Report on Harington in War Horse

A reader recently went to see War Horse staring Kit Harington (aka Jon Snow) and has a report on his acting performance. In addition, she had a chance to speak with Kit after the show and was able to glean some interesting info from him regarding Game of Thrones. Take a look:

Just wanted to let you know, I was fortunate enough to see Kit Harrington in “War Horse” tonight; he was really wonderful, very expressive but understated where he needed to be. Just from what I saw, I think he can pull off Jon’s vulnerability, pride and bit of self-pity very well, without it becoming grating.

I also stuck around for an autograph after the show, and Kit could not have been nicer. We chatted for a little bit about Game of Thrones– he was really excited about the project, saying that when he found out about it, he knew he wanted to get the part. He even pulled out his copy of the book, with which he was nearly finished. Kit said he begins filming in twenty days, and that he didn’t know what they were going to do with direwolves, but he joked that he’s filling a very small acting niche of fighters with pets!

Winter Is Coming: Twenty days? That doesn’t sound right. The only reason I can think of for Harington having to get to Belfast that much earlier than the planned filming start date is maybe he needs to go through a long process of costuming and makeup and/or readings and rehearsals. Of course, it is also possible that it was just a miscommunication or misunderstanding. Very excited to learn that he is currently reading the books! Based on his earlier statement that he likes stories that are “quite dark” I expect he will enjoy them.


  • Reading GoT? That earns him so many plus points in my book. It's something I'd hope a lot of the actors wanted to do, but I know some can be funny about it. (Not wanting the books to ruin their own interpretation of the script..)

    Anyway, the more I hear about KH the better a choice he seems. Thanks for this, WiC (and whoever sent it in).

  • I would think there would be some sword training, but since the only sword play in the script is between Bran and Tommen…

    I think he'll be great as Jon Snow.

  • Thanks for the report! The fact that Kit is reading the book is great news. He's obviously "researching" his part. But I can't imagine reading it at that level–coming to the Jon chapter and knowing that you will be PLAYING this character in a TV adaptation! Reading the books like that must be a very different experience.

    I like him already. You can also see him in a few clips from this news piece about the play. From this little scene, I think Kit conveys that "intensity" that George mentioned when he was announced.

  • Elijah Woods never read LOTR before finishing the movies. I thought those books were like required reading. Maybe just The Hobbit. Good news on him taking interest in the story. Now I would like to know what Bean and Dinklage think of this project.

  • i bet you 90% of the cast so far is in the middle of reading the books. and 20 days… i would guess he is going to do a little training, some read thrus, getting into character, fittings, etc.

    my faith in hbo isn't waning (though after john from cincinnati, carnivale to an extent, the early cancelation of rome, and some of the lame comedies like eastbound and down and lucky louie, it should be).

    here's a nice link, to all the current and future programming scheduled for HBO (along with all of their past original series' as well)…

    List of Original Programs Broadcast by HBO


  • In this post an anonymous poster cited an article that said Harrington was out-acted by the puppets in the production, at which point a poster named "littleboots" said:

    Well, I'm willing to give Harrington the benefit of the doubt. I think it would be hard not to be upstaged by gigantic horse puppets. There must have been something in his audition to make them cast him in such a huge role. I guess time will tell…

    After seeing the clip that Meg posted, I can't help but echo littleboots' statement. Those puppets are completely amazing, and from what I saw Harrington was reacting to them quite naturally. It bodes well for any CGI/Puppet work that may need to happen for the wolves.

  • I'm sorry, but, Ryan, are you saying Eastbound and Down is lame?? :O

    I am so looking forward to the second season of that show, it was freaking hilarious!! And it must have done fairly well if they are bringing it back for a second season anyhow. I love Danny McBride and I love stupid stupid comedies sometimes. Again, that's a show that could not have been done on any other network (besides maybe Showtime, but not network TV) and 'succeeded' so HBO put it out and made it great. Seriously, if you haven't actually watched more than one episode of the show you should give it a chance. IMO… sorry for the rant.

    Anyway, I'm glad to see that Kit is reading the books. I wouldn't mind if some of the actors didn't want to read the series so they can come into the character fresh. But, if they are required to read the books, even better, then they can become fanboys (and girls) like us.

  • The geek side of me is pleased to hear that Jon's actor is reading the books. But I can't help but feel that the actors reading the books is a risky thing. What if they hate their own characters?

  • @nikibeans…

    yeah it's a personal thing, i just don't like that show!! i've watched three episodes and wasn't hooked. should i try more?


  • Ryan and everyone else: I like that HBO list as well. However, I read about the House of Saddam miniseries, and it's not on the list. How come? Who left it out? Isn't it HBO?

  • Ah, thanks! Well, dunno why I didn't properly look it up myself, just the list. Strange they wouldn't consider it their own, but there you go.

    I like Harington's enthusiasm, too bad he didn't have more time for questions. Perhaps he'd be the one willing to give a short interview.

  • @ryan

    Nah, I was just busting your chops. 3 episodes would probably sum that show up… Asshole dude does stupid things, is offensive, sillyness ensues…

  • Great to hear he's reading the books. Really hoping that D&D make it required reading for all of the actors … or at least strongly encourage it.

  • worth noting:

    HBO doesn't make wikipedia pages… WE DO!!

    go in there and add house of sadaam! i mean game of thrones is on there and it's a co-production with bbc right? rome too?

    anyhow, just thought it was good to see it laid out.


  • wait, elijah wood didn't read LOTR? so THAT explains why he's so one dimensional and annoying in the film? A HA!

    btw, i loved LOTR, but the scenes with frodo, esp toward the end, were grating and painful to watch at best. wood's poor accent, his wide eyed looks and play-doh grimmaces. phooey.

    anybody agree?


  • The more I hear about Harington, the more I feel excited about him playing Jon. I am equally glad to hear that he is enjoying his part and the book. It'll be great if he became a fan of the books as well! After all, you don't see that too often among actors.

    As for the clip, I also agree with the assessment that it is hard not to be upstaged by the horse puppets, since they are a kind of a rediscovered novelty for today's audience, who are so used to seeing horses either CGI or live-action. The clip briefly showed Harington's acting, which isn't much to go on, but it did make me understand as to what D&D were talking about in regards to his acting by catching a glimpse of it.

  • WiC, grrm posted a while ago on his blog, revealing Arya and Sansa's actors. How come you missed to reflect that on your blog? :)

  • @ invertebrae: I didn't find Wood's acting as grating as the script that characterized his character, particularly in the second and third film.

    But what was far more painful to watch was the character assassination done to Faramir. And then David Wenham defends & comments how he agrees w/the scriptwriters' changes and reasoning (both completely nonsensical in my opinion) WITHOUT having read the books in the first place. Oy vey.

    I really liked the recent adaptation, although I have just as much criticism for it. There were changes and cuts made that I understood due to the limitations of the medium/budget/etc. itself, but otherwise… >__<

  • HOUSE OF SADDAM was a BBC production written and produced by the BBC Drama Department. HBO contributed some funds and showed it in the USA, but didn't actually commission it.

    It's basically a reverse of the ROME/GAME OF THRONES situation, which were/are HBO productions that the BBC sticks some money in as well. HOUSE OF SADDAM is a BBC production that HBO put some money into. I'm not sure it would be quite legitimate to say it's 'a HBO production'.

  • @em
    Peter Jackson and co-writer Philippa Boyens have already acknowledge that they take the wrong course on Faramir's character, and that they'd change many of his part in the movie if they could.

    That makes me wonder what, if any, would be the parts and characters that would be modified or outright deleted in the translation between book and TV series? Which minor character will dissappear, which scenes will be cut off, which lines will be spoken by a different character at a different moment? I'm talking here about minor changes, the ones we are SURE it will happen.


  • @Adam

    see? that's why we have you here!! heheh. good insights. see wikipedia, we the democracy of encyclopediadom, are not so fallable as it may seem on the surface.

    but the only show on that page that matters would obviously be fraggle rock.

    and davey, as funny as your joke is, boober from fraggle rock would make a much better hound than your stinking elmo!



  • @ Daniel/Caedes

    It wouldn't suprise me if a whole host of minor characters simply never get named. I'm thinking the Stark household especially when talking about the pilot.

    Equally, they could completely get rid of the Stokeworth's and to some extent Lord Gyles. They might have an old guy coughing, but an actual named/lined character? Doubtful imo.

    I'd also do away with 'Ser' Dontos and how drawn out that was, that could quite easily be truncated.

