Commentary on "Fire and Blood"

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Commentary on "Fire and Blood"

The best conclusion any fanboy could wish for.

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Thank you for the thoughtful and contagiously giddy commentary throughout the season, Mr. Tito, I've greatly enjoyed it. I've yet to catch the final episode, knowing all too well the inevitable, inexplicable emptiness I'll feel once it's over and the credits roll. I'm sure I'll be better served by savouring it for when my mood is perfect, and I have a whole evening to properly absorb it.

Funny thing is, before this series started, I did not count myself a great Martin fan, having found the latest title lacking, but now my excitement has been ignited yet again, and I am eager to consume the newest title. Hopefully, it will be more focused than Feast and prove that Martin actually knows where he intends to take this jumbled narrative.

MatsVS:
Thank you for the thoughtful and contagiously giddy commentary throughout the season, Mr. Tito, I've greatly enjoyed it. I've yet to catch the final episode, knowing all too well the inevitable, inexplicable emptiness I'll feel once it's over and the credits roll. I'm sure I'll be better served by savouring it for when my mood is perfect, and I have a whole evening to properly absorb it.

Funny thing is, before this series started, I did not count myself a great Martin fan, having found the latest title lacking, but now my excitement has been ignited yet again, and I am eager to consume the newest title. Hopefully, it will be more focused than Feast and prove that Martin actually knows where he intends to take this jumbled narrative.

Thanks, MatsVS, I've enjoyed writing it throughout the season. I was disappointed by Feast as well, I even thought that Robert Jordan's successor did a better job keeping my interest, which sounds like blasphemy but it was true.

Hopefully Dance will redeem Martin as much as this series has.

Greg

Man, the season flew by. It was an amazing ride, though - HBO did an incredible job with the adaptation, staying true to the spirit of the books but also adding some great content and making it their own. Bravo, HBO, I can't wait for season 2, and hopefully seasons 3, 4, and 5 after that!

And I've really enjoyed reading these commentaries after each episode - it was great to read some interesting thoughts from a fellow fan of the books and show. Well done, Greg.

So, we have A Dance with Dragons to look forward to, and the DVD release. But it's still going to be a long wait for season 2...

Odd. I assumed that the whole Daenerys/ Drogo thing would be way more graphic and awful in the books than in the TV series (I watched that part in the series first before delving into the books) but it seemed, to me, that the whole thing was somewhat less forceful in the books. There's the whole "No" part when they first have sex where in the books, where Dany was a lot less tentative whereas in the series she's on the verge of breaking down at the thought of getting raped right then in there, which was followed by the later stuff both in the book and the series where she basically swoons for the guy while at the same time she finds her strength.

I'm not sure if I misunderstood it, badly, or if somehow I'm missing the point made in the separate novella about her (Blood of the Dragon) that better explains her misadventures with the Dothraki.

Can anyone clear that up for me?

unabomberman:
Odd. I assumed that the whole Daenerys/ Drogo thing would be way more graphic and awful in the books than in the TV series (I watched that part in the series first before delving into the books) but it seemed, to me, that the whole thing was somewhat less forceful in the books. There's the whole "No" part when they first have sex where in the books, where Dany was a lot less tentative whereas in the series she's on the verge of breaking down at the thought of getting raped right then in there, which was followed by the later stuff both in the book and the series where she basically swoons for the guy while at the same time she finds her strength.

I'm not sure if I misunderstood it, badly, or if somehow I'm missing the point made in the separate novella about her (Blood of the Dragon) that better explains her misadventures with the Dothraki.

Can anyone clear that up for me?

Yeah, the Dany/Drogo relationship is a little muddy for me.

I thought Blood of the Dragon was just Dany's POV chapters from GOT bound together. Is that not the case? Is there more detail given?

Greg

Greg Tito:

unabomberman:
Odd. I assumed that the whole Daenerys/ Drogo thing would be way more graphic and awful in the books than in the TV series (I watched that part in the series first before delving into the books) but it seemed, to me, that the whole thing was somewhat less forceful in the books. There's the whole "No" part when they first have sex where in the books, where Dany was a lot less tentative whereas in the series she's on the verge of breaking down at the thought of getting raped right then in there, which was followed by the later stuff both in the book and the series where she basically swoons for the guy while at the same time she finds her strength.

I'm not sure if I misunderstood it, badly, or if somehow I'm missing the point made in the separate novella about her (Blood of the Dragon) that better explains her misadventures with the Dothraki.

Can anyone clear that up for me?

Yeah, the Dany/Drogo relationship is a little muddy for me.

