Adaptation and the Women of Ice and Fire
By Ours is the Fury on in Editorial.

This post will contain spoilers only from the first two seasons of Game of Thrones and from the first two books of A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, with many comparisons between the source books and the TV show. This discussion also contains references to instances of physical and sexual assault from the TV show and the books.

With the second season in our rear-view mirror, I thought it was time to revisit the discussion on women in Westeros and what it means for Game of Thrones. There have been strides forward with the introduction of a host of new women, and there have been stumbles backward with poorly thought-out alterations to major characters. While there are parts of the ASOIAF books that could be called problematic, there were fewer issues because it was a world created by one author and his vision. On television, we’re seeing a collaborative effort that sometimes left viewers scratching their heads at the changes from season to season, and in the adaptation from book to screen.

Whatever Happened To Catelyn Tully?
Catelyn Tully Stark, played by Michelle Fairley, is one of the most controversial characters of Game of Thrones. She was always a much debated character among book fans; some love her for strength of will, and some loathe her for her treatment of Jon Snow, her husband’s bastard son.

The issue with her that we’ve encountered, slightly in season 1 and more noticeably in season 2, is that we’re only seeing one aspect of her character: her motherhood. The source of the shift in attitude is not a mystery.

“Bran has definitely been abandoned. His father left and promised he’d come back before too long and is never coming back. His mother’s absence probably seems even more inexcusable. Why hasn’t Catelyn come back?” – David Benioff, Inside the Episode 15

All motivations, actions and value are directly connected to Catelyn’s role as mother to her children, her possible failures in that role, and her desire to be reunited with the kids. While dedicated parenthood is an admirable trait, in Cat’s case we have seen all other aspects of her character erased. The simple archetype of the strong mother may be powerful, but frankly, it’s not that interesting to watch or particularly relatable. I’m saying that as a mother myself. We are more than our love of our offspring, and George R.R. Martin’s Catelyn was more complex than a woman who desires nothing but to be at home with her little ones. She adores her children and acts in their interest but she is politically astute. She doesn’t necessarily think that she has to be by their side all the time in order to be doing what is best for them. The problem with TV-Catelyn is that archetypes only make for interesting drama when they’re being deconstructed, and that isn’t happening.

In A Clash of Kings, it’s Catelyn who suggests an alliance with Renly Baratheon. This was erased from the show, and we only saw her reluctance to be the envoy assigned by Robb. Instead of being the source of a good idea, she’s merely the mommy scolding the boys for fighting at the meeting between Renly and Stannis.

Michelle Fairley deserves a huge amount of credit for bringing something of the Cat we know from the books to the screen. In A Game of Thrones, Cat argues for peace instead of war during the King in the North crowning scene. In the television scene, she has no lines, and Robb’s choice to accept the crown is treated as a Great Moment. The only foreboding we get that this is not a smart move is what we see in Fairley’s face.

Too often, the cause of the war has been laid at Cat’s feet, which is interesting because she alone fought for peace in the book. Her son chose to accept kingship, and to continue fighting against Tywin Lannister and the Iron Throne. Tywin chose to react to his son Tyrion’s arrest by sending Gregor Clegane to slaughter in the Riverlands. Robb and Tywin both make the choice to begin and continue a war, yet they are not vilified for it. Tywin is actually admired for his ruthlessness.  Dozens of small factors contribute to the war, but these two notable leaders had a choice, as did Stannis, Joffrey, Renly and every other person in power who knowingly forged ahead with bringing death and destruction to the Seven Kingdoms.

The show insists that Catelyn’s children be her entire world by phasing out her political agency, and yet she is punished when she acts to protect her offspring, by releasing Jaime before the crowd can lynch him, or pursuing those she believes have hurt her son, when she arrests Tyrion. It’s farfetched to think the war can be blamed on her, that Catelyn somehow forced all these great and powerful men to pursue their ambitions.

“Robb’s sense of honor and his ideals were built on his father and his mother both. He’s fighting this war and his mother has just done something terrible in his eyes. It makes him wonder, why are you following this code, why are you so committed to loyalty, honor, dignity, duty beyond to the exclusion of all else when no one else around you really is.” –D.B. Weiss, discussing Robb’s dalliance with Talisa, Inside the Episode 18

So not only is it Cat’s fault that the war started, and that she released Jaime (who wasn’t going to “last the night” according to Brienne), but now she is also responsible for Robb’s honor weakening enough for him to have sex with Talisa. In A Clash of Kings, Robb sleeps with his future wife after learning of Bran and Rickon’s “deaths,” before he learns that his mother has released Jaime. It had nothing to do with her, and yet the show runners have determined that Catelyn is now to be held accountable for Robb breaking his vow to the Freys. This doesn’t just affect Cat; it makes Robb considerably less likeable to see him berating his mother so disrespectfully. The affable young king has been replaced by a rude fool who wasn’t even aware that his followers, the Karstarks, were very unhappy and going to kill Jaime before Robb could ever use the Kingslayer as a valuable hostage.

What is the point of these changes? Alterations to make the story flow are expected, and sometimes welcomed; the POV chapter structure of ASOIAF would make a direct translation jarring and disconnected onscreen. However, we’re seeing some arbitrary character changes that take away what we loved about the story to begin with.

Sansa Stark’s Disappearing Act
What we’ve seen of Sansa is mostly good, but half her storyline was missing. Though many have lamented the lack of interaction between her and the Hound, it was really the connection between her and Dontos Hollard, the disgraced knight and jester, that was given the short shrift in season 2, leaving Sansa with not much to do. Was it pushed back to season 3? We don’t know.  The cutting of Sansa’s repeated beatings by the Kingsguard is understandable. Her developing connection with Shae was great, especially given the lack of female friendships on Game of Thrones, but it didn’t advance her story much.

The sexual assault inflicted on some women during the riot scene in the book was transferred to Sansa, with her nearly suffering the same fate before being saved by the Hound.  In Clash, she was terrorized but there was no sexual element to it. Many feel that this was unnecessary, and some criticized the length of time we see Sansa being attacked onscreen. Although it’s understandable that the writer may have seen this as just condensing aspects of the riot, adding another type of abuse did nothing for Sansa’s character development. It’s belaboring a point we’re already aware of: she is constantly in mortal danger, surrounded by enemies who are willing to kill her, while she’s forced to smile and behave as a future queen.

Rh’llor, save us
Another disturbing change was Stannis’s choking of Melisandre in the season finale, “Valar Morghulis.” Stannis may question the fire priestess, but he is a serious and cold-blooded man. It was wildly out of character for him, and pointless. The enraged choking seems like a nasty way of trying to take the powerful sorceress down a peg. Then after this assault, she brushes it aside and shows him his future in the flames, with her as loyal to him as always. The choking affects what we know of the characters: that he is petty enough to abuse a woman who helped him as he wished, and that she is willing to accept it. That is not a good development.

A Whiter Shade of Westeros
The deletion of Chataya and Alayaya is another point of contention. From a practical point of view, it makes sense to continue featuring Ros (Esmé Bianco) in the brothel as the audience is familiar with her. I like her, and I think the actress has done a good job in the role. I’m not interested in pitting two (or three) female characters against each other.

The problem we have here is that in removing Chataya, owner of a King’s Landing brothel, and her teenage daughter Alayaya, we lose a more detailed introduction to the Summer Islands and its culture. It’s a sex-positive environment, completely different from the scorn and distaste people regard brothels and prostitutes with in the Seven Kingdoms. Chataya runs her own business, and is no victim of Littlefinger’s machinations. She likes Tyrion, chooses to work with him, and her daughter Alayaya is the one mistaken for Shae by Cersei. Even knowing that someone else is his real love, Alayaya doesn’t throw the other woman to the wolves (okay, lions in this case) to save herself from a beating. There was more intensity in this personal connection, as Tyrion genuinely likes the young woman and her mother.

We also lose two of the few characters we meet in Westeros in the first three books who are people of color. Everyone in Westeros is not white. It’s not what George R.R. Martin wrote in his books and there’s no reason it has to be that way on the show, with everyone of color restricted to the Essos continent or the Summer Islands. Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati) is from Lys, one of the free cities along the coast of Essos. We know that the TV version of Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie) is from the Summer Islands. However in ASOIAF, we have non-white people in King’s Landing, and there are two Dothraki riding with Vargo Hoat’s mercenary company, the Brave Companions. In addition to these four individuals, undoubtedly there are other people of color on Westeros. It’ll be interesting to see the cast for season 3 and beyond, with the ultimate introduction of House Martell of Dorne.

Unfortunately, in cutting Chataya and Alayaya, we’ve lost two characters who would’ve created a more interesting world and stronger drama, and it was a disappointment. On top of that, we saw Irri (Amrita Acharia) killed off very prematurely this season, removing the most visible non-white woman on the show up until that point, for no real reason.

Game of Thrones has displayed a better grasp of woman characters who are aggressive and reject the traditional Westerosi female role in, like Arya Stark, Brienne of Tarth, and Yara Greyjoy. Their stories have not been without change, but are generally more faithful to the source. The wildlings Ygritte and Osha are interesting and distinct characters that live on their own terms. And while Daenerys Targaryen struggled in the Red Waste and in Qarth, she ultimately reclaimed her dragons and her own power. Though there have been problems with the adaptation, the show still has some of the most dynamic and fascinating women on television. With the arrival of characters like Meera Reed and the Queen of Thorns in season 3, it could be the best season yet.


409 Comments

  1. Ryan71
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    First?

  2. Dovienya
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I think that leaving out the other half of Sansa’s storyline was a terrible, terrible mistake. I know a few people who watch the show but haven’t read the books. Every single one thinks that Sansa was an idiot for not leaving with the Hound. I’ve also had that debate several times on a forum for fans of the show. I don’t want to spoil anything, so all I say is, “In the books, there’s a pretty good reason why she didn’t leave!”

  3. John-Michael Lelievre
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Aww, coulda written a little snippet about Brienne too! :)

  4. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    John-Michael Lelievre,

    I don’t have a problem with Brienne’s adaptation.

  5. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I agree on the Catelyn part. I think D & D did not want people to hate her character like some do in the books and played the sympathetic mother card with her instead. A little too much perhaps. The funny thing is a lot of unsullied hate her anyways.

    The rest sounds like Purist whine. Especially the Mel/Stannis stuff.

    And Irri was killed for reasons beyond the series. Not to mention the possible uproar of a black woman getting whipped would not go well for certain audiences. Sometimes people forget that outside influences not just the writing itself bring about these deviations. If people thought the would have everything intact they are deluding themselves.

  6. mead
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    How do you know Stannis didnt throttle Melisandre in ASOIAF? Neither has POV chapters, so one can only imagine what happened when Stannis came back defeated after her promises said otherwise.

  7. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    If having a problem with a man who has never displayed violent tendencies being adapted as an abusive person makes me a “purist whiner” than I’ll wear the title gladly.

    That said, this is a post with “adaptation” in the title. So yeah, you were warned, it’s a talk about the differences between the books and the show.

  8. Katie
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    This is a good post. I completely agree that Stannis choking Melisandre was wildly OOC, I really don’t understand why they added that part, it’s not an example of character development or pertinent to any of the plots, so why write it? Why not just have him shouting at her instead? I don’t know, it just seems like another way in which the show is almost glamorizing violence against women.

    I think that out of all the female characters, Catelyn’s suffered the most in the adaptation. All of her good ideas and initiative have been stripped away from her and given to Robb. Robb, by extension, has changed almost to the point where I nearly no longer recognise him as the same character from the books.

    Also, by changing it so that Catelyn releases Jaime before knowing of the deaths of her sons just makes her look like she has terrible judgement, as opposed to being a grieving woman desperately trying to keep the few remaining members of her family safe and together. It seems like the writers/showrunners are almost trying to make Cat look as awful and unsympathetic as possible by relegating her role to a nagging and interfering mother.

  9. J
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    The Stannis choking Mel scene still bothers me as well, for both of their characters’ sakes.

  10. Andrew
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    To be honest, I was always under the impression Salla was white, since the Lysene are always described as pale and Targaryen-like.

    As for the freeing Jamie thing, her motivations were basically the same and reactions to her were basically the same. Some admired the decision, while others hated it. I really dont see a lot of difference from book to screen in that regard.

  11. Zack
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Can we get more articles like this please? I agree with much of what you write and disagree with some as well, but what’s important is the detail you get into here. Many of us are not willing to spend the time and effort to so pointedly scrutinize it. It’s very much appreciated.

    I want to see in-depth analyses of the show’s handling of the book characters, and where they succeed and when there is room to improve. I think you’ve done a fine job tackling Cat’s character. I adore Michelle Fairley in the role, the realness she brings and the empathy she is able to evoke. But I would love to know what a more ‘accurate’ script could have looked like.

    I didn’t like Robb any less for criticizing Cat for making a (HUGE) decision that wasn’t hers to make. “Oh you let my hostage go? Cool whatevs.” No thanks. I’m not seeing why a Jaime in Kings Landing is preferable to a dead one in Robb’s camp, as an excuse for Cat’s fuckup (which I feel is on the level of Edmure’s in the book.) But other than that I’m pretty much on board.

    The thing about the show is that they just don’t have the time (or maybe the willingness, I’m not sure) to get into the depth we know of the book characters. I’m used to it by now, this surface skimming, broad-strokes only method of storytelling. They have a lot of ground to cover, and books are generally better in this regard anyhow. Looking at them as companion pieces, each able to enrich and strengthen the weak points of the other medium, it helps me to forgive a lot–but not all–of these issues.

    mead:
    How do you know Stannis didnt throttle Melisandre in ASOIAF? Neither has POV chapters, so one can only imagine what happened when Stannis came back defeated after her promises said otherwise.

    I know, right? It’s one of the weaknesses of the book format, only showing the readers what your POV characters witness. So it doesn’t bother me.

  12. Alex Also
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    The Stannis throttling completely undercut Stannis character as it had developed. It wasn’t bad because it was gratuitous violence to women – as the author of this piece points out it was just bad writing.

    My biggest problem with the women in this show (as opposed to the books) is the nudity and sex scenes. It’s done in such an American-frat-boy-tillation kind of way. If they did them in a more continental European kind of way it would be less jarring. Supposedly this is a time before privacy was invented – people stripped off easily as they do still on the continent. The books occasionally show someone having a problem with nakedness, like Brienne in the bath with Jamie, but mostly its not an issue. In the tv show – it is an issue. The nudity is there to appeal to American men. It’s always shown for a sexual purpose and meant to be titillating (to men). Their problem with body hair has already been canvassed on this site, so I won’t go there now.. .

  13. tumblefell
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    When I read those quotes from both Benioff and Weiss, I can’t help but think that they feel that much of the myopic criticism so often thrown at Cat is actually valid… Short of the they wanted to make her more sympathetic argument, it’s the only answer I can come up with for why they’ve robbed the character of so much of her complexity. And it’s incredibly frustrating as a reader, viewer and fan.
    I’m hoping -and assuming there will be since both writers seem to be more generous with the character in interviews/commentary- more time will be spent with Sansa in future seasons.

  14. JonHo
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    They completely fucked up Catelyn in the show. Its like they are trying to make her invisible or something.

  15. Impi
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Removing Chataya and Alayaya was almost a necessity to avoid a lose-lose situation for D&D. Including them labels the show as anti-black. “Oh look, only black women in the show are prostitutes.” Remember the the outrage at the Dothraki wedding scenes?

    Removing them gets some outrage at leaving out the only black women in “power” from the show’s readers. But really it is the lesser of evils choice. No matter how they handled those characters, there would be backlash.

  16. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I dunno.. I always felt like Catelyn in the books was almost 90% about her motherhood. Maybe I’m just misremembering.

  17. Ellen
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I agree 100% about Cat, but I can understand why the change was made. I don’t like it, but I get it. Most TV viewers wouldn’t have liked politically-savvy Cat. In fact, they would have demonized a character that “abandoned” her children. Without her internal monologue, she wouldn’t have appeared very sympathetic to audiences who expect women to be devoted mothers, concerned with nothing but the welfare of their kids 24/7.

    (Even with her internal monologue, so many book fans hate Cat. If a woman isn’t a badass warrior like Brienne or a hot piece of ass like Arianne, she’d best take her proper place on the periphery of a story or else she’ll be ripped to shreds by the neckbeards.)

    Sadly, in our society, once a woman is a mother, that’s pretty much what they’re expected to be. Nothing else. (See the hate directed to women in politics in the USA for proof of this.) I say this as a proud mom struggling to return to the workforce. God, does pigeonholing suck.

    It’s a shame, because it is what made Cat as a book character so interesting. It’s what made me keep reading GoT in the first place, years ago. “Mama-bear” characters are a dime a dozen on TV and in literature. Cat is different.

    I’m hoping for Ser Dontos in season 3. Why introduce him at all if not to play out that storyline? Littlefinger’s machinations were one of the truly great surprises of the series.

  18. J
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Zack:
    I know, right? It’s one of the weaknesses of the book format, only showing the readers what your POV characters witness. So it doesn’t bother me.

    It’s true that we never see any scenes of just Stannis and Melisandre alone, and in ASOS, he tells Davos, that after Blackwater, he was in despair until Melisandre told him to look into the flames. The scene seems like it was basically trying to show that on screen, which is great. I love the idea. But though we don’t know exactly how Stannis and Melisandre interact when they’re alone, I feel like we get enough of Stannis in the POV chapters he is in to get the sense that violently choking a woman isn’t something he’d do (for one thing, it would make him no better than Robert in his eyes). Emotional/verbal abuse, sure, absolutely. Physical abuse, no.

  19. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Impi,

    A very simple way to avoid that criticism would be for the show to cast more black women, not cut the few speaking roles that existed in the canon in Westeros.

  20. Tenesmus
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I think people need to remember that the books are source material. The books are neither scripts nor screenplays. The TV show is an independent work of art and the only overlap need be a very narrow critical path of events that get characters to the end game. Which by the way, none of us know exactly what the end game is.

    TV shows have got to boil things down to a lesser common denominator. The show is dense enough as it is for non-book reading, casual viewers. I know people who had Rob and Theon mixed up for almost all of season one, but they are STILL watching the show, and it is the number of eyes on the screen each week that will dictate if the show remains an ongoing enterprise; not condesending, overanalitic, psychobabble as to whether the show is lacking prostitutes of color.

  21. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Impi: Removing Chataya and Alayaya was almost a necessity to avoid a lose-lose situation for D&D. Including them labels the show as anti-black. “Oh look, only black women in the show are prostitutes.” Remember the the outrage at the Dothraki wedding scenes? Removing them gets some outrage at leaving out the only black women in “power” from the show’s readers. But really it is the lesser of evils choice. No matter how they handled those characters, there would be backlash.

    Not like the show doesn’t already portray black people in a negative light. One is a dirty liar and the other is a theif who only cares about money and wants to fuck a white bitch.

  22. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Although I think you’re being very tough on the showrunners and don’t agree with some of what you wrote, I loved the depth and intelligence of this essay and hope you post more analaysis on this site.

    News and rumors and speculation are always fun, but intelligent critiques (written by non-professionals) are sometimes hard to find on the web, so thank you for taking the time to write this!

  23. J
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Ellen,

    It’s especially strange that they introduced Ser Dontos, then didn’t use him in S2 at all, and THEN had Littlefinger basically tell Sansa hey, so I’ll try to get you out of here! I don’t get why they’d want to ruin the surprise of that moment, where she thinks she’s escaping with her Florian, and then suddenly, BAM, Littlefinger.

  24. ClarissaV
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Am I the only person who thinks the show has messed up Brienne’s character too? In the show, she’s snarky and gives as good as she gets. I’m reminded of the scene where she confronts an angry soldier while guarding Catelyn’s tent: “Let me in, woman!” “In a minute, man.” It made me laugh, but I have to admit it felt so out of character for her. In the books, she doesn’t respond to taunts, and lets anger and hatred just roll off of her (on the outside, at least). It’s what makes Jamie so frustrated in ASOS, that his insults and teasing get no reaction from her. I feel like the show has made her too bold and smart-mouthed, and not as awkward and self-conscious as in the books: basically, they’ve made her just like any other solider.

  25. tumblefell
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Impi,

    A very simple way to avoid that criticism would be for the show to cast more black women, not cut the few speaking roles that existed in the canon in Westeros.

    That’s a bingo.

  26. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: Impi, A very simple way to avoid that criticism would be for the show to cast more black women, not cut the few speaking roles that existed in the canon in Westeros.

    As I’m sure you know, they’ve cast a young woman of color for season 3 (her name is Nathalie Emmanuel, I believe).

    I’m guessing she’ll be playing Jhiqui or a replacement handmaiden for Dany.

    I hope the people who say the 20-year-old actress will be playing an aged-up Missandei are wrong.

  27. Macha
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Then after this assault, she brushes it aside and shows him his future in the flames, with her as loyal to him as always. The choking affects what we know of the characters: that he is petty enough to abuse a woman who helped him as he wished, and that she is willing to accept it. That is not a good development.

    My two cents: The scene puzzled me too, in my first viewing. After watching Larry’s review and re-watching the scene, I could understand why the chose to write it in. Of course this is only my opinion and I don’t pretend to speak on anybody’s behalf. To me, the scene makes scenes if you’re considering the new-viewer angle. Most non-readers believe seem to believe that: a) Mel is playing him. She has her own agenda, she’s a vicious sorceress and a ruthless killer and that she’s simply manipulating him. She’s lying, we just haven’t found out why or how exactly. and b) He believes everything she says and doesn’t question her, in the end. This scene disproves both of these beliefs. We get a glimpse of Stannis’ conscience and guilt, we realize (or we’re meant to realize, IMO) that Mel’s loyalty to him is genuine and that his actions as a man don’t matter to her because she only sees the king, and ultimately we see that he isn’t as foolish or as gullible as one might think he is – in regards to her. That, of course, until the ‘look into the fire’ scene, but – as this is a fantasy show – we can’t really dismiss his reaction to what he saw in the flames, so I won’t comment on that. To resume, the way I saw it, this scene served the following purposes: it humanized them (even, or perhaps especially Stannis), it showed us a better glimpse of their true motivations, and it showed us how powerful their connection is, ultimately. I can’t judge this scene in terms relating to gender, because I really haven’t thought for one second about this while watching. Melisandre, while being somewhat of a cliche character prior to ADWD, is shown as a powerful player and a powerful woman in the show. The fact that she does nothing to stop Stannis from chocking her is significant for her devotion to him as a king/R’hllor chosen, not as a man, so reducing this scene to a depiction of a man abusing a woman means – in my humble opinion – simplifying and deviating its meaning.

    But I agree with most of the other points you made, and I thank you for your article, if the discussion stays civil I feel that we’ll have many interesting opinions to share.

  28. Andrew
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Ellen,

    I don’t dislike Catelyn because she isn’t a badass. I dislike her because she makes extremely emotionally charged decisions. Dismissing people who dislike her as you did is a bit unfair.

  29. Katie
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Alex Also,

    I completely agree. I’m in no way a prude, and wouldn’t mind the nudity so much, but it’s done in such an unnatural and sexualised way that it’s obvious it’s only done for the (male) audience’s sake.

    The women all seem to be so keen to get naked that they will strip off at the drop of a hat, whether or not the scene really requires it. Just gratuitous and tasteless. I’d love to see them bump up the equality stakes by having just as many naked men as women, but I really doubt they’ll do it.

  30. Shinyteapot
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I completely agree about Catelyn. She’s one of the most real characters in the books for me- flawed, certainly, and while she does think of herself primarily as a mother before all else, she’s more complex and interesting than just that. I think they missed a trick in series 1 in leaving out Mya- while I understand she’s not the most key character, Catelyn’s thoughts about bastards, Jon in particular, were very illuminating. She doesn’t hate him as a person, she can’t stand having him around. (which looks the same to him, of course). That is something realistic.

    Definitely the lack of any of Catelyn’s good insights, and Robb’s changed motivations are a big deal. I don’t dislike Talisa, and I think I get why she was changed- if you’re not going to have Jeyne, because that means a new set for the Crag and casting her parents etc- might as well use Robb’s love to introduce the audience to another place and culture. But I think the love story was poorly handled- I didn’t get ‘deeply in love’, I got ‘fancy the pants off each other’ and the lack of needing to choose her honour over his was a mistake in my opinion.

    On the plus side, Catelyn got a better motivation for releasing Jaime (though had it been in addition to her book motivation that would have been better again) and wonderful scenes with Brienne. And Michelle Fairley is superb.

    I think it’s a good thing Ros replaced Alayaya. While Chataya and Alayaya are great characters, having someone the audience knows well in that role makes them feel for her more. And I think ‘the only two black women in westeros are prostitutes’ would come over as even more insulting that westeros being all white, however positively it may have been intended. (Off topic- why didn’t we get Salladhor Saan at Blackwater?) I can imagine the uproar on the internet only too well. I do hope King’s Landing becomes more cosmopolitan though- it’s a port, and ports are believable when they’re full of traders and migrants from everywhere.

    Any thoughts on Cersei? I thought she was much improved, in both writing and portrayal, this year. And I loved Tywin comparing Arya to her, much as both ladies would hate the idea. If only Tywin had been more like Ned, Cersei might have been happier and a little more capable of physically standing up to Robert. He’s stronger, but I imagine the shock of a wife who fights back would make a difference. I doubt she was interested in swordplay for its own merits, but ‘this gives men power, so I want it too’.

    I don’t like Cersei, but she has the potential to be very interesting depending on how her future translates to screen.

  31. Ellen
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    ClarissaV,

    No, they’ve modernized Brienne a bit too much for my liking too. She is a wide-eyed romantic, not a Whedonesque snarky bad-ass. I’m waiting to see how it’ll play out before I start really complaining, as she didn’t have much screen time in S2.

  32. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    ClarissaV: Am I the only person who thinks the show has messed up Brienne’s character too? In the show, she’s snarky and gives as good as she gets. I’m reminded of the scene where she confronts an angry soldier while guarding Catelyn’s tent: “Let me in, woman!” “In a minute, man.” It made me laugh, but I have to admit it felt so out of character for her. In the books, she doesn’t respond to taunts, and lets anger and hatred just roll off of her (on the outside, at least). It’s what makes Jamie so frustrated in ASOS, that his insults and teasing get no reaction from her. I feel like the show has made her too bold and smart-mouthed, and not as awkward and self-conscious as in the books: basically, they’ve made her just like any other solider.

    I don’t entirely agree with this. Did you watch Brienne’s face when the Northmen who hung the tavern girls are roaring with laughter at her. She doesn’t look bold or ready to spring zippy comebacks; she looks ashamed, nervous and stares at her feet before saying “If you’re quite finished, we’ll be on our way”

    I can’t get enough of Gwendoline Christie and am dying to see more of her (no innuendo intended, I swear) in season 3!

  33. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Macha,

    Well said and I completely agree. And it’s not just non-readers who feel that way about Melisandre.

    Melisandre was pretty much thought to be an “evil” character for the first few books. It wasn’t until A Dance With Dragons that we started to learn that she isn’t that bad and is just misguided and a bit delusional.

    To me, the scene made sense. People often forget that Melisandre is meant to be portayed as something of a manipulator.

  34. Shady_Grady
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I was not a huge book Catelyn fan although I do think she gets more blame than she deserves. That said, “arresting” the son of perhaps the most powerful and definitely most vindictive Lord in the kingdom while your husband and daughters were behind enemy lines so to speak, was a serious mistake and if not the cause of the war, certainly helped it along.

    But I do think that she’s been ill-served in season 2, culminating in changing her reasoning/timing in letting Jaime go. I just can’t seem to find a good reason for that. As mentioned, a lot of her insights have been given to Robb, at a rather serious detriment to the character. I know they wanted to give Robb more to do and flesh out his role but I really wish they had done that without reducing Catelyn’s part.

  35. Ellen
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Shinyteapot,

    I prefer show Cersei actually. She was a bit too much of a cartoony-villain for me in the books.

    And sure, there are valid reasons for disliking Cat, but most of the criticisms I’ve read seems to focus on her not fitting into that traditional mother role. Her mistakes are real, but she always seems to get a bit more flack than the other female characters that conform to the more traditional female fantasy tropes.

  36. Mimi
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Really nice breakdown of some glaring problems with this season.

    I completely agree with the Stannis/Melisandre choking scene. For me it also skewed the power dynamic between the two. Stannis might get frustrated with Melisandre in the text, but he always gives her this cold, but fixed deference. I certainly don’t see him getting physically violent with her.

  37. Zack
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    J,

    Fair point, definitely, but in the aftermath of a battle where he lost hundreds–if not thousands, as he says himself–of men, despite being assured of victory…

    I mean if he comes across as a rather cool, collected character prior to the battle, and we see what happens when his best laid plans are shattered, the choking doesn’t seem unbelievable to me. It makes him less likable, sure. But for me it doesn’t contradict anything we know from the books. It just gives a fuller picture of the man. I can see where there’s room for disagreement on this point though.

  38. fuelpagan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I agree on Catelyn. But I honestly feel this is a result of raising the ages of the characters. To have Catelyn treating Robb like a 15 year old would have been silly. In the books it makes sense why Catelyn might choose to stay and help guide Robb. TV Robb is a grown man and it just makes more sense for Cat to want to get back to Bran and Rickon. That being said, D&D still could have kept in some of the other facets to her character. She could want to get back to Bran and Rickon and still be politically astute.

    Sansa, still scratching my head on that one. Meeting with Ser Dontos just once before Blackwater would have solved the big question on why she didn’t leave with the Hound. By now in the books I started to actually like Sansa because I had hope for her to get out of that place. That’s yet to happen in the TV show. Miss Turner is doing a great job, but not sure why the writers are delaying this part of her story.

    As for Chataya and Alayaya, don’t miss them one bit. To include them would have hurt the story more than helping increase any drama. The drama was still there with Ros.

    As far as the Mel/Stannis choking scene…I’ll agree it hurts the character of Stannis, but not Mel. It’s not her commitment to Stannis that she accepts the abuse, but her commitment to R’hllor. She thinks R’hllor has chosen Stannis, she is not going to run because Stannis choked her. Pearson kept making this same mistake. It’s her commitment to R’hllor that drives this character, not personal motivation nor her relationship with Stannis.

    Anyway, nice article.

  39. Impi
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Impi,

    A very simple way to avoid that criticism would be for the show to cast more black women, not cut the few speaking roles that existed in the canon in Westeros.

    I totally agree that ideally and rationally you are correct. I just do not think that is the current reality of the overly politically correct American culture.

    Just as the feminists decried GoT’s treatment of women in the pilot without waiting to see how the female characters grew and developed, in context. Those same people would see Chataya and Alayaya as black=prostitues and would look no deeper. It is a sad commentary on our culture really that everything seems to instantly offend someone. (Look what happened to the ridiculously small incident of the head on a spike.)

  40. Macha
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    MATTHEW: Did you watch Brienne’s face when the Northmen who hung the tavern girls are roaring with laughter at her. She doesn’t look bold or ready to spring zippy comebacks; she looks ashamed, nervous and stares at her feet before saying “If you’re quite finished, we’ll be on our way”

    I completely agree. That moment was heartbreaking, great acting by Gwendoline Christie. I realized that her character on the show might have benefited from pointing out that, when she killed that guard in Renly’s tent, it was her first kill. But there will be plenty of chances to show her ‘loss of innocence’ later, so that omission wasn’t that important for me in the end.
    On the plus side, there are many readers who find her a boring character if not coupled with Jaime, and I feel that won’t be the case with viewers of the show. Also, having a big sign over her head that says ‘naive& a hopeless romantic’ might be a bit too similar to Sansa’s characterization, so I love the fact that she seems more grounded and aware. It didn’t seem to me like her character lost anything of importance in the transition from books to show.

  41. BiiaCX
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Stannis choking Melisandre was really bad IMO. It made Stannis unlikeable, choking Melisandre while she was trying to help him (and faulting her for EVERYTHING). It’s like she was all wise and magic and D&D made Stannis choke her as a way of making her learn her “place”, and she just accepts it. It’s like saying women should stay in the kitchen, lol. If a woman tries to be on top of everything and it’s smarter than everyone around her, it doesn’t matter, because Stannis is teaching her her place. It looked bad, sounded bad, it took away the power of a good character, it was terrible overall.

  42. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Ours,

    I think that was one of the best and most succinct breakdowns of Catelyn in the show that I have read, and you did a great job bringing out a lot of what I felt and couldn’t put my finger on.

    I do disagree a bit on your commentary on Catelyn. I would definitely more enjoy a conversation with Book-Cat, but I know many women who, when they become mothers, really do seem to have no interest other than their children. It’s not the Catelyn from the book, but it isn’t unrealistic.

    But in general, that’s great writing.

    The rest of it I have to respectfully disagree on the general feel and tone.

    On the Stannis section, I personally don’t see Stannis as actually very cold and calculating — he’s not a robot. But that’s neither here nor there in this discussion, as he’s a man.

    The act of violence towards Melisandre is something I can understand people being uncomfortable with. And the same with shifting the act of sexual violence towards Sansa.

    That said, I feel like the demonstration of violence towards women — and their reaction to it — in any kind of fictional media can be perceived as sexist or misogynistic or not, depending on how you choose to look at it.

    Me, personally, I don’t think shows should stop showing horrible things. I don’t have a problem making the sexual assault in the riot more immediate and relevant by moving it to Sansa — that makes us care. Some may view it as a cheap trick, unnecessary or even encouraging the violence. But for others of us, it is a reminder that it is all too common and real and something that women have occur to them and have to deal with for the rest of their lives. Moving it to Sansa was a great move to my mind, especially if they continue to develop it at all.

    Finally, the remainder of the piece seems like a hit piece. Whether it’s the section on Chataya and Alayaya and the conversation about a culture that we get about fifty pages of in the books, criticism of Sansa’s storyline because Dontos was moved to next seasons, or most of the female characters being ignored in the discussion because there are no complaints, most of the words here are not a critique or discussion of women in Westeros.

    It reads like veiled accusations of sexism and racism to me. I don’t know if you meant it to, but it does. I can’t say I disagree with all the things you like about Chataya and Alayaya, but it doesn’t matter if they were white, male and from Westeros, their parts were going to be condensed. Between the title of the section and no allowance for the fact that cutting characters of this level is necessary is a series, you seem to be implying nefarious intent. I don’t think that’s fair. Would I like more diversity in the series? Yes. More in the books? Yes.

    But Chataya and her daughter, just like poor Jhalabar Xho and poor Jeyne Poole, were absolutely unnecessary to the story. (Actually Jeyne Poole has a lot more to do!). And frankly, Chataya and her daughter created issues — another location, more characters to introduce and develop, even for a bit. And to get what you really want, a culture to introduce.

    Lastly, it feels a bit like a hit piece to me because you leave to the end and toss away all the female characters you have no issues with and handwave them. Give Martin and D&D more credit than that. Adaptation is difficult, and it’s especially hard to get both a complex plot and depth of character in.

    I think the complaint about Cat is valid. I can understand the concern of violence towards women even if I see it another way. But complaints about Chataya and Alayaya — phrased as it was — as we handwave Arya, Dany, Asha, Osha, etc., out of the picture? I don’t think that is fair.

  43. Spliced
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    With respect to the Stannis-Melisandre interactions in Season 2, Episode 10, I can see where the original poster came from given the lens of female power dynamics and changes from the source material, however, I suggest a different reading of it is more on point.