  • @ Daniel: That's very interesting that they said that, after so vigorously justifying the changes. What made them change their minds? Or rather, do you have a link or something? Thanks for the info, btw. :)

    "the ones we are SURE it will happen."
    I remember that Jon's and Robb's lines in the beheading scene were switched in the leaked pilot script. I found that change particularly puzzling, seeing as how the original lines (for Jon and Robb in the book) were consistent with their respective characterizations.

  • @em: I think it's being said in the very extras of the DVD collector's edition of The Two Towers. Basically they argue that they cannot make Faramir disregard the Ring altogether, for it will greatly diminish its presence on the film, but accept that many of his part was nearly ad-libbed, and they would make it in another way now.

    I didn't remember that switch! good one, as it happens right in the pilot.
    That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about.


    I also think it would be better in the case of GOT to have the actors read the books, especially since things will have to be left out.
    If Sean Bean doesn't know that he (maybe) is not Jon Snow's father, it might make a difference.
    Same for Coster-Waldau… He should know where he's going.
    BUT as millions and millions of people has read the series, why shouldn't they already have read it and maybe rejoiced at the opportunity to star in the series?

  • @wabawanga

    exactly! There's so much knowledge in the figures! Things that has to be written on their faces from time to time for a TV audience.
    Otherwise the whole thing will be lacking suspense.
    There has to be a constant thread of "it's not what it seems" hanging about the scenes.

  • @Adam: Thanks for the detailed explanation. I glimpsed indications of that on Wikipedia, but nothing more.

    @Ryan: Wasn't complaining, just asking for reasons why it's not included from people better informed. I trusted the list, which seemed detailed and up-to-date. And I sure know Wikipedia can be edited by anyone.

  • Rehearsals, training with sword and maybe horse if he's not a good enough rider yet. Costumes, hair and make-up tests can take some time until they get a look they like. It would be normal for a role like this. Also, a lot depends on how much rehearsal McCarthy likes to do. Some directors do very little, some like to do enough that when going on set it's not unlike doing a play – everybody knows there lines cold. McCarthy, being an actor himself, might put more emphasis on this part of the process than most.

  • I actually received this email on 8/11 (was a lot going on with all the casting speculation at the time, didn't want the post to get lost in the shuffle), so that means that if the 20 days is correct. Harington should be showing up in Belfast on Monday! That is exciting!

  • Would that not put it before the GRRM annoucnement that it was getting bumped two weeks? Meaning Kit wouldn't be there until 14/9….?

  • Legion: That is possible. It is also possible that they are having the actors get there the originally scheduled day and just giving them an extra two weeks for rehearsals, training, costuming, etc.

  • Also, just as an aside, being that it would be SOOOOOOOOOOO obvious, if R+L=J, I will be really annoyed.

    I actually prefer the idea that Eddard was just that little bit flawed. I know i'm in the serious minority here.


  • @Non-Anon

    In response to your question – What if they hate their own characters?

    Actors don't need to like their characters to play them. Honestly, who in their right mind would actually like someone like, say Cersei? If actors only played roles of people they liked movies would probably never have villians in them. Most actors enjoy slipping into a new persona, and enjoy the challenge of making a character – good or bad – come to life.

    By the way – I'm "littleboots"

  • @legion

    I'm in that minority with you. I think the real clue is in the tale of the Knight of the Laughing Tree that Meera tells to Bran. Remember that this is a story that Ned never shared with his children.

  • Gendry sort of supports the hidden plotline of an R+L=J reveal.

    What is overwhelming about ASoIaF is the number of potential heirs to the throne, makes everything so damn complicated!!! it's like 30 football teams marching on to the field, and then all of the sudden some terrible ghost creatures with super footballing powers come in to throw the whole thing off, and one of the teams has dragons who are even better at football than the crazy ghost monsters of course.


  • Wow! This Kit is AWESOME. I l0ve how he's reading the AGOT! That is totally rad. That he likes dark things is OK, I guess–we can't be perfect. I am sooooo glad they found him though. We are so lucky! I hope he likes puppies and kittens. I'm so excited, I puked a little and it tasted sweet! Wow, this guy is like the next Tom Cruise! They need to put him in underwear commercials asap, while he's still cheap!


    I am not sure who Elijah Wood is, but Frodo was amazing in LOTR. He is who he is! It's okay if you don't like Frodo. You can't like everyone.

  • @Davey

    You're better than Barney from "How I met your mother!"
    I love you! Do you want to be my Hound?

  • @ Everything R+L=J

    It's not so obvious to normal readers, you know, it's obvious to psycho-fangirls/boys like us, who read those books like other people read the Bible.

  • @Jenny

    R+L=J is fairly obvious to anyone who actually pays attention to what they're reading. I don't think you have to be a psycho-fangirl/boy to pick up on it.

    Personally, I kinda hope it turns out not to be so, because Martin has managed to surprise me continually throughout the series, and that revelation just wouldn't be much of a surprise.

  • I agree R+L=J was obvious, since I picked up on it and a lot of other stuff I missed. If it's true, it won't be a surprise. But if it's not true.. there's so many clues that GRRM would have a lot of explaining to do.
    Still, if anyone can produce a twist that will make us all bang our heads and wonder why we never saw it's GRRM.

  • Megumi, I would also say that even if R+L=J were GRRM's original intention, when the theory got widespread he may have decided to change the reveal so that everyone *is* surprised.

    Of course, such a drastic change would have required a lot of revisions if he wanted everything to remain internally consistent, possibly delaying the publication of…hey waitaminute!

  • I guess, R+L=J but with a very unpleasant story behind it. Like R cutting it out of L's womb or something "promise me Ned".

  • I think the R+L=J is obvious too. But I think it is the storyline of Sam and Gilly and the baby that supports in more than Gendry. J being a bastard means nothing, it has already been shown that bastards can be made legit.

    The bigger issue is he is Lord Commander of the Nights Watch now and the only way I see him getting out of it is if the Nights Watch is no longer needed for some reason.

    That being said, I do like the idea of R_L=J being a Red Herring and GRRM will pull something even better out of the hat.

  • @Jenny

    Gendry being a bastard as well, via Baratheon blood. I see parallels in their characters, Jon and Gendry, and the way they are characterized to know they are bastard born but not be 100% who they belong to.

    Make sense?


  • My nutbar theory of the day is Theon is a BaraTHEON…but i have nothing to back that up…

    and I'm not a troll, just really bored/frustrated at work…

  • While R+L=J might not come as a suprise to some of us, I do think that at least 50% of the book's casual readers didn't pick up this theory the first time around. I didn't really notice it until I re-read the series in one lump. Also, don't you think it would be exciting to finally learn all of the backstory behind this if it is true? I think that's just as good as being suprised by GRRM. Although I'm sure there are plenty more suprises.

  • I think the R+L=J theory is the most believed of all the theories.

    Other I have heard include otherR+L=J, HR+L=J, Ed+AD=J and perhaps the most disturbing, Ed+L=J!!

  • @ legion

    Ahh!! Where did you hear ED+L=J?? Whoever thought of that is sick. Although I guess we are no strangers to incest in this series.

  • Other than Ed+L=J (which just freaks me the heck out) HR+L=J is least likely in my mind, and i'm not sure why. I guess it's plausible. I just want HR to show up so he can tell us what's going on.

    (Way off topic: anyone know of good Anne of Green Gables Fan Sites? I am getting nowhere fast…)

  • GRRM has to follow up at least one or two of his leads, otherwise it's would all turn out to be pretentious. Sacrificing a perfect plot for an unpredictable but weaker one would be just stupid.

    He can't just kill everybody and make nothing happen, at some point his readers will not forgive him any longer.

  • @ Jenny

    Whatever lead he follows, all he needs to do is make it plausible. And, he could kill everyone if he wanted to if it was for good reason. I bet you a lot more people are going to die. But SPOILER those that have survived so far when they could have easily died probably still have some purpose to serve in the future (i.e. Gendry, and all of the POVs that exist, lol).

  • With all the people theorizing and talking about R+L=J, GRRM is probably just going to kill J. Way to go guys, way to go. You've given J a death sentence… :)

  • @Jenny

    I'm not saying he has to sacrifice plot at all. And who's to say if he has a plot that turns out to be something besides R+L=J that it would be weaker? Just because everyone seems to like R+L=J doesn't mean it's the best (or even right – it's all speculation at this point). If R+L=J, fine, but I'm not going to bet any money on it.

