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xythil

Why did they change the reason Eddard goes to kings landing?

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The letter is what makes Ned accept Robert's offer. Before that, his decision is 'I'll refuse him', and I don't see him giving in to Cat's demands to make their daughter the next Queen. We should keep in mind that Ned despised both Cersei and Jaime, and did not like Lord Tywin either. He would have had little reason to go south. He would have told Robert that he had more pressing concerns here in the North (Mance Rayder being the most important), and would have counseled Robert to make Stannis his next Hand.

'Giving in to Cat's demands' makes it sound like the marriage was Cat's idea...

There really was very little graceful way to decline either of Robert's offers: even Ned's initial prevarications were simply brushed aside by Robert, after all. In the end, plot-wise, this is the important point: once Robert has made these offers, Ned actually has very few options other than to accept. The reactions of Ned and Cat are a way of showing us their characters. Ned is initially reluctant to acknowledge that he has no choice, because he wants to pretend he can continue to opt out of the political situation. Cat is more willing to accept, yes - but more realistic also. She is the one who makes a hard-headed assessment, while Ned's attitude is driven by wishful thinking. So from that point of view, I think the nuance is important and the change is unfortunate.

Robert would not have been pleased, but he would have understood Ned's decision (we know that he himself had little and less interest in the matter of 'ruling').

That's why he asked Ned to do it in the first place. So it's a better argument for why he wouldn't have accepted a refusal from Ned, I'd say. It's difficult to get someone to 'understand' a decision when it means they have to do something they don't want to do.

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As someone who also saw the 15-min preview, I didn't get the impression that they changed Catelyn in any way. From what I remember in the books, she was sort of ambivalent on Ned going until she got Lysa's letter. After that she was insistent he go to help take down the Lannisters. And then she changed her mind when Bran was injured.

In the 15-min reel, it's not clear when the scene of her talking with Ned and telling him not to go occurred. It could have been after Bran's fall, which would have been perfectly in line with the books.

Of course, I may be misremembering what happens in the book as it has been 5 years since I read it and the exact details are fuzzy. And I don't plan on reading it before the series airs for precisely this reason!

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Yeah, you're misremembering. She's not really ambivalent. Oh, she knows it'll be a change and that it will be a hard one for Ned... but she still believes it's the right choice, even before the letter.

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Actually, what really strikes me the most on Cat´s lines is the way she is speaking to Ned.

The whole: "That´s what man allways say when honour calls"

??????

Cat is a high lady, she was born and raised to be a powerfull player in this world. She was told the importance of honour, duty and status since children. She cares a lot about all of those. She knows her place as lady, she knows she has to support her lord and she knows there´s a game to play.

Cat would never talk to Ned like that!!! Not even about John. It´s not made completelly clear but i think she doesnt really have a problem with a bastard soon. Her problem comes more from the way Ned is raising John as if he was one of her kids. I think her problem comes preciselly from the honour side, because she doesnt see fit that someone else could even dream to share what she knows are the birth rights of her own children.

Hell...she probably has the best husband around when speaking about bastards and loyalty....so it strikes really odd that she seems so pissed off with that.

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In the book, we have Catelyn's POV to tell us how she feels, when she's angry and whatnot. We do not have that in the series, and have to give some leeway for the emotions to be SHOWN, because they cannot be written.

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In the book, we have Catelyn's POV to tell us how she feels, when she's angry and whatnot. We do not have that in the series, and have to give some leeway for the emotions to be SHOWN, because they cannot be written.

I understand that and i will love the series anyway.

Still, would have made it different. You could have Cat burst in tears after Ned leaving the room and uttering "please, don go!", but only after he leaves the room. Or you could have Cat standing near Brann and showing her emotions while telling Brann her fears, maybe with Maester Lwin there also.

