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Xtopher

[Book Spoilers] Stannis / Melisandre presentation

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No discussion based on episode 2.

I see it again, I have no problem handing out a suspension through to the premiere of episode 3.

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Stannis somewhat seems to be a soft character from what is shown in the first episode. He shows a bit of authority, but he doesn't display the kind of domination on screen what his brother Robert did. Hopefully, it improves in the remaining episodes.

I agree when you say he doesen't really show alot of authority on screen, but I love the way he's portrayed as a man who purely sees things in black and white, such as when he's talking about him being the only rightful king, opposing Davos' suggestions, and calling Jaime, "What he is", when he tells his scribe to refer to him as Kingslayer

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

If you mean so Sansa could get her maneuver in ... do away with the tourney which they did anyway... same sequence could have played out in court... Tyrion could say hi to his nephew and niece then.

Dontos is not a player yet .

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I didn't mind the scene as much as others, but I most definitely thought that Cressen drinking the wine first if the effects were immediate were pretty suspect. I mean, even if Melisandre were a normal woman, he began showing adverse effects almost immediately. What if she paused to give a little toast or something?

I'm not sure what his plan was there.

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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.

I like this way of looking at it, nicely said.

At first I was a little put off with the fact they had Cressen drink the wine first. But after thinking it through, I think I agree that for brevity sake - it somewhat makes more sense to have Cressen drink first which to most people, would seem like a much more believable way to get someone else (who you don't know anything about) to drink ... after you've drank it yourself. Fans who haven't read the books are not going to have the luxury of all the back story, POV and other important bits that led up to Cressen's choice and how others at the table did or did not know and therefore it may not have been as obvious if he'd tried to get her to drink first.

As for how the scene with the burning idols played out, I was ok with it. I think they could have explained what the burning idols were a bit better, but to me it seemed fairly obvious this was a religious ceremony and Melisandre is obviously some sort of foreign but powerful priestess converting them. The audience of the ceremony didn't seem all that particularly happy about it but like most 'commoners' they stood silently and watched because the message has to be clear that Stannis, their Lord, wishes this to happen and they're pledged to him so they must follow his lead. As far as simplified for television, it was ok.

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I actually think the change works. In the book, Cressen's POV lets us see his anticipation that this might actually work, it's following his thoughts and feelings. In the show, instead of seeing Melisandre drink what we think she doesn't know is poison, we see her willingly chug what we know she knows to be poison, and shrug it off - that really emphasizes how powerful she is, how different she is from anything we've seen so far.

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I'm totally fine with throwing the audience into the deep end. I mean, GRRM does that all the time in the books. It's only the first episode, these things will become clearer to non-readers as the story unfolds. To me, there are only a few things the audience really needs to take away:

1-Stannis' basic character traits: he is stubborn, blunt and not going to join anyone calling themselves king

2-there is some sort of religious turmoil going on

3-the red priest is a force to be reckonded with

the other details will come, and when the audience does fully understand, they will appreciate rewatching that scene more.

I completely agree... the beginning of ACoK was confusing as shit, but that's ok. The confusion sucks you in, and it will almost certainly suck viewers in this time round... who is the hot woman in red? who is this scowling dude that tried to stop the old guy poisoning the red woman? why is Stannis such a hardass? etc

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Melisandre, both in the books and on the show, not only drinks the wine because, well she can, but to show off her powers to Stannis and the other lords. "I am Melisandre of Asshai. I have powers beyond this world. Powers that will help get your king on the Iron Throne. You need me and I am indispensable...quite literally. Don't f*ck with me, fellas!"

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I think a lot of these little "differences" would have been a lot more thought out than you'd at first think...

If Cressen had waited until AFTER Melisandre had drunk, and had appeared to die from strangulation, there is a very high chance that many viewers may have interpreted that as Melisandre killing him, rather than him sacrificing himself to kill her.

Think about it - in the sequence from the book, she drinks first, then he drinks and keels over unable to breathe. This could make it seem as if she has realized there was something in her drink, and is using her magic to choke him Darth Vader style in retaliation.

I think both the fact that he began suffering after drinking from his cup but BEFORE having actually poisened her, and the fact that the blood coming from the mouth emphasied that it was the drink which had killed him may have been very deliberate.

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Just rewatched the scenes, and I have to revise my earlier assessment to (even) more positive. I think I managed to miss some parts the first time.

They don't really go into detail about the Seven, but the scene makes it clear that they're abandoning their old gods, and not doing so lightly. The sideways glances and bowed heads were very well done by the extras. It also sets up Cressen's situation pretty well. The poisoning isn't too bad, as the two above posts explain, though the ruby glow could have been a little less subtle. I think they mostly just left it as a nod to the readers, since it's obvious there's some magic at play anyway.