I thought Blood of the Dragon was just Dany's POV chapters from GOT bound together. Is that not the case? Is there more detail given?

Greg

The way I understand it, and I may be wrong, is that Blood of the Dragon is comprised of both the contents of the book with a little bit more content to flesh everything out, and that I may be forming an incomplete picture of the whole deal.

Why do I say that? I've read that a lot of people, especially females, tend to look at the TV adaptation in a way that makes it seem like it was somewhat sanitisized in that part, making Dany's experience less gruesome, but somehow I can't wrap it around my head just by seeing what was there in the written page. To me, it seemed as if it was made a bit more shocking than in the books.

Was it awful? Yeah, very, especially when considering Dany starts as a 13 year old tween, but the way I saw it, if only going by what I've read, is that Khal Drogo was a lot more tender to her in the beginning in the books than in the series. Especially during their first time together.

This is why I hate television.. I find something I really like and watch it as often as I can and then the season ends and the long wait for the next one begins. Grr.

Feast for Crows is killing me. Why the author decided to forget about all the interesting characters and the interesting things they're doing is beyond me. Is it just me or does Martin rely far too much on story twists? He constantly builds up expectations only to go the completely opposite direction and it was old by book 3.

Greg Tito:

unabomberman:
Odd. I assumed that the whole Daenerys/ Drogo thing would be way more graphic and awful in the books than in the TV series (I watched that part in the series first before delving into the books) but it seemed, to me, that the whole thing was somewhat less forceful in the books. There's the whole "No" part when they first have sex where in the books, where Dany was a lot less tentative whereas in the series she's on the verge of breaking down at the thought of getting raped right then in there, which was followed by the later stuff both in the book and the series where she basically swoons for the guy while at the same time she finds her strength.

I'm not sure if I misunderstood it, badly, or if somehow I'm missing the point made in the separate novella about her (Blood of the Dragon) that better explains her misadventures with the Dothraki.

Can anyone clear that up for me?

Yeah, the Dany/Drogo relationship is a little muddy for me.

I thought Blood of the Dragon was just Dany's POV chapters from GOT bound together. Is that not the case? Is there more detail given?

Greg

I haven't read Blood of the Dragon but I always felt the relationship between Dany and Drogo was pretty clear. For me the whole point of the narrative was that Dany was always the strong one, right from the beginning. Despite her age and naivety she'd already had to grow up fast. Like many of the series' children.

Whereas Viserys, who'd been old enough to be traumatised by the destruction of their House and their flight, was damaged and weak. Dany's strength had always been smothered and constrained by the abuse and inadequacy of her brother. In the books, isn't the only "home" she remembers and wishes for a house with a red door, somewhere in the Free Cities? After the death of their protector she had to help provide for them, her sense of duty to her brother forcing her submission, before being taken in by Illyrio and finally accepting to be sold to Khal Drogo.

I think what Dany found in the Khal, apart from the surprising tenderness - just a bonus really - was strength. Strength and pride. The sort of power that was a complete antithesis to the festering, treacherous mess of complexes and fear that her brother represented. Ultimately, Dany loved the Khal as much for showing her who she really was and freeing her from the psychological baggage her brother had bound her with, as for the man himself.

MajorDolphin:
This is why I hate television.. I find something I really like and watch it as often as I can and then the season ends and the long wait for the next one begins. Grr.

Feast for Crows is killing me. Why the author decided to forget about all the interesting characters and the interesting things they're doing is beyond me. Is it just me or does Martin rely far too much on story twists? He constantly builds up expectations only to go the completely opposite direction and it was old by book 3.

Think waiting till spring is bad? Think about how long ago Feast came out. As for why it doesn't have all the characters. GRRM explains it as he wrote too much, and had to put out Half of his book. That doesn't really explain why it's taken forever and day for Dance to come out though.

OT: I'm looking forward to season two and three.
I have to wonder who they'll pick to play Briene of Tarth.
Here's hoping they keep her ugly :)

Ok, this is freaking me out, now. Why does Greg Tito keep referring to the books as if they had actually happened and talking about "historical accuracy". At first, earlier in the season, I thought it was some sort of rethorical resource, but now it's seriously starting to come across as nerd delusions.

Anyway, yep, it was pretty cool. Not quite as cool as some made it out to be. It wasn't more shocking or detailed than Rome and, frankly, a lot of smaller threads didn't pay off. Sure, they *will*, but like I've said elsewhere, at that point we're in FFXIII's 40 hour tutorial territory.

By the way (spoilers for Dune and this), I would have been waaaaay more shocked at Ned's death (the use of misspelled common names in the show is one of the little things that annoy me) if I hadn't realized early on that this is just fantasy Dune.

