Casting Speculation

Casting clues and possible solutions

Despite swearing off casting clues a while back, George apparently was in a clue-giving mood this weekend as he gave us, not one, but two sets of clues for two different parts.

Post #1

Little Brother
… was the great betrayer.

… worked at a tobacco factory.

… is a novel by Cory Doctorow that was nominated for the Hugo, but that doesn’t count.

… was the great betrayed.

… never went to space, but has been in freefall.

Just sayin’

Post #2

The Old Knight
… is an experienced master at arms,

… has been a colonel, a doctor, a friar, a nazi, a sergeant, a superintendant, a corporal, and a minister,

… knows Cersei, Eddard, Ser Jorah, and Pussy Galore.

Just sayin’

Winter Is Coming readers were up for the challenge, of course. The first set of clues seem to be for an actor cast to play Benjen Stark (ie the “Little Brother”). Paul Gude came up with the name Joseph Mawle. Here is how he fits the clues.

Joseph Mawle
-was the great betrayer: played Judas in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
-worked at a tobacco factory: was a member of theater company “Shakespeare at The Tobacco Factory”
-is a novel by Cory Doctorow that was nominated for the Hugo, but that doesn’t count: red herring about the novel entitled “Little Brother”
-was the great betrayed: played Jesus in The Passion
-never went to space, but has been in freefall: was in the movie Freefall

The second set of clues for “The Old Knight” seem to point to the role of Rodrik Cassel. Mozart proposed the name Ron Donachie. Here is how he fits.

Ron Donachie
-is an experienced master at arms: played a “Master at Arms” in Titanic (also may be a double clue referring to the role being for Rodrik, the Master-at-Arms in Winterfell)
-has been a colonel, a doctor, a friar, a nazi, a sergeant, a superintendant, a corporal, and a minister: has appeared as all of these characters in his career (colonel in Max Manus, doctor in The Daisy Chain, friar in Ivanhoe, Nazi in Uncle Adolf, sergeant in Fierce Creatures and The Jungle Book, superintendant in Supply & Demand, corporal in Crossing to Freedom, minister in Sea of Souls)
-knows Cersei, Eddard, Ser Jorah, and Pussy Galore: has appeared in projects with the actors playing these characters, namely was with Lena Headey in The Jungle Book, Sean Bean in Extremely Dangerous, Iain Glen in Man to Man, and Honor Blackman in Summer Solstice.

Winter Is Coming:
You guys are awesome. Seriously.


  • I saw him a year ago or so…
    And I remember him vaguely, it was in the series Dalziel and Pascoe.
    He was son of a main character and he was good as some sort of too sensitive artist…

  • Mawle was Jesus in a HBO version of the passion and played a paedophile in a British show called Clapham Junction.

  • So still no word on Bran and Drogo then, eh?

    Filming starts in less than a month so you'd think those roles would need to be filled pretty quickly.

  • And he was actually the third actor of GOT team I saw so far on screen…along with Sean Bean and Mark Addy :blushing:

  • dholds,

    It looks like one of the two has been filled, but no indication as to which.

    I'd been thinking it's Bran that's been cast. No good reason, except that there were no clues for the major role (which would make sense if none of us have heard of him) and also because someone who's posted before that their son is being considered for the role fell silent after word of the major role being cast went out.

    However, the poster (Sue) showed up last night:

    Dance has just finished filming Highness at the painthall hasn't he?

    Posted on September 28, 2009 4:53 AM
    About Yea High
    No idea, sue.

    Any callback on your son yet?

    Posted on September 28, 2009 5:27 AM

    No answer from Sue.

    Not that it means anything one way or the other, but since there's no way to know fur sure until they tell us, guessing can't hurt.

  • Yeah, Mawle and Donachie are going to be great in these roles. Now let's just hope they can trick Brian Cox into being The old Bear Jeor Mormont and all will be one with the world.

    Sidenote, to carry over the question of whether GoT has a "main" character, i submit the top five most "major" characters, and a little of my own editorial:

    5. Daenerys Stormborn (21 POV Chapters)
    – Dany is still alive and well, and headed for Westeros with quite a sortie. She will get more airtime, and is arguably the most important single person in all of the realm. She could become the most major character by the end of the series. Or, GRRM could have a kraken kill her on her journey, who knows?

    4. Catelyn Tully (22 POV Chapters)
    – Up until the Red Wedding, Catelyn had all the makings of the central character to take us through the Stark journey. But that all changed when the Frey's joined league with the Lannisters and… well, you know the rest. She may have some screen time as Lady Stoneheart, but we don't know how prominent a role she will play (there is a brewing sense that the Others and wights and things north of the wall may join forces or clash with the zombies amassing south of the wall).

    3. Sansa Stark (25 POV Chapters)
    – She has been our eyes and ears through much of King's landing, and we have gotten to see a naive little bird evolve into a motherly type in Alayne. A lot of what happens with Sansa and her prominence will depend on what GRRM decides to do with the Sandor and Petyr plotlines. I forsee the Littlefinger element to be an important one, especially once Dany arrives. Look for a POV for Petyr in book 6, just my hunch.

    2. Arya Stark (31 POV Chapters)
    – A considerable rung up the Stark ladder is Arya, the perfect youthful embodiment of Catelyn and Eddard. She has shown us much of Westeros, perhaps the most. And whether she be hiding in Flea Bottom, advising silent assassins in Harrenhall, or being blinded in Braavos, she's always brought a sense of adventure to this series.

    1. Tyrion Lannister (35 POV Chapters)
    – A clear choice for MISOIAFC (Most Important Song of Ice and Fire Character). Not only does he have 35 of his own chapters, he is talked about or has affected dozens of other chapters. His role in the bigger scheme of the plot may not be as a character as, say, Dany, but isn't that just what GRRM would like us to believe? Just wait until Tyrion and Mormont are jockeying for their place at Dany's side, and we'll see how interesting it gets. He unarguably gets the most face time in the books, and is sort of the mascot of ASoIaF if you want to think of it that way. He will define the tone and serve as the home base character of the HBO series, mark my words (and then erase them or cross them out).


  • Still not convinced, even if she is second most used, that Arya will feature as much in the show.

    Placing that much pressure and importance on an unknown little girl, seems to me, to be bad business. If she sucks as she grows up, or can't handle the pressure or whatever, you have a serious problem.

    My money is still on them reducing her role for more Jaime and Cersei in series one and then possibly returning to her in a larger capacity later as she gets a little older and it can be seen if she can actually cope with the pressure of being a major character actress.

  • well legion, one thing i think you're overlooking is that most of her journey is action driven, and things happening TO her.

    you might be right, but i wouldn't be surprised if we spend a lot of time with arya on screen. her main contributions to the series:

    . . . playing at swords with mycah

    . . . training with syrio

    . . . escaping to live on the streets of flea bottom

    . . . being captured by yoren

    . . . traveling to harrenhall, becoming arry

    . . . saving the lives of jaquen, rorge and biter

    . . . her capture by gregor

    . . . her shadow consultations with assassin jaquen

    . . . becoming roose's cupbearer, and becoming nan

    . . . her escape from harrenhall with gendry and hot pie

    . . . her capture by the brotherhood

    . . . sandor stealing her

    . . . her journey with sandor to the vale

    . . . the detour back to riverrun

    . . . arya going it alone after saltpans

    . . . her journey to braavos

    . . . her indoctrination to the guild of the faceless men

    . . . her training as cat of the canals

    . . . her sip of milk

    it seems that 90% of her scenes are action based, and not as introspective. she does say her prayer quite frequently, and get glimpses into her mindset, but we really get to know arya through DOING and not SAYING, which is kind of why i enjoyed her journey so far.

    i think the intrigue of jaime and cersei up front is important, as we are seeing most of the book through the starks' eyes. but maybe (as in the wire) D&D will see the merit to spending more time with the antagonists, instead of following typical action/drama where the villains are mysterious and feared because of it.


  • @gofalcons

    the entire series, here are top chapter counts in the first book:

    1. Eddard – 15 chapters
    2. Catelyn – 11 chapters
    3. Dany – 10 chapters
    4. Tyrion – 9 chapters


  • I just dont see they would hire and, frankly, shell out for Lena Headey as Cersei and then hardly use her.

    With GoT, Arya can easily be side stepped, she needs to have her moments like Mycah, like training, like cat hunting and spying on Illyrio and Varys, but beyond that, in GoT at least, I suspect we'll get more adult stuff with Headey and NCW.

    I could be wrong and you certainly make a good point that Arya is the eyes for a lot of things, but, just something, to me, says if they want this to be an adult show, having a kid as the main character may turn some people off….

  • @legion

    what would they do, just make up more stuff for cersei? or we just see more of the implied actions going on?

    daniel radcliffe (for better or worse) showed us that you can stock the franchise on a child actor, and get good results. harry, like arya, has things happen to and around him, which is much different from having deep, introspective monologues.

    just my opinion.

    maybe a blend of both? maybe they give some more scenes to cersei, and pull back a little bit of the journey with arya? they do have the ability to tell a visual journey without having to be over arya's shoulder the whole time.

    and as for the kid actor tarnishing the adultness of the show, i would submit you consider the things that happen to these poor children. if anything, you'll have the PTA organizations picketing HBO for putting these children in too adult of scenarios.



  • We do know that more scenes and dialogue are being invented for Cersei and Jaime, though I don't know if this will preclude the scenes with Arya, Bran, etc. They did less with Arya and Sansa in the pilot than in that same span in the books, that's for sure. But the really key scenes with them come later. I suspect Ep. 2 will have more of the Sansa/Arya rivalry, Arya getting Needle, maybe she'll dump a clot of horse manure on Sansa's head while her precious Joff is looking on, who knows.

  • Legion, Ryan, you both made me think about this a lot.

    I do think Arya might take a bit of a backseat as far as screen time goes at first, but as the show goes on I do think she's going to gain more prominence. I really hesitate to use the word "mascot" when talking about the Arya of the show, but a better word fails me at this point. Whereas Tyrion is going to show what one must become to survive in this world, Arya is going to personify it. I really feel that when people talk about Game of Thrones one of the first things they're going to mention is her.

    I'd look at Mathilda from Léon as a watered down version of what Arya is going to become. Arya's going to be younger, and endure/do more horrible things.

    She's not going to be a cute kid throughout her journey. She starts out as precocious and a bit of a tomboy, yes, but she ends up filthy, brutal, and at some points even close to an animal. Again, another place where HBO is going to be breaking ground in my opinion.

  • I always tended to see ASOIAF as an entity, not even tried to distinct the three or four chahracters as leading ones, because IMO there are 20 or more leading characters in the 4 written books – And that is why I like it :)
    Of course there is a difference between characters such Arya and Cersei and Legion s Cough-Lord on the other side.

    And I disagree about putting Arya in same sentenece with Harry Potter, not because Potter is bad, but is SO different kind of story and character.
    Aryas world is far more cruel than Harrys.
    And her actions are more cruel too.

