Bryan Cogman talks season 3 and adaptation
By Winter Is Coming on in Press.

Bryan CogmanThe Mary Sue has a new interview with Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman, where they talk about the Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones book, as well as the show in general. A couple answers from the interview that I found interesting:

On his favorite character to write for:

BC: Very hard to choose — I’ve been living with them for so long, I have great affection for all of them (and the actors who portray them). I had a great time writing Theon in Season 2 and I’ve really enjoyed writing Jaime in Season 3. And I always like writing for the kids. There’s a character I love from the books — Aeron Damphair, who we haven’t seen on the show yet, but it’d be fun to get a crack at him. We’ll see.

On some of the (seemingly) arbitrary changes from the books:

BC: With all due respect to the fans, there is never a single change on this show that’s “arbitrary”. Every change is debated and discussed at length and there’s always a good reason — be it creative, budgetary, etc. D&D [Benioff & Weiss] make decisions in the adaptation based on what’s best for the show. Of course, I’d love everyone to love every bit of the series, but you can’t please everyone all the time.

Winter Is Coming: Sounds like we should get some good Jaime scenes this season! Oh, and Bryan is a Damphair fan? Didn’t even realize those people existed… Lastly, I really like his answer about the changes. Too often I think certain fans are quick to condemn a change without really trying to figure out why they made the change. Whether you agree or disagree with the reasoning or the ultimate decision, at least acknowledge that the writers are doing their best to make a successful adaptation.


233 Comments

  1. Imp
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    While I wouldn’t call Damphair a favorite, I really look forward to seeing more Iron Island culture on the show.

  2. Conor
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Really looking forward to his S3 episode, his episode in S2 was one of the best and had one of the series best “TV show only” scenes.

    He sounds like a cool guy too despite the fact that he’s an Aeron fan :P

  3. Brightroar
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Victarion and damphair will be interesting to cast. I hope ray Stevenson is cast as someone eventually

  4. Conor
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Brightroar:
    Victarion and damphair will be interesting to cast. I hope ray Stevensonis cast as someone eventually

    My Hopes:

    Victarion: Ray Stevenson
    Euron: James Purefoy
    Aeron: That guy that baptised Theon in season 2, would be nice continuity.

  5. Coco Lannister
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    What does everyone think the reasoning behind the changes to the way things went with Jon and the Halfhand? To me that didn’t seem necessary from a budget/adaption/time saving point of view. Its the only change that did seem arbitrary to me. I’d love to know the reasoning.

  6. G_Lee
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Bryan Cogman is my hero. Seriously, I have an insane man crush on him. Cogman for president!

  7. babar
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Conor:
    and had one of the series best “TV show only” scenes.

    Which one ?

  8. Sean T. Collins
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I think fans try to figure out the changes, alright, but this often amounts to armchair psychoanalysis of the filmmakers and what they “really” think of this or that character or concept, expounded upon at length. And I’m as guilty of that as anyone — not in “D&D obviously hate So-and-So” terms, but I definitely assumed and argued that they simply weren’t interested in the mythology/prophecy elements, when in fact they apparently hope to introduce that stuff later on in the series for pacing reasons.

  9. Quowala
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    How could Aeron Damphair be your favourite character??? The most interesting thing about him is his name. Theon and Asha are the only interesting Greyjoys.
    Victarion – big tough guy – seen it before and done better AKA the hound.
    Euron Crowseye – Like a character from Pirates of the Carribbean.
    Damphair – … meh.

    I am worried the show is gonna go down hill when we hit the feast for crows stuff. Its just not a great book.

  10. Conor
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    babar: Which one ?

    Theon burning the note, simple but brilliant.

  11. Watson
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Coco Lannister,

    I’ve tried to figure this out many times. Possible explanations:

    1) they didn’t think it was plausible to stretch a chase sequence through multiple non-consecutive episodes. (since Blackwater was in the way)
    2) they wanted to spend more time with Ygritte, since she sticks around longer than Qhorin, and because it’s hard to get a decent actor to take a role with one scene on the promise that more will come in years to come, particularly when that one scene is shot in Iceland.
    3) they wanted to make Jon’s motivations less clear, so that viewers would second guess his loyalties in season 3

  12. Ser Lemon Cakes
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Whilst I was not a fan of some of the changes last series (Cat/Robb, not enough Sansa/Hound) I tend to think that these are misscaltulations or miss translations rather than actual attempts at sabotage of character that some fans have claimed in their more outraged moments. Others are clearly a result of stresses of filming like the messy Halfhand arc.

    What was really great were the unexpected moments, like Cersei at the end of Blackwater, all of Theon’s scenes etc…I think having room to breathe a little with the split seasons will help the writers greatly, another reason why I actually think the Feast/Dance seasons have a chance to be great despite some of the concerns stated previously here. On that point, Sean, what do you think the challenges/opportunities of the additions of these books are, seeing as you have created a chronological reading order for the two?

  13. Mia
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the midst of book 5. My 7 kingdoms for some larger adaptations. Reading non stop always clinging to the glimmer of hope woven through each that imply something good might happen for the ones we love, only to be left in the condition I now find myself …..STARK “RAVEN” MAD!

  14. Ser Duncan The Tall
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Watson,

    Well met Ser! Those are all great scenarios. Let’s see how things play out before rushing to judge some pretty bad arse writing!

  15. King Tommen
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Coco Lannister:
    What does everyone think the reasoning behind the changes to the way things went with Jon and the Halfhand? To me that didn’t seem necessary from a budget/adaption/time saving point of view. Its the only change that did seem arbitrary to me. I’d love to know the reasoning.

    To my knowledge, there have been no direct answers given by the producers as to why they altered and condensed the Jon story with Qhorin. My best guess is that there was a feeling that the relationship with Ygritte and Jon was much more important and lasted longer (over the course of the following season) and they wanted to establish their relationship more deeply in S2 at the expense of Qhorin who was a character that would be dead by the end of the season.

    But that’s just a guess and pure speculation. I think that the execution of the story left something to be desired but in terms of the reasoning, that is at least plausible.

  16. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Little things like Jaime stabbing Aerys in the back instead of slitting his throat seem a bit arbitrary to me. While minor, was that change really necessary? It seemed a change just to make Jaime seem cowardly.

    I have very few complaints about some of the changes. The only two things that truly bother me are Jaime killing his kin and Jon being treated like a moron by Mormont and Quorin. How does it further Jon’s character to have him treated as though he’s so stupid? Mormont chose Jon as his steward to groom him for command because he was impressed by him. Quorin chose Jon for his mission because he was impressed that Jon killed a wight and what he’d heard about him. As far as Jaime killing another Lannister(no matter how low), I just can not see the character ever killing one of his kin. I know he was desperate to escape, but they could have just as easily had an escape attempt that didn’t involve kinslaying.

  17. The Rabbit
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Sean T. Collins,

    I think that GRRM gave a sort of an answer during the San Diego Comicon panel with Mo Ryan, when he was explaining the problem of exposition – because all of the prophecies, mythology and backstory had to be translated into the exposition – which could end very bad indeed on the screen. On the other hand visual flashbacks were obviously out of the question for the budgetary reasons.

    Yes, I can tell that I am not a big fan of some changes and decisions – but I am trying to understand every bit of the process, and so to speak, it made my reception of the series much smoother and easier.

  18. Winter Is Coming
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Sean T. Collins:
    Oh, I think fans try to figure out the changes, alright, but this often amounts to armchair psychoanalysis of the filmmakers and what they “really” think of this or that character or concept, expounded upon at length. And I’m as guilty of that as anyone — not in “D&D obviously hate So-and-So” terms, but I definitely assumed and argued that they simply weren’t interested in the mythology/prophecy elements, when in fact they apparently hope to introduce that stuff later on in the series for pacing reasons.

    And I have no problem with that sort of analysis. In fact, I enjoy engaging in those types of discussions. But it has to come from a place of “the writers are doing their best to adapt this story to television, so why would they make the decision that they did?”

    The thing that really grinds my gears are the folks that start off in a place of “the writers don’t care about the story and/or are lazy and untalented” and evaluate every decision with that as their baseline.

  19. Kieran E
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    There are definitely some changes I cannot fathom the reason for, but I’m far from a purist and the overall quality has been so good (with some very good changes too), that I don’t get very angry about them at this stage – I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that those changes I don’t understand, the logic behind will become clearer to me over time as things develop.

    No doubt my tune will change if they change something I absolutely adore though!

  20. SerCountryFriedSteak
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    We all saw what they did to Jon Snow’s storyline at end of season 2. We praise the stuff they do a great job on… We should be able to ‘condemn’ when they mess up too.

    This is easy for me to write, but his Twitter retort “there goes last GoT writer on twitter” was a tad whiny and thin-skinned too.

    If they can handle the praise (which they’ve gotten and deserved) they can accept the ire when they f up stuff like Jon’s Clash Of Kings ender (which they’ve also gotten and deserved)

  21. Ash
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Imp,

    U don’t have to, it’s his favourite

  22. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    SerCountryFriedSteak,

    I’m sure he can take the criticism but he himself was attacked on Twitter. No one should accept that.

  23. B Cogman
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    SerCountryFriedSteak,

    Never said I problem with some fans’ “ire” at changes. I merely said the changes are never arbitrary.

    And I agree, it was more than a tad whiny and thin-skinned, which is why I apologized for it almost immediately.

    B

  24. WildSeed
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    If Damphair hasn’t been presented or cast yet, who then gave ” Drowned Rites ”
    to Theon ( during his not so triumphant return to Pike ) ? That gangly ,long
    haired bloke in tatters ,wasn’t Aeron Damphair ? I presumed his character was
    overlooked, as many have. Captain America and Damp-Hair did have important
    ( but not essential ) roles, so what determines the toss ? Favoritism ?

    Euron and Victarrion are the Greyjoys I’m looking for next.

    Mr Cogman, have some love for Asha Greyjoy, don’t screw that one up ( in future
    episodes ) !

  25. WildSeed
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Read about that, I don’t blame him one bit. There is a line to be drawn, where he
    chooses, and obsessed fans can prove to be dangerous.

  26. WildSeed
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Conor: Theon burning the note, simple but brilliant.

    Agree, it was most effective. Bravo.

  27. Zack
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, some of the changes are arbitrary. There was no reason for the butchering of John and Halfhand’s’ storyline, or for not having Ramsay Bolton untill the next season, or for replacing Jayne Westerling with someone from Mereen. . .let alone for the constant presence of Ros the travelling whore. I think the primary reason for the changes are D&D trying to prove that they can not only do a good job of adapting a series, but they are also creative in their own rights. . . and i personally do not think they sufficiently are to justify making changes to the book.

  28. Patchy Face
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    B Cogman,

    is BC back on Twitter then? Sure miss his tweets. Actually wish he would write 2 or 3 episodes per year.

  29. Maester Victor
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    I like Damphair! I didn’t realise there were so many haters out there. I’m happy to hear Bryans opinion.

  30. Arthur
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    If there ever was an actor that would be able and willing to play Victarion Greyjoy it would be Ray Stevenson. He is on this seasons ‘Dexter’ as Dexter’s main opposition. So he will probably be killed at the end of that season and be free.

    Here is a scene from Rome where Pulo (Ray) could easily be Victarion just as well. Just give him Greyjoy armor and some long Viking hair and a gruff beardage…

    Check out this video on YouTube:http://youtu.be/g89LSzDuuQ4

  31. King Tommen
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Zack:
    Sorry, some of the changes are arbitrary.There was no reason for the butchering of John and Halfhand’s’ storyline, or for not having Ramsay Bolton untill the next season, or for replacing Jayne Westerling with someone from Mereen. . .let alone for the constant presence of Ros the travelling whore.I think the primary reason for the changes are D&D trying to prove that they can not only do a good job of adapting a series, but they are also creative in their own rights. . . and i personally do not think they sufficiently are to justify making changes to the book.

    Until you know everything about how this show is being made and how the decisions were arrived upon, then you can’t make this statement. I can pretty much guarantee you that there are legitimate reasons for all of the changes you are talking about and if you were lucky enough to get an audience with the writers, they’d be able to explain them to you. You are free to not like the end result on screen but trying to infer some reasoning with nowhere near any of the facts available to you makes you look like the worst kind of fans of adaptations (the “can’t get over any change to my beloved books” insufferable purists).

    You’ve got your opinion, but that’s all it is.

  32. LiamWilliams
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I disagree- time constraints and the need not to burden viewers (many who haven’t read the books) with too many or over complicated characters are sufficient reasons for the changes to the Snow-Halfhand story, Jayne background change and the delay of (my favourite character) Ramsey. It will work just as well with Ramsey being introduced in season 3 and changing Jaynes’ background will enable them to write her out or use her as the fake Arya character later on. Without the messy and ultimately pointless connection to the Lanisters.

  33. Coco Lannister
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Watson,
    That makes sense. Cheers

  34. Ours is the Fury
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean it’s arbitrary. I’ll give D&D (and anyone else involved) a hard time here when writing about stuff like changing Catelyn’s personality and marginalizing Sansa’s storyline, but ‘arbitrary’ implies they were sitting around eating donuts and watching cartoons and saying, “What the hell, why not- let’s reduce the role of these females for giggles. It’ll be superfun!” Some decisions for alterations may wind up being bad, in our opinion, but arbitrary no.
    In my opinion, it distracts from more interesting and in-depth criticism when we nitpick over things like Jaime stabbing Aerys in the front or the back. Either way, Aerys was dead as a doornail once Jaime made up his mind. I don’t think stabbing him in the back makes him more of a coward- it’s a way of using the common expression “stabbed in the back” to indicate betrayal. See what they did there?
    So anyway. Interesting interviews lately, Cogman. :)

  35. Tolgeros
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I can understand their reasons for nearly all of the changes…. Except two.

    1. The Story of the Mountain and the Hound being told by Littlefinger rather than the Hound (this was Rory McCann’s audition video and he nailed it!!!!)
    2. No Renly’s peach

  36. A Man Grown
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Sorry but even if you don’t like Ros, which is understandable, I don’t think it’s fair to say she serves no purpose.

    Seems like the showrunners want to show characters like Littlefinger, Varys, and Grand Maester Pycelle behind closed doors, which is something we don’t get in the books. They’re not going to just show Varys having a soliloquy by himself though, that would be ridiculous. Ros gives them a device to film those scenes. That’s a purpose, even if it’s one you don’t like, so it’s not arbitrary.

    Tolgeros,

    Agree with your #1 though. My least favorite bit of adaptation so far is the handling of Sandor Clegane prior to the Blackwater episode.

  37. thisone
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never had any serious complaints about the changes, except one:

    The awful Walkers/zombies in the of the second season. My god, that was embarrassing … If they keep appearing I’ll need to remove a whole star from the show.

  38. lol
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s a bit like Jon/Ygritte/Quorin – Littlefinger and Sansa will have relationship that continues into the future while the Hound has peaced out of King’s Landing at the end of season 2 so they gave some of his material to Littlefinger to flesh things out with Sansa more.

  39. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    thisone,

    ??? What was wrong with the White Walkers and how was that a change from the books? I thought they were a huge improvement over the pilot episode’s version. So they don’t have armor made of ice. Big deal.

  40. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    I’ve probably said something along these lines before, but in light of this post I think it’s safe to say that we all dearly love these books. We read them eons before the television series was a kernel in D & D’s minds, some of us read them after watching season 1, so we all have a spectrum of anticipation when it comes to bringing our fabled story to life. This is obvious.

    I defend D & D and the writers on the show quite often on this site, but I too lament the peach, Cat and Sansa being streamlined, Littlefinger’s subtlely, scenes with other characters rather than Ros, that Margaery is a 16 year old, that Jaquen wasn’t shrouded in supernatural mystique, that Talisa isn’t Jeyne, that Doreah betrayed Dany and the whole Quarth storyline, that Quorin’s tale was sacrificed, that HOTU wasn’t like the books and that Jaime is a kinslayer. I understand where all of you are coming from, but for me personally these are but a small list of transgressions the series has made in terms of fulfilling my mind’s eye of Martin’s opus.

    I could also present a list of all the things this show has done right and even better than the source material IMHO, but that would be a very, very long list.