I mean, a nobleman forced to go rule in a place he has no particular interest in? Suspiciously friendly allies that may or may not be setting up a trap? Betrayal from one of them out of left field? Friends and children left to escape by their own devices? A counterattack built out of a grassroots movement? Yeah, it's pretty close and not quite as original as people make it out to be. But still cool, don't get me wrong.

rickthetrick:

MajorDolphin:
This is why I hate television.. I find something I really like and watch it as often as I can and then the season ends and the long wait for the next one begins. Grr.

Feast for Crows is killing me. Why the author decided to forget about all the interesting characters and the interesting things they're doing is beyond me. Is it just me or does Martin rely far too much on story twists? He constantly builds up expectations only to go the completely opposite direction and it was old by book 3.

Think waiting till spring is bad? Think about how long ago Feast came out. As for why it doesn't have all the characters. GRRM explains it as he wrote too much, and had to put out Half of his book. That doesn't really explain why it's taken forever and day for Dance to come out though.

OT: I'm looking forward to season two and three.
I have to wonder who they'll pick to play Briene of Tarth.
Here's hoping they keep her ugly :)

True. I was just looking at the release dates. I'll have to find something worth reading after I knock out Dragons.

( Is it just me or would this series make a great MMO. :D All the hints at long past times and kings almost lends itself to it )

From what I've heard (I'm a neophyte to the Song of Ice and Fire - I've only read Game of Thrones as yet), Martin made the same mistake in Book 4 that Robert Jordan did...in book 4. Character overexposure. Some viewpoint characters are dropped in book 4 and book 4's will be dropped in book 5 - they happen concurrently. Or so I've been told.

And to be fair, Brandon Sanderson is one of the best fantasy writers of the day. In the gap between deciding it was inevitable that Robert Jordan would die before Wheel of Time was completed and Sanderson being declared his successor, I feared it would be like reading the batch of Foundation books written after Asimov's death. He's a different sort of writer than Jordan or Martin, but still good.

For me, as a Sanderson fan, the agony is waiting for book 2 (and the remaining 8 or so) of the Stormlight Archive. He's been quoted as saying the project will take him 12 years, and, according to his website's progress logs, he's not even working on book 2 yet. That said, I can't blame him for prioritizing the last of the Wheel of Time books before going back to his own megaproject.

The TV buffs have it easy - they at least have guarenteed timelines. It's not uncommon for the megaproject book series to take nearly 2 years between installments, and I've heard of even longer waits. And to us rabid fans, each installment lasts 1-2 weeks, rather than the 10-26 of a "season."

And despite the parallels to Dune, the inspiration is the War of the Roses. Many of the major characters have direct parallels in history. Heck, when I was first reading Game of Thrones, my Dad was reading an in depth history of that time period, and several house and place names were quite comparable between the two. That said, there weren't any ice zombies (white walkers) or dragons involved in any part of the War of the Roses. Would've made history class in grade 9 more interesting, but sadly...

Noelveiga:

By the way (spoilers for Dune and this), I would have been waaaaay more shocked at Ned's death (the use of misspelled common names in the show is one of the little things that annoy me) if I hadn't realized early on that this is just fantasy Dune.

I mean, a nobleman forced to go rule in a place he has no particular interest in? Suspiciously friendly allies that may or may not be setting up a trap? Betrayal from one of them out of left field? Friends and children left to escape by their own devices? A counterattack built out of a grassroots movement? Yeah, it's pretty close and not quite as original as people make it out to be. But still cool, don't get me wrong.

I don't know of any grass roots resistance movements in ASOIAF series other than maybe what Dany starts up in A Clash of King and A Storm of Swords; and even then she is still in the free cities far from Westeros.

Vary's and Baelish were never Stark's friends they are master manipulators.

I'm sorry I just don't see the parallels with Dune.

OT: I enjoyed the adaptation but can't help but feel like big chunks of the back/connecting stories are still missing.

For example think about how many times Lyanna's name is mentioned in the book compared to the show. By the end of AGoT you knew that Ned had promised Lyanna something more than just a burial plot under Winterfell; that sense of missing information conveyed by Ned's constant thoughts about the promise made to his dying sister is sorely absent from show.

Another example missing back story would be the speeches given to John Snow by Lord Mormont and Meister Aemon. Both of those were cut short for the show. For me it was those types of connecting threads that made the story really enjoyable and immersive but are missing in the TV series.

Then there are the missing dreams of the POV characters, and the forgone insights due to change in medium. I'm re-watching episode 10 now and from what's shown you would never guess that Catelyn blames herself for Ned's death; or that Dany had visions about the death of her son (and his would be destiny) while he was still in the womb.

