. Lots of pausing will be required. :)

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The Tullys aren't in S1 at all, so Robb can't tell Edmure anything. He could tell Cat but she would surely wonder where her Uncle is. :)

While including the Blackfish in the background is neat, it just complicates his introduction in S2. Or at least, I can't think of a simple way to do it. The adaptation is complicated enough without making it more complicated by employing an injoke.

Everything I said should happen at the beginning of the S2 after the battles and after the coronation of Robb outside Riverun at the end the S1...

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Why would you need to mention him before or during the battles ? If I remember correctly, the Blackfish wasn't in the main battlefield. He was with the scout section killing the guards before the battles. After them, you could have Robb telling to Edmure that they succeeded thanks to the blackfish (and there enters the Blackfish). And if you still want to include him on the main battlefield, do as the other said without mentioning him. His armor should be sufficient to recognize him.

Everything I said should happen at the beginning of the S2 after the battles and after the coronation of Robb outside Riverun at the end the S1...

Exactly what I mean, Goldzor. It doesn't need a battle to show some guy with a distinctive armour cleaning his sword or checking a horse or something. There are endless possibilities.

Well, we do know that the Tully's wouldn't be appearing in S1. So its optimistic to expect even a wink to the fans about Brynden. I'm not saying its impossible but I don't want my expectations to get out of control.

Your control is super-human, Padraig, I admire you. :) Mine is non-existent; probably that's the reason why I'm visualizing a totally Brynden-centric end to S1. :D

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Your control is super-human, Padraig, I admire you. :) Mine is non-existent; probably that's the reason why I'm visualizing a totally Brynden-centric end to S1. :D

Heh. :P Admittedly, your name suggests you would be keener than most to see the Blackfish.

Everything I said should happen at the beginning of the S2 after the battles and after the coronation of Robb outside Riverun at the end the S1...

That might work better if S1 ended after the Battle of the Whispering Woods. Less of a surprise if he doesn't introduce himself to his niece straightaway then.

On a different note, it did strike me that the Blackfish may have alreayd returned to Riverrun in the TV series because he has heard that his brother is dieing. Its true to the books, just timed a little different. :)

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That might work better if S1 ended after the Battle of the Whispering Woods. Less of a surprise if he doesn't introduce himself to his niece straightaway then.

Maybe the Blackfish could fight in the Whispering Woods as a mystery knight? Hoster could have banished him from his service, but Brynden felt the need to come back to help his people?

It would be dramatic for him to reveal himself after fighting heroically.

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It would be dramatic for him to reveal himself after fighting heroically.

I'm still a doubter. :P But yes, they could have him fight at that battle...end S1 there...and then resume S2 with Blackfish unmasking himself and Robb marching on Riverrun.

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Could the KitN scene not occur in the godswood at Riverrun? They could use the fact that the river lords don't keep the old gods as the reason that it is only Robb and his bannermen present. The Stark's story in GoT starts with Eddard in the Godswood at Winterfell, before the heart tree, cleaning his blade. The story should end in a godswood with Robb being proclaimed the king in the north by his father's bannermen.

If Osha's speech about the heart trees in the South not being weirwoods and thus not having the eyes to watch over Robb makes the cut, it could be the start of some foreshadowing or just add some angst to the story.

As for the Blackfish himself, I quite like the idea that he is going to be moved to S2. I'm a big fan of mirroring and things coming full circle in TV land. So for Ser Rodrick to have come from training Robb how to fight with a wooden sword (and been mocked for it by Joff) to giving him advice for his first battle would be quite symbollic. It'll also make things even more sad when the inevitable happens at the end of Season 2.

The Blackfish can take over the role in S2, I think that Robb's exploits in the westerlands will be shown. Mainly because this is HBO and if they get the chance to get one of the principal characters naked then they are all for that. Also it visually plants the seeds for the Red Wedding. I wouldn't be suprised if BF is going to be a "featured cast" member in the second season.

TBH I think that Melisandre should be dealt with in a similar manner in S2 and held back until S3.

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Could the KitN scene not occur in the godswood at Riverrun?

Good idea. They could go there to pray after Ned's death and one thing leads to another. Probably the best way for the season to end in Riverrun but not show the Riverlords (except for Blackwood if they want to be really clever. :)).

