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[Book Spoilers] EP303 Discussion

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About Mance-

Yeah he is definitely not the character from the books we all know and love. On the show, he is very dull and nothing about him is unique. I don't think Ciaran Hinds was the proper actor to cast. But we cannot be upset with Hinds. The role of Mance Rayder was already written far before Hinds was cast. Regardless of the actor portraying Mance, we would have still gotten the exact same Mance. The blame is entirely on DnD for that, not Hinds.

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And although Jaime is my (and many others' favorite character), many non-book readers probably still don't like Jaime at this point, which I imagine is why they may have decided to go this route.

I watched with one reader (who's finished) and 4 non-book readers, and I can say the room was pretty mixed, but no one was happy about the hand. I think having saved Brienne helped a lot, but also Jaime is played as the "likable dick" for most of Season 2 and on (most of people in the room forgot he even fought Ned in Season 1). It was interesting hearing at least 2 of those non-readers go "wait, that's his sword-hand! how will he be a knight now?"

Other small things that made me too giddy: Iron Bank of Braavos, showing how sweet and innocent those Lannister kids are (I was worried Karstark wouldn't take any heads, and now I don't think I need worry :P), and having moar Rhaegar talk.

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About Mance-

Yeah he is definitely not the character from the books we all know and love. On the show, he is very dull and nothing about him is unique. I don't think Ciaran Hinds was the proper actor to cast. But we cannot be upset with Hinds. The role of Mance Rayder was already written far before Hinds was cast. Regardless of the actor portraying Mance, we would have still gotten the exact same Mance. The blame is entirely on DnD for that, not Hinds.

Agreed. Hinds is incredible, I just think DnD missed the mark on Mance big time. I get that this cast keeps growing, but it was a bummer to see non-book watchers at my place literally ask, "Wait, who's he again?"

Edited by workinovatime

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Did anyone else get giddy at the mere mention of Rhaegar or was it just me?

Not gonna lie. When Jorah said arguably my favorite line from the books about Rhaegar, I had to pause it because I was so happy. The history of this world is one of my favorite things about this series and I am glad some of it is finally making it to the show. Another thing that really brings a smile to my face is hearing people singing some of the songs during the show. It really brings life to the culture of the people in Westeros. Just a great episode on many levels.

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Agreed. Hinds is incredible, I just think DnD missed the mark on Mance big time. I get that this cast keeps growing, but it was a bummer to see non-book watches at my place literally ask, "Wait, who's he again?"

I honestly think it was a casting issue. I think they wanted Dominic West as more of the book version of Mance. When that fell through they didnt want to take a risk with someone who could really destroy those scenes with a bad performance. Book Mance is very nuanced and if played wrong could just come across as an idiot clown. So they took a safer approach and went with a reserved and battle hardened general type with Hinds.

Does it make me sad? Yes, I think that Dominic West would have been a terrific book Mance. However I understand their approach. Jon is the star in that story. With limited screen time (thanks to all the boobs and filler required by HBO) they didnt want to detract from Jon. Makes sense. Hinds does a wonderful job for the job they gave him.

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I honestly think it was a casting issue. I think they wanted Dominic West as more of the book version of Mance. When that fell through they didnt want to take a risk with someone who could really destroy those scenes with a bad performance. Book Mance is very nuanced and if played wrong could just come across as an idiot clown. So they took a safer approach and went with a reserved and battle hardened general type with Hinds.

Does it make me sad? Yes, I think that Dominic West would have been a terrific book Mance. However I understand their approach. Jon is the star in that story. With limited screen time (thanks to all the boobs and filler required by HBO) they didnt want to detract from Jon. Makes sense. Hinds does a wonderful job for the job they gave him.

West seems young to play Mance.

The problem isn't the actor, its the bland, super grim characterization he's been given.

He does not seem like the person who has the charisma and chops to unite the wildlings and be named King Beyond the Wall.

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West seems young to play Mance.

The problem isn't the actor, its the bland, super grim characterization he's been given.

He does not seem like the person who has the charisma and chops to unite the wildlings and be named King Beyond the Wall.

Eh, West is almost 44. That seems a bit right. Maybe a tad young but I think he could pull it off.

