Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Xtopher

[Book Spoilers] Stannis / Melisandre presentation

Recommended Posts

They should have spend more time developing the Stannis storyline giving viewers a much better sense of who Stannis, Davos, Cressen and Melisandre are and what is their current position. And also adapting great dialogue and character moments.

The Prologue successfully does that in regards to all three and I think it would have made for great television if the episode spend more significant time on that aspect of the storyline. The prologue is really a pretty good story and in my view is one of the great chapters of the books. This very short in time attempt is not nearly as good and it is somewhat lacking.

Unfortunately Patchface might have needed to be cut or to just be a not particularly special fool. And their are some inner thoughts that might not be as easy to adapt. But the prologue chapter has great dialogue in it and events that work well and it could had been adapted. Developing Cressen viewing Stannis and Renly as his kids would not be a bad idea either. Maybe the show would add an additional line or two of Cressen saying to Davos (or someone else) how he raised the Baratheons and considers them sons and can't allow Melisandre possibly leading Stannis to kinslaying. So yeah I think through some adjustments it was adaptable, and it is a loss that it wasn't because it would have made for great television. Maybe they didn't do so, because they only have ten episodes and unlike season one in this season there will be more time spend in battle scenes making time for some storylines even more limited than it might have been in general.

ICAM. The Prologue did a great job of setting the scene or tone as to who Davos, Cressen, and Stannis are. I thought we got some of that in later scenes w/Stannis, but not so much Davos and definitely not Cressen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's only so much they can do with Cressen given the medium. We can not get his flashbacks on young Baratheon brothers nor can we watch him sitting and sleeping in his chambers for 10 minutes. It just wouldn't work. I think he could have been introduced differently than as some defender of the faith, but I have no large problems with the way the show handled his scenes. I don't understand why it's necessary that a character be fully explained and their character revealed in one short episode, leaving these people are enigmas who want the throne builds more tension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It makes sense, but the problem is that dude was bleeding from his nose almost before he gave Mel the cup.

Agreed. That's one of the reasons it wasn't a well-written sequence on the show.

Not true really. Mel had to pause for several seconds to conclusively show that the wine was poisoned in order to demonstrate that she knew she was drinking poison and was confident in her survival.

I don;t know why people are so hung up on developing Cressen's character. There was enough there for people to get the sense that Cressen was a maester of Aemon or Luwin's ilk as opposed to tricksy old Pycell. His purpose was to die so that Mel's magical prowess could be conclusively demonstrated. We don't need any more character development or context for Cressen than we got. He served his narrative purpose the same as Young Will in S1E1.

But those who note Mel offered Cressen an out in the book are correct that the way Mel is portrayed at the moment lacks nuance and subtlety. Mel isn't all witchypoo. The fact she sees worth in Davos as Stannis' adviser will hopefully come through and people will see that she isn;t a one dimensional character. One of the worst cliches the show could commit this season is to have a one dimensional with character.

I wonder if they'll bring Thoros of Myr into the picture (not on Dragonstone of course), as a priest of R'hllor but one who has a likeable, and not at all threatening personality. If Mel is gonna be one dimensional at least let people know that the religion itself isn't. But I wonder if the whole brotherhood without banners story arc isn't going to be axed entirely. I can see it happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with the camp that felt that the poison scene was stupid.

Cressen is a Maester. He has a deep knowledge of poisons. He knows how they kill and how quickly they kill.

He had enmity towards Melisandre. She knew it. The poison starts to visually kill you within 5 seconds of taking a swallow.

You simply can't justify the stupidity. If something is that kick a killer there is a 99% chance you'll be showing signs of being poisoned before your intended victim brings the cup to their lips. So you just end up looking like a nutty old man who tried to pull off the shittiest assassination attempt in all of Westerosi history.

I see no reason why they would not keep it closer to the original in this case. Have Cressen offer her the poisoned cup. Have her smile and whisper it isn't too late to spill it. Have her take a deep swallow. See the disbelief in Cressen's face. Have her hand it off to him. Have him die.

