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[Book Spoilers] EP 210 Discussion

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GRRM in season 1 (the lead up - expose) said he was hands on in creating the world, looking over the script, and helping to develop the story, etc. He is also listed as an executive producer. I highly doubt he would gleefully write episode 9 if he didnt agree with the direction of the show and the subtle changes being made.

Also to address the other criticisms, as a book reader, and a major fan of the show.

Robb's wedding. I personally like this version of Robb a lot more than the book version. He's more heroic, impulsive, young. The people I watch with (nonreaders) and those at work who watch, all are invested in the character. They want him to get his revenge. They also see the folly in disregarding the Freys but in the end he is the "King in the North" according to my non-reader friends, why cant he choose his own wife and reward the Freys in some other way?

The burning of Winterfell. TV 101; if they dont explicitly say something happened or someone did it, don't assume. As was mentioned earlier the scene was designed to make it seem as though the Ironborn burned it down, only to be revealed in s3 what truly happened. That's great TV. It helps set up the Robb betrayal and death. People will go ballastic when Robb dies (before Joffery) they wont be able to comprehend a world where nobility, chivalry, and genuine goodness gets constantly betrayed (Robb, Ned, Tyrion) and people like Joffery go unscathed. It wasn't the book readers who created the buzz about Ned's beheading, it was the nonreaders who took it to the web and generated the huge buzz. I think the writers and producers are doing a marvelous job and will be rewarded DUE to the changes that have been made.

Theon! He had the best scene on the show. That was a great speech. He's an amazing actor, who makes you like Theon, he seems hapless, helpless, having the reverse midas touch. Its great.

I love the show. I love the episode. I love the way these characters are brought to life. I think a lot of them are more amazing due to the actors portraying them than the books could bring to life. Bronn, Tyrion, Robb, and Dany..

At the end of the day this series will and should be different than the books. They should take liberties, make changes, create deeper characters where GRRM left hollow openings. Not all the changes are amazing but some are, and as readers, we should love that -- its new! I, like all of you wish it could have been a 2 hour finale. It wasnt deemed so..

Personally I hope after season 7ish... when the show is done. They make a prequel. I want to see a 3 hour movie about Ned, Robert, and the mad king. Now that's something to get excited about.

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GRRM in season 1 (the lead up - expose) said he was hands on in creating the world, looking over the script, and helping to develop the story, etc. He is also listed as an executive producer. I highly doubt he would gleefully write episode 9 if he didnt agree with the direction of the show and the subtle changes being made.

Martin has said he has absoluetly no say in anything they do with the exception of submitting his final draft of one episode per season.

Martin has said in an interview that if HBO wanted to have aliens come down and fight the Others that would be their chocie and he would not be able to stop them.

Does he have ANY say? The writers have said that when they are about to kill a character (who does not die in the books) they ask Martin if this character has any long-term importance in the universe... and even THEN they will still usually go with what they want to do (ie: one o fDrogo's bloodriders is alive in the books, but was killed by Drogo in the series).

Martin has also stated that the show has done certain things that he has not liked, most notably the "Robert Hunting Party" scene in Robert's second-to-last episode; he said that having four guys wandering in the woods just looked sad.

Martin signed off all creative control (save the one episode he writes) to HBO and its producers; that was the price he paid for HBO to ... meet HIS price. And this just makes sense; while Martin used to be in TV that was in the 1980s and the medium has changed. He knows this and knows that he cannot pay attention to things like production costs, casting decisions, story-boarding etc- he has other things to focus on (like writing the next ... heheheh ... I can't even say it with a straight face... no, seriously, writing the next few books... yeah...). Anyway, those decisions are not for Martin to focus on so he has HBO do that. And its HBO's money that goes to the show so they get final say. Always.

As far as the episodes that he actually writes I bet he has some say but HBO ALWAYS retains final say in everything.

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Rockroi is correct...an executive producer credit has absolutely no bearing on the accredited person's contribution to the project. Stan Lee is credited as an executive producer for The Avengers...and had no creative input and received no monetary compensation. In Stan Lee's case the executive producer credits were a vanity negotiated as part of the rights deal. I do wish, however, that GRRM had a giant veto hammer to swing...unfortunately...

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Though this is way of the current direction of the thread...Did anyone else notice that when reciting MMD's prophetic words Dany said "When the rivers run dry?" A big swing and a miss...if this was not some crazy intentional change by D&D.

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I do wish, however, that GRRM had a giant veto hammer to swing...unfortunately...

