Benioff & Weiss talk season 3 and the Thrones fan base
By Winter Is Coming on in Press.

David Benioff Dan Weiss at Comic-ConA new interview with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss comes courtesy of Mother Jones. In the interview, Benioff & Weiss talk about learning on the job, what they’re looking forward to in season 3 and the Thrones fan base. Some choice quotes:

MJ: How much obligation do you feel toward the source material?

B&W: We’re under no contractual restrictions with regards to the storytelling. It’s just that we pursued these books—and pushed for the show’s green-light—for almost four years before we got to shoot the pilot. We gave up other opportunities because we love these books and want to do them justice. So for us, it’s about adapting the books according to our notions of justice—which won’t mesh with the fundamentalist book fans’ notions. Which is fine with us because if the fundamentalists were running the show, there wouldn’t be a show.


MJ: Can you give me a sense of your day-by-day?

B&W: On a production day we’d start by going to set and watching the first set up (the master, usually) to see how the scene is playing and whether we need to make any changes. For particularly tricky scenes we’ll stay on set all day. Otherwise we might spend a few hours revising pages, or meeting with directors of upcoming episodes to talk through the scripts, or sitting down with the VFX team or art department to review concept art, or walking over to the costume department with [costumer designer Michele Clapton] to look at her newest creations.

MJ: You guys told one interviewer you were dying to get to Book 3 of the series because there’s a scene that, were you able to pull it off, would basically make your lives meaningful. How’d it go?

B&W: We think we pulled it off, but the jury is still out on life.

MJ: Which new characters and actors are you most eager for us to experience?

B&W: Tough call, but if we had to pick one we’d say Dame Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell. We expected her to be great, but she was better than that.

Be sure to read the full interview for more.

Winter Is Coming: An interesting read. I liked learning about their day-to-day responsibilities. I always wondered exactly what they did while the show was filming. It sounds like they do a bit of everything. And their comments about season 3 have me excited.

What do you think about their remark on the book purists (or book fundamentalists as they call them)? I happen to agree that some liberties need to be taken, but don’t necessarily agree with all of the liberties they have taken. I just hope they aren’t getting too overconfident in their storytelling abilities, to the point that they really stray from the books narrative and write off any criticism as the unrealistic demands of book purists. Thankfully, all signs point to a more faithful season 3.


259 Comments

  1. KG
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Dame Diana Rigg cannot BE anything other than “beyond amazing.” It’s just not humanly possible.

  2. Synnerman
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s a just term. There are some people who are almost religious in their devotion to the text and view any change, no matter how small, as sacrilegious.

  3. Matt S
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    The hardcore book fans are the only aspect of this website’s comment section and indeed the entire fandom that just irritates me to no end. I’ve read the books and they are good I admit but the show being different from the books isn’t harming the content of the books. If people seriously can’t separate the two and belligerently insist on everything being the same then maybe they should stop watching the show because there’s plenty of people who think the show is better than the books.

  4. Omar Brown
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Bwahahaha! Book Purists are Fundametalists now, so perfect. I agree, let the show do it’s own thing, don’t like it, go back to the books. NBD.

  5. Anguissette1979
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I am a huge book fan but definitely not a purist. I am thoroughly enjoying the show for what it is and, in fact, am looking forward to seasons 5 and beyond to see how they trim the fat and tighten up the story the way a good editor should have done to books 4 & 5.

  6. Wolfswood
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I think a lot of book fans that have complaints tend to be drowned out by louder fans that do complain about tiny, unimportant changes and that’s a pity. On the other hand, some of those complaints are valid and I cringe a little at seeing them just sort of being waved off by David and Dan. I think they’re doing a fabulous job overall, but there are a few changes that I think of as being fundamentally wrong when it comes to the series. GOT is an adaption, and that’s okay, but I think that when adaptions make changes, they shouldn’t weaken the story or the characters and there are a few times where I think they screwed the pooch.

    In general, I agree that liberties do need to be taken, but I think that among all the purists complaints, there are a few good ones that I hope D&D take into account and pay attention to for this season.

  7. ebevan91
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Anguissette1979:
    I am a huge book fan but definitely not a purist. I am thoroughly enjoying the show for what it is and, in fact, am looking forward to seasons 5 and beyond to see how they trim the fat and tighten up the story the way a good editor should have done to books 4 & 5.

    Well for a start, they can cut down the amount of “I’m looking for my sister, a fair maid of three and ten with auburn hair. Perhaps you’ve seen her?” by A LOT. As in cut her travels down a bit.

  8. Croccifixio
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    well, its critical that they have the liberty to adjust plots since there might be things like actors unavailable or costs to hinder them.

    BUT, they should get critical parts of the books right.

    all in all, i do love what they did translating the books into screen and i am fine with most deviations from the books but there are two deviations that still bug me til this day. maybe because i was invested heavily into these two plots in the books that i really got pissed that it got changed.

    1. the tickler
    2. house of the undying

    to this day i find no enthusiasm to watch those episodes again unlike the first season which i watched almost 5 times in the off season break.

    now almost a year after those 2 deviations, i think i realized that for me, it doesnt actually matter if the deviation is just a small detail (like loras suiting up renly’s armor) to some quite critical (like tyrion’s chain) and to some very important flashforward visions and prophecy (like the house of the undying), I will definitely react to the deviation if the book version really struck a cord within me emotionally and part of my personal list of things i couldnt wait to see onscreen.

  9. Yollo the Droll
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Yes, they have made a few changes from the books, but I wouldnt worry to much about them constantly changing source material just because it seems like they are such fans of the books. Its not like they did this to cash in on a good property, you can tell they truly want to make the best adaption possible, so im not to worried as far as them toning out so called purists – they are too!

  10. Doc
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Croccifixio,

    Pretty 100% sure I read somewhere that DB & DW chose to change the House of Undying because they were worried that the show would end before prophecy’s would be fulfilled and would leave a gaping hole in their show Not a great reason, but it certainly makes sense.

  11. WildSeed
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Wolfswood,

    Thank you, kind ser .

    Speaking from the perspective of one whom has read the books, and respect
    the premise, Benioff and Weiss here, confers to their collective interest
    to put forth a worthy production. I think they are doing a swell job.

  12. Yollo the Droll
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Yea and as far as prophecys/visions are concerned, I would rather see them cut or explained diffrently then done half ass.
    Not to mention the great thing about this show is that it appeals to nearly everyone, I tend to think that including all the visions that are in the books would tend to go over non readers heads anyways, possibly turning them off to the show.

  13. Villane
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    So far, I’ve been completely fine with most of the changes. Stuff that gets hacked for budget or time constraints are just the nature of the beast. There are other things that need to be changed to adapt the material to the medium. The only thing I can think of that I don’t like is the whole Talisa not being Jeyne Westerling. There’s just so much more inherent drama if Robb’s wife is a member of a Lannister household. Was hoping the commentaries on Season II would iluminate on why they changed that part. They didn’t

    What I think is clear from the first two seasons is that D&D get George’s books and know what the important can’t lose stuff is. I just really hope they nail the two weddings, and Dany’s stuff in Astapor. And the bear pit. And Sam’s journey with Gilly. And the Hound vs. Beric. And the Lord’s Kiss. And Reek. There’s so much awesomeness in store this season!

  14. BlackTomBalerion
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Fidelity to the books– and I think that’s what they’re referring to when they say “book fundamentalists”– is an act of interpretation. When Martin choose white for the color of the Kingsguard’s armor and cloaks, was it because of the symbolic properties of the color white, the affinity for the color white, or the reaction we have to white objects? If we are supposed to see the white as symbols of the level of their commitment and honor, what happens when white armor makes actors look like marshmallows? Does fidelity or purity to the book require that the armor stay white? Or try to accomplish the effect that the white cloaks have on the book reader, and translate that through a film device? And since not every book reader agrees on the significance (symbol? irony?) of the white cloaks, how can the visual representation of that detail not end up an interpretation? (Ghost not being mute and Daario not having brightly dyed and intricately shaped beard and hair are two other examples of how direct translation can fail to achieve the original intent– assuming Martin’s intent can even be agreed upon.)

    Martin’s decision to write the books through a series of POV chapters itself blows up any possibility of strict purity. The television and film equivalent would be the camera standing in for the POV character’s eyes with voice-overs providing that character’s inner thoughts. And that would be terrible.

    Benioff and Weiss are negotiating a work with hundreds of characters; thousands of names; dozens of cultures and languages; thousands of years of internal history; millions of fans; complex and resonant thematic significance; a number of puzzles, prophecies, and myths; and so on, all while translating that work from one medium to another. Considering the variables involved and those who feel they have a stake in the outcome of the adaptation, the term “purist” simply isn’t useful. Twitter’s @AngryGOTfan critiques this position wonderfully.

    This isn’t to say that Benioff and Weiss, and others involved in the production, are above or exempt from any criticism. They certainly are not. But it’s useful to filter those criticisms through an acknowledgement of our own preferences and interests in the story, and that those may or may not align with someone else’s, the difficulty of adaptation in its own right, and success according to their objective. I think that Benioff and Weiss’ statement, that their adaptation won’t be “book fundamentalists’” adaptation, is an acknowledgement that there’s no other way to adapt a work of this size without beginning with what they love about it.

    TL;DR – I doubt anyone could agree on what it means to stay “true” to the book to any useful degree.

  15. Independent George
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    I also tend to get annoyed with the “book fundamentalists”, but my worry is that they’ll miss the forest for the trees and either miss or ignore the constructive criticism buried amidst the haters. There were elements of the adaptation that I hated even if I loved the product as a whole, and I hope they do keep trying to improve.

    That said, they’re obviously fans, and I got a kick out of this quote:

    Everyone starts the season as a Tyrion, but by the end of production, we’re all Hodors.

  16. Estelindis
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    I generally have a lot of confidence in Dave and Dan. The only bone I really have to pick with them is not having Robb and Cat learn about the “deaths” of Bran and Rickon before each made a key decision (breaking the marriage oath with the Freys and releasing Jaime). There are a few other things I don’t like, but the show gets so many things amazingly, perfectly right that it’s easy to overlook them. Disregarding that one change, though, is hard. I think that it changes the tone of Robb and Cat’s choices completely and makes both characters look more stupid and less honourable. In desperate grief, such actions are much more understandable.

