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GoT and ASoIaF Discussion Thread [SPOILER-FEST - READERS ONLY]

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by Legendary Sidekick, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Not all have it, and I didn't have it either. When they killed off Ser Barristan--who's still alive in the book--I was part of the "Embrace the Change" crowd. He's a great character and I didn't think I'd like seeing someone die in the shown who didn't die in the book, but that Sons of the Harpy fight was entertaining, and Barristan sacrificing himself for Greyworm was good storytelling. So yeah, I liked it.

    I was harsh at first because of Sansa. I mean, that just sucked to see her used and abused by Ramsey. Ramsey was horrible to his wife in the book, so no surprise, but... why take a major character out of her own story and do that to her? I really did want to defend the move (viewers care more about Sansa Stark than Jeyne Poole), but it's hardly defensible. It was just a huge turn-off. The rest of the Winterfell deviations are indefensible: Ramsey's cartoon-super-villainy, Stannis' out-of-character betrayal of his daughter, and Brienne being the one-woman army who would save Sansa. (And sadly, I'm such a Brienne fan, I'd have cheered her on if she hacked her way through a 20 good men... then complained if that got her killed or Ramseyed.) Burning Shireen was the Shoot the Puppy trope. The acting was top notch, but was really a stupid direction for the story to take. Stannis wasn't a fool, then 20 men broke him.

    I may have seemed harsh criticizing the beheading of Janos Slynt, but read post #10 of the other GoT thread and maybe you'll see how just putting the sword in Jon's hand sooner weakened a character-defining moment for Jon.

    Episode 8 was awesome. Episode 9 was awesome for the last 20 minutes. Last night, I enjoyed the Arya and Cersie scenes. I take issue with the show making Meryn even more eviler by having him forcibly deflower little girls, but I did like the way the two tortured girls turned to Arya when she took her whipping in calm silence. I really did enjoy the good scenes, Cersei's was flawless; I'm not looking for excuses to complain and I expect I'll be up past midnight next spring watching Season 6.

    So I don't hate all changes. The Wall changes are actually an improvement over the books. Jon is a better friend to Sam and he doesn't to the weird baby-switching thing with Gilly's son and Mance's infant prince. The Sandsnakes... are not an improvement. I wanted to like them. I did like Jaime's character having more of a purpose. The same is true for Brienne... and my hope is that she will find Sansa and Theon, since they obviously won't be running to Stannis! I like TV Dario better than book Dario, and I loved the way the pit battle was portrayed in the show. It was different, not in a way that I'd label "better" or "worse." Both the book and TV versions were done well.

    If you go to a site like A Forum of Ice and Fire, you'll see a crowd of readers that hate all changes, hate the show, and watch it so they can spew hate. I'm not that. I'm just being honest about what changes work and what changes don't, and I'm perplexed that the showrunners don't just stick to the source material since the deviations are hit and miss, whereas the just-like-the-book shockers are usually done well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
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  2. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I wasn't really pleased with the Sansa thing since it seemed like a step backwards but in the end it wasn't especially terrible plot wise, though sadly there was no revenge scheme either, so it was just meh.

    Hardly indefensible. Ramsay has already been established as the evilest evil to ever evil in Westeros (and I've been playing the Telltale game too, where his evil gets even more time to shine). And he's just so entertaining in his own mustache-twirling way. I can't really hate it. I mean, I hate him as a character because he's despicable, but I actually like the aspects you find cartoony. In fact, I probably wouldn't be able to stomach the character without the cartoony bits. He would just be unpleasant to watch without them. As it is, he's like Westeros's own Joker. It's kind of awesome. And because his character has that kind of sinister charisma, I could totally buy that he could break Stannis's army with just 20 men. He killed ironborn warriors bare-chested a couple seasons ago. Ramsay is a force of nature. It's the Batman Principle: if a character is established as sufficiently badass, then they can do just about anything and the audience will buy it. Because he's Batman*. Or in this case, because he's Ramsay. (YMMV obviously). Of course, there are limits to the Batman Principle and it works best when you put in an effort to explain how the ridiculously badass thing was done in order to ensure suspension of disbelief remains intact, something they neglected to do here. But even so, I totally bought it and the aftermath. Especially since you can tell that Stannis and his army are already fraying at the seams. All it took was a little push to bring him to the breaking point. Stannis has done terrible things for Melissandre before. He's stubbornly continued to fight a losing battle since the Blackwater. You can tell that his obsession is getting the better of his morals. It was only a matter of time before Shireen fell victim to it. Combine Stannis's mindset, the terrible conditions his army was facing, plus Ramsay's sabotage, and you have a perfect storm.

    I read the quote and I don't think it was weakened at all. The same themes were delivered. The acting was on point. I immediately recalled Ned's words and actions from the first season. The only thing the show did was make Jon more resolute in his decision. I actually prefer the show version. Making the beheading his first choice rather than something he changes his mind and does shows the strength of his convictions and his leadership, makes it clear to the audience and to the Watch that he's not messing around.

    I think the reason they don't work for you is because you're aware of the books' context, but also unaware of the endgame. It's very possible (and likely) that most of the deviations you disapprove of are just ways of getting to the planned destination in a more economical route than George is doing. So what to you looks like plot butchery is actually just cutting out a lot of meandering the show doesn't want or need.


