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[Book Spoilers] EP 205 Discussion

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I am so disappointed they didn't allow Arya to kill the tickler, I hope they make up for this. That was by far one of the best parts in Storm of swords and they just took it away. With that said, i'm still loving GoT. I hope they at least show her dreams when she wargs into Nymeria.

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Osha will be going with Bran, I would bet. Luwin may survive to take Rickon.

I'm thinking Luwin will still die but maybe not when we expect him too and the reeds will come in later, maybe not until season three, I'm hoping so anyways, keeping my fingers crossed, i like the reeds, i would be upset if they don't cast them.

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I have this personal experience (I'm going to share) almost everytime that I've been surprised of how good directed some episode of -insert series name here- was, It was directed by Tim VanPatten, last season he had the pilot (the second shoot, the first was with Taylor) and the second. This season I loved the Sakharov episode (Theon burning the letter) but I didnt like the directing of rest (clarification: I liked the episodes, but if you have this production and those AMAZING actors you have to be really very bad not to do a good episode...you came to the set with half the work done).

Alan Taylor doesn't do it for me, he delivers very efficiently but lacks "pepper" (I can't find a better term). This season seems heavily leant in the work of the actors. I went to imdb to see if we'll have a Tim Van Patten this season and, no, no this season.

I think the skill of the director add a subtle + capably to make an episode from good to excellent...how a certain framing and lightning can convey a climate, how to enhance the acting (noticed how out of timing was the expression of Littlefinger when Margaery tells him she wants to be "the" queen?... Aidan Gillen was very good, but the directing and editing was slacky. The same with the Tyrion/Lancel scene last week Dinklage is very skilled but Eugene Simon had a performance more apt to the theatre than the camera. He was good showing the desperation and fear of foreboding Joffrey's reaction, but came out a little cartoonish...that is not the actor's fault, is the direction

I think the problem is the directors are occupied more with bringing the teleplay to life than with their craft

First I would note that two of best episodes, 9 and 10 , last season, were directed by Alan Taylor. So there is something to explain there.

As noted on another thread here each episode sequence is timing out at about 2.5 min., now having a nearly perfect cast does make up for a lot, plus one cannot spend too much time in less than an hour and cover such a rich story.

But is not that the screenwriters job? To wisely chose and re-imagine rather lengthy prose scenes? ( George can really elaborate his prose , even when telling a good story.)

You said this :

Littlefinger when Margaery tells him she wants to be "the" queen?... Aidan Gillen was very good, but the directing and editing was slacky.

Man I don't follow that at all! That whole sequence looked crisp to me. David Petrarca may not be a Mike Nichols or Howard Hawks at pacing, but his work here seemed fine to me.

I think all the directors are doing fine this year.

The problem, as I see it, looks as if Benioff and Weiss are going to do this, doggedly pound CoK into 10 hours.

Now maybe this could have been done with more planning and iterations , a young John Huston might could have done it (Huston was a genius at adaptation material from prose into screenplay).... and these guys are doing a great best effort at it... but are falling short of last season. Tho not short enough as to not have a TV drama that I find much more entertaining than all the other things I watch on the tube.

Edited by boojam

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I know a lot of people had issue with Qarth scenes, but they didn't really bother me. Quite honestly, the parts of Qarth were some of the most boring in the whole series. Actually, it was one of the only boring parts in the series to me. It was one of those things where I was reading, but not really. It wasn't until after maybe 3 re-reads that I could even tell you what went on in Qarth. Considering that, I expected the writers to change things there immensely. So Qarth went from boring to goofy with this Soumai shit and Valyrian stone vaults or whatever, but at least it's entertaining. I say do whatever you want with it, D&D, just don't make the House of Undying goofy.

I think you a speaking of Geroge's CoK Qarth? Yeah in a book with 70 chapters Daenerys has only 5! Well at least George adds more to Dany's story here than in ADwD (my personal opinion, it's SoS where she really rocks!).