    To compromise, one could say that some of those changes are arbitrary, some of them are not, for the errors they have made in terms of adaptation whether it be due to budget constraints, scheduling, network politics, creative license etc, in some way we all be rubbed the wrong way with this series. We all have our tolerance threshold when too much deviation has occurred. For some it has arrived already, for others it could happen any time (even to me) but in the view of optimism I believe a lot of the issues we have with season 2 with the exception of some story changes will be made good in season 3. Season 2 was well done in most respects. The show was bigger and badder than season 1. The epic scope of it could truly be felt, but Clash could only have been done right in two seasons. There simply wasn’t enough time to give all these characters their due, nor do I think the experience to balance all of these aspects was properly tapped. Essentially, season 2 was an experimental season. Never has a television series spanned countries the way this show has, balanced story lines of multiple characters such as the Wire in such an epic fashion. Maybe too much focus was put into Blackwater, maybe Tyrion got more scenes because Peter Dinklage’ s star status hit the stratosphere after season 1. Maybe the HBO execs pushing for series longevity thought a modern-esque Romance for Robb would win the tween crowd (look on TumBlr and you will see what I mean), maybe Littlefinger’s subtley doesn’t give Aiden Gillen a lot of scenes to honour his contract etc etc.

    There is always room for improvement.

    There is no way this could have been a flawless adaptation. It wouldn’t have lasted a season.

    All I am saying, and I have said this ad nauseam, it’s not Legend of the Seeker. Not that I like Terry Goodkind’s stuff, but I think if your a Sword of Truth fan you know what I am talking about. Unless of course you have already crossed that tolerance threshold and therefore agree that is like the Fantasy Adaptation That Must Not Be Named.

    I will say one thing that was arbitrary. Changing Asha to Yara. Asha and Osha would not have been confused. But that’s Hollywood thinking little of it’s audience I suppose.

  41. loco73
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t have put it better than Bryan and Winter didi! Maybe certain people will think a little bit before posting some of their innane brainfarts on here…but probably that won’t happen…

  42. arden
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I honestly got confused when Robb was married in the light of the 7 on the show.

  43. Ours is the Fury
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: Maybe the HBO execs pushing for series longevity thought a modern-esque Romance for Robb would win the tween crowd (look on TumBlr and you will see what I mean)

    What tween crowd? Tumblr mocks tweens. I think the tumblr crowd has been more critical of S2 and Talisa/Jeyne swap than just about any website I frequent.
    But in terms of adaptation, yeah I thank God every day GoT didn’t turn out like the Sword of Truth, or The Dark is Rising.

  44. Mormegil
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed: If Damphair hasn’t been presented or cast yet, who then gave ” Drowned Rites ”
    to Theon ( during his not so triumphant return to Pike ) ? That gangly ,long
    haired bloke in tatters ,wasn’t Aeron Damphair ?

    He was just a random Priest of the Drowned God. Not identified as Damphair to stop fans complaining when they recast him for Season 4.

    Speaking of Damphair wasn’t it Brian C who did not realise the name was pronounced as Damp Hair?

  45. Mormegil
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    arden: I honestly got confused when Robb was married in the light of the 7 on the show.

    I think they admited that was a mistake. Of course you could fanwank it that Talisa is a follower of the Seven and Robb got a Septon to marry them for her sake.

  46. Chickenduck
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Ser Lemon Cakes:
    Whilst I was not a fan of some of the changes last series (Cat/Robb, not enough Sansa/Hound) I tend to think that these are misscaltulations or miss translations rather than actual attempts at sabotage of character that some fans have claimed in their more outraged moments.

    This is what I think too. Sometimes they try something and it turns out not to work. But also, I think some fans don’t like to accept some parts of the books also aren’t all that great, or would be very tough to make work on screen.

    On another topic though, how do people pronounce Damphair in their minds? When reading originally it split into Dam-Phair (like “damn fire”)… But then later I spotted the obvious pun of “Damp Hair”. I presume the second is correct, and I’m just a bit slow… Anyone want to confirm that?!

    And while I don’t think he’s an amazing character in and of himself, he would be fun to write for.

  47. Chickenduck
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil

    Speaking of Damphair wasn’t it Brian C who did not realise the name was pronounced as Damp Hair?

    OK, I guess it’s confirmed that it should be “Damp Hair”. Has GRRM said Damp Hair in a press conference?

  48. sunspear
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    arden:
    I honestly got confused when Robb was married in the light of the 7 on the show.

    It isn’t that big of a plot hole. Ned married Catelyn in a sept.

  49. sunspear
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Zack:
    Sorry, some of the changes are arbitrary.There was no reason for the butchering of John and Halfhand’s’ storyline, or for not having Ramsay Bolton untill the next season, or for replacing Jayne Westerling with someone from Mereen. . .let alone for the constant presence of Ros the travelling whore.I think the primary reason for the changes are D&D trying to prove that they can not only do a good job of adapting a series, but they are also creative in their own rights. . . and i personally do not think they sufficiently are to justify making changes to the book.

    There are examples of arbitrary changes.

    None of those were them.

  50. sunspear
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I’ve heard some fans complain that the White Walker appeared to just be screaming instead speaking an actual language, a la the books (apparently they are unfamiliar with the concept of ‘war cry’).

    They’ve also said it wasn’t scary or impressive enough. Anecdotally speaking, I don’t know anyone who agrees with that.

  51. Ours is the Fury
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    I did the same thing initially with Damphair’s name, and later realized, Doh! It’s damp-hair because he’s all wet and Drowned Priest-y.

    Talisa shouldn’t be a follower of the Seven if she’s from Volantis, and Robb keeps the old gods like Ned. I think that was just a mistake.

  52. King Tommen
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    sunspear: There are examples of arbitrary changes.

    None of those were them.

    Some people equate “arbitrary” with “changes I didn’t like” which of course is what Cogman is trying to clarify the difference between.

  53. Zack
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    He’d be in a position to say this with accuracy, so I don’t see any reason to disbelieve him. These guys are as big or bigger fans of the series than most of us (and surely that includes me, who only read them for the first time two and a half years ago.)

    So if he says nothing is done arbitrarily, multiple pathways through the narrative are considered and they choose the one that serves the visual medium the way they deem best, that’s good enough for me.

    Of course I hate some of their touches, and am ambivalent about others, but that’s going to happen with a fanbase this large. Can’t please everyone. I’m just grateful we have passionate fans of GRRMs books doing this.

    (Guh, is it time to consider a handle change? Not that it matters if other posts have the same name as me I guess, but why not make it easy for others. Hm.)

  54. arden
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    You’re right I’m just saying that my parents (non- readers) thought that Robb followed the 7 after the wedding. If they’ve actually admitted that it was a mistake then so be it.

  55. purplejilly
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Conor: Theon burning the note, simple but brilliant.

    That was such a ‘scream NOOOO’ at the TV moment for me. I wanted to grab Theon, and shake him, and let him know he did NOT want to go down the path this choice leads. Which makes it a brilliant scene.. And to know he had written a letter, that he was so close to the good side..

  56. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Amen sir. There are times when I feel I wish I was one of the Unsullied. I could either love the show or hate it on its own merits. Alas, I am a Book Walker and must endure the ongoing battle between my imagination and what is on the screen. I think as Book Walkers we do have that moment or at least I have of rewatching the show and seeing the changes in a different light. Not all of the changes of course as we each have our individual nitpicking, but most of them.

    We also have the thrill of wondering what they will change and gaining excitement for each new deviation/reworking/improvement they come up with next. It’s all Part of the GoT experience!

  57. WildSeed
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    I did the same thing initially with Damphair’s name, and later realized, Doh! It’s damp-hair because he’s all wet and Drowned Priest-y.

    Talisa shouldn’t be a follower of the Seven if she’s from Volantis, and Robb keeps the old gods like Ned. I think that was just a mistake.

    I agree with this , and to add there have been missteps with season 2, some of them
    acknowledged ( by the production staff ). I believe S3 will see improvements, but
    adaptation is no easy easy task, from the cost parameters to streamlining the
    material. If the project continues to improve and awards acknowledging the
    work , budgets will increase and likely broadening story lines. On the other hand,
    the ambitious season three may pay off on a whim, and pure luck contribute to
    a happy outcome.

    Joshua Taylor did make some reasonable points above ( I do not twitter or tumbler
    , so that part is withstanding ).

    I’m generally impressed with the work Benioff and Weiss + Cogman , is doing.
    I think we need to wait and observe Season Three, then assess some more.

  58. WildSeed
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen: Some people equate “arbitrary” with “changes I didn’t like” which of course is what Cogman is trying to clarify the difference between.

    That is so. Generally I learn a bit more by entertaining their point of view, reading the
    post and discerning the intent. Not everyone states their POV well or in total
    ( I am guilty as any ), but rants are relatively easy to determine. I agree with your
    premise here, along Joshua Taylor comments. We’re all quite excited and anxious
    about the show, expectations often mirror what we feel at any given moment. The
    level of insight varies and debate is often corrected here during the discourses
    held here. The discussions are mostly civil and insightful.

  59. Jackwraith
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m a huge Aeron fan. He’s a fascinating character and I loved the stuff in Feast about the Drowned God and the culture of the Iron Islands. As an atheist, I’m fascinated by religious fanatics.

  60. WildSeed
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Zack,

    Amen sir. There are times when I feel I wish I was one of the Unsullied. I could either love the show or hate it on its own merits. Alas, I am a Book Walker and must endure the ongoing battle between my imagination and what is on the screen. I think as Book Walkers we do have that moment or at least I have of rewatching the show and seeing the changes in a different light. Not all of the changes of course as we each have our individual nitpicking, but most of them.

    We also have the thrill of wondering what they will change and gaining excitement for each new deviation/reworking/improvement they come up with next. It’s all Part of the GoT experience!

    Book Walker ! (?). I would have sworn you to be one of Damphair’s recruits :D
    ” What’s dead may never die, but rises harder and stronger ! ” Sure you have
    no Greyjoy blood in your genetic heritage ser ?

  61. Al Swearengen
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Jaime shines in ASOS so I am not surprised that Brian’s had fun writing his stuff this season.

    Never been a huge fan of Aeron, I tend to enjoy Victarion’s chapters more.

  62. WildSeed
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil: He was just a random Priest of the Drowned God. Not identified as Damphairto stop fans complaining when they recast him for Season 4.

    Speaking of Damphair wasn’t it Brian C who did not realise the name was pronounced as Damp Hair?

    Thanks for the reply.
    I remember a nameless queen Selyse introduced in S 2. Now she is introduced with
    full fanfare , in season three. One never knows the design for these things, as it
    does not appear logical to to the simple minded viewer ( that would be me ).
    It would be interesting if Cogman gets his way on including (some version of) him.
    Book Aeron had a way about him, as most zealots do, but he described events
    crucial to Iron Islanders that were not accounted by others.

  63. Al Swearengen
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Was anyone else disappointed with how GRRM killed off Balon ? I hope the show handles it better.

  64. JP Dayne
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    i dont really wanna beat up a dead horse, but the change from jeyne westerling to a volantene foreign made no sense at all

    same goes for jon being… dumbed?

    or why they made jaime kill his cousin… there’s no reasoning behind this and the jeyne change. they didn’t even bother trying to explain those lol

    the jon thing was just plain bad writing imho.

  65. Al Swearengen
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    The change of Jeyne really doesn’t bother me because the main point of her introduction is to show Robb’s youthful naivety and lack of respect for the Frey’s.

  66. Zack
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    LiamWilliams:
    Zack,

    I disagree- time constraintsand the need not to burden viewers (many who haven’t read the books) with too many or over complicated characters are sufficient reasons for the changes to the Snow-Halfhand story, Jayne background change and the delay of (my favourite character) Ramsey. It will work just as well with Ramsey being introduced in season 3 and changing Jaynes’ background will enable them to write her out or use her as the fake Arya character later on. Without the messy and ultimately pointless connection to the Lanisters.

    Sorry I disagree. There would have been sufficient time for John-Halfhand storyline if they would have had less flirting and chasing scenes with Ygrette. The way it turned out made it seem that John killed a pretty random ranger who pissed him off, thus taking away one of the most poignant moments from the book. Likewise, the reason Ramsay was important in Clash was because of the whole irony of Theon being betrayed by a false “Reek” before becoming new “Reek”. This storyline now cannot happen. I am not sure what you mean by “changing Jaynes’ background will enable them to write her out or use her as the fake Arya character later on.”

    I am not a book purist BTW and i have no problem with changes that make sense, but these ones just dont.

  67. KG
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Cast Tom Baker as Aeron and everyone in the world will be a fan. It just takes the right actor.

  68. Eor!
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    The way it turned out made it seem that John killed a pretty random ranger who pissed him off, thus taking away one of the most poignant moments from the book

    I have many friends who never read the books and every single one got what Jon was doing. I agree that it wasn’t nearly as good in the book and I wished they had more Qhorin, but I see arguments like this from book readers all the time, something different so they decide that it means no one gets it but them. People got it.

  69. Zack
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    I think they made Jamie a kinslayer for the same reason they made Brienne a killing machine in the last episode – to add more action, which was not needed.

  70. Zack
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Eor!: I have many friends who never read the books and every single one got what Jon was doing. I agree that it wasn’t nearly as good in the book and I wished they had more Qhorin, but I see arguments like this from book readers all the time, something different so they decide that it means no one gets it but them. People got it.

    I guess you have smarter friends with me – a friend of mine called me right after the episode and asked why did John kill this guy? Again, I don’t mind something different from the book. (e.g. i liked Bronn v. the Hound scene, I liked back and forth between Littlfinger and Varys, I liked simplification of the device by which Tyrion found out that Pycelle is a traitor, etc.) What I do mind are changes that seem to have no purpose and detract from the story or the characters.

  71. Marc B
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Yo Bryan. Great to see your acting career is finally taking off. Best. M PSTTFN

  72. The DarkStar
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Jackwraith:
    I’m a huge Aeron fan. He’s a fascinating character and I loved the stuff in Feast about the Drowned God and the culture of the Iron Islands. As an atheist, I’m fascinated by religious fanatics.

    +1
    I’m an atheist as well, and I love the religious aspects of the books.
    The Damphair is one of my favorite minor characters.

    If any Martin fans want to read a BRILLIANT short story he wrote concerning religion, read “The way of the Cross and Dragon”

  73. B Cogman
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Marc B,

    I can do accents! I can sing and dance. Just gimme a shot!

  74. The Young Wolf
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    RENLY’S PEACH!!!!!

  75. King Tommen
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Zack:
    I think they made Jamie a kinslayer for the same reason they made Brienne a killing machine in the last episode – to add more action, which was not needed.

    Can we get over the “kinslayer” tag? The guy was a distant cousin who Jaime didn’t even know existed or had any connection to. He was used as a pawn and killed as a means to an end in order for Jaime to escape and get back to Cersei. This is the same guy who callously tossed a 10 year out of a window to ensure he could continue to be with Cersei so why some book readers have their panties in such a knot about this is beyond me. It’s completely consistent with his character and I don’t think the non-book reading audience batted an eye at this act because it’s exactly what ACOK-era Jaime would do.

    And I also don’t get the “killing machine” tag put 0n Brienne. The two times she has killed on the show were a direct result of being backed in a corner and having no other choice in order to survive. They were emotional moments that she clearly did not take lightly. With the Stark men, she took her time with the last one because she was so devastated by the way those men had callously hung the women in the scene and she wanted him to feel the same agonizing pain. I don’t see how this makes her much different than in the books. As in the books, she’s a fearsome warrior and if you challenge her, she’s probably going to end up killing you.

  76. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    I have a feeling the Iceland scenes were either rushed or they ran out of time with other aspects of the production and it ended up on the cutting room floor. Clash should have been two seasons or the season should have had two or three additional episodes.

    Regarding Iceland I can’t tell you how many times people have bitched to me about Iceland not looking North of the Wall at all. The show spends a couple of million dollars to wow up the North make it look distinct and people get pissed off because the Landscape is nothing like the North. That being said, I think Mance will be stronger mentor figure for Jon in the show then Quorin.

