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[Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

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I guess you are talking Asha here?

My take was that Asha could turn it on or off with men just to show who was boss.

With Theon it seemed , since she knew who he was, she was probing him (so to speak) more for psychological info for herself and well as her father.

She had him figured out by the time they got to Pyke.

Agreed. And, yes, I was talking about the Asha/Yara character in response to people being sceeved-out by the incest-y feel of Theon being in the general neighborhood of her genitals while on the horse.

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In the book, the squeezing was clearly in the context of Asha mocking Theon. Besides, she was squeezing in the book. Theon was doing far more than squeeing or quickly grabbing Yara on the show. He was full on fingering her. It was not equivalent to Asha's squeezing- rather, it would be like if Asha was j*cking him off in the book. It went a level farther on the show than in the book, and it was made worse because it was basically stripped from the context.

The show turned a funny scene of overconfident, somehwat delusional Theon being humiliated by his crafty sister into another creepy incest scene. Yara looked like she wanted sexual gratification from Theon despite knowing that he was her brother. That completely misses the point of the scene in the book. HBO botched the scene. I don't remember many (if any) scenes from Season 1 that I thought were poorly done. I can think of several poorly done scenes from Season 2 and we're only two episodes in.

I don't buy that he was "full on fingering her." Dude would have to have some awfully long fingers. I've watching it 3 times and it was pretty clear to me he got his fingers just below her pants; not to be vulgar, but he mighta felt bush, but no clit. He wasn't far enough in there. Where I think the scene failed was in cutting some of the flirty banter between the two when he thought she was the shipwright's wife.

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I can only convey what a number of people I've introduced to the TV series - who have not read the books - have said to me.

The story is great, but the gratuitous sex scenes add very little other than shock content.

Was Braveheart a poorer movie because William Wallace didn't go all Boogie Nights on his wife or the princess?

Was Gladiator poorer for not having full blown nudity for random non plot advancing sex orgies?

All of these movies have plenty of guts and gore and tragedy and suspense without having to include over the top graphic sex scenes for no particular reason other than to tittilate some frat boys.

For the record, I'm a guy in my early thirties, but I don't feel the need to get a porn fix everythime I watch Game of Thrones.

It's just unnecessary, as far as I'm concerned.

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I can only convey what a number of people I've introduced to the TV series - who have not read the books - have said to me.

The story is great, but the gratuitous sex scenes add very little other than shock content.

Was Braveheart a poorer movie because William Wallace didn't go all Boogie Nights on his wife or the princess?

Was Gladiator poorer for not having full blown nudity for random non plot advancing sex orgies?

All of these movies have plenty of guts and gore and tragedy and suspense without having to include over the top graphic sex scenes for no particular reason other than to tittilate some frat boys.

For the record, I'm a guy in my early thirties, but I don't feel the need to get a porn fix everythime I watch Game of Thrones.

It's just unnecessary, as far as I'm concerned.

I agree with you, but this is HBO. Watch True Blood, Rome, Entourage, Deadwood, or any of their other productions, and you'll find the same. And, for the record, GRRM was pretty graphic in the books too. At least the show didn't treat us to seeing Drogo's manhood "glistening wetly" as the books did. People should just be glad we got the show at all. If the worst thing I have to see is Littlefinger wiping cum off a whore's mouth in return for getting to see ASOIAF in live-action, I'll muddle through with a smile and call it a big, big win.

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I agree with you, but this is HBO. Watch True Blood, Rome, Entourage, Deadwood, or any of their other productions, and you'll find the same. And, for the record, GRRM was pretty graphic in the books too. At least the show didn't treat us to seeing Drogo's manhood "glistening wetly" as the books did. People should just be glad we got the show at all. If the worst thing I have to see is Littlefinger wiping cum off a whore's mouth in return for getting to see ASOIAF in live-action, I'll muddle through with a smile and call it a big, big win.

I understand that and fully agree with you.

But as a business decision, I would think that that from HBO's viewpoint you could actually broaden the viewership if you cut some of the sex scenes. It seems they believe the sex scenes add to the popularity of the show.

I don't see how that logic works. If they got the age restriction down to 16 for example, surely that would add a million or so extra viewers for them.

And all it would take would be cutting the most graphic sex scenes. Not all of them, just the ones that are most graphic and non-plot advancing. You could keep all the gore, which hasn't been all that much in any case.

