Bryan Cogman on the challenges of adaptation
By Winter Is Coming on in Press.

Alyssa Rosenberg of ThinkProgress.org has posted a lengthy and interesting interview with Game of Thrones writer and story editor Bryan Cogman. The whole interview is a great read, so be sure to check it out, but I’ve pulled a few salient points here.

On Ros and her role in the story:

There’s a great divide in the fan community about Ros, which I think is pretty unfair to Esme [Bianco] who’s done an absolutely terrific job playing the part…In King’s Landing, for the most part, you’re seeing things through the eyes of the nobles, and Ros gives you a window into the class of people they take for granted. It was fun this season to sort of explore those people on the margins.

On Robb and his relationship with Talisa:

We always knew we wanted to keep Robb more front and center. In the book, he’s absent except for the first chapter. He shows up in the third book married. We knew we wanted to keep Robb and Catelyn’s tenuous relationship at the forefront. We knew the portrayal of Walder Frey and the marriage to a new woman would be part of the story. Originally, it was Jeyne Westerling. In the books, Jeyne is tending his wounds, Robb gets a terrible piece of news, and they spend the night together dealing with his grief, and he marries her after that. [In the show], it isn’t just about making an honest woman out of this girl, it’s that he falls in love and chooses love over duty, which is an ongoing choice which is brought up again and again throughout the series.

On portraying the backstory elements of the series:

…there’s such a rich backstory and mythology, thousands of thousands of years of mythology that George has come up with. But as David put it, the show would collapse of the weight of all of that…One of the big themes of the books is the characters’ relationship with the past, and I want that to be a huge theme of the show. It’s one I think will emerge more strongly as the series goes on. But when you’re starting out of the gate, a lot of the long speeches about characters that existed in days gone by, it’s interesting, but it doesn’t make for very dramatic television. So you have to pick the moments where it’s going to affect what’s happening in the present to get that information out there. A character like Rhaegar Targaryen, it’s safe to say in the books you know more about Rhaegar than you do at this point in the show. That’s on purpose. We don’t want to load up the front end.

On their long-term approach to adaptation:

If you go back and look at season two from beginning to end, it’s essentially the second book. There were a lot of detours on, and things that were cut and shifted around. But it follows if not all of, most of the story beats and emotional beats of the second book. We saved things for later. Certain things had to be cut. Certain things had to be shifted. But we’re pretty much going into the third season where you are when you finish the second book. It’s not like True Blood or The Walking Dead, which completely veered off course, which I’m not necessarily saying is a bad thing or a good thing.

But I had to learn that too, I had to learn that as we were working on it. It’s okay if Jojen and Meera [Reed] don’t appear in the second season because we needed to, for a lot of reasons, slow Bran’s awareness of what’s happening to him down…[Arya], in the books, she’s at this point much more of a killer, her body count’s a lot higher than it is in the series. We’re slowing that journey down a little bit because we’re thinking of several years of a TV series. I think, while it works great in the books, it would have been very strange in my episode, in that final battle, for her to be killing those Lannister guys who are fully armored. In the context of our show, it wouldn’t have made sense. In the book, the way the scene is staged, it does make sense.

When I’m talking about changes, it’s never ‘our version was better in the book, or this didn’t work in the book.’ I would never say that. But if you’re watching our show, that moment wouldn’t have been earned by that point, so we’re delaying it.

Winter Is Coming: Thanks to Bryan for some really great answers and an interesting look into the adaptation process. As I’ve said a few times, these guys are playing a long-game. If a favorite moment or scene or line or character of yours doesn’t show up in the same spot it did in the book, it does not mean it has been cut. Best thing to do is be patient. I feel confident that all of the prophecies that were left out of the House of the Undying will appear later on in the story.


317 Comments

  1. Jaime Lannister
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Interesting stuff, but I maintain that the book’s way of handling Robb’s marriage (his grief-stricken moment of passion leading to him doing the “right thing” by this girl) is infinitely superior to the sketchy, bog-standard alternative we got.

  2. Conor
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff, I agree with most if not all of the points brought up. They’ve done a fantastic job so far with keeping the major plot points, and overall the changes have been minor,better or hopefully delayed. Talk that may become important in later seasons (Rhaegar etc…) can easily be brought up in those later seasons to make it more relevant.

    Get to work on Season 3 Bryan! Anyone know which episode he’s writing/wrote next season?

  3. Kingthlayer
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    he’s such a well spoken guy – great snippets!

    that’s the first time I’ve ever said snippets.

    *cries*

  4. Knurk
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Very nice stuff, although the Talissa storyline was a lowpoint for me this season I can’t say that it was much better in the books. GRRM needed that wedding and it never felt natural to the story alas.

  5. Renaud Besse-Bourdier
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I like this guy more and more each time he does an interview ;-)

  6. Omar Brown
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Great article, and it shows the challenges they face day to day with this adaptation, and that they don’t take the task lightly.

    I already knew that, I hope the detractors give it a read so they might get some insight.

  7. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Jaime Lannister:
    Interesting stuff, but I maintain that the book’s way of handling Robb’s marriage (his grief-stricken moment of passion leading to him doing the “right thing” by this girl) is infinitely superior to the sketchy, bog-standard alternative we got.

    I agree with you.
    That, and Jon and Dany’s storylines are way better in the books.
    The screenwriters, as much as they have done a wonderful work, butchered them.

  8. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Loved the interview, and loved how he basically set shit straight as far as the writers’ motivations go.

    The fact that some people seem to want to find some sort of subversive plot for the changes the show makes still boggles my mind. How can they not see everything that’s being done to tell a cohesive story?

    I get criticizing certain changes. You don’t like ‘em? Fine. But don’t turn that around into “the writers are trying to destroy the story just so they can call it theirs.” Clearly their love for this series is immense.

  9. vntrlqst
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Great article.

    I especially like the bit about stretching Arya and Bran’s story lines, which is what I suspected they were doing. I think a lot of readers fail to take into account that the series wasn’t originally meant to stretch out over seven books. George saw that a particular aspect of the story could be inflated (probably Kings Landing/the war in general) and had to artificially inflate other stories (Dany, Jon, Bran, Arya) beyond what he had originally intended. Reading ACoK gives you the development of Bran and Arya as George intended in a shorter series, but now we see these characters getting short shifted in the later books because their development was front loaded on a series that turn out bigger than expected. Really, ACoK ended with Arya killing someone. ASoS ends with Arya killing someone and then getting on a boat. Saving her descent into a killer until next seasons makes better sense in the context of knowing this is a long series, something George didn’t know when he wrote ACoK.

  10. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm,

    I would argue Jon and Dany’s arcs in A Clash of Kings were dull. Did the show do them perfectly? No. Not enough time, not enough money for what I would have personally wanted to see.

    But having Dany’s dragons thieved rather than her rather ambiguous book motivation to go into the House of the Undying? Much better.

  11. Kingthlayer
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    you know he brings up a great point about how much time you get to spend with each character and how that in itself will dictate a lot of changes. Arya for instance not being a stone cold killer. It was a let down for many but Bryan explains it very well in that as a viewer you don’t spend too much time with her and that switch would be out of character at this point. As a reader you spend a lot more time with her and get to know her inner workings. TV is just more limited in that regard and that’s ok.

  12. Eleanor
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I’ve liked Ros since her very first scene. Esmé Bianco’s brilliant – love her naughtiness, her hauteur (“Are you going to make me Lady Greyjoy, then?) and then the unexpected sorrows in this season. As Bryan Cogman says, it’s a shame for the actress that she attracts so much vitriol. I’m truly looking forward to her being Varys’ spy.

    (And because it’s difficult not to mention them – I’m a straight woman, and think that her breasts are the most perfect ones I’ve ever seen.)

  13. lovesduncan
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Excellent interview. Bryan is a talented writer and does a great job describing the challenges in adapting this story for TV. Nice to know that he is such a fan of the books.

    I don’t agree with one of his comments about Ros; that her character “gives you a window into the class of people they take for granted.” Ros’ presence doesn’t gives us a window into anything. She is there to drive plotlines forward.

  14. Cheshire
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    No, let’s not talk about how that wedding completely 180 Robb character: He married Jayne for safe HER honor, not love. He isn’t a normal Teenager, full of hormone who don’t understand how the world work. He did it because he desperately try to be like his father,or better (thinking at Jon’s mother) : always doing the most honorable thing

  15. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    I’m looking forward to less Tyrion in season 3 to be honest. Tyrion is so ahead of all the other main POV characters as far as being fleshed out.

    I look forward to seeing a lot more of Dany, Jon, Brienne vs Jaime, Margaery vs Joff and Cers, lots of Bran and the Reeds, some more Robb and Talisa loving, some nights watch vs the others…..

    I love Pete and his acting and Tyrion is one of my favorite characters but I really think D&D need to let him take a backseat for a while and shine their spotlight on some of the other amazing characters/cast.

  16. Caedes
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Every time I see a change from the original material, I keep wondering to myself. Is there a valid, solid reason to do this? A most of the time there is, be that an external cause (Elyes Gabel or Conan Stevens leaving the show), a budgetary one (No Vaes Tolorro, which would need another location and sets for only, what, one episode?), for condensing the story (no Chyswick, no Weasel, no Reeds) or making it easier to a TV audience who wouldn’t memorize every single line of dialogue and put a name, house and affiliation to every single face in the show.

    The only thing I would love for them to explain is why the need to doesn’t allow Catelyn and Robb to know of Bran & Rickon’s fate before their bid decision on this season? I simply don’t get it. It would make Catelyn an act of desperation, much more understandable, and Robb one of despair. Without changing Talisa’s character, imagine a scene when Robb finds out that Bran & Rickon are dead, tries to maintain his face before their bannermen and then breaks when confronting Talisa, the woman she loves and hungers for affection…

    Anyway, maybe we’re a little spoiled. There’s SO MUCH great on this show that we take for granted, that anytime something that is not of our liking sheds a shadow too big. What is the last time you thought about the sets, the wardrobe (Margaery dress: case in point!), the more technical aspects such as lightning an photography.
    Have you notice the detail on Loras or Joffrey’s armor? the myriad of little props that clutter scenes set on Tyrion’s bedroom or Renly’s tent? What about the music? GoT had a better soundtrack than many feature films out there.
    Have we ever seen a BAD actor on this show? (stableboy aside :-) ) The curtain calls here on WiC (that I love, btw) are proof of that. And just think of the next to come in AFFC…

    Is the show perfect? No. Could it be better? Yes, but only in some things, many of them debatable. Could it be worse?… think about it.

    And we have to thank B Cogman (an awesome guy on op of that), D&D and his crew for all this. THIS is the best frakkin fantasy show that ever was or will be.

  17. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    I have to agree on every count!

    And thanks Bryan! :)

  18. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    I can agree with that. The motivation for her to go into the HotU was way better than in the book. But I can’t help to feel that it was kind of lame to see Pyat Pree being defeated so easily after he had already displayed a great power, teleporting, creating clones of himself…and then he catches fire and burns? Couldn’t he simply teleport out of his burning tunic?
    The empty vault, Doreah’s betrayal…all of that felt cheap for me. And all those Dothrakis, where did they come from all of a sudden?
    Anyway, I really loved how they handled the other stories, in King’s Landing, Pyke, Harrenhal and Winterfell (this last one until the end, which I didn’t like).
    In the books I hated Theon, I still hate him…kinda, but they made me feel sorry for him, when they showed him trying to write a letter to Robb. He was a very well written character.
    I also loved their portrayal of Stannis as a warrior king, climbing the ladders first, lopping off heads…
    Tyrion, Varys and Bronn’s scenes are pure gold. Seriously, I’d watch a spin-off with only this group of “tres amigos” talking and talking.
    All in all, a wonderful job. I’m just disappointed with their handling of Jon, Dany and Robb.

  19. The Rabbit
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I am very happy that we are getting some perspective from the producers point of view.
    I do really believe that Bryan was honest about it all, and there is no “hidden evil plans” by producers which was by some over here.

    I still do not think that every change they made was awesome (having still some issues with Talisa and beyond the wall storyline) but having the big picture in my mind all of it is just minor complaint from my point of view. I am far from being dramatic about it.

    As for backstory elements I am very pleased after reading that interview, that my optimism about introducing these themes slowely after the main players have been introduced would be much clever then mixing them heavily in the early stages of the show.

    First season had a though job to introduce the world, characters, their interactions and whole tension between Starks and Lannisters which led to Ned s fall. Too Many character, too many interactions for 10 hours of television.

    Second season had the same problem. With introduction of Stannis, Renly proclaiming himself a king, Arya in Harrenhall, and building of Dany arc in Quarth, aloso had task more to introduce and less to dive into deep.

    The third season gives a great opportunity to expand the story to the past elements.
    We know we ll getting Reeds. Hopefully they ll keep Quathie who easily could be the one with the prophecies. And yes if Ser Barristan is back we could have a lots of past in it.

  20. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm,

    My thought on Pree’s seeming inability to Stop, Drop, and Roll was the fact that he was being burnt by dragonfire (which is hotter than wildfire), a magic-based fire so hot it melts stone. So once his sleeve caught flame, there was no way he was putting it out.

    And certainly not with the triple blast of dragony goodness he received a few seconds later.

    Also, I don’t think he teleports. I think he only creates quasi-real illusions. The ones that were stabbed before weren’t the original. His mistake was assuming that once Dany and the dragons were chained, he was out of danger, and therefore could stand before her as himself (not as an illusion).

  21. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Part of that issue, however (and a lot of people don’t like it when this is mentioned) is the fact that Peter Dinklage gets top billing. Therefore he will get a lot of scenes.

    Not just with the billing, but there’s just a certain pecking order that occurs when you hire certain actors for certain roles. Case in point: Aiden Gillen as Littlefinger. The show version of Littlefinger has a lot more of him then we saw in the books, partially because Gillen pulls that kind of weight.

    So in a way it becomes a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario. If you want a “name” actor for a particular role, you have to be prepared to beef that role up. Or you’re not getting the actor. It’s sort of why casting speculation posts are so funny. (Even though I love them.) Kevin McKidd or Damien Lewish as Edmure? Sure, but only if you want most of the story to be about Edmure.

    That’s Hollywood.

  22. Maxwell James
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting interview. Bryan is clearly a very thoughtful fan of the books, as well as an excellent writer. Some of the his logic is really compelling – for instance, the decision to slow down aspects of Bran and Arya’s character development makes a lot of sense to me now. I’m also more and more sold on their use of Ros, despite plenty of qualms along the way. And it’s clear that they’re making the most out of every dollar in the budget.

    Some is less convincing. I don’t see why one flashback would necessitate a thousand more, for instance. If we had gotten the Tower of Joy last year, for instance (still a bigger loss than HOTU in my opinion), that would have added a lot of intrigue and backstory even if no other flashbacks were ever used. Like others, I also find the Jeyne/Talisa decision pretty confounding – Volantis could certainly be introduced many other ways later on. And I disagree with Knurk in that I think Robb/Jeyne in the book, while not exactly a high point in the story, felt much more organic and true to the characters’ development. Though I recognize there may be other plans for Talisa down the line.

    Having thought about it some more, though, my only substantial problem with S2 was in the climaxes. The Tyrion/KL and Theon/Winterfell storylines were both built up masterfully given the constraints of TV format. And despite some mid-season problems (very much from the book), Dany’s story also reached an appropriate crescendo. But Jon’s, Catelyn’s, Robb’s, and even Arya’s fell a little flat towards the end. There were brilliant moments and scenes for all of them along the way (especially Arya), but they didn’t build up as discrete stories quite as well as in the book, or as in S1.

    All that said – I’m continually impressed by the care that the makers of GoT put into it. And I can tell they’re playing a long game. Logistically and otherwise, it is quite possibly the most challenging TV show ever produced, and the occasional letdown is more than made up for by the very high quality of the production, week after week. If by chance anyone associated with the production does read this – please take it as constructive criticism, for a show I very much appreciate. It’s very good already, and has the chance to be an all-time great. Keep up the good work.

  23. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm this interview was very enlightening. I like they are slowing Bran and Arya’s story arcs. It actually does make a lot of sense. I like that they are waiting for Bran to discover his powers until the Reeds show up, that also makes sense…

    Book purists need to understand that these guys seem to be doing the best they can to stay true to the books while at the same time shifting things around out of necessity to make sure it makes sense for the show viewers.

    I still hate Ros though. Who cares about a whores POV. This is called “Game of Thrones”, not “Game of Whores”. I think the writers just try to make it seem that their purpose for Ros is an honorable one when in fact it’s just an easy cut to boobs…

  24. Caedes
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood:
    Arthur,

    So in a way it becomes a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario. If you want a “name” actor for a particular role, you have to be prepared to beef that role up. Or you’re not getting the actor. It’s sort of why casting speculation posts are so funny. (Even though I love them.) Kevin McKidd or Damien Lewish as Edmure? Sure, but only if you want most of the story to be about Edmure.

    That’s Hollywood.

    I think to a certain part of the fans, those actors should work and not even get paid, for they’re part of ASOIAF. How many times we hear “it’s just a small cameo, perfect for him/her” or “Damn her! why she didn’t read the books?!” :-)

  25. ...
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I liked Arya’s story and Bran’s story, but why the hell did they have to change Jon? :/

  26. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    I understand Peter got top billing for season 2. I thought that was cool because book 2 had a heavy focus on Kings Landing and Tyrion. I hear what you are saying about the norms of Hollywood and all that…

    However, I hope D&D realize this isn’t your normal Hollywood series and they shouldn’t feel shackled to an obligation to give Peter a lot of screen time. They should follow the books and in segments where there is a lot of Tyrion stuff (like season 2) then feel free for that little pimp to dominate screen time. But book 3 isn’t nearly as much about Tyrion as book 2. I am just saying I hope they stay true to this and all the characters/cast that dwelled in that little imps huge shadow can step out into the light.

    The cast is full of talent. If D&D write good stuff for them like they did for Peter they will bare the weight on their shoulders just fine.

    Maybe they might even win an award…

  27. rad
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    My main disappointment with the Robb/Talisa storyline is that it now appears [spoiler]Twyin was not the one pulling the strings [/spoiler] and that is something I am holding out hope will still be the case and he is even more devious than we thought.

  28. LoF
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    One thing that could have made Dany’s arc better in S2….more Jorah!

  29. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Caedes: I think to a certain part of the fans, those actors should work and not even get paid, for they’re part of ASOIAF. How many times we hear “it’s just a small cameo, perfect for him/her” or “Damn her! why she didn’t read the books?!”:-)

    A woman believes that you must think all actors are independently wealthy and don’t need to get paid? Or are you saying that SOME OTHER FANS have proposed big stars do GoT roles for free? A woman is confused. Certainly, if a “big name” well-established, richer than Zeus actor like Tom Cruise would want to do a small part, he might do it for “scale” pay if he had a great love for the story. Not that many of the actors mentioned in the casting threads this woman has read are in that category, so most would require at least “scale” pay if not more, depending on which actor you’re talking about.

  30. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Arthur: I think the writers just try to make it seem that their purpose for Ros is an honorable one when in fact it’s just an easy cut to boobs…

    Agreed, particularly since D&D admitted that quite happily until the criticism started raining down, now everyone has circled the wagons around the actress and the part.

    Bryan, we love you, but there’s a reason why fans dislike Talisa and Ros. They don’t work, or at least they don’t work as well as the other characters (who happen not to have been made up by D&D). We aren’t predisposed to dislike either of them. They brought it on themselves. It’s the mark of a mature team to recognize it and make changes for the long haul.

    Fire And Blood: But don’t turn that around into “the writers are trying to destroy the story just so they can call it theirs.” Clearly their love for this series is immense.

    They are not trying to destroy the story, they are trying to enhance it with their own contributions. They are often failing. They are succeeding in many, many important ways (budget, casting, set design, music, etc.), without which successes the show would be imperiled. They are sometimes failing in attempting to do the one thing GRRM contributed to the production: writing/character development and motivation.

    That said, I’m relieved to hear BC say, “It’s not like True Blood or The Walking Dead, which completely veered off course, which I’m not necessarily saying is a bad thing or a good thing.”

    (Nice try with the qualification, but when is “completely veering off course” a good thing, my friend? When you are trying to get from one place or another?)

  31. Default King
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Arthur:
    This is called “Game of Thrones”, not “Game of Whores”.

    You really never get sick of that line, do you?

  32. Langkard
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Renaud Besse-Bourdier:
    I like this guy more and more each time he does an interview ;-)

    I feel the same way. The writers are trying to take the long view. And in the case of at least Dan and Dave, they’re also working with information given to them by GRRM about the future books which we, the fans, haven’t yet read. But we keep judging the changes made to the story with our incomplete knowledge and lack of understanding, as compared to the writers. The writers are every bit as much fans of the books as we are; but they have to deal with issues which we readers don’t and in some cases deal with issues which we readers haven’t even imagined yet.

    We’ve been blessed with some amazing writers and producers, amazing crew, amazing casting, amazing acting, amazing everything to go with an amazingly good series of books. Imagine the horror if a drug-addled tool like David Lynch had done this adaptation, or a special effects and no story guy like Michael Bey? We are lucky to have quality people involved in this project who care about the original story and also care about the fans. I think some people should keep that in mind when criticizing changes from absolute book canon and perhaps dial back the attitudes just a bit.

  33. Lord Castamere
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t start reading the books until the series hooked me. And yes, some things annoyed me with their exclusion…

    but I’ve realized that the way in which you enjoy the story of a book so much… it simply cannot be captured or realized on film or television. The way you see into their thoughts, their pasts, and their feelings while actions are taking place…. there’s simply no way to parallel the way these elements build something up the way that the screen builds things up.

    I threw down the books annoyed after I started ACoK, while season 1 was still on, because the lack of Ned Stark bored me as well as the slowness of where the beginning of the book seemed to be going to me (as well as unfamiliar characters). Season 2 made me pick it up again… and now I’ve just completed the series.

    To some people… many people… the show has in some strange way made us appreciate the books more.

  34. Eleanor
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Langkard: . Imagine the horror if a drug-addled tool like David Lynch had done this adaptation,

    House of the Undying would have taken up at least two episodes with him on board! Perhaps Linda would have appreciated it?

  35. Nobby
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    I like Ros.

  36. Caedes
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    A woman must take the comment as ironic. A Caedes was referring to the most ludicrous of the fan community, who want unknowns such as Brad Pitt & Nicole Kidman to play the role of the Lannister twins back in the day. But hey, why wouldn’t they?
    A woman must excuse a Caedes. English is not first language for him.

  37. Ser Lemon Cake
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Part of the reason Jon’s story was truncated was because they were filming on a a mouton in freaking Iceland. Difficult conditions. A lot of the complaints stems from more peole having read the books and getting cranky that their favorite bit was not how they imagined, rather than overall fidelity to the book.

    Keep up the good work Bryan, to all the hatred think like Jack Blacks’s character says in that movie: “F*^** you, you can’t do what I do”.

  38. Meg
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Cheshire: He did it because he desperately try to be like his father,or better (thinking at Jon’s mother) : always doing the most honorable thing

    The honorable thing would have been to follow through with his commitments to the Frey’s. Just sayin’.

    I loved Bryan’s evolution from what I guess you would call a “concerned purist” to a “free spirit.” Although I feel for him when the show sucked the life out of enjoying ADWD. We are allowed to become immersed without any strings attached.

    My own questions for Cogman: Tyrion may remind others that he’s above them in the class structure, but when are others going to remind him that he’s a dwarf and for that reason alone, he’s worthy of their disdain? Shouldn’t people be constantly insulting him about it? Also, I don’t think Talisa /Robb or Jon were compelling this season. Even though they both got to relatively the same places in the end, I’m still questioning the writing on that journey. If love is the death of duty, I think sleeping with Jeyne out of a confusing mix of love for Bran and Rickon and a woman could have worked to convey this point too. Making Robb purposefully defy his betrothal because he’s “kissy face in love” also eliminates an interesting discussion on different forms of duty without a romantic story figuring into it (duty to a woman’s honor v. your family’s v. your allies, v. your bannermen). Finally, I actually would have preferred to have Stannis’ backstory earlier so we could explore him more this season. But I’m a greedy Stannis lover who doesn’t want to wait to see his development pushed back to S3 :)

  39. Mormegil
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Very Interesting Interview.

    Talking about the adaptation someone has timed how long each of the PoV characters from Book 2 end up on screen for.