    I get that everyone thinks that the change(s) they didn’t want are the important ones, but I really do think that there was a good case for not making this change.

  17. Jacarb
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem with them being completely confident in their decisions. I’d be worried if they weren’t. Adaptation requires a bit of contextual translation, and when you are pushing into uncharted territory, you need to have faith in yourself if you are going to do a good job. A huge majority of people who are at the top of their fields are flat-out arrogant about their abilities. I’ll still disagree with a few decisions here and there, but there’s no way they could helm something this huge and great without also being headstrong.

    As for the comment about book purists…I generally agree. Purism is creative, intellectual stagnation. And they are right. If the so-called fundamentalists ran the show, it would be dry as hell on Saltines day. Sorry, I love the books, but I simply enjoy reading and viewing in very different ways. Why would anyone want the two experiences to be as similar as possible? What’s the point of a second format if it doesn’t add something?

  18. monsieurxander
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m so happy they feel this way. Honestly, the amount of nonsensical complaining about the smallest details (boo hoo, no Jhiqui) is overwhelming and beyond frustrating. There are flaws in the show (scenes with fully clothed men and fully naked women, for instance), but genuine, insightful criticism is hard to find. The nature of adaptation, I suppose.

  19. cje345
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    The two are definitely separate (book and the show), but I hope they learned some lessons from season two. They are rather self-indulgent when it comes to their own writing, which in Season One yielded some great material, but only because of it’s balance in following the source material. However, the story editing in season two was sloppy more often than not.

    Dany’s arc had something like three episodes in a row of “Where are my dragon’s” story beats that neither revealed anything new about the characters or moved the story forward. Also, several Tyrion vs. Cersei scenes come to mind. It seemed like much of the season was a chance to showcase their scenework and dialogue as opposed to trying to tell the characters’ stories.

    Ultimately, what sells me with a story is the bigger picture, and, unfortunately, I think the second season arc doesn’t stand up against what Clash of Kings laid out for them. It’s not about being true to the source material, it’s about the ramifications of complicating what is already simple and trackable. If you’re going to reinvent the wheel, don’t make something more tedious as a result.

  20. WildSeed
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    There are some in the fandom that become upset with any deviation
    from the source material or revision of their favorite selections.
    Luckily most are not as Benioff and Weiss described ,as fundamentalists,
    with trivial upsets. However, as tricky as book adaptations may become,
    it would not be too wise to become over confident in depicting new structure
    and improvements to a story that continues to evolve. These two are at least
    humble enough to admit that time will tell ( that is , after the finished work
    is judged by the fickle audience and media peers ). I maintain to believe
    that there are enough of us that have read the books, and differentiate the
    GoT series from ASOIAF…….appreciating both. It’s all good.

    Another thing, for as many ” fundamentalists” headstrong against any
    revision, there are an equal number of complainers focused on raising
    an issue about that ( including tossing out their own hyperboles and name
    calling ). Can’t we all just get along (? ) *>*

    to add: Just finished the Mother Jones interview, really impressed with
    their passion to see ASOIAF project on screen , including their
    holding off other projects. Must read all …..

  21. Drunken Fool
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    For me, what I care about is that by the end of the season, the characters all are in the “right place” and set up for what is to come. This happened for every character as far as I can tell:

    -Bran/Rickon: They are leaving with Hodor and Osha and will be meeting with the Reeds, I was fine with their late introduction.
    -Theon: It makes sense that his ironmen betrayed him with an army outside the walls, his story line is still intact.
    -Jon: He had his scene with the halfhand and is now on his way to Mance same as the books
    -Nights Watch: They are screwed, same as the books.
    -Arya: She is on the road with Hotpie and Gendry. Same as the books.
    -Robb/Cat: Robb is newly married and Cat is with him too, probably on their way to Riverrun. which is more or less where we are at the start of SOS.
    -Tyrion: Recovering from the Battle, no longer the hand, same as the books.
    -Sansa: She is put aside, same as the books.
    -Stannis: Back at Dragonstone, same as the books.
    -Tyrells/Lannisters: At Kingslanding or on the way, same as the books.
    -Dany: She has either left Qarth or will be looking for her ship when she meets a new yet familiar character, just about the same as the books.
    -Brienne/Jaime: On the road on their way to Kingslanding, same as the books.
    -Martells: I would guess based off casting they get delayed until Season 4 which is FINE.

    I think for all of the internal thoughts that D&D can’t have, they have done a great job keeping the story intact and the plot lines moving in the right directions. Changes have to be made so viewers aren’t overwhelmed with information, especially as the story gets more complex. HAVE FAITH!!!

  22. Yago
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I do not agree with all the changes they’ve made, but I don’t criticize them for it. Realistically, I can’t see any other director(s) doing better. I’m grateful they made a show out of this great story.

  23. Nancy
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Estelindis,

    I don’t really a beef with most of the changes they’ve made. But Robb and Cat not learning of Bran and Rickon’s “deaths” before they made crucial decisions was one that I disagreed with. Also not showing the vow between Jaime and Catelyn too. Originally I called the House of the Undying scene the House of the Underwhelming…but as time passed, I do understand why they did it the way they did it. Of course, the scene in the book is spectacular but I get that they probably thought it was too foreshadowing. The cameo of Khal Drogo was a nice touch.
    But I understand where D&D come from with the book fundamentalists as they call them…some things aren’t going to make the TV show and some times what works in a book doesn’t work on TV. Compare this show to True Blood and see how different True Blood is from the Sookie Stackhouse books (how ridiculous True Blood has become) and I think Game of Thrones fans should be happy because for the most part the show is pretty faithful to the books. They might arrive at crucial events a different way but D&D have not made major alterations to the story.
    I know they are going to have tough going when they get to parts of books 4 & 5

  24. Zack
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    We’re all fanatical about different aspects though, that’s the fun of it.

    The show can’t be the books. It’s going to be better than them in some ways and worse in others, that’s inevitable and unavoidable simply because of the constraints of their respective mediums.

    I would have liked to see a HotU with accurate visions. For example the wolf on the human body. Show the humanwolf snarling, not at all dead, and it would’ve made viewers think ‘What a brilliant way to symbolize the Young Wolf’s connection to Grey Wind. and then the RW happens and it’s like “Holy callback, Batman! It was literal!” Instead of the blandness of that scene on TV. So if you call me out on the issue as something of a ‘purist’, cool.

    That’s the kind of thing I’ll post about. The changes that don’t make for a better show than what the book offered.

    But on the other hand I don’t even give the slightest fuck about changing Jeyne Westerling. She was a non-entity in the book, she’s at least a personality on TV. It changes Robb’s motivations but the tradeoff is getting a real person in the role, I’m okay with it. I felt that they’ve improved Shae, but did a disservice to Sansa. There’s too much crappy sexposition. Yes but there are amazing new Arya/Tywin scenes. It tends to all balance out.

    So we’re all devoted to the source in our own ways and we’ll appreciate liberties the TV show takes on some things and not on others. Whatever.

    As long as they don’t shut down -all- critique as ‘unreasonable fan whining’ they’re good with me. Some fans -are- entirely unreasonable. *cough*westeros.org*cough*

    I suppose that it’s natural that when people put something they’ve worked hard to create out for the public, they focus on the negative reactions rather than the positive, but that’s not really fair because most people will admit to loving it overall, despite a few bones they may want to pick. That shouldn’t get anyone’s valid points dismissed.

  25. Turncloak
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Book changes I liked:

    1) Jaime vs Ned
    2) Arya as cupbearer to Tywin instead of Roose
    3) No waisted Jaqen kill on Cheswyck
    4) Jorah vs Drogo’s bloodrider
    5) Theon burning letter to Robb
    6) Bronn as commander of the goldcloaks.
    7) Dialogue between Bronn and The Hound in Blackwater
    8) Bronn singing The Rains of Castamere

    Book Changes I didn’t like
    1) The House of the Undying
    2) No Ned Tower of Joy Flashbacks
    3) No Weasel soup
    4) Trimed down Arya/Yoren/Nights watch battle vs Lannisters
    5) Quorin Halfhand’s portrayal and storyline with Jon
    6) Talisa replacing Jeyne (don’t understand the reasoning behind this at all)

    Book changes that didn’t bother me:
    1) Dany getting her Dragons stolen
    2) Jaime killing Alton Lannister
    3) No chain in blackwater bay
    4) Littlefinger Brothel scenes

  26. kvothe
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Matt S,

    i m nt book purist and i like every changes they make but anyone who says tv show is better than books doesnt know how to read books then. same goes for lotr, harry potter, life of pi and so on…

  27. MATTHEW
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Nancy: Estelindis, I don’t really a beef with most of the changes they’ve made. But Robb and Cat not learning of Bran and Rickon’s “deaths” before they made crucial decisions was one that I disagreed with. Also not showing the vow between Jaime and Catelyn too.

    It should be pointed out that the vow Jaime made to Catelyn (at swordpoint, in chains!) was not depicted “onscreen” in the books either. The chapter ended just as the scene ended, with Catelyn asking for Brienne’s sword and we the audience wondering what she’s going to do with it.

    I think it would be kind of cool if later on, when Jaime is forced to make tough decisions, that they flash back and show the vow, but I believe D&D don’t do flashbacks.

  28. Luana
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Hard to read that interview and not develop some degree of dislike for D&D. They come off as egotistical asswipes. Hopefully that’s the fault of the interviewer, and not a true reflection of what D&D are really like. But anyone who hides behind the word “fundamentalist” to dismiss fan criticism is very difficult to respect.

  29. Omar Brown
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Anguissette1979:
    I am a huge book fan but definitely not a purist. I am thoroughly enjoying the show for what it is and, in fact, am looking forward to seasons 5 and beyond to see how they trim the fat and tighten up the story the way a good editor should have done to books 4 & 5.

    It is fucking known! They better not match the book too closely in season 5 or they might as well cancel the show outrght.

