Escapist Podcast: Bonus: Game of Thrones-Cast

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Bonus: Game of Thrones-Cast

The Escapist talks about everything the HBO show gets wrong.

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Following is perhaps a spoiler, but I try not to go into books 3-5

The portrayal of Jaime is indeed pretty messed up sofar. Jaime was, as a boy, similar to Sansa in his naive belief of heroism and knighthood. He was good looking, noble born, the squire of the great Baristan Selmy and a champion at the tournaments.
And then at 16 he became a knight of the kingsguard and had to watch the mad king burning innocent people alive. And his hero Selmy just watched and did nothing. And then at the end of the war when the King ordered him to burn Kingslanding to the ground he decided to break his oaths and killed Aerys. But instead of beeing the hero as he thougth, even Ned Stark and Robert Baretheon despised him for what he did and he became the Kingslayer a title little better than a rapist.
All this contempt and the rude awakening to reality during his time under King Aerys shaped his character and he started to wear the arrogance and his 'I-Dont-care-about-anything' attitude as an armor against this hurtful contempt. But his deepest desire, is to be the golden hero - loved by all.

Wow, two weeks already, but this is one of my favorite things on the Escapist right now. I just want to add to Catelyn character in the book was dealing with dying father in Riverrun(Her father's castle and where Rob's base camp is in the books) The Tully Family so far have been written out of the TV series, I didn't notice that until you guys pointed it out.

Catelyn was always my favorite character.

Yup, alot of us love the series, so we will make corrections if ya make msitakes. I am sure you'd do the same if it were a poscast on Dr. Who.

Great podcast, amen to most of what Alex said. I think they really made a wrong choice with Jaime. I am also baffled why he needed to kill Cleos... wouldnt pretend pain/dying have worked just as well?

Also I couldnt help but notice Arya is not killing anyone... which makes her very different to the book version. Did the show have her kill the stable boy in the first season? I cant remember.

Well hope you do at least one more for the season finale.

Ramith:
Yup, alot of us love the series, so we will make corrections if ya make msitakes. I am sure you'd do the same if it were a poscast on Dr. Who.

Great podcast, amen to most of what Alex said. I think they really made a wrong choice with Jaime. I am also baffled why he needed to kill Cleos... wouldnt pretend pain/dying have worked just as well?

Also I couldnt help but notice Arya is not killing anyone... which makes her very different to the book version. Did the show have her kill the stable boy in the first season? I cant remember.

Well hope you do at least one more for the season finale.

Yes she kills the stable boy. She also was suppose to kill a guard when leaving Harrenhal, it is suppose to be a Bolton guard, one of her brother's banner-men. I don't think that kill would have been as shocking if it was a Lannister guard.

Ramith:
Yup, alot of us love the series, so we will make corrections if ya make msitakes. I am sure you'd do the same if it were a poscast on Dr. Who.

Great podcast, amen to most of what Alex said. I think they really made a wrong choice with Jaime. I am also baffled why he needed to kill Cleos... wouldnt pretend pain/dying have worked just as well?

Also I couldnt help but notice Arya is not killing anyone... which makes her very different to the book version. Did the show have her kill the stable boy in the first season? I cant remember.

Well hope you do at least one more for the season finale.

All depends on the way the correction is made. Some people are pretty jerky about it. Correcting us is fine, scolding us is not.

Susan Arendt:

Ramith:
Yup, alot of us love the series, so we will make corrections if ya make msitakes. I am sure you'd do the same if it were a poscast on Dr. Who.

Great podcast, amen to most of what Alex said. I think they really made a wrong choice with Jaime. I am also baffled why he needed to kill Cleos... wouldnt pretend pain/dying have worked just as well?

Also I couldnt help but notice Arya is not killing anyone... which makes her very different to the book version. Did the show have her kill the stable boy in the first season? I cant remember.

Well hope you do at least one more for the season finale.

