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petersiddle21

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

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Oh Robin.... he was named Robert in the books, by the way, just like the king.

 

As for Arya, there's really no way for her to become a proper knight in that society, and I'm not sure that's what she wants. She's feisty, but she doesn't share Bran's desire to become a knight, I think. What she *can* do is become a capable swordswoman.

 

 

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 One thing I was disappointed by was the distinct lack of Direwolf carnage in the scene in which Bran gets jumped by Wildlings in the woods.

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OOPS.

What a colossal screw-up on Ned’s part. There were half a dozen openings given to him, but because he wouldn’t “break the rules”, he stuck with his clever plan that would only work if everyone else was playing by those same rules. Well, they weren’t. (NOBODY was but YOU, Stark!) Dude, she said it TO YOUR FACE: “You win, or you die.”

This was a GREAT character episode: everyone got a really good scene to strut their stuff, without getting in the way of a fantastic build-up and climax.

Tywin Lannister: …Sardo Numspa???

“Yaime, you are to take an army and secure the **** throne!”
“You keep insisting on mispronouncing my name. It’s Jaime, with a J.”

It does indeed turn out that House Lannister is run by a man concerned only with House Lannister. It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that he ruined his kids pursuing the strength of his House. Such a sad moment when the camera showed Jaime, for a second, ready to receive recognition from his father, then realizing it’s just not about him, merely his name. I found it shockingly relevant that Tywin spent his whole speech skinning the symbol of House Baratheon.

Robert Baratheon: Mark Addy’s death scene (awwwww!). I suppose I’m not surprised Robert is dead (although it did startle me), since he would have to be if the Lannisters were going to annex the throne, and it was a bit obvious that while they had a grand plan, Robert had absolutely no plan besides getting Stark to make a plan for him. Very sad that almost everyone thinks that Joffrey is Robert’s kid. It stains Robert’s final confession of how lousy a father he was.

But Varys seems to suggest that Lancel may have poisoned Robert the same way they took out Arryn. Drunk and drugged, anyone could fall. Problem is, I don’t trust Varys. He could be spewing out anything to exacerbate the Lion-Wolf feud.

Lord Baelish: What a snake. You were already on the bottom of my list—there was still contention up until Viserys hit the dirt—but now you’ve totally justified it. Not that I don’t get it—I wasn’t a jock either—but that’s a long time to hold onto a crush who’s had you in the “Friend Zone” all that time. (Wait…so Catelyn was going to marry Ned’s BROTHER, but then fell for Ned after the Mad King offed him? And don’t think I didn’t have to rewind that scene more than once to get all that, thank you very much, Ros and +1!) Littlefinger seems to imply the grandest endgame of all, so how much of that bargaining with Stark was genuine? If Stark had played ball, would the Lannisters be dead and Renly on the throne? Did Littlefinger have to improvise, seeing a Gold Cloak Backstab as an opportunity to maintain whatever grand scheme he has? Is it really much simpler than that, and he’s just “always against Stark”, regardless of who has to get in bed with? (I so despise the character, but the actor is melodramatically PERFECT.)

Cersei Lannister: For a while, I’ve kinda thought Headey was playing her “wooden”, but that (delicious) exchange with Stark at the beginning made me realize that’s just Cersei. She has contempt for EVERYONE, and that’s what regal contempt looks like: composed indifference. “You aren’t worthy of a reaction, worm.” I love how she takes all of Stark’s accusations with a blantant, “So what?” Taking a bit of old rage out on Lyanna (nice, Robert; even from the grave, you disappoint me); all but admitting to shoving Bran; not even blaise about incest with her own twin, but fiercely defensive of it! This all seems to lend credence to the thought that she already knew Robert was doomed: if Lancel had been operating under her orders, she was already mating Ned before he even knew the king was checked. So who cares what he knows?

What also plays into this is her moment of fear when Robert asked to be alone with Stark. Robert was probably already supposed to be dead; being able to deliver last words to Stark seems like a pretty big “wild card” to her plans. Lucky for her, Stark SAID NOTHING!!! >facepalm< But she knew she had him when he came into the throne room. (Can I say, I LOVE that set!) Her face never flinched.