  30. MATTHEW
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I tend to disagree with almost all book purist complaints (I love good TV as an art form and think bookworms and television don’t mix), but one change that absolutely kills me is the early death of the Tickler.

    His death in the books is perhaps my favorite moment in the entire series (my other favorites are the trial by combat between the Mountain and the Red Viper, anytime when the Hound cries, and the stunning and creepy soliloquy by Roose Bolton in Book 5). They could try to subsitute his death with that of some other guy, but it will not be the same!

    IS THERE GOLD IN THE FREAKING VILLAGE?

  31. MATTHEW
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Luana: Hard to read that interview and not develop some degree of dislike for D&D. They come off as egotistical asswipes. Hopefully that’s the fault of the interviewer, and not a true reflection of what D&D are really like. But anyone who hides behind the word “fundamentalist” to dismiss fan criticism is very difficult to respect.

    I hear what you’re saying, but I also try to appreciate where D&D are coming from. They have busted their asses for years and years to get this project off the ground, and they have poured their blood, sweat and tears into Game of Thrones, yet they constantly have to contend with armchair executive producers (who are often extremely insulting and unreasonable) who think they know better.

    I’m sure it wears on them after a while, so if they have harsh words for “purists” and “fundamentalists,” I can understand why. I can also understand why Brian Cogman (who, ironically, is one of the most faithful adaptors on the writing team, and the one with the most knowledge of the books) lost his cool with some insulting “fans” on Twitter last year.

  32. Fire And Blood
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    I am actually pleasantly surprised by the general reaction here, with regard to the “fundamentalists” comment. I first heard about it on Tumblr, and as usual it was being completely taken out of context and overreacted to; as though Benioff and Weiss had singled out every single Game of Thrones fan and called them nerdraging purists.

    (There’s an excess of B&W hate floating around, though hating the producers of any given show–the more beloved the show the more hate I seem to see–seems to be in fashion these days.)

    I need to learn to FIRST come to the place where a large majority of the GoT news reactions are well-thought out and mature: Here.

    Seven blessings–and always support the bottom!

  33. Ser Osis of Liver
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    While I loved the Arya/Tywin dynamic, Arya’s living hell in Harrenhal in the book was absolutely necessary in her character’s development for what comes later on. Once her path to the House of Black and White is in full swing, her desire to become an assassin for the Faceless Men must needs have been born through two years of unrelenting torment. Just Ned’s execution and her capture/Yoren’s death aren’t enough, IMHO, to push her that far over the edge. Serving months of hell under Weese, then Roose Bolton crushed her to the point that what comes later is logical. Being the cupbearer for Daddy Warbucks probably isn’t enough. I guess we’ll see what has to happen with the BwB and The Hound this season and next before we’ll know for sure.

    The HoTU infuriated me. Not that they didn’t hint at the big event in the future, but they didn’t show any of the prophecies she was told (betrayals, etc) nor see the vision of Rhaegar with Elia and young Aegon or Aerys preparing to torch King’s Landing. These, IMHO, are crucial. I also missed the staircases and door-to-the-right. That was just fun.

    I missed Weasel Soup badly, as well as Jon’s story with the Halfhand was portrayed very poorly, IMHO. I effin’ hated the whole “WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS” storyline.

    It’s one thing to adapt a work, consolidate characters and plotlines. I get that. It’s another to unnecessarily change what are critical aspects of the book that play into major events later on.

  34. Selmy
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    One question… Could anyone have done as good as these guys did? I mean come on, they love the books, but you can’t copy/paste the books on screen. It would be too confusing, and people have got to understand that books and tv are two different mediums. They’ve done a pretty awesome job.

    Jeyne Westerling –> Talissa Megyr: If they kept it the same as in the books, they would’ve needed to introduce another family (again) and therefor create subplots (again).

    Bryan Cogman: I know you sometimes read on WiC and I appreciate it, means a lot. If you read this, tell Dan and David that the majority of us will be ever grateful for their hardwork. I’m not usually this much of a kissass, but you deserve it. Cudos.

  35. Luana
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    Sure, all of that is true, but “fundamentalist” is such a loaded word. Fundamentalists are people who are willing to murder innocents to advance their cause. As showrunners, D&D should be able to deal with criticism without resorting to ugly name-calling. After all, they are getting paid to do this.

    The whole interview just left a bad taste in my mouth. I recently shelled out my hard-earned money for the Season 2 DVDs, but after reading that interview, I’m feeling uneasy about that decision. The whole “nyah, nyah, we can do whatever we want, f*** you, book fans!” thing just made me feel like I’ve been suckered, you know?

  36. Hexonx
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Selmy: Bryan Cogman: I know you sometimes read on WiC and I appreciate it, means a lot. If you read this, tell Dan and David that the majority of us will be ever grateful for their hardwork. I’m not usually this much of a kissass, but you deserve it. Cudos.

    Hear, Hear. I second that notion.

  37. MATTHEW
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Luana: MATTHEW, Sure, all of that is true, but “fundamentalist” is such a loaded word. Fundamentalists are people who are willing to murder innocents to advance their cause. As showrunners, D&D should be able to deal with criticism without resorting to ugly name-calling. After all, they are getting paid to do this.The whole interview just left a bad taste in my mouth. I recently shelled out my hard-earned money for the Season 2 DVDs, but after reading that interview, I’m feeling uneasy about that decision. The whole “nyah, nyah, we can do whatever we want, f*** you, book fans!” thing just made me feel like I’ve been suckered, you know?

    I’m not trying to defend their use of a loaded word… I’m just trying to explain it.

    Just as we respectful fans become irate when we are lumped together with those that spew unconstructive venom at every deviation from the book, the showrunners are only human and they become defensive when the hard work of their team is called into question. So I can understand why they can sometimes see some of the more obnoxious “fans” as “fundamentalists”.

    For the ultimate “fundamentalist” experince, read Linda’s diatribe on westeros.org after she watched The House of the Undying scene in Season 2 episode 10. It’s almost comical. She sounded like she was going nuts.

    (Linda is a special case, as she is a book devotee and a friend of GRRM and more than just an average angry fan, but her reaction exemplifies the sort of nonsense book purists spew forth every day)

  38. Croccifixio
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    i am very grateful for them making the show and i would not want any other person/s to run this show but that doesnt mean i will like every dish they will serve and not all book scenes translate well onscreen.

    i am not an absolute “purist” but i do tend to lean on that direction. a lot of my friends are also like me but we are not the “ITS DIFFIRENT SO I AUTOMATICALLY DISLIKE IT AND NOW HATE THE SHOW” kind of fan. i actually never met a fan like that except here in the internet.

    before the second season started i reread ACOK twice and it may contributed to me getting excited about scenes that were there in the series so now i didnt reread ASOS. maybe this will help me accept the deviations better.

    but in the end, just like what i said numerous times before, i am very very grateful this didnt ended up like the @$@! s@#t Sword of Truth adaptation, Legend of the Seeker.

    If crap can crap, its crap will be that @#$@ show.

  39. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I think GoT is the most ambitious TV show ever made — by far in a way. So, I’m willing to give D&D the benefit of the doubt when it comes to putting a giant clusterfuck like this together.

    And to think they gave up four years of their life pursuing it — all those hopeless nights spent trying to convince dead-eyed corporate suits to put their money behind a massive FANTASY series with 1,000 different characters, all with their own intricate story lines interwoven with one another, that the newbie viewers will probably have to google to keep up with.

    Just selling that concept to a network is a pretty major accomplishment in and of itself. So, even if they were terrible storytellers (which they aren’t), I’d still cut them some slack just for bringing it to air.

    However, you shouldn’t take for granted how good it actually is. Because they ARE doing it justice. So, that’s just icing on the cake, as far as I’m concerned. GRRM never thought it would get made, so I certainly can’t complain.

    Besides, there’s a business behind producing TV shows. Actors have something called a “schedule”. So, there’s just no way they can stay completely faithful to the books. It’s impossible. Special FX are easy. But scheduling is a bitch.

  40. Géner
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    What angers the book fundamentalists are not the changes made (like no Reeds and Reek in season two), but the mistakes that are made. Why did they write “paying the iron price” wrong in the scene where Theon executes Rodrik? Why didn’t they want Catelyn and Robb to know about Bran and Rickon’s death before releasing Jaime/marrying Talisa and thus making them less stupid? Why is Brienne a killing machine and not the innocent knight we knew? Why did Jaime commit kinslaying? Why did Asha (Yara) say “cunt”? Why did Littlefinger tell Cersei that he knows about the incest?

  41. flame
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    aka The Butchers of the Books

  42. bleh
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Géner,

    Exactly, I thought season 1 was brilliant, season 2 was an absolute mess. I don’t mind changes, but most of them detracted from the overall story. Not only that, they were just poorly written with a lot of plot inconsistencies.

    Why does Davos take Melisandre to a cave to birth the shadow demon? Why don’t the soldiers know to look for a boy with dark hair when searching for Gendry? How does Littlefinger get around Westeros so fast? Why did he have Ned’s bones with him? Did he know Catelyn was going to be in Renly’s camp? Why is Jaime now dyslexic? Why the fart jokes? Why was no one guarding Bran and Rickon and keeping them from escaping once Theon took over? I think there was one guard?

    Anyways, I could go on forever (won’t even touch Jon’s storyline). The tone was off in a lot of episodes, and a lot of the directing and writing was just bad. It’s not about the changes, it’s just that the new material was just written so poorly.

  43. flame
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Luana,

    No, you mixing fundamentalists with terrorists

  44. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    It was said on the DVD commentaries that the reason they didn’t inform Cat and Robb about Bran and Rickon’s deaths last season was because Cat spent too much time having terrible things happen to her. They wanted to spread out the bad news and not have it be one thing after the other. This didn’t bother me as much as everyone else because I could still believe her wanting to get her daughters back even without her sons dying. Jaime was in danger of being killed, and if he were to die, so would Sansa and Arya. I can totally understand Cat’s reasoning for releasing him. And I hated the excuse for Robb to screw Jeyne in the books anyway. So this was a non-issue for me.