On the other hand, they did do a fantastic job with most of the supporting characters especially Tywin Lannister. His introduction in episode 7 (You win or You Die) was perfect. And how they've built up the role of Theon Greyjoy was nicely done also, give his role as a POV character in A Clash of Kings.

With the books I had to look up on the wiki just who Theon was again by the time I started on A Clash of Kings, from you show you wouldn't know it but he really is only mentioned about 5 times in the entire book.

In the end I really do hope that get a better budget for Season 2 given the number of battles that happen and that fact that Dany almost always keeps at least one of the those Dragons with her at all times.

A glimpse of Jaqen..... I am so pissed I have to wait for more!!!!!!

I wonder who will play the Onion Knight, and Briene the Beauty. Those are my only worries for the second season.

Great recap.... but I have to ask...

Greg Tito:
I even thought that Robert Jordan's successor did a better job keeping my interest, which sounds like blasphemy but it was true.

What does that mean?

The new books are amazing... we all know Jordan had his wife write the last few books anyways, eh?

Would you rather the series never be continued?! Or did you miss the 700 page woman's circle talk?

/half kidding

Noelveiga:
Ok, this is freaking me out, now. Why does Greg Tito keep referring to the books as if they had actually happened and talking about "historical accuracy". At first, earlier in the season, I thought it was some sort of rethorical resource, but now it's seriously starting to come across as nerd delusions.

Anyway, yep, it was pretty cool. Not quite as cool as some made it out to be. It wasn't more shocking or detailed than Rome and, frankly, a lot of smaller threads didn't pay off. Sure, they *will*, but like I've said elsewhere, at that point we're in FFXIII's 40 hour tutorial territory.

By the way (spoilers for Dune and this), I would have been waaaaay more shocked at Ned's death (the use of misspelled common names in the show is one of the little things that annoy me) if I hadn't realized early on that this is just fantasy Dune.

"Historical accuracy" is used because they are researched and intended to be historically accurate to medieval customs. That's why. It's not some kind of "nerd delusion." That's just ignorance speaking on your part.

I mean, a nobleman forced to go rule in a place he has no particular interest in? Suspiciously friendly allies that may or may not be setting up a trap? Betrayal from one of them out of left field? Friends and children left to escape by their own devices? A counterattack built out of a grassroots movement? Yeah, it's pretty close and not quite as original as people make it out to be. But still cool, don't get me wrong.

Who have you been talking with, then? Nobody has been making it up to be as something groundbreaking and original as you were expecting it to be. Those particular plot strands, especially, have been around for thousands of years and you could fill the back of trucks with all kinds of different stories about the same thing. JRRM just does it exceptionally well, that's all.

unabomberman:

Noelveiga:
Ok, this is freaking me out, now. Why does Greg Tito keep referring to the books as if they had actually happened and talking about "historical accuracy". At first, earlier in the season, I thought it was some sort of rethorical resource, but now it's seriously starting to come across as nerd delusions.

"Historical accuracy" is used because they are researched and intended to be historically accurate to medieval customs. That's why. It's not some kind of "nerd delusion." That's just ignorance speaking on your part.

This. Fantasy is always stronger to me when it has real-world analogues, and Martin does that expertly. This is the reason I prefer playing D&D with rules that adhere to how humans actually lived in history, rather than supermen with super human powers at level one. And it's why Game of Thrones resonates with so many people, especially me.

I read the first few paragraphs and didn't spoil anything for myself.

But as a newcomer to the series, I said "Oh shit" each time I saw a new dragon. And I agree, they really did a great job with the special effects.

But we have to wait an entire year for the next season? Sadface maximum. Guess I now have a reason to read the books.

Come on Susan, I want my Recap.

I have not started reading the series yet, but after watching Season 1 I fully intend to.

Coming into watching the show I was a big LOTR fan, now I think I might be a Martin fan as well. I enjoy how he doesn't hold onto his main characters like Tolkien did...no "coming back to life" heroes here.

As a side note...DAMN YOU HBO FOR MAKING ME WAIT UNTIL NEXT SPRING TO SEE A NEW EPISODE!

Aw well, like I said, go to Barnes n Noble, buy the series(up to this point), then wait for Season 1 to come out on DVD.

Roz has some sort of magical power, have you noticed? As soon as she takes her clothes off, people around her just begin yammering on about all sorts of things. I move she be referred to henceforth as "Roz the Magical Exposition Whore."

I too have felt the books have been going down-hill for sometime. The last was particularly bad and slow moving. Looking forward to the next book though, it is a huge tome and some good characters are back.

