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Ran

How would you rate episode 204?

How would you rate episode 203?  

440 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your rating from 1-10, with 10 being the highest/best

    • 1
      5
    • 2
      3
    • 3
      10
    • 4
      8
    • 5
      19
    • 6
      35
    • 7
      72
    • 8
      125
    • 9
      107
    • 10
      56


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Can I just mention about that 'fading to black' during Robb's battle that people have commented on. Is this a matter of what TV you have, I wonder? I have an HD TV and during the 'fade to black' there was a clear vision of a horse, terrified and rolling its eye again. Then the light came up on Robb. So it wasn't really a fade to black, more like real darkness, but definitely on my screen, a horse's face could be seen.

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I am not going to criticize it but what as the idea of not displaying Dragon?

I can't remember but I thought that was what bought Dany quick entry?

Man they must be saving back the CGI budget.

Kind of a puzzle.

The idea was that Dany's children were not a side-show spectacle. She wanted entry to the city based on her own merit, to show them that she was not there simply to put on a dragon-and-pony show for their entertainment. IMO, anyway.

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Also my wife who has not read the books, was lost and had many questions, which has me fearing for the overall viewership of the show. The fast dialogue with thick accents are not helping much. Particularly the Stannis/Davos scene, any non book viewer had to be wondering WTF they were talking about. Same with the Arya prisoner scenes, IMO it was not clear as to where they were, and what info the torturers were trying to get, if you were a non reader.

This is my concern.

I don't understand why there isn't more exposition in the show. Take the Harrenhal scenes; did anyone actually mention they were at Harrenhal? And the Davos / Stannis scene about the finger bones; how on earth is a non-book viewer supposed to understand what's happening there.

I mean, it's not that challenging. When everyone approaches Harrenhal, someone says: "That's Harrenhal, it's warped and grizzly because dragons burnt everyone alive there hundreds of years ago."

As for Davos, someone could just ask him about the bones. He tells them the story. Bingo. If they couldn't have worked that dialogue into the script, why not simply cut that bit of mishandled characterization out completely?

Interestingly, on the UK airing on Sky Atlantic we actually got the HBO 'previously on Game Of Thrones' recap pre-credits, which we've never had before. I wonder if broadcasters, of not producers, are concerned that audiences are (still) watching but in danger of not following what's happened.

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The idea was that Dany's children were not a side-show spectacle. She wanted entry to the city based on her own merit, to show them that she was not there simply to put on a dragon-and-pony show for their entertainment. IMO, anyway.

As we saw the dragons struggling to feed in the first episode, because they're not yet able to cook meat and don't have a mother to to it for them, I wondered whether the implication is that they are weak and Dany was worried that if she let them see her dragons all pathetic and weak they wouldnt let her in at all?

Seems a bit of a strange time to get an ego complex.

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"What kind of fire melts stone like that?"

"Dragonfire."

Works for me. Who Harren was, when it happened, etc, are all unimportant in the context of the story. The exposition you are proposing is clunky and tends to take viewers out of the scene.

The Davos/stand is scene was similar.

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This is my concern.

I don't understand why there isn't more exposition in the show. Take the Harrenhal scenes; did anyone actually mention they were at Harrenhal? And the Davos / Stannis scene about the finger bones; how on earth is a non-book viewer supposed to understand what's happening there.

I mean, it's not that challenging. When everyone approaches Harrenhal, someone says: "That's Harrenhal, it's warped and grizzly because dragons burnt everyone alive there hundreds of years ago."

As for Davos, someone could just ask him about the bones. He tells them the story. Bingo. If they couldn't have worked that dialogue into the script, why not simply cut that bit of mishandled characterization out completely?

Interestingly, on the UK airing on Sky Atlantic we actually got the HBO 'previously on Game Of Thrones' recap pre-credits, which we've never had before. I wonder if broadcasters, of not producers, are concerned that audiences are (still) watching but in danger of not following what's happened.

HBO has extras online, they need to air these, following the shows to help explain the backstory. Or AGOT equivalent to the show Talking Dead, which is a discussion about the show Walking Dead which airs after each episode.

Edited by The Greenseer

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I wanted to comment about the votes for extremely low scores on this episode. A score of 1 would be at least tied for the worst thing that someone has seen on television. I find that extremely reactionary, but can understand and appreciate someone being so upset the show didn't nail their vision that it is painful for them to watch...