    *Corollary to this is the Joker Principle: If a character is established as sufficiently crazy and/or devious, they can likewise do just about anything and the audience will buy it. Because he's the Joker.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
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  3. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Also, could you link me to some of those change-hating threads? I have a mighty need for some schadenfreude. xD
     
  4. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    Definitely agree with Sidekick. To be honest, I'm not a big enough fan of ASOIAF to really care that they are changing things. I read most of the books after the show came out(; I had already read the first one and found it too dry to care, but having S1 of the show to get me attached to the characters made the books easier to read). Daenerys' story in the books is exceptionally boring, and given her popularity, it was natural that the writers of the show would want to go their own path with her. And GRRM's slow pace means that they'd either need to ask him for spoilers or do their own thing in order to keep the 'one season a year' pace. I am fine with that.

    And some changes do work well. Tyrion and Daenerys meeting this soon was largely more interesting than Tyrion's adventures in the books, and aside from Penny, I'm happy with most of that being cut. Some of the characters they give more time to make great additions to the flow of the story - Bronn and Olenna Tyrell stand out for this past season. It's impossible to ignore that many of their smaller changes - from Sansa marrying Ramsay to cutting out Lady Stoneheart to the virgin girls that Sidekick mentioned - are made with derailing the arcs of or exploiting female characters, and that bothers me from a 'this is gross nonsense' perspective, but even that isn't egregiously poor writing. Just gratuitous, and they've done 'gratuitous' well.

    But this season, they tanked any and all character development Stannis has had since he was introduced. And then they killed him, leaving Melisandre to team up with somebody (can't be Jon, can it?) to defend the wall. Is she going to team up with Ramsay? Or Alistair? Because I barely give a damn about her, and I sure as hell don't give a damn about them. How does she plan to take Westeros for the Lord of Light now that she's not working with someone who has a claim to the throne? Indeed, is there even a war for the Iron Throne anymore? Sansa's the best claimant (when was the last time we saw Bran?) and she's not even a virgin anymore, which would have seriously helped her seal a political marriage to make her claim more legitimate. All the Baratheons are dead. Daenerys is still doing her thing, and even though her dragons are bigger, they're not quite 'conquer Westeros on their backs' big. At this point, the most satisfying conclusion leaves Dany to both team up with Melisandre to defeat the White Walkers and team up with Tyrion to take King's Landing. Either that, or Ramsay does it, and that really will be the world's least fulfilling conclusion to a plot thread imaginable.
     
  5. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    This is likely a big part of it, but it's what makes the changes mind-boggling--when the changes are worse, I mean. If the showrunners make an improvement, I can appreciate the effort. Or when they killed off Jojen Reed and Barristan the Bold, I figured those were book 6 deaths, and I didn't mind them coming early because they were done well.

    But honestly, if you read the books you can see this isn't a rush to the endgame. It's a totally different path to the endgame. For example, Jon Snow doesn't go to Hardhome, but he still gets betrayed by his men and the Melisandre is there at the Wall. Her placement there is important for where I expect the Jon Snow to go.
    The Lord of Light brings him back to life, yaaaaay!
     
  6. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I think we might have different thresholds for what constitutes "totally different". From what I gather on wikis, the events this season have been pretty much the same in the broad strokes, except for the Dorne plot thread. And I agree with your prediction for Jon's fate.
     
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  7. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Haven't watched the last show yet.
    But I have heard.
    Was thinking then Snow was just a stupid bastard and his heritage was just a red hearing. Then I remembered something someone said.

    Someone on a site suggested Snow dies, ending his oath, but returns to life (as the gods have done before in this series.), free to move on.
     
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  8. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    Yeah, that's the general thought amongst a lot of people, especially since Melisandre is still at the Wall in the books.
     
  9. StoryTypewriter

    StoryTypewriter Scribe

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    Just throwing out there... Has anybody read the excerpt that has been released for Winds of Winter? And if so, thoughts? ^^

    Sent from my SM-G360G using Tapatalk
     
  10. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Malisandre had just returned the scene before on the show.
     
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  11. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    Then I would say that sets things up perfectly in both continuities.
     
  12. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    About half a dozen sample chapters or their summaries have been released (summaries made from notes from readings by GRRM at various conventions).

    Going from memory...

    Ayra - is 'undercover' as an actress on the Mummer's Ship in Bravos. The play she is in depicts the last days of King Robert and makes Tyron into a epic villain (onstage 'rape' among other things). Chapter ends with Ayra killing another member of the Brave Companions.

    This one....maybe we saw it at the end of the current season in altered form.

    Barristan - leads a sortie from Mereen against the Slaver encampment.

    (doubly mute issue in the TV series, as he is dead and there is no siege).

    The Dornish Princess (name escapes me at the moment, not a Sand Snake) travels north to try to cut a deal with the invading mercenary army.

    Again, not a factor in he series, since events went down differently in Dorne and there is no mercenary invasion.

    Theon - Suspended spread eagled from the inside wall of a tower at the ruined village where Stannis is encamped. He gets to overhear Stannis's political machinations. His sister, also a captive, pleads for his life.

    Also irrelevant to the TV series as Stannis is dead, though I wonder if Theon links up with Brienne.

    Tyron - in the command tent of the Second Sons as the Iron Born attack the camp, trying to convince Dario to join Dany, extremely ticked off about being in yet another battle. At one point, an aristocratic slaver messenger wearing a 'porno breastplate' shows up, spots Tyron and gets killed. Dario announces the Second Sons have always been with Dany.

    Not relevant t the TV series, though I wonder if something vaguely similar might not happen should the Iron Born actually attack next season.

    Think there was at least one other chapter released, though the title / POV escapes me at the moment.

    So, at this point, the spoiler chapters for 'Winds of Winter' do not look to significantly affect the next TV season.
     
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