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MercurialCannibal

[BOOK SPOILERS] The Book Was Better

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I agree with all who disliked the Direwolf Scene. This was bad in many respects. The children should find the wolves before Ned and the others catch up, and it was over too fast.

The brothel scene with Tyrion was completely superfluous, that time should have been used for other things (e.g. a longer Direwolf finding, or maybe Arya and Sansa receiving their pups after the party gets home).

Theon is unexplained for the ones who do not know the book. Altogether, I am not sure if a lot is quite confusing for people not familiar with the books. It's probably to old-fashioned (and wouldn't be true to the books either), but at some place a narrator wouldn't have been to bad.

(The intro with the map was pretty good for some background info, and it also plays on the "game" metaphor, I think. That was well done.)

I liked the fact that Jon was completely excluded from the feast (or chose to do so, rather than sitting with the sevants), because to get these distinctions right would have been difficult or required a much longer feast scene.

Bran's fall was quite bad as well, IMO. In the book the twins are actually nude and at foreplay, while talking in a treacherous way. I always found it important that what Bran heard was at least as dangerous as what he saw (he did not really understand what they were doing). And it takes too long. It's almost premeditated murder, not a rather spontaneous act.

The Dany scenes were o.k., I guess. Again, the strange relationship to Drogo is not easy to get across. Ser Jorah could have been introduced a little earlier, with more background. Not enough info for non-readers again.

BUT: I think Drogo and the Dothraki are rather messed up altogether. I understand that their barbaric nature has to come across. But they do wear vests in the books, not eyeshade. The Drogo guy seems a non-actor to me.

Dragon eggs were not beautiful enough.

And Illyrio was way too serious, completely understated. This guy should be jabba-like obese with a coulored beard and covered in jewelry, altogether rather repulsive, at least ambiguous, not like a nice uncle.

Compared to Drogo, the Dothraki and Illyrio, I think the Westerosi cast is just fine.

All in all, I am not as thrilled as I hoped I would be. But I am one of those guys who hardly ever like a movie/tv adaption (I never watched the 3rd part of LotR, because I found the 2nd so bad.). These books are simply too epic to get even half the important things (that make them special) across on the screen.

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The books are always going to be better, there will always be parts of the books either not explained fully or cut. Unless it's something big that gets overlooked i generally don't see much issue and don't have a problem. I try to separate the book and TV/Movie and judge them independantly, sometimes it;s hard to do though.

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All in all, I am not as thrilled as I hoped I would be. But I am one of those guys who hardly ever like a movie/tv adaption (I never watched the 3rd part of LotR, because I found the 2nd so bad.). These books are simply too epic to get even half the important things (that make them special) across on the screen.

It's good that you realize that adaptations don't suit you, most nit-pickers don't seem to have reached that conclusion. Expecting details to be just like in the book is completely unrealistic for a TV or film adaptation and it's better to be in a position where you're pleasantly surprised when they are able to get things close, rather than to have expectations that you know won't be met.

Personally I don't even really see the point of having an adaptation that's exactly like the book, even if you dismiss the fact that there are lots of practical hinders. That seems like it's just for people that don't like reading or people with very poor imaginations so they don't see what's described when they read. It's like the difference of taking a photo of something or make a painting of it. The painting will not be nearly as close to an exact visual representation as the photo (especially not in cubism, surrealism etc) but a lot of people would find the artistic value of the painting far higher. An artist doesn't copy, he interprets things.

But to each his own.

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I got my partner to watch the episode and he got so much into that now is frantic trying to get the books (in italian, his english is not good enough for non translated first approach). I really think it is a huge result if they get more people into the books looking for more of the series.

In a way this adaptation looks better than LOTR and I'm really happy about it.

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Its a pity that alot of the areas where the pilot falls down comes down to budget - Direwolf scene, dothraki wedding. This is actually one of my bigger concerns - while the books are great mostly because of the characters, there is a definite epic scope, particularly in the east, and especially later on in the book and books 2 and 3.

I hope they can do the battle at the green fork, bywater, the khalasar on the march, the giants etc justice with the limited (if larger than normal) budget.

But I'm with the consensus view, largely favourable. Casting is excellent (thought I'm struggling with Robert and I can't shake Boromir from my head). Shortcomings are the score, which goes nowhere, and a few scenes (direwolf)/(others).

Lets see how it goes.