    The Stannis-Melisandre scene upon their return to Dragonstone perfectly showed their complex relationship. What better sums up these characters than Stannis’s understandable frustration and his feelings of powerlessness juxtaposed against Melisandre’s otherworldly coolness in chaotic situations?

    Yes, that choking was brutal, but then the scene climaxed with one of the most powerful moments of interpersonal connection in the series. The way these characters handled their disappointment through his violence, her confidence, and then their shocking reconciliation exemplifies the growing closeness between these characters. Despite living through difficult times and having a very complex relationship, Stannis and Melisandre became thoughtful, fully-fledged characters in that scene. They feel remorse, defeat, and fear, yes, but also hope. Our final glimpse of them this season is watching them as fire-light washes across their faces, as they share a dream of things to come.

    Stannis choking Melisandre was not about him having power over her. It was, rather, about pragmatism thrashing fantasy, and then, as we saw in their shared dream, pragmatism succumbing to the whispers of a better tomorrow.

  44. defiantx
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Good article, but some of it reeks of purism.
    I guess that’s to be expected though, this series has the worst fans.

  45. Macha
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    defiantx: this series has the worst fans

    Oh I agree, but I’m not thinking of Ours is the Fury here. ;)

  46. Zack
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    fuelpagan: As far as the Mel/Stannis choking scene…I’ll agree it hurts the character of Stannis, but not Mel. It’s not her commitment to Stannis that she accepts the abuse, but her commitment to R’hllor. She thinks R’hllor has chosen Stannis, she is not going to run because Stannis choked her. Pearson kept making this same mistake. It’s her commitment to R’hllor that drives this character, not personal motivation nor her relationship with Stannis.

    Agreed. Allow me to speak a bit regarding things we learn in A Dance with Dragons.

    When Mel is granted POV status in ADWD, Martin takes the opportunity to dispel my long-held suspicion that Mel’s actions throughout the series were based not on her faith in her Red God, but a deliberate attempt to manipulate her way to the top of the Seven Kingdoms through a would-be puppet King Stannis. Martin was cleverer than that, and chose to make her more than a one-note villain. Her chapter shows a sincerity of belief in what she sees in her flames, as visions from R’hllor.

    So you’re right. It wouldn’t fit her character to flinch from Stannis’ abuse. I thought the scene played out quite tellingly. I think what Spliced has just posted is very interesting.

  47. Natasha
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I agree with all of this, and also hunk that putting most of the villainy into Joffreys character instead of Cersei takes some of he power away as well. And don’t get me started on Osha seducing Theon for no apparent reason before she “escaped”; how did screwing him help her cause, exactly?

  48. Ryan71
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    At the time I thought the stannis choking season was awful as well.

    Think about it though… She lied to him about his victory.. Conned him into killing his own brother.. Gave birth a shadow demon to kill Renly.

    She’s not even a “woman”.. She’s a damn monster in his eyes.

  49. LordStarkington
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Catelyn is one of my favorite characters in the book (top 3 or so), so I’ve been disappointed that they’ve removed a large part of her story/actions/motivations to beef up Robb. Yes, I get part of that is adaptation (Robb is older, Robb is onscreen more, etc.), but I feel like it’s undermined Catelyn, who was a lot more interesting in the books than Robb is on screen. Michelle Fairley is doing a great job with what she has though.

    I’m not particularly bothered by Alayaya/Chataya’s removal. As others have noted – if the problem is “We’re removing people of color (something the books aren’t really known for)”, well we’re also removing some iffy implications as well (that they’re prostitutes and Alayaya being whipped). I don’t think we lose much by transferring their part of the story to Ros, as they really are very minor background characters apart from their interaction with Tyrion.

    You said “Unfortunately, in cutting Chataya and Alayaya, we’ve lost two characters who would’ve created a more interesting world and stronger drama, and it was a disappointment.”

    But…what is it they do that makes the world more interesting outside of setting up the “Alayaya being presented as Tyrion’s whore instead of Shae” storyline? We never really get to know them beyond Tyrion repeatedly praising them for being noble/intelligent for prostitutes, and play no real role in the plot outside of that one aspect (which, as you note, is also more easy to portray on screen by using a character that’s already known to viewers). I’m also not sure how people would respond if they were introduced to yet more prostitutes in the show (especially more prostitutes that are really unimportant plotwise), as the whole sexposition/nudity thing raises a lot of hackles as is.

  50. TheFlayedLady
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Book readers know why Sansa didn’t leave with the Hound (even though this lady wishes so badly that she did!) & I agree that by removing the ‘Jonquil & Florian’ role with Ser Dontos did her story no good.
    Sansa was learning that ‘life is not a song’ with her beatings at the hand of Joff, & by removing many scenes between her & the Hound, all Sansa seemed to do was simper about with Shae, who IS NOT her friend in the books btw They gave LF too many of the San/San scenes which many fans were really looking forward to. Sansa starts off as a spoilt little girl, but by the end of book 2, her opinions on knights & love have been very much changed, most of this because of the Hound & her conversations with him. I was waiting with baited breath for the ‘A dog will die for you but never lie to you’ scene which SHOCK was given to LF!!!!! In all the books, Sansa is one of my favourites, & I’ll admit I did not like her at first. Sophie Turner is a brilliant young actress & I think she has done a great job, it’s just a shame they ripped away the most important parts of her story arc.

  51. Real TC
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Catelyn’s defining moments in the books and TV were seizing the Imp and releasing Jamie. Two incredibly dangerous moves with huge implications. Both moves I would say were motivated by “motherly instincts” above all and believable in the books and TV. Sure – Catelyn is more dynamic in the books (and believes her two boys in Winterfell are dead before releasing Jamie) but even Tyrion is far more dynamic in the books. There is no way the show can compete in terms of depth. The show is still incredibly entertaining. As for Mel / Stannis – this is a man who has killed dozens of men and burns people alive. Mel has one of her many misreadings of the flames and you are disgusted he chokes her? Come on…woman or man Mel is responsible in Stannis’ mind for a disastrous and ruinous defeat. As for black women – the large number of ethnic women cast in thrones is not good enough – we need a black woman to reside in Westeros and you sight a marginal character from the books as if it were a glaring oversight to not include her. I think the show has gone out of its way to provide opportunities to a diverse group of very very good actors and actresses – many of whom we have never seen before. Nonso would agree http://www.theroot.com/views/nonso-interview . I have no problem with you not liking Cat’s treatment by the show – maybe a couple of well place lines would make you sleep better at night but I think Cat’s “stories have not been without change, but are generally more faithful to the source.” And by glossing over Brienne, Arya, and Daenerys at the end while making this article an indictment of the non-RR writers treatment of women on the series is just lazy. All that being said – certainly enjoy the discussion and understand you have a job and a life and don’t have 25 hours to write 50 pages – i appreciate the effort.

  52. Zack
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Alan: Lastly, it feels a bit like a hit piece to me because you leave to the end and toss away all the female characters you have no issues with and handwave them. Give Martin and D&D more credit than that. Adaptation is difficult, and it’s especially hard to get both a complex plot and depth of character in.

    I think the complaint about Cat is valid. I can understand the concern of violence towards women even if I see it another way. But complaints about Chataya and Alayaya — phrased as it was — as we handwave Arya, Dany, Asha, Osha, etc., out of the picture? I don’t think that is fair.

    I like this as well. I suppose on some level this thread is just inviting aggravation with the show’s myriad flaws, where a more even-handed approach would suggest that we not forget to talk about the praiseworthy aspects also. I’m sure the showrunners would appreciate some sugar in the medicine.

  53. Blood
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    BiiaCX:
    Stannis choking Melisandre was really bad IMO. It made Stannis unlikeable, choking Melisandre while she was trying to help him (and faulting her for EVERYTHING). It’s like she was all wise and magic and D&D made Stannis choke her as a way of making her learn her “place”, and she just accepts it. It’s like saying women should stay in the kitchen, lol. If a woman tries to be on top of everything and it’s smarter than everyone around her, it doesn’t matter, because Stannis is teaching her her place. It looked bad, sounded bad, it took away the power of a good character, it was terrible overall.

    Stannis is not supposed to be likable. I didn’t have a problem with that scene and don’t think it was necessarily out of character with BookStannis either. We don’t know what Stannis’ and Mel’s private interactions are like in the books. If there is anyone with whom he would crack and act emotionally and irrationally like that it’s with Mel. For the show the scene works and is more about how Mel truly believes Stannis is the Lords Chosen and is not playing him for some other reason.

  54. Jess
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    defiantx:
    Good article, but some of it reeks of purism.
    I guess that’s to be expected though, this series has the worst fans.

    You know what else is the worst, blind admiration and labeling of anyone who doesn’t find the show perfect as being a “purist.”

    The things mentioned in the article are problematic aspects of the show. My issue with David and Dan is they like to throw around the word feminism in describing their show, but then write the show in a way that strips away the complexity and agency of women who do not fit their narrow interpretation of what it means to be a “feminist.”

    People also find the nudity problematic, not because they are conservative prudes, but because the male:female nudity ratio in the show is unbalanced. Why is it that Oona Chaplin is stripped down into nothing in her sex scene, while Richard Madden still has his pants on. Why was it even necessary for there to be a naked woman in the Bronn/Sandor scene from Blackwater.

    I would love for there to be a random naked man on Cersei’s lap in her conversations with Sansa, just so some people could realize how ridiculous some of the female nudity on the show is. We don’t mind nudity, but I would like some equality in how and where it is used.

  55. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    BiiaCX:
    Stannis choking Melisandre was really bad IMO. It made Stannis unlikeable, choking Melisandre while she was trying to help him (and faulting her for EVERYTHING). It’s like she was all wise and magic and D&D made Stannis choke her as a way of making her learn her “place”, and she just accepts it. It’s like saying women should stay in the kitchen, lol. If a woman tries to be on top of everything and it’s smarter than everyone around her, it doesn’t matter, because Stannis is teaching her her place. It looked bad, sounded bad, it took away the power of a good character, it was terrible overall.

    Stannis is unlikeable. He’s a giant hypocrite, for one. In addition, he actually is a fairly emotional character. He tends to calm down, but how many times does simple dissent get him angry with Davos?

    I don’t think it is out of character for this bitter man who feels slighted; who has killed his brother and then failed to gain crown, to blame another for his choices and failures. Could they have done that without the choking? Sure. Does the choking show you the level of violence and anger that Stannis has bottled up? Yes.

    I didn’t feel it was out of character at all for my read of Stannis. And I don’t think that Mel was a woman had any bearing on him choking her. But maybe not. Maybe Stannis is a sexist or misogynist. I’m okay with that as well. Those people exist in life. You don’t have to like the character. There’s not all that much to like about Stannis.

  56. Katie
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Katie,

    I was going to reply to this post, until I realized that someone else in my name already did, LOL. I had to think for a minute if I didn’t read this in my sleep. :p

  57. LordEddardStark
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see how Stannis choking Melisandre is a problem. It may have been out of character, but what the hell, he was angry he lost the battle of Blackwater when he was so close to victory. When you’re angry like that you tend to do things you would never consider doing. And Melisandre shrugged it off because she knew he was just angry, and that she still wanted to see him king, for his or her own purposes. She knows Stannis is Azor Ahai, to her at least, and wouldn’t abandon him even in his darkest moments.

  58. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Natasha:
    I agree with all of this, and also hunk that putting most of the villainy into Joffreys character instead of Cersei takes some of he power away as well. And don’t get me started on Osha seducing Theon for no apparent reason before she “escaped”; how did screwing him help her cause, exactly?

    1. And if Cersei had been as awful as in the books, people would accuse the show/book of making all the women evil and the men victims of their evilness. She’s a character who has developed a large amount of power despite the fact that her society decides to withhold it from her based on her sex, and the show makes a big point of demonstrating that. Yet, the complaint is that she should have been the one to order all the bastards killed?

    I guess I think this is nitpicking.

    2. Osha was locked up. She couldn’t get out. Her way out was to seduce Theon — otherwise she would stay locked up with the others. Could she have done it without a full frontal shot? Of course. Might she have risked killing Theon when she had her shot? Of course. Could she have gotten free without tricking her captors into letting her free? No.

  59. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    “It reads like veiled accusations of sexism and racism to me.”

    I thought it was a pretty straightforward statement about racism and sexism.

    And I am the last person to be a purist. I champion many of the changes on the show. But this post was intended to focus on the major problems with the adaptation of the show, not the things I loved, which I talk about in every other post or comment I make on this blog. :)

  60. Handmaiden of Dany
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t have any issue with the choking scene. My god people, Stannis was allowing Mel to burn people at the stake in the books and you think he’d flinch from a little choking?! Seriously? I certainly never got the impression that Stannis wouldn’t hurt a woman, it was pretty much a lords right to abuse/mistreat the people under him. He felt she had lied and he tested her. That was it.

    As for Cat, she pissed me off to no end in the books, but I still loved her. Show Cat is still doing the same for me, so I am happy with it so far.

    I am miffed that we didn’t get to see more stuff with Harrenhal and Arya, I wanted to skip to her chapters everytime I cracked a new book open. That said, the show did the best with the time it had. Damn, I would love to get two hour episodes! :)

    Brienne-my favorite character in ASoIF. Gwen in knocking it out of the park for me. I have re-watched all of her scenes multiple times and she really has the expression down pat. Another commenter said earlier that her expression when the soldiers approached her with the ladies dangling overhead, PRICELESS.

    Now I liked Dany at first in the books and as time wore on I wanted to bitch slap her. It’s just happening a little faster in the show. I actually hope that next season brings more depth to her character, I would enjoy any changes that D&D want to make, especially if she continues to train the dragons at least a little because she just gave up on that WAY to quickly to be believable in the books.

    As for Cersie, I too thought book Cersie was way too cartoon like in the first couple of books. I really am liking the changes and Lena is doing an awesome job.

    I am loving Sansa. I don’t give a shit about Dontos. I thought he was a cartoon in the books too. I basically skipped anything with him because he was completely unbelievable. It appeared from the scene of her and Littlefinger this season that Dontos might either be completely out or will have a more limited role and that is just fine with me.

  61. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Spliced: With respect to the Stannis-Melisandre interactions in Season 2, Episode 10, I can see where the original poster came from given the lens of female power dynamics and changes from the source material, however, I suggest a different reading of it is more on point.The Stannis-Melisandre scene upon their return to Dragonstone perfectly showed their complex relationship. What better sums up these characters than Stannis’s understandable frustration and his feelings of powerlessness juxtaposed against Melisandre’s otherworldly coolness in chaotic situations?Yes, that choking was brutal, but then the scene climaxed with one of the most powerful moments of interpersonal connection in the series. The way these characters handled their disappointment through his violence, her confidence, and then their shocking reconciliation exemplifies the growing closeness between these characters. Despite living through difficult times and having a very complex relationship, Stannis and Melisandre became thoughtful, fully-fledged characters in that scene. They feel remorse, defeat, and fear, yes, but also hope. Our final glimpse of them this season is watching them as fire-light washes across their faces, as they share a dream of things to come.Stannis choking Melisandre was not about him having power over her. It was, rather, about pragmatism thrashing fantasy, and then, as we saw in their shared dream, pragmatism succumbing to the whispers of a better tomorrow.

    This is very well said.

  62. Jess
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    LordEddardStark:
    I don’t see how Stannis choking Melisandre is a problem. It may have been out of character, but what the hell, he was angry he lost the battle of Blackwater when he was so close to victory. When you’re angry like that you tend to do things you would never consider doing. And Melisandre shrugged it off because she knew he was just angry, and that she still wanted to see him king, for his or her own purposes. She knows Stannis is Azor Ahai, to her at least, and wouldn’t abandon him even in his darkest moments.

    So if a man is angry about losing something that justifies violence against women?? well that is good to know. Next time my boyfriend tries to strangle me, I’ll just shrug it off, because he was in a bad mood.

  63. Spliced
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Zack (and Matthew).

    Zack’s comment directly stated what my comment presupposes: Melisandre is in earnest in her belief system. Her POV in aDwD goes precisely to this point. She is an excellent example of an ENFJ “The Giver” or, perhaps more likely, ENTP “The Visionary” personality types. Her scene with Stannis at Dragonstone after Blackwater cements her as this type of true believer in a supporting role. Alternatively, she could be one of the more conniving villain types (INTJ, ENTJ), but we know this not to be likely.

    But let’s hold off for another day on MBTI types in Game of Thrones and allow us to remain on-topic. By the way, interesting comments across the board in this thread.

  64. LordStarkington
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Jess: So if a man is angry about losing something that justifies violence against women?? well that is good to know. Next time my boyfriend tries to strangle me, I’ll just shrug it off, because he was in a bad mood.

    I don’t think that’s really a fair summation of his point. He was saying Stannis’ anger was the reason for the violence, not a justification for it. Stannis feeling angry and (perhaps) betrayed by Melisandre’s red god (which, in the books, he’s not really devoted to at this point) is believable enough as motivation. That doesn’t make it right, and LordEddardStark never said it did.

  65. andrea
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I didn´t like Catelyn in the books, I think she seems complex in the books because the character is not well thought out but I do agree with all of you who believe that Catelyn has been mistreated in the show. What little I liked about this character in the books, disappear completely in the show for no good reason.
    Regarding the scene between Stannis and Melissandre I agree with Macha.

    Macha: The fact that she does nothing to stop Stannis from chocking her is significant for her devotion to him as a king/R’hllor chosen, not as a man, so reducing this scene to a depiction of a man abusing a woman means – in my humble opinion – simplifying and deviating its meaning.

    I also like the relationship between Sansa and Shae (although there is no transition from the first awkward scene between them and the next which is very nice). But I love this: “especially given the lack of female friendships on Game of Thrones”. That is so true, thanks for noticing it Sue.
    I think you have a special talent for making sincere and incendiary threads. And I really like that (“Game of Thrones, not a man´s world anymore?” don´t remember the title exactly).

  66. LV
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I very much agree with your take on this problematic aspect of D&D’s adaptation, OitF.

    I wrote most the following at http://www.feministe.us (‘Motherhood in Game of Thrones’) and, as much as I like the television series, stand by it:

    In Game of Thrones Catelyn has been stripped of many decisions, words of advice and lessons in politics that – in the novels – are hers to make or to give. In Martin’s books, she is the one educating and counselling Robb Stark, who may be a competent (as well as lucky) commander of troops but who knows next to nothing about the realm’s politics.
    At the beginning of the first novel, Catelyn is the one urging her husband to go South with the king in order to investigate the murder of Jon Arryn. She also sees his high office as an opportunity for her daughters (!).
    Later, it is much more clear why Catelyn has to take Tyrion Lannister captive on the Kingsroad. Her mission would have been compromised otherwise, placing her husband and their house in grave danger (the series , to its credit, hints at this).
    Originally, it is she who proposes to parley with Renly Baratheon – in the series, the writers gave that idea to Robb and made Catelyn bahave like a stereotype who just wants to go home and be with her children.
    In the novels, Catelyn and Robb get the news from Winterfell (that the castle is burned, the young brothers dead) before letting Jaime Lannister go and falling for Jeyne/Talisa. Both of them are deeply desperate and disturbed – a much more believable and excusable background for their actions.
    Only superficial readers interpret these and other decisions made by Catelyn as stupid. But the television series provides many a reason for viewers to despise her, which – aside from dumbing-down the story – is a bad move in itself.

    In short, novel-Catelyn is a strong, shrewed, educated and emotionally complex character (maybe Martin’s best in ASOIAF) with a firm grip of realpolitik (who also makes some decisions that – later (!) – inadvertently turn out catastrophic), while television-Catelyn is a hysterical mother who cares only about the immediate needs of her family and makes decisions based upon rash emotions and at best average intelligence.

  67. Andrew
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Jess,

    Nobody said a thing about it being justified, just that it was a realistic response. If somebody, man or woman, got thousands of my people killed, I might get violent as well. Its not right, but its stupid to suggest that a show just have all the somewhat-good characters do nothing morally wrong. Being alright with that scenes inclusion does not mean being okay with violence against women.

  68. Jess
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington: I don’t think that’s really a fair summation of his point. He was saying Stannis’ anger was the reason for the violence, not a justification for it. Stannis feeling angry and (perhaps) betrayed by Melisandre’s red god (which, in the books, he’s not really devoted to at this point) is believable enough as motivation. That doesn’t make it right, and LordEddardStark never said it did.

    Point is they could have shown Stannis being angry in other ways. Someone up thread mentioned just yelling at her. But rather than do that they made a choice to have a character, who is not violent against women, take out his anger on a female in a violent fashion.

    And it is out of character for Stannis to act that way towards women, we know from the novels how he treats other men who violate women.

  69. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Jess: So if a man is angry about losing something that justifies violence against women?? well that is good to know. Next time my boyfriend tries to strangle me, I’ll just shrug it off, because he was in a bad mood.

    A problematic analogy to say the least.

    The “something” that the fictional character Stannis was losing (an entire kingdom and the lives thousands of his loyal men) was almost certainly less trivial than anything your boyfriend might stand to lose in the real world.

    And devestating losses and failures can lead us to extreme emotional reactions (despondency, anger, violence), regardless of whether they are morally “justified”

    Also, Stannis is not Melsiandre’s “boyfriend” by any stretch of the term. She is his extremely loyal advisor. On a side note, if Stannis was in fact whatever the medieval equivalent of what a modern day “boyfriend” is, he would almost certainly be “justified” by law in beating his lady, kids, dog etc. He’s a powerful lord.

  70. Lars
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Jess: I would love for there to be a random naked man on Cersei’s lap in her conversations with Sansa, just so some people could realize how ridiculous some of the female nudity on the show is. We don’t mind nudity, but I would like some equality in how and where it is used.

    That would be nice – But you are familiar with the book, right?

    I have one sentence for you: “The fashion of Qarth”. Imagine if *that* made it on the show. Now imagine that male/female nudity ratio if D&D had not shown that restraint.

  71. Jess
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW: A problematic analogy to say the least.

    The “something” that the fictional character Stannis was losing (an entire kingdom and the lives thousands of his loyal men) was almost certainly less trivial than anything your boyfriend might stand to lose in the real world.

    And devestating losses and failures can lead us to extreme emotional reactions (despondency, anger, violence), regardless of whether they are morally “justified”

    Also, Stannis is not Melsiandre’s “boyfriend” by any stretch of the term.She is his extremely loyal advisor.On a side note,if Stannis was in fact whatever the medieval equivalent of what a modern day “boyfriend” is, he would almost certainly be “justified” by law in beating his lady, kids, dog etc.He’s a powerful lord.

    Yet, Stannis does not act that way in the book. It is a cheap excuse to show violence against women on the show. It was unnecessary change to the character. They could have gotten the message across that he was frustrated without him choking her. Has he said, ” Be quiet woman” to both Melisandre and Selyse in the novels? absolutely, has he shown any physical abuse toward them in the novels? not that we know of.

  72. kurozukin
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    The Stannis throttles Mel scene is something I went back and forth on myself. Ultimately I decided that even if it doesn’t align 100% with how I see the characters from the books, it works for me on the show. A lot of it has to do with the excellent performances. When Stephen Dillane says “show me how you fight” I got the sense that he actually did want her to show him something? At the beginning of the season, Stannis saw Mel drink poison and survive, apparently by miracle. In the book, this was the incident that convinced him that she had real power, and that he ought to go ahead with all this R’hllor stuff. Now with the apparent failure of her prophesies, he wanted to know if she ever had magic in the first place. I guess that by threatening her life, he expected either a) R’hllor makes a repeat performance (“Where is your god? Will he save you?”), or b) she admits that it was all BS from the beginning. Certainly it’s petty and vindictive of him to attack her; and from his face, he (and consequently the show) seemed to know it. I guess that’s part of why the scene worked for me; it didn’t feel like it was being played as “badass Stannis shows the priestess who’s boss”, but as “Stannis is being an abusive jerk”. As for her continuing to support him afterward, well, given that she thinks he’s her god’s avatar on earth and mankind’s only hope of survival, there was probably never much hope for well-balanced or healthy relationship there. :(

    Also, in Book 3 there’s a scene where he tells her she’ll “die by inches” if she’s wrong about the whole Edric Storm thing, so it’s not as though he’s never threatened her with violence in the books.

    The enraged choking seems like a nasty way of trying to take the powerful sorceress down a peg.

    Not sure if you mean that Stannis or the writers trying to take her down a peg. If the latter, I kind of had the opposite impression: she seemed more impressive afterward. For me, her deliberately letting go of his hands was kind of like Stannis charging up the ladders during Blackwater — not exactly the smartest tactic, but you can’t help admiring their willingness to put everything on the line for their convictions.

    As for your other points, I pretty much agree with everything, particularly on the portrayal of Catelyn.

  73. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I think people either forget this is set in a medieval world, or they just don’t care. They want to see modern values applied to medieval brutes.

    Granted, if you look to medieval European history, women did occasionally assert themselves in politics, and what not, but unless they were a queen who had inherited the right by birth, any woman in the spotlight ran the risk of getting raped, kidnapped and/or killed.

    We claim that modern society is a “man’s world”, because of the “old boy’s club” and unequal pay, etc. But that’s obvious hyperbole compared to ages past. Testosterone and aggression ran amok back then, and since the vast majority of women were not as physically strong as most men, they got the shit end of the stick. Animal instincts and nature dictated much of life. Women were small. Men were big. So women had to do what men told them. It was as simple as that.

    So, as a history buff, I get turned off when women in a medieval-based series are portrayed as modern intellectuals. Most medieval women, even noblewomen, were barred from an education, in order to keep them stupid and subservient, so it seems exceedingly unlikely to me that women would play a major role in a civil war. There are always exceptions, of course, but as a general rule, it seems pretty far-fetched (not to mention, in medieval times, a king, or any man for that matter, would be offended if a woman was sent to deal with him instead of a man).

    It’s commonly said that women call the shots behind the scenes, which is definitely true in modern times, but was nothing more than a cutesy saying back then. It wasn’t reality. In medieval times, if a woman dared to call the shots, and her husband didn’t appreciate it, he was within his right to beat the living shit out of her (and keep in mind, a husband had the right to rape his wife whenever he wanted back then, since the only consent that mattered, in the eyes of the law, was the husband’s). So, let’s not pretend as if we’re talking about enlightened people here. They were highly aggressive, merciless and superstitious. Not exactly a woman’s world.

    And granted, if you’re writing a story about a fantasy-version of the era, you may not want to portray it too realistically, lest run the risk of driving off female readers. Because, really, unless you’re a masochist, what woman wants to read about such terrible abuse? I can’t imagine very many do. Women only spent centuries fighting against that kind of culture. So, it makes sense to give female characters more of a personality than “obedient, subservient homemaker”. And of course, this is not to say that women didn’t dream of asserting themselves (and depending on the husband/father/son, some of them may have been allowed to), but it was an incredibly dangerous proposition. Women were targets, and it wasn’t advisable for a woman to draw too much attention to herself, unless she was protected by scores of bodyguards. Of course, women still are targets, and abuse still does happen, but the difference is it’s not condoned by the state anymore. It’s illegal. Husbands can’t even rape their wives anymore (which a medieval man would find to be outrageous).

  74. Howland Reed
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate this post!

  75. LordStarkington
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Jess: Point is they could have shown Stannis being angry in other ways. Someone up thread mentioned just yelling at her. But rather than do that theymade a choice to have a character, who is not violent against women, take out his anger on a female in a violent fashion.

    And it is out of character for Stannis to act that way towards women, we know from the novels how he treats other men who violate women.

    I was just commenting on how you responded to that other post, where the poster was pretty clearly not saying that physical abuse was okay if you’re angry.

    I’m still holding back on judging the scene because we haven’t seen that much of Stannis. That being said, they’ve already made a very clear break from the text with him (his battlefield heroics at Blackwater in the show versus a more detached command role in the books), so it wouldn’t surprise me if the scene was meant to hint at a slightly different Stannis.

    That being said, he does show some anger at times in the books (one notable example being when he starts drawing his sword to threaten Davos when questioning him about Edric Storm). He very rarely interacts with female characters in the books though (he avoids Selyse, is annoyed by and threatens Catelyn and….has a complicated relationship with Melisandre that is mainly offscreen).

    I don’t think we can say it’s definitely in or out-of-character for Stannis to choke Melisandre because we have no real way to know (the Melisandre PoV is pretty limited and we don’t have any PoVs who would have knowledge of what happened post-Blackwater.

    I also don’t think him choking Melisandre has anything to do her being a woman or not, from what I’ve seen of TV Stannis, he’d have done the same to a male priest who had similarly promised him victory.

  76. Mimsy
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    LordEddardStark: LordEddardStark
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink
    I don’t see how Stannis choking Melisandre is a problem. It may have been out of character, but what the hell, he was angry he lost the battle of Blackwater when he was so close to victory.

    I agree. 1,000′s of people dying because of ONE person who said it was a sure success is a chokable offense. It’s not like he really hurt her and he could have. Besides, the show needs physical drama.. the books had inner monologue drama. I think overall Stannis stayed true to his character this past season.

    Same thing goes for Brienne.. she’s constantly thinking of the gender divide and how unfair it is, so I expect a lot of her inner monologue will come out verbally. It may seem out of character for her to speak about the injustices, but that’s the only way the non book reader will get to know her.

  77. Premislaus
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure that if Chataya and Alayaya were in, there would be complaints about PoC playing prostitutes and their sexualized ‘savage’ culture. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  78. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Alan,

    “It reads like veiled accusations of sexism and racism to me.”

    I thought it was a pretty straightforward statement about racism and sexism.

    And I am the last person to be a purist. I champion many of the changes on the show. But this post was intended to focus on the major problems with the adaptation of the show, not the things I loved, which I talk about in every other post or comment I make on this blog. :)

    How do I put this another way.

    I think your article reads as if you believe D&D are sexist and racist. Do you? Do you think that’s a fair representation of them and their work?

    If so, I disagree. You ignore the reasons for many of their choices and you handwave away many of the counter examples that they give (such as making Xaro a Summer Islander).

    You may have just wanted to focus on certain elements, but when dealing with comments like these — explosive as they are — on a website that is pretty widely read for what it is… you are accusing people whether you want to or not. Articles like these aren’t read as isolated critiques of individual elements; they are almost always read as referendums.

    I don’t think you meant this. You seem to say not — that this IS supposed to be an isolated critique of certain elements. But if the latter was the intent, it doesn’t read that way. Phrases like whitewashing — when frankly the show has more people of color than the book on a per character basis — can be explosive and misleading.

  79. Jess
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    Which is why Martin, a modern writer, chose the medieval world as his setting.

    I don’t think it is Martin’s intent for us to read these novels and “accept” the oppression of the story, because it was like that in the past, but question it and force us to reflect on our own world and how we treat women, disabled, poor etc..

    He does a wonderful job of this in the books, but the show lacks a lot of the complexity of the novels, specifically in its treatment of some of the females, Catelyn being the worst case.

  80. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Oh god, this is like one of those annoying threads on westeros.org full of feminism . I’m outta here !

  81. Mimsy
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins: So women had to do what men told them. It was as simple as that.

    This reminds me why I prefer my medieval fix on the screen. It was a cruel time for anyone that didn’t have the means to protect themselves.

  82. Macha
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Premislaus: I’m pretty sure that if Chataya and Alayaya were in, there would be complaints about PoC playing prostitutes and their sexualized ‘savage’ culture.

    This is a very interesting observation, if I recall correctly there was a similar reaction to Salladhor Saan’s comments about Cersei in the show (given the race change).

  83. LordStarkington
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Claudiu Gherganu:
    Oh god, this is like one of those annoying threads on westeros.org full of feminism . I’m outta here !

    Most of the posts here have been pretty reasonable, even if I don’t agree with everything contained within them. While I love the show, some of what’s been touched on is a definite problem to me and I’m not a raging feminist or anything.

  84. Doug
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    mead,

    That is quite a good point.

  85. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Husbands can’t even rape their wives anymore (which a medieval man would find to be outrageous).

    This is an interesting off-topic topic. You might be surprised just how many places there are where spousal rape isn’t explicity illegal.

  86. Obsidian
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Katie,

    Alex Also,

    I completely agree about the nudity /sex .. it’s this unnatural aspect that makes it so obviously pandering to NA male tastes. It’s all so posed.. I can’t help feeling that if it was handled more naturally, they would still gratify that target audience without being so off-putting to others.

    For me, it’s part of an attitude that results in some other faults.. it’s either excessively broad strokes being used, or too much modernization of characters , or a combination of the two. It doesn’t ruin the show for me ( onviously , since I’m still watching ) but it often makes things ring a bit false.

    I often notice this with the female characters . Not exclusively ( see LF , Renly , Loras..Robb.. ) , but definitely with the women.. Sansa being mouthy with her septa in a very modern way ( Oh, I forgot ..I don’t care.).. I find Talisa’s character ridiculously modern and that results in Robb behaving out of character , etc.

    I really agree with the assessment of Catelyn’s character .. a lord’s wife would have to be much more than a stay-at-home mom , even in a male dominant society , so I think the character and the viewers have been done a bit of a disservice with the way Cat’s been handled.

  87. Doug
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Macha,

    Americans are so uptight man. People need to shut it and enjoy the show and realize he’s a damn pirate that takes what he gets. I’m not saying I want that to happen to Cersei, but it made his character more interesting and was a funny comment as long as it doesn’t happen. Man people need to take it easy, stuff like this makes me want to move to Europe.

  88. Sarah
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I love this essay. Agree on all points.

    And while I think it worked out okay to have Ros take over the role of Chataya/Alayaya, I definitely agree that it was a missed opportunity to not only show people of color who live in Westeros, but also different roles women there have in general.

    Of course, everyone is right that viewers and critics would have focused on the fact that the only two black women in Westeros were prostitutes (missing the fact that, if I recall correctly, the vast majority of the low-born women in the books are either prostitutes, nuns, or rape victims anyways). But they would have been missing the big picture: that Chataya OWNS her own business, and she and her daughter, though prostitutes, are more in charge of their lives than other women of Westeros, including high-born ladies such as, say, Sansa.

    I kinda compare it to Joanie Stubbs in Deadwood – as a woman, there aren’t a lot of options as far as having your own business, ESPECIALLY if you are poor/low-born, and one way a woman could assert her independence was owning a brothel and making sure, at least, that her girls were treated better than the ones run by Cy Tolliver or Littlefinger.

    A moot point, but just wanted to get that out there.

  89. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Claudiu Gherganu: Oh god, this is like one of those annoying threads on westeros.org full of feminism . I’m outta here !

    We will miss your brilliant insights, like that feminists are ANNOYING. Please stop, feminists, you’re driving away the awesome contributors!

  90. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Jess: Point is they could have shown Stannis being angry in other ways. Someone up thread mentioned just yelling at her. But rather than do that theymade a choice to have a character, who is not violent against women, take out his anger on a female in a violent fashion.

    And it is out of character for Stannis to act that way towards women, we know from the novels how he treats other men who violate women.

    And this difference is what I meant above by different interpretations of violence towards women in shows and movies.

    Some people, like you it seems, are of the opinion that showing violence towards women is condoning it or encouraging it. That the showing of it is sexist, misogynistic or negative towards women inherently.

