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teemo

[BOOK SPOILERS] Nitpick without repercussion?

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God, the exclusion of Silver Symon pisses me off so much. Rather than that pointless Tyrion/Shae scene in episode 2, we could have instead had a seething Tyrion being told of a singer that knows that Cersei had the wrong whore. He tries to blackmail Tyrion, but Tyrion, already pissed off over his rejection of Casterly Rock has him killed instead. There. You have a scene that adds further characterisation and darkens Tyrion, rather than that boring Tyrion/Shae scene. I don't know why the show is so reluctant to darken Tyrion. One of the most crucial points about his character is that he is very much like his father, even though neither of them wants to admit it.

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God, the exclusion of Silver Symon pisses me off so much. Rather than that pointless Tyrion/Shae scene in episode 2, we could have instead had a seething Tyrion being told of a singer that knows that Cersei had the wrong whore. He tries to blackmail Tyrion, but Tyrion, already pissed off over his rejection of Casterly Rock has him killed instead. There. You have a scene that adds further characterisation and darkens Tyrion, rather than that boring Tyrion/Shae scene. I don't know why the show is so reluctant to darken Tyrion. One of the most crucial points about his character is that he is very much like his father, even though neither of them wants to admit it.

All very true. Though, you can see where they were going with Tyrion/Shae scene, it was still cringe worthy

I don't mind that that they are dropping a lot of the immense characterisation though, really. I mean, the books have the characterisation, I don't feel I'm missing it out not seeing on the show. Actually, I think I'll be disappointed if they do to Tyrion what happened in the books. I think being sold into slavery is relevant enough, but all the jousts on a pig, Penny and all the degrading things he has to do...no, I don't mind them making him an out and out good guy. Especially because I don't want one of the male characters on the show who shows respect to women to become the raving misogynist he was in Dance.

So far I'll only confess to being concerned about the characterisation of Stannis and Jon. Stannis's character is just so much fun and I think they go a bit of that with his dry humour in S2. Hopefully they turn him around in S4, although I don't know how they'll do that with Melisandre still around all that while.

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While I don't think the show has butchered most of the characters, some of the more interesting characters from the books(Stannis, Tyrion, Catelyn) have had their complexity largely diluted in the show, and thus reduced to lesser figures. That's not to say that they are bad characters, because they're not. They simply are not as well-rounded as they are in the books, but I guess that's the price we pay when a book is translated to screen. However, the show has succeeded in fleshing out other characters so they remain just as, if not more than interesting than they are in the books, as in the cases of Cersei, Jaime and Theon. So it's kinda 50/50, I guess. But still, the show, and the Unsullied viewers are missing out by not having Tyrion or Catelyn being as well-rounded in the show as they are in the books.

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You are confusing the streamlining of material with corrections of weak material. Willas/Loras merge = streamlining. Edric/Gendry merge=streamlining. "Invented" exposition scenes = streamling (inner dialogue and what not)

So to get to your points:

Ros was created solely for the purpose of streamlining. Exposition sucks on television but it's necessary to convey backstory/motivations efficiently---> streamlining.

The other points you make are variations on weak elements in the books. Robb/Jeyne marriage: totally out of the blue. Qarth in acok: too uneventful. Jon/ygritte tbh I don't really remember what happened before the cave. KL in aSoS is pretty bland up until the weddings and the red viper.

The books have weaknesses. I'm not saying D&D are superior writers but I understand they're reasoning. It's a lot easier to criticize these decisions for not following the books than to try and think along with the creators of the show constructively.

"It's time wasted they should have spent somrwhere else" I read this all the time. But no one ever follows up to mention specifics. "We don't need time for Bran"... fine Where would you spend the time instead?

Honestly, the criticism is so facile sometimes. Despite what people are saying, it often just comes down to: it wasn't in the books.

Thank you lad, it would've taken me 20 minutes just to put all this stuff together.