    I will laugh my head off if he leaves it unresolved leaving us all to question it endlessly like The Lady, or the Tiger? story. :P

  • @Megumi
    While I recognise that it is fairly obvious when you extract the specific references to R+L=J, in my opinion you can enjoy the books as much, if not more, by not "paying attention to what you're reading". I am content to drift through a book while I'm reading it, which means not inspecting it or "paying attention" as you say. Once I reflected in my obsession about DwD it was obvious but I didn't really care before hand. The book wasn't written to be obsessed over, it was written to be read as a story, and in that sense it is not obvious. But kudos, you're probably just a bit quicker off the bat than me.

    Nice news about Kit. I reckon they're all reading it though. The books and nothing but the books contain every aspect their characters. I think it would be unprofessional not to read at least GoT. I'd say they'll all become massive fanboys/girls like us and start obsessing about the whole thing.

    I just thought of a great image. Sean Bean drops to his knees, his face contorted in despair as he reads of Arya being dragged away from the Sept by Yoren and Sansa screaming in rapture. "WHY? MARTIN, WHY?!?"

    I couldn't read that bit the second time round. Had to skip it. In know that later on in the book you naturally lose your affection for Ned because of his naivety, but damn it! at the time its like they're killing your Dad or something. Of course Bean knows he is gonna die before he reads it so it might have less impact.

    Minor point, I agree mostly. Trying to accommodate the amount of characters with minor lines would make many scenes and story lines convoluted. Descriptions suffice in the book to add depth and fullness to dynamic mental imagery. But TV is a different medium with different means and methods of enthralling it's audience. So characters will be removed where they are unnecessary and only serve the reader, not the watcher. So that is what I agree with.

    What I don't agree with is getting rid of the Stokeworths. My favourite character is Bronn and his battle with Cersei revolves around them. What one could do is remove Oakheart's part in capturing Myrcella, which was a dull enough chapter until Areo Hotah takes control. Areo Hotah, what a legend! Although Arianne would get less screen time so if her character gets developed in DwD that might not be good.

    Anyway, I ramble. Just sayin', I reckon that every fanboy/girl is gonna get pissed off at one change or another that effects our respective favourite characters more than the plot as a whole. I don't think they'll do anything as drastic as that Faramir debacle because of one major factor. RR Tolkien is dead but RR Martin is alive. He wouldn't let them hurt his baby.

    And who is HR by the way?

  • Let's hope……..

    On an unrelated and yet related note, who do we think the new POV character in Dance is going to be from the 2 options we have?

  • @ Mozart

    Unless Bronn oes on to do something, his minor fued with Cersei could be cut tbh, not needed and not currently gone anywhere.

    And HR = Howland Reed

  • OH no way! I just realised who HR is! No way! HR you dogg! Didn't think of that, but I think it would be a crowd pleaser.

  • Yeah I know Bronn's major input could be cut, which I think would suck because he is my favourite character. I'd even go as far to say that if the whole place went to the dogs and Bronn got his keep and his retarded wife, and killed the suckling babe so as to create his own blood line I'd be chuffed. I love a self-made man.

    So I reckon every fanboy/girl will have a moment like that at one point or another.

  • Another princess was made the queen of love and beauty but that's another, much darker story…

    (not quoted, just out of my mind, so it's not word perfect)

  • Bronn's a great character, but once he leaves Tyrion's side I was happy to hear he still had a role in the story, 'off page' so to speak, but it could just me mentioned he's gone off and married someone, doesn't need to mention who.

    Then again, they may keep the Stokeworth's around as they at least give some life to the court and the Lloys rape could be pretty shocking even by HBO TV standards

  • Personally I hope the R + L = J theory is the one, mostly so i can call him


    Jonny T


  • also, jon has been described as looking like a stark too many times for a stark to not be at LEAST (yuk!) one of the parents.


  • Yeah, ryan, that article is a very good one.

    I don't like the jumps it supposses in guessing where people are, but it goes come to the most logical answer, that being that R+L=J.

    I just don't like it cos it seems so obvious, but then it's almost so obvious you don't want to believe it, making it less likely and thus likely all over again.

    The only thing that makes me doubt that he is is because the Stark genes seem quite weak – look at everyone that isn't Arya – yet Jon looks more Stark than anyone and doesn't even have Targaryen eyes/hair, which seems to be an almost constant.

    GRRM will eventually tell us. Hopefully.

  • @ legion

    totally agree, Jon doesnt look Targaryen at all. There'd be a hint of silver or violet, wouldn't there?
    Adara was very dark though… maybe it was Rhaegar who had an affaire with Adara… and since Rhaegar chose L over her, she jumped off etc–
    Jon is the son of Adara's secret twin who went to the Wall to become Jeor Mormant.

  • Well, Rhaegar must have been totally it, really really bad.
    Even Cersei wanted him much more than she wanted Jaime…
    He must've been some kind of Edward Cullen meets Tokyo Hotel meets Bret Michaels


  • @legion

    arya is a stark through and through. bran too i believe.

    i don't buy the weak genes. besides, if GRRM makes a descriptive parallel between jon and starks, would be improper to be "fooling us" don't you think?


  • The weak genes thing though is such a big part of the Baratheon storyline and took us no where other than some incest.

    It seems to be something that is a running storyline – stronger genes means your kids look a certain way. Arya was always upset cos her siblings looked more Tully, Cersei's kids look Lannister, Robert's bastards look Bartheon and Dany and Viserys looked Targaryen, as did Aemon as a child and his brothers as seen in Hedgeknight stories, they always have either the silver hair or the purple eyes or both.

    Jon has none of this and looks very Stark. It could simply be that Rheager's genes were weaker than Lyanna's, but I dunno……seems too obvious.

    But, as GRRM says, sometimes a rose simply is a rose – maybe it really is that obvious!

  • For some reason though, I must admit, I kept picturing the young Bret Michaels as Jaime Lannister, back in the days…
    Jaime and Cersei were like this to me.

    Okay, I'll shut up and go to bed… I'm running wild here.

  • @Ryan

    I agree. Another genetic thing to keep in mind is that the Targ all seem to have similar features, but also tend to breed with each other.

  • Maybeeeee…. Jon Stark is the REAL son of Elia and Rhaegar…
    Maybe Ned exchanged some other child (Adara's and his own) to save the Targaryen heir from just what Gregor did… because Lyanna, loving Rhaegar, asked him to do so.
    Am I getting it right?

  • And it would explain Adara's suicide.

    (Sorry for splitting messages again. Am drugged on some weird poison, duhuh, to free my sinuses).

  • @ legion
    Nono, I'm going to be right, you'll see.
    It's the avoided sacrifice again…
    Just a little bit of history repeating… rrrr.

  • That would still make Jon a Targ. and it's that that i'm against if im honest and thus why I tend to look at other theories!

  • No reason to think Jon isn't a Targaryen. When was they last time they had child that wasn't a product of incest? Who knows how strong their gene pool is in comparison? Being Dany's half brother makes more sense in light of history than being her nephew especially if they are going to team up to save Westeros from itself.

    By the way, WIC, can you adjust the spell check so that it accepts names and places from the series?

  • Wait a second — who's Rhaella? Now I am getting all confused. I get the Ned/Ashara argument (although I don't buy it) and the Ned/Wylla argument is garbage to me.

  • I just like the idea that Dany is the last Targ. and that she can save the place on her own after everything she has been through.

    Throwing Jon in seems to take away from everything she has worked towards, and everything he has done to make himself more than a name.

  • @ gofalcons…

    since I always thought of pictured Jon and Dany would end up together, maybe they can't be brother and sister, although Targs wouldn't mind, I don't think Jon would go for it.
    In 2020 we will find out, I gather.

  • @Legion

    I actually think Dany not being the last Targ makes the story line all more of a kick in the balls. She has this idea and picture that she is the last one, the Targ that was "promised" — but maybe she's not?? Maybe she never was??

  • Solamente – Brother's son is you nephew

    Plain Jane – Rhaella is the mother of Dany, Rhaegar, and Viserys.

  • Were getting in some serious "The Bold and the Beautiful" spheres.

    Because the brother's sister whovwas actually the sister's uncle and the aunt's father, turned out to be the grandmothers cocker spaniel.

  • @ PlainJane

    The only person that kicks in the balls is Dany and makes her entire story utterly useless.