    I am still wondering about Martin s statement about Bran beeing the thoughest role for the kid.
    IMO Arya s role is most tragic (child – killer), and very hard to pull of for such a young girl.

    That is why, I am with Legion, in some way…I would not be suprised at all if they do some changes in her ploline.

  • Your choice of Daniel Radcliffe actually exemplifies exactly what I meant. He was fine in the first film, but then in films 2 and 3, is almost lazy and his acting pretty bad, before coming back and being fine now.

    And yeah, I'm thinking they show more of the stuff that we find out Cersei has been doing, maybe invent the odd extra scene with her and Jaime before he leaves. Plus, add some more of his battles with Robb and his arrogance before that battle – show a war council or two.

    Perhaps the views of the PTA and other organisations may also see HBO pull back some of the Arya stuff as well. Do we know if Sansa and Dany have been aged up? The actressess obviously have, but what about the characters? Otherwise some of her stuff may face the chopping block as well.

    HBO like to do things faithfully and like to be controversial, but stuff with sex and kids is guranteed to get you a bad reaction. Arya grows up, years pass, by the time she is doing horrible things she is older, that's fine. We need to see her journey to get to that, but whether that should be a journey that get immediate focus may not be a good idea.

    I think it is likely that the Arya stuff will have her there, almost as the base for the audience (to use the Tyrion example from earliar), but alot of the focus may be on the adults around her rather than her.

    I could be wrong, HBO will make the right choice im sure.

  • Yes it will be unusual for an adult drama to have such major child characters but not anymore unusual than for an adult book to have such major child characters.

    While Cersei may not have a lot of her own chapters in GoT she does show up in many of the other characters' POV chapters. I'm not sure how much counting POV chapters really tells you about a character's importance to the story. Jon didn't make Ryan's list in GoT or aSoIaF either but I think we all agree that he is a pretty major character.

  • @legion
    Arya's chapters were my favourite in the books. I always looked forward to them. Does that translate to good TV? I think it will. I think her journey is the most interesting of any POV, in terms of its complete lack of direction, and I've got a feeling it is gonna be pretty prominent. Especially because her story brings us in contact with so many facets of the war that wouldn't be seen otherwise. Unless they develop Dondarrions screen time, how would we see the burned and pillaged land during the war and the struggle of the small-folk. And she brings us to the free-cities in a way that no other character does. I don'tthink they could avoid a whole load of Arya if they tried, without cutting out half the world.

  • oh shit, yes i forgot about JON!! keep in mind my list wasn't about just who is most important to the realm, but who is most present in the series itself, ie who we see the world through.

    with JON, the list would now go:

    1. Tyrion
    2. Arya
    3. Sansa
    4. Dany
    5. Jon


  • @legion

    i think you misconstrued my harry potter comparison, and no of course this is nothing like potter in terms of content. what i meant was, potter has things happen to him and around him, and it is mostly when he is asked to take the mantle and be the central acting speaking monolog type that it gets weird.

    fortunately most of what we see of arya is her getting pissed off at people and running away. then she learns to use a sword so she can kill people. it's all very action and anger driven for the first part of the series, which i think bodes well for maisie.

    it's not until later, late in season 2 or season 3 proper, that she has to start making some introspective choices, and talk in a manner where she is almost reflecting on the troubles she has gotten herself into.

    certainly we get that revelation at braavos, but by that time maisie is older than ten and closer to twelve (i could be doing the math wrong).

    it's almost like george wrote the books with this in mind :)

    i don't get the argument that seeing a child in an adult world will somehow turn people away. the stuff she sees is what will turn people away or not. when all she sees is murder, betrayal, and is hell bent on revenge, i think even the oldest of us here will appreciate this and be drawn in.

    arya stays as arya was intended, and cersei and jaime get a little more screen time because they are interesting characters that the D&D posse will want the viewers to get to know sooner.

    at least, i hope so.

    oh, last note. i still think they added a scene in with septa mordane and sansa and arya, to give arya more of an introduction to viewers. i actually wrote that scene already, it's on one of the older threads, some of you might remember.

    and i also think they CUT a cersei scene, so if i'm write and legion is wrong (we can only pray, ha!), then it's moving into my direction, with arya getting some more screen time, and cersei getting a little less.


  • Top work on the clues. I've seen Ron Donachie on stage quite a few times, since he's a regular with the rep theatre in Edinburgh – he was brilliant in an Arthur Miller earlier this year. Should do an excellent job as Cassel.

  • I definitely think that the natural break from the POV structure will alter our perception of who the "main" characters are in the story. Arya is a prime example. Even if she's in half the scenes, I don't know if the audience will consider her a main character, simply based on the fact that she's a child. Similar to R2-D2 and C-3P0 sometimes getting overlooked because they're droids.

    I'd be interested to see a break-down of which characters in The Wire got the most screen time.

  • Oh, and that's not to say that Arya's role should be significantly reduced. I feel just the opposite. I simply think that she'll be over looked as a major player by people who aren't paying attention.

  • @gofalcons

    the chapter count does not equate 1:1 with a characters importance, no. but if you think about it. i don't see them cutting out any chapters (we had a discussion that it will be tough to make season 1 stretch to 12 episodes as written).

    and if they don't cut out any chapters, then we are at least going to be with each POV character for a part of their chapters, which translates to screen time, which translates to how much exposure that character gets to the end viewer. even if they stay more 3rd person omniscient with one POV chapter's worth of content, that POV character is going to be IN the scenes one way or another.

    so unless we tell a lot of the story by showing the goings on outside the scope of our chapters, you can't avoid the chapters themselves, not without restructuring the entire arc of the series.

    so in that sense, my chapter counts are valid, no? tyrion wins handedly because he is also the most active character when he is NOT on screen, meaning other characters like cersei, ned, catelyn, sansa, jaime, and even bran all talk about him or are affected by his actions.


  • Once again.

    I said I thought she would be side lined for the first series. While she is young. While the actress is essentially assessed to see if she is:

    i) Good enough
    ii) Psychologically strong enough
    iii) Committed enough

    They can then make her more of a focus, gradually. When she is with Yoren, have it clearly be how it affects her, but have Yoren as the focus. When she is at Harrenhal, do the same with Roose and Jaquen, with Sandor have them both be the focus as we prepare for her to go it alone.

    That way, when she leaves these adults and essentially stikes out on her own, she has grown on the audience, so that they can see how a child has developed the way she has (one of the big problems i've always had with the character is her acceptance of everything. She never seems to have a crisis she can't beat, despite being what, 9? 10?) and the actress has had time to develop and grow by acting off others.

  • i can buy what you're saying legion, maybe we're saying the same things. i don't think they are going to cut much of her journey is what i mean, and i actually think that the first part of her journey isn't as demanding for her as an actress.

    however, she has to know how to throw a good tantrum from the jump!


  • And wasn't the Cersei scene cut ecause of Pycelle? That was the inference I got from GRRM but could be wrong.

  • @Paul

    I don't have a scene count for character prominence for The Wire, but I have a pretty amazing "Bible" written by David Simon, the compass which was given to each of the writers for them to work from. I'm not sure if this was part of his pitch to HBO or not, I sense it was after the pilot but could be wrong.

    The Wire Bible.


  • @legion

    yes, but the scene was added in to show cersei and pycelle together, which was more/less to see what the hell cersei was plotting.

    by removing that scene, we get the same result, only through the eyes of the starks. i think it's a subtle, but notable change to the feeling of the first episode of the show. it stays largely with the starks, the lannisters get very few scenes in the pilot. and the scenes they do get, are often from the POV of the stark kids (the feast, etc.).


  • #Ryan

    True enough. We'll see. Personally I'd rather they didn't focus on Arya much until she was a bit older, but if they do, they do and they likely know what they are doing much better than me.

    Bringing back up another question I asked – Sansa and Dany, age wise, do we know anything about that?

  • @ legion

    i'm actually more worried about bran's storyline than arya's. as ryan pointed out, arya's story can be carried largely by the action. bran mostly just sits around talking to people at winterfell (mostly luwin) or thinking. it's a harder role, and it's going to be played by a little kid.

    can anyone think of any series aimed at an adult audience with an eight or nine year old as a lead?

    it's no wonder they're having such a hard time casting the role.

  • i think the pilot had dany as 15 and sansa as 13. i'm sure you knew that, so your question would be whether they've been aged up since the leaked pilot?

    we know that dany's going to get it on with drogo, and in the script she was 15 and getting it on, so the question will be, are there MPAA issues with this?

    same goes for sansa being nude/abused i would guess?


  • bran has always been the one where, other than his shocking inciting incident, he really seemed to be a pointless part of the story.

    which is why i think he might become VERY important.

    because, if nothing ever happens to bran in the end, his whole journey could be cut from the story with minimal consequence. sure, he is the prince of winterfell while robb is away, but so what?

    as much as i like bran as a character, his chapters were always such a bore. felt too much like a new age spirit quest to nowhere.

    will bran lead those from beyond the wall to a war that wins the entire realm? i hope so, otherwise, let the wolves howl after his fall.


  • and yes, the appearance of bran's assassin, and the macguffin of a dagger which catelyn brings to king's landing, they DO help reveal a big plot element brewing to the south. but still……..

    okay maybe i'm wrong, keep bran then! phooey.

    the best thing bran gave us is hodor.



  • If we seriously don't think they'll have enough material to stretch to 12 episodes (and I personally have no idea about that – but others seemed to think it was an issue) then they will most likely increase the screen time of Cercei and present Arya as written. She really isn't interesting until her Dad is arrested. Before that she has a few tantrums and wanders about a bit, but does nothing challenging. At that point the powers that be will have gotten the measure of her abilities, as legion said. But Cercei will definitely be more prominent on screen than in the book. Headey is a very familiar face in the US right now and her casting will demand it I reckon.

  • Yeah, essentially that was what I was asking.

    I know it's in the book, and it isn't real, and it might make me sound prudish or whatever, but I felt really uncomfortable reading the Dany sex scenes, reading about people perving at her and reading about her trying out some lesbian fun.

    The Sansa stuff could easily be masked by shots from the neck up while she is told to undress and does the actions, but Dany, as a 15 year old in the script, gets married, has sex and gets knocked up. Granted, the actress isnt this age, but this is the sort of thing that will set people like the PTC and L. Brent Bozell III after you, and if you're HBO, do you really want that?

    Have HBO ever been up against the PTC before? Would they care?

  • @ ryan

    you actually have a point. i really liked the bran chapters, but they don't contribute much to the overarching story (at least not in book 1). Obviously they'll keep him in, but I'm guessing Rob will carry many of the scenes that appear from Bran's POV in the book.