Flashback: so when the Rebellion succeeded, Eddard told Jaime to get off the throne, but refused to take it himself? Two problems with that:

(A) Of all the people I’ve met so far, of course Ned should be king. He needs to get over his modesty, or whatever the hell it is that’s keeping him from leading the realm...too late, never mind.
(B) He left it to the Baratheons, NONE of whom should have been king! I know nothing of Stannis, other than he has the faith of no one (not even Ned really wants Stannis!). Robert ended up being a mess, but I get the impression he was only a marginally better choice than Stannis. And Renly just fled with his gay knight (assuming Varys is telling the truth), and who appoints the "black sheep" to be king?

Sheesh, what happens to Sansa and Arya now? I can see Arya finding her way “underground”, but Sansa might just become another Theon.

Speaking of Theon—well, not really him, since he’s a bit of a buffoon trying to trade on a name he barely has—but this new northern chick implies that there is a whole lot of north up there past the Wall, that doesn’t really know much about what’s south of the Wall. And are just as afraid of the wintery legends as Seven Kingdoms are. (Is there some kind of “Independence Day” invasion coming, where all the squabbling factions of humanity find themselves collectively outgunned against a common enemy?)

And maybe that enemy has nothing to do with the north, as “someone” made an attempt on the Khaleesi’s life. So many ways to interpret that. Was the wine vendor told by Varys to poison her, but didn’t know that Jorah already knew to make him a patsy? Was it a genuine attempt ordered by Robert, and Jorah with his keen eyes passed up a pardon to save and follow Daenerys? Either way, the end result is the same: the Dothraki are finally on the move, driven against their own superstitions by a fairly awesome speech by Drogo. Drogo has been completely “broken” by Dany—he handles her so tenderly now, a far cry from their first meetings—so much so that it isn’t really the Dothraki that are invading: it’s the return of the Targaryens.

I don’t really have much to say about Jon Snow’s situation. Obviously, the drill sergeant is sticking him one, but Samwell has a point that Jon Snow has all the makings of the next Commander of the Night Watch.

I rather like that the oath is taken on the “bad” side of the Wall, but only for the followers of the “old gods”. That’s been referenced a couple of times—old gods vs. (seven) new ones—and I just kinda ignored it. I’ll keep an ear out, but I rather hope it’s not important.

Am I crazy for thinking that perhaps Benjen has a LIFE in the north, like some Night Watch version of a bigamist? “I’m off to go be First Ranger for a month, wish me luck, hi Honey, I’m back from watching those evil southerners”? He can’t have much of a life in the Night Watch, so he finds a family with this Mance Rayder?

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Thanks again for your thoughts. Always an interesting read :)

jgt7771 said:

Wait…so Catelyn was going to marry Ned’s BROTHER, but then fell for Ned after the Mad King offed him?  

She was betrothed to Brandon (Ned's brother) at the age of 12. After Brandon's unfortunate death, politics demanded that the two houses still be joined, so she was married to Ned. However, she's grown to love him over the years (making them pretty much the only functional couple in all of Westeros :P )

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 Also, I feel compelled to point out that, in the books, Littlefinger is NOT moonlighting as a pimp. He certainly has invested in a brothel or two, but at no point see we train him prostitutes how to properly fake it. That was quite likely the most awkward scene in the tv adaptation so far.

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Saturnine said:

. . . the most awkward scene in the tv adaptation so far.

It's not TV...it's HBO. gran_risa.gif  Must keep up our bare breast quota, or else the masses will start migrating over to Came>yawn<lot.

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jgt7771 said:

Saturnine said:

. . . the most awkward scene in the tv adaptation so far.

 

It's not TV...it's HBO. gran_risa.gif  Must keep up our bare breast quota, or else the masses will start migrating over to Came>yawn<lot.

 

Is HBO really that full of gratuitous nudity? I remember The Wire didn't have too much of that going on, and they certainly didn't abuse the sex scenes to squeeze in ridiculous exposition.

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Saturnine said:

Is HBO really that full of gratuitous nudity? I remember The Wire didn't have too much of that going on, and they certainly didn't abuse the sex scenes to squeeze in ridiculous exposition.