It wouldn't have taken anymore time to accomplish then this nonsensical scene did. Honestly this is the one thing in the entire episode that truly disappointed me deeply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scene is fine if you look at it without the book bias. There are less than 10 hours of airtime available. It's simply impossible to build up minor characters like Maester Cressen. They needed to demonstrate Melisandres power by having her drink from a cup of wine she knew to be poisoned without any reservations or fear of her dying. This was done brilliantly.

I really advise people to start watching with an open mind. Forget the books when watching the show otherwise you'll only get more frustrated as the season progresses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could have used even another five minutes, just to give a little background on how Davos, Stannis, and Melisandre all fit with each other. The cinematography and acting was great though, and I love all three casting choices.

I agree with you completely.

Didn't really care for Cressen's exposition, but I think they could have explained better who Mel is and why they are burning the idols. As for the drinking scene, I prefer the book variant, but the one in the movie works, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the book version better but:

"I'm sorry, here, drink from this cup" sounds kinda ridiculous as a ritual of apology, while with Cressen taking a sip first it makes (slightly) more sense to me. Also Stannis and his council authoring the letter was one of the best GOT scenes so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember, o so long ago, complaints about the first season first two or three episodes being too slow.

But I thought D&D did a fine job and the elaboration went smooth as silk, as if they had worked and reworked those episodes.

Season 1 ends on Dany, as I have mentioned elsewhere, get Winterfell and Dany covered using the beautiful comet portent.

I would scrap the Nameday thing altogether, straight to Tyrion coming to the small council that fits with last season to.

I know the actors are under contract and D&D have an obligation to give them screen time, but that will come.

Not sure how to order it, but when Dragonstone comes up give as much expository time ( with fitting artistic development) as possible. Too many characters and narrative points, which are important to plot are introduced at Dragonstone.

I can see how damnably hard it is to do an adaptation.

I should not say it, but it's almost as if D&D are overworked, they manage a vast production with a good (for now) budget,and I have to wonder how much time they had to mull that season opener? I have to wonder if even Alan Taylor is squeezed?

It's a shame that the realities of the economics , I am guessing its that, shoehorn a rich tapestry into 10 episodes.

D&D have said, I think, 10 is all they can handle, with more help could that be solved?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do think the scene was a little rushed. I probably would be confused if I hadn't read the books but then again, I was a little confused when I read the prologue chapter in ACOK so maybe it's just the act of introducing new characters in such a large narrative.

I didn't mind Cressen's self sacrifice but damn, that was one fast acting poison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ICAM. The Prologue did a great job of setting the scene or tone as to who Davos, Cressen, and Stannis are. I thought we got some of that in later scenes w/Stannis, but not so much Davos and definitely not Cressen.

I don't think it matters. Stannis, Mel and Davos are going to be around for a LONG time. There's really no reason to rush into explaining their characters at this time. As someone said it established that Stannis is a butt, Mel is a religious fanatic and Davos gives good counsel. We have 9 more episodes and at least another season to fill in the details. I think the story would be less interesting if they explicitly spelled everything out in the first 3 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would scrap the Nameday thing altogether, straight to Tyrion coming to the small council that fits with last season to.

No can do. You have to introduce Ser Dontos and have Sansa save him. Can't get rid of that scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On properly setting up Stannis and Mel:

I know the critisism appears to be that the first episode does not do enough to set up Stannis' character and his relationship with Mel. I disagree, but I must confess that I would ove to watch an entire episode dedicated to just Stannis. However, its a 10 episode, ~10 hour show and you just don't have enough time. This first episode has to do double duty: it must RE-introduce every character, put them in the story and then reattach that character the overall plot. THEN the show can spend time introducing the new characters. And we are only talking about Stannis. THere are a dozen or so new characters that require explination.

The benefit Stannis has over all of them is that Stannis will be around for a book or three. Stannis is, in fact, a major character in these books; there will be ample time to explain many of his traits and details as the season goes on. Anything remaining will be explained in the seasons to follow. This is not the case with other characters who will disappear one way or the other- such as Renly or the Hound.

As far as Mel's relationship with Stannis and the story being confused, well, that was true in the book as well. Hell, we are 5 books into the series at this point and, frankly, we are still not 100% certain how Mel got to Stannis and/or why Stannis even trusts her. THat hazy disconnect to Mel is actually part of the character. And the readers were completely baffled by her up through Clash of Kings. The viewers will have to wait as well.

