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[Book Spoilers] Renly and Loras


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And as I mentioned elsewhere, it was equally as boring/worthless as the Viserys/Doreah bathtub scene. Both would have been much better with about ten minutes less of everything.

The Viserys/Doreah scene went over a lot of information given in the books in Dany's inner introspection. Having Viserys say it was probably the best way to put it in a TV show.

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Where does everyone get this heroic version of Renly from? I just started re-reading Clash of Kings again last night and in the prologue Stannis says (slightly paraphrased but accurate)

"Renly is still a child. He sits in council and jests with Littlefinger and at tourneys he dons his splendid suit of armor and allows himself to be knocked off his horse by a better man."

In this case Stannis is a secondhand source, but he's a fair person and that coincides with how my imagination from my first two or three series reads interpreted Renly. I thought he had longer hair, but personality wise I was happy with HBO's characterization of him. I didn't appreciate the Renly/Loras scene but only because I loved the subtle hints at their relationship in the books.

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First, I'm a bit put off by Renly so far, but not because of the actor. I think he looks like Addy, so no issue there. But, they aren't giving Renly much to do . . . at.all. There is no depth to him, nothing that makes me care for him as a television series character leading up to the Loras scene.

If anything he's doing less in the book though. Up until this part in the story he's mainly just cruising around and making jokes in the book, while in the show we've at least seen something else than his public front and gotten a build up to what's to come in the next season.

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Also, I think they really wanted to make Renly vastly different than his brother in a very obvious way. Loras plants those seeds in his head as to why Renly would be the best choice (and his aversion to blood, is imo, symbolic for this Renly's distaste of violence - this is not just a younger Robert).

Yes, I hadn't noticed it before, but Robert says he wants to smell blood in his first scene of the episode. So, they're really setting up a contrast between the two, with Renly being more gentle, but also seemingly more competent on the small council. It adds another layer to the question of who would be better for the realm, which we mainly get from Varys.

As an aside, the only thing that took me aback in the R&L scene was that Renly was scheming to replace Robert. I may have missed it in the books, but I thought Renly was very supportive of Robert, and it was only when Robert was removed from the picture that Renly's dynastic ambitions surfaced.

Is he actually scheming against Robert here? I took it Loras was suggesting Renly seize power when Robert dies. Everyone, including Robert himself, seems to assume that Robert will die young.

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If anything he's doing less in the book though. Up until this part in the story he's mainly just cruising around and making jokes in the book, while in the show we've at least seen something else than his public front and gotten a build up to what's to come in the next season.

True. But, Jaime's part (for example) has been beefed up for book 1.

As of now, I'm okay with everything, but I wouldn't mind seeing more depth to Renly. If not, then next season.

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There is no scheming in the Renly and Loras scene as of yet. Loras only wanted to convince that he could be a good King. That's not a plan to replace Robert, or to kill him. And I'm pretty sure Loras only aims at the time after Robert's death. That seems to be plain enough for me from the discussion of the line of succession. They mention Joffrey, Tommen, and Stannis, but not Robert himself. So Loras does not consider to get him out of the way as well. And Renly would never do that.

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There is no scheming in the Renly and Loras scene as of yet. Loras only wanted to convince that he could be a good King. That's not a plan to replace Robert, or to kill him. And I'm pretty sure Loras only aims at the time after Robert's death. That seems to be plain enough for me from the discussion of the line of succession. They mention Joffrey, Tommen, and Stannis, but not Robert himself. So Loras does not consider to get him out of the way as well. And Renly would never do that.

I think it was put in this episode only because Robert is wounded in the next episode. And, assuming they keep Renly's plea to Eddard to grab power while he can, they needed to explain where Renly got this sudden lust for power from. They also need to explain why he flees King's Landing for the safety of Highgarden and the Tyrells.

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I think it was put in this episode only because Robert is wounded in the next episode. And, assuming they keep Renly's plea to Eddard to grab power while he can, they needed to explain where Renly got this sudden lust for power from. They also need to explain why he flees King's Landing for the safety of Highgarden and the Tyrells.

IIRC, Renly isn't trying to seize power himself at that point. He wants Ned to take charge of Joffrey's education and try to make him into less of a monster. He's mainly afraid of Cersei as Regent.

Which, I guess is also foreshadowed here, since Renly is presented as someone who isn't ruthless enough to grab the throne for himself, yet cares about the good of the realm. It will make his offer to support Ned much more interesting, though, since we'll be wondering how sincere his support for Ned really is, or if he's beginning a plot to put himself on the throne.

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Where does everyone get this heroic version of Renly from? I just started re-reading Clash of Kings again last night and in the prologue Stannis says (slightly paraphrased but accurate)

"Renly is still a child. He sits in council and jests with Littlefinger and at tourneys he dons his splendid suit of armor and allows himself to be knocked off his horse by a better man."

In this case Stannis is a secondhand source, but he's a fair person and that coincides with how my imagination from my first two or three series reads interpreted Renly. I thought he had longer hair, but personality wise I was happy with HBO's characterization of him. I didn't appreciate the Renly/Loras scene but only because I loved the subtle hints at their relationship in the books.

Agreed.

I am also rereading ACOK, and just read the part where Donal Noye describes the Baratheons: Robert is steel, Stannis is iron, and Renly is copper- pretty and shiny, but not that strong.

I think tv-Renly is fine. I don't believe that, in the books, we're supposed to view Renly as the most charismatic guy in the kingdom. I think it's just that, among the people with a plausible claim to the throne, he's more appealing than the alternatives- Stannis or Joffrey (or Tommen).

-

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IIRC, Renly isn't trying to seize power himself at that point. He wants Ned to take charge of Joffrey's education and try to make him into less of a monster. He's mainly afraid of Cersei as Regent.

