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What do you except from Game of Throne HBO tv series?

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Saturnine said:

 

You couldn't be further off.

 

 

Which is why HBO could have done a better job developing the characters/telling the story.  Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the show, but there was too much undeveloped information for newcomers.  Hopefully the upcoming episodes will do the novels more justice. 

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Background Perspective: I haven't read the books, I haven't played the games.  Minor broad Internet research (geography, House names, etc.)  All I really know is the show, and what the show will give me.

Episode 2 Random Musings

I get that I had underestimated Eddard Stark as being "shoved off" to the North.  House Stark has always been in the North, and always safeguarded the Wall (although perhaps not BUILT the Wall).  But his family still means a great deal to him: so much so that he loves Jon Snow, even though Catelin hasn't forgiven for that for two decades now.  (That was a SHARP moment: "I want you...TO LEAVE."  First time I saw any fire in Catelin, and it was kinda ugly.)  I fear that his love for his family versus his duty to his King is going to tear him apart.

As for that King, Robert is not acquiring any sympathy from me.  "He's just helpless against all the Intrigue challenges, he's missing the appropriate icon."  (Great chuckle, Saturnine! gran_risa.gif)  And that's all I'm seeing: sure, he's got some great war stories, and apparently he's bedded down half the wenches in King's Landing, but unless he whips out his sword and proves he's still got some of that bear in him, he's gonna keep showing up to WITHER in front of that oppressive wave of dominance from his nasty wife.

However, I am intrigued by his and Eddard's views on the Targaryens.  Stark is somewhat angrily dismissive--the Targaryens are no threat so long as the Dothraki can't cross the sea--and seems most inclined to just drop it and keep it behind him.  Whereas Baratheon is the one that wants to walk over there and throttle Viserys himself.  How he took Lyanna's death so hard, and still wound up with that witch Cersei baffles me...but I suspect it has everything to do with "royal rules", and the political prowess of House Lannister.

It would seem Daenerys is determined to stand in her forced marriage (rather than cry in a corner), and I am delighted to watch that journey.  If the girl-on-girl "tutoring" wasn't enough, fighting for some eye-to-eye sex with Drogo was SMOLDERING.  Love her new tribal look, makes her uniquely blonde hair even brighter.  (Wonder what her baby would look like, should there be one.)  The story seems to go out of its way to keep reminding us about the dragons (as her eggs have become Daenerys' "safe place"); are them eggs really petrified?  Are the dragons really gone?  Dragons and horselords would make for one hell of a mainland invasion...

It's easy enough to find a map of the Seven Kingdoms, but it's not clear how big the Dothraki continent across the Narrow Sea is.  The fact that it's not listed anywhere I can find likely means it really isn't that important.

Joffrey is a bully and a coward (and Robert freakin' knows it too), and I adore Arya even more for getting the upper hand on him.  I wonder if Sansa is playing by the same "royal rules" Robert keeps hiding behind when she didn't come forward against Joffrey's BS.  I fear a rift has cracked between the Stark sisters, sounded by Lady's snapped neck.  NOT COOL.  Anyone still worried Lena Headey won't make a good Cersei?

Eddard kinda tossed out a name for Jon's mother, but that wasn't convincing at all.  And Jon Snow keeps bumping into Lannisters: first Jaime for a passive aggressive taunting, now Tyrion is his riding companion.  Reeeeeeally curious what the hell Stark did during that year away from home.  (If Jon is a Lannister, and Catelin knows about it...hoo boy, no wonder she hates him.)  More convinced than ever that Tyrion is the smartest guy in the realm, and Dinklage is doing an awesome job with all of Tyrion's half-amused facial tics at Jon's blatant barbs.  It doesn't look like the Night Watch has much of a reputation anymore, if its ranks are now being filled by "those who can't get out of it."

Hee hee!  Bran ain't dead!  And...YIKES!  Bran ain't dead AGAIN!  (Go Summer!)  Bad news for the Lannisters...if there were anyone around left to tell!  Am I right in thinking that the only Starks left in Winterfell are Robb and Rickon?

Still so many other characters that may or may not be important (but I kinda get the feeling that George R. R. Martin's method is that there are NO "minor" characters...just characters who aren't major YET).  The Queen's Executioner.  Jorah Mormont.  Theon Greyjoy.  I suspect there is a great deal of potential cannon fodder all over the place.

A final shout-out to a FANTASTIC opening credit sequence.  At first, I was just dazzled by the truly nifty "clockwork" erections of major points of interest, but now I see that each one is specifically highlighting the important locations of THAT EPISODE.  While I was waiting to watch Pentos arise again, I was surpised to see the tiny huts of the Dothraki spin up instead.  Clever, clever HBO: now I'm dying to see how they clockwork the Eyrie (or a dozen other places I don't know are important yet...although from the card game, I suspect the Iron Islands and Sunspear).

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jgt7771 said:

(That was a SHARP moment: "I want you...TO LEAVE."  First time I saw any fire in Catelin, and it was kinda ugly.)

 

That was nothing :)    In the book she's like "It should have been you!"

 

jgt7771 said:

It's easy enough to find a map of the Seven Kingdoms, but it's not clear how big the Dothraki continent across the Narrow Sea is.  The fact that it's not listed anywhere I can find likely means it really isn't that important.

The reason is that for whatever reason, there's no official maps of the whole of Essos (the continent east of Westeros) in the books. There's some guesstimated maps out there. In the third book there's map of a small part of the continent, but it doesn't tell you where exactly it is in relation to Westeros.

 

jgt7771 said:

  It doesn't look like the Night Watch has much of a reputation anymore, if its ranks are now being filled by "those who can't get out of it."

Indeed.

 

jgt7771 said:

Am I right in thinking that the only Starks left in Winterfell are Robb and Rickon?

And Bran. Those three, yes.