All depends on the way the correction is made. Some people are pretty jerky about it. Correcting us is fine, scolding us is not.

Very true, very true.

Oh and please watch Arrested Development, you're missing out on gold.

I agree with Archon- and I can't wait to see the chart!

LOVED this podcast. Well done guys!! =)

The video keeps freezing up on me every couple of minutes and forcing me to reload the page in order to get it loading again, any idea how to fix it?

This is the only video on the escapist that's doing this to me, by the way.

This is pretty much my favourite thing on the site now. :P
Sorry Bob.

I never suspected that was Bran and Rickon. Maybe I'm just an optimist.

So who else is convinced Dagmer Cleftjaw is really Ramsay Bolton in disguise?

I can't believe people actually believed it was the two Stark boys Theon burned. They played up the two orphan boys SO MUCH. I haven't read the SoIaF books, but I knew before I saw the bodies who it was (and who it wasn't). I also realized that the Lannister cousin was dead the moment he started scooting toward Jamie during their heart-to-heart. This show is not subtle with the foreshadowing.

Brainst0rm:
I can't believe people actually believed it was the two Stark boys Theon burned. They played up the two orphan boys SO MUCH. I haven't read the SoIaF books, but I knew before I saw the bodies who it was (and who it wasn't). I also realized that the Lannister cousin was dead the moment he started scooting toward Jamie during their heart-to-heart. This show is not subtle with the foreshadowing.

That's what sucks. With book 2, I was shocked as hell at the thought of them being dead. Then of course... Yeah.

"Lannister and Stark together! They makes Snark."

~Best way to end the podcast possible ^^ , with triple word score for talking about Tyrion and Arya as Snark.

Raban:
Following is perhaps a spoiler, but I try not to go into books 3-5

The portrayal of Jaime is indeed pretty messed up sofar. Jaime was, as a boy, similar to Sansa in his naive belief of heroism and knighthood. He was good looking, noble born, the squire of the great Baristan Selmy and a champion at the tournaments.
And then at 16 he became a knight of the kingsguard and had to watch the mad king burning innocent people alive. And his hero Selmy just watched and did nothing. And then at the end of the war when the King ordered him to burn Kingslanding to the ground he decided to break his oaths and killed Aerys. But instead of beeing the hero as he thougth, even Ned Stark and Robert Baretheon despised him for what he did and he became the Kingslayer a title little better than a rapist.
All this contempt and the rude awakening to reality during his time under King Aerys shaped his character and he started to wear the arrogance and his 'I-Dont-care-about-anything' attitude as an armor against this hurtful contempt. But his deepest desire, is to be the golden hero - loved by all.

That is a very good, and nice interpretation of Jaimie's personality. Although I do believe he did want to be the hero (the hero of glory, not the champion of little-folk-justice), I think that the above interpretation is naive. We do not know much about Jaimie's past or shaping influences. We get a hint from the later POVs, but we do not have anything from earlier in his life.
After all,he did grow up without a mother under Tywin's "care", with Titus's (that asshole) influence and fucking his sister for sport. Most chivalrous indeed.
For the record, he's one of my favourites

I also hate how they messed up Jaime's and Daenerys' characters on the tv show.

On the defense of King's Landing, I don't think they ever showed the creation of the huge iron chain. Where Tyrion forced all the blacksmith's to start making chain links even though they originally refused.

On changing characters for the show, Jaime Lannister is more evil than in the book, Dany is made more a classic princess in distress, Jon Snow is portrayed as a soft-hearted incompetent.

I'd like to think these character changes are being made to give these characters' personalities a sense of progression. For example, the princess becomes competent beloved ruler; wayward knight seeks redemption by walking a path of honor; naive adventurer learns more of the world and what it means to lead. I suppose we'll have to wait for season 3 to see if they pull that off, if it is what they trying to do.

The issue I as someone who listened to all the audio books is having, is that for me this second season is rehashing the beginning these characters' arcs that was told in satisfaction in book/season one, instead of progressing them further.