    Other people, like me, feel like showing something that occurs still commonly today (and even more commonly in that era), just like showing any kind of violence, is not necessarily condoning it. I even believe hiding it — removing it from these stories — is worse and more misogynistic. Showing injustice and morally bad actions serve as both a reminder and catalyst to ask what we should do.

    In short, I didn’t see Stannis choking Melisandre as you did. I didn’t see it as tittilation violence (though we can get into how no one has any problems with the massive amount of violence period in this series — apparently, murder, torture, etc are fine, as long as it is on a man).

    I saw it as something that happens, and something that Stannis did. And I am perfectly capable of hating Stannis for it. I can dislike Melisandre for putting up with it. I can try to understand why she might (and there’s a valid reason, even if it is never one that would appeal to me).

    In fact, I do dislike Stannis heavily for it. Good entertainment, to me, forces people to answer questions like “Can I root for Stannis after he’s done that?”

    Like I said before, the scene could have been done without it. And I can see your point of view. But I think there’s a valid view of the scene as not sexist at all. And all scenes with violence towards women have that element.

  91. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see anything wrong with prostitution in general, but if they’re concerned with women of color playing prostitutes then, as I mentioned before, there is an extremely simple solution: cast more women of color. Erasing the two black women because their roles are complicated isn’t a good solution.

  92. kurozukin
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Jess: I don’t think it is Martin’s intent for us to read these novels and “accept” the oppression of the story, because it was like that in the past, but question it and force us to reflect on our own world and how we treat women, disabled, poor etc..

    He does a wonderful job of this in the books, but the show lacks a lot of the complexity of the novels, specifically in its treatment of some of the females, Catelyn being the worst case.

    Very well said.

  93. Oi!
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Premislaus,

    Yeah that’s the problem with these people they bitch either way.

  94. Theon Rules!
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    In regards to the Stannis/Melisandre choking criticism:

    I have read up through book 2 and seen season 2 of the show. While I do agree that Stannis is portrayed as a very honorable man, he had a lot riding on the Battle of Blackwater. I wasn’t really taken back by that scene because I knew that after he was defeated in that fashion, he was most likely not himself. Especially since he was essentially promised victory by Melisandre. He probably felt embarassed, shamed, etc and he took it out in an unhonorable way. I don’t think he meant to harm Melisandre, and he even seemed to realize that what he was doing was nutty/wrong. I actually liked the scene because it showed how much that loss affected Stannis.

  95. LordStarkington
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    I don’t see anything wrong with prostitution in general, but if they’re concerned with women of color playing prostitutes then, as I mentioned before, there is an extremely simple solution: cast more women of color. Erasing the two black women because their roles are complicatedisn’t a good solution.

    They’ll probably cast at least some women of color for Dorne (and they did admittedly kill Irri and have Jhiqi disappear). We’ll also have Missandei.

    That being said, “cast more women of color” isn’t really a solution, it’s a slogan. Which roles could/should they have cast differently? Ros, I guess? Changing the race/ethnicity of the Westerosi noble families would have been problematic in other ways.

    I also still disagree completely that Chataya and Alayaya have a “complicated” or important role. Chataya is a wholly background character who owns a brothel and Tyrion thinks she’s well-spoken and noble for a whore. Alayaya is just a front with a few lines so Tyrion can secretly see Shae. While the Ros-as-Alayaya plot point was somewhat rushed, that was essentially their addition to the plot.

  96. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Jess:

    I don’t think it is Martin’s intent forus to read these novels and “accept” the oppression of the story, because it was like that in the past, but question it and force us to reflect on our own world and how we treat women, disabled, poor etc..

    He does a wonderful job of this in the books, but the show lacks a lot of the complexity of the novels, specifically in its treatment of some of the females, Catelyn being the worst case.

    I agree with the first part. There’s a tremendous amount of modernization of perspective in the books and even more so in the TV show. I’m thankful for that — I have no real urge to watch or read something made FOR medieval people. About yes, but not for.

    On the latter point, I don’t necessarily disagree, but can we acknowledge that’s true across the board? The show has been running at less than an hour for 100 pages of novelization. Books are inherently more complete, more complex and more capable of building an maintaining interesting tertiary and quarternary (I may have made that up) characters.

    It’s not just the women, it’s the men, it’s the world, it’s the history.

    I’d also say that much of what you are talking about in the first paragraph IS in the series — Dany’s storyline, especially the first season. Cersei’s running commentary in Blackwater. Sansa’s encounter with the mob and how her engaged and many of the men treat her — criticized here but I think actually adds emphasis to the plight of women in the medieval world! So, yes Catelyn’s less complex, but they did a great job of preserving much of the rest and even evolving it.

    I’ve never agreed that hiding problems and presenting an idealized world is the way to get at a problem.

  97. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington,

    You mistake what I mean by complicated: I mean that them being sex workers and women of color presents a problem for some people in the viewing audience. That makes the situation complicated.

  98. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Jess,

    I don’t think there’s anyway you or I can prove we are right or wrong about whether book Stannis would have choked Mellymel, since so many of their interactions are not described on the page.

    That being said, I have frequently opined that ASOIAF fans often fail to realize or acknowledge what a colossal dick Stannis is. He burns people alive–and would have burned children alive, if Davos/Jon had not resuced them. He regularly threatens people’s lives. He hates his wife and cheats on her. He is in many ways an self-entitled brat who spents most of his waking moments in seething resentment about the things that weren’t handed to him.

    He is a physically violent person, though I will acknowledge that he ususally couches his violent tendencies in the language of crime/punishment or warfare. I don’t necessarily imagine he’s more misogynistic than the average medieval lord, but he’s certainly off the charts in terms of his misanthropy (i.e., he clearly hates women, but probably no more than he hates men). It therefore wouldn’t suprise me if book Stannis, in a moment of anger, might choke men, women or children, provided that he was convinced they had wronged him or broken the laws in some way.

  99. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington: They’ll probably cast at least some women of color for Dorne (and they did admittedly kill Irri and have Jhiqi disappear). We’ll also have Missandei.

    That being said, “cast more women of color” isn’t really a solution, it’s a slogan. Which roles could/should they have cast differently? Ros, I guess? Changing the race/ethnicity of the Westerosi noble families would have been problematic in other ways.

    I also still disagree completely that Chataya and Alayaya have a “complicated” or important role. Chataya is a wholly background character who owns a brothel and Tyrion thinks she’s well-spoken and noble for a whore. Alayaya is just a front with a few lines so Tyrion can secretly see Shae. While the Ros-as-Alayaya plot point was somewhat rushed, that was essentially their addition to the plot.

    Occam’s Razor say that Alayaya and Chataya were likely cut from the show because they added unnecessary time, actors, sets, etc. to an already crowded story, not because D&D are racist, sexist bastards or were afraid of PC blowback about black prostitutes.

    Many characters were cut or marginalized in this story and almost every last one of them lost complexity.

    Assigning racism or sexism as a cause or motivation, well, that’s a strong charge to make. Especially when the most likely answer is really obvious and has been applied to white and not, male and female.

  100. LordStarkington
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    LordStarkington,

    You mistake what I mean by complicated: I mean that them being sex workers and women of color presents a problem for some people in the viewing audience. That makes the situation complicated.

    Ah. Well, I think there’s two other very un-political reasons that they were removed.

    (1) Cost – saves on a set (possibly) and actresses
    (2) Time – have to introduce them and spend at least some time on them when Ros is already a known character

    I do agree that the politics of having two black women as prostitutes given the generally-white cast (and one of them being whipped/beaten) was also an issue, but I imagine it wasn’t the only one.

    Overall, while I wouldn’t mind seeing more minorities on the show (coming from a multi-racial background myself), I don’t think losing Chataya/Alayaya is a battle worth fighting, and I don’t want the casting to be solely to have a token black actor/actress or Asian actor/actress, etc. in the cast.

    And it’s not like D&D seem unaware of the racial imbalance in the books, since they do seem to be trying to insert some diversity (Salladhor, Xaro, even Oona Chaplin as Talisa versus Jeyne from the books). The Daario casting call also asked for a non-Caucasian actor, if I remember correctly.

  101. sedeyus
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    I think you’re wrong. No women were generally barred from a formal education, didn’t stop them from having a major impact on history. To give you some examples: Margaret Beaufort, who helped secured an alliance for her son Henry VII by marrying him to Elizabeth of York and was influential member of his court. Isabella I, whose reforms and laws made Spain the most powerful nation of the time. Margaret of Anjou, Cersei’s most likely inspiration, who was a powerful member of the Lancastrian faction during War of the Roses. Anne Boleyn, yes she lost her head, but gained a lot of influence in her three years as queen and would have done more if she delivered a son. Elizabeth I (hopefully, I don’t need to go into this one). I’m not even a big student of history, but these are a few women I can name during the “Tudor” period.

    Of course, these were brutally sexist times, but the fact these women accomplished as much as they did with the system stacked against them is what them so fascinating. I think GRRM has done a great job recognizing women’s role in the history even when they forced into a subservient role.

  102. Ana
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see Milisandre as a woman, we aren’t even certain she’s fully human. She tells Stannis in that choking sceen that she “has fought many battles” or something like that, by saying that she is not presenting herself as a woman (in this midieval time period) but as an equal, as in another fighter like him.

  103. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW:
    Jess,

    That being said, I have frequently opined that ASOIAF fans often fail to realize or acknowledge what a colossal dick Stannis is.

    So very well said. Other people say Stannis is cold, or just without mercy.

    Stannis’ actions are of an angry, bitter man who commonly explodes in anger and does anything necessary in search of what he wants. He claims to be just but that only applies to others, not to Stannis.

    To me, the choking is very Stannis. This is a man who yells at anyone who disagrees with them — who dismisses Davos several times because he’s so enraged he would dare have a different point of view!

    Mel promised him victory if he’d kill his brother. Instead, he lost half his army and suffered defeat. A choking does not seem out of Stannis’ character.

  104. Theon Rules
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Ana: I don’t see Milisandre as a woman, we aren’t even certain she’s fully human.

    This is a really good point. I mean, a shadow creature came out of her lady parts.

  105. Jess
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    I think the show is doing an awesome job with Cersei Lannister and Margaery too. Women who don’t exactly fit into the “sword weilding” category.

    The worst scene for me was seeing a war council scene early in season 2. In the book it is told from Cat’s POV, in the show she is not even present. It just rubbed me the wrong way. I felt her not being there were the writers way of saying, ” war council scene: no women allowed”. It is such a minor complaint, but when you read something from the perspective of a woman in the novels and then do not include her in her own adaptation scene, it unfortunately leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  106. Macha
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Doug,
    Oh I’m trying to avoid generalizing and I don’t know where the comments in question came from. I found that scene to be funny (in a good way) simply because Salladhor reminded me of Chef from South Park right there. :)
    I strongly agree with everyone here pointing out that depicting something on-screen doesn’t mean praising or condoning it. What about every scene showing someone’s head being chopped off? Somehow we all seem inclined to overlook that when talking about gratuitous scenes.
    Another thing I’d like to add is that the balance between medieval and modern regarding women’s characterization is not as easy to write as some might think. We complain about the characters feeling too modern, but then again we don’t like the medieval approach either. Well…

  107. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Stannis would have choked Melisandre if she had been written as a male, I feel. It wasn’t about having power over a woman, whatsoever. In fact, I disagree with the majority of the points made in this article, but I do like the post itself, if that makes sense. Also, I much prefer the Catelyn of the show to the character in the books. Not because she is more “sympathetic”, either.

  108. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Jess:
    Alan,

    I think the show is doing an awesome job with Cersei Lannister and Margaery too. Women who don’t exactly fit into the “sword weilding” category.

    The worst scene for me was seeing a war council scene early in season 2. In the book it is told from Cat’s POV, in the show she is not even present. It just rubbed me the wrong way. I felt her not being there were the writers way of saying, ” war council scene: no women allowed”. It is such a minor complaint, but when you read something from the perspective of a woman in the novels and then do not include her in her own adaptation scene, it unfortunately leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    No, I totally get that, I mean, as much as a mean probably can. I just think that when dealing with such an incindiery (sp?) topic, it’s only fair to the writers — who cannot defend themselves here — to acknowledge situations where it has been handled well or acknowledge that adapting 1200 page books to screen will inevitably lose complexity.

    I love Michelle Fairley’s Catelyn, but I’d rather have book Catelyn as well. I’d say it was a bad choice by the adapters, not for feminist reasons, but just because Catelyn was more interesting.

    But that said, I wish those critiquing would acknowledge that there were literally thousands of these decisions made, and evaluate it as a whole, rather than writing things that portray the writers as sexists. I don’t think they are.

  109. zerowolf
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    This is,for the most part,a pointless exercise.
    What it boils down to is “I prefer things the way they were in the books”.
    No problem.
    You can go back and read that story any time you like.It’s sitting there unspoilt and ready for you.
    If you don’t like what they’re doing with the TV show then just turn it off.
    I treat the books and the series as two separate entities .I enjoy both in different ways.
    The only thing that has changed for me is that when I recently re-read the books I pictured the characters as they are in the series.This actually enhanced the experience for me.
    The books are by no means faultless and neither is the series but nothing in this world is perfect.
    Everyone should stop this infernal griping.

  110. Theon Rules
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    Also to strengthen your point: If a man would authorize the killing of his younger brother, how/why is the abuse of a woman who falsely promised him a victory in possibly the biggest battle of his life out of character? We are told Stannis is honorable from others, but since we cannot read into his mind/thoughts in the book, we don’t know what is really going on in there.

    Stannis also cheats on his spouse, something also “out of character” for him. If you add all these things up, Stannis may be viewed as honorable, may think he himself is honorable, and may hold others up to honorable standards, but he is just like everyone else in Westeros…besides good ol’ Ned of course, and look where he ended up!

  111. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    zerowolf,

    That’s excessively harsh. While I fully agree they many comments about GoT are ridiculous and aimless nitpicking, Ours is the Fury’s nuanced and thoughtful essay was not that. I disagreed with a lot of points she made, but her comments were far from nonconstructive.

  112. purplejilly
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Sue, this is a well written, well thought out article about a valid issue that many of us have discussed throughout the season. I really love seeing complex articles like this that examine the differences between the adaptation and the books. Great job! I have some more to add but have to run for now, and will be back to pontificate later!

  113. Maudy Pond
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree with you more re: the portrayal of Cat Stark. It seems that whatever she does, she is blamed for everything going wrong in the books. Yet there are far worse characters, with motivations a lot more questionable, that are admired for their ruthlessness and cruelty (most of the Lannisters). Are they forgiven so quickly because they are flawed to begin with?

    But the Cat-hate aside, I just want to say: Thank the Gods for Michelle Fairley. If it wasn’t for her, this character would truly be lost. And to be honest, I still love Cat, even like this. But it’s saddens me to see such a strong character being reduced to what she is now; a shadow of the character that she is in the books. She is a maternal figure, and a great mother, but there’s much more to her. She was a champion for peace if anything else and it’s insane that she hasn’t even uttered that word on the show.

  114. PikaJen
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I can agree with so much that has been said here. I’m a bit of a rabid fangirl, we all dressed up as our favourite characters for the premiere of Season 2. haha. So, to be honest, I’m kind of in the “can do no wrong” camp. ;)

    In terms of Sansa, I see a young girl who is without allies in a strange place and the ‘man’ she once truly adored has turned out to be a raging asshat. What she’s been doing has been working so far, she is still alive (and on TV) relatively unscathed. When The Hound (whom she does not trust either) asks her to come with him, she’s not going to go. He’s scary as hell, drunk as shit and she knows if she betrays the Lannisters by running away her head will join her father’s (and apparently, GWB). She’ll stay in the frying pan a bit longer, maybe the fire will damper down a little before she hops out. I was a little surprised they went out of their way to introduce Ser Dontos right at the beginning and then he really wasn’t seen again. I can only assume they will flesh that out next season.

    Mel and Stannis, I actually think she had all the power in that scene. He was understandably pissed – he was assured victory and he lost a crapton. He trusted this woman’s assertation of his divine victory, became a kinslayer and for what? To look inept in the eyes of his subjects. Where is your god now? Bring me a miracle because I am so disillusioned with this religion that promised me so much and has delivered so little. Melissandre, she KNOWS. She has a role to play, this is not her moment of death (what do we say to death?). And so she lets the nonbeliever act out his frustration knowing that in just a few minutes, in just a few words, he will turn from the path of disbelief and become so much stronger in his faith. When she tells him, a little croakingly, that her god is indeed within Stannis himself she knows he will let her go, and you can see (great acting here) the major shift in perspective that Stannis has. You think you have the power to choke me to death, but it is an illusion, you will not and here’s why – look again into the flames and see. Stannis comes to believe in fate and destiny outside of duty and ‘what’s right’ – all because Melissandre could look him in the eye and say I know you better than you know yourself.

  115. Karen
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I want to roll around in this article forever. All of it is great, but being a huge Catelyn fan, I want to specifically talk about her.

    Yes, Catelyn in the books is a devoted mother too. Yes, her children are her priority. But in the books, her children don’t DEFINE her. And I think that’s a really important distinction. The show is so insistent on hitting the “motherhood” aspect of Cat’s character that she loses some of the depth that she had in the books. In the books, Cat is, above all, a human being. She isn’t perfect. She makes mistakes. But she also has complex motivations and emotions as well as interests and skills beyond being a mother. The show took that away from her and reduced her to just being a mother figure.

    One thing I will never understand is why the show kept Bran and Rickon’s deaths from Robb and Cat. It completely messed with their stories. In the books BOTH Robb and Cat make an unwise decision that is motivated by grief and love. In the show, Cat is painted as being a hysterical and irrational woman (she doesn’t give the Karstark reason to Robb when he confronts her, even though that was made a point in the previous episode- instead she just focuses on Sansa and Arya as her reasons) and Robb is her long suffering son who has to deal with her antics and then HIS actions are in response to HERS. Which just completely ruins their relationship. In the books, Robb and Cat understand each other and the other’s actions because they BOTH acted out of grief. Why would the show change that? I honestly do not understand that decision.

    I also really missed Catelyn as a voice of peace at the end of season 1. I love that in the books, Cat is this lone voice speaking out against war. While Robb’s bannermen are consumed with the idea of revenge and freedom from southern oppression, Cat knows that war is costly and that it won’t bring Ned back. Cat knows that it’ll be a hard war to win, so she advocates suing for peace. But no one listens to her. I just found that to be a really great moment. Except that aspect of her character was completely axed and instead we get a “we will kill them all” from her.

  116. Nerd girl
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this write up ours is the fury its clear you are the only person brave enough to shed some light on how sexist, racist and degrading game of thrones is.. Its easily most offensive show ever made to women and thays indisputable. Every “powerful” woman is just some Sexist caricature from some Manchild with the brain of a 13 year old. Glad to see that ours is the fury understands and is willing to stand up for us women everywhere. Its already clear that almost every post here is blind to the sexism.. Typical macho male bullshit. Thanks ours is the fury!! Youre an inspiration!!!

  117. Alex Anderson
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Completely disagree about the Stannis/Mel scene. From an omniscient viewpoint, it’s important to show a little of the aftermath of Stannis’ arc, which had been a driving point of the season. And of course, he’s not going to be happy. She promised him something and it didn’t happen.

    That scene gave us deeper characterization. It showed that Melissandre has so much faith in Stannis that she’d lay down her life for him. And Stannis is a mess of guilt, fear, and insecurity; his gruff exterior and his stern, Lawful Good-ish outlook are walls built to hide that.

  118. darquemode
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Interesting piece Ours, is the Fury, thanks!

    Catelyn was raised to be a lady by a lord in a time of conflict and she understands the political landscape in the books. I did miss that aspect in the series, but whether or not she suggests to Robb that he should not trust Theon or send her as an envoy is not the important part she plays in the story to me. I guess for me personally the defining trait of Catelyn in the books was not her political savvy, it was her desire to save her children no matter the costs. Her portrayal in the series reflected that.

    Of course she was more than JUST that, but with limited episodes sometimes fully realized, multi-dimensional characters will need to be made more one or two dimensional…

    The one event of Catelyn’s from the books that could never be changed is releasing the Kingslayer in an attempt to possible save her girls at the cost of the loyalty and morale of Robb’s men. That is her defining event to me. In the books for me it was made more poignant by the fact she understood what would happen to Robb if she let Jaime Lannister go, but she chose to do it anyway.

    I don’t understand why they changed Catelyn as they did, but it never bothered me much honestly. The one change from the books I comepletely do not understand on any level is why D&D chose NOT to reveal Bran and Rickon’s “deaths” to Catelyn and Robb. To me that event was the trigger that made Catelyn’s decision (as well as Robb’s choosing to marry outside of his contract with the Frey’s) believable.

    I won’t comment on Sansa since I agree completely.

    I have mixed feeling about the Stannis scene where he choked Melisandre, but I think Spliced summed up my feelings better than I could…

    I had no complaints about removing Chataya and Alayaya. I don’t think they were important and to keep them just to show more racial diversity makes no sense to me. I like the characters in the books though, I just think they were easily eliminated without losing anything of importance to the saga.

  119. Alex Anderson
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    When Catelyn believes that all of her children are dead, she goes insane and commits Suicide-by-Enemy-Soldier. Her children are her world.

    95% of her story involves dealing with her children, husband, brother, or father. There’s a reason why her family’s motto is “Family, Duty, Honor,” in that order.

    Sure, she’s got some complexities that were streamlined for the show, but that’s true for every character. But she’s still politically astute: see how she handles her father’s bannermen during Tyrion’s capture, or her dealings with Karstark. She would have brokered a deal with Renly, had he not been killed like five seconds afterward.

    But ultimately, Catelyn is meant to be, more or less, the primary example of Westorosi ideals for women. Almost all other primary female characters are subversions of such, so it’s important to have the “control group,” as it were.

  120. Lex
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with quite a bit of this… but especially the Stannis choking Melisandre scene. I don’t think it was out of character at all (Stannis suffered a humiliating defeat, who’s to say he wouldn’t take his anger out like that in private? Felt authentic to me), but it was also one of the best scenes of the episode. Phenomenal acting, and absolutely one of my favourite scenes.

    I also think Cat in the books makes horribly selfish and impulsive decisions, which definitely contribute to the outbreak of war and the downfall of Robb. I don’t personally feel the show made her much worse.

  121. LordStarkington
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Alex Anderson:
    When Catelyn believes that all of her children are dead, she goes insane and commits Suicide-by-Enemy-Soldier. Her children are her world.

    95% of her story involves dealing with her children, husband, brother, or father. There’s a reason why her family’s motto is “Family, Duty, Honor,” in that order.

    Sure, she’s got some complexities that were streamlined for the show, but that’s true for every character. But she’s still politically astute: see how she handles her father’s bannermen during Tyrion’s capture, or her dealings with Karstark. She would have brokered a deal with Renly, had he not been killed like five seconds afterward.

    But ultimately, Catelyn is meant to be, more or less, the primary example of Westorosi ideals for women. Almost all other primary female characters are subversions of such, so it’s important to have the “control group,” as it were.

    Catelyn’s story revolves around her family because, well, she’s our PoV into the Stark side of the War of the Five Kings. What people are complaining about, change-wise, is that a lot of the details that marked her as an intelligent and capable character (her political advice, shrewdness, advocacy for peace as opposed to a bloody war for revenge) have either been removed entirely or transferred to other characters. For that matter, one key part of her character (her desire to end the war and go home) was twisted in season one so that the advocate for peace in the books was telling Robb “we will kill them all”.

    In the books, Catelyn is not really “primary example of Westerosi ideals for women” because she was raised as Hoster Tully’s heir for years (until Edmure was born) and feels that her role isn’t simply to be a mother but also an adviser and decision-maker. The ideal Westerosi woman would have sat in Winterfell the entire time.

  122. LordStarkington
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Lex: I also think Cat in the books makes horribly selfish and impulsive decisions, which definitely contribute to the outbreak of war and the downfall of Robb.

    What decisions were selfish?

    I’m guessing the impulsive decisions are (1) seizing Tyrion and (2) releasing Jaime?

    And Robb – his downfall was almost entirely his fault, her actions (specifically releasing Jaime, which I assume is what you are referring to) are not that important, given that Bolton and Frey are already conspiring against him.

  123. Lex
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Nerd girl:
    Thank you so much for this write up ours is the fury its clear you are the only person brave enough to shed some light on how sexist, racist and degrading game of thrones is.. Its easily most offensive show ever made to women and thays indisputable. Every “powerful” woman is just some Sexist caricature from some Manchild with the brain of a 13 year old. Glad to see that ours is the fury understands and is willing to stand up for us women everywhere. Its already clear that almost every post here is blind to the sexism.. Typical macho male bullshit. Thanks ours is the fury!! Youre an inspiration!!!

    Wow, is this post a joke? I think it must be. There are several good articles discussing how A Song of Ice and Fire is actually a subversively feminist work. But it’s obvious from your grammar and spelling abilities that you are probably just some trolling teenager, so…

  124. KG
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Bla bla bla I like the book better bla bla bla

    Changes must be made to cram a book into a television show.

  125. Lex
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    As I said above, I strongly disagree about the Stannis choking scene… I thought it was brilliant… but I also want to point out one more thing: Stannis wasn’t just choking her. He was having a moment of religious doubt, and was making a point about it. “You claim to speak for a god… show me how you fight… where’s your god now?”. It just boggles my mind that anyone would not understand this, or would think there’s anything out of character about that scene.

    “If having a problem with a man who has never displayed violent tendencies being adapted as an abusive person makes me a “purist whiner” than I’ll wear the title gladly.” Whaaaaaa?!?!? Never displayed violent tendencies? LMAO!

    As others have said, Stannis is a soldier, a killer, he orders men burned alive without flinching, chops the fingers off the hand of a man who saved his life. If you don’t think he’s a violent man, you are seriously deluding yourself. And Mel is NOT just a woman who “helps him as he wanted”, she’s a terrible, irresponsible, fanatical advisor who helped convince him to murder his own brother and lead thousands to their deaths in a bloody defeat.

  126. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Nerd girl: Thank you so much for this write up ours is the fury its clear you are the only person brave enough to shed some light on how sexist, racist and degrading game of thrones is.. Its easily most offensive show ever made to women and thays indisputable. Every “powerful” woman is just some Sexist caricature from some Manchild with the brain of a 13 year old. Glad to see that ours is the fury understands and is willing to stand up for us women everywhere. Its already clear that almost every post here is blind to the sexism.. Typical macho male bullshit. Thanks ours is the fury!! Youre an inspiration!!!

    Like Lex, I also had to stop and wonder if this post was a joke or some kind of satire, poking fun at the OP. On the off chance that Nerd Girl was being sincere, I would recommend that she check out Alyssa Rosenberg’s work on Thinkprogress.org. Ms. Rosenberg frequently writes about Game of Thrones from a feminist angle, and it’s clear that she’s a huge fan of both the books and the show. From her writing, I gather that her feminist outlook does not detract from her enjoyment of the show–it enhances it on several levels.

    http://thinkprogress.org/tag/game-of-thrones/

    EDIT: Yeah, upon re-reading Nerd girl’s posts I think it’s pretty clear that it’s snarky irony making fun of those with feminists critiques–or maybe just outright trolling. Kind of funny, I guess, though not very nice.

  127. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    It’s out of character because he never acts passionately that we see in the books and as someone else noted, he always shows a respectful deference to Melisandre. It was only with Davos’ strong encouragement that he left her behind for the Blackwater battle. And while Stannis is cold and sort of an asshole, he doesn’t directly do violent things outside of a battle. I’m all for added scenes, I like the additional exploration of characters, but him choking her wasn’t development, it was hateful and just not Stannis.

  128. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    What about the several times (as posters have noted) where he threatened Davos’s and Melisandre’s life if they were to lie to him.

    You could say that this just means he’s verbally abusive and mean, but not phsycially violent, but I don’t see it that way. Stannis is a seething ball of rage and resentment, and I don’t think he makes a lot of idle threats; I could totally picture him physically attacking someone who lied to him. It doesn’t happen in the book (at least it’s not described), but it doesn’t mean it’s out of character.

  129. Lex
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I accept your opinion, but still strongly disagree. I think you’re getting Stannis totally wrong. The guy is a maniac. Sure, he seems cool and calm in public, but no one is like that 100% of the time. And Baratheons are known for their “fury” after all. I actually think the show’s portrayal was actually far more realistic and believable than the book.

    And to be honest, Melisandre got off easy. She’s lucky he didn’t kill her. And it has nothing to do with violence against women, it’s politics. You can’t go worming your way into a king’s inner circle, then convince him to kill his own brother, then give him horribly flawed advice and bungled prophecies that lead to his utter defeat, and except to get out of that without major consequences. Councillors and advisors have been executed for far less.

  130. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I see your point, but I have to disagree. I’d elaborate further, but I think MATTHEW and Lex hit the nail on the head and I’d just be echoing what they’ve already said. I thought it was a great scene, if a bit uncomfortable to watch.

  131. Tolgeros
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know about this article. It’s focusing entirely on the negative. Brienne, Arya, and Yara/Asha were barely mentioned. I do agree that what they did to Cat is unfortunate, but I honestly can’t believe you think they’re mishandling Sansa. Sure there’s less SanSan and no relationship with Dontos (yet?) but they still managed to get to the heart of the story of what Sansa is going through.

    Oh, and the complaint about the lack of Chataya and Alayaya is, IMO, hollow and nitpicky. Nobody cared about their omission, and there’s still plenty of show time left to talk about Summer Islanders.

    I agree that Show Stannis =/= Book Stannis, but he never really was. Show Stannis has been a lot more emotional, and there’s evidence all over the place, from his urgency in being the first off the boats and the first up the latter to his seething anger on why Renly was given Storm’s End and not him, not to mention his lust for the red woman and screwing on the painted table. And Melisandre’s lack of prediction that Stannis would be defeated at the Blackwater could be construed as a betrayal by Stannis, even though we know it wasn’t really. So I don’t think Stannis choking Melisandre really came out of left field for the show. The fact that Melisandre shrugs it off and goes on is more a sign of her strength, not a weakness.

  132. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    Well thanks for the brilliant and intelligent sarcastic response but this is actually a problem that doesn’t sit well with me and it’s one of the reason i don’t go to that site as much . It wouldn’t bothered me as much if i didn’t have to read like 80% of the threads there which are pretty much the exact same complainings with different titles and the reason it bothers much it’s not because of the tv show only but the series in general .

  133. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Tolgeros: I don’t know about this article. It’s focusing entirely on the negative. Brienne, Arya, and Yara/Asha were barely mentioned. I do agree that what they did to Cat is unfortunate…P>

    I liked the OP’s essay but I did think it odd that CERSEI was not discussed. If D&D can be accused of making Cat less three-dimensional on the TV show (a criticism I agree with to a certain extent), they certainly did the opposite with Queen Cersei. Lena Headey and the writing staff did wonders fleshing out a character that at times appears as a one-dimensional “wicked witch” in the book.

  134. MoonCoffee
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    And Irri was killed for reasons beyond the series.

    If you’re referring to the work visa rumor, Amrita Acharia herself has denied it in her IAMA in Reddit. The way she described it, it was a story decision by D&D (and hence not beyond the series).

  135. TheImpsNose
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Re: The Stannis/Mel choking scene? …. what Spliced said.

  136. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    If you want a mostly positive article about the women of GoT, check out my precious post on the subject here: http://winteriscoming.net/2012/01/game-of-thrones-not-just-a-mans-world-anymore/

    I couldn’t cover every woman this time, it’s just not possible without writing something insanely long, so I focused on a few. Perhaps a follow-up post down the road, who knows. :)

  137. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Claudiu Gherganu: MATTHEW, Well thanks for the briliant and intelligent sarcastic response but this is actually a problem that doesn’t sit well with me and it’s one of the reason i don’t go to that site as much . It wouldn’t bothered me as much if i didn’t have to read like 80% of the threads there which are pretty much the exact same complainings with different titles and the reason it bothers much it’s not because of the tv show only but the series in general .

    Okay, I’ll apologize but ONLY because you have a Romanian name and I like all the Romanian people I’ve ever met.

  138. houndlover
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t mind Stannis choking Mel… mostly because I find Mel a really annoying character in both book & TV worlds. She’s a major character, but her & her god are not for me. Give me the God of Many Faces!

    A lot of people begrudge the show for having so much female nakedness, but in those sort of times, women were there for sex, house-keeping & not really much else. I don’t mind the nakedness, (obv I’d like more male nudity, the whole removal of the bath scene with Jaqen was very much missed by me) but I’m bored of just seeing Ros’s breasts. And the only ‘penis’ so far has been Hodors. Really??? Can you not show me Robbs, or for season 3 give me Jaimes. Thanks.

  139. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW: I liked the OP’s essay but I did think it odd that CERSEI was not discussed. If D&D can be accused of making Cat less three-dimensional on the TV show (a criticism I agree with to a certain extent), they certainly did the opposite with Queen Cersei. Lena Headey and the writing staff did wonders fleshing out a character that at times appears as a one-dimensional “wicked witch” in the book.

    Once again, I completely agree with your point on Cersei. I think show Cersei is amazing, even back in season 1. While I still found her interesting in the books (especially in book 4), she seemed a bit too irrational and unreasonable to be very believable. Giving her some more human moments made her feel like much more of an authentic character. I liked how in the show, it’s revealed that her baby with Robert was stillborn, rather than her aborting it.. it really sold the fact that she tried her damnedest to have a legitimate relationship with Robert. The scene between her and Tyrion where she somewhat opens up to him was great show of her vulnerability.

  140. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    Didn’t want to sound like an ass but i’ve got over this subject times and times again in the other forum that’s why it is annoying . Btw have you ever been to Romania ?

  141. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    houndlover: And the only ‘penis’ so far has been Hodors. Really??? Can you not show me Robbs, or for season 3 give me Jaimes. Thanks.

    We got Theon dong last season too. Shirtless Gendry counts too in my book.

    Theres a strong chance we could get some Jaime dick as well. At the very least, shirtless. I’m talking about the scene where he is taking a bath with Brienne

  142. Miss
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I want to thank Sue for writing this up, knowing full well that the usual hoard of “ZOMG why can’t you just shut up and love everything HBO does” stuff would come up.

    Undoubtedly Benioff and Weiss screwed up Catelyn’s entire point for existing in the story. They silenced her in the King in the North scene last season — does anyone not see how big a deal it is? There Martin gave us a scene of a woman standing up to a room full of men who fully endorse a militaristic macho culture and disagreeing with them, daring to stand for peace even though it makes her vulnerable to criticisms of being “just” a soft- hearted woman. Perhaps B&W thought they were doing her a favor by making her not look weak and womanly, but if that’s the case then B&W really need to think about how Martin frames the issue of strength. If B&W think that the best or only way to make a woman strong is to show her as violent and militant, because it makes her Just Like One Of The Boys, then they are reading ASOIAF wrong. No ifs ands or buts. What are they going to do when they get to Septon Meribald’s speech about war in book four? A Feast for Crows is entirely about the foolishness of the sword as the ultimate symbol of veneration in Westerosi culture. Such a shortsighted move by B&W. Maybe they just liked the thought of Catelyn shutting up for once and minding her place. That’s not a flattering interpretation of their choice either.

