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scurvy

[book spoilers] the gutting of Catelyn's motivation

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For me the biggest concern is that D&D just dont seem to understand the basic concept of certain characters. Now that perception may only be presented to explain the show characters and where they are going, but even in that terms they fail. Jon as seeking a father figure? That makes absolutely zero sense and in my book is indefensible as a character motivation. But there we have it and it is clear that they have inbued TV Jon with that trait in his relationship to Mormont. And this is this perceptual dissonance that viewers have. Jons actions dont make sense for what we know of Jon as a viewer and a reader. A bastard raised by his father with a hostile mother figure, surrounded by stoic male father figures who clearly loved and instructed the young man is 180 degrees from Jon seeking a father figure. Thus when D&D present his character that way it simply makes no sense from a concious and subconcious level. WRT Cat, she is one of the most fascinating characters in the book, because she is so strong and single minded in her actions. They are consistent and logical from her perspective. That strength, as pointed out above makes her unique in breaking the female mother mold of the genre and larger fictional literature. It therefore becomes disappointing to many perceptive, mature viewes that her character is so changed, back to the cliched irrational grieving mother role, because that is so hackkneed (sp?) and predictable as to make the series less than its potential. And many of these changes simply make no sense, except for the most probable in that the writers intended on dumbing down her character. Specific changes were made that would not impact the budget or flow of the series that reduce her from a powerful figure in Robbs camp to the dottering mother. And that is a shame. Again, I believe this hurts the series in the long run. When the series starts to fall back on cliches and stereotypes it loses the thing that makes the series so special. The maturity and uniqueness, the reality and the mold breaking that attracts people to its story. If this story were simply Westerosi 90210, where cliched romance meet medieval violence, it will become cliche and boring. It works cause it is the Sopranos meets King Arthur, with magic. Simplifying characters to meet mass appeal brings this to the level of cliched fantasy and that simply does not have the mass appeal that this series must have to survive.

hackneyed*

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The problem I have with peoples problems, is you can't just point out individual actions of the characters as if they are in a vacuum. Cats whole situation/dynamic has changed. There is no Riverrun, no dying father, brother, or Uncle. We have a meeting with LF on behalf of Tyrion that IMHO changes a lot (I think it was crazier to have Jamie himself swear to return the girls, then the shows situation of an agreement with Tyrion [who actually has them, well at least Sansa]). Now I think the scene with Rob and Karstark wasn't great but Cat did get across the main point: she needed to free Jaimie to get the girls back. Could she have made a "better" argument? sure, but would that have really made a difference. What could she have said that would have made Rob and Karstark say: "oh well, in that case fine, we're glad you let him go after all". Also to say D&D don't understand the characters isn't fair, the fact is they are altering their universe, so changes have to go along with that. The viewer has to judge each situation in the show based on the continuity of the show, not what may or may not have happened in the books, based on the fact that a page by page literal expression of the books just isn't going to happen. I agree that so far Cat and Cersei have not been as strong a characters as they were in the books, but the show is not over and they may just be on different paths that hopefully ultimately get them to the same place.

I took a lot of heat around here for saying I never bought the fact that Cat didn't go back to her boys, and I find it way more believable that in the show she at least expresses a strong desire to go to Bran and Rick, In the books I think the most we get is her thinking that the boys must think poorly of her, not she misses them. Now wherever you believe the best place for her is, she should at least want to be with her youngest children, even if she stays elsewhere. So this is one thing I feel the show has done better than the books :stunned: .

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, and I find it way more believable that in the show she at least expresses a desire to go to Bran & Rick

No.

She had written to Bran and Rickon, that last night at Riverrun. I do not forget you, my sweet ones, you must believe that. It is only that your brother needs me more.

"Watch over Robb and Bran and Rickon. Would that I were with them."

She'd love to be with them. But Robb is in far more danger, and he's far more key to the safety of all the rest of the family, and so she stays. Plus her father is about to breathe his last, to boot, and it makes a lot of sense that she wants to be with him.