So to me, they're actually sabotaging their own cause by adding full frontal nudity for the ships captain's daughter (who is damn ugly by the way) getting it on with Theon, or the nameless whores in Littlefinger's brothel etc.

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I have watched S2E2 for about the fifth time and I think I actually like the TV version of the scene better than the book one ... it seems a good deal more realistic, by now the book dialogue seems not very credible and contrived in comparison.

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I agree with you, but this is HBO. Watch True Blood, Rome, Entourage, Deadwood, or any of their other productions, and you'll find the same. And, for the record, GRRM was pretty graphic in the books too. At least the show didn't treat us to seeing Drogo's manhood "glistening wetly" as the books did. People should just be glad we got the show at all. If the worst thing I have to see is Littlefinger wiping cum off a whore's mouth in return for getting to see ASOIAF in live-action, I'll muddle through with a smile and call it a big, big win.

I am glad someone is pointing out that George actually has more, well... a lot more... sex scenes in the novels than the show has... supposedly we have book readers around here?

Here we are in the 21st century and our American puritanical ghosts still haunt us.

Of course, for a good story, it's got to be the context, should be character plot driven , Tyrion's rebellious nature and defiance in the face of his situation in life , it's got to be there, Dany and Drogo's sexual relationship goes to the core of the development of her strength , which she didn't know she had. Theon's tragedy , he does not recognize his weakness. He was indeed brave at Robb's side, but Asha ferrets out his inability as a military leader , much less the captain of war ships. We get the impression if he had of been raised on the Iron islands Asha would have still trumped him.

The Stannis-Mel scene has a meaning that I don't think non readers picked up on, tho if one pays close attention in that scene the information is there.

Jaime - Cersei in the first season is a vital plot motivation ...it might could have been handled with more sophistication , but there it is.

The Sexposition , well that's an odd narrative device (I can't remember if George did in the books?)... sometimes it turns out to be zero sum, such as the Ros - Pycelle first season, Little Finger and Ros in the second.

As I have noted, the Theon - captain's daughter thing was a waste of good plot time, we had been there and done that.

I don't know if D&D have a story consultant besides George but someone should tell them (as fine a writers as they are!)

"you guys need to tighten things up, we only have 10 episodes."

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I've getting really sick of all the gratuitous sex scenes/sexposition. I personally don't mind, but I think it's kind of giving the show a bad name to some people and taken less seriously. My boyfriend refers to it as a "medieval soap opera" with over-the-top, ridiculous sexual gratuity. I'll say anything to try to convince him to like it more, such as - "there's tons a lesbian scenes!" and he kind of had the same response someone else on here did. "Why would I want to watch a series of a show for some sex scenes???" :bang:

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There are tons of gratuitous HBO! moments. The books are graphic too, The Lannister twin reunion from SoS comes to mind... In both cases I find it unnecessary. It's more in your face on the show as you have people actually pretending to do it, as opposed to some chubby hippy just writing it.

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I don't buy that he was "full on fingering her." Dude would have to have some awfully long fingers. I've watching it 3 times and it was pretty clear to me he got his fingers just below her pants; not to be vulgar, but he mighta felt bush, but no clit. He wasn't far enough in there. Where I think the scene failed was in cutting some of the flirty banter between the two when he thought she was the shipwright's wife.

We can debate his technique, but ultimately your last sentence underscores the problem with the scene. HBO didn't set it up- it just looked like Yara was relaxing and letting her brother grope her for her pleasure. There was little hint of Yara's goal in that scene- to take the measure of Theon and, once she decided on his worth (or lack thereof), her decision to humiliate him. She squeezed him, but not out of her lust or her desire. In the show, she just reclines and lets the magic happen. It was disappointing to me ( a reader) and confusing to non-readers. It just looked like another random incest scene.

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Does anyone else think that although the Stannis actor is doing a good job, when he says "I cannot defeat my brother in the field" its one of the worst delivered lines in the series.

Yes. You have touched on my single serious criticism of the second season. I am not a purist when it comes to TV/movie adaptations of novels. Novels and film are two very different mediums. Most importantly, Martin's Song of Fire and Ice novels are particularly convoluted and unwieldy ... and long. Successful adaptation of these books will require often drastic creative decisions, including changes to the narrative, creation of new characters, and changes to the established characters. This is all expected. We cannot rightly expect faithfulness in all the details. If we who know the novels (I've read them all twice) are going to enjoy the HBO series, we must find a way to bracket what we know and to enjoy the series on its own terms. This is difficult to do, I know.