It is the scores of 2-3 range that make me chuckle. I just picture someone watching the show in agony telling themselves how much they hate it, but then getting really exited for 20 seconds when they show the one particular thing they don't have a problem with, and then go back to scowling when it is over.

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Line o' the week

Mel: I'm a knight myself of sorts. A champion of light and life.

Davos: Well, that must be very nice for you

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It is the scores of 2-3 range that make me chuckle. I just picture someone watching the show in agony telling themselves how much they hate it, but then getting really exited for 20 seconds when they show the one particular thing they don't have a problem with, and then go back to scowling when it is over.

Like Real Housewives of Kings Landing?

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Liked it! Although, I would have expected

Renly to have been offed about 3 episodes ago

, its clear the writers here are dragging out the biggest scenes in the book.

After watching season 1, I read the entire series. The good news is that the series is everything (and more) than I heard about it. Some of the books (book 4 mostly) drag at time, but overall it is an awesome read. It's probably been about 10 years since I read something this engrossing.

The bad news is that the books are much better than the show (drat). Don't get me wrong, I still like the TV series, it just doesn't quite measure up to Martin's writing. Some of the new characters are really inspired choices (Davos and Stannis). But others just don't remind me of the written characters. The most obvious is Asha Greyjoy. Sry that ain't her on screen. Read the book and you'll understand. Not sure about Mel either. I'll give her a little more time to develop.

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8.5

I liked the throw back from Catlyn to LF, I'm a little mixed on the Robb/ Jeyne run in and I didn't like the newer Mountain actor, and I thought Arya's eyes for the dead people was very good.

I missed the Jeyne connection. Is this the woman that Robb marries in the books? (the woman he meets on the battlefield). I wasn't sure, but thought she was a character created by the TV series.

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I really have to ask: what tv shows do you consider to have significantly better writing and direction? I'm curious as to your inclinations.

Every single reviewer has praised the directing and writing. Heck, the negative reviews were almost entirely genre based. I mean, are you a huge Terrence Malick fan? I am, and I love this, but I can see where the pacing would be off and the directing is not at that level.

Is there another book you love at the level of ASOIF that had a better written adaptation? What are they? I admit I really liked Peter Jackson's adaptation of LOTR (though it was not without issues) but as a contrast, one of my favorite books of all time, A Prayer for Owen Meany, was so abominably bad an adaptation the author made them change the character's name.

I am probably more critical of films and TV than most people are. I would say shows like Sopranos, Twin Peaks and The Wire blow away the writing that we've seen so far from the HBO GoT. Other shows that aren't dramas - Seinfeld, The Office (BBC version). I don't think there are very many really good TV shows, but that doesn't magically make the writing on the GoT adaptation better just because there aren't a lot of other really well written TV shows out there.

I already posted this last year, but I think my expectations were simply too high after I saw that HBO was adapting the show and one of the writers actually said something along the lines of envisioning the show like a medieval Sopranos, which is EXACTLY how I view the books to a certain extent. But the writing isn't even in the same ballpark as the Sopranos. And it's not like the writers don't have source material to draw from. I understand time and budget constraints, but that's not really the problem, IMO, the writing is simply lacking in subtly, it's middle of the road, overly safe, characterization is lacking in places, dialogue pales in comparison to the dialogue from the book. It's like the writers (or HBO) are trying to adapt the books more to how other modern shows because they are afraid the show won't be well received otherwise, which sucks, IMO.

As far as critics raving about it, I'm not saying the show is bad, not at all, but it's pretty irrelevant to me that critics think the show is better than most shows on TV when most shows on TV are mediocre at best. What is so great about the actual writing on the show? I don't get it.

And no I am not a Terrence Malick fan, lol. Thin Red Line was horrible and pretentious, although some of his shots and direction are interesting and cool I guess.

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I wanted to comment about the votes for extremely low scores on this episode. A score of 1 would be at least tied for the worst thing that someone has seen on television. I find that extremely reactionary, but can understand and appreciate someone being so upset the show didn't nail their vision that it is painful for them to watch...