  • @legion

    well HBO loves women playing around with lesbian fun (see carnivale, sex and the city, etc.).

    but… i don't know why it would make you sound prudish to squirm at a 15 year old humping a horse lord and playing pat a cake under the blouse with her servants?

    it made me uncomfortable as well. maybe it's being a father of two girls 6 months old and 2 years old.

    my guess: they either leave dany's age unspoken and we just invent her age based on tamzin's presence, who i think will feel "of age" on screen. i haven't watched tudors, but you have the perfect point of reference there. or, they simply make her 17 or something a little less distasteful. it worked in american beauty, why not here?

    GoT has the good fortune of having a fantasy world. did we ever wonder the age of characters in LotR when we watched it? I guess there weren't any child heroes, but the issue may be able to be skirted in the translation of fantasy to reality.

    i think there will be some protesting with this series, but maybe not during filming as much as after released.


    I agree: 1. keep arya as present as she is in the books and 2. give cersei some more villainous screen time, to make use of her name/face and more importantly fill in some episode time by showing scenes with her.


  • maybe bran was intended to reflect some of the depressed years of GRRM's early career? if you've read dreamsongs and some of GRRM's editorial, you'll know what i mean there.

    because bran is quite a morose, introspective, depressed, sad and pitiful little guy. we should love him more but it's sometimes like trudging through mud reading some of his chapters.


  • @ legion and ryan

    tazmin merchant already did sex scenes as a fifteen year old character in the tudors. GoT isn't breaking any new ground in that department and i doubt they'll take any flack so long as all the actors are good and legal.

  • @ ryan

    i think the bran scenes will work best if they keep his dialogue to a minimum and concentrate on showing the story through his actions (which is mccarthy's greatest strength as a director)

  • question, maybe a poll:

    which scene made you most uncomfortable reading:

    1. dany and drogo
    2. sansa getting stripped
    3. dany and irri (?) playing roly poly
    4. petyr kissing sansa
    5. none of the above, but _________



  • @Ryan
    I have read Dreamsongs and I do know what you mean.

    But Bran's chapters always had a mysterious air to them. They always promised and never delivered. I love the mysteries surrounding Meera and Jojen Reed. It seems liek they know something absolutely essential to the entire history of Westeros and they just won't say cos they are teasin' bastards.

  • @izakmo,

    yeah i suppose, actually bran will give us the dream sequences more often than not i guess, with his ravens and wolves and whatnot.

    still, it's all a bit spirit-quest bad fantasy to me, or like those cheesy velvet paintings with wolves and trees in the night, the kinds you see on your uncle's walls above the sofa (wait, what?).

    but we have hodor…


  • @Legion
    I'm pretty sure GRRM said they aged Dany to 15 specifically because of legal reasons, which I assume means it's okay to have 15 year olds have sex with horse lords on tv but not 13 year olds. Not saying parental groups still won't have problems but i don't think anyone has blasted the Tudours from it. The Historical-ish setting might help.

  • Yes I am our Uncle Ryan. You know, the one that is on the run in Cambodia for the last few years. I'll be back for Christmas if I can get through customs with my… "improvised" passport.

  • Oh yeah, my buddy got held up there for some reason. He says its just temporary. He should be out in time for Cannes.

    Thanks, Ryan. One of the main reason I wanted to know is that I've always thought of Lester Freamon as the spiritual core of The Wire, also the guy who gets the most done, and I think Tyrion might be a bit more of him than McNulty. I've always wondered how much more time McNulty had than Freamon.

    As far as the other question, in order of uncomfortableness, it's really tough. I'd have to say Dany and Drogo are first, since the whole "selling" thing is involved, then a tie with Sansa getting stripped/getting kissed by Petyr. In a way they're sort of the same act of her being dominated, just by completely different means.

    Dany and Irri don't bother me in the context of the story as it seemed consensual. There's a slight meta-uncomfortabilty because it seems a wee bit exploitative. *SPOILERS* Similar to Cersei's experimentation later. Still, both of those seem downright normal compared to Cersei's "anger handjobs," as the #1 thing that almost took me out of the books.*SPOILERS*

  • Note, in the spoiler section above, I mean "took me out" as in, "Wait, what now?" It reminded me that I was reading a book. Not enough to get me to stop reading or think less of GRRM, just a moment of pause.

    The main bad things made me uncomfortable in a "good" way, and I think they're going to seem really really wrong when actual actors do the things that were marginally wrong when we read about them.

  • @ legion

    i think i read it somewhere when merchant was first cast, but i could be wrong. i think catherine howard was a teenager when she started her affair with king henry, but no one knows exactly how old.

    in any case, there are other examples. on the show "Weeds" they had steamy sex scenes between two fifteen or sixteen year old characters, and one of those characters went on to sleep with an adult character.

    i just doubt there will be much of a stir.

  • In all seriousness, I only think these things you mention will increase the viewership, despite the moral issues. And people kicking up a fuss will only up the provide exposure to people that may not give the show thought otherwise. And that doesn't mean perverts, just people that will start off wonderin' what the fuss is about and hen end up gettin' hooked.

  • Katherine Howard went to court as a lady in waiting to Anne of Cleaves in January of 1540, when she would have been 18/19.

  • Dont forget with a show like Skins, it's a UK show, age of consent and such is 16 here.

    But yeah, Mozart is likely right, as former wrestling promoter Eric Bischoff's book claims "Controversy Creates Cash"

  • I think the fact that it's on HBO is going to make a huge difference.

    There are groups in the U.S. that complain about immoral TV shows, to be sure, and Game of Thrones has plenty of things to get outraged about for folks who like that sort of thing.

    Plus, let's not forget the completely alternate religions set up in the world. For some folks, that's going to be their biggest problem.

    However, the fact that you have to pay around $20 a month to get HBO really cuts down on the argument that your children might get "accidentally" exposed to it.

    Again, I think the biggest problem is going to be misguided adults who don't realize that a show about knights and dragons isn't necessarily for children.

    Like Mozart says, though, an brouhaha could be seen as an extensive PR campaign.

    On that note, unlike The Sopranos, The Wire, and Deadwood I don't see a lot of "fuck" and "cocksucker" being thrown around in the books, and it seems like the pilot is sticking with that convention.

    I can actually see that eventually being mentioned in the press here, because they sometimes focus on things like that.

  • @legion
    but her actual birthdate isn't 100% known. I've seen 1520-1524. I haven't watched anything passed season one of the Tudours so I'm not sure what they're using as reference.

  • @ Jillian

    True enough. 1521 is the most widely accepted DOB, but 1524 is possible as well.

    @ Paul

    There are loads of movies like that, but a movie isn't a prolonged weekly TV show. There aren't so many weekly TV shows that have an adult theme and target demographic, but have pre-teen kids as the main characters.

  • Legion,

    You're right. A movie isn't the same as a TV show.

    The closest thing I can think of is that there was a show aimed at adults that focused on a group of middle-schoolers for an entire season.

    Damned if I can remember what the name of it was, though.

    It's on the tip of my tongue.


  • Any1 have any views on how they might do the AFfC/DwD split? The writers will have their work cut out for them sorting out the linearity(or lack of) of that time period of events.

  • @Mozart – Well I dont think we'll really be able to make any real guesses on exactly how that will work and how hard it will be until we've read DwD.

    However, I can't imagine them doing it any other way than combining the two books and then splitting the seasons in a linear fashion. There are just too many characters who would be missing for entire seasons at a time.

  • Mozart, I'm hoping they'll thread the two books together and use the fact that they're writing for TV to work through whatever problems GRRM was facing when writing the novel.

    They've already shown that they're willing to juggle things around.

  • The real difficulty will be how to make each season into a coherent season with a beginning, middle and end because really you'd just be doing half of each book for each season.

    Again, having read DwD will give us more insight into the best way to do it, but I'm sure with a little creativity it'll be possible

  • I do think it could be that the reason he split things the way he did was because we now have a bunch of different story lines. In AFfC alone you have:

    Cersei's Plots
    Jaime at the Riverlands
    The Iron Islands
    Brienne's search for Sansa
    Samwell's quest
    Arya's Training
    Sansa and Petyr

    There's some overlap there, but still a lot of jumping around. Add everything from ADwD and that's a lot of people doing a lot of different things.

    I could see them throwing the main focus from one set of characters to the other from episode to episode, rather than season to season.

  • @Ryan –

    Most icky scene is Jaime and Cersei in the sept after he returns to King's Landing.

    @Paul –

    Is the show about kids you're thinking of "My So-Called Life"? Introduced Claire Danes to the world.

  • @izakmo

    It wasn't the incest so much (pretty much came to expect that from Cersei by that point) but that it was so clearly NOT an act of love. Rape is a huge turn-off.

  • Gofalcons, nope. I was being facetious.

    *SPOILER* Season 4 of The Wire introduces four new characters who are the main focus for a majority of the episodes. They're all middleschoolers. *SPOILERS*

  • Re: Spoilers above. I take back "majority," but they're certainly main players, though, like many hope/fear Arya will be.

  • And are 13/14 years old. Not 9/10.

    Teenage is different to preteen….

    It's also the fourth season, not the first. If GoT goes 4 seasons, then by the 4th season Arya would be that age and ready to break out on her own and be more prominant, which is what I outlined in my idea for the character…

  • If Maisie can pull it off, I see no reason to cut back Arya's role. Unless the actress just isn't up for the task, her story is one of the ones I'm looking forward to the most.

    In my opinion, SoIaF just wouldn't be the same without the kids.

  • @How to handle DwD and FfC
    I REALLY hope they combine the two books and don't take the book's structure. As far as I am concerned, that was a strange and bad decision. I would much rather have got half of the story with all of the characters and the proper continuity and time frame instead of what they chose to do. I think it will work even worse on screen and leave lots of viewers wondering what happened to half of the story (arguably the good half).

    That's not meant to be as bitter as it sounds, just my honest opinion.

  • Legion, you're right.

    By the end of the series, each of those characters was 15. Not the same. It was the closest thing I could think of at the time.

    I thought of a better example. In American Gothic, the main character is Caleb Temple, described as being a ten-year-old on several sites. The actor who played him was Lucas Black, who was 13 when the first episode of the show aired. The character he played was definitely meant to be a young boy, though, not a teenager.

    It only lasted for two seasons, but is still regarded as being a great show.

    Again, though, I don't think either of us are talking about Arya as being the main character. I just think, again, that HBO is free to do whatever they want to with her.

    Again, my thought on this is the same as in the other threads. There is very little in the books that HBO will have to change because it "won't work on television."

    They can change it for pacing, they can change it because they want to focus on other characters, but they aren't beholden to some law of television that says they can't devote a significant chunk of time in a first-season show to an eight-year-old girl.

    Sorry, but this "it won't work on television" stuff just annoys the hell out of me. Like Gofalcons mentioned, it's not like most of us read a lot of books for adults where the main characters are eight years old, either.


    While it may bug me to death when this argument is used, I can't let it blind me to the fact that giving an eight-year-old actress time to get her feet wet isn't a bad idea. Her part in the pilot isn't huge, but it'll give them enough of an idea of what she's like to work with.