Full of?  Naw.  But like most (popular) premium-channel programs, nude scenes are like the car wrecks in a Nascar race: without them, the majority of your audience would stop watching Nascar.

The Wire is actually a perfect example.  Critically acclaimed, fantastically acted, poignant storytelling...yet so low-rated it was close to cancellation for most of its life.  (Yeesh...to think that The Wire lived the same life as Chuck...)  And I can only think that that was because The Wire didn't really "feed the lizard brain".

The average flatlined brainscan of your average viewer gets confused and bored easily when confronted with complex and profound storytelling (one of the biggest products of large ensemble productions); therefore you have to throw in an easter egg for the lizard brain.  It doesn't have to be HUGE; it just has to be satisfying enough to provide the PROMISE of more in subsequent episodes.

In the premiere episode, Game of Thrones threw in Tyrion's whoring and lots of filmy-dressed Daenerys, not to mention Lannister incest and Drogo's wedding night.  In other words, Huge Flaming Car Wreck to kick off the season.  In every episode after that, there has been at least one "wreck" in every episode.  Now, this last one was all about the big "who comes after Robert" climax: lots of political maneuvering and scheming...talking, talking, talking...crap, there's no place to put a wreck!  Wait a sec...Littlefinger's a pimp, and his speech is kinda dry...let's throw in some Ros!  But it's early in the episode...add some girl-on-girl, and the lizard brain will be sated for the rest of the episode.

I just want to add that I am NOT superior to any of this.  I have a lizard brain too, and I'm just as susceptible to it.  After the whole painful Twilight phenomenon ruined vampires forever, I was DEAD-SET to ignore True Blood.  Almost got through the entire first season without watching a SECOND of it.  Then a friend told me that Anna Paquin..."gave it up"...and my lizard brain forced me to On-Demand the entire season.  And now I'm hooked. sonrojado.gif  To be fair, though, True Blood has some pretty decent stories; not as thick and enmeshed and intriguing as Game of Thrones, but still entertaining enough to satisfy higher brain needs.  And good story/production/acting + lizard brain food = POPULAR.

No, it's not pretty, but that's pay-television.  G.R.R. Martin's epic deserves to be known, and as much as people should read it, they probably won't.  Hell, I'm one of the statistics right in the middle--I watch TV and I read books--and even I never picked up Martin's stuff.  (I will NOW, but book vs media is a different debate altogether.)

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 Well, it's not like I'm opposed to a little gratuitous sexiness here and there, it's just that the Littlefinger in question was simply awkward bordering on comical, making it the nudity pointless and a poor staging ground for Littlefinger's expositional (and out-of-character) monologue.

Or perhaps it's simply not as effective for a European viewer such as myself. The culture over here is not as prude-ish as in the USA, so a bare breast on TV is nothing to write home about.

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I saw an online review that had a perfect turn of a phrase: Its "sexposition" - and the directors/screewriters really, really need to to using it.

That scene Sudnay sent my (non book fan) wife out of the room in contempt and just fit teh textbook defintion of "gratuitous".

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Stag Lord said:

I saw an online review that had a perfect turn of a phrase: Its "sexposition" -

 

Heh, very apt. The combination of the two is annoying and does a disservice to both sex and exposition.

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I'm just sayin' they had to put the boobs somewhere, and in that entire episode, the only place they could logically (???) squeeze them in was during Pimp Baelish's scene.  And if it was just "Naked Girl on Couch" (such as the gratuitous wench four minutes before Jory's Death and Fade Out), it wouldn't have had enough OOMPH to last the next 45 minutes of talk talk talk.  Ratings would have slid halfway through.  At best, one should just enjoy it when it happens, or, at worst, shrug it off as something that just has to happen to keep the flatliners happy.

>sigh< Saturnine, it took me years to overcome my American adolescence and develop a European state of mind about such things.  To this day, I still am fully capable of prurient regression (see: True Blood).  Land of the Free, Home of the Brave...and if you dangle the thinest hint of the promise of a boob in front of us, we will pay $15 a month for it. aplauso.gif

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jgt7771 said:

and if you dangle the thinest hint of the promise of a boob in front of us, we will pay $15 a month for it. aplauso.gif

 

Why, with so much free boobage on the internet?  lengua.gif

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Things escalate, without really doing much overtly. A calm before the storm, I suppose, or the lung-filling chokes and gasps following the punch in the gut from last week. I noticed that GRR Martin himself penned this episode.