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The problem I have with peoples problems, is you can't just point out individual actions of the characters as if they are in a vacuum. Cats whole situation/dynamic has changed. There is no Riverrun, no dying father, brother, or Uncle. We have a meeting with LF on behalf of Tyrion that IMHO changes a lot (I think it was crazier to have Jamie himself swear to return the girls, then the shows situation of an agreement with Tyrion [who actually has them, well at least Sansa]). Now I think the scene with Rob & Karstark wasn't great but Cat did get across the main point: she needed to free Jaimie to get the girls back, could she have made a "better" argument? sure, but would that have really made a difference. What could she have said that would have made Rob & Karstark say: "oh well, in that case fine, we're glad you let him go after all". Also to say D & D don't understand the characters isn't fair, the fact is they are altering their universe, so changes have to go along with that. The viewer has to judge each situation in the show based on the continuity of the show, not what may or may not have happened in the books, based on the fact that a page by page literal expression of the books just isn't going to happen. I agree that so far Cat & Cersei have not been as strong a characters as they were in the books, but the show is not over and they may just be on different paths that hopefully ultimately get them to the same place. I took a lot of heat around here for saying I never bought the fact that Cat didn't go back to her boys, and I find it way more believable that in the show she at least expresses a desire to go to Bran & Rick, In the books I think the most we get is her thinking that the boys must think poorly of her, not she misses them. Now wherever you believe the best place for her is, she should at least want to be with her youngest children, even if she stays elsewhere. So this is one thing I feel the show has done better than the books :stunned: .

I believe book cat is under the impressin that cleo communicated that if Jamie was released Tyrion would release S and A, which again was communicated by Cleo.

It is actually interesting because Tyrion actually did not communicate as such. When Cleo asked about the exchange he said, paraphrasing from memory, that he wouldnt consider it while they held Jamie (implying that he would exchange the girls for him). I believe drunk Cleo said he would exchange Jamie for the girls.

So that leaves book cat having heard about the deaths of B&R and the info (incorrect?) from cleo that an exchange would work going to Jamie. She was relying on what she thought was Tyrion's word.

Given what LF did to Ned it is hard to believe that show LF would believe a word out of his mouth. Though of course she would have no reason to believe Tyrion EXCEPT he supposedly made his statement in court (as opposed to LF in secret).

So book cat's motivations, while complex, were spelled out.

She believed that Tyrion in open court agreed to the exchange.

That same logic does not apply to show Cat.

a. She had no reason to trust LF because of his actions against Ned

b. She had no reason to trust in Tyrions words, communicated through LF (even accepting that she trusted LF-which I dont believe she did-she pulled a knife on him, correct)

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No. She'd love to be with them. But Robb is in far more danger, and he's far more key to the safety of all the rest of the family, and so she stays. Plus her father is about to breathe his last, to boot, and it makes a lot of sense that she wants to be with him.

and Moat Catlin was occupied by the Iron Born so she had no way to get to B&R regardless.

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She'd love to be with them. But Robb is in far more danger, and he's far more key to the safety of all the rest of the family, and so she stays. Plus her father is about to breathe his last, to boot, and it makes a lot of sense that she wants to be with him.

Her father has been in poor health for a while and she was on the road for a year before she got to Riverrun. And a letter to the boys saying " I'd like to see you but your brother is more important", isn't quite the same as the 2 instances in the show where she has expressed a strong desire to return to Winterfell is all I'm saying.

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and Moat Catlin was occupied by the Iron Born so she had no way to get to B&R regardless.

she was on the road for a year before she got to Riverrun.