    Then, they give Cat’s idea to pursue an alliance to Robb in S2. So now, the two big plot points that establish that Cat is associated with peace and alliance vs Robb who is associated with war and political naivete, those two big plot points are totally erased. For what gain? To shut Cat up? To build up Robb and make him look better, smarter, more capable than his mother? Is that really the point Martin was trying to make with Catelyn the POV character? I’d love to hear B&W explain the reasoning for the change, if they had the guts to.

    Then, the most sickening part, making sure the audience knows that all Cat ever wants to do is go home and be with her youngest babies. They took away all conviction Cat had of remaining on the battlefield despite the sexism she faced from the northmen who would whisper that she had no place there. They took away the injustice she faced at having to fight for her place at Robb’s side even against Robb’s own foolish desire to be rid of her. They gave Robb this big dramatic moment where he gets to denounce Cat as a liability, as some kind of reckless idiot, while he goes off to knowingly marry Talisa and throw his alliance away without the excuse of the grief of Bran and Rickon’s deaths (which, btw, made Robb and Cat equally foolish and that’s how the book played it, that’s why they had to forgive each other at the same time). All of that blown so … so what, so big manly awesome Robb could reveal his foolish little mom for the emotional liability that she is?

    Then consider how they filmed scenes at Robb’s war council where Cat was not even present in the show, whereas she was in the books.

    The shift from the books is clear in the case of Robb and Cat’s story. Benioff and Weiss have gone on record saying bizarre things like “I love that Cat is so irrational, it makes her a non-stereotypical mother character” and “Cat’s abandonment of Bran is even more inexcusable”. Do you get the sense that they want to expand the definition of “mothering” so that includes not just traditional caregiving to young babies, but also wise mentoring of older children? You know that fans would never say that Robb listening to Ned would emasculate him, but they say exactly that about Cat trying to give Robb advice, no matter how much she remembers to do it with no one else watching. And if B&W are making changes to accommodate those kinds of fan opinions, then they are condoning them, and it does not reflect in any positive way towards B&W.

    They can say however many empty platitudes about how they lurve women and lurve strong female characters but unless they understand that it’s not just sword-wielding warrior babes that are worthwhile female characters, then they don’t deserve any credit for being progressive unless you’re stuck in, like, 1958. I don’t think B&W are shooting for “progressive according to the standards of 1958″.

    The worst part about Cat is that they have blown 66% of her airtime. They owe her so big in her last season, but I’m not holding my breath. They have already made it almost impossible to reincorporate some of her biggest themes, they clearly do not see the feminist points Martin was trying to make with her character, and the more they try to sound like they know their shit the more I just want to laugh.

  143. Maxwell James
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    a) Agree totally about the simplification of Cat. She’s one of my favorite characters in the books, and while Michelle Fairley has been terrific in the role, it’s clear the writers don’t really get her. Very unfortunate, as she had the potential to be the Skylar White of Westeros – a strong, compelling, morally complicated woman.

    b) I was bothered by the near-rape of Sansa – mostly because I think 16-year olds shouldn’t be asked to perform scenes like that. Sophie Turner is a remarkable young actress, and I’m sure she’s very mature for her age, but even if it was handled with perfect professionalism, a very poor choice IMO.

    I wasn’t bothered by cutting the Dontos storyline though, which I assume will play out in full in S3. And overall, I thought Turner provided the series’ best performance this year, hands down.

    c) On the other hand – I wasn’t at all offended by Stannis’ choking of Melisandre. It struck me as very true to both characters – including her giving herself up to him, which highlighted both her fanaticism, and the way she develops control over him. There was a power game going on there, and she emerged once again as the winner. Passivity can be a strategy in itself.

    d) You are missing two of the huge PROS on the depiction of women in the show. 1 – Cersei and 2 – Shae. Both are relatively shallow characters in the books, arguably Martin’s two most sexist creations*. And both come to far more vibrant life in the show, thanks to Lena Headey and Sibel Kikelli’s acting – and the writing of Benioff and Weiss.

    * I am not calling Martin a sexist – just saying that, like anyone, he falls short on certain issues at times. Characters like Arya, Catelyn and Brienne are a testament to how well he can write different kinds of women. Sometimes he fails, though, and Cersei and Shae are two such examples IMO.

  144. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury

    Thanks so much for this essay, although there was a great deal that I did not agree with, I enjoyed it immensely! It’s well and intelligently written as several people have pointed out. Although I was dissapointed that you cut the article short and did not discuss the female roles that you enjoyed. I really hope this won’t be your last one and I’m thinking that if you are willing to go through one or two scathing critiscisms, that you would take Pearson Moore’s place with essays for season 3. Or perhaps you have Jaime’s take on that position “their days are too long and their lives too short.”

    Macha

    You and I appear to have very similar views on the Stannis Mellisandre scene. I thought your take on it was very well done. It was not out of character at all in my opinion. Stannis was supposed to take Kings Landing within one day and the utter despair at losing most of his army, his hopes and his dreams would have had that out working. I don’t think his choking of Mel was done out of a motivation to hurt her or to “teach her a lesson” as some have said, but an utter despair and hopelessness and the dissapointment of faith that did not pay off. Him asking her where her god is now brought tears to my eyes and demonstrated the loyalty of Mellisandre in a way only seen much later on in the books. It was one of my favourite scenes simply because it cast the two characters in a light not seen before.

    I agree with a lot of points on the Cat scene and so will not comment on that, I will only say I adore Michelle Fairley’s acting.

    On the CHataya Allayana point, being from SOuth Africa with it’s history of quotas (a rule several years ago that sports teams must have a number of black players in the team) diversity for diversity’s sake is not a good thing. A enjoyed both Sallador Saan and Xaro Zohan Ducksauce. If there is not a significant contribution to be made, don’t add them. Showing ROss just made things easier in terms of location, casting and general confusion.
    I was dismayed at Salla’s omition from Blackwater though and I am hoping for a dark skinned Thoros of Myr.

    Sansa and Dontos’ missing scenes I can only assume will be front and centre in season 3. I was suprised that he was not alot more prominent in season 2. I am a big Sansan fan and lament the few times Sandor and Sansa got together, but absolutely adored their chemistry in the few scenes they were together. BTW does anyone think we might get a flashaback scene in which the Hound actually kisses Sansa?

    Tenesmus:
    I think people need to remember that the books are source material.The books are neither scripts nor screenplays.The TV show is an independent work of art and the only overlap need be a very narrow critical path of events that get characters to the end game. Which by the way, none of us know exactly what the end game is.

    TV shows have got to boil things down to a lesser common denominator.The show is dense enough as it is for non-book reading, casual viewers.I know people who had Rob and Theon mixed up for almost all of season one, butthey are STILL watching the show, and it is the number of eyes on the screen each week that will dictate if the show remains an ongoing enterprise; not condesending, overanalitic, psychobabble as to whether the show is lacking prostitutes of color.

    I think this is the reason why series viewers should really read the books. It just goes so much deeper than tv is able to. Some fans refusing to read the books for whatever reason is astounding to me.
    As I have said before I see the series and the books as running concurrent with neither one being the definitive story. In the same way that you the Gospels in the Bible are different and you can’t say for instance that Matthew is the definitive Gospel, you can’t say the series or the books are the definitive one. But you need to see the two in such a light that they complement and better one another. The two are not in conflict, and neither should fans treat them in such a way.

    History is a muddled afair, details get jumbled etc etc. Let’s say for arguments sake we lived in Westeros a thousand years after the events of aSoIaF and the story being told was in fact history, many of the accounts would differ in the same way the series and the books differ. SOme sources would claim that the King in the North married a minor lord’s daughter called Jeyne Westerling, while others would claim he married a foreign Volantis noble woman called Talisa. Some would say Catelyn released Jaime before she heard of the death of Bran and RIckon while others will say she released him before.

    While there is no doubt that some changes are better and some not, I still think the producers of the show are doing a fantastic job and that GoT is still the best damn thing on tv. We just have to trust that they know what they are doing and are playing for the long haul.

    Seriously though series viewers who have not read the books should treat themselves to that experience. And don’t worry there is no chance you’ll turn into a book purist simply by reading it. Something like that won’t happen if you watched and loved the series first.

  145. houndlover
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook,

    Oh yes…. again, I didn’t really want to see his. I was holding out for The Hounds, Jaqens & Gendrys hahaha.

  146. houndlover
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook,

    Oh yes…. again, I didn’t really want to see his. I was holding out for The Hounds, Jaqens & Gendrys hahaha.

    and next time we see Theons it will be less attractive thanks to The Bastard :D

  147. Theon Rules
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Nerd girl: Thank you so much for this write up ours is the fury its clear you are the only person brave enough to shed some light on how sexist, racist and degrading game of thrones is.. Its easily most offensive show ever made to women and thays indisputable. Every “powerful” woman is just some Sexist caricature from some Manchild with the brain of a 13 year old. Glad to see that ours is the fury understands and is willing to stand up for us women everywhere. Its already clear that almost every post here is blind to the sexism.. Typical macho male bullshit. Thanks ours is the fury!! Youre an inspiration!!!

    I’m going to make 2 points here.

    1. What you’re saying is completely untrue. Some of the most controlling and strong characters on the show are female, and they often play the male characters for fools. Cersei, Margaery, Arya, Osha, Yara, Shae, and Ygritte are all examples of characters who play the “Game” much better than a lot of the male characters. To say their intelligence is downplayed due to the show being sexist is just stupid. If I had to choose between the sexes in an intelligence contest, I would probably choose the females.

    2. Even if the show does show some inferiority of woman, that comes with the time period. Do you really think in medieval times that woman were thought of as men’s equals? Certainly not! Anyone who has ever taken a history class knows this. The mistreatment of woman continued on into the 1900′s for christ sake! I know this is a fictional world, but if a man was depicted as dominant, it would not be considered sexist. The creators would just be trying to recreate the time period and the society.

  148. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook: Ours is the Fury, I thought it was a great scene, if a bit uncomfortable to watch.

    That is the key to that scene I think. I cringed and felt “icky” watching Stannis lay his hands on that actress, much as viewers cringed during the Joffrey birthday present scene in his bedroom. But whatever discomfort I felt at watching a beautiful woman being strangled (on a separate note, fat and ugly women can and *should* be strangled with impunity, of course, but I’ll leave that topic for another day) was not because it Stannis (whom I view as a violent and victive jackass, due to reasons amply stated above) was acting “out of character”. I just thought it was a disturbing scene because of the realistic violence, but that’s a frequent reaction I have to the show.

  149. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    Aaand, this is exactly what i was talking about . Twisting words to make themselves look better .

  150. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Claudiu Gherganu: MATTHEW, Didn’t want to sound like an ass but i’ve got over this subject times and times again in the other forum that’s why it is annoying . Btw have you ever been to Romania ?

    Oh goodness, no, but the Romanian people I’ve met here in New York have all been delightful.

  151. houndlover
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:

    Sansa and Dontos’ missing scenes I can only assume will be front and centre in season 3. I was suprised that he was not alot more prominent in season 2. I am a big Sansan fan and lament the few times Sandor and Sansa got together,but absolutely adored their chemistry in the few scenes they were together. BTW does anyone think we might get a flashaback scene in which the Hound actually kisses Sansa?

    I doubt it very much…. I’m hoping in the Alaynne story lines, we’ll see her remembering or thinking about the Hound but I can’t see them showing any scenes that have that. FML!!! haha. But the Dontos scenes appear (again) to have gone to LF, as he tells Sansa how he wants to save her. So I think Dontos is done, but he may still appear at Joff s wedding feast & take her to the ship

  152. sbj2k1
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    The choking of Mel didn’t bother me as much. It reinforced the reason for her drinking the poisoned wine. and knowing what we know from book 5, Mel’s daily ritual prepares her for what’s to come.
    She had no reason to fear Stannis and Maester Cressen. She’s also not loyal to Stannis, but to R’hllor. And if R’hllor is showing her Stannis, so be it.

  153. Kevin
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I have a feeling that if the only 2 black women in the show were prostitutes, there would be people crying racism.

  154. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Theon Rules,

    Burn! Completley agree, calling the show or the books sexist is just silly when you compare the strenght of female characters like Brienne, Mellisandre, Cersei, Arya to let’s say Arwen, Eowyn and Rosey from Lord of the Rings.
    Absolutely adore the female characters from GoT! Even the evil ones.

  155. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Theon Rules: I’m going to make 2 points here.1. What you’re saying is completely untrue. Some of the most controlling and strong characters on the show are female, and they often play the male characters for fools. Cersei, Margaery, Arya, Osha, Yara, Shae, and Ygritte are all examples of characters who play the “Game” much better than a lot of the male characters. To say their intelligence is downplayed due to the show being sexist is just stupid. If I had to choose between the sexes in an intelligence contest, I would probably choose the females.2. Even if the show does show some inferiority of woman, that comes with the time period. Do you really think in medieval times that woman were thought of as men’s equals? Certainly not! Anyone who has ever taken a history class knows this. The mistreatment of woman continued on into the 1900′s for christ sake! I know this is a fictional world, but if a man was depicted as dominant, it would not be considered sexist. The creators would just be trying to recreate the time period and the society.

    Caution: we experts believe that the comment you are responding to was satire and/or deliberate trolling. Like you, I wasted time trying to write a reasonable response to it before I re-read it and made up my mind.

  156. Zack
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    It’s easy for a person to come off as slightly less of a dick in everyday situations where our very worth isn’t being tested in a life or death struggle. But after he’s just suffered a crushing defeat, the mask has crumbled and his true self, his oft-hinted at violent nature, comes to the forefront. That’s what this scene was to me. A peek behind Stannis’ facade. I’d bet that without the limitations of the POV structure, GRRM is likely to have given us a similar moment.

    Self-control is the simplest thing until our plans are waylaid.

  157. houndlover
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook: We got Theon dong last season too. Shirtless Gendry counts too in my book.

    Theres a strong chance we could get some Jaime dick as well. At the very least, shirtless. I’m talking about the scene where he is taking a bath with Brienne

    Ooooh, I hope so. And, if they have the Ramsay I hope they have, maybe we’ll see him all topless & sweaty, with flaying knife in hand :D :D *visits her little fantasy world*

  158. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    houndlover,

    Why bother to cast him at all then? I think he will be more prominent in season 3. But that’s just me.

    Yes I know I’m probably setting myself up for dissapoinment to have a flashback scene of Sansa and the Hound, but a Sansan fan can only hope.

  159. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror: does anyone think we might get a flashaback scene in which the Hound actually kisses Sansa?

    Not going to happen because D&D have outright said that they are not doing any flashbacks, ever.

  160. Miss
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Claudiu Gherganu,

    We’ll all miss you so terribly, I’m sure.

  161. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook: I liked how in the show, it’s revealed that her baby with Robert was stillborn, rather than her aborting it.. it really sold the fact that she tried her damnedest to have a legitimate relationship with Robert.

    If I might nitpick just a little, my take was that Cersei was being manipulative and lying to Cat when she claimed that Robert’s baby was stillborn. I think she terminated the pregnancy herself, out of spite.

    I do believe that she did want a real relationship with Robert, but she didn’t try hard for very long. Not that I blame her for giving up shortly after her wedding night. Like his brother Stannis, Robert could be extraordinarily self-centered, distracted and mean-spirited (though, unlike Stannis, he was capable of forgiveness–as long as your name is not Targaryan; plus Robert had had gregarious, likeable qualities as well).

  162. Mimi
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Cat’s motivations for releasing Jaime are hugely different in the show to in the books. In the books she releases Jaime after she’s heard about her son’s deaths and after Robb has married Jeyne. With so few of her children alive, it’s understandable that she would have done anything to keep her remaining children safe. Therefore, releasing Jaime makes a lot of sense. Additionally, Robb forgives his Mother almost instantly in the books because he has also betrayed his promise to the Frey’s. Robb understands his mother’s motivations, especially considering the deaths of his younger brothers.

    In the television adaptation, however, Cat’s motivations are poorly expressed. She doesn’t know about the ‘deaths’ of Bran and Rickon and so her release of Jaime seems quite random. The timing of Robb’s marriage to Talisa also makes it seem as if Cat influenced their union and her son’s oath breaking (with disastrous consequences.) In the show, Robb vilifies his mother for releasing Jaime rather than forgiving her. This is quite a crucial point.

    These small alterations make a huge difference to the way in which the audience reacts to Cat. In the television show she suddenly becomes responsible for a wide array of disasters (even the Red Wedding!) that are little to do with her in the books. In this way, Cat’s characters suffer.

    I’m a huge fan of Cat’s in the books. This article has HBO’s alternations spot on and understands how damaging they were. She loses almost all of her political nous, her wisdom and her intelligence in the television show. This isn’t Fairley’s fault at all. She’s doing an incredible job with what the writers are giving her as evidenced through her performance in the scene in which Cat receives Ned’s bones. It’s upsetting that the writers have chosen to unnecessarily alter such a beloved and fascinating character for the sake of bolstering Robb’s prestige. I completely understand when the writers change some things for the sake of television (such as names or cutting Sansa’s beatings) but the writers treatment of Cat was entirely unnecessary. Giving her more lines and an opportunity to express her regard for human life would not have taken up more time or hurt Robb’s character.

    I predict that next season some fans will be blaming Cat for the Red Wedding and that the writers will even make her the character who gives Talisa/Jeyne the herbs that prevent her from getting pregnant. Talisa in the show doesn’t have any Aunt/Sybell to intervene as in the books… It could be interesting to think about the change made to create Talisa? Although I think that Oona Chaplin is a fabulous actress, I wish that they’d kept her storyline as a Westerling rather than as this new character. Again, it seemed like an unnecessary change and HBO could have tied themselves in knots if it turns out that she and Eleyna Westerling swapped places leaving Robb with an heir.

    I quite like HBO’s adaptation of Arya but the most troubling alteration they’ve made is to her opinion of Sansa. In the television show she dismisses her sister and all girls who enjoys what their society deems ‘womanly’ pursuits such as sewing. In the books, it’s unlikely that Arya would regard her sister in such as way. Despite their differences, it’s evident through their POV’s that the two characters are extremely fond of each other. Arya’s words in the television adaptation vilify Sansa (who’s lack of character development in the show is making her unjustly unpopular with fans) and all other women who aren’t rebellious or identify themselves with masculinity.

    The extent to which HBO have trimmed Sansa’s role is quite upsetting. Although some fans dislike her in the first book, she wins most readers over in A Clash of Kings. The television show didn’t express this adequately and they haven’t made the most of her story line. Additionally, I was quite troubled by Yara/Asha’s use of ‘cunt.’ This is an incredibly minor word but during ADwD, Asha makes a prominent comment about that word. She would never have used it in a negative sense or to insult someone with it. Asha is very aware of her womanhood and that is a significant part of her anatomy. She would never have used it to describe weakness as she did in the show.

    I sort of feel as if the television show has separated the women of Westeros into two camps – those who are fighting overtly against the patriarchy and rejecting their femininity (Arya, Brienne, Yara) and those who appear to embrace their ‘femininity’ (Cat, Sansa.) It sometimes seems as if they want the audience to sympathise with camp one, but to dislike the simplistic or whiny characters in champ two. What they seem not to have understood is that the more feminine characters in Westeros are just as strong as the female fighters. While Asha is strong for her qualities in battle, Cat also possess great wisdom and strength of emotion. It seems as if the fighters are given more worth and dismiss the more conventional women in the series.

    I’m quite disappointed with HBO’s adaptation of ASOIAF’s female characters.

  163. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW: If I might nitpick just a little, my take was that Cersei was being manipulative and lying to Cat when she claimed that Robert’s baby was stillborn. I think she terminated the pregnancy herself, out of spite.I do believe that she did want a real relationship with Robert, but she didn’t try hard for very long. Not that I blame her for giving up shortly after her wedding night. Like his brother Stannis, Robert could be extraordinarily self-centered, distracted and mean-spirited (though, unlike Stannis, he was capable of forgiveness–as long as your name is not Targaryan; plus Robert had had gregarious, likeable qualities as well).

    I used to think that she was lying too, but I believe it’s been confirmed that she wasn’t lying. I believe by D&D. I could be wrong. If someone can confirm/correct me I’d appreciate it.

  164. Miss
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Kevin,

    But the solution isn’t “Cast no black women at all,” is it?

    Besides which, Chataya also served as a savvy businesswoman. The only other example I can think of of that is Masha Heddle, and Chataya’s far more interesting.

  165. RamsaysGonnaGetYa
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    If viewers are so bothered about the sexism/racism/chauvinistic bull**** in this show… why do you continue to watch it?

    You moan about how the women are not shown in positive or realistic roles, but this is the world of fantasy & fiction. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it or read it.

    I can understand completely why readers are not happy with how certain characters are depicted in the TV show, some of the changes made have been ridiculous & make certain characters (male AND female) come across as weak, single minded, aggressive or just plain dumb, when in the books they have more about them. This is fine, I’ll share in most of your complaints about that.

    But if you really hate the show so much because of how the women are shown… It’s easy. Turn off your TV & don’t watch it.

  166. midnightblack07
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I agree 100% with everything regarding Cat and Sansa. I have no issues with change, in fact I welcome it from time to time because it keeps things interesting for those of us who already know how things are going to turn out from the books–but my biggest gripe this season is easily the changes they’ve made to Cat (And Robb’s) character and story-line–particularly the erasure of Catelyn’s political inclinations and the timing surrounding Jaime’s release and Robb’s relationship with Talisa.

    In the books, but Cat and Robb’s actions were driven by grief and desperation and, giving what they’d just learned, who could blame them for making those less than tactful decisions?? However, on the show, while Cat still had her reasons for releasing Jaime, the justification was far weaker than that of the books. Likewise with Robb, while I can understand him breaking under pressure and seeking solace with a woman he has come to trust and admire, his going into the marriage with his eyes wide open after Cat EXPLICITLY REMINDED HIM WHAT THEY STOOD TO LOSE made him far less sympathetic for me tbh (sorry, slightly OT, but that bit bugs me to this day lol)

    As for Sansa, I understand that the show can only do so much, but I REALLY wish they’d kept her story-line with ser Dontos (though I did appreciate them keeping that scene where she maneuvers Joffery into sparing him because it was one of the view that displayed her brand of strength) because I know a lot people understood her decision not to leave with the Hound as both a product of her fear (which I think is still a valid reason even within the show’s context given the things he’s said to her) and the fact that she had another plan (though I think you could argue that on the show she assumed that Stannis was winning and believed, like Shae pointed out, that he wouldn’t harm her). Also, it would have been nice to have a couple of more scene’s where she wasn’t simply being mentally, physically, and/or sexually abused.

    Overall, I’m happy with the show’ portrayal of women (would appreciate it if they toned down the unnecessary male-gazey nudity, but that’s another issue) , but I do think that GRRM is more adept at highlighting the strengths of woman that do not fit into the “bad-ass/sword wielding/I’m not a lady” category (i.e. Cat and Sansa) than the show has been so far.

  167. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Mimi,

    In regards to your comments on the Talisa character:

    I don’t think they would change Catelyn to be the one to give her the Moon Tea. It just wouldn’t make sense. Why would Catelyn try and prevent Robb for getting an heir? Especially since Robb wants Jon to be his heir in the case that he dies before having a child (I’m assuming they will keep this scene in the show). I’m also of the mind that Talisa actually *is* Jeyne Westerling but in disguise. I.E., she is actually working for Tywin and trying to destroy the North’s war efforts by coercing Robb into breaking his vows and destroying his alliances. In this way, they’ll sort of combine the Jeyne and Sybell characters into one. They might even have a dilemma where Talisa/Jeyne becomes conflicted as she starts to truly develop feelings for Robb.

  168. The Bull
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink


    c) On the other hand – I wasn’t at all offended by Stannis’ choking of Melisandre. It struck me as very true to both characters – including her giving herself up to him, which highlighted both her fanaticism, and the way she develops control over him. There was a power game going on there, and she emerged once again as the winner. Passivity can be a strategy in itself.

    Couldn’t agree more. But then there were people who were also saying Stannis sleeping with her was “out of character” even though it’s canon…

    The guy was at his lowest point, having bet everything on Mel’s promises of victory. He was emotional, blinded by fury, and took it out on her. I thought it worked well -shrug-

  169. Miss
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    RamsaysGonnaGetYa,

    What if people like the show but hate just certain aspects of it?

    What if people hate how women are treated in the media and want to make a difference?

    Why is it so much more important to stop complaining than to have productive dialogue? At least doing that is participating actively in the consumer feedback process, at least doing that affects perceptions of demand that could theoretically make a change in supply.

    Some people prefer to be pro-active about media, art and entertainment, seeing cultural value and service in those things that are worth fighting for. Some people don’t, and that’s their choice. But just as easily as you can say “I don’t understand why you just don’t turn the TV off”, I could say “I don’t understand why you don’t say anything about these concerns and issues”. Point is I don’t have to understand you for your choice to be valid, and you don’t have to understand me.

    If this sort of thread isn’t someone’s thing (and I’m looking at dear friend Claudiu here), why not just simply refrain from it? The other three blog runners at WIC.net barely talk about gender and race at all, it is only Fury who ever even thinks about how things might seem from the perspective of anyone who isn’t straight, white or male. And that’s just one of the things she posts about. It’s not like this blog is constantly making posts like these. So it happens once in a while, so what?

    Is it hard to understand that for those of us who are not straight white guys, media representation is a really important issue to fight for?

  170. PanchoFrancisco
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    An interesting dissertation on the women of Westeros. A lot of really good questions raised but I can not help but wonder if all these cuts and changes; such as Alayaya/Chataya, and some of Catelyn’s ideas being transferred to others, boil down to the same reason. It is needed for continuity or to make continuity easier because the show writers have only 10 episodes to make it all fit.

    I am a huge Catelyn fan! Michelle is doing a fantastic job and I do agree with you Ours that many of her changes seem brutal, wanton and useless, but perhaps, though much as we hate it, there is a reason. As a playwright my self, some times dialogue MUST be given to some other character, even if it wasn’t intended that way, for no other reason than because we have to take time off the show. Or, for a certain choice to be made, it may provoke a lengthier conversation in order to make the scene work. Again, tragically, because of time.

    Sansa, this one is easy and it is a terrible thing to just come right out and say. The whole TV Sansa story…It went no where this season because there was absolutely no time to fit all of Ser Dontos and their funky friendship in. They gave Sansa bits in this season because they HAD to keep her in, else viewers will forget about her. That being said, they should have seriously waited on bringing in Ser Dontos. They showed him once in episode 1 and never again, if he does show up next season, no one, but us readers most like, will remember him! Unfortunately the whole Sansa story was just …just….I do not even have the words. To be fair they have given the young actress some nice moments though.

    All in all Ours, I do, very much agree with you. On all but one thing… Chataya and Alayaya. Don’t get me wrong! I love these ladies! But there was again, no time for introductions, let alone actual story with them. They were a prudent cut and going with Ros a great choice! They two Ladies of Color, though fabulously intersting and different from Westerosi Ladies, do not push the story or plot forward in any major capacity. The thing we have to remember about the show is this: The writers are struggling (because of time) to highlight and keep the major plot points from the books. The connective tissue and roads on we get from each plot point may, or may not, be vastly different. Time is a beezy and time is money.

    I loved reading this through with you Ours! Thanks so much for taking the time, both thought provoking and fun! There ya go! Its all I got!

  171. defiantx
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Jess

    You know what else is the worst, blind admiration and labeling of anyone who doesn’t find the show perfect as being a “purist.”

    I didn’t mean it like that. I used the word “purism” too loosely, I apologize for that.
    I just don’t like people saying that a story or character difference is a problem. The show is based off the books, its story is meant to be its own.

  172. Langkard
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Well-written, Ours is the Fury.

    While I don’t agree entirely with every thing in your post, the portion regarding Chataya and Alayaya was very nicely done. Those two characters also helped to add more depth to Tyrion in the books.

    Thanks for the taking the time to put your thoughts out there, in spite of the inevitable negative and almost personally insulting responses from some of the usual suspects.

  173. Mimi
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook,

    You’re right, that theory doesn’t make sense given Cat’s wish for a Tully-Stark to inherit Winterfell eventually. I just worry in case they’ll make Cat wish that Robb’s heir is Frey rather than a Westerling/Talisa’s. It doesn’t make sense in terms of her character, though.

    Absolutely love your Talisa is Jeyne in disguise theory. It could have some very interesting consequences for all of the characters involved. What do you make of Talisa’s tale about her brother in the show, though?

  174. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook,

    I think they might make an exception for only one scene the origins of Jon Snow and the Tower of Joy.

  175. Mimi
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    RamsaysGonnaGetYa,

    I think the point is that the women in the novel have qualities that they do not possess in the television show. The novel’s female characters are more complex, savvy and intelligent than they are portrayed at points on screen. I’m not fond of this ‘it’s Fantasy and all women are awful characters in the Fantasy genre’ excuse because it doesn’t apply to ASOIAF. GRRM is one of the few Fantasy writers who creates female Fantasy characters as great as their male counterparts. It would be nice if the television show represented this to a greater extent.

  176. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    I agree with you, a friend of mine who only watched the series quickly picked it up and later on asked me if she aborted the child which I confirmed for him.

  177. Macha
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Mimi: In the show, Robb vilifies his mother for releasing Jaime rather than forgiving her. This is quite a crucial point.

    Hmmm, and here is where I think the motivation behind these changes starts to become obvious. In my opinion, these changes were not meant to be detrimental to Cat’s character, but to Robb’s. If this wasn’t perceived as such, we could blame the writing, of course, but it’s my strong belief that we’re actually meant to sympathize with Cat, not her son, who from this moment steps back a bit into his independance-seeking, empathy-lacking teenager self. Let’s look at Robb for a second, he’s being portrayed as this perfect general. We’re all rooting for him. In the books he forgives Catlyn and marries Jeyne in the circumstances we all know. Let’s face it, he’s not the most layered character. I agree they shouldn’t have discarded Cat’s part in shaping up his political strategy, however the changes in their relationship actually make Robb look ‘bad’, not her, in my opinion. By making Robb more foolish and unforgiving, they took some of his Prince Charming feel, which is a good thing as far as I can tell. But this is simply my interpretation of what their motivation was, I’m not stating a fact so I could be wrong. Like I said, I agree Cat’s characters has been changed, and that sometimes these changes were not needed. I merely wanted to point out that her characterization goes hand in hand with Robb’s, and that I think it’s his character they felt they had to change for the show to work better, not necessarily hers.

    MATTHEW,
    Claudiu Gherganu,
    Ha! I’m also from Romania. Matthew, if you ever fancy a trip over the ocean, I know a medieval restaurant that would make even Joffrey’s wedding feast look bad, we’ll all go and embarass the waiters with our GoT antics. ;)

  178. RamsaysGonnaGetYa
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Miss,

    I’m not a straight, white male. I’m female.

    And I don’t mean that EVERYONE who has valid points about the way women are depicted in this show, or other shows for that matter (lets face it, Sex & The City didn’t really do much to help women back in the 90′s) I was merely pointing out that if certain ‘viewers’ can’t stand it, why do they watch it? Not all the women in this show are shown as weak minded fools who only speak when asked to, Ygritte & Osha for instance.

    Sex sells. It’s a fact whether we like it or not. There’s lots of sex/nudity in the books, so it will be shown on TV too. I’m sorry if my post upset you, I just don’t find it productive to get so angry when in reality, those who are so against how women are depicted in the media as a whole wont get off their computers to go make their points to the people who make such shows. This thread is great, everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but if people are so against it, & I’m not saying you are, why watch it?

    My complaint is how they have changed the book characters for the show, which has caused more issues I think. But writing about it here wont make much difference.

  179. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Mimi: RamsaysGonnaGetYa, I think the point is that the women in the novel have qualities that they do not possess in the television show. The novel’s female characters are more complex, savvy and intelligent than they are portrayed at points on screen. I’m not fond of this ‘it’s Fantasy and all women are awful characters in the Fantasy genre’ excuse because it doesn’t apply to ASOIAF. GRRM is one of the few Fantasy writers who creates female Fantasy characters as great as their male counterparts. It would be nice if the television show represented this to a greater extent.

    I think this sentiment is overly general. GRMM creates *some* female fantasy characters that are as great as their male counterparts. But some of the book characters, both male and female, are essentially cardboard cutouts–and I’m not just talking about minor characters.

    Likewise the TV show makes *some* characters (Cersei, Theon, Osha, Shae, Tywin) more rounded and authentic than their counterparts are in the books.

    Others (Cat, The Hound are the two that come to mind) seem somewhat less 3 dimensional than in the book.

  180. LV
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Mimi,

    Great post, Mimi! I agree with every point you make. :)

  181. Macha
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW: But some of the book characters, both male and female, are essentially cardboard cutouts–and I’m not just talking about minor characters.

    Stole the words right out of my mouth. Some of the characters are badly written not because they’re women, and GRRM is a man (understatement of the century, I know), but because he’s a a writer and that’s what writers do; even the best ones write shitty characters at times, it comes with the territory. Some of these characters are male, some of them are female, I think women might just be more inclined to view things from a gender-related perspective when looking at the text. This is only natural in our times, and beneficial in the majority of cases. Sometimes it could get in the way of seeing the bigger picture, though, I think no one is without fault here.

  182. Mimi
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    RamsaysGonnaGetYa,

    Ah, I’m really sorry about the tone of my post. The trouble with online discussion is that you can’t get the full emotion behind words. You have a good point about the show not showing all female characters in a negative perspective. All of my critiques are really just nitpicking on behalf of characters that I’m attached to (Cat and Sansa particularly.)

    You’re right, compared to many television shows GoT deals with their female characters much more effectively. I personally am a bit frustrated with it’s treatment of some character but not to the extent that I’d stop watching the show altogether. There were some episodes that I found disappointing, though.

    The great thing about this article and this discussion is that it’s provided a super platform for a dialogue on the topic. I found Macha‘s theory incredibly interesting and it’s something that I’ve never thought of before. It’s great to have new perspectives brought to your attention and I agree with a lot of them. Even those that we don’t agree with help to develop the discussion significantly.

  183. jkb
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    re: Talisa
    hold on a sec, is there anything on the show (well, except the bullshit story she gave to Robb) that implies Talysa ISN’T Jayne? I thought it’s obvious she’s playing him?

    Well, re-watch time has come i guess ;p

  184. KS
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    sbj2k1:
    The choking of Mel didn’t bother me as much. It reinforced the reason for her drinking the poisoned wine. and knowing what we know from book 5, Mel’s daily ritual prepares her for what’s to come.
    She had no reason to fear Stannis and Maester Cressen. She’s also not loyal to Stannis, but to R’hllor. And if R’hllor is showing her Stannis, so be it.

    Yes. Absolutely. Mel is playing the long game, and the fact that she doesn’t fight him implies she isn’t worried about him in the least. Like we see in ASOS she knows when Davos is trying to kill her and swiftly takes him out of action. Plus after ADWD and the Mance/glamour thing many people suspect Mel isn’t all she appears to be. She may know she can’t die by Stannis choking her.

    The Stannis/Mel thing is one the least problematic things about women on the show I think. If Stannis just choked some random serving girl, it’d be a different story. But we know and, I think more importantly, Stannis suspects Mel has the upper hand in their relationship.