  45. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Matt S:
    The hardcore book fans are the only aspect of this website’s comment section and indeed the entire fandom that just irritates me to no end. I’ve read the books and they are good I admit but the show being different from the books isn’t harming the content of the books. If people seriously can’t separate the two and belligerently insist on everything being the same then maybe they should stop watching the show because there’s plenty of people who think the show is better than the books.

    I’d consider myself a “hardcore book fan” but not opposed to changes where they make sense (and in the larger scheme of things they usually do). But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t criticize changes that don’t seem necessary and don’t improve on the story (I’m looking at you Talisa and Qarth). I don’t like “fundamentalists” either, but I also don’t like people who seem to take any criticism of the show as a personal insult.

  46. MATTHEW
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap: And I hated the excuse for Robb to screw Jeyne in the books anyway. So this was a non-issue for me.

    Yes, people complain about the Talisa character (who I agree is not one of D&D’s finest creation), but I think they’re forgetting how sketchily written the whole Robb-marrying-Jeyne sequence is in the actual books. Jeyne has absolutely no personal characteristics, or a personality yet she plays a vital role to the plot, so it’s only natural that they had to expand/change her character.

    And the whole notion of demure Jeyne nursing Robb back to health and him seeking comfort in her arms is every bit as clichéd as the Florence Nightengale stuff in the show.

    So while the Robb-Talisa scenes were kind of corny in the series, I don’t feel the book handled the situation any better.

  47. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Zack: But on the other hand I don’t even give the slightest fuck about changing Jeyne Westerling. She was a non-entity in the book, she’s at least a personality on TV. It changes Robb’s motivations but the tradeoff is getting a real person in the role, I’m okay with it.

    For me it wasn’t Jeyne herself that I missed, but the fact that there was a Lannister bannerman family involved that ties to later events. And I hate what it did to Robb’s motivations, made him look like just some dumbass in love instead of a person having to choose between two paths, each with its own sort of honor (even if in reality he was a dumbass in love, or at least lust).

  48. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    bleh,

    1. Stannis asked Davos to smuggle her
    2. Fair point
    3. There are gaps in time from episode to episode. They made it from Winterfell to King’s Landing in 1 episode. Harrenhal and the Stormlands aren’t nearly as far from KL
    4. Tyrion sent Littlefinger to try and convince Cat to release Jaime. He sent along Ned’s bones as a token of good faith
    5. Obviously he knew she was there. Tyrion told him so. Varys has eyes everywhere. It’s not hard to believe that he informed the Hand
    6. What does it matter if he is dyslexic? It changes nothing.
    7. Because it is something a couple of young guards sitting around doing nothing would do
    8. How do you know Osha didn’t kill several more guards? Showing her doing it to one is less time consuming. How did they escape in the books? It’s not something that stood out.

  49. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Luana:
    Hard to read that interview and not develop some degree of dislike for D&D. They come off as egotistical asswipes. Hopefully that’s the fault of the interviewer, and not a true reflection of what D&D are really like. But anyone who hides behind the word “fundamentalist” to dismiss fan criticism is very difficult to respect.

    They’re talking about the kind of person who complains about things like Dany not having purple eyes, or who has absolutely no sense of the logistics or multiple creative minds involved in putting a show like this together that inevitably prevent absolute faithfulness to the text, and fundamentalist is a perfect word for these people.

    I didn’t think they came off as egotistical, just playful and not afraid to piss people off. It’s okay to be a dick to people who deserve it.

  50. SeanB
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    ebevan91: Well for a start, they can cut down the amount of “I’m looking for my sister, a fair maid of three and ten with auburn hair. Perhaps you’ve seen her?” byA LOT. As in cut her travels down a bit.

    Oh god I’m sure they will trim down those awful chapters in FFC… in fact most of that book can be trimmed quite a bit. I’m currently halfway done reading it and after the roller coaster of SoS it feels like someone pulled the handbrake.

  51. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Luana: Sure, all of that is true, but “fundamentalist” is such a loaded word. Fundamentalists are people who are willing to murder innocents to advance their cause

    That’s a loaded interpretation of that word, but it’s not what the word means, all it indicates is somebody who is attached to the literal interpretation of a text or doctrine to the point of ridiculousness. Some fundamentalists in this world fit your description, most don’t.

  52. Phil
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    I understand that some changes (Tyrion getting knocked out in season) and some combining of characters are made for budgetary reasons, those are clearly necessary changes. The added Arya/Tywin scenes, though they took away what Arya is doing in the book, were fricking GREAT. But then there’s changes like Jon’s storyline (his final chapter in Clash is AMAZING) and not informing Cat and Robb about Bran and Rickon, that fundamentally change the characters and should have been included as presented in the books.

    Also, been rewatching season 2. I really hope they don’t have Talisa be a part of betraying Robb at the Red Wedding. Because she does seem to be lying to him, just hope she’s not a part of it. Keep it as Bolton’s+Freys and Lannisters.

  53. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Yeah, I didn’t take it as egotistical at all. They were asked a question and they responded. Frankly, having read some of the downright hateful comments about them on this site, which is probably the most show friendly ASOIAF site on the web, I’d feel a little angry at these people too. I thought they handled a loaded question much better than I would have.

  54. SeanB
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    MATTHEW:
    I tend to disagree with almost all book purist complaints (I love good TV as an art form and think bookworms and television don’t mix), but one change that absolutely kills me is the early death of the Tickler.

    IS THERE GOLD IN THE FREAKING VILLAGE?

    Well that particular scene should be coming up near the end of Arya’s story this season or next, and I think they will probably substitute Polliver as the man she kills instead of the Tickler. She will probably kill him and take Needle from him. Unfortunately the Tickler was a more memorable character on the TV show than Polliver so people will be less likely to remember him when/if he reappears in the show.

  55. Friend Of fire
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    I read the books after watching the first season, they were great, but what has always saddened me about people who say they are fans or book purist or that the books are better never seem to acknowledge one simple and factual piece of info and that is that thxs to D&D and the show more readers have discovered the books than ever and certainly more diverse groups (dare I say mainstream ) in my opinion a true book purist would be overjoyed that the books are more popular now than at any other time thx to the tv show changes and all. Linda at westeros is some one I love to hear talk about the books but her diatribe on the show and it demogougary at the lack of fundamental and absolute purity to the books made me shake my head at the fact that had it not been for this tv adaptation I and many others would never have discovered westeros.org. Basically D&D state an obvious truth there would be no show if the fundamentalist ran it, I swear just as fire is hot is a statement of fact so to is D&D s statement a FUNDAMENTAL fact (I couldn’t resist) Now go ahead purist’s to books fire your arrows I am ready!

  56. Darquemode
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    To me their comment was benign…

    I hope that Season 3 finds the sweet spot!
    Season 1 was brilliant and made me want to watch each episode multiple times during the season and multiple times after the season finished, but Season 2 just did not despite having an overall higher production quaity.

    I hope that they have worked out their adaptation kinks and get back on track since at least 3 of he arcs in Season 2 were not just different than the books, but much, much inferior. Not because they were different mind you, but because they were just lacking in general.*Shug*

    I will always miss some of the cut material from the books, but that does not seriously lower my enjoyment level honestly. Many of my favorite scenes are irrelevent to the overall plot and I knew they would be cut. However, some of the Season 2 execution the story did lower my enjoyment level (and excitement level for Season 3) if I am honest.

    I find the argument of “what showrunners could do better?” hollow honestly. D&D may be the two most capable showrunners capable of doing the best overall job on the series, but that does not mean they get a pass for sub-plots and arcs where they obviously struggle.

    Even the best series have highs and lows, parts that succeed on a level never imagined and parts that just do not measure up to the rest of the series. My love of a series does not give me an ability to ignore areas which are poor in comparison (or just bad). Why should it?

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with being critical. Every viewer has the right ot love or loathe whatever they choose. Even the Ros-haters! XD

  57. Delta1212
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    I’m not a book purist, but I’m furious that Rodrik didn’t shave his whiskers on the way to King’s Landing. It’s like he wasn’t even seasick.

  58. KG
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Luana,

    You sound like a Fundamentalist.

  59. Darquemode
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    For me personally, the books handled the Robb/ Jeyne situation MUCH better. It made sense regardless of if some felt it was a cliche. I personal know 2 couples that met and are together because of one being there for the other after injury. One is literally a patient who fell for his nurse. It happens.

    The TV version was just silly in my mind. Who takes long romantic walks on the battlefield? It all felt false, forced and contrived. The character motivations of the books worked, even if the charcter Jeyne may not have translated to the screen very well according to some. The TV character motivations were almost nonsensical at times and actually contrary to the books in the case of Robb’s honor.

    Oh well… old news and not worth getting into another debate on the issue I guess.

    The one thing I did find compelling or interesting about Talisa was how closely she resembles Nymeria Sand in background story… and appearance I guess too. I never seriously suspected she is a Sand Snake, but there are a lot of coincidences there.

  60. Drunken Fool
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I personally believe that a lot of changes that they make are for 1. Budgetary reasons 2. Lack of being able to have internal dialogue 3. Advancing the plot.
    -Lets look at Qarth. It seems absurd (to me) that nobody in the books simply tried to steal Dany’s dragons. Why wouldn’t they when they are as harmless and vulnerable as they ever will be? The HOTU scene makes sense because that would have required serious special effects, extra characters, potentially more “fantasy” than the average viewer was ready for, and the potential for major spoilers (I mean how obvious is some of the foreshadowing when you look back at it?).
    -Looking at Robb/Cat learning about Bran/Rickon. I was kind of confused in the book how the word got out about their deaths. I mean I doubt they would let Luwin send a raven out telling everyone of their deaths and the castle was sealed off, so how would they have known? Word of mouth didn’t move that quickly… Besides Robb is young and met a hot girl, in both the book and TV series he didn’t show good judgement in regards to the pact. Cat is just trying to save her daughters based on the information she has and the bargaining chip available (Jaime).
    -Jon Snow’s storyline puzzled me a little bit. I think they didn’t want to have some confusing dream of a tree waking up his warging abilities to see the wildlings (compare it to the other dream sequences that have been left out). I still think they could have just crept over a hill and then ran, but like I said earlier, his plot line ends up in the same place.
    -Arya has been through plenty, the Tickler scene will be missed but they can still show her having some badass scenes later.
    -Brienne’s character is just fine, she showed she can be a badass and that will be required of her from now on.
    -Littlefinger owns Westeros Air, the premier airline of the Seven Kingdoms, that is how he gets around, duh. But in all seriousness we have no idea how much time takes place between scenes in the book, much less in the show so who cares? Also Cersi is a scheming woman but probably wouldn’t want to murder the guy paying for all her expenses, especially when Stannis already sent out a ton of ravens telling everyone…

  61. Friend Of fire
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    I agree I think some people are confusing the meaning of fundamentalist with fanatical.