But I supposed if someone only watched the show it would feel early to progress their arcs because the show doesn't have any of the self narration monologues prevalent in the pov style of the books.

Like if Dany had come into Qarth with an attitude of manifest destiny and rule of divine right, it probably wouldn't have made much sense to an audience that's never been shown or told of the "mystical" dreams she has. A good example of this would be at the end of first season when she was tricked by the magi if you didn't read the book you don't understand the level of loss she had in losing that child.

The night they were trying to revive Drogo she dreamed a son with white hair in a long braid that conquered the world, but as the ritual went on she saw that vision of her son die and turn to worms. So when she woke up she knew her child was dead and she was betrayed. So unless you were exposed to the book you wouldn't have known that she didn't just lose a child but she lost her heir.

Ickorus:
The video keeps freezing up on me every couple of minutes and forcing me to reload the page in order to get it loading again, any idea how to fix it?

This is the only video on the escapist that's doing this to me, by the way.

Fixed this issue, had to actually install adblock because the fucking adverts were stopping the video from loading.

I should probably qualify this by saying that I've never read any of the books so I don't know if the idea I've been given by listening to these is accurate... but I think it's a very good thing that formerly archetypal male 'heroes', are now being portrayed with more conflict and complexity. It's sort if like what Yahtzee said in his latest Extra Punctuation, in the sense that a character needs more motivation to do something than just 'being the good guy'. For example, I personally though that, far from ruining the movie, the portrayal of Aragorn in LOTR as a guy running away from his birthright, because despite his abilities he doesn't feel he's up to the task of being a king, is far more relatable and sympathetic than the traditional version.

I've only actually seen patches of the TV series too come to think of it. I've kinda liked what I've seen so far, but I don't really have a lot of context. Would you recommend it, despite all the liberties it's apparently taking with the books, or is it just made for people who are already fans?

NinjaDeathSlap:
Would you recommend it, despite all the liberties it's apparently taking with the books, or is it just made for people who are already fans?

Yes I would recommend it, I watched series 1 without reading the books and enjoyed it immensely, I had the books on order from amazon within half an hour of the series finale finishing because i was hooked and had to know what happened next. Definitely something you can enjoy without reading the books first.

Great podcast
and I don't even watch Game of Thrones

Stormcloud23:
So who else is convinced Dagmer Cleftjaw is really Ramsay Bolton in disguise?

Dagmer? Isn't he supposed to be the one who lured soldiers away from Winterfell?

I like nearly all the changes they have done. I find Arya's interactions with Tywin a hell of a lot better than the plot with Roose Bolton. And while I do miss Reek, I think they managed to portray both his character and Asha much, much better this way, and Theon gets a deeper insight out of it. As for the use of magic, well, seriously, TV is a much more visual medium, and some stuff needs to be imprinted rather than hinted at. Hence why we have Renly being openly with Lorras Tyrrel, as opposed to the hints the book contents itself with giving. Or the house of the Undying and its wizards being far more wizardry because a mere hint would not quite work.

Jon is one character who, taken away his inner dialogue, is his father's son through and through, almost never faltering, except for his one and only slip into Ygritte (something honorable Ned did, as well). Wimping him out a bit brought out his more human side and a show that for all his daddy issues and good intentions, he's still a ways to go. And the same goes for Robb. It's far more believable for him to be a bit of a screwup and havin to learn the hard way than it is to have him just be the same stoic figure his father was and who's in such a stark contrast with everyone else in the lore. That nobility is something that's in him, but he has a lot to learn. So the issue here is one of growth, and the same thing is happening to his brother.

Jaime is a bastard, he's always been a bastard, and while those in the know have some understanding of his underlying humanity, and what turned him so jaded, that doesn't come out until his arc with Brienne which in the books begins with storm of swords. Those who only read clash of Kings will see him as having no redeeming qualities until that point, he's an unrepentant asshole both in book and series, who only gets fleshed out much later.