I think they'll include that Osha line, given they have a reasonably prominent actress to play her now. Showing more of Robb in S2 makes sense also.

TBH I think that Melisandre should be dealt with in a similar manner in S2 and held back until S3.

Not sure about this though. If you have Stannis in S2 then you have to have Melisandre. And surely you think Stannis is required in S2? (I think that whole plot line is one of the most interesting in aCoK).

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Heh. :P Admittedly, your name suggests you would be keener than most to see the Blackfish.

Nah, it's completely incidental. B)

On a different note, it did strike me that the Blackfish may have alreayd returned to Riverrun in the TV series because he has heard that his brother is dieing. Its true to the books, just timed a little different. :)

That would be simple and brilliant! It leaves the question of where he has been all this time, but they can deal with that later.

Maybe the Blackfish could fight in the Whispering Woods as a mystery knight? Hoster could have banished him from his service, but Brynden felt the need to come back to help his people?

It would be dramatic for him to reveal himself after fighting heroically.

:agree: As I said above, they only need to explain where he was before; maybe tie it with Lysa. Someone somewhere suggested a line from Catelyn hinting that Lysa sent him on some mission. When he comes back he realizes the situation and leaves Lysa's service, but this could be explained later. Lysa is a stumbling block - I rather like the idea of Brynden roaming Westeros as an errant knight, rather than stay in the Vale - but she ties in with the whole concept of "Family, Duty, Honour". And since they found such an interesting actress for her, she'll probably have a large part.

Could the KitN scene not occur in the godswood at Riverrun? They could use the fact that the river lords don't keep the old gods as the reason that it is only Robb and his bannermen present. The Stark's story in GoT starts with Eddard in the Godswood at Winterfell, before the heart tree, cleaning his blade. The story should end in a godswood with Robb being proclaimed the king in the north by his father's bannermen.

If Osha's speech about the heart trees in the South not being weirwoods and thus not having the eyes to watch over Robb makes the cut, it could be the start of some foreshadowing or just add some angst to the story.

As for the Blackfish himself, I quite like the idea that he is going to be moved to S2. I'm a big fan of mirroring and things coming full circle in TV land. So for Ser Rodrick to have come from training Robb how to fight with a wooden sword (and been mocked for it by Joff) to giving him advice for his first battle would be quite symbollic. It'll also make things even more sad when the inevitable happens at the end of Season 2.

:agree: Both excellent ideas.

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If they show KitN in the godswood then neither Edmure or Brynden are present at Riverrun as there´s just no way they wouldn´t meet them before getting to the godswood. It also would ignore Catelyn and the bannermen than believe in seven.

Frankly I think it would cause way more trouble in the long run.

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If they show KitN in the godswood then neither Edmure or Brynden are present at Riverrun as there´s just no way they wouldn´t meet them before getting to the godswood.

Well yes, it implicity means that they have met some of the Tullys before the godswood but it doesn't mean they have to show that meeting in S1. In the book, it doesn't focus on Robb meeting Edmure either. Instead, in S2 they could have Brynden arriving in Riverrun and everyone is introduced then. Or something like that...

I think that idea could work. It may not be my favourite idea but it could definitely work.

And if Ned dies, it would be natural for Robb to go to the godswood to pray. The KitN decision was very much ad-hoc. Nobody planned it.

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My preference for how to handle this now is to have the Battle of the Whispering Wood (on screen) at the end of season 1 and wait for the KitN scene in the first episode of season 2, I could imagine it as the last scene of that episode if they take the time to introduce the Tullys properly. Lets face it that 10th episode will have enough high points in it anyway.

I would then have the Blackfish arrive in Riverrun after Robb and the Stark army do just to make it clear that he was not there all along so that his estrangement from Hoster is not lost on the viewer. I think that is the important part of his character that needs to be gotten across, where he was, what he was doing, is largely irrelevant. It just needs to be clear that Brynden left Riverrun a long time ago and now he has finally returned.

Continuing this train of thought I think should a 2nd and 3rd season be commissioned we will see a much blurrier line of what is in each season despite which book events appear in. The timeline is so jumbled up that I think it will be inevitable that the show starts to concentrate on telling the story as best they can and not worry too much about which book a particular scene was in, especially if (and that's a long way off and an enormous big IF at this point) there is a 4th and 5th season because you would assume they have to be merged together which will be a script writers nightmare!