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Where could they spend more time? Jon Snow and the wildlings, to show a more reasonable progression of his relationship with Ygritte, to complicate and provide more context to his relationship with the other wildlings, maybe to make Tormund and Mance at least vaguely as interesting as the characters in the novel. With Arya and the brotherhood, showing more of the plight of the smallfolk, and how they defend themselves when the power structures are weakened, a rather important thematic point in the rest of the series, and one that would allow a skirmish or two to be shown on the screen for that added bump in action.

The Robb and Jeyne marriage is not really "out of nowhere", since the hints of it run through the end part of ACoK and the start of ASoS, and while it's a shock, it's supposed to be a shock. It's perfectly well-explained in the novel as the emotional act of a desperately hurt young man, and that... sounds really plausible to many people, I think. As it is, the Robb and Talisa material has been one of the weakest things in the series, so it seems very hard to argue for it. As to Qarth, it wasn't really eventful or interesting last season -- they came up with something rather worse, really, than what was there all because of an apparent need to have to focus on Daenerys more than the story required. But assuming that they had to have more of her, pretty sure they could have done a much better job than the material that led the character to be roundly mocked for being repetitive.

It's absolutely true King's Landing in the first half of ASoS is relatively quiet. I'm not too opposed to expanding on it, and for the most part I think they did okay with it in matters such as revising the plot to get Sansa out of King's Landing through various means.

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I want to nitpick a little to the people nitpicking at Robb, he does actually aknowledge that he's the one that screwed up and that he's asking more of Edmure than he has the right to:

You're paying for my sins uncle, it's not fair and it's not right, I'll remember it

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Where could they spend more time? Jon Snow and the wildlings, to show a more reasonable progression of his relationship with Ygritte, to complicate and provide more context to his relationship with the other wildlings, maybe to make Tormund and Mance at least vaguely as interesting as the characters in the novel. With Arya and the brotherhood, showing more of the plight of the smallfolk, and how they defend themselves when the power structures are weakened, a rather important thematic point in the rest of the series, and one that would allow a skirmish or two to be shown on the screen for that added bump in action.

The Robb and Jeyne marriage is not really "out of nowhere", since the hints of it run through the end part of ACoK and the start of ASoS, and while it's a shock, it's supposed to be a shock. It's perfectly well-explained in the novel as the emotional act of a desperately hurt young man, and that... sounds really plausible to many people, I think. As it is, the Robb and Talisa material has been one of the weakest things in the series, so it seems very hard to argue for it. As to Qarth, it wasn't really eventful or interesting last season -- they came up with something rather worse, really, than what was there all because of an apparent need to have to focus on Daenerys more than the story required. But assuming that they had to have more of her, pretty sure they could have done a much better job than the material that led the character to be roundly mocked for being repetitive.

It's absolutely true King's Landing in the first half of ASoS is relatively quiet. I'm not too opposed to expanding on it, and for the most part I think they did okay with it in matters such as revising the plot to get Sansa out of King's Landing through various means.

Fair enough.

Are we not bouncing off the walls and coming back to the same place?

After ROME (maybe DEADWOOD too) we don't know how HBO calculates the upper limit on how much money they want to spend.

One question I would like to know , when David Benioff and D. B. Weiss pitched this show , like any good producers they had to have in hand a budget. Or was it HBO who said this a a costume epic with VFX and we will give you only 6 million dollars per episode. So did that dictate the 10 episode format? So far Dav and Dan have said they can only do 10 episodes a season.

Now Bruno Heller (and his rather large gang of producers) , for a very similar set up, pulled off 12 episodes , but one does notice season 2 of ROME , only 10 episodes long aired two years after the first season (I know , I know there were budget problems, but I think HBO green lighted ROME before season 1 was over and the BBC the pull out, so production had begun).

I guess we have beat this horse to death, but 10 episodes for a story this size is just too short, hell maybe 12 episodes is too few. I wonder if fans would really buy into waiting 2 years in between seasons?

So as to what and how to turn prose into visual narrative what to do?