    Still, though, after the pilot it's not like she's going to have a lot of time to ramp up. The scene with Mycah is going to be as tough as you'd like. If she can do that, then there's no reason to shorten her parts.

    I doubt they'd cast her without her doing something of that caliber for a reading.

    I may not be able to convince you that I have a point, but likewise, I'm not worried. They can do whatever they think is best and I'll be fine, even if what they think is best is exactly what you just argued.

  • I just think my way is the best way to judge her and to get the audience used to her.

    I'm actually a huge American Gothic fan, and wasn't bringing it up because it knocks my point, but at the same time, if you watch AG you'll see that much of the action is handled by the older characters while Caleb is the focus, but not the main focus; they take the brunt while he takes the last line or action. Like how I suggested, she's there, but not the sole point.

    Who knows, maybe she's capable on her own. We'll see.

  • let's stop worrying about the arya issues. she's going to be a good actress, they cast many many many girls before deciding on her.

    if you saw the film millions, you saw the star, alex etel, turn in an absolutely brilliant performanc. he was 10, and did a LOT of talking in that film, most of it to imaginary saints only he could see.

    if you saw finding neverland, freddie highmore was 11 when it was shot, and he was amazing.

    jodelle ferland was 11 when she acted in gilliam's tideland, she was amazing, and much of it was her in her own world, very introspective.

    asa butterfield was also 10/11 when the boy in the striped pajamas was filmed.

    the list goes on and on, and while a film is not as long/grueling as shooting a season for a series, the fact remains that a good actor is a good actor.

    so let's hope and assume that maisie is up to the task and stop thinking about how to marginalize her performance because you might not think she can pull off the scenes in GoT.


  • and for the record, the director is the one who judges the actor's performance and how well they can pull off their part, not the audience. by the time the audience makes their decision, it's too late.

    case in point, in the film there will be blood, paul dano was brought in half way through filming, because the original actor slated to play the roles of paul/eli sunday was too intimidated by daniel day lewis (who, as usual, stayed in character during the entire production, on screen and off). the director made the decision that this actor wasn't cutting it, and replaced him.

    and after the pilot, the producers may decide certain actors are not right for the part, and they will be replaced and reshot for the first episode.

    we're not going to get any shoddy actors in the central roles, i'm fairly certain. and i also know that a 9-10 year old is plenty capable to turn in heart wrenching, believable, and amazing performances.


  • Thanks, Ryan. You said that better than I was able to in all of my long rambling. I think I can say it even more efficiently now:

    It's not like they cast Maisie without checking to see if she could act.

    Likewise, I really think this idea of the TV audience having to be coddled to accept a concept that book fans had no problem accepting is selling the viewers short.

    So far the list is that TV viewers:

    1) Can't remember lots of characters
    2) Can't handle main characters dying before the show/season (depending on what we're arguing) is over
    3) Can't stand fantasy
    4) Can't handle a show where one of the main characters is a kid

    I'm sure there's more that I left out. Some folks say that the really horrible stuff will turn people off, too, but others say it's essential. The fact is that all of these are things that D&D and McCarthy knew were going to be part of Game of Thrones before they decided to do the project.

    You can have whatever opinion you want regarding what they should or shouldn't do, but I firmly believe that they aren't just going to start hacking pieces off of the story to make it fit a bunch of generalities about what does or doesn't work for TV.

  • That being said, I think there will be changes, there must be by virtue of the fact that they're two different mediums. Still, changes for pacing, timing, consolidating action and getting things out of the character's heads and onto the page are not the same as altering core concepts and story lines.

  • the changes to the series will be borne of logistical issues in translation. so much of the tone of the books are built from the thoughts each of the POV characters has with themselves. it puts us inside their heads the whole way through.

    there is little evidence of this being part of how the tv series will be done. that, in and of itself, opens up a much wider aperture to how we see the films.

    it's like in a first person video game, how you can play the game through the eyes of the player. but you can also be a spectator, and fly around the world at will, seeing whatever you want to see.

    two very different ways to experience that game, and two very different ways to write the series. i think there are limitations in staying behind one character's eyes that the series will work around and abandon.

    it's a freeing thing for a writer.

    as a writer myself, i know the liberation of being able to pick and choose where you want to go for cinematic effectiveness, writing in a completely third person omniscient versus a limiting world of third person limited.

    it's like writing in a box (3rd limited) versus writing in a wide open pasture (3rd omniscient). i think in the world of novels, however, 3rd omniscient usually lacks a connection to the reader, often staying so objective and at arm's reach that the reader doesn't know whether or not to engage. it fosters a sense of apathy and objectiveness in written form.

    on the screen, however, that problem is solved with a missing ingredient: imagery. not only imagery, but acting! so…. in a sense, it's much easier to write for the screen than it is to write fiction. the reason is simple: you don't need to impart so much prose and poetry as you do effective pacing and scene structures.

    in GoT, much of the dialog, or at least the touch points, are laid out for them. the writers will have the road map, unlike the wire, so essentially they are going to face mostly logistical, structural issues, how to adapt, in the purest sense.

    i think those are good problems to have, and that this show will not be entirely difficult to write. i wouldn't be surprised if they haven't already laid out an entire season's worth of episode breakdowns not dissimilar to legions (?) breakdowns on an earlier thread.

    okay done rambling, sorry.


  • @gofalcons


    yeah, dude. the grossest is the cersei and jaime. i know they're both hot but they are brother and sister! hotness does not excuse incest. and they have THREE kids. that is seriously back assward.

    does anyone else ever wonder why in westeros no kids of incest seem to be born with physical ailments? i mean, isn't that how humans figured out it was a bad idea in the first place? if bonking your brother yielded just as great of kids as if you had them with an unrelated family two towns away, wouldn't it be much, much, much more prevalent? GRRM talks about how it's against the gods to do such things, and everyone is all shocked and scandalized by stannis dropping the bomb on c & j…but why would people think that…look at the targaryens and then the creepy lannister kids who are pretty much normal. i dunno.

    i guess i never had a problem with the age thing (i mean, in real life i do) because i figured it was period appropriate. back in the day, as soon as you got your period you were marriage material, as gnarly as it sounds. and the girl-on-girl fun with dany and irri…well, that's not exactly inaccurate, i don't want to say anything inflammatory but that is how a lot of girls figure out how to do stuff, by "practicing" with their girl friends.

    but incest was never smiled upon, as far as i know, at any point in history. maybe some royalty? but never brother to sister. bleck.

    i also was really uncomfortable with all of viserys nipple pinching of dany for similar reasons. just not okay.

    but since we live in a world where v.c andrews has been a consistently popular writer for i don't know 20 years? 30? people may be more adjusted to sexy twincest love.

    it still creeps me out, though.

  • @pony

    i agree about the incest being creepy, shoulda had it on the list. i think even more creepy than the acts between cersei and jaime is jaime's chapters lusting after her. it's a deeper, more disturbed discomfort.

    < SPOILER >
    and viserys usually made me mad and uncomfortable in general, his tittie twisters no exception. probably one of the most satisfying kill-offs in the series for me.
    < /SPOILER >

    oh, speaking of which….




  • also, i did not need the interior monologue of tyrion on he and sansa's wedding night. like i needed him to either be OK with taking sansa's v-card or like totally against it. the kind of vacillating between "she looks like a child but i still wanna do her" was a little much for me. it kind of jerked me out of my suspension of disbelief about people being okay with having sex with girls her age because it was the norm.

    maybe GRRM felt like he needed to give tyrion that conscience because he loves him too much to just let him be a child sex-haver.

    but it didn't quite mesh for me.

  • @ryan

    yeah, jaime really doesn't see anything to hide about it. cersei at least seems to have a sense of how it will be viewed at large and jaime is like what's the prob? it's very disturbing the way he is sort of obsessed with her. all those chapters of him where every paragraph is punctured by him being tortured by the idea of her sleeping with other people. creeps.

    awesome poll!

    yeah, i gotta just strait up say the red wedding and robb. i mean, eddard is the obvious choice and that was horrible. but by the time SoS rolls around, you're like reading that part and you're like "no way, no way, he's not going to do this again…" and then he does it!

    i was on the floor with shock over robb. because you kind of figure after GoT that eddard got knocked out because we were supposed to put all our guns behind robb and this king in the north idea. so i did. i was like, let's get this done. i am all for it.

    and then GRRM jerks out the rug and you have no clue what to expect next.

    why i love this series!

    secondary choice–joff, because he was such a d.bag
    third choice–ygritte, i didn't hate her like other people, i just really needed jon to get back on the wall and kick some ass
    fourth choice–dany baby/drogo, because it set up such an amazing scene with her in the flames and the eggs and brought forth who she really was
    fifth choice (i will stop now)–red viper! what a shock!

  • I actually have a thought about the whole "inbreeding without consequences" angle.

    There may not be any physical ailments, but the Targaryens are crazy. Aerys was crazy, Viserys is crazy, and while I may be in the minority here, I think Dany is shaping up to be pretty crazy herself.

    Secondly, there's Jack Gleeson as Joff. Looking at both this picture and his home-made movie trailer, it seems to me that he's got this weird ability to shift between being a normal kid and being creepily weird. I'm not positive, but I'm thinking that they might be working to show that there's something a bit off about him.

    However, inbreeding depression usually happens over repeated generations. It's possible that Cersei's children could get away without any abnormalities.

    I don't know if the Targaryens practiced culling or not with their children. If they did, it could help explain why there were never any physical side effects.


    I don't fully ascribe to this theory myself, but do some people think Tyrion is a Targaryen because of his physical ailments? I thought it was because his affinity for dragons. I hadn't thought of this possibility until I wrote the bit about culling, but wonder if anyone has brought up that possibility.

    Oh, and I gotta say that GRRM kind of made Viserys for killing, didn't he? I don't know of anyone that was crafted to more unlikeable.

  • Oh, and for some reason I felt like the favorite kill-off was supposed to be who we were most happy to see killed.

    For full-on execution (pardon the pun) the Red Wedding was genius. For me, it was like a perfect magic trick where you pretty much know what the magician is going to do, you're watching for it, and he fools you anyway. Expertly done, in my opinion.

  • Okay, folks, off to bed for me.

    You know, Legion, at the end of the day I think we both want pretty much the same thing. It feels like I'm approaching these things with a near-dangerous amount of optimism, whereas you're using a healthy dose of pessimism.

    Of course, this means that I can only be right or disappointed, whereas you can either be right or pleasantly surprised. Hrm.

    As always, Ryan, I usually feel like I should just sit back and let you say the things I can't articulate. Maybe in the future I'll be able to stick to that.

    Everyone else, thanks again for your great thoughts. You make this long wait somewhat bearable.



    regarding your poll, I would have to go with "something else", namely the rape scene in the tavern with Gregor and friends. That was just horrible. I just can't compare a brutal, violent rape to a scene with kisses, or with consenting sex, even if it involves incest, or a minor.

