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[Book Spoilers] EP309 Discussion

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These are MY complaints. There are a LOT of them. Let me begin by saying this is my least favorite episode of the entire series and I am utterly disappointed. Benioff and Weiss were the whole reason I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire to begin with. Game of Thrones inspired me to pick up a novel and finish it for the very first time in my nineteen years of life. That novel in turn inspired me to read four more after that. I trusted them completely with this. The Red Wedding was their ultimate goal in the series and they've said it from the start. I am still in disbelief that they would butcher it so badly but I digress. Onto business.

1. Robb's arrival at the Twins was an event in and of itself. His arrival and his death should have been spread out between two episodes as it was in the books with two successive Catelyn chapters. The entire event happened way too fast. For those who have not read the books, Greywind (Robb’s direwolf who has been largely missing from the show until randomly appearing in a KENNEL this episode) attacks some Freys in the rain as they greet the Starks to their castle. Robb, going through great pains to appease Walder Frey, decides to CHAIN his trusty direwolf outside (not in a damned dog kennel). Throughout their time at the Twins, Greywind howls in despair, sensing what is to come.

2. Blackfish & Jeyne (Talisa) are supposed to be safe at Riverrun; not at the Twins with Robb & Catelyn. Jeyne is still alive in the books, supposedly with Robb’s unborn child. An entire plot element currently hinges on whether or not that child is a boy. She should not have been killed off. I’m surprised they didn’t kill the Blackfish as well. How do they explain what he was even doing while his niece and great nephew (KING) were being slaughtered? I suppose he has magically escaped the castle and all the carnage outside to return to Riverrun, where he will most certainly be needed in the future for Jaime’s scenes.

3. Greywind dies AFTER Robb. This is extremely important (sentimentally-wise) as Robb’s real last words are “Greywind…” not “Mother…” It is to be assumed Robb wargs into his direwolf after he dies since this is the same moment Greywind viciously attacks nearby Freys who have not yet began their assault. Robb is betrayed, killed by his own man, wargs into his wolf, then dies all over again. It is part of his death and cutting that out of the show makes it considerably less tragic. To match, the death they gave Greywind here was so lacking in dramatic force or quality, you barely even cared that he was killed.

4. Another thing that makes Robb’s death less bleak is his childish disgruntlement towards Walder Frey throughout the episode. At this point in the books, Robb is genuinely sorry for what he did to his house and wants to make amends. He sustains every slight Walder throws at him without a flinch and handles himself extremely well at the Twins in the face of every petulant Frey. It’s hard to feel sorry for him here with those petty school boy heroics.

5. Most of the deaths in this episode were incredibly underwhelming compared to the deaths in A Storm of Swords. This was for many reasons, unfortunately. First of all, overly dramatic music was being played over everything when we should have been treated to nothing but the Rains of Castamere slowly digressing into the boom doom boom of the musicians’ drums. Secondly, Robb’s actor did an absolutely horrible job at displaying any sort of confusion, shock, fear, or despair. I heard he cried after he discovered how his character was to be killed but you never would have guessed he actually cared from his performance.

Catelyn’s actor was MORE than capable of carrying out some of the horrific things G.R.R. Martin described in his books but for whatever reason, Benioff and Weiss decided to stray for something far drabber. Going catatonic may sound like a proper reaction to the soul crushing sight of what you think is your only surviving child being killed in front of you but when Cat’s scream fades out and she just stands there motionless, it doesn’t deliver the jarring reaction her death deserves. It looks more as if she just accepts it and stops struggling. In the books, she scratches her face to ribbons as she screams bloody murder and the Freys waste no time in apprehending her by the hair. As her braid is yanked back, she thinks “No, not my hair! Ned loves my hair!” This would have been absolutely perfect had those been her last words. She literally goes mad with grief but viewers simply can’t grasp the extent of that grief without lines such as this.