But for me, to have Cat crying about morals to Ned is....well....it´s a bit 20th century. A man was not expected to remain loyal in Westeros, specially a High Lord. Also, High Lords were expected to do their duty to their king and try and climb on the social status. This last thing would be good for Cat also as she would become a more important female player. So...having Cat afraid is ok....having Cat going morally against how her world works doesnt sound the thing she would do to her husband. Specially when the scene implies he is somehow leaving his family when he is taking the girls, and for all actual knowledge, it was for their best....Sansa becoming future Queen and all.

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Cat crying and talking after Ned leaves the room would be terrible writing. That sort of device is strictly for the classical stage, it has no place in a realistic scene. Thank God the show's hired better writers than that.

And Cat would certainly not be letting her small child know she's afraid, and there is a divide between the Lady and the Maester, though she is more friendly with him than most nobles are with their maesters.

I think detailed analysis of that scene, as it is written, isn't possible until we actually see it.

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The whole: "That´s what man allways say when honour calls"

It is a change but OTOH, contrast it with her speech at the end of aGoT regarding what Robb should do now. There are definitely echos of it there.

And Catelyn crying after Bran almost dies is true to the books. She does try to persuade Ned to stay. I don't expect her to get emotional like that before Bran's fall.

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There really was very little graceful way to decline either of Robert's offers: even Ned's initial prevarications were simply brushed aside by Robert, after all. In the end, plot-wise, this is the important point: once Robert has made these offers, Ned actually has very few options other than to accept. The reactions of Ned and Cat are a way of showing us their characters. Ned is initially reluctant to acknowledge that he has no choice, because he wants to pretend he can continue to opt out of the political situation. Cat is more willing to accept, yes - but more realistic also. She is the one who makes a hard-headed assessment, while Ned's attitude is driven by wishful thinking. So from that point of view, I think the nuance is important and the change is unfortunate.
I have nothing to add, other than a thanks as that was very well written! I was a little nebulous myself on what exactly was disappointing about the change and its reflection on Cat's character in particular; this dispelled that.

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I'm sympathtic to RSasoiaf's POV here. Cat does not get the big deal about war and violence, but this situation is about honor and duty, not war in particular, and she absolutely gets honor and duty, even when they make her unhappy.

Catelyn is an extremely ladylike lady -- not in a frilly romantic way, but in the way Sansa demonstrates when she controls her displays of emotion at the tourney of the Hand, enduring fate and loss by sucking it up undemonstratively. When Jeyne Westerling rushes out to smoochy smooch Robb goodbye as he marches off to the Twins, that's the faux pas of a relative bumpkin. Catelyn has internalized feminine standards more than any other female character, for better and worse, she's much more the Spartan queen type than Cersei, and she would never do that. Ideally we'd see that her breakdown here is really out of character.

That's why I don't much care for the implication that she has always been bitter about honor and duty her whole life, which is how that line about honor and duty and menfolk comes off to me. Personally I think she's even more dutiful than Ned, who at least whines about not wanting Brandon's life while Cat pretty much says "Too bad so sad life goes on". RSasoiaf's idea about Cat breaking down only once she thinks she's alone sounds closer to my impressions, though I'm okay with the crying itself if it's clear enough that she isn't used to this (Jon hasn't even ever seen her cry before). And I don't understand why it's too demanding to ask for these nuances. HBO is supposed to be the best of television, at least according to its own estimation, and D&D are saying this is all about the character-based drama, and characterization requires only creative insight and conviction and not extra money or time (though FWIW they actually are giving extra time to Jaime's character, and even facets of Ned's character that aren't even in the book).

Is it a disaster if they don't? Of course not, but it's still reasonable for a fan to care about the handling of a major character, unpopular though she may be. All I know is I feel I'm having to work harder to see the Catelyn I knew than I am with most of the other characters. Mileage varies of course.

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The nuances would indeed be much clearer if Cat would not be against Ned leaving before Bran's accident. If she is against it from the start then her breakdown when Ned departs has not the same meaning. They could get Catelyn back on track if they play out her awakening scene after the attempt on Bran's life. She really shows her strength then, and until Robb is crowned she is the driving force of the Northern army.

