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Xray the Enforcer

[BOOK SPOILERS] EP101 Discussion, Mark II

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I think it was almost necessary to show the more human elements of Jaime and Cersei from the beginning. First, because this isn't from any specific characters POV; second, because it might be a little weird for non-bookies to go through a whole season of Cersei & Jaime twirling their mustaches and laughing about child murder and beheading puppies only to find out they are real people after all. It works brilliantly in the books to turn these stock villains around to at least understandable people. In a show? Not so much methinks.

As to the nudity, I sort of agree with Mandurang in that it set off a slightly unpleasant tingle in my brain. I'm just not sure what it was that did it for me. I think it might have been the nude Dany as powerless idea that made me uncomfortable. Which I think it was supposed to do, so I guess that's a win for D&D. For clarity's sake, I want to say that it wasn't the way it was done or that they used that particular way to show her helplessness at this stage. I think we're supposed to be uncomfortable with how very controlled and vulnerable she is and if that is the case, then the desired effect was achieved for me.

The only non-book scene that didn't really work for me was Tyrion's introduction. I guess I'm afraid that the whoring aspect of his character is going to be played up too much. I still have faith that this part was just a hook to get us into part of Tyrion's character though. And, in the end, I just let my primal male self take over in that scene and said "Hooray for boobies!"

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Someone in the last thread said they thought it weird that Sansa wouldn't have had her period yet at 13, which of all the nitpicks this surprised me the most. Sure, some girls get earlier than 13, but it's hardly unheard of I thought for a girl to still be 13 and not have it yet. Yeesh, some people will complain about anything.

Funny, I was just writing a post about that!

Yes, 13 and not "bleeding" is totally normal. Although Sansa may not think so. :) I remember getting my first period a couple weeks before my 13th birthday, and I was about right in the middle of the pack. (This was a Big Deal and I remember thinking it would NEVER happen. :rofl: Oh what I would give to get rid of the damn thing now.)

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Someone in the last thread said they thought it weird that Sansa wouldn't have had her period yet at 13, which of all the nitpicks this surprised me the most. Sure, some girls get earlier than 13, but it's hardly unheard of I thought for a girl to still be 13 and not have it yet. Yeesh, some people will complain about anything.

If I'm not mistaken, girls have been getting their periods earlier and earlier in the past century, so I believe Sansa being 13 and not having had it yet wouldn't be too out of the ordinary for a medieval-era girl.

Of course it's a fictional world regardless, so maybe menstrual cycles are delayed in Westeros!

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I think it was almost necessary to show the more human elements of Jaime and Cersei from the beginning.
Exactly. Another way to put it is this: if the show is going to last through ASOS, you can't have Cersei being the maniacal villain. The narrative won't stand for it. And as it turns out, we will have plenty of mwahahah from Joffrey and to a lesser extent Littlefinger soon enough.

I'm actually most interested in how they do Tyrion in that regard - is he going to be the classic arrogant glorious bastard, like House or Blackadder? Is he going to be as nuanced and ultimately as despicable as Jaime and Cersei?

I do appreciate how they set up, from the onset, that Jaime and Cersei killed Jon to protect themselves. Heh.

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I didn't think Jamie came across too well.

I guess we see things from Cersei's POV a bit, much earlier than in the books- Robert having fun with the wench whilst she just looks on and endures, Robert is straight off to see the crypt....But then in the book I can't remember particularly seeing her bitchy side until Kings Landing.

But Jamie just came across as a knob with the pushing Bran- in the book doesn't Bran slip and Jamie saves him but then at Cersei's prodding changes his mind and pushes him? Here on the TV show he just goes 'things I do for love' and shoves- that whole Bran climbing and seeing them scene actually didn't have the impact of the books. Just such a simple little climb to see them and then standing in a big window to watch.

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I'm going to have to watch it again.

The pacing was...fine. Everything just felt a shade cartoony to me...as if caricaturing some of the characters would help establishing them faster in a shorter time frame. I don't know what to feel about this, as this is relatively on par with other dramas.