Except for the house of the undying and a little exposition here and there , the addition of two new characters (well one of them an old character)... Qarth is a pretty thin prose gruel.

By the by Rhaegal, Drogon, and Viserion do a lot of growing there, with 5 episodes left , there should be a lot of change in them.

Edited by boojam

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I think you a speaking of Geroge's CoK Qarth? Yeah in a book with 70 chapters Daenerys has only 5! Well at least George adds more to Dany's story here than in ADwD (my personal opinion, it's SoS where she really rocks!).

Except for the house of the undying and a little exposition here and there , the addition of two new characters (well one of them an old character)... Qarth is a pretty thin prose gruel.

By the by Rhaegal, Drogon, and Viserion do a lot of growing there, with 5 episodes left , there should be a lot of change in them.

Yea they really should have shown Drogon charing and eating the meat, before Dany got into Qarth, because that leaves very little time for the dragons to grow. If they make them grow a significant amount in the next five episodes, it will beg the question why they haven't grown at all sense they hatched, which is five episodes.

The only reason I can think of, for why they didn't show Drogon and the "Dracarys" scene in the Red Waste, was because it was a happy scene. They were laughing and being happy with Drogon, teaching him to cook his own food, and to shoot fire on command, and that would have been weird in the Red Waste, because they wanted to show the Red Waste as miserable. Still though, I am worried about how they will make the dragons bigger in just five episodes, especially if Drogon has a part in the House of the Undying. I highly doubt Drogon will be in that scene though.

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This cuts to the heart of the problem. This season just feels so much less professional than the last one. Is it the lack of Sean Bean? Is it the sudden shift of focus away from the Stark family? In the books, it happens almost without notice, but it's especially prominent in the series. Is it the weird, disjointed writing? Is it the "porn parody" feel? Margaery saying she would "bend over and pretend to be Loras" was something that seemed especially jarring. Is it the clear and blatant favoritism they show certain characters? Is it how they needlessly change minor details for no fucking reason just to be "different"? This show isn't an adaptation of GRRM's novels. It's not, and it will need to stop pretending it is once this season is done. Cutting certain characters? Makes plenty of sense. Aging them up? Sure. Shortening some of their scenes? Yep. Completely changing the fundamentals of the character? Don't get it. Don't get it at all.

In the books, the scope widens, from the tighter-focussed first book (Starks/Lannisters/Daenerys) to more and more sub-plots and more and more characters and more and more cultures. GRRM pulls it off well in the first three books, reasonably well in the fourth and fifth book when the pacing slows. But a narrative of this complexity, especially as the characters and sub-plots seem to fan out all over the place, would be hellaciously difficult to fit into ten shows of less than one full hour each. (especially when there seems to be some kind of semi-official mandate for as much sex as possible, not to mention as much Roz as possible). Much and more will be compressed and cut and cut out altogether to convey the essence of ASoIaF in the series.

But can they convey the essence of GRRM's entire story, at least the first three books of it, in the TV miniseries when they continue to chip away at plot details and characterization and insert new characters and distort original characters?

I don't know. I'm still annoyed that Peter Jackson cut out the hobbits' homecoming to a half-ruined and occupied Shire in the LOTR movie, but I'm glad the movie was made (I try not to think about movie-Faramir too much either).

Ned Stark served as a great focus for reader, and audience, appeal. With him gone, his children's destinies, and his legacy, are up for grabs; as may be the viewers' attention. I'm wondering how the Red Wedding (if it will eventually be seen) will affect the ratings/viewing of subsequent episodes.

And then there's the aging of the younger actors. Little Bran's voice will probably be changing by 2014 if not before; Arya's will eventually be unable to pass for 12, and Sansa already looks 17 or 18 rather than 13-14 (the actress is 15 or 16 now I think). I wish they'd film two series at the same time, if they could get the go-ahead.