That would make her to a woman who finds her own strength when she is left alone (which would be very much the same arc Robb is going through, though), which is not how I see Catelyn, but it would be much better than house-wife Catelyn.

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Cat does not get the big deal about war and violence, but this situation is about honor and duty, not war in particular, and she absolutely gets honor and duty, even when they make her unhappy.

Maybe a better way to put this is that while Catelyn gets honor and duty, its not in the same way that Ned does (although the difference is emphasised in the TV series). Ned in the TV series (and Robb) have a more typically masculine view of both.

I don't hugely disagree with RSasoiaf. Its more of degrees. I do agree that the change is unfortunate. But since we see Catelyn cry, its not true to say that she would only cry on her own. And most importantly, RSasoiaf criticises her for crying after her son has almost died. That's just harsh criticism.

FWIW they actually are giving extra time to Jaime's character, and even facets of Ned's character that aren't even in the book.

There is TV specific reasons for the Jaime change at least (and one can say the same about Cersei). They are both major characters in the later books but unlike books, you can't easily hire for S1 the best actors for a really good role in S3 or S4. They had to balance things.

As for Ned's fighting ability. I can sympathise with people's views on this but HBO isn't altruistic either. I'd be more concerned about Catelyn's change myself.

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Maybe a better way to put this is that while Catelyn gets honor and duty, its not in the same way that Ned does (although the difference is emphasised in the TV series). Ned in the TV series (and Robb) have a more typically masculine view of both.
I'm not sure I'm understanding, could you explain what you're saying and how it applies to this situation? In Westeros there's nothing particularly masculine about politics and statesmanship. Actually politics allows more success for less "manly" types like Petyr Baelish, Varys, Renly, Cersei, Olenna, various scholar kings and diplomatic personalities. I'm not sure what about Robert's offer makes it the kind of honor and duty that Catelyn doesn't get and Ned and Robb do (especially as, in the books, it's totally the opposite, not simply a difference of degree).

But since we see Catelyn cry, its not true to say that she would only cry on her own. And most importantly, RSasoiaf criticises her for crying after her son has almost died. That's just harsh criticism.
Hrmm, I don't see where RSasoiaf did that, he or she seems to be finding a problem with how Catelyn complains directly to Ned about certain values that it is actually more realistic for Catelyn to share herself. The previous post by the poster says "You could have Cat burst in tears ..." and "So...having Cat afraid is ok....having Cat going morally against how her world works doesnt sound the thing she would do to her husband."

There is TV specific reasons for the Jaime change at least (and one can say the same about Cersei). They are both major characters in the later books but unlike books, you can't easily hire for S1 the best actors for a really good role in S3 or S4. They had to balance things.
The intent is immaterial to my point though, the bottom line is that it is doable given that there is a priority accorded to the character.

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I'm not sure I'm understanding, could you explain what you're saying and how it applies to this situation?

My earlier point was about how what Catelyn says to Ned in the TV show has echoes in what she later says to Robb at the end of aGoT. Both revolve around honor and duty. Catelyn views those aspects differently from others, which is fine. But there is no question that she has different views.

We may try to escape it in the modern world but war is tied up in politics. Varys, LF, Renly, Cersei are all willing to go to war in pursuit of political goals. That's partly where Catelyn's differences resides.

But I wouldn't say that Catelyn doesn't get Robert's offer. As people have said, she probably understood it better than Ned does (in the book).

Hrmm, I don't see where RSasoiaf did that, he or she seems to be finding a problem with how Catelyn complains directly to Ned about certain values that it is actually more realistic for Catelyn to share herself.

More realistic is not a very useful way to put it. Realism is whatever the author wishes. But Cat having those values would definitely be truer to the character as described in the book. But that's a side-issue since my disagreement was about Catelyn crying. Why shouldn't she cry given her circumstances at the time? Given that we know she cried.