Cersei and Jaime are too sympathetic from the start. Cersei has twinges of bitchiness and Jaime has a macho contest with Ned, but more time was spent establishing their relationship with each other and Tyrion than making them villains. Which increases shock value at the big reveal, but unfortunately sets their arcs back a bit. I hope this is remedied in later episodes, though I get the feeling like they'll only become more human with each minute of added screen time.\

Viserys is the wrong kind of creepy for me. I just don't see a sleeping dragon in that guy, just a hammy actor in a bad wig. Fortunately he'll get his soon enough and then the series will be all the better.

On the other hand, I feel Sansa, Catelyn, Ned, Dany, Robert, Jon, and Tyrion were all well handled, all things considered. I'm indifferent on Bran.

Cersei and Jaime are like that all the time in the books as well, it's just that we never get to watch them from any POV other than their "enemies". I don't think they will be any less villainous than in the book when it comes to the scenes that are taken from that. Cersei will make Ned kill Lady and conspire against Ned, Jaime has already tried to kill Bran and will attack Ned at King's Landing. I feel they are more interesting when we see them as 3-dimensional characters, like we have seen them in AFFC. When it comes to straight out villains we have guys like the Mountain.

You have a very different view on Viserys than I do. Lucky for me I guess.

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But Jamie just came across as a knob with the pushing Bran- in the book doesn't Bran slip and Jamie saves him but then at Cersei's prodding changes his mind and pushes him?
This was answered in the prior thread, but the answer is: no. Cersei doesn't prod him. Jaime does push him. Jaime does catch him after he slips from seeing them, and Bran was clawing at his arm. But that's about all they changed.

I thought they did that absolutely perfectly.

And honestly, Jaime coming off as a knob? He is a knob. This is a guy who at 7 dove off a cliff. Who routinely challenges anyone to a fight and goes looking for it. Who fucks his sister. He is not the most calculating of people, and in his POV he points out that Cersei told him over and over again that he fucked up. Cersei tells that to Tyrion as well. The books in no way support the notion that Jaime was 'pushed' into pushing Bran. That's just apologist bullshit.

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So after almost two-and-a-half years of waiting I finally got to watch the first episode.

I probably have to watch it a few more times before fully appreciating it.. Not saying I didn't like it but I was not blown away either. Here are my thoughts after the first episode, I'm sorry if some things have already been clarified, I haven't had the time to read the other thread, I only read this one up until now.

The thing is that the books are simply the most awesome books ever and even though I know it's hard to turn these books into a TV show, the combination with HBO had set up my expectations pretty high. What I didn't realize until after the final credits and reading up on some WiC and other posts here, is that the show is not necessarily made to please die-hards fans. They need to lure in people who have never read GRRM as well. I probably had the wrong mind set as I didn't really enjoy certain parts of the first episode.

I think the first part, the whole bit we already saw in the 15-min preview, was pretty sweet. It had a pretty grim tone and the only think I'm still not sure about is the White Walker look..

The title scene was nothing like I expected. I liked it for the most part. The only thing I couldn't figure out was why the camera was tilted at 90 degrees in Pentos.. Didn't really get that.

Then the scene with the pups. I also noticed the strange/bright colors in this scene. Not sure yet what to think about it but the overall vibe I got was a bit less grim than I expected after watching the fifteen minute preview. That goes for the whole episode. It was all a bit more fantasy-esque than in my imagination. Of course I know there are no such things as direwolves and weirwoods but I mostly mean the setting, that it felt too stagey at times (Direwolves, Weirwood, Bran's climbing scenes). I think that could have been done more subtle perhaps. Overall I thought the pilot was not very subtle. That's because the show is made for a wider audience of course, who mostly don't know the whole story by heart already, but I didn't realize that while watching.

For now I agree with a commenter before me that they might have done better to introduce Daenerys in the second episode. It felt it a bit rushed at times. Than again this first episode could very well be a real frame work episode and in the next few we might see more subtlety and longer scenes.

For all the comments I have, there is still a lot to love. Most of the casting is spot on and the acting was great in my eyes. I'v yet to see poor acting/casting. For me Robert, Catelyn, Arya, Jaime and Daenerys really stood out. Michelle Fairley was probably my favorite.