The Lannisters have made their grand play, and essentially achieved their goal. But the game isn’t won until you’ve convinced your opponent that they’ve lost. How interesting would chess be if, after checkmate, the loser’s pieces mounted an insurgency to rescue their fallen king?

Sean Bean gets a bit of a break this week: “Just lie there and look beat.” Ned is relegated to being Varys’ foil, really, as the eunuch relates the current news like the scrawl you can’t stop on the bottom of your screen. Thing is, I still can’t button down this guy’s motives! Is he trying to keep Ned in play by stoking him into a counterattack? Is he trying to kick Ned just to make sure there is no momentum lost in the Lion-Wolf feud? Is he actually bitter that Ned chose Baelish and “mercy” over his council? (I could almost buy this, but “And I told you the truth!” rings a tad hollow in Varys mouth.) Is Ned even an issue to him, if all he needs is Robb’s army to keep the Lannisters occupied while the Targaryens cross the Narrow Sea? I have to give props to the Spider (and Conleth Hill) for the best innocuous acting delivery on this show, but knowing just when to add the right slip of humor or menace to keep us guessing.

It would seem that the Lannisters (and Maester Pycelle, that treason-bellowing jerk!) won’t just execute Stark without securing something justifiable on paper. (Execution without justification leads to annoying things like martyrdom and rebellion. Ain’t that right, Mad King?) So they finally get around to what I was afraid of for a while: using Sansa. (Rather amused that Sansa is found by the Hound. Gee, and after Littlefinger told you that horrible story…) Deluded into crushing on Joffrey, to still be a part of royalty (and to avoid ever going north again), you can see her mind almost begging to be turned into a tool for her brother’s surrender and her father’s disgrace. During every pause after a blatant Lannister lie or a clever don’t-you-want-to-help-make-peace leading choice, you can almost hear the angel on her shoulder rationalizing her cooperation. I hope she can find a way out, but I suspect if she ends up talking to Eddard, he’s just gonna piss her off into complete Lannister Collaborator.

Looks like I was pretty close on the prediction of the fates of the Stark sisters, as while Sansa Theonizes, Arya flees underground. “Not today. Not today.” Spooked but still adorable, wringing every bit of anxiety out of that growing-up-too-fast face. She doesn’t want to leave Syrio—probably both afraid to leave him, and afraid to be alone—but she wasn’t going to last if she remained. Even Syrio seemed to feel he might be outmatched—not so much that he couldn’t take on five armored swordsmen with a stick for a few passes—but he was willing to go out if it meant protecting her. (I suppose he could be dead, but master rascals like him tend to have “greatly exaggerated” deaths.) Arya has learned much: escaping like a cat, finding her Needle, and managing her first kill. She won’t ever be the same now, but I am DYING to see what she becomes.

So Robb ain’t buying it, and grabs anyone with a sword to go sell some cookies at the Red Keep. (How I LOVED the dozens of ravens bursting from Winterfell!) Grey Wind takes off a few fingers (laughed with the huge guy laughing it off) and Robb’s command is secure. But he’s still got a bit of his father in him, showing mercy to a Lannister scout. That is becoming an annoying trait to those of us who dislike the Lannisters, especially since it seems everyone knows where the “choke point” is going to be now: “The Twins”.

Tyrion and Bronn are indeed a chuckle to watch. Tyrion seems a bit reluctant to keep relying on nothing but Lannister mottos to keep his ass safe, since he’s the only one who has faith that he really will pay off his debts, while Bronn seems to second-guess his current situation with every step. (How long can you keep a mercenary loyal on IOUs?) Tyrion is still the smartest guy in the room, able to talk his way into acquiring his own little barbarian horde (even though he is clearly uncomfortable showing up with them in tow). But who can blame him as you can now see firsthand the glares and sighs Tywin shovels on him. Not to mention forcing him into war just to “settle up”. One can’t think that Dad’s not being a bit of an ass for that.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Imp and his trolls taking the Eyrie down, as I am just about done with the Robin and Lysa Whackjob Show. (Anyone watch Adult Swim’s “Morel Orel”? Thanks for the Shapey flashbacks: “MIIIINE! DRIIIINK!”) For that matter…Tyrion and his Hill Tribes could be the one wild card the Starks need.