  185. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury

    Just in case you didn’t read my earlier post (I feel it important enough to state it twice) I really think you should seriously consider writing the thematic analysis essays for season 3. Although I disagreed with several of your views I really enjoyed your take on things and the discussion it inevitably sparked.
    However I understand if you are reluctant taking into account the hate Pearson Moore got this year. But I think you have what it takes. If not that then I sincerely hope you will give us some other essays in the future.

    One last thing, are you female? Because if you are I did not see that one coming. This may be very common knowledge, but if it is I clearly missed it.

  186. MRR
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    John-Michael Lelievre,

    I don’t have a problem with Brienne’s adaptation.

    That’s no reason not to include it here. It might have been nice to see you explain what they did right with Brienne so as to offer a contrast to your other criticisms.

    I can’t agree that cutting scenes of Sansa’s relationship with Dontos really weaken Sansa as a woman, or as a character in general. We still saw many sides of Sansa this season. I also thought that the risk of sexual abuse to Sansa during the riot was very implicit in the books, so I don’t see the TV adaptation as being much of a departure. We still see a different woman – presumably Lollys – being assaulted, so it’s not simply the case that all of the other abuse was transferred onto Sansa. I suspect a large reason for the change was due to filming constraints; having her assailants carry her off means they can get away from the “crowd” scene, which means they have to rely less on camera tricks to inflate the size of their mob, and it also means that Sandor’s actions don’t need to be as carefully choreographed since he’s dealing with fewer people.

  187. Macha
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Mimi,
    Same here, and thank you. :) I can relate to getting really attached to characters as well, and this just proves what an awesome job GRRM (and the show-for some readers) did. Luckily for me, I’ve only began reading the books when the show was announced here, and I managed to finish them about the time the show reached mid-season. So I’m always going to be partial to the show to some extent. I hope that this partiality translates not to blindly dismissing any criticism, but being able to go beyond my initial disappointment with some scenes and trying to figure out why some of the changes were made.

    And I agree with Aegon the Conqueror, if you find the time Sue, more articles like this!

  188. MRR
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    One last thing, are you female? Because if you are I did not see that one coming. This may be very common knowledge, but if it is I clearly missed it.

    She does mention being a mother in the article…

  189. The Onion Knight
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I hope we get more Ros next season.

  190. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    MRR,

    So she does, there was so much to ponder in this article I completely missed that statement. This makes a lot of sense and casts new light on some of her comments in earlier posts.

  191. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    The Onion Knight,

    what you have just said many will take as akin to blaspehemy. Don’t start wars needlessly.

  192. Zack
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    MRR,

    So she does, there was so much to ponder in this article I completely missed that statement. This makes a lot of sense and casts new light on some of her comments in earlier posts.

    How long have you been around these parts? If you’re an old timer you’ll remember a poster with the handle Sue the Pirate. Thats Fury here.

    I mean, I suppose that handle could be a reference to favoring litigation against P2P users, though. ;)

  193. Vanderhook
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Mimi:
    Vanderhook,

    You’re right, that theory doesn’t make sense given Cat’s wish for a Tully-Stark to inherit Winterfell eventually. I just worry in case they’ll make Cat wish that Robb’s heir is Frey rather than a Westerling/Talisa’s. It doesn’t make sense in terms of her character, though.

    Absolutely love your Talisa is Jeyne in disguise theory. It could have some very interesting consequences for all of the characters involved. What do you make of Talisa’s tale about her brother in the show, though?

    That its a BS story, and a clever ploy to appeal to Robb’s emotions.

  194. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I’ve been around for little over a year (gone through some name and identity changes) though I don’t recall a poster like that. I take a while to emerge from my shell so very long time lurker. Wanted to be more actively involved in the comments this year, but was hard during the airing of season 2 because SOuth Africa aired the episodes 5 days after the premier.

  195. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook,

    If this is indeed true and Talisa is Jeyne Westerling sent by Lord Tywin to derail the Stark/Frey alliance, he is the most clever and evil warrior mastermind I have ever met in fiction (and I read quite a bit).

  196. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I used to use Steve the Pirate a lot, an old internet nickname I’ve used forever due to my fixation on Alan Tudyk and well, pirates. (Which is why I’m still SuethePirate on twitter) So I can understand there being some confusion about my sex occasionally. Doesn’t bother me. :)

  197. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t ignoring your post earlier, I just missed some comments directed at me when they were popping up fast.
    Yep, female and all that jazz. Glad you liked it. And I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I say. Discussing and debating is way more fun. :)

  198. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    No I figured you spotting my post in between all the others was a long shot and was the reason why I posted twice.

    Ours is the Fury:
    Aegon the Conqueror,

    Glad you liked it. And I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I say. Discussing and debating is way more fun. :)

    So does this mean we are going to be seeing more posts like these? Perhaps an essay on every episode in season 3? A Targeryen can only hope.

  199. Zack
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Haha! I figured it was a Dodgeball reference! I’m a bit of a Tudyk fanboy myself, having enjoyed his work ever since A Knight’s Tale.

  200. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    I don’t know, I hadn’t given it much thought yet- still recovering from season 2. I’ll think about it. :)

  201. Andrew
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Mimi,

    Few quick things…

    It’s not the writers fault if people cannot seem to understand a characters motivations without someone explicitly stating “Oh, I freed him because the Karstarks were about to murder him.” The show made it abundantly clear why Catelyn did what she did, that being saving Jamies life so that Cersei would have no reason to execute her daughters. Some people may (rightly) argue that there were better courses of action to ensure Jamie’s safety, but I sincerely doubt anyone thinks she just randomly decided to free him because she missed Sansa.

    Second, some book fans have been blaming Catelyn for The Red Wedding for years. I’m not entirely sure why you think it’s going to be a show-only reaction.

  202. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Well considering there is unfortunately really a long time before the airing of season 3 I’m going to take that as a positive sign.
    Eagerly waiting for your next essay, hopefully an expansion of your final paragraph.

  203. mags giantsbabe
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    If I’m not mistaken there is not one, but three fully frontal nude males in S1.

    I’m guessing the next topic will be: “How Jon Snow’s character was destroyed and what a bad actor Kit Harington is.” I’ve noticed Simon Armstrong didn’t even get a curtain call.

    If people are upset by how female sexuality/ nudity is being portrayed in the show,I wonder what they will say about S3′s girl on girl action (in the book) and a certain girl stripping naked in front of the boy she loves (also in the book
    ).

  204. Andrew
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe,

    Unless i’m misremembering, FaB put Halfhand, Doreah, Ducksauce, and I think Jaqen into a single curtain call after the finale aired.

  205. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe,

    There was a collective curtain call for all the deceased characters of episode 20 as well as Jaqen H’ghar who is not dead but has left.

  206. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Actually that was me. Yeah, Doreah, Xaro, Pyat, Jaqen and Qhorin since it would’ve been RIP Central here for like a week if they all had separate entries. (And of course some of their fates were ambiguous….)

  207. sunspear
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you on Sansa and somewhat with Catelyn, but not the rest.

    The Stannis/Mel scene felt completely in character to me, and I’m a huge Stannis fan. The main problem I have is that they didn’t really play up Mel’s ability to see the future, so I can see a show-only viewer being confused, but bookreaders shouldn’t have a problem.

    Chataya and Alayaya were most likely cut due to time constraints.

    I’ll be honest, I don’t like Catelyn that much in the books, but I do agree some of the criticism she gets is off-base. Her motivation for freeing Jaime was much worse than in the books, especially since the deal was made with Littlefinger, someone she openly distrusts.

    That being said, I think her political skill is greatly exagerated, so it doesn’t hurt her character much. Her only major political victory was negotiating the Frey marriage pact. Suggesting that they try to ally with the largest army in Westeros isn’t exactly the height of military strategy, and some of Robb’s bannermen had already mentioned it in any case.

  208. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Including Jaqen in the Curtain Call was kinda odd . What if they decided to bring back Tom in the future ?

  209. Andrew
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Oops, my bad then. I had threatened FaB at one point about giving Doreah a curtain call, so I guess I just assumed it was entirely my doing and that he wrote it, haha. It would have been a very depressing week here if we got a new curtain call every day indeed!

  210. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Claudiu Gherganu,

    They may change what happens in the books, but should we ignore Tom Wlaschiha and not give him a Curtain Call on the off chance he returns five years from now? Better to give him the curtain call, and if he comes back in a few years, then sweet. No big deal.

  211. Lars
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    For anyone who still thinks that the show has an exaggerated women-to-men nudity ratio compared to the books. I have just one word.

    Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth.

    Sorry for the repeats, but this truly needs to be repeated. In this aspect the show is an adaptation of a flawed source material. You can’t be upset about it in the show if you yearn for a more “purist” adaptation.

  212. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Lars:
    For anyone who still thinks that the show has an exaggerated women-to-men nudity ratio compared to the books. I have just one word.

    Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth.

    Sorry for the repeats, but this truly needs to be repeated. In this aspect the show is an adaptation of a flawed source material. You can’t be upset about it in the show if you yearn for a more “purist” adaptation.

    Shhhh, if it’s from the books it’s good (:

  213. kernel thai
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Dovienya,

    I dont think u have to worry about Ser Dontus appearing in s3. There was absolutely no reason to introduce the character if they didnt plan to tell the Sansa/Dontus story. My guess is with book three filling two season a lot of stuff was moved back to fill the 20 hours.

  214. Jess
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Lars,

    You act like fans of the book are happy about that aspect of it, I personally rolled my eyes at it, but to each his or her own. There have been many discussions over the years about Martin’s portrayal of people on the continent of Essos.

    Also, throwing the word purist around like a dirty word does not endear you to people who want to have a serious discussion, Book fans could very easily call anyone who agrees with changes an apologist, but then why would someone stoop to that level?

    There are problematic things in both the books and the show, and I see nothing wrong with people pointing them out. I would like to think this is an open forum for people to engage civilly without having to worry about people resorting to cheap shots every time someone happened to give an opinion you didn’t agree with.

    You can disagree with “book purist” without being condescending about it, especially when you assume people who are pointing out the flaws of the show are 100 percent content with every storyline in Martin’s novels.

  215. Claudiu Gherganu
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Jess:
    Lars,

    You act like fans of the book are happy about that aspect of it, I personally rolled my eyes at it, but to each his or her own. There have been many discussions over the years about Martin’s portrayal of people on the continent of Essos.

    Also, throwing the word purist around like a dirty word does not endear you to people who want to have a serious discussion, Book fans could very easily call anyone who agrees with changes an apologist, but then why would someone stoop to that level?

    There are problematic things in both the books and the show, and I see nothing wrong with people pointing them out. I would like to think this is an open forum for people to engage civilly without having to worry about people resorting to cheap shots every time someone happened to give an opinion you didn’t agree with.

    You can disagree with “book purist” without being condescending about it, especially when you assume people who are pointing out the flaws of the show are 100 percent content with every storyline in Martin’s novels.

    They don’t call us apologists , they call us D&D’ ass kissers and trust me I KNOW what i’m talking about when they say it . Apparently not bitching 24/7 about every single detail that was not in the books and enjoying the show for what it is , we’re ass kissers .

  216. Jess
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Claudiu Gherganu,

    So if someone resorts to defamatory labeling you do it as well? You’re an adult, leave that kind of nonsense for the playground.

  217. DB
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Loving this article so much, we should definitely have more of these. I think the Brienne on the show is a bit different from the books though. She would not have killed those men so ruthlessly, or without any remorse. She’s like the truest knight of Westeros.

  218. TheFrozenKing
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Sucks they killed off poor irri:( aside from Ser Barristan Selmy she is my favorite character from the books.

  219. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    A woman enjoyed reading your writing OitF, but did not agree with all points made.

    Regarding Stannis choking Mel, it appeared that the cork came off the bottle under pressure. After losing a major battle, so many men, and all his plans for crushing Joffrey dashed, he could not contain his rage and took it out on the one he blamed for the defeat…Melissandre. Was it kind, compassionate, or rational? No. But IMO, it shows that the black and white world of Stannis Baratheon is full of greys, and he is having a hard time acknowledging that fact. The simple fact that he leans on Mel for strategy, planning, and confirmation of his claim to the throne must irk Stannis, since he wants to be a man of his own, a man with his own resources. Depending on Mel at all infuriates him, and diminishes his own self-esteem in ways he cannot handle, so he lashes out while reliving the battle in the table room with Mel. She knows he will not kill her, cannot kill her, so she drops her hands while he’s strangling her with an almost “I Dare You” look, and tells him that the Red god is within him, which blows his mind a little and he drops his attack. Theirs is a complicated relationship in both book and show, and IMO Mel STILL has the upper hand with her visions. Stannis has no other choice but to follow her advice, since the other advisers mostly are just “yes” men who give no real strategic help. So Mel is one of the most powerful women in Westeros, just unknown to the world. Meanwhile, Stannis is slowly becoming the corrupt and ruthless king he himself despised.

    With Catelyn, a woman believes that her role is diminished in the show because her advice to Robb is given to others as a function of time, budget, and the need for other characters to have significant roles in Robb’s life and the general story. Even in the book Cat loses power as Robb gets more of his own, so it doesn’t bother me that much in the show. Some of Cat’s ideas come from Robb in the show since he needs to have lines of his own and has no POV in the books. Cat still has “a woman’s power,” as Brienne has acknowledged, and she means the power to deal with the human and strategic aspects of life and war. Cat will still be a force even in her own orbit by sheer power of her own personality and intelligence. After all, she walked into a field full of angry men with swords in hand and got them all to stand down. That took cajones, really BIG ones. Her power is more subtle, but still there.

    Sansa is a spoiled brat in the books, but smart enough to survive using the only weapons she has at hand, her wits. As Tyrion said, she could outlive them all, and a woman anxiously awaits Sansa’s future growth. Did D&D intentionally delete Sansa’s best book story line in S2? Maybe they’ve pushed it back in favor of developing Arya’s character more in S2. Perhaps we’ll see her more in S3, her character is growing quickly as teenagers will do in life, and her story will be interesting. A woman would not be surprised if the Dontos story line is deleted in favor of a simpler method of moving Sansa out of KL, since the book version is complicated and requires ships, more sets, climbing down cliffs, etc.

    Chataya and Alayaya would have required another set and yet another side tangent of plot away from the already numerous plot lines. It’s no surprise that this was deleted. There will be many more characters of color in later seasons when Dorne and more Dothraki are involved more directly in the story. A woman does not blame D&D for that deletion.

    The most powerful females in Westeros/Essos are Dany, Cersei, Brienne, and Arya. The latter two have developing powers as women warriors and will continue to be forces to reckon with. A woman looks so forward to their scenes. Dany and Cersei have royal blood and royal ambitions, and who will end up on top at the end of the series is still unknown. It appears that Cersei is one who uses her female wiles to get her way, and Dany does too but has the added bonus of dragons. Who will end up prevailing is also unknown to even the book readers today, but it appears that GRRM wanted there to be strong women even in his medieval fantasy world, they’re not all only whores and washerwomen. It’s clear that GRRM wants some of the women in his stories to rise above the social norms that would keep them subservient. Which one will rise higher than the others in the end will depend on who can get the best allies to rise to their side in their quest for the Iron Throne.

    It is still possible that a woman will be on the throne at the end of the series, but who will it be? That’s where the fun lies, in the adventure.

  220. Jess
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Well-written piece. Although I know that most (if not all) of the characters lost parts of their personalities during the print-to-TV transfer, I agree there were small tweaks that the producers could have made to enhance these female characters, such as those pointed out by you in Cat’s storyline.

    The whole Robb sleeping with Tallisa twist was ridiculous and I lol-ed when reading this: “it makes Robb considerably less likeable to see him berating his mother so disrespectfully” because I never found Robb likeable at all in the book. :) Can’t wait for season 3. And yes, let’s cast some people of color please!

  221. Frost Nocturne
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Spliced,

    I’m starting to come around to your more positive interpretation of the Stannis/Mel choking scene. I still think the choking was unnecessary, excessive, and not in line with what we’ve seen of the cold distance of Stannis from the books, but it helps to look at it as a scene demonstrating the immense effect the defeat of Blackwater had on Stannis and his “testing” of whether Mel’s power is genuine. I also like the scene for finally making Stannis and Mel’s relationship clear – that he is not under her complete control and that she seems to truly believe he is her God’s chosen.
    As for her mbti, I think Melisandre is clearly an INFJ. Her character up until ADWD is the prototypical fanatical INFJ mystic, and even after we get her POV she is shown to be driven by her dominant Ni.

  222. Iris
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW: But whatever discomfort I felt at watching a beautiful woman being strangled (on a separate note, fat and ugly women can and *should* be strangled with impunity, of course, but I’ll leave that topic for another day)

    I don’t even have words for how disgusted I am by this.

  223. Azi
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    This is a really interesting article and suggests some interesting points — particularly about the character development of Cat in the tv version.

    I noticed something else about the representation of women in the tv show — particularly that of Jeyne Westerling/Talisa and Margaery Tyrell. I wouldn’t call D&D sexist (though I question some of their choices for Cersei’s/Catelyn’s character-development) in fact, I think they push the modern viewpoint of female empowerment too far with some characters. Don’t get me wrong: it’s wonderful to have strong and bold women on the show — characters such as Dany, Brienne, Arya, and Asha act openly in defiant ways toward gender stereotypes. That said, let’s face the reality of the situation: it’s a patriarchal society in which women are supposed to act as a helper and servant, not a player or leader. Not all women will or can act as the Aryas and Ashas do, so they learn how to gain some leverage in other ways. Which brings us to people like Margaery and Jeyne/Talisa: noble born women who have been raised to be passive and dutiful. The portrayal of Margaery in the HBO series disappoints me in this way because in the books Margaery plays against the odds as much as Asha or anyone else does, but she’s less obvious about it — she doesn’t run around carrying swords or issuing commands. Tv-Margaery is pretty obvious about it. The throne room scene was good for showing more of her deceptive sweetness, but in most of her scenes the television version of Margaery doesn’t hide her political ambition — “I want to be THE queen” comes to mind. The brilliant thing about Margaery is that she represents one of the few ways women can gain power in such a society if they do not want to be socially ostracized or if they don’t have the bold gravitas that the Aryas and Ashas do (which, in all fairness, most people in general don’t have). In order to move beyond her “place” in society she publicly plays into the allotted role. So I guess in that sense I wish they had been more subtle with Margaery’s political ambition/knowledge. Natalie Dormer’s boobs are lovely, but the mystery of how much or how little of a player/innocent she is (though we can take a pretty good guess at the state of both of those) is one of her more compelling attributes in the books. Margaery’s shield is her stereotype — the sweet, innocent maid — but in the tv show she’s flat out telling Littlefinger (and thus the audience) what she’s after.

    As for Jeyne/Talisa, it falls in the same line as Margaery. Jeyne wasn’t exactly compelling or poignant in the books but she was representative of your typical lord’s daughter. (Her political ambitions/machinations are similarly/moreso unknown.) While Oona Chaplin is an interesting actress (I actually quite like her, despite not entirely enjoying her character) Talisa’s more of a fairy tale than a reality. A warm, independent, strong-willed woman with a distaste for slavery and elitism, wandering through a battle camp, tending the wounded, alone and unprotected? A wonderful, lovely dream but out of place in the GoT world, where people are a product of their surroundings and, for better or for worse, contain both good and bad of that environment in them. That is not to say that people like Talisa can’t exist in Westeros, just that, after the Aryas, the Briennes, the tvShaes (a vast improvement in my opinion), the Ashas, and the Danys, she begins to look less like a fleshed out character and more like a one-dimensional feminist ideal. And to me that makes her less of a rallying point than someone like Dany, who’s ruling a country and kicking ass, but still has her own prejudices and flaws.

    I guess what I’m trying to get at (in my round-about way) is that what makes characters like Arya and Brienne so interesting and empowering is that their backdrop is a world in which they have no place because they have bent these gender roles. The problem with the HBO show is that by having a great deal of the female cast act in this way you a) ignore another way women in that situation empowered themselves and b) make this behavior the majority which detracts from the cost and the significance of that behavior.

    Anyway, that’s just something that’s been jingling around in my head for awhile. Obviously just my own opinion but it’s pretty interesting to see how characters are changed/adapted for a broader audience.

  224. patchy face
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Handmaiden of Dany,

    Just wondering why people always have such frustration with Dany – it always makes sense to me that her story arc moves slowly as she has the most to overcome if you think about it. She also is a young girl trying to take over the world – she is smart enough to know she has a long way to go and a lot to learn…

  225. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Azi:

    If you watch closely with Margaery, she plays one character in the Throne Room, at the Tournament, and walking with Littlefinger in public.

    And another one entirely when she’s alone with Renley and yet another person when even Loras leaves her with Littlefinger.

    The difference with the book is that we never see Margaery not in public. She plays the role commonly and is guarded even walking with LF in relative private, but she only really reveals her intentions one on one and when she needs to.

  226. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Iris: I don’t even have words for how disgusted I am by this.

    That’s odd. I thought it was a staggeringly clever line.

  227. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    are you sure you wanted to say that ugly women should be strangled? Cause I’m thinking you meant to say you weren’t implying that ugly women should be strangled.

  228. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    MATTHEW,

    are you sure you wanted to say that ugly women should be strangled? Cause I’m thinking you meant to say you weren’t implying that ugly women should be strangled.

    Just an attempt at Swift-ian trolling on my part. I plead nolo contendere.

    But seriously though, do you think, for example, those scenes in the Kill Bill movies would be as gripping/exciting/upsetting if the combatants were played by Roseanne Barr and Camryn Manheim? Just sayin’.

  229. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    Just stop now.

  230. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Really some people!

    Back on topic, Ours is the Fury, I’d be quite intrested to hear your take on the Shae of the series vs the Shae in the books. Sibbyl was amazing this season.

  231. MATTHEW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Really some people!
    Back on topic, Ours is the Fury, I’d be quite intrested to hear your take on the Shae of the series vs the Shae in the books. Sibbyl was amazing this season.

    I think the reaction to Shae by many fans was as follows:

    * Initial shock that she wasn’t remotely like her character as described in the books, followed by complaints about the actress, the dialogue given to her, etc.

    * As we became used to her, we began to find her feisty tongue and f ierce loyalty endearing

    * By the end of Season 2, we were starting to fall in love with her and enjoying her romance with Tyrion and friendship with Sansa but we are very concerned about how the writers are going to handle Shae’s betrayal of Tyrion in Season 4, not to mention her death scene given that she is now a much more authentic and complex character than she was in the books.

    The drinking game with Bronn and Tyrion in Season 1 is one of my favorite scenes in the whole series. I love it when Tyrion gets flustered because Shae is not following the rules o the drinking game.

  232. Molda
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    There is only one thing i can say right now (and even though i am very far from being sober i mean it) I love michelle fairley as catelyn. I love how she looks, i love how she sounds and i love how she acts. The other thing is how she was portraied in scripts, but i think its not that bad.
    One of the best females in the show as far as my opinion matters.

  233. SkywalkerIsDead
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    You’ve got this red woman telling you your this messiah reborn, that you will sit on the iron throne, in order to make this happen you must kill your brother so you can acquire his banner men, you get to the castle with a huge force…..things are looking good? Then all the sudden the majority of your force is wiped out and you have to return home with your tail between your legs. So in a moment of human weakness when you realize you’ve betrayed your beliefs and your dreams didn’t come to fruition, you choke the bitch that filled your head with all this shit. That sound believable. Stannis in the books is boring and not likable, he is the equivalent of a high school vice principle. The show has made Stannis much more interesting and complex without straying from his core.

  234. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    SkywalkerIsDead:
    You’ve got this red woman telling you your this messiah reborn, that you will sit on the iron throne, in order to make this happen you must kill your brother so you can acquire his banner men, you get to the castle with a huge force…..things are looking good? Then all the sudden the majority of your force is wiped out and you have to return home with your tail between your legs. So in a moment of human weakness when you realize you’ve betrayed your beliefs and your dreams didn’t come to fruition, you choke the bitch that filled your head with all this shit. That sound believable.Stannis in the books is boring and not likable, he is the equivalent of a high school vice principle. The show has made Stannis much more interesting and complex without straying from his core.

    A woman also feels that it was not so out of character for Stannis to “choke the bitch that filled your head with all this shit” as you said. IMO, Stannis already started down the slippery slope of compromising his honor when he betrayed his wedding vows by poking Mel to get a shadow baby to kill his brother. He’s slipping down, down, down. How far does the slope go? We shall see.

  235. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Azi:
    This is a really interesting article and suggests some interesting points — particularly about the character development of Cat in the tv version…

    …I guess what I’m trying to get at (in my round-about way) is that what makes characters like Arya and Brienne sointeresting and empowering is that their backdrop is a world in which they have no place because they have bent these gender roles. The problem with the HBO show is that by having a great deal of the female cast act in this way you a) ignore another way women in that situation empowered themselves and b) make this behavior the majority which detracts from the cost and the significance of that behavior.

    Anyway, that’s just something that’s been jingling around in my head for awhile. Obviously just my own opinion but it’s pretty interesting to see how characters are changed/adapted for a broader audience.

    A woman agrees with you about Arya and Brienne…they are the oddballs, outcasts, weirdos of their time and place. It is not an easy position to be in, but to suppress their natural abilities and wishes to express their warrior sides would be deadly spiritually and perhaps physically. It seems that show Arya has not yet explored her warrior side as much as book Arya at this point (though most forget that she DID KILL the stableboy at KL before she ran to Flea Bottom), but they’re probably just slowing down her development as a medieval ninja assassin till next season or later.

  236. SkywalkerIsDead
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,
    Thanks I forgot about that incident, I don’t know how. Just one more thing to make him lose his shit.

  237. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    SkywalkerIsDead:
    Mrs. H’ghar,
    Thanks I forgot about that incident, I don’t know how. Just one more thing to make him lose his shit.

    No doubt, no doubt. A woman expects a total Stannis freakout at some point. It will not be pretty.

  238. hashbandit420
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    BiiaCX,

    uhh, Melisandre deserves a lot more then a light choking. she’s a manipulative bitch but I’m assuming you haven’t read the books since you didn’t know that…

  239. hashbandit420
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    well said, people -want- to look for something to be offended about in this series while totally disregarding the setting and how the characters would realistically behave.

  240. WildSeed
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Great thought provoking review. I believe the complexity of Catelyn’s character
    is consistent with her family values ” Duty, Family, Honor”. In GoT only
    Tyrion and Littlefinger mentioned that juxtaposition to Cate , seemingly for book
    reference only. In ASOIAF Cate was absorbed with being mother, counselor and
    dutiful daughter. She was the opposite of her self absorbed sister Lysa whose
    actions were straight forward and selfish. Benioff and Weiss chose to focus on Cate
    as a insightful mother not a strong voice of wisdom that counsels from any perspective.
    GoT’s Catelyn Tully-Stark was robbed of the choice being an interesting individual
    instead of Ned’s wife or Robb’s mommy. I believe the words of her house should have
    been emphasized more than it was instead honorable mention, from there we’d begin
    to understand her sense of duty and honor for her family. It did not have to be decon-
    structed , only chosen emphasis with Robb with the occurrence of key events that
    influenced her decisions. All we ever hear are Stark words with the obvious signs of
    winter that all viewers get to watch on screen. Tully words , Tully woman.
    Sansa’s story suffered more because her counterparts or dialogue with Sandor
    was limited and given to Littlefinger ( ironically a reversal takes place much much
    later ) or the GOT sadomasochist Joffrey . Ser Dontos is missing completely. We
    get to see and hear Cersei prance around more to show off the period details of couture
    and wigs we all crave to see ( me too actually ). Perhaps her story will evolve more
    unlike her mom whose typecast has been too altered by events that we have already
    moved on. There is a small possibility with the casting of Edmure and Blackfish and
    possible mention of an ill father may realign Cate’s predicament but I’m not so sure
    that we’d care. On GoT she acts out of impulse not just conviction, there’s nothing
    wise about that. With missing events ( seize of Winterfell ) in place, hers becomes
    a ” oh sorry I bitched you out, didn’t know what may have Influenced your decisions,
    thought you were just acting hormonal…” moment. By then we have moved on.
    I lament the loss of Chataya and Alayaya because the viewers would got to see
    beautiful summer islanders away from the slave cities and unmarked by brands.
    True they were prostitutes, but earned a living and treated somewhat better than
    slaves or unwed beggar women. I missed Tyrions’s description of their exotic
    beauty and intelligence with Chataya’s role at the brothol. Not all the inhabitants
    of Kings Landing were fair skin, there existed a diverse population of folk as any
    metropolis would be, overcrowded filthy and teaming with excitement.

  241. DB
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    hashbandit420,

    Idk, did you read ADwD? She is totally not a “manipulative bitch that deserves crueler punishment than a choking”, she is actually pretty sincere and actually tries to help Jon… Also, that was a really nasty misogynistic comment and you didn’t even bother to hide it lol

  242. WildSeed
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar: A woman also feels that it was not so out of character for Stannis to “choke the bitch that filled your head with all this shit” as you said. IMO, Stannis already started down the slippery slope of compromising his honor when he betrayed his wedding vows by poking Mel to get a shadow baby to kill his brother. He’s slipping down, down, down. How far does the slope go? We shall see.

    Interesting. I am quite dismayed withGoT Stannis and I did understand his perspective
    from the books. The series leaves no mystery between he and Melisandre, especially
    regarding the death of Renley which Stannis appeared naive of when relating to Davos.
    On GoT I see him as someone whom has knowingly sold his soul and participates
    with eyes wide open. Who would cheer that on as a ” worthy ” cause ? That’s no
    better than Balon’s quest to pillage because why the fuck not ! Danerys is looking’
    sweeter every day, no matter how many times she screams ” I will take this city with
    fire and blood ( dammit ! ) !!! Isn’t that the plan ? she is a hottie, it is known :D

  243. WildSeed
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar: No doubt, no doubt. A woman expects a total Stannis freakout at some point. It will not be pretty.

    I hear you. I wonder how long he’s gonna last on GoT before he self destructs. The
    two of them have before a wretched couple. I had respect for Stannis of the books
    and looked forward to Melisandre’s premonitions. This couple is doomed if not
    by their own actions ( unless the writers have a twist coming for us ) and a shorter
    lifespan than the ADWD.
    had respect for

  244. Alan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed: Interesting. I am quite dismayed withGoT Stannis and I did understand his perspective
    from the books. The series leaves no mystery between he and Melisandre, especially
    regarding the death of Renley which Stannis appeared naive of when relating to Davos.
    On GoT I see him as someone whom has knowingly sold his soul and participates
    with eyes wide open. Who would cheer that on as a ” worthy ” cause ? That’s no
    better than Balon’s quest to pillage because why the fuck not ! Danerys is looking’
    sweeter every day, no matter how many times she screams ” I will take this city with
    fire and blood ( dammit ! ) !!! Isn’t that the plan ? she is a hottie, it is known:D

    I always find it interesting who the general fanbase supports for the Crown, at least in terms of non-Starks.

    People tend to root for people they find likeable (not necessarily good people) and competent people. The groundswell after ADwD to Stannis and away from Dany is ironic to me. The former gets votes for competence and opposing a truly hideous enemy and the latter gets dinger for actually caring about her subjects for a time and not lusting after the Iron Throne. To me, Dany’s at her most worthy when she’s trying to rule Mereen.

  245. WildSeed
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Macha:
    Then after this assault, she brushes it aside and shows him his future in the flames, with her as loyal to him as always. The choking affects what we know of the characters: that he is petty enough to abuse a woman who helped him as he wished, and that she is willing to accept it. That is not a good development.

    My two cents: The scene puzzled me too, in my first viewing. After watching Larry’s review and re-watching the scene, I could understand why the chose to write it in. Of course this is only my opinion and I don’t pretend to speak on anybody’s behalf. To me, the scene makes scenes if you’re considering the new-viewer angle. Most non-readers believe seem to believe that: a) Mel is playing him. She has her own agenda, she’s a vicious sorceress and a ruthless killer and that she’s simply manipulating him. She’s lying, we just haven’t found out why or how exactly.and b) He believes everything she says and doesn’t question her, in the end. This scene disproves both of these beliefs. We get a glimpse of Stannis’ conscience and guilt, we realize (or we’re meant to realize, IMO) that Mel’s loyalty to him is genuine and that his actions as a man don’t matter to her because she only sees the king, and ultimately we see that he isn’t as foolish or as gullible as one might think he is – in regards to her. That, of course, until the ‘look into the fire’ scene, but – as this is a fantasy show – we can’t really dismiss his reaction to what he saw in the flames, so I won’t comment on that. To resume, the way I saw it, this scene served the following purposes: it humanized them (even, or perhaps especially Stannis), it showed us a better glimpse of their true motivations, and it showed us how powerful their connection is, ultimately. I can’t judge this scene in terms relating to gender, because I really haven’t thought for one second about this while watching. Melisandre, while being somewhat of a cliche character prior to ADWD, is shown as a powerful player and a powerful woman in the show. The fact that she does nothing to stop Stannis from chocking her is significant for her devotion to him as a king/R’hllor chosen, not as a man, so reducing this scene to a depiction of a man abusing a woman means – in my humble opinion – simplifying and deviating its meaning.

    But I agree with most of the other points you made, and I thank you for your article, if the discussion stays civil I feel that we’ll have many interesting opinions to share.

    Well said . Between Ours is the Fury yours and other commenders here, I have a
    new perspective to consider for a scene. I deplored. I hope the discussion remains
    civil and thought provoking too.

  246. WildSeed
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Alan,

    Yes, GRRM’s words may be his but reflects the timeless meaning of life that we’re
    forced to examine ourselves. Too much demands on a single point of view which
    may be true but does not reflect what is accurate. Sometimes there’s there’s a lot
    of truths going around but as meaning quickly or slowly evolves, the wisest path
    is known. I enjoyed the complexities of these characters, also had a crush on a
    few. With each added decision or action do we witness the character of that
    individual which changes a plan or opinion of them. No one is perfect, that’s the
    bottom line……as long as That Line doesn’t get crossed :D

  247. WildSeed
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Ours is the Fury,

    No I figured you spotting my post in between all the others was a long shot and was the reason why I posted twice.

    So does this mean we are going to be seeing more posts like these? Perhaps an essay on every episode in season 3? A Targeryen can only hope.

    We should send for Arbor Gold, that will sweetened the deal :D. This is great post
    and I vote for more next season too.

  248. freoduwebbe
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar: She knows he will not kill her, cannot kill her, so she drops her hands while he’s strangling her with an almost “I Dare You” look, and tells him that the Red god is within him, which blows his mind a little and he drops his attack. Theirs is a complicated relationship in both book and show, and IMO Mel STILL has the upper hand with her visions. Stannis has no other choice but to follow her advice, since the other advisers mostly are just “yes” men who give no real strategic help. So Mel is one of the most powerful women in Westeros, just unknown to the world. Meanwhile, Stannis is slowly becoming the corrupt and ruthless king he himself despised.

    this.
    I am a believer in the ‘Violence is the last resort of the incompetant’ – but I can understand why Stannis tried to choke her – and why she didnt fight back. He popped his cork (and no its not excusable, just understandable) and he never had a chance to kill her anyway (from her perspective – kind of like a mom during a toddlers tantrum). I dont see this as out of his character at all. I also like Stannis – but agree with the poster who said he was a dick.