 

jgt7771 said:

Still so many other characters that may or may not be important (but I kinda get the feeling that George R. R. Martin's method is that there are NO "minor" characters...just characters who aren't major YET). 

Hehe. Not far off :)

 

jgt7771 said:

A final shout-out to a FANTASTIC opening credit sequence.  At first, I was just dazzled by the truly nifty "clockwork" erections of major points of interest, but now I see that each one is specifically highlighting the important locations of THAT EPISODE.  While I was waiting to watch Pentos arise again, I was surpised to see the tiny huts of the Dothraki spin up instead.  Clever, clever HBO: now I'm dying to see how they clockwork the Eyrie (or a dozen other places I don't know are important yet...although from the card game, I suspect the Iron Islands and Sunspear).

 

I'm not a fan of the opening titles, but I'm getting used to it already (I really disliked it after the first episode). I read an interview with the creators of the sequence. Apparently they made five different versions. And I don't think I'm spoiling too much when I tell you the Iron Islands and Dorne/Sunspear are not relevant in the first book/season. Or to put it in game terms again: the expansion boxes haven't come out yet ;)

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 By the way, I hope you keep posting, jgt, it's really interesting to read the impressions of someone unfamiliar with the books.

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Saturnine said:

 By the way, I hope you keep posting, jgt, it's really interesting to read the impressions of someone unfamiliar with the books.

 

Agree.  Please keep posting JGT, it's very interesting to hear the thoughts of someone who hasn't read the books or played the game.  I especially like reading your theories/guesses as to what's to come (& I'll be sure not to comment on the accuracy of any of your theories).  

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Background Perspective: I haven't read the books, I haven't played the games. Minor broad Internet research, although I'm doing a lot more IMDB-face-to-Westeros-name connections because >whew< almost too many names to know.

Episode 3 Randomites

Let's just get the Targaryens out of the way, since so far they are almost a completely separate story (which is kind of relaxing, really, to not have to try to tie them into the knot of the rest of the cast). There are a few threads blowing in the wind (mostly Mad King history), judiciously reminding us that the Targaryens are still in this...stay tuned.

Here I thought the Targaryen story was about unbalanced Viserys taking back his throne, but inside of three episodes, he's been shoved to the side as more minor than anticipated. No, the Targaryen story is about the rise of Khaleesi Daenerys. I love how easy it is to spot her in a herd of Dothraki: her hair just hyperbeams out. She is getting stronger: standing up to Drogo, standing up to her brother, the horde easily falling into her command...while Viserys keeps whining about how uncooperative the Dothraki are, Daenerys is BECOMING one of them, and excelling at it. Very cute as she learns the language, and (time passes quickly) chats with Drogo lounging upon him. It would seem I may yet get to see the offspring of Daenerys and Drogo.

Now there is one other thing here on the eastern continent: Jorah Mormont. It almost seemed a throwaway moment (if one wasn't paying attention) that the Commander of the Night Watch is also named Mormont. Jorah claims he betrayed his father, and now he's across the sea. If one betrays the Night Watch, that's a DEATH sentence, and it is common among people with that kind of stigma that they leave the country that wants them dead. So I’m thinking that Jorah was Night Watch under his father, then bailed out for some reason, and joined Stark’s greatest enemy. Although…he seemed pretty shaken when Daenerys’ pregnancy got out, and suddenly had somewhere else to be. So I suppose he could be a merc-narc for just about anyone who wants to keep tabs on the Targaryens…which narrows it down to probably just about anyone in Westeros.

Back on the mainland, Eddard is soooo out of place. (LOVED his glare when that buffoon asked him if he wanted to change.) The contrast between his rough shagginess and dark clothes and Jaime’s gleaming face and armor is like an antimatter explosion. Everything out of Jaime’s mouth is a coated barb, even when discussing how he (everyone) watched Stark’s father die (burned alive???), but I love how Stark never really takes the bait, instead trying to parry back (dug the implication that Jaime only fights opponents he knows he can beat, i.e. the wussiest). But I don’t think Stark is winning these exchanges with Jaime: Lannisters are too good at disguised insults.

The Iron Throne is reeeeeally nifty.

And then Stark is shackled to a small cabinet of idiots…er, King’s Advisors. Oh, perhaps I’m not being fair, but these guys stink of today’s Republicans: the status quo is the status quo…wait, you want to change it? Well, we’ll look into that, we will, we will, sure. They collectively make Robert look pretty bad at state management, and I’m not sure I would disagree…

Petyr Littlefinger is a smarmy weasel who speaks out of the corners of his mouth. There’s a history there, probably more with the Tullys than the Starks, and although Catelyn buys his blather, he feels way too much like the ex who hangs around your girlfriend, waiting for you to screw up so he can swoop in. And this is the State Treasurer? All that malarkey about Tyrion’s dagger? DO NOT TRUST.

Varys knows much, speaks little. He seems good at gathering information, but reticent at disseminating it. A perfectly untrustworthy Intelligence Broker.

Grand Maester Pycelle is old, but there’s some small note that he was once just as Machiavellian as the rest of them, but is either too old to play anymore, or is using his age as a tactic.

I can’t get too much of a bead on Renly, although he might have more Baratheon fire than his brother.

Speaking of Robert…I still can’t figure him out (testament to Mark Addy for wringing some sympathy out of such a drunken jerk). His “war stories” ramble wasn’t really endearing, but seeing how he’s surrounded by an entire court who has no respect for him (and he knows it), it’s either tragic or pathetic (I’m still trying to decide). I totally didn’t appreciate his treatment of Lancel (Son of Cersei? Cousin?); he’s obviously fed up with Lannisters, but when he tries to pick fights with adult ones, he ends up “losing” (Jaime’s “burn them all” shut Robert down), so instead he rags on the kids? No wonder his Knight Commander looks so indifferent about him.