I’m normally into the Daenerys story, but this Targaryen interlude didn’t do much for me. But it did reinforce a couple of things: (A) the Dothraki are still the Dothraki, no matter how much their Khaleesi is not. Savagery for the sake of sagagery, perhaps, but one understands why all of Westeros is a bit edgy about them showing up. (B) Ripping someone’s entire tongue out from the ATTACHED end, after fighting them bare-handed without a sword, goes a long way toward explaining why Khal Drogo has never cut his hair. © “It’s just a scratch,” is a classic “Famous Last Words” gag. Didn’t we just have a big attempted poisoning moment last week?! (On the other hand, if Drogo does buy the farm…long live the Khaleesi!)

Finally…ZOMBIES?!?!? I may have to revise my position on Westeros magic, or else there are some DEVIANT genetics on the other side of the Wall. (In recent years, zombie apocalypses tend to happen from science-gone-berserk rather than evil wizards.) But the latter may indeed be the case, since otherwise Bran’s scene is a whole lot of nothing.  Giant spiders, now giants and zombies…and worse?

And what's up with the tree stories?  (Ents?)  Old God followers are big on these trees, which got mowed down by the southern jerks, and it occurs to me that one of them features pretty significantly in the nifty credit sequence.  Details to remember, I'm sure.

Is this just a case of a huge expanse to the north labeled “Here there be monsters”? Or maybe some kind of genocide refugees from long long ago? (The Targaryens and the Lannisters have a history of “keeping their blood pure” by screwing their siblings. Attitudes like that tend to jump to “racial cleansing” pretty easily.) If every “-1” of ours becomes “+1” of theirs, then winter is gonna be BAD.

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. . . . . . . . . . .

Didn’t see that coming. Well, I kinda saw it once that pinhead Joffrey (hope you DIE, kid!) decided to overcompensate for his wussy personality, but I didn’t really believe it until the credits ran. Have to say though, it was thoroughly enjoyable watching Cersei freak out as much as Sansa did. I said last time that down this path lay martyrdom and rebellion, and Cersei knew it. What she doesn’t know is how very very BAD this just got for Prince of D-bags Jaime.

Looks like Robb has a very tactical mind. He knows he’s outmanned, but he’s wielding his inferior forces like a scalpel, cutting judiciously, rather than thumping like Tywin’s shiny hammer. Not to mention his fairly icky bargains with the disgustingly uncouth Lord Frey. Robb may yet win this, but he’s already changed the realmscape come the aftermath.

Aemon TARGARYEN?!? Uncle of the Mad King?!? Great Uncle of the Khaleesi?!? Another revelation out of left field. Although if anyone else shows up with a name starting with “AE”, I ain’t gonna be so naïve about it. I wonder how Snow will handle the Night’s Watch Dilemma, but I think he’d be a fool to leave. He’s only one man, and I don’t care how nifty his new adoptive-father sword is, it’s just one sword.

And now Drogo’s dying of infection. (STUPID! The witch said she could help last episode!) With a little evidence of magic, although it could just be as effective as voodoo is on this planet, so who knows what’s gonna walk/trot/crawl out of that tent. Hooray to Jorah for killing that Dothraki jerk who’s been asking for it since last week. (And I recall a bit speech from Jorah about curved blades vs. armor…SLUUCH! Never mind, jerk!) Daenerys whiffed off another “dragon” moment, so the question becomes, can she keep the Dothraki following her? I think the kid has to live if that has a chance of happening. Otherwise, she and Jorah may be coming back alone, or not at all.

I’d like to thank Eddard for finally echoing my position on Varys: I am also tired of trying to guess what that guy wants. “Peace” makes sense, I guess, but only because it doesn’t matter who’s the president, be it monkey, monger, or mutant, the office will always need the CIA. So, trust Varys to be Varys, and perhaps expect him to follow the path of least resistance. (Although that makes me wonder where the invading Targaryen/Dothraki army fits in with his peacekeeping plans.)