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yes but look at what she did during that year. went to KL because of the attack on Bran to warn Ned. On way back runs into Tyrion, cannot go back to WF because of danger of running into Lannisters, goes to Eyrie. Returns from eyrie and runs into Robb who asks her to go to Renly. Cat is the only one he trusts with that mission and by the time she returns the way back to WF is closed to her. Cat is regularly bemoaning how duty is getting in the way of returning to R&B. Of course, this is just another example of how duties often are unreconcilable.

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isn't quite the same as the 2 instances in the show where she has expressed a strong desire to return to Winterfell is all I'm saying.

Sure. And I'm disagreeing with you. It's palpable in the novels that she wants to be reunited with all of her family, that she misses them all. But her duty to her family demands that she stays with Robb because without Robb, the family is doomed. I don't need to have her tell everyone how she wants to be back in Winterfell to understand that she wants to be back with her family, for my own part.

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I would like to have honest dialogue about these changes rather than read a bunch of reactionary outrage. Take for an example, I wouldn't mind reading your opinions of where you think that the budget for this show would be better spent. I just don't want to read another long tirade against changes in the show and how stupid D&D must be.

Got it. And I will find a better thread to put it in--something about production values, since technically this is a thread about how Catelyn is written.

Right now, though, I have to go exercise.

Okay, I'll sneak in one point: They could have saved money on Natalie Dormer. blecch. (Just kidding!)

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Agree, that whole scene with Catelyn letting Jamie go was weird. I mean, she thinks Bran and Rickon are captives, NOT YET dead, so she doesn't need to think "I need at least Arya and Sansa back", because she thinks she still have all of her children alive. Weird.

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The real tragedy of the show is that we are almost getting to see Catelyn in all her glory. Could you imagine how mindblowingly amazing it would be if Michelle fairley was able to portray book catelyn? They got the actress just right for the character, they just never bothered to actually create the character. Show cat is a generic good mother. I find this offensive. Cat is my favourite character because she is so complex. She is so much more than just a mother. She is a compassionate person and a shrewd politician, and she is a daughter and sister. The absence of the Tullys this season further strengthens the point that D&D are not interested in expanding the character beyond the Great Lady trope.

I happened to read about the release of Jamie before watching it, and was spitting nails all day while waiting for the episode. However, I must say that I found this change acceptable in and of itself. The sense of urgency could have been emphasised, but it was not strictly necessary. Where the writers fell down was in the aftermath. Nt showing the oath swearing was very risky, as the audience does not fully grasp Cat's reasons for releasing him. The confrontation with robb was atrocious. That scene.... Why on earth would cat not immediately tell robb that they guy standing behind him was plotting to kill his most valuable hostage and sealing his sisters deaths? And why, oh gods why, did she act surprised that he was placing her under arrest? Cat was a rational person who made rash decisions, but she always reflected on them after. Wouldn't she have contemplated robb reaction, and realised the necessity of her imprisonment? Ugh.

Also, Michelle fairley does not seem to realise how much the character has bee altered. In one interview she says she began reading the books but stopped because she didn't want to know what was going to happen, in case prior knowledge affected her performance. She also seemed shocked when another interviewer mentioned that cat was a polarising character. Finally, she mentioned that all the actors were given histories of their characters in lieu of reading the books. Someone asked about this in the thread.

/rant

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The real tragedy of the show is that we are almost getting to see Catelyn in all her glory. Could you imagine how mindblowingly amazing it would be if Michelle fairley was able to portray book catelyn? They got the actress just right for the character, they just never bothered to actually create the character. Show cat is a generic good mother. I find this offensive. Cat is my favourite character because she is so complex. She is so much more than just a mother. She is a compassionate person and a shrewd politician, and she is a daughter and sister. The absence of the Tullys this season further strengthens the point that D&D are not interested in expanding the character beyond the Great Lady trope.