Lots of history. Mad King Targaryen torched Stark’s father and brother (on a whim?) while Jaime watched. This seemed to be some kind of catalyst for some “nation cleansing”: “Burn them all.” Not clear of the timeline, but Eddard’s sister ended up dead, and thus begat Robert’s uprising, and somewhere in there, Jaime took out the Mad King from behind. Loved how these tidbits were delivered adversarily: Jaime vs. Eddard, Jaime vs. Robert. (Jaime won both times.)

“Anyone who is not us is an enemy.” Yikes. Cersei is a political steamroller, and she’s not going to stop until the Lannisters, and ONLY the Lannisters, have the throne. The problem is, Joffrey is an over-privileged twit, and I wouldn’t trust him with the competence to carry out Mommy’s plans. I’m kinda hoping Arya stabs him in the face…with the pointy end.

Arya is still so very adorable. She so wants to be better at “knighthood” than she is, but there’s a little bit of fear that Daddy will never understand. I think that Eddard is figuring out that this is who Arya is, especially after she proclaims her sword is “Needle”. Even though he’s not too happy about it, if he tried to force her from her path, she’s just going to look elsewhere for it…and around King’s Landing, that would likely mean pain, or worse. Better she learn to protect herself. So enter Syrio, this Master Duelist Jester. He’s a HOOT. After his “water” anology, he now reminds me of Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop) but with a more flamboyant sense of humor. I LOVED watching Arya’s face go from confusion to elation as it dawned on her that she was actually learning to fight, but tempered with Eddard’s face darkening with the hard truth that now his youngest daughter is part of his history of violence. (At least that’s what all the war sounds felt like. Flashback…or foreshadowing? Probably both.)

And finally, back to the Wall: lots of little things. Jon’s deceleration of pride, from “I’m better than them!” to “Here’s what I know.” Maybe I missed it, but Jon was SENT here by his father; he didn’t seem to have any more choice than his sorry cadetmates. It really kinda sucks to be Jon Snow.

Benjen as First Ranger, spending long stretches of time in the wilderness: what makes a man want to do that? Is he really that into his duty and commitment? I think it has more to do with firsthand knowledge of the white walkers, and what happens if the Night Watch fails. Still…lonely man.

The Night Watch actually reminds me of where I work. Before I was hired, there was a budgetary “hiring freeze” that lasted 7-8 years. So when I got here, all that was left were the old farts that couldn’t afford to retire and a gaggle of student interns. What a mess of a border guard. Something will go very very very wrong at the Wall, I’m almost sure of it.

LOVE the set design, though. The huge elevator, the freezing ramparts, the rickety barracks. Feels kinda like a prison that was made out of a legendary old fortress. (Alcatrazy.)

Tyrion is just a blast. “Do you think I’m plump?” He is way too smart and aware to not have his own agenda, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what it is. He seems unconvinced that the northern beasts exist (or at least in numbers that matter), but he also has a great concern for Jon’s well-being. (Very interested in the “kindred spirits” respect between Tyrion and Jon.) Did he really come to the Wall to just piss off it? I don’t believe he has any interest in advancing his family’s schemes; they don’t like him, and he seems to use his name only as a “press pass” for luxury. (“Better to be a rich cripple.”) And now he’s walking right back into Jaime’s alibi.

Poor Bran. “I’d rather be dead.” SOBERING.  Do the white walkers really have giant spiders?  Let's put that on the list of "things I want to see" under "dragons".

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 Thanks again, for the post, jgt. I shall refrain from correcting anything, but it's very interesting to see how things come across to the uninitiated viewer. And quite a few observations were spot on or very close to the truth. Some confusion there about the historic elements (Mad Kings Aerys, the war, etc.), but if I hadn't read the books, I'd be just as confused.

Looking forward to reading from you next week :)

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Ah, Tyrion. Of all the taverns in all the realm, you had to walk into HERS. Don’t you hate it when you come back from vacation and find another House wants you dead? Except that this is Westeros, and that probably just means its Thursday…

Tyrion remains my favorite character, his snappy words and Dinklage’s perfectly wry delivery. Tyrion seems to always know that “comeback you wish you thought of ten minutes ago”, and lead with it. Since it doesn’t appear that Tyrion ever does anything wrong…and by that I mean he seems to be the only Lannister with a closet not bursting with skeletons…he can let his “opponent” run off with assumptions Tyrion knows are crap. I loved watching him let Robb hang himself before whipping out Bran’s new centaurborg apparatus (LOVE THAT!); the faces of everyone in that whole scene were marvelous. “I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things.” If Tyrion can keep that heart intact…i.e. prevent Catelyn from turning it into a wind chime…he might be the best ally the Starks could have against the Lannisters.

Am I supposed to know what a three-eyed dream raven is supposed to signify? TERRIFIC effect, though.

Eddard finally begins to delve into the whodunit of Jon Arryn, and I have been looking forward to that. It seems Arryn had discovered Gendry, a bastard Baratheon prince working as a blacksmith. He barely remembers his mother, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t share the eyes of Eddard Stark. Did Stark’s sister have an heir before she had a chance to marry Baratheon? He’s definitely older than Joffrey: does “bastard” override “firstborn” when deciding royal succession? Because Gendry could be a serious hole card for Stark if Cersei starts making moves. Which she might already be if she killed Arryn (“Poison is the weapon of a woman) before he could reveal Gendry. (Although why not just kill Gendry? I would assume Arryn took that to his grave.)

Hey! Grand Maester Pycelle is Julian Glover! I just now recognized him! NEAT!!! Pycelle doesn’t like Varys. Renly hardly likes any of them. And nobody likes Baelish. As effective a Council as our House of Representatives.