Poor poor Arya. She just acquired the perfect life circumstances to become a vigilante, a mercenary, an assassin. (Like Bronn, perhaps.) Can’t say that doesn’t excite me a little, though.

Oh, Tyrion. Reminds of “Big Trouble in Little China” when Jack knocks himself out just before the final battle (and then gets stuck under a huge corpse). Glad Tyrion didn’t get himself whacked; I’m rapidly running out of “favorite characters”. Irritated that Tywin just finds it so amusing. (For that matter, Theon needs to wipe that frakkin’ smile off his face too.)

LOVE the Twins in the credits! The bridge unfolding ties with the Eyrie’s dome blooming for my favorite clockwork bits.

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jgt7771 said:

Looks like Robb has a very tactical mind. He knows he’s outmanned, but he’s wielding his inferior forces like a scalpel

 

I'm glad this got across. I was worried that they didn't explain enough what Robb was doing with his forces and why. In the book, he sends a sizeable chunk of his forces to meet Tywin - all his force on foot - and takes all his riders to take Jaime's host by surprise and win a victory in the Battle of the Whispering Wood, as it's called.

I can't help but grin everytime you talk about Arya. She's gonna have such an amazing story.

As for Drogo, the witch and the wardrobe, if you recall last episode, Dany actually let's her attend to his wound. It wasn't shown on screen, but she did dress his wounds and plaster some mixture of herbs and stuff on there.

 

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My friend just picked up HBO again for True Blood (he doesn't bother with HBO the other nine months of the year), so I screwed with his head and convinced him to check out Thrones on OD.  Now he sorta hates me for needing HBO for SIX months now.  ("Dude, just do what you did this year: wait until Thrones is almost over, and marathon it.  Frankly, it's even a little better in large bites.")

Ned's death tossed him backwards off his couch.  C'mon, standard TV rules: CAN'T BE DONE.  With which I agree completely.  I have HATED for years the idiot network practice of "One of these characters will DIE!" as an advertising hook; with even a fleeting knowledge of character composition, one can predict whom the future corpse will be by "marketable disposability", better known as "who can be 'Jenga'd' out without toppling the fan base?"  At the risk of bruising my arrogance, I NEVER would have predicted that execution.

It makes me wonder if Thrones could only be done on Premium Cable, the only channels with the reputation and economy to overcome such a blow to their fan base.  (Like the way only Bioware and Blizzard can get away with putting out video games "WHEN THEY'RE DONE".)  Obviously, it helps if it services the story, and the story is great.  But the ponderously old-school Networks would never allow such a main character to disappear.  (Although recently, some genre shows have taken that risk, like Lost or V, but the Networks have never, and will never, take the "nerd base" seriously enough to spill over into a "real" show.  Like, they're never gonna kill a founding Desperate Housewife.)  But a Pay Channel, with only a handful of episodes a year, with the ability to "remake" its character base every year (same method as Martin's novels: still waiting for the Kraken and the Sunspear), you can truly believe that no one is safe.

For that matter, the casting potential increases substantially.  Even though a great many movie actors have popped up on series television, it's generally because they're sliding into has-beens, but their names are still big enough to make a splash on the small screen (Gary Sinese), or they have a reputation for "working for the work, not the fame" (Lawrence Fishburne).  But if the work is guaranteed to be more short-term, then maybe Thrones might never grab an A-Lister, but there's a bunch of B-Listers that would commit to a shorter contract (like a season).   Sean Bean is not a TV Actor, but he could easily do another project less stringent than Lord of the Rings.  Hell, for all we know, the fact that Bean only had to commit to one year (and maybe some flashback work in subsequent years) was a selling point to close the deal.  Mark Addy as well.  Cripes, is Lena Headey about to die too?!  Or Dinklage?!?!?!?  Suddenly, the more famous they are, the more transitory we might fear them to be!