    I don't particularly like her, but to do that……i could imagine GRRM having rioters at his gates

  • @ Legion

    I don't think Dany not being the last Targ makes her story useless? I still think she is going to be next "Aegon the Conqueror" and bring her dragons over and defeat the Others.

  • I actually think Dany not being the last Targ makes the story line all more of a kick in the balls. She has this idea and picture that she is the last one, the Targ that was "promised" — but maybe she's not?? Maybe she never was??

    When put the way you put it, it really does make her useless. You thought you were the saviour, but it aint you, it's this bloke in black whose entire story has been about finding himself, and now that he has found himself as a member of the Nights Watch and their commander, he finds he is something completely different. I just don't like it.

    Maybe that's just me though

  • @All
    It is Ashara, isn't it? Not Adara. I thought "Adara" is just what Robert calls her to Ned cos he is such a dogg that he forgot her name. Ashara Dayne, wasn't it?

  • Jenny, a couple people have mentioned that. It was suggested by others that wolves don't go "woof" so that's probably not the answer.

    I'd add that the question is whether D&D think that direwolves go "woof," even if they don't.

    Still, I'm very much leaning towards the Hound at this point. I'm wondering if they're going to wait until they have enough people for another big cast announcement like last time.

  • If the "classic" theory of R+L=J is true, I think its interesting that Dany, Jon, and Tyrion all had mothers who died giving birth to them. Don't know what that means for their characters, but I love picking up on patterns like that.

    Speaking of "shocking even for HBO," I think if they have Craster's Keep in the show, that's gonna be a gross-out fest. Of course, if the series gets that far, by then the audience may be used to incest and just shrug it off!

  • @Jenny
    Considering the fact that we know there is movement and progress in Belfast and we don't know what that progress consists in, that would be pretty likely. It is an important part of the pilot and the fact that we are pretty certain, from different links and reports, that GoT will get picked up for a series at least, that means it wouldn't be a waste of funds to bull straight into the expensive CGI.

    But I'd still say it was The Hound because he is a priority casting given his prominence in the books. I bet he'll be even more of a favourite on tele than in the books.

    My 2c

  • @Meg
    I don't reckon Caster's keep well be better received than the Lannister's playing Mammy and Daddy in the barn, or fuck-buddies. And Dany being the product of incest is a bit worse. Not that I care, but having the heroine as the product of incest, and the fact that Jaime is supposed to be a kind of anti-hero as his character develops is gonna be… contentious, to say the least. Although Caster is a sick F@*K, at least the author doesn't expect you to like him. So that just makes it humorously palatable.

  • @Jenny

    HBO could just merge shows, and inside Craster's Keep we discover the Mormon family of Big Love!

    @The Rest a You's

    The more I think of it on face value, the more I can ONLY accept that Jon is half Stark. As for the other half? He WOULD look Targaryen IMO if R+L=J were true. That bloodline is too strong.

    GRRM might have left it open to explore later but I have a feeling he knew going into book one the back stories of all of his principle characters, including Jon.



  • This is my theory:
    There are three dragons, there are three heirs to the throne, there are three Targ:

  • "On an unrelated and yet related note, who do we think the new POV character in Dance is going to be from the 2 options we have?"

    Last time I checked we were down to one:

    GRRM said it was one of the three characters Valyrian Resin were depicting: Sandor, Melisandre or Loras.

    He then said that Sandor isn't in ADWD, which makes sense as it happens simultaneously with AFFC, and Sandor's in AFFC (sort of).

    Someone then asked him if we see Loras and Margaery in ADWD. He said they'd be back later, but neither are in Book 5.

    So that leaves us with a choice of one ;-)

  • @ryan
    No way the Targ bloodline is that strong. Centuries of inbreeding leaves them with mostly recessive genes. Then the healthy, strong Starks come along and totally flounce that. I do realise that the genetic laws of Westeros don't have to work like our real world ones but still.. I think it's perfectly feasible for R+L=J and Jon to still look like a Stark.

    Also – Dany as the last Targaryen swooping in and saving them all, is about the worst plot development I could imagine. (I'm not a fan). So I'd be happy for there to be another Targaryen to bring her down to earth. (Though it's likely Jon might simply join up with her, which also wouldn't be very exciting for me :P)

  • The dragon has three heads.
    Dragons react to Targaryen blood only.
    There was that one mercenary guy who got along with the dragons.

  • When it says the Dragon has three heads, I assumed it just meant someone has three dragons, like Dany.

    Didn't see it like there were three Targs. left. Oh well, we shall see. Either way i'm not going to be happy when Dany shows up to kill off and ruin the plans of all the people i've grown to like

  • @Meg- I think that has to be included, as Gilly and her baby are important to the story.

    @Jenny- I think it's more likely to be the Hound, but I'm interested to find out how they will deal with the direwolves. I'm hoping a particularly large breed of wolf/dog cross would be suitable, as I'd rather see real animals if possible. Certainly at least the pups could be real.

    Personally I don't like the R+L=J theory as I think Ned would have told Catelyn. I imagine she'd be understanding of the situation if that were the case, rather more so than tolerating her husband's lovechild.

    I'm hoping at least some of the prophecy and symbolism elements turn out to be bunk- the story works best when it's being unpredictable and, well, realistic. It's a normal, standard story to suggest that a young man would successfully avenge his father's death, get his sword back and use it to kill the person responsible. In the real world, war is nasty and messy, and just because your Dad was someone important doesn't mean you won't die. Do we really expect things to play out as expected, and finish with Dany and two others riding dragons into battle, re-conquering Westeros and wherever else they like, turning out to be really good rulers, Winterfell back in Stark hands, the wights defeated, peace with the wildlings, Riverrrun returned to the Tullys and Brienne sets up a ladies' battle school with Arya as star pupil? That would be a let down in my opinion. Just because it's prophesised doesn't mean it's right. I'd expect a lot will turn out to be right, but not in a simple manner, and I hope at least some of it will turn out to be wrong.

    I'm rather expecting something more interesting. If one of the dragons is killed, would Dany give up because she considers the number three important, or would she go to plan B, the dragon now has two heads? We never got a good explanation for *why* it should be three.

    I may well be in the minority on this, but I'm expecting and hoping for something unguessable.

  • @gernikai
    Rhaegar could still have a true born son off Elia Martell. If they switched the babies to protect the airs then that would be a good motivation for Ashara Dayne to kill herself once Tywin had set his dogs on Elia, and Doran would still have a good reason to seek revenge for Elia. Then R+L=J still holds but GRRM could be preparing to develop a new character in the remaining books to take up the third head. Tyrion could be a red herring. I know there are good reasons to think he is a Targ.

  • Tyrion is never in a million years a Targ.

    Edric could be one, something odd has always struck me about Pod, but the maths doesnt work out there (i just like him and want him to be someone).

    Or maybe no one is a Targ except Dany and she will just let others ride her dragons regardless of family. Everyone is off to find her after all, someone from Dorne, the Iron Islands and so on.

  • @shinyteapot
    No to Dany riding in, yes to the Starks in winterfell, yes to the wights defeated, no to Brienne running battle school. Obviously Jaime has to fall in love with her and they live happily ever after :P
    Seriously, though – I completely agree. The fantastic thing about this series is that underlying thread of realism within a fantasy realm. Just because something's in a prophecy or said in the House of the Undying, doesn't mean it *has* to be true. Fortunately, with GRRM the series is in safe hands and I'm sure he'll continue to surprise us. I just hope it's not an all too depressing end, either..

  • Does Harringon realize that he is the most important character in the show?

    At least that's how I see Jon. I'd put him as 1A and Danny as 1B. Personally I also see them as title characters with the Ice and Fire referring both to Jon and Dany and to Others and Dragons.

  • @Paul
    Yeah Jon is most definitely the character given the most attention, along with Dany. Most POVs are there for perspective. They view what GRRM wants us to view, and their characters serve to tint everything, to miss some glaring aspects things in their environments, leaving the reader to read through their thoughts, and into the subtle facts that he slips into place when we are following what the POV attends to. But Jon and Dany are both way outside Westeros and most of what they encounter specifically concerns them, as opposed to being relevant to the events of Westeros. Whether that means Jon 'finding himself' or Dany 'fulfilling her destiny', there is an element of Narcisism to their missions that is beyond even Tyrion's chapters. Arya, Sansa, Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei, Davos, etc. are more spectators that carry the plot than either Jon or Dany.

  • Well, hello everyone.