I was listening to a pod cast of a couple of guys on Grantland talk about Game of Thrones and the Blackwater episode. And one of these guys wrote a peice where he theroized that when the Hound has his "freak out and retreat" moment and flees the battlefiueld it was because the Hound had just "had enough;" that the Hound saw all these men die for no good reason; that he could not kill enough of the enemy to make them stop; and that at any moment he would have to kill and/or die for some POS like Joff. And so, the Hound said "Done! Not doing this for one more second." The author then said that he was LAMBASTED by fans saying "No, the Hound hates fire!" And that ... irked... the writer. Because he thought that fans of the books took so much "ownership" in the product that they are (pardon the phrase) totaly closed to alternate interpretations of scenes and motivations.

And maybe- just maybe -that's why it MAY be okay for Martin not to swing the veto hammer.

For starters, such a power is utterly unrealistic in any type of production; Martin cannot veto everything on HBO's dime.

Second, Martin's vetos would invariably be one-way and that would be towards a more book-centrric "interpretation." And while that may be good in some respects its disasterous in others (Martin has joked MANY times that if he had it his way certain scenes would be bigger, last longer and cost 3x the entire anual budget of the show).

Third, sometimes somebody else actually knows better (See "Crows, A Feast for"). Nobody knows this story better than Martin, but maybe some other people cvan briong new dimentions to what is being told (in 10, one hour chunks).

And maybe- just maybe -we book fans (or the erroneously titled "Purists") have to take our foot off the gas. Maybe its okay for other ideas- even if they stray form the books -to come up, simmer in time, roll around in the stew of the story and come out delicious. Maybe the Hound HAD had enough; maybe it WASN'T the fire that did it; maybe there is room for other storys to rise and fall on their own merits.

Maybe there is even room for Roz... nahhhhhh...

Anyway, my point is that Martin is the God (lietarlly) of the books. But this story is sort of an "Alternate Universe" and this story has to be told just a little bit differently here in order to meet the medium. Its not the books but it may be something else worth experiencing.

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I was listening to a pod cast of a couple of guys on Grantland talk about Game of Thrones and the Blackwater episode. And one of these guys wrote a peice where he theroized that when the Hound has his "freak out and retreat" moment and flees the battlefiueld it was because the Hound had just "had enough;" that the Hound saw all these men die for no good reason; that he could not kill enough of the enemy to make them stop; and that at any moment he would have to kill and/or die for some POS like Joff. And so, the Hound said "Done! Not doing this for one more second." The author then said that he was LAMBASTED by fans saying "No, the Hound hates fire!" And that ... irked... the writer. Because he thought that fans of the books took so much "ownership" in the product that they are (pardon the phrase) totaly closed to alternate interpretations of scenes and motivations.

And maybe- just maybe -that's why it MAY be okay for Martin not to swing the veto hammer.

For starters, such a power is utterly unrealistic in any type of production; Martin cannot veto everything on HBO's dime.

Second, Martin's vetos would invariably be one-way and that would be towards a more book-centrric "interpretation." And while that may be good in some respects its disasterous in others (Martin has joked MANY times that if he had it his way certain scenes would be bigger, last longer and cost 3x the entire anual budget of the show).

Third, sometimes somebody else actually knows better (See "Crows, A Feast for"). Nobody knows this story better than Martin, but maybe some other people cvan briong new dimentions to what is being told (in 10, one hour chunks).

And maybe- just maybe -we book fans (or the erroneously titled "Purists") have to take our foot off the gas. Maybe its okay for other ideas- even if they stray form the books -to come up, simmer in time, roll around in the stew of the story and come out delicious. Maybe the Hound HAD had enough; maybe it WASN'T the fire that did it; maybe there is room for other storys to rise and fall on their own merits.

Maybe there is even room for Roz... nahhhhhh...

Anyway, my point is that Martin is the God (lietarlly) of the books. But this story is sort of an "Alternate Universe" and this story has to be told just a little bit differently here in order to meet the medium. Its not the books but it may be something else worth experiencing.

And it is actually so close to the books that we should be happy. How many tv producers would agree to kill their main character and star in the first season?