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It's interesting to me that Ned's death has such an impact on viewers who are unfamiliar to the source material. In the book, he gets more chapters than any other character, so his death is truly shocking because the reader gets so familiar with him. But compared to the storylines of other characters, there's not all that much happening (because so much of it is internal), so his story doesn't translate to a lot of screen time. So while he is clearly portrayed as one of the few truly noble and honorable characters, I was thinking viewers wouldn't connect with him that much. I'm glad to see I was wrong.

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When I got to that point in the books I knew I was in wholly unfamiliar territory for egnre fiction. Martin is willing to kill just about anyon e in teh service of plot - and that is really what separates him form most fantasy wrioters today. i really love this HBO series - a first rate adaptation.

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This felt more like an epilogue to what was obviously the climax of the book/season. Now that Vader has announced that he’s Luke’s father, time to get Luke back on the Falcon, escape from Cloud City, and lick our wounds and regroup. Set everyone on their next path, and shut it down for now.

Joffrey has (in RECORD time) become the new Mad King. He’s cutting off Weird Al’s tongue on a whim, parading poor Sansa in front of the heads of everyone she used to know, and leaving Cersei speechless because if she upsets this monster she made, he just might kill her too. (And she’s already screwing someone else. Was that Lancel?) I can’t stand Joffrey, but he makes for one hell of an exciting downfall. Interesting note in passing: the Hound was kinda sweet to Sansa. My mind spins on that possible alliance.

Tyrion gets Ned’s job. Tywin seems pretty adamant that HIS SON will be in that role, even though Tyrion is all mixed-feelings about that. It will be fun to see Tyrion in the Small Council: a room full of guys who think they are smarter than anyone else in the room (but my money is still on Tyrion). It seems Shae may not be Disposable ***** #4, elevating her to at least Ros’s position.

Pycelle may not be exactly what he appears to be, but I don’t know if that’s really significant, or if it’s just an old man holding onto a few hole cards of his own. On the other hand, why have the scene if there wasn’t a point? (Unless, of course, as I have previously said, this was the intermediate BOOB scene, which serves less of a story purpose and more of a RL titillation one.)

Absolutely LOVED the Baelish and Varys oh-gods-here-we-go-again putdown joust. “Mad King?” “Yup. Must be Thursday.”

Arya slips out under the Lion’s nose, thanks to a perky haircut, a sympathetic truant officer, and a king’s-blooded bastard. She’s learning very quickly how to take care of herself, but at this point, I am utterly clueless where her path lies.

Looks like Jon Snow couldn’t QUITE manage to hold himself together. But his Z-Squad rejects delayed him long enough for SENSE to catch up. One more sword ain’t gonna help Robb that much…not that it might do any more help up here when the North is about to hit the fan. (Sounds like the North is getting much more organized than anyone could guess.) Into the Valley of Death rode the…what? Thirty?

The northern bannermen (Theon too!) not only pledge their loyalty to King Robb, they pledge to dissolve the whole concept of King’s Landing. It was cool to see Robb go from shattered tree-beater to square-shouldered icon. Even cooler to see Catelyn take a rock to Jaime’s face. I can’t tell if Jaime’s using his arrogance as a shield, or if he really doesn’t give a crap anymore.

Bran and Rickon are seeing the same three-eyed crow. I still don’t know the significance of that crow, but there is something about these visions appearing to just those two. Old Gods? Weird Trees?

But all that PALES to the first coda of Daenerys story. The witch turns out to be pretty untrustworthy, as she grinds the Stallion Who Would Mount The World into poison, and pours that into Drogo’s brain, effectively destroying them both. I can’t say I can’t blame her, as the Dothraki are just not nice people, and her even tone with which she delivers all this horrible news to Daenerys is heart-draining. On the other hand, with absolutely nothing left to lose, Daenerys walks tall into her own flame-raging destiny…emerging from the ash with F’ING DRAGONS. Tiny adorable baby ones, but…okay, gonna be a stupid man for a second here…ash-covered naked Daenerys, with her dragonettes perched on her, proudly standing to a bowing ring of Dothraki warriors…HOTTEST IMAGE THIS SEASON.

So I guess that’s it for a while. Better go pick up the books.