>SIGH< Kudos to Mark Addy again, for making me dislike him so. Robert is just a boorish schmuck. The whores, the booze, the off-putting slovenliness at the tournament. Which they shouldn’t be having! Oh, I don’t know; maybe the people need to blow off some steam, but it feels more like Robert’s just bored, and wants some bloodsport to liven up a few hours between orgies. Speaking of which, it seems fairly petty to use these lustfests to rattle Jaime, but it makes me wonder how much Robert knows about how deep a ***** Cersei is, or how incestuous. But that doesn’t really dissuade me from calling him a lousy king. Obviously he wasn’t always this way, since he once led the rebellion, but this Robert is at the lower amplitude of his sine wave. It’s making me pretty mad that he dragged Eddard out of Winterfell to help, but now he just ignores him like he’s an AA sponsor to avoid. He’s lucky Stark has a greater sense of duty (or something).

The Mountain and the Hound. Yikes and yikes again. Obviously working for the Lannisters, to whichever end they pursue. Can’t say I have any feelings at all for Sir Hugh—I never like any jouster who tips his lance with a pretentious iron fist—but it seems like the Lannisters are excelling at removing anyone not on their side, one piece at a time: Arryn, then his squire… (FANTASTIC spitting death, though!) It could go back as far as Stark’s father, then the Mad King… Makes me want to meet the Lannister Patriarch Tyrion keeps insulting.

Samwell Tarly. >snicker< Reminds me of Private Pyle from Full Metal Jacket. Unsure of what Samwell brings to Jon’s story, but this collection of boy thugs have the makings of a good Z-Squad-vs-the-world story. That might shut Thorne up.

Daenerys has finally reached the point in her rise at which she will no longer take any more of Viserys’ petty BS: “The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time YOU HAVE HANDS.” sorpresa.gifgran_risa.gifcool.gif She’s gotten much stronger inside, clearly seeing her whiny brother is not the way home. (Curious about Rhaegar now. Too many main characters seem to have stronger older brothers who are dead.) However, this sets a dangerous precedent in Viserys’ twisted little mind. If he loses control of his sister, he loses control of his army. (The fact that he NEVER had control is lost on his “dragonborn” world view.) I dread what one of his reassertion tantrums might mean for Daenerys.

Still, I did rather enjoy the smidge of Targaryen History as told by Viserys. I wonder if any of those dragon skulls are still around in some basement somewhere. But then he dissed a girl who gets off on dragons because he’s “just that cool”. Which is sooo isn’t.

Jorah Mormont was a slaver. Not nearly as noble as a member of the Night Watch. Gotta be more to it, though: his “expensive wife” is “in another place with another man.” Does Martin drop leading lines like this in his books? Because I dig potential landmine plot threads like that.

I don’t think Sansa’s having as great a time in King’s Landing as Eddard seems to think. I haven’t seen her smile since the first episode. And Littlefinger still feels like a weasel telling her such a nasty story.

Arya is getting a wee bit darker. “That’s not me,” was spoken as much to herself as it was to her father. If she isn’t a “princess”…and I’ve been given no indication that this world would ever allow a girl to be a knight (even Eddard won’t buy that)…if I were to allow myself some wild downhill freewheeling speculation, I could see Arya becoming something like the Hound to the next administration. (Arya the Direwolf?)

Theon Greyjoy. What the hell happened there??? Only got half a story here, with half a deck of card to supplement: the Greyjoys own the Iron Islands (Kraken), and apparently something of a decent navy. In an unwise bid for power, they took that navy to Lannisport (because who doesn’t hate the Lannisters?) and pulled a Pearl Harbor. (Tyrion holds a pretty hefty grudge for that.) But it didn’t quite take, and Balon Greyjoy lost most of his heirs in the counterstrike. Was this during the Rebellion? Was Greyjoy taking advantage of the Targaryen power vacuum? I can’t think of another time Jory and Jaime would have been fighting together. Anyway, somehow, Greyjoy’s youngest (and alive) son ended up with Stark, who took him home and let him be great buddies with Robb. So, the Greyjoy who became a Stark, or the Stark who will remember he’s a Greyjoy? Probably not a question soon answered.

Oh, I must meet this red-headed Ros everyone seems to be passing around the North. sonrojado.gif

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Thanks again for the write-up.

A few comments:

Nobody ever said Jorah Mormont was in the Night's Watch. Just because his father is doesn't mean he had to be as well.

The Greyjoy Rebellion was 6 years after Robert claimed the throne. They tried to assert their independance, but were crushed by Robert and his allies.

They are a raiding culture, so they've always had a good force at sea.

And just a quick comment on Gendry. It's not worth reading to much into similarities between actors. The actors were cast for their ability to portray the characters, not for details of their appearance (as is supported by the many casting decisions that ignore or somewhat differ from descriptions in the book).

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I love the updates :)

Mainly because I enjoy following your thoughts, wether they are right or wrong, and imagine to myself your reaction when they come true, are smashed or something different you never thought of!

Like watching your kids at Christmas or Birthday's with presents :)

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Saturnine said:

Nobody ever said Jorah Mormont was in the Night's Watch. Just because his father is doesn't mean he had to be as well.

Yeah, I was leaning that way after a second viewing of this episode.  My words weren't so clear about it, but I was trying to say that "slaver" had overridden any "Night Watch" assumption, and Jorah has lost his "I'm just misunderstood" template.  He says he "fought with" the men allied with Baratheon, and I assume that means the less-brash Council and/or the Lannisters (which makes me wonder about his ex-wife).  But he WAS a slaver, and that did not endear him to Stark, so he fled Westeros.  Now, this does not discount that he may still be watchdogging the Targaryen's for someone--Varys comes to mind--but he also seems to favor a loyalty (of sorts) to Daenerys over Viserys (cripes, who wouldn't?), whether that was intended or not.

It definitely feels like Jorah has a larger story, but I'm only getting one M&M at a time...and I'm not even sure they're M&Ms.  Very much someone I want to keep watching.

Saturnine said:

The Greyjoy Rebellion was 6 years after Robert claimed the throne. They tried to assert their independance, but were crushed by Robert and his allies.

 

They are a raiding culture, so they've always had a good force at sea.

