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MercurialCannibal

[BOOK SPOILERS] The Book Was Better

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i so wanted to enjoy the series. when i first read the book in 1996 as a just out of high school nerdy d&d playing metalhead i found the most gritty, brutal and powerful bit of fantasy writing ever. martin changed me life with his book. i have eagerly and patiently waited for each additional installment and read them all multiple times.

so, perhaps i would be a hard one to please? am i the only one?

some of the acting i loved. some of the casting seems perfect. some of it however i found to be really poor. the idea that the trollish little tyke playing joffrey came from those two attractive people who portray jaime and cersei is baffling. theon is also a disappointment. i thoroughly love our eddard and robert. john seems well portrayed as well. as little that we saw of the hound i feel we have seen enough.

the pace of the first episode felt forced and clunky. i think even a person who had not read the book might have felt that. the scene with the dire wolf discovery was almost comical. the lighting was like that of a dr. who episode, the acting poor, the dead dire wolf looked borrowed from a sci-fi channel movie set.

worse was the tower scene. in the book it is so powerful. it is so incredible. each time i read it i am still a bit awed by what happens. but, in the episode jaime was so unbelievable in his delivery of likely one of the most brilliant lines in the book 'the things i do for love.' he may as well been saying 'after this scene can i get a latte?' it came off that drab and uninteresting.

if this was a standalone series totally unattached to a book that is full of brilliance i would not at all be back. it just did not excite. it did not make me want to know more. the history, the world building, the power of what martin built in his books came out watered down and boring.

i know his hand was in the creation of this series, but how strong was it? is he content with it? has his vision been met?

the pimping of this series by hbo to sell nerdy fantasy awesomeness to the masses as a success is still to be determined. but, for me no pedi-cabs, food trucks, dothraki cab drivers, or ads on espn saved it.

but, once again. perhaps i just expected too much?

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Did you think A Game Of Thrones was the best book ever after 80 pages?

I sure didn't. Give it some time to breathe, and your opinion might change.

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Did you think A Game Of Thrones was the best book ever after 80 pages?

I sure didn't. Give it some time to breathe, and your opinion might change.

actually after 80 pages it already drew me in. hell, the prologue made me want to read more. jaime threw a kid off a tower and it was bland and failing to draw interest. we know he is fucking his sister and it is just sort of 'meh.' the whole scene which was so powerful in the book because we find out the incest and it caps off with a boy flying off a ledge. the tv show should have at the very least got that very important scene correct in it's scope.

the tv show is hardly a good bottle of wine that just needs aeration to fully come into its flavor.

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I did not get sucked into the books until well after the prologue, when I first read the books. I have to admit that the murder mystery aspect most intrigued me then, so only after Lysa's letter and Bran's injury and Cat going to investigate did I get fully invested in the book. Before that, I was like, "WTF is all this ice zombie shit? What's going on here?" I probably would have had a similar question had I been new to the show, upon watching the first half episode.

But as a fangirl, I totally squee'd when I first caught a preview for the show during a baseball game. Had I seen a pedicab, I would not have been nearly as jaded as you. Release your inner fanboy, c'mon. ;)

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the pace of the first episode felt forced and clunky. i think even a person who had not read the book might have felt that.

worse was the tower scene. in the book it is so powerful. it is so incredible. each time i read it i am still a bit awed by what happens. but, in the episode jaime was so unbelievable in his delivery of likely one of the most brilliant lines in the book 'the things i do for love.' he may as well been saying 'after this scene can i get a latte?' it came off that drab and uninteresting.

MC, I agree with your assessment that the pace seemed off. I mean, to us, the readers of the novel, a lot of the exposition was just that.

However, I totally saw something different in the tower scene. The way Jaime delivered the line, as flippant, and casual, and matter of fact, was more chilling than the book's version, where he said it with loathing.

I'm rewatching the scene now, and Cersei is frantic, saying "He saw us he saw us!!!" Jaime replies (with a bit of loathing), "I heard you the first time." Then you see his resolve. He knows what he has to do. He's got to act, to protect his family, their secret.

I thought it was a great delivery. (If you can't tell.)

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the tv show is hardly a good bottle of wine that just needs aeration to fully come into its flavor.
No, it's a TV show that we've seen 1/10th of, that pretty much every reviewer who has seen six episodes says takes a little bit of time to really gear up.