    Ours is the Fury – THANK YOU for such a great article – and thanks mostly everyone for some well thought responses… I for one do not see compare and contrast as bitching and whining
    His behavior is against his black and white views – and he that is winding him up – I too am waiting for him to pop… cant wait for his NEXT battle… he has a LOT of energy to lose there.

  249. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    freoduwebbe: this.
    I am a believer in the ‘Violence is the last resort of the incompetant’ – but I can understand why Stannis tried to choke her – and why she didnt fight back.He popped his cork (and no its not excusable, just understandable) and he never had a chance to kill her anyway (from her perspective – kind of like a mom during a toddlers tantrum).I dont see this as out of his character at all.I also like Stannis – but agree with the poster who said he was a dick.

    Ours is the Fury – THANK YOU for such a great article – and thanks mostly everyone for some well thought responses… I for one do not see compare and contrast as bitching and whining
    His behavior isagainst his black and white views – and he that is winding him up – I too am waiting for him to pop… cant wait for his NEXT battle… he has a LOT of energy to lose there.

    A woman agrees with you that “compare and contrast” is perfectly fine for polite and engaging conversation/commentary threads. It’s always pleasant when you encounter somebody else who sees things your way, but is also refreshing to read other viewpoints and expand the possibilities in meaning and intention of the characters we love and love to hate. Stannis is a complex character, but a dick nonetheless. It will be interesting to see if he learns from his mistakes and uses his considerable allies to actually sit on that throne one day. Not that this woman would want to see that, still trying to decide who I’d actually like to win.

  250. mags giantsbabe
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Andrew, thanks, I never pressed the Read More button to see the collective curtain calls.

  251. mags giantsbabe
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    Mrs H’ghar

    And Stannis becomes more interesting in the 2nd part of book 3, especially when he crosses paths with another important character and offers said character those choices. It’s far ahead in the story but I can’t wait for the Mell-Stannis-” ” dynamic.

  252. MoonCoffee
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe:
    If I’m not mistaken there is not one, but three fully frontal nude males in S1.

    Are you seriously putting Hodor and the assassin wineseller’s sexual appeal on equivalent level to Ros, Shae and Dany?

  253. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    MoonCoffee: Are you seriously putting Hodor and the assassin wineseller’s sexual appeal on equivalent level to Ros, Shae and Dany?

    A woman has nightmares about Hodor’s merkin…is that TMI?

  254. Alexandra KT
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Katie,

    I really disagree about the ‘high level of nudity’ and the need for a more European influence on the sex scenes in the show on HBO. I am female but while some of the scenes are shocking, or seeming too ‘frat-boy’ in style it is a reflection on the period in which the series were based by the author. The culture, clothing, battle equipments and styles are a reflection of what could be called a time of the Middle Ages where rape, prostitution and sex was rampant and also shameful in the higher classes. I feel that these scenes add positively to the HBO tv show.

    On the other hand, thank you Ellen for taking the time to deconstruct and compose this article. I agree with much in it and there were points which I had not thought of previously.

  255. loco73
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    For my part I am content with the female characters on “Game Of Thrones”. But it is hard to please everyone. Remember that the adaptation of such a voluminous set of novels to the small screen presents a quite unique set of challenges, besides being a herculean undertaking to begin with, as well as a delicate balancing act between satisfying the entrenched fandom as well as attracting new recruites.

    The female characters are not shown as weak, stupid or any of the typical negative connotations we get on the average network tv show. They are fully fleshed-out, multi-faceted and complex individuals, and in many ways, to me at least, more interesting than their male counterparts. The women are the backbone of the story/show as well as the backbone of the ASOIF world. It is often the women who are left to pick-up the pieces after some calamity spurred-on by the men.

    I also appreciate the fact the women shown on the show cover a varried array of characters and personalities, thereby avoiding the one-dimensional-carboard-cut-outs we tend to see on a typical TV series.

    Do you want to see women portrayed in a negative way on TV? Take anyone of the multitude of reality tv shows populating the small screen as an example. While I am not saying that Got’s portrayal of women is perfect, it is still better, no scratch that, it’s light years ahead of the usual mind numbing drivel we are exposed to day after day on televison and elsewhere.

  256. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    loco73:
    For my part I am content with the female characters on “Game Of Thrones”.But it is hard to please everyone. Remember that the adaptation of such a voluminous set of novels to the small screen presents a quite unique set of challenges, besides being a herculean undertaking to begin with, as well as a delicate balancing act between satisfying the entrenched fandom as well as attracting new recruites.

    The female characters are not shown as weak, stupid or any of the typical negative connotations we get on the average network tv show. They are fully fleshed-out, multi-faceted and complex individuals, and in many ways, to me at least, more interesting than their male counterparts.The women are the backbone of the story/show as well as the backbone of the ASOIF world.It is often the women who are left to pick-up the pieces after some calamity spurred-on by the men.

    I also appreciate the fact the women shown on the show cover a varried array of characters and personalities, thereby avoiding the one-dimensional-carboard-cut-outs we tend to see on a typical TV series.

    Do you want to see women portrayed in a negative way on TV? Take anyone of the multitude of reality tv shows populating the small screen as an example. WhileI am not saying that Got’s portrayal of women is perfect, it is still better, no scratch that, it’s light years ahead of the usual mind numbing drivel we are exposed to day after day on televison and elsewhere.

    Bravo! You have spoken a woman’s words for her that she could not assemble herself! Bravo!

  257. loco73
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    LOL! Thank you m’lady!

  258. Ser Lurkalot
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to chime in to heap some more praise on this fine article. This is the kind of editorial material I like to see more of on this site. Makes the off season depression feel lighter. Very good job OitF!

  259. Snaps
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to compliment you on an excellent, well written and insightful piece.

  260. vilma galadriel
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Ryan71,

    i hate the scene when Daenerys is violated by her husband. In the book it´s a scene full of love…..

  261. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    vilma galadriel:
    Ryan71,

    i hate the scene when Daenerys is violated by her husband. In the book it´s a scene full of love…..

    I’m a huge apologist for the way they depicted it on screen.

    Based on my somewhat limited understanding of what went on behind the scenes, they tried to depict the wedding night scene more closely to how it was written on the page, but it just didn’t ring true to either of the actors. Jason and Emilia both felt that as a young girl, Daenerys would be terrified, not aroused. I think what ended up onscreen was authentic and disturbing.

    Then there’s that second scene where Drogo is taking her from behind and in the tent and Dany has tears running down her face. A lot of fans seem to forget this, but that is *straight* out of the books. Before she learns the dragon’s courage and goes to Doreah for tutoring, GRRM describes that Dany prefers Drogo takes her from behind because then he doesnt have to look at her tears. Between the wedding night and the moment when Dany takes Drogo on top, the book itself says Drogo treats her very roughly, and Dany does not enjoy it by any means.

  262. Zack
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    MoonCoffee: Are you seriously putting Hodor and the assassin wineseller’s sexual appeal on equivalent level to Ros, Shae and Dany?

    No doubt. I don’t recall female nudity being used in the show for comedic effect. Of course, most naked guys just look funny. We can’t help it.

    But it’s true. If they put a naked guy in there, you can bet that the scene is either a) from the books directly mentioning the junk, b) meant to be used for comedic purposes, or c) token female appeal, and this would be Theon, and Drogobutt only. If they put the level of extraneous titillation for female viewers at the level they do for straight males, you’d get probably 3 dongs per episode on average.

  263. tws1978
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Interesting article, but I disagree with most of the points. First, IMO Cathelyn is an angry and bitter woman ever since Ned is murdered and she spends all her chapters complaining about everything in her inner voice. She is bitter because her dying father apparently loves her sister more than her, she constantly doubts every move Rob and/or Edmund does and when she is first introduced to Jeyne she immediatelly thinks her hips are not wild enough to bare childbirth. She has right to be this way but if the show fully portrayed her this way on screen people would cheer when she is finally killed.

    Yes, they had to undermine some of her motivation because they decided to postpone Riverrun till season 3, which means Rob has to stay there, which means he can´t know about Bran and Rickon yet. It´s all about logistics of the show and I agree it wasn´t the best decision but the show Cat is still much more sympathetic. She is a woman who loves her children and wants to save atleast some of them. Book Cat just wanted to follow Rob around and nag and nag and nag. No wonder everybody did their best to stay away from her.

    The Sansa/Dontos subplot is very weak in the books and takes a loooooooong time. He first promisses to help her somewhere in book 2 and she is finally saved in the last third of book 3. That means nearly 3 years (because book 3 will be split in two seasons) where Sansa repeatedly goes to meet with Dontos who promises her to be her Jonquil or whatever. This would never work in the show where Sansa already acts and looks much more mature. Show Sansa has already impressed both Tyrion and Littlefinger and the show Dontos looks, well, like a fool. He was great as a comedy figure, but nothing more. I would never trust him in anything. I think it will work much better if Shae is the one Littlefinger uses after Sansa refused his direct offer. Sansa already trust her and I think they will aim for a jealousy angle between her and Shae after Sansa is married to Tyrion. It will make perfect sense she will agree to help Littlefinger and lure Sansa out just to get rid of her.

    The Chataya and Alayaya subplot exists only to remind us of Varys and his knowledge of secret entrances, it´s a classic we will show something exists in act 1 so when it´s used as a key point in act 3 readers have no trouble to accept it. Still, don´t know a producer who would introduce two characters, few more extras and a new set just so Tyrion can say “hi” and “can I go through your wardrobe as usual?” Besides the going through wardrobe can work in imagination when reading the book, but really seeing it on screen, well, lame.

    And finally, I think Stanis nearly choking Mel was completely in character and he would react the same if Davos was the one who send him. It had nothing to do with Mel as woman, just terrible advisor. She is a priestess who promissed him a huge victory and he got his ass kicked instead. He was angry, he was disappointed and he lost control. He didn´t go through it and Mel quickly found a way to make him trust her again. It´s a key scene very much needed to understand how the heck Mel can be still alive and in power in season 3 after the clusterfuck she send Stanis into.

  264. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Am I the only person who actually liked Stannis from ACoK and was rooting for him to sit on the Iron Throne?
    The funny thing is the series made me like him even more, knowing he had killed his brother and betrayed his wedding vows?
    I don’t think him sitting on the Iron Throne will be as bad as Varys implied.
    That being said he is not the only one I am rooting for. My favourite for the Iron Throne is actually the duo of Aegon Targeryen and Danny as king and queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

  265. Natalie
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Lars:
    For anyone who still thinks that the show has an exaggerated women-to-men nudity ratio compared to the books. I have just one word.

    Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth. Qarth.

    LOL no. I’d rather ONE season of five minutes scenes with ladies with their tits out than the blatant exploitation of women’s bodies in the past seasons and the promise of more to come in the future seasons since the producers actively encourage it (there is an interview with one of the directors that flat out confirms this).

    I agree with this article top to bottom but I would include Cersei because she is another mother that has been stripped of every other trait. Sure, she seems to be one-dimensionally evil in the first few books (though who says a one dimensionally evil character can’t be awesome; Maleficent, anyone?) but AFFC shows her to be deeply complex. She lives her life in a deeply misogynist culture (part of that includes being passed over as heir even though she is first born, being raped by Robert whenever he was drunk enough to remember her, etc) but rather than thinking: “This is unfair because women are just as good as men”, she feelings: “This is unfair because I am as good as any man.” That’s selfish and sexist but it’s a COMPLETELY PLAUSIBLE response. Women are just as susceptible to adopting the sexism of the world around them as men, and can easily do so but turn around and rationalize why THEY are not like other women b/c hypocrisy is a HUMAN RESPONSE.

    As for her children, there is little evidence that Cersei gives two fucks about her two younger children except for the power they give her. Maybe she was pissed about Tyrion carting off Myrcella to Dorn b/c she thinking about herself being passed around by her father but she was also clearly pissed that he took the POWER of deciding what to do with a princess (strong political bargaining chip) away from her. Her POV AFFC clearly shows she cares more about being able to rule through Tommen than she is about his happiness. She seems to love Joffery, though, but they are rather similar so it’s not surprising that she played favorite with him (and “good mothers” are not supposed to play favorites). Cersei’s character thumbs its nose at the widely held notion that “all mothers/women are automatically natural nurturers” and in the same series that shows Catelyn to be a mama wolf, albeit one that is atypical for reasons this article discusses, so both sides are represented and deconstructed.

    Now one can look at all this and say “Well, there you go; she’s an evil character! Showing her soft spot on the show makes her more appealing!” Appealing? Maybe. But what makes her book character so COMPELLING is that even if you sympathize because she’s been dealt a shitty hand in life and is misguided by her culture’s views or if you hate her because she clearly is a selfish and manipulative person, that fact remains that she’s a spirited but ultimately INCOMPETENT player of the game of thrones and she is orchestrating her own demise with every paranoid and short-sighted decision she makes. She’s a TRAIN WRECK and who doesn’t love watching that, especially when they have it coming b/c of their own actions? But on the other hand, she’s a survivor so you know she’s going get in quite a few punches and hell, you might even cheer when she does. If you don’t believe a character like that can be a joy to watch, go read reviews of BBC2′s Richard II that just aired (or just watch it yourself lol); Richard is a similar (albeit less villainous) character and any actor will tell you what a rewarding role that is (this is just ONE example btw).

    Yes, it could be argued that her unrepentant selfishness (book!Cersei would NEVER question whether she deserves to pay for her sins b/c she doesn’t consider them sins) and power-lust makes her an archetypical “evil woman”, but it also can be argued that (in addition to actually being multilayered as I’ve explained above), she is a representation of the living, breathing, three-dimensional unrepentantly selfish women of real life, and so as long as there are OTHER, more positive portrayals of women that get EQUAL attention, it’s ok for her be as bad as she wants to be because she’s not the sole representation of all women for this series.

    As for Stannis/Melli: The problem is not so much that there is no canonically evidence that Stannis would choke a woman out of anger, but that there is canonically evidence that Stannis does NOT advocate violence towards women within his sight/knowledge. For D&D to add the choking in completely flies in the face of the character so it just makes it seem that added it in because they though it would be OMG COOL AND DRAMATIC !!!11 Not to mention Stannis is a man a discipline; he doesn’t jut fly off the handle like that.

  266. Zack
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Am I the only person who actually liked Stannis from ACoK and was rooting for him to sit on the Iron Throne?
    The funny thing is the series made me like him even more, knowing he had killed his brother and betrayed his wedding vows?
    I don’t think him sitting on the Iron Throne will be as bad as Varys implied.
    That being said he is not the only one I am rooting for. My favourite for the Iron Throne is actually the duo of Aegon Targeryen and Danny as king and queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

    He can be a dick without me disliking him.

    As far as who I like ruling the Kingdoms, I’m fine with Tommen and Margaery. So long as Cersei’s head is on a spike somewhere, that is. She a bad influence.

  267. Ryan71
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Alan,

    “who are fans of the show rooting for”?

    You know what’s crazy… Every single one of my friends that has not read the book was rooting for the Lannisters in Blackwater. Strictly because of Tyrion and not really knowing/liking Stannis.

  268. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    If not a cersei, then a littlefinger, or a pycelle, or a Martell. The fact remains that book Tommen and Margeary are both children and easily manipulated. There is no Tywin, no Kevan, no Ned, no one to help them rule in a way that would benefit all seven kingdoms.
    So no thank you on that one.

  269. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Ryan71,

    A shame, I see the Lannister victory in the same light as an Uruk Hai Victory at Helm’s Deep.
    Just one more reason why series fans should really treat themselves to the books. s I have said before its not one vs the other, but should be read in such a way that the two compliment one another.

  270. Ryan71
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    The 3 Targeryens..Danny, Aegon, and Jon are going to take the castle on the 3 dragons in the end.

  271. Zack
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    I think you underestimate Margaery due to her age. She’s young, but shrewd. She’s had tutelage regarding the game for her entire life, yet I don’t think it has corrupted her soul. And Tommen has a kind heart and can grow into being a proper ruler under Marg’s guidance. At least that’s my hope. And no advisers? I don’t think Tyrion would abandon his nephew!

    What I definitely don’t want is a Stark, a Greyjoy, and probably not Dany either. So that leaves Stannis, Myrcella, Tommen/Marg, or else somebody out of left field like Aegon Targaryen, who, depending on how things continue to unfold, I would be okay with. Who’s left from Dorne?

    A Dany/Jon combo would be just about the lamest outcome possible.

    edit: spoilered, didn’t want to risk anything

  272. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror: The funny thing is the series made me like him even more, knowing he had killed his brother and betrayed his wedding vows?

    I’m confused when people say see things like this–suggesting just because the TV showed Stannis committing (or admitting to) these deeds explicitly, that somehow he doesn’t do these things in the books

    Looking at the books (through book 3 anyway), was there any doubt he killed his brother and cheated on his wife? I think expository dialogue by various characters make both these facts very plain in the books, no?

  273. Zack
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Dang. Time ran out. But I wanted to add that I’m confident Tyrion will return once Cersei’s been dealt with and his life isn’t in danger.

  274. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Zack: No doubt. I don’t recall female nudity being used in the show for comedic effect. Of course, most naked guys just look funny. We can’t help it. But it’s true. If they put a naked guy in there, you can bet that the scene is either a) from the books directly mentioning the junk, b) meant to be used for comedic purposes, or c) token female appeal, and this would be Theon, and Drogobutt only. If they put the level of extraneous titillation for female viewers at the level they do for straight males, you’d get probably 3 dongs per episode on average.

    Don’t forget gay fans. Some women yell at me when I say this (they protest, unconvincingly, that women are every bit as pervy as men), but I say gays–being men–are way bigger fans of gratuitous male flesh than women.

    It’s sort of like looking at what percentage of male prostitutes or male phone sex operators or works of erotic art heavily focused on men are catering to women, and what percentage is catering to gay men. 0% vs 100%, or close to it?

  275. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Ryan71,

    I would say the very fact that most non-reader fans who hated the Lannisters in season 1 are now lukewarm to them is a good sign that the adaptation is pulling off the hardest of coups.

  276. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    MATTHEW: Don’t forget gay fans. Some women yell at me when I say this (they protest, unconvincingly, that women are every bit as pervy as men), but I say gays–being men–are way bigger fans of gratuitous male flesh than women.

    Actually, a more nuanced, and perhaps more accurate way of saying what I was trying to say above, would be that women are pervy in a *different way* than men are.

    Men, whether gay or straight, tend to be more into the leering, salivating presentation of sexualized nudity, while women… well who knows what women are into, but it’s generally not that.

    There are exceptions, of course, but historically this sort of nudity is primarily the male artist’s domain.

  277. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    I must say I do not envy D & D in any way. No matter what they do with this series, what they change or what they keep they have reasons to do certain changes and not to do certain changes. They have artistic inhibitions to fill, which can be extended to the rest of the cast and crew, they have commercial demands, corporate demands, fan demands, personal demands…

    They are screwed no matter what they do. As good as this article is, it just makes me wonder if there was any chance of this show being completely perfect? I mean I think it’s a very, very good show but it’s far from being a masterpiece. Not yet anyway. Could the show have followed the books perfectly and be going into it’s third season now or is the longevity of the series tied with the many compromises D &D have had to make either practically or artistically while producing/writing the show?

  278. Alan
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Ryan71: h

    Tyrion’s even more likeable in the show than in the book. For one, he didn’t have people killed already that weren’t trying to kill him. Even if Allar Deem was a scumbag, that’s still a step further. They also cut out the worst part of the Tysha story and lots of little elements that make Tyrion edgier. Add in that the relationship with Shae is not so real in the books — Tyrion talks about loving her but its more pathetic than true love and TV Tyrion is as set up as a hero as you can make Tyrion.

  279. sunspear
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Alan: I always find it interesting who the general fanbase supports for the Crown, at least in terms of non-Starks.

    People tend to root for people they find likeable (not necessarily good people) and competent people.The groundswell after ADwD to Stannis and away from Dany is ironic to me.The former gets votes for competence and opposing a truly hideous enemy and the latter gets dinger for actually caring about her subjects for a time and not lusting after the Iron Throne.To me, Dany’s at her most worthy when she’s trying to rule Mereen.

    Dany does get too much hate for her decision to stay in Meereen, but the reason she really loses credit is that she simply wasn’t good at ruling Meereen. She takes hostages and then doesn’t kill them, proving how weak she is, she’s too trusting with the Green Grace, won’t let anyone else help her, and wouldn’t reopen the fighting pits even when the pit fighters asked for them to be opened. She has a chance at redemption, but Stannis just comes across as the better ruler.

  280. Ryan71
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Alan,

    They almost make it seem like Shae loves him back in the TV show. Its gonna be that much more of a holy shit!!! moment when she turns on him.. then he strangles her dead.

    Damn, if people had a problem with the Stannis strangling….

  281. patchy face
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    tws1978,
    Watch the spoilers please.

  282. LordStarkington
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    tws1978: Interesting article, but I disagree with most of the points. First, IMO Cathelyn is an angry and bitter woman ever since Ned is murdered and she spends all her chapters complaining about everything in her inner voice. She is bitter because her dying father apparently loves her sister more than her, she constantly doubts every move Rob and/or Edmund does and when she is first introduced to Jeyne she immediatelly thinks her hips are not wild enough to bare childbirth. She has right to be this way but if the show fully portrayed her this way on screen people would cheer when she is finally killed.

    She’s not “bitter and angry”, she’s sad. She complains because her PoVs contain her internal thoughts but outwardly – and this is key – the core of her character is maintaining her composure and never letting anyone know that she is suffering.

    Catelyn isn’t upset about Hoster liking Lysa more than her, because she never feels that is the case. Catelyn was raised as Hoster’s heir until Edmure is born while Lysa was sent off to marry Jon Arryn for reasons we’ll soon see on the show. Her comment about Jeyne was one line and she also says how she likes Jeyne because she’s kind and clearly loves Robb and wants to make him happy.

    Catelyn is upset in the books because, you know, the husband she loves is murdered. Her father dies. Her daughters are either captives of the Lannisters or dead. Then Sansa gets married off to Tyrion. Her home gets captured and sacked, but only after her two other (young) sons are brutally murdered and the people she’s lived with for nearly two decades are left without a home or dead (as far as she knows), relying on the “charity” of the Boltons. Her only remaining child (as far as she knows) is the head of a rebellion that’s clearly starting to be on the losing end yet refuses to bend the knee even as things turn against him.

    Her story is tragic, and if people don’t understand that despite the fact it’s all explicitly in the text, then that’s on the readers. If people don’t care, well, that’s their choice I suppose, but it’s hard for me to understand people being sympathetic to many of the other characters in the books but not Catelyn.

  283. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    Yes I know it was implied, but never in the books do you get the idea that the shadow baby is Stannis’. I know he cheated on his wife (come on though who wouldn’t) and that Renly’s death was his fault. But the scene with him choking Mellisandre just made him so much more human for me. The look in his eyes as he asks her where her god is. Although knowing he had done many of the things he did in the books, seeing it on screen just made him so much more human for me.

  284. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    With Tyrion being wanted for kinslaying by the entire kingdom, I don’t think there is much of chance he would’ve been able to return. It was not only Cersei who wanted to kill him. She may be shrewd but there is no one left to help them rule. Even poor Varys had to flee.
    I don’t think a Stark, Snow, or a Greyjoy will sit on the Iron Throne. I think it will probably by the Targeryens again. THat being said Danearys alone would be a disaster. Sure she had dragons but she’s almost such a bad ruler as Cersei is.

  285. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror: MATTHEW, Yes I know it was implied, but never in the books do you get the idea that the shadow baby is Stannis’. I know he cheated on his wife (come on though who wouldn’t) and that Renly’s death was his fault. But the scene with him choking Mellisandre just made him so much more human for me. The look in his eyes as he asks her where her god is. Although knowing he had done many of the things he did in the books, seeing it on screen just made him so much more human for me.

    Doesn’t Catelyn’s inner monlogue say “it looked like Stannis” and doesn’t Brienne say the same thing?

    If it wasn’t a shadow of Stannis’s making, those comments were pretty bad red herrings.

    But I suppose there is some difference between two characters opining that the shadow was Stannis and Stannis explicitly admitting that he murdered his brother.

    But I felt his culpability when I read book 2, before I saw Season 2.

  286. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    Like I said you know it was his fault, what I mean is I never got the idea the shadow was his “child”. I know he knew exactly what was going to happen with Renly and that he was responsible. Throw a curve ball in, in aSoIaF with Fire being good and ice being evil (white walkers etc) isn’t it fair to assume that the shadow assasin is actually a instrument of good?

  287. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    There are ways to show humanity and a breaking point without inflicting violence on women. It’s a bit sad that people think that is a great way to convey emotion.

    It is true that we don’t see private moments between Stannis and Melisandre because they have no POV chapters of their own, but there’s nothing to suggest Stannis would behave that way. He is very cold, calculated and he doesn’t approve of wild behavior. Choking someone is what Robert would do, not Stannis.

    No show is perfect but there is always room for improvement. We can love the hell out of this show while also criticizing a few aspects that are problems.

    I do have opinions about other characters and issues, but I had to narrow my focus for the sake of this post. Who wants to read a giant 20,000 word post about my character-feels? Probably not many. :) The notorious Joffrey/Ros/Daisy beating scene and the show’s affinity for nudity has been discussed to death, so I didn’t think I needed to cover them at the moment. The subtle way in which Catelyn and Sansa were reduced, and Chataya and Alayaya erased, interested me more for a discussion. It’s the little details and characters that add up to create something interesting- whether that’s in a good way or a bad way.

    Someone asked what I thought about Shae…I love Shae. I didn’t hate the book version, but she was a nonentity. I understand why she was in that context. On the TV show, we’re not just spending a couple weeks reading a book, we’re spending years with these characters. And so I think the affair between Tyrion and Shae is much more interesting onscreen and I agree with making her more complex. Who wants to watch him fall for a boring person with not much to say for herself for a few years?
    While I don’t think the Shae-Sansa scenes did much for Sansa’s development, they did give us a bit of insight into Shae, so that’s something. (And it’s going to hurt that much more when Shae dies because she is a distinct personality now.

  288. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    The problem that I have with participating in these discussions is that if I have a contrary opinion, I feel like people are judging me as being misogynistic. As in, I cannot safely assume that people will think of me as a nice guy if I defend the Stannis/Mel scene. I feel there is an implication that if I am not against that scene that if I believe it was well played as others have in regard to the fact that Stannis completely breaks down after realizing he has killed his brother and thousands of his men and his chance at the Iron Throne by hedging his bets on the Lord of Light and his emissary: Melisandre.
    Not to mention the fact that it is in a medieval setting where spousal abuse was not entirely uncommon, nor altogether frowned upon. Personally I think that scene was built up perfectly and no matter what power Stannis thought he had before or in the moment of choking her, he was in her thrall by the end of the scene. But that’s my view of things. I don’t think David and Dan set out to degrade Melisandre, I think they wanted to empower her.

    But this is the crux of the matter, we all have different tastes and for some, you included thought it went too far. And that’s fair. I just thought it was great writing and great acting. Personally when I examine any text, be it a novel or a television show I try to view it in the world of which it exists and not bring any modern notions in to play. This is very difficult to do and I still have trouble doing it all the time. We all have certain wiring where provocations set off little alarm bells inside of us. Truly, a lot of the criticism levied at the show can be applied to the portrayal of women in western media in general where even an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire with it’s strong heroines cannot survive adaptation intact.

    This was a great article. My initial reaction was a kneejerk “purist whine” comment. But now that I’ve examined it I respect the points made even if I don’t agree with them. Keep it up!

  289. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:

    I do have opinions about other characters and issues, but I had to narrow my focus for the sake of this post. Who wants to read a giant 20,000 word post about my character-feels? Probably not many. :)

    I would love to read that as a matter of fact and I think several others would heartily agree with me.

  290. Zack
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I’m with you. I am not of the opinion that something should be not depicted, should be hidden, if it is objectionable. (Especially because this series is loaded with people abusing those weaker than themselves for any number of reasons. If we self-censor on one target, isn’t it something of a slippery slope of sanitization?)

    There is an important distinction between the simple portrayal of something troubling versus condoning or glorifying it. We don’t think of Stannis as a nicer person coming out of that scene. We see him as more of an asshat than we did before, and that’s due to the show’s scripting of the scene. Very few people are going to come away from that scene thinking what a heroic, ‘big man’ Stannis is. Violence against women happens, and to sweep it under the rug and not address it in any media isn’t helpful.

    But this is a male perspective, so I can’t exactly criticize the OP’s female opinion on violence against her gender, can I? Especially when she’s expressing her opinion without being confrontational about it, while also phrasing most of her disapproval in terms of how she believes the character as written in the text would behave or not behave.

    I don’t think there’s enough in the text to say with certainty ‘This is not Stannis.’ In my view, GRRM has left this particular door open. But that’s one opinion only.

  291. Lex
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Ours is the Fury,
    The problem that I have with participating in these discussions is that if I have a contrary opinion, I feel like people are judging me as being misogynistic. As in, I cannot safely assume that people will think of me as a nice guy if I defend the Stannis/Mel scene…

    It’s such utter bullshit that anyone would ever have to feel this way. It was an amazing scene with phenomenal acting, end of story. One of my favourite from the entire finale episode. Everyone I know loved it. Anyone who passes judgment on someone else for enjoying it has major problems.

    “There are ways to show humanity and a breaking point without inflicting violence on women. It’s a bit sad that people think that is a great way to convey emotion.”

    Um, what show are you watching? This is Westeros. It’s brutal. People inflict violence on people ALL the time, it doesn’t matter if they’re men, women, children, babies. It’s just another violent moment in a violent series, the same as any other. I still think this debate is just ridiculous.

  292. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: There are ways to show humanity and a breaking point without inflicting violence on women. It’s a bit sad that people think that is a great way to convey emotion. It is true that we don’t see private moments between Stannis and Melisandre because they have no POV chapters of their own, but there’s nothing to suggest Stannis would behave that way. He is very cold, calculated and he doesn’t approve of wild behavior.

    It’s a great (i.e, as in effective, not as in something we should emulate in real life) way to show emotion for someone who is a violent, rageful person. Many readers, including yorus truly, have attempted to give countless examples above on how Stannis is a raging asshole and hothead and not the cool, calculated, cunning Lord (a la Roose Bolton) that he sometimes pretends to be. It’s in his Baratheon Blood, just as your user name suggests.

    He doesn’t approve of wild behavior in others, but he doesn’t really approve of much of anything in life besides people handing him what is “his, by rights”. Anyone who stands in the way of his getting these things, or who lies to him, is in for a bit of burning, stabbing, naval attack or in this case, a good old-fashioned throttling.

  293. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Interesting, because everyone I know went “WTF?!” at that scene. That’s the problem with relying on only firsthand information, we all have had different experiences.

    I still stand by my original assertion: totally out of character for Stannis. He doesn’t arbitrarily throw people to the fires or hit them. I actually haven’t seen any good examples cited here of when in the canon he displayed a hot temper beyond getting irritated with Jon for not accepting his offer. That’s part of the reason why his brothers didn’t care much for him- he’s a cold fish while their blood ran hot.

  294. Lex
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem with people thinking it’s out of character for Stannis; that’s something we’ll just agree to disagree on, and that’s totally fine. I enjoy that debate.

    I just really dislike when people start feeling like they’re being judged for enjoying a scene, as if we are somehow condoning or approving of the choking. I love the scene because it’s powerful and disturbing and very well-acted. And, to me, believable. That doesn’t mean that I approve of the choking in any way, or that I condone violence against women. I’ll also say that I love the character of Stannis, and love watching him on screen, despite also thinking he’s a complete maniac and not a nice person (at all). It’s possible to enjoy these characters without enjoying or condoning their acts.

    Anyway sorry, I just get frustrated because I feel like this is a really good scene that is under-appreciated and overly criticized.

  295. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I don’t see a lot of judging going on here. It seems like people are feeling defensive before they’re even criticized. And if a dozen women are all really offended by something that’s been said, the person who posted it should probably sit back and think about why that is. Everyone in this posting thread has actually been pretty respectful for an internet debate concerning racism and sexism.

    And yes, some things we just have to agree to disagree on. :)

  296. sunspear
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    MATTHEW,

    Yes I know it was implied, but never in the books do you get the idea that the shadow baby is Stannis’. I know he cheated on his wife (come on though who wouldn’t) and that Renly’s death was his fault. But the scene with him choking Mellisandre just made him so much more human for me. The look in his eyes as he asks her where her god is. Although knowing he had done many of the things he did in the books, seeing it on screen just made him so much more human for me.

    I never got the impression that Stannis knew about the Shadowbaby in advance, or that he even knows they exist. Stannis told Davos he should have been awake and ready for battle, but dreamed of killing Renly.

  297. jkb
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Ryan71:
    The 3 Targeryens..Danny, Aegon, and Jon are going to take the castle on the 3 dragons in the end.

    no way in hell dude ;p
    it’s gonna be dany, tyrion and arya riding dragons. and no one will sit on the iron throne. city’s gonna be destroyed and the monarchy system in westeros will end.

    there, that’s the ending. sorry for the spoilers guys ;p

  298. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: Lex, <P I actually haven’t seen any good examples cited here of when in the canon he displayed a hot temper beyond getting irritated with Jon for not accepting his offer.

    How about threatening to kill Melisandre and Davos (the only two people in the world who think highly of him) on separate occasions, both aobut Edric Storm-related matters. I don’t think Stannis is one to give these threats insincerely. And if he insisted on cutting off Davos’s fingers himself, who’s to say he wouldnt strangle either one of them with his own two hands if he perceived that they crossed them.

    Ours is the Fury: Lex, That’s part of the reason why his brothers didn’t care much for him- he’s a cold fish while their blood ran hot.

    That is not why people hate him. Not because he doesn’t show any emotion and is a cool cucumber all the time, it’s because he doesn’t show any warmth or positive emotion. Only impatience, rage, stubbornness, derision, etc.

    There’s a reason he’s grinding his teeth all the time, and it ain’t cuz he’s perfectly calm.

    He needs some of Lord Bolton leeches, to get all that poision out of his system.

  299. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I think it’s just a simple misunderstanding. THere are many who love the scene because of the emotion it conveyed and because this is such a sensitive area. Saying that I enjoyed a scene in which a woman was strangled is dangerous ground to enter. I think that’s the reason why we are all so touchy.
    You saying that “It’s a bit sad that people think that is a great way to convey emotion” can be taken as judgemental though I know you did not write it with that intent.
    This will be one of those controversial scenes but I’m with Joshua and Lex, great scene that moved me and had me feeling sorry for Stannis in a way I had never before. It cracked his cold facade to give us a glimpse of his humanity.

  300. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Ryan71:
    Aegon the Conqueror,

    The 3 Targeryens..Danny, Aegon, and Jon are going to take the castle on the 3 dragons in the end.

    A woman would welcome that conclusion! As long as the Starks get Winterfell back too.

  301. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror: Ours is the Fury, You saying that “It’s a bit sad that people think that is a great way to convey emotion” can be taken as judgemental

    Indeed

  302. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    It’s the best possible ending I can hope for, though I’m still thinking a Dream of Spring is nothing but a dream and GRRM might just let the Others rule Westeros.

  303. Spliced
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Frost Nocturne,

    Yes, INFJ is another highly likely (even most likely) MBTI for Melisandre. “The Mystic” fits her so well.