    ACOK: POV chapters by character

    Tyrion Lannister: 15
    Arya Stark: 10
    Sansa Stark: 8
    Jon Snow: 8
    Catelyn Stark: 7
    Bran Stark: 7
    Theon Greyjoy:: 6
    Daenerys Targaryen: 5
    Davos Seaworth: 3

    GOT S2: Screentime by character
    Tyrion Lannister: 91:63
    Arya Stark: 59:38
    Daenerys Targaryen: 53:24
    Theon Greyjoy: 49:22
    Jon Snow: 47:36
    Sansa Stark: 45:31
    Catelyn Stark: 36:44
    Davos Seaworth: 32:50
    Bran Stark: 24:09

    Dany with only five chapters ends up with the third highest screen time (still less than an hour total though).

  40. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil,

    And to think Jon got almost an hour of screentime and it was wasted on making him look like an idiot.

  41. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Caedes:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    A woman must take the comment as ironic. A Caedes was referring to the most ludicrous of the fan community, who want unknowns such as Brad Pitt & Nicole Kidman to play the role of the Lannister twins back in the day. But hey, why wouldn’t they?
    A woman must excuse a Caedes. English is not first language for him.

    A woman thanks you for the clarification, no apologies needed! A Caedes was reading casting threads before this woman, who had not known of those speculations regarding casting (Pitt and Kidman? WOW that would have been awesome in a different universe). Speculation and imagining is enjoyable, but casting teams have more practical considerations. The casting team, we all agree, have done outstanding work in bringing these characters to life. A woman is constantly amazed at the talent of the cast we have, especially the young children who appear to possess old souls by the emotion they convey on the screen.

  42. loco73
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Given the complexity and sheer volume of material they have to work with, I think that D & D and all other people involved have done a remarkable job adapting “A Song Of Ice And Fire” to what is essentialy a very different medium

    Not everything that works on paper will work on screen, plus there are the real-world limitations and obstacles, everything from budgetary concerns, time, logistical challenges etc. They will keep to the spirit and essence of the books, so they will be fine. Remember, Peter Jackson did the same when adapting “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy.

    I for one am very, very satisfied with the job they’ve done adapting the books and I think Bryan Cogman really puts things into perspective of how difficult their job is…and the fact that it won’t get any easier. Just think, this is just the adaptation, book-to-script-to-screen, never mind the rest of the daunting amount of work being put into bringing this monumental show on-screen! It is very easy to criticize, much harder to actually do something as hard and a challenging!

    I feel sorry for Esme Bianco and the fact that she is getting so much crap. I like her character, Ros is to me part and parcel of the story. I am not a book purist (hell I haven’t even started reading the second one “A Clash Of Kings”), so I never had ANY issues with her.

    I guess this should remind people that when they just hurl insults towards Esme Bianco, whether for her physical appearance or her character Ros, there is a real person outhere, and all these moronic words and brainfarts are hurtful! It is one thing to be critical, it is another to be a douchebag!

    PS If you ever read any of these coments, Ms. Bianco you are doing a great jog on the show and I hope to see more of you in the future!

  43. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Valdred Dethstorm,

    Jon is an idiot… He goes north of the wall with this unrealistic view of the world and honor and through all his experiences, he comes back a man-grown with a lot more insight and wisdom. At least IMHO…

    So I’m glad they make him look like a fool for now. It will be all the more better to see him mature before our very eyes.

  44. Ed
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    A fair question. But maybe the answer is, “Cause they made a mistake.” Or “They made a bad decision.”

    They have hundreds of decisions a season (a week maybe) on how to do this show, from locations, to cast members, to costumes, to lighting, to shooting angles, to weapons, to fight choreographs, to sets, to furnishings, to dialogue, to plotlines, to time frames, to… I can’t even IMAGINE how many other things. ALL with the ultimate goal of whittling this AMAZING series of books into a cohesive 10-episode show. I’m SURE they’re doing the very best they can.

    They’re gonna make some of those decisions wrong. Or at least in a way that if they could go back in time, they’d do differently. They’re no more perfect than you or I.

    Cut ‘em some slack, I say.

    As it stands, they’ve still made an amazing adaption that is critically praised and one I look forward to every single episode.

    Cut ‘em some slack.

    Caedes: The only thing I would love for them to explain is why the need to doesn’t allow Catelyn and Robb to know of Bran & Rickon’s fate before their bid decision on this season? I simply don’t get it.

  45. Macha
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Caedes: The only thing I would love for them to explain is why the need to doesn’t allow Catelyn and Robb to know of Bran & Rickon’s fate before their bid decision on this season? I simply don’t get it. It would make Catelyn an act of desperation, much more understandable, and Robb one of despair. Without changing Talisa’s character, imagine a scene when Robb finds out that Bran & Rickon are dead, tries to maintain his face before their bannermen and then breaks when confronting Talisa, the woman she loves and hungers for affection…

    God, I’ve been dreading the idea of having to see Robb and Catelyn’s reaction upon hearing the news of Bran and Rickon’s supposed death, because I kept going back to the ‘We will kill them all’ scene in Season 1. Heart-wrenching. Now I wonder if this news will ever reach them, and somehow I don’t see it happening in Season 3. Can’t even say if I’m upset by it or relieved, considering how painful the RW will be to watch. Other than that, AMEN to your whole post!

    PS: I friggin’ love Ros, so there.

    Arthur: Jon is an idiot… He goes north of the wall with this unrealistic view of the world and honor and through all his experiences, he comes back a man-grown with a lot more insight and wisdom. At least IMHO…
    So I’m glad they make him look like a fool for now. It will be all the more better to see him mature before our very eyes.

    Also, THIS. Jon’s storyline may have been executed better (I’m fine with it just the same), but , for the life of me, I fail to understand how this can be regarded as a problem.

  46. Wolfheart
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Arthur:
    Fire And Blood,

    I’m looking forward to less Tyrion in season 3 to be honest.Tyrion is so ahead of all the other main POV characters as far as being fleshed out.

    I look forward to seeing a lot more of Dany, Jon, Brienne vs Jaime, Margaery vs Joff and Cers, lots of Bran and the Reeds, some more Robb and Talisa loving, some nights watch vs the others…..

    I love Pete and his acting and Tyrion is one of my favorite characters but I really think D&D need to let him take a backseat for a while and shine their spotlight on some of the other amazing characters/cast.

    THIS! Tyrion is great. And Dinklage is doing a homerun job. But its time for others to shine.

  47. Omar Brown
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    Oh no you didn’t, girlfriend! *snaps fingers*

  48. jonsgrl
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Very good interview it reinforces my sentiment on what the writers/ producers are doing. I think they are doing a great job adapting the books as they keep on saying they are adapting the all series not just one book, so I’m fine with them shifting thing around as long as they continue to be true to the caracters and I believe they will :)

  49. David T
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    For most part I didn’t mind the the changes that has been made this season. As the guy in the interview said “It’s not like True Blood or The Walking Dead, which completely veered off course, which I’m not necessarily saying is a bad thing or a good thing.” Most storylines seems to be on track. For example I actually really liked the changes made to Dany’s story. My only complaint for this season that I can think of at the moment are the changes made to Jon’s story: EVERY single one of them felt unnecessary and none of them made any sense from a “things had to be changed for sake of making the book material more adaptable/TV-friendly” perspective. The only things those changes contributed to was making Jon’s story less more cinematic, and less dramatic! But overall I’m very satisfied.

    Langkard: .Imagine the horror if a drug-addled tool like David Lynch had done this adaptation

    Hehehe, if was just for the “House of the Undying” part I would have been thrilled. And I’m not joking. No one does “trippy” as Lynch.

  50. garik16
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Am i the only one who thinks this was a lousy interview? She basically accepts everything he says as awesome and has no critiques.

    The Talisa story is lousy and a lousy change…..(also the love vs duty thing is not much of a theme in the novel – it involves only Ned once and Jon, and NO ONE ELSE)….so you made Robb a moron instead of someone who made stupid decisions due to honor. GREAT CHANGE!

    Roz is lousy – yay we get scenes with a random prostitute that add nothing for two seasons! The Varys thing at the end of S2 is the only sign of promise in her character, so maybe this will change, but she’s been pointless eye candy for most of the series.

    Oh and the Joffrey rape scene wasn’t necessary at all, because well you know…we already knew Joffrey was a monster and it doesnt’ ADD ANYTHING. You have limited time in 10 hours, How about you not add plotlines that don’t add anything we don’t already know?

    ———————–
    Listen, as a whole TV Show, the show is great (as a TV Show, not as an adaptation). And as an interviewer, she doesn’t need to challenge the interviewee completely or even be antagonistic. But she basically just treats him as if everything he says is awesome and he can do know wrong (and I’m being diplomatic about how i put this). Which just is annoying.

  51. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    A woman thanks WiC for posting the link and snippets, a lovely interview and revealing about our friend Cogman and his own process.

    This woman has no hatred for Ros, actress or character. At first, a woman felt that Ros was superfluous, but now is waiting for the “long game” to play out to make a final assessment. At times, one may have wanted more of the “book” scenes included, but while watching came to understand that the show must share certain facts and events through action rather than the inner thoughts as we see in the book. Watching characters talk about their thoughts and events endlessly would have been boring. This changes the method of sharing certain plot points, but does not alter the final destination of most of the characters in the story. If GoT the show had tried to share inner thoughts more along the lines of the books, the show may have turned out more like Ally McBeal (where inner thoughts were shared with the audience as a break in the 4th wall) or Twin Peaks (somebody mentioned David Lynch, yeah that would have been bad), which is not a tone most of us would have loved for this story. Many of the changes made in the show have added to the excitement of watching, like the dragon-napping story line. As D&D has more inside knowledge, a woman defers to their expertise.

    Congratulations D&D, Cogman, and team for producing such a wonderful series! Now please give us more casting news to hold us over till next spring!

  52. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    garik16: Am i the only one who thinks this was a lousy interview? She basically accepts everything he says as awesome and has no critiques.

    She is an interviewer, not a critic. She isn’t there to debate the guest but to gently lead the guest into saying something truthful that the rest of us can jump on. :) Take as given that the vast majority of media writers are not journalists but cheerleaders for shows and stars’ publicists (ask one sharp question and your access to that show/star is cut off—your media outlet is out of luck and you are now out of a job).

  53. the goat
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Outstanding interview! (well, except for this line by the interviewer about Ros: It’s as if she’s the secret main character and audience stand-in.) Um, no.

    “And that’s the kind of stuff that was probably originally done for economy of storytelling, but it ended up being such an amazing moment for Theon, and one of Alfie’s strongest moments as an actor when he essentially has to kill his football coach.”

    Nice, BCogs.

    Valdred Dethstorm: But I can’t help to feel that it was kind of lame to see Pyat Pree being defeated so easily after he had already displayed a great power, teleporting, creating clones of himself…and then he catches fire and burns? Couldn’t he simply teleport out of his burning tunic?

    DIFM. Dude, Its Fucking Magic. Sure, it woulda been great to see all the old “dead” warlocks and the dragons burning down the whole place, but I’m pretty sure we can chalk that up to the time/budget constraints. The important thing is we got “Dracarys,” and now everyone knows what at least one Valyrian word means.

    Maxwell James: Logistically and otherwise, it is quite possibly the most challenging TV show ever produced

    Replace “quite possibly” with “easily” and add “by a factor of about 10 bazillion” at the end, and you will have a truthful statement.

    Mormegil,

    If they’re gonna do that it should be by page count, not simply number of chapters.

    Valdred Dethstorm:
    Mormegil,

    And to think Jon got almost an hour of screentime and it was wasted on making him look like an idiot.

    But Jon is an idiot, at least in the second book. Letting Ygritte go is the absolute worst thing he could’ve done. You either kill her or keep her prisoner. The BS part is that Qhorin and the others would completely lose Jon after about a 10 minute chase, but obviously they wanted to have more Jon/Ygritte time.

  54. msd
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I’ve read a lot of criticism of Ros but that’s usually criticism of the writers, not the actor.

    I don’t want to be nitpicky because I think they’re doing a great job overall. Some changes worked better than others but nothing can be perfect….

    One thing I will say, though, is that I think they need to trust the audience a bit more. By that I mean trust that we can cope with characters/actors disappearing for a while in service of the overall story and that we will stick with it anyway. Yes, it’s hard when you like the actor but I’d rather, for example, get two great scenes with someone than ten average ones just to keep him or her on screen. In the long run, doing this damages the character and the audience’s feelings about that character (see Robb in Season 2).

  55. garik16
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    For the record, she is a critic. Second, the best interviews that are done are ones in which the interviewer acts not just as cardboard but as someone interacting with the interviewee, challenging them and getting the true meat of their opinions and information out there.

    In this interview, Alyssa might as well not be there and might as well let Cogman give a freaking speech.

  56. Mean25
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    garik16: Am i the only one who thinks this was a lousy interview? She basically accepts everything he says as awesome and has no critiques.

    The Talisa story is lousy and a lousy change…..(also the love vs duty thing is not much of a theme in the novel – it involves only Ned once and Jon, and NO ONE ELSE)….so you made Robb a moron instead of someone who made stupid decisions due to honor. GREAT CHANGE!

    Roz is lousy – yay we get scenes with a random prostitute that add nothing for two seasons! The Varys thing at the end of S2 is the only sign of promise in her character, so maybe this will change, but she’s been pointless eye candy for most of the series.

    Oh and the Joffrey rape scene wasn’t necessary at all, because well you know…we already knew Joffrey was a monster and it doesnt’ ADD ANYTHING. You have limited time in 10 hours, How about you not add plotlines that don’t add anything we don’t already know?

    ———————–
    Listen, as a whole TV Show, the show is great (as a TV Show, not as an adaptation). And as an interviewer, she doesn’t need to challenge the interviewee completely or even be antagonistic. But she basically just treats him as if everything he says is awesome and he can do know wrong (and I’m being diplomatic about how i put this). Which just is annoying.

      

    +1
    that’s how they keep their access, by not asking tuff questions, we see this problem in all media

  57. garik16
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    the goat,

    Eh, Jon letting Ygritte go is stupid, but marginally stupid. He probably would’ve killed her had he not thought she wasn’t a threat behind him, and to be fair, SHE WASN’T!

    In the show however, not only is Jon even more of an idiot by getting detached from the group, but QHORIN is an idiot for just letting him get detached for no reason. It’s a nice bit of character destruction for no reason.

  58. LordStarkington
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t like the Talisa storyline much but after I re-read ACOK years ago I realized I hated the Jeyne storyline too, so it wasn’t a big loss for me. Robb is a moron in both (it’s not really sacrificing just his honor for hers, he’s also sacrificing his agreement with the Freys, undermining the faith his men put in him, etc.), so whatever. They need to have him get married, so he gets married; it’s not like GRRM wrote some masterpiece in getting Robb to that point in the books either.

    My biggest complaint would actually be that I wish we had more Stannis/Davos time.

  59. Meg
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    “There’s a throwaway line in the second book where Tyrion says ‘Oh, we should hire some whores for Joffrey, maybe that would let him calm down a bit.’ And we thought, we have to see that scene.”

    We have to see it? *blink*

  60. aaron
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    the problem with the rob storyline is that it’s no longer an older, exiled distant branch of the lainster family trying to get back in the good graces of tywin and playing robb for a fool.

    and i still stand by my issues with ros. if she was on screen for less than 2 minutes at a time i wouldn’t hate her so much, but the fact that i have to sit through almost 10 minutes of her in some episodes when they could be focused on any number of things that ended up cut from the story that seem to be quite relevant serves no purpose. well, that’s not true. it serves in bringing in the lower common denominator true blood crowd who can’t watch a show without there being breats shown every episode.

  61. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington,

    I agree with you 100%

    People got to remember Robb is his fathers son…

    Meaning both Robb and Ned are brilliant battlefield leaders and masters of war tactics. However, as far as the political arena goes, they are noobs. Robb hasn’t lost a battle yet. He is amazing with his troop movements and war tactics but, like his father, when it comes to political judgement he is a dumbass…

    The TV series is staying true to the books in this regards, they just are showing it in a much more direct way so the TV viewer can also make this same connection.

    Robb and Ned are honorable warriors that have a battlefield code of honor that is unmatched. But as far as the political game goes, they are really really bad…

  62. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    A woman has noticed a lot of negative comments and controversy regarding Robb’s story in S2 and the difference between book and show. IMO, in both the book and the show, Robb did what young men often do, acted inappropriately and had to figure out the most honorable way out of the situation. In both book and show, he claims to love the woman, but it’s almost irrelevant to the story. It’s a mistake in both book and show as it shows he does have a weakness to his men, and that he’s not the warrior-god-king they have made him out to be and that he is trying to be. He learned fighting and tactics from his father, but the “social game” is something he did not have enough education in to master. He has broken a serious oath, and that will have consequences. Whether it’s due to love or honor is irrelevant, the result is the same big mistake that will not be taken well by the Freys. Damn that old Walder. Despise that old lech bastard.

  63. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Meg: We have to see it? *blink*

    “…so the ‘perv’ component of the audience is satisfied,” is how I finished that sentence.

  64. the goat
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    garik16: also the love vs duty thing is not much of a theme in the novel – it involves only Ned once and Jon, and NO ONE ELSE

    Hmm…
    Jaime and Cersei (ffs he even says “The things I do for love”)
    Cersei and Robert
    Sansa and Joff
    Dany and Drogo (although that relationship actually goes from duty to love, which, of course, means its doomed)
    Renly and Loras and Margaery
    Margaery and Joff
    Rhaegar and Lyanna
    Dany and Daario/Hizdahr
    Lysa and LF

    And, of course, you mentioned Ned, Jon, Robb.

    But yeah, aside from those, its hardly a theme at all.

  65. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Yup! What that woman said!

    Robb is just a boy that was taught well by his father on how to be an honorable Lord/Warrior. Robb doesn’t yet understand that war isn’t only fought on the battlefield, it’s fought on a political front as well. Though Robb is undefeated on the field, he is making grave mistakes on the political front.

    The series is showing us this just as well as the books…

  66. Siobhán Mooney
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I liked the interview overall and found it very interesting. That said, I did have a few quibbles.

    The only scene with Ros that I really minded was the one with Littlefinger’s monologue, but I think that any objection to the way her character is written doesn’t have to amount to anything against Esme Bianco. One can think that Esme is great and still have issues with Ros.

    Also, I really think that the arc of Robb’s romance was better in the book – and given that we only learned of it second hand there, that’s saying something. Because Robb slept with Jeyne in a moment of extreme vulnerability when he thought that Bran and Rickon were dead, that helped to set up a link in a tragic chain of events for which no one person was totally responsible… yet you could look at any single link and say “If that hadn’t happened, everything afterwards would have been different,” (e.g. “If Theon hadn’t pulled the trick with the Miller’s boys, Robb wouldn’t have slept with Jeyne, and if Robb hadn’t slept with Jeyne,” etc.) For the want of a nail and all that. There’s a real sense of poignancy in setting up situations like this where, in theory, any number of things could have happened, but the natures of the characters and their situations make it so that only one thing ever could have happened.

  67. vntrlqst
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Ultimately, what it comes down to is that show Robb is less sympathetic. Which, I think, will diminish the impact of the Red Wedding.

    It almost feels like an HBO executive’s decision in hopes that people like Robb less and don’t rage like they did after Ned’s death.

  68. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I really like this TV series… I have a few nitpicks but isn’t that normal for any fan of any show?

    1). I really dislike Ros (not the actress just the character).

    2). I also didn’t like the fact their wasn’t a lot of action this season. (seems like they saved up 90% of the action for Blackwater). My one big beef is I really wanted to see Jaime kick some ass in his failed prison escape. I understand it’s a drama but can’t we take a little break from character building every once in a while?

    3). Not enough Direwolves. I understand it’s a budget thing and I’d rather have a little super high quality CGI then a lot of garbage CGI but just a little more. Where was Ghost? Why couldn’t he come out of nowhere and pounce on the Halfhand?

    Well I can’t wait for season 3. Those Direwolves are going to go through maturity and really fill out and be massive. Those Dragons aren’t going to be perched on Dany’s shoulders and arms, instead they will be flying overhead being badass dragons the size of dogs…

    Also, like I said before. Less Tyrion and more everyone else please. This is Game of Thrones, it’s not about an imp from Kings Landing… There are so many other awesome characters out there that need to be explored and fleshed out…

  69. TheNed
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I love the Cogmeister. That being said, I don’t understand his position on Ros. She has never felt like a real character, and her plot “arc” has been more like a nonsensical zigzagging tour through the lives of actual characters. Setting her up to do something next season seems like it can only make the situation worse, as the writers then have the choice between A) tacking Ros onto canon plot developments to no real consequence or B) adding her in a way that does cause deviations which will alienate book readers. As for her being “the secret main character”, I would have to politely disagree, mostly because the thought of it makes me want to shave my head and live in a cave.

  70. Valdred Dethstorm
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    The thing that bothers me about Jon’s storyline is the fact that he’s the responsible of the capture of Qhorin and his companions, after getting lost with Ygritte, which led to their deaths. And after he kills Qhorin he’s like “ok, whatever, let’s go Ygritte”. Maybe Jon was an idiot in the book, but he didn’t screwed up everything, and it was kind of exciting to see the brothers of the NW trying to escape their inevitable doom, falling one by one. I’m fairly certain there wasn’t enough time to illustrate it properly, but it couldn’t have been a budget limitation. So I don’t quite understand the changes. To each their own, I guess, I’m totally fine with people liking TV Jon’s storyline.
    I’m hoping Neil Marshall returns for a future season, what I’m wondering is what the hell are the show runners going to do when Dany’s dragons grow up. If we hardly see them as babies and the Direwolves are a rare sight as well, adult dragons should be more difficult to put on screen.

  71. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    TheNed,

    Another thing that bothers me with Ros… She shouldn’t be there at all and people know this but are nice and are like “she needs a reason to be there give her a plot”.

    Do you really want D&D to start treating Ros as a POV character and give her more scenes then she already has just to try to justify her existence at all?

    Every minute with Ros is a minute wasted. Unless she is just there as tits in the background. She is just a dead end. You can’t fix her, she shouldn’t be there in the first place so if you attempt to fix her it ends up putting her there even more.

    She just needs to do her whore stuff and act as a portal to a brothel scene. Otherwise, if you feed the beast, she will wreck the show even more.

    They should just keep her as what she already is if they insist she stays. She’s like the bartender at the bar everyone frequents and she can report what she sees to Varys, except it’s a whorehouse and she’s a whore…

    They should just admit she is there for boobcount. I can except that. Trying to build her up as this oh so important character is becoming more annoying then her actual tits.

  72. purplejilly
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    To be honest, if they could have told more of the stories that are in the book, let us spend more time with the canon characters and stretched things out more, and given us more time with everyone, I don’t think I would have minded Ros at all. I would have liked Book one to have been twenty or thirty episodes long. Obviously that didn’t happen.

    I knew after the second episode of Season One that the story was proceeding far faster than I liked, and there was no way they were going to tell it in a way that *I* liked in just ten episodes. So every time Ros would show up, not only would it be a new character, but it was invariably a new scene too, and when I was getting so short-changed on the canon story, it just annoyed me to no end that Ros was there.

    If I had been getting enough of the canon story, and enough time with the canon characters, I wouldn’t have minded if Ros was in there, with extra scenes, and we could have met Ros’s whole family, and learned about her backstory, etc. It would have been no big deal. But when such important, valuable parts of the story (in my opinion) were cut or shortchanged, it was painful to see Ros.

    That’s still probably my biggest complaint after the end of Season Two – it felt to me like I was watching the ‘Cliff Notes’ version of the story. Everything went so fast, and I was unhappy with that speed.

    So that’s my thoughts on Ros and the hatred for her.

  73. msd
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Also, I really think that the arc of Robb’s romance was better in the book – and given that we only learned of it second hand there, that’s saying something.Because Robb slept with Jeyne in a moment of extreme vulnerability when he thought that Bran and Rickon were dead, that helped to set up a link in a tragic chain of events for which no one person was totally responsible… yet you could look at any single link and say “If that hadn’t happened, everything afterwards would have been different,” (e.g. “If Theon hadn’t pulled the trick with the Miller’s boys, Robb wouldn’t have slept with Jeyne, and if Robb hadn’t slept with Jeyne,” etc.)For the want of a nail and all that.There’s a real sense of poignancy in setting up situations like this where, in theory, any number of things could have happened, but the natures of the characters and their situations make it so that only one thing ever could have happened.