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I call bullshite! Michelle Fairley looks like a better 46 than most women at that age in the U.S. (in our oh so modern 2011), it is known... I don't know what 46 year olds you know who look younger (other than actresses, older models, women who get work done, and the rare genetic winners), but most do not. She looks realistic, lovely, and perfect for Ned.

The characters on the show were aged up, get used to it. :rolleyes:

LOL, whoa there, buddy. :) Maybe I didn't make myself clear enough...I happen to agree with you that Michelle Fairley looks great for 46 (in fact I thought I spelled that out?). I was trying to drive home the point that a lot of people think she looks "too old" to play the part, i.e. the way they had envisioned Catelyn was different from what's on the screen. Plus there have been many (my own sister included) who think she looks older than Sean Bean and that makes them uncomfortable.

Like I said in my post, I think she's a great complement to Bean's Ned and not too far off from what I had pictured for Cat.

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Its a pity that alot of the areas where the pilot falls down comes down to budget - Direwolf scene, dothraki wedding. This is actually one of my bigger concerns - while the books are great mostly because of the characters, there is a definite epic scope, particularly in the east, and especially later on in the book and books 2 and 3.

That's as it should be, in a way, since Martin wrote the series to get away from TV budget constraints. He deliberately wrote the biggest, the largest, and the most extravagant set he can so it's not surprising at all that many of his scenes will not be do-able as TV episode, even for HBO.

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I've seen a lot of complaints about the direwolf scene, and their subsequent use, and to some extent, I get it; I loved the wolves, I loved that scene, and I really like their place in the story. But they've come out and said that the dogs they used to play the parts were very difficult to train, so they weren't able to include them as much as they'dve liked, and I'm willing to cut them some slack.

Yes, exactly. Especially when it's a choice between real "wolves" and CGI wolves.

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LOL, whoa there, buddy. :) Maybe I didn't make myself clear enough...I happen to agree with you that Michelle Fairley looks great for 46 (in fact I thought I spelled that out?). I was trying to drive home the point that a lot of people think she looks "too old" to play the part, i.e. the way they had envisioned Catelyn was different from what's on the screen. Plus there have been many (my own sister included) who think she looks older than Sean Bean and that makes them uncomfortable.

Like I said in my post, I think she's a great complement to Bean's Ned and not too far off from what I had pictured for Cat.

Oh the actress is 46? I didn't know that. Although she looks great for 46, Cat isn't 46. And the actress does look like she's in her mid 40s, she does not look young for her age. If she had gotten rid of the frown lines on the forehead, then she may pass for younger. I was surprised to see so many on TV. :P

In the books, I pictured her as 35-36 in aGoT as Rob was 15. If Rob is about 18 in the series, Cat should look 38... how old was she when she married Ned? Definitely not when she was in her late twenties. No wonder the actress doesn't look right to me. Hence the too old comments. And it should make for better TV to have a hotter Cat.

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And it should make for better TV to have a hotter Cat.

Buy a pin-up calendar if you want 100% hotness, all the time.

I find it distracts from the story to have all the characters be perfect shiny TV people - a real flaw of most American TV. If all the actors are attractive, none of them stand out. If Cat is as stunning as Cersei, why would Cersei be famous as a great beauty? Cat looking ordinary makes characters who are supposed to be attractive look even more so.

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Oh the actress is 46? I didn't know that. Although she looks great for 46, Cat isn't 46. And the actress does look like she's in her mid 40s, she does not look young for her age. If she had gotten rid of the frown lines on the forehead, then she may pass for younger. I was surprised to see so many on TV. :P

In the books, I pictured her as 35-36 in aGoT as Rob was 15. If Rob is about 18 in the series, Cat should look 38... how old was she when she married Ned? Definitely not when she was in her late twenties. No wonder the actress doesn't look right to me. Hence the too old comments. And it should make for better TV to have a hotter Cat.

Yes, Michelle Fairley is 46.

A lot of actors ages vs. character ages were bound to get mixed up regardless, really nothing you can do about that. The funny thing that no one seems to be mentioning is that Ned is mid-30s in the book, ergo "supposed" to be 38-ish in the series - yet Sean Bean is 51! Again, I'm not complaining about that, but there's an obvious double standard going between Bean & Fairley in the eyes of a lot of fans.

(I sense that this discussion is starting to go 'round in circles so this'll probably be my last word on it. :P)

If Cat is as stunning as Cersei, why would Cersei be famous as a great beauty?

This is an excellent point.