    As for the favorite death scene, I have to go with Joffrey. In a story filled with injustice, I was happy to see at least one evil bugger go… I was practically cheering when that happened.

  • @Chris
    I reckon (should they get to AFfC) the characters will be both so far apart and familiar to viewers that they will alternate between them each episode, moving each of their story lines on a little each time and cris-crossing time-lines. This is when some viewers might get frustrated.

    Question, in Lost, do you think people got annoyed by the discontiniuty of dealing with one set of characters at a time, or was it just the meandering of the plot and veering into crazy-land?

    I personally don't mind Lost, even if it annoys me sometimes, and it doesn't seem too comlicated. It isn't particularly well written but the characters where likeable in the 1st and 2nd series.

    Is it a good template for how they would continue the series when they characters go in wildly different directions?

    I really liked the start of ACoK. That was a great kill off by Melisandre, if it counts as a kill off. And the young lad killed by the faceless man in Oldtown was pretty eerie. GRRM makes it feel like you will never know the mysteries involved there.

    As far as main characters are concerned, I love how Yoren dies. He keeps bitchin' the whole way up the kings road about how people used to share their bread and mead with the men of the Wall and he never had no trouble. He seems so old and foresaken, like he has seen the sun rise over Westeros and is now seeing it set in misery and destitution. What a great character and he dies marshelling his men, outnumbered 10-1.

  • nice kill offs!!!

    I have to put the Queen of Thorns killing Joffrey with Sansas poisoned necklace (?) and Melisandre outwitting Maester Kressen at Dragonstone, proving she is no benign soothsayer at the tops for me. I think I like the cunning, unexpected kills which throw a wrench in the plot.

    Totally agreed with the faceless wizard (Jaqen?) killing the boy Pate in Oldtown.

    Ironically I had written a (not very good) short story about a mysterious cloaked man giving a bald, monklike boy a silver coin and a mission, which leads to the boy going crazy. Was set more in Victorian England but still REALLY caught me off guard at how similar the set up and tone were to the Prologue of AFfC.

    Okay enough vanity. Keep the kills coming!


  • It's been a while since I read this part so I may have it wrong (I'm rereading but I'm only about halfway through ACoK) but when Theon kills the two farm boys to save his own butt. I can't remember the details but I know when I first read it I thought it was awful.
    Also, not that it's really a death but the scene when Myrcella is getting sent off to Dorne and GRRM describes the woman holding her dead baby. The way he described her gave me such a bad feeling in my belly.

  • @Manda
    Yeah, the farm boy deaths was a turning point in Theon's character arc. That is the point that he has completely lost control.

  • Oh yeah, and when Arys Oakheart is killed by Areoh Hotah. That is not as much for the sake of Oakheart, but for the sake of seeing Hotah in action. You just know he is gonna have some wicked duels & run-ins.

  • Creepiest stuff for me is probably the whole Joffrey/Sansa thing. I guess I'm supposed to pick a specific moment, but it was really one prolonged humiliation for Sansa. That fact that coming off Ned's death I wasn't sympathetic towards Sansa actually made it worse. The gangrape at the inn with Gregor was awful, but it wasn't creepy so much as shocking, so I'd put it in a different category from Joff/Sansa, Dany/Viserys etc.

    Most satisfying kill… I think I liked Viserys' golden crown the best. Joff was worse than him, though probably because he was in the books longer and had more power to abuse, but him being poisoned by Olenna just doesn't have the same delicious, visceral dose of awesome as Viserys' head getting melted off. Side note, I'm really hoping Arya makes it back to Westeros, identity intact, and murders the Boltons. That would rule on too many levels to count. Maybe she could rescue her doppelgangar while she's at it for bonus points.

    The most emotional death of a "good" character… Probably Ned, but since that's on everybody's list, I'd like to mention Grey Wind. The Red Wedding was shocking, of course, and took out Catelyn and Robb in one fell swoop. I guess the suddenness of it all kind of numbed me to it a little. But Grey Wind refused to go into the Twins. I expected Grey Wind to live (Why, after all, would they chase down a dire wolf? And why would Grey Wind be stupid enough to stick around?), and then of course found out he's dead through an account of his head being sewn on to Robb's body. Obviously I didn't have a lot of attachment to Grey Wind specifically, but his potential survival was kind of the silver lining, until it was stripped away.

    Red Wedding being spoiled in french covers I have to say Eddard was the most WTF moment.
    I had to reread it three times, wanted to slap Sansa. Couldn't believe it well took me a while overall.

  • @Demo

    Grey Wind was definitely some collateral damage revealed in a very macabre way indeed. I don't know if there was much emotion to that for me, since we never really got to know Grey Wind through the warg-dream like we have with the others. Are Bran, Arya and Jon the only wargs in the Stark family so far? Makes you wonder.

    Totally get what you mean about a silver lining. I was so taken aback by the whole thing that I was well out of Riverrun by the time any of it sank in. I am almost dreading re-reading it.

    The Tickler always creeped the hell out of me, because I always envisioned him bastinadoing the victim's feet until they reached the edge of insanity or death.


  • Hahahah!

    "Reader Satisfaction" is almost an oxymoron for GRRM. He is doing his own thing, and will continue to do so. We are just obsessive onlookers into his twisted mind i think. Like reading a serial killer's diary (okay maybe not that severe, but still, it's a sick, sweet addiction these books).

    Maybe the peep show format wasn't such a bad suggestion for the series after all. Would be a helluva metaphor!


  • @Ryan
    In my re-read I just skipped it and got on with Arya/Sandor, [SPOILERS] which was much more unbearable the 1st time round when you tought she was dead.

  • man, when sandor runs her down, i was like FUCK YOU GRRM I QUIT!

    if/when they end an episode with the first half of his running her down, i'm going to puke in my mouth and literally go apeshit!

    i'm telling you, a sick, sweet addiction this show will be.


  • @J
    Yeah Sansa does not come out of that bit well at all. I would've been happy to kill her off in the bloodist fashion, right up until [SPOILER] her last scene with Littlefinger where he lays out her plan. Now I want t see her do something interesting, and mature a little, even if she is a bitch. But hopefully she'll still die a horrible horrible death – the prissy little b…

  • @Ryan
    Oh yeah, what a climax that will be for non-readers. I reckon, if the series gets that far, scenes like that will cause riots in the streets, never mind the morally questionable sleezy aspects.

  • @Mozart
    Well, that depends on how you define "satisfaction". Anything that keeps you coming back for more is a satisfaction of sorts. But I know what you mean. I do think we should expect things to go better for the Starks for awhile now, though. A lot of things seem to be heading in that direction, and while GRRM has shown clearly that he is willing to upset our expectations in cruel ways, I think the Red Wedding will stand as the absolute low-point for the Starks. Winter is coming, and the Starks will be in their element. Not to say that horrible things won't still happen, just that overall I think that whichever Starks remain by series' end will be in a better position than they were mid-ASoS.

  • Imagine goin' a week thinkin' "he just killed that child!" without bein' able to cheat by skippin' forward a few chapters to find her name as a chapter title.

  • yeah, this show will give viewers across the globe plenty water cooler conversation on monday mornings.

    i think this show can be one of the all-times, and i think we who have read the books silently thing the same. the problem is nobody wants to jinx it, but really, the only thing that will ruin its chances will be that it gets made poorly.

    in which case, which would you rather have: a poorly made series for the sake of selfishness, or no series at all?

    i'd rather not see a shitty Legend of the Seeker version of ASoIaF, thank you very much.


  • oh, one other thing i was thinking about, just now.

    the good thing about this series, as a weekly episodic. is that you can have as many cliffhangers as you want along the way. because in the "next week on GoT…" trailers, you can easily avoid what happens with one plotline, and just show the others without any issues.

    for instance, the last scene of an episode involves the aftermath of arya trying to escape, and we see the terrible hound running her down, just before he drops the axe and lops of her head, CUT TO BLACK.

    Hold several beats in silent darkness.

    Cut to "NEXT WEEK ON GAME OF THRONES…" and leave all the viewers breathless. screaming NOOOOO! at the television. then going onto the blogs or calling their friends to discuss at once.

    it will make for great writer manipulation, hooking us week after week. the episode breakdowns you guys did on the other thread prove how many incidents can be woven into this.

    on one hand this is a character story, but the writers have free reign to put as much action and adventure into an episode as they want. it's like making a recipe with the finest ingredients, and a limitless supply of said items.


  • I'd definitely rather not have a show than a crappy one. Legend of the Seeker is a great example. Not that the books were all that great but when I saw that they'd made a show I was excited to watch it…
    Then was completely disappointed. Just awful.

  • If Sansa deserves to die for her part in Ned's death, then Ned deserved it too. He told Cersei he knew about her incest days before Sansa went to her. I've never been able to understand why people hate an eleven year old girl for this while forgiving adult men for murdering and attempting to murder children.

  • @Demokritos
    When you said "I'm really hoping Arya…" I immediately remembered my secondary school teacher describing MacBeth when I was 15. The play is written largely for a beloved King (and I have no idea which one) and basically, on a superficial reading anyway, affirms the rightful position of the divinely ordained lineage and dynasty. So he was playing to his audience and giving them what they want. Mature art does not do that because mature people know they won't get what they want all the time in the real world, and therefore the fears portrayed are much more communal, introspective and searching. That might be vague but I hope some of what I'm saying gets across. So any satisfaction that ou get out of GRRM is satisfaction for satisfactions sake, in order to get viewership like the way almost all popular media and even journalism is produced. Satisfaction is almost accidental, in a weird kind of sense. Even if GRRM is in control of the plot, sometimes plot just demand to be written one way, and the writer just can't authentically get away from it in good conscience.

    Sorry to go to deep or answer a question that wasn't asked, if thats not appropriate.

  • And you're right, the Starks that come out the other end of adversary will be forces to be reckoned with. Its God damn natural selection at its best.

  • @Drowned
    I hate Ned too, and hating Sansa is an involuntary reaction. There is no reason involved. People don't go, "hmmm, but are my imotions rational, I mean think about the people who are morally culpable in the event. Is Joffrey morally culpable? His is a child and knows not what he does. I think I'll reserve until I can inform myself better about the sequence of events and broad context in which it took place."?

    No! they go, "F&$KIN' B£$CH!"

  • @Mozart

    The plot driving the writer is a common reality I've seen many writers (myself included) confess to. You start out with a framework or an outline, and then as you get into the writing part, things emerge that seem to fit, and pretty soon you're just a slave to the plot.

    I can totally see that.


  • @Drowned
    I think it's not so much that people forgive adult men for murdering and attempting to murder children as we enjoy reading about them in spite of (and in some ways because of) this. I assume you mean Sandor and Jaime? They're interesting characters with conflicting traits. At the times of their respective child-murder attempts, they're set up as villains. They're still awful people in a lot of ways, but we come to recognize other characteristics, and I'd say in Jaime's case that he has actually undergone significant changes as a person. Their actions, when it comes right down to it, are partly just products of the fucked up world they live in, as opposed to character flaws specific to them.