Quite frankly, I find most of the complaints about changes and additions to be nit-picky and even silly. Has LIttlefinger's character been severely distorted by his encounter with Cersei or by the revelation of his ruthless pimpery. Of course not. Has Stannis's character been severely distorted by his violent bedding of Melisandre. Of course not. Has the story been ruined by Craster offering the newborn to the Others. Of course not. Yes, liberties with the text have been taken; but as I said, the series needs to be appreciated on its own terms and not judged by meticulous conformity to the novels. Many (most?) of the viewers do not have the advantage (or is it disadvantage?) of having read Martin's books.

But that being said, I am extremely disappointed so far with the series' characterization of Stannis. He is being presented as a weak, even desperate man. Would the book-Stannis have ever said this line? Book-Stannis is a formidable warrior and commander, known for his steely will. Even to Melisandre I do not see him as ever confiding doubt and fear regarding the possibility of victory. Others might fear or anticipate defeat but not Stannis. Am I wrong? Or am I being nit-picky, too? :)

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Yes. You have touched on my single serious criticism of the second season. I am not a purist when it comes to TV/movie adaptations of novels. Novels and film are two very different mediums. Most importantly, Martin's Song of Fire and Ice novels are particularly convoluted and unwieldy ... and long. Successful adaptation of these books will require often drastic creative decisions, including changes to the narrative, creation of new characters, and changes to the established characters. This is all expected. We cannot rightly expect faithfulness in all the details. If we who know the novels (I've read them all twice) are going to enjoy the HBO series, we must find a way to bracket what we know and to enjoy the series on its own terms. This is difficult to do, I know.

I'm beginning to fear that the show already can't handle the books. By ACoK,the story is already too spread out, with too many viewpoint characters at too many different places, for the show to be able to present with nuance.

HBO either should have given Season 2 15 episodes instead of 10, or HBO should have more drastically changed the story from the beginning to be able to present a more focused and narrow story. For instance, they could have written Renly and Loras out of the story from the beginning and had Stannis at King's Landing in season 1. He could have then left for Dragonstone after King Robert's death, and he could have began Season 2 with the support of the Stormlands and plotting to attack King's Landing. That way, people would know who Stannis is, and Season 2 could have focused on developing him.

As it is, the show feels too disjointed to me. HBO is taking the middle path- trying to stick as closely to the books as possible within the alloted 10 episodes- and it's feeling over-compressed, rushed, and shallow. My non-reader friends don't really even know who Stannis is, given that he has received about 5 minutes of screentime so far (2 of which had him hunched over and grunting on top of Mel). Blackwater isn't going to be impressive if no one knows or cares who Stannis is.

Edited by Hedge Lawyer

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I'm beginning to fear that the show already can't handle the books. By ACoK,the story is already too spread out, with too many viewpoint characters at too many different places, for the show to be able to present with nuance.

HBO either should have given Season 2 15 episodes instead of 10, or HBO should have more drastically changed the story from the beginning to be able to present a more focused and narrow story. For instance, they could have written Renly and Loras out of the story from the beginning and had Stannis at King's Landing in season 1. He could have then left for Dragonstone after King Robert's death, and he could have began Season 2 with the support of the Stormlands and plotting to attack King's Landing. That way, people would know who Stannis is, and Season 2 could have focused on developing him.

As it is, the show feels too disjointed to me. HBO is taking the middle path- trying to stick as closely to the books as possible within the alloted 10 episodes- and it's feeling over-compressed, rushed, and shallow. My non-reader friends don't really even know who Stannis is, given that he has received about 5 minutes of screentime so far (2 of which had him hunched over and grunting on top of Mel). Blackwater isn't going to be impressive if no one knows or cares who Stannis is.

I tend to agree that the writers probably should have cut out many of the characters and events in order to create a more focused story. A Song of Fire & Ice may simply not be adaptable to the screen without radical surgery. But can you imagine the cry and hue such surgery would have generated?

I hope that if the series lasts long enough the writers will give serious consideration to dramatically eliminating many of the narrative threads and characters from Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons. These are the two weakest books in the series, almost qualifying as narrative failures. I don't know how they can be integrated into a compelling cinematic story.

Bottomline: we who love the books need to give the writers plenty of slack. They need the freedom to make a successful adaptation, which probably means more departures from the source material, not less.