I feel like I will really grow to love the show but I need to separate it more from the books.

Can't wait for the next few episodes!

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I don't think I have seen this mentioned, if it was sorry. Was anyone else surprised at the way Theon spoke to Robb? I would have thought that he would talk to Jon that way but not Robb.

I was too - Theon and Robb normally got on quite well. However, I suppose it does provide a bit of set-up for what's to come if they inject a little bit more antagonism into their relationship.

Overall, I was very happy with what I saw. They knew what to keep and what to add, didn't get too bogged down in detail and managed to hurry the plot along while not neglecting the importance of the characters' interaction. The only scene that felt a little too hurried was when Ned and Robert were in the crypt. If I hadn't read the books, it wouldn't have been clear to me why they even went down there. I assume a scene where they talk about the war and Lyanna was cut.

Was also pleased that Jaime doesn't come across anywhere near as melancholy and gloomy as he did in his character preview. Thank god.

I normally hate child actors with a passion, but they all seem excellent. Even Rickon. That kid didn't even have one line but his excited, slightly manic smile alone was perfect.

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If I'm not mistaken, girls have been getting their periods earlier and earlier in the past century, so I believe Sansa being 13 and not having had it yet wouldn't be too out of the ordinary for a medieval-era girl.

Of course it's a fictional world regardless, so maybe menstrual cycles are delayed in Westeros!

The norm is 12-14 today, but can vary from 9-17 in the most extreme cases. If we add your fact that the periods have come earlier and earlier with time (or probably rather with better living standards) we find that complaining about Sansa hasn't had her first yet at 13 is an extremely odd nit-pick.

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This.

For the time being, I'm going to assume that changes were done to simplify story lines (to the extent possible), make the story work better as a tv show and be more comprehensible to the viewers who haven't read the books. I think before anyone gets too worked up about changes from the books, we should see how things play out over multiple episodes.

Best. Idea. Ever.

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Someone in the last thread said they thought it weird that Sansa wouldn't have had her period yet at 13, which of all the nitpicks this surprised me the most. Sure, some girls get earlier than 13, but it's hardly unheard of I thought for a girl to still be 13 and not have it yet. Yeesh, some people will complain about anything.

Certainly. While 13 is slightly above the average onset of menarchy in many countries today, the age has been declining. For the non-believers,this page and this page compile several different studies showing how the average age has declined. For instance, one graph shows the average age of first period going from ~15.6 to ~13.2 for Norwegian women from 1860 to 1980. Changing diet and nutrition count for a lot. Plus, you know, women are different.

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This was answered in the prior thread, but the answer is: no. Cersei doesn't prod him. Jaime does push him. Jaime does catch him after he slips from seeing them, and Bran was clawing at his arm. But that's about all they changed.

I thought they did that absolutely perfectly.

And honestly, Jaime coming off as a knob? He is a knob. This is a guy who at 7 dove off a cliff. Who routinely challenges anyone to a fight and goes looking for it. Who fucks his sister. He is not the most calculating of people, and in his POV he points out that Cersei told him over and over again that he fucked up. Cersei tells that to Tyrion as well. The books in no way support the notion that Jaime was 'pushed' into pushing Bran. That's just apologist bullshit.

Are you sure there's no prodding?

I'm certain there's a discussion whilst Bran is hanging on about to fall.

But anyway, I think Jamie catching Bran is very important. Shows his first instinct was to be good and save the kid- only when he thinks about things rationally and he thinks about what Bran has seen that he realises it would be best if he fell.

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Are you sure there's no prodding?

I'm certain there's a discussion whilst Bran is hanging on about to fall.

But anyway, I think Jamie catching Bran is very important. Shows his first instinct was to be good and save the kid- only when he thinks about things rationally and he thinks about what Bran has seen that he realises it would be best if he fell.

“He saw us,” the woman said shrilly.

“So he did,” the man said.

Bran’s fingers started to slip. He grabbed the ledge with his other hand. Fingernails dug into unyielding stone. The man reached down. “Take my hand,” he said. “Before you fall.”