But feel free to wail and gnash your teeth and write it off after 60 minutes out of 600. :thumbsup:

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MC, I agree with your assessment that the pace seemed off. I mean, to us, the readers of the novel, a lot of the exposition was just that.

However, I totally saw something different in the tower scene. The way Jaime delivered the line, as flippant, and casual, and matter of fact, was more chilling than the book's version, where he said it with loathing.

I'm rewatching the scene now, and Cersei is frantic, saying "He saw us he saw us!!!" Jaime replies (with a bit of loathing), "I heard you the first time." Then you see his resolve. He knows what he has to do. He's got to act, to protect his family, their secret.

I thought it was a great delivery. (If you can't tell.)

i watched the show a second time today. and i too found his response to be flippant, and cersei to be terrified. but, i still was not moved. the mood portrayed in the book is better. and it is obvious in the book that he is in fact acting out of love. and we learn later on the depth of his love for his sister. so, his flippancy and casual nature in regards to attempted child murder does not fit for me.

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No, it's a TV show that we've seen 1/10th of, that pretty much every reviewer who has seen six episodes says takes a little bit of time to really gear up.

But feel free to wail and gnash your teeth and write it off after 60 minutes out of 600. :thumbsup:

there is no wailing and teeth gnashing here. i am just offering my opinion. i am simply saying that i feel it is a weak offering of something that in its original media a wonderful, compelling, chilling, engrossing and brilliant work of art.

and as this is a forum to discuss the first episode i have done so. this is my opinion of the first episode.

and to kat, my inner fanboy was horribly raped and hacked to death by star wars years ago. his body has never been recovered.

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i watched the show a second time today. and i too found his response to be flippant, and cersei to be terrified. but, i still was not moved. the mood portrayed in the book is better. and it is obvious in the book that he is in fact acting out of love. and we learn later on the depth of his love for his sister. so, his flippancy and casual nature in regards to attempted child murder does not fit for me.

Hmm. I kind of took it as his inner monologue saying, "Okay, my sister and lover is freaking out, I need to do something fast to calm her the F down. <looks down, sees how far it is> How old is he? 10? That's too old to scare into silence. But there's no way this kid survives a fall that far."

Then he states the line, and walks towards Cersei as if to say, "See? That was nothing. Nothing to worry about here."

We know that Jaime is far from the best planner, and he acts before he thinks, so of course he would think that this is the best solution. And being the Kingslayer, one more act of violence (to protect his family) is nothing to him.

Know what I'm saying?

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worse was the tower scene. in the book it is so powerful. it is so incredible. each time i read it i am still a bit awed by what happens. but, in the episode jaime was so unbelievable in his delivery of likely one of the most brilliant lines in the book 'the things i do for love.' he may as well been saying 'after this scene can i get a latte?' it came off that drab and uninteresting.

I heard NCW's delivery of the line as implying that he intended to resume bonking Cersei where he had left off.

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I think the most difficult thing is to see someone else's interpretation on the screen. I know for everything I enjoyed, there was at least another I didn't. And I think it will be that way over the course of the season and the long haul. And I think it's valid to be underwhelmed or even disappointed. This is all just opinion and feelings on something we all enjoy. I'm not even as invested as many people as I've only read it once.

The tone was set for me from the getgo: I loved the wall. I hated The Other. When I think of them I see giant white thin limbed spidery beings with flowing white hair. The Other we were presented with could have been Dothraki with blue eyes. Creepy wight girl though.

The child actors were surprisingly good. The adult actors, perhaps not as much. I count myself as one of the few who did not envision Dinklage as Tyrion. (Crazy right? I must be insane!). Love Cersei. Like Jaime. Love Eddard. Like Viserys. Hate Catelyn. Call me whatever you want, she just looks too old. Sure, most of the actors are +40, but she really really looks it. :dunno:

But it all comes back to how I viewed it in my head while reading. I think it's great that it loves up to the expectations of so many. That's a good thing. But it's not going to live up to the expectations of everyone. And that's a good thing too. Everyone feels a little bit of ownership of this, yes? I'll keep going though, for the full season. We'll see how it all goes.