On the tv series, I've liked it more than the books. Easier to follow, wonderfully acted in most parts, good fights, the music was used in a stunning fashion--really draws you in.

Good point on picking up how inept it portrayed Tyrion in combat against the Northern forces (but not against the raiders). I do remember he did well in the books, and was not just knocked out and then mocked by Bronn. An opportunity missed there. And they were doing so well with Tyrion (how perfect is Tywin in the series?).

"Roz the Magical Exposition Whore." Lol, awesome title.

If they play their cards right (directing cards that is), they can cram the boring parts of the books into a smaller space, or skip many of them entirely. The merits of a show over a book I say.

Now that season 1 is done, I actually plan to run a D&D game where the players are Lannister guards. There are more than a few things they can get involved in, and influence. Or maybe Jory/Ned/Robb's men will just kill them.

unabomberman:

"Historical accuracy" is used because they are researched and intended to be historically accurate to medieval customs. That's why. It's not some kind of "nerd delusion." That's just ignorance speaking on your part.

This. Fantasy is always stronger to me when it has real-world analogues, and Martin does that expertly. This is the reason I prefer playing D&D with rules that adhere to how humans actually lived in history, rather than supermen with super human powers at level one. And it's why Game of Thrones resonates with so many people, especially me.

Wait, what? It's a fantasy story, it's no more historically accurate than Star Wars. Going back to Dune, yes, it was loosely based on Lawrence of Arabia, but that doesn't make anything "accurate" in it. The thought that Game of Thrones conveys anything real about any time period is ridiculous. That doesn't make it bad or less enjoyable, but it's certainly giving it waaaay too much credit as a history lesson. It's fantasy and escapism, as it should be.

That doesn't mean it doesn't feel plausible. It does. It has its own internal sense of logic that makes it feel like it's grounded in *a* reality (well, most of the time, I have quite a few gripes on that area), but it's certainly not our reality at any point in time. And maybe "nerd delusions" is a bit strong, but it's certainly extremely nerdy to not realize this. It's close to comic book geeks talking about what happens to Superman as if he were a real person. Case in point: " Tyrion defeats one knight and takes another hostage in the battle. He is no great warrior, but he holds his own, and I don't think the show really did Tyrion justice."

Who have you been talking with, then? Nobody has been making it up to be as something groundbreaking and original as you were expecting it to be. Those particular plot strands, especially, have been around for thousands of years and you could fill the back of trucks with all kinds of different stories about the same thing. JRRM just does it exceptionally well, that's all.

This from Greg in last week's post:

"Martin rips away Stark's duty and honor, and kills him off anyway. This scene is what sets Martin's story apart from all the fantasy that has come before. Sure, Gandalf dies, but he comes back again. Snape kills Dumbledore, but that's kinda what he wanted. None of these compare to the pathos behind the death of Ned Stark."

TV.com about this week:

"That may sound like a whole lot to keep track of, but somehow-and I'm still trying to figure out exactly how-Game of Thrones has managed to take this complex web of stories and make it easily digestible. Just step back and consider of how many things are going on, how many characters you've met, how everything is interconnected, and how far you've come to understand this world that is now impossible to remove from your imagination. It's a universe so rich and deep, with even its smallest parts described in the most specific detail, yet it's just getting started. And the real mind-blower is that it all came out of just one person's brain. Spring 2012 can't come soon enough!"

So, yeah. And that's just the professional writers, not even the unwashed masses of nerds.

The verbal sparring between LITTLEFINGER and VARYS was a sheer pleasure to behold. The two spymasters one-upping each other on what they know the other knows verged on poetry. For that scene to be reprised in "Fire and Blood" was wonderful, and set up perfectly how the machinations of these two will continue in the second season.

This is one of those things personally I wasn't sure about. Oh their bantering was great, but it's how you put it, the two 'spymasters'. This is exactly the way it comes off in the show, but Littlefinger isn't a spymaster he's the master of coin. Sure he'll have his own spy network, but Varys is the real spymaster with knowledge that borders on black magic, and a master of disguise too boot! Littlefinger is the schemer who you give two gold coins to rub together and two more will fall out. The show sets them up as Spy vs Spy, but in the source material it's more Wall Street vs CIA. It's not that big a deal really, it just bothers me a little because having Littlefinger as a spymaster too kind of makes Varys redundant. Not only can he do The Spider's job but he's the pimp daddy of Kings Landing to boot!

As for the show, this about sums it up for me.

10/10!

@Noelveiga: have you read the books or are you just passing judgement on them based on a TV adaptation? because if you have read the books then okay I can entertain your points and have a discussion on them, but if you haven't then all I can say is "Don't judge a book by it's TV adaptation".