(Plus I have no feeling what so ever what kind of 'screen time' an actor's contract calls for, I thought they were paid wither they were on screen or not? Well veteran actors at least.)

Given the budget and the time, let me ask this question, take one example ,I thought Dany's Qarth time in S2 was badly handled. On the other hand I have read that book and know those chapters (are not that many) how would you have turned what prose was on the page (somewhat complex and contemplative, O I loved it on the page) into viable teleplay material? Yeah I though they came up with something worse than on the page, but I have thought about it, and the only thing I say, not being in the field, is that if between Dan, Dave , Bryan (and George,was he even consulted?) they could not master the material, hire someone who could! Unfortunately that sounds like time and money to me.

So now we have bounced off the walls and are back at the same place again.

Why exactly Dave and Dan have produced their on inventions , some of which work, Ros is one that did, Talisa does not, they seem to have in mind some more invention for her down the road which I don't think I am going to like.

(Man in nearly two years now neither Dave or Dan have not , as far as I know been asked about that one, George is mum, I guess Bryan too.)

George could have said before he signed the contract, "12 episodes per season, or I'm not signing".

And, I am not sure that would have solved all their problems.

Bottom line for me page to screen, I can see the flaws, but I am impressed and entertained , I can live with it.

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My issues w/the show aren't really about budget, I get that battles and certain scenes have to be trimmed down, I get why they didn't have 100+ wildlings climbing the wall or have everyone on horseback for the KL riot.

My problem is more with random and POINTLESS changes that seem like they will cause more problems in the future...like the new Mel/Gendry storyline or Loras now being the only Tyrell heir or the BF being an illmannered thug.

I wasn't that bothered by the 'who stole ma dragons' storyline' but they could have used last season, as long as they're good with inventing things to give Quarth some more screen time, to begin to lay the groundwork for Dany's issues with slavery and the general cultural issues she sees in Essos, to introduce slaver's bay earlier..they could have overall spent less screen time on her segments but still gotten the gist of the story.

As well as what I see as wasting screen time on silly stuff like Pod's sexcapades, basically the same scene with LF and Varys over and over again, and Ros, yes, she was a good actress and beautiful but inventing a character who mostly serves no real role except as eye candy while short changing other much more important story lines like the halfhand, mance, etc. doesn't make sense to me.

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It felt weird for him to say "I like you boy" considering he acts like he'd gladly throw Jon off the wall. I'm thinking, "with friends like this, who needs enemies."

The thing about this line that Tormund said is that it is the exact same line that Mance said to Jon a few eps ago. They both said to him I like you boy but if you lie to me I'll cut your heart out (or whatever the generic threat was). This is where the writing has failed in a big way for Jon's storyline. They couldn't come up with something a little different for Tormund to say? I don't expect that he'll be exactly the same as in the books but they have made all the wildling men the same generic scowling character. Also they have not established at all why either Mance or Tormund would even like Jon. Because they think he's a "crow come over?" That's not supported at all.

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The thing about this line that Tormund said is that it is the exact same line that Mance said to Jon a few eps ago. They both said to him I like you boy but if you lie to me I'll cut your heart out (or whatever the generic threat was). This is where the writing has failed in a big way for Jon's storyline. They couldn't come up with something a little different for Tormund to say? I don't expect that he'll be exactly the same as in the books but they have made all the wildling men the same generic scowling character. Also they have not established at all why either Mance or Tormund would even like Jon. Because they think he's a "crow come over?" That's not supported at all.

They haven't established why Mance left the watch either.

God, the exclusion of Silver Symon pisses me off so much. Rather than that pointless Tyrion/Shae scene in episode 2, we could have instead had a seething Tyrion being told of a singer that knows that Cersei had the wrong whore. He tries to blackmail Tyrion, but Tyrion, already pissed off over his rejection of Casterly Rock has him killed instead. There. You have a scene that adds further characterisation and darkens Tyrion, rather than that boring Tyrion/Shae scene. I don't know why the show is so reluctant to darken Tyrion. One of the most crucial points about his character is that he is very much like his father, even though neither of them wants to admit it.