Jeyne’s (Talisa’s) death, besides being totally uncanon, took away from the relationship between mother and son. It wasn’t supposed to be about Jeyne or Robb’s child. It was supposed to be about Catelyn and HER child. This is the relationship we had come to understand in-depth from Cat’s perspective since the first book. Jeyne’s family were also supposed to be suspected conspirators in the Red Wedding. Their daughter was not planned to be killed along with the Starks despite Jeyne’s alleged devotion to Robb. As I mentioned before, a huge plot element hinges on her and her baby. By the fifth book, Blackfish holds Riverrun against the Lannisters with Jeyne tight under guard. He defends her with his life. Why would he do this if not to protect an heir? Now what are they going to come up with when G.R.R. Martin reveals Jeyne is pregnant with the King in the North’s son?

Forget the main characters for a second; part of the horror of the Red Wedding was that so many people you were starting to like were all being slaughtered like farm animals. It is too much to expect to see minor characters such as Dacey Mormont and Smalljon Umber but surely their roles could have been replaced with existing characters in the show. Characters who, in the books, did not matter much. Lopping off the Greatjon’s head in place of his son’s would have been an excellent deviation as the Greatjon is supposed to be held captive then hardly ever mentioned again. Instead, we watch a bunch of bearded men who we’ve never even seen before being killed in humdrum fashions. No crossbow bolts through the mouth, no beheadings; none of that.

I doubt it would have had an impact anyway since the gore in this episode was completely unrealistic and tainted by Hollywood action movies. People do not instantly lose consciousness when their throat is cut then fall to the floor dead. When your esophagus is severed, you lose the ability to breathe through your mouth/nose and begin breathing out of a hole in your neck. This is largely impossible though since the wound bleeds profusely, clogging your esophagus with fluids. You essentially drown on your own blood in a panic, making all sorts of horrible snorting noises for up to three minutes. I’m not even sure G.R.R. Martin was aware of this before writing the Red Wedding but slitting throats was never described as one fell graze upon the neck. Catelyn SAWED through this person’s throat until they died. Stabbing a person in their heart is another matter but looks like Bolton missed the mark! Roose had a tiny dagger in place of a longsword and apparently decided to stab Robb in the lower part of his lung (causing instant death… ?).

While all this is happening inside the castle, the Stark host outside is supposed to be burning to death by the masses as a result of giant feast tents rigged to catch fire and collapse on top of them. Rather than depict the elaborate trap G.R.R. Martin conceived, it is simply implied all the Stark men outside are put to the sword. Good thing the viewers have no idea how many Stark men there are in comparison to Bolton men or else they would surely question the effectiveness of an open, armed conflict.

6. Roose’s performance here was a huge disappointment. I was setting my expectations high assuming this actor would be the one to do everything right. I was thoroughly enjoying his portrayal of the Leech Lord up until this point. He seemed so smug whereas in the books, he barely made an attempt to talk to anyone. He played his part perfectly while most of the Freys were a nervous wreck. But he was never cheeky about it. Here, he looks like he’s taking great pleasure in taunting the Starks as if he hates them. Roose is a man who plays for the winning team and takes no particular joy in betrayal. He just accepts that it’s practical and carries out his atrocities without guilt. In addition to screwing up his behavior, the actor got his body movements all wrong as well. Roose is supposed to glide in and out of the hall as confident and smooth as can be. Here, he darts around, ducking his head and lunging out of harm’s way. It’s just so unlike the Lord of the Dreadfort. But most importantly, he says to Robb just before he stabs him “the LANNISTERS send their regards.” I’m sorry, but WHY did you change that from “the Kingslayer sends his regards?” WHY do you think G.R.R. Martin set it up that way?! Cat is supposed to believe Jaime had a hand in her son’s demise from that statement. Cat FREED Jaime so she instantly thinks she’s killed her own son with her foolish actions. She’s supposed to believe that Jaime betrayed her later on in the series but of course viewers will never catch on to this.

7. Lastly, Sandor & Arya’s story was poorly done here. Arya was supposed to be desperate trying to get into the Twins despite all the bloodshed so that she could see her mother and brother once again. The Hound somehow managed to knock her out and carry her off unseen without a fret but in the books, it’s a fight for survival. Frey men attack them and Sandor has to kill a few with an axe before Arya makes a run for it. Just as she’s about to reach the castle, the Hound hits her atop the head. It would have been a much more emotional scene to see Arya kicking and screaming as Sandor tries to subdue her like it was in A Storm of Swords.