    I will say I think some aspects of the story/screenplay were probably diminished in the quest to give season 2 a more epic scope. I also believe that the writers are afraid if taking risks with some if the characters. They could make Brienne as honourable and respectful and devoid of dark thoughts as would be textually accurate but I believe the writers disagree with some of the extremes Martin places the characters. It also seems they do the complete opposite for the subtler characters like Littlefinger, Margaery et al. I believe they want to reach many audiences with this series to ensure its longevity and certain characters are bound to target certain demographics. All they have to do is emphasize these factors. So while we have text loyalty and subtlety one one end, we have extreme entertainment on the other. And Quorin, the producers chose to mine Jon and Ygritte for obvious reasons. We would all like this to be the next Deadwood or The Wire but no exec is going to support a production of this magnitude for a complex series based on a fantasy novel. Game of Thrones will always be dancing between art and commerce.

    Do I wish it was the former than the latter? Of course I do. But do you think a network like HBO is going to pour money into a series without considering all these factors? I don’t.

    Season 3 will be good. I feel it in my bones. The success of the series is assured for the meantime , HBO is pouring money into the production, they have some fantastic directors and the experiences wrought from an ambitious sophomore season. It’s a pity CoK suffered a little because of this, but there it is.

  77. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    My impression is she gave the Stark man (notice how he could have been Sean Bean’s stunt double) the Edward II treatment minus the heat. She “raped” him and made him bleed out. It’s fitting that its Gwendoline Christie, as she played Isabella II the She Wolf of France in a stage production of Edward II.

    But I agree with you 100% especially regarding Jaime Lannister.

  78. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    King Tommen: And I also don’t get the “killing machine” tag put 0n Brienne. The two times she has killed on the show were a direct result of being backed in a corner and having no other choice in order to survive. They were emotional moments that she clearly did not take lightly. With the Stark men, she took her time with the last one because she was so devastated by the way those men had callously hung the women in the scene and she wanted him to feel the same agonizing pain. I don’t see how this makes her much different than in the books. As in the books, she’s a fearsome warrior and if you challenge her, she’s probably going to end up killing you.

    You are totally wrong about Brienne from the books. In the feast for crows, there is a whole narrative how it was hard for her to kill people. She is a fearsome warrior mixed with a bit of Sansa-like naiveté, and the latter part is lost in the tv show. When Brienne in the book does finally make her first kill – Shagwell & Co – she does not torture them and did not even kill Shagwell after he was defeated untill he attacked her again.

  79. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: I will say I think some aspects of the story/screenplay were probably diminished in the quest to give season 2 a more epic scope. I also believe that the writers are afraid if taking risks with some if the characters. They could make Brienne as honourable and respectful and devoid of dark thoughts as would be textually accurate but I believe the writers disagree with some of the extremes Martin places the characters. It also seems they do the complete opposite for the subtler characters like Littlefinger, Margaery et al. I believe they want to reach many audiences with this series to ensure its longevity and certain characters are bound to target certain demographics. All they have to do is emphasize these factors. So while we have text loyalty and subtlety one one end, we have extreme entertainment on the other. And Quorin, the producers chose to mine Jon and Ygritte for obvious reasons. We would all like this to be the next Deadwood or The Wire but no exec is going to support a production of this magnitude for a complex series based on a fantasy novel. Game of Thrones will always be dancing between art and commerce.

    That reasoning works for season 1 but not season 2. By the time season 2 came, the show was already a hit. D&D did not HAVE TO make Littlefinger a cartoonish villain, or to focus on John & Yigrette to the detriment of Halfhand to please HBO by that time. With respect to Brienne – “the writers disagreeing” is my very problem. Its ok to make changes but I do have an issue with changing an actual core of the character if its in the direction of making him or her more simplistic and one-dimensional.

  80. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    In my opinion, I believe the book is much better in telling Jon’s story than the show did with him in the 2nd season. Still, I can understand why they went that route. I think it would’ve been extremely difficult to get Rose Leslie to take on the role if she had just one or two scenes the entire season. Ygritte is hardly in the second book at all. If I was given the choice of seeing Jon’s story take a different route to get to the same basic point he does in the book and having Leslie, or not changing a thing and having a different actress, I would take the changes and Leslie.

    It might be the case that some of these changes have nothing to do with telling the story the way they would prefer, or developing the character exactly how they would like. It might be that they have to tell certain parts of the story differently in order to land the actor they want, or because they can’t afford their preferred method.

    I have no idea why they made the choices they did, but I can think of a number of plausible explanations that don’t involve the changes having no purpose. I believe these guys are trying to stay true to the books as best they can, and I have a hard time believing they are just making changes on a whim and for no purpose. I’m amazed they are able to stay as true to the books as they have so far considering the sheer scope of the book they are adapting.

  81. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Shoving an 8 year old out a window to protect Cersei and his family was an impulsive move that Jaime made in an instant. In the show he sat there and had a conversation with Alton and lured him in for the kill. It was cold blooded and calculated. That is not the Jaime Lannister from the books. It was terrible what he did to Bran, but like I said, it was done on impulse and as a means to protect Cersei and their family. That’s not an excuse. It was an evil act, but there was at least reason behind it. There is nothing in the books that would suggest that he would murder any Lannister, no matter how distant a relative.

  82. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    We will have to agree to disagree. To paraphrase Martin you have made a gesture that “brooked no argument”. :-)

    I accept the show to maintain its longevity will be flawed as it is a victim of the industry. You do not.

  83. Amsterpaul
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    I thought that was the damphair is season two, who else would baptize Theon with saltwater?

  84. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Hear hear!

  85. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    I didn’t have a problem with Jon spending time with Ygritte so much as the show painting Jon as some halfwit who seems to never do anything right. It was Quorin who selected Jon to join him on his ranging in the book. He recognized the potential in Jon, as did Mormont. But all we got in the show were lines like “You’re even dumber than you look”. I didn’t need to see the chase scenes where they are on the run, but a couple of scenes where Quorin acts as a mentor to Jon and imparts some wisdom would have been nice.

  86. The Queen's Hand
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    So wait… “Every change is debated and discussed at length and there’s always a good reason”… I find it frightening that they actually planned all this bullcrap with Ros. I always hoped it was an accident of some sort

  87. King Tommen
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    The Queen’s Hand:
    So wait… “Every change is debated and discussed at length and there’s always a good reason”… I find it frightening that they actually planned all this bullcrap with Ros.I always hoped it was an accident of some sort

    You mean like have her be the person in the scene where characters like Varys, Littlefinger and Theon can express their current motivations and thoughts? Because that’s essentially the reason that she’s in those scenes. So that these other characters can say things that are otherwise explained only by narration in the books. That along with the fact that they needed to combine several prostitute characters into one for economy’s sake.

    I sometimes wonder if some of the fans have any critical thinking skills they are employing while watching the show or just simply go into spasms of nerdrage when they see something that is different from the books occur on screen.

  88. Currer Bell
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Rats! One always comes late to the party. One would have liked to been around when Mr. Cogman was posting but it’s just as well. One doesn’t fully understand the etiquette/niceties of posing questions. One doesn’t want to embarrass oneself or Mr. Cogman. One knows better than to ask him to talk out of school like asking for details of S3, or how Martin is going to end the story, or what are they going to do when the series overtakes to books. These would have been rude and off topic. But there are some innocuous questions about changes one might have screwed up one’s courage to ask. For instance one would like to know the artistic/financial/logistical/time constraint reasoning behind

    1. No peach? (Perhaps the actor protraying Renley could barely sit a horse and couldn’t eat fruit on horseback.)

    2. Why not tell Cat and Robb about the supposed deaths of Bran and Rickon? (It would have made their later actions more plausible.)

    Would asking for specifics about nonarbitrary changes been out of place?

  89. StormOf*S*Words
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    I like most of the changes made in the show, and I like the very idea of deviation from the book in moderation.. It provides suspense and surprise that as a reader would be difficult to feel without some changes. As for arbitrariness, surely none of the changes are arbitrary. When an artist creates his magnum opus with only 10 hours to work with, he will not casually write even a second of story line.. It would be like Beethoven sticking some random notes in Fur Elise (and saying “what the heck” (in German)).

  90. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Yeah, I understand. Like I said above, I like book Jon much better than what they did with him for season 2. I just think it doesn’t make sense to say their changes served no purpose. I think they are in a fine position with Jon moving forward. I think they have plenty of opportunities to show him grow from his past mistakes and become what he does in the books.

  91. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    King Tommen: You mean like have her be the person in the scene where characters like Varys, Littlefinger and Theon can express their current motivations and thoughts? Because that’s essentially the reason that she’s in those scenes. So that these other characters can say things that are otherwise explained only by narration in the books. That along with the fact that they needed to combine several prostitute characters into one for economy’s sake.

    Thats kinda makes sense actually, but it is unrealistic for clever players of the game like Littlefinger to explain their motivations to random whores. Also, her scenes with Littlefinger were designed to show him a cartoonish villain, which he is anything but in the book. . . so creating a new character to serve as a device for making other key characters more one-dimensional is not a good thing.

  92. The Rabbit
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Mormegil: I think they admited that was a mistake. Of course you could fanwank it that Talisa is a follower of the Seven and Robb got a Septon to marry them for her sake.

    Why?
    Where are they: In Riverlands
    Where Ned and Cat were when they got married? in Riverrun (Riverlands)
    Where Ned and Cat got married? In the sept!

    I do not think it was mistake – I think the only way to marry someone in Riverlands is to get septon.

  93. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: We will have to agree to disagree. To paraphrase Martin you have made a gesture that “brooked no argument”. :-)
    I accept the show to maintain its longevity will be flawed as it is a victim of the industry. You do not.

    Agreed. I am far from idealizing the industry but I think we just disagee on how much oversimplification of characters and plot is required for a show coming of a succesful first season to survive on HBO.

  94. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    The Rabbit: Why?
    Where are they: In Riverlands
    Where Ned and Cat were when they got married? in Riverrun (Riverlands)Where Ned and Cat got married? In the sept!

    I do not think it was mistake – I think the only way to marry someone in Riverlands is to get septon.

    By far the more flagrant mistake was freaking Carstark swearing on the seven during the Jamie escape episode.

  95. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Many viewers perceive of GoT Jaime Lannister as an extension of the ( cute )
    actor, Nicolau Costa-Waldau, same for Kit ( Jon Snow ). And while we’re at it,
    Charles Dance, for Tywin. There is misplaced admiration and hate ( for others ),
    a common side effect from viewer only audiences unfamiliar with the source
    material. It’s also no secret that some actors are chosen for their talent and
    sex appeal, as the production hopes to garner ratings for ” hotness “. Perhaps
    as the seasons progress, and the script evolves a bit more, the character flaws
    and psychotic elements will become obvious. For now, only Joffrey is identified
    as a ” bad person “, with maybe Catelyn Stark, whose story was badly written,
    gets the thumbs down. I think Season 3 will shatter several misconceptions among
    the viewer only audience. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve been refrained
    from giving non readers the scoop on Jaime, not wanting to spoil it for them. Don’t
    get me started on Tywin , or Stannis. To GoT credit, there were mention of Jaime’s
    character beyond his stay at Winterfell. he was confronted by Ned ,twice, not to
    mention his incestuous relationship ( Cersei gets the blame there ). As told in ASOIAF,
    most of the humans depicted are flawed in lesser or larger portions.

    For now, the script disasters belong to the writers (and/or their superiors ), but the avid
    fans expectations create another dilemma. The best approach it seems, as a fan of the
    books and show, is to allow for measured success.

  96. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    Zack: By far the more flagrant mistake was freaking Carstark swearing on the seven during the Jamie escape episode.

    So true ! I repeated out loud ,to myself , ” Karstark ” WTF are you saying ?

  97. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Cogman mentiins that he liked writing for the ” children “, I wonder if he pens
    the Jojen & Meera Reed episodes ?

  98. Morrigan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Just because it’s not arbitrary, doesn’t mean that it’s good or bad. And I’m not convinced that some of those changes were not arbitrary, but of course they would never admit to it, so who the hell cares what he says? They still butchered Qhorin’s and Robb’s stories and even Arya’s (her interactions with Tywin were fun, but dragged on for too long, and that she didn’t kill the guard herself was simply a terrible decision), and please don’t tell me they were thoughtful and purposeful in their idiocy with Ros instead of just having her and the brothel for the boobies because that’s kinda scary.

    Shame that they don’t have more talented writers like those in, say, Breaking Bad (funny how that show gets great ratings without having constant softcore porn, eh, D&D?), then the show could be truly great, instead of merely good.

  99. The_Rabbit01
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    Yes Kastark was clearly a mistake, but I wanted to say that Talisa & Robb wedding before the Seven, was not mistake at all, having in mind Ned marrying Cat in Riverrun sept.

  100. Obsidian
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve never been one to claim the changes were arbitrary. It’s often easy to think of a reason why changes might have been made , I just feel that many of them were unnecessary, and some unwise.
    I can imagine having Talisa/Jeyne appear in the way she did saved them from having to create yet another set, hire more incidental actors, etc. Fine by me. But then, the portryal of their relationship was too modern to fit the story ,and I found her “backstory” ,well, mawkish. Like a bad soap opera. If I had never read the books , I would still have been rolling my eyes. It made me keen to see the back of Talisa. The sooner the better. Even if they try to reconcile her with the book character in the coming season , last season’s scenes between the her and Robb will linger like a bad taste .

    I can fully understand , for the show , the need to pare down the number of times Harrenhall changes hands in the books. I will understand if the Bloody Mummers are expunged in S3 ( though I know people who will be most upset ,and even I will miss “Thaphireth !” a bit .)

    But I think the whole Tywin / Arya business last season was actually worse than arbitrary , it was indulgent. One of those major scenes might have sufficed. Those 2 characters should never meet again. And the relationship that actually is important to Arya ( that with Jaqen) was given short shrift ; even ,in some cases, reduced to comic relief. And whoever wrote Jaqen suggesting Arya could offer many more lives to the Red God ( blasphemy!) ought to have all writing implements removed for at least a season. :D

    Long story short .. Just because no change is arbitrary , it doesn’t follow that all changes are good , or right.

  101. Obsidian
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Sorry..for some reason the spoilers didn’t work, even when I typed them in .. could someone please fix wherever necessary

  102. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Morrigan,

    Well, I don’t take B Cogman to be a liar. He seems like an honest person, and if he says that the decisions weren’t arbitrary, then I take him at his word. And I think most of us care what the hell he says.

    As for the show, I think they have great writers and a great show. Your comment is the exact type of comment that I find distasteful. You call Cogman a liar by implication, and talk about the writers in this self-righteous and condescending tone. There are ways to disagree with people and critique their work without being so disrespectful.

  103. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    Obsidian,

    Jaqen tells Arya she owes three lives to the Red God because she saved them from the fire. That is a quote straight from the book and I wish people would realize it.

  104. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Morrigan,

    There had to be a few arbitrary decisions made by them, the randomness of those
    were too transparent to NOT comprehend the errors.

    “Breaking Bad “, even ” The Walking Dead ” and ” Homeland ” , all have improving
    stories that engage audiences in an intriguing way. yet those, I caution, are smaller
    enterprises, smaller budgets, less epic writing to streamline into a hourly ten episode
    season. A balance must be sought though, or those coveted awards will pass GoT
    by ( or worse, a dissatisfaction growing in momentum , for fans). I think there’s a
    clear shot at greatness, we just need to see the efforts of season 3 & 4.

    I really enjoyed last sunday’s viewing of ” The Walking Dead “, the entire episode
    featured a fresh corps of actors, their characters given an appropriate time to be
    introduced in to the plot. TWD was an absence of all the famous faces, giving the
    audience the opportunity to focus , instead of a barrage of too short scenes mixed
    with unexplained events, in GoT. I liken it to a cacophony of individuals, screaming ,
    having sex, and plotting revenge at the same moment. It’s too much to absorb
    unless the script is seasoned right. I hope GoT improves in the writing dept,
    the natural settings and CGI ( well , there have been a few or rare missteps ) does
    well enough to give the audience the environmental effect, illustrate the story.

  105. babar
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    Morrigan:
    Breaking Bad (funny how that show gets great ratings without having constant softcore porn, eh, D&D?)

    Breaking Bad season 2 average ratings : 1.7 million
    Game of Thrones season 2 average ratings : 3.9 million

    Mmm…

  106. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    babar,

    Plus, AMC is available in 70 million more homes in the US than HBO. Breaking Bad is a wonderful show, but it is not a huge ratings grabber.