It is the scores of 2-3 range that make me chuckle. I just picture someone watching the show in agony telling themselves how much they hate it, but then getting really exited for 20 seconds when they show the one particular thing they don't have a problem with, and then go back to scowling when it is over.

Not necessarily - it could be that someone judged it a 1 because they think the production was the worst possible adaption of what material was available. I could just as easily say anyone that judges it a 10 isn't really watching because nothing is perfect - even though a 10 doesn't necessarily mean it was a perfect episode.

Still have voted yet...between a 6 & a 7 - what they did well, they did very well, what I think they whiffed on, they whiffed huge. And to the extent they whiffed, those are having more impact than what they did well - partially because of the scene itself, partially because of what could have been.

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I am probably more critical of films and TV than most people are. I would say shows like Sopranos, Twin Peaks and The Wire blow away the writing that we've seen so far from the HBO GoT. Other shows that aren't dramas - Seinfeld, The Office (BBC version). I don't think there are very many really good TV shows, but that doesn't magically make the writing on the GoT adaptation better just because there aren't a lot of other really well written TV shows out there.

I already posted this last year, but I think my expectations were simply too high after I saw that HBO was adapting the show and one of the writers actually said something along the lines of envisioning the show like a medieval Sopranos, which is EXACTLY how I view the books to a certain extent. But the writing isn't even in the same ballpark as the Sopranos. And it's not like the writers don't have source material to draw from. I understand time and budget constraints, but that's not really the problem, IMO, the writing is simply lacking in subtly, it's middle of the road, overly safe, characterization is lacking in places, dialogue pales in comparison to the dialogue from the book. It's like the writers (or HBO) are trying to adapt the books more to how other modern shows because they are afraid the show won't be well received otherwise, which sucks, IMO.

As far as critics raving about it, I'm not saying the show is bad, not at all, but it's pretty irrelevant to me that critics think the show is better than most shows on TV when most shows on TV are mediocre at best. What is so great about the actual writing on the show? I don't get it.

And no I am not a Terrence Malick fan, lol. Thin Red Line was horrible and pretentious, although some of his shots and direction are interesting and cool I guess.

Thanks for taking my post as it was intended -- an honest question. Malick is an acquired taste. I can understand not liking him, but I thought Thin Red Line was fantastic.

My point about the critics is this: if you divide up people who love the show and the writing in particular, on one side you have professional tv critics and a vast majority of the non-book-reading watchers, as well as at least half of the book-readers, though I have nothing scientific on the last point.

On the side of people who think the writing is poor, we've got a significant portion of book readers. And of the people who think the writing is poor, it's almost ALL book readers.

So, here's my hypothesis: the primary driver of discontent with the writing is comparison to the source material.

I can't ever prove. But all the evidence points me there. You list quality shows as better: The Wire, The Sopranos, and Twin Peaks (I assume you mean the first season before it all sort of fell apart). I put The Wire above all, but the Sopranos? It had its struggles in terms of continuity and flow. And Twin Peaks lasted like a season and a half. I love Deadwood and Rome, but the latter had slow parts (you need to finish season one to fall in love and then...accelerated and in former, the second season felt aimless at times).

But you know what all of those have in common, aside from the general historic outline of Rome? No published source material. There's nothing for hypercritical people to latch onto. This is why I asked for a better adaptation.

The writers have tried to keep the tv show as faithful to the book as possible. Anyone else would have cut 2/3 of the characters and half of the storylines. The result is something complex that is sometimes tough to handle all the flow and exposition. But they've done a great job. The Sopranos didn't have six or seven families to fight with. And David Chase didn't have to deal with people bitching about the choice of fruit or that Andrea wasn't hot enough or that they changed Carmela's character too much or that they've marginalized Silvio.

As for your particular complaints, I do think there is time things have been overly explicit. Part of that is dealing with complexity in a short time span. Some of it is watchers just not getting it. Littlefinger's discussion with Margaery -- where she basically says, "I care about being the queen, not about Renly" -- was subtle and half the book readers are bitching about it being unnecessary. Sansa's scene with Cersei and Shae two episodes ago was brilliantly subtle, and again, people complained because they saw a deviation, not a subtlety.

I think there's plenty of fantastic writing and directing. It's not perfect and never will be. But having a reference point of expectations makes any deviation noticeable. The non-book readers don't seem to have this issue.