Bran seized his arm and held on tight with all his strength. The man yanked him up to the ledge. “What are you doing?” the woman demanded.

The man ignored her. He was very strong. He stood Bran up on the sill. “How old are you, boy?”

“Seven,” Bran said, shaking with relief. His fingers had dug deep gouges in the man’s forearm. He let go sheepishly.

The man looked over at the woman. “The things I do for love,” he said with loathing. He gave Bran a shove.

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There was as much prodding in the book as there was in the show. Actually, the show has Cersei prodding him twice as much ("he saw us!'...then "He SAW us" and the 'yes I know' bit) as in the books. She barely says anything to Jaime, just kind of looks at him.

And I thought we got him 'saving' Bran in this as well. Bran does slip a bit in the show, and Jaime gets him, stabilizes him and talks for a bit. If he doesn't do anything Bran is fine. And that's basically like the books too - Bran slips, Jaime picks him up, puts him in the windowsill - and then defenestrates him.

What I really loved is the enormity of the 'how old are you' line. I hadn't caught that, but he's asking to show how far he'll go for his sister. To not just kill some child, but to kill a child of a specific age and to make sure that both he and more importantly his sister knows it.

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The title scene was nothing like I expected. I liked it for the most part. The only thing I couldn't figure out was why the camera was tilted at 90 degrees in Pentos.. Didn't really get that.

I imagine it's to continually show where it is in relation to Westeros, and to drive home that it's not on the same land mass. It'll also help explain (I think) why there isn't necessarily more direct contact / conflict between Dany & Viserys and Robert & the other anti-Targs.

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I'm almost positive there is no prodding (not at home, so can't get relevant quote). Later on, Jaime definitely remembers Cersei bitching at him about it.

I do agree that it would have made the scene a little better if Jaime had caught him, pulled him up to the edge, then pushed him like in the book. But, I still thought the scene as it was done was very effective. I especially liked how casual NCW was about it. It seemed like that was really playing up the way Jaime is impulsive and doesn't second guess himself at this point. The decision has been made, why waste further thought on it? Even when Cat asks him about later on, he is just like: yeah, I pushed your kid out the window and...

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I guess I am one of the few who wasn't blown away by Viserys. He was fine, but it felt a little off.

Actually I thought he wasn't quite unhinged enough.

Came across more as scheming, petulant and entitled (something you'd expect from pretty much any exiled noble) than someone with actual psychological problems. I also thought the "you don't want to wake the dragon" line came a little out of no where. People aren't going to understand what that's about. Is "the Dragon" the pet name for his willie, or is it about his temper? Actually, I think dragon is a pretty cool pet name for one's willie.

I'm sure people will cheer when he finally gets his crown though. So they made a reasonable start with his character. And the actor is great regardless.

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Actually I thought he wasn't quite unhinged enough.

Came across more as scheming, petulant and entitled (something you'd expect from pretty much any exiled noble) than someone with actual psychological problems. I also thought the "you don't want to wake the dragon" line came a little out of no where. People aren't going to understand what that's about. Is "the Dragon" the pet name for his willie, or is it about his temper? Actually, I think dragon is a pretty cool pet name for one's willie.

I'm sure people will cheer when he finally gets his crown though. So they made a reasonable start with his character. And the actor is great regardless.

I thought he was fine as I remember his earliest bits as being calm but threatening and Dany's memories telling us that he had a temper. I'm quite sure the 'waking the dragon' part will be explained with time (I don't think you have to immediately explain everything as soon as you use it) and from the previews we know that he'll have his real freak out moments.

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I also thought the "you don't want to wake the dragon" line came a little out of no where. People aren't going to understand what that's about. Is "the Dragon" the pet name for his willie, or is it about his temper? Actually, I think dragon is a pretty cool pet name for one's willie.

I thought the same at the time. For the people that haven't read the books, it might just be random or imply something sexual.

Otherwise I think Viserys is well portrayed. While he does come off as your stereotypical spoiled royal exile, he also seems more eccentric and twisted than your normal downtrodden royal. Maybe it's the hair.

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