    Sansa, on the other hand, is the daughter of Eddard, initially THE hero of the books. Her acts are utterly stupid and traitorous, and not motivated by the same overt violent tendencies that permeate Westeros. Eddard's act, while stupid, is motivated by a misplaced sense of justice and compassion: he's foolishly pitying Cersei, while Sansa instead seems to be TRUSTING her, over her own family. As the pretty young daughter of the main character, she is not set up as a villain, and we therefore have higher moral standards for her than Sandor or Jaime. Her personality is also not that complicated or interesting at this point, at least for a lot of readers, so she doesn't come under the "love to hate" umbrella. I think it's a lot harder to recover from being a fallen "Good guy" than it is for a "bad guy" to become more ambiguous and likeable, especially in a series where violent atrocities are a dime a dozen.

    That said, I don't want her to die, and thought her first chapter after Eddard's death contained more than enough comeuppance. I think she definitely got more interesting in AFfC, and hope she can learn a lot from Petyr, and then use it and his creepy obsession as leverage to escape or overpower him.

  • @Ryan
    Nice to know I'm not out on a limb. I have been trying to write a book for months but I can't seem to stop it becoming a lecture.

    Any advice?

  • @Mozart
    Oh, I definitely agree. George is certainly not going out of his way to do any fanservice, and in fact sometimes seems to go OUT of his way to do the opposite. But one thing I wonder about is if the continuous shitstorm the Starks have endured so far might be yet another case of something stretched out by the move from three to seven books. Even taking George's style into account, it seems like a long time to go without any serious triumphs for any of the heroes. There are a few things, like Robb's victories, but they always get counteracted by things like the Red Wedding. My guess is that, like Dany's invasion of Westeros, the Stark's fortunes turning around is something that was intended to happen a little earlier. And there's at least a few examples of classically satisfying comeuppance with Viserys and Joffrey. On a smaller scale, we've also got Arya killing the Tickler, among others. Something tells me Arya's tendency for murder and realization that she should've had Jaqen kill Roose Bolton (Or perhaps even asked him to take a trip to King's Landing…) might come together in the future. Then again she might actually finish training as a Faceless Man and get sent to murder Tyrion/Dany/Etc.

  • Ryan, something odd that happened to me when I was writing Love in a Time of Zombies:

    There's a point where the two main characters go up onto a roof of an office building. I wrote their scene pretty much how I envisioned it, then went to have them exit as planned.

    The only problem is, I forgot to have them prop the door open.

    No matter how much I tried to go back and write it so they remembered to leave it open, it didn't work. So they got stuck on that roof. Not a clean example of the plot driving the writer, but a small example of how sometimes the events of a story refuse to go how you originally wanted.

  • Yeah I agree with Demokritos. It is "a lot harder to recover from being a fallen "Good guy" than it is for a "bad guy" to become more ambiguous and likeable, especially in a series where violent atrocities are a dime a dozen."

    Ned received the trust of readers and in that sense he carried our protentions and expectations of how the book would procede. We don't just read it passively. When we read we are commiting some of our hopes and aspirations, if only we could enter the book and sort out the mess they are creating. Ned carries, more than any1 at that point in the series, the motivations and aspiration of a lot of people. So when he dies, people like myself are also cursing their own naivity, as well as his. But they are blaming him because he is the archetypal father figure that one usually trusts. Then Tyrion takes over the mantle of protagonist. But the best thing is that there are so many protagonists that every1 pics a different one to relate to. So women in this blog have described a crush on Sandor that they project through Sansa, because she is the only female character with romantic aspirations. But I didn't even notice that thread in the mosaic and I didn't relate to her, so all I saw was an interfering kid that is getting in the way of what I want to happen.

  • I've always thought that with Sansa you are meant to hate her at first.

    She is a cow who gets her father killed, who trusts Cersei despite the stuff with Lady and who, essentially, lies to get her sister in trouble and essentially gets Mycah killed.

    It's only after she does all that, and after she gets used and abused by everyone (Cersei, Sandor and in respects Tyrion) and after she goes to the Vale that you start to see she is also on a journey.

    A journey, that frankly, is a little more realistic that 'I'm 9 but can cope with absolutely anything' Arya.

  • @Demokritos
    Oh yeah, Joffrey's murder was definitely built up to so it produced the most reader satisfaction. I can see where you're coming from with regard to how stretching out the books leaves a kind of void to fill between Stark defeats and Stark revenge. There must be some kind of revenge on the cards for Arya, but it'll be most likely bitter sweet for the reader, if not herself.

  • I'm still pretty convinced that if Arya completes her training she may be asked to do something that "Arya" wouldn't like, as a test.

    Then again, I suppose the same could be accomplished by sending her to do something that "Arya" would enjoy, to make sure she takes no pleasure in it.

  • Mozart, I am both a shameless opportunist and a pouting baby with a fragile ego. Not my best qualities by any stretch, but ones I can't seem to shake.

  • @legion
    Yeah thats pretty coherent. Sansa is basically just doin' everything she has told to do by her romantic story by childhood and only after all those people that told her what to do get killed does she start to brake out and start thinking about whats happening to her.

    But Arya is just a different person. She has never trusted any1, even at Winterfell. Only Jon really. And she revered Ned. So her arc, for me isn't that unbelievable. She never trusted any1 and now she is alone and still doesn't trust any1, so she has to make it up as she goes alog. Her age does grate on me a little, but I think that is just my modern conditioning and the way we view children now. They really don't need half the protection we give them.

  • @Mozart/Legion
    I never found Arya's storyline that unbelievable. Children can take a lot, in some ways because they're children. Arya is a tough kid, and because she's so young, she has the moral and emotional flexibility to adapt to the situation. It helps that the entire world is pretty well fucked from her perspective, so she doesn't necessarily feel like her situation is in any way unusual, as someone in the real modern world might. So she's not "alone", even though she is.

  • I just always thought, with Arya, she is utterly 'wrong.'

    Even as an observant Northern child, even with Stark blood and all that, she is far too not a Lord's daughter.

    Her naivity does come through at times, but I always feel she deals with things far too easily.

    You are right though, im sure many children could deal with things like she does, look at child buse cases where the children, unfortunately, just have to get on with it.

    I think with Arya, she is possibly the only character I don't see anything in that I can relate too and as such, cant identify with the story.

  • Having a three-and-a-half-year-old and reading the parts with Rickon, my guess (and it's just a guess) is that GRRM hassome eight-year-old(s) he's using as model(s) for Arya.

    When you actually interact with kids on a regular basis, you realize they're capable of a lot more than you might otherwise give them credit.

    Now granted, some of you out there might know some eight-year-olds and go, "There's no way this kid could survive a second on his/her own!" I'd say that while Arya survives on her own, it's not like she's actively thriving.

  • Street urchins all around he world live for years. People, including kids, have crazy survival skills that kick in when they really need them to. I was watching a documentary on BBC a few months ago about the south Pacific and there are islanders there that sail out on little wooden crafts that can tell the direction of tiny islands (specific ones) thousands of miles away tracking their previous movements, the stars and the shape of the waves on the surface of the ocean.

  • @Mozart

    Is your book fiction? I find that whenever a short story or novel chapter comes to a grinding halt, the best thing (for me) to do, is open a blank page or document, and start re-outlining.

    Outlining is where you get to fuck with your story, add stuff, subtract it, delete and rearrange. It's much harder to do that in the actual prose, and you get short sighted.

    My analogy has always been, don't draw the nostril hairs until you've got the overall pose and proportions down first. That is so true for me in writing as well.

    Example, I started a story about a lampooned ship on a strange planet ( I know) inhabited with what appeared to be children but were aliens. These aliens are magical, and have groves of diamond trees which can speak to other worlds. My story became a barter plot, where the protagonist's girlfriend and her brother (both on the ship) are held captive in that grove until Alex (the hero) can bring the silverbeaks back, who are the deities for the children of this planet.

    Anyhow, that story was told first person, as a confession by the hero, written to his ultimate captor. I liked the untrustworthy narrator, but didn't really love the story arc.

    So I took a step back to find a better hook. During my hiatus, I was researching diamonds when I stumbled across Life Gem, an actual company that will take your loved one's ashes and turn them into a diamond.

    That gave me an idea which I am now using to re-outline my plot, using the same touchpoints but an entirely new inciting incident and story arc. It is now going to be like Blood Diamond in space, with a grittier edge to it.

    I dunno, just another example of how loosening your grip on your own idea can sometimes let new ones in which help shape the original seed you planted in your mind.


  • Blood Diamond meets Children of the Corn meets some sort of inter-galactic corporate gold rush era type of world, rather.


  • @ryan & @mozart

    haha, yeah, i forgot about that scene where you think sandor kills arya! i had the same reaction as ryan.

    it was the only time in any of the books, i actually flipped ahead to make sure there was an arya chapter because if there wasn't, i was ready to throw the book out the window in total frustration.

    and when i saw that there was one and read what actually happened to her, i laughed because GRRM brings the pain, people and we just come back for more.

  • Completely off topic, but I just had to share.

    We're getting the front of our fireplace redone and the guy the construction company sent out to do the estimate is named Brandon.

    Brandon the Builder is making the Wall for us!

  • @educatedpony

    I would never flip ahead, but man, I sure wanted to! GRRM doesn't fuck around, no question.


  • @gofalcons
    Not so good for him though. Bit of a come down after a giant magical wall. But sure, we are in a recession. He is probably takin' whatever work he can get.

  • Zombies, but not wild men with axes. You're kids 'll have to take the black. Make sure they don't kill Santa though.

  • @Ryan & Educatedpony
    I forget if I've flipped ahead to see if people are dead or not. I know I flipped through about half of ASoS trying to try and find another Bran chapter, though that had nothing to do with seeing if he died or not… I am in the habit of generally flipping ahead to see how long it will take to get back to a storyline I'm digging, and that one of course won't come back until ADwD.

    Hm. Make sure he doesn't build it out of ice. Works for walls in the frozen North, not so much for building fires in.

  • I gotta say, though, out of all of the ones on there I like Rory as the Hound the best.

    If I'm so happy while looking at stock photos and composites, I can only guess at the excitement I'll feel when the actual press materials start rolling out.

  • Great work from Narwen. I draw lousy stick figures so have no room to talk but Syrio would not approve of Arya's grip on that sword. The top one Theon needs a spoiler warning.

    Love the Hound poster most of all.

  • In regards to the artwork by Narwen…if HBO can make Tamzin look 1/2 as good as he did, I'm ok with her. I was extremely worried about HBO's casting of Tamzin.

  • Follow up: I personally have no problem with Tamzin, but seriously, folks, even if you do, you haven't seen her as Dany yet. The biggest hurdle is getting your mind right with the fact that she's going to be fine. If you can't do that, you'll spy flaws everywhere no matter how good of a job she and/or HBO do.