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The beginning of the final Catelyn chapter in AGOT, IIRC, starts with Catelyn visiting Lord Hoster. Could this meeting not happen off screen? Catelyn is looking for Robb and that will bring her to the Godswood. It is really important to me to feel Catelyn's dread during the KITN scene - so juxtaposing her memories of playing in the gardens with Lysa/Edmure (further establishing Ed as a character) and Petyr without any need for words, just children playing with Cat's own son being declared the King would be one way to do it.

I think there is a lot of symbolism in "praying" in the Godswood for a dead man... in fact it could be somewhere to finish each of the Stark's storylines: Bran/Robb/Sansa all in their respective godswoods praying for their dead father?

My preference for how to handle this now is to have the Battle of the Whispering Wood (on screen) at the end of season 1 and wait for the KitN scene in the first episode of season 2' date=' I could imagine it as the last scene of that episode if they take the time to introduce the Tullys properly. Lets face it that 10th episode will have enough high points in it anyway[/quote']

I don't think that the battle of the whispering woods is a good place to leave Robb's story at the end of the first season. Remember that in the first episode of the show that Robb wants to fight Joffrey with a wooden sword. The payoff for that scene is that both of these "green boys" are kings by the end of the season. Robb winning the battle of the whispering woods is his first triumph, but his development goes so much further by the end of the book. Something else that is really important - in my head - is that the time has to be taken to show the viewers the differences between the two boys: Joffrey kills Robb's father, but Robb (although he doesn't know it at that time) does not kill Joffrey's father. More mirroring.

Establishing both characters as kings before the start of a second season gives the second season a much better focus: the reigns of King Robb and King Joffrey. The other thing is that the Stark vs Lannisters storyline is the crux of the first book - so it is the one that has to climax most spectacularly at the end of the first season. (Granted it will be difficult to beat Dany's dragons).

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Loras, i'd disagree with some of that. :)

I think Stannis is more important than Renly. Renly is a big red herring and he doesn't last very long. Actually, I know some people have wondered whether the Tyrells should be introduced in S1. I'm not sure they will appear in S2 either. They might increase LF's role and thus the Tyrells would appear but given how complicated aCoK is, it might be easier to wait until S3 (hopefully) and introduce them there via Sansa. Its like the Tully's in S2. They appear at the end of aGoT but its easier to wait for a brand new season and introduce them then.

So Margarey? Not required until S3. Can introduce her when she arrives in splendour into Kings Landing. I'm not sure any of the people with Renly are important except for Brienne and Loras. Everyone else can all be dropped and made background characters.

Hard to know how much they will focus on Loras after Renly's death. A lot of these things could relate to how popular the characters are. If Loras is popular, they may have more Loras scenes. Otherwise, more Robb scenes (for example).

I would have thought that Mel's baby scene couldn't be cut? That's way too good. And why I can't see how she can't appear in S2.

The beginning of the final Catelyn chapter in AGOT, IIRC, starts with Catelyn visiting Lord Hoster. Could this meeting not happen off screen?

It could be yes. In fact, Catelyn would have more of a reason to stand in the background if she goes to the godswood.

in fact it could be somewhere to finish each of the Stark's storylines: Bran/Robb/Sansa all in their respective godswoods praying for their dead father?

Nice idea.

Just to be contrary though, if they do stop at the Whispering Woods.they could show Robb capturing Jaime and letting him live. So you'll have that. They could even get word of Ned's death as they are marching on Riverrun...but ending S2 at that point seems very depressing. And I like your main point about ending it with King Robb v King Joffrey.

I think the Blackfish could make it from Lysa to Riverrun. Going North towards Moat Cailin and then south along the coast. Avoids the war really. I don't think Brynden could have already left Lysa's service when Cat arrives though. He'd have no reason to. Except, if he has returned to Riverrun to see his dieing brother...

I think MG makes some good points too. There is a few ways they can go. For example, i'd put the opening Jaime chapter from aSoS into S2.

