Talking About Game of Thrones

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Talking About Game of Thrones

Does the HBO adaptation work if you haven't read the books?

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Thanks Greg Agree on a lot of these points. The Drogo Dany thing actually gets worse as they dont show the time lapse and by episode 2 she is beggining to fall in love with the big oaf but by the end I'm hoping that we get to see how their relationship blooms into true love

Unfortunately I neither have a TV, nor friends with Sky Atlantic, nor access to an internet connection that doesn't block *ahem* alternative ways of watching the show. So I am stuck waiting for the box-set for the mo.

However, I urge all who can to try and catch it, as I have heard great things, have been following the production for aaaages (and approve), and am a MASSIVE fan of the books. Really, the story is great.

And saying that, Tito, maybe you should mention something in the OP about not revealing spoilers in open posts, as many potential future seasons of plot twists have already been revealed to those who've read the novels...

btw,

I am keen to see it, being a fan of the books. The first review I read was quite scathing but actually commented very little on the show. Rather it made sweeping derisive remarks about fantasy novels and then assumed that the lead female character were given larger roles by HBO for the series (because they couldn't possibly be important in a teenage-boy wish fulfilment book). It was bad but I ended up with no understanding of the plot, acting, direction, dialogue - pretty much anything about the show.

Good to read something that discusses it properly.

ElectroJosh:
The first review I read was quite scathing but actually commented very little on the show. Rather it made sweeping derisive remarks about fantasy novels and then assumed that the lead female character were given larger roles by HBO for the series (because they couldn't possibly be important in a teenage-boy wish fulfilment book). It was bad but I ended up with no understanding of the plot, acting, direction, dialogue - pretty much anything about the show.

You can't imagine how much vitriolic discussion towards that review(and one other choice one) spawned in the office last week. It was in part why we wanted to do these recaps.

Even GRRM responded to her on his Not-Blog. And he NEVER responds to critics.

The only thing I thought was off about that 15 minute open was that weird edit. You know the one, when the deserter looks up at the Other and it just...fades out.

Now, this would work if what happened to the deserter after that was left a mystery, but it's not. He's back within five minutes, he tells us EXACTLY what happened to him, and then he fucking dies. So what was the point of the fade? Why didn't you just SHOW us him escaping the Other?

Come to think of it, I now realize that this may have been an omission of a scene from that video that will be in the actual episode, and it was cut to make room for more characters. At least, I HOPE that's what it is.

Does anyone know how to watch this in the UK without sky atlantic, was crushed when i realised i wouldn't see it.

The first episode was everything I hoped for, The actors were great, the costuming was brilliant, and the cinematography was excellent. I honestly liked the change in Dany's wedding scene, I always found it rather unrealistic to think that this young girl was basically sold into slavery by her insane older brother and forced to have sex with a rather fearsome warlord. I think that this change should be used to show Day's empowerment as a character as she and Drogo come to respect each other because in the books, it is undeniable that Drogo not only loves but also respects Dany.

I didn't much care for the music though, I found it forgettable and bland, very generic fantasy.

I don't get why we need to know everything from the first episode. It's not like the first 100 pages of the book contain all that has happened before Baratheon went to Winterfell.

Are TV viewers so impatient? I get it that a book (especially a book like A Game of Thrones) can be read at one's own pace. The reader can go on to the next page and then to the next until he's tired or until he has finally gotten the answer he wants. TV is not the same. You get 1 hour and that's it; you'll have to wait a week now. But still, why do TV viewers need to know everything?

I really liked the first episode. I can understand how they made some characters older (especially Daenerys) and it's fine by me. I agree that the love scene should have shown the potential for love in there and that was my only objection.

And I also agree with you, Greg, that the director and the writers did an excellent work in showing, not telling. The first encounter between Ned and Robert is indicative of their relationship even before they talk to each other!