Same goes for pretty much anything else. It would have actually been easier to have done the Tyrion show, and it is to the games credit that they don't stray from the path, even though I would have liked to see a bit more of his being the voice of reason in King's Landing.

But all in all, what matters is the big picture. As the plots weave to conclusion, there's a lot mentioned off screen that shows that they're not altering the main points. Boltons are still going to betray the Starks, a company of sellswords will take hold of harrenhall, and those are the main plot points converging. Some adaptations work better ( Arya), some worse ( Danaerys), but it still carries the feel of the books, which is the most important.

And also, as someone who's already been told the story, I actually like that they change some things around, without messing up the overall arcs. It keeps me guessing like everyone else.

Baldr:

Ramith:
Yup, alot of us love the series, so we will make corrections if ya make msitakes. I am sure you'd do the same if it were a poscast on Dr. Who.

Great podcast, amen to most of what Alex said. I think they really made a wrong choice with Jaime. I am also baffled why he needed to kill Cleos... wouldnt pretend pain/dying have worked just as well?

Also I couldnt help but notice Arya is not killing anyone... which makes her very different to the book version. Did the show have her kill the stable boy in the first season? I cant remember.

Well hope you do at least one more for the season finale.

Yes she kills the stable boy. She also was suppose to kill a guard when leaving Harrenhal, it is suppose to be a Bolton guard, one of her brother's banner-men. I don't think that kill would have been as shocking if it was a Lannister guard.

I also think that having her watch Joqen's handiwork and discovering all the lives lost due to her wish amount to that same effect and result in the loss of innocence. Again, we have the benefit that, any of the things those who read ASOIAF know, we know about these characters are there because of the inner monologue George Martin puts in the books. His POV approach allows us to see this or that situation inside someone's head, a luxury a TV show cannot afford. Hence Jaime becoming all expositional before killing his cousin ( a decision that is not at odds with who he's become), or all that back and forth between Arya and Tywin that really hammer in the point of exactly WHO Tywin Lannister is. And since who he is and the way he is is so pivotal in his sons being so screwed up, it makes sense to show him more than Roose Bolton, whose love for leeches is not essential to the tale ( and also saves us some time in explaining why the daughter of his liege lord doesn't come out and declare herself so, which would take from the 550 minutes they have to make the show).

Good podcast. Those are really my main problems with the show as well, especially with regards to Jamie. I really felt that the show almost ruined his character - the best thing about him in the books was that it turns out that he really wasn't that bad of a person, and for the show to have him murder someone in cold blood was just ... uh.

Hosker:
Good podcast. Those are really my main problems with the show as well, especially with regards to Jamie. I really felt that the show almost ruined his character - the best thing about him in the books was that it turns out that he really wasn't that bad of a person, and for the show to have him murder someone in cold blood was just ... uh.

Again, I have to say, you're way off.

Almost the first tidbit we see of Jaime Lannister's characterization, both in book and in tv series have him throwing a fucking kid off a tower without a second thought, guilt, or remorse. That makes him that bad of a person.

Let me repeat it. He threw a child off a window as an afterthought. Whatever we know of him that might redeem him comes much, much after. If anything, the show antecipated the shades of grey in his character in relation to the books with his tale of idolizing Barristan Selmy.

If you haven't read the books past Clash of Kings, here be spoilers.

grimner:

Hosker:
Good podcast. Those are really my main problems with the show as well, especially with regards to Jamie. I really felt that the show almost ruined his character - the best thing about him in the books was that it turns out that he really wasn't that bad of a person, and for the show to have him murder someone in cold blood was just ... uh.

Again, I have to say, you're way off.

Almost the first tidbit we see of Jaime Lannister's characterization, both in book and in tv series have him throwing a fucking kid off a tower without a second thought, guilt, or remorse. That makes him that bad of a person.

Let me repeat it. He threw a child off a window as an afterthought. Whatever we know of him that might redeem him comes much, much after. If anything, the show antecipated the shades of grey in his character in relation to the books with his tale of idolizing Barristan Selmy.

