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Xtopher

[Book Spoilers] Stannis / Melisandre presentation

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i was so sure that the first scene we would have to start S2 would be dragonstone. i get that they probably didn't t do this cause the people who have only watch the series wanted an intro with characters they know already. i'm okay with there not being any dragonstone in the beginning cause i'm a big fan of the Hound, and having him being the first person we see and hear in S2 was great XD

But i didn't like what they did with master cressen at all. in the books i adored him, but here he sort of not had the same effect on me. the actor was still good, but yes, drinking the wine first was wrong. & what's up with him runing at night in the beach when in the books master cressen took ages to climb up stairs?

but davos was great, and i like stephen's portrayal of stannis more than i thought i would. as for melisandre, when i first heard about carice playing her, i wasn't sure what to think. i sort of pictured eva green in the red priest's role, but after i saw some photos of her seducing stannis i suddenly liked her character a lot more than in the books because we don't get to see the exact moment or the way in which she managed to get stannis sort of fall for her, so i think that intrigued me. now, after watching carice i think she'll do a good job.

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

Surely Keep Shelly in Athens was being sarcastic.

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Surely Keep Shelly in Athens was being sarcastic.

are you being sarcastic? you really don't think it's confusing to an audience that thus far, has heard of "the old gods" and "the new gods," with no reference to any other religion, and then when cressen, in this episode, says "old gods," he's refering to what the audience has known for a season as the "new gods?" especially when the "new god" cressen speaks of has not been named specifically, and only been refered to as "the lord of light," which, for all any one should know, doesn't have to refer to a god at all, seeing as half of the characters are "lord" something or other.

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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.

Well, that would be better in fact. I always check things with my non-reading girlfriend. And well, she understands that they we're talking about the Seven, because their Southerners. "Only the Northmen worship the Old gods of the Forest, right?" Is what she said. I was startled that she remembered that from watching season One more than a year ago. But it reminded me not to underestimate the non-book reading audience. We book-readers are looking at every little detail. While non-book readers just follow the story and are looking at the bigger picture. They know this show requires a bit of attention, and also know that things are explained along the way... :D

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I thought Cressen's death was well done and conveyed what it had to convey, mainly that Mel is a force to be reckoned. I was not as convinced by the burning of the Seven. What bugged me most, but I haven't read the book in a while, what that Stannis simply left the sword where he planted it, seemingly unattended. If Lightbringer is such a one-of-a kind uncanny sword, you would think even he would make more a deal of deal. Similarly, I was not entirely convinced by Mel. I pictured her... more red and with a stronger aura I suppose. But maybe they are trying to have it progressively built up as episodes go, so I give them the benefice of the doubt.

My biggest regret is that they should have kept it at the beginning, as they have done with the Others in season 1, with the same kind of mystery and ominousness.

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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.

It could be confusing if you're not paying attention but if you listen to the scene he's clearly saying that their ancestors worshiped the seven and that's what they are abandoning. GoT is a complex show where you will perhaps even be required to do some research to get it all. Hence why HBO made their companion guide on their site.

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It could be confusing if you're not paying attention but if you listen to the scene he's clearly saying that their ancestors worshiped the seven and that's what they are abandoning. GoT is a complex show where you will perhaps even be required to do some research to get it all. Hence why HBO made their companion guide on their site.

sure, but all that confusion could have been easily avoided with a simple change of words. it's obviously not the end of the world, and i'm in the camp that it's ok if viewers aren't clear about exactly what's going on at dragonstone yet, but that one line just makes trying to figure out what's going on slightly more complicated.

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I like the portrayal of Stannis....especially the first glimpse we see of him during Cressen's mad rant....very disgusted looking....very Stannis like

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I was also disappointed that there wasn't a prologue.

These worked really well for Lost. Each season started with a teaser of something you'd never seen before (season 2 with Desmond, season 3 with the village, season 4 with...whatever, the show really started to go off the rails around then), and this was usually compelling.

For GoT, I foresaw the arrival of Ned's letter by raven (with a cool opening shot of a raven in flight). This would introduce Cressen, who receives the raven, then Stannis, who gets to sit and listen to Cressen reading the message (which would provide a nice recap and tie-in to season 1), and Davos and Melisandre, who would be standing by to advise when Stannis declares that he is now the rightful King. Cut to credits. (and return later to cover Cressen trying to poison Melisandre)

Obviously, my powers of prediction aren't that great. But I feel that this would have been a pretty good way to get the season started while introducing a new major player to the scene (also, putting Stannis up first makes it obvious that he _is_ a major player, whereas throwing him into the mix with all the familiar characters doesn't really make him stand out).