But I am enjoying much of what I've seen (three out of five episodes; I don't have cable, so I've seen eps One and Four online; probably all I'll be able to find; I haven't been able to get a link to Episode 5 - had to wait for the dvds to watch more than clips of Season 1).

I wish we didn't have to see so much of Roz though.

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The characters age in the books too. Martin is never specific about time passed, because it would not make sense. Better to ignore it than try to explain it and show the readers how sloppy he is in this regard.

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Yeah... honestly, it's hard for me to like him in the series, either. In the books... I don't know, he was just different, especially in how he talks to Davos. His line about "grieving Renly" felt half-hearted and tossed in there when in the books, he has a few very heart-wrenching lines to Davos about it, and I earnestly believe he does not know that he killed Renly. The whole thing with Mel saying she'll give him a son and then him ordering Davos to go do the shadowbaby was very, very, very poorly written, there has to have been a cut scene somewhere between one and the other. I'm earnestly surprised there hasn't been much complaining about it, but I guess no one really likes Stannis like I do. The show writers certainly don't - Dan Weiss said that Stannis would make a terrible king and that he lacked humanity, which - forgive me if I'm making a broad assumption here - I don't think George R. R. Martin believes. In an interview, he had said that Stannis was "a righteous man, in spite of everything else". Meh... I'm depressed.

Stephen Dillane has probably been doing a good job with what he's been given, but am I alone in thinking that the writing for Stannis' character so far has seemed very schizophrenic? Please tell me I'm not.

I totally agree with you, as much as i do not like Stannis book I have to say that he has got feeling and as reader i do feel for him sometimes ( Renly death, the peach, Edreic storm..) but this show Stannis is just cold and like a puppet to Mel in a way ( if i can use this word ).

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This cuts to the heart of the problem. This season just feels so much less professional than the last one. Is it the lack of Sean Bean? Is it the sudden shift of focus away from the Stark family? In the books, it happens almost without notice, but it's especially prominent in the series. Is it the weird, disjointed writing? Is it the "porn parody" feel? Margaery saying she would "bend over and pretend to be Loras" was something that seemed especially jarring. Is it the clear and blatant favoritism they show certain characters? Is it how they needlessly change minor details for no fucking reason just to be "different"? This show isn't an adaptation of GRRM's novels. It's not, and it will need to stop pretending it is once this season is done. Cutting certain characters? Makes plenty of sense. Aging them up? Sure. Shortening some of their scenes? Yep. Completely changing the fundamentals of the character? Don't get it. Don't get it at all.

Someone else already said this, but I'm going to repeat it because it's a lot of the root of this feeling: the heart of the problem is the expansion of the narrative. ACOK has much more going in terms of locations and subplots that AGOT, and not only that, but the TV show is also bound by the rules of television, which is: you don't sign actors to not do anything. Thus you have time spent with Robb that was never spent in the actual book, for example.

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It was an interesting episode but the Harrenhall plot is now a bit of a mystery to me (although it was a bit messy in the books too so understandable). I think they will have to introduce the Bloody Mummers and the Reeds at some point soon, even if it happens a bit later than in the books or i'm worried we may miss out on some quality scenes later down the line, e.g...

The Bear Pit / Brans Warg-Training

There was a lot of the story i felt was very true to the books... which was nice. LF as a master manipulator is more vividly expressed in the show and it took me a while to get over the lack of subtelty that i'm used to in the books but i understand now... Sam Tarley is not anywhere near as annoying as he is in the first season and the books... which is amazing that D&D have picked up on this... Samwise Gamgee from LoTR films was an awful adaptation from the books and i hated the pathetic character he became - so badly i don't watch the films any more because any scene with him in gets skipped... Sam Tarley was heading that way but thankfully D&D saw the error in that...