Frozen Donkey Wheel2:
The only thing I thought was off about that 15 minute open was that weird edit. You know the one, when the deserter looks up at the Other and it just...fades out.

Now, this would work if what happened to the deserter after that was left a mystery, but it's not. He's back within five minutes, he tells us EXACTLY what happened to him, and then he fucking dies. So what was the point of the fade? Why didn't you just SHOW us him escaping the Other?

Come to think of it, I now realize that this may have been an omission of a scene from that video that will be in the actual episode, and it was cut to make room for more characters. At least, I HOPE that's what it is.

The cut was to go to the opening credits and they are awesome. We don't know how Gared escapes in the books so I don't see it as a big deal. The Others are intelligent, I think they wanted to send a message.

I liked it, quite a bit. Granted, it's been some time since I read the books, so there may be some details that I've forgotten about.

I had never even heard of A song of ice and fire before a few days ago, so I think I can be considered a newbie. The show does not air in my country, but with a bit of persistence, I was able to watch it.

Personally I was taken in by the pilot episode, and definately want to see more of this. Regarding the subtle hints mentioned in the article, I picked up on most of them myself without any prior knowledge. It was quite clear that the alledged return of these white walkers was something the main character took quite seriously even if he didnt want to show it outright. It was also quite clear that the savage groom guy in the desert area was not actually the savage man he appeared to be, although it was a bit ambiguos. The only things that wasn't clear to me was about this death/murder? of the kings hand. Its not very clear what actually happened even with the letter from his wife(?). I must admit that I also wasn't 100% sure who the prince guy was screwing right at the end, because we had only seen the sister once a while ago.

I really, really like this adaptation so far, but I'm also a huge fan of the books. And like the author, I watched the pilot with someone unfamiliar with the source material. I also had to keep telling her it wasn't going to be like Lord of the Rings (the only fantasy she's familiar with, sadly). She also had a lot questions and was confused by some of the relationships and history. But the books are like that, too. You don't learn everything about Ned and Robert's relationship regarding Ned's sister until later on. But you need to understand that to get the poignancy of Robert asking to see her grave.

Anyway, I personally am excited to see the next episode. This series has been a long time coming.

I've never read the books and having watched the first episode I just can't find a reason to keep watching. I'm not a huge fan of the fantasy genre in general though. The 7 Kingdoms, Middle-Earth... I just don't care what happens to them. I think it's the whole English countryside circa 1300s look they all have going on.

I know nothing about the series, but you identified my two big issues with last nights episode. The whole Barbarian King, pale woman relationship seemed off to me, I kept waiting for him to break type and do something compassionate, but he didn't. The scene on the cliffs actually read as rape to me.

the other being that i didn't and still don't understand why the 'deserter' was executed. They were sent into the woods to investigate strange goings on, found them, his CO died, he escaped and returned to report what he saw. I don't understand how any of that constitutes some kind of crime.

walrusaurus:
I know nothing about the series, but you identified my two big issues with last nights episode. The whole Barbarian King, pale woman relationship seemed off to me, I kept waiting for him to break type and do something compassionate, but he didn't. The scene on the cliffs actually read as rape to me.

the other being that i didn't and still don't understand why the 'deserter' was executed. They were sent into the woods to investigate strange goings on, found them, his CO died, he escaped and returned to report what he saw. I don't understand how any of that constitutes some kind of crime.

The deserter was executed because instead of returning to the wall and telling his CO what happened he booked it south of the wall, which is where he was caught. As you will see, this is a pretty harsh world, and telling Eddard Stark what happened AFTER he got caught running away isn't gonna save his life.

Truly-A-Lie:
I've never read the books and having watched the first episode I just can't find a reason to keep watching. I'm not a huge fan of the fantasy genre in general though. The 7 Kingdoms, Middle-Earth... I just don't care what happens to them. I think it's the whole English countryside circa 1300s look they all have going on.