  107. Obsidian
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I’m not referring to the 3 lives owed to the Red God. I’m quite aware that’s from the book.
    It’s when Arya and Jaqen part in the show , someone has him tell her if she leaves with him ( or uses the coin) she’d be able to offer more lives (from her list, I think ) to the Red God .

    In the book ,she wants to learn to change her face like he can. When she says she has to stay , he gives her the coin and tells her to use it ” If you would find me again. “ …Nothing about if you want to learn to be a killing machine , and certainly nothing to do with the red God ,who he obviously thinks it’s wise to avoid .

  108. HouseLark
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Zack:
    Sorry, some of the changes are arbitrary.There was no reason for the butchering of John and Halfhand’s’ storyline, or for not having Ramsay Bolton untill the next season, or for replacing Jayne Westerling with someone from Mereen. . .let alone for the constant presence of Ros the travelling whore.

    I agree with the poor adaptation of Jon’s storyline but I’m frankly sick of the complaints about Ros. She gets no more than 10 minutes screen time in total in 10.5 hours of television. And her scenes are always with one of the principal characters (save for the baby slaughtering scene) donuts not like the producers have developed an arc for her that replaces someone else’s. Bronx has seen his role from the books beefed up for the show but he’s “badass” do I suppose that’s acceptable.

    And Talisa is from Volantis.

  109. babar
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Obsidian:
    Tyrion Pimpslap,
    Nothing about if you want to learn to be a killing machine

    He didn’t indeed mention the Red God before he left her in the book, but he did offer her to learn to be a “killing machine”:

    Arya’s mouth hung open. “Who are you?” she whispered, too astonished to be afraid. “How did you do that? Was it hard?”
    He grinned, revealing a shiny gold tooth. “No harder than taking a new name, if you know the way.”
    “Show me,” she blurted. “I want to do it too.”
    “If you would learn, you must come with me.”

  110. Tom
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Conor: My Hopes:

    Victarion: Ray Stevenson
    Euron: James Purefoy
    Aeron: That guy that baptised Theon in season 2, would be nice continuity.

    that guy had barely a second and no one would remember his face

  111. Obsidian
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    babar,

    Yes. She said that when she saw his face change. The killing was not a selling point..and it wasn’t Arya’s prime motivation..then , or later.

  112. Winterdark
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Tom: that guy had barely a second and no one would remember his face

    Agreed also:

    Victarion: Rufus Sewell
    Euron: Christopher Eccleston

  113. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    It’s also important to add that the Dead had a terrible sophomore season. Yes it did well in ratings but the firing of Darabont, AMC gutting the budget for Mad Men once again, led to a weak outing for season 2. Whatever issues they had to deal with it has clearly paid off in a fine form third season thus far. It’s also relatively more loyal to the source material.

    I think there is a lot of anger brewing now. People have their opinions and do not like to be contradicted or told that they are wrong. I personally don’t believe it is the showrunner’s imperative to butcher the source material. Whether we take Mr. Cogman and co at their word depends upon our own level of optimism and cynicism.

  114. mags giantsbabe
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    When I heard the news that Ciaran Hinds was cast as Mance, it made me think that this was an important and long term role being filled, maybe more so than in the book. If Mance can become a sort of an “outsider mentor” to Jon, someone not from Westeros, it would be fascinating to see such a relationship unfold onscreen. If handled well, it would be this frenemy dynamic, with issues/themes like trust and hidden motives, but obviously more subtle and interesting then I am making it sound. And I think the writers would do this, not because they want to “make up” for what did or did not happen in S2, but because they were thinking ahead from the beginning. And the idea that we as an audience may start questioning “goodie” Jon’s motives, actually sound titillating. Not that he loses his values. But that he learns to play the game somewhat. Bear in mind that we won’t be seeing his thoughts in S3. So when he starts bonding with the wildlings, I wonder how his confusion will be articulated.
    It is highly possible that they could have Jon and Mance sitting around a fire talking somewhere in S3, instead of Quorin and conversations that J and Q had, might be transferred to J and M.

  115. Hollyoak
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Tell me, who would have the hubris to ask a writer why they make “arbitrary” changes?

    David, Dan and Bryan are HUGE fans of the books. If they have to change, tweak, amend or recreate a character for the show it’s because it’s an adaptation. You can’t put GRRM’s books on screen the way they are written. It’s impossible.

  116. Eleanor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    If I could get just one question answered, it’d be this:

    Why make Jaime kill a sweet man who was a cousin of his, just to get a chance at escape? Nothing I’ve ever seen of him in the books would suggest that he’d do that to such a nice man with the name of Lannister. I’m honestly surprised that the writers thought that he was so evil in that respect and would be really curious to know why they came to that conclusion.

  117. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe:
    When I heard the news that Ciaran Hinds was cast as Mance, it made me think that this was an important and long term role being filled, maybe more so than in the book. If Mance can become a sort of an “outsider mentor” to Jon, someone not from Westeros, it would be fascinating to see such a relationship unfold onscreen. If handled well, it would be this frenemy dynamic, with issues/themes like trust and hidden motives, but obviously more subtle and interesting then I am making it sound. And I think the writers would do this, not because they want to “make up” for what did or did not happen in S2, but because they were thinking ahead from the beginning. And the idea that we as an audience may start questioning “goodie” Jon’s motives, actually sound titillating. Not that he loses his values. But that he learns to play the game somewhat. Bear in mind that we won’t be seeing his thoughts in S3. So when he starts bonding with the wildlings, I wonder how his confusion will be articulated.It is highly possible that they could have Jon and Mance sitting around a fire talking somewhere in S3, instead of Quorin and conversations that J and Q had, might be transferred to J and M.

    This ^.

  118. Winturd
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Most of the “changes” that fans disapprove of ARE ARBITRARY, and I put changes between quotations as they are more like.. additions..:

    1) (Added) Scene: Conversation between Bronn and the Hound in ep9. Hound explains his love of killing (not in books),and I think this is the second time he repeats those same lines, to Bronn with a Naked Girl on his lap. pointless scene that contributes nothing to the story and adds nothing to character development that we do not already know. There was no naked girl in this episode up to this point. Purpose of scene: tits. I DARE ANYONE TO GIVE ME A “CREATIVE REASON” FOR THIS ADDITION THAT IS NECESSARY TO THE “SUCCESS OF THIS ADAPTATION”.

    2) “Making the Eight” scene in season 1. Purpose of scene: D&D thought they were geniouses because they came up with the line “making the eight” so they invented an entire scene for it. 1) why did this anger renly? He is gay. okay? so talking about fucking women makes him angry? I don’t get it. And I speak on the behalf of every GoT fan in the entire world when I say that nobody got it. 2)Flaw [similarly seen in other places when D&D make an addition/change]: Renly is shown to leave the hunting party in the added scene!, but is shown to later return with robert to inform Ned of the boar. I mean if your going to add a scene introducing a change, “adapt” the rest of the story to take into account that change!

    If you want me to rant about other ARBITRARY scenes I had problems with.. reply and ask for more as there A LOT of scenes esp in SEASON TWO that were just ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS

  119. charles
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Don’t care what cogman says that the changes are talked about at length or w/e, some of them just don’t make any sense at all. The random name changes? They don’t trust their audience enough to know the difference? Ridiculous.

    I’m sure they do discuss them at lenght, doesn’t make them fail any less (talisa twist anyone?)

  120. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Winturd,

    I would answer your questions but given the angry nature of your post you would only rebuff anything said in the contrary. So what’s the point?

  121. Winturd
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Actually I would appreciate any answers and would be nothing but nice to anyone who responds..

  122. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Winturd,

    I’ll consider it.

  123. Arkash
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The only change I bitch about is in Jon’s storyline !

    The escape through the wild with Qhorin and the others until the epic finale was pure gold, one of the best moments in the books.

    Way better than this wandering around with Ygritte.

  124. Quowala
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Winturd,

    I would very much not like to hear more from you. Good day.

  125. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Not gonna read 100+ comments right now so if someone said this already sorry.
    It would be nice if we could at some or other point get an explanation on one or two of the more controversial changes like Robb’s decisions making regarding Talisa.

    Also I liked the Guy who baptised Theon, upon reread I imagined his voice and likeness for the Damphair and it worked really well.

  126. Jill
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    King Tommen: Can we get over the “kinslayer” tag? The guy was a distant cousin who Jaime didn’t even know existed or had any connection to. He was used as a pawn and killed as a means to an end in order for Jaime to escape and get back to Cersei. This is the same guy who callously tossed a 10 year out of a window to ensure he could continue to be with Cersei so why some book readers have their panties in such a knot about this is beyond me. It’s completely consistent with his character and I don’t think the non-book reading audience batted an eye at this act because it’s exactly what ACOK-era Jaime would do.And I also don’t get the “killing machine” tag put 0n Brienne. The two times she has killed on the show were a direct result of being backed in a corner and having no other choice in order to survive. They were emotional moments that she clearly did not take lightly. With the Stark men, she took her time with the last one because she was so devastated by the way those men had callously hung the women in the scene and she wanted him to feel the same agonizing pain. I don’t see how this makes her much different than in the books. As in the books, she’s a fearsome warrior and if you challenge her, she’s probably going to end up killing you.

    All hail the king. I agree with what you said here and never understood the shock and disgust at Jaime killing a distant cousin in the show. He doesn’t even seem terribly interested in his children by Cersei at this point in the books, just Cersei.

  127. Game Of Thongs
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Winturd:
    Most of the “changes” that fans disapprove of ARE ARBITRARY, and I put changes between quotations as they are more like.. additions..:

    1) (Added) Scene: Conversation between Bronn and the Hound in ep9. Hound explains his love of killing (not in books),and I think this is the second time he repeats those same lines, to Bronn with a Naked Girl on his lap. pointless scene that contributes nothing to the story and adds nothing to character development that we do not already know. There was no naked girl in this episode up to this point. Purpose of scene: tits. I DARE ANYONE TO GIVE ME A “CREATIVE REASON” FOR THIS ADDITION THAT IS NECESSARY TO THE “SUCCESS OF THIS ADAPTATION”.

    2) “Making the Eight” scene in season 1. Purpose of scene: D&D thought they were geniouses because they came up with the line “making the eight” so they invented an entire scene for it. 1) why did this anger renly? He is gay. okay? so talking about fucking women makes him angry? I don’t get it. And I speak on the behalf of every GoT fan in the entire world when I say that nobody got it. 2)Flaw [similarly seen in other places when D&D make an addition/change]: Renly is shown to leave the hunting party in the added scene!, but is shown to later return with robert to inform Ned of the boar. I mean if your going to add a scene introducing a change, “adapt” the rest of the story to take into account that change!

    If you want me to rant about other ARBITRARY scenes I had problems with.. reply and ask for more as there A LOT of scenes esp in SEASON TWO that were just ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS

    I think you need a reality check in how things work with TV. We are lucky that the showrunners love the book enough to not change stuff from it MAJORLY, as they usually tend to in adaptations. I don’t think most of these actors would return year after year if they aren’t given enough material to film.

    Maybe that’s why that Bronn + Sandor scene was added. To give the actors more screen time. I enjoyed the Halfhand+Jon story in the books way more than the Ygritte+Jon story in the show, but that change was probably made to give Rose Leslie more than 2 scenes to film in the freezing cold of Iceland.

    Also, “Sandor loves killing!!!!!!” is in the books.

    She hated the way he talked, always so harsh and angry. “Does it give you joy to scare people?”
    “No, it gives me joy to kill people.” His mouth twitched. “Wrinkle up your face all you like, but spare me this false piety. You were a high lord’s get. Don’t tell me Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell never killed a man.”
    “That was his duty. He never liked it.”
    “Is that what he told you?” Clegane laughed again. “Your father lied. Killing is the sweetest thing there is.”

    Also about the hunt scene you mentioned, it was probably to remind the viewer that the King had gone to hunt. Things like that tend to fly over peoples’ heads in TV, unlike in books. I think Renly is annoyed by Robert’s womanizing attitude, and probably has Loras’ words in the back of his mind about him being a (potentially) better king than Robert. Also, just because he moved away from the party doesn’t mean he left them entirely saying “Fuck this shit, I’m going home!”… He might have kept some distance between himself and Robert.

    What I’ve noticed is that the scenes you mentioned seem to have no impact on the overall story whatsoever. I fail to see how it means that we’d be getting a totally different story from the one GRRM wrote.

    Overall, I think you’d be less disappointed if you approached the TV show knowing everything won’t be the same as in the books down to a T.

  128. Andrew
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Winturd,

    The making the Eight scene was simply a tipping point in Renly’s royal ambitions. He saw Robert as a horny oaf, talking about the good old days, and as a leader who cared nothing for the welfare of common people. He was fed up with his brothers disregard for the horrible conditions of the old days, and that here’s more to ruling than fighting wars and women. I can’t honestly believe you actually thought Renly’s was angry because he was gay, you’re smarter than that.

  129. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    My thoughts exactly.

  130. Kate
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid we’re arguing semantics here. According to my dictionary:

    1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law.

    2 : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something

    3. existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will

    The decisions taken would be arbitrary under definitions 1 and 2 (as they should be, since D&D are the arbiters of the adaptation), and not under definition 3. But all this talk is wasting time. What we should be debating is whether the reasons behind the decisions are the right ones: forcing a director to include a frontal nude to satisfy the pervert side of the audience may not be an arbitrary decision, but IMHO it’s a bad one.

  131. Macha
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Can I just say something regarding Theon and Ramsay? Of course I can. :-)
    S2 introduced many new characters, each of them with their different storyline. No news there, or is it?
    When I read ACoK for the first time the whole thing with Reek seemed a bit confusing, so I just brushed past it. It’s ironic, I’ll give you that, and it makes for a good twist, but not vital for show, in my opinion. Now I’m not saying that just because *I* feel this way, the writers do as well. But leaving Ramsay for S3 offered them:
    1. more time for Theon in S2 and more emphasis on his conflicted state, time they really needed because explaining Reek/Ramsay’s background would have taken a whole (long) scene.
    2. more time for Theon and Ramsay in S3, and the opportunity to write scenes for them that involve something other than pure torture – because then Ramsay will have the time he needs to talk about himself. They could have him talk about his servant, Reek and just change the details about him being imprisoned at Winterfell.

    In the long run, I think both characters benefit from this change.

  132. Good ol' Dead Ned
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe,

    I look at Ciaran Hands playing Mance Rayder as the same way he played Caesar in Rome. I can def see him being frenemies with Jon the same way he was with Brutus/Pompey. You can bet his role will be expanded. I am hoping for a flashback scene from the night of the feast at Winterfell where he was Bael the Bard with Ned, Robert, etc there. I am thinking the only time we may see Ned again is probably the 5th or 6th season where Bran sees him when he is in the Weirwood tree as a younger Ned.

  133. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    I love that scene! If Westeros existed I would go there just to make the 8! Mark Addy was brilliant in that.
    Oh Andrew side note, the forum will soon have a live chat quiz with actual prizes. Since you are quite knowledgeable I thought you might like to enter.

  134. Kate
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    BTW, congratulations to Cogman: his episodes have been consistently among the best material of the season, and his scripts show an understanding of the characters second only to GRRM’s. Also, his interviews usually include very interesting material.

  135. Macha
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap: Little things like Jaime stabbing Aerys in the back instead of slitting his throat seem a bit arbitrary to me. While minor, was that change really necessary? It seemed a change just to make Jaime seem cowardly.

    Aaah, but that change gave us the “tell me, if I’d stabbed the mad king in the belly instead of the back, would you admire me more?” line. Which was golden, as was the whole scene.

  136. Jen@House Stark
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Conor: My Hopes:

    Victarion: Ray Stevenson
    Euron: James Purefoy
    Aeron: That guy that baptised Theon in season 2, would be nice continuity.

    Hear, hear! I second the Motion.

  137. Caro H
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I’ts so sad to think that they may be aiming at focusing more on LF than any other person acquainted with Sansa :’( they cut off dontos and butchered her relationship with Sandor. But hopefully they will allow Rory to play the hound more like on his audition now that they’ve seen what a great job he delivered in Blackwater

  138. Tír Airgid
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Macha: Aaah, but that change gave us the“tell me, if I’d stabbed the mad king in the belly instead of the back, would you admire me more?” line. Which was golden, as was the whole scene.