  62. Drunken Fool
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Friend Of fire,

    That was perfectly said in my opinion, I read all the books after watching season 1 and I have to thank D&D for introducing me to this incredible world. I love the books and the show and I hope Season 3 is awesome and I am giddy as a child before Christmas waiting for the Winds of Winter!

  63. Luana
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    KG:
    Luana,

    You sound like a Fundamentalist.

    Hey, KG! Since I’ve never had the slightest bit of respect for you, your saying that does not change my opinion of you. I guess every forum needs ignorant, irrelevant trolls like you to make the rest of us feel better about ourselves. Thanks! Gee, this forum is as fun as ever, degenerating into personal attacks in a matter of minutes.

  64. MATTHEW
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap: bleh, 2. Fair point

    I kind of enjoyed the part where Arya tells them blonde, dead Lommy is Gendry and thought it was a clever ending to the episode.

    It just emphasizes that Joffrey and his thugs are dimwitted and ill-prepared. Amory Lorch and Gregor Clegane are useful dogs to the Lannisters, but they’re not particularly bright.

  65. MATTHEW
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    SeanB: Well that particular scene should be coming up near the end of Arya’s story this season or next, and I think they will probably substitute Polliver as the man she kills instead of the Tickler. She will probably kill him and take Needle from him. Unfortunately the Tickler was a more memorable character on the TV show than Polliver so people will be less likely to remember him when/if he reappears in the show.

    Yes, I think it’s pretty obvious that they’ll substitute Polliver instead of the Tickler for that scene. And, to their credit, the show people went out of their way to present Polliver in episodes 3 & 4 as an absolutely despicable human being, and I think fans will remember him and know who he is.

    But the DIALOGUE is what I love about the Tickler’s death scene and what makes it so powerful, and it just won’t make any sense now :-(

  66. WildSeed
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Taken out of context, the comment seemed ” tongue and cheek “, I smiled when
    I read it here. After reading the entire interview at ” Mother Jones “, the “f “word
    was put in contrast to unreasonable expectation for such a project and pursuing
    an intelligent adaptation from two who have not only read the books, but willing
    to passionately pursue it’s production. These two are no strangers to writing,
    and it helps that GRRM is in yelling distance ( for reference, if not added script ).
    I’m just really really happy that the project got a go ahead from HBO, otherwise I’d
    only have my Nerd notes to draw up the imagery. They’ve made some missteps, so
    what, nothing is ever easy.

    The one reveal that surprised me was their favourite or most thought of character….
    Theon Greyjoy. I guess I could understand that :D

  67. Baihu1983
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Don’t mind most the changes from the book and they have done a much better job than the clowns that have butchered The Walking Dead.

    The biggest change so far was probably THofTU scene in season 2 but in some ways i can see why they did it

    The foreshadowing of the red wedding would be all too clear and spoilerific on tv

  68. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    MATTHEW: Yes, people complain about the Talisa character (who I agree is not one of D&D’s finest creation), but I think they’re forgetting how sketchily written the whole Robb-marrying-Jeyne sequence is in the actual books.Jeyne has absolutely nopersonal characteristics, or a personality yet she plays a vital role to the plot, so it’s only natural that they had to expand/change her character.

    And the whole notion of demure Jeyne nursing Robb back to health and him seeking comfort in her arms is every bit as clichéd as the Florence Nightengale stuff in the show.

    So while the Robb-Talisa scenes were kind of corny in the series, I don’t feel the book handled the situation any better.

    I kind of agree with this, but I think Robb/Jeyne makes more sense without the aging up of his character, as basically he’s a horny teenager hooking up with a cute girl. In the show his conscious decision to ignore his duty and get together with the smart and sassy field medic makes him look more like an irresponsible ass than a naive kid.

    And I always thought Robb was a pretty bland character in the books himself, made sense to me that he got together with a bland girl.

  69. The Rabbit
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    We miss you dude!

    on topic: Great interview. very much agreed on the most of the points – one thing is reality, another are wishes of everyone of us regarding to the adaptation. One can be very content with the show, despite not to be fan of some decisions producers made.

    I am still thankful to D & D for bringing the ASOIAF world to the small screens.

  70. WildSeed
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: That’s a loaded interpretation of that word, but it’s not what the word means, all it indicates is somebody who is attached to the literal interpretation of a text or doctrine to the point of ridiculousness. Some fundamentalists in this world fit your description, most don’t.

    Well struck ser *>*

    It’s a pity that some people here choose such opportunities to label and throw
    about insults. Often there is a misunderstanding, but others use the opportunity
    for demagoguery. The same pattern and people who do this remain the the same
    on this site. Read the M J interview everyone *>*

  71. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    SeanB: Oh god I’m sure they will trim down those awful chapters in FFC… in fact most of that book can be trimmed quite a bit.I’m currently halfway done reading it and after the roller coaster of SoS it feels like someone pulled the handbrake.

    I’m sure I’ve said this before, but AFFC is vastly improved if you read it side-by-side with ADWD (actually they’re both improved). Splitting those books the way they did was stupid.

  72. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    SeanB: Well that particular scene should be coming up near the end of Arya’s story this season or next, and I think they will probably substitute Polliver as the man she kills instead of the Tickler.She will probably kill him and take Needle from him.Unfortunately the Tickler was a more memorable character on the TV show than Polliver so people will be less likely to remember him when/if he reappears in the show.

    One thing they could do is recreate the way he killed Lommy, like have Arya ask him if he needs help then stab him through the neck. People won’t forget that scene.

  73. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Delta1212:
    I’m not a book purist, but I’m furious that Rodrik didn’t shave his whiskers on the way to King’s Landing. It’s like he wasn’t even seasick.

    I don’t think they traveled by ship in the show.

  74. Hear Me Roar
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    Hear hear!

  75. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    Luana: Hey, KG! Since I’ve never had the slightest bit ofrespect for you, your saying that does not change my opinion of you. I guess every forum needs ignorant, irrelevant trolls like you to make the rest of us feel better about ourselves. Thanks! Gee, this forum is as fun as ever, degenerating into personal attacks in a matter of minutes.

    Are you new to the internets? This is one of the most civil forums I’ve come across, one reason I hang out here.

  76. Luana
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Steven Swanson: Are you new to the internets? This is one of the most civil forums I’ve come across, one reason I hang out here.

    You know, it’s really not. Not anymore. And that’s a pity.

  77. Drunken Fool
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    I believe that if there was a sarcastic font it would have been used by Delta for that comment!

  78. WildSeed
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: For me it wasn’t Jeyne herself that I missed, but the fact that there was a Lannister bannerman family involved that ties to later events. And I hate what it did to Robb’s motivations, made him look like just some dumbass in love instead of a person having to choose between two paths, each with its own sort of honor (even if in reality he was a dumbass in love, or at least lust).

    fair point about the Westerling ties, and a few other reasonable comments
    written above ,as well. Missteps were made with Catelyn Robb, Qhorin and
    others, most acknowledged by the producers. Some characters will not get the
    chance to re state or clarify specific actions, true, but there is a strategy to
    weave a cohesive story that either implies earlier missed facts or have another
    role that creates an amalgam concept to further the storyline. ASOIAF really does
    have too many characters to flesh out, as is interesting small but significant
    book scenes. Let’s see what GoT has in store for Talisa. I’m moving forward
    from the end of certain battles, and focusing on the new( political ) ones brewing.

  79. WildSeed
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: I don’t think they traveled by ship in the show.

    I’m getting a side stitch from laughing so hard :D

  80. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Luana:
    Steven Swanson,

    You know, it’s really not. Not anymore. And that’s a pity.

    Huh, I’ll take your word for it, to be fair I’m not as frequent a visitor to this site in the offseason. Or maybe I generally hang out in rougher neighborhoods….

  81. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Drunken Fool:
    Steven Swanson,

    I believe that if there was a sarcastic font it would have been used by Delta for that comment!

    God, I hope so.

  82. Coltaine777
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    I am hoping Bryan Cogman helps keep them in line :)…

  83. MATTHEW
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: One thing they could do is recreate the way he killed Lommy, like have Arya ask him if he needs help then stab him through the neck. People won’t forget that scene.

    that’s actually a pretty good idea. i hope they use it! the thing that moves me about the death of the Tickler in the book as that, based on my reading, Arya is screaming hysterically and is actually in tears as she kills him–taking no joy in what she’s doing, but just letting out all this ugly, vengeful emotion that has been building up after all the horrible things people have done to her and the people she loves. I almost imagine the Hound having to physically drag her away from the Tickler’s butchered corpse. I would have loved to see that and hear Maisie do the Tickler speech.

    While I’m engaging in a rare bout of purist nitpicking, I will also say I was hugely disappointed by the scene between Sandor and Sansa in Sansa’s bedchamber in the Blackwater episode. I listened to the commentary by Neil Marshall and I realized that GRRM actually wrote a faithful version of that scene where the Hound forces Sansa to sing for him and he is moved to tears, but Marshall cut it. His reasoning was that Sansa had just sung that very song in the previous scene, and he found it repetitive (also Sophie Turner absoutely hates singing on camera–even though her voice is just fine, in my opinion–so this may have had something to do with it as well). ARGH! Marshall isn’t a book reader so the sequence he cut didn’t have the impact that it had on a book reader like me.

