Commentary on “Baelor”

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Commentary on "Baelor"

Wherein our hero loses his honor

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Frey was done perfectly, perhaps even better than on the page. One of the reasons I am liking the HBO series over the books--the actors can work their magic with the lines and story already laid out.

The worst thing about this series is that the season is almost over. However, I don't recall that Tyrion made such a poor showing during the battle in the book. Pretty sure that he rode into battle, and did pretty well considering - before he was wounded. Not sure why the hbo series has him getting knocked out by his own men...

I don't think I'm getting Tyrion's exploits mixed up with the Battle at King's Landing, but it's possible.

-'Wherein our hero loses his honor'-

Blah... if anything, Ned lost it when he lied after coming back from Tower of Joy : P

Both times he lies for love tho, so to hell with honor.

EDIT: Even if he didn't lie then, (a lot of people will disagree) fathering a bastard child is sooo honorable, eh? Yeah, no.

itf cho:
The worst thing about this series is that the season is almost over. However, I don't recall that Tyrion made such a poor showing in the battle in the book. Pretty sure that he rode into battle, and did pretty well considering - before he was wounded. Not sure why the hbo series has him getting knocked out by his own men...

I don't think I'm getting Tyrion's exploits mixed up with the Battle at King's Landing, but it's possible.

Tyrion did participate in that battle in the book, I belive he even took a knight prisoner (mostly luck, but what the hell). I interpreted the scene in this episode as him getting knocked out just before the battle AND getting knocked out AGAIN during the battle. That being said, when I think about it again, it does look like he simply "slept" through the whole thing.

However, this episode highlights the one glaring weakness of HBO productions: They always skip the battle scenes if at all possible. Take a look at Rome or The Tudors - the always cut off before a battle, at most we might see a few blurred images of it, and then it cuts back in to the battlefield strewn with corpses. They skipped two battles in this episode, the one where Tywin massacres the northeners and the one where Jaime gets captured.

This makes me slightly concerned for the second season, since a good chunk of it is all about the battles and the climax of the book is the big freaking battle for King's Landing which can't really be skipped without gutting the book...

Battles are expensive. GoT has a budget of something like 60-80 million for 10 episodes. LotR had several hundred million for a couple of hours.

I was annoyed that the battles got cut out too, as well as the re-arranging of the storyline in order to create a cliff hanger/shocking ending but I can forgive them for both. The former because budget constraints are always a problem (and hopefully season 2 will have a much better budget), the second because it made better television for those who are yet to read the books.

I must say though, the scene with Tyrion, Bronn, Shae, the drinking game and Tyrion's story is much better than the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jandau:
However, this episode highlights the one glaring weakness of HBO productions: They always skip the battle scenes if at all possible. Take a look at Rome or The Tudors - the always cut off before a battle, at most we might see a few blurred images of it, and then it cuts back in to the battlefield strewn with corpses. They skipped two battles in this episode, the one where Tywin massacres the northeners and the one where Jaime gets captured.

Well, to be fair, even the books gloss over the battles. Tywin's battles to which you refer are only mentioned after the fact, and even the Whispering Wood is only given a couple pages, and that from Catelyn's perspective. Really, this isn't a hack-n-slash fantasy series ala R.A. Salvatore (i'd actually debate calling it fantasy at all, but that's just me...). It's far more about characters and intrigue.

Thesreyn:
Battles are expensive. GoT has a budget of something like 60-80 million for 10 episodes. LotR had several hundred million for a couple of hours.

Couple of hours? Each of those movies was over 3 hours I thought??

Extended Edition:
683 minutes

That's 11 1/2 hours.... that's longer than A Game of Thrones.... But yeah, if they keep doing all the books for A Song of Fire and Ice, I see what you mean!

Sober Thal:
-'Wherein our hero loses his honor'-

Blah... if anything, Ned lost it when he lied after coming back from Tower of Joy : P

Both times he lies for love tho, so to hell with honor.

EDIT: Even if he didn't lie then, (a lot of people will disagree) fathering a bastard child is sooo honorable, eh? Yeah, no.