    Yes. Robb’s decisions have been more conscious and deliberate in the show, which means we’ve lost some of that sense of circumstances conspiring against him and events spiraling out of control. Decisions are made quickly in the book and it’s precisely because they aren’t done with a lot of deliberation that the consequences are so shocking and tragic.

  74. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Well said.

    I also feel this way…

  75. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    TheNed: As for her being “the secret main character”, I would have to politely disagree, mostly because the thought of it makes me want to shave my head and live in a cave.

    Is there room for one more? Does it get HBO?

  76. Taxman
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care, I miss my weseal soup. I’m also going to miss the Tickler’s and Lorch’s book fates

  77. Remaal
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Hard as one may try, I’m afraid there’s really no polishing the Robb/Talisa turd.
    I was so excited when I learned they wanted to keep Robb front and centre and flesh-out his story – I’ve always lamented GRRM’s choice not to make Robb a POV character in the books. Unfortunately, the total lack of imagination the show writers exhibited with this storyline, rendering it mind-numbingly banal and vapid, soon made me yearn for the ambiguity of the books. The book arc though convenient – or so it felt while I read – at least allowed the reader to attribute complexity and layering to Robb’s emotional arc, & character motivation. No such luxury for the viewer with the “One Tree Hill” version of Robb the show gave us.
    What makes it worse, is had Robb’s arc been the least bit entertaining, perhaps involving some semblance of original thought in crafting a credible Robb/Talisa relationship, one more in tune with the older Robb of the show, I might have been able to overlook the character assassination. Sadly, as it is, the vomitous nature of this particular storyline left me no alternative but to reach for the clothes peg.

    And I’m not even gonna mention Catelyn.

  78. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Meg, DH87,

    I know I’m in the minority, but I saw the scene as a dramatic positive. It was horrible and disturbing and outfuckingstanding in that regard. Yes, Joffrey was bad before. This made him worse. It showed us that even behind closed doors he couldn’t partake in intimacy that didn’t involve someone being physically hurt. And more, that he couldn’t be the one doing it. He needed someone else to do the hurting!

    Extremely revelatory, and something I even compared to the jaw-dropping revelatory scene in Shame, where Michael Fassbender’s character can’t perform unless, in his mind, it’s something completely dirty or perverse. We feel sympathy for that character, but for Joffrey we do not. And for obvious reasons.

    But why not see that scene? If it happens for the story… why not show it? Who wants anything to be offscreen?

    I want bloody everything to be onscreen.

    What made it bad, in your views? Just too intense? Even filmed as it was, the end was still offscreen.

    For some it’s the nudity aspect. (I’m not saying that’s the issue with either of you.) It’s like people see a pair of naked tits and it completely changes the scene for them for whatever reason. And I personally don’t get it.

  79. paylor
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    aaron,

    Do you honestly think that Jeyne’s family was in a massive plot from the beginning to have Robb fall in love with Jeyne, marry her and break a pack with the Freys? They lost family members because of this, including their son. Sybell Spicer was hedging her bets by making sure Jeyne couldn’t get pregnant, but I doubt that they were in league with Tywin from the beginning to kill Robb in a very convoluted plot.

  80. Felagund
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Concerning Ros one should keep in mind that she is not a classical POV character, but an auxillirary character for other KL characters, so that the producers can show the thoughts and plots of characters like Littlefinger or Varys, who are actually reclusive by nature (especially Varys). While it is completely okay in the books that Littlefinger, for instance, is a much humbler person than in the series, and we know nothing of his schemes, untill fulfilled, only that they exist – it cannot be rendered well to TV in this way, because the average viewer would totally be puzzled.
    So introducing a whore who interacts with them and thus shedding light to their plans is not a bad idea in my opinion…

    On the other hand I completely agree with all others about the Robb-Talisa story.
    It can be seen that while the writers have to create a scene that are absent from the book, they are mostly doing good work (let’s just take the Cersei-Robert conversation from season one, or the exchange of Margaery and Renly in the tent – both scenes were on par with original scenes written by Martin).
    However if they have to create a whole storyline from “nothing” they fail utterly and degrade it into a stack of illogical and absolutely out-of-character clichés. They really should use Martin as a scriptwriter to produce storylines like this…

  81. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    My problem with it was twofold:
    1.) I think it’s been hammered home enough that Joffrey is an awful human being in the same way that Littlefinger is power-hungry. It felt like a cop out to be “extreme” because it’s HBO. I feel like I’m being hit over the head as a viewer with their motivations and actions (same with the Littlefinger/Ros bit last season). But then again, I’m a “less is more” person.
    2.) The character of Ros has not been executed well. Esme Bianco does what she can with the material, but we’ve had no pay off with her. Same with the other prostitutes. I felt for them, but it did not resonate the way it would have been with Sansa and/or Shae. There is potential there, but she’s being used more for shock value than a three-dimensional woman having to work around/with the political system that doesn’t favor her sex.

  82. Zack
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t dislike Ros because of Esme but in spite of her. I would go so far as to say most others of the Ros-hating persuasion are the same. Ms. Bianco is lovely on the eyes and has a wonderful smile. And I like the idea of including viewpoints from commoners as a change from what Martin has done in the books. There’s really not enough of that in those books. And I definitely appreciated how in the second season, she wasn’t nude every time she was featured. It was a step up for sure.

    Despite that, she was used as a window to a brothel (meaning nudity) and after awhile that got tiresome. This is in contrast to characters like Joanie Stubbs or Trixie from Deadwood. Whores, but they had personality and motivations. The writing elevated them. So far Ros hasn’t seen the same treatment. If they want to keep her around so badly, I’d hope they work on her character a bit more. She’s just not very interesting.

  83. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood: What made it bad, in your views? Just too intense? Even filmed as it was, the end was still offscreen.

    Although I applaud the reference to “Shame” (and would vote for a separate post devoted to that film and Mr. Fassbender’s many attributes), my view of the nudity in this show has been contaminated by the Neil Marshall revelation. It confirmed my worst fears: that there is a “nudity quota” for each episode. The fact that the “nudity” solution in one episode is successful and/or appropriate doesn’t mitigate/disguise the fact that the quota is in place. Like virtually all quotas, it is destructive and, in the show’s case, artistically indefensible.

  84. kingthlayer
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    so the only thing that turned the scene off to you was that it was more nudity???

  85. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Zack: If they want to keep her around so badly, I’d hope they work on her character a bit more. She’s just not very interesting.

    Agreed. The fact that she must be nude to hold the audience’s attention is a dead giveaway: both the character and the actress are being propped up. Let Ms. Bianco deliver a soliloquy a la Ms. Headey fully clothed and her shortcomings would be all too revealed.

  86. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    kingthlayer: so the only thing that turned the scene off to you was that it was more nudity???

    Ironically, the scene’s shock value was significantly compromised by the nudity and sexual practice depicted previously. Imagine the impact that scene would have had if the Littlefinger/Ros sexposition scene hadn’t been a six-minute-long how-to video; if we hadn’t seen Ros’s “farewell” from the turnip cart or Littlefinger “tidying up” his employee, or a five minute long Dothraki wedding “dance,” all of which were entirely unnecessary.

    It makes all that much more understandable the GOT mainstream actors’ protecting themselves contractually. They knew what was coming and they rightly defended themselves against their own showrunners.

  87. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Exactly.

  88. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    There’s a lot of faux critisizing going on in this here thread. I say it’s not true criticism, but I don’t mean that these opinions aren’t valid to the ones who hold them, just to he clear. The bottom line, for me personally, is that changes such as the Robb & Talisa storyline aren’t inherently bad simply because they differ from the source material. A lot of the “was better in the books”, “doesn’t make sense”, (etc.) comments being made are a direct result of the constant comparison between what happens in the books and what is happening with the television show.

    If you read some of the comments on the posts on the Game of Thrones page on Facebook, you’ll see that a lot of non-readers are following things incredibly clearly, and that they’re more excited and enthusiastic about the show than many “hardcore” fans. I’m not sure how I’ve been able to do it, and if I figure it out I’ll let you know, but when I watch the show I’m able to completely distance myself from the books, which I feel has helped me enjoy the show a lot more than many other long-time readers.

    My personal belief is that (as an example) if G.R.R.M. had written the Robb & Talisa love story as it’s been presented in the show, a lot of the negativity for it would be non-existent. I thought the whole reason for Robb marrying Jeyne Westerling was pretty stupid in the books, to he honest. He marries her out of honor, while simultaneously breaking his vow to marry a Frey… Which is not very honorable. I prefer that Robb is marrying Talisa because he loves her, and that it’s something he consciously chose to do. Quick question: By show of hands, how many of you have done something incredibly stupid – and you knew it was stupid – out of love for someone else?

    *raises hand*

    That’s what I thought.

  89. purplejilly
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    garik16:
    Am i the only one who thinks this was a lousy interview?She basically accepts everything he says as awesome and has no critiques.

    The Talisa story is lousy and a lousy change…..(also the love vs duty thing is not much of a theme in the novel – it involves only Ned once and Jon, and NO ONE ELSE)….so you made Robb a moron instead of someone who made stupid decisions due to honor.GREAT CHANGE!

    Roz is lousy – yay we get scenes with a random prostitute that add nothing for two seasons!The Varys thing at the end of S2 is the only sign of promise in her character, so maybe this will change, but she’s been pointless eye candy for most of the series.

    Oh and the Joffrey rape scene wasn’t necessary at all, because well you know…we already knew Joffrey was a monster and it doesnt’ ADD ANYTHING.You have limited time in 10 hours, How about you not add plotlines that don’t add anything we don’t already know?

    ———————–
    Listen, as a whole TV Show, the show is great (as a TV Show, not as an adaptation).And as an interviewer, she doesn’t need to challenge the interviewee completely or even be antagonistic.But she basically just treats him as if everything he says is awesome and he can do know wrong (and I’m being diplomatic about how i put this).Which just is annoying.

    I saw this on her website, which maybe explains why she is so pro-Ros, and pro the show – she has a book coming out about the franchise, and wants to promote it.Saw this on a part of her site:
    It seems like the debate over whether George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy saga, A Song of Ice and Fire, glorifies sexual assault is bubbling back up overseas. My thoughts on this subject are manifestly on the record (and will be even more so when Beyond the Wall, the book of essays about the franchise to which I contributed, comes out on June 19), so I won’t revisit them

  90. The Kingslayer
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Ros needs to go ! too many characters this season had little screen time and she’s taking up their time.

  91. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I think Bryan Cogman is the man. He’s obviously a really smart guy and has a passion for the source material, so I don’t know what’s not to like. I think people tend to underestimate what an incredible challenge adapting ASOIAF into screenplay-form is. It’s hard enough to adapt a novel that only focuses on a handful of characters, let alone a 5,000 page epic revolving around a legion of characters, and thousands of years of history and mythology. Give the guy a break. He’s doing an excellent job, as far as I’m concerned.

    To my next point; I’ve never understood the outright hatred for Ros. In my opinion, she has served a pretty vital purpose in shedding light on Theon and Littlefinger’s motivations.

    Sure, they could’ve given out the same information (i.e. that both Theon and LF resent the Starks) through a different medium, but sex provides a certain intimacy that wouldn’t exist otherwise. If Theon were to brag to Tyrion, or Robb, or Jon Snow about how cool his father is, it would seem somewhat out of place, given the fact they all already know who Balon Greyjoy is and what he’s famous, or infamous for. But it makes perfect sense for him to play all of that up to a prostitute he’s just slept with, especially considering how insecure he is (i.e. Hey babe, did I ever mention I was a prince?). Or, if LF was to confide in Varys or Janos Slynt about how he was obsessed with Catelyn when he was young, it would seem exceedingly odd. But, I would hope that fans of the show could make the obvious connection between LF discussing love and rejection, while two women make love to each other. Even if sex makes you uncomfortable, it’s not too difficult to make a correlation. I mean, LF is a pimp after all.

    And, without foreshadowing Theon’s betrayal and LF’s ulterior motives, those rather cataclysmic turning points in the story (i.e. the capture of Winterfell and Ned’s execution) would’ve caught new viewers completely off guard (i.e. I thought Theon loved the Starks? Or, I thought LF was like a brother to Catelyn? WTF happened there?).

    As a book reader, we tend to take a lot of this stuff for granted because we already know what happens. But I do find it funny that people can complain about the lack of backstory on the show and Ros’s character simultaneously. What do you think she’s there for? If she’s merely there to provide T&A, she wouldn’t need a speaking role for that (see Bronn’s porn star).

  92. Arrogant Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Meg,

    Of course the writers of this show would use a throwaway line of little importance to construct a scene with Joffrey and Ros. Scene wasn’t bad, but what was the point? Waste of time.

  93. Andrew
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    On the topic of that Joffrey and the whores scene, I think you guys are all stuck in book-reader mode. In the novels, during Sansa’s POV’s we get constant reminders of Joffrey’s cruelty. He beats her multiple times, using multiple different kingsguard, we get all her internal fear, and we get many more snide remarks from him and such. All in all, we spend a lot more time seeing his nastiness. In the show, all we got was him killing Ned, forcing Sansa to look at the heads, and beating her the once (Along with generally being a bit of a prat). The show didn’t get to display Joff’s constant abuse of Sansa as much, so within the timeframe they had, they needed a big event to show just how sadistic he was. It’s just not feasable to jump to Kings Landing for a minute every episode just to see Joffrey be a dick to Sansa. Non-readers knew he was awful, but they didn’t know he was awful to the extent us readers did. So no, it wasn’t HBO being edgy for the sake of being edgy, and they didn’t just tack it on to fill their nudity quota.

  94. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins: What do you think she’s there for? If she’s merely there to provide T&A, she wouldn’t need a speaking role for that (see Bronn’s porn star).

    She barely speaks. Ros doesn’t KNOW anything, at least, up until now. She listens and strips. Listening is supposedly a large part of acting so perhaps we should be discussing whether Ms. Bianco listens well. We can hope that in Season 3 all of the information she’s gleaned is transmitted to her colleagues in a convincing and compelling way.

  95. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Andrew: It’s just not feasable to jump to Kings Landing for a minute every episode just to see Joffrey be a dick to Sansa.

    Let’s not forget that Ms. Turner is underage and therefore could not have been “used” in the scenes you—or, based on what they’ve come up with, the showrunners— may be envisioning. (If I were her agent, or her parent, I would specify a no-nudity clause for her when she turns 18 if she is still involved in this production.)

  96. Andrew
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    When did I suggest she’d have to be nude? When did my post even hint at a scene she’d be too young to do? I said Joff beat her multiple times, I never said she was naked for any of them except for the instance in the Throne room, which they obviously did work around because of her age. Why are you so god damn concerned with the nudity? I’m honestly at a loss to what scenes you think i’m envisioning.

  97. littlejanet
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Great to hear more behind-the-scenes perspective from the Cogmaester.
    It’s interesting to hear him explicitly state that they are slowing down the Arya and Bran character arcs. That makes a lot of sense.
    I’ve read all the books at least 2-3 times each (I skip around sometimes), and I’m pretty fanatical about the whole project, but I’m very satisfied with almost all of the adaptive decisions made by the writing team, especially now that the season’s over and we see how they managed to resolve it all. (Elio and Linda need to get a grip). I’ve enjoyed the Ros character right from the beginning, with the Episode 1 interaction with Tyrion (“I hear they call him the Imp”, “I hear he hates that name.” Dinklage’s little legs scurrying under his tunic. How can anyone not love that scene?) When they subbed Ros in for Alayaya, I thought it worked brilliantly. Very economical.

    I really only have two complaints about anything GoT so far. First, FaBio totally speaks my mind about the altered Halfhand/Ygritte plot. Book was better. They swapped out the best Halfhand material for some goofy sexual tension with Ygritte. It’s not that I didn’t like Jon’s adventures with Ygritte. I just thought it was a bad trade, and they could have saved some of that for Season 3.

    My other complaint is that it feels like they wrote and shot 10 60-minute episodes, and then had to edit all except for the last one down by 5 or 6 minutes. Those few extra minutes each week were missed. We already know of a few scenes that were shot but didn’t make the cut. Goodbye meaningful introduction to Podrick. Goodbye Irri’s death scene. Couldn’t we all have been happy for a little more Gendry (and Hot Pie), a little more Sallador Sandwich, maybe even a little more Tyrion and Shae (don’t they still have that dragon skull lying around somewhere from the Arya/Varys/Illyrio scene in Season 1?)

    Anyway, when your worst complaint is that you want more more more, it’s really not much of a complaint, is it?

  98. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Andrew: Why are you so god damn concerned with the nudity? I’m honestly at a loss to what scenes you think i’m envisioning.

    Sorry, I edited above to add “the showrunners.” I thought we were talking about the substitution of the Daisy/Ros nude whipping scene with a comparable scene with Sansa to show Joffrey’s depravity. I stand by my comment that I suspect almost any version of that scene would not have been possible using Ms. Turner (unless a body double was employed). I think back to the infamous scene in “Pretty Baby” filmed with a 12-year-old Brooke Shields, which required the approval of Ms. Shields’s parent due to context in which the child was filmed and not to any actual nudity depicted.

    Edit to add: I do agree that to show repeated beatings of Sansa would not make visual sense or add to character development.

  99. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    One last futile defense of Ros – To those of you who claim she is stealing screen time, I ask, how many solo scenes has she had?

    To the best of my recollection, she actually has shared the screen with some fairly important characters (i.e Tyrion, Theon, Littlefinger, Joffrey, Varys), rather than stolen time for herself.

    In fact, I’d say the complete opposite is true; Ros is an excuse to give extra screen time to characters who wouldn’t have otherwise gotten it. She’s our whore’s-eye-view, so to speak.

  100. Andrew
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Oh, god no. I was just trying to say the Daisy/Ros scene was a way to condence Joffreys terribleness into a single event to save time, I never meant that they should have done that with Sansa. What I meant was that Sansa’s anguish at Joffreys hands was drawn out, and less intense, so the non-readers didn’t get the same sense of Joffreys true sadism that the readers did, because it was impossible to spend that much time developing it, that’s all. As I don’t know them, I can’t say for certain, but I seriously doubt D&D would write a scene like that for Sophie Turner, at least until she’s 18 and can decide for herself what she’s willing to do.

  101. Moonrise Kingdom
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    ‘not enough money in the budget’ and ‘not enough time’

    Both invalid excuses for mediocre writing. Not surprising after mediocre big budget crap like Troy and Wolverine. GoT is better than those PoS’s but still suffers greatly from the lack of high quality writing. Some people say the writing is good but those are only elements pulled from the books and the fantastic cast and sets.

    I am astonished with what great script writers can do with 90 minutes and the poorest of budgets. GoT has a more than decent budget and plenty of time, a lot both which is wasted.

  102. kingthlayer
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    DH87: Ironically, the scene’s shock value was significantly compromised by the nudity and sexual practice depicted previously. Imagine the impact that scene would have had if the Littlefinger/Ros sexposition scene hadn’t been a six-minute-long how-to video; if we hadn’t seen Ros’s “farewell” from the turnip cart or Littlefinger “tidying up” his employee, or a five minute long Dothraki wedding “dance,” all of which were entirely unnecessary.

    It makes all that much more understandable the GOT mainstream actors’ protecting themselves contractually. They knew what was coming and they rightly defended themselves against their own showrunners.

    I guess I just don’t understand your point of view. The fact that people are naked on the show makes far less impact on me than what they say and do. Ros was forced to beat Daisy with a Baratheon scepter. Since the nudity was decidedly non-sexual, it added to the humiliation of the action. I get the sense, and perhaps I’m wrong, that some folks think that all the nudity on the show is meant to give men boners. Much of the nudity to me is enhancing humiliation, which ultimately makes it non-sexual.

    EDIT: and doesn’t give me a boner

  103. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Much of the action we’ve seen from Joffrey and Littlefinger this season has been the same note over and over again. I believe that time could have been spent elsewhere exploring aspects of other characters (Stannis/Mel, Jon/Qhorin, etc) that would have benefited from it. Again, I’m a “less is more” person though.

  104. WompWomp
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    The Kingslayer:
    Ros needs to go ! too many characters this season had little screen time and she’s taking up their time.

    Ros is a useful device for the writers, and I would prefer her tasteful employment (as seen this season in her scenes with Littlefinger and Varys) to characters explaining themselves with no on else to talk to. There was no “play with her ass” out-of-character monologuing this season. When she was in the presence of a more “important” character this season, her presence was key to making the scene credible. Otherwise we’d have more people basically talking to themselves.

  105. DH87
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Andrew: the non-readers didn’t get the same sense of Joffreys true sadism that the readers did, because it was impossible to spend that much time developing it, that’s all.

    We certainly saw plenty of Joffrey’s cruelty in the show—with the butcher’s boy, the planned beheading of the knight late to the joust, the Sansa throne room scene, his tirade during the “cowpie throwing” scene, etc.—but to show nonreaders that Joffrey was not only cruel but also a sexual sadist required, in the context of the show, a scene involving adult actors, not just time, IMO.

    But I don’t think we are in significant disagreement.

  106. Jordan Healey
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood:
    Loved the interview, and loved how he basically set shit straight as far as the writers’ motivations go.

    The fact that some people seem to want to find some sort of subversive plot for the changes the show makes still boggles my mind. How can they not see everything that’s being done to tell a cohesive story?

    I get criticizing certain changes. You don’t like ‘em? Fine. But don’t turn that around into “the writers are trying to destroy the story just so they can call it theirs.” Clearly their love for this series is immense.

    No offense dude, but when someone reports to the media, especially for something like this, where the information we get is on a need to know basis, everything he says will be blanketed by what best serves the show (I could have said that much more harshly).

    Not everything he says is going to be 100% true. It seems to me that they’re very aware that the book crowd are up in riles about some of the things they’ve done this season, and Bryan is especially mindful of that because of his twitter escapade.

    The article seems to have made some people feel better as per the comments, but it hasn’t placated me one bit.

  107. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    FYI what we saw was not Joffrey’s cruelty…we saw his brattiness. He did not act out on any of the examples you gave. He ordered others to act and the butcher’s boy death he did not witness and the tourney death was in a venue where death was reasonably expected. He, before that scene, had been portrayed as a brat, not a sadist. That is what that scene established, for better or worse. That is something that had not been done with Joffrey before

  108. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer: I guess I just don’t understand your point of view. The fact that people are naked on the show makes far less impact on me than what they say and do.

    My point is simply this: the fact that people are naked on the show because of a full-frontal-female-nudity requirement for the “perv” segment of the audience (per Neil Marshall) and the cheerful promise of more “full frontal bro nudity” in Season 3, make all the artistic rationales for all the nudity in the show suspect.

  109. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    God I hate the phrase TMI – you saw Ros naked and beating another women with a rod and the fact that I don’t have a boner is TMI. TMI.

  110. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer,

    Apparently, I can’t say anything right, even in jest. I’ve deleted the offending paragraph and bid you good night.

  111. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    I respect your opinion and the thoughtful way you’ve presented it, but I can’t understand it at all. It’s as though your suspicion of the out-of-story motives behind nudity completely change the context of it for you in-story.

    And I don’t know if I can disagree with that outlook more. It’s like hating a certain band’s music just because the singer is known to be a douchebag.

    A lot of people do it. I’m not saying you’re alone. I just don’t understand it.

  112. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    I don’t think that’s fair to accuse her of not being critical enough in this interview because she has a book of essays about the show. She’s been plenty critical in her reviews. That she needs some sort of financial motive to like Ros almost offends me.

  113. KG
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Ed,

    You are correct, sir. What the tediously selfish fans are forgetting is that if we were to take you, and me, and every other poster on this site – then dug into our brains, there would be nothing, NOTHING that matches any other vision of the story.

    Does anyone else picture Jon Snow as looking like Peter Macnicol in Dragonslayer … despite knowing perfectly well he’s supposed to have longish dark hair? No? Well I do. And yet, I just love the show anyway. Amazing concept, isn’t it?

  114. Ruckus
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    I’m not a book purist and I like and appreciate most of the changes, but (nothing against the actress Esme Bianco) Ros the character just seems to be at best extraneous and at my most cynical; a chance to show more boobs.

    And the whole Rob and Talisa story just seem contrived to me. Robbs behavior seems out of character in all that. I always like Jeyne in the books, while I kind of hate Talisa in the show. I kept waiting to find out Talisa was Jeyne Westerling in disguise, that seemed a more interesting story than the one on screen. Wondering how her new backstory will effect events down the line, ie the RW’s aftermath.