    Couldn’t agree more. Love that line.

  139. Tír Airgid
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Andrew:
    Winturd,

    The making the Eight scene was simply a tipping point in Renly’s royal ambitions. He saw Robert as a horny oaf, talking about the good old days, and as a leader who cared nothing for the welfare of common people. He was fed up with his brothers disregard for the horrible conditions of the old days, and that here’s more to ruling than fighting wars and women.

    This. That’s how I saw it too.

  140. TC
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Coco Lannister,

    Hi Coco – well in the book John and the Halfhand were being stalked by Orell and Ghost took out the Halfhand. I could see introducing Orell last season as confusing and CGI on Ghost attacking the Halfhand being costly. Bottom line is they were able to get John in with the wildings under the Halfhand’s orders with the way they did it but i agree the Halfhand was 1/10th as BA in the show as he was in the books.

  141. Winturd
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Game Of Thongs,

    I don’t think most of these actors would return year after year if they aren’t given enough material to film.

    You know I don’t understand that.. I mean if you have less material to film you will be working for a less number of days.. for possibly the same salary.. why not return for less material? + D&D read the books before starting filming, so they should already know if a character would be returning next season, and should have made the actor/actresses sign contract to return next season anyway from the start..

    Maybe that’s why that Bronn + Sandor scene was added. To give the actors more screen time. I enjoyed the Halfhand+Jon story in the books way more than the Ygritte+Jon story in the show, but that change was probably made to give Rose Leslie more than 2 scenes to film in the freezing cold of Iceland.

    I disagree with adding scenes just to convince actors to stay, as I said above. and maybe if that bron-sandor scene was cancelled we could have had a Jon&Qhorin scene instead.

    Also, “Sandor loves killing!!!!!!” is in the books.

    In the paragraph you pasted here the Hound was talking to Sansa.. the Hound talked about killing again to Sansa towards the end of the episode.. why include another scene with the Hound saying the same thing, but to Bronn? tits?

    it was probably to remind the viewer that the King had gone to hunt. Things like that tend to fly over peoples’ heads in TV, unlike in books

    I hate it when writers include scenes only “to remind viewers” about something because us viewers, are you know, extremely stupid. If you want to remind us of something, include it in the “previously on game of thrones” scenes at the beginning of each episode. Besides, that is the whole purpose of “previously on”s.

    Also, just because he moved away from the party doesn’t mean he left them entirely saying “Fuck this shit, I’m going home!”… He might have kept some distance between himself and Robert.

    Good point. He might have. But honestly when you first saw that scene do you think he just moved to the back of the line?

    I fail to see how it means that we’d be getting a totally different story from the one GRRM wrote

    I don’t think that’s the point. for example, jon & qhorin’s story in the show is the same as that in the books in that the start and endpoints of the characters is the same.. but quality of the 2 stories is different. If some scenes in the show are deleted/changed, although the overall story will not be changed, the quality of the show will be better

    Andrew,
    Best explanation I have seen for that scene.. so good it prompted me to look for my keys to open an old locked drawer, shuffle through my hundred’s of papers in there to find a small hidden flashdrive which contains my downloaded season 1 episodes, plug it into my computer, and watch that scene again.. and having JUST NOW watched that scene.. with what you said in mind.. I still find it somewhat difficult for one to conclude what you said after seeing the scene only once.. Renly did not seem to express disappointment with Robert’s job as King.. but rather what he was doing before he was king…

    Joshua Taylor,
    Your lazy

    Aegon the Conqueror,
    I would like to enter. What is the website?

  142. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: And I have no problem with that sort of analysis. In fact, I enjoy engaging in those types of discussions. But it has to come from a place of “the writers are doing their best to adapt this story to television, so why would they make the decision that they did?”

    The thing that really grinds my gears are the folks that start off in a place of “the writers don’t care about the story and/or are lazy and untalented” and evaluate every decision with that as their baseline.

    +1. When the assumption is that the writers suck, or are so arrogant they want to change things because they think they are awesome and George sucks… that’s the mindset of a lot of the criticism.

  143. Ser Lyonel The Laughing Storm
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    When a man says he’s looking forward to writing Damphair you know that he is not someone to fuck with

  144. babar
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Winturd:
    Game Of Thongs,
    I disagree with adding scenes just to convince actors to stay, as I said above. and maybe if that bron-sandor scene was cancelled we could have had a Jon&Qhorin scene instead.

    How is that supposed to work? Didn’t you notice? The whole episode was Blackwater only.

    Also, GRRM wrote the episode, so I don’t really get your complaint here.

  145. Ours is the Fury
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The Bronn-Sandor scene seemed like an obvious way of introducing “The Rains of Castamere.” People need to recognize that it’s a notorious and grim Lannister song, as Bronn and his drinking buddies point out, when it starts to play at the Red Wedding. And Jerome Flynn is a singer.

  146. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Winturd:
    Most of the “changes” that fans disapprove of ARE ARBITRARY, and I put changes between quotations as they are more like.. additions..:

    1) (Added) Scene: Conversation between Bronn and the Hound in ep9. Hound explains his love of killing (not in books),and I think this is the second time he repeats those same lines, to Bronn with a Naked Girl on his lap. pointless scene that contributes nothing to the story and adds nothing to character development that we do not already know. There was no naked girl in this episode up to this point. Purpose of scene: tits. I DARE ANYONE TO GIVE ME A “CREATIVE REASON” FOR THIS ADDITION THAT IS NECESSARY TO THE “SUCCESS OF THIS ADAPTATION”.

    2) “Making the Eight” scene in season 1. Purpose of scene: D&D thought they were geniouses because they came up with the line “making the eight” so they invented an entire scene for it. 1) why did this anger renly? He is gay. okay? so talking about fucking women makes him angry? I don’t get it. And I speak on the behalf of every GoT fan in the entire world when I say that nobody got it. 2)Flaw [similarly seen in other places when D&D make an addition/change]: Renly is shown to leave the hunting party in the added scene!, but is shown to later return with robert to inform Ned of the boar. I mean if your going to add a scene introducing a change, “adapt” the rest of the story to take into account that change!

    If you want me to rant about other ARBITRARY scenes I had problems with.. reply and ask for more as there A LOT of scenes esp in SEASON TWO that were just ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS

    def. Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

    The writers have reasons. Just because you refuse to acknowledge them doesn’t mean they don’t.

    The writing team is very accomplished in their field — I’m betting more accomplished than you will be at anything in your entire life. They have earned some respect, like anyone doing an extremely hard job, and that should manifest itself by people honestly attempting to understand the decisions they made and giving them the benefit of the doubt that there was thinking and logic behind those decisions, even if it isn’t what you wanted or don’t agree.

  147. Winturd
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    babar,

    I WISH George wrote the whole episode.. for your information that was the only scene in the entire episode that george DID NOT write.. He said so in an interview.. I think it was this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tWg7LPq4nE

  148. Winter Is Coming
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Winturd: You know I don’t understand that.. I mean if you have less material to film you will be working for a less number of days.. for possibly the same salary.. why not return for less material? + D&D read the books before starting filming, so they should already know if a character would be returning next season, and should have made the actor/actresses sign contract to return next season anyway from the start..

    I disagree with adding scenes just to convince actors to stay, as I said above. and maybe if that bron-sandor scene was cancelled we could have had a Jon&Qhorin scene instead.

    Unfortunately this is the way film and TV production works. An actor isn’t going to sign a contract in the first place if they don’t think it is a big enough role for them. Remember they have a career to think about and an agent that is going to be pushing for them to take the most money/biggest roles. Also, actors get paid per episode, so Rose Leslie would not have been paid the same if she was only in one episode, as opposed to the 3 that she appeared in.

    And to your last point, somehow I think there would be a whole lot more uproar, from you and others, if an actor like Rory McCann left the show and they had to recast the Hound… or worse, write him off the show. So if the producers feel that giving him an extra scene here and there that weren’t in the books can keep him on the show, than I will gladly take it.

  149. Winturd
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Alan,
    umm.. I did acknowledge why in my first post.. tits. And writers should be open to both praise and criticism. I do praise the writers on many things, but I try not to include both praise and criticism in the same post when the criticism is the only thing I wish to discuss.

  150. Winturd
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    So if the producers feel that giving him an extra scene here and there that weren’t in the books can keep him on the show, than I will gladly take it.

    I feel the same way on that point. but this shouldn’t be happening.. If the actors arent going to sign a contract, I wish they would just come back for their love of the show and its fans.. and they could have at least put the Hound in a scene where he would contribute something to the story [like him running away from king's landing on a horse and bronn trying to stop him rather than have him repeating lines]

  151. Game Of Thongs
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Winturd:
    Game Of Thongs,

    You know I don’t understand that.. I mean if you have less material to film you will be working for a less number of days.. for possibly the same salary.. why not return for less material?

    Maybe they wanted to get the most out of what they’re paying for :/ Thats probably why they moved some of Jaime’s stuff in Storm of Swords to Season 2. Thats probably why we’re getting Theon and Ramsay in Season 3.

    Edit : Now that I’ve read WiC’s post about actors and contracts, it makes more sense. I didn’t know how things worked with actors returning, and you didn’t either. Now we are enlightened :P

    The point is, its probably not as simple as “Fuck yeah lets stick to the book word to word!”

    Running the show is probably (or rather, obviously) not easy, and some of the challenges they face may cause deviations from the book.

    In the paragraph you pasted here the Hound was talking to Sansa.. the Hound talked about killing again to Sansa towards the end of the episode.. why include another scene with the Hound saying the same thing, but to Bronn? tits?

    I posted that to show that you were wrong about “Sandor <3 killing" wasn't in the books. Also it might have been added to lengthen "Blackwater" since it was based on and around King's Landing only. Btw, it was written by GRRM himself, so he thought it was good enough for an adaptation of his books. Also, I don't think the part about Sandor mentioning "I <3 killing" to Sansa in the same episode is accurate.

    I hate it when writers include scenes only “to remind viewers” about something because us viewers, are you know, extremely stupid. If you want to remind us of something, include it in the “previously on game of thrones” scenes at the beginning of each episode. Besides, that is the whole purpose of “previously on”s.

    Robert mentioned he was going hunting at the start of the same episode, so no “previously on”. I don’t think it’s a matter of the TV viewer being stupid, but rather having less time. Things move much slower in the books, and readers can grasp every little fact without much trouble but its not the same on TV. A hell of a lot of things happen in an episode of GoT than pretty much any other show. Some people have trouble remembering all the character’s names! People who’ve read the books obviously have an advantage, so you might remember that Robert went hunting because you know the story already. Some might not.

    Good point. He might have. But honestly when you first saw that scene do you think he just moved to the back of the line?

    To be honest, I didn’t bother to think about it. Any number of things would’ve happened… For example, the boar might have attacked just when that scene was cut, and Renly was nearby. Or Renly went back when he heard people shouting… Does it really matter? :P
    You shouldn’t really get all technical with petty things like that :P

    I don’t think that’s the point. jon & qhorin’s story in the show is the same as that in the books in that the start and endpoints of the characters is the same.. but quality of the 2 stories is different

    Exactly. You shouldn’t expect the same quality. The books and the show are two different entities, each with their strengths and weaknesses. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy it more and quit worrying about how its different from what you wanted to see.

    Andrew,
    Best explanation I have seen for that scene.. so good it prompted me to look for my keys to open an old locked drawer, shuffle through my hundred’s of papers in there to find a small hidden flashdrive which contains my downloaded season 1 episodes, plug it into my computer, and watch that scene again.. and having JUST NOW watched that scene.. with what you said in mind.. I still find it somewhat difficult for one to conclude what you said after seeing the scene only once.. Renly did not seem to express disappointment with Robert’s job as King.. but rather what he was doing before he was king…

    To each his own…. It was obvious that Renly didn’t approve of what Robert was boasting about and was disappointed about how bad a king he was (He mentions something about ignoring the smallfolk who are starving). He was probably thinking that he’d be able to do a better job.

  152. ulemulemilemilem
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Yes, no one disputes that they had “reasons” for changes. Some of those changes were smart. Some of them are infuriating for a person who is emotionally invested in these books and their adaptation, simple as that. The changes to Cersei? Brilliant. The changes to Dany? A little disappointing and the writing is poor, but the motivations I can at least understand. The way they’ve handled Rob and Cat? Atrocious, and seemed to serve no creative or budgetary purpose. In fact I can’t wait for RW because I want this perversion of my favorite book character gone. It increasingly seems like the actors are actually out of the writers’ league. Michelle could have slaaaayyyed as Cat if only the script in her hand hadn’t been such a joke.

    I’m always pretty surprised that people make it this far in their professional creative lives without learning to handle criticism.

  153. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I think that I must be the only person who preferred season 2 to season 1. Not to say that nothing was mishandled in the second season (I’m on the same boat as most everyone who regards the changes to Jon’s arc as being rather weak, and Dany’s story was a whole lot of nothing)…and there were other changes, such as the truncation of Arya’s path that I would have liked to see given more attention.

    Then again, we did get some wonderful Arya/Tywin additions to that storyline. You take the good with the bad. And personally I feel that Theon’s arc in particular played out stronger than an already powerful book arc, which kind of negated a lot of the disappointment I felt over Dany’s stuff…

    And then of course S2 had Stannis/Mel/Davos, and Blackwater. So I do prefer S2, I think the writers are becoming more comfortable in this world, feeling out what works narratively and what doesn’t.

  154. TC
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Morrigan,

    I hope they open this season with Brandon Stark receiving the “when there was a stark in Winterfell speech”. It would also make a really cool trailer. I was glad we got three horn blasts last year. Also – who the fukk are these monkeys pumping Breaking Bad/Walking Dead on Winter is Coming. Are you kidding me dude – accept that you are obsessed with GOT and beat it with your passive aggressive BS. Good luck.

  155. The Onion Knight
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    A Feast for Crows was my 2nd favourite book in the series, behind A Clash of Kings. I feel very confident that the subject material from that book in particular will translate perfectly onto screen. I would not call Aeron Damphair a favourite or even in my top 10 POV’s but I see why it is a story arc needed to compel and further advance our knowledge of not only the story but their world that is A Song of Ice & Fire. Victarion on the other hand you can say is one of my favourite characters. I am anxious to finally be past all these Kings in The North and King Malfoy Baratheon type characters and finally get into what the books are all about. ITS A BLOODY QUEENS MOOT NONCLE!!

  156. Quowala
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    TC,

    Woh woh woh.

    “Breaking Bad/ The walking dead”
    Don’t lump those into the same category. Breaking Bad is 1000 times better than the walking dead.

    I think the reason some people keep talking about other shows is to test the water to see what other people with good taste (GOT fans) like. And anyone would do well to watch BB…

    I like being recommended things from people. I know this is a GOT fansite and these threads are to discuss GOT but I see no harm in other things cropping up every now and then.

  157. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    ulemulemilemilem:
    Yes, no one disputes that they had “reasons” for changes.

    The very fact that you put quotes around the word “reasons” shows that you do dispute it. It’s insulting to the showrunners, frankly, given how much work they put into this.

    I personally didn’t like the changes to Jon’s or Dany’s storyline, but loved many of the additions and thought they handled the changes to Blackwater, Arya, and others brilliantly (and yes, George was involved there).

    My problem is that the criticism is rude and disrespectful. You have no sat down nor attempted to get any explanation for the changes. And most posters who criticize haven’t even honestly tried to figure out legitimate reasons for the changes. Brian Cogman is reading this thread and I think I’ve seen about one post asking an honest, open question of him, for example.

    As for the criticism angle, creatives takes much more criticism than almost everyone else for their job performance. They ARE used to it, and you never hear D&D whining about the criticism.

    But that doesn’t make it right. Just because they are high profile doesn’t make it allowable for you to be a dick, which is essentially what you are saying.

  158. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Winturd:
    Winter Is Coming,

    I feel the same way on that point. but this shouldn’t be happening.. If the actors arent going to sign a contract, I wish they would just come back for their love of the show and its fans.. and they could have at least put the Hound in a scene where he would contribute something to the story [like him running away from king's landing on a horse and bronn trying to stop him rather than have him repeating lines]

    Your naïveté about the television industry is quite apparent here. Actors act for a living, do you think they are going to choose to please ASOIAF fans over their career? Especially character actors not A List stars? If they can get a better paying gig than hang around for Game of Thrones twice or thrice a season I think it’s clear what they would choose. I have my dissapointments with the show, but its factors like this which you will have to accept If you want to enjoy GoT. All adaptations suffer in the Hollywood machine. Some of it is due to bad writing and some if it is due to factors beyond anyone’s control.