    I am glad to have provoked some further thinking about that scene. Indeed, I had liked it from my first viewing and the original poster’s perspective on it with respect to treatment of women issues really encouraged me to ask why I was so keen on it. I found Stannis and Melisandre’s fascinating in the show because of their strange polar perspectives stretching towards a shared goal. It reminds me of my own interactions with peculiar girls of this world.

    In any case, I will be sure to listen to her POV chapter again. Here’s to those crazy fatales, CvH and Mel and the rest of them!

  304. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    sunspear: I never got the impression that Stannis knew about the Shadowbaby in advance, or that he even knows they exist. Stannis told Davos he should have been awake and ready for battle, but dreamed of killing Renly.

    The books don’t give us much to go on one way or another about his knowledge of what Mel did. Perhaps he didn’t know about it in *advance* though surely he must have known that boinking the Red Lady was not just for fun & games, and served some foul purpose. After all, Melisandre states that when men lie with her, it sucks the life out of them, to the point that she fears if she goes to bed with Stannis again he might die.

    And when GRRM talks about dreams, they are usually extremely important. THe fact that he had that dream shows that on some level of his consciousness he is aware of what he has done to his brother and the part he played in it.

  305. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I should have said “People haven’t been unfair” rather than “judgmental?” There is an element of judgment to what I said, true. But I don’t regret it. Adding more physical abuse to a story already filled with it raises questions.

    There are loads of ways to convey drama and Stannis’s feelings about his battle loss and Melisandre. It’s just disappointing that “Let’s have him choke her!” is what they decided the best idea was.

    It isn’t nitpicking. Nitpicking is when someone freaks out because a dragon on a banner has four legs instead of the correct two.

    Questioning the needlessly increased violence on women and the erasure of black women altogether is not “nitpicking.”

  306. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    But clearly the reaction shown by many like myself indicates that although it repulsed some, the scene carried across what was intended by the writers.

  307. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    I understand that, but do you think that is the only way, the best way, they could have conveyed that emotion? That the best way to make a point is with added on violence? I don’t. I think the actors and even the writers are better than that.

  308. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I still think it was well done, Stannis has lost everything to such a degree that he finds himself doing something he thought he never would. I don’t think his anger was directed at Mellisandre but at R’hllor and everything the god was supposed to give to him. Mellisandre being the physical embodiment of the deity unfortunately received the brunt of the punishment. I don’t think Stannis wanted to hurt Mellisandre nearly as much as R’hllor. BTW why on earth could they not say R’hllor once instead of “the Red God” I’m still not sure how to pronounce it and was hoping the series would solve that problem for me.

  309. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    But I suppose the two sides can debate this little point till Kingdom come without anyone of us having swayed the other. Contrasting viewpoints are always intresting but I fear we are debating this past what it deserves. All great things are always controversial, can’t expect anything different from this show.

  310. sherry
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    In regards to Catelyn I hope the show does not screw up the Red Wedding, and the events shortly preceding it. I hope they do hold true to the book’s rendition of the RW.
    Please don’t shortchange us the way the House of the Undying segment was.

  311. Illrede
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    The decision to release Jaime in the show is much stronger than in the books. In the books it’s a usurpation of power to take a questionable risk, in the show it is a great on the spot decision. Robb had lost control of his men and was disinterested in learning of it or regaining it for reason of pursuing teen romance. Jaime Lannister was about to be murdered in his cell by a mob. Catelyn had done everything she could to keep him alive, and all that did was buy less than a night. At the very least, Jaime dying in Stark custody means Cersei has Sansa die screaming- meaning even gaining nothing for the release is preferable than inaction. Catelyn could not protect Jaime from Robb’s men. It was a “use it or lose it” situation; Catelyn had a choice of disasters to pick between and she went for the least horrible one.

  312. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: Aegon the Conqueror, I I think the actors and even the writers are better than that.

    But Stannis isn’t! That is where you and the majority of the commenters disagree.

  313. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Uh “majority” of commenters? You mean like you and a handful other people…? Some people agree, some don’t. I can respect that, but you will never convince me that trying to murder a woman makes a male character’s emotional arc more convincing, especially when he’s never displayed a propensity for impulsive violence in an entire book series.

  314. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Exactly why I said that perhaps we have debated this point far beyond what was constructive.

  315. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t say it’s far beyond constructive, but in this case, yes, there’s nothing else to say.

  316. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    But I suppose the two sides can debate this little point till Kingdom come without anyone of us having swayed the other. Contrasting viewpoints are always intresting but I fear we are debating this past what it deserves. All great things are always controversial, can’t expect anything different from this show.

    A woman would like to add that many who appreciated the Stannis scene did not appreciate it due to the added violence. Most would agree the violence was repellant, but it was intentionally repellant. It was meant to show Stannis isn’t the gallant he pretends to be. Most here seem to be expressing that they appreciated the scene because it was surprising on many levels (that Stannis would be violent against Mel, that he would allow his rage to erupt, etc.) and that it was acted well and filmed well and showed us that Stannis is not a “god among men” as he would wish to be perceived. It showed his vulnerability (his rage, sense of entitlement) and Mel’s strength (her “I know you can’t kill me” look while his hands were around her throat), and Mel’s ability to channel him back to the visions in the flame and turn the scene back around to her own intentions. It was meant to make us squirm, and it did. Mission accomplished D&D. It is this woman’s belief that people don’t generally like violence for its own sake, but for what it reveals about the perpetrators and the victims. Even the sex on the show usually has many levels of meaning, not just that “hey, it’s time for somebody to get naked.”

  317. DB
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Stannis chocking Mel was out of character and disturbing to watch (in a really bad way). I completely agree with OitF.

  318. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Meant to add above:
    Clearly, we will not all agree on the Stannis/Mel scene and its merits, and of course there were other ways to make the point they wanted to make about Stannis’s character. But that’s what they chose, and it’s emblematic of many of the changes made by D&D, not everybody will like them. And that’s OK. It’s good to have a place to discuss things.

  319. WildSeed
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    darquemode:
    Interesting piece Ours, is the Fury,thanks!

    Catelyn was raised to be a lady by a lord in a time of conflict and she understands the political landscape in the books. I did miss that aspect in the series, but whether or not she suggests to Robb that he should not trust Theon or send her as an envoy is not the important part she plays in the story to me.I guess for me personally the defining trait of Catelyn in the books was not her political savvy, it was her desire to save her children no matter the costs. Her portrayal in the series reflected that.

    Of course she was more than JUST that, but with limited episodes sometimes fully realized, multi-dimensional characters will need to be made more one or two dimensional…

    The one event of Catelyn’s from the books that could never be changed is releasing the Kingslayer in an attempt to possible save her girls at the cost of the loyalty and morale of Robb’s men. That is her defining event to me. In the books for me it was made more poignant by the fact she understood what would happen to Robb if she let Jaime Lannister go, but she chose to do it anyway.

    I don’t understand why they changed Catelyn as they did, but it never bothered me much honestly. The one change from the books I comepletely do not understand on any level is why D&D chose NOT to reveal Bran and Rickon’s “deaths” to Catelyn and Robb. To me that event was the trigger that made Catelyn’s decision (as well as Robb’s choosing to marry outside of his contract with the Frey’s) believable.

    I won’t comment on Sansa since I agree completely.

    I have mixed feeling about the Stannis scene where he choked Melisandre, but I think Spliced summed up my feelings better than I could…

    I had no complaints about removing Chataya and Alayaya. I don’t think they were important and to keep them just to show more racial diversity makes no sense to me. I like the characters in the books though, I just think they were easily eliminated without losing anything of importance to the saga.

    I wish I’d found your comments yesterday because this is well clarified–of your POV.
    It’s giving me a bit to reconsider with the overall GoT impression, and we are in
    complete agreement of the error to cement Cate’s angst ( the death of her sons ).
    However I am very disappointed with the exclusion thus far of women of color
    in GoT as GRRM configured their exotic hues among other equally exotic diverse
    populations. Chataya and Alayaya were more than desired prostitutes but smart
    allies to Tyrion. However with Shae in Kings Landing instead of a nearby town
    their presence would have easily been represented by a different Summer Islander
    with a different role to play. Who knows, maybe next season or thereafter will allow
    for this. I just shutter to think that all would not be put in slave categories. I have
    found interest with the character Ros as she is strategically placed to give reference
    or POV from the major players at KL. I’m not not mad but I don’t see why she couldn’t
    be a woman from the Summer Isles or another ” employed ” female among Littlefinger’s
    equal opportunity brothol. I get started on the Qarth scenes ( the magical mystery tour)
    I was so impressed with the glittery gold and the comic Thirteen to take it seriously.
    I’m disappointed about a few things but I hope it’s way too early to judge. The sum
    adds up to a win so I’m waiting for more to enjoy :D

  320. fuelpagan
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Aegon the Conqueror,

    I understand that, but do you think that is the only way, the best way, they could have conveyed that emotion? That the best way to make a point is with added on violence? I don’t. I think the actors and even the writers are better than that.

    But what we tend to forget is Stannis wasn’t choking Mel just because he was angry at her. He was also angry at himself for believing her vision and was doubting his faith in R’hllor. He looked into her eyes as he held her life in his hands, and saw that even then, her faith in the Red God did not waiver. That’s when he stops and now his mind is now open to see the vision in the fire. I can’t think of a better way to get that across to the audience than what we have.

  321. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan: But what we tend to forget is Stannis wasn’t choking Mel just because he was angry at her. He was also angry at himself for believing her vision and was doubting his faith in R’hllor. He looked into her eyes as he held her life in his hands, and saw that even then, her faith in the Red God did not waiver. That’s when he stops and now his mind is now open to see the vision in the fire. I can’t think of a better way to get that across to the audience than what we have.

    Well said, a woman agrees.

  322. WildSeed
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Ours is the Fury

    Thanks so much for this essay, although there was a great deal that I did not agree with, I enjoyed it immensely! It’s well and intelligently written as several people have pointed out. Although I was dissapointed that you cut the article short and did not discuss the female roles that you enjoyed. I really hope this won’t be your last one and I’m thinking that if you are willing to go through one or two scathing critiscisms, that you would take Pearson Moore’s place with essays for season 3. Or perhaps you have Jaime’s take on that position “their days are too long and their lives too short.”

    Macha

    You and I appear to have very similar views on the Stannis Mellisandre scene. I thought your take on it was very well done. It was not out of character at all in my opinion. Stannis was supposed to take Kings Landing within one day and the utter despair at losing most of his army, his hopes and his dreams would have had that out working. I don’t think his choking of Mel was done out of a motivation to hurt her or to “teach her a lesson” as some have said, but an utter despair and hopelessness and the dissapointment of faith that did not pay off. Him asking her where her god is now brought tears to my eyes and demonstrated the loyalty of Mellisandre in a way only seen much later on in the books. It was one of my favourite scenes simply because it cast the two characters in a light not seen before.

    I agree with a lot of points on the Cat scene and so will not comment on that, I will only say I adore Michelle Fairley’s acting.

    On the CHataya Allayana point, being from SOuth Africa with it’s history of quotas (a rule several years ago that sports teams must have a number of black players in the team) diversity for diversity’s sake is not a good thing. A enjoyed both Sallador Saan and Xaro Zohan Ducksauce. If there is not a significant contribution to be made, don’t add them. Showing ROss just made things easier in terms of location, casting and general confusion.
    I was dismayed at Salla’s omition from Blackwater though and I am hoping for a dark skinned Thoros of Myr.

    Sansa and Dontos’ missing scenes I can only assume will be front and centre in season 3. I was suprised that he was not alot more prominent in season 2. I am a big Sansan fan and lament the few times Sandor and Sansa got together,but absolutely adored their chemistry in the few scenes they were together. BTW does anyone think we might get a flashaback scene in which the Hound actually kisses Sansa?

    I think this is the reason why series viewers should really read the books. It just goes so much deeper than tv is able to. Some fans refusing to read the books for whatever reason is astounding to me.
    As I have said before I see the series and the books as running concurrent with neither one being the definitive story. In the same way that you the Gospels in the Bible are different and you can’t say for instance that Matthew is the definitive Gospel, you can’t say the series or the books are the definitive one. But you need to see the two in such a light that they complement and better one another. The two are not in conflict, and neither should fans treat them in such a way.

    History is a muddled afair, details get jumbled etc etc. Let’s say for arguments sake we lived in Westeros a thousand years after the events of aSoIaF and the story being told was in fact history, many of the accounts would differ in the same way the series and the books differ. SOme sources would claim that the King in the North married a minor lord’s daughter called Jeyne Westerling, while others would claim he married a foreign Volantis noble woman called Talisa. Some would say Catelyn released Jaime before she heard of the death of Bran and RIckon while others will say she released him before.

    While there is no doubt that some changes are better and some not, I still think the producers of the show are doing a fantastic job and that GoT is still the best damn thing on tv. We just have to trust that they know what they are doing and are playing for the long haul.

    Seriously though series viewers who have not read the books should treat themselves to that experience. And don’t worry there is no chance you’ll turn into a book purist simply by reading it. Something like that won’t happen if you watched and loved the series first.

    Aegon I enjoyed reading this. I would like to add though that the inclusion of exotic
    peoples and specifically Summer Islanders reflected in GRRM perspective of Kings
    Landing and abroad. Chataya and Alayaya’s characters were strategic in fostering
    an intimate description and important allies to Tyrion. I’m not mad these ladies
    were excluded, the script did not allow for their roles. Yet remains an opportunity
    to invision these beautiful unsullied women in a different setting. We cannot erase all traces of ignorance and hatred ( look what happened at the RW ) but in the context
    of historical and modern day racism we are redeemed by representing what is
    accurate and true events ( in this case the African/Arab diaspora) as reflected in
    ASOIAF. I hope this translated, I had to rewrite after accidentally deleted the post 2x.

  323. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Uh “majority” of commenters? You mean like you and a handful other people…? Some people agree, some don’t. I can respect that, but you will never convince me that trying to murder a woman makes a male character’s emotional arc more convincing, especially when he’s never displayed a propensity for impulsive violence in an entire book series.

    It seems you are now stepping away from GoT and the specifics of Stannis and what whether he is a violent individual and instead generalizing the dynamic of “a male character” and “a female character”, as if violence against women in ART, or against any person can’t be used serve to provoke illuminating themes about life/humanity etc., and that non-violent depictions are, bydefinition, somehow preferable.

    The book Crime and Punshiment is the story of a male character who has never displayed a propensity for violence murdering a woman whom he finds to be despicable. It’s a part of a “convincing” character arc. Now before the analogy completely falls apart, I concede that GRRM is no Dostoevsky, and–unlike C&P–the focus of the TV show will not be the consequences of Stannis having choked her nor the reasons why he did it, but in both cases the depiction of violence against a woman had greater efficacy in telling the story than if the “male character” just gave her a stern talking-to. And, oddly enough, both are stories about a delusional man who feels entitled to commit violent acts because he has somehow seized upon the notion that he is an “extraordinary man”

    Flannery O’Connor also makes most of her points through depictions of violence, often towad women.

    I think you’re focusing on the emotionally and politically troubling aspects of male-on-female violence (which is, admittedly a compelling topic) but giving the short shrift to aesthetic and literary reasons a brutal, unflinching depiction of violence in art might be more effective than less disturbing alternatives (yelling at the woman? breaking down in tears? sulking in silence?–these would have made for a much weaker scene).

    One thing I will say is that movies and books and TV shows sometimes give us “cheap” violence, where violence is merely to titillate, to amuse, or to shock, or to make us “grossed out”. As much as I love GRRM, he is sometimes guilty of this–for example the scene of Lollys getting gang raped in A Clash of Kings is pretty much played for laughs. It is funny, in a darkly, horribly nihilistic way, but it doesn’t enhance the literary experience of reading the book, such as it is.

    But the Stannis-Mel scene was not exploitative violence for its own sake. IT told us something about the would-be king that a non-violent act would not have conveyed.

  324. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW: But the Stannis-Mel scene was not exploitative violence for its own sake. IT told us something about the would-be king that a non-violent act would not have conveyed.

    Already said I don’t agree with this, for many reasons already mentioned. Relying on extreme violence to make a point when it’s out of character for that person is a cheap way to create drama.

    And dude?
    “For example the scene of Lollys getting gang raped in A Clash of Kings is pretty much played for laughs. It is funny, in a darkly, horribly nihilistic way.”
    No. No. Seriously? No.

  325. WildSeed
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Am I the only person who actually liked Stannis from ACoK and was rooting for him to sit on the Iron Throne?
    The funny thing is the series made me like him even more, knowing he had killed his brother and betrayed his wedding vows?
    I don’t think him sitting on the Iron Throne will be as bad as Varys implied.
    That being said he is not the only one I am rooting for. My favourite for the Iron Throne is actually the duo of Aegon Targeryen and Danny as king and queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

    Um..I did/do. Stan’s the man, Black and Yellow! Aegon, the Iron Throne would hurt
    our bums to sit on, why not Dany’s dais she used in Mereen ? Will Danerys take
    the Iron Thrown instead with FIRE and BLOOD or will she give herself a break
    and co-rule with Aegon ? We shall see.

  326. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    duplicate post, sorry

  327. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW: OMG! It soo is played for laughs.The charcter of Lollys is just a cruel joke, presented in an utterly distasteful, pitch-black comedic fashion (I myself gravitate toward the distasteful, which is one of the reasons I like GRRM).

    The main evidence we have that Lollys serves as comic relief in the books is the way people treat her and the way she is described after the rape.

    Lollys is repeatedly described as a wailing, pregnant cow, and her post traumatic stress is treated in an almost slapstick fshion.None of the POV characters–even Sansa and Tyrion–waste much time feeling sorry for her. I think Sansa wishes she could clock Lollys in the head when she won’t go into Maegor’s holdfast during the war.

    And when Bronn marries her in Book 3, it’s supposed to be hilarious.We’re suposed to think BWAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA Bronn is marrying that fat, retarded, isufferable rape victim just for her land, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Did anyone else not pick up on that when reading the books?We might be reading two different GRRMs

  328. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: Already said I don’t agree with this, for many reasons already mentioned. Relying on extreme violence to make a point when it’s out of character for that person is a cheap way to create drama.

    And dude?
    “For example the scene of Lollys getting gang raped in A Clash of Kings is pretty much played for laughs. It is funny, in a darkly, horribly nihilistic way.”
    No. No.Seriously? No.

    Oh that was confusing. I thought you deleted my previous comment about why GRRM’s uses Lollys as comic relief. Actually, you can go ahead and delete it, because it was sort of off the cuf and ranting.

    But given time I could write an entire essay on how GRRM sometimes uses torture and sexual violence for comedic purposes, and I just might do that.

  329. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Actually it was caught in the spam filter. I went ahead and freed it for you.

    I don’t think you’re going to find a large audience for essays on why rape is funny.

  330. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Actually it was caught in the spam filter. I went ahead and freed it for you.

    I don’t think you’re going to find a large audience for essays on why rape is funny.

    I’ll post it on Jezebel.com.

    And I didn’t say “rape is funny”. I said GRRM *sometimes* uses rape, torture, and sexual violence as comic relief.

    Whether a civilized audience does or should find it an *acceptable* or *effective* form of comic relief is another matter.

  331. Jess
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    I must be reading Martin different from you because I didn’t find those scenes to be very funny. I had quite the opposite reaction of these people are really cruel towards this mentally disabled character.

    I don’t think Martin endorses that behavior either, in fact, I think it is his subtle way of commentating on the way people treat the mentally disabled in our own world. Same with Hodor, hence the line
    ” he is a man not an animal” or something to that effect.

    I do not think them making fun of Lolly’s is meant to be funny, but actually his way of speaking out against ableism.

  332. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Jess:
    MATTHEW,

    I must bereading Martin different from you because I didn’t find those scenes to be very funny. I had quite the opposite reaction of these people are really cruel towards this mentally disabled character.

    I don’t think Martin does either, in fact, I think it ishis subtle way of commentating on the way people treat the mentally disabled in our own world. Same with Hodor, hence the line
    ” he is a man not an animal” or something to that effect.

    I do not think them making fun of Lolly’s is meant to be funny, but actually his way of speaking out against ableism.

    A woman quite agrees with you Jess, that the Lolys plot line is meant to bring sympathy to her character, not guffaws.

  333. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Jess:
    MATTHEW,

    I must bereading Martin different from you because I didn’t find those scenes to be very funny. I had quite the opposite reaction of these people are really cruel towards this mentally disabled character.

    I don’t think Martin does either, in fact, I think it ishis subtle way of commentating on the way people treat the mentally disabled in our own world. Same with Hodor, hence the line
    ” he is a man not an animal” or something to that effect.

    I do not think them making fun of Lolly’s is meant to be funny, but actually his way of speaking out against ableism.

    Did you say *subtle* while referring to GRRM? I love the man as a writer, but he is anything but subtle.

    In fact, he is constantly clunking us over the head with themes of–and here is where I partially agree with you–themes of how it sucks to be a member of an oppressed class, especially in his medieval-flavored world.

    If you’re a woman (especially an ugly one), gay (don’t you love the way Victarion treats the male prostitutes, or the way the night watchmen look at Satin cross-eyed), a peasant, a dwarf, a half-wit, you have to either eat shit or spend your life fighting tooth and nail against those who are oppressing you.

    But in the process of describing just how badly it sucks to be in these marginalized classes, he’s not above making a few cruel jokes at their expense.

  334. Jess
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    I just disagree that those scenes are suppose to be hilarious, maybe for the characters, but for us as the audience we should be horrified that people are making fun of this woman who was gang raped by an angry mob. It is written in a way to make us feel uncomfortable, I certainly did.

    This is not directed at you, but I feel there is a small minority in the fandom that “endorses” some of the morally questionable behavior of the books. For example, ADWD Cersei spoiler Cersei deserved to have to walk through King’s Landing naked, for her past crimes( which are crimes because she is Queen, if she were male that would never have happened). Some people were even saying ” Bitch deserved it”, completely missing the point. I felt physically sick and disturbed by the scene, so imagine my shock in reading people happy and cheering that scene.

  335. MATTHEW
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Jess:
    MATTHEW,

    I just disagree that those scenes are suppose to be hilarious, maybe for the characters, but for us as the audience we should be horrified that people are making fun of this woman who was gang raped by an angry mob. It is written in a way to make us feel uncomfortable, I certainly did.

    This is not directed at you, but I feel there is a small minority in the fandom that “endorses” some of the morally questionable behavior of the books. For example, ADWD Cersei spoiler Cersei deserved to have to walk through King’s Landing naked, for her past crimes( which arecrimes because she is Queen, if she were male that would never have happened). Some people were even saying ” Bitch deserved it”, completely missing the point. I felt physically sick and disturbed by the scene, so imagine my shock in reading people happy and cheering that scene.

    I’m with you there. Cersei did a lot of horrible things and I was delighted when she was arrested I was like “how does Karma feel, bitch” but I felt no one deserved the walk of shame, no matter how many people you’ve hurt. That’ just some fucked-up sado-religious inquisition crap.

    I’m a dude, so I was even more disturbed by what happened to Theon–having his penis skinned and then cut off, and yet some fans think he deserved it for what he did to the miller boys and to the people of Winterfell. I’m of the opinion that NO ONE deserves that not even the worst characters in the book, like the Mountain or Ramsay etc.

  336. Jess
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    Exactly, especially the part about Ramsay and Gregor types not deserving it. What makes them terrible people is they resort to violating other human beings. In supporting the torture of a character who is evil, you are endorsing the whole idea of torture.

    I sometimes feel like I am in the minority in thinking this, so I am glad to see someone else agreeing with me on this point.

    I will say no more, since I feel I am straying away from the topic subject. I am really enjoying this adaptation post, more please. :D

  337. Bonnie Blue
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Interesting comments from all! George R.R. Martin really knows how to write about power, corruption, and the evil that religious beliefs can cause.

    As a female, I love the powerful female characters in his story, even the flawed ones. I think the way the women in GOT are judged very similiar to how they are judged in present day.

    The fact that Cersai is judged so harshly by many viewers/readers is interesting, as I have mentioned before, while many of the male characters who do horrible things are admired and revered.

  338. Andrew
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Jess,

    To be honest, i’m fairly certain Robert would have been in pretty hot water too if he had his wife killed, and ordered the murder of the high septon.

  339. Bonnie Blue
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    But, he ordered the murder of pregnant Dany and no one blinked an eye except for Ned…

  340. Andrew
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Bonnie Blue,

    There were only two Targaryens left and they hold no real power. There are quite a lot more Lannisters and people of the Faith. I’m not talking about morality, i’m talking about consequences. The Regicide and Deicide charges were not exclusively because she was a woman.

  341. Bonnie Blue
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Okay, I hear you :) However, I really think that women are judged way more harshly and held to a higher standard than the male characters are (just like in real life). Just my opinion.
    Even some of the more evil/ruthless male characters are not given a hard of a time as many viewers/readers judge Cersai. I have discovered that she is really disliked by most people in the short time that I have been participating in this forum, and I guess I feel like I have to defend her!!! (BTW she is one of my favorite characters, can you tell?)

  342. Andrew
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Bonnie Blue,

    It may also be because by the end of the fifth book, Cersei is just starting to not be ‘evil’ anymore (and she might even be faking, we don’t know yet) whereas with some of the male Characters…Jamie has had 2 and a half books of not being bad, Theon has had one, Gregor has been dead for two and a half, etc. so people have kinda come to terms with them and started focusing on the good they did. Reactions to Theon and Jamie before they turned themselves around were just as harsh as most of the reactions to Cersei that I’ve seen.

    I still think the majority of hate towards Catelyn is due to the fact that a lot more men seem to be less emotional-decision-makers than she is, and so they get frustrated with her. Same thing happened to Dany in the fifth book.

  343. Bonnie Blue
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Yes, I agree. Jaime is one of the male characters that people despised…. I think the fact that Cersai found him weak after his gradual character change just made people despise her more.
    You are right about Catelyn, although in the books it made more sense for her to let Jaime go. But I would have done the same thing that she did. She was thinking only of her kids.
    I’ve been a little shocked at how many people don’t like Dany…. I know her storyline is a bit slow, but I enjoy her storyline. Since she is supposed to be so young in the books, it always seems to me that she was growing and getting smarter as time goes on. She is still learning how to deal with the potential power that she may have, and she has made mistakes but seems to be getting stronger and smarter IMO. But I know a lot of people can’t stand her:(

  344. Andrew
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Bonnie Blue,

    See, the whole “doing it for her kids” thing just doesn’t fly with a lot of male readers. Not to say men make awful parents and never love their kids, but, yknow…It’s hard to explain.

    My perspective on Dany is, as a supporter of the Targaryens, I was just getting very annoyed when she delayed going to Westeros. I understand she didn’t want to abandon the people, but to me, conquering Westeros was more important because that was the story I was emotionally invested in. It’s easy to forget she’s just a teenage girl, and when Barristan remarks about it, I think it was mirroring how a lot of readers really had to remind themselves how young she was. It wasn’t so much that the storyline was moving slowly, it was more that it was moving in the wrong direction for me. If Aegon hadn’t turned up, I would have given up hope for House Targaryen. I think the adaptation is going to do a better job of this though, since most of this season she was still learning how to be a leader. In the books, she just kind of becomes this badass through book 2 and 3, and then all of a sudden book 5 she stops, so a lot of people were annoyed. It’ll be a smoother arc in the show, I think.

  345. Bonnie Blue
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    I am curious to see how they do the adaptation of Dany’s storyline as well. I think they have been doing a good job showing her character growing… sure, she makes some mistakes, but there are tons of flawed characters on this show that make mistakes, that is what makes it fun!
    It was nice discussing with you, I am turning in for the evening :)

  346. Lordlings and Ladies
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Jess,

    Totally agree with just about everything you wrote in your first post, well said!

    But, I give GRRM less credit when it comes to these issues. I don’t think he includes them to challenge any “isms.”

    Also, THANK GOD the show left out Chataya and Alayaya. You could fill an entire brothel with the books written on the hyper-sexualization of black female characters in the American literary tradition, their “natural” eroticism, and a lot of posters have already commented on it so I’ll leave it at that. Thank you HBO, thank you for graciously sparing us black folk a heaping helping of GRRM’s wanton negresses. May they rest in peace.

    Now, to veer into sexuality for a sec, did anyone else think it was interesting that the writers switched Xaro’s race and sexuality both? They made him black BUT they made him straight. Funny. Guess HBO realized they could never top Omar Little so why try. Lol, whatevs.

    THanks Ours Is The Fury for your post!

  347. Storm of S-words
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    I think it’s a great analysis, whether I agree or not. However, if I felt this negatively about the adaptation I’d probably stop watching the show. Nothing is going to be perfect in an adaptation. We can’t let ourselves become victims of our own expectations. Early in season 2 I griped about a lot of the lost elements from the books, but I was ruining the show for myself and so now I try to think like a non-book reader and just enjoy things as they come.

  348. Olive
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Look at Michelle Fairley’s face in that picture. It’s so epic. Despite the changes, there is something strong in the actor that relinquishes the political power of book Cat for me in the television series. More wolf than fish.

  349. John
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    There’s a whole lot of whining in here. I don’t think it’s worth addressing all of it, but let’s just address Catelyn for a minute. I will stipulate that the show has somehow managed to make her even more ineffectual than she was in the books, which I didn’t think was possible. But let’s not forget that she set off the entire war by falsely arresting Tyrion on no evidence other than the testimony of the least trustworthy guy in all of Westeros, Littlefinger. I saw your attempt to rationalize this away by saying that the other characters (all men) didn’t have to react the way that they did, but come on. What did she think was going to happen? Tywin is not going to let that go, and frankly, nor should he. As for Catelyn’s attempt to get Robb just to make peace and go home, come on. At that point, the head of their house had been arrested and executed. They had to go to war if they could. Any country in that position would do the same unless they had no absolutely no chance of winning a war. Saying that Catelyn isn’t responsible for this war is like saying that Gavrillo Princip isn’t responsible for World War I. After all, Austria didn’t have to respond the way that it did. And all the other countries could have chosen not to honor their alliances… Get real. Princip is responsible for that war, and Catelyn is responsible for this one.

    And that’s not even getting into the stupidity of releasing the Kingslayer. Catelyn never realized that it’s not about her. Robb is a king, and he has responsibilities. Jaime was the most important prisoner that the Northerners had. As long as they had him captive, Tywin had to stay in line to at least some degree. Any treachery on his part would result in the death of the only son he cares about. But Catelyn just gave him away in the hopes that she could get her daughters back (now Tywin can pretty much do what he wants), and she did it behind Robb’s back. She undermined his authority, and she sowed dissension in the ranks. Honestly, it it was anyone else, Robb would have executed her. She got off easy only to get “berated disrespectfully.” Seriously? You’re going to criticize Robb for that? He’s not a child, and they’re not back in Winterfell. He’s a king leading an army to war. He treated her exactly as she deserved to be treated, and she has only herself to blame.

  350. Zack
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    John,

    That’s pretty much my take exactly, only without my natural filter. lol

    Politeness goes a long way.

    But yeah, I scoff at the release of Jaime because there is no incentive for any sort of follow-through once he is back home. Even if he had the best, most honorable intentions (this man who defenestrated her ten-year-old son) of sending Arya and Sansa to their mother, he’s not Queen Regent, and with Cersei, Joffrey and Tywin all firmly in the “Mercy is for losers” camp, Cat was shortsighted as hell with that plan.

  351. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    John,

    The assassination of archduke Ferdinand was a catalyst for WWI. Not the cause. Certainly on that same fashion WWII was caused by the invasion of Poland? No of course not. We have German nationalism, the treaty of Versailles, the Anschluss, the militarization of the Rhineland, the Munich Conference etc. In regard to the Great War all the European Powers powers were salivating for war, it had been building up for Years before. They all wanted war. They even planned to have the boys home by Christmas. The Van Schlieffen plan was to see to a quick resolution of hostilities and each country would gain a little more territory. It was a war drawn up by armchair generals who allowed it to exacerbate into prolonged trench warfare.

    All in all the cause of World War I like that of World War II was much more complicated than that.The gunpowder of imperialism and all of its evils had been packed in the floorboards of the continent for decades. Princip and the Black Hand was but the spark to set it off. Just as Rhaegar abducting Lyanna, the death of Elia Martell, Ned
    bringing Jon back to Winterfell to shape the woman Cat became to be, to Joanna Lannister dying in childbirth, to Robert saying Lyanna’s name on Cersei’s wedding night, to Bran discovering the Queen and her brother…

    Truly this is what I love about ASOIAF….that human error (I.E Cat) sets in motion a finely tuned Rube Goldberg contraption. It reads like a history text.

  352. jaeksays
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I am almost unilaterally opposed to your viewpoints on Catelyn.

    She did, in fact, start the wheels of death turning by capturing Tyrion. From the slaughter in the Riverlands to the Kingslayer’s attack on Ned, her actions made that happen. She did, in fact, release the Kingslayer on the sly and cause the next set of problems in motion.

    Also, I find it absolutely laughable that you are ready to assign Brienne (a woman, which is important in terms of your assertions) some blame for what happens with Kingslayer, like she’d do ANYTHING without a word from Cat at that point in the arc; the irony of demeaning a woman to defend another one is priceless.

    These are indisputable facts, in the context of the book or show.

    She might not get the exact lines and positioning politically across the board, but, she is still present at key moments, or driving them. It’s not like they replaced her in the Renly arc.

    Everything she has done, and the burden of the results, are directly due to her moral/parental code. Therefore, that has been made the focus of her role.

    I’d say more but you get the idea.

  353. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t say Cat’s decision was any more “emotional” than Robb’s decision to marry Talisa and ruin the alliance with the Freys. If you’ve read past ASoS, which one was more destructive? Obviously Robb’s. The ‘women are very emotional and make decisions as such more than men’ is a total stereotype.

    Zack,

    The alternative was sit tight and watch Jaime die that night at the hands of the Karstarks, thus removing her one slim chance at getting the girls back. How is that anything but the smart move?

  354. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    jaeksays,

    Huh? What blame did I assign Brienne? I mention Brienne only to quote her stating the obvious for the audience’s benefit: Jaime will die that night if he isn’t released. Thus making Cat’s action clearly understood.

    Not so clear for some, as it turns out.

  355. queenofthorns
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    You forgot to include the problems with Dany’s arc. Not sure why as they were pretty glaring.

    1. Her idea to scout for information and find a ship was instead given to Jorah (mirrors the Robb / Cat problems exactly).

    2. Instead of being reasonable and *asking* for things from the Qartheen, she is consistently yelling and demanding things. Seems like they have taken the usual stereotype of woman in power = screeching harpy.

    3. The Xaro thing. In the books, Dany trusts him enough to put her up in his house and keep her safe long enough for her negotiations to proceed. Due to the pilgrims visiting the dragons and bringing gifts, this was a beneficial arrangement for both, and while they part on unfriendly terms, it was a good partnership while it lasted. In the book Jorah’s concerns were demonstrated to be rather overblown and motivated by jealousy. In the series, Dany is made to look like a fool for trusting him at all. “HAHAHA dumb woman OBVIOUSLY Xaro was going to betray you why didn’t you listen to the wise and smart older man telling you to run?? YOU SO STUPID.”