Like I was saying, the role has been changed completely. Even the reason for the unification of the wildling clans has been changed.

Book: Charismatic, charming and cunning Mance unites the clans because they see him as their deserving leader.

Show: Cold, reserved, and battle hardened Mance unites the clans because they are terrified of the white walkers.

To me the decision to rewrite Mance looks to be a casting issue. Because show Mance is a lot less interesting than the book version. I think they wanted Mance to be a lot more of a supporting character than one that steals scenes away from Jon unless they really had a special actor for the role.

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Eh, West is almost 44. That seems a bit right. Maybe a tad young but I think he could pull it off.

Like I was saying, the role has been changed completely. Even the reason for the unification of the wildling clans has been changed.

Book: Charismatic, charming and cunning Mance unites the clans because they see him as their deserving leader.

Show: Cold, reserved, and battle hardened Mance unites the clans because they are terrified of the white walkers.

To me the decision to rewrite Mance looks to be a casting issue. Because show Mance is a lot less interesting than the book version. I think they wanted Mance to be a lot more of a supporting character than one that steals scenes away from Jon unless they really had a special actor for the role.

I'm sad to say, my faith in Kit is almost gone, and I feel like just about anyone could steal the scenes from him. He looks the part, but thats all I have to say about anymore, I'm very disappointed in his acting.

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I'm sad to say, my faith in Kit is almost gone, and I feel like just about anyone could steal the scenes from him. He looks the part, but thats all I have to say about anymore, I'm very disappointed in his acting.

They havent given him anything to work with. I will admit that he still could do a better job but his scenes are so short and so focused on introducing the interesting new Wildling characters that you forget Jon is there.

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I watched with one reader (who's finished) and 4 non-book readers, and I can say the room was pretty mixed, but no one was happy about the hand. I think having saved Brienne helped a lot, but also Jaime is played as the "likable dick" for most of Season 2 and on (most of people in the room forgot he even fought Ned in Season 1). It was interesting hearing at least 2 of those non-readers go "wait, that's his sword-hand! how will he be a knight now?"

Other small things that made me too giddy: Iron Bank of Braavos, showing how sweet and innocent those Lannister kids are (I was worried Karstark wouldn't take any heads, and now I don't think I need worry :P), and having moar Rhaegar talk.

Yeah, really just personal preference it comes down to I guess. But certain themes like Jaime losing his hand, I think everyone can understand the implications of. This is really the part in the books that many people start to love Jaime, and I think we will start to see many non-book readers express the same sentiment as well. Needless to say, NCW is fantastic.

We should be seeing a good old Lord Karstark beheading this season =)

I really like the Rhaegar talk too!

Agreed. Hinds is incredible, I just think DnD missed the mark on Mance big time. I get that this cast keeps growing, but it was a bummer to see non-book watchers at my place literally ask, "Wait, who's he again?"

Yeah I know =( Mance at this point seems to be a big missed opportunity to create a fan favorite, fun, and unique character.

I honestly think it was a casting issue. I think they wanted Dominic West as more of the book version of Mance. When that fell through they didnt want to take a risk with someone who could really destroy those scenes with a bad performance. Book Mance is very nuanced and if played wrong could just come across as an idiot clown. So they took a safer approach and went with a reserved and battle hardened general type with Hinds.

Does it make me sad? Yes, I think that Dominic West would have been a terrific book Mance. However I understand their approach. Jon is the star in that story. With limited screen time (thanks to all the boobs and filler required by HBO) they didnt want to detract from Jon. Makes sense. Hinds does a wonderful job for the job they gave him.

It is not a casting issue. The script and character of Mance was already written before West was potentially cast and well before Hinds was cast. It would just have been a younger looking Mance, but still the same character. DnD said season 4 is already written, by the way, so similar to the Mance casting, they will just be looking to cast actors for new characters that fit the characters already written.

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They havent given him anything to work with. I will admit that he still could do a better job but his scenes are so short and so focused on introducing the interesting new Wildling characters that you forget Jon is there.

That's because he's not a very good actor, no? There are gazillions of examples of scene stealing actors who play minor roles and get all the attention. The fact that JON SNOW fades into the background and does nothing but the same reaction shot over and over again to me is a symptom of Kit Harrington. I've said before, I now wish they had cast Richard Madden as Jon Snow, he is much more charismatic and commanding a screne presence than Harrington, I will be sad to see him go.