    Condemn weak filmmaking and writing by all means but know that unless someone is watching it, the big CEOs of Hollywood don’t give two licks who sits on the Iron Throne.

  159. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    TC,

    You seem troubled. This calls for a prescription of The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Rome and Deadwood. Doctor’s orders!

  160. Beyond the Wall
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    The Bronn-Sandor scene seemed like an obvious way of introducing “The Rains of Castamere.” People need to recognize that it’s a notorious and grim Lannister song, as Bronn and his drinking buddies point out, when it starts to play at the Red Wedding. And Jerome Flynn is a singer.

    I was just grateful he didn’t launch into Unchained Melody.

    I do wish they would get rid of Ros though, I think they’re pushing her believability at this point. She’s like the Jessica Fletcher of Westeros who just always happen to show up when something interesting is happening, only real difference is Jessica Fletcher didn’t get her norks out (and for that I thank the old gods and the new).

  161. Macha
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Zack: Sometimes I think that I must be the only person who preferred season 2 to season 1.

    You’re not. Pleased to meet you. *shakes hands*

    The Onion Knight: A Feast for Crows was my 2nd favourite book in the series

    You must be an awesome person then. And Victarion is a fantastic POV, had me in stitches. He’s such a massive idiot that you can’t help but love him.

  162. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I preferred season 2 over season 1.

    Are there two Zacks?

  163. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I’ve only replied twice in the thread. Well, this would be the third.

    It’s kind of disconcerting but I can live with it :)

    It does indicate how awesome a registered user/login system for the site would be though

  164. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    Agreed.

  165. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    HouseLark: I agree with the poor adaptation of Jon’s storyline but I’m frankly sick of the complaints about Ros. She gets no more than 10 minutes screen time in total in 10.5 hours of television. And her scenes are always with one of the principal characters (save for the baby slaughtering scene) donuts not like the producers have developed an arc for her that replaces someone else’s. Bronx has seen his role from the books beefed up for the show but he’s “badass” do I suppose that’s acceptable.
    And Talisa is from Volantis.

    Yeah but those 10 minutes were still wasted and at least one of the scenes was used as a cheap devise to show “Oh Littlefinger is so bad and cheap” – which is a disservice to his character. As far as her scene with Varys, I am concerned that now that she is recruited by him, she will be more central in the next season.

  166. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: I preferred season 2 over season 1.
    Are there two Zacks?

    Yeap there are two Zacks. I actually preferred season 1 because I expected less, in part because i agree with you that a new show needs to make compromises to survive, while by the 2nd season in my opinion this was not necessary. I also disliked most of the changes from the book in season 2, while I was ok with them in season 1 (e.g. i was ok with Tyrion being knocked out before the fight) and it seemed there were less of them.

  167. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    It’s more than that. It is naïveté about how the world works. You hear that kind of complaint all the time in sports, as well. “They should’ve signed here for less money to help the team. Man, these athletes are selfish.”

    You tend to see this argument in industries where the public generally believe all the people in that field are rich. As if people who have money are supposed to forsake all their wants and needs in order to be a team player. Of course, the ones who complain never apply the same standards toward themselves. In their own life they sit and complain about how horrible their boss is, how little appreciation they get, and how much more they should make.

  168. M
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Of course it’s important that fans who are disturbed by changes try to understand that this is an adaptation & some changes are necessary, but I get the impression that for some fans of the show, the only criticism that is acceptable is NO criticism. It’s like they demand that everyone approve of everything the show does 100% or you are being some babyish whining purist. That is just not realistic. When major changes (& in my view, Talisa and Alton Lannister and Robb/Cat not knowing about Bran/Rickon are major changes) are made, some people won’t like it. Why is that so hard to accept?

  169. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    M,

    Do you have a specific example of someone here who acted as if no criticism can be leveled?

  170. M
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Yes, but that wouldn’t be very nice, would it?

  171. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    ulemulemilemilem: The changes to Cersei? Brilliant

    I disagree. She was too sympathetic in episodes 1-7 of the season 2 so it didn’t seem realistic when she turned back to the evil book cersei in episodes 8-9. Most illogical to me was her having a heart to heart with Tyrion in episode 7 that Joffrey is bad and dangerous and then (as in in the book) threatening Tyrion and arresting his supposed lover in episode 8.

  172. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Dan: I think it would’ve been extremely difficult to get Rose Leslie to take on the role if she had just one or two scenes the entire season.

    Its not like she is this huge star + regardless, she will have a lot more screentime in season 3.

  173. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    M,

    I don’t think it is mean to disagree with someone. Unless you were to disagree in a disrespectful manner.

  174. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Well, they cast her in season 2. If they had given her only one episode it might have caused her to pass on the show. Still, I don’t know why they made the changes to Jon’s story. I was just positing a plausible explanation. My point being that just because you don’t like a change (seems like there isn’t much you like about season 2) doesn’t mean there was no point to it. For example, we know the guy who plays Pycelle complained about his role and wanted it expanded. He said this in a recent interview. I don’t think people take into account that their are many moving parts when you make a television show. GRRM can write whatever he wants and he won’t hear one bit of complaint from any character in the story. D&D have more actors and crew to deal with than any show out there. All these people have their own opinion on their roles in this story. D&D have a much more difficult task than GRRM in this regard.

  175. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    M:
    Of course it’s important that fans who are disturbed by changes try to understand that this is an adaptation & some changes are necessary, but I get the impression that for some fans of the show, the only criticism that is acceptable is NO criticism.It’s like they demand that everyone approve of everything the show does 100% or you are being some babyish whining purist.That is just not realistic.When major changes (& in my view, Talisa and Alton Lannister and Robb/Cat not knowing about Bran/Rickon are major changes) are made, some people won’t like it.Why is that so hard to accept?

    Criticism is fine. There is nothing wrong with it. I personally think they made Dany’s story too confusing and Jon’s interaction with Qhorin was anti-climatic.

    But this argument started over the word arbitrary and the consequent implication that the writers did not have reasons for their chosen changes.

    The writers, producers and crew have put their lives into this. I guarantee you they work ridiculously long hours and while some of them are compensated very well, the vast majority of people are not. I’m not saying they don’t enjoy it, but these are some of the best people in their field working their asses off, and like anyone who is an expert and works hard, they deserve some level of respect.

    Just because you’re a big fan doesn’t change that.

    I think it is perfectly valid to say you didn’t like something. It’s even fair to say a change ruined it for you — it’s melodramatic, but valid, I suppose. It’s your feeling, I’m not going to disagree. I might think your point of view is silly, but there it is.

    What I think is disrespectful is calling the writers “awful” or are idiots or are motivated by overbearing pride or didn’t think about a change. Most of the fans out there have no idea of all the thinking and work that goes into actually producing something of this scale and scope. Everyone I know who works in the industry is amazed at how well it has turned out — the difficulty level is so tremendously high and they’ve done a very good job overall.

    It’s much the same as politics, or your executives at work, or whatever. They aren’t idiots. They have much, much more information than you. They spent a lot more time thinking about it than you. They are under pressure from many other pressures than what you want.

    It doesn’t mean they always get it right. In fact, the expectation of 100% hits is ridiculous. And they aren’t above criticism. But it’s about not being rude or disrespectful about it.

    I suspect most of the harsh criticism is from people who don’t work, or don’t have to make decisions are work. But if you are, think about how annoyed you are when people don’t know the whole story — and assume you are an idiot.

  176. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    babar: Breaking Bad season 2 average ratings : 1.7 million
    Game of Thrones season 2 average ratings : 3.9 million

    Mmm…

    GoT is still ” new ” to some, and very interesting to to watch. Most new shows get
    higher points, remember True Blood (?). There were awards all around for TB
    in there 1st season, then the audience took note of the incongruous plots . The main
    reason to tune in now is for the porn ( Skarsporn, primarily ).

    Breaking Bad has been around for a while and stood the test of time, holding on
    to a core audience. At present their hard work is paying off, in several deserved
    Emmy wins.

  177. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe,

    I like where you’re heading Mags…, please submit this screenplay to the GoT
    production staff …Pronto. Hinds does have the charisma to pull this off
    ( and yes, he can sing :D )

  178. mags giantsbabe
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, joshua

    Good ol’ Dead Ned, I really welcome flashbacks from this point on. Especially if it is used to enhance story telling at important plot points. I’ve always liked how the writers employed telling instead of showing, it pulls you into the story, whether it is someone talking about their past or about someone else (like LF talking about Sandor’s past in S1). But especially now with more prophecy, flashbacks could become important visual cues (blue roses etc.). When Mance tells Jon about seeing him at Winterfell as a little boy, a very brief flashback could be nice, or something along those lines.

  179. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    Zack,

    Well, they cast her in season 2. If they had given her only one episode it might have caused her to pass on the show. Still, I don’t know why they made the changes to Jon’s story. I was just positing a plausible explanation. My point being that just because you don’t like a change (seems like there isn’t much you like about season 2) doesn’t mean there was no point to it. For example, we know the guy who plays Pycelle complained about his role and wanted it expanded. He said this in a recent interview. I don’t think people take into account that their are many moving parts when you make a television show. GRRM can write whatever he wants and he won’t hear one bit of complaint from any character in the story. D&D have more actors and crew to deal with than any show out there. All these people have their own opinion on their roles in this story. D&D have a much more difficult task than GRRM in this regard.

    Yep – people don’t realize how collaborative video actually is as a medium. A novel has one creative force; a movie can have a hundred.

    ———–

    I think the bigger thing with Rose Leslie and Ygritte is that the writers didn’t want to squeeze the Jon and Ygritte storyline into 8 or so episodes next year.

    Queenscrown is likely to happen in Episode 8. Jon, across 10 episodes, will get anywhere from 60-90 minutes (Tyrion got 90 minutes last year). Pacing in romances is really important — you need time for it to develop or it seems off (see: Talisa & Robb).

    They’ve gotten the snark and flirt out of the way. When Ygritte stands up for Jon and invites him into her bed, it’s not going to seem odd. We know their history.

    I think they could have done Qhorin better, for sure. But if I had to choose between proper time for Qhorin and for Ygritte, give me the latter.

  180. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    M:
    Of course it’s important that fans who are disturbed by changes try to understand that this is an adaptation & some changes are necessary, but I get the impression that for some fans of the show, the only criticism that is acceptable is NO criticism.It’s like they demand that everyone approve of everything the show does 100% or you are being some babyish whining purist.That is just not realistic.When major changes (& in my view, Talisa and Alton Lannister and Robb/Cat not knowing about Bran/Rickon are major changes) are made, some people won’t like it.Why is that so hard to accept?

    One other thing I would challenge you on is this: why is it alright for you to criticize the Alton Lannister scene but not for me to me to criticize your criticism?

    I loved that scene. If you post on a public message board about why you hated it, that’s great. But don’t expect me to coddle you by not arguing. People who criticize the writers for having thin skin seem to have the thinnest skin of all.

    I see no reason why you should have the right to call the writers idiots or morons for making Jaime Lannister a kinslayer and I don’t have the right to disagree.

  181. B Cogman
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    ulemulemilemilem,

    Who isn’t handling criticism? I was asked about “arbitrary” changes, I replied that they’re never arbitrary.

    Elio and Linda from westeros.org are friends of mine. And I know exactly how Linda feels about our show. Believe me… criticism handled.

    B

  182. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Andrew:
    Winturd,

    The making the Eight scene was simply a tipping point in Renly’s royal ambitions. He saw Robert as a horny oaf, talking about the good old days, and as a leader who cared nothing for the welfare of common people. He was fed up with his brothers disregard for the horrible conditions of the old days, and that here’s more to ruling than fighting wars and women. I can’t honestly believe you actually thought Renly’s was angry because he was gay, you’re smarter than that.

    Well struck ser !

    However, as readers understood this, and Renley’s private life, a fair percentage
    of the audience focused on his homosexuality. I believe the writers erred in
    magnifying Renley’s relationship with Loras. The ” real ” Renley presented
    himself to Ned, after Robert’s fatal injury, and to Catelyn , in his camp.
    Unfortunately, there was not a good balance of Renly, in his political character.
    I might add, GRRM could have given us a bit more too, but the GoT writers
    chose to give us a ” flamboyant gay “. Even GRRM commented on this in
    interviews ( he acknowledged Renley’s sexual preferences, but he questioned
    the focus on that ). I was disappointed to watch these scenes , I’d rather trade for
    added footage in Robb’s camp.

  183. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Dan: Well, they cast her in season 2. If they had given her only one episode it might have caused her to pass on the show. Still, I don’t know why they made the changes to Jon’s story. I was just positing a plausible explanation. My point being that just because you don’t like a change (seems like there isn’t much you like about season 2) doesn’t mean there was no point to it. For example, we know the guy who plays Pycelle complained about his role and wanted it expanded. He said this in a recent interview. I don’t think people take into account that their are many moving parts when you make a television show. GRRM can write whatever he wants and he won’t hear one bit of complaint from any character in the story. D&D have more actors and crew to deal with than any show out there. All these people have their own opinion on their roles in this story. D&D have a much more difficult task than GRRM in this regard.

    Dude, we are talking about Rose Leslie, not freaking Meryl Streep. Would she really refuse to appear on a hit american show if they would cut her season 2 time? And if she would, are you saying there are no other actresses who can play her role? Give me a break.

  184. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Amsterpaul:
    I thought that was the damphair is season two, who else would baptize Theon with saltwater?

    Scroll up to Mormegil’s response ( to that question )

  185. Jacarb
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Kate,

    Your point about semantics is spot-on. In one sense, none of this is arbitrary because everything we see and hear is the result of a reasoned decision. In another, this is ALL arbitrary because it’s a fantasy TV show and our reference for what is “accurate” is a fantasy book.

    I’d like to throw out the idea that even the books are a flawed adaptation of GRRM’s imagination. His excellent use of point of view and the intentional contradictions/ignorance as a result show that there is a “true story” that even the written word can’t–or shouldn’t–capture exactly. Not that this explains “factual” changes between media like Osha/Asha, but it does show that even the source material has to make choices and compromises to portray a story.

    There is a Platonic ideal of the world of Westeros in GRRM’s mind, and I believe his involvement with the show means that D&D and Cogman have an insight there we do not have. When I don’t understand a change, I give them the benefit of the doubt for this reason. When I understand a change I might prefer the book or show, but per the meaning of “understand” I acknowledge the reason behind the change.

    I prefer the complicated and diffuse cast and plot of the books, and so don’t really like when the show has to simplify. I prefer the artistry of the show, and so often find physical descriptions and dialogue of the books lacking.

    Good F*ing thing I have both.

  186. Carne
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    B Cogman,

    Cogman, just a general question (and if you happen to know); Are David & Dan aware of popular fan casting suggestions (such as Stevenson for Victarion and Purefoy for Euron etc)?

    And I really hope you give Twitter another go!

  187. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    B Cogman: Who isn’t handling criticism? I was asked about “arbitrary” changes, I replied that they’re never arbitrary.

    I think its great that you post here, and perhaps some of us who don’t like the changes can at least see the reasons why they were made if you explain some of the more controversial ones?

  188. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed: I’m generally impressed with the work Benioff and Weiss + Cogman , is doing.
    I think we need to wait and observe Season Three, then assess some more.

    I think the episodes written by Cogman plus other writers are better than the ones written by D&D. For me, the D&D episodes are the weakest, especially in S2.

  189. M
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    I wasn’t actually talking about you, so I’m not sure why you’re so defensive. I also am not sure why you’re saying I have called the writers “idiots” or “morons”… since I definitively have not done anything of the kind.

    I will say that a quote like this “I suspect most of the harsh criticism is from people who don’t work, or don’t have to make decisions are work.” doesn’t demonstrate the most open-minded attitude about criticism.