Renly isn't trying to grab power for himself, no. But he wants Ned to round up the Lannister children and Cersei while the castle slept, and take control for himself. He shows sudden ambition that, I think, needs to be explained to new viewers. Also it needs to be explained why Renly fled the capital for Highgarden and what significance his marriage to Margaery and the Tyrells has.

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I guess it seems substantially different from the book portrayal to me because in the book by the time Renly declares himself King:

1) Robert is dead, and

2) Renly knows that all of "Robert's" children are in fact Jaime's.

Therefore the only real claim to the throne better than Renly's is Stannis's.

Here, as Renly objects, he's fourth in the line of succession, and there's no reason to think that Robert is going to die immediately, and even when he does, there are THREE CHILDREN who have a better claim to the throne (remember, female children come before male siblings in the books in Westeros, although that seems to be different in the TV show, so let's leave it at TWO). It's pretty different to suggest that Renly should be King in this scenario compared to when he declares in the book.

It's not a big deal, and one can reasonably suppose that musings were going on behind the scenes earlier. However, it still makes me think that the TV show Renly is a tad bit less loyal to Robert and his (at this time supposed) nephews than the book Renly, with not a lot of textual evidence to support the latter conclusion admittedly. I don't mind that change (if it is indeed a change), I'm just more curious about whether anyone sees it as different, like I do, or not.

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Exactly. In context of how the heterosexual sex is just a couple of steps from being porn I actually laugh when I see people say that the homosexual parts were too explicit. It's so clear to see where these complaints really come from. As for the sounds, again we heard the exact same things in the first episode.

Agreed! There have been some eye-opening statements on this thread. "I have no problem with them being gay"... well, good! As a gay man, I have no problem with Jaime and Ned and all the others straight characters being straight. "Too much gayness!!!" LOL. I suppose if I have to suffer through all the "straightness" and multitudes of sex scenes between men and women, a few seconds of gay sex isn't too much to ask ist it?

Of course I'm being facetious - I don't mind the straight sex scenes at all - but it's illuminating how some folks respond to scenes like this. Their gayness is 1) EXTREMELY OBVIOUS in the books, although it is true there are no explicit sex scenes (as we don't have their POV), and 2) Part of their personalities and an important part of the dynamic between 2 fairly major characters, and families. I love the fact that it's being pushed to the forefront.

I have some quibbles about Renly's portrayal. That said, I think the actor playing him (even though he doesn't seem like Renly to me) is excellent.

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Renly's offer to Ned seems to be in the series. I saw a glimpse of his 'Act, while there's time' line in a trailer. I'm pretty sure we are getting a new Renly-Loras scene after Ned declines the offer, and Loras convinces Renly do abandon Ned and go to Highgarden.

Abbadon,

neither Loras nor Renly know about the incest when Renly crowns himself. He only learns about it later on through one of Stannis' letters to Randyll Tarly when he feasts at Horn Hill. The chances are not that bad that both the book- and the series-Renly would have supported Ned and Stannis had he known about the incest. I'm quite sure that Renly did not want to fight against Ned.

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I never got the feeling that Renly's sexual orientation was a matter of public knowledge. Despite GRRM saying he never intended to hide it, he also never made it very obvious. At least it was open to interpretation. The show takes a massive hammer and bolts it into your brain - here's how it is, eat it.

Just because you failed to realize it hardly means it's "open to interpretation." It isn't. There are numerous passages in the book that indicate that Renly and Loras are gay and GRRM himself confirmed it. Pretty much every non-Stark character in the series knows it.

Edit: Ah the mods got to it first, was just going to delete that portion.

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I just want to thank all of the people in this thread that aren't homophobes. I've been pretty impressed with the community here, especially in this topic. Unfortunately, there's always at least one scared, angry child to contend with.

EDIT: Guess I should stay on topic. I'm beginning to accept the Renly of the TV series, although I still think he's vastly different from the books. The main problem I have is that he doesn't have to be the opposite of Robert in order to be different. Renly struck me as a happy, magnanimous, self-assured person in the books (and yes, a willing participant in tournies), if a little shallow and one-dimensional. That is much different from Robert. No need for them to be complete opposites in every way... And yeah, he is way too Abercrombie. That adjective seems to fit perfectly.

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I actually kind of like that Renly is a bit squeamish about blood. It makes him a bit more interesting of a character to me than yet another male fighter-type. He was never a particularly interesting character to me in the books even when I did finally clue in to the gay angle.

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Good that they showed some Renly/Loras interaction. It helps set up future events, and I find that the deviations from the book make for more interesting viewing. Without questioning their acting ability (too early to tell) I feel that they are not the right actors for their parts, visually speaking. Finally, I think we could have done without slurping noises at the end of their scene.

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I signed up just for this--when I first saw last nights episode, I thought, "WTF?" It seemed like the TV show was taking an awful lot of artistic license in breaking from the books.

Then I thought about it. It really made me re-evaluate the books. I've read them countless times and never picked up on any homosexual undertones between Renly and Loras. But thinking back, it really seems like a strong possibility. Like all the hints are there, just under the surface. So in that light, I appreciate that the TV show is perhaps more overt with things that may be left unsaid in the books. It certainly makes me appreciate Martin's gift for subtlety.

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I guess it seems substantially different from the book portrayal to me because in the book by the time Renly declares himself King:

1) Robert is dead, and

2) Renly knows that all of "Robert's" children are in fact Jaime's.

The parley between Renly and Stannis makes it quite clear that Renly had no idea that Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen were bastards born of incest until he got Stannis's proclamation to that effect, well after he had proclaimed himself king.

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