  115. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey: No offense dude, but when someone reports to the media, especially for something like this, where the information we get is on a need to know basis, everything he says will be blanketed by what best serves the show (I could have said that much more harshly).

    Not everything he says is going to be 100% true. It seems to me that they’re very aware that the book crowd are up in riles about some of the things they’ve done this season, and Bryan is especially mindful of that because of his twitter escapade.

    The article seems to have made some people feel better as per the comments, but it hasn’t placated me one bit.

    I take offense at nothing, ever.

    I disagree that it was meant to placate anyone. They contacted him, not vice-versa. I don’t think Bryan Cogman feels beholden to you or any of the fans enough that he feels the need to “placate.”

    What parts struck you as untrue? I know many a staff writer (or even a showrunner or two) to omit saying something if they feel it could stir up a shitstorm, but blatantly lying in print often comes back to bite.

    As for the Twitter crap, well, it’s his prerogative if he doesn’t want to be bombarded. Nothing he said was out of line, but a few hens got a hold of it, started squawking, and … well that can just go south. You’re almost damned whatever you say. It’s not like you can even use reason at that point.

  116. KG
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Moonrise Kingdom,

    Then go watch something else.

  117. death to lannisters
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer: FYI what we saw was not Joffrey’s cruelty…we saw his brattiness.

    no we also saw his cruelty. don’t forget the beheading of Ned right in front of his children, and how he was gonna have his guards kill that drunk guy right in front of them by forcing more wine down his throat than his body could handle. And bringing Sansa up to look at her father’s severed head on a spike. I’m not sure what you call this if not sadism and cruelty. Goes a little further than brattiness. Had Sansa stripped in front of him while he held an arrow at her – would have continued had not Tyrion intervened. Had the whores beat each other badly while he held an arrow at them. It goes on and on. And then there are the orders that he wasn’t present for – like the killing of Robert’s bastard baby. I think this show got the message and the image of Joffrey’s sadism through quite clearly.

  118. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    They can have anyone show boobs, and for cheaper than it costs to keep Ros around. Keeping one actress is going to require more money than to simply have featured extras who are willing to go nude.

    The Robb/Talisa thing is fine if boring, but hey the book-romance was boring too. My problems with the adaptation and Robb this season have to do with his relationship with Catelyn, and the way they have him speaking to her. That pisses me off.

  119. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    death to lannisters,

    you’re wrong. that was brattiness. He was being a brat in trying to show his power. He did not think the act through and again, he ordered someone else to act it out. cruelty is the boltons. we did not get real cruelty out of Joffrey except for the treatment of Sansa, Ros and Daisy. I do not believe for one minute that Joffrey has the confidence to be truly cruel in a sense that he enjoys cruelty for the sake of being cruel. only the Ros/Daisy scene show glimpses of him being a sadist

  120. Andrew
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    death to lannisters,

    You’re a non-reader, if memory serves, so I don’t think you’re fully understanding why we were arguing. One of the main points was the beating of the whores did show his sadistic side, and that’s why they included it. We were mostly arguing about whether or not the show had displayed enough of his cruelty to match the level present in the books, because a lot of the book readers seem to feel the whore scene was unnecessary because they already knew Joffrey was terrible. The counter was that they’re knowledge of the books was distorting their oppinion of the character, and so they viewed him worse than a non-reader might (Though it’s undeniable everyone hated him).

  121. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Also, I am pro-Ros. The more I hear people bitching incessantly about her, the more I want to interview Esmé Bianco and get her take on the subject.

    The true litmus test in how well something works is in the non-book readers. And yes, there has been bitching by more than a few about nudity in general, but the reaction to Ros this season, in general,has pretty much been, “Hey, look, Ros got a promotion. Good on her.”

  122. Jordan Healey
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    I didn’t mean lying, I just meant it in the sense of not giving the whole story. For instance he’s obviously protecting Vanessa Taylor by not mentioning her name at all, or the liberties she took in writing her episodes.

    I was thankful for his explanation of a few things when he did the live watching of his episode. Some of the things that he thought he couldn’t talk about had already been revealed by other sources though, so I thought it was funny he withheld some stuff (like why they gave the Hound’s backstory to Middlefinger etc).

    I also didn’t mean that the article was meant to placate anyone. I was responding to the people who have said “I don’t feel as bad about the changes now”.

    And my mentioning of the twitter thing was more to highlight that they are aware of the book fan backlash, and they have presented this stance in other articles as well.

    Fire And Blood,

    I also don’t think it’s Ros per say that’s the problem. It’s the scenes she appears in. Only a couple of them have been well-written IMO. The rest would have been better served as book scenes we didn’t get.

  123. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    DH87:
    kingthlayer,

    Apparently, I can’t say anything right, even in jest. I’ve deleted the offending paragraph and bid you good night.

    it’s not your fault I just can’t stand “TMI”. I just think it comes out of the mouths of popular girls who are just picking on others for their honesty. I am in no way accusing you of being THAT by the way. Back to the point, I just don’t understand how you are immediately associating the nudity with being the result of a quota that has to be met. It doesn’t make sense since the nudity in said scene is really not sexual at all but really devastating.

  124. death to lannisters
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Shadowcat85: The character of Ros has not been executed well. Esme Bianco does what she can with the material, but we’ve had no pay off with her.

    I agree. I keep waiting for it to go somewhere, to add up to something. Maybe it will next season. There have been a couple very resonant moments – like when she was so distraught after the butchering of the bastard infant, or when she knowingly plays the role for Cersei with regards to Tyrion … but then that’s kind of that and it doesn’t build. Maybe all of that will come to fruition down the line.

  125. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood: I respect your opinion and the thoughtful way you’ve presented it, but I can’t understand it at all. It’s as though your suspicion of the out-of-story motives behind nudity completely change the context of it for you in-story.

    And I don’t know if I can disagree with that outlook more. It’s like hating a certain band’s music just because the singer is known to be a douchebag.

    It does completely change the context, and I said as much on the Neil Marshall thread—that the admission was a damning indictment of ALL of the decisions surrounding the use of nudity as a legitimate aid in the storytelling on the show. If it is not used legitimately all the time, but sometimes to satisfy the t&a quota we know is in place, every scene is suspect. It moves the show from a sincere attempt at an adaptation to the category of the soft porn on Cinemax.

    I am not a naive, sheltered individual, nor am I a prude (as anyone who read my novels would, I believe, confirm). However, I do think I appreciate the context in which provocative material is presented. For Marshall to be directed to add fffn to his episode was craven, deliberate, and counter-productive, since it has rendered discussion of the scenes in the context of legitimate storytelling moot.

    I do disagree with your comparison, which doesn’t address intent. It’s more like rejecting a TV preacher’s devotion to faith-healing once you find out that his “miracles” increase his ratings.

  126. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    I just wanted to mention that I really like every post of yours that I’ve read. They are always well thought out and avoid a deep emotional reaction. I think everyone would like more of that.

  127. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    again you seem to think that nudity is always supposed to be a positive thing but I really think the show uses it in very dark ways…I just don’t understand why it’s such a sticking point.

    EDIT: my comment was a little mis-worded. I believe you believe HBO thinks that nudity is always supposed to be positively sexual when many times they use it to be negatively sexual, neutral, and even just humiliating. Correct me if I am wrong in your beliefs, it’s just my interpretation.

  128. Andrew
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer,

    Well thank you, I appreciate that. Back in Highschool, we did an entire debate unit in English every year, so I guess the lessons stuck!

  129. Lex
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Well, since we’re talking about Ros:

    I don’t care much either way… but if anything, I’m leaning towards liking her. The only Ros scene I’ve really disliked was the infamous LF brother scene from Season 1.

    I thought Ros was an improvement this year. Her storyline was darker, with a sense of danger to it. I like the fact that she was never naked (until her final scene, which is actually kind of a shame… I thought she’d go the full season without nudity).

    I actually like the Joffrey scene. It’s disturbing as hell, but well acted by all, and conveys a real sense of malevolence on Joffrey’s part, as well as developing his hatred of Tyrion. I think it’s a good scene.

    I also really liked Ros’s final scene with Varys. But I liked it because of Varys. Conleth Hill was excellent in that scene. (“I’m afraid of him.” “Oh, you should be…”).

    I’m a little worried about how they’re setting up more storylines for her (I thought maybe her arc would be complete this season), but Ros just doesn’t really bother me…

    EXCEPT for the fact that Qhorin was so short-changed. I don’t think it’s a simple substitution (i.e. I don’t think having a Ros scene necessarily means we lose or sacrifice a book scene), but time was soooo valuable this season, and some important characters really needed more of it.

  130. death to lannisters
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Andrew: We were mostly arguing about whether or not the show had displayed enough of his cruelty to match the level present in the books,

    I see, point taken. Well, all I can say is that as a non-reader Joffrey’s sadism is exceedingly and disgustingly clear – may in fact be the most consistent character trait of anyone in the show. The whore scene does serve to deepen it, but either way you know from the scene of Ned’s beheading and then him making Sansa look at the head exactly who he is. It doesn’t get much sicker than that. And it’s pretty much a given that anyone who enjoys watching other people’s pain to that degree is somewhat turned on by it – if you’re old enough to know your ABC’s you know there’s a sexual component to this. The whore scene does deepen it a little because you realize that it’s the ONLY thing that turns him on – that he likes watching pain more than sex. Even encouraged to enjoy himself, this is all he’ll do. And there’s a cowardice in it too because he doesn’t act, all he does is watch. You know he probably has no idea what he’s doing sexually and this is his way of keeping the upper hand, exerting control.

  131. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    I’m not familiar with your books. Send a link to my axechucker gmail account!

    I think if there was an actual “quota” they would have already scheduled the nudity into the scene rather than having a producer point out, “You don’t have to cover her. This is HBO.”

    The difference between an HBO sex scene and a Skinemax sex scene are worlds apart; the same thing, really, as the argument that Skinemax is porn. (It’s not porn, though both are, generally speaking, pretty fucking terrible.)

    Even the much-discussed Littlefinger brothel scene… I think it was meant to shock most people (and it did its job remarkably well), and to amuse a few (my reaction). Seriously:

    “Evil plot, evil plot…” Pause. “Play with her ass.” Pause. Where was I? Ah. “Evil plot, evil plot…”

    How is that anything other than funny? But sprinkle in some nudity…

  132. the goat
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Moonrise Kingdom: I am astonished with what great script writers can do with 90 minutes and the poorest of budgets. GoT has a more than decent budget and plenty of time, a lot both which is wasted.

    This is probably the most insane ad hominen argument I’ve ever seen.

  133. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer: I just don’t understand why it’s such a sticking point.

    I have little desire to be made a fool by analyzing a scene’s contribution to the show’s narrative, character development, or artistic effect while the “executive producer” whose motive for including the scene was meeting his Perv Quota smirks, even from a distance.

  134. death to lannisters
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer: that was brattiness

    You really extend the borders of brattiness I suppose. I call it cruelty. Actually I call it pure sadism. He’s definitely not man enough to do it himself. That doesn’t make it less cruel. Just less brave.

  135. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    What I do find interesting in this discussion is the fact that, almost universally, the one thing people seem to agree on is there just wasn’t enough time in a 10-episode season to show everything they wanted to see.

    I think the Ros hate would be significantly less if her scenes were only added to the tale—and nothing at all was removed (though in my estimation that would be a pretty meandering tale when told on TV).

    It will be interesting to see what they can do with 20 episodes for A Storm of Swords.

  136. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    death to lannisters: You really extend the borders of brattiness I suppose.I call it cruelty.Actually I call it pure sadism.He’s definitely not man enough to do it himself.That doesn’t make it less cruel.Just less brave.

    I disagree – the action of Joff ordering Ned’s death was not one of cruelty it was one of feigned power. He was trying to show the crowd that he was a man to be feared not truly caring about Ned stark himself because I don’t believe he ever thought Ned was ever a true threat to him. He’s too naive

  137. Andrew
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    death to lannisters,

    Yeah, I realise some of the non-readers were already at the “physically-impossible-to-hate-joffrey-more” point, but out of the 5 people I watch the show with, 3 are non-readers, and after the whore scene they all kind of reached a new level of hatred for Joffrey. It deffinitely varies from viewer to viewer, but the non-readers I personally know understood Joffrey a lot better after that scene. The other non-reader I know was a massive Sean Bean fan, so after the Ned debacle, there was really nothing Joffrey could do to make himself seem worse in his eyes, haha.

  138. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    And Andrew agrees with me a lot, so I consider him damned smart.

    Edit: Mostly damned. Partly smart.

  139. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    death to lannisters,

    Agreed.

    Andrew

    I enjoy reading your comments as well- always insightful and level-headed. I guess I like FaB too ;-)

  140. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Andrew:
    kingthlayer,

    Well thank you, I appreciate that. Back in Highschool, we did an entire debate unit in English every year, so I guess the lessons stuck!

    I was a kid in the speech and debate club myself (although it seems you may have been required to debate). I won 2nd in the state for humorous interpretation one year. My teacher said it was because I skipped every practice…I think he was right.

  141. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Shadowcat85,

    Well looks like you’re damned too.

  142. death to lannisters
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Andrew: after the whore scene they all kind of reached a new level of hatred for Joffrey

    it showed a different shade to his sadism, but personally I don’t think making two whores beat each other is worse than beheading your betrothed’s father in front of her and then making her look at the head on a spike. That just seems so much worse. The dye was cast for me right then and there, though there were plenty of hints of his sadistic and bratty nature leading up to that. Plus the actor does a great job – you can see the hints of pleasure in his face as he does cruel things … it speaks a volumes … for me the whore scene really showed that there was nowhere he wasn’t that person … so it completed the picture a little but for me was by no means the sickest thing he did.

  143. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood: I think if there was an actual “quota” they would have already scheduled the nudity into the scene rather than having a producer point out, “You don’t have to cover her. This is HBO.”

    Thanks for your interest in my work. I’m not familiar with axechucker but if you’re a mod, feel free to email me directly and I’ll be happy to provide a link.

    I think there’s a big difference in your rephrasing and what Marshall actually said, which was that he received a directive to include fffn, not reassurance that he could do what he wanted in the scene. I did see that Vulture.com picked up on this element of the Marshall interview and offered a poll question on the nudity, gratuitous or not, in GOT but can’t recall how much response it received.

  144. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    death to lannisters,

    I don’t see it in a “worse” context. I see it as a different sort of revelation. It could be argued Joffrey is really the only true evil character on the show. Tyrion gave him a chance for normal sexual activity (well, as much “normal” as one could have with a pair of whores), and he couldn’t even do that right.

    So to me—an avid book reader—it was a revelation, since I do not recall the passage in the book that said Joffrey had whores beat one another. It’s not a “worse” level of bad, but a different sort. You leave that scene going, “Wow, Joffers actually does get off on this.”

  145. Andrew
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    Forgive me if the wording comes of crass, but I think that incident was less of “Okay, so you have some dialouge between Bronn and the Hound…Why don’t we throw in some tits?” and more of “Alright, Bronns got this prostitute on his lap, he’s planning on having sex with her, why is she clothed? We’re HBO, you can do the nudity.”

    To me it seems less of adding scenes in order to show nudity, and more of showing nudity in scenes that would logically feature nudity.

    @Fabio – I’ll take partly smart anyday!

  146. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    DH87: Thanks for your interest in my work. I’m not familiar with axechucker but if you’re a mod, feel free to email me directly and I’ll be happy to provide a link.

    I think there’s a big difference in your rephrasing and what Marshall actually said, which was that he received a directive to include fffn, not reassurance that he could do what he wanted in the scene. I did see that Vulture.com picked up on this element of the Marshall interview and offered a poll question on the nudity, gratuitous or not, in GOT but can’t recall how much response it received.

    again, the nudity that you’re calling out proved to further the story by bringing the cruelty of Joff further into sadism…so you’re problem is the nudity, am I right? I’m not trying to be an asshole but I just want to figure out if your problem is the characters/scenes/writing or just that they like to have naked bodies on the screen.

  147. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer,

    I agree with part of this: I do think it was feigned power, but he enjoyed it in the same way he enjoyed taunting Micah. It doesn’t matter if he has a third party perform the punishment.

  148. Soul of a Dragon
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I’m 98% happy with the way the adaptation has been handled, but I’m looking at it from both sides because when I watched Season 1 last year I had not read the books (so I didn’t really care about Ros except that I wished the “interview” hadn’t been so noisy so I could hear what the heck Littlefinger was saying!) After the season ended both my daughter and I read the books and couldn’t wait for Season 2. Also, my husband and son are still watching as non-readers so we couldn’t wait to see if they would react to the same things that had an impact on us in the books.

    Watching it this year as a reader has definitely been a different experience! I was a little disappointed (with myself) during the first couple of episodes because knowing what would happen really felt like I had made a mistake by reading ahead – like I knew spoilers which took the surprise/shock element away which I had enjoyed during the first season. But, having gone through LOTR and the Harry Potter adaptations, I fully expected that there WOULD be changes. And I knew that a lot of them would involve time, budget and cast limitations. Sure, I was anxious that it would get screwed up and I would be disappointed, but I felt the first season had been so well adapted that I had faith in those in charge.

    So, I actually welcomed some of the changes this year (Arya & Tywin) because they brought that surprise back for me. Yes, there are things that I miss, but the only change that really puzzles me is…Why did they change Jeyne to Talisa? It’s not something that would have bothered me as a non-reader, but as a reader I knew who she was supposed to be. And I was glad that we were going to get some of the Rob/Jeyne interaction on screen since we didn’t get it in the book. However, when she said she was Talisa from Volantis, it took me completely out of the viewing experience because I couldn’t understand this change. It made me think she was lying, which instantly made me not like her (because that’s not a great way to start a relationship with someone and how the heck are you going to get out this corner you’ve written yourselves into?) I just felt weirdly cheated? tricked? I don’t know. It made me not believe in the love story because I didn’t trust her. You know – why is she still lying, that’s just digging a deeper hole. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Perhaps this is an underlying reason why so many readers complain that this storyline didn’t work for them. I still for the life of me can’t understand the motivation behind this change, but maybe they planned for something we have yet to see…

    Still looking forward to more seasons!

  149. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    to be honest I still think of both tv and book joff as asexual. I just don’t think he’s capable of getting it up. he’s probably inbred.

  150. msd
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    People are critical of the Robb-Talisa storyline because it was executed poorly. It came off as hackneyed and cliched in a series that is supposed to be (and usually is) the opposite of that. I do think it could have worked with more subtlety. The biggest problem, however, is that they abandoned the characterisation they had worked so hard to establish for Robb in Season 1 in order to give him a love story.

  151. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Shadowcat85:
    kingthlayer,

    I agree with part of this: I do think it was feigned power, but he enjoyed it in the same way he enjoyed taunting Micah. It doesn’t matter if he has a third party perform the punishment.

    the difference is the distance between the actual violence which I believe the show is doing a great job of showing. I hate to bring them up again but if you’re a book reader you know: the Boltons are the most reprehensible people in the series. i mentioned it in another thread but I have nightmares about Ramsey and what he does deep in the Dreadfort. Joffrey is not capable of that. He is too weak minded to actually carry out his cruelties which means to me that he is not a sadist but a ruler that is weak but needs others to wield his power. he’s a puss. period. and I will add that I don’t believe that he is sexually active in the least. that’s just my opinion though.

  152. the goat
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Whatever, there’s obviously no pleasing most people. But oh my R’hllor, this Sunday is gonna feel sooooooooooo damn empty.

  153. Lex
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    the goat:
    …this Sunday is gonna feel sooooooooooo damn empty.

    The next 40 Sundays are gonna feel so damn empty.

  154. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    I am a mod, but am known to be almost completely computer illiterate. I’m just the “writer” of the group. You’re lucky I even know how to edit anything at all on this website, much less navigate whatever personalized e-mail system we may have. Feel free to send it to Winter-Is-Coming, however. I’m sure we’d all like a gander.

    From Neil Marshall:

    “But the weirdest part was when you have one of the exec producers leaning over your shoulder, going, “You can go full frontal, you know. This is television, you can do whatever you want! And do it! I urge you to do it.” So I was like, “Okay, well, if you— you’re the boss.”

    So it wasn’t a mandate. He was urging him to do it. Sort of like a bald little evil producer devil sitting on his shoulder, going, “Ya! Ya! Sex! Show it! Ya!”

    Hi-larious.

  155. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Soul of a Dragon,

    agreed. i don’t have a fundamental problem with Talisa *DONT READ UNLESS YOUVE READ THEM ALL* but the problem I have is with the fact that Jeyne is a Lannister underling and clearly serves Tywin in the end. How will they explain how clever that deceit is if the gorl is from volantis. I still feel they are up to something.

  156. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Andrew: To me it seems less of adding scenes in order to show nudity, and more of showing nudity in scenes that would logically feature nudity.

    My problem with that scene in particular was that the whore starts out completely clothed, and as she’s sitting on Bronn’s lap and he’s singing and joking, she suddenly and spontaneously takes off her dress to sit there in full frontal nudity. No “Let’s see your tits!” No “I’m paying for your bare ass!” or any other such exhortion from Bronn or anyone else. She just takes her dress off in preparation for ….well, nothing, actually, other than more joking and singing, followed by some fighting. It’s not like every whore is always naked in every brothel, or even every brothel in Westeros, as we saw from Ros’s guided tour for Daisy earlier. You can’t say the strip provided action because the camera cut to the Hound often enough to satisfy the need for movement—-you could even say the strip distracted from Bronn’s dialogue.

    No wonder Marshall felt the nudity wasn’t necessary. It wasn’t. The lady in question could have been sitting on Bronn’s lap with her clothes in disarray just as easily. Gratuitous with a capital G.

  157. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    DH87,
    WHO GIVES A SHIT!!!! a girl was naked and again the actors are what was focused on. Most of the comments about that scene were about “Brad” lannister not the boobs and subtle merkin.

  158. LordStarkington
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood:
    I think the Ros hate would be significantly less if her scenes were only added to the tale—and nothing at all was removed (though in my estimation that would be a pretty meandering tale when told on TV).

    Ros actually had very little screentime this season (the handy westeros topic would be great for exact numbers but I’m getting a database error), and is basically inserted for the purpose of gaining insight into other characters. I’m pretty sure a lot of the hate is residual not-liking from last season combined with the need to scapegoat; the non-book character is an easy target.

  159. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood: So it wasn’t a mandate.

    Marshall’s quote in the next section was “‘I represent the perv side of the audience, and I’m saying I want full frontal nudity in this scene.‘ So you go ahead and do it.” (Emphasis added.)

    This is from one of the two executive producers, the bosses of all bosses, the check approvers. “I’m saying I want full frontal nudity in this scene.” If you typically ignore this kind of directive from your boss, please get me a job where you work. :)

  160. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer,

    Never thought of the sexual aspect to be honest! I watched the first season then read the books. In S1, I viewed him as spoiled and naive yet excited at the pain others experienced. He may be too weak to do the deed himself but his enjoyment is evident.

  161. Andrew
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    Well, to be fair, she was stripping down because she was about to have sex. Stannis’s arrival interrupted it.

    My directing experience is limited, and If I had shot the scene, my first thought wouldn’t have been to have her strip down, but I probably would have done it if it was suggested. No matter how many times you cut back and forth, if two characters are just sitting still, it’s not a very visually captivating scene and some of the audience will lose interest. Having her strip certainly wasn’t the only way of doing it, nor was it deffinitively the best, but it was far from the worst.

  162. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    It’s a sad thing that an audience can’t be captivated by people just talking. Watched 12 Angry Men for the dozenth time the other night, and that movie is the perfect example of how it can be executed and interesting as hell. And GoT has done it brilliantly on mutiple occassions which is why I find the other instances jarring.

  163. kingthlayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Shadowcat85:
    kingthlayer,

    Never thought of the sexual aspect to be honest! I watched the first season then read the books.InS1, I viewed him as spoiled and naive yet excited at the pain others experienced. He may be too weak to do the deed himself but his enjoyment is evident.

    I agree to some extent. I believe Joff is a wicked person but is not a sadist (in the books but definitely in the show) he’w just power crazed. i will mention it again but the only true evil in the books so far is Ramsey.

  164. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Weirdly, I don’t seem to remember Aremca removing one whit of her own clothing. Bronn took it all off of her, as far as I can recall. He “unwrapped” her.

    I don’t even remember a merkin!

    Must re-watch.

  165. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood: Weirdly, I don’t seem to remember Aremca removing one whit of her own clothing.

    There may have been some cooperative activity there, but certainly it didn’t persuade anyone else to join in….perhaps the baleful eye of the Hound spoiled the festive mood!