    I do think Marshall did a spectacular job with the battle scenes, but because he hasn’t read the books he changes some things in a way that book readers will find very jarring (Stannis being a reckless, Lancelot-type warrior leading the assault was Marshall’s decision as well). Ah well.

  84. Coltaine777
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: I’d consider myself a “hardcore book fan” but not opposed to changes where they make sense (and in the larger scheme of things they usually do). But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t criticize changes that don’t seem necessary and don’t improve on the story (I’m looking at you Talisa and Qarth). I don’t like “fundamentalists” either, but I also don’t like peopn.le who seem to take any criticism of the show as a personal insult.

    I could not agree more..

  85. Hear Me Roar
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    To add my two cents, something I tweeted, trying to explain where the misunderstanding lies:

    Since I’m a linguist: “the fundamentalist book fans’ notions” is ambiguous, and can be parsed two ways, causing misunderstanding.
    One: book fan’s notions are fundamentalist (not intended)
    Two: there are some book fans who are fundamentalist and have these notions …

    Luanda and others that got rubbed the wrong way – I think your (valid) interpretation was that under #1, causing the reaction it did. Surely D&D spoke of the second issue: notions of fundamentalist book fans (i.e. the purists) won’t fly when trying to make an adaptation.

    Winter’s point stands, though, there is some middle ground, not everyone needs to agree with every change. I believe D&D are fully capable of appreciating constructive criticism, and I hope they don’t stray too far.

  86. duhr
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah, because without the boring romance and cliché insertion of Talisa, there’s no way the series could have been made…

  87. sunaeryn
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    I agree with Luana on one thing, B & W do come off like egotistical asswipes in this interview.

  88. Fire And Blood
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    Well played, ser.

  89. dRogon
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    imo the show offers a great comfort while waiting for the last books. So I don’t mind if they change a couple of things as long as it is not major game changers for the overall story,,, And I don’t think they have done that…If anything it offers more aspect of a story we already love.

  90. Pepi
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t mind changes … I always try to think why they did it and justify it to myself. And usually it works … Usually I can level with them. If I can’t, I like to wait, until things play out completely (with Talisa change, for instance, I’ll wait). The only thing I don’t like, is when they bodge otherwise awesome scenes for one reason or another — even if those scenes are almost completely from the book. Jon’s fight with Qhorin this season, is an example of that. Or Arya’s first kill first season.

  91. Pablo Jainaga
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Fingers crossed for that certain scene to have been filmed in slow-mo and accompanied by bombastic music!

  92. Turri
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    I think some of the changes made, especially the confusing ending in Winterfell and Talisa instead of Jeyne, will show their merits only this season. Those two are surely tied to their idea of how the RW should be built up to.

    Most of the other changes make sense to me, budgetary or streamlining-wise. They’re doing a good job, people need to cut them some slack.

  93. Andrew
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    I can’t think of anyone who could have done the show better than D&D. I’ve got to thank them, too. ASOIAF are probably my favourite series of books, i’ve read them all half a dozen times at least, and I never would have heard of them had it not been for Game of Thrones.

    I’ll still never forgive them for what they did to Doreah, but, yknow, still good job guys.

    Purists/Fundamentalists should be glad GRRM didn’t sell someone the movie rights to this series, then you’d have some stuff to complain about.

  94. Arkash
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    In the end of the interview, what interested me the most was that Benioff was a D&D game-master that ended up in the movie production… hehehe… following you on this path, dude.

  95. Shady_Grady
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    S2 had less fidelity to the books than S1, which was only to be expected. I think the producers are mostly doing a good job but I still disagree with the change of not having Catelyn and Robb learn of Bran and Rickon’s deaths before they do certain things. Many people that I know who haven’t read the books were confused by that and thought much less sympathetically of both characters.

    Hindsight is 20/20 but now that I think about it it actually makes sense that watching the show, viewers don’t know who burned Winterfell. Everyone’s favorite scene to hate will be that much more powerful if the betrayal comes out of left field, as opposed to being foreshadowed by making it obvious that someone was hedging his bets via Ramsay’s actions in burning/sacking Winterfell from the start. So that change from the books works much better I think.

  96. Lord Varys
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Actually, my issues with season 2 are not so much the deviations from the source material, but the fact that most, if not all, of their invented scenes were more boring and actually worse than the original material could have been.

    I actually like it when they invent stuff who enriches the source material, and gives us stuff GRRM could not give us unless he was to make a non-POV character a POV character. That’s why I liked the Renly-Loras-scenes, the Renly-Robert-scene, the Cersei-Robert-scenes, and so on.

    Arya and Tywin were funny in the first scene. But why did they have drag this through three episodes?! It led nowhere, and even if Tywin was to find out in season 3 who this girl may have, it won’t be funny if he finds out in King’s Landing. Yes, it was interesting to hear the back story of Harrenhal, and hear Dark Sister mentioned in the show. But this could have been just as easily in a conversation between Arya and Gendry/Hot Pie. The same is true about Tywin’s issues with his father, but why did they not make that a scene between Ser Kevan and Tywin. I just can’t see Lord Tywin confiding in a servant girl who might actually be a member of noble Northern family…

    How many times did Xaro Xhoan Daxos hammer home the fact that he was a self made man? He repeats and repeats and repeats that he arrived with nothing at the harbor of Qarth. That is bad writing. And what exactly did this fact contribute to Dany’s arc? In fact, kind of gave Illyrio’s back story to Xaro. Why not make this guy a noble Qartheen merchant, and Dany’s arc about her realizing that she can’t trust in anyone but herself, that no one but herself will actually help her pursue her own agenda.

    And then there is this dreadful, boring chase scene with Jon and Ygritte. I don’t see why they had to include Qhorin Halfhand if they would treat him that way. Why not just let the wildlings capture Jon, and allow him to come up with the idea of joining them? That would have been much better than this travesty version of Qhorin…

    Not to speak about Talisa, or stupid Littlefinger. Hell, they could really have made his conversation with Cat worthwhile. After all, technically Cat should have had no way of knowing that Littlefinger had betrayed Ned.

  97. mags giantsbabe
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    The Jon/Ygritte changes were actually highly enjoyable to watch. I’ve gone back many times to watch it again. The only part of that that really bothered me, like most fans, was that the meaningful relationship Jon could have built with Quorin got sacrificed. And yes, the confusion over Quorin’s orders to Jon, which was, fair to say, rushed. I’ve said earlier on a prior gone by thread that, had Kit and Simon Armstrong had the dialogue and atmospheric scenes to build up the season finale, they would have nailed it. As a female fan I was still looking forward to that more so than any form of flirting in the snow.

    However, Jon’s arc in the book heavily revolves around his relationships with older male figures, straight from the beginning untill the very end of aDwD, and I think in the show it might start feeling repetitive. So I think Ygritte will be used now that they have her. I also cannot wait for a certain Red Priestess on the Wall…

    With that being said I’m sure D and D do their best to keep the material they can and make work with each character arc’s respective screen time. Keep up the good work!

  98. gisizzlah
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I think a lot of people didnt read the entire interview before making a comment. I’d just like to say that everyone who read the books would have the parts that stood out for them. It’s always somewhat of a dissappointment when you dont see your favorite part or line on screen….

    but overall ppl must appreciate the show in its own right… all ‘book-adapted’ tv shows go through deviations to highlight the characters in a certain way….
    case in point… TWD…

  99. mariamb18
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Pepi:
    I don’t mind changes … I always try to think why they did it and justify it to myself. And usually it works … Usually I can level with them. If I can’t, I like to wait, until things play out completely (with Talisa change, for instance, I’ll wait).

    Well-said. I try to take this approach as well – why was it done- when I see a departure from the books. Sometimes I am able to come up with reasons for it; other times not so much.

    I understand why the burning of WF was handled as it was. The reveals in HOTU was disappointing for me because I loved that scene in the book but perhaps the foreshadowing was problematic. The one change that I’m still not sure about is the Jeyne/Talisa storyline.

    Regardless, I assume (hope?) that changed storylines will not end up impacting the course of events. As long as everything ends up in the same place, I think it will be fine.

  100. King David
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    The only thing about the House of the Undying that I was excited for, was seeing Rhaegar. But then I figured, Rhaegar will have to feature at some point in time and will most likely be quite a big actor. So, it would be pointless to cast him then already for just one episode…

  101. tws1978
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    cje345,

    But this is how television scripting works. Even if Dany didn´t have any interesting story at the moment you still have to remind viewers of her existence, her relevance to the other plots and hint at future twists the viewers can look forward. Otherwise they would lost the interest. I don´t think it´s a problem as long as these scenes are only C or D storylines of the episode and there is something much more relevant going in other stories.

    I agree the season 2 wasn´t perfect but mainly because D&D made a decision early on this season will be mainly about the Blackwater. So many other storylines had to be shrinked and made with severely limited budget which not always resulted in the best product. Dany´s storyline was basically done in a few days on Kings Landing backyard in Croatia and you could tell how rushed the North scenes were as well. I think season 3 will be much better because there is no such a big event eating everything this time.

  102. Watson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I too am surprised at the quality of this conversation. Even at this site, things have gotten ugly a few times, and the word fundamentalist can be pretty volatile.

    I don’t really understand people who are really aggressive in wanting a perfectly faithful adaptation. Why would somebody read a book and think, “Wouldn’t it be great if somebody made a perfect copy of this story in another medium?”

    I think people get really excited of the idea of filmed versions of their favourite scenes, complete with spectacular effects and epic music and every other tool film has for evoking awe, but they forget that film has some huge deficiencies as a storytelling medium compared to the written word.

  103. TC
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Purist is such a generalized term. There are a huge degree of different expectations on how “pure” the story needs to stick to the books. Some who will think the show is ruined if every physical description doesn’t match 100%, but others just wonder what was saved in time, money and casting by adding Tallisa instead of Jeyne for example. But both fans will be lumped into the “purist” label. I think the vast majority of “purists” who enjoyed season 1 don’t expect a 100% word for word translation of the books. They know that some changes are going to be needed due to budget, time, and casting restrictions, but that doesn’t mean that EVERY change D&D decided to make was necessary in order for the show to be made. Many of these “purists” thought that they did a very good job with season 1 despite not being any where close to a word for word translation, but had major disappointments with a lot more of the changes in season 2. Particularly story changes with no clear indication that they couldn’t have stayed closer to the source material with the same budget, screen time and cast.