    I don't actually read any of the ASoIaF-related fora (and am still in the middle of ASoS), only the news, but this sweet little tidbit made me want to check the comments and now I just feel the need to chime in that I picked up on R+L=J on my own during ACoK and I do (want to) believe that GRRM is a better author than to throw out a major plot reveal just because – surprise! – people actually pick up on his clues. Therefore I find some of your comments rather disturbing. That said, if it's really a red herring (yummy on dark bread, btw.) that's fine by me, but by now I honestly can't imagine any other parentage than the L and one of the two R's making sense. And judging from the comments here I take it the leads grow ever more so, so… yeah.


  • He WOULD look Targaryen IMO if R+L=J were true. That bloodline is too strong.

    No, it's not. The distinctive Targaryen coloring persists because of their practice of incest. Read "The Hedge Knight" again — you'll notice that when the Targaryens intermarry with other bloodlines, the resulting children often don't have the characteristic silver hair and violet or lavender eyes. Neither Baelor Breakspear nor his son Valarr had the Targaryen look — they inherited the darker hair and eyes of Baelor's Dornish mother. Maekar's oldest son, Daeron, also had brown hair. Of Aegon IV the Unworthy's Great Bastards, only Daemon Blackfyre (whose mother was also a Targaryen, Aegon's cousin Daena) had both the Targaryen hair and eyes; Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers had purple eyes but black hair, Shiera Seastar had silver hair but one blue and one green eye, and Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers was an albino, with white hair and red eyes. Robert Baratheon's paternal grandmother was a Targaryen princess, too, but Robert and his brothers all retained the Baratheon black hair and eyes, and it's at least implied that their father did as well.

    This is realistic, as genes for dark hair and eye coloration are typically dominant, while those for blonde or red hair and light eye colors are typically recessive. A child with one blonde and one dark-haired parent can be blonde, but that usually means that the dark-haired parent was heterozygous, and passed on his or her recessive gene for blonde hair, rather than its alternate allele which made his or her own hair dark. The same goes for other light colors, which could explain how Ned and Catelyn produced at least three children with Tully coloring (Arya looks like a Stark, and as far as I can recall we're never told Rickon's hair and eye color).

    There are just too many clues in the first book that Jon was Lyanna's son ("Lyanna in her bed of blood" paired with Mirri Maz Duur's "secrets of the bloody bed," Ned's promises, plural, to his sister and what they cost him, Ned's absolute refusal to explain anything about Jon's mother, etc.) for me to believe differently, and in that case the only possible father who makes any sense is Rhaegar.

    I just don't like it.

    Most of us didn't much like the Red Wedding, either; that didn't stop it from happening. Anyway, if Jon's a Targaryen, he's an illegitimate one, unless Rhaegar married Lyanna – Aegon the conqueror, at least, practiced bigamy as well as incest, so it's not entirely implausible, and it could be related to what Rhaegar meant by "there must be one more… the Dragon has three heads." Aside from his possible bastardy, Jon is also sworn to the Watch. The only way he's likely to figure in the succession would be if Daenerys decides to release him from his vows and legitimize him, which I think she'd only do if she was also going to marry him to restore the Targaryen dynasty. And that scenario assumes they both survive the final battle against the Others. I wouldn't bet much on that, Martin being Martin….

  • @twincast
    I say this as a lover or the books that wants everybody to get the same enjoyment she did from the series but – Beware Spoilers :S You may want to be careful of just how much of the comments you read. Having said that, some people seem to be good with labelling their spoilers. Guess that just means I have to remember to be quite as good too!

  • @ entomologist

    I'll hope for one of them, or both of them, to die then. I dislike the seemingly dues ex machina ending of 'drgons fly in, dragons win' and 'Dany finds lovely brother who was secret all along.'

    I can see them both happening, and I'm sure i'll LOVE it when i read it. I just dont like it now.

  • Also, I agree with entomologist. Just because most of us have guessed R+L=J, that's no good reason for it not to be true. It's all very well having twists but they have to serve a purpose (other than to merely shock us).

    At this point, I don't think it would make sense for anything other than R+L=J to be true. Who knows.. Maybe GRRM wanted us to guess it. Maybe Jon will kill Dany and since we'll have guessed they're related (even if it hasn't been explicitly stated in the books), it'll impact us more. Very unlikely, but possible.

  • @Jo

    Well, that's one of the reasons I stay clear.

    I'm just looking for links, mostly.

    I was SPOILED about the… shady royal death months before finally starting the books, but still didn't expect it the moment it actually happened (due to having forgotten the details).

    I had a minor spoilerholic breakdown near the end of AGoT because of which I have regrettable knowledge about the Red Wedding and un-Cat, but no use crying over spilt milk.

    Some other cryptic tidbits I've come across, but aside from two disfigurements (Loras & Jaime) I don't expect to remember them (other than having a confirmation on some characters' survival up to now). And just as was the case with Renly the actual moment will surely creep unto me totally out of the blue.

  • @ Jo
    "No way the Targ bloodline is that strong. Centuries of inbreeding leaves them with mostly recessive genes. Then the healthy, strong Starks come along and totally flounce that. I do realise that the genetic laws of Westeros don't have to work like our real world ones but still.. I think it's perfectly feasible for R+L=J and Jon to still look like a Stark."

    Not entirely how genes work… Inbreeding wouldn't favor recessive genes, it would just keep any ones that happen to be around within a small pool, making them more likely than if interbreeding occured. Dominant genes wouldn't be weeded out at all. That said, light blond hair of the type the Targaryens have would probably be the result of a gene for no hair pigment. This makes it recessive by default. Considering that violet eyes seem to be mostly associated with Targaryens, and that after a lengthy rule by that house a few kings would be expected to have fathered a lot of bastards, we can probably assume that the eyes are also not dominant. The only reason it was a smoking gun for Joff et al to have Lannister features is that Robert was a man-whore, so we had a whole lot of examples of his genes trouncing those of others. With Ned, we just know Catelyn's have beaten his out roughly half the time. Whether Stark genes would tend to be more dominant than Targaryen genes remains to be seen, and we only need it to have happened once.

    As for Jon being a Targaryen, as has already been said, no matter what, 1. He's still a bastard 2. He's Lord Commander of the Night's Watch (And has a strong streak of that pesky Stark honor). The only way I see him becoming king or anything is if the Others are soundly defeated, lasting peace is achieved with the Wildlings, and Dany dies. Granted, the case could be made that in Westeros, a male bastard might trump a legitimate female, but I don't see Jon challenging a wise and just ruler, which Dany seems to be so far.

    As for "obviousness", I didn't really pick up on the Lyanna thing at all until finding it mentioned on the internet. There are some decent clues, but they're spaced reasonably far apart, and there's certainly nothing conclusive, even if you do read the books five times each. If it were really "too obvious" we'd know it for sure already, and wouldn't be talking about it. Foreshadowing is a good thing. This is why nobody likes M. Night Shyamalan anymore.

  • Personally I don't like the R+L=J theory as I think Ned would have told Catelyn. I imagine she'd be understanding of the situation if that were the case, rather more so than tolerating her husband's lovechild.

    She probably would, but Ned vowed to Lyanna on her deathbed that he wouldn't tell anyone the truth of Jon's parentage. Remember, at that time Ned barely knew Catelyn – they'd been wedded, but they had very little time together before Ned went off to Dorne. By the time he knew her well enough to trust that she'd keep the secret, he'd already been deceiving her for some time about Jon's origins, and his iron sense of honor combined with his love for his sister would have prevented him from revealing the truth. If nothing else, there would be too much risk that Catelyn's reaction to learning Ned had lied to her might lead to her inadvertantly spilling something. Even her deciding to be kinder to Jon would have been a risk; Robert would have had Jon killed if he'd so much as suspected that he might be the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna.

    'dragons fly in, dragons win' and 'Dany finds lovely brother who was secret all along.'

    Nephew, actually, not brother. And I don't think it will be as easy as "deus ex machina" generally implies; while dragons may be a crushing advantage over ordinary human armies, I suspect that dragons (and dragonstone and valyrian steel weapons) against the full might of the Others will be, at best, an even fight. It's at least as likely that Jon and/or Dany die in that fight as it is that they live happily ever after. It would be very much in keeping with Jon's characterization thus far for him to heroically sacrifice himself in the final battle to protect Dany and enable her to ultimately win said battle. She might only find out afterward, probably from Howell Reed, that Jon was Rhaegar's son.