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What irked me the most was Dany and Drogo's wedding party, where you had two Dothraki fighting over who gets to screw the random girl they both wanted to fuck, and after one guy kills the other, the girl is forgotten about. Watching that, I thought that it was really quite a stupid little scene, as well as Illyrio's quip, 'in a Dothraki wedding, anything less than three deaths is considered a dull affair'. I felt a little embarrassed when I watched it, but then I realised that the scene went pretty much the same way as it went in the book. :blushing: I blame that on the fact that no matter what, in film/TV adaptations of books, there is something that inevitably gets lost in translation. Guess this is one of those scenes for me, but I am quite a bit worried at how many other things will look stupid on the screen that didn't seem so when read in the book.

As a matter of fact, a day after watching this first episode, I am actually getting quite worried that this whole series is going to blow.

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Did you think A Game Of Thrones was the best book ever after 80 pages?

I sure didn't. Give it some time to breathe, and your opinion might change.

I started and stopped AGOT twice before it finally clicked with me...and it is now my favorite fantasy series.

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One other thing that I forgot to nitpick about was the hair. Really. The hair.

To my untrained eye, highborn women with long, loose, flowing hair does not look right. It should be worn up for all of the married women at least. If I'm mistaken, please point it out, but so far as I know married/older women did not historically wear their hair loose. Plus, it seems like it would be a sign of status/wealth to have complicated hairstyles that are up.

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Two things I took away from the first episode.

1). We knew it was going to cover up to "that scene", but that's a lot of ground to cover. And that meant we never really got a chance to focus on one character. Shows like the Sopranos, the Wire, and Lost have memorable opening episodes because they concentrated on one or two characters... and branched out from there in subsequent episodes. GOT episode I just threw you into the world (and two continents no less). Alright if you have ADHD I suppose, not so good from a story perspective.

2). Horses must cost a helluva lot, because where they should have been there, they weren't. Particularly notable for me is the beheading scene and ride back--Ned's conversion with Bran should have happened on horseback. I'm hoping they don't skimp on them with the Dothraki--their culture is defined by horses and wide open plains. I'm afraid we won't be getting that.

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Of course the book is better, there is no adaptation that could top the books. It seems silly to be surprised by that. Nothing in the series looked anything like what I pictures but a few things came pretty close. Overall, I liked it and I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

I cant think of another television series I would rather watch, I will compare it to Firefly after a full season, but it already beats Serenity.

I did mention to a friend that I wish that I had the will to let at least 5 episodes get released before I began watching the series, because the book just started to grab me when Bran got pushed. I wasn't all in until Lady died and I realized that the actions of the protagonists would have realistic consequences. The prologue was always the weakest part of the books to me and I have actually told people to skip the prologue and read it after the rest of the book.

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Oddly enough, one of the big complaints voiced earlier in another thread was Cersei's weird, triangular, complicated hair-twistery. Catelyn is the only noblewoman who is consistently shown wearing her hair down in public - which I took as an external sign of her acceptance that Winterfell is far removed from the social intricacies of Southron courts.

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Oddly enough, one of the big complaints voiced earlier in another thread was Cersei's weird, triangular, complicated hair-twistery.

I actually posted the hair comment in the wrong thread (boo me) but while I thought Cersei's hair style looked strange, it looked significantly more appropriate than Catelyn's loose hair - and I still didn't feel it was totally right because the bottom half was loose. Hair styles can be strange (and I can't think of anything less attractive than a beehive, for example) but it seems off to see wealthy, older women in a medieval style culture with their hair flowing loose.

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At the end of the day how many people have read books that when made into film have said yes the film is better. The imagination is so powerful that we are able to lose ourselves in it very easily. So when we see something in reality that isn't how we imagined we feel disgruntled and let down.

As it was Sean Bean was really good as Eddard.

Arya was absolutely brilliant (my favorite) as a proper little tom-boy.

Emilia Clarke portrayed Dany's feelings AMAZINGLY. A really good actress there.

I always saw Cersei as pure evil in the books, but the way Lena Headley portrays her, its almost as though she seems more resigned with her life rather than a power hungry mad-woman.

It may change later but I do like how the actors alter my perceptions of the characters slightly, as I really disliked Catelyn in the books. But seeing her in the flesh so to speak, made me reassess what happens to her later on, and how I felt more sorry for her, knowing what she goes through.

But the stars of the whole first episode were those gorgeous little dire-wolves. I WANT ONE!!!!! :D

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Yep, the book is better; that's almost always the case for adaptations. I think it's pointless to directly compare the different media.

Personally I prefer to gauge the show against other TV shows. And it's one of the best shows I've seen.

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