I'm an avid reader, I have more books than I have time to read them, but I have to say that A Song of Ice and Fire took my cynical "I've seen it all" attitude and gave it a slap so hard that I can't do anything but applaud GRRM for being such a great story teller and say "Well Played". I believe, and frankly I think a lot of the hardcore GRRM fans would agree, that Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire has enough material for a 20 episode season, but what we got in these 10 episodes is so good that we actually feel grateful that they tried so hard to be so true to the source material on such a low budget and time constraints.

Anyone that wants to have a real opinion about GRRM should go read the books (there's a reason English teachers want their students to actually read a book and not just the cliffnotes)

Anyway, I have to add a few things to the general discussion: There are 3 main things I feel the TV series missed out on.

1.- Sansa betraying her father's plan to Cersei to accentuate in the future just how misserable Sansa's life has become.

2.- The Hound taking the mantle of King's Guard but not taking the oath: Cersei pretty much turned the King's Guard into a laughing stock when she dismissed Ser Barristan, but then when they offer a position to The Hound and he says "I'll wear the cloak but I will not take any vows" to the council's face and they just sit there and take it, that gives a whole lot of insight into just how bad things are getting in the capitol and the disdain Sandor has for the nobility.

3.- When Daenerys first asks the Dothraki for their Blood Oaths and they refuse her: At Drogo's pyre Daeny wants to rebuild the khalasar and she asks her remaining riders to be her Blood Riders, but they all refuse her because she's a woman and thus weak, but after she comes out of the fire with three baby dragons they can't fall fast enough to their knees, and this is something that serves to illustrate just how every other man of power treats Daeny when they first meet her: try to bed her cause she's hot, but then fear her cause she commands some Dothraki barbarians and she has 3 dragons.

Noelveiga:

unabomberman:

"Historical accuracy" is used because they are researched and intended to be historically accurate to medieval customs. That's why. It's not some kind of "nerd delusion." That's just ignorance speaking on your part.

This. Fantasy is always stronger to me when it has real-world analogues, and Martin does that expertly. This is the reason I prefer playing D&D with rules that adhere to how humans actually lived in history, rather than supermen with super human powers at level one. And it's why Game of Thrones resonates with so many people, especially me.

Wait, what? It's a fantasy story, it's no more historically accurate than Star Wars. Going back to Dune, yes, it was loosely based on Lawrence of Arabia, but that doesn't make anything "accurate" in it. The thought that Game of Thrones conveys anything real about any time period is ridiculous. That doesn't make it bad or less enjoyable, but it's certainly giving it waaaay too much credit as a history lesson. It's fantasy and escapism, as it should be.

That doesn't mean it doesn't feel plausible. It does. It has its own internal sense of logic that makes it feel like it's grounded in *a* reality (well, most of the time, I have quite a few gripes on that area), but it's certainly not our reality at any point in time. And maybe "nerd delusions" is a bit strong, but it's certainly extremely nerdy to not realize this. It's close to comic book geeks talking about what happens to Superman as if he were a real person. Case in point: " Tyrion defeats one knight and takes another hostage in the battle. He is no great warrior, but he holds his own, and I don't think the show really did Tyrion justice."

Who have you been talking with, then? Nobody has been making it up to be as something groundbreaking and original as you were expecting it to be. Those particular plot strands, especially, have been around for thousands of years and you could fill the back of trucks with all kinds of different stories about the same thing. JRRM just does it exceptionally well, that's all.

This from Greg in last week's post:

"Martin rips away Stark's duty and honor, and kills him off anyway. This scene is what sets Martin's story apart from all the fantasy that has come before. Sure, Gandalf dies, but he comes back again. Snape kills Dumbledore, but that's kinda what he wanted. None of these compare to the pathos behind the death of Ned Stark."

TV.com about this week:

"That may sound like a whole lot to keep track of, but somehow-and I'm still trying to figure out exactly how-Game of Thrones has managed to take this complex web of stories and make it easily digestible. Just step back and consider of how many things are going on, how many characters you've met, how everything is interconnected, and how far you've come to understand this world that is now impossible to remove from your imagination. It's a universe so rich and deep, with even its smallest parts described in the most specific detail, yet it's just getting started. And the real mind-blower is that it all came out of just one person's brain. Spring 2012 can't come soon enough!"

So, yeah. And that's just the professional writers, not even the unwashed masses of nerds.

Wait, wait...what? Are you implying that JRRM actually invented the whole damn thing? Sorry, but no. Just no. There's a bunch that is actually borrowed.