I'm going to miss his song from the show. I didn't think he'd show up this season though because his existence was dependent on Shae staying at the whore house through season 2. Instead, D+D had her brought into the Red Keep a season ahead of time. Him showing up now after no introduction in season 2 and no real way of figuring out about Shae would be difficult.

They should darken Tyrion though. GRRM makes a point of not having black/white characters, yet besides siding with the Lannisters Tyrion hasn't done anything controversial to the viewers that I can recall.

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They haven't established why Mance left the watch either.

The wildlings on the show are so drastically different from the ones in the books. The novel Free Folk are a free people. They are "fun," despite the hardships they are facing. It's a reason Jon legitimately thinks about staying with them. I've chalked it up to just another botched story and that's all.

I'm going to miss his song from the show. I didn't think he'd show up this season though because his existence was dependent on Shae staying at the whore house through season 2. Instead, D+D had her brought into the Red Keep a season ahead of time. Him showing up now after no introduction in season 2 and no real way of figuring out about Shae would be difficult.

They should darken Tyrion though. GRRM makes a point of not having black/white characters, yet besides siding with the Lannisters Tyrion hasn't done anything controversial to the viewers that I can recall.

The darkening of Tyrion also parallels nicely the lightening of Jaime.

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Also COLORS!!! Seriously the thing that has bothered me so much in the show is people NOT wearing the colors on their sigils... It felt like something so significant in the books...

Agree on this. I would gladly sacrifice some of the 'realism' of the soldiers uniforms for a more prominent display of house colors and sigils. I also think that would help many of the casual viewers identify who is who among such a large cast of characters & in the event of any actor changes (like with the Mountain in season 1 vs 2 - if we had seen him repeadetly wearing the yellow with the 3 black dogs - then it might have clicked more to viewers when a new actor showed up wearing the same stuff).

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned - Arya listening to Melisandre and Thoros talk in High Valyrian. Surely she recognized the opening of Valar morghulis - Wouldn't she have questioned Thoros about it?

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned - Arya listening to Melisandre and Thoros talk in High Valyrian. Surely she recognized the opening of Valar morghulis - Wouldn't she have questioned Thoros about it?

I know right? It's these types of changes that produce all sorts of 'inconsistencies' later that create more problems than really streamline it.

Someone upthread mentioned the Theon torture scenes... Give torture-exposition or something... tell the audience where he is and who has him or drop them... don't just shove uncomfortable scenes down our throats for the hell of it.

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The wildlings on the show are so drastically different from the ones in the books. The novel Free Folk are a free people. They are "fun," despite the hardships they are facing. It's a reason Jon legitimately thinks about staying with them. I've chalked it up to just another botched story and that's all.

They are pretty much free to rape and murder each other too, and just about one meal away from anarchy. On the whole their society in the books sounds horrific rather than fun. Not that the Night's Watch sounds like a barrel of laughs either to be fair.

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I know right? It's these types of changes that produce all sorts of 'inconsistencies' later that create more problems than really streamline it.

Someone upthread mentioned the Theon torture scenes... Give torture-exposition or something... tell the audience where he is and who has him or drop them... don't just shove uncomfortable scenes down our throats for the hell of it.

You know what else is upsetting me about the Arya/Melisandre scene? Mel values king's blood. There's no way she didn't know who Arya was. And if she recognizes Mance in the books as King Beyond the Wall then certainly she recognizes Robb as King in the North. BookMel would have scarfed up Arya for sure.

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^This

Basically, what I have grown to dislike about the series as they have unnecessarily made good characters into asses, while whitewashing some of the darker and greyer characters.

You hit the nail right on the head. I can forgive some of the changes in the story (Mel kidnapping Gendry, added scenes for exposition, etc.), but I don't understand why the writers would change the characters. Why are Tywin and Cersei being shown in such sympathetic light, while the Blackfish and Robb are being made to look like complete DBs? I just don't get it.

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