Ah!  Here I was assuming something of a "shipbuilding" culture, but now I'm thinking more "privateering".  Iron Islands = Pirate Cove.  Looking forward to hearing more about the Siege of Pyke and meeting Balon...but y'all seem to think that would be NEXT year.  So I shall be patient.  At least I know how there came to be a Theon in Winterfell; that's enough for now.

Saturnine said:

And just a quick comment on Gendry. It's not worth reading to much into similarities between actors. The actors were cast for their ability to portray the characters, not for details of their appearance (as is supported by the many casting decisions that ignore or somewhat differ from descriptions in the book).

Hmmmm.  You have a point.  However, I can tell a great many of the actors are wearing different hair and makeup in order to not look like themselves.  (As far as I can tell, most of the Lannisters aren't actually blonde, and I remember Harry Lloyd from "Robin Hood" (BBC) and he didn't look a thing like Viserys.)  So who's to say that the casting call sheet didn't specifically call out a feature ("steel eyes") for the agents to pool from?  Or that Gendry's actor isn't sporting contact lenses?  The makeup crew so far have been doing spectacularly; if the creators wanted to drop a physical hint, I totally believe they could.

That said, I'm inclined to believe that in this case, my shot was quite wild. sonrojado.gif  You calling it out makes me wonder what the creators "got wrong" about Gendry (and anyone else), but it also makes me wonder how tight your grip is to the images you've had in your head for years.  It's easy to have issues about a horrible miscast (say, Will Smith as James West in Wild Wild West), but it takes a certain vehemence to despise, say, Hugh Jackman for being "too tall" for Wolverine.  So may I ask, how hardcore do you feel about the appearance of the show versus the descriptions of G.R.R. Martin?

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Carnivean said:

I love the updates :)

Mainly because I enjoy following your thoughts, wether they are right or wrong, and imagine to myself your reaction when they come true, are smashed or something different you never thought of!

Like watching your kids at Christmas or Birthday's with presents :)

That, of course, would be the whole point.  gran_risa.gif  Thanks!

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jgt7771 said:

  So may I ask, how hardcore do you feel about the appearance of the show versus the descriptions of G.R.R. Martin?

Oh, I'm quite liberal about the looks, really, as long as they capture the essence of the character, and I think they've assembled a wonderful cast so far (except for Joffrey who looks too much like a twerp, even though he is one). There is one thing that I cannot talk about that has bothered me and other people which is a look-related story-point that is not as explicit in the adaptation, but I'm not losing sleep over that, either.

As for Jorah fighting for/with Baratheon, he actually earned his knighthood during the Greyjoy rebellion for his valour. (I mention this only because I don't think they'll delve that deeply into his personal history in the show).

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Saturnine said:

Oh, I'm quite liberal about the looks, really, as long as they capture the essence of the character, and I think they've assembled a wonderful cast so far (except for Joffrey who looks too much like a twerp, even though he is one).

partido_risa.gif Meaning that Joffrey as a character actually IS a twerp, but he's supposed to look more "Tiger Beat"?  More like a miniature version of Jaime, whom, after replacing his armor with a polo shirt, would be a classic modern d-bag?

Saturnine said:

There is one thing that I cannot talk about that has bothered me and other people which is a look-related story-point that is not as explicit in the adaptation, but I'm not losing sleep over that, either.

I have no real choice but to leave that alone, but my curiosity is getting the better of me: is this an irrevocable alteration?  Any way, somewhere down the road, the creators could course-correct to match?  Is it perhaps a marginal story-point that the show could abandon?  (Feel free to ignore me if I should just shut up and walk away.)

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jgt7771 said:

 

partido_risa.gif Meaning that Joffrey as a character actually IS a twerp, but he's supposed to look more "Tiger Beat"?  More like a miniature version of Jaime, whom, after replacing his armor with a polo shirt, would be a classic modern d-bag?

 

 

Exactly. ;)

 

As for the plot point, I think I'm going to leave that alone because I'm not sure what the show plans to do with it exactly. Again, it's not that big a deal because while they cannot really alter the choice they've made, they can still make the same point with the visual choices they've made, it's just that it's a much stronger point in the book. Don't worry too much about it - it's simply that a lot of fans got upset because in the book a certain physical feature is really remarked upon a lot, and it's not as striking/explicit in the adaptation, but it's still there.

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Sorry...but it's the end of the TV season, and I foolishly watch other shows.  DVR Overload needed addressing...

Holy crap! They actually DID put them dragon skulls in the basement!  cool.gif  (Coooool.)

Lots of “holy crap” moments this week, some of a relevatory nature, others just shocking. Where to start…

Stark is rapidly wearing out his welcome. Robert’s got a thorn in his paw named Targaryen, and Stark ain’t willing to pull it out, and that just makes Robert all sore. I like how they can joke together when it doesn’t matter (“You’re too fat for your armor.”), but it bugs me when Robert pulls the King Card and starts pushing Stark around. Even worse when all his little cronies play along. Any time I’ve seen these twits agree on anything, it’s always against Stark (which probably means he SHOULD be the Hand).

Although…I have to admit that maybe Robert has a point, and the Targaryens probably should be removed. But I can only say that from my view as the omniscient audience, knowing that there actually are "dragon sympathizers”, lending credence to the possibility of a plan to get the Dothraki across the Narrow Sea. (Horseboats?) It would certainly help if Robert weren’t RANTING about it. Too late. Stark’s done.

Now he’s a puppy in a nest of vipers, and not enough time to get out. (Shouldn’t have brought all of his daughters.) And then comes Baelish, AGAIN. Littlefinger always seems to be EVERYWHERE. (Even moreso than Varys, beating him at his own Spy Game.) So Robert’s just dropping bastards all over the place. Still wondering what that means for Joffrey, and if that’s why Arryn was killed.