  104. mags giantsbabe
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I agree with Watson. Thus far this thread has been a very stimulating read :)

  105. Croccifixio
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    i think that bad things happening to catelyn in a little space of time was what pushed her to do the irrational thing of letting jaime go.

    and that reasoning of spaceing things out kinda made her look like a stupid douche rather than a very desparate mother clinging to the thought of not giving a f@#@ and just save her children.

  106. QueenofThorns
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Maybe this is a subtle distinction, but the only kind of change that bothers me a lot is the kind that “fundamentally” (see what I did there) changes the character in question.

    For example, turning Dany’s subtle and smart political maneuvering in Qarth to constant demanding of her rights and WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS-ing? Completely undermines her character. Stealing the Dragons wasn’t the problem – reducing her to a whiny entitled ass is. In the book she never demands anything in Qarth.

    Other examples – Catelyn’s sole motivation now seems to be to save her kids. In the books, i’ts made clear that she has a keen political mind and most of her decisions are done in an attempt to strengthen Robb’s political and/or military position (even when they are wrong or misguided). Robb’s been severely weakened as well. From Vulnerable young man trying to be his father and making one mistake in a moment of weakness to “OMG check out that hot nurse, totally gonna hit that.”

    Others have pointed out Arya’s lack of a kill reducing her to a pawn instead of an agent, and Sansa likewise doing nothing to facilitate her own escape, and Jon generally comign across as more of a sullen idiot and less of a leader.

    Anyway, maybe it’s subtle to some of you, but I couldn’t care less about scenes being left out. I just want the characters I love to come out of the adaptation intact. Dont ‘get me wrong, I think the adaptation is in many ways brilliant, and I have high hopes for next season. I just wish the showrunners would pay more attention to character (particularly those that don’t happen to be their personal favorites).

  107. Kosis
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Luana,

    That’s just not true. A fundamentalist is absolutely not defined by killing innocent people. Just someone who inherently adheres to the origins of a belief system. The producers didn’t even say anything offensive.

  108. Maxwell James
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed the interview. But I wish this conversation between the producers and the fans, such as it is, could move away from the issue of fidelity to the books and instead focus on what makes for good TV.

    Because as much as I loved S2 of GoT, there were a number of points where I think the show would have been better – and possibly less expensive – if it had followed the books more closely in some respects. For instance: the decision to show the White Walkers advancing on the NW in the last moments of the season was a neat moment, but it was really unnecessary, and in some ways undercuts a huge potential shock that now everyone knows is coming in the beginning of S3.

    In retrospect I think it would have been better to take that same level of special effects & use them in the House of the Undying – not to show the prophecies, but the Undying themselves. Non-readers would have had their minds blown, but more importantly, they would see the connection between the two major storylines that at this point is probably still invisible to them. And as an interior, with fewer extras, it probably would have been less expensive to shoot.

    Which is all a way of saying: I wish interviewers would stop asking D&D about book fidelity during their (rare) media tours, and instead ask them more about their production decisions – and perhaps even about their non-ASOIAF influences. I’m guessing, for instance, that they aren’t huge fans of Twin Peaks. But it would be very interesting to know what shows and movies have influenced them – and it may give us a better idea of what they’re trying to achieve.

  109. Mike
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I could`nt agree more Anguissette1979,

  110. Eleanor
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I often remind myself that changes that stick out like a sore thumb to me as a reader will often not affect the show for a non-reader.

    Example 1: Qarth in general and the HOTU. It flows just fine.
    Other small examples: weasel soup, no chain for Tyrion, Talisa.

    Counter-example: the lack of knowledge flow makes decisions by Robb, Catelyn and Sansa all dramatically different. Many non-readers are hypothesising that Sansa has started to feel comfortable in KL since otherwise, why would she refuse being taken back to Winterfell by a man who’s demonstrated that he won’t hurt her? And many commenters have already discussed the effect on Robb and Catelyn.

  111. Kenneth Lopez
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I disagree with the notion that book readers are the base of support for the show. I think they make up a chunk of the “base,” but lover’s of fantasy and lover’s of TV in general probably make up the base just as much. I think anyone who’s read the books has to get the mind around the fact that TV and books are such vastly different mediums, that sometimes major differences are going to occur. As long as they stay true to the “spirit” of the characters and stories, I’m completely fine.

  112. Maxwell James
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Another point: I think B&W have arguably been too faithful in adhering to Martin’s POV structure for the novels. Like Martin, in most episodes they bounce around from one storyline to another after only one “chapter” in each episode. As the storylines pile up, this can lead to the disjointed feeling that some viewers complained about during S2 – including non-reader critics like Alan Sepinwall. And it led to Blackwater seeming like a huge breath of fresh air.

    Martin was able to make this structure work (at least in the first three books) because of the more immersive nature of the novels, plus his clever use of cliffhangers and mysteries. It’s harder to do that when you’re constrained to an hour every episode. I can imagine that GoT would actually benefit from trying to show less points of view, at least on a per-episode basis, than it did in S2. Hopefully B&W see that challenge and have made some changes to their approach in S3.

  113. Atreyu
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Let me see if I have this straight: someone calls the showrunners “egotistical assholes” and in their very next post admonishes them for resorting to “ugly name-calling”. And then they reach into their bag o’ flame to label another poster an “ignorant, irrelevant troll” for daring to suggest they sound like a fundamentalist. If that wasn’t delicious enough, they go on to complain about the lack of civility on the forum.

    I LOVE THE INTERNET!

  114. Onion Knight
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Luana,

    Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or something? You seem to be easily offended. As others have pointed out, this site is as civil as it gets on the internet, and the so-called personal attacks on you are tame even by that standard.

    I don’t even know if we read the same article. D&D did not come off as arrogant to me. Quite the contrary, from all the interviews and discussion panels I have seen with them, they have always come across as being quite humble, quick to praise others and more likely to cite GRRM or the cast/crew for the show’s success than themselves.

    And the use of the term fundamentalist is not unwarranted. The definition of the word fundamentalism from Merriam-Webster: “a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles.” If a fundamentalist is simply one that subscribes to fundamentalism, and we assume that the set of basic principles in question are the books, than book purists are indeed fundamentalists.

  115. Skipjack
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I think all the complaints are valid, people want their fondest hopes realized on the screen. However I think most people who most want fidelity to the books in translation to the screen don’t realize how much they are trying to Mary Sue the show into their own version. If you are a woman of color perhaps you really feel disappointed with the axing of Chataya and Alayaya, or if you are a homophobe perhaps you really object to Renly and Loras clearly being lovers. People will want the version of the story told which is closest to putting themselves in the story.

    There are changes which are better for more people than others, but I do think people should try to be as objective as they can be about what is best and consistent for the version of the show thus far presented. For instance just when I’d finally gotten used to the idea of Osha taking over both Jojen and Meera’s role, I see them being introduced and I wonder if it isn’t late in the game for that. As happy as I’ll be to see them, there are only 10 episodes 1 hour long per season, you know?

  116. NewJeffCT
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Baihu1983:
    The foreshadowing of the red wedding would be all too clear and spoilerific on tv

    I was going to post that same thing about the House of the Undying in the book vs on the TV. I read A Clash of Kings in 1998 when it came out. I then read A Storm of Swords in 2000, when it came out. So, the House of the Undying scenes were vague memories to me, so I was still stunned by The Red Wedding. Heck, I re-read all three books, and then finally read A Feast for Crows, in 2011 prior to A Dance with Dragons coming out and it still had a big impact on me, even though I knew it was coming.

    If they did a vision-by-vision copy of the House of the Undying on TV, it would be posted on the WiC tumblr and elsewhere online frame-by-frame and everybody would be able to guess what each scene was about after an in-depth analysis of it. “Oh, I can tell by the length of this person’s torso that it’s person X, while I can tell by the arms on this one that it’s Person Y…” (Not only that, it would be enormously expensive, I’d imagine.)

  117. Onion Knight
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Skipjack,

    Strongly agree!

    When you read a book, there is a lot more room for personalizing the story, characters, locations, etc. to your liking. You create your own ideal version of things in your mind based on your own personality, and unlike a television series, your imagination has no budget. Which is why people who have read the books for years and years have a hard time accepting the show. It will never be able to meet their perfect, idealized version of Martin’s world.

    The same thing happened to me as a kid. When the first Harry Potter movie came out, I was really disappointed with it, and I am not sure in retrospect if anything would have been able to match what I had pictured when I read the books. Luckily, I did not discover ASOIAF until after seeing GOT S1, so I feel I am better able to appreciate both as separate entities.

  118. sunspear
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Good interview. Regarding a couple of the change complaints.

    Lommy: The guards were told to look for someone with a bull’s head helmet. If you watch the scene with the blacksmith, he doesn’t mention hair color or age.

    Jon and Qhorin: No one was confused by that scene. Book readers are underestimating the intelligence of viewers when they say that that scene was confusing.

    Robb and Talisa: Robb didn’t sleep with Talisa because he was just a horny teenager. He did it because he was sick of being the only honorable person. His best friend just stole his home and killed his mentor. His mother released his best hostage and undermined his authority. He even makes the comment to his mother that she no room to call him rash.

  119. bleh
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    sunspear,

    but why didn’t the guards have more to go on? why was their only information that he was carrying a certain item? an item he could very easily drop/get rid of/give to someone else. if you’re asking someone to be found, wouldn’t the first description you give them be a physical one? i get that the helmet is a unique thing to look for, and would help in finding someone, but why is that the ONLY thing they have to go on?

  120. Alhafra
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I think a lot of book purists rise their voices with really petty things, and that drowns the good complaints at the liberties taken with some storylines; for example, the Chain was important, yes, but the budget can only take so much and that won’t have any effect in the plot. On the other hand, I will never get over the fact that they created a new character to be Robb’s wife, turning the whole plot-twisty backstabbing story to dust. And that here Robb simply decided to say f*ck this and got married, foregoing all the “my brothers have been killed” angst/finding confort on Jeyne/now honor-bound to marry, which I would have liked a lot more than sassy!nurse. Sorry, that will always be a sore spot for me, more so considering future seasons.