The intent is immaterial to my point though, the bottom line is that it is doable given that there is a priority accorded to the character.

True. It was definitely doable. Its one of the things they have simplified. It probably wouldn't be the only one. (Its not that I am dismissing people's unhappiness when I say that. Fair enough if people are unhappy about certain changes).

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My earlier point was about how what Catelyn says to Ned in the TV show has echoes in what she later says to Robb at the end of aGoT. Both revolve around honor and duty. Catelyn views those aspects differently from others, which is fine. But there is no question that she has different views.

I don't think the situations are a good comparison, HBO's line at Ned's departure regards honor and duty vs a particular concept of family, her words to Robb at the end of AGoT regards death vs life. At the end of AGoT Robb might die, that's a realistic possibility of war and she simply wants him to live, it's a really different danger than going to King's Landing to take up a political office. Insofar as I see the parallel it strikes me as an unfortunate over-generalization of some aspects that are easier to over-generalize.

More realistic is not a very useful way to put it. Realism is whatever the author wishes.

Well, I do think that Catelyn is the book's most plausible female character for the setting, she ought to share the attitudes of her culture. She is a woman of a certain class and society and she buys into its institutions, it's her role as the book's truly realistic woman to be created, shaped and influenced by her cultural actualities.

But that's a side-issue since my disagreement was about Catelyn crying. Why shouldn't she cry given her circumstances at the time? Given that we know she cried.

Hrmm, I don't see where anyone said she shouldn't cry. I'm fine with the crying, more or less, though if I had my way they'd have given her a more dignified makeover on the whole to contrast more with this moment of her breakdown instead of what is coming across to me as a very "ordinary woman" take on the character. But anyway what I don't gel with is the idea that she'd leverage concerns of family against some manly call to duty and honor and the needs of the world at large, as if she always thinks worldly concerns are disrupting her happy little home.

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I do think people are perhaps making mountains out of molehills here (though those who saw the entire 15 minute preview are clearly in a better position to judge).

There seems to be a debate over whether the tv show is exaggerating Catelyn's maternal side at the expense of how she always seems to place personal feelings below what is expected of her as a noblewoman and important political figure.

I loved this side of Catelyn. I thought this struggle to balance both sides made her as a character, yet I think some people are now pushing the maternal aspect from the books back slightly. Catelyn was VERY emotional. And she does let it show. Her crying after Bran's fall and letting out her inner thoughts on Ned's role as a lord is very true to that side of her. So so far, we haven't seen evidence to say her character has changed. This is HBO people. I wouldn't expect to 'get' one of their characters from ANY show just from a few trailers and snippets.

We simply haven't seen enough footage yet. And thats not to say they haven't changed her character (which I would be disappointed by), but I genuinely believe this is another scenario where people have jumped the gun. Its still perfectly possible HBO will give us book Catelyn in full (well, unless you imagined her to be Angelina Jolie).

So yeah, its still a waste of time to discuss this now. You guys are all chomping at the bit to debate HBO's portrayal of these characters, but its still too soon to do so. Once we have our 10 hours of footage to mull over, you guys can go nuts. Patience. ;)

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Having watched tons of HBO shows, I can say without question that characters evolve over time, but rarely in a quick episode to episode arc. I imagine that we will see the other aspect of Catelyn, perhaps in a slow evolution that may not appear until the second season, or even later. This is actually one of my favorite things about HBO programming, and while it may not be completely accurate from the original text, I imagine that the evolution will ring true in the show. Take for example, the opening episode of Deadwood. The Al Swerengen we meet is a very different one than we see later on, yet all of his actions remain true to a well fleshed out character that revealed itself over a period of time. I do think it would be against HBO's formula to give away too much of the dynamics of a person in just two episodes. We may see it in one or two characters, but I am betting that the majority of movement will be more methodical. This is also a pattern that emerges in the books themselves, so the material itself lends itself to this build up of characters. They may take a little bit of a different approach, since there's so much that happens in the first two episodes content wise, but I doubt we'll see a one-note Catelyn for the duration of the series. That being said, while I enjoy her POV, she's one of the ones I'm least worried about.