Once Jaime showed up, I knew it was gonna get bad. Confrontations like this don’t end welHOLY CRAP!!! sorpresa.gif Daaaaaamn. Absolute jaw-dropper. Shoot, I really liked Jory. I have a wee bit more respect for Jaime for knocking out the guard that stabbed Stark in the leg, as it would seem that he does hold some honor for the Duel, even though I find swordplay in Westeros to have no rules: win or die. (Maybe that’s just for opponents you consider beneath you.) I actually thought that knight KILLED Stark! Clever camera angle, or just being mean to me? (Probably both.) Eddard’s gonna have a limp for a while, not to mention I doubt he can make it home like that.

It would seem that Littlefinger was right: the Hound and the Mountain do NOT get along.  But it was REALLY surprising to see the Hound kneel IMMEDIATELY after the King bellowed, at the risk of the Mountain taking his head off.  Suddenly, not quite as sure how I feel about the Hound.

Ooo! The Eyrie made the credits! (I dug crossing "The Bite"!) Seems like something of an accident: Catelyn really WAS going home, but now that she has Tyrion, she’s changed her mind? I’m not sure it was clear that Tyrion was prime suspect for Arryn’s death; did I miss that? Tyrion’s doing his best to remain Tyrion (thoroughly enjoyed his behavior through the tribal raid, especially the shield bash), but he’s not thrilled at all for going before Lysa.

……….oh my. And who could blame him? Lysa is so very very OFF HER ROCKER; I’m pretty sure that once they have all their teeth, you should stop breastfeeding them. In front of everyone. (Holy crap! You have to admire actors who will “go there”.) Love how enemies Tyrion and Catelyn shared a glance of “Oh wow, really?” Lysa’s boy is just…frightening.

LUUUV the Eyrie’s dungeon!!! “Go on. Escape. Dare you.” Not only did that save on masonry subcontracting, but all those cells have a NASTY draft for their deserving occupants. For that matter, the Eyrie itself is one intimidating fortress: it’s simply impossible to effectively siege. (Rockclimbers?)

Quick flashes of Winterfell this week. Bran is getting back into a routine, reciting House dogma—the Greyjoys’ “We do not sow,” implies a great deal of reaping others, eh?—and hinting at a future of a horsebowman. And helloooooooo Ros. A gratuitous scene to be sure, but yet another knock to Theon’s ego from Tyrion, albeit indirectly.

Arya is so much fun to watch. She moves so smoothly between brash assertiveness (telling those gate guards off) to pouty anxiety (“I-I was chasing a cat.”). She’s trying so hard to be what she wants to be that she's bound to be constantly in trouble. Intriguing that she can pass so easily for a boy (*cough* Joan of Arc *cough* Mulan *cough* Eowyn).

Varys. Just a weasel of a man (if you can even call him a man). For a second, I thought that maybe his pendulum was swinging back towards good when he (apparently) decided Eddard was now trustworthy enough to confirm that Arryn WAS murdered. He even knew the name of the **** poison! And not one scene later, Arya catches this d-bag riding the Targaryen Underground Pipeline with Illyrio!!! I was inclined to believe Jorah that nobody really gave a crap about the Targaryens anymore, but I suppose that was just being naïve. Certainly I’m no big fan of Baratheon either, but trying to reinstall Viserys is just putting the Mad King back on the throne.

“The Lion and the Wolf will be at each other’s throats.” Lannisters and Starks…sure, that’s easy to see. But now Drogo doesn’t want to move without his son safely born, which might take too long, but assassinating Stark won’t help…wait, WHAT?!? That’s it: Varys is on the craplist. And Illyrio. And probably Jorah. I sense I am going to have real trouble on a personal level when I’m probably going to be forced to start disliking the nifty Daenerys.

Is this why Tyrion was framed?  It doesn't make sense that Jaime would do it, since he's so keen on getting Tyrion back...but is that part of it?  Leaving Tyrion out to dry (and die silent) to cover for the Arryn murder?  Or is it the Targaryen stooges, trying to start a civil war between the Starks and the Lannisters?  Or is it Theon, who just thinks Tyrion is a jerk?  I sound like a conspiracy nut...except I'm pretty sure there's a conspiracy!

Okay, I’m a pretty open-minded guy, with my own collection of fetishes, but I really don’t need to see guys shaving. Or guys shaving other guys. My electro-shocked head was spinning here: Renly’s gay? The prettyboy knight over whom Sansa is swooning is gay? (Poor Sansa. She’s beautiful, and every boy she meets has no interest in her!) There’s another Baratheon brother? ARE THEY DOING WHAT I THINK THEY’RE DOING? “What, incest is no problem, but…” Look, between that and the creepy breastfeeding…can I just see the Ros scene again please? preocupado.gif

Finally, my favorite scene of the night: Robert and Cersei being quietly honest with each other. FINALLY something to appreciate Robert for. Politically, Robert needed a queen, but he lost his first (and ONLY) choice, and he’s never been able to cope with that. Not quite clear, but Cersei at least enjoyed Robert’s presence (if not his power, although I wonder how much of that was her father back then), but his inability to love her ruined them. Possibly the years of that ruined her. And they lost their first son? Bet that was ugly.

This is the first time Robert’s felt TRAGIC. I don’t think he really feels like being King is worth anything; it’s just an accident as a result of taking out the Targaryens. He’s so sad and alone inside, and he hides from it by getting wasted and boning anything pretty. Which makes his queen harder and cruel (and in love with her own brother). What a mess…and a powder keg.

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Cheers, jgt.

My favorite scene from the episode was also the scene between Cersei and Robert (curiously enough, a scene that is not in the book).

 

And in the books, Renly is not such a wimp. I found that an irritating change in the adaptation.

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jgt7771 said:

LUUUV the Eyrie’s dungeon!!! “Go on. Escape. Dare you.” Not only did that save on masonry subcontracting, but all those cells have a NASTY draft for their deserving occupants. For that matter, the Eyrie itself is one intimidating fortress: it’s simply impossible to effectively siege. (Rockclimbers?)