When any of my non-book reading friends -- and I've talked over ten of my friends and family into watching -- start to complain about the writing, I'll start to chalk up the complaints as legitimate. But I the genesis of most complaints is comparison and expectations.

-------------------------

As an aside, scenes written mostly by the writers from the last two eps that I've loved the writing:

All the new Greyjoy scenes, especially Theon confronting his father.

All the Margaery scenes -- especially in the bedroom with Renly. Just awesome.

I really liked the writing with Davos and Stannis on the boat and the shadowbaby scene.

I didn't like all the dialog, but I loved Jeyne's questioning of Robb of just how he sees the endgame.

"There's no cure for bein' a cunt."

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Not necessarily - it could be that someone judged it a 1 because they think the production was the worst possible adaption of what material was available. I could just as easily say anyone that judges it a 10 isn't really watching because nothing is perfect - even though a 10 doesn't necessarily mean it was a perfect episode.

Still have voted yet...between a 6 & a 7 - what they did well, they did very well, what I think they whiffed on, they whiffed huge. And to the extent they whiffed, those are having more impact than what they did well - partially because of the scene itself, partially because of what could have been.

If someone thinks this was the worst possible adaptation... they've really avoided adaptations, haven't they?

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I voted 8, though after watching it a couple of more times, I think it was a better episode than I gave it credit for. The torture porn scene was still excessive and the Tyrion/Lancel scene still falls flat (IMO). But I did not give enough credit to the rest of the episode.

The Baretheon summit, Tywin to the Rescue, Tyrion to the Rescue and the Shadow Baby scenes were all 10/10 scenes. (I was wrong about Shadow Baby looking cheap on a second viewing)

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I already posted this last year, but I think my expectations were simply too high after I saw that HBO was adapting the show and one of the writers actually said something along the lines of envisioning the show like a medieval Sopranos, which is EXACTLY how I view the books to a certain extent.

That like saying the Sopranos is a modern version of the Borgia saga.

Or the Sopranos is a modern version of the first century BCE Roman civil wars.

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That like saying the Sopranos is a modern version of the Borgia saga.

Or the Sopranos is a modern version of the first century BCE Roman civil wars.

Nevermind, I don't even know what the Borgia saga is! lol.

Edited by SFA-OK

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gograth, I think you're putting too much stock into what "professional TV critics" think of the show. Most TV is pretty bad, I think you'd agree there. So what are these critics comparing the show to? Mostly bad shows. GoT isn't a bad show and it has pretty good production values, the content is an epic story, etc. Most critics were never going to give the show a negative review unless HBO really dropped the ball on it and did something horrible with it.

And I'm not sure that your hypothesis is correct, could be, but definitely isn't the case with me. I've been accused of being a "book purist" on here but it simply isn't true and I think some people use that label on here when they don't like to hear criticisms of the show. I've only read the books once and don't remember some of the details. It seems that you are implying the writing on the GoT TV writing is on par or better than the Sopranos which I couldn't disagree more with.

It simply comes down to this for me - The show, thus far, just isn't that entertaining or interesting, regardless of source material or comparisons to it. And the reasons for it - The writing, the writing, the writing, the pacing and direction (constant ADD jumping from scene to scene, etc.). Some of the casting and acting have been great though. But I stated last year that if I HADN'T read the books I would've stopped watching it already, the show is that middle of the road and mediocre in a lot of ways. But again, some fans are loving it which is cool.

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It seems that you are implying the writing on the GoT TV writing is on par or better than the Sopranos which I couldn't disagree more with.

Thank you! GoT is not in the same league as the Sopranos (or as has been mentioned earlier The Wire and the office UK. I would add a show like Mad Men as well) GoT is epic, sensationalist, eventful and plot-oriented. The other shows have much more layers. That is what I call extremely good writing. GoT is just very huge in scale but that doesn't make it equal to the Sopranos(supposedly because both have many characters). The Sopranos was awesome because it combines the gangster genre with a psychological family drama and it succeeds in both. It might hurt to hear this but GoT is still very much a common medieval/fantasy drama with some political intrigue. Not a unique angle to be honest. I have yet to find an in depth backstory to one of the character.

That doesn't mean its not entertaining. It's hugely entertaining.

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