Things i don't get:

  • The Vault. Don't get the angle here unless it is to tempt Dany's greed. A character integrity-challenge of sorts... that could potentially drive Dany away from Qarth..
  • Bronn - still wearing his scruffy sellsword clothes... Shouldn't he be larging it up as head of the Gold Cloaks and looking pimp? ...since that was a new thing introduced a couple of episodes back? - or was that Tyrion decision over-ruled without us knowing about it?
  • Did the Pyromancer mention about how Wildfire works better now? i don't recall that...
  • Dagmer Cleftjaw is an old legend and close family friend of the Greyjoys :( They could have at least made an effort with a facial scar... doesn't bode well for later war scars that characters suffer...
  • Jons Ghost dream... i can see why it would be both confusing and expensive to do... but the Fist of the First men scene was very very weak because of it... No Obsidian, No Horn, No Hellcrow, No suggestion of a connection between Jon and Ghost... No hint of sneaky tree people hiding in the background for people to wonder about... The magic was literally lost from that scene...

So far i'm a bit disappointed not to have seen Lightbringer \ the Hellcrow and Edric Storm - Storm's End. D&D really did make a massive cock-up with the Melisandre birthing scene and the shadow sneaking through the bars - how the hell can anyone ever make any sense of that... book reader or not? :(

Edited by DragonSpawn

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I think the show is steering more and more away from the books. As soon as people accept this, the show becomes more enjoyable, at least for me. Because in its own right there is nothing wrong with the series. It has great actors, a good background story, great environments. Fights, sex, war, intrigue and what not. The problem is that most of us are fans of the book first and that changes the way we look at the show.

Then again, reasons why we come here in this subforum is to discuss the series and a major part of that involves comparing the books with the tv-show. So here goes.

1) Arya choosing the Tickler as her first kill makes sense from a tv perspective because he is a minor character and people will forget about him but for me it was just wrong. It's a direct consequence of messing up the torture scene in the previous episode by not stressing the routinous and insane questioning techniques that are branded in Arya's mind which lead to her maniacal behavior at the tavern.

2) Renly's death was boring compared to the book. In the book, the things that stood out was the atmosphere right before the killing (darkness, Catelyn getting chilles) and the sheer brutality of the murder (slashed throat and cutted through Renly's armor). Loras reaction was also kind of dull. In the books, no matter how stubborn and childish he might seem, he is still an amazing fighter and him going berserk at members of Renly's rainbow guard is a testimony of that. In the show he is nothing more then a whiny little brat that gets his ass whooped by Brienne.

3) Three-eyed raven???? Maybe it doesnt matter that much but it's more proof that the tv show is side tracking.

4) Quaithe looks like a belly dancer, not the mysterious sorceress she is ment to be and Xaro Xhoan Daxos is not nearly as extravagant as he is in the books. Where are his nose chains and his teardrops. And him smashing his vault door with a sword is kind of ridiculous. Pyat Pree is not a member of the 13, why make him? Again all these things are not that important and can be considered nitpicking but they are a big part of the atmosphere that George has created.

5) The fist of the first man is in the middle of a forest, not mount Himalaya. I wonder how this will influence the epic battle with the wights which I think is kind of the nothern counterbalance for the battle at blackwater bay (maybe not as detailled but still very important). Whonder how they will portray this on the screen.

6) Tyrion would never openly walk the slumbs of Kingslanding. Either he is cowled and leaves at night or he has a ton of guards protecting him. There are supposed to be riots and famine in the city. People don't like him and would not let him walk the streets like that. On the other hand i absolutely loved the mini carriage he was sitting in!

Strangely I tend to accept some of the other big storyline changes like no Roose but Tywin at Harrenhal, one shadowbaby deat, no Reeds. I think this is because the show clearly deviates from the actual story and doesn't try to hide it and in a sense it changes the plot. The points I listed above are more devious in that they change the general feeling and atmosphere of the story.

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I agree. Though I enjoyed those characters in the book, it does not make sense for the TV show. Especially when you have the caliber of actor of Osha. Adding two more child actors to the show and expecting them to carry interesting dialogue with them north of the wall would just be too big of a risk.