 

Fun fact that wasn't obvious in the tv show: The floors of the sky cells, as they are called, have a slight angle to them for additional psychological fun ("Oh noes, I'm gonna roll off while I sleep!")

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Saturnine said:

Fun fact that wasn't obvious in the tv show: The floors of the sky cells, as they are called, have a slight angle to them for additional psychological fun ("Oh noes, I'm gonna roll off while I sleep!")

corazon.gifcorazon.gifcorazon.gifcorazon.gifcorazon.gif

Genius.  Pure twisted genius.  One of the biggest "Wow, that's so elegantly simple, I can't believe no one ever thought of that before!" I've ever had.  If I get nothing else from G.R.R. Martin's crowded head, that concept is eternal to me now. 

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jgt7771 said:

corazon.gifcorazon.gifcorazon.gifcorazon.gifcorazon.gif

Genius.  Pure twisted genius.  One of the biggest "Wow, that's so elegantly simple, I can't believe no one ever thought of that before!" I've ever had.  If I get nothing else from G.R.R. Martin's crowded head, that concept is eternal to me now. 

 

I had a feeling you would appreciate it ;)

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A GOLDEN CROWN

Whoa. AAAAAAA!!! ……..daaaaamn.

I do so appreciate shockingly effective episode-ending moments that crack you in the jaw and then say, “See you next week,” while you’re still spitting out teeth on the floor. True Blood has been nailing those for years; Game of Thrones is matching them wonderfully.

In honor of whiny deluded Viserys, we shall begin with the Targaryens, their story still mostly detached from the rest of Westeros (aside from the odd angry detonation from Robert). Daenerys seems to be moving from “queen” to “empress”; by that I mean, she’s begun to believe her own hype, and the universe appears to agree. (Certainly the Dothraki do.) While Viserys has been spending all his time proclaiming, “I am the Dragon!” and “I am King!” the Targaryen bloodline is definitively beginning to say, “No, you’re not. It was never you. It was never going to be you.” Daenerys’ eyes keep acquiring a distinct lack of focus in this episode: she’s not looking at, she’s looking THROUGH, gazing miles into her future. First sign of “chosen” people.

These dragon eggs are so much more than cabinet tchotchkes. Jorah is particularly adamant about them remaining with Daenerys, and I don’t think it’s just because of Viserys’ jab that he’s in love with her. Plus, they don’t burn her. Now, even though Westeros is a completely-realized “other world”, it seems to be following standard terran physics, with a noticeable lack of “magic”. Therefore, whatever the deal is with these non-burning eggs, it has to be genetic. (I don’t know…considering how the people of Westeros seem to lack sexual taboos, maybe there actually IS dragon blood somewhere deep in the Targaryen tree.) It seems pretty likely that Dany’s going to end up with dragons, but I wonder how big they’re actually going to be. Dire wolf-sized? Lockheed-sized? (the plane OR the X-men)

Daenerys is completely integrated into the Dothraki, now that she’s carrying Drogo’s heir and ingested an entire horse heart. (EWWWWW!!!) The last remnants of Viserys’ ego are stripped away—he has no money, he has no army, he has no…chair—and it drives him to do the most idiotic thing anyone can do: he got drunk, insulted a Klingon to his face, and drew a weapon to threaten his son. As the scene progressed, I started by telling Viserys to shut up. But once the sword came out against Dany, I knew he’d gone too far. (Kinda like how Dany’s face matched my own: “Don’t do it, man…don’t do it…oh well, nice knowin’ ya, jerk-off.”) All episode, Daenerys kept getting that “But he’s my brother!” look when Viserys was being stupid, so I loved how smoothly Daenerys (and her actress Emilia) shed that look when Drogo is so obviously telling her that he’s going to kill her brother now, and the measured way she translated Viserys’ “ascension” to “King” to him. And WHAT A DEATH. Nasty and creative, yet perfectly appropriate. The KLUNK when his too-heavy skull hit the dirt. “He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” Best climax yet!

Meanwhile, King’s Landing is sliding off into war. Ned’s now got a mad on for Jaime, who’s torn off after Tyrion (interesting how Ned doesn’t seem all that concerned with Tyrion at all); Cersei is accusing Ned of BS charges (presumably to protect Jaime, but the omniscient audience knows Cersei’s blowing smoke); the Mountain is off (at Tywin’s request?) torching Catelyn’s homeland; and Robert…has gone hunting. (What?) I’m not sure if it’s naïve or negligent of Robert to think that Ned is really going to listen to him when he hands down his “King’s edict” that the Starks and Lannisters will now get along (so there!), but it seems irresponsible on the highest order to leave a fuming Ned in charge while he goes to kill pheasant. But that doesn’t surprise me, really: Robert’s a bumpkin of a king. It’s getting so bad that for a second—a second!—I sympathized with the Lannisters (!!!) after he hit her. (At least he recognized that he messed up there.) What’s worse is, I’m really not alone here in my contempt of Robert: Lancel’s terrified of him, Renly’s irritated with him, and Barristan’s just BORED of him.

So now Ned the Hand is on the throne…might as well have put a burning powder keg on the stove. Since Jaime’s missing, Ned’ll use a conveniently rampaging Mountain to drag the Lannister Patriarch himself into court. I want to believe Ned has some wacky plan, but maybe I’m giving him too much credit. Maybe he really just despises the Lannisters that much, and it’s clouding his judgment. Somehow this seems much more involved than just getting revenge for Bran. Something deeper is going on. (Well, DUH, one would say: it’s Game of Thrones! OF COURSE something deeper is going on!)

But now for my favorite arc of the episode: Tyrion in the Eyrie! Hey, look, Saturnine! The sky cells ARE sloped! gran_risa.gif

As clever as Tyrion is, he’s still, how do you say, educated. In other words, he doesn’t have much to trade with in prison: he has no stature, he has no barter, and he doesn’t really know how to talk “mongrel”. Negotiating with Mord is like trying to teach Latin to a pig:

“No gold!” >thump<
“Well, I don’t have it HERE!”
>Thump< “No gold!”