He did not invent a lot of the customs, societal mores, cultural norms, war strategies, tournament rules, etc., etc., etc. Whether the story is ficticious or not is of no consequence to it being historically accurate in function of our own world. That's, well, I'd think it was just obvious but apparently I was way wrong. Hell, in his homepage JRRM pretty much says so himself, and posts a bunch of links he used to do actual research for the books, making huge emphasis on medieval culture.

Also, those quotes? They don't really further your argument. Read them again. Nobody is calling the series an unseen, unique kind of drama. All they are saying is that it is expertly crafted. You are extrapolating way too much.

I agree wholeheartedly, my friend showed me the first episode and I was instantly hooked. Ended up reading the first and majority of the second book before the series was finished and now cannot wait for spring to starts seeing some kings clashing.

There was a couple of additional things that annoyed me in the series though, drawing on your disappointment of Tyrion not getting to kick a little bit of ass in Tywin's battle I thought that they seemed to gloss over the entire battle and the whispering woods fight. It would have been nice to see a little bit more action especially as that is quite a major climax section in the books.

Also in the last episode, the scene with Catelyn and Jaime doesn't happen until the very end of the second book, and is quite different (bare in mind I haven't finished book 2 just yet) as I saw it, the scene finishes with Catelyn taking her guards sword and possible killing Jaime which would make sense as

Just seemed a little odd to put it in so early...

MatsVS:
Thank you for the thoughtful and contagiously giddy commentary throughout the season, Mr. Tito, I've greatly enjoyed it. I've yet to catch the final episode, knowing all too well the inevitable, inexplicable emptiness I'll feel once it's over and the credits roll. I'm sure I'll be better served by savouring it for when my mood is perfect, and I have a whole evening to properly absorb it.

Funny thing is, before this series started, I did not count myself a great Martin fan, having found the latest title lacking, but now my excitement has been ignited yet again, and I am eager to consume the newest title. Hopefully, it will be more focused than Feast and prove that Martin actually knows where he intends to take this jumbled narrative.

Well keep your expectations in check, early previews suggest Dragons is paced similarly to Crows. Which makes perfect since actually, since they're really intended to be a single book in the series but it got too convoluted and Martin had to split it into two. The good news is instead of Cersei/Jamie/Brienne getting the bulk of the chapters it will be Jon/Dany/Tyrion. Also once they're caught up to speed to where Crows was in the latter half of the book the story will proceed ahead. And finally, while these two books took 10 years for GRRM to write, there were only 2 year waits for Clash and Storm. So now that he's over the hump you can be cautiously optimistic that book 6 will only be a 2-3 year way.

RandV80:

MatsVS:
Thank you for the thoughtful and contagiously giddy commentary throughout the season, Mr. Tito, I've greatly enjoyed it. I've yet to catch the final episode, knowing all too well the inevitable, inexplicable emptiness I'll feel once it's over and the credits roll. I'm sure I'll be better served by savouring it for when my mood is perfect, and I have a whole evening to properly absorb it.

Funny thing is, before this series started, I did not count myself a great Martin fan, having found the latest title lacking, but now my excitement has been ignited yet again, and I am eager to consume the newest title. Hopefully, it will be more focused than Feast and prove that Martin actually knows where he intends to take this jumbled narrative.

Well keep your expectations in check, early previews suggest Dragons is paced similarly to Crows. Which makes perfect since actually, since they're really intended to be a single book in the series but it got too convoluted and Martin had to split it into two. The good news is instead of Cersei/Jamie/Brienne getting the bulk of the chapters it will be Jon/Dany/Tyrion. Also once they're caught up to speed to where Crows was in the latter half of the book the story will proceed ahead. And finally, while these two books took 10 years for GRRM to write, there were only 2 year waits for Clash and Storm. So now that he's over the hump you can be cautiously optimistic that book 6 will only be a 2-3 year way.

Fair points. However, I remain cautiously optimistic concerning Dance, if only because Martin decided to rewrite nearly the whole thing. Hopefully, he saw what we all did; that he was skirting dangerously close fantasy-soap-Jordan-esque territory.

As for the next instalment, I can only hope you're right. History does indicate as much.

In any case, I am more than happy to allow the woefully under-appreciated R. Scott Bakker to continue to dominate my fantasy-reading habits, as he has for the past few years. My love for him is several degrees beyond practically everyone else, with only a few exceptions.

Well at least this was a hell of a lot better than the adaptation of the Sword of Truth novels. That really screwed the pooch when it came to storyline and books.

unabomberman:

Wait, wait...what? Are you implying that JRRM actually invented the whole damn thing? Sorry, but no. Just no. There's a bunch that is actually borrowed.