There are actually a lot of theories about that (read: 3), the most convincing of which isn't what you think. Summarised best here, if you don't mind spoilers:

http://www.towerofthehand.com/essays/chrisholden/jon_snows_parents.html

OT: Damn. That scene...it cut deep, man, that was a tear-jerker!

Also I agree with the chappie up there, if they skip the climactic battle of CoK, I will be really, really disappoint HBO.

Jandau:
Tyrion did participate in that battle in the book, I belive he even took a knight prisoner (mostly luck, but what the hell). I interpreted the scene in this episode as him getting knocked out just before the battle AND getting knocked out AGAIN during the battle. That being said, when I think about it again, it does look like he simply "slept" through the whole thing.

However, this episode highlights the one glaring weakness of HBO productions: They always skip the battle scenes if at all possible. Take a look at Rome or The Tudors - the always cut off before a battle, at most we might see a few blurred images of it, and then it cuts back in to the battlefield strewn with corpses. They skipped two battles in this episode, the one where Tywin massacres the northeners and the one where Jaime gets captured.

This makes me slightly concerned for the second season, since a good chunk of it is all about the battles and the climax of the book is the big freaking battle for King's Landing which can't really be skipped without gutting the book...

Thanks - I remember that scene better now. I never noticed how HBO was gutting battle scenes before, but you're absolutely correct. I guess we'll have to wait a year to see how they manage to pull of the second season. But I don't see any real way for them to cut out all the fighting at King's Landing.

Arya was my favorite character in the books (which I stopped reading after the third because GRRM couldn't be bothered to write them in a reasonable timeframe); but Tyrion has been my favorite character in the HBO production. So it's disappointing when they cut his scenes.

The Diabolical Biz:

Sober Thal:
-'Wherein our hero loses his honor'-

Blah... if anything, Ned lost it when he lied after coming back from Tower of Joy : P

Both times he lies for love tho, so to hell with honor.

EDIT: Even if he didn't lie then, (a lot of people will disagree) fathering a bastard child is sooo honorable, eh? Yeah, no.

There are actually a lot of theories about that (read: 3), the most convincing of which isn't what you think. Summarised best here, if you don't mind spoilers:

http://www.towerofthehand.com/essays/chrisholden/jon_snows_parents.html

OT: Damn. That scene...it cut deep, man, that was a tear-jerker!

Also I agree with the chappie up there, if they skip the climactic battle of CoK, I will be really, really disappoint HBO.

That's exactly what I think, choice III. But yeah, didn't want to spoil it for others just in case. Cool link, thanks!

Sober Thal:

The Diabolical Biz:

Sober Thal:
-'Wherein our hero loses his honor'-

Blah... if anything, Ned lost it when he lied after coming back from Tower of Joy : P

Both times he lies for love tho, so to hell with honor.

EDIT: Even if he didn't lie then, (a lot of people will disagree) fathering a bastard child is sooo honorable, eh? Yeah, no.

There are actually a lot of theories about that (read: 3), the most convincing of which isn't what you think. Summarised best here, if you don't mind spoilers:

http://www.towerofthehand.com/essays/chrisholden/jon_snows_parents.html

OT: Damn. That scene...it cut deep, man, that was a tear-jerker!

Also I agree with the chappie up there, if they skip the climactic battle of CoK, I will be really, really disappoint HBO.

That's exactly what I think, choice III.

In which case,

I think 3 too, I feel like a fool for not having picked up on it sooner!

The Diabolical Biz:

Sober Thal:

The Diabolical Biz:

There are actually a lot of theories about that (read: 3), the most convincing of which isn't what you think. Summarised best here, if you don't mind spoilers:

http://www.towerofthehand.com/essays/chrisholden/jon_snows_parents.html

OT: Damn. That scene...it cut deep, man, that was a tear-jerker!

Also I agree with the chappie up there, if they skip the climactic battle of CoK, I will be really, really disappoint HBO.

That's exactly what I think, choice III.

In which case,

I think 3 too, I feel like a fool for not having picked up on it sooner!

You don't think telling that lie looses honor?

Sober Thal:

Thesreyn:
Battles are expensive. GoT has a budget of something like 60-80 million for 10 episodes. LotR had several hundred million for a couple of hours.

Couple of hours? Each of those movies was over 3 hours I thought??