  190. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Macha:
    Can I just say something regarding Theon and Ramsay? Of course I can. :-)
    S2 introduced many new characters, each of them with their different storyline. No news there, or is it?
    When I read ACoK for the first time the whole thing with Reek seemed a bit confusing, so I just brushed past it. It’s ironic, I’ll give you that, and it makes for a good twist, but not vital for show, in my opinion.Now I’m not saying that just because *I* feel this way, the writers do as well. But leaving Ramsay for S3 offered them:
    1. more time for Theon in S2 and more emphasis on his conflicted state, time they really needed because explaining Reek/Ramsay’s background would have taken a whole (long) scene.
    2. more time for Theon and Ramsay in S3, and the opportunity to write scenes for them that involve something other than pure torture – because then Ramsay will have the time he needs to talk about himself. They could have him talk about his servant, Reek and just change the details about him being imprisoned at Winterfell.

    In the long run, I think both characters benefit from this change.

    I agree, those scenes were well focused on Theon, the script was brilliant.

    With an ambitious season ahead, I hope the writers find a balance of effectual
    writing, allowing the audience to digest the introduction of lesser characters
    and realizing that for some, the story continues. There must be a way to reward
    the audience with insight, instead of a barrage of incidental fodder. Sometimes
    the best thing to do is lessen the clutter, but stay true to the essential story.
    I wouldn’t mind a few more scenes of trained focus on characters, and I don’t
    mean the same people over and over again.

  191. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed: Well struck ser !

    However, as readers understood this, and Renley’s private life, a fair percentage
    of the audience focused on his homosexuality. I believe the writers erred in
    magnifying Renley’s relationship with Loras. The ” real ”Renley presented
    himself to Ned, after Robert’s fatal injury, and to Catelyn , in his camp.
    Unfortunately, there was not a good balance of Renly, in his political character.
    I might add, GRRM could have given us a bit more too, but the GoT writers
    chose to give usa ” flamboyant gay “. Even GRRM commented onthis in
    interviews ( he acknowledged Renley’s sexual preferences, but he questioned
    the focus on that ). I was disappointed to watch these scenes , I’d rather trade for
    added footage in Robb’s camp.

    Renley was flamboyant? I don’t even know where to start with this, but I suggest you go and meet some gay people. Renley’s “fambloyancy” seems to revolve around a fear of blood (neither unusual amongst all people nor flamboyant) and… um, having sex with his lover behind closed doors? Being smaller than people imagined? Minor indecisiveness over wanting to be King? Help me out here.

    The criticism of Renley as “too gay” seems to be much more rooted in the criticizer than the plotline.

  192. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    M:
    Alan,

    I wasn’t actually talking about you, so I’m not sure why you’re so defensive.I also am not sure why you’re saying I have called the writers “idiots” or “morons”… since I definitively have not done anything of the kind.

    I will say that a quote like this “I suspect most of the harsh criticism is from people who don’t work, or don’t have to make decisions are work.” doesn’t demonstrate the most open-minded attitude about criticism.

    I’m not defensive — tone of voice on the internet is very hard to convey. And I didn’t mean specifically you — more of a general one – that is, when someone (which is the word I should have used).

    As to your last point, the key word is harsh — when I read something like “D&D are IDIOTS” (and yes, it’s all over the internet) I do think it’s unlikely these people are often in any kind of situation where they have to make tough decisions that can be publicly criticized.

    Because once you are in those spots, you begin to appreciate how hard it can be. It generally makes people less definitive and harsh in their criticism.

  193. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Macha: Aaah, but that change gave us the“tell me, if I’d stabbed the mad king in the belly instead of the back, would you admire me more?” line. Which was golden, as was the whole scene.

    Hmmm…………… that scene had me pondering what more Eddard knew about
    Jaime, the scene involved a single incident. As Eddard Stark presents himself as
    a non petty, astute person, my reaction was to question Jaime’s character. The
    comment about knifing the ” bad ” king , reminded me of ” Dexter ” given
    reasons ( excuses ) for his murder of ” bad people “. Does the end justify the
    means ? Jaime obviously had a ” history ” with king Aerys, and it wasn’t
    a pleasant one. There was more unsaid than said , in that scene. Yet in the
    absence of insightful material, I question the source from which it comes.

  194. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    The Onion Knight:
    A Feast for Crows was my 2nd favourite book in the series, behind A Clash of Kings. I feel very confident that the subject material from that book in particular will translate perfectly onto screen. I would not call Aeron Damphair a favourite or even in my top 10 POV’s but I see why it is a story arc needed to compel and further advance our knowledge of not only the story but their world that is A Song of Ice & Fire. Victarion on the other hand you can say is one of my favourite characters. I am anxious to finally be past all these Kings in The North and King Malfoy Baratheon type characters and finally get into what the books are all about. ITS A BLOODY QUEENS MOOT NONCLE!!

    Mine evolve over time. Storm is still my favorite, and Dance was my second favorite almost instantly, but Feast has been winding its way back up. It’s not a book I liked as much during the first read-through, and I think mostly because I just wanted to know what happened that I speed-read. And the great part of that book is in the details.

    I’m also doing Sean Collins’ FeastDance order as a re-read right now, and it’s pretty awesome so far. It kills some of the narrative negatives of the split, and now that I’m okay with the ending of Dance (the disappointment of some logical endpoints have faded), I think the combined book is pretty damn amazing. Just a great ending from being much better than Storm.

  195. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed: Hmmm…………… that scene had me pondering what more Eddard knew about
    Jaime, the scene involved a single incident. As Eddard Stark presents himself as
    a non petty, astute person, my reaction was to question Jaime’s character. The
    comment about knifing the ” bad ” king , reminded me of ” Dexter ” given
    reasons ( excuses ) for his murder of ” bad people “. Does the end justify the
    means ? Jaime obviously had a ” history ” with king Aerys, and it wasn’t
    a pleasant one. There was more unsaid than said , in that scene. Yet in the
    absence of insightful material, I question the source from which it comes.

    Loved that scene. Presented two characters excellently, with all their pros and cons on the table, and didn’t provide an overwhelming POV about which one is “right.”

    Because it’s not that simple.

  196. B Cogman
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Thanks for asking nicely, but it’s really not my place to do that.

    Best,

    B

  197. The Queen's Hand
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen: You mean like have her be the person in the scene where characters like Varys, Littlefinger and Theon can express their current motivations and thoughts?Because that’s essentially the reason that she’s in those scenes.So that these other characters can say things that are otherwise explained only by narration in the books. That along with the fact that they needed to combine several prostitute characters into one for economy’s sake.

    I sometimes wonder if some of the fans have any critical thinking skills they are employing while watching the show or just simply go into spasms of nerdrage when they see something that is different from the books occur on screen.

    So your “critical thinking skills” determined that it makes sense for half of King’s Landing to confess their schemes and motivation to the town whore? I think you might want to look up the definition of “thinking”

  198. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Now your attacking Lena Headey’s portrayal. She was the most consistent aspect of season 2 in my opinion. I’m sorry but your on your own there. I have beefs with season 2 but Lena isn’t one of them.

    You do realize that after she completed her arc as very popular character on Downton Abbey Rose Leslie was in demand. There are many shows that Leslie who already comes from a rich family could have easily got onto ie: into any of the half a dozen British series being developed ie: the BBC. It does suck that we lost Quorin’s story in the need to setup one of the major romantic relationships of the series, they will probably give a lot of Quorin’s role to Mance Rayder. And since he is played by the very patriarchal Ciaran Hinds I would not be surprised to see a lot of the Halfhand/Jon dialogue given over to Mance, a character that will be much more prominent than Halfhand.

    I don’t mind criticism of the series but what I do mind is the concept that D & D are giant trolls arbitrarily trying to piss people off. In my opinion they get attacked way more than they get praised. But this is the Internet right? Snark is all.

    For your own sake I hope the show improves to your liking in season 3.

  199. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    Ummmm…….. I live in the SanFrancisco area, and yes, my closest friend is
    gay. No worries, I’m well informed. Also, the flamboyant character describes
    many a person, not just gays, it’s an attitude. I believe Renley’s gayness was
    a non issue, where the political stakes were in Westeros. My point was to
    question the use of time and footage, where it may have contributed elsewhere.

    I was also disappointed to watch him leave so soon , in S2, I knew it was inevitable
    but I’d hoped for another episode. And what a way to go, Renley preening in
    front of his mirror. He may have missed the ” alpha male ” mark, but I gave
    him more props than being a guy focused on wardrobe and Loras. What I did
    enjoy more was his scene with Natalie Dormer ( Margaery ) in S2 camp. I was
    fine with S1 scenes with Loras. A few too many scenes ridiculing Renley’s
    private life among his military camp didn’t help either. I suppose too, the
    necessity of Littlefinger making his speech at Ned’s Tourney was unnecessary
    too.None of this hasn’t changed my overall opinion of the show though, I
    have moved on to good expectations of seasons three and four.

  200. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Alan: Loved that scene.Presented two characters excellently, with all their pros and cons on the table, and didn’t provide an overwhelming POV about which one is “right.”

    Because it’s not that simple.

    True, there was not an overwhelming POV, from either man. There was a unspoken
    malcontent, but mostly heat.

    As a viewer in S1, I was introduced to two men, one who attempted to murder
    a young child and possibly a hand at murdering the king’s hand. The other,
    presented as the stalwart and honorable character. The scene was engaging
    and thick but begged a larger question. As a viewer, I was connected, and
    wanted to stay tuned.

  201. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: Now your attacking Lena Headey’s portrayal. She was the most consistent aspect of season 2 in my opinion. I’m sorry but your on your own there. I have beefs with season 2 but Lena isn’t one of them.

    Agreed!

    I wasn’t on board with her for season 1, she was one of the few actors who seemed to be going for something completely off my own expectations. But I really came around this season, she really impressed me especially with Blackwater. I think it bodes well for future seasons.

  202. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    I think LF got the Hound’s lines because at this point in the story Baelish is one of the “good guys”. Here is someone who is somewhat on Ned’s side interacting with his daughters as opposed to a character who appears to be on the Lannister side. i can totally see from a production standpoint that The Hound speaking to Sansa so early in the game might come out of left field. Let the Hound sympathize with Sansa by seeing her as a victim like he once was. It also comes out as a beacon of hope to the grimness of Sansa’s situation for the viewer. Especially in season 1 episode 10. Putting our loyalty to the books aside don’t you think it would have been weird for the Hound to talk about a personal event like his face getting burned by his own brother in episode 4 of the first season? Better to give the line to Baelish to build him up as a Stark ally until his inevitable betrayal.

    Personally I like the little nuances in cable shows like Mad Men or the Wire, and how they set up the Hound’s growing fondness for Sansa is an example of this. Little touches that utilize the visual medium.

    As for the Ros stuff, one either makes their peace with it or they don’t.

    Flame me if you wish but that’s how I feel.

  203. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I don’t know what she would do. I’m not her agent, or in her inner circle, but I could definitely see her turning down a role where she basically does a cameo until season 3. As far as whether someone else could play Ygritte, I think someone else could but they might not have fit the part as well as she does.

    Regardless, you are still missing the point. I was giving one plausible explanation on why they might have changed things. Alan also gave a different, yet equally plausible, explanation. Again, the point being that when you say you have a problem with changes that seem to have no purpose, I just think you are simply disregarding out of hand many possible purposes.

    Like I’ve said repeatedly, I think it is fine to dislike the changes they made. I only have a problem when people say decisions had no purpose, while numerous possible reasons have already been giving. You may think that the reasons we gave were not good enough to justify the changes, you may think the reasons we gave are not the ones used by the creators to make their decision, but it is just disrespectful to act like every change you don’t like was done for no purpose. Especially after Cogman stated that all these decisions did have a purpose.

  204. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: Now your attacking Lena Headey’s portrayal. She was the most consistent aspect of season 2 in my opinion. I’m sorry but your on your own there. I have beefs with season 2 but Lena isn’t one of them.
    You do realize that after she completed her arc as very popular character on Downton Abbey Rose Leslie was in demand. There are many shows that Leslie who already comes from a rich family could have easily got onto ie: into any of the half a dozen British series being developed ie: the BBC. It does suck that we lost Quorin’s story in the need to setup one of the major romantic relationships of the series, they will probably give a lot of Quorin’s role to Mance Rayder. And since he is played by the very patriarchal Ciaran Hinds I would not be surprised to see a lot of the Halfhand/Jon dialogue given over to Mance, a character that will be much more prominent than Halfhand.
    I don’t mind criticism of the series but what I do mind is the concept that D & D are giant trolls arbitrarily trying to piss people off. In my opinion they get attacked way more than they get praised. But this is the Internet right? Snark is all.
    For your own sake I hope the show improves to your liking in season 3.

    You are totally mischaracterizing what i’ve stated.

    1) I think Lena Heady is great. I have problems not with her acting but with somce of the scripts for her, namely an attempt to make Cersei more sympathetic to an audience that made Cersei’s actions in episodes 8-9 inconsistent with her previous character arc.

    2) I don’t care of Rosie Leslie is rich. She obviously wanted to be an actor and she is unknown in US. An opportunity to be on a hit american show is not turned down just because 20 minutes of flirting in the snow is eliminated, especially when season 3 gives her a much juicer role. Also again, they could have always gotten someone else in the worst case scenario.

    3) I don’t think D&D are giant trolls trying to piss of the audience. My personal impression is just that they’ve made some of the changes to appeal to the True Blood-type audience, and other changes to show that they have their own creative abilities ala George.

  205. sunspear
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed: GoT is still ” new ” to some, and very interesting to to watch. Most new shows get
    higher points, remember True Blood (?). There were awards all around for TB
    in there 1st season, then the audience took note of the incongruous plots . The main
    reason to tune in now is for the porn ( Skarsporn, primarily ).

    Breaking Bad has been around for a while and stood the test of time, holding on
    to a core audience. At present their hard work is paying off, in several deserved
    Emmy wins.

    You can look at the BB ratings on wikipedia They’ve only managed to clear 2 million viewers once in four seasons. It may have more acclaim, but nowhere near the viewers of GOT.

    Personally, I liked the changes to Dany. Having her dragons stolen helped keep the suspense up after I’d read the book. Plus, I find people have unrealistic expectations for the HOTU.

  206. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Season 1 Cersei is cold, tight lipped and cautious. When Robert dies she shows her claws. In season 2 she is on top again and than Tyrion shows up and She realizes she cannot control her son. She is fucking a weak Jaime proxy. She turns to wine, miserable than ever especially after Tyrion takes one of her children away. She threatens him many times that she wants to make him feel her pain. Then in episode 7 she has her love is weakness speech with Sansa. She learns by the end of the episode in her scene with Tyrion that he does care for her in some way, she realizes that his one weakness is his love for his family. So she lets him feel sorry for her and then goes to work on exploiting that weakness. She finds “Shae” and at dinner in episode 8 playing along with his affectionate condescension she sticks the knife in.

    Sounds perfectly consistent to me.

    As for the True Blood audiences I don’t feel they need to cater to them but big money says they do. This isn’t the Wire made cheap with a limited audience this is a fantasy series with a large budget. You want to keep all the demographics happy an thus ensure longevity. Should the producers feel this way? No of course not but that’s not a risk worth taking I suppose.

  207. Zack
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor: She learns by the end of the episode in her scene with Tyrion that he does care for her in some way, she realizes that his one weakness is his love for his family. So she lets him feel sorry for her and then goes to work on exploiting that weakness. She finds “Shae” and at dinner in episode 8 playing along with his affectionate condescension she sticks the knife in.

    Why would she do all this if she think Tyrion loves his family and she is not an evil demented bitch like she was in the book? In the book it made sense, in the show it has not.

  208. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Threaten a mother and her cubs and things get nasty. Not to mention her hatred of Tyrion for killing her mother (season 2 episode 2). Don’t forget her speaking to Catelyn about her “bird without feathers” guilt’
    /sociplopathic tendencies. Cersei believes love is weakness and when she learns Tyrion has this feeling for her still, she uses that affection in her hatred of him.

    I’m sorry but Cersei’s arc from season 2 is fantastic. And I will defend it to the end of time. TV Cersei is not the demented crazy bitch cartoon character of the novels, she is an unhappy, overmothering, sociopathic, ambitious woman with penis envy and a drinking problem. She is a complex human being. Thank the Gods.