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I'm sad to say, my faith in Kit is almost gone, and I feel like just about anyone could steal the scenes from him. He looks the part, but thats all I have to say about anymore, I'm very disappointed in his acting.

They havent given him anything to work with. I will admit that he still could do a better job but his scenes are so short and so focused on introducing the interesting new Wildling characters that you forget Jon is there.

Kit will certainly be given more to do this season and next. But once he becomes LC, I imagine he will come off far more bland since his character changes into such a serious and grim one.

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That's because he's not a very good actor, no? There are gazillions of examples of scene stealing actors who play minor roles and get all the attention. The fact that JON SNOW fades into the background and does nothing but the same reaction shot over and over again to me is a symptom of Kit Harrington. I've said before, I now wish they had cast Richard Madden as Jon Snow, he is much more charismatic and commanding a screne presence than Harrington, I will be sad to see him go.

That is sort of the character of Jon Snow from the books. He is always surrounded by interesting and 'pop off the page' characters, and Jon himself isn't all that 'interesting' and is lacking that 'electric personality' many of the other characters he interacts with has.

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I'll hold judgement on Mance for a while. Book Mance was different, but maybe they thought some harp playing bard leading a cast of "savages" beyond the wall just didn't make sense on the screen?

Maybe a little too much Tolkien type fantasy for the world they've created, which is more like Conan low fantasy?

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That's because he's not a very good actor, no? There are gazillions of examples of scene stealing actors who play minor roles and get all the attention. The fact that JON SNOW fades into the background and does nothing but the same reaction shot over and over again to me is a symptom of Kit Harrington. I've said before, I now wish they had cast Richard Madden as Jon Snow, he is much more charismatic and commanding a screne presence than Harrington, I will be sad to see him go.

Madden has done a great job. Especially this season. I loved Robb's scene with Edmure Tully.

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It is not a casting issue. The script and character of Mance was already written before West was potentially cast and well before Hinds was cast. It would just have been a younger looking Mance, but still the same character. DnD said season 4 is already written, by the way, so similar to the Mance casting, they will just be looking to cast actors for new characters that fit the characters already written.

Rewrites are done all the time. Even large rewrites of certain characters. Changes are made before casting, during casting, after casting, and even during shooting. Sometimes rewrites are done and then re-shot. Just because they said they completed the script doesnt mean they didnt make changes afterwards to better reflect certain actor's acting style. Hinds and West are completely different. They bring a completely different feel to the character. I highly doubt what we see is word for word what they wanted for West.

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The episode was one of the best so far this season in my opinion, though there were a few gripes

I enjoyed:

  • The Jaime and Brienne scenes, the one near the start on the horse, and the brilliant one at the end where Jaime talks Locke out of having the men rape Brienne, and then his hand being cut off at the end was brilliantly done!
  • The scene between Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie, it was emotive and made me feel something which is always lovely
  • The scene between the council at King's Landing, the awkward start, it was just like the books which is something I always like to see, and then later the Tyrion & Littlefinger talk about being master of coin was great, because I saw the link between that and the banking in today's world.
  • The scene between Catelyn and the Blackfish, beautifully scripted, capturing Catelyn's grief wonderfully, and introducing the Blackfish's character nicely
  • The scene with Jon at the Fist, with the weird horses, and Mance, I just love his character, I did want to see a bit more of Ygritte though, she hasn't been made of as much importance so far in the season as I'd like.
  • The "Walk of Punishment" scene with Jorah, Dany and Barristan. I loved the Jorah quotes, and the clash of personalities, and it was just nice.

I didn't enjoy:

  • The scene of the Night's Watch at Crasters, it just seemed a bit cold and lifeless, it just wasn't that exciting to watch. Though it's exactly the way it should be really. I just would have liked to see the white walkers a bit more!
  • The Theon scenes, I have no idea what they are doing with this story but I don't really care for it, and I don't think many people do. Theon's story in Season 2 was brilliant, but this one is just taking up valuable screen time that could be used on other things.
  • The scene between Stannis and Melisandre, very dull, and I don't know what they're doing with this story either but I don't care for it too much whatever is happening.
  • The scene with Tyrion, Bronn and Pod. I just found it to be extremely pointless, adding humour to the show that just isn't needed, there are so many things they could have done with those 5-10 minutes and it's all wasted on NOTHING, no character development in any way either. I think of Tyrion, Bronn and Pod in exactly the same way as I did before that scene. It's just time wasted for gratuitous nudity in my opinion.