Should be actually about the same.

Counting deleted scenes/extended scenes as well as the Extended Editions of LOTR, both GOT and LotR should come in at about 10 hours, give or take.

That said, it's still a difference between in terms of budget. You can do just so much more with 285 Million Dollars (estimated) than with less than one hundred million dollars.
Also, one can guess that the timeframe in wich GOT was created is much smaller.

On Topic:

Did i overread that, or was there no mention about the Blind Maester at the Wall revealing that he is a Targaryan (sp?) and taught Jon Snow from his own experience of how he has to decide between duty/honor and love?
I mean, how great was that?
Especially since it looks like Snow will choose Honor, as the Maester did, and only Ned, unlikliest of all, chooses love.

Sober Thal:

The Diabolical Biz:

In which case,

I think 3 too, I feel like a fool for not having picked up on it sooner!

You don't think telling that lie looses honor?

Well, I think that

Perhaps think it's not such a clear-cut issue. It's shades of grey, really - I'd say that of the two options,

is probably the better moral choice

The Diabolical Biz:

Sober Thal:

The Diabolical Biz:

In which case,

I think 3 too, I feel like a fool for not having picked up on it sooner!

You don't think telling that lie looses honor?

Well, I think that

Perhaps think it's not such a clear-cut issue. It's shades of grey, really - I'd say that of the two options,

is probably the better moral choice

With out a doubt the better choice both times I say.

Both times he lied to save a child.

I say Ned's Honor is fine.

Sober Thal:

The Diabolical Biz:

Sober Thal:

You don't think telling that lie looses honor?

Well, I think that

Perhaps think it's not such a clear-cut issue. It's shades of grey, really - I'd say that of the two options,

is probably the better moral choice

With out a doubt the better choice both times I say.

Both times he lied to save a child.

I say Ned's Honor is fine.

Huzzah for Ned!

That is until now. It's all the worse that he dishonoured himself at the end, he couldn't even save Westeros from warfare in doing it. Damn it Boromir!

There is a special place in Hell for people like Joeffery.

i was wondering if it was deffinatly Ned who got killed since in the book and the tv they make a point of not showing him accepting but that got cut off when he recognised yoren and arya. Bit strange that tyrion got kncoked out at the beginning of the battle considering he kills several people and captures a knight in the book the seige of kings landing is going to come abit out of left feild now

And when I was reading Game of Thrones back in the days, the death of Ned was spoiled (by accident) for me by my dear friend :D

The end of "Baelor" made me cry, I've been enjoying the series so much that I didn't realise how invested I'd gotten in the characters..I hope Joffrey gets what's coming to him, damn brat -_-

Jamboxdotcom:

Jandau:
However, this episode highlights the one glaring weakness of HBO productions: They always skip the battle scenes if at all possible. Take a look at Rome or The Tudors - the always cut off before a battle, at most we might see a few blurred images of it, and then it cuts back in to the battlefield strewn with corpses. They skipped two battles in this episode, the one where Tywin massacres the northeners and the one where Jaime gets captured.

Well, to be fair, even the books gloss over the battles. Tywin's battles to which you refer are only mentioned after the fact, and even the Whispering Wood is only given a couple pages, and that from Catelyn's perspective. Really, this isn't a hack-n-slash fantasy series ala R.A. Salvatore (i'd actually debate calling it fantasy at all, but that's just me...). It's far more about characters and intrigue.

Where exactly was I requesting that every episode have a long, drawn out bloodbath? Of course the series is about intrigue, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a good killing every now and then. As for the series itself, it wouldn't be too much to hope for a nice juicy battle scene near the end of the season, is it? The battles don't get the spotlight in the books, but they also aren't exactly skipped entirely.

And if they can make time for a 5 minute lesbian scene so Littlefinger can lay down some exposition and background, then by gods they can make time for a minute or two of wholesale slaughter!

Also, I'm a bit pissed they left out the plot angle about Sansa betraying her father...

I haven't read the books (I feel I should now), so I did not know what was coming at the end (funnily enough I just misspelt "end" as "ned"....yeah), but it was awesome. A very moving scene I thought, especially when that guy (I don't know his name...) grabs Arya and was shouting "don't look!". Also, Jack Gleeson, who plays Joffrey, is doing a fantastic job - I hate his character, and that says a lot for his acting talent. Fair play to him.