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 Thanks for all the episode reviews, jgt. Now that it's done, what are you thoughts on the series in general? Also, are you planning to pick up the books now, or are you just going to wait a year to see how it's going to go on in season 2?

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Overall, the series is SPECTACULAR.

Setting: As with any HBO production, when they want to go all out, they will.  I love CGI as much as the next guy, but when it becomes a crutch, you end up with lack of self-control (Star Wars Prequels) or a somewhat lack of believability (Syfy's Sanctuary).  No, I am a child of the late 20th, and I still adore "On Location".  Thrones did a remarkable job creating cultures, trends, and architecture of quite a few different fictional regions, and I have to believe that even GRR Martin was impressed (maybe even a bit flattered).  I haven't seen such fantastic attention to detail since Lord of the Rings.

Characters: Everyone is well-represented, from good to amazing.  As much as any one character is drawn many different ways on cards and such, the actors inhabit their own version, and however near or far it deviates from the books, they all work beautifully together in the series.  Actors I'm supposed to like, I like (so that it STINGS so much more when they're KILLED): Ned was impressive, Arya is a delight, and Tyrion is a riot.  Actors that I'm not supposed to like, I don't, even though I KNOW I adore the performer: Robert was a tragic drunk, Jaime is an arrogant d-bag, and Viserys was a haughty whiny brat...or is that Joffrey?.  And then there are the guys that float in the gray, daring me to like or dislike them: Varys of no discernably solid agenda (as if you could trust it anyway), the Hound, brutally loyal to a mad throne but maybe Sansa's greatest ally, and Daenerys, so powerful and amazing, but so potentially devastating.

Story: Much more than I'd expected, and that was well before Ned's end.  Truly one of the best interwoven assemblage of personal stories and plots I've ever known.  So much so that some of the threads haven't even hit the main of the tapestry yet--North of the Wall, Comeback of the Dragon--implying LOOOONG SCOPE.  It takes an incredible talent to weave such a deep yet tight narrative that won't unravel if poked too hard.

 

Regarding the source material...I'm not sure.  My general philosophy is that the book is ALWAYS better than the movie.  (This has been proven on a personal level through a variety of criteria: Stephen King, Michael Crichton, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, JK Rowling.)  However, the movie is not necessarily without merit on a visual or thesbianic level; in other words, sometimes my puny brain prefers someone else's visual interpretation to my own; i.e. I wonder if my brain would have come up with an Arya as charming as Maisie Williams.

Almost every time I have gone to see a movie after having read the book, there has been some disappointment.  Every time I have read a book after seeing the movie, I have loved the book.  I think it's because I don't have to overtax my brain trying to imagine blocks of narrative text into people, places, and things, and I can just borrow the images I know in order to concentrate on plot and action.  Efficiency breeds comfort; comfort promotes appreciation.

So, in theory, if I wish to continue to enjoy the series at the same level that I currently do, I shouldn't read ahead.  But there is nothing preventing me from reading the first book now.  In fact, if I were to receive said book as a Christmas present, it would make for a great winter recap before Season 2 (and save my sister some gifting hassle for another five years gran_risa.gif).

On the other hand, if GRR Martin is that good, I may just overtake the series.  (Which surprise is better, literary or televised?)  The danger to this, however, is GRR Martin's gap between books; this is something I experienced with JK Rowling, and it annoyed me greatly.  Hopefully, the fact that there's a series will make sure that the books are indeed finished on time.  Otherwise, we end up with what happens with the anime overtakes the manga: POINTLESS ENRAGING FILLER!!!

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jgt7771 said:

Otherwise, we end up with what happens with the anime overtakes the manga: POINTLESS ENRAGING FILLER!!!

 

Naruto much? Queue the absurd side stories: "The Adventures of Tyrion and Bronn." Admittedly, I would watch the heck out of that one.

 

 

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Saturnine said:

Naruto much?

UGH.  And Bleach now.  And it would seem that the first Fullmetal Alchemist series was WAAAAY off-base.

Saturnine said:

Queue the absurd side stories: "The Adventures of Tyrion and Bronn."

"How to Train Your Dragons."

"Shopping Day for Ros."

"Samwell Cooks a Turkey."

"Joffrey Has a ZIT!  DISASTER!"

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