If you haven't read the books past Clash of Kings, here be spoilers.

As said in the podcast, though, the knowledge that Bran would have had would have had terrible repercussions for him, Cersai, their children, and maybe even erupt into civil war. I believe he expresses some amount of guilt over it as well at least once in A Storm of Swords.

Which is totally irrelevant to the fact that he does it unrepentantly, which is a testimony to his cruelty and ruthlessness. IF he can throw a child to his death with a shrug, he can kill a prisoner to make the ruckus more believable and further distract the guard. One guy down might be seen like playing possum, one guy in a pool of his blood is definitely the real deal. On both times, practicality rules over any shred of humanity.

If you have a problem with this portrayal of Jaime in the series, you'd have to have the same problem with the portrayal in the books, which makes arguing against his portrayal irrelevant, because it's not at all incoherente. You're justifying his humanity on information that we're only privvy to once he becomes a POV character. If you had only read Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings, that repentance is simply not there. You're aquiting the character with information that you do not possess yet in the overall timeline, which is something made clear by the events I mention in the spoilers. We're not shown any other sign of Jaime because we're not supposed to. Even in the books, it's not until Storm of Swords that we get a glimpse as to why he is the way he is, so you cannot fault the series for sticking to that, as it is exactly what Martin chose to do.

I, for one, am *so* glad they haven't made Jon Snow into the archetypical noble knight figure, if that's what he was in the books. Talk about *boring*..we already saw that in Ned Stark, and thankfully, he had his head mounted on a pike before he could become the insufferable moralist, demonstrating to all and sundry how to live. Snow wanting desperately to be the hero like his dad but being so completely out of his element that he muffs it up is not only more interesting, but a hell of a lot more real.

As for Daenerys, when you think about her progression, her character as it's sitting in the show also makes a lot more sense than this kick-ass warrior woman you folks seem to be describing. I mean hell, she was raised by her brother as essentially a trophy wife, got a little bit of power by being a favored wife of the leader of a bunch of nomadic tribesmen who's actions were basically the opposite of subtle, had that ripped away from her through a betrayal of someone she thought she helped, and then when she tried to commit suicide with her husband's body, found out that she couldn't even do *that* on her own because now she's mother of frickin' dragons. To expect her to be all "I'm kickin' ass and taking names!" given that she's only even surviving because a councilman from a city that looks to have been dealing in intrigue and plots since before she was born decided to take pity or have designs on her seems a hell of a jump in the character.

I mean, sure, if you read fantasy novels, that kind of switch from lowly peasant to super-ruler basically on the turn of a dime is common, I know. But for an HBO viewing audience, that kind of unexplained character shift just doesn't work. Television doesn't time compress as well as books, so those kind of shifts can't just go unexplained with the understanding that between chapters there's been a bunch of character development.

I also tend to agree with Susan about Jaime Lannister. Guy isn't so much deliberately evil as an unrepentant survivalist. Yeah, the Lannisters have been brought up with the idea that family is everything but it seems also that there's a definite hierarchy in the family -- that some are more important than others. Personally, I saw Jaime's killing of the cousin being the move of a dangerously smart guy. The Starks leaving the messenger alive is not a good thing if you're a Lannister.. it shows the Starks have honor, and won't hurt you if they don't have to -- not something that Jaime wants the troops of his potential saviors thinking when they're coming to rescue him. But who in the Lannister side would believe that Jaime killed his own cousin? Hell, even if someone from the Stark side made that accusation, Lannister men would be more likely to see that as a poorly thought out lie than accept it as truth.

Plus if it gives him a long-shot chance at getting out of the camp, so much the better.