I am not gonna go OMFGWTF fanboy out on you for this, cause I feel the same way about anime. But I will tell you that, fantasy setting aside, if you stick with it you are in for one hell of a ride!

It was interesting... but the biggest thing that kept me in was Sean Bean, who is one of my favorite actors. It looks like he's only in 2 episodes according to IMDB, so if the next episode keeps my interest I'll keep going, Sean Bean or no.

I completely agree with the Khal Drogo and Daeneyrs point. The books made their consummation seem much more tender, but hey, I'm just nitpicking.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with the pilot. Great, great way to start the season. Hope they can keep up the momentum.

I've never heard of this series before, but last night I was at a friend's house and they were watching the premiere, I guess. I watched about ten minutes of it. Most shots were generic and the acting was sub-par. I think it actually hurts the series that they're not using uglier people. It's also too clean, well the armor is too clean, the clothes, castle, etc. If they want the 'clean' look then the world setting needs to be 'advanced' a bit or at least more fantasy esque. Then there was this sex scene with a midget and I turned it off. It really grinds my gears that HBO, Starz, etc. try to make up for poor acting, scripting with boobs.

Cheery Lunatic:
I completely agree with the Khal Drogo and Daeneyrs point. The books made their consummation seem much more tender, but hey, I'm just nitpicking.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with the pilot. Great, great way to start the season. Hope they can keep up the momentum.

It's funny... I feel like I'm the only person for whom the first several events read as rape in the books, too. The way I remember it, Daenerys had no power in the relationship and hated the situation she had been forced into. Then she has this funny dream with a dragon after which, suddenly, she loves her husband and is utterly devoted to him, as well as, after her brother died, actually caring about getting her kingdom back.

Of course, I might be wrong. I've gotten through the first two books and I'll probably only read the third one grudgingly because the second one settles nothing, so I'm not exactly the biggest fan, either. (A likable character who doesn't get shat on would be a nice start, but, of course, that goes against the tone of the series, and I recognize that, therefore, it might just not be for me.)

Their were some minor differences from the books (mainly the scene with Khal and Daenneyrs) but altogether I think it was a great adaptation of the book and I can't wait to see more. By far one of the best HBO series yet, let's hope they don't mess it up.

I just wish the Martin would release the next book in the series, but I guess quality is worth waiting for.

Jebusetti:

The deserter was executed because instead of returning to the wall and telling his CO what happened he booked it south of the wall, which is where he was caught. As you will see, this is a pretty harsh world, and telling Eddard Stark what happened AFTER he got caught running away isn't gonna save his life.

Allright that makes a bit more sense then. They really did a poor job communicating that. The implication that I drew was that his little scouting party was sent up there by some local lord, and in the process of fleeing he was assumed to be a deserter.

AstylahAthrys:
but the biggest thing that kept me in was Sean Bean, who is one of my favorite actors. It looks like he's only in 2 episodes according to IMDB, so if the next episode keeps my interest I'll keep going, Sean Bean or no.

Those IMDB credits aren't up-to-date, most of the main cast only lists 2 episode.

--

Ive been following the production for about two years so I had a lot of build-up leading into this and it payed off very well.

The premiere wasn't perfect, an extra 10-15 minutes would've done a lot of good in letting some of the scenes sit a bit longer and having a bit more action between the exposition would've help make things a bit less stuffy. The bran/tommen sparring scene would've been perfect for that and i know they filmed it for the pilot, hopefully it'll surface as a dvd extra.

I really enjoyed the visual choices they made and I'm quite happy with the casting. Seeing this material come to life gave me shivers several times.

As for ppl new to the story: give it a few episodes. It was the same with the book, the beginning was a bit laborious to get through. but it serves to position the characters so that when shit really starts hitting the fan, you are invested in their respective journeys and you understand their choices.

Once it gets going, it never stops getting better.

It works if you haven't. If you have then you basically just get a summary mixed with awkward moments.

I had to explain to my friends why the brother and sister were touching each other while naked twice in one episode.