    With that, I’m off for the evening, my merry friends! (Oh, wait—-let me rip off my clothes in preparation for going to bed after cleaning up the kitchen, doing some ironing, and going out to feed the horses.)

  166. Soul of a Dragon
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer,

    Good Point. And to be fair, because of that, I was a little suspicious of her motivations in the book. My inability to like her tv character was more directly linked to the feeling that this change seemed to come out of left field. My non-reader family members of course don’t see her that way. They just feel like Rob is setting himself up for trouble… Oh, it’s hard to bite my tongue around them!

  167. the goat
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    Yeah, now that the off-season bitch-fest has officially commenced (despite Tyrion having a perfect scar, Valar Morghulis, Ygritte being perfect, Brienne and Jaime’s Excellent Adventure, LF and Tywin’s destrier competing for the steamiest foreshadowing, Winterfell burning, a motherfucking White Walker, and, I dunno, BLACKWATER), I think I’ll just revert to my pre-S1 idiom of responding solely (and, often drunkenly) in Radiohead lyrics. Thus,

    Haters:
    “Yesterday I woke up suckin a lemon.”

    Response:
    “When I am king you will be first against the wall.”

    Haters’ Response:
    “Did you lie to us (D&D)?
    We thought you were different
    Now you know we’re not so sure”
    (Drooling looney tunes
    Moving in a swarm
    Moving in a swarm)

    Response:
    “Kill me, Sara
    Kill me again, with love
    Gonna be a glorious day”

  168. Morgan King
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    kingthlayer,

    Joffrey is totally a sadist – if younger and less accomplished – in the book – remember the bit where he tortures the pregnant cat?

  169. Meg
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood: It will be interesting to see what they can do with 20 episodes for A Storm of Swords.  

    I think my saliva glands kicked in when I read that. Tasty, tasty 20 episodes….

    FaBio – several reasons why that Joffrey/Ros scene didn’t work for me. First, I want the producers to STEP AWAY from the topic of prostitution because they’re doing a crappy job conveying its complexity. This isn’t necessarily their fault, because Martin doesn’t seem to care about the fate of prostitutes either. I would recommend the writers read up on Michele Tea’s exploration of the subject, because Littlefinger’s brothel is constructed in a really ham-fisted way. The only thing I liked was Varys recognizing that prostitutes make the best spies because they are amazing actors (although I don’t see any reason why Ros is THE BEST other than the fact that the show just TELLS US she’s the best).

    Like Shadowcat’s point about the presentation of hookers in other series, notably Joanie and Trixie in Deadwood and Al and Tolliver’s competing pimp showdown, I can’t help but compare the two shows and see GoT’s failings with this issue. It’s not a show or a book that seems interested in exploring this phenomenon, because it’s used in both mainly for shock value. Cogman’s point about Daisy thinking “oh this is a nice place” and then having her beaten with an antler dildo in her next “big scene” isn’t a “mini-arc,” it’s misery-porn.

    What’s worse – it doesn’t convey anything new or enrich the characters. It just reiterates what we already know: whores who show up to work at Littlefinger’s brothel get rude awakenings, Joff brutalizes people (this after he had just ordered the bastards killed and Sansa beaten as his contributions to the game).

    Don’t get me wrong I like being shocked and disturbed – and I guess I’m sort of appeased by the courage to put this kind of sadism on TV. What shocked/disturbed me more, however, was that it had no other consequences; I thought that we would get a reaction from Tyrion when the whores were delivered to his room, but it’s like the whole thing was forgotten. Don’t worry…on to the next “shocking scene of the week”…move along nothing to see here…

    As to your enthusiastic point about wanting “bloody everything” on screen, I question Peter Jackson’s wanting “bloody everything” related to the LoTR filmed and Lucas…well, I’ll just stop right now cuz this comment is going off tha rails!!

  170. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    DH87: There may have been some cooperative activity there, but certainly it didn’t persuade anyone else to join in….perhaps the baleful eye of the Hound spoiled the festive mood!

    With that, I’m off for the evening, my merry friends! (Oh, wait—-let me rip off my clothes in preparation for going to bed after cleaning up the kitchen, doing some ironing, and going out to feed the horses.)

    Removing one’s clothes before bed seems proper! At least you’re not dashing across to the stables starkers. Uncomfortable!

    As to the Hound… did anyone else find a brothel to be an odd place for dude to go? Like what’s he going to do with Brad there?

  171. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Meg,

    I agree I was disappointed we didn’t get more of a reaction from Tyrion. But this reiterates what I keep saying: with more time, they probably could have had a scene for us.

    And I find very little fault in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. I even forgave him his eighty-eight epilogues in the final film, mostly because I empathized with him; hard to fully say goodbye. Easy to forgive after the epic he gave us.

    Lucas…

    Alright, fair.

  172. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    My thought is if we can’t see the repercussions of those actions, then we don’t need the scene in the first place. That saves even more time.

  173. Virtus
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Jaime Lannister,

    Agreed. Even if the writers wanted to make Jeyne’s character different, they didn’t have to change her name and background. And the way they portray this Talisa just strikes me as way too modern with regard to her behaviour, which fits poorly in the quasi-medieval world.

  174. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Meg,

    No, this comment is good! :)

  175. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Andrew:
    DH87,

    Well, to be fair, she was stripping down because she was about to have sex. Stannis’s arrival interrupted it.

    My directing experience is limited, and If I had shot the scene, my first thought wouldn’t have been to have her strip down, but I probably would have done it if it was suggested. No matter how many times you cut back and forth, if two characters are just sitting still, it’s not a very visually captivating scene and some of the audience will lose interest. Having her strip certainly wasn’t the only way of doing it, nor was it deffinitively the best, but it was far from the worst.

    Interesting, but a woman thought that this scene with Bronn talking about how he broke his nose and gently unwrapping the whore (like a gift) ever so gently made it seem like he was going for his “last moment on earth” thing with her. They seemed familiar, as if they’d known each other, and he was looking for that last human interaction before he would once again become a killing machine. That it happened to supply the frontal nudity so popular on the show didn’t bother me at all. YMMV.

  176. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Morgan King:
    kingthlayer,

    Joffrey is totally a sadist – if younger and less accomplished – in the book – remember the bit where he tortures the pregnant cat?

    A woman is not totally schooled in psychology, but recalls that Cersei mentioned Joffrey wanted to see the kittens inside, and had no feeling of empathy about the pain the mother cat would feel, nor did he care that his actions would kill them all. Isn’t that more along the lines of a psychopath?

  177. christmas is coming
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    I agree with what he says about ros, it is completely unfair to the actress that plays ros, I don’t understand the community’s obsession with hating her.

  178. the goat
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar: A woman is not totally schooled in psychology, but recalls that Cersei mentioned Joffrey wanted to see the kittens inside, and had no feeling of empathy about the pain the mother cat would feel, nor did he care that his actions would kill them all. Isn’t that more along the lines of a psychopath?

    2+2 always makes a 5

  179. HyacinthGirl
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    I like this guy. He seems very respectful of the source material and I actually think most/all of the changes made sense.
    Slowing down Bran and Arya’s arcs is completely necessary because when it comes to adapting the Feast/Dance material, these two have a smaller number of chapters (especially Bran) so it makes a lot of sense to drag some of those ASOS chapters out a little.
    Whether or not you prefer book Jeyne to Talisa, you have to admit that probably wouldn’t have worked as well on screen. I’m still a little confused though – is Talisa going to be revealed as Jeyne, or is she just a foriegner? Because, I swear when the Crag was mentioned a few epiosodes ago, she went all wide eyed or something. And there was some line about lying… I don’t know, I’ll have to rewatch. I can’t really defend this arc because it’s altered Robb and Catelyn quite a bit, but at least Robb’s love interest is, well… interesting!

  180. SugarVampire
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    As I mentioned before in another thread, this adaption has become a stars driven series instead of a story driven series. They will do anything to highlight the stars D&D preferred (including Ros), even truncate or make drastic changes from the story. That is how Hollywood works and that is how vast majority of adaptations are done.

    Just accept that fact the characters will be different, the stories will be different. The character traits that make a reader cared about a character may no longer exist. Continuity of charcter development and years of subtle plot building will be tossed aside. This is a major philosophical difference and decision D&D made regardless of budget and time constraint. The fact that Bryan Cogman now hates to labelled as “Keeper of the Mythos” tells us all we needed to know. Better start to break off in your mind the favorite parts of the books from GoT. The snow castle scene might not be there, no High Heart, the Crossroad Inn fight will be different, Gregor/Red Viper will be different, no Bear pit, not sure about the Bath tub, forget about Pia or Manderly.

    It’s D&D’s show. It is still a good and entertaining show. It is still a much better show than most on TV. It still have great performances and great production value. Hopefully they will make the new changes better than the ones in Season 2.

  181. darquemode
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Interesting interview…

    I liked hearing him say they are slow playing the Arya and Bran story arcs and that makes a lot of sense to me because of their lack of page time in the upcoming books. Although I do think it is a bit of the Butterfly Effect making ceretain changes a necessity for them more than it is a deliberate choice since pushing back earlier events gave them no choice in pushing back later events too.

    I also liked his view on Ros. She is the perfect vehicle to show insight into the behind the scenes working we did not read about in the books, but need in a TV series. Very rare is a “Ros scene” even about her in the end. Nor should it be honestly. They did not create her to be a fully dynamic character that they need to build up and round out… that would be ridiciulous. She is a tool that allows them to have non-book scenes for other characters … that is all.

    I really don’t agree with his view of Robb/ Talisa much. I found almost every scene with them to be sappy and cliched – from flirting with wounded soldiers in the background, to strolls in a meadow, to the wedding scene – and it goes against GRRM’s writing style which is not often cliched and less often sappy. It was not that it was new or different than th book that bothered me, it was that is was just bad. Period.

    I also did not get the Jon arc this season. Most of the changes were minor, but there were so many minor changes that it completely changed the impact of the final scene…. even if it was the same basic end point.

    The Dany arc was a mess htis year too, but I do think it may have been improved to the the mess in the book. I had issues with her whining so much and regressing from last season. It goes against not only the book, but against logic in my mind. Nevermind the now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t, now-you-see-them-again Dothraki khalasar fiasco.

    However I think my biggest complaint about the Dany arc (and also related to Stannis’s arc) is the lack of prophecy this year. The most important part of the entire book/season for Daenerys was the House of the Undying. Not because it was the climax or most action of the season, but because it tied Dany into the larger mystical arc of the saga.

    There are two stories going throughout the books. The first is the fight for the Iron Throne and the series has handled that well. The second equally important (arguably more important) is the fight for humanity versus the ancient powers rising beyond the Wall. The House of the Undying visions in the book were important because they tied Dany into that larger battle beyond the battle for the Throne.

    Instead they gave a sappy emotional moment that looked backward instead of forward. Sure we can get the prophecy later from Quaithe, Melisandre… even Varys I guess, but it does not or will not have the same impact as Dany experiencing it for herself. The House of the Undying was by far my biggest disappointment of the season because of that.

  182. Jackol
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    paylor,

    Do you honestly think that Jeyne’s family was in a massive plot from the beginning to have Robb fall in love with Jeyne, marry her and break a pack with the Freys? They lost family members because of this, including their son. Sybell Spicer was hedging her bets by making sure Jeyne couldn’t get pregnant, but I doubt that they were in league with Tywin from the beginning to kill Robb in a very convoluted plot.

    Yes, yes I do. As soon as Robb is in their hands after his forces have captured the Crag, off goes a raven to Tywin (perhaps with a suggestion in it), and back comes a raven from Tywin confirming his side of the bargain. Voila, Jeyne, the noble daughter of an old, minor but noble house, starts personally tending Robb day and night. Robb = teenager. After being in bed alone except for Jeyne for a week or so with nothing to do starts feeling very attracted to the pretty Jeyne, but his honour keeps his pants on. Robb hears about Bran and Rickon dying, and falls into the arms of the overly-convenient Jeyne. Bang – oh noes I’ve taken advantage of a noble lady, I must marry her to avoid what he thinks he saw in how Jon Snow was mistreated due to his father’s “mistake”.

    This is all confirmed, as far as I’m concerned, in AFFC based on the reward that was provided to the Westerling family – 3 Lannister hands-in-marriage and LANDS and TITLES – you don’t get that for overseeing a course in moon tea. There are other hints.

  183. Dan
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Yeah, everything Fire And Blood said in this comment thread. You saved me a lot of typing.

  184. Macha
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire: . The fact that Bryan Cogman now hates to labelled as “Keeper of the Mythos” tells us all we needed to know. Better start to break off in your mind the favorite parts of the books from GoT.

    Yeah, let’s completely disregard the fact that he mentioned, time and again, how much love and respect he has for the books. Same thing goes for D&D. He explicitly stated that being labelled ‘Keeper of the Mythos’ now means that he is often held accountable for changes that are not his doing. Nice way of twisting his words.

  185. Dan
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Macha,

    When you are trying to make a point you can’t let something like accurately interpreting someone else’s words get in the way.

  186. sjwenings
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Seems obvious now, we’ll get more Rhaegar, and presumably some prohecies with it.

  187. the goat
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Strobe lights and blown speakers

  188. Biscotti
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    An audition for Daario.. anyone see this already? Wonder if he is reading from the actual script.

    [MOD WARNING: BOTH OF THESE AUDIITONS ARE SPOILER-FILLED. THE "MEGGA TYRELL" ONE ESPECIALLY! WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JXdo3ySFBg

    and who is Megga Tyrell?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlRT9kMt3NU

  189. Anvil
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Darius? Megga? Really? Smells fishy.

  190. Macha
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    The Tyrell family tree gives me headaches, I suppose Megga could be one of Margaery’s cousins? I never paid much attention to them in the books, so I don’t remember their names. But wait a minute, Margaery is already married to Tommen in Season 3? Aren’t they speeding things up a bit?

  191. Zack
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    darquemode: She is a tool that allows them to have non-book scenes for other characters … that is all.

    It’s funny that the defenders and haters can use this same sentence as justification for their feelings. She’s hardly a character at all, you’re right.

  192. dizzy_34
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    So many well thought out posts in here, it’s like the early days. I thought B. Cog’s responses were spot on for the most part (I could do with less Ros). With Arya’s journey it will be much easier to show the peasant’s side of things.

  193. Jordan Healey
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Macha,

    Megga is one of the three cousins of Margaery IIRC

    there’s Megga, Alla and Elinor.

  194. Remaal
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    This has turned out to be a quite an interesting thread. Certainly more interesting than the softball “let me explain” interview under discussion.

    A refreshingly good read.

  195. Drfunk
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Great interview, and though I may not agree with some of the logic behind the writers, I completely understand their side of the issue. There seems to be some sort of “billing” theory going on which seems improbable. Every actor on the show doesn’t get paid for every word their character gets to say nor is it per hour. Unless I’m mistaken they get paid for the season, sort of like a retainer.

    Aidan Gillen is one of my favorite actors, he’s certainly a “bigger” recognizable name out of the rest of the cast. He’s also got huge range and is what I consider a serious actor looking for meaningful roles (i.e we won’t see him in every shitty hollywood movie every summer for a payday). This season Varys is being highlighted due to his involvement with Tyrion. Meaning they didin’t have to make scenes up since Varys pops up enough times already.

    Varys and LF represents two of the most fascinating aspect of the show amidst all the kings, zombies and dragons. They are arguably the two “players” playing the Great Game. One plays the long game by making moves that have great long term repercussion, while the other plays a non linear almost chaotic short term moves while making adjustments on the fly. The reason I bring this up is because book LF has been reduced to a weaselly minor player. Books readers can agree that LF has been made completely OBVIOUS. Non readers watching the show will see Varys and won’t be able to make up their mind while condemning LF for being an obvious power hungry backstabber.

    Now Larry is arguably not the “standard” in terms of non reading viewers but his reaction to both these characters is quite telling. If they made Varys so enigmatic and hide his agendas, why couldn’t they do the same for LF? Seriously, LF is anything but predictable in the books. So where was the logic behind neutering that character?

    Do you think that Aidan’s agent went to D&D and demanded he gets more lines than Conleth Hill? Wow seriously? These guys are super busy. Meaning they have other projects lined up, we see them in GoT and love them for it but we’re just a small part of their acting portforlio. I’m not claiming not every actor won’t make such demands etc.. Considering his previous work and his interviews, I find it hard to believe if not impossible to digest that AG would “push” the writers to give him extra lines. Especially when he realizes how his character just looks terrible compared to Varys.

    In the grand scheme of things this is a minor detail. That said, someone over there is clearly responsible for this and would love to hear something directly related to the matter. Instead of the current “I’m a bigger star, give me more shit to say” theory.

  196. Roger Kevin Dering
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I can agree with the changes too Arya. She hasn’t developed into the killer she would have to be to do so much killing. I mean she had her first kill at the stable boy, then she stays for weeks on the streets before slicing her way through crowd to get to Ned at Baelor. TV doesn’t have the time for that and the way they did Harrenhal gives a clear reason why she was hesitant to just sic Jaqen on Tywin (which a 12 year should be capable of thinking off), and everyone loves the Tywin/Arya scenes.

    Bran I’m less understanding towards cause the reason he hasn’t been developed sufficiently is because you guys haven’t been giving him nearly enough screentime.

    Jeyne>Talisa I also understand. You want Robb on the forefront and give him something to do when your budget doesn’t allow to do the war justice and he has scenes with Bolton, Karstark, Catelyn and Jeyne. Jeyne is a Lannister bannermen, they can’t have her at the camp, so they’d indeed have to cut back on Catelyn/Robb.

    That doesn’t excuse eliminating the Bran/Rickon death as motivation for the wedding, let alone as motivation for Catelyn letting the Kingslayer escape.

  197. WompWomp
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Virtus:
    Jaime Lannister,

    Agreed. Even if the writers wanted to make Jeyne’s character different, they didn’t have to change her name and background. And the way they portray this Talisa just strikes me as way too modern with regard to her behaviour, which fits poorly in the quasi-medieval world.

    The world of ASOIAF is brimming with anachronisms and unaccountable tradition (where did all the French words in the Common Tongue come from?), but I have to agree with Talisa being unusually modern. The same goes for the throw pillows used to smother Drogo.

    I am, however, more satisfied with Robb marrying for love. Sure, it’s not the smart choice, but it’s the more credible choice. Marrying a girl to maintain her honor when it encroaches upon your personal honor, your binding word to a fellow lord? That didn’t make so much sense. My between-the-lines reading of Robb’s book marriage was love triumphing over sense.

    Plus, show fans need more reasons to care about Robb’s life. It’s a side effect of bringing him in from the sidelines of the book.

  198. Maxwell James
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    It always amuses me when people complain about these interviews being too “softball.” In what universe does it make sense to conduct a hard-hitting, aggressive interview with the story editor on a TV show?

  199. Maxwell James
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Since you have frequently complained about people insulting “book purists” on these boards, I suggest you try living by your own advice. Suggesting that a writer who likes the show has a profit motive at stake in “protecting” Ros – especially when that profit motive is a freakin’ essay in a book that might sell about 1000 copies, if that – would be insulting were it not so patently ridiculous.

    It sort of reminds me of people bitching that GRRM was delaying ADWD so he could hawk more miniatures on his website.

    How about just accepting that people have different opinions and leaving it at that?

  200. msd
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Drfunk,

    I can’t see actors making demands either. GoT is clearly an ensemble piece. I think it’s as simple as D&D being fans of certain actors and wanting to give them more scenes and dialogue. They’re on record as saying such things about Richard Madden so it makes sense to me with regards to Gillen, especially since they’ve mentioned being big fans of The Wire.

    Unfortunately, when you make stuff up for actors to do because you really like them, you can distort their character in the process unless it’s really carefully thought out and integrated. Robb’s new material hasn’t worked in my opinion because they upended his characterisation to do it, however the extra stuff with Tywin is an example of successfully “beefing up” scenes for a great actor. (I know some people think Tywin has been made sympathetic but I don’t feel that way because the sheer ruthlessness of his character remained front and centre).

    Also, although I’m also a fan of some of Gillen’s past work, I don’t think the problems with LF are just down to the writing. The Machiavellian nature of the character has been dialled up to 11 in the performance. I wish he’d rein it in but it’s probably too late for that now …

  201. Benjen_S
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    The issue of flashbacks could be solved with a feature-film prequel depicting Robert’s Rebellion.

    In 2-4 years, assuming GoT continues to gain viewers rather than lose them, HBO could joint-finance a big-budget film (with some large studio, take your pick) in which younger actors are cast in roles already depicted on the show (Eddard, Robert, Tywin etc. . .) It could be quite an epic story depicting the love triangle of Rhaegar/Lyanna/Robert and the subsequent war.

    The built-in fan base ensures the film’s success. The budget is slightly higher than the TV show to accommodate large battle scenes and multiple high-profile actors. HBO actually increases the show’s profile and audience.

    The fans are granted scenes that they always wanted to see depicted on screen: The Tournament at Harrenhall, The Battle of the Bells, The Battle of the Trident, The Sack of King’s Landing, The Tower of Joy, The birth of Danaerys Stormborn etc. etc.

    Does anyone else think this is a no-brainer?

  202. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Didn’t we get the Joffrey-Ros-Daisy menage because HBO was reticent in showing the little f***er killing cats with his crossbow?

    Don’t want to get PETA pissed off. Who cares about two human beings whose life has took a bad turn getting mentally and physically abused when the lives of cats and kittens are at stake?

  203. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Benjen_S,

    it also gives George more time.

  204. KG
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    darquemode,

    Honestly, I hate the entire Jon/Night’s Watch storyline, anyway. The whole “Band of Brothers’ tripe doesn’t resonate at all with this no-military-background artsy musician woman. The only chapter I ever went back and read more than once was when Jon got fragged by his homeboys. That was sweet!

  205. KG
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Macha,

    Megga is the one who “laughs like a dockside whore,” isn’t she?

  206. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    As for Aidan Gillen’s Littlefinger performance, I personally love it. I think D & D really like his character and he has this presence in all his scenes of “I am fucking everyone over and it is awesome/I am a creep here me roar”. I think his performance is almost meta re: fourth wall, because if you recall one of his early scenes in “Lord Snow” back in season 1, he is throttled by Ned Stark on the streets of KL when he brings Ned to the brothel, implying to the Lord of Winterfell that his wife is a whore. Ned overreacts of course and Littlefinger speaks aloud “ah the Starks short tempers, simple minds.” From this scene and onwards it is clear that D & D do not want to make him a cartoon villain, they want to make him a theatrical, Shakespearean villain. He is Iago. He is Don John. He is Cassius. It’s a style adjustment for a character that does so much behind the scenes in the book that to get the billing of an actor like Gillen would be hard if he was to be absent most of the series. This also makes the LF Brothel scene in “You Win or you Die” make more sense as it is more of a soliloquy than it is a monologue to random prostitutes. I love how his eyes light up or the skewed glances he gives Varys, the knowing smirks. Yes in a narrative sense it can be seen to be too brash, but I have a feeling the writers wanted to split his character down the middle so that he is the complete antithesis of Varys.

    I wonder if my statement regarding screen time was the reason for the great Canuck character actor Henry Czerny (Boys of St Vincent, Clear and Present Danger, Mission Impossible, Revenge) leaving the Tudors after season 1? I loved his Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk and I always thought Czerny would have been an awesome background player as Littlefinger in GoT.

  207. Macha
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Benjen_S,

    I hope I read you correctly, you’d find this feature film a viable option to come out before GRRM finishes the series?
    The biggest problem with that, as I see it, is the simple fact that GRRM is not done piecing it all together. I’ve seen this idea being thrown out a lot lately, but how could it be written, and who would write it? What would you base it on? Fan speculation is still speculation at the end of the day, and even in the books you have conflicting recollections of those events.
    Maybe it’s just me, but I find this idea unrealistic to say the least.
    I didn’t mean to give offense or anything, I was simply wondering how could this be handled without causing an uproar in the fandom.

  208. Macha
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    KG:
    Macha,

    Megga is the one who “laughs like a dockside whore,” isn’t she?

    LOL, is she? Well, in that case, bring her on!

  209. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    Sadly this is Hollywood. Where artistic integrity and crass commercialism are constantly at war all the time. Look at some of the Oscar winners for best picture over the course of the industry’s history, even in the most mass produced entertainment there is artistry to be found. Whether it’s nudity quotas , violence, Legolas surfing on a shield at Helm’s Deep, to find nuance and depth in these visual texts we must look past the artifice. Why should GoT be treated any differently?