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Actually, I totally agree with you Rockroi. I realize how impossible and unrealistic it would be for GRRM to be constantly looking over the writers shoulders...changing things at a whim. However, that does not always stop me from wishing for it at certain groan worthy moments. (see the Ros, Armeca, Littlefinger scene)

It is also true that sometimes the show writers do in fact know better. Unfortunately, knowing better doesn't always help. An example of this is the fact that D&D clearly realized that Dany's five chapters and miniscule forward progress from ACoK would never work in a television format...but was their solution any better? Maybe, but it is certainly open to debate. That being said, I am for the most part a supporter of the changes that have been made...though there are a few headscratchers. (mostly dropped subplots and prophesy imo)

Even though I started as a purist viewer of the series, (I have read the books 7,7,5,4,4 times respectively) I have let most, if not all, of my angst over the changes go. Most of them are explainable in a variety of ways...even the ones I don't like. Like many on the forums here I find discussing the changes to be a fun intellectual endeavor...though I must admit that there are days that my one non-reader friend probably wants to strangle me as I weigh him down with post viewing history and exposition...muhahahaha I reserve the right as I told him I would stop as soon as he agreed to read the books. :)

I realized I was no longer a purist when I decided that I actually like Ros and felt she had a place in the show...Twice within my first five posts here I admit to the most unpopular thing on these forums...I must be daft. :)

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And it is actually so close to the books that we should be happy. How many tv producers would agree to kill their main character and star in the first season?

And maybe- just maybe -we book fans (or the erroneously titled "Purists") have to take our foot off the gas. Maybe its okay for other ideas- even if they stray form the books -to come up, simmer in time, roll around in the stew of the story and come out delicious. Maybe the Hound HAD had enough; maybe it WASN'T the fire that did it; maybe there is room for other storys to rise and fall on their own merits.

Yes, yes, and YES. Frankly, I think it's about time so many of the book purists stop complaining and finding fault with even the tiniest little changes (like the pathetic fuss about omitting weasel soup) - and instead, stand back and appreciate what HAS been achieved. No adaptation is going to satisfy everyone.

Rather than nipick to death, I think its about time everyone said a great big THANK YOU! to Dan and David, for having the sheer guts and dedication to do everything necessary to bring this world to our TV screens. And to GRRM for allowing them to do so.

These two men have invested 26 hours a day, 9 days a week, 360 days a year for the last few years, doing their level best to bring GRRM's extremely complex books to life. They and HBO have assembled an incredible pool of off-screen backstage talent, and an absolutely amazing cast, who continue to deliver over and above anything they might have hoped for (especially the kids). They have filmed day and night in three or more countries per season, they have produced TV of a quality that is rarely ever seen, and they have signed up to do exactly the same for at least another two seasons.

No one is ever going to produce the 'perfect' adaptation of any book, let alone an entire series set in a different world with multiple complicated plot lines and an ever-increasing cast of characters. I'm just amazed that anyone thought it could be done, and that D &D have actually made it happen.

And so at the end of Season 2, I'd just like to say: Bravo, David and Dan - thank you, thank you, and take a bow. Take several bows and lots of applause. (And don't let the turkeys get you down!) :D

Edited by Currawong

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I love in the books how in his final scene so far, in extremity, Theon still has that sh*t eating grin and smart ass attitude. Just to see that, I hope the show has some of his book story.

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It's rather comical that people keep asserting, as fact no less, that GRRM has to sign off on everything that happens in the show or they can't film it. Absolutely hilarious.

He has stated numerous times that they have complete control over the series and he has little to no input beyond writing one episode per season.

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I thought it was a nice touch for Maester Luwin to tell Bran and Rickon to go to Jon. It was just a nice nod from an honest and wise man that Jon was a person who could offer the boys protection. It also demonstrates that decent people like Luwin see a person's true worth and don't just judge them for being a bastard.

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I thought it was a nice touch for Maester Luwin to tell Bran and Rickon to go to Jon. It was just a nice nod from an honest and wise man that Jon was a person who could offer the boys protection. It also demonstrates that decent people like Luwin see a person's true worth and don't just judge them for being a bastard.

This is outta nowhere but i had to say something. HouseLark. Your signature is awesome. ha

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I don’t know what to say except that having spoken to many many people in the industry (I went to school with a good deal of people who now work in Hollywood) and I have read a good deal on this issue and my impression is that the pull that actors have on a set and in production is huge. And producers and writers know that they HAVE to keep the talent happy. Nothing can deep-six a production faster than unhappy talent. This is why they have to be exceptionally careful in how to cast and deal with those top-drawer characters – the actor who plays them can start making demands that, if not met, could destroy a production. Now, mind you, this RARELY happens, but that's because most sets and productions are dedicated to keeping the talent happy.

.

This reminded me of a funny story from Bruce Campbell's autobiography. He talked abut how miserable Sam Raimi was while filming "The Quick and the Dead" due to the "stars" involved.

Sharon Stone would always have her cell phone stuffed somewhere in her costume and refused to stand on her mark so they could get the scene set and lit properly, in the middle of scenes, she would pull out the phone and start talking on it.

Gene Hackman when asked to say a slightly different line, "That's not in the script." After his response, he would not acknowledge Raimi for the rest of the scene.