On Cressen's death:

Here, I give the show the benefit of the doubt. In the book, Cressen's poison play is very ham-handed and openly obvious to all. As the scene in the book plays out Cressen must drink from his own glass. My opinion at the time I read that chapter was that it was unclear to me if Mel ever drank the poison or if she somehow was able to physically keep herself from drinking the poison (ie- the way sugar dissolves in a glass of water; it usually ends up settling mostly on the bottom of the glass). The reader also got a huge amount of back-story in the prologue; a back-story the show could not afford to display. Hence, the reader knows how committed Cressen is to Stannis; the viewer does not.

And so the show made a very shrewed choice- it illiminated both above problems in one fell swoop. Cressen drinks first (much like Greedo shooting first); in that moment we are shown two things- ONE the wine is definately very poisonous. And TWO- that CRessen is wiiling to die to take Melissandre down. That's a huge statement to make.

But then you get the added bonus. Mel knows. The audiance knows that mel knows. And Mel drinks anyway. The cup is definately poisonous and Mel knows that the poison cannot harm her. And it does not. With that Mel lives and Cressen dies.

Overall, I can definately see the dissapointments of everyone in that the show was not as faithfuilly translated as prior episodes. However, I think in every instance there is a logical (but by no means completely satisfying) answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think they just show horned melisandre..cressen and davos in there. nobody knows who they are..my girlfriend who never read the books had no idea that he was a maester and why he would want to poison melisandre. It just seem like an express ride or a asoiaf highlight reel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No can do. You have to introduce Ser Dontos and have Sansa save him. Can't get rid of that scene.

There are other ways of solving that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is sloppy story telling because all they needed to do was add one or two lines of dialogue before Cressen hobbles down the beach and people could have understood the significance of burning the seven. I also think that they should have found time for Cressen to argue against war with Renely, but I understand that somethings need to be cut from the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And so the show made a very shrewed choice- it illiminated both above problems in one fell swoop. Cressen drinks first (much like Greedo shooting first); in that moment we are shown two things- ONE the wine is definately very poisonous. And TWO- that CRessen is wiiling to die to take Melissandre down. That's a huge statement to make.

I agree with this. If that was their way of letting viewers know that Cressen is all about protecting Stannis then cool, im willing to accept the changes from the book lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to hear your re-write...

I feel he´s gonna say flashback, but those are not of GRRM liking (as we found out with Martin´s 4th book.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cressen's death scene was fine...there's precious little time as it is per episode...they didn't need to waste anymore of it developing Cressen.

If you were paying attention to the show you could:

1. Clearly see him drop the poison in.

2. See Davos notice this then ask him not to

3. See Cressen drink first knowing it would be his demise, adding impact, because he opposed her so vehemently he was willing to take his own life in taking hers.

4. See her watching Cressen visibly dying from poison, contemplating the act and then drinking from the cup herself showing she's not subject to normal "rules".

5. See some magic glowy thing glowing while she explains shes not subject to the same "rules".

It really couldn't have been shown much clearer than that...did the poison act fast on Cressen, sure, probably too fast....but why would i wanted to see 30 seconds more of an old man watching a woman wait to drink from a cup. There's absolutely no value in that outside wasting more time with fluff.

We have <10 hours to get this whole book in. It's things like this that don't need to be shown.

They can't afford to give us as nuanced of character development as GRRM does in the books...and they're dealing with a viewing base that for the most part, from week to week wouldn't remember what happened the week prior w/o a recap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree about the worshipping of the Lord of the Light, this is going to be confusing for viewers who haven't read the books, as if they miss words in a line here and there they're not going to know who the Lord of Light or Davos are and why the residents of Dragonstone are rejecting the seven.

Besides this, I thought Melisandre has been portrayed brilliantly, whilst Davos' character also fits, though I expected him to look a bit younger. I thought Stannis would be a bit taller, and maybe a bit broader, but, again, I think he'll be portrayed well throughout the series, such as where he states he didn't love his brother when writing the letter to be sent throughout Westeros

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×