Jojen and Meera WILL be in next season. No reason really for them to be in this one. The Winterfell arc plays out basically exactly the same without them, Then early next season they will find Bran on the road. I do not think they can cut them completely because of what GRRM has said about the Reeds

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In the books, the scope widens, from the tighter-focussed first book (Starks/Lannisters/Daenerys) to more and more sub-plots and more and more characters and more and more cultures. GRRM pulls it off well in the first three books, reasonably well in the fourth and fifth book when the pacing slows. But a narrative of this complexity, especially as the characters and sub-plots seem to fan out all over the place, would be hellaciously difficult to fit into ten shows of less than one full hour each. (especially when there seems to be some kind of semi-official mandate for as much sex as possible, not to mention as much Roz as possible). Much and more will be compressed and cut and cut out altogether to convey the essence of ASoIaF in the series.

But can they convey the essence of GRRM's entire story, at least the first three books of it, in the TV miniseries when they continue to chip away at plot details and characterization and insert new characters and distort original characters?

That's the nub of it , is it not?

I have watched all the episodes several times now, the cast and production values are the carrying the load. It's been that the teleplays are not really that far off from last year, but as posted elsewhere here 2.5 min. average per sequence is causing a chop effect. (Lacing the narrative with some non plot advancement sexploitation also has eaten some valuable time , and I am not talking the in-context stuff, that is ok.)

I suppose before the series ever started D&D could have said , if season one is a big hit for HBO we want to do CoK as seasons 2 and 3... tho that would probably been suicide.

I don't know. I'm still annoyed that Peter Jackson cut out the hobbits' homecoming to a half-ruined and occupied Shire in the LOTR movie, but I'm glad the movie was made (I try not to think about movie-Faramir too much either).

Now to be fair Peter Jackson has talked about that, faced the same problem as D&D did. After New Line had put up 300 million for the trilogy first production shoot, he said no way could he fit The Scouring of the Shire, and some other things in. Economics is cruel to the arts at times.

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The characters age in the books too. Martin is never specific about time passed, because it would not make sense. Better to ignore it than try to explain it and show the readers how sloppy he is in this regard.

Right on!

As you say why explain it a all?

Just let it happen, it does no violence to the narrative.

Edited by boojam

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About the FoFm, the only thing that disturbed me was the lack of Obsidian... I dont mind it isnt in the forest, I like it this way too and a battle in this landscape (quite sure S3 will open with it, after S2 ends with the three blasts) will be fucking epic !

But sad the Obsidian was forgotten.

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Good! I will be sweating the ratings until they confirm Season 7 (8?) to end the series. Of course, they will have to pass the books b then unless they want Rickon to be moving with a walker.

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Another great episode for me. Brienne's little fight impressed me. She's quite intimidating in fighting mode.

- I like Dagmer. No hideous scar, but I'll live. :P I don't know why they changed the fact that Theon knew him before, but I'm curious to see what they plan to do with the changes. I'm very curious about Dagmer.

- Tyrion and Cersei scenes are always gold. I particularly liked Tyrion's "scheming and plotting are the same things" :lol: Duh, Cersei.

- Jaqen is perfect, but why oh why kill the Tickler so soon? I so wanted to see "Is there gold in the village? Gems?...", but oh well. Hopefully when that time rolls around in season 3 or 4, they will have replaced it with something equally awesome.

- Arya and Tywin were full of win. I think that scene when he asks her about Robb is one of my favorite scenes in the series so far. Both of their faces are so expressive. After that moment when Arya says "anyone can be killed", Charles Dance's eyes were like daggers. There was so much tension and nobody was talking, I was like "oh, shit". Arya was such a badass to stare him right back.

- Love Cat's and Brienne's new bonding

- I could care less about Marg in the books, but I totally like her on the show.

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