Still didn't quite like Melisandre in the first scene outside, though. Maybe it's just the wild(ish) hair. My mental picture was always very neat. No big deal. And I think they could have highlighted Selyse a little more (unless I missed it again).

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I liked how they did Cressen/Mel my issue was with Davos. We only got a slight nod to his life as a smuggler, for such a great character I thought he wasn't introduced well.

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I think I have become a "Book Snob". If people can't give up 15-30 minutes a day to enjoy the books, so be it. Or 10 minutes to even read the chapter synopsis in the wiki.

We've read the books, we know who the players are, what the symbols mean. I will enjoy the show and all the "visiual candy" it provides, the comparison to my imagination when I read them, whether or not there is continuity there for series-only watchers.

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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.

I totally agree with you

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If you remember the premiere of Season 1, some people were confused about Jaime and Cersei's relationship, it wasn't too clear why John Arryn was so important, and some of the main characters all had their basic characteristics show.

I hadn't read the books before watching the first half of last season, and I completely agree that I was a little bit confused with who people were, but you begin to understand in later episodes. I especially didn't understand the significance of Jon Arryn, especially because they always said his full name - no Lord Arryn. We have Lord Stark, Lord Tywin, Lord Baelish, King Robert, but always Jon Arryn. For some reason that confused me as to what his role was in the world.

I absolutely love the show so it is hard for me to find any fault in it. I pictured Davos, Mel and Stannis quite differently. I always saw Davos as younger, but I think the actor brings a strong presence to the role, which I like. I understand that, with so many different locations to got to and characters to see, that they had to make the choice to only go to Dragonstone once (loved the Dragonstone addition in the opening scene).

Cressen does not drink from the cup first and does die from the Strangler, which looked more like choking than poison. I think that the bloody death was more for TV to have more bloody violence (I wonder if they will make a similar decision with Joff). I liked that they included Davos trying to stop him (in the book) and Mel's glowing ruby necklace when she drinks the poison. It was nice to see a visual of her ruby's action when she's doing spells.

If they include Davos's conversation with Salladorhor Saan in the next episode, I think it will explain their situation better. In Mel's speech, I was really surprised that she never said that Stannis was Azor Ahaai reborn. I always wonder if dialogue changes have a deeper meaning or if they were just trying to shorten things up.

All in all, I thought it worked. My fiance, who hasn't read the books, has not watched it yet, and I look forward to seeing how he feels about it.

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I agree that they could have added one little line about exactly what they were burning to clarify that scene on the beach and drive home the point that it's not just a war between five kings, but a clash of religions as well.

I also think they should have shown the ruby at Mel's throat flash in the light as she drank the poison, just to add a touch of the supernatural to a supernatural character. I don't know why they'd downplay that. Otherwise, it's like she's Westley from the Princess Bride, having built up an immunity to iocane powder. Nothing really remarkable about that.

Also, did anyone else think her accent (or lack thereof) was weird? I get that she’s not supposed to sound like she’s from Westeros, but it didn’t work for me. It was too neutral, I guess.

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Also, did anyone else think her accent (or lack thereof) was weird? I get that she’s not supposed to sound like she’s from Westeros, but it didn’t work for me. It was too neutral, I guess.

yes. This.

I think I expected her to look and sound a lot more exotic for some reason. I'm not complaining too much, I like the features of the actress they chose, but her accent should be very different, maybe similar to Shae's which I like.

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Guest

Big error in the scene:

Cressen stands up, says to Stannis: "You have chosen the new god over the old gods. May the lord of light watch over us all."

*facepalm* no wonder non-book readers were confused about religion switching in the Dragonstone scenes.

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The scenes with Stannis and company were not my favorite. Stannis came off as stubborn and stupid rather than blunt and unyielding. He's nowhere near as intimidating as I imagined. I didn't like the scene with the wine and Cressen. I understood it, I got why Melisandre drank after Cressen, it was just awkwardly written. This should have been one of those moments where they followed the book line for line.

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Big error in the scene:

Cressen stands up, says to Stannis: "You have chosen the new god over the old gods. May the lord of light watch over us all."

*facepalm* no wonder non-book readers were confused about religion switching in the Dragonstone scenes.

Well, they can't say 'the in-between-gods'. They are the old gods of the South.

And to the King of the Board. Why no discussion on episode 2? It's been legally aired in some parts of Europe. Is it because of HBO?

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Well, they can't say 'the in-between-gods'. They are the old gods of the South.

And to the King of the Board. Why no discussion on episode 2? It's been legally aired in some parts of Europe. Is it because of HBO?

how about "you have chosen this new god over the seven," i think that would have been much clearer. that's my only real complaint about that scene, is that one line. i don't think HBO needs to or even SHOULD sit there and explain every detail about what's going on, but the line, as it aired, makes the scene MORE confusing than it needed to be.

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