  • Oh, and @Shinyteapot, Eddard not telling Catelyn is pretty easily explained. Lyanna, knowing the Targaryan house is being taken down, makes her brother promise not to tell ANYONE her child's parentage. Ned does so, and we all know how Ned is.

  • "It's all very well having twists but they have to serve a purpose (other than to merely shock us)."
    Never were there truer words spoken. If George did end up changing R+L=J just because his geeky fans guessed it, I'll be disappointed in him. As entomologist has explained quite well @ 7:55, there isn't any other theory (for me) that makes as logical sense and holds important purposes. And even though it may be anti-climatic for some of the fans if that theory turns out to be correct, I'd be more interested in seeing how George handles the characters' reactions and the plot afterwards. And I doubt it will end cheerfully with legitimized!Jon and Dany ruling marvelously together. George promises that the ending will be bittersweet. I think he'll be able to satisfy his readers in that.

  • @Demokritos
    I'm not entirely sure where you're disagreeing with me. Yes, I spoke about genes in a round about (and very unscientific) way but I was just trying to make a general point in response to ryan's comment, which was..

    'The more I think of it on face value, the more I can ONLY accept that Jon is half Stark. As for the other half? He WOULD look Targaryen IMO if R+L=J were true. That bloodline is too strong.'

    And I said the bloodline isn't strong. If we're agreed their silver hair and violet eyes are most likely recessive traits, and the Stark's dark hair is most likely dominant, then not only is it feasible – but it's also likely – that the Stark's dominant genes would win out. And Jon would look like a Stark.

  • Yeah, sorry about that. Started with the small disagreement and then rambled off elsewhere. I do that.

  • @Jo:

    Even if two people agree on a conclusion, if one person's reasoning is flawed, the other person should (courteously) correct the first. The premise of one of your arguments (inbreeding will cause them to have mostly recessive genes) was incorrect, therefore Demokritos corrected you. That doesn't require (him?) to disagree with your concluding opinion.

  • @Aoede & Demokritos
    Yeah, I just realised how badly expressed that first line was. (Centuries of inbreeding leaves them with mostly recessive genes). I actually meant that it leaves them more likely to exhibit recessive phenotypes e.g. silver hair.

    You made a perfectly legitimate correction. I don't mind being corrected, I was just genuinely curious what was being disputed.

    @ everybody else.
    Sorry for turning it into science class :P

  • Science is phun :D


    …yay, fantasy.

  • @Em

    I can't see GRRM changing the plot just because some of the readers may have guessed it. That would just be silly. We have 3 more books to go – there is still a lot of information that we could be given between now and then. R+L=J, while being the most likely scenario, isn't necessarily the final solution. I'm not going to get mad if it is, nor do I think GRRM has to shock us all the time, but I think one should be able to keep an open mind about it.

    As far as the whole Dany & Jon thing go… At this point in the story, I think it would be kinda nice to see Dany get taken down a peg or two. So to have her not be the last Targ would suit me fine. I don't think it renders her useless either – she's the one with the dragons after all. She still has a part to play in this story, whether or not she is the last Targ.

    And just a gut feeling – I don't see both of them living to see the end of the series. I think one or both will have to go.

  • From "Not A Blog:"

    Meanwhile, off across the water, casting continues. The latest auditions I have screened were for "Nameless Eunuch" and "Red-Heared Whore." (Remember, there are no small parts. Red-Headed Whore has a great line). Only one part has been filled since the Secret Seven were announced, but I expect to hear about more castings Real Soon Now.

  • Okay, make that probably not.

    "The phrase "real soon now" (RSN, often capitalized as "Real Soon Now"), originally used in the science fiction fanzine community, was popularised by Jerry Pournelle's "Chaos Manor" column in BYTE magazine. RSN is described as:

    * supposed to be accomplished real soon now according to somebody, but the speaker is quite skeptical. In this sense, when spoken, the vowel in real is drawn out: "reeeeal soon now".
    * when one's gods, fates, or other time commitments permit one to get to it (in other words, don't hold your breath).
    * frequently used to mean "soon, possibly never."

  • looks like i'm not as up on my genetics as i should be =)

    all i am really saying is that i believe whole heartedly that one of his parents was a stark. as for the other half, we'll find out.

    Real Soon Now >>>>

    Ray Stevenson's Next

    uh oh.

    adam i saw your post to the RSN thingy, but i still think it's a clue :)


  • Adam, great find with the Real Soon Now.

    I knew it was significant of *something*, and that explanation seems to fit really well. If he's somehow been able to turn RSN into a clue as well, I'll be very very impressed.

    Also, (just in case someone is looking at this one) I'm pretty sure the first "Red Heared Whore" is a typo, since the "r" and the "d" are so close together on the keyboard.

  • Also, Irène I really think if it's being used the way Adam is suggesting, GRRM is just experiencing the same anticipation we are. I think all of us are going to be really happy when the full cast has been decided, and any delay is going to be a little torturous.

  • in the scheme of our lives, i would hope that for you guys, torturous is quite relative.

    it's just a tv show, and the casting of said show. we are fans of the books, as a past time, same with television.

    to coin a ricky gervais line, we're not saving africans here.

    let's just have some fun and try and outsmart the fox that is GRRM at his own game (we're batting 1000 so far!)

    bring it on you human of intolerable cruelty!


  • Well, at least now we can safely conclude that "woof woof" referred to a role being cast as opposed to the selection of a direwolf filming tactic!

    (P.S. I formally posted as Catelyn)

  • Ryan,

    Just using the word to describe why Real Soon Now might be used by GRRM in context of casting without meaning that something had actually gone wrong that would delay it more than already expected.

    I'm perfectly in tune with your thinking, and realize that waiting a little while longer to see who plays the Hound is not the same as deciding which of my family members doesn't get to eat this week.

  • Finally, I'm posting GRRM's announcement and a quick summary of what we discussed here in the "Who Let the Dogs Out?" post, as I suppose that thread is more relevant.

    Sorry for any trouble.

    So, how 'bout that Jon Snow?

  • Spoiler…@Paul Gude…it's a pain in the ass to jump back and forth on iPhone .just post on current thread please….Jon Snow is the prince that was promised…sometimes the obvious answer is the right answer…

  • @Winteriscoming….more than one poster has commented on their hopes that Mr.Martin lives long enough to finish the series LOL …well I'm also hoping that your eating know …taking care of yourself because since you started this blog …I haven't had much of a life ….I check this site about 20 times a day(I wish I was kidding)…so if you kick the bucket I wouldn't know what to do LOL :.:eat healthy man.,,and keep on blogging ….cheers LOL

  • "I check this site about 20 times a day(I wish I was kidding)"

    I'm happy I've found this site. I visit it as much as you, I guess. Is it weird to think that this is not freaky, but very important? I'm a bit lame when it comes to English so I don't understand all phrases you discuss and I can't pop in with magical solutions. I hope you don't mind that. I will keep trying. And I will spread the news in my country as much as i can. Long live GoT!!!

  • What country? Just curious as to how global SoIaF really is. I think the far East and the Middle-East are the only places I haven't heard from. Are there any Koreans on here?

  • I've read the leaked script of the pilot and I can't remember any Red-Headed Whore. Where was that? I couldn't be arsed reading it again.

  • TYRION: I care about the smallfolk.
    REDHEAD: Only the ones with good tits.

    I bet that's the line GRRM is referring to :P

  • Cool! I'd say it'll be seen in Korea and Japan as well, but they may be less inclined towards the story as they were for a show like Prison Break. Just speculation, but the Koreans love everything American, and maybe the popular culture wouldn't be enthralled by something with such a British tinge.

  • I don't have any official statistics about this, but AFAIK Japanese people don't read many translated books. They mostly read manga.

  • coltaine777, sorry 'bout that. Other times (granted, on other boards) I get told to keep topics in their respective threads. You can't win, I tell ya.

    Whatever makes things easier, though. I read this on my iPhone sometimes too, and find myself wishing there was a "jump to the bottom of the page" like the "jump to the top of the page" function.

    *POSSIBLE SPOILER* One thing I love about GRRM is that he's a big fan of setting up what's supposed to happen and then completely turns it on its head. There's definitely room for that in Jon Snow's story.*END POSSIBLE SPOILER*

  • @amir mishali

    In response to your comment that Japanese – "mostly read manga." I think you'll find a decent portion of the population reads books as well. Just because manga is very popular doesn't mean it's the only thing they read. That's a ridiculous assumption on your part, and one that I take issue with.