I was so hyped up for this moment ever since I read it in the books. I can’t tell you how immensely let down I am. This was meant to be the most significant event in the entire series and I do not feel they did it justice by any means. Viewers of the show will never know how much better it could have been; how much better it should have been. I’m not done with the series but I can definitely say now that I prefer G.R.R. Martin’s works over Benioff and Weiss’s any day. If they would just stick to the damned books instead of making their own changes all the time, I’d be happy. Cut what you need to but don’t add things that were never written down by the author. That’s rule No.1 of any adaption. I can only see this getting worse as the story progresses. Unless the producers get back on track and start doing things the way they should have done all along, I have no more hope left for Game of Thrones.

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Due to different timezone, I woke up really early so I can watch it before going to Pilates class.

Let's just say I didn't go to pilates.

I was shaking after it ended and still feel saddened. Overall, I found many nice moments: Rickon and Bran's farewell, Ygritte's face upon realising that, although she knew Jon wasn't loyal to the wildlings, he also wasn't loyal to her. Grey Wind dying like that, Daario being so arrogant you gotta smile, some comic relief from the Freys checking Blackfish out, Arya hitting the man to keep him quiet, Edmure's face when Roslyn unveiled, there was some sword fighting and stuff. And lots of stabbing and blood....

From the book, I missed Roslin's tears and the awful music. Got goosebumps when the doors closed and Rains started playing. Didn't get Roose's smile.

The RW was great and of course it din't match what I had in mind when reading. Nothing could - even if I had directed it. Some said the scene was lacklustre, but, after it being so hyped, I wonder if it could ever match people's expectations. And besides, reading it first as all of us have done, means that a. we are spoiled for it and b. we have imagined it in the best way possible, with access to internal monologue and feelings. Not to mention that everyone's imagination probably focused on different things that mattered for them. I, for one, never cared for the line 'Ned loves my hair' but couldn't forget Walder Frey's infuriating comments about the apology, such as "oops, we killed your bannermen, you have my apology". So, if I directed it and included one line and not the other, people would be like " but how could you leave out such and such?" You can't please everyone.

As far as i could gather from twitter, the Unsullied have lost it :bawl:

Final thought : the Unsullied who commented on Sansa and Tyrion's wedding as The Worst Wedding Ever. Care to revise that statement?

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The massacre took up almost 10 minutes of screentime and most of the episode was building up to it. People who have never read the books are losing their minds all over the internet. It was plenty long and powerful.

You already knew what was going to happen, that numbs the shock considerably.

I just re-watched the ep and it's pretty gut-wrenching on the second viewing.

It wasn't that long compared to the books, and IMO it wasn't nearly as powerful as in the books, and again I'm glad it wasn't. When Ned Stark got his head chopped off in the first season, it had a certain impact in terms of how powerful of a scene it was in the book that was equally shown on the show, but the RW on the show didn't have the same effect on me as it did in the book. There wasn't really a chance to take in what was happening to the individual characters because everything was happening pretty quickly in the show's version, there wasn't nearly as much of pause in between gruesome acts as there was in the book. Again I liked it this way and you disagree so we're going to have to agree to disagree on the matter. But again I'm not complaining about it whatsoever because I liked that the show just got straight to the point.

I'm not really concerned with what the non reading viewers thought about it, because seeing as though they haven't read the books they obviously have nothing to compare the show to, therefore they just take it like they see it on the show.

Edited by Jon Icefyre

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The Red Wedding fell totally flat from an emotional sense because there was no reason to care for the characters. We never really got to know Robb, his men, Grey Wind etc. The event itself is of course appaleing, but no where near as well done as in the books. In many ways the episode has taken away from the RW.

"Mother," how dare them.

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The Red Wedding fell totally flat from an emotional sense because there was no reason to care for the characters. We never really got to know Robb, his men, Grey Wind etc. The event itself is of course appaleing, but no where near as well done as in the books. In many ways the episode has taken away from the RW.

Yawn.