This series if definitely one of the best I've ever seen. I'm not that fussed about skipping the big battles - again, I didn't read the books so I don't really know what I'm missing - but the little 1 on 1s and stuff like that they have suit me fine. Assuming, though, that there is a big battle at the end or some sort, I hope we get to see that.

Also, big gutted that one of my favourite characters is gone. And Sean Bean, I think, is a tremendous actor.

JWRosser:
I haven't read the books (I feel I should now), so I did not know what was coming at the end.

This is what I wanted to hear. I was really curious whether or not the surprise would translate into the live version or not. I'm happy that it did.

I eagerly await to read about your or anyone's reactions to the series future blindsides. They are cruel and glorious.

(Wait... does that make them gruel??)

I had just read the battle and was wondering how they might gloss it over and while i was a bit annoyed I found very funny when he makes his big speech and is immediately knocked out by his own men

Dirty Apple:

JWRosser:
I haven't read the books (I feel I should now), so I did not know what was coming at the end.

This is what I wanted to hear. I was really curious whether or not the surprise would translate into the live version or not. I'm happy that it did.

I eagerly await to read about your or anyone's reactions to the series future blindsides. They are cruel and glorious.

(Wait... does that make them gruel??)

A friend of mine who has read the books said don't get too attached to any of the characters...haha.
I also realised about 3 episodes in that they are not shy of death. I find the series very hard to predict - I mean, I would have classed Ned as the main character, and now this has happened so...yeah. That's a compliment to George R. R. Martin too; he's obviously a talented writer who does not conform to clichés.

JWRosser:
I haven't read the books (I feel I should now)...

I read the first three before I gave up due to the publishing delays... But I'm wondering the same thing - if I should give them another chance. Book 5 is coming out soon; and it's probably a safe bet that HBO wouldn't take on the series without some sort of guarantee that GRRM will get of his ass and write.

Plenty of people who have read the entire series so far? What's the verdict?

Greg Tito:
When I read the story way back in 1996, I couldn't believe the words my eyes were seeing. Martin expertly sets up how Stark might survive the ordeal, and, being familiar with fantasy tropes, I assumed that he would make it out of the book alive. But all of that hope leaked out onto the steps of the Sept of Baelor when Ned's head. I had to reread the scene several times before I said to myself, "Holy shit. He's dead."

Exactly the same thing happened to me. I take it as GRRM basically saying, "you know those fantasy novels where the noble, honourable guy suffers for his honour but in the end is vindicated? Yeah, this isn't one of those." The grim & gritty isn't just an aesthetic for Martin--he's committed to it.

JWRosser:
Also, big gutted that one of my favourite characters is gone. And Sean Bean, I think, is a tremendous actor.

Well, as a huge Sean Bean fan, I knew that except for Sharpe, Bravo Two-Zero and Ronin (which was a subversion of his usual "heavy" roles), he usually gets typecast in two types of roles: villains (GoldenEye, National Treasure), or noble but doomed heroes (Equilibrium). As Boromir he even got to do both in the same movie (his death scene in Fellowship is one of the few times a movie ever brought me to tears). But he tends not to live to the end of the story.

So when I saw he was cast as Eddard Stark, I thought, "Damn, he'll be dead by the end of the season. But damn if they didn't cast the finest possible actor for that role." I felt pretty good about the production after that, and am really happy to see HBO didn't disappoint.

Great episode.The portrayal of Walder Frey and the Twins was spot on I thought.Just a couple of things that didn't sit right with me though

1.Tyrion being knocked out really seemed like a bad excuse not to show the battle.As several others have mentioned he killed several men and captured a knight before being injured.Not showing that seems like a disservice to his character as he proves in the books that depite his stature he's capable of fighting when necessary

2.The diversionary army.Robb talks about sending 2000 men to their graves and while in the books they were defeated they were not wiped out yet there is no mention of survivors in the show.This army goes on to later capture Harrenhal(also I'm pretty sure it was larger than 2000 in the books)

3.No mention of Roose Bolton who led the second army.A man picked by Robb because "he frightens me".Bolton may be a minor character but he does have a significant role to play later on

The most epic reaction to Ned's death:

I haven't read the books, but what keeps the show going is that it takes quite unexpected twists and turns, that pretty much rules out any possibility of guessing who dies next. I mean who would have thought that the mighty Drogo would be put down by what looked like a scratch. Good stuff, I'm glad Escapist has coverage of the series, good to read other people's feelings about the latest developments.