    I sincerely think a few shots of her in costume will help that happen.

  • @Paul Gude

    "I sincerely think a few shots of her in costume will help that happen."

    You nailed it buddy. When I saw that picture I didn't see Tamzin, I saw Dany.

    P.S. I really, really don't want to be the one that brings up all the Tamzin/Dany arguments again so lets just pretend I didn't say anything. ;-)

  • I find Arya pretty easy to believe and relate to. I'd say I relate best to

    1. Jon
    2. Arya
    3. Tyrion
    4. Sam
    5. Sandor

    Can't relate at all to people like Sansa and Catelyn, who have always seemed almost like Cersei to me.

  • I relate to Davos best. It is quite an interesting advent, this side of the discussion. You don't really think about it when you're readin' it and talk to people about it but the protagonists are so well written that every1 views tem differently and connects to the characters in totally different ways, often not even noticing the same threads at at all.

    But definitely Davos is who I engage with. He is so lost in conscience and his own moral integrity, which is such a different orientation than the other characters. Tyrion and Jon maybe, but others are often driven by ego, self-interest or revenge, while he just wants a simple life for his sons, bread on the table and what-not. Except he can't have it because of his background so he has to bring his battle right to the top of society and fight it on the terms of the most powerful people of the realm.

    Also, him and Bronn have a lot in common. So I relate to them, except that I'm not a bad-ass, I'm the skinniest nerd in the 7 kingdoms.

  • Narwin, I love your photoshops, they are awesome. How bout photoshopping some of our suggestions for future cast members, like Tywin, Ser Loras, Stannis, Litlefinger, Melisandre, Asha, etc.
    I can start you off with my suggestion for Asha, how about Ashley Greene she already looks how I envisioned her and she is the right age.

  • And has to look believable in mail and boiled leather. None of that Zena bullshit for GoT please. That just grates on me. Strong women don't *have to* be hot, they can look like real people.

  • @Paul J
    I can relate better to them also. Characters like Sansa, Cercei, Cat are like the head cheerleaders and Presidents of the senior class, from the top 1% of their school. Jon even though he would be Varsity quarterback is the type who would make friends with most classmates.

  • @Moz,
    Thanks, I know someone who is Turkish, I will get her to translate my message, then I can thank Narwin properly.

  • @Jonias
    Not 100% sure, but I think Narwen posts over on Westeros, and has at least some grasp of English. And I'm fairly sure the language featured on her site is Russian, based on the fact that it's and written in Cyrillic.

  • Jonias,

    I can get in Brienne's head with that whole idea that you're just not going to fit the roles you're expected to no matter what you do. Even Theon is somewhat sympathetic (bear with me) in the whole twenty-something, "I did what I thought I was supposed to do, and now I've fucked everything up" sort of way.

    Still, though, I think I like reading the Tyrion chapters the most. He's got the same sort of outcast vibe, plus when things start to go wrong, he can see it coming.

    That's ten times worse, and I love it.

  • Little brother… valonqar?

    I don't think it's very likely, mind you, but Martin's reference to Benjen as "Little Brother" suggests the faint possibility that he might be the valonqar prophesied to strangle Cersei. I'm still 99% sure it's her own younger (by a few seconds) brother Jaime (not Tyrion, as Cersei assumes — indeed, I suspect that "Cersei assumes" may be the most reliable indicator in ASoIaF that a proposition is false), but if not, I think the next most likely possibility would be Benjen/Coldhands.

    I've heard Victarion Greyjoy, Quentyn Martell, and Sandor Clegane suggested as alternative valonqars, but I don't buy any of them; while they all have reasons for enmity toward the Lannisters, I don't think any of them have the kind of personal animosity toward Cersei that would inspire a method of murder as intimate as manual strangulation. Victarion would probably whack off her head with a boarding axe if she ever got within his reach, and Quentyn, being Dornish, would likely favor a spear, while the Hound would use a sword or a dagger. Throttling seems more like the act of a jilted, betrayed, disillusioned former lover, i.e. Jaime — but it's also entirely possible that Ned Stark's younger brother would finish off Ned's killer with his own icy cold, black hands if their paths should ever cross again.

    As an aside, it occurred to me that Tyrion could have fulfilled the prophecy if he'd killed Cersei with the same improvised garotte he used to take his revenge on Shae — and that Jaime might find the Hand's chain of office "handy" himself for the purpose, given that his gold prosthetic isn't really suitable for tasks like strangling psychopathic sisters.
    —–Alex (a.k.a. Entomologist, when LJ is cooperating with OpenID)

  • @Alex
    Nice idea about the garotte, though I think the exact wording involves the word "hands" I suppose he could tie one end of the chain around his gold one, though…

    I've personally toyed with the idea that the prophecy was never intended very literally at all, and that Osney Kettleblack, who "confessed" and got her where she is now, is the valonqar. I haven't been able to find a mention of the relative ages of the Kettleblacks, though, and of course that will be a very anticlimactic reveal if it's true. Only slightly less so if she gets out of trouble and he actually strangles her for getting him tortured, because who cares about Osney Kettleblack?

    Just putting the possibility out there, anyway.

    By the way, what do we think about the children in gold shrouds stuff? I'm not entirely convinced it means her children all have to die before she does. It could be figuratively meaning that she'll think Tommen and Myrcella are dead, or it could be really literal and refer to some sort of a shroud or covering other than one used for burial. Maybe I'm just harboring fantasies of Tommen carrying on the Lannister line under Tyrion's tutelage, thereby de-assholifying it.

  • Alex, even if that's not the case, it's the best non-Lannister suggestion I've heard. I sometimes forget that uncle Benjen may still be out there, and none too happy with what's been happening.

  • Off-topic, but what the hell:

    I'm hoping we haven't left it too late (and I suspect the pilot will have a temp music track, so we may have a little time left yet), but I'm starting to think we should push for Bear McCreary to do the music for the project. I don't know if anyone has let him or his agent know about the series the same way people have been with actors, but it could be a great move.

    I was just reading his blog where he was bigging up a relatively mundane-looking hospital series, but he really sold it very well and fired up a lot of people's enthusiasm anyway. And I know people who'd watch GoT purely because he's doing the music for it.

  • Oh, good call on what he means by Poor Doomed Souls Dept. I was stuck on thinking he was somehow referring to the remaining major role(s).

  • i really have it in my head that introducing us to benjen only to have him disappear immediately was a bit of a strange move by GRRM.

    and the subsequent tone of not total abandonment of him being alive further cemented my believe that he is still around, in one form or another.


  • I also think Jaime is the valonqar, but as I read AFfC it occured to me that Tommen, Cersei's favored son Joff's "little brother" was a possibilty as well.
    Character I relate to the most- guess. Yes, its my namesake Brienne. She has a certain innocent niavete that is constantly beat down by the reality that is her life. Yet she indignantly clings to her defense of "right" and "wrong". She was born so differently physically and is constantly criticized for not being the right kind of woman- yet she chooses the sword. She actually enjoys swordplay- because that's what she was born to do. If she was weaker (as I've seen her accused of being on this blog) she would have stayed in her room in her silk frocks in tears after her betrothed laughed in her face bawling her eyes out and would've looked all the more ridiculous for it. She's an ugly girl making her way in the world with her brawn- I'm a plain Jane making it with my brain and I love her for it. Now if only she would stop falling for the wrong man…
    Best death- for me, Renly. I was a little late coming to "ASoIaF" and had some of the other deaths spoiled for me. So not only did it surprise me, but the method (wait- what shadow?) was so unexpected I had to read it twice to make sure what had happened.
    Creepiest part- sorry, but the incest in this work of fiction doesn't bother me that much. The Sansa and the Hound parts do. The Hound as a bad boy sex symbol girls will hate me for this- but he's a predator. His drunken learing after the battle when he is at his weakest worried me to death- an injured animal tends to strike out, after all. But the Littlefinger/Sansa stuff creeps me out most of all. His obsession with Cat is so obviously projected onto her, he seems to be using her like a doll. He's manipulating her into being what he desires most, just as he does with every situation. That kind of mindgames are the most skin crawling to me.
    Just my 2 cents.
    What- no clues for us to crack in less than 5 minutes on the doomed brothers?

  • I know I may catch hell for this, especially since I haven't seen the series, but isn't the fact that Bear McCreary's music is so much a part of BSG mean that he might be the wrong choice for Game of Thrones?

    As a counterpoint to that, I loved Angelo Badalamenti's work on Twin Peaks but he didn't seem out of place in City of Lost Children, so it may not be entirely correct.

    I think it's because I'm looking for something entirely different for the soundtrack, either crazy operatic things like Patrick Cassidy's Salem's Lot Aria for some of the grander spectacles, or experimental pieces like David Cunningham's for the dream sequences.

    I bring up those two because they're both Irish.

    I honestly do feel that Bear McCreary would be fine, but his deep association with another show would make it feel a bit weird. I guess similar to the arguments people made with Sean Bean being in both Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings?

    That didn't bug me that much, though, so I'm sure I'd get over it.

  • (Oh, and even though I've only seen one or two episodes of BSG, I've listened to stuff other people have posted by Bear McCreary, specifically the Caprecia soundtrack and Baltar's Dream. Again, fine stuff that would work, just not as far out as I'd like. I'm not holding my breath for things to go that far out, honestly.)

  • It goes without saying, but those posters Narwen has been whipping up are amazing. It shows just how much more convincing those actors will be once in character. Just look at AA as Theon. Alfie looks nothing like what I picture as Theon, but in that poster he looks perfect.

  • I also think Jaime is the valonqar, but as I read AFfC it occured to me that Tommen, Cersei's favored son Joff's "little brother" was a possibilty as well.

    I'd considered that too, but the very same prophesy about the Valonqar also says that Cersei will see her children die, it seems, so it's likely Tommen is (sadly) not long for this world, nor is Myrcella:

    "'Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds,' she said. 'And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.'"

  • Strangulation is a method of choice for wights, yes? If using the title "Little Brother" for the Benjen clues is a red herring, it's a good one. If Benjen is Coldhands and Coldhands is a wight, it works. If Benjen isn't Coldhands but was turned into a wight, it works. Heck, as long as he strangles her, wight or no, it'd work, but it'd still be a nice parallel to the beginning if that happens near the end.

  • Well, its open for interpretation, but it was the mention of the valonqar right after her children that first made me think Tommen. For some reason, I thought maybe the Frog wasn't neccesarily predicting all of Cersei's children's deaths before her(Cersei's) own. Besides, in GRRM's world the dead can still kill.

  • My hits:

    (SPOILERS, as ever)

    Best death: Joffrey, because it lasted so wonderfully long. Little snot had it coming and I got to savor it on multiple pages.

    Honorable mention: The Tickler. Oh, yes. "Where is Lord Beric? Where is the gold? Where? Where? Where?" Stab, stab, stab. Arya FTW.