He did not invent a lot of the customs, societal mores, cultural norms, war strategies, tournament rules, etc., etc., etc. Whether the story is ficticious or not is of no consequence to it being historically accurate in function of our own world. That's, well, I'd think it was just obvious but apparently I was way wrong. Hell, in his homepage JRRM pretty much says so himself, and posts a bunch of links he used to do actual research for the books, making huge emphasis on medieval culture.

No, if you read what I said I actually pointed out that Dune was heavily inspired by real life events (the biography of Lawrence of Arabia), but that didn't make it historically accurate. And the Asimov's Foundation saga is straight up "Roman Empire History in Space", but historical accuracy is still a term that doesn't apply, even though the story deals with the science of history and was written by a historian.

Also, those quotes? They don't really further your argument. Read them again. Nobody is calling the series an unseen, unique kind of drama. All they are saying is that it is expertly crafted. You are extrapolating way too much.

"The beheading of Ned Stark will forever stick out as one of the most shocking moments in television."

"But making the calls in King's Landing is Joffrey, the most despised person on television right now. NOW do you understand why Book 2 is entitled A Clash of Kings?"

"Have you ever seen a suit of armor more badass than The Hound's?"

"This episode, at least, proves that women can have the same virtues and vices as the men, and that's why it doesn't deserve to be dismissed by the likes of Ginia Bellafante."

"The cinematography of the sweeping vistas, the art direction that's created costumes and props that feel right at home in the Seven Kingdoms, the excellent performances from Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage and Mark Addy, these are what people are going to talk about in regards to Game of Thrones for years to come."

Now tell me that's not full of superlatives, fanboy glee and exaggeration. From two different critics on two different outlets. I feel my point is well made and needs no further proof. If you disagree, fair enough.

Great ending to a great series.I'm delighted with the dragons as if they had looked shit then it could have spoiled the final episode.Roll on July 12th because I need my next fix

Glademaster:
Well at least this was a hell of a lot better than the adaptation of the Sword of Truth novels. That really screwed the pooch when it came to storyline and books.

Agreed.I hope the people responsible for Legend of the Seeker watched Game of Thrones and feel ashamed of themselves for what they did to Terry Goodkind's work

MetalDooley:
Great ending to a great series.I'm delighted with the dragons as if they had looked shit then it could have spoiled the final episode.Roll on July 12th because I need my next fix

Glademaster:
Well at least this was a hell of a lot better than the adaptation of the Sword of Truth novels. That really screwed the pooch when it came to storyline and books.

Agreed.I hope the people responsible for Legend of the Seeker watched Game of Thrones and feel ashamed of themselves for what they did to Terry Goodkind's work

What did you think of the Gars in the series? I thought they were an awful product of the series low budget. I thought they should have looked like this or some sort of thing like a Zangoose pokemon with wings.image

Glademaster:
What did you think of the Gars in the series? I thought they were an awful product of the series low budget. I thought they should have looked like this or some sort of thing like a Zangoose pokemon with wings.image

Yeah they looked crap,the pic you posted is pretty much how I imagined them too,but that was more to do with the effects budget than anything else.What annoyed me was how much of the story they blatantly changed/omitted/invented.There was whole episodes that had absolutely nothing to do with the books.It's like they had no respect for the source material at all

MetalDooley:

Yeah they looked crap,the pic you posted is pretty much how I imagined them too,but that was more to do with the effects budget than anything else.What annoyed me was how much of the story they blatantly changed/omitted/invented.There was whole episodes that had absolutely nothing to do with the books.It's like they had no respect for the source material at all

Yeah the Jensen and Parentage of certain characters did really piss me off. They skip and mixed in so many books in the two series.

Sober Thal:
A glimpse of Jaqen..... I am so pissed I have to wait for more!!!!!!

I wonder who will play the Onion Knight, and Briene the Beauty. Those are my only worries for the second season.

Great recap.... but I have to ask...

Greg Tito:
I even thought that Robert Jordan's successor did a better job keeping my interest, which sounds like blasphemy but it was true.

What does that mean?

The new books are amazing... we all know Jordan had his wife write the last few books anyways, eh?

Would you rather the series never be continued?! Or did you miss the 700 page woman's circle talk?

/half kidding

I worry about the casting of Brienne too. I'm afraid she wont be ugly enough. Brienne looks awful in my head and I'm really scared she will be prettied up for television. Like ugly betty style....ooooh shes so "ugly" in her glasses and braces and "WOW" suddenly she is beautiful!

Make her suitably ugly and mannish please. Not a sexy tomboy :<

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