Also thought it was odd that you guys talked about how they made the magic so up front with the warlocks, because I didn't clue into that at all. At their introduction, I thought the first warlock just had a twin and they'd worked on some serious stealth skills. The reaction of the crowd in that scene didn't scream, "OMG it's magic!" but rather, "Hey, neat trick, guys." As for the Council killing while it struck as pretty cool, it didn't strike as some sort of holy crap that's magic! moment, but rather as kind of a ninja ability.. dude makes dopplegangers of himself. Pretty cool, but hardly earth shattering. (Now, the lightgod shadowbaby assassin... that was some HOLY CRAP IT'S MAGIC! stuff.)

Oh, and incidentally, to answer your question of "why now?" for the council elimination: Because now they have in their possession someone with a clear line of succession to the Iron Throne, and who has represented herself as having a lot of allies and loyal subjects waiting on the other side. That is, now because the potentials just got a lot bigger than ruling a single city in the desert -- if they can move quickly and decisively. (This also answers why they don't kill her.. it's not the dragons they need so much as her bloodline)

At least, that's what I get from the show, without my perceptions having been colored by the books.

Haven't had time to listen to the whole podcast yet, but have they discussed how horrifically bad the actress playing Sansa is? How is she going to play book 4 "on-the-verge-of-epic" Sansa?

Spectrum_Prez:
Haven't had time to listen to the whole podcast yet, but have they discussed how horrifically bad the actress playing Sansa is? How is she going to play book 4 "on-the-verge-of-epic" Sansa?

"On the verge of epic"??

I never got that, all she seems to do is hide- She hasn't accomplished anything but be along for the ride in others schemes as far as I can tell. Where has she been almost epic?

rod_hynes:

Spectrum_Prez:
Haven't had time to listen to the whole podcast yet, but have they discussed how horrifically bad the actress playing Sansa is? How is she going to play book 4 "on-the-verge-of-epic" Sansa?

"On the verge of epic"??

I never got that, all she seems to do is hide- She hasn't accomplished anything but be along for the ride in others schemes as far as I can tell. Where has she been almost epic?

Sorry, my phrase was a little misleading. I didn't mean to imply that she's being doing things already that are "almost-epic".

What I meant to say is that book 4 strongly suggested that very soon, once we get more Sansa chapters, she is going to finally complete her long arc from passive victim to active player in the "game". Arya is the archetypal early-bloomer, but I think GRRM is strongly hinting that Sansa, the family's late-bloomer, is right on the edge of becoming the next Cersei or Catelyn.

All those chapters where she plays Littlefinger's pupil strongly foreshadow a more epic role for her in the final act of the series. At least that's how I read it, and I know at least some other people have agreed with me in that interpretation.

Spectrum_Prez:

rod_hynes:

Spectrum_Prez:
Haven't had time to listen to the whole podcast yet, but have they discussed how horrifically bad the actress playing Sansa is? How is she going to play book 4 "on-the-verge-of-epic" Sansa?

"On the verge of epic"??

I never got that, all she seems to do is hide- She hasn't accomplished anything but be along for the ride in others schemes as far as I can tell. Where has she been almost epic?

Sorry, my phrase was a little misleading. I didn't mean to imply that she's being doing things already that are "almost-epic".

What I meant to say is that book 4 strongly suggested that very soon, once we get more Sansa chapters, she is going to finally complete her long arc from passive victim to active player in the "game". Arya is the archetypal early-bloomer, but I think GRRM is strongly hinting that Sansa, the family's late-bloomer, is right on the edge of becoming the next Cersei or Catelyn.

All those chapters where she plays Littlefinger's pupil strongly foreshadow a more epic role for her in the final act of the series. At least that's how I read it, and I know at least some other people have agreed with me in that interpretation.

I just watched Ep 9 and I got a little of what you are talking about I think. I never got that sense in the books. Sure she was doing what she needed to do to survive, but at least in the show she had that part about telling Tyrion that she prayed for his safe return; and then after he questioned it, she told him "as much as I prey for the king" ha ha. That showed him ha ha. So if that is any indication. She might be up to the task of being the Mockingbirds star pupil.

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