I happened to read about the release of Jamie before watching it, and was spitting nails all day while waiting for the episode. However, I must say that I found this change acceptable in and of itself. The sense of urgency could have been emphasised, but it was not strictly necessary. Where the writers fell down was in the aftermath. Nt showing the oath swearing was very risky, as the audience does not fully grasp Cat's reasons for releasing him. The confrontation with robb was atrocious. That scene.... Why on earth would cat not immediately tell robb that they guy standing behind him was plotting to kill his most valuable hostage and sealing his sisters deaths? And why, oh gods why, did she act surprised that he was placing her under arrest? Cat was a rational person who made rash decisions, but she always reflected on them after. Wouldn't she have contemplated robb reaction, and realised the necessity of her imprisonment? Ugh.

Also, Michelle fairley does not seem to realise how much the character has bee altered. In one interview she says she began reading the books but stopped because she didn't want to know what was going to happen, in case prior knowledge affected her performance. She also seemed shocked when another interviewer mentioned that cat was a polarising character. Finally, she mentioned that all the actors were given histories of their characters in lieu of reading the books. Someone asked about this in the thread.

/rant

There's just no way they can develop these characters to the full extent that George does. Its not possible in 9 hours of screen time. These expectations are unrealistic.

With that being said, this series could focus more or have longer seasons imo and still make money.

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@mulledwino I agree, but my argument still stands. They could reduce a characters screen time and remain faithful to the original Cat. I wasn't suggesting that the should have brought the Tullys in just to round out Cat's character, just pointing out one of the many aspects of the character they have ignored. For example, the writers need not have given robb many of cats ideas. The scenes would have conveyed the same information to the audience and have been much more satisfying for cat fans. Robb could have been fleshed out without robbing his mother of political shrewdness and agency

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and by returning to Cat her just desserts vis a vis Robb's decisions, it woiuld have given much needed depth to Robbs character making him much less the cliched perfect boy king

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@mulledwino I agree, but my argument still stands. They could reduce a characters screen time and remain faithful to the original Cat. I wasn't suggesting that the should have brought the Tullys in just to round out Cat's character, just pointing out one of the many aspects of the character they have ignored. For example, the writers need not have given robb many of cats ideas. The scenes would have conveyed the same information to the audience and have been much more satisfying for cat fans. Robb could have been fleshed out without robbing his mother of political shrewdness and agency

They took quite a bit of robb's accomplishments away as well. It seemed like there wasnt enough credit to go around. I do agree that cat lost some luster, but i never thought she was that politically shrewd to begin with. I mean she made horrible political decisions with Jamie and Tyrion.

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But her duty to her family demands that she stays with Robb because without Robb, the family is doomed.

After the Twins what good does she do Robb? I forgot Catelyn Tully-Stark is a world renowned military strategist and expert negotiator whom Robb and his war council lean on heavily and who deftly negotiated a truce between Stannis and Renly...Oh wait, no none of that is true, she over values her need to be with her oldest son at war who is surrounded by seasoned military veterans. She could have gone back to Winterfell from the Twins and the only thing that would be different is the North would still hold Jamie.

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After the Twins what good does she do Robb? I forgot Catelyn Tully-Stark is a world renowned military strategist and expert negotiator whom Robb and his war council lean on heavily and who deftly negotiated a truce between Stannis and Renly...Oh wait, no none of that is true, she over values her need to be with her oldest son at war who is surrounded by seasoned military veterans. She could have gone back to Winterfell from the Twins and the only thing that would be different is the North would still hold Jamie.

She wanted to see her dad i guess. But you're right. She didnt really do much of anything except make things a mess.

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She wanted to see her dad i guess. But you're right. She didnt really do much of anything except make things a mess.

Fine she could even go to Riverrun say her good-byes and THEN return to Winterfell. Her father doesn't need her to stay, he doesn't even know who she is most of the time and she's not going to cure him. So don't say she wanted to go home but couldn't because if she truly wanted to she could have.

And please don't take this as hatred of Cat, I disagree with some of her decisions, but I do enjoy the character in the book, even if there are moments of "what are you doing!" it's entertaining and the TV version is watered down...

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