    The problems with GoT have nothing to do with the show or the writers or directors in my opinion it has to do with the problems inherent in the industry itself. If anything, this is a sobering moment where we realize that even HBO, the creme a la creme of independent storytelling distinct from the commercial cancer that eats away at network television, is still at the beck and call of television’s bottom line: to make money.

    I’m sorry but if we want Game of Thrones to continue as a television series, this is the price that the bigwigs are making us pay. Perhaps they will realise this come the writing in season 3 and change this. Hard to say.

  210. WompWomp
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    That is the creepy thing about PETA, when their rhetoric is more pro-animal than pro-human. They also had this ad that hilariously insinuated that women should screw themselves with vegetables.

    KG,

    That’s probably the most Jon-bashingest comment I’ve ever seen. You’re not even targeting Jon Snow of the Show. No words. ._.

  211. Benjen_S
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Macha,

    Good points. . . esp. the fact that there may be key events that have not been told/told incorrectly about the whole history of the war. That being said, the major plotlines that have been explained would still make for quite an entertaining spectacle picture, to say the least. If there is still major speculation yet to come out in the books (such as the identity of Jon’s parents), would they necessarily have to reveal it as part of this movie? The story of Robert’s Rebellion is already quite compelling just with the information we have now.

    Perhaps GRRM would have a problem helping with this sort of adaptation of his work, perhaps not. I was actually thinking that the people involved with writing it and making it would be the same people involved with the show.

  212. LordStarkington
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Screen time this season: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/67828-book-spoilers-project-screen-time-of-characters/

    Tyrion Lannister – 91:63
    Arya Stark – 59:38
    Cersei Lannister – 56:39
    Daenerys Targaryen – 53:24
    Theon Greyjoy – 49:22
    Jon Snow – 47:36
    Sansa Stark – 45:31
    Varys – 41:10
    Catelyn Stark – 36:44
    Joffrey Baratheon – 34:47
    Robb Stark – 34:42
    Petyr Baelish/Littlefinger – 33:57
    Davos Seaworth – 32:50
    Brienne Tarth – 32:06
    Sandor Clegane/The Hound – 30:20
    Stannis Baratheon – 29:39
    Tywin Lannister – 25:45
    Bran Stark – 24:09
    Jaime Lannister – 22:49
    Melisandre – 22:05
    Gendry – 22:05
    Xaro Xhoan Daxos – 21:21
    Renly Baratheon – 20:43
    Samwell Tarly – 20:09
    Shae – 20:05
    Grand Maester Pycelle – 17:02
    Margaery Tyrell – 15:52
    Ros – 15:28
    Loras Tyrell – 14:19
    Asha/Yara Greyjoy – 12:02
    Balon Greyjoy – 7:34
    Roose Bolton – 6:08

    Considering that her scenes are never really about her (they’re about LF or Joffrey or Varys)..

  213. Eoooooor
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    garik16:
    Am i the only one who thinks this was a lousy interview?She basically accepts everything he says as awesome and has no critiques.

    The Talisa story is lousy and a lousy change…..(also the love vs duty thing is not much of a theme in the novel – it involves only Ned once and Jon, and NO ONE ELSE)….so you made Robb a moron instead of someone who made stupid decisions due to honor.GREAT CHANGE!

    Roz is lousy – yay we get scenes with a random prostitute that add nothing for two seasons!The Varys thing at the end of S2 is the only sign of promise in her character, so maybe this will change, but she’s been pointless eye candy for most of the series.

    Oh and the Joffrey rape scene wasn’t necessary at all, because well you know…we already knew Joffrey was a monster and it doesnt’ ADD ANYTHING.You have limited time in 10 hours, How about you not add plotlines that don’t add anything we don’t already know?

    ———————–
    Listen, as a whole TV Show, the show is great (as a TV Show, not as an adaptation).And as an interviewer, she doesn’t need to challenge the interviewee completely or even be antagonistic.But she basically just treats him as if everything he says is awesome and he can do know wrong (and I’m being diplomatic about how i put this).Which just is annoying.

    You do realize she’s interviewing the guy for a tv show, not an election, right? You don’t grill people you interview for fluff pieces.

    And besides, if you look at reviews you’ll see popular opinion is opposite of these comment sections. Well except for Westeros.org but they’re helpless aren’t they?

  214. purplejilly
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,
    Why on earth would I do that? I’ve stopped posting my reviews in general because anything that isn’t fawningly show-positive elicits a wave of bashing, name calling and constant recommendations to just stop watching the show since I obviously don’t understand what ADAPTATION means. Yawn.. People call me a book purist and I’m not. There’s plenty of changes from the books that I liked and agreed with. I’ve grown to love Show Shae, and liked her being Sansa’s helper, trying to flip the mattress, chasing down the other handmaiden with a shank and threatening to cut her. But any time I post about something I don’t like from the show, you get this big chorus of “oh GOD those BOOK PURISTS!! They are NEVER HAPPY!” So I don’t post my reviews here anymore.

    Then Garik asked if he was the lone person who thought it was a sucky, kiss-up interview, and no, he was not the only person who thought that, and when I saw that additional quote on her website where she talks about books about the show coming out that she contributed it to, I submitted it to Garik as possible evidence why she was so Pro-Ros. I hate Ros, and it’s nothing against Esme’ Bianco personally, I just hate the decision for the showrunner to insert their own fanfiction character into the series.

  215. Meg
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood: I agree I was disappointed we didn’t get more of a reaction from Tyrion. But this reiterates what I keep saying: with more time, they probably could have had a scene for us.

    Maybe they could just stick with new scenes that are tightly contained. You can’t just zoom in on any passing event in the book because it creates a ripple affect that they don’t have time to explore. In contrast, the little scene in S1 between Jory and Jaime was a great invention because it’s simple and doesn’t require the reaction shots of other characters. The Joffrey/whore scene really needed extra follow-up scenes…so you hear that writers? Don’t create scenes out of whole cloth that will require you to create even more scenes out of whole cloth.

  216. Maxwell James
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Why on earth would I do that?

    Because you should practice what you preach. In your response to me you once again complain about people insulting fans whose only crime is to say something critical of the show. I agree that’s a shitty thing to do – but as a corollary, it is also a shitty thing to insult people whose only crime is to praise the show.

    And casting aspersions on the motivations of a critic is an insult. As well as a logical fallacy.

    You may disagree with Alyssa Rosenberg about the show, but when has she ever insulted you – or “book purists” in general? I read her blog regularly and have never seen her do anything of the sort. And even though she likes the show more unconditionally than I do, for instance, she is consistently polite to people who disagree with her.

    (As is Elio, BTW – who has another essay in the exact same book. So are his motivations in critiquing the show equally questionable?)

    I’m someone who values civility on the internet, as rare as it may be. Your comments usually indicate that you value it as well. So I am making a friendly suggestion that change begins with one’s own behavior. That is all.

  217. MATTHEW
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Ros is the Forrest Gump of Westeros. It is known.

  218. GrzebykK
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s the second interview with Bryan Cogman, I’ve read / seen and I am more and more happy that passionates like him and D&D of course make this show.
    I understand how difficult for them it may be to decide of any changes, but generally I accept their vision as not colliding with GRRM’s.
    As for the details, I liked Ros in first season and I liked her in second.
    Maybe she is Forrest Gump of Westeros a little – it could be interesting if someone count in how many interactions which character is shown on the screen. Anyone? Personally, I think Ros’ scenes with Theon in S1 were great, showed what his motivations are. The only scene I’d cut was famous or infamous brothel scene with Littlefinger. In S2 their scene after the slaughter of possible Robert’s bastards showed well how cruel Littlefinger is but it was a little to long. And the disturbing scene with Joffrey. She’s written to be the mirror, in which the main characters reflect: Tyrion, Theon, Littlefinger, Cersei, Varys (this one’s a vampire, has no reflection yet).
    I don’t forget about the visual aspect, either. Esme Bianco is pretty and lighten up colorful but dark Westeros. And so is Oona Chaplin and her character, Talisa.
    Although the idea of nurse in Westeros I still find ridiculous, her backstory is hard – yet not impossible – to believe. It’s the example how producers use all the books as reference in creative way. Reading ACoK we know nothing at all of Volantis, on TV we are more aware of these foreign lands thanks to the knowledge from ADwD.
    Speaking of Talisa, I must say one thing however, my sad mantra: why for Seven’s sake Robb wedded her before the Seven? His are Old Gods, her is R’hllor… Why?

  219. PatD
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh jeez, I swore I wasn’t going to post about that Neil Marshall revelation. Mostly, because every time anyone criticizes the use of nudity in this show they get branded as tight-assed Puritans (I guess it’s just easier to dismiss those criticisms that way). Now, don’t get me wrong. This series takes place during a time that contained a lot of bawdy, exploitative sex, the books contained plenty of examples, and, likewise, it follows that the show would. But I’m being generous when I say that some of its use, so far, in the show has been questionable. I don’t care how many times someone tries to defend the LF/brothel scene, it all just comes off as too much reaching to me. The Marshall quotes pretty much confirmed all my suspicions re: the use of nudity in this show, and, frankly, also confirms a lot of what DH87 has posted on this issue.

    Look, I recognize that the “pervert side of the audience” surely does exist. I also recognize that there’s a middle ground that simply allows since this is an HBO show, one should just accept the fact that gratuitous nudity will be a recurring factor. But it’s disingenuous as all hell to instruct a director, behind scenes, to actually mandate, the inclusion of “full frontal” in order to satisfy a “perv” quotient, and then try to portray those inclusions as artistic, relevant elements to plot. I mean, for Pete’s sake, one of the directors just flat-out told us he found it “surreal.”

    A lot of you are okay with that. A lot of people are not. A lot of people expected better from this project. But DH87 is absolutely right when he says that now it’s out in the open, defending the gratuitous nudity as anything other than what it was, or will be, just doesn’t make sense. Either you’re okay with that or you’re not. But let’s not pretend any longer that it’s something it isn’t.

    Did this revelation lessen my appreciation for the show? I’d be lying if I said “no.” It has affected the way I view the series and its showrunners. But as in life when trying to decide the value of something/someone, one looks at all the pros and cons, and this show still has a lot more pros than cons for me. I just view it a lot more realistically now. Thanks to Marshall, who I hope doesn’t regret his statements.

    Ros was very much a part of that quotient from the get-go. We can argue her purpose in the storyline until the cows come home, but she really only ever had one purpose… until the end of S2. We’ll see how that goes next season.

    As far as Bryan’s explanation on Arya’s storyline goes, I thought it made a lot more sense the way the show depicted her character development. I also don’t share the criticisms about the show’s Robb/Talisa treatment, because I thought the way Robb married in the book was terrible writing. No, the show’s events aren’t a huge improvement, but a young man falling in love with a camp follower over time makes way more sense to me. He’s been through a lot, he’s seen how life can change on a dime, or be ended in an instant. Choosing real love, no matter the repercussions, is corny as hell, but very consistent with young love (which is often corny and trite in real life), and people have made those kinds of bad decisions since the beginning of time.

    I don’t think LF is so much badly written as he is being badly interpreted by the actor. That really pains me to type, because I am a huge fan of The Wire and Gillen. I think Gillen’s portrayal has been flat and not very nuanced. Most of his scenes he speaks in a monotone and almost seems medicated. That one scene with Ros in her room after the baby-killings excepted. He gives me the impression of an actor who just hasn’t been able to “believe” his character. I’m not so sure that’s the actor’s fault so much as the way this series is being filmed. I know others will disagree with me, and I’m not typing this to damn Gillen, only to say that not everything is the fault of the writers.

    Interesting interview. I appreciate it when the show’s creators attempt to explain why they take certain directions.

  220. Eric Niewohner
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Well the comment thread started out great but sure enough as I go you get people claiming it was a crappy interview because she didn’t grill the guy about stuff they don’t like. I find it hilarious and hypocritical that the people who have the most complaints also get upset when the vast majority of us who love the show then complain about them. So it is okay for you guys to be critical about the writers or the interview or Ros or whatever but if we are critical about you being critical we are off base? That is the definition of hypocirsy. Those of us who get tired of the whiners and complainers is not because we think the show is perfect, heck there are some things they could have handled better, it is the constant whining and complaining about a lot of petty little details that gets blown completely out of proportion.

    As far as this interview goes why would she be in a hard hitting attack mode? The show receives critical raves, the ratings are great, most people who have read the books love it, based on the fact that typically 85% to 90% of the people who take the poll on this site rate it a 4 or a 5, and so why exactly should she go all Woodward and Bernstein on Alan? For the tiny, tiny little percentage of book purists who just like to complain that they have not shot Martin’s books word for word, line for line and made it a 50 episode show with a budget of a billion dollars, people get a frigging grip!! You do not represent what the majority thinks and I am not even talking about a simple majority but a super majority so why do you think you are going to get a hard hitting interview where they make Alan address all the points you complainers have so many problems with. Hate to break it to you guys and gals but people love this show, it is destination television and it is by far the best show on TV right now bar none. So in this reality you are not going to get an interview where Alan is grilled about every little change you didn’t like, sorry it is just not going to happen and complaining about isn’t going to make it so.

    As far as nudity and sex I saw one guy complaining that the woman in Bronn’s arm at a brothel was naked, hmm wow well dude it is a brothel and you can safely assume that women at a brothel are not going to be wearing a lot of clothes, I mean really that whole scene was fun and when the Hound enters it becomes very intense and awesome. Martin has nudity and hardcore sex in his books and since HBO doesn’t have to deal with censors then there is going to be nudity and sex so it should come as no surprise. What has complaining about it accomplished nothing they are not going to stop so just accept it and enjoy the rest. Any adaptation is going to have things that you do not like it is the nature of an adaptation that things will change. I like the majority of the changes and the ones I have not liked well I am not writing or directing so as long as they get 95% of it right, which by the way is a huge A, then I am happy.

    So if someone wants to complain that is fine but to constantly harp and whine about the same thing week after week just gets irritating. Make your complaint then let it drop and talk about other stuff. To watch you guys get upset because some of us think you are way off base and then try to defend your point for like ten posts is ridiculous. You are not going to change people’s minds so make your complaint and move on to the next topic.

    I remember when this show started how much I enjoyed coming to this site and last year there were a couple of great posters, Jeda and Nouswanderer, who have not posted at all this year and I have no doubt it is because they got sick and tired of the complaining. I have to admit I am tired of it and have not posted anywhere near as frequently this season. I have found the posts at TWOP much more interesting since most of them are not book readers and I enjoy thier pure viewpoint. I just thought that people who loved the books like I do would celebrate the overwhelming awesomeness of this show but it is never enough for some of you people, it is never good enough, well thanks a million for your rotten and petty attitudes.

    I have said this before D&D deserve a ton of credit for having the guts to pitch this show to HBO and fight for it to become a reality and then just really do an incredible job of it. I never dreamed the day would come that these books would ever be adapted to the visual medium nor did I think anybody could really pull it off but D&D did and we should all be grateful that they did.

    WIC sorry if this is kind of harsh but man I have had it with some of these people who criticize the same thing evey week, sigh.

  221. purplejilly
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW:
    Ros is the Forrest Gump of Westeros.It is known.

    I think of her more as our Jar-Jar Binks

  222. purplejilly
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,
    It’s true, I was being pretty rude, I think I’m just suffering from a post season letdown. Also I pinched a nerve in my back and it’s made me grumpy as heck. And since the US is so worried about people being addicted to painkillers, it looks like the people actually in pain can’t get them prescribed anymore. Which is why I am sitting here grumpy with muscle relaxers and prescription strength Aleve, and writing nasty things. Sorry! : (

  223. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    GrzebykK:
    It’s the second interview with Bryan Cogman, I’ve read / seen and I am more and more happy that passionates like him and D&D of course make this show.
    I understand how difficult for them it may be to decide of any changes, but generally I accept their vision as not colliding with GRRM’s.
    As for the details, I liked Ros in first season and I liked her in second.
    Maybe she is Forrest Gump of Westeros a little – it could be interesting if someone count in how many interactions which character is shown on the screen. Anyone? Personally, I think Ros’ scenes with Theon in S1 were great, showed what his motivations are. The only scene I’d cut was famous or infamous brothel scene with Littlefinger. In S2 their scene after the slaughter of possible Robert’s bastards showed well how cruel Littlefinger is but it was a little to long. And the disturbing scene with Joffrey. She’s written to be the mirror, in which the main characters reflect: Tyrion, Theon, Littlefinger, Cersei, Varys (this one’s a vampire, has no reflection yet).
    I don’t forget about the visual aspect, either. Esme Bianco is pretty and lighten up colorful but dark Westeros. And so is Oona Chaplin and her character, Talisa.
    Although the idea of nurse in Westeros I still find ridiculous, her backstory is hard – yet not impossible – to believe. It’s the example how producers use all the books as reference in creative way. Reading ACoK we know nothing at all of Volantis, on TV we are more aware of these foreign lands thanks to the knowledge from ADwD.
    Speaking of Talisa, I must say one thing however, my sad mantra: why for Seven’s sake Robb wedded her before the Seven? His are Old Gods, her is R’hllor… Why?

    A woman appreciated your comments, but is given a headache by the blinking avatar. Pleeeeeeeeease make it stoppppppp!

  224. Carl
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Eric Niewohner,

    You sir are a gentleman and a scholar. Bravo! You spoke in the name of all of us who just want to share our thoughts without read every damn week the same old complains. You have defeated them!
    I hereby command Eric of House Niewohner to serve as Lord Regent and Protector of the realm! THE KING IN THE WIC!

  225. MATTHEW
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly: I think of her more as our Jar-Jar Binks

    oh, snap

  226. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: I’m sorry but if we want Game of Thrones to continue as a television series, this is the price that the bigwigs are making us pay.

    Agreed, but until Lombardo et al. acknowledge they directed the guys to include nudity, I’m still saying it was D&D’s decision, not HBO’s. (We’ll never know if GN has jacked up the ratings unless D&D drop it and ratings tank). For now, GOT is a very good show that, disappointingly, uses GN to get ratings. This isn’t a life-changing revelation, just one controversy resolved .

    Now let’s move on to the next important question: should we make FaBio tweet True Blood, beginning tomorrow night? I vote yes. He could be the next Larry.

  227. Meg
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    speaking of, I just saw the trailer for TB and man does it look even cheesier this year. I stopped watching during S4 when Eric got witch amnesia. I can’t believe I held out that long.

  228. LordStarkington
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Detective Stabler with fangs was proof enough of how cheesy it was going to be, for me ;p

  229. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Meg and Lord S., the TB support group doesn’t start up for another twenty minutes: could you two please get a cup of coffee in the back of the room and wait for everyone else to arrive?

  230. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Meg:
    speaking of, I just saw the trailer for TB and man does it look even cheesier this year. I stopped watching during S4 when Eric got witch amnesia. I can’t believe I held out that long.

    The amnesia story was one of the better parts of the season (maybe because it was sort of taken from the book), at least if you compare it to the possessed baby story, Jason getting raped by horny werepanthers story and other crap I’ve already forgotten.

  231. trfhms
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m a little depressed because I made a deal with my sisters that I would watch TB with them as long as they watched GoT with me.

    So… Fab tweeting about TB? YES please!

  232. DH87
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    If you guys keep this up, we’re going to need more chairs.

  233. Arthur
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    trfhms,

    TB = Twilight for adults…

  234. tysnow
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Whoa! Westeros has a post thread were AA was talking with GRRM and basically slips that Jon and Luke Skywalker share a lot in common.

    Link

    We know who the mom is maybe, so what man is still alive that could freak Snow out with a big
    Nooooooooooooooooo!

    My money is on either Jaime or the one most believe (but how can we get a “I am your father” line then). Therefore you know who is probably at the Monastery with Hound, it is after all located at the mouth of the Trident. Otherwise GRRM pulled a twist and the father is dead and the mom alive, then again what woman could cause Jon to do a Noooooooo!
    I say then it was Cersei, she seduced Ned, and this caused a rift and bitterness between the two, remember the book version of Ned and Cersei meeting in the Godswood (it implied that there was some hidden history between them), she attempted womanly charms and Ned had a difficult time if I recollect.

    Unless it was Ashara Dayne, then she could be the woman with Aegon, but could Lyanna be alive, and therefore that woman. When Ned said she died, did she die figuratively, to the Starks, by betraying them and their cause by sleeping with ynw. Then they split the twins, she one and Ned the other.

  235. Dan
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Gratuitous nudity = nudity a person didn’t like
    Appropriate nudity = nudity a person did like

  236. Meg
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    DH87:
    Sorry, Meg and Lord S.,the TB support group doesn’t start up for another twenty minutes: could you two please get a cup of coffee in the back of the room and wait for everyone else to arrive?

    Haha, I’m early because I’ve got nothing better to do now that game of thrones is over. *sits quietly and reads OK magazine*

  237. trfhms
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Oh I know… this deal started last year. I sat in shock, watching some truly awful stuff, and could not believe that I had made such a terrible TERRIBLE deal. Unfortunately, it was one of those “for every season we watch, you will watch…”

  238. Arthur
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I fixed it for you…

    Gratuitous nudity = nudity that was forced and not necessary for the character/storyline development.

    Appropriate nudity = nudity that was used appropriately to show character/storyline development.

    Ros = a portal to a whore/brothel scene that D&D can try to justify as her natural setting so the nudity is okay. When in fact the more intelligent viewer realizes her only purpose is to provide this portal in the first place which makes any nudity thereafter = gratuitous.

    At least that’s how I honestly see it…

  239. Maxwell James
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    No problem. We all have crappy days now and then. And frankly, given how these boards get nowadays, it’s very easy to just slip into the antagonism of it all. I hope your back feels better!

  240. Zack
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    Gratuitous nudity = nudity a person didn’t like
    Appropriate nudity = nudity a person did like

    Heh, not quite. Apparently “I represent the perv demographic and I’m telling you I want full frontal in this scene” doesn’t make it quite clear enough that the nudity is being shoehorned in, not there out of an artistic vision or of necessity to best tell the story. Which, according to the dictionary definition, is exactly what ‘gratuitous’ is.
    “Uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted.”
    “Antonyms: essential, indispensable, necessary, needed, needful, required”

    So unless your “good reason” is in fact to satisfy the “perv demographic” I don’t see how the word isn’t applicable to this instance at the very least. But if that reason does hold water for you, then we are just on opposite sides of a pretty wide gulf over exactly what is a -good- reason.

    And for the record, I’ve seen tons of gratuitous nudity I did absolutely like.

  241. andrea
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    *dizzy*

  242. tysnow
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Yep, it does make the head spin, think I will just relax and let the story unwind.

  243. Dan
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Yeah, like I said nudity you don’t like is gratuitous. If it is done for entertainment value you don’t like it therefore it is gratuitous to you. If it is done for character development you like it therefore it is appropriate.

  244. Dan
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Heh, not quite. Apparently “I represent the perv demographic and I’m telling you I want full frontal in this scene” doesn’t make it quite clear enough that the nudity is being shoehorned in, not there out of an artistic vision or of necessity to best tell the story. Which, according to the dictionary definition, is exactly what ‘gratuitous’ is.
    “Uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted.”

    Nudity for entertainment value is not lacking good reason. The show is there to entertain people and nudity does entertain a lot of people. You might not like nudity simply for entertainment value but that doesn’t make it uncalled for.

    You don’t seem to like nudity for entertainment sakes and so it is gratuitous to you. You do like nudity that is artistic so it is appropriate to you.

  245. Arthur
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I can agree with that. I guess I was just giving you the reason why *I* don’t like some of the GoTs nudity. But you are correct, the end result of nudity being called gratuitous because a person dislikes it, for whatever reason, still holds true to your very broad statement.

    I just don’t want people to think that I, or many other posters that feel a lot of GoTs nudity is gratuitous, is because we are prudes. Quite the opposite, I love good sex scenes. Like someone already stated, with just 10 hours a season this leaves very little time for pointless “tit count” scenes. Every second should be used wisely.

    Hey I love the show. I don’t know why I’m complaining. I am just nitpicking.

  246. Dan
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind if someone doesn’t like a certain type of nudity. I say to each there own. I just think the way the word gratuitous is being used makes it devoid of its actual meaning. For example, I guarantee that if you listed all the nude scenes that you felt were appropriate there would be someone who would call some of them gratuitous. It’s like gratuitous now means: things I don’t like or too much of something, instead of its dictionary definition. I just can’t see how a show that is there for entertainment can ever have gratuitous nudity. If I saw a documentary about lions and then Ros walks buy and flashes her tits on screen then I would call that gratuitous nudity. But I don’t believe nudity for the sake of entertainment on a show geared towards entertainment is gratuitous.