Scenes I'm not sure about:

  • The funeral scene that began the episode, I enjoyed the scene but the characterization of Edmure was a bit odd, and I don't really like the way the storyline for Robb & Catelyn has been mixed around, and rushed in some parts, where it's gone too slowly in other parts. I think it's just the book-enthusiast in me that made me have mixed feelings about that scene.
  • The Daenerys scene meeting with the master slaver. The scene was alright, it happened a bit too quickly though and made me think about how Dany's story this season has been rushed 10x more than it should have been. They've gone through about 3 or 4 chapters in 3 episodes, and they have about 1 or 2 more to go through in 7 episodes. They need to take it much slower with Daenerys! I would have liked more talk with Jorah and Barristan about the unsullied, more advice giving, the scene has just made her look like a ruthless naive girl, and she is a bit, but not as much as she is portrayed so in the show.

Scenes I would have liked:

  • Some development between the Jon & Ygritte relationship, I was looking forward to their little romance arc this season, and I don't know whether it will be as powerful as I imagined now because there's been nothing between them all these 3 episodes, where is the love? They've given the most minimalistic approach to Jon's arc so far, and replaced what could have been with gratuitous nudity and unneeded laddism between Bronn and Tyrion. It could have been replaced by a nice conversation/flirting between Ygritte and Jon, like the sort of stuff that was in the end of Season 2 between them!
  • A conversation between Arya and Thoros, Thoros hasn't told them both where he's going yet, I'm sure viewers would like to know the direction Arya is going in this season. Give them some hope maybe, with him telling her he's taking her to Riverrun, to her parents, or maybe just a conversation about Thoros' relationship with the Starks, I want some more characterization for Thoros!
  • More characterization for Jojen and Meera too, Jojen has been introduced as this 'mysterious boy' and I hope he doesn't just have that sort of role in the whole of the season, people were expecting Jojen and Meera to show up in season 2, D&D aren't exactly making up for that fact so far, where's all the character development that took up a lot of 'A Clash of King's' and the first part of 'A Storm of Swords'? They could have saved the last Dany scene for a later episode, and took some time to introduce these new characters that they've just thrown at the viewers. How do they expect the viewers to keep up with the show when they hardly know who most of these new characters are?

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Re: The whores refusing to accept the money - During the scene, I was a bit confused as to why they did this. Towards the end, I thought it was obvious Tyrion arranged it to be able to make Pod think he's a stud. But there is so much confusion about this that I'm beginning to wonder if I'm wrong - Is there more to this scene?

I found it interesting that some people mentioned a somewhat-known actor (forgot the name again, sorry :P) playing just a NW extra(The one who looked at one of Craster's wives). My bet is he will be one of the leaders of the Revolt against Mormont (So he can enjoy those wives without trouble)

I guess Sam the slayer will be to save Gilly's Baby?

Overall, I liked the episode. The credits didn't work for me at all, but that seems to be down to personal opinion - you either like it or hate it, from what I've seen so far. There was practically nothing I could objectively call badly done (which is really admirable for over 50 minutes of TV)

Loved Arya's Goodbye, Jaime warming up to Brienne (Nikolaj is freaking awesome!), Ramsay playing with Theon ("you little bastard"), the chair-dragging, Dany scenes and probably a whole lot more.

Didn't particularly like the Stannis scene, but just like with Catelyn, some of the outrage it causes is ridiculous. I think a problem is that (similar to Renly and Loras being gay) GRRM never really showed that side of Stannis from his perspective, so while reading it's easy to dismiss it just as rumours etc.

Jon's storyline still does nothing for me, Mance doesn't really stand out. Someone called Jon's plot for S3 being the same weight as Dany's for S2 and I tend to agree. I hope it picks up...

Edited by insertname

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