Mord has little awareness of anything outside of his skull and his cells, and it’s a bit of learning curve for Tyrion as his language gets simpler and simpler. On the other hand, “Lannister” is apparently a name EVERYONE knows—who remembers the old “E. F. Hutton” commercials?—as well as their not-official motto Bran foreshadowed last episode: “A Lannister always pays his debts.” So eventually Tyrion “collaterals” himself an audience.

Now I sort of expected his “confession”—my personal reflection was Chunk from the Goonies—and Tyrion must have known this wasn’t going to work, so it must have been designed to piss Lysa off so much to goad her into Trial By Combat. Still, the gutterwash coming out of Dinklage was HILARIOUS. (I’m a sucker for a good laundry list of self-gratification phrases, especially when it shocks someone who isn’t.)

Lysa counters with the Moon Door. Geezus, watch where you step in the Eyrie.

Tyrion switches from stand-up comedian to attorney. Tyrion tries appealing to reason, but trials in the Eyrie are apparently sentenced by a prince with rotten fruit for brains who likes to watch “bad men fly”. (That boy ain’t right.) But apparently there’s a sub-section in the Law of Westeros titled “Might is Right”, and Tyrion is allowed to exercise that right. Obviously, Lysa was thinking ‘who couldn’t beat a dwarf who could barely hold a sword’…but there’s that bothersome “Champion” clause. Tyrion calls for Jaime, but Lysa isn’t gonna wait. I think Tyrion had run out of cards at this point, and was grasping for any warm body; luckily, he got Bronn.

It is my fervent wish that Bronn and Tyrion become the Hope and Crosby of Westeros:

“They say the Eyrie is impregnable.”
“Give me ten good men and some climbing spikes, and I’ll impregnate the *****.”
“…I like you.”

I don’t really know much about either Bronn or Ser Vardis, but both seemed pretty competent with a sword. Problem is, Vardis fights like a knight, but Bronn fights like a boxer. Bronn lets Vardis swing himself out, then quickly dispatches him and kicks him out through the floor. If I didn’t love Bronn before that…

“You don’t fight with honor!”
“No. >shrugs< He did.”

A win is a win is a win. Screw your morals. And a final triumphant flourish to Tyrion as he demands his coinpurse, tosses it to Mord, and simply leaves. At the end, I love how Tyrion got in a glare to everyone in that room who had screwed with him.

This is going to complicate things for the Stark-Lannister conflict unless Tyrion can get back to King’s Landing quick enough. Each side is counting on certain pieces being in play, but a lack of speedy transportation, instant communication, and GPS makes it difficult to know where your pieces are. Leads to a lot of posturing and bluffing, I think.

What’s left? Bran got his saddle! And a hostage negotiation! With scruffy northerners? This is the second time someone’s dropped the name “Mance Rayder”; it would seem the other side of the Wall has some organization. Odd thing about Theon: he keeps dropping his Greyjoy name as something to be respected and admired (“Greyjoys do this blah blah blah…”), but then Robb throws in his face that he isn’t a Stark, and Theon comes running back to prove that “he is so Starklike!” I’m not sure I appreciate trading Ros for this new hairy northling girl.

The three-eyed Raven wants Bran to go see dead people. Or staple waffles to his face? Hunh.

Joffrey goes into suitor mode, and suddenly Sansa has become every idiot girl on the CW network: “I love him and I want to have his babies!” Oh, seven hells (as Arya so rightly put it). On the other hand, that gave Ned a Gregory-House-like CLICK, and it would seem that Joffrey has ended the Baratheon streak of black hair. Now, my father has black hair, and my mother was blonde…and I’m blonde, so this isn’t really earth-shattering, but I’m guessing we’re supposed to surmise that Joffrey isn’t Robert’s kid. Which would make me wonder two things: (a) Whose kid is he? (Jaime’s? Ewwww!) (b) Are any of the “Baratheons” actually Baratheon?

“There is only one god: Death. And we only say one thing to him: ‘not today’.” Syrio is still a hoot, but I keep noticing subtle lines in his teachings that don’t really jive with “knight” training: learning from cats, attacking from the shadows, etc. That’s more “Special Forces” or something. Like the difference between Vardis’ and Bronn’s techniques. Still, I love these Arya scenes that allow her actress so many facial reactions. (And she’s getting better with her dancing.)
 

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jgt7771 said:

 

that gave Ned a Gregory-House-like CLICK

 

 

 

That's EXACTLY what I was thinking :D

Also, in regards to his realization, remember Jon Arryn's last words. :)

 

And I just wanted to comment on the scene in which Robert slaps Cersei to point out one of the best comebacks in the series: "Wear it in silence, or I'll honor you again..." Classic :D

 

As for Syrio, he himself said he won't train her in knight-style combat, but in his Braavosi style, so I'm not sure why you were expecting knight-like sword-fighting :)

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Saturnine said:

Also, in regards to his realization, remember Jon Arryn's last words. :)

What?  You mean, "The seed is strong," doesn't apply to Robin?!?  gui%C3%B1o.gif

Saturnine said:

As for Syrio, he himself said he won't train her in knight-style combat, but in his Braavosi style, so I'm not sure why you were expecting knight-like sword-fighting :)

Yeah, I muddled that all up.  I meant that...I'm not sure what Arya intends to do with her training.  I thought that she wanted to be a knight (even though that seems unfeasible), and there hasn't been any indication that she's abandoned that goal, but Syrio's path isn't headed that way anyway.  I guess I'm just wondering if Arya has recognized that yet: that she's not becoming a knight, but something else.  On the other hand, that "goal" could have been a few episodes ago; I guess all I really know now is that she won't be a "Sansa": "That's not me."  (Hell, I might be mixing her with Bran on this...)

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