But I am enjoying the second season. The production values are exceptionally high. We'll just have to wait and see if the writers can pull everything together.

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I tend to agree that the writers probably should have cut out many of the characters and events in order to create a more focused story. A Song of Fire & Ice may simply not be adaptable to the screen without radical surgery. But can you imagine the cry and hue such surgery would have generated?

George would not have signed that contract.

He had repeated offers to do film versions.

He wanted as much elaboration as possible. He knew what HBO could do with a multi season format.

That was the gamble he was willing to take, GOT could have flopped the first season.

Now , George knows full well the compromises of TV , having worked in it and written teleplays.

So I don't know what he has worked out with D&D, that how much latitude he has given them.

To some extent , now, the cast is having an effect on the story, D&D just have too good an eye for fine actors and the actors have made the characters , to a large extent, made those parts come more alive than the prose!

I would think all producers wish they had the richness of the first three novels. All now depends on ratings and HBO's bank account.

There is plenty to adapt for seasons 3, 4 (&5?) from CoK and SoS. From there D&D with George's blessing may have to wing it, because as much as I like it as a reader, as a visual narrative it's gonna get complex, but good writers can be clever... we shall see.

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I know she did, but for whatever reason, it grossed me out, and I'm one of the defenders of them showing Mel and Stannis making abominations. I just can't put my finger on why it freaks me out J.S., but Ewwwwwww.

Asha uses her empowerment shrewdly , more subtlety power play there than your giving George credit for.

Her's is the Iron Way (so to speak).

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I hope that if the series lasts long enough the writers will give serious consideration to dramatically eliminating many of the narrative threads and characters from Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons. These are the two weakest books in the series, almost qualifying as narrative failures. I don't know how they can be integrated into a compelling cinematic story.

Bottomline: we who love the books need to give the writers plenty of slack. They need the freedom to make a successful adaptation, which probably means more departures from the source material, not less.

I think that they'll have to drastically change AFFC and ADWD to make a T.V. show out of it. I can't see them having Dany sit around Meereen for two season, I can't see them devoting time to making Briene and Victarion and Quentyn Martell and Areo Hotah and Griff and all the others into feature characters on the show. I wouldn't be surprised to have them do away with the Euron/Victarion and the Dorne threads altogether.

I think that seasons 3 and 4 (if there is one) are going to be based off of ASOS. If there's a season 5, I see it being dramatically different from the books.

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not to be vulgar

Why say 'not to be vulgar' when you've been nothing but?

People, yes, there are explicit sex scenes. That's no excuse for talking about them as if you were eleven years old and just discovered your older brother's porn magazine collection. Class it up a bit, please, or posts will be deleted. Take that as an official mod warning.

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In the book, the squeezing was clearly in the context of Asha mocking Theon. Besides, she was squeezing in the book. Theon was doing far more than squeeing or quickly grabbing Yara on the show. He was full on fingering her. It was not equivalent to Asha's squeezing- rather, it would be like if Asha was j*cking him off in the book. It went a level farther on the show than in the book, and it was made worse because it was basically stripped from the context.

The show turned a funny scene of overconfident, somehwat delusional Theon being humiliated by his crafty sister into another creepy incest scene. Yara looked like she wanted sexual gratification from Theon despite knowing that he was her brother. That completely misses the point of the scene in the book.

I agree and I'd like to add that the creepiness also comes from the sexual power relations in the scene. Book asha is very assertive while tv asha is a tease... big difference. Yara flirts by acting as someone who wants to be taken by theon, while asha takes what she wants herself. She's much more sassy and empowered. I think that's what makes the scenes feel so different. In the show it's one-way groping which takes away a lot of yara as a powerful female character.

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But that being said, I am extremely disappointed so far with the series' characterization of Stannis. He is being presented as a weak, even desperate man. Would the book-Stannis have ever said this line? Book-Stannis is a formidable warrior and commander, known for his steely will. Even to Melisandre I do not see him as ever confiding doubt and fear regarding the possibility of victory. Others might fear or anticipate defeat but not Stannis. Am I wrong? Or am I being nit-picky, too? :)

No, I don't think you are. Stannis is supposed to be strong and steely, not brooding and sulky as he has been portrayed so far. He believes in himself, his military abilities, and his right to the throne. In the show he seems to only believe in Mel, which makes him appear to be of weaker character than I would liked to have seen.

Edited by Dornish Hen

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