  • @Megumi

    I wasn't trying to insult anyone. I have nothing against manga, Japanese people or Japanese culture. I was married to a Japanese woman which I spent 5 years of my life with. She has never read a book before she met me, and according to her, this is not unsusual among Japanese. Also, I didn't say they never read anything else, just that they don't read as many translated books as Israeli, German or Spanish people for example. This was just an observation, and not a criticism of the culture. Sorry if I offended anyone.

  • Unfortunately, I believe the success of the show (or pretty much every movie or show produced in the US) primarily depends on its ratings within US territory. So it's up to you guys in the United States to leave all TVs in your houses fixed on HBO when the show airs.

    I don't know about Europe, but in Latin America almost nobody has HBO (everybody downloads the episodes of their favorite TV shows) and Japan and China have a really different culture, so something that works wonderfully in the rest of the world, like The Dark Knight, may flop in those countries.

  • And I was talking about popular culture so it sounds like Amir may have answered my question pretty well, unless Megumi thinks otherwise. I know American TV series are really popular in Korea, so I wonder is Japan the same in that regard?

  • Granted, I've never lived with a Japanese person, but I'm familiar with many folks from the U.S. who claim that "most Americans" don't read for pleasure either.

    Still, some things that you might find interesting:

    There's a bookstore here in Seattle called Kinokuniya that's full of books translated from English to Japanese. I'm assuming there's a market for them.

    Haruki Murakami, a favorite author of mine, was called one of the world's greatest living novelists by The Guardian.

    I wouldn't take it as a criticism of the culture, just a slightly skewed version of it. No harm in it, if you're willing to adjust your view.

  • @Empedocles
    They don't really have any means of measuring the amount of download viewers so, disregarding the fact that we are all praying for it to be picked up long-term for a minute, I was just wondering how global the SoIaF mania really is. That in regards to tele and literature.

  • I think they'll probably also base it on the DVD sales, and I should think that, if it's even slightly decent, most fans will pick up the DVDs.

  • I don't have any official statistics about this, but AFAIK Japanese people don't read many translated books. They mostly read manga.

    I worked for a time at a major publisher selling translation rights to foreign publishers – one of our biggest markets by far was Japan. They bought and translated a lot of our properties.

  • Wow these covers are so beautiful.

    They did the splitting in Germany too, I think.
    At least for the audiobooks.
    But I can't say how, since I only went for the english stuff.

  • Cool, they really should approach this with a global perspective at HBO. They should release it as broadly as they can at the same time, to reduce the lost revenue in downloads.

  • @Mozart/amir mishali

    I'm half Japanese. I apologize for my heated response to the initial comment. I just, in general, don't care for blanket generalizations – and that goes for all cultures.

    Personally, I think there's a market for the series in Japan, but I don't think it is a very big one. Some American TV shows do get shown on Japanese TV, but the ones that tend to get imported are usually a little more famliy oriented. I think those who are inclined to watch GoT will view on DVD.

  • If I could get HBO where I live, I would right away.
    Whatever other Pay TV Channel they'd sell it too, I'd buy it.

  • I think that what they should do is to put a trailer in front of a movie like Clash of the Titans, or something like that. Although, I do not know if that's possible. Now that I think about it, I don't think I've seen a TV show trailer in front of a movie

  • I'm just re-reading the script.
    Jaime is fucking the red-haired whore with his eyes, it says.
    Strikes me at really very very wrong. He never wanted anybody but Cersei.
    It would be better if he ignored her, IMHO.
    The audience would already suspect something is wrooooooong…

  • I talked to a co-worker who grew up in Korea and he said that from the description I gave him most people over 40 would stay away from the series, citing the violence and *SPOILER* Jaime/Cersei angle *SPOILER* as being something that anyone over 40 would have a really hard time with, but a younger crowd might actually be attracted to those elements. He mentioned that Oldboy wasn't popular with the older crowd in his experience.

    On a somewhat bizarre note, he also mentioned that when he was a kid, Zorro was really really popular in Korea. He was right when he said I probably wouldn't have expected that.

  • @Jenny

    Totally noticed that as well in the script, and how counter it was to his character.

    But the beauty of film is you can get five or six different takes of the same reaction, ranging from fucking her with his eyes to ignoring her to disgust at tyrion being with her to begin with.

    But you're right. Wrong motivation for his character at that point.


  • Yeah, there are things that are very popular in other countries and that you cannot really explain why. The Zorro was also huge here in Argentina, they still play it during summer mornings.

    The most bizarre thing is that another really popular show here in Latin America was Sledge Hammer!, which I believe was cancelled in the States due to low ratings.

  • @Megumi
    So incest is not appreciated in Japanese culture. Wow, what a strange and alien land it must be;P

  • @Jenny, that doesn't go against his character as far I can see. He could have been doing it to annoy his little brother, just a little banter, ye know, "I could have her if I wanted, ye know". And just because he only has eyes for Cersei, whatever that means emotionally and erotically, he is not a Eunoch for every hour he is not in the company of Cersei. She doesn't hold his balls in a sack tucked neatly down her cleavage. He still notices women in that whore's position, like any man would.

    Every man, no matter how madly in love with their wives, only having eyes for them or whatever, still notices other women, and the leering is just the expression of a dominant male, cos he can! That doesn't mean he would. If he did, then I think it would go against his character.

    Sorry to go on about it but I've heard people say it numerous times and I think its baseless nitpicking. But nitpick away, I won't mention it again.

  • I dont know actually guys fucking her with his eyes is ok, because she isnt worth actually doing it with. I can imagine Jaime acting like that just to annoy his younger brother, like saying i 'can do it with whoever i want, maybe ill do her.'

  • @Blue Rose….I know what you mean…I think we are all a little freaky when it comes to this show …

    @Paul Gude…no prob…it's hard to please everyone…

    Is it just me or does it seem like there's way too many storylines to wrap up in just 3 books…I think George is gonna pull a Robert Jordan and extend the series (again)…

  • Yeah I don't think it is realistic for any man to ignore a woman in that situation. We would all fuck her with our eyes.

  • LOL I can see it now…
    A Game of Thrones
    A Clash of Kings
    A Storm of Swords
    A Feast for Crows
    A Dance with Dragons
    The Winds of Winter
    The Snow from Hell
    It's Cold, Damn Cold
    Where the Hell is Summer
    A Blizzard of Ice
    A Dream of Spring

    and George finishes in 2030

  • @coltaine777

    I don't see GRRM "pulling a Robert Jordan." Martin doesn't mind pruning his cast unlike Jordan. I can only think of a couple of characters that truly died in WoT – otherwise, it seemed like for every one character that died (supposedly) you got two or three times as many new ones. Not so with Martin – he seems to have no problem killing characters, which is a good thing. I have yet to reach a point where I feel overwhelmed by size of the cast, unlike I did for WoT.

    I think Martin can manage his story in 3 books. I don't think ASoIaF hasn't gotten out of control with its plots like WoT did yet.

  • I've always been a little worried about the fact that each time GRRM sets out to write a book, by the time hes done he decides that he needs 2 books where he thought he needed one. At this rate, each time he finishes a book, he gets farther away from being done than when he started (ie. he started out planning to write a trilogy, and even though he's written 4 books, we are still waiting for 3, so hes just about where he started. :) ) I am by no means being critical( well, maybe a little ) because I would much rather him write the story he wants to write and not feel the need to compromise.

    I just hope that he has the end all planned out and just waiting to be written, and is wading through the mud trying to get to the point where he can even start writing the last act.

  • The only thing that scared me about the last book was that a lot of the chapters felt like chapters that would have been edited out in previous books (I'm thinking Brienne chapters, some of Cersei's, etc.)

    I love what GRRM does, you know, that thing of not expressly describing the crucial events in the story but just basically writing around them. But in AFFC it felt like there were too many chapters that did not move the story forwards but sideways, which is always great, anyway. I just hope this won't happen with ADWD.

  • I think the middle books of any series seem to be the toughest for authors to get through. Most authors seem to say they have their endings pretty much mapped out – it's the getting there that takes time to work through. So he's a bit slow sometimes – who hasn't been frustrated/uninspired with their work at some point or another? I'm confident that Martin knows where his story is going. I am with the crowd who thinks the last books of the series won't take anywhere near as long to come out.