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The funny thing that no one seems to be mentioning is that Ned is mid-30s in the book, ergo "supposed" to be 38-ish in the series - yet Sean Bean is 51! Again, I'm not complaining about that, but there's an obvious double standard going between Bean & Fairley in the eyes of a lot of fans.

Quite.

I find this stuff about Fairley to be the oddest criticism.

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My major, major beef is the direwolf scene, for the reasons mentioned. Bad, bad production values.

After that, I'd pick on the Dothraki wedding and the Dothraki in general (which has apparently bothered many reviewers as discussed in Slate today). I think the problem there with the scene was really the woman. She was just way too tribal-themed Skinemax. It was just completely fake. I think they should have left out the actual screwing, maybe.

I also disliked the brothel scene with Tyrion, after Jaime walks in. Before that it was perfect. It was too over the top and didn't add anything.

Did not like the White Walker. The whole thing was like Predator for me.

I did not mind Bran's fall as much, although I would have preferred it as written in the book. I'm guessing the actors weren't up for it. I think it was actually the way the fall was shot that made it kind of "meh" not the delivery of the line. Also, because it's on TV, it really should have looked a lot more like he was going to drag him in before he throws him out. I think that would have worked better.

I watched it on Monday with a friend who has not read the books, and he did not like it. At all, apparently. He didn't know who anyone was and found it to be full of laughably stilted dialogue about stereotypical fantasy crap. "One wolf for each of the Stark children!!!"

OTOH, my husband's boss watched it and loved it as did some other people, all of whom are rushing out to get the books.

IMHO, if it were me, I'd wait to finish the season because I think the payoff on not knowing the end will be that much better on TV. I also did not like the first 100 pages of GoT as a book. Lastly, I see that reviewers seemed to have gotten 4 episodes each, generally love the show, and do, however, pan the pilot.

So, I did like the pilot but there were a lot of things I did not like about it, but I expect every episode forward to be better and better and I do think it will work as an HBO series.

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I watched it on Monday with a friend who has not read the books, and he did not like it. At all, apparently. He didn't know who anyone was and found it to be full of laughably stilted dialogue about stereotypical fantasy crap. "One wolf for each of the Stark children!!!"

I don't know your friend, but judging by that reaction I'd guess he's someone with a personal dislike for the fantasy genre in general. Those types of folks will have a difficult time getting past the elements of the genre that turn them off and therefore won't be apt to give the show (or the books) a chance.

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They added a line to point out Sean Bean's Ned was a bit older than he was in the books. Jaime mocks Ned with "Getting a little old?" in regards to whether or not Ned would join the lists.

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If Michelle Fairley had, say, one chemical peel, then I think she'd be fine for Catelyn.

Let's go back to back. She just looks a lot older.

(Granted it's probably because of the skin treatments/plastic surgery that Sean Bean has probably had, because that photo is from April 2011 and he looks great, but whatever)

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and it is obvious in the book that he is in fact acting out of love.

really? because that's not what I felt at all when I read it. I've only just finished A Game of Thrones, so I don't know wut happens after this book. But I didn't think Jaime threw him out of the window because of love, I think he did it because it's just automatic to protect the Lannister name, it's pride and it's shame. I also think Jaime is so confident in everything he does, he takes no issue with killing a 10 year old boy, where Cersei (whether it stems from her gender or her upbringing or general disposition) is simply more emotional about family issues and secrets. That's why Jaime seemed to cool, not flippant, just calm where Cersei WAS terrified, and probably ashamed. I'm sure that Jaime feels less guilty about his relationship with his sister than Cersei does.

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If Michelle Fairley had, say, one chemical peel, then I think she'd be fine for Catelyn.

Because the salons of Winterfell are so renowned, right? She should also have a boob job and botox. Just to remain completely accurate for the period of history. [/sarcasm]

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My Sister-in-law is watching the show and then listening to the audio book after the fact. Right now she's only up to the finding of the direwolves in the book though. She quite enjoyed the first episode, more than I did. You can see that certain actors are going to shine in their roles and I now dread that much of the narrative in the books comes from actors I am not sure about.

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Because the salons of Winterfell are so renowned, right? She should also have a boob job and botox. Just to remain completely accurate for the period of history. [/sarcasm]

I don't really care about whatever agendas people have with this issue. I just thought she looked too much older than her husband, given that it doesn't seem like she's too much older in the book, if at all. If you're offended by that for whatever reason, be offended, but I try to limit my own feminist outrage to issues that actually implicate sexism, just so we don't look too stupid to the non-believers out there.

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