  247. PatD
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Zack: Apparently “I represent the perv demographic and I’m telling you I want full frontal in this scene” doesn’t make it quite clear enough that the nudity is being shoehorned in, not there out of an artistic vision or of necessity to best tell the story. Which, according to the dictionary definition, is exactly what ‘gratuitous’ is.
    “Uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted.”
    “Antonyms: essential, indispensable, necessary, needed, needful, required”

    This.

    Here’s a simple debunker, Dan: I did not “like” the nudity in the Joff/prostitutes scene, but I am in a minority who thought that was a brilliant use of it. This isn’t a simplistic matter of semantics. Your argument assumes that the entire audience for GoT watches it for a universally shared and generic definition of “entertainment.” C’mon. Give people more credit than this. People know the distinction and that one does exist.

  248. fuelpagan
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    As I recall, we went 2 weeks with only a male bottom showing. Plus D&D had a blank check to show countless boobs in Qarth and chose not too. So people can point to the Marshall interview all they want. Yet they forget that we went 2 weeks without a single boob. I would agree with Andrew’s comment.

    Anyway I liked this interview and even though I may not like some of the executions on some of the storylines. The writers have great passion for the story and are brave enough to try different ways to bring the story to life. I have the highest respect for all those that are making this great show.

  249. Dan
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    PatD,

    Here’s a simple debunker, Dan: I did not “like” the nudity in the Joff/prostitutes scene, but I am in a minority who thought that was a brilliant use of it. This isn’t a simplistic matter of semantics.

    This example you are giving IS a simple matter of semantics. I didn’t say that people thought an appropriate nude scene was one that turned them on. I said it was one they like. You liked the use of nudity in that scene and so you don’t feel it was gratuitous. Yet, many others would define this very scene you mention as a gratuitous use of nudity. This is why I’m saying that the way people use the term gratuitous when talking about nudity for this show changes the definition of the word. The reason I think people disagree so much on what is gratuitous or not is because most people are using the word like it means: things I don’t like or having too much of something.

    The reason I don’t believe any of the nudity on this show properly fits under the category of gratuitous is because I believe that nudity for the sake of entertainment on this show is not uncalled for, lacking good reason, or unwarranted. If you would like to make the case why you believe nudity used for entertainment purposes on GoT is uncalled for, lacking good reason, or unwarranted then I’m all ears. I think it is warranted because it entertains a lot of people who watch the show. Obviously, it doesn’t entertain everyone, and that is perfectly fine, but just because there isn’t a consensus among the people on whether they like a particular use of nudity or not doesn’t make it gratuitous.

    Your argument assumes that the entire audience for GoT watches it for a universally shared and generic definition of “entertainment.” C’mon.

    No, my argument assumes nothing like that. I do assume people watch the show to be entertained but I don’t assume people find the same things entertaining. This is why I said I don’t mind when people don’t like a particular nude scene because I understand there are different strokes for different folks. I’m not judging what people like or dislike. I’m judging whether their use of the word gratuitous is accurate. Now, if I thought the show was primarily around for educational purposes instead of to primarily entertain then I would agree that nudity for entertainment value alone is gratuitous.

    It might be the case that there are some people that believe nudity for the sake of entertainment is unwarranted even on a show like GoT which most people watch to be entertained. If that is the case then I guess they are using the term properly but I just disagree with them in that instance. So for anybody who believes that then I’m not talking to you.

  250. Dan
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Here’s a qoute about nudity from George RR Martin. In it he talks about the use of the word gratuitous where he makes a similar case to the one I am making. I’ve used this quote on another thread but it fits perfectly with what we’ve been talking about so I’m quoting it again. Also, I’m just being a little anal retentive about this because it has always bugged me and I have too much time on my hands right now. So hopefully anybody who disagrees with me isn’t taking it personal.

    “Well, I’m not writing about contemporary sex—it’s medieval.

    There’s a more general question here that doesn’t just affect sex or rape, and that’s this whole issue of what is gratuitous? What should be depicted? I have gotten letters over the years from readers who don’t like the sex, they say it’s “gratuitous.” I think that word gets thrown around and what it seems to mean is “I didn’t like it.” This person didn’t want to read it, so it’s gratuitous to that person. And if I’m guilty of having gratuitous sex, then I’m also guilty of having gratuitous violence, and gratuitous feasting, and gratuitous description of clothes, and gratuitous heraldry, because very little of this is necessary to advance the plot. But my philosophy is that plot advancement is not what the experience of reading fiction is about. If all we care about is advancing the plot, why read novels? We can just read Cliffs Notes.

    A novel for me is an immersive experience where I feel as if I have lived it and that I’ve tasted the food and experienced the sex and experienced the terror of battle. So I want all of the detail, all of the sensory things—whether it’s a good experience, or a bad experience, I want to put the reader through it. To that mind, detail is necessary, showing not telling is necessary, and nothing is gratuitous.”
    George RR Martin

  251. Eric Niewohner
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Carl,

    Thank you Carl, I appreciate the support however I doubt it will make a darn bit of difference, lol. Have a great evening.

  252. Macha
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    I must have missed that interview with GRRM, but thanks for that quote and thanks for bringing this subject into discussion and for looking at it from a different angle – I completely agree that ultimately it boils down to personal taste, and I have a great deal of respect for people that present their critique as such – it’s common courtesy after all.

    In regards to Neil Marshall’s interview, I will say only this (because frankly I’m already quite tired of the everlasting debates over nudity on this show): I was so busy enjoying it and finding out interesting tidbits about the whole process, that when that answer came, I simply laughed and moved on. That whole discussion was so light-hearted, it never once occurred to me that it would have this much of an impact. What made that interview stand out was precisely the fact that it seemed more like something you’d talk over a pint, and someone is telling a funny story. In such a setting, a reproduction of dialogue if often inaccurate, simply because we tend to summarize it or shift the emphasis from one term to another for the purpose of entertaining the audience. I understand that many find it significant either way, and I’m not trying to label their opinions as being invalid. I’m simply telling it the way I saw it.
    Then again, I tend not to take others – or, most importantly, myself - too seriously, which is probably one of the most valuable life lessons I’ve ever learned. ;)

  253. RathHood
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink
  254. stephen
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Not remotely interested in the challenges the writers face. Dirty great holes left in stories ruin television series.

    Just do your job.

  255. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    tysnow,

    Lyanna Stark = Melisandre

  256. aaron
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    paylor:
    aaron,

    Do you honestly think that Jeyne’s family was in a massive plot from the beginning to have Robb fall in love with Jeyne, marry her and break a pack with the Freys? They lost family members because of this, including their son. Sybell Spicer was hedging her bets by making sure Jeyne couldn’t get pregnant, but I doubt that they were in league with Tywin from the beginning to kill Robb in a very convoluted plot.

    i think that the mother would have done anything for tywin. when the marriage happened i’m sure word was sent which helped hatch the plot for the RW with tywin, the freys and bolton.

  257. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    RathHood,

    Instead of bitching about season 2 and Benioff and Weiss why doesn’t Westeros throw some of their weight around and organize a mass boycott? Maybe it will get D & D’s attention?

    The first thing Linda and Elio should do is resign from Thronescast, because if they hate the television series why even participate? It makes them look like hypocrites. Supposedly they both have the clout to make this happen? So why don’t they?

    Are they simply going to keep complaining and watch season 3 and 4 anyways?

  258. Suzaku
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    RathHood,

    Instead of bitching about season 2 and Benioff and Weiss why doesn’t Westeros throw some of their weight around and organize a mass boycott? Maybe it will get D & D’s attention?

    The first thing Linda and Elio should do is resign from Thronescast, because if they hate the television series why even participate? It makes them look like hypocrites. Supposedly they both have the clout to make this happen? So why don’t they?

    Are they simply going to keep complaining and watch season 3 and 4 anyways?

    I don’t really think that that website honestly has a huge readership compared to the show’s general audience. I haven’t even visited that website a single time since I started using this one for the TV series news, before the season began.

    Boycotting the show or DVDs, if you could get enough people together to make a dent in sales, would be more like pushing for cancellation than change.

    The fact is that there’s probably not going to be a way to make those people happy. They’re not watching the show for entertainment, they’re watching it to find faults. They blatantly bitch about many scenes that other people enjoyed or had no problems with, just for the sake of complaining. They give some of the worst reviews, despite being fans, while non-readers and other critics continue to give it high marks. Especially non-readers, who are more plentiful and far, far easier to please.

  259. Coltaine777
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    RathHood,

    I’ll be surprised if they continue watching the show …I love the show because I do find it entertaining but they do make many good points in that article… the show is very sloppy plot wise and it needs to be tightened up for future seasons imo …

  260. Paul
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Not to beat a dead horse, but folks over at westeros have truly plunged into the bottomless abyss of hysteria and hatred. I used to have tremendous respect for Elio for all the work he does; fandom wouldn’t be the same without him or his site.

    But now, I am embarrassed to be a part of such fandom, one seething with bile, scorn, and endless loathing. I will quote just a few sentences from a new “review” that was posted on their site a day ago:

    the “serious drama” exec appears to be someone who shouldn’t be involved in any TV material in the first place, cause he drastically lacks basic knowledge required for making a television

    both execs generally seem to be without any organizational skills: not only do they keep finding the most dramatic circumstances for changing their minds on what is to be filmed and what not, but actors and actresses seem to regularly rewrite scenes too, and a last-minute-replacement director is allowed to add stuff on his own.

    Did Benioff and Weiss feel any true respect for the novels is quite unclear.

    Martin wasn’t leading a crusade against honor; Benioff and Weis often do exactly that… Was it showrunners’ intention to mock the very idea of honor is a hard question

    A taste of mind numbing nitpicking: Tyrion’s scar – it’s geometrically impossible for a single strike of sword to leave that kind of a trail on human face, without going through the skull of the guy whose face was attacked and thereby killing him, so a somewhat different scar would be much more appropriate

    Is that the official face of fandom? Are those the ones Martin thanks in ADwD? A disgrace.

  261. Leland's Axe
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Sudden, vaguely horrified, wildly entertaining thought:

    What if they make Ros the poisoner at the Purple Wedding? Perhaps at the behest of the Tyrells (or Varys, if they decide to make his motivations obvious earlier than Season 5)? She could still pull the poison from Sansa’s hairnet.

    That would be enough to make me return to Westeros.org. The message board carnage would be unfathomable.

  262. LordStarkington
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    A few highlights from 3-4 minutes of skimming it

    Sandor’s feelings for Sansa constitute one of the most memorable love stories of all times.

    ???

    Cersei is multidimensional, much more than in the TV series, despite what show-enthusiasts claim. You have to read a little more careful, but yeah, her dimensions are there.

    Uh, the book-fans are complaining she’s too nuanced and different, so ?

    Sansa never heard of the Stockholm syndrome. She actually doesn’t want to be a noble victim. She really tries to escape from the jaws of Lannisters. And she manages to do some good along the way.

    The show makes it pretty clear that Sansa hates the Lannisters too. I think the toning down of Sandor makes the Sandor/Sansa scene in Blackwater weaker from a plot standpoint but still..

    There is a damn good reason why nobody tried to steel Daenerys’ dragons.

    His argument is….unclear and unconvincing, this is a plot point many book readers commented on as unrealistic too.

    Overall, there’s some valid criticism but a lot of overwrought and incredibly nitpicky stuff that makes this come across more as a whiny rant than real criticism.

    As to the larger point, I’m not really surprised it was posted on Westeros – they’re generally pretty negative about the show, and any changes are presumed to be wrong or bad. I guess that’s why I come here for the show discussion!

  263. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    To westeros.org folks’ defense, they didn’t write this piece of “criticism”, some Croatian TV critic did. They only posted it.

    AFAIR, Momoa only suggested the tongue ripping scene, he had nothing to do with his and Dany wedding night scene. I don’t remember anything about it in interviews and I think GRRM says on episode commentary that the tongue ripping was suggested by Momoa, to show how badass Drogo is, and D&D liked it and added the scene to his episode. Did it hurt the story? No. Was it lame and unnecessary? No. Did it change the story? No, Drogo still gets hurt and his would festers. Apparently, the guy whom he killed will appear in the sixth book, but it doesn’t matter. The Dothraki are mostly interchangeable anyway, it’s not like GRRM tries to give every single one of them a distinct personality.
    As to Stannis climbing the wall and fighting – it is a change, but I welcomed it. It shows us one of the reasons people follow him, despite him converting to foreign religion and being constantly described as cold and unlikeable. Neil Marshall did a great job directing this episode and I hope he comes back to direct more. Presenting him simply as a “last-minute replacement director” isn’t doing him justice. While not the greatest director in the world, he does know how to make good action/horror movies. Just watch Dog Soldiers or Descent. The episode was praised almost unanimously by viewers and critiks alike, but I guess it’s not enough for a hardcore book purist, if the sacred text of GRRM was changed and the director dared to add stuff to it.

    This guy takes those two examples and wildly extrapolates from them to say that it’s the actors that run the show, not D&D. Extrapolation doesn’t work that way.

    I also find it very funny when this guy treats ASOIAF books like some sort of a literary genius, on the level of Shakespeare or Russian classics. Did he read AFFC and ADWD? I do think that the first three books are among the best or even the best the fantasy genre has to offer, but even those books, especially ASOS, already have the seeds of the stuff that made some parts of the later books mostly pointless and unreadable (I’m looking at you, Brienne, Dany in Meereen and you, the river turtle population of the river Rhoyne or wherever it was).

    There’s a lot more text there, but most of it just whining.

  264. PatD
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    That whole discussion was so light-hearted, it never once occurred to me that it would have this much of an impact. What made that interview stand out was precisely the fact that it seemed more like something you’d talk over a pint, and someone is telling a funny story.

    I dunno about “light-hearted,” but it did come off as uniquely refreshing. No one’s making a drama about it. That’s how it’s being interpreted. Some of us merely pointed out that the use of gratuitous nudity is a reality and not really up for debate since Marshall’s revelation. I haven’t seen anything close to hand-wringing or hysteria. For some of us it was simply confirmation. And this is only my first postings about the issue.

    The first thing Linda and Elio should do is resign from Thronescast, because if they hate the television series why even participate? It makes them look like hypocrites. Supposedly they both have the clout to make this happen? So why don’t they?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are some among us who feel most of their vitriol stems from the fact they weren’t hired in an official capacity as consultants to the show. I have my own suspicions that’s one of the reasons Bryan Cogman still shows them such great loyalty and respect even though they trash the show at every opportunity: he’s basically filling the role Linda feels she should have.

  265. Zack
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    PatD: This.

    Here’s a simple debunker, Dan: I did not “like” the nudity in the Joff/prostitutes scene, but I am in a minority who thought that was a brilliant use of it.This isn’t a simplistic matter of semantics.Your argument assumes that the entire audience for GoT watches it for a universally shared and generic definition of “entertainment.”C’mon. Give people more credit than this. People know the distinction and that one does exist.

    We shouldn’t bother trying. I go for the ‘intent of the artist is what defines it’ and he is at the ‘everything is in the viewer’s mind’. I think that’s weak though. If ‘gratuitous’ is never applicable, it would have to be the case for words like ‘good,’ ‘bad’ and the like as well. But there are certain movies/films/TV that *are* poorly made and that *are* bad. Not everything is opinion.

    It’s like people are so afraid to admit that they like the occasional bad movie (screaming from the rooftops that because they do, it can’t be bad) or enjoy some gratuitous swearing in their programs. Me? I can admit to it, still knowing how things are. It’s why terms like ‘guilty pleasure’ exist. The word ‘gratuitous’ has absolutely zero bearing on how much something is enjoyed.

  266. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Leland’s Axe,

    I would pay the showrunners to do it. You, sir, are a genius.

    LordStarkington,

    Sandor’s feelings for Sansa constitute one of the most memorable love stories of all times.

    It’s also incredibly creepy, and not in a good way. She’s what, 13 in the books? Provided it was OK in the medieval times, it’s still creepy as hell. I’ve never understood the SanSan fandom.

    Cersei is multidimensional, much more than in the TV series, despite what show-enthusiasts claim. You have to read a little more careful, but yeah, her dimensions are there.

    In first three books she comes off as simply evil. When she does have a POV, she mostly comes off as crazy and not very bright, definitely overestimating her abilities.

  267. PatD
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Neil Marshall did a great job directing this episode and I hope he comes back to direct more. Presenting him simply as a “last-minute replacement director” isn’t doing him justice.

    Linda and Elio are exhibiting mammoth ignorance on this front. The show lost its director for “Blackwater,” probably the biggest, most crucial episode of the season if not the series, ONE WEEK before filming. Holy shit. Are L&E that removed from reality that they can’t appreciate the enormous task he took on with ONE WEEK’S notice? Jesus, Mary, & Joseph, those people are truly whacked.

  268. Paul
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky,

    To westeros.org folks’ defense, they didn’t write this piece of “criticism”, some Croatian TV critic did. They only posted it.

    Yes, I know. But of all the critics in this world, why did they give this one the space? Well, because he unleashed a full broadside from Yamato’s 18″ main battery brimming with inexcusable ad hominems against D&D, thus giving Elio and Linda “plausible deniability”. Hey, it’s not us! We don’t necessarily agree with the text. We just gave him space!

    But let’s be honest. By giving this guy space on the main news page of their site, they support his arguments. And it’s not the negative critisism I have issues with, it’s the sulphuric acid spitting right into D&D’s faces I am appalled by. Just read that “piece”: it states, front and center, that David and Dan should never find work in TV industry again, they should be expunged for the sake of the medium.

    Can you imagine someone on the HBO side of things, an HBO exec or that Thronecast guy, post a critical piece on AFfC or ADwD where he not only lambasts the books (as is his right), but openly accuses Martin of writing drivel and nonsense?

    Let’s bear in mind that westeros.org is as close as we get to “official” where fandom is concerned. Elio and Linda are GRRM’s right hand men (and women, I guess). Such personal attacks and outright hatred is way way out of line for anyone, much less for E&L.

  269. PatD
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Dan, for a general discussion of what’s gratuitous and what is not, I’d probably see some validity in your argument (and if you look back, I made a point of recognizing the time period was a bawdy one), but all your posts completely ignore the fact that one of the show’s directors was clearly able to make the distinction between what’s gratuitous and what’s not. So much so, he found being instructed to insert it “surreal.”

    I give this show’s audience more credit than you, I guess. I think that in a literal argument of semantics you might find satisfaction, but in a real world application of the term, it’s pretty obvious to intelligent people when nudity is being used simply to titillate or shock. Did I pass judgement on that use? No. That’s not what my posts have been about. I merely want people to stop pretending it’s anything other than what it is, now that we’ve had it from the horse’s mouth.

  270. LordStarkington
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky:
    Leland’s Axe,

    I would pay the showrunners to do it. You, sir, are a genius.

    LordStarkington,

    It’s also incredibly creepy, and not in a good way. She’s what, 13 in the books? Provided it was OK in the medieval times, it’s still creepy as hell. I’ve never understood the SanSan fandom.

    In first three books she comes off as simply evil. When she does have a POV, she mostly comes off as crazy and not very bright, definitely overestimating her abilities.

    Those are his quotes not mine!

    I agree with you though. Sandor/Sansa is memorable to me mostly because it’s distinctly off-putting. I like him looking out for her and I like her learning to see past his ugly exterior but as a *love story*? Blech.

    I like TV Cersei better than the Cersei we got in AFFC who came across as wholly one-note.

  271. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    But let’s be honest. By giving this guy space on the main news page of their site, they support his arguments. And it’s not the negative critisism I have issues with, it’s the sulphuric acid spitting right into D&D’s faces I am appalled by. Just read that “piece”: it states, front and center, that David and Dan should never find work in TV industry again, they should be expunged for the sake of the medium.

    I wasn’t defending the Westeros.org guys :) In fact, Linda herself wrote far worse things about the TV series. Of course they agree with most if not all of what that guy wrote.

    LordStarkington,

    Those are his quotes not mine!

    I know, I just quoted them again. Sorry for confusion, expressing myself in writing was never my strong point.

    I like TV Cersei better than the Cersei we got in AFFC who came across as wholly one-note.

    In fact, wasn’t the main criticism of TV-Cercei is that she’s more sympathetic than in the books? How’s that worse than one note crazy dumb villain?

  272. Paul
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    PatD:
    Dan, for a general discussion of what’s gratuitous and what is not, I’d probably see some validity in your argument (and if you look back, I made a point of recognizing the time period was a bawdy one), but all your posts completely ignore the fact that one of the show’s directors was clearly able to make the distinction between what’s gratuitous and what’s not. So much so, he found being instructed to insert it “surreal.”

    I get the impression you misunderstood Neil’s point. Given the very strict rules about nudity on TV, it is my understanding he was surprised at the easygoing and lighthearted nature of the conversation and the casual approach to nudity. That is not the same thing as gratuitous

  273. StraightBlackMan
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    You can count me amongs the people annoyed with being strawmanned as “book purists”, just because we don’t like an aspect of the show that just happens to be the showrunners’ invention. See Pastor of Muppets’ post for a good example.

    The simple truth of it, is that the Robb/Talisa plotline does not fit. A previous poster compared it to One Tree Hill, and that is, in my opinion, the crux of the problem. A sassy nurse sawing off legs on a battlefield and mouthing off to a high lord is extremely out of place in this kind of world. When she first talked back to Roose Bolton, I had honestly expected him to have her tongue ripped out. Her entire “I’m playing Doctors without Borders because of an epiphany I had when I was twelve.” shtick would be fine in a modern setting; in GoT’s faux-medieval times, it’s stupid and unbelievable.

    And the whole plotline, and a bunch of other scenes in Season 2, suffer from this kind of problem. I’m not particularly attached to the character of Jeyne Westerling, but at least she made sense in context. Although, perhaps Talisa is a good fit for show Robb, who has almost become a bleeding heart liberal with his ideas about the treatment of prisoners. Blegh. If this is what they come up with when creating their own storylines (as opposed to self-contained scenes), then I hope they do it as little as possible. Tywin/Arya and Jon/Ygritte contained a bit of this too, but the acting elevated them far beyond what was a relatively poor concept.

    Cogman seems like a nice guy, and doing a good job in general, but I think it’s important for the criticism of Season 2′s less than stellar elements to reach D&D’s ears, so that they can avoid similar pitfalls in Season 3. Even though this post might seem very negative, I really do want them to produce the best TV they possibly can given the source material.

  274. PatD
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Paul: No, I don’t think there’s much to misunderstand there. I might agree with the “easygoing” thing had he not made a point of finding the whole thing “surreal,” or actually quoting the need of the exec to sate a “perv” quotient.

  275. Paul
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    PatD:
    Paul: No, I don’t think there’s much to misunderstand there. I might agree with the “easygoing” thing had he not made a point of finding the whole thing “surreal,” or actually quoting the need of the exec to sate a “perv” quotient.

    It still doesn’t prove what you think it proves. Yes, they like their nudity, and yes, Marshall was surprised (and not in a negative way, he was very easygoing about it) by the casual way D&D treat this in TV landscape touchy subject. I see absolutely nothing that would imply that he thinks that the nudity is therefore somehow gratutious, just that it’s something he didn’t expect would be so easily allowed and so casually approached in a TV production.

    No need to read into it something that isn’t there.

  276. Paul
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    StraightBlackMan,

    StraightBlackMan

    Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    You can count me amongs the people annoyed with being strawmanned as “book purists”, just because we don’t like an aspect of the show that just happens to be the showrunners’ invention.

    Even though this post might seem very negative, I really do want them to produce the best TV they possibly can given the source material.

    I don’t think you’re a book purist. Your post is non-dismissive and well-argued. Such approach to critisism is something I appreciate and believe will lead to a better Season 3. It’s the “critisisms” brimming with bile, hyperbole and doomsday prohecies written in a language one would expect from a dock worker I, and many others I presume, have problems with.

  277. PatD
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m not reading anything into it that’s not in the words.

    And let me make something perfectly clear. I’m not averse to the use of nudity in this series. I recognize the time period was rife with misogyny, plus, it was actually the only power left for many women. Also, I’ve been a subscriber to HBO for decades and I expect adult themes to be treated as such. But here’s my big problem with this “revelation.” D&D have found themselves in an extremely unique position: to actually influence and to elevate the genre. For so long, genre lit has suffered under a stigma it has less and less deserved. By dumbing it down and playing to the “perv” audience, they are kowtowing in a cheap and lazy way, to a low element, and, indirectly, perpetuating that stigma.