I also didn't particularly like the casting of Stannis. He seemed whiny to me. I always saw Stannis as a warrior type with no sense of humour because he just takes everything very seriously. This portrayal made him look like a guy who had no humour because he's been teased his whole life, and turned into a pathetic loser.

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That's pretty much how Stannis actually is, though -- his brother constantly better than him and letting him know it, overly-serious because there's a certain amount of broken social function. Peevish and irritated all the time -- hence no one but Davos, Cressen, and small children who don't know better are the only people that love him. It's not just that he's serious all the time -- he lets you know it at all times, too, as he worries at and complains about every little slight done to him.

I dig Dillane quite a bit in the role. Sustained, jaw-grinding anger can be something that comes out of S2 and informs his S3 performance.

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Yeah, Dillane really is Stannis, that much is clear. He's not to blame for the weakness of the script ;-). They even gave him his 'shadow of a beard'.

Ran, how to you come up with the 'small children love Stannis' thing? Shireen never once mentions liking her father, nor does Stannis seem ever indicating to love his only child very much. And Edric, too, did not seem idolize/like his uncle all that much. He even told Davos that his father, the really cool Baratheon, would never have cut off his fingers...

But I really hope that Shireen and Stannis live long enough to form some kind of father-daughter-bond. Shireen is Stannis's heir, and eventually he has to start to train her for her role as Queen.

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That's pretty much how Stannis actually is, though -- his brother constantly better than him and letting him know it, overly-serious because there's a certain amount of broken social function. Peevish and irritated all the time -- hence no one but Davos, Cressen, and small children who don't know better are the only people that love him. It's not just that he's serious all the time -- he lets you know it at all times, too, as he worries at and complains about every little slight done to him.

I dig Dillane quite a bit in the role. Sustained, jaw-grinding anger can be something that comes out of S2 and informs his S3 performance.

I agree. I think they've cast Stannis really well and the actor has a good handle on how his personality should come out to the viewers. No one is supposed to really like Stannis, Trying to like him is like trying to like a wooden statue (those got burned).

Those who think he's too whiny should watch again. He's always brooding and surly. He nitpicks the scribe to death over the details of the wording of his letter, but that one letter revealing Cersei and Jaime's incest, becomes famous in all corners of the seven kingdoms. Not because Stannis chooses particularly flowery speech... he doesn't. It's famous because its brutally to the point and entirely true. At this stage, Stannis DOES have the rightful claim to the throne, regardless of anyone liking him or not. But as we all know, GoT is not as simple as claiming your right to the throne by birth. The throne has been taken by conquer enough times that no one in the seven kingdoms really believes Stannis can just waltz in and lay down his birth certificate and be handed the crown.

Each of the men claiming to be king has a character flaw, and each one's is different: cruelty, passion, vanity, stubbornness - it plays out almost like the seven deadly sins and yes, there's plenty of envy in there too. ;)

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I think the casting for them was beautifully done. (Though I think the casting for pretty much everyone was beautifully done; I would need to think if there are any exceptions IMHO). Stannis is beyond perfect.................Stephen Dillane IS Stannis brought to life completely accurately in everything he does, says, reacts to. He is going to be a hard sell but when all is said and done (after five hunking big books) I was rather won over. With reservations(!) but I cared.

Carice van Houten as Melisandre I think was beautifully cast as well though I feel her introduction lacked any trace of the sympathy to Cressen that she showed in the book. In fact she was a right bitch. On theother hand her face, at times, had a vulnerability that I didn't expect. But she looked the part and her accent gave her more verismilitude. Can't wait to see her little gift for us tonight.

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As someone who watched the first season of Game of Thrones before I had read any of the books I would say that many things in the first season were at first confusing (e.g. I was very confused about Tommen and Myrcella for a while as they barely appear in the first season) but become clearer over time and I think it was a good decision to not explain everything straight away and trust that people would follow the show and pick things up. In the same way I do think the first scenes on Dragonstone could be confusing for people who have not read the books but think like in the first season, things will become clear for them.

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Shouldn't have shown the sex scene. Should have mentioned it subtly. The scene kind of went against Stannis' character.

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