    I was really disgusted with their warping of Dany’s arc to make her look like a hotheaded idiot. I’m not sure why it didn’t make your list. I’m glad you included Irri’s death, though, that was ridiculous.

  356. queenofthorns
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    John: Tywin is not going to let that go, and frankly, nor should he.

    Technically, Tywin knew that attacking the Riverlands for arresting Tyrion and taking him to trial was an illegal response. That’s why he had Gregor fighting under black banners. It was a *warning* to the Starks, not a legal action.

  357. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    You people realize that Amrita Amcharia had to leave the show right? You can critique as much as you want to, but Irri left the series just as Rakharro did for reasons outside of the story world. Welcome to fun world of adaptation where changes are made in which the adapters have no control over.

    Also Dany was a hot headed idiot for two episodes. This is a woman who before leaving Pentos was sheltered and controlled by her brother. During her time with the Dothraki in which she became Khaleesi she was virtually a Queen. Her first time back to civilization as a leader unfortunately brought about her remaining naivete. It’s called character development. By the end of season 2 she had learned her lesson.

    I will be surprised if she acts the way she did in 16 and 17, in the third season.

  358. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Amrita denied leaving the show because of visa reasons. On her AMA at Reddit, she said it was D&D’s decision for story reasons. (I’m paraphrasing, that was the gist of it.) So no, she didn’t have to leave the show. It was their call.

  359. Zack
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: The alternative was sit tight and watch Jaime die that night at the hands of the Karstarks, thus removing her one slim chance at getting the girls back. How is that anything but the smart move?

    Because Jaime is one of the most skilled swordsmen in the Seven Kingdoms, fighting for the enemy, now freed and untrustworthy, and the chance at seeing her daughters returned as a result was slim to none.

    I understand and sympathize with the emotional reasoning. A mother’s going to want to get her girls back. But that’s a big part of why mothers don’t tend to be generals. She thinks the Kingslayer is a worthy trade for two girls, not even being aware that one of the girls (Arya) isn’t even within the power of the Lannisters to return. In warfare there have to be considerations about which actions are going to lead to the defeat of the enemy and which are going to aid the enemy. If the Karstarks had murdered Jaime, Robb could send the Lannisters his body to be buried and the heads of those responsible, and that would have had about as likely the chance to placate them into releasing the girls as Jaime’s safe return (which is to say, unlikely in both cases).

  360. LordStarkington
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    This said what I was going to post correctly. Saying Catelyn caused the war is wrong – seizing Tyrion is the catalyst that started the war, but the underlying factors that are actually responsible (the incest, Joffrey being a sociopath, the competing interests of Lannister/Baratheon and Tyrell, the plotting of Littlefinger/Varys, Robert’s failings as a king etc.) are all there. The conversation between Varys and Illyrio that Arya overhears makes it clear a war is coming.

    As for the post you were responding to…

    (1) There is no in-universe way for Catelyn to know what LF is up to, so for all she knows he is a childhood friend who also holds a position on the Small Council and is therefore in a position to know what’s going on. She also doesn’t simply trust LF on his own, because he’s corroborating a story she’s already heard a part of from Lysa (that there’s a Lannister conspiracy afoot).

    Also important to note is that Catelyn’s response to getting the information wasn’t to immediately seize Tyrion or do anything but to go home (remember that she’s trying to avoid being seen when plot contrivance results in her and Tyrion being in the same inn. It’s Ned who wants to immediately go to Robert with the knife and accuse the Lannisters of committing (attempted) murder and who also tells Catelyn to start mobilizing the Stark bannermen.

    (2) The idea that Robb “has” to keep fighting a war of revenge is patently false, and that’s the same trap that Robb (and many of his bannermen) fall into. He doesn’t have to throw in the towel the instant he finds out Ned is dead, but especially with the Tyrell-Lannister alliance and the Greyjoys running rampant in the North, what is more important to Robb as the new head of House Stark? Petty vengeance or living up to his father’s example and ruling wisely?

    (3) It’s sort of odd to harp so much on Catelyn “undermining” Robb by releasing Jaime (whether in the books or the show) when he so spectacularly upstages her by marrying Jeyne/Talisa and violating his agreement with the Freys. At least in the books he’s years younger than the show, so he has the excuse of being an inexperienced idiot, I guess.

  361. sunspear
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    And on top of that, Catelyn could have just hidden Jaime until Robb got back. It would have been simple, just have Brienne do exactly what she did, only bring Jaime back after a couple of days.

  362. Zack
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    sunspear:
    Zack,

    And on top of that, Catelyn could have just hidden Jaime until Robb got back. It would have been simple, just have Brienne do exactly what she did, only bring Jaime back after a couple of days.

    And this is true also! Especially since in the adaptation she had yet to learn about what had happened to “Bran” and “Rickon.”

    Plus, when you talk of Robb becoming less likable to viewers in disrespecting his mother, in your original remarks, it seems your opinion is colored by your modern sensibilities of what is proper, something I think viewers ought to try to avoid doing. Because, in this medieval wartime setting, if his men had seen him cowed by his mother after she had just freed a key prisoner, would they have respected him? My guess is no. “It is hard to take orders from a man you’ve laughed at in your cups.” When he’s at home, not at war, things might be different, but with Robb now the de facto head of the Stark household, leading an army…she would be expected to be the one showing deference to his decisions, regardless of being his mother. I don’t think protagonists should be scripted to favor “likability” in the viewer if doing so stretches believability.

    All of this isn’t to suggest that Robb is the model of wartime brilliance, though. His breaking the vow to the Freys remains unwise regardless of his mother’s actions.

    It is a strength of the material that all these flawed characters remain relatable and likable even when behaving harshly and foolishly.

  363. Zack
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington: (2) The idea that Robb “has” to keep fighting a war of revenge is patently false, and that’s the same trap that Robb (and many of his bannermen) fall into. He doesn’t have to throw in the towel the instant he finds out Ned is dead, but especially with the Tyrell-Lannister alliance and the Greyjoys running rampant in the North, what is more important to Robb as the new head of House Stark? Petty vengeance or living up to his father’s example and ruling wisely?

    This cuts to the heart of it, I think, but for the ‘heroes’ to retreat home and declare fealty to the people who had unjustly executed their leader…would that have been an exciting tale? GRRM would have either had a much shorter series or needed to take the series in a completely different direction without a civil war to occupy the characters.

  364. LordStarkington
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Oh, for sure – the show/war must go on for dramatic reasons. I just think it’s an odd thing to say Catelyn is somehow wrong for arguing that they should know when to call it a day (she doesn’t suggest peace until after Ned is dead, after all, and basically points out that they can’t bring Ned back and there’s no real reason left to fight other than aimless vengeance).

    It’s sort of ironic, too, because she’s often times accused of being someone who makes bad decisions because of emotion but here she’s the reasonable one being ignored because the men are emotional and want to feed their egos and wreak bloody vengeance on the Lannisters.

  365. Zack
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington,

    Exactly right. I will give her some overdue credit, then, in arguing for peace when no one else seems to see it as the sensible option. It’s kind of admirable, that she understands that it is better to lose a husband than an entire kingdom. In that sense she is wiser than the rest of them.

  366. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Alright then.

    It’s two bad that D & D are not coming to comic con. I wonder if we will ever get the reason why they would let a talent like Amrita go? It just doesn’t make sense. There must be something more to it than that. The worst thing about the changes is that we can either guess at why they were made or simply bash the show because of it.

    I hope the DVD commentary for season 2 answers these questions. Whether or not someone will fine them satisfactory is hard to say.

    I wonder if Elyse Gabel leaving had something to do with removing Irri’s character. They were obviously going for some kind of burgeoning romance between them in the first season and when Gabel left it kind of left Irri in the wind. Perhaps knowing that they would have to get more cast members for Astapor/Meereen, Irri’s character became a luxury and not an asset to the storyline and therefore not worth the money due to budget considerations.

  367. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I don’t know man, do you think Cersei let alone Joffrey would spare Sansa’s life if they sent back Dead Jaime and a few Karstark heads? I don’t see that at all. Cat knows about the incest. about Bran being pushed from the tower and she believes the Lannisters sent the assassin to kill Bran. No, Cat,knew what she was doing and knew the consequences. If Jaime died, Sansa would die by inches. Pure and simple.

  368. queenofthorns
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: Also Dany was a hot headed idiot for two episodes. This is a woman who before leaving Pentos was sheltered and controlled by her brother. During her time with the Dothraki in which she became Khaleesi she was virtually a Queen. Her first time back to civilization as a leader unfortunately brought about her remaining naivete. It’s called character development. By the end of season 2 she had learned her lesson.

    I’m sorry, but I object to Dany’s fundamental characterization being so radically changed from the book version. The book version was calm and rational during ACOK. It was only the horror of slavery that made her begin to dish out the fire and blood, and desperation in Meereen that led to that mess. It’s like D&D couldn’t stomach the idea of a capable female leader so they made everything fall apart on her. And exactly what lesson did she learn that she hadn’t already? None as far as I can tell.

    She was smart and efficient in her dealings with the Qartheen. Why remove that other than to undermine her character in this incredibly sexist way? Why give all her good decisions to Jorah or remove them from the text? This is similar to making Catelyn’s motivations nothing more than OH MY BABIES!!! And Stannis into no more than THE THRONE IS MINE AND I’M A HUGE HYPOCRITE. It sucks and it’s biased.

  369. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Judging from the comments on here, I think it’s safe to say that Benioff and Weiss are the most sexist, chauvinistic writers in the history of television.

    I hope Amanda Peet knew what she was getting into.

  370. queenofthorns
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    No, but I’d say they’re about as chauvanistic as a typical person in America. We’re all victims of the culture we’re raised in, which values masculinity over femininity to this day.

    That said, I do think the show could benefit from more perspectives in the Producer chair. Right now it’s three dudes in charge of *all* text-to-screen choices – that’s why the biases we see are so typical. Get a woman and a person of color that are fans of the books and things will turn out to be more balanced.

  371. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Thank you very much
    If they can be brought in in a way that will add to the story go for it. However simply adding colour for colour’s sake won’t be good. If I were to see a black man in Kings Landing I would immediately want to know who he is and where he comes from, what his story is. Simply because there aren’t that many Summer Islanders in Westeros. It is really easy to introduce them in the books with a short backstory without deviating at all from the focus of the story. However on screen that is much more difficult. I don’t want a couple of ethnic actors simply to have them in the show. I want interesting ethnic characters with something to add to the story.

  372. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    jaeksays:
    I am almost unilaterally opposed to your viewpoints on Catelyn.

    She did, in fact, start the wheels of death turning by capturing Tyrion. From the slaughter in the Riverlands to the Kingslayer’s attack on Ned, her actions made that happen. She did, in fact, release the Kingslayer on the sly and cause the next set of problems in motion.

    If a woman is to take your logic regarding the “wheels of death” and who started them turning, one might have to look to Cersei and Lysa Aryn for the true origins of the war. If Cersei (or Lysa) had not (we think) arranged for Jon Aryn to die, perhaps Lysa wouldn’t have conspired with Littlefinger to send a fraudulent note to Cat accusing the Lannisters of the deed and thereby starting the suspicions that Cat harbored regarding the trustworthiness of the Lannisters…the very family at that time harboring half of her family, her husband included in KL. If Jon Aryn had not died, then Ned/the Starks would not have gone to KL, etc., etc., and perhaps Robert Baratheon would have been spared for a time longer. However, from the conversation that Arya overheard in the dragon room in the basement, the pot of animosity had been simmering for some time and Cersei was merely looking for her opening to get rid of Robert and put her evil spawn on the throne. She hadn’t counted on the Bran complication, the Ned inquiry complication, the Lysa complication, Cat’s involvement. So, the war may have come regardless of Cat’s actions since Cersei was planning for something to happen (by putting Lannisters all over the court) as she could no longer tolerate the lush that was her husband and king. If the Starks had not become involved at all after Jon Aryn’s death, Cersei might have gotten away with her plan. So the “wheels of death” started with Cersei, and Cat only jumped on the train later.

  373. Zack
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Zack,

    I don’t know man, do you think Cersei let alone Joffrey would spare Sansa’s life if they sent back Dead Jaime and a few Karstark heads? I don’t see that at all. Cat knows about the incest. about Bran being pushed from the tower and she believes the Lannisters sent the assassin to kill Bran. No, Cat,knew what she was doing and knew the consequences.If Jaime died, Sansa would die by inches. Pure and simple.

    As I said, that’s pretty likely. But what about when Jaime, the most ideal hostage imaginable, is back home safe? Why could Cat be so certain that without the threat of Jaime’s imminent execution, Sansa and Arya would be safe? Think of how Joff treated Sansa -despite- Jaime in Stark hands. If they had nothing to lose, the little shit might not have held back at all.

  374. tau32
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: I still stand by my original assertion: totally out of character for Stannis. He doesn’t arbitrarily throw people to the fires or hit them. I actually haven’t seen any good examples cited here of when in the canon he displayed a hot temper beyond getting irritated with Jon for not accepting his offer. That’s part of the reason why his brothers didn’t care much for him- he’s a cold fish while their blood ran hot.

    I don’t think Stannis would have been the first man up the ladders at the Blackwater either. Quite out of character for book Stannis, but I don’t believe we will be getting much of him in the show unfortunately. I do not mind HBO Stannis however, so I am content.

  375. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    queenofthorns,

    True enough. I just took objection to you saying that D & D deliberately debased Dany’s character. That may not have been their intention but to some (not me) it was definitely the result apparently.

    Thank you for responding civilly (though you didn’t have to) to my snarky reply.

  376. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    It was a gamble for sure. But Jaime dead automatically equals Sansa dead, whereas there is a slight chance that the Lannisters would have honoured the deal. I get the impression in the series at least that Cersei wouldn’t kill Sansa if she didn’t have to. With Jaime dead however, that’s a different story altogether.

  377. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Has there ever been a more controversial adaptation than Game of Thrones? Aside from Harry Potter and LOTR I really can’t say that I have seen such a wide spectrum of voices in regards to the show’s adaptation and reception.

  378. sunspear
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Zack,

    It was a gamble for sure. But Jaime dead automatically equals Sansa dead, whereas there is a slight chance that the Lannisters would have honoured the deal. I get the impression in the series at least that Cersei wouldn’t kill Sansa if she didn’t have to. With Jaime dead however, that’s a different story altogether.

    Are we going by the book version of the release of the show version? Because in the show their was no ‘deal’ at all. Catelyn was told by Littlefinger, a person she openly doesn’t trust in the show, Tyrion would release Sansa and Arya. All Tyrion would have to do is deny their was ever a deal to begin with and Sansa would stay put in Kings Landing.

    Even in the book, the Lannister’s could refuse to release Sansa by saying that Jaime escaped, rather than being released (which is true).

  379. Zack
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Even so, without Bran and Rickon factoring into the decision, I’m not sure why the sudden need to send Jaime back on the slight chance that the people who struck first by executing Eddard would do the honorable thing. The previously mentioned fact that merely sending Jaime to a hiding place with Brienne until Robb could return would have sufficed, and not come off quite so badly.

  380. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Oe wheels of death? I’m definetly weighing on this discussing.

    IMO both of you are mistaken though Miss H’ghar does something right by going back.
    IMO however the “wheels of death started turning the moment Robert took the crown. Let us not forget the murder of Princess Elia and her children, something the Dornish have not forgotten and I daresay would have acted upon eventually. Remember RObert’s words to Ned in episode 2 “there’s a war coming Ned, I don’t know who we’ll be fighting, but it’s coming.”
    The men who bears the most blame for the War of the Five Kings is none other than good king Robert and Eddard Stark. Ned stating that him not taking the throne was not a mistake makes me cringe everytime. Robert although a likeable guy was a horrbile king! After the war many of the houses who supported the Targeryens lost much power, prestige, land and titles. These houses have been discontent and simmering for years at end and it would’ve boiled over eventually.
    Whereas Ned would’ve been a good king who could rule well and fair and iron out the many problems and factors that led to the war, Robert ignored the pressing needs of the realm. This would also have cut out the machinations of Cersei and her offspring.
    Besides I don’t think Robert would’ve mind, he would much rather be Ned’s general and protector of the realm than King.
    The wheels of death started turning the minute Robert became king instead of Ned.

  381. Zack
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    lol I have to disagree with you on this entire premise. You saw what happened to Ned when he left his podunk castle in the middle of a frozen waste for the big city life and the responsibilities required of the Hand of the King.

    I have to at least commend the man for recognizing how utterly unfit he was for the political games required of the rulers and those aspiring to power and going back to where he would be able to provide for his family and do good for his bannermen.

    Many good men are unfit to rule. Many ‘bad’ men have been good Kings. The skill sets required of each don’t have enough overlap.

  382. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I daresay I think he would have been able to straighten things out had he been working at a younger age. Remember new king new government. Many of the players in the game would not hav been there. Varys, Littlefinger, Cersei, these would have been excluded and replaced with men Eddard could trust.
    Even if you don’t agree with my Lord Stark being King, you have to agree that by taking the throne Robert sowed the seeds for another war,

  383. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Oe wheels of death? I’m definetly weighing on this discussing.

    IMO both of you are mistaken though Miss H’ghar does something right by going back.
    IMO however the “wheels of death started turning the moment Robert took the crown. Let us not forget the murder of Princess Elia and her children, something the Dornish have not forgotten and I daresay would have acted upon eventually. Remember RObert’s words to Ned in episode 2 “there’s a war coming Ned, I don’t know who we’ll be fighting, but it’s coming.”
    The men who bears the most blame for the War of the Five Kings is none other than good king Robert and Eddard Stark. Ned stating that him not taking the throne was not a mistake makes me cringe everytime. Robert although a likeable guy was a horrbile king! After the war many of the houses who supported the Targeryens lost much power, prestige, land and titles. These houses have been discontent and simmering for years at end and it would’ve boiled over eventually.
    Whereas Ned would’ve been a good king who could rule well and fair and iron out the many problems and factors that led to the war, Robert ignored the pressing needs of the realm. This would also have cut out the machinations of Cersei and her offspring.
    Besides I don’t think Robert would’ve mind, he would much rather be Ned’s general and protector of the realm than King.
    The wheels of death started turning the minute Robert became king instead of Ned.

    A woman sees your point, but was only going back as far as the beginning of the show and books in determining who caused the War of Five Kings. Continuing backwards you have a point, but Ned never wanted to be king. He only wanted to live peaceably in Winterfell. Robert had the ambition to take the throne, though was only partially successful in keeping the peace in the realm. Can you discount 15 years of peace under Robert and call it completely unsuccessful? According to the history of Westeros, that would have been considered a fairly long era of peace. Would there ever be a solution that satisfies everybody in the realm? Even if Ned had been king, there would still be some that were unhappy and waiting for a chance to take the crown for themselves. The greatest danger to the realm is still beyond the wall, and we will see how they deal with that next season.

  384. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    True, Ned not wanting to take the throne.
    Perhaps the Baratheon rebellion was doomed from the start.
    I would call it a false peace, Robert had so shattered most of his enemies that it took time to build their forces and grow strong once more. THe fact remains however that Robert is a terrible judge of character when it came to advisers and pardoning certain enemies. This is why I like Stannis, he would never have made that mistake.
    However only going back as far as the beggining of the books, I have to agree Lysa and Cersei share the greatest blame.

  385. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    True, Ned not wanting to take the throne.
    Perhaps the Baratheon rebellion was doomed from the start.
    I would call it a false peace, Robert had so shattered most of his enemies that it took time to build their forces and grow strong once more. THe fact remains however that Robert is a terrible judge of character when it came to advisers and pardoning certain enemies. This is why I like Stannis, he would never have made that mistake.
    However only going back as far as the beggining of the books, I have to agree Lysa and Cersei share the greatest blame.

    But when you think about it, did Lysa REALLY come up with the idea, or was she the puppet of Littlefinger when she sent the note, making it really Littlefinger and Cersei the ones with the most blame in starting the War of 5 Kings. Wonder what would have happened if Cersei and Littlefinger had ever REALLY joined their conspiratorial forces together? Or did they after all?

  386. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    True that, call it a horible judgement error by Lysa then. I don’t think Littlefinger is stupid enough to join forces with Cersei (who has clearly shown herself to be a horrible player). I think Littlefinger influenced her in that direction. But joining forces with her, I don’t think he would do so.
    Please Ageon and Dany conquer the seven kingdoms and end all this back stabing bullshit!

  387. queenofthorns
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror: The men who bears the most blame for the War of the Five Kings is none other than good king Robert and Eddard Stark. Ned stating that him not taking the throne was not a mistake makes me cringe everytime. Robert although a likeable guy was a horrbile king! After the war many of the houses who supported the Targeryens lost much power, prestige, land and titles. These houses have been discontent and simmering for years at end and it would’ve boiled over eventually.

    I agree with you. Robert ought never to have been king.

    A much more stable choice would have been baby Aegon raised with all knowledge of what happened (crazy king Aerys, Rhaegar nobly fighting/dying tragically) and groomed to rule by Jon Arryn and Ned Stark. I’ve always assumed this is what Jon and Ned had in mind prior to Tywin’s murder of the children. After all, the enemy was Aerys, not “the Targaryens.” The only person who even wanted Rhaegar dead was Robert.

  388. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    queenofthorns,

    Interesting theory, however with the death of Lyana I think that idea would’ve flown out the window.

  389. WildSeed
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington:
    Oh, for sure – the show/war must go on for dramatic reasons. I just think it’s an odd thing to say Catelyn is somehow wrong for arguing that they should know when to call it a day (she doesn’t suggest peace until after Ned is dead, after all, and basically points out that they can’t bring Ned back and there’s no real reason left to fight other than aimless vengeance).

    It’s sort of ironic, too, because she’s often times accused of being someone who makes bad decisions because of emotion but here she’s the reasonable one being ignored because the men are emotional and want to feed their egos and wreak bloody vengeance on the Lannisters.

    Exacto!

  390. queenofthorns
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    queenofthorns,
    True enough. I just took objection to you saying that D & D deliberately debased Dany’s character. That may not have been their intention but to some (not me) it was definitely the result apparently.

    Thank you for responding civilly (though you didn’t have to) to my snarky reply.

    Lol no problem. There’s definitely a distinction between being upset at D&D for failing to check their biases at the door, and being upset at them for purposefully assassinating a character. I believe the former rather than the latter, but that doesn’t make the changes any easier to take.

    They were just so much *worse* at it this season compared to last… I feel like in Season 1, most characters were given a fair shake. In Season 2, it’s like if you weren’t on their fave’s list you got totally screwed over.

  391. WildSeed
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    True, Ned not wanting to take the throne.
    Perhaps the Baratheon rebellion was doomed from the start.
    I would call it a false peace, Robert had so shattered most of his enemies that it took time to build their forces and grow strong once more. THe fact remains however that Robert is a terrible judge of character when it came to advisers and pardoning certain enemies. This is why I like Stannis, he would never have made that mistake.
    However only going back as far as the beggining of the books, I have to agree Lysa and Cersei share the greatest blame.

    Interesting discussion Aegon, Mrs H’ghar and Zack. It’s very insightful review
    the historical contents of earlier ASOIAF and perceive the impact and implications
    as a whole. In history there have been many reluctant individuals called to lead
    and did so admirably in spite of the political climate and foes. IMO, such indiv
    do well as they respect their enemies for whom or what they are ( awareness) and
    just as important as knowing one’s own strengths. It’s a balance, a dance. GRRM
    illustrated this in Jon Snow quite well ( and to some degree Arstan). Ned may not
    have been willing and stood by that decision true but he probably would have
    excelled because of his convictions to uphold fair laws that benefit the realm and
    it’s peoples. He was no craven but made a conscious decision to forego the stress
    of it all.For some the highest honor is that of being a father and husband and to
    live a personal life with integrity. Robert was no alter boy even as a teenager and
    sought revenge as any man in those days yet he knew when to heel or withdraw.
    He pardoned many Targaryeon allies when it appeared prudent to do so, he
    sought balance and a political peace in a kingdom where many once important
    if not royal lineages existed. The Lannisters ( & Freys )would have remained
    wildcards because of their wealth , respect ( Walder Frey is king rat and bred
    like one) and numbers.There will always be disquiet or rumors lobbying for
    change but if raunchy Robert managed it Ned or Tyrion could. I can’t wait
    for WoW which will relate Aegon’s growth as a potential leader. The threat
    beyond the Wall may supersede many political maneuvering. I lament Luwin
    and Aemon’s passing, these wise men knew much and could predict more.
    At least we have the 3-eyed crow and the faceless men to herald the changes
    due to come which may ultimately impact everything. Whatever GRRM choses
    as a catalyst or solution that marks the end of this series it will as always
    highlight the challenges it took to fulfill the choices each character made.

  392. Phil
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Irri’s death was lame. And those who are saying she had visa problems, she DENIED it several times. It was something made by D&D. R.I.P. Irri.

  393. Andrew
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    queenofthorns,

    I’m sorry, is Dany dead? I hadn’t been told. Oh, she isn’t? We have several more seasons of her at the very least?

    I hardly think now is a good time to say her character has been assasinated.

    A girl raised on the run with her half-mad brother, and then elevated to Queen of a tribe of savages is not going to be an effective diplomat in a place like Qarth. The storyline in the books was unbelievable in that sense, so D&D changed it so that her growth was a slower, more natural progression. They’re not afraid of a strong female leader, they’re just not willing to make her one out of the blue and with no prior experience. Calling them sexist and accusing them of ruining characters that aren’t on their favourites list is a bit uncalled for.

  394. queenofthorns
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Andrew:
    queenofthorns,
    I’m sorry, is Dany dead? I hadn’t been told. Oh, she isn’t? We have several more seasons of her at the very least?

    I hardly think now is a good time to say her character has been assasinated.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_assassination

    A girl raised on the run with her half-mad brother, and then elevated to Queen of a tribe of savages is not going to be an effective diplomat in a place like Qarth. The storyline in the books was unbelievable in that sense.

    Can you explain how Dany’s arc in Qarth from the books was “unbelievable”? She made a series of calm, rational choices, and that was it. There wasn’t anything particularly out of the blue that she came up with. She wasn’t juggling 100 things like in Meereen, she just dealt with what came, one step at a time.

    In the show, we get a Dany that randomly yells at people and threatens them, who comes up with no ideas on her own, and is made to look too trusting and without the slightest clue what she’s doing. I’m a little confused how you can’t see how this is a drastic change. It’s actually a regression from her character in Season 1.

    If you want to complain about an unrealistic arc, I’d start with Arya, not Dany. She’s like 3 years younger and manages some really tricky stuff to stay alive. You could call Dany’s acok arc boring, sure. But unrealistic? I don’t see it at all. Take it up with GRRM if you have that much of a problem.

    so D&D changed it so that her growth was a slower, more natural progression. They’re not afraid of a strong female leader, they’re just not willing to make her one out of the blue and with no prior experience.

    The reason Dany succeeds in Qarth but fails in Meereen has nothing to do with character regression/progression – it has to do with the situation there being *way more difficult* than the situation in Qarth.

    Calling them sexist and accusing them of ruining characters that aren’t on their favourites list is a bit uncalled for.

    I think it is sexist for anyone to consistently favor male characters over female ones. Saying that someone did something sexist, however, is not the same thing as saying they are a horrible person or even sexist in general. It doens’t make the outcome any easier to take though.

    Like I explained to Josh Taylor above, I don’t think it was intentional, but a product of unchecked biases against/for certain characters (not all of them female – they really don’t get Stannis at all, and there are issues with Littlefinger, too). They did much better in season one at monitoring this.

  395. Andrew
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    queenofthorns,

    I know what character assassination means; I was telling you that saying she’s ruined this early in the story is premature.

    It was unrealistic because she learnt leadership from her brother, who did an awful lot of screaming and demanding, and her husband, a warlord. She’s been told she’s the heir to the throne, and will be a queen someday, but she doesn’t know how to get there. This is exactly how D&D explained it in one of the behind the scenes clips. What on earth does Meereen have to do with this? She’s a lot more politically wise by the time she gets to Meereen, because she has experience.

  396. Braincandy
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Ours for sharing your thoughts. As always it’s a great way to occupy the long wait until the next season. Second, I’m another long time lurker.

    I want to address the ‘Stannis choking Mel’ scene. I have read about a quarter of the comments and most seem to be about characterization and power. While I’m mostly indifferent about whether it not Stannis would/could choke Mel I sway toward him being capable of it. He just lost a significant battle, suffered great loses, and, most importantly, he realizes that he may very well have lost the battle because she was not with him. Talk about a blow to his ego! I think that Mel holds all the power and especially in that scene. When Stannis loses control of his emotions and attacks Mel she does not play the victim. She enables him by allowing him his emotional outburst and then, yet again, seduces him with promise of future power and glory. Mel has the power not Stannis, he an instrument.

    The rest of the critique has some good points that have been brought up before and talked to death BUT I will say I agree that there should be more cultural diversity and that the sex scenes have been poorly done.

  397. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Braincandy:
    Thank you Ours for sharing your thoughts. As always it’s a great way to occupy the long wait until the next season. Second, I’m another long time lurker.

    I want to address the ‘Stannis choking Mel’ scene…

    The rest of the critique has some good points that have been brought up before and talked to death BUT I will say I agree that there should be more cultural diversity and that the sex scenes have been poorly done.

    A woman welcomes you to the commentariat and agrees with your comments as well. I had avoided the diversity discussion before due to the belief that Essos is going to be the more diverse realm over Westeros (though we haven’t seen Dorne yet) and we shall see more ethnic diversity in the next season. To this woman, it’s sort of like the difference between the UK of medieval times, which was more homogeneous due to geography versus Europe, which is connected by land to diverse cultures to the east and south. If we’re going back in time, this is believable so it hadn’t bothered me. It appears to this woman that the sex scenes are inconsistent, but so is the writing and direction at times so it follows logically. I never understood how one show could have so many different writers and directors yet keep a consistent feel and flow and look. Thus, perfection is elusive, yet D&D will surely strive for better with each passing season.

  398. Braincandy
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Thank you Ours for sharing your thoughts. As always it’s a great way to occupy the long wait until the next season. Also, I’m another long time lurker.

    I want to address the ‘Stannis choking Mel’ scene. I have read about a quarter of the comments and most seem to be about characterization and power. While I’m mostly indifferent about whether or not Stannis would/could choke Mel I sway toward him being capable of it. He just lost a significant battle, suffered great loses, and, most importantly, he realizes that he may very well have lost the battle because she was not with him. Talk about a blow to his ego! I think that Mel holds all the power and especially in that scene. When Stannis loses control of his emotions and attacks Mel she does not play the victim. She enables him by allowing him his emotional outburst and then, yet again, seduces him with promise of future power and glory. Mel has the power not Stannis, he an instrument.

    The rest of the critique has some good points that have been brought up before and talked to death BUT I will say I agree that there should be more cultural diversity and that the sex scenes have been poorly done.

  399. Braincandy
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    Braincandy,

    Oops. Sorry for the repeat! Had trouble publishing.

  400. Braincandy
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Braincandy,

    Oops. Sorry for the repeat! I had trouble publishing. Rookie mistake I guess. Does anyone else get several error messages before a comment gets posted?

  401. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Very true and so we all wait to see what will happen next, I’m thinking by the time this series finishes I might have kids old enough to start reading it themselves. Lol!

    Brain Candy

    Welcome to the magical world of WIC.net where we can endure the wait for season 3 by complaining about it together.

  402. Lex
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Braincandy,

    I just want to know if your name is a reference to the movie…

  403. queenofthorns
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    You still haven’t come up with a single thing that Dany did in her ACoK chapters that is in any way unbelievable. She acted in a way that any reasonable person would have done in her place. Dany had already shown herself to be a reasonable, compassionate person in the first book, and far beyond her brother. Her husband and Jorah helped her along, but mostly she acts by instinct and compassion (this is also what gets her into trouble later on).

    I’m arguing that D&D actually regressed her character from the first season/book.

    I brought up Meereen because most people say that they dislike Dany’s Meereen chapters because it feels like a step back in terms of her character development. This is consistent with what you were saying, except rather than saying she went backwards in Meereen, you’re saying it was “unrealistic” for her to be doing well at all in ACoK/aSoS in the first place.

    To this I say take it up with GRRM. I don’t think he was doing anything unreasonable with Dany.

  404. Yellow Dog
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Jess: I would love for there to be a random naked man on Cersei’s lap in her conversations with Sansa, just so some people could realize how ridiculous some of the female nudity on the show is. We don’t mind nudity, but I would like some equality in how and where it is used.

    THIS.

    And now we need a post speculating on casting for Random Naked Man.

  405. Yellow Dog
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    RamsaysGonnaGetYa: If viewers are so bothered about the sexism/racism/chauvinistic bull**** in this show… why do you continue to watch it? You moan about how the women are not shown in positive or realistic roles, but this is the world of fantasy & fiction. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it or read it. I can understand completely why readers are not happy with how certain characters are depicted in the TV show, some of the changes made have been ridiculous & make certain characters (male AND female) come across as weak, single minded, aggressive or just plain dumb, when in the books they have more about them. This is fine, I’ll share in most of your complaints about that.But if you really hate the show so much because of how the women are shown… It’s easy. Turn off your TV & don’t watch it.

    I think a show that had no aspects I disagreed with would bore me to tears. Ditto a show people didn’t care enough about to criticize constructively.

    A (non-reader) acquaintance stopped watching the show after the Dany rape scene. That was an egregious departure from the book, which I explained to her. But I also told her that if that scene bothered her so much, then the show was not for her, as much as I thought she would appreciate the political intrigue.

  406. Yellow Dog
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Vanderhook: Mimi, In regards to your comments on the Talisa character:I don’t think they would change Catelyn to be the one to give her the Moon Tea. It just wouldn’t make sense. Why would Catelyn try and prevent Robb for getting an heir? Especially since Robb wants Jon to be his heir in the case that he dies before having a child (I’m assuming they will keep this scene in the show). I’m also of the mind that Talisa actually *is* Jeyne Westerling but in disguise. I.E., she is actually working for Tywin and trying to destroy the North’s war efforts by coercing Robb into breaking his vows and destroying his alliances. In this way, they’ll sort of combine the Jeyne and Sybell characters into one. They might even have a dilemma where Talisa/Jeyne becomes conflicted as she starts to truly develop feelings for Robb.

    Whoa – hadn’t seen that theory before. I think I like it – especially as it still allows for Blackfish to take and hide her.

  407. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Yellow Dog,

    You do realise that scene was straight out of the books? And Dany wasnt crying because he raped her, she was crying because he was hurting the saddle sores she had gotten from riding all day. Just saying.

  408. braincandy
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Yes and no. I call entertainment “candy for the brain”, so braincandy seemed an appropriate title. I thought I had come up with it independent of the movie (which I’ve never watched), but who knows. I don’t want to plagiarize, so yes and no.

    Have you watched the movie?

  409. braincandy
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Agreed. I also think they have to appeal to a certain demographic during the first season to get people hooked and then slowly change it for the better as seasons progress forward. I feel that D&D are mindful of this. They have a lot of people they are trying to please – HBO, GRRM, book readers, non-book readers, etc…I think they have done a tremendous job with the adaptation and will continue to do so. I’m super happy that there has been an adaptation that I don’t think I have to nitpick it to death. This is not to say I don’t have opinions – guess I better start posting more!


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