Jack Palance was constantly complaining that his character wasn't heroic enough. On a day when it really came to a head, luckily Bruce Campbell was visiting on set (he's not in the movie). So Rami had the crew set up a fake scene, with cameras and everything and "filmed" Palance beating up Campbell to make him happy.

That's a good point. I'm guessing that that they're going to use the news of those deaths as the triggering even for the whole nasty Stark spiral down to the RW. Kind of like the roller coaster reaching the top of the hill, then crashing down after it crests. They wanted to save that triggering event so they could immediately follow up with the rest of the story, rather than have the "trigger" in season 2, and the repercussions not start until season 3.

Another good point. I have no idea. Just guessing, but maybe they'll make it that the siege is actually new, and that's how the Tully's get pulled into the war? I mean, I suppose the assumption is that they haven't been involved to this point. So maybe they introduce the Blackfish as being the guy who brings the news to Robb -- escapting from the castle, fighting his way out in some death defying escape, then bringing the news of the siege to Robb and asking for his help. So we meet the Blackfish, and he brings us to the rest of the Tullys?

It's a good question.

They have made it very clear the Tully's are involved (though they have not been seen). The first report of the War was Ned's day on the throne where they dumped the fish in the throne room. I think it was LF who said that was Catelyn's house sigil. Many times, you've heard Tywin talking about attack the Riverlands. I posted a list of new characters confirmed by D&D (for season 3), Blackfish and Edmure were on the list.

Edited by legba11

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as controversial as I have been amongst friends from saying this, I've found the changes to the story quite interesting. If anything my only hang ups in the series so far have been the scenes that should have oozed so much more emotion then they did (JS and Qorin's fight for example). I'm not too annoyed with the changes, but everyone is going to think differently about this!

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Gene Hackman when asked to say a slightly different line, "That's not in the script." After his response, he would not acknowledge Raimi for the rest of the scene.

Just to put a pin in this discussion, this past October marked the tenth anniversary of Royal Tenanbaums (an amazing, amazing movie) and Wes Anderson and the cast of the movie did a series of interviews and con appearances. And they universally talked about how utterly horrifying it was working with Hackman. Anderson was basically petrified of the guy, as was Paltrow (who is in basically one scene with him). It got so bad that the cast basically formed an anti-Hackman possey that would "insulate" the target of his ire from further abuse; basically they would- as a group- stand around that cast member as if to say, "You keep talking you are up against all of us." Hackman- to his ... credit ... never got out of hand, but never backed down either, going so far to demand that Anderson "grow a pair (of testicles)" and called him a "c_ _ t." At one point Anderson relied on Bill Murray (who does not give a flying fuck what anyone thinks) to stand around and make sure Hackman did not go crazy on them.

Hackman's performance in "Tenanbaums", it should be mentioned, was amazing. And Anderson and the cast said- almost enthusiastically -that he added a tremendous amount to the movie. But he was a complete cocksucker.

Now, just to add the detractors of this theory will be quick to add (as they should be) that its one thing to be an asshole on the set of an 8-week shoot on a movie; quite another to be one on a massive ongong shoot for a TV series. I would only say that its not that they ARE being jerks that has the producers watching what they do; its that certain cast members COULD become raging pains in the assess that have them on guard.

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Now, just to add the detractors of this theory will be quick to add (as they should be) that its one thing to be an asshole on the set of an 8-week shoot on a movie; quite another to be one on a massive ongong shoot for a TV series. I would only say that its not that they ARE being jerks that has the producers watching what they do; its that certain cast members COULD become raging pains in the assess that have them on guard.

To add to this, by all accounts this is exactly what happened with Michael Pitt on Boardwalk Empire. He got too much to deal with so they just

Spoiler
killed his character at the end of last season because of it.
.

Considering his role on the show, and popularity that has serious consequences for Boardwalk Empire's longevity.

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I was wrong about GRRM. I had thought he was pleased with the direction of the show and the writing. I suppose things could have changed since the last time I viewed and interview with him. Admittedly I havent watched or read everything out there about where he stands, how he thinks, and his views on the show during season 2.

I suppose at the end of the day it doesnt matter, all opinions are personal. As a major fan of the books, I find myself very much in love with the series due to the tweeks and alterations.

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One little thing i wanted to mention that I forgot to in my other post: i love how Joffrey repeats, verbatim, how "I will love you [Marg] from this day, until my last day". He says the exact same thing to Sansa in the first season when he gives her that dumb lion necklace.

I haven't read all the pages, so maybe someone else noticed that. If so, sorry, I just found it worth mentioning how false he is.

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