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I wondered if it might be a good thing to introduce Margaery in season 1. But I'm strongly opposed to the idea that Loras should get additional screen time after the death of Renly. We could see his immediate reaction to Renly's death, and maybe also his slaying of the two Rainbow Guards. Also, a more or less explicit clue that the Reach as a whole is probably not joining with Stannis could be included.

But to have scenes at Highgarden/Bitterbridge with Littlefinger, Loras, Mace, Margaery, and Olenna would be stupid, or at least problematic, as this would cause the need to change/restructure the climax of the season, the Battle on the Blackwater. Tywin and the Tyrells come as a surprise to KL. To uphold this surprise as a surprise you need to omit the Tyrells and the details of Littlefinger's voyage.

Stannis and Mel should be introduced as they are in the book. In the Prologue. It is tense, atmospheric, and weird. Stannis is probably foreshadowed a lot in season 1, so his actual introduction is not going to be a surprise. And as he is a character who lasts at least two volumes, he is rather in need of more screen time than less. If the choice is to cut Renly down or Stannis, they should always decide in favor of more Stannis scenes.

Oh, and I don't see Stannis as the 'big bad of season 2'. He is rather a (tragic) hero. I always wanted him to prevail and to take out that Lannister bastards, especially as he seems to be the only character strong enough pacify the realm again. It would be really bad if they changed his character from sad neglected younger with a terrible sense of justice to the 'evil uncle/brother'.

Also, I assume regulars of season 1 might get featuring status in season 2. Jaime, for example, can't have the screen time he has in season 1 in season 2 (even if they add a few more scenes with him). If he has featuring status, the audience does at least realize that he is not yet dead. Also, Varys very well could be become a regular in season 2, as he features in every Tyrion chapter, if I remember correctly, whereas Littlefinger has less screen time in seasons 2 & 3 than in season 1 (if they stick to the basic story).

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Maybe the Blackfish could fight in the Whispering Woods as a mystery knight? Hoster could have banished him from his service, but Brynden felt the need to come back to help his people?

It would be dramatic for him to reveal himself after fighting heroically.

i think that any sort of dramatic "mystery knight" introduction of the Blackfish would ultimately be a big let down for new fans of the series. I mean, he's cool and all, but then what? He really doesn't have a huge role in the books, at least that we've seen. He's one of Robb's many advisors, he adds to the drama of the Tully's family dynamic, and several books later he makes Jaime look like a bit of an ass. Thats not going to live up to the "OMG!! Who IS this guy!?!?" expectations you give when you set up a "Big Reveal" like that.

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i think that any sort of dramatic "mystery knight" introduction of the Blackfish would ultimately be a big let down for new fans of the series. I mean, he's cool and all, but then what? He really doesn't have a huge role in the books, at least that we've seen. He's one of Robb's many advisors, he adds to the drama of the Tully's family dynamic, and several books later he makes Jaime look like a bit of an ass. Thats not going to live up to the "OMG!! Who IS this guy!?!?" expectations you give when you set up a "Big Reveal" like that.

True. We have to think of the new fans. However I see this possibility as more of an Easter Egg for old fans. If you take away the "dramatic" factor, with a good scriptwriter and director who might be able to make us notice him even without a big neon flashing LOOK AT ME sign over his head, you keep the new fans unaware, while making the old fans (or the "purists") happy.

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True. We have to think of the new fans. However I see this possibility as more of an Easter Egg for old fans. If you take away the "dramatic" factor, with a good scriptwriter and director who might be able to make us notice him even without a big neon flashing LOOK AT ME sign over his head, you keep the new fans unaware, while making the old fans (or the "purists") happy.

Except how would that work? I mean, really the only way anyone of us could pick him out of a crowd would be by his black trout insignia, and if we recognize that, you'd have to assume that all the knights and assorted who's who around him are going to as well. So how do you sneak in the Blackfish without all of the other characters on screen at the time going, "Hey look! The Blackfish is here!".

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And we already have a Mystery Knight with Loras at the end of aCoK (if they don't change that).

The only way I could see a Blackfish appearance working is if they stop Robb's story in S1 after the battle. So we don't see the reaction beyond capturing Jaime. OTOH, we've already been told that the Blackfish isn't appearing in S1. That probably includes the idea of him appearing mysteriously. :P

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