  • Well, he has said that the Sixth one is already written. So, maybe, if there's not much editorial work to do, he might have it ready for 2012. Although, I know I'm being fairly optimistic

  • I've never heard that the sixth book was written. I know a few chapters meant for Dance got pushed back to Winds, but that is about it.

  • The only thing that worries me is that in the introduction to his Rretrospective (re-issued as Dreamsongs) GRRM himself writes about his history of never being able to finish anything he starts.


    I especially like Where the Hell is Summer, in which we see no characters except Bran and Hodor delayed on their journey to finding Bran's third eye.

  • You want it done quick or you want it done right?

    I reckon he doesn't want to bring DwD out without it being perfect. But getting it perfect entails getting the last books all set out in great detail. Not all artists are whores. FFC was probably the worst book in the series and in my opinion it was the worst because it seemed to be rushed out and had less direction than the previous books. It seemed to meander and the character development was less well done. So I think he has just said "Bugger Off" to all the pestering fans and publishers and is now doing it in his own time.

    And I know it took 5 years to bring out FFC, but my point still stands. I still think he rushed it out.

    So I don't think there'll be more books. I think it will stay at three, and he will have the last two books out quicker than his last few books.

    I still hope he keeps in good health though.

  • FFC always gets attacked for being the worst in the series.

    Personally I think that's rubbish. Chracterisation is great. We get more Jaime, Cersei is given some time and we get introduced to characters who are obviously going to be a part of the future.

    I believe most people moan about FFC smply because Jon and Dany, the overwhelmingly favoured chacters by most fans, are not in it.

    As a set up for the future and good explanaition of what's going on in the rest of the Kingdom, I thought it was good.

    DwD seems to be taking forever both because GRRM is always so busy (the HBO series, conventions, holidays, rebuilding, flooding, other books/stories), which he is perfectly allowed to be plus his own indecisive nature about what to include.

    When it comes, it'll be worth the wait i'm sure, but when we look at other authors and how they can get books out much faster, I think the fact he can't is simply systematic of his style and his nature. Some authors can write fast, some cant.

  • @ Legion. Well, I don't think it's the worst of the series, it's just that, as I was saying before, it doesn't move the story forward but sideways and therefore leaves you with that feeling of "ok, nothing really happened" the first time you read it. I haven't re-read it yet but I'm guessing the second time you read it and given that you're not itching to know what's going to happen in the next chapter, you kind of relax and start enjoying the more slow, meditative chapters.

    Certainly, the fact that Jon, Dany and Tyrion are absent, and that Jaime is basically learning to fight with his left hand throughout the whole book may might have made the book "less" exciting than the others, but "worst" really doesn't apply to SOIAF.

  • @ legion

    I agree…
    I think FFC has a slow start though.
    I remember it took some time until you really started to get interested.
    I guess, once DWD will be out, people will start to appreciate FFC because things that could only be hinted at will become clear.
    As in: SPOILER the Dornish prince.

  • @legion
    I didn't mean to over-state myself. FFC is a great book. It is the worst* book though, in my opinion and other peoples. That isn't saying much. I don't think it worked as well as GRRM and the publishers hoped to split them up, (DwD & FFC) but it was probably thought necessary at the time. Whatever, I won't argue that, its an opinion. I think the characters, especially Brienne, lost context due to the world being cut in half. If you loved it then fine. You could argue that a huge amount of the hype over DwD is because of the way it was set out, just giving us little tidbits of what else is going on and building the suspence. But it is torture. Who knows. And the character development was an issue because it was missing all of the most interesting characters IMHO.

    Maybe when I read it again I will appreciate it more though, maybe you're right.

  • I have heard it called the worst "fantasy book ever", by an avid fantasy reader, which I am not by a long-shot. It was an off the cuff remark but just sayin', opinions are like ass-holes, we all got'm and they all stink.

    But seriously, the word "worst" applies here as everywhere. Being the worst book in the SoIaF series really doesn't say anything about the book, rather the high standards of which we are accustomed.

  • This is going to be a long string of spoilers.

    FFC had a few things that I think moved the story forward quite a bit:

    *SPOILER* The restoration of the Faith Militant *SPOILER*
    *SPOILER* The imprisonment of Cersei *SPOILER*
    *SPOILER* The death of Maester Aemon *SPOILER*
    *SPOILER* Samwell sleeping with Gilly *SPOILER*

    Several huge changes in my opinion.

  • @ Paul Gude
    not to mention Arya in a totally different world, Jaime deserting Cersei, Cat executing Freys AND Brienne.
    I mean, that was pretty hard stuff.

    I didn't enjoy the first quarter that much, didn't see the point in this entire abduction of Mycella (did see the point but it was a little weak).

    With the audiobook it's even worse, since it's not Roy to read…

  • "Well, somebody has to be Azor Ahai (sp…) come again too!"

    Not necessarily. The Stallion That Mounts the World prophecy simply fizzled out because the person it applied to (Rhaego) died prematurely. I think that's GRRM's way of telling us that prophecies are not set in stone at all, and the PWWP and Cersei's ridiculous frog woman thing (probably the weakest element of ASoIaF to date) could both potentially go the same way.

    This isn't WHEEL OF TIME, and the prophecies are not set in stone. I must admit I'd prefer it if no prophecies had been involved at all. I find them a fairly tedious crutch in fantasy fiction.

  • @ Adam. Yep. I'll add dreams to that too. I hate dreams. Prophecies, dreams and the chosen one.

  • Because of the lack of real magic in ASOIAF I never really took the prophecies seriously.

    It was more like people watching those mad star sign channels, yeah, you can hae a prophecy, but it's all balls unless you go out and make it self fulfilling.

  • DNix7, I could see Garret Dillahunt as anyone they wanted. He's one of my favorites. I was blown away at the differences between his two characters in Deadwood.

    At 6'2", he could actually play the Hound, in my opinion. I was surprised to find out he was 45. He seems younger to me.

    Littlefinger, Bronn, The Red Viper, Jaqen H'ghar, anyone.

    This is another case where I may not be the most impartial judges of suitability for anyone but me.

  • @ legion


    Magic is COMING BACK to the world with the Dragons. More and more.
    It's a real common place. The others are coming back, the dragons are coming back.
    Suddenly all sorts of magical things are much stronger than before.
    So, it's very magical, but the magic had died out for some time

  • @Paul Gude That's why I asked…his characters in Deadwood and also Life were great. I wanted an impartial view.

  • I agree that the AFFC moved the plot sideways as opposed to forward. The pacing of the overall story in GOT and COK is what set them apart from other fantasy novels. I loved that months often passed between POV chapters. I loved the idea that major plot events were revealed by Raven-borne message, leaving the characters scrambling to react to them. As fantastic as the characters are, to me, this series is story-driven. In AFFC, the story took a detour.

  • Agreed, DNix7.

    I'm looking forward to seeing him in "The Road" soon, and heard good things about him in "The Last House on the Left," too.

    Odd that I hadn't considered him in the other casting threads. I'm sure HBO wouldn't have overlooked him, though.

  • @Jenny

    Magic, ah yes.

    Don't forget Mellisandre with her shadows and flames, and Samwell going back to Oldtown. And zombies. Oh and here come The Others, ready to cross the wall for the first time in like forever. Oh no!


  • @Tynan- No, I want Derek Jacobi to be Aemon!

    AFFC doesn't seem to have the pace of the other books, it's good but not quite as good as what came before. But it does have some very interesting moments, and it's worth remembering we'll be waiting a long time to find out what happens next to these characters, since most of them won't feature in DWD.

  • I, for one, agree that AFFC is the worst of the bunch (but still pretty damn good).

    It seems to me that not much happens. The two main twists SPOILER cersei being incarcerated and Catelyn executing Brienne occur near the end of the book. I felt the whole Iron Isles plot and the Dornish plot were expendable. Amd of course, no Tyrion, Jon or Dany. The book has a very low body count (check it out yourself if you don't believe me) and the only major characters to die is Aemon, and he's been dying for half a book. Brienne is not even dead for sure.

  • @ Megumi: No, I don't think R+L=J is necessarily the answer, but my point was that out of all the theories, it seemed the most logical choice as per entomologist's explanation. I don't believe GRRM will change the plot solely for shock value either (it's why I respect him as an author, because, to me, the deaths/theories/plot events/etc. happened because there seemed to solid and logical purposes behind them), I was just responding to the people who suggested it earlier. Also, the quote I quoted I did so because I thought it was a good general point, not something that referred specifically to GRRM. Hope that cleared things up. :)

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