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The Red Wedding fell totally flat from an emotional sense because there was no reason to care for the characters. We never really got to know Robb, his men, Grey Wind etc. The event itself is of course appaleing, but no where near as well done as in the books. In many ways the episode has taken away from the RW.

"Mother," how dare them.

lol.

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I think you have to be a real and almost sick fanatic to not reckoning the awesomeness in this episode.

People have 3 problems:

1) They are too fans of the book. Obsession is a bad thing

2) They absolutely don't understand that TV is a media FAR DIFFERENT than the books. They imagine every singles scene in their heads they have read and are disappointed when it it's exactly the same, wich leads to...

3) Zero tolerance. I have also read all the books more than once, and even if I nitpick and have a grumpy face with some changes, I accept it and don't complain like a little girl.

For me the RW was as perfect as it could be on TV. I even liked more Cat's catarsis than the face-shredding that for me was absolutely unrealistic.

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I am glad this scene got on to tv, and this show. And yes there will always be people who complain but there is no point insulting them( I know because I have insulted them in the past). They are just very attached to the books, or are having a bad day.

Edited by Cellio

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If this show wont surive its not because it does not stick 100% to the book.Its because of the severe lack of budget.Seriously how in seven hells does the walking dead get 2.8 millions budget/episode and this gets what..500k by the looks of it.

If they will only keep showing the aftermath of battles, they will not survive the 4th season.

....

Thats indeed very true.

They should have invested MUCH more in that show, after the sucess of the first 2 seasons.

That they STILL were to cheap to make stuff like the battle at the fist, is very sad.

"Look we won" isnt a good way to "show" a battle.

In this episode it was the "they surrendered"-thing from the Dany-arc. It started GREAT and then... CUT - next scene - "We won"

Why was the episode only 53 minutes? About 4 More minutes, and they could have made it much less confusing and frustrating.

But well... its most often like that: The cashcow gets milked like crazy, but only fed enough, so it doesnt die.

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The problem with adaptation of all great books, which initially weren't made for TV/Film/Theatre, is that no one can beat them, because they are great. Of course RW is better in the book. Does this fact mean I wouldn't want to watch how someone made it on film (even if I knew how they did it)? NO.NEVER. Even if it would be random youtube user NedIsAlive75 who staged the scene in his garage - I would watch it. Did I like how HBO staged it? I did. Was it better in the book though? Yes, it was. No dilemma here, in my opinion.

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Without reading through 20+ pages, has anyone asked why Manderly was present but not introduced?

Manderly ( or any other Northern Bannermen ) don't exist in the show except for one episode in season 1. This has been a subject of discussion many times. You must be mistaken about him being present, there were just some random extras.

Edited by zaphodbrx

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As someone who's read the books, I'm always perplexed by other book readers who were insisting before the episode aired and are insisting now that no one will care about Robb and Cat dying, and that they would have no reason to care, when in reality, every single Unsullied reaction I've seen throughout the entire internet has been of shock and dispair. The only people saying non-book-readers won't care are book readers. It's almost as if they're completely biased or something.

Personally, despite reading the book and knowing what was coming, I was still devestated. Probably moreso than when I read it.

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]2. Blackfish & Jeyne (Talisa) are supposed to be safe at Riverrun; not at the Twins with Robb & Catelyn. Jeyne is still alive in the books, supposedly with Robb’s unborn child. An entire plot element currently hinges on whether or not that child is a boy.

Not anymore, wouldn't you say? If Talisa (who occupies Jeyne's role as Robb's wife in the show) has been killed off, that seems to be saying that Jeyne is entirely irrelevant. Also, we have no idea whether Jeyne is pregnant or not in the books; there's a good argument that she isn't. The show seems to be saying that it doesn't matter for the plot either way; either she was never pregnant, she's pregnant before the kid is born, or she miscarries or the child is stillborn. Either way, this is confirmation that Book Jeyne's fate and the contents of her womb do not matter. Robb Stark's baby in the books will not exist.

Edited by Newstar

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I thought it was brilliantly done. From the moment Cat saw the doors being shut to the end, I had tears running down my face. That never even happened when Ned was beheaded. I thought it was brilliantly adapted. Well done D&D.

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