Greg Tito:
Game of Thrones: Commentary on "Baelor"

Wherein our hero loses his honor

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Just wanted to say thanks for the;

"In case that's not crystal clear, there are spoilers in here for both the rest of the TV show and the book series so please, tread carefully if you don't want to know the future events of either"

wanted to have another look at what you written an this dissuaded me cause have not read the books, know i complained before about not enough warning, so cheers! nobody can complain now! nice that you obviously listened to either me or others.

MetalDooley:
Great episode.The portrayal of Walder Frey and the Twins was spot on I thought.Just a couple of things that didn't sit right with me though

1.Tyrion being knocked out really seemed like a bad excuse not to show the battle.As several others have mentioned he killed several men and captured a knight before being injured.Not showing that seems like a disservice to his character as he proves in the books that depite his stature he's capable of fighting when necessary

2.The diversionary army.Robb talks about sending 2000 men to their graves and while in the books they were defeated they were not wiped out yet there is no mention of survivors in the show.This army goes on to later capture Harrenhal(also I'm pretty sure it was larger than 2000 in the books)

3.No mention of Roose Bolton who led the second army.A man picked by Robb because "he frightens me".Bolton may be a minor character but he does have a significant role to play later on

For #2 they really simplified the battle strategy here. In HBO Rob simply sent 2000 men to their deaths as a diversion, while the rest went after Jamie. The weakness here is it's not going to take 30,000 long to beat 2000, so at best it should do little more than slow Tywin down by an hour or two. Then what's worse, there is now no longer an army standing between Tywin and the North. Roose Bolton on the other hand will certainly be cast for season two, I'm guessing they'll make them be a few hundred survivors that stick around to harass Tywin until they can take Harrenhall.

Now the more complex but legit strategy Robb used in the book, he didn't send 2000 men against tywin, he sent 18,000 (remember they gained 3000-4000 soldiers from Lord Frey). Hey sent his entire infantry against Tywin, led by the cunning Roose Bolton with orders to more or less play it safe, poke the lion then retreat. This creates a real threat to keep Tywin in place. To Riverrun, he Robb lead all of his calvary. First they faked a small raiding party, knowing that Jamie would be itching for a fight and would lead a small force out to personally take care of the pests. This was the battle of the Whispering Woods, where Robb ambushed and annihilated Jamie. With the head cut off they then launched a quick surprise attack on each of the 3 isolated Lannister encampments besieging Riverrun. I'd imagine they could take two by surprise, and by the time the 3rd knew what was going on the defenders could sally forth from the castle for a pincer attack.

So it's far better in the book, but I'm not going to complain as that's the nature of TV to simplify these things.

Jamboxdotcom:

Jandau:
However, this episode highlights the one glaring weakness of HBO productions: They always skip the battle scenes if at all possible. Take a look at Rome or The Tudors - the always cut off before a battle, at most we might see a few blurred images of it, and then it cuts back in to the battlefield strewn with corpses. They skipped two battles in this episode, the one where Tywin massacres the northeners and the one where Jaime gets captured.

Well, to be fair, even the books gloss over the battles. Tywin's battles to which you refer are only mentioned after the fact, and even the Whispering Wood is only given a couple pages, and that from Catelyn's perspective. Really, this isn't a hack-n-slash fantasy series ala R.A. Salvatore (i'd actually debate calling it fantasy at all, but that's just me...). It's far more about characters and intrigue.

I hope they save up money for next year specifically for Blackwater.

The Diabolical Biz:
There are actually a lot of theories about that (read: 3), the most convincing of which isn't what you think. Summarised best here, if you don't mind spoilers:

http://www.towerofthehand.com/essays/chrisholden/jon_snows_parents.html

You just blew my mind!

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