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Nobody said she shouldn't be emotional or crying here, so debating that isn't at all necessary. We're all agreed there. The argument is that in the book, she was the one who was politically minded enough to want to take Robert's offer, and that the way she chides Ned about men heeding only duty and honor at the expense of their families in HBO's clip seems out of character to some. These thoughts on Ned's role as a lord are hard to reconcile with what's in the books. I want to think that they can recover these aspects later, it just seems awkward to me to get there from this altered approach. I wonder how they'd do it?

I think we have gotten quite a sense of the characters from the snippets we've seen, I have anyway. Nobody seems to be assuming she'll be totally flat or totally unrecognizable, but there are degrees of similarity and depth involved and I think it's legitimate to find this confirmed change unfortunate for its own sake. As for character evolution, all the characters change in the books, so it has nothing necessarily to do with HBO as I see it. FWIW that evolution in the book is roughly from more empowered and dynamic to less, not the other way around, and I personally would find it unfortunate if it comes across like she's humbly finding reserves of strength that she never even knew she had or anything like that. Not assuming it will, but I do wish the initial impression the character will be creating was different.

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I don't think the situations are a good comparison, HBO's line at Ned's departure regards honor and duty vs a particular concept of family, her words to Robb at the end of AGoT regards death vs life.

The problem is that you can't seperate honour and duty from Robb's decisions on death v life. :) Not that I totally disagree with you here, as I said there were echoes of what she said at the end of aGoT with her comments to Ned in the TV show. Echoes, not exact similarities.

Well, I do think that Catelyn is the book's most plausible female character for the setting, she ought to

share the attitudes of her culture.

That's fair enough. And it is a shame to dilute it. But i'd rather talk in those terms than "realism", which is a bit more nebulous to me.

Hrmm, I don't see where anyone said she shouldn't cry.

Check what RSasoiaf said again. That's how this started.

What will be very interesting is hearing her reasons for rejecting the position of Hand pre-Bran fall. That will tell us a lot more about her character. I think people are jumping to too many conclusions based on her comments post-Bran fall, where i'm giving her a lot of license to say whatever she wants there. There is definitely less of a change in that aspect of the show (in the text she thinks about how he said he had no choice and then he choose). So she in frustrated at him in the TV show and in the book.

I do think people are perhaps making mountains out of molehills here

Ser not appearing yet, Ran has seen clips from the show that we haven't seen yet. One of the clips sees Ned and Catelyn discuss him becoming Hand before Bran's fall. She is opposed to the decision apparently, which is a big enough change to her character. In fairness to Lady Blackfish, she had picked up on hints of this from other clips beforehand but this was firm evidence that there was a change in the offing.

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I'm not sure I understand where people are coming from with this. I haven't seen the 15 minute reel, but based on the leaked pilot script (which admittedly has likely changed a bit), I don't see a problem.

Cat says the 'you can always say no' line, but the discussion goes no further than that. When Ned talks to Robert in the crypts, he is clearly reluctant to accept the offer.

Cat has a conversation at the feast with Cersei and they talk about Sansa marrying Joff, letting the viewer know her reasons for wanting Ned to accept the offer.

Later, when Catelyn and Ned are talking in their bedroom, even before she receives the letter from her sister, she is adamantly in favour of him going, mainly because Sansa would eventually be queen.

After the letter is delivered this only strengthens her resolve, and she presses Ned to the point that he responds "I am not your dog to command, my lady."

This script lines up both with the reports we've heard from the 15 minute screening and with the characters in the books. And it would make sense to not show her changing her mind back and forth in the 15 minute reel - no need to make a short preview confusing. Especially when some of the scenes were likely shown out of order for pacing reasons.

So I don't see what the big fuss is about.

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