    Most shocking death: No one could have told me the Red Wedding was coming. I mean, I knew the Late Lord Walder Frey was going to stick it to us some way, but this just punched me in the balls. And as soon as Catelyn realized the not-musicians were playing The Rains of Castamere I knew what was happening – and was actually afraid to read what came next. It was even worse than I imagined it could be.

    I loved it.

    Honorable mention: The Red Viper. I really thought he had it won. And then bam, gutpunch. I felt as though I wanted to blow my cookies along with Tyrion did when I read that.

    As for setting the tone, "The things I do for love" will always be the benchmark. I was so impressed at how easily George killed a PoV (and a kid no less) I was actually disappointed when Bran lived (I still sort of am). I said, "Aw, you chicken … you almost had me." And then of course he got Ned, and he's had me ever since.

    Most cinematic scene: For some reason I saw the Dany "Mother! Mother! Mother!" scene already filmed. As it happened. The ol' Yea got a shiver.

    Queerest feeling in my bones: For me it has to be Tyrion getting a stiffie looking at his extremely underage naked bride. Like I get it? But I don't want to get it. I have a funny protective streak toward Sansa, and I like her as much as I like Arya. Any scene that has her abused (note my hate for Koffrey) either physically or emotionally sets my teeth on edge. It's why I empathize with the Hound: I feel she needs protecting too! Petyr Baelish creeps me out for obvious reasons, and I just felt sorry for Dontos. But the Tyrion scene? I was like…

    "… No, c'mon, he's not attracted to her in that way is h–AHHH, he IS! Nooo!" Pause. "Wait, she has boobs now." Pause. "AHHHH, would it happen to me too??"

    I can't say. It honestly depends on the boobs.

    (You've literally been let inside my mind. Have fun with that.)

  • Also, I agree that the Poor Doomed Souls Department has to be the three from the Prologue. Still holdin' out for Pattison as Ser Waymar.

    And Bear McCreary should do the music. I'd give a finger for that; I frakkin' love that guy. And I think he'd do it more than justice. I don't think it would be Battlestar-esque at all, except for an awesomesauce use of drums.

    Too bad he's busy with TRAUMA.

  • Yup, the prologue for sure, my first reaction. Two out of three is not bad … useless guessing, but who do you think they might most likely not have signed a contract with yet? Garred?

  • Hm, I guess Gared with a single r.

    I was looking at the list of characters, and with little more than three weeks to go, they still have quite a long way with minor ones. Martin didn't mention the three Dothraki handmaids in his own list, but he forgot Benjen as well (or had he been cast by then? same difference). If Bran is the one cast in the one-but-last major role, then that's auspicious – my guess is they will be shooting the Westerosi scenes first. Still, they are some minor roles (also non-speaking parts) short as of now, as far as we know.

    Thinking about the youngest children roles, at least some of the threesome Rickon, Tommen, Myrcella(?) may be at some point down the line recast with not much harm (reason: (when/if) their roles get more prominent and they get substantial lines, excuse: the children grew older and look as their older selves).

  • I've always assumed it'll turn out that valonqar was a bad translation and it'll turn out that it means 'Little Sister' as in Dany and Rhaegar.

    However, with the random Cersei/The Faith storyline development I'm thrown as to what will happen to her (although 'conversion' and becoming High Septa or something seems possible)

  • @About Yea High: just wanted to clear up some of the timeline you mentioned in the previous post regarding the growth of the wolves from the Jon/Tyrion scene at the feast and the assassination attempt on Bran.

    Immediately following the Jon/Tyrion scene is the Catelyn chapter where they get Lysa's letter and Ned decides to go to KL and Jon will go to the Wall. Even assuming this takes place the same night as the feast, Ned says near the end that it will take at least a fortnight to prepare to leave. Next is Arya chapter and then the Bran fall chapter. This takes place the day before they were supposed to leave. Next is the Tyrion chapter four days after fall. Next is Jon chapter where he says goodbye to Bran and everyone leaves Winterfell. This takes place "nearly a fortnight" after the fall. The attempt on Bran is eight days after they leave. So about five weeks between the feast scene and the attempt.

  • @the goat
    Nice work! I had assumed they'd stick a gap between the letter and the feast, which there probably still is, but it's good to know there's plenty of time for the wolves to grow.

    The "bad translation" idea seems like a little bit of a cop-out to me, but eh. I'm sure George could pull it off. As for cersei and the faith, I don't think she'll become High Septa unless she seduces or kills the High Septon, and even then it's a stretch for her to get there from being as low as she is. Still, with some creative lying, it could happen. It seems more likely to me that she'll either languish awhile and get news of her children dying before she herself is put to death, or that she'll escape/be set free as an outcast, and meet her demise on the outside. It would be pretty cool if she managed to climb back up to power for a few brief moments before being brought down farther than ever before, though.

  • With so many books left, and her really the only human 'villain' in the series left, I can't see her just being put aside.

    But this is GRRM we're talking about, so she may get executed in a prologue for all I know!

  • @Legion
    True about her being the only human villain, at least as far as being the only firmly established one with significant power (Euron and Melisandre seems pretty villainous to me, but then again they're fairly mysterious yet. Roose and Ramsay are pretty thoroughly horrible, but they just tentatively control the north, and even that under Lannister approval.)

    I wonder if GRRM might be intentionally taking all the human villains and killing them off, getting them out of Westeros or making them sympathetic, though, to set up for the Others? This way before they show up in full force, we're not really wholeheartedly siding with any one human faction, and are just hoping they pull their heads out of their asses and look North. Cersei's probably the last major person who needs to be out of the way before we stop wanting any of the major sides to catastrophically fail.

  • Possibly.

    Personally, I'd rather the Others didnt show up. I like my political style intrigue, not random monsters and magic – I don't want the series to suddenly 'jump the shark' and be full of Deus ex Machina magic and monsters.

    Euron doesn't seem like a villain to me, he just seems like a pirate. And we all know pirates are cool.

    Melisandre…….juries out. She's written to sound 'evil' and yet she seems pretty loyal to Stannis who is just a clear cut black and white guy.

    Gotta wonder if Petyr can be described as 'villianous'…?

  • "I know I may catch hell for this, especially since I haven't seen the series, but isn't the fact that Bear McCreary's music is so much a part of BSG mean that he might be the wrong choice for Game of Thrones?"

    Interestingly, McCreary did not create the BSG signature musical style which is so much part of the show. That was a different guy, Richard Gibbs, who did the pilot, then McCreary took over full-time on BSG in Season 1. Even within BSG itself, the music changed a lot over time and could change a lot from traditional orchestral to an Eastern influence (taiko drums and sitars) to choral and so on. A good composer needs to adjust and alter their sound a lot whilst retaining a signature style for the show. A lot of composers don't manage that and are still using the same basic theme elements in Season 5 that they were in Season 1.

    There are other good choices. Jeff Beale, who did the music for ROME, also did an excellent job of creating something that sounded true to Roman times whilst retaining a modern sensibility as well. Christopher Franke did excellent work on BSG, although his synth-led approach probably wouldn't work too well on GoT.

    "Too bad he's busy with TRAUMA."

    As I said before, at one point McCreary was doing three TV shows simultaneously. At the moment he's only doing two (and they're only overlapping a bit between finishing scoring TRAUMA and starting to do CAPRICA Season 1 proper), so certainly workload-wise he seems up for the job. Also, since the three shows in this case are filming at different times of year and will be in post at different times, so the workload wouldn't all come at once. Obviously he might not want to do 3 shows at once simultaneously again ;-)

  • @Legion
    Oh, I expect the political intrigue to continue, even as the Others amass against the wall, I just think Cersei needs to be dead or deposed by then so the reader is no longer rooting for or against anyone in particular. Let's face it, the Others ARE almost certainly going to be the main antagonists by the end, but of course I don't expect it to be simple, or for the solution to be deus ex machina (Though it will probably be epic).

    I expect the fight against the Others will involve Azor Ahai reborn, whatever it is Bran's going to do, and the Night's Watch, but that no one aspect is going to be a silver bullet, and that continuing south-of-the-wall conflicts will be one of the major obstacles that needs to be overcome, at least temporarily.

    Euron: Perhaps it's partly just the way Victarion seems so honorable (For an Ironborn, at least) and doesn't like Euron, but he gives me a bad feeling. Probably not a villain by ASoIaF standards, but I expect him to be a hindrance to the protagonists at best.

    Melisandre: Is she really loyal to Stannis? She seems to coerce and cajole him at every turn. I personally don't think she believes he's Azor Ahai reborn, but is rather using his pride against him, and positioning him as a puppet ruler so that she can pull his strings. Again I might be partly getting this from the attitudes of another character who seems trustworthy (Davos), but she really doesn't strike me as out for anyone but herself. The best motive I can imagine for her is that she's genuinely trying to stop the Others, but is using any and all means to do so, including outright lies, deception and murder. Even then, the fact that she's taking it upon herself to do this instead of looking for the real Azor Ahai, or telling the truth and getting others to join her as equals, implies a seriously over-inflated ego.

    Petyr is probably in the same boat as Euron and Melisandre in a lot of ways. He seems to be out for himself alone, and has "Machiavellian" stamped all over him. For some reason I think he has a compassionate streak underneath it all, though, even if it mostly comes out in his creepy obsession with Catelyn. He DOES, after all, try to warn Eddard as best he can without endangering himself, even if he's ultimately the one Eddard needed to be warned about. I also imagine he had a hand in fixing it so Eddard could take the black. I don't think he has much in the way of morals, but he seems to try and squeeze some in where they won't have any downside for his plans.

  • @Demokritos

    Nice idea about the garotte, though I think the exact wording involves the word "hands" I suppose he could tie one end of the chain around his gold one, though…

    That was the exact wording, which is why I suggested the Hand's chain — a chain of golden hands — as a possible meaning. Of course, in Jaime's case they wouldn't technically be his hands unless he's the Hand of the King at the time it happens, but that isn't impossible.

    I also imagine he [Littlefinger] had a hand in fixing it so Eddard could take the black.

    I don't think so; I think he was the one who ensured that Joff would order Ned killed, and that the order would be followed. Everyone assumes that Ser Ilyn and the gold cloaks holding Ned on the steps were obeying their spoiled brat king, but I think they were really obeying the man who controlled their payroll: the Master of Coin. It was Cersei and Varys that wanted Ned to take the black, because it was their best chance of defusing the war with the North, which they very much did not need to be fighting while Stannis and Renly were raising armies against them. Petyr, who thrives on chaos and can always find a way to turn a catastrophe to his advantage, wanted the War of Five Kings… and also wanted Catelyn's husband and the brother of the man who humiliated him killed, not just exiled. I also think that eventually, Sansa's going to find or figure all that out, and when she does, it will be Petyr's undoing.

  • @Demokritos
    "Let's face it, the Others ARE almost certainly going to be the main antagonists by the end"

    Until we get an Other POV and find out they're really just misunderstood.