  209. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I like the nuances too, and did not join the San_San complainers, about revising
    Sandor’s gradual approach to Sansa. Littlefinger , at the tourney, may have
    been the best reasoned choice for the words. I just wish the concentration had
    been fairer for Renley in other portrayals. As a whole, Littlefinger got reasonable
    focus in season 1, the audience needed that, season two is another matter.

    I did practice archery as a youngster, relating to too many Robin Hood movies.
    I take no pleasure at shooting barbs or word wrestling, I prefer an exchange of ideas.
    So far, I read you well, there will be no flames coming your way. Who do you think
    you are , Nicholas Brody ( Damian Lewis ) ? No Carrie Matthison is on your tail :D

    Did you happen to purchase B Cogman’s ” Making of Game of Thrones “, I heard is
    is a good read. For some reason it’s now 50 % off, and released not long ago.
    I didn’t justify the purchase, earlier, but now I’ll order it today, the pictures
    are worth the cost .

  210. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    I purchased it at my local Chapters the day of release. It’s a good book but I felt kind of gypped in that it was made whilst season 2 was in production so it is mostly a guide to season 1 than it is of season 2. I wonder why they didn’t wait for season 2 production to finish? Still great writeups by Cogman, great insights and quotes from the set. Definitely worth it.

  211. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Zack,

    Season 1 Cersei is cold, tight lipped and cautious. When Robert dies she shows her claws. In season 2 she is on top again and than Tyrion shows up and She realizes she cannot control her son. She is fucking a weak Jaime proxy. She turns to wine, miserable than ever especially after Tyrion takes one of her children away. She threatens him many times that she wants to make him feel her pain. Then in episode 7 she has her love is weakness speech with Sansa. She learns by the end of the episode in her scene with Tyrion that he does care for her in some way, she realizes that his one weakness is his love for his family. So she lets him feel sorry for her and then goes to work on exploiting that weakness. She finds “Shae” and at dinner in episode 8 playing along with his affectionate condescension she sticks the knife in.

    Sounds perfectly consistent to me.

    As for the True Blood audiences I don’t feel they need to cater to them but big money says they do. This isn’t the Wire made cheap with a limited audience this is a fantasy series with a large budget. You want to keep all the demographics happy an thus ensure longevity. Should the producers feel this way? No of course not but that’s not a risk worth taking I suppose.

    I have to admit that Cersi’s characterization on GoT was most consistent to ASOIAF.
    Either Headley or the script combination made it sync. Cersi is one very shrewd and
    cunning woman. I failed often at giving her redeeming qualities though, in ADWD,
    I came back to the same conclusion. There was too much malice. She was the
    opposite of Catelyn Stark, IMO.

    My Amazon shipment of ” Lands of A Song of Ice and Fire “, ships today ! Hooray!

  212. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    D and D have said that they view Cersei and Catelyn as the diametrically opposed mother figures of the saga.

    I loved Cersei’s chapter in ADWD. It seemed with each step instead of getting weaker she was getting stronger. She will not let that humiliation go. And it seems Varys will give her carte Blanche. Look out Grand Septon and Margaery Tyrell.

  213. Napoleonbuff
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Winturd,

    1) Some of the creative reasons for the Hound/Bron scene are discussed by D&D on Inside the Episode. You may disagree with their reasons, but they do have them (similarities between the two characters, etc.). As far as I’m concerned, there’s a reason they don’t state that is equally important — it sets up the relationship between these two characters prior to their interaction in the battle (and the two scenes collectively spell out both similarities and differences between the two).

    2) Robert was mocking Renly for being gay and at the same time implying that the world was right when Robert was young but has gone to hell since (thus criticizing Renly’s generation, as he’s considerably younger). Renly is annoyed a) because Robert is bullying him over his sexuality, as if being sexually irresponsible is somehow better than being gay; b) Robert’s irresponsibility and machismo extend to his poor stewardship of the realm, whereas Renly has been told by Loras that he would make a good king (thus raising the crucial upcoming dilemma between Renly and Stannis — shouldn’t qualification trump birth order); and c) Robert is romanticising a time of despotism and civil war, because this is all he was ever good at, and using this as an excuse for neglecting the welfare of his people (this time of peace just isn’t worthy of real men like him).

  214. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed:
    Alan,

    Ummmm…….. I live in the SanFrancisco area, and yes, my closest friend is
    gay. No worries, I’m well informed. Also, the flamboyant character describes
    many a person, not just gays, it’s an attitude. I believe Renley’s gayness was
    a non issue, where the politicalstakes were in Westeros. My point was to
    question the use of time and footage, where it may have contributed elsewhere.

    I was also disappointed to watch him leave so soon , in S2, I knew it was inevitable
    but I’d hoped for another episode. And what a way to go, Renley preening in
    front of his mirror. He may have missed the ” alpha male ” mark, but I gave
    him more props than being a guy focused on wardrobe and Loras.What I did
    enjoy more was his scene with Natalie Dormer ( Margaery ) in S2 camp. I was
    fine with S1 scenes with Loras. A few too many scenes ridiculing Renley’s
    private life among his military camp didn’t help either. I suppose too, the
    necessity of Littlefinger making his speech at Ned’s Tourney was unnecessary
    too.None of thishasn’t changed my overall opinion of the show though, I
    have moved on to good expectations of seasons three and four.

    Okay, so given that, do you really think he was flamboyant?

    Anyway, it seems what you meant to say was that you’d rather it not have been a focus of his character (at least as much as it was in the show).

    I can see that, but the gay character angle, to put it bluntly, is somewhat unique in GoT (there are a few others, but not as early and prominent as Renly), it’s timely, it plays well with HBO’s audience, and it gives Renly a different angle than everyone else. The shaving scene did seem a bit stereotypical, but I find it hard to believe if Martin had written a Renly POV, we wouldn’t have seen that he struggled with his place in this society as a gay man.

  215. Andrew
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    Ahh, I’d love to. Half my posts here are from my iPad, and I haven’t been able to get onto the forum in a while, but rest assured I haven’t abandoned you all! haha. Too much rehearsing and recording, man.

    On topic, I really respect that you still talk to us fans, as unruly as we can be sometimes Mr. Cogman. I’ve been a part of a lot of fanbases, and few have such interaction with a creator.

  216. Gem
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I have two separate points:

    I’m queer and I find this argument about Renly silly. It is true that Gay is a modern construction and the association between gay men and effeminacy (itself also a modern construction) came about because of how gay men were constructed as “fruits” and not real men by the straight world, which got flipped into a reverse discourse with all sorts of in-group codes and culture. But it’s also believable that in a medieval fantasy world, the youngest son in a royal family who is attracted to men might also be delicate and enjoy balls and masquerades. Renly is not popping his hip out and calling Loras “gurrrl.” He’s just a little dandyish and that’s fine. And it’s not really important to the story in the long run either way.

    Second, the strawmen about critics keep piling up. It started way back with “book purist.” As to that – no we are not all Lindaaaaaa, and her obsessive racist ravings about the show don’t really strike a chord with most people who are pissed about Catelyn from what I’ve seen around Tumblr and ohnotheydidnt (say what you will, but they are the least male/hetero-dominated atmosphere I’ve found for this fandom and that counts for a LOT).

    Then we moved on to interpreting “feels/seems arbitrary” as literally saying that D&D used John Cage-style randomness techniques to decide what to do on the show. No one is that stupid, and saying “trust me, they work 200 hour weeks on this” isn’t going to change the feeling that certain things were haphazard. If I obsess over cooking something and still give you a sloppy result, it’s still going to seem like I did it in 10 minutes.

    And now we’ve gone all the way to “I suspect most of the harsh criticism is from people who don’t work, or don’t have to make decisions are work.”

    Look: I don’t think D&D are idiots. I certainly don’t think they had unlimited budgets, time, or viewer attention spans. I know my non-reader friends and family are barely keeping characters straight as it is and having to check-in with me to understand. I know there are multiple conflicting pressures. And still, we judge a creative work by what’s in front of us. I do work, actually, in the music world. If people think one or two songs on an otherwise good album seem uninspired and arbitrary, they’re not going to be swayed by being told that everything was done intentionally and painstaking. They’re just going to not understand your intentions and view them as a blight on the record.

  217. Alan
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    As the person who said this: “I suspect most of the harsh criticism is from people who don’t work, or don’t have to make decisions are work,” I have to make a comment to answer.

    The comment, now repeatedly taken out of context, was in direct reference to people calling the writers “awful” or “stupid” or “egotistical” or intentionally screwing things up, or being arbitrary in the sense that they made changes just to say they made changes.

    These are all real criticisms that have been repeatedly leveled.

    If you are not making these criticisms, then my comment is not relevant to you. If you do not think D&D are idiots, yet still have criticism, my comment, again, does not apply to you.

    Rational criticism is not what I was talking about.

  218. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    Renley would not win any contests , by today’s standard, for flamboyant
    display. That title was won by Liberace, only recently challenged by RuPaul :D
    Renley was smart enough to be discreet, but secrecy among a large staff is
    difficult to control. Bloodraven may have been able to curb gossip on his behalf,
    not so for the younger Baratheon. Those from great houses were often ignoring
    spontaneous talk among their lessors

    Well, Renley Baratheon did offer an interesting POV, as both his political insight
    and personal evaluations would offer. I made a point of emphasizing the GoT
    version in questioning the writer’s revision of him and other characters.
    Several scenes in the show were either overstated or too little, a similar argument
    could be had for other cast members. I spoke , in particular, of Renley’s character
    in my earlier post ( using that word ). I probably rambled on too much, losing
    you there.

  219. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    okay.

  220. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Gem,

    I’m having trouble understanding your several points here, is about Renly ?
    Or an attempt to summarize all the posts ?

    In all, I believe you mistook the discussion about Renly’s character, and the
    reference to people who criticize harshly, the production staff and heads.
    when the debate is unreasonable or not allowing for other factors.
    The discourse is mixed with accolades and critical review, but not at all
    an attempt to insult. Take your your time to read again, most of us have
    had to do this. No worries.

    By the way, I’m aware of the many reappropriation of terms like ” queer “, ” gay ”
    etc, but not everyone learned English as a first language. My french mother
    feels ” queer” all the time lately, and I’m quite a happy and gay person. Just a
    FYI if someone stumbles on your expressions.

  221. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    WildSeed,

    D and D have said that they view Cersei and Catelyn as the diametrically opposed mother figures of the saga.

    I loved Cersei’s chapter in ADWD. It seemed with each step instead of getting weaker she was getting stronger. She will not let that humiliation go. And it seems Varys will give her carte Blanche. Look out Grand Septon and Margaery Tyrell.


    I did not know that and Benioff and Weiss, quite revealing. And Yes, I am anxious
    to discover Cersi’s revenge in TWOW.

  222. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    I think she ordered Varys to kill Kevan and Pycelle. That would explain Varys’ appearance. If that’s the case then the purges will begin soon. Loras stuck on Dragonstone supposedly burnt to a crisp and Margaery all alone. Cersei will move against the Tyrells and the Sparrows. The Tyrells will fall back to the Targs. Cersei will try to court the Vale….the possibilities are endless.

  223. WildSeed
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I’ve made a few notes of my own, but your summary adds a bit of intrigue
    in considering Varys working in tandem with Cersi. Undoubtedly Peycelle
    remained high on the removal list. I considered Varys acting in unison with
    Connington/Aegon factions. In all, it serves to discredit Cersi in the end, that
    or Littlefinger’s evolving plot.
    Who said television was needed was needed
    for entertainment, a day in the life of the royals proved exhausting with just the
    mentioning. The raven and crow brigades must be demanding gourmet corn and
    prime meat for the frequent delivery missions.

  224. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Regarding D and D’s statements concerning Cersei and Catelyn see the 22 minute video “You Win or You Die”. http://youtu.be/Dku_Uya8Ygc

  225. King Tommen
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    The Queen’s Hand: So your “critical thinking skills” determined that it makes sense for half of King’s Landing to confess their schemes and motivation to the town whore?I think you might want to look up the definition of “thinking”

    Well, first off they aren’t really revealing their schemes and motivations in those scenes which is clear if you rewatch them. In these conversations, they are revealing a part of their character and history that they would not be comfortable doing to another major player in the story. They’re not giving out any state secrets or grand revelations.

    In the books, the reader learns much about these secondary characters from thoughts and memories provided by the POV characters, things that are not spoken aloud but conveyed through stories the book characters are remembering. This is a luxury that literary authors have that visual producers do not. You can’t have Petyr Baelish enter the room with Catelyn and then have the action stop while Catelyn narrates a story in her head about what they did as kids together.

    Characters like Varys, Littlefinger and Pycelle don’t have POV chapters in the books and are very guarded in their intentions when speaking to other main characters so this is a way to give the audience a window into their motivations and history without them betraying the interactions with the main group. It is Ros’ position as a whore which is a huge reason why these conversations can take place so candidly precisely because of her station and lack of knowledge regarding the political games that are being played. These characters do not view her as a threat to do anything with this information primarily because it is their belief that she has neither the means nor the true understanding of the depth of the intentions behind the words to do much more than be their audience for this monologue or discussion.

    It’s a common device in television and movies to have these types of audience surrogates so that information can be conveyed to the viewers in a way that isn’t literary. The only real other option is to have voiceover narration of the character’s innermost thoughts (a la Dexter) which is IMO a hackneyed way to go about things and is truly one of the most grating problems with an otherwise pretty decent show like Dexter.

  226. babar
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Highly unlikely, IMO.

    Here’s what Varys says to Kevan: “Your niece will think the Tyrells had you murdered, mayhaps with the connivance of the Imp. The Tyrells will suspect her. Someone somewhere will find a way to blame the Dornishmen.”

    At this point, he has no reason to lie to him.

  227. Joshua Taylor
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    babar,

    Guess its time to read ADWD again lol

  228. Shady_Grady
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I am no purist. I understand that the books and the show must be different.
    I didn’t mind not revealing Reek/Ramsay in S2 because that might have tipped viewers off that Bolton was already disloyal and possibly even to a certain tragic event in S3.

    But I was a little disappointed that Robb and Catelyn make their big mistakes before hearing that Bran and Rickon are dead. It really changed the motivations.

    Other than that I didn’t have a lot of major quibbles with S2.

  229. WildSeed
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    babar,

    Fact checking is always appreciated here, thanks for clearing that up.

  230. David Marcenaro DeBernardis
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    No, he gave a TERRIBLE answer about why changes are made for adaptation, because he just got really defensive and gave absolutely no reasons or a look into the process that led to those changes. Some fans will be implacable no matter what, but most fans who dislike certain changes just want to understand WHY

  231. King Tommen
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    David Marcenaro DeBernardis:
    No, he gave a TERRIBLE answer about why changes are made for adaptation, because he just got really defensive and gave absolutely no reasons or a look into the process that led to those changes. Some fans will be implacable no matter what, but most fans who dislike certain changes just want to understand WHY

    I think it’s fairly clear by Cogman’s answer to a question further up this comment thread that he either has not been given authorization to or doesn’t feel it’s his place to provide those reasons to fans. It’s up to D&D as the executive producers to do that if they want. I think that because some of these reasons could have things to do with talent relations with actors/agents and/or more sensitive budgetary issues, fans might not ever get the full story that they’re looking for.

    I find that if you listen to their commentaries on the behind the episodes, then you can often glean some of the reasons behind their decisions but you are never going to get explanations for everything considering that some things that happen within a show’s production are not for public consumption.

  232. Thesandsnake
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I think maybe they’ll combine aDwD and aFfC starting in the 5th season to keep it from losing viewers. I personally still enjoyed the 4th book but it’s definitely different and slower than the others. However 4th and 5th book are supposed to run along the same timeline aren’t they? So I think I can see them def combining them so that we don’t go a whole season without seeing Dany, Arya and Jon snow. If they do that it should be plenty exciting I think

  233. ChrisiE
    Posted January 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Man, sometimes when I read all this whining, it kind of makes me hope the change the crap out of season 3 just you actually feel bad about whining about the season 2 changes. (which are not that huge)

    It’s just tiring that every time I want to go online and see some interesting takes from other book readers, it’s just a bunch of people complaining like little 3 years olds for not getting the exact show they want. Congratulations, you read a book! But guess what, the show is not made just for you, so PLEASE stop acting like they are personally insulting you with every single change they make. It’s super easy not to watch the show if you are not happy with it.


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