The details were lacking entirely, and I already knew everything that was going to happen before it happened. What followed was a letdown for every scene, maybe because reality is always worse than your fantasy/imagination.

I'm really looking forward to checking it out, and I'm annoyed that my options are either shell out a stupid amount of cash for cable (which I never watch) or to find it through less than honorable means. Why they don't just have the episodes for purchase a la carte somewhere for, say, $10 is beyond me.

I've heard largely mixed reviews from people who aren't familiar with the books, but when I explain that the books are more or less as they describe the show to be, they seem slightly more interested but I've heard a lot of 'wow that's really gratuitous'. I suppose it's all in what one expects.

So very glad to see the staff are such fans of Martin's work. My eyes raised several notches when scrolling down the news to find THREE bits on Thrones. Awesome.

Also glad to hear that it is done in partial response to the idiotic NYT review that has taken so much well deserved flack.

Loved the episode, only a very few nigglings on my own part where the writing and plot understandably show differences from the book. It does serve to keep things interesting as well though, catching the changes is almost a sport in of itself. The only thing that I wasn't happy about was I didn't think the music really did the rest of the production justice, primarily upon the King's entrance to Winterfell (the credits on the other hand, I found to be up to HBO's high creative standards.)

God. It's just way too easy to geek out when it comes to GRRM.

walrusaurus:
I know nothing about the series, but you identified my two big issues with last nights episode. The whole Barbarian King, pale woman relationship seemed off to me, I kept waiting for him to break type and do something compassionate, but he didn't. The scene on the cliffs actually read as rape to me.

the other being that i didn't and still don't understand why the 'deserter' was executed. They were sent into the woods to investigate strange goings on, found them, his CO died, he escaped and returned to report what he saw. I don't understand how any of that constitutes some kind of crime.

For the first comment, that is actually a pretty hotly disputed scene in the fan community of the books. The novel depicts it MUCH differently with actual tenderness. Eventually, Drogo and Dany fall in love.

As for the deserter, the man who was executed was a member of the Night's Watch. Their job is the watch the Wall, which separates the Seven Kingdoms from the Wildlings of the North and the Others (the White Walkers). Now, because no one has actually seen the White Walkers for ages, everyone has pretty much taken the Wall for granted, as it is staffed with mostly criminals and malcontents who got sent there for punishment. Life on the Wall is for...well...life. If you desert, they will execute you.

Sorry for wall o' text, and I hope this clears it up for you.

Didn't read the book, but definitely enjoy the little dwarf/queen's brothers character. "Close the door braaaah!" ... and "what won't I do for <3!!!" > . >

Ahhh Viserys, twisting nipples and 'waking the dragon' since 1996...

EvilPicnic:

btw,

Thank you for introducing me to this theory. I've red up to the first half of FfC and this is really compelling stuff!

My friend found a lovely description of Gregor Clegane somewhere ''Imagine Pyramid Head with less spoken lines, his brother Sandor as a more sympathetic Fredd Kreuger. Both are the size and build of ten brick-shit houses'' Apparently that plus the pilot has him hooked.

Ahhh the thing is that I had to explain to nearly everyone that those two were brother and sister boinking D: Maybe they should of played the sibling card a little heavier.

Hey, you can't put "Does the HBO adaptation work if you haven't read the books?" on the front page, and then say "spoilers, stop reading here" in the article >:

So the world it's set in is called westeros? Any swedes think the name sounds familiar :D (västerĺs *hint* *hint*)

I am not sure that we saw the "consummation" of Danny and Drogo's marriage. We actually didn't see them do the deed (and the show is not shy about sex scenes).

People re complaining that it was brutish and akin to rape, but I suspect that the producers will show us Drogo's tender side (does he have one?) soon. I predict they did not have sex in the rocky beach :)

Edit: I stand corrected. He was a barbarian through and through! He basically raped his wife :-/

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