    I’m not saying nudity doesn’t have a place in this show. I just wish they’d use it more cleverly and play to a higher purpose. That quote made it very obvious, no matter how you’d choose to justify it, that they are using certain nudes scenes not for the story, not for art, but to keep the perv element.

  278. Shadowcat85
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    When I’m that annoyed with a tv show, I stop watching. Don’t understand why they can’t do that (and I’ve agreed with a lot of their points before).

  279. Dan
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    PatD,

    I give this show’s audience more credit than you, I guess.

    No, you just have a different opinion than me on whether the term gratuitous is being used properly. I’m not really sure why you say this. It just seems like a smug and condescending thing to say.

    I think that in a literal argument of semantics you might find satisfaction, but in a real world application of the term, it’s pretty obvious to intelligent people when nudity is being used simply to titillate or shock.

    Using nudity to titillate or shock doesn’t make it gratuitous. Gratuitous means something is uncalled for. I think using nudity to titillate or shock can be called for on a series that people primarily watch to be entertained. Maybe you believe that nudity for those purposes is never called for on this show and that is why you classify it as gratuitous. If that is the case then I just disagree with you but I don’t think you are using the term improperly. Still, I believe GRRM hit the nail on the head when he said, “To that mind, detail is necessary, showing not telling is necessary, and nothing is gratuitous.”

  280. Dan
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    PatD,

    By dumbing it down and playing to the “perv” audience, they are kowtowing in a cheap and lazy way, to a low element, and, indirectly, perpetuating that stigma.

    Well, I guess that depends on whether you feel people who enjoy nudity for the sake of nudity to be a low element. I’m pretty sure that people who like the shows they watch to titillate and shock them from time to time don’t view themselves as a low element.

  281. PatD
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    If you’re going to choose to interpret my feeling that most of this show’s audience is intelligent enough to decipher when nudity is been using gratuitously as smugness, then there’s no point in further discussion.

  282. DH87
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Paul: I get the impression you misunderstood Neil’s point. Given the very strict rules about nudity on TV, it is my understanding he was surprised at the easygoing and lighthearted nature of the conversation and the casual approach to nudity. That is not the same thing as gratuitous

    Please tell us what “very strict rules about nudity on TV” would shock this experienced director who, I think we can all agree, understood he was directing a show on HBO?

    D&D defenders here want it both ways. Either Marshall “knows” he’s directing a show on the ALL NUDITY ALL THE TIME channel and was light-heartedly joking when he gave that quote, or he was “surprised” by the light-hearted way he was “told” he was “allowed” to include fffn in a scene for an HBO show.

    Which Marshall is it—-the Burt Reynolds character from “Boogie Nights” or the naive-to-TV shrinking violet who didn’t realize where he was working?

    Perhaps it is what is “is”—a guy who divulged that non-essential-to-the storyline, non-specified-by-the-script, non-thought-up-by-the-director, just-for-the pervs (or whatever else you want to call it in place of “gratuitous”) nudity was a “directive” from the non-in-name-only-one-of-many-prop-providing-without-actual-responsibility-executive-producers of GOT Season 2.

  283. Dan
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    PatD,

    Yes, when you say you give the audience more credit than I do simply because we disagree on whether the use of gratuitous is being used properly, I find that to be a smug and condescending statement. How I view the audience has nothing to do with whether that word is being used properly. GRRM said the same thing about the use of the word gratuitous as I have said, does that mean he isn’t giving the audience as much credit as you do?

  284. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    RathHood:
    This is interesting view ofHBO adaptation:

    http://www.westeros.org/GoT/Features/Entry/An_Adaptation_Without_Honor

    A woman is surprised that a website that is supposedly meant to celebrate ASOIAF would put such a hateful and negative review on their front page. Linking to it from a review summary would be one thing, but this is another. If I were anybody associated with the show, I would take this as a huge slap in the face and disassociate this website from the GoT show altogether. A link to a review they find interesting is one thing, but as it is, this is an endorsement of the opinions expressed. If L&E want to maintain a relationship with D&D and GRRM, they should take this off their front page. Yes, we all have a right to freely express our opinions, but to put that poison on the main page of a website that’s ostensibly a homage to ASOIAF appears to be a statement of their disdain for the HBO show that’s based on that work. Expressing your opinion shouldn’t be an excuse to insult somebody’s work. In the competitive world of television, with friends like that, who needs enemies?

  285. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Well, a woman may get shunned from Westeros for saying such things, but this woman appreciates this GoT show and wants to see it thrive and continue. No doubt, it can be improved, but that’s no reason to totally trash the show and the show runners. There’s much to like in GoT, and it would be great if the show would continue to grow in audience, accolades, and brilliance. No doubt the first 2 seasons have been an education for D&D et al.

  286. Paul
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    DH87: Please tell us what “very strict rules about nudity on TV” would shock this experienced director who, I think we can all agree, understood he was directing a show on HBO?

    D&D defenders here want it both ways. Either Marshall “knows” he’s directing a show on the ALL NUDITY ALL THE TIME channel and was light-heartedly joking when he gave that quote, or he was “surprised” by the light-hearted way he was “told” he was “allowed” to include fffn in a scene for an HBO show.

    Which Marshall is it—-the Burt Reynolds character from “Boogie Nights” or the naive-to-TV shrinking violet who didn’t realize where he was working?

    Perhaps it is what is “is”—a guy who divulged that non-essential-to-the storyline, non-specified-by-the-script, non-thought-up-by-the-director, just-for-the pervs (or whatever else you want to call it in place of “gratuitous”) nudity was a “directive” from the non-in-name-only-one-of-many-prop-providing-without-actual-responsibility-executive-producers of GOT Season 2.

    Huh? I didn’t understand a word there. Overload of italics, caps locks, quotation marks, and stuff.

  287. Paul
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar: A woman is surprised that a website that is supposedly meant to celebrate ASOIAF would put such a hateful and negative review on their front page. Linking to it from a review summary would be one thing, but this is another. If I were anybody associated with the show, I would take this as a huge slap in the face and disassociate this website from the GoT show altogether. A link to a review they find interesting is one thing, but as it is, this is an endorsement of the opinions expressed. If L&E want to maintain a relationship with D&D and GRRM, they should take this off their front page. Yes, we all have a right to freely express our opinions, but to put that poison on the main page of a website that’s ostensibly a homage to ASOIAF appears to be a statement of their disdain for the HBO show that’s based on that work. Expressing your opinion shouldn’t be an excuse to insult somebody’s work. In the competitive world of television, with friends like that, who needs enemies?

    A man agrees with a woman’s assessment. Maybe we should… assess some more? In the interest of conducive discussion, you understand.

  288. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Oh please in the name of the old gods and the new…a woman is weary of reading about the GN or NOT GN! Please make it stop! There are so many other things to talk about re:the article linked to and the show, can we please move on? Pretty frickin please?

  289. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Westeros.org is based in love of the books; it predates the TV series by many years, so I don’t see any particular obligation of their part to love the TV series. If they don’t like it and want to share criticisms of the show, there’s nothing really wrong with that aspect.

    Not really a fan of that article myself, so I’m not defending it. Just making a general point about what’s reasonable to expect of a website.

  290. Zack
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    PatD:
    I’m not reading anything into it that’s not in the words.

    And let me make something perfectly clear. I’m not averse to the use of nudity in this series. I recognize the time period was rife with misogyny, plus, it was actually the only power left for many women. Also, I’ve been a subscriber to HBO for decades and I expect adult themes to be treated as such. But here’s my big problem with this “revelation.” D&D have found themselves in an extremely unique position: to actually influence and to elevate the genre. For so long, genre lit has suffered under a stigma it has less and less deserved. By dumbing it down and playing to the “perv” audience, they are kowtowing in a cheap and lazy way, to a low element, and, indirectly, perpetuating that stigma.

    I’m not saying nudity doesn’t have a place in this show. I just wish they’d use it more cleverly and play to a higher purpose. That quote made it very obvious, no matter how you’d choose to justify it, that they are using certain nudes scenes not for the story, not for art, but to keep the perv element.

    I quite like this way of putting it.

    I’m rewatching Deadwood at the moment. Some might say Swearengen’s favorite 10-letter c-word is used gratuitously. Along with the other language. But I would argue those examples do not meet the definition of the word. The artistic purpose for putting so much crude language in the show is to demonstrate the character of the speaker. Note the way Bullock swears as compared to Al, Jane, or Cy. You learn a lot about a person by the way he speaks.

    Milch didn’t write the way he did to fill a c**ks***** quota on the show. There was no coercion to write the way he did to appease his audience.

    When one consciously lowers themselves into the muck solely to keep the attention of the ‘low element’ (nice phrasing)….it comes across as such.

  291. LordStarkington
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I think the westeros people appreciate the show to some extent. Cynically, it’s great for the ASOIAF brand in general as well as their site in particular. Less cynically, Elio/Ran, at least, likes parts of the adaptation despite being critical of it in general.

    I do get the sense over there that there’s some “Fan elitism”, in that hardcore book fans are almost circling the wagons. The show has made a few missteps (some of which are also present in the books, in my opinion), but there’s a lot of the over-the-top hand-wringing like there is in that article.

    I guess I’m also curious – does anyone know if the critic who wrote it is a noteworthy one?

  292. Paul
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    When one consciously lowers themselves into the muck solely to keep the attention of the ‘low element’ (nice phrasing)….it comes across as such.

    In that case, Martin himself is in the muck, because the books are much much worse in this regard than the show.

  293. Zack
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Paul: In that case, Martin himself is in the muck, because the books are much much worse in this regard than the show.

    Oh, certainly. But then, that’s part of the appeal ;)

    I don’t think of Martin’s ‘gratuitousness’ as something that needs to be addressed because he’s the artist. He can do what he likes, and his justifications for his excesses that you’ve helpfully quoted are perfectly reasonable, IMO. He writes how he wants, and people can either read his work or not. His justifications don’t mention the audience…by which I mean, he’s not including all the sex and violence primarily to keep their interest. Therein lies the difference…

    Why I, and DH87, and others have voiced dissatisfaction has primarily got to do with the addition of nudity for no reason than because “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” When you have exec producers basically telling you this scene and that scene needs to be shot differently because of ‘pervs…’

    At that point it becomes less about the art than about conscious decisions to pander, and that bothers some people. And it’s our right to be upset. That’s all. I don’t mind other people being okay with it.

  294. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Westeros.org is based in love of the books; it predates the TV series by many years, so I don’t see any particular obligation of their part to love the TV series. If they don’t like it and want to share criticisms of the show, there’s nothing really wrong with that aspect.

    Not really a fan of that article myself, so I’m not defending it. Just making a general point about what’s reasonable to expect of a website.

    A woman did state that it’s understandable to want to express one’s opinions, it is known that Westeros was around for a while. Of course they are invested in the books. Just don’t get the animosity level in that and some other reviews I’ve read over there, it borders on hateful (sometimes crossing the border). Isn’t it understood that an adaptation will not necessarily stick verbatim to the source? Perhaps not.

  295. The Rabbit
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington,

    I guess I’m also curious – does anyone know if the critic who wrote it is a noteworthy one?

    Well, I did some research. Because I know the language.
    He is serbian (not croatian) journalist and all of his articles I have found was full of political content, that is why I wonder why he did present himself as TV Critic, because he obviously is not one.
    There few his articles of on the net and all of them pretty radical – I would like that we do not bring the theme over here – because it is not the subject.

    I did not like his article on westeros.org because the lack of any respect in it was pretty alarming in it, and some remarks were let s say honestly: ridicoulous (Tyrion s scar, swordfighting etc.) It is not the discours of a prominent TV critic at all.

    He is probably the guy who just adores the books to the bone.

  296. DH87
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Zack: And it’s our right to be upset. That’s all. I don’t mind other people being okay with it.

    Agree, thanks for expressing it so succinctly.

  297. Zack
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    DH87,

    Sadly this isHollywood. Where artistic integrity and crass commercialism are constantly at war all the time. Look at some of the Oscar winners for best picture over the course of the industry’s history, even in the most mass produced entertainment there is artistry to be found. Whether it’s nudity quotas , violence, Legolas surfing on a shield at Helm’s Deep, to find nuance and depth in these visual texts we must look past the artifice. Why should GoT be treated any differently?

    The problems with GoT have nothing to do with the show or the writers or directors in my opinion it has to do with the problems inherent in the industry itself. If anything, this is a sobering moment where we realize that even HBO, the creme a la creme of independent storytelling distinct from the commercial cancer that eats away at network television, is still at the beck and call of television’s bottom line: to make money.

    I’m sorry but if we want Game of Thrones to continue as a television series, this is the price that the bigwigs are making us pay. Perhaps they will realise this come the writing in season 3 and change this. Hard to say.

    How did I miss this brilliant post? This is why JT is one of my favorite posters here.

    I don’t think there is anything left on the subject I would be able to add, so I will talk about other things from this point forward.

  298. Meg
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys….stupid question but what is ‘Thronecast’? and how is Westeros involved?

  299. LordStarkington
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Thronecast is the SkyAtlantic fan show for GoT over in the UK. They do interviews with cast members and other stuff. Elio and Linda (the westeros.org owners) show up every episode as “book experts” to fill in details or explain things.

  300. the goat
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    when she got back her spirituality was thrown into confusion
    so she got a special deal on renting from the man at Rediffusion
    look at me, I’m on TV, it makes up for the shortcomings of being poor
    now I’m in a million pieces
    picked up for deliberation by the people listenin at home,
    by the people watchin on the telly,
    by the people listenin at home,
    by the people watchin on the telly,
    but if you are feelin’ sinister, go off and see a minister
    he’ll try in vain to take away the pain of being a hopeless unbeliever
    la la la la la la la
    la la la la la la la
    but if you are feelin’ sinister
    go off and see a minister,
    the chances are you’ll probably feel better
    if you stayed and played with yourself

    (so its not RH, but Glasgow’s not THAT far north of Oxford.)

    eta: (altho, come to think of it, it is beyond the wall.)

  301. Redwyne
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    I also wondered where all the extra ”dothraki” came from but I think they were Xaro’s house slave which kinda foreshadows Dany’s adventure to come

  302. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    Thanks for the acclamation. Though sometimes i feel I wear the cape of Captain Obvious I try to be diplomatic with my arguments as much as possible. While i do believe that the issues inherent with GoT and the case of adaptation and the Bayization of filmed entertainment (including gratuitous nudity and violence) can summed up with the phrase “Legolas surfing on a shield at Helm’s Deep” (great title for a book or essay!) I am not going to tow the line and say it’s the industry and HBO’s fault alone. Such a large story being filmed in various countries for a television series is unheard of, it’s an ambitious project and sometimes the hard work that goes into bringing it to life takes some of the focus out of the narrative and the script. As much as enjoyed season 2 I feel that it was if not a rushed shoot it was definitely a rushed post production. I really believe that if they focus on the editing next season aspects of the story won’t be as hurried or plain skipped over. They have a good chance here with the main players set up from the primordial ooze that was season 1 and 2 that all they need to do is tighten their focus on the more important threads. With two seasons at least for ASOS they have breathing space now, but in my opinion it would be wise of them to focus on fewer characters in an episode. D &D should also ask HBO for an extra 5-10 minutes an episode as well. Even 3-5 minutes allows for certain plot points to be made in that period.

  303. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Redwyne,

    The Dothraki were always there, they are from the remnants of the Khalassar. The slaughtered men were Xaro’s. He had them killed to make it look like a theft.

  304. The Winter Rose
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    It’s nice to see Bryan addressing a lot of issues that I think have been on the fans’ minds for some time now. It’s much appreciated. Though I still don’t agree with everything, it is nice all the same to hear where they are coming from.

    Ros – He mentioned that the fans are unfair to Esme, but I do not believe there is nothing personal against her. I think we can all agree that she is lovely, however it’s the character we don’t like. I’d love to see her in another role, but Ros, at least to me, is a wasted character. I can understand that they want to show another view point, but I honestly feel that it’s best just to stick with the source material. There are so many viewpoints already and I know I would rather see the screen time go to the characters from the book rather than one they created that does not seem to really help advance to story or development.

    Talisa – I am confused as to why they did not keep her as Jeyne Westerling? Why did they tunr the character into a newly created “Talisa” rather than just make her Jeyne? I’m certainly not hung up on it, I am just confused as to the logic in this. I wonder if they have something else planned that we shall eventually see…

    The Reeds – Yeah, I was never worried about if they would show up or not. I wanted to see them, but I wasn’t going to sweat it until the 3rd season. I assumed they would wait until season 3 to introduce them. It makes sense and it’s all good.

    Arya & Bran – I can totally understand them slowing the pacing of their stories down. It makes sense and I am totally fine with the changes they’ve made. Maisie and Issac are delightful to watch on the screen.

    Flashbacks – SO happy this was mentioned because I was honestly a tad upset we never got a Tower of Joy flashback or to see Lyanna and Rhaegar. Reading this definitely assuaged my fears. Hopefully we’ll get to see/hear more about them next season *crosses fingers*

  305. Razorcatchprey
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    [Spoiler Alert]

    So Robb is shown to “choose love over duty” and that will be a counterpoint to Jon choosing duty over love when he leaves Ygritte to return to Castle Black at the end of season 3. I like the balance, even if I didn’t like wasting screen time on Robb and Talisa.

  306. Noob Takes the Black
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    The thing I don’t like about replacing Jeyne Westerling with Talisa isn’t that it’s not a nice love story — I suppose it is — but the thing is after Robb wins the Westerlings over (even though they’re a pretty minor house) and then makes the beast with two backs with Jeyne, he had a conflicting obligation that made sense in the context of Robb’s position. Westerling is a new bannermen, yes, but he owed it to Lord Westerling to make it right. Here, he owes Talisa’s family nothing.

    [Big Spoiler]:

    Of course, I guess it lets D&D kill do in both Robb & Talisa at the Red Wedding, since there’s no obligation from the Lannisters, Freys or Boltons to the Westerlings involved.

  307. Laura T.
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly: knew after the second episode of Season One that the story was proceeding far faster than I liked, and there was no way they were going to tell it in a way that *I* liked in just ten episodes.

    Agreed. I came to the books after watching the first few episodes, so season one was more on pace for where I was at (catching up to the TV show) but Season 2 has been a bit of…..I don’t know, frenzied, maybe is the word? It’s too rushed, like we need to see every character in every episode, which, in my opinion dillutes the whole story. I’d rather stay with one or two characters longer, than rush from place to place to check in with everyone. I enjoyed the last two episodes the most because Blackwater focused on one location, one storyline & the season finale because it was just a little bit longer. I wish each season had one or two more episodes to slow the pace & give each story a bit more screen time.

  308. Laura T.
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Noob Takes the Black:

    Of course, I guess it lets D&D kill do in both Robb & Talisa at the Red Wedding, since there’s no obligation from the Lannisters, Freys or Boltons to the Westerlings involved.

    Noob Takes the Black

    I have a new perspective to watching the show: I’m looking for clues to how GRRM plans to wrap up his books. Obviously, the writers are looking at the big picture which means they see/know the big picture so if Talisa dies then she served no purpose other than to give Rob more screen time & whittle away at the Tywin, Bolton betrayal etc. but….I doubt that because Jayne Westerling is alive & well & that leads me to believe that she will serve a purpose later in the series, as all of GRRM’s characters (that are spared) do.

  309. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Laura T.,

    I agree with your ‘rushed and frenzied’ descriptor when it comes to the aesthetics of season 2. The season had many crowning moments, some clunky ones and some bad ones. What separates me from the angry folk is that I forgive D & D for it because from a production standpoint this first foray outside the more contained story of book 1 forced them to spread themselves too thin. While it’s sad that it can’t be perfect all the way throughout it’s run, I hope D & D learn from the mistakes made when dealing with all these story lines so that season 3 is more stream lined and adequately paced. They have two seasons for Storm of Swords now, and they have an idea what the viewers liked and didn’t like and they also probably have an iota what they themselves did not enjoy about the season.

    And to be fair having just re-watched season 2 it holds up a better in a marathon viewing where the flow is uninterrupted and any certain slights that we perceive (real or imagined) are not as noticeable because we don’t have an entire week to dwell on them.

    And as much as I love ASOIAF and Martin, A Clash of Kings is one of those stories of characters trying to get to a certain place, it’s really a set up for the Blackwater and beyond. It must have been a bitch to adapt whereas Storm of Swords practically writes itself.

  310. SugarVampire
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Thanks for clearly stating the role westeros.org plays.

    Their site is devoted to the books. I guess they viewed themselves as the guardians of all things pertaining to the books. That they decided to be so strongly and upfront against the changes in season 2, the executive producers and the writers, risking all the damages, is both admirable and foolhardy. Unfortunately, the ship has sailed.

    At this point, GoT is different from ASoIaF. There is no point in arguing or denying. In any case, GoT HAS to be quite different from AFfC and ADwD, even among many devoted readers.

    Readers and viewers can be trusted to form their own opinions. No one is flawless and beyond critism; not Bryan Cogman, not D&D, not HBO, not Virginia Taylor, not Neil Marshall, not Elio & Linda, and finally not even GRRM.

    Free expression of opinions is of paramount important. The show and the reviews can stand on their own, reputations rise or fall on their merits.

    Peace.

  311. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    SugarVampire,

    My worry is Linda is going to hold a grudge and push for a reader boycott of the tv series. She has an opportunity now to spread her ire or resign it to her own website. I hope she goes for the high road…

  312. Lex
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    SugarVampire My worry is Linda is going to hold a grudge and push for a reader boycott of the tv series.

    She doesn’t have the power for that.

  313. SugarVampire
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    GoT will NOT be cancelled like Rome or Deadwood. Mark my words. It is too important for HBO. It is approaching Sopranos territory in social media (the new water cooler). So stop that worry.

    Even if Linda pushes for a boycott, readers of ASoIaF are such an independent lot, they will form their opinions and make up their own minds. No one is that poweful!

    Personally, even though I am disappointed by some of the decisions D&D made and some of the glaring faults in season 2, imho, westeros has suffered a big blow to their rep by their reactions. (Compare that with Winter’s above the fray approach even though some of viewpoints posted here are as heated.) It is better to become emotionally detached from the book and judge GoT on its own.

    However, D&D do need to delegate their responsibities, toughen their stands in asking for adequate resources (both time and money), tighten up the stories (changes are made and will be made that is different from the books) and lesson their love for certain actors/actresses (indulgence often leads to inferior work). Otherwise they will miss the golden opportunity to create something truely amazing and stand the test of time as ASoS is the pinnacle of storytelling. Imho, PW, snow castle, Crossroad Inn, Tyrion/ Tywin are the reasons why ASoS is so great, much more than RW. I don’t expect to see most of them without changes though :(

  314. ThisIsAMan
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I just don’t get all the hand wringing about the books and the show. I just approach them differently. I love the books and if you love the books, well, the writing in them is not going to change. The show is great in its own context and I just don’t really lose much sleep over deviations from the novel. Sure, some parts are weaker then others, strictly standing on its own, but when is that not the case for a show? The Wire and Sopranos had underwhelming narratives and moments. Mad Men misses sometimes. LOST definitely did. No show is great 100% of the time. Game of Thrones is great for the majority and there isn’t a show out there really doing what it does so well.

  315. El Beto
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I don’t like Ros, I mean, you invented Ros yet didn’t put the Reed, Lady tanda and her daughters… s02 was NOT loyal to the 2° book, the only thing I loved was that you showed us more about Robb. He’s one of my favorite characters. I hate RR Martin didn´t show much of Robb in the saga.

  316. Brad
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Pity, because, while still fighting for it’s place in the literary Pantheon, “A Song of Ice and Fire” would be in the league of it’s own among television projects, if adapted properly. All due respect for the basic stories and screenplays of The Wire and The Sopranos the only two shows I’d praise for reaching the artistic and philosophic heights of literature, but ASOIAF is hands down the best source material that hit the screens.

    Miodrag Zarković knows exactly what’s up. You guys might be happy with what you got, but I wanted a show worthy of the books. HBO has done shows as complex as ASOIAF in the past: The Wire and The Sopranos. It is truly unfortunate that HBO no longer has the guts to produce television that complex, and instead has opted to boil GRRM’s work down into a lowest-common-denominator porridge.


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