Commentary on “Baelor”

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PseudoDuck:

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!

I had exactly the same feeling. Plus it makes one of my favourite characters seem even more significant

Also reading all that evidence it felt like something that had been nagging at the back of my mind for the whole series just...clicked.

I know it's been said before, but I just wanted to share my thoughts :)

In book one the only fighting we ever see was Tyrion's small part before he got wounded, and even then we don't actually see how the battle is going until someone retells the whole battle to Tyrion when he regains consciousness.

The battle of the whispering woods is told from the perspective of Catelyn, and we only know what happens because Rob's knights come back and start boasting about how the King Slayer took down some men trying to get to Rob.

As readers we experience the battles indirectly, and the very few battles we experience as they happen don't tell the whole story, even the battle at Kings Landing is only told until Tyrion once again gets knocked out, and then we know the conclusion second hand thanks to other characters.

I'm not expecting HBO to give us a whole battle, but I do hope we get to see the massive amounts of boats burning in the river :D

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.

Well bare in mind there are a lot of other factors to a production than just length. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot on traditional Super 35mm film where as Game of Thrones is shot on newer/cheaper Arri Alexa digital cameras. I also remember reading somewhere that Game of Thrones was reusing some sets from another show.

Certainly Game of Thrones is operating on a tighter budget overall though.

---

With regards to the battle discussion, I was a little disappointed to not see scenes of combat in this episode. Even their write out didn't quite make sense, why is Tyrion being carried on a cart through the battleground if he was knocked out in camp? Unless the mountain tribes were really that determined to keep him around, but they didn't seem to mind him going off to breakfast with lords or partying in his tent with Bron and Shae.

I also felt it was another sly prod from Martin, though this understandably might not have worked well for TV. Most of our first-hand battle experiences are delivered by the least capable character in that regard: not Robb, Jaime, Loras, etc but instead the crippled dwarf Tyrion.

To those saying that HBO can't do good battles, I say bullshit. Rome season 2 had a fantastic fight scene for the death of Brutus. And the recent Pillars of the Earth was full of carnage. There's no reason they couldn't have shown us some of the fight.

I was wondering where this week's discussion was - I was thinking maybe Greg was too choked up about Ned to write it ;)

Ned's execution scene was perfection - they handled it extremely well. And I really liked the added bit of Ned seeing Arya and getting Yoren to grab her. It sucks that we must say goodbye to Sean Bean, he did a phenomenal job.

I was a little disappointed with the Battle of the Green Fork and the Whispering Wood, I was looking forward to those. But, thinking about it, I kind of like what happened with Tyrion - him getting knocked out but making his father think he fought valiantly is much more the Imp's style than the rather ridiculous stuff he does in the book. Although, did Tyrion fight after all? Why else would he be on a cart carrying the dead and wounded if he was still back in the camp? I was a bit confused by that.
And the Whispering Wood I was a little less bothered with - it pretty much was like in the book, with Catelyn a ways off and only hearing the fighting. But it would have been cool to see Jaime trying to cut his way through to Robb and then finally being subdued.
Oh well, at least we had the sweet fight between Ser Jorah and one of Drogo's blood riders.

And I really liked the Aemon Targaryen reveal, too (and Longclaw!). I wasn't too impressed with the actor for Maester Aemon before, but he did great in this scene.

*sigh* only one more episode ;_;

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.

Wow, that really is quite an incredible insight. The third theory comes right out of the blue, but it makes so much sense. its really convincing. My mind is quite literally blown.
And even now, whenever i read that scene in the book i still start to well up a bit. The first time i actually cried. And i don't know why, but seeing it there on tv just made it seem so much more real.
Regardless, i think ned retained his honour, both in regard to jon and his decision to "confess to his treason"

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.

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.

Actually, the budget for each of the LotR films was only about 80 million. I just bring it up cause I was surprised when I learned it, but your point still stands.

Quotes:

Well that would mean that LotR has a budget that is 4 times larger per hour than what AGoT has with HBO. If the 3 movies had an approx. budget of 240 million and had about 10 hours of footage and this series has about 60 million for their 10 hours.

OT: To be completely honest after I watched first episode I went to the wiki for ASOIAF and found out who lived and died. When I learned that Eddard and well basically every character that could logically die pretty much does die; I went and got the 4 audio books and listened to them all over the course of 2 weeks.

This series really has made me realize just how programed we can be into thinking that our stories will always have the moral, upright, honorable hero winning in the end. Like little finger says to Sansa in AGoT ch 44 "Life is not a song you may learn that one day to your sorrow." And if you think she's sorrowful now, heh it get much much worse for her.

But after reading all the books I would say that the story wouldn't work if Ned Stark didn't die.

If he was just sent to wall there is really no logical reason for him not to go to Winterfell instead and essential take command of Robb's war effort brokering a peace between the Baratheon brothers and taking king's landing.

This would make Dany's story almost completely irrelevant because a Westeros with a Ned Stark as warden of the North, and with Stannis Baratheon on the iron throne that's supported by Renly (storm's end) and High Garden; the seven kingdoms couldn't be threatened by a 15 year old girl with an army of freed slaves and old people.

Slycne:

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.

Well bare in mind there are a lot of other factors to a production than just length. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot on traditional Super 35mm film where as Game of Thrones is shot on newer/cheaper Arri Alexa digital cameras. I also remember reading somewhere that Game of Thrones was reusing some sets from another show.

Certainly Game of Thrones is operating on a tighter budget overall though.

---

With regards to the battle discussion, I was a little disappointed to not see scenes of combat in this episode. Even their write out didn't quite make sense, why is Tyrion being carried on a cart through the battleground if he was knocked out in camp? Unless the mountain tribes were really that determined to keep him around, but they didn't seem to mind him going off to breakfast with lords or partying in his tent with Bron and Shae.

I also felt it was another sly prod from Martin, though this understandably might not have worked well for TV. Most of our first-hand battle experiences are delivered by the least capable character in that regard: not Robb, Jaime, Loras, etc but instead the crippled dwarf Tyrion.

Heck they probably threw him at their enemies!

I'm kind of hoping they get a higher budget to work with for season two, and onward.
You have epic battles, and special effects to consider.
Heck I'm wondering how the very last scene of this season will be handled.
You know what I mean. Dany and the cough cough...oh sorry had something in my throat there.

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