  121. bleh
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Alhafra,

    Totally, the Jeyne storyline was much more interesting and unique, and tied into multiple motivations for Robb. Now it’s a very basic “this girl is attractive and doesn’t talk to me like i’m a King”. His affair with Talisa was of his own free will, at least more-so than in the books. He married Jeyne because he was honor-bound, he married Talisa because he loves her (in what, like the 2 weeks he knew her?). The thing is, we’ve seen this story told a million times before. The Jeyne story had much more going on.

    Maybe i’m reading way too much into things/I need a life. I definitely need a life…

  122. Ed
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Amen fellas!! Keep doin’ your thing. Those of you that don’t like it, go read your book and quit whining.

    B & W: “So for us, it’s about adapting the books according to our notions of justice—which won’t mesh with the fundamentalist book fans’ notions. Which is fine with us because if the fundamentalists were running the show, there wouldn’t be a show.”

  123. ATCZERO
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Atreyu:
    Let me see if I have this straight: someone calls the showrunners “egotistical assholes” and in their very next post admonishes them for resorting to “ugly name-calling”. And then they reach into their bag o’ flame to label another poster an “ignorant, irrelevant troll” for daring to suggest they sound like a fundamentalist. If that wasn’t delicious enough, they go on to complain about the lack of civility on the forum.

    I LOVE THE INTERNET!

    Well played.

    I found the interview to be entertaining even though it only lessened the wait time for season 3 by a measly 10 minutes. :’(

  124. flame
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Lord Varys,

    I agree with you. That Arya-Tywin storyline went on too long

  125. Onion Knight
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    bleh,

    Not sure I agree that the Jeyne Westerling storyline is any more interesting. I think Jeyne is far less memorable than Talisa. I cannot remember a single thing about Jeyne besides that her family is from the Westerlands and Jaime described her as being pretty, but not pretty enough to lose a kingdom over. That’s it. Really, her character was just there to drive the plot, and Talisa does the same thing.

    I do agree it changes Robb’s motivations, and I could see how people prefer the meaning of the old way better (doing it for honor instead of love makes him more like his father and all that). Overall though, it has an almost negligible effect on the main plot, so I’ll never really get what the Talisa uproar is about.

  126. GeekFurious
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Here is how I approach most projects where I have read and loved the books.

    1) I don’t read the books again right before the show. THAT IS INSANITY. I did it once before THE TWO TOWERS and left that movie wanting to punch Peter Jackson. But that’s when I developed my other approach.

    2) Consider the books as historical documents (easy to do with Tolkien since that is how he approached the writing of the books) and the show as based on another set of historical documents that sometimes differ from the books since they are based on different perspectives on history. The show is not an adaptation of the book but instead a telling of history from a sometimes different point of view.

    3) Expect big changes from the books. When they are only minor, it doesn’t feel so terrible.

  127. dizzy
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Being a book and show fan you can’t help but make comparisons. However, I tend to think that the ‘fundamentalist’ comment might have been directed to one person in, particular who’s comments resonate through the hardcore fandom. I didn’t take it as ‘flipping the bird’ to the book fans. I mean come on, they are the foundation of the growing support the show has been getting.
    I don’t envy them because they do have to walk a fine line with this material.

  128. Juego de tronos
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    In general, i don’t like the changes that they introduce in the tv show, but i love Game of Thrones.

  129. natehilk
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Changes are important to getting the show made. They couldn’t have afforded the chain, and Dany’s entire ACoKs storyline is a boring pile of shit. The HOTU scene couldn’t stay true to the books because showing visions would have given a few things away to nonreaders.

    I’ve actually heard people complain about Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey not dying their eyebrows. I want to slap all those people. Just enjoy the show for what it is, they haven’t changed anything major so far and all the characters are where they should be heading into ASoS.

    I’ll also be the first to say that Arya’s conversations with Lord Tywin make for better TV than anything she did in the book (which was alot of nothing). This is because the more screen time Charles Dance gets the better. I hope they write in about ten new scenes for him in Season 3.

  130. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    SeanB: Well that particular scene should be coming up near the end of Arya’s story this season or next, and I think they will probably substitute Polliver as the man she kills instead of the Tickler.She will probably kill him and take Needle from him.Unfortunately the Tickler was a more memorable character on the TV show than Polliver so people will be less likely to remember him when/if he reappears in the show.

    I think they’ll use a similar motif, however. Instead of the “WHERE IS THE GOLD?” they’ll have her repeat the Lommy Greenhands death. He’ll ask for help, and she’ll lean forward, and stick Needle through his neck.

  131. bleh
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Onion Knight,

    Yeah I can see your point regarding the actual characters, but it remains to be seen how it’ll affect the plot in the long term. Will she die in the RW? There’s no reason for her to be there, so I would hope not. But then are we going to be getting Talisa scenes in the seasons to come? They’ve developed her as this strong willed independent woman, so we’ll see.

    It feels like wasted time developing the Talisa character if she’s just a plot device, I think they could have used the time more wisely. Instead of Talisa’s backstory, how about more backstory about oh I dunno, Daenarys and her family? They’ve mentioned Rhaegar twice by name in passing (maybe 3 times), and not once in Season 2. Or they could have gone the same route using Jeyne, used her limited backstory (she’s semi pretty, and a Westerling) and use the rest to develop Robb and his feelings, i.e. possibly fathering a bastard/honor to Jon/Ned/Jeyne herself/feelings of sadness about Bran & Rickon and heat of the moment.

    One of the best scenes in ASOS was when Robb didn’t verbally berate Catelyn, because he made a mistake himself. I really liked that. Robb knew he made a mistake, but he couldn’t go back on it now. There was an understanding from Robb and Catelyn that they both acted out of desperation and sadness, it was an interesting and unexpected moment. In the show he’s just doing what we wants.

    These are just my thoughts, I understand that people have different opinions, but to me the TV show choice was much less effective. And that’s my overall point, I don’t mind changes, not in the least, but when it’s vastly inferior to the book versions, it pains me. Especially when it’s done without an obvious reason due to budget/time constraints. And it seems like D&D hold their changes and alterations in such high regard, when in fact, let’s be honest, they really aren’t even close (talking about character development, plot inconsistencies, motivations, pacing, exposition, etc. etc.)

  132. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Anguissette1979:
    I am a huge book fan but definitely not a purist. I am thoroughly enjoying the show for what it is and, in fact, am looking forward to seasons 5 and beyond to see how they trim the fat and tighten up the story the way a good editor should have done to books 4 & 5.

    There’s certainly a lot that will be cut for a TV show that operates very differently from a book. I’m very happy that George didn’t have an editor that cut down on it for the books though. All of it tells you something and I’m already sick and tired of today’s entertainment being so catered to people with low attention spans. AFFC and ADWD stands out as made for those that want something deeper and aren’t unwilling to slow down the pace to get it.

  133. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    A few thoughts:

    –The primary way in moving plot and deepening character in TV and movies, as opposed to books, are through conversation. So the multiple chats between Tywin and Arya stand out to me as a brilliant addition given the importance of these two characters and the lack of a need for the likes of Weese and what not. It makes sense Tywin would speak to this girl when he’s surrounded by followers and idiots; he makes sense he’d discuss Jaime’s upbringing with her and not Kevan and anyone else he knows well and has a lack of respect for or finds tedious. It adds a strong level of tension, and yet still underlines the peril Arya has fallen into.

    –To me the reasons for Robb marrying Jeyne are just as cliche as any reduction of his attraction to Talisa as “hey, I’d like to hit that,” which is really and truly demeaning. There’s a real question here of how Robb, by choosing this path as “King of the North,” is not a man who can afford to do for himself solely anymore; he is not his own person. He’s a leader of thousands who are seeking to break free from the worst king the continent has dealt with in 2 decades. And so the impulsiveness – the moment of acting against his honor – comes through clearly to me and makes sense, to feel something other than duty and pride in the kill. In a sense he deserves this happiness, however fleeting. But how will that turn out for him? His father stayed bound to his honor almost unswervingly, and got himself beheaded for it. So we can see why he dares to do such a thing, although he will pay for it.

    –The shows have done a very strong job of broadening out and strengthening characters, making them more fully fleshed-out and in some cases sympathetic (some would argue TOO sympathetic). I include Tywin, the Hound, Stannis and Cersei in this group. (Joff is still awful.) This often comes at the expense of the interesting tertiary characters, but that’s part of what happens. Mostly, they’re doing a great job of keeping so many balls in the air.

    –If there’s one disappointment I had in Season 2 (which occasionally did feel rushed, though overall I think they did a great job again), it was with Qhorin Halfhand. We needed one more scene, one more moment of him sitting, alone with Jon, asking him if he would do what it takes; perhaps them saying the vows again, too. And that’s one of the few things I thought was missed, and given the strength of TV in building character through conversation, that was one of the few truly missed moments. Otherwise, adapting this gigantic sprawling epic to the screen is not going to be easy, and they’re doing a hell of a job.

  134. ACVG
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure theyre saying that b/c they already have HUGE changes planned for the future, im just a fan who thinks about these things in my spare time, this is their job they prob have most of their ideas planned out.
    the “feast” storylines are going to changed quite a bit, we may not even ever meet quentyn since a lot of book readers thought his storyline was pointless anyway (not me)
    there are waaaay too many little characters popping up in kings landing in feast that they may want to merge or eliminate altogether.
    I think their response comes from this foresight they have on the direction the show will take once the world of asoiaf really explodes, they wont be able to keep characters they can only show for 10min every four episodes.
    I really want to see Dorne!!!

  135. dizzy
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    Agree on the Halfhand thing. That was my one big problem with season 2. They could have cut some the Jon/Ygritte banter (because there’s going to be plenty of time to set up their relationship) to include one more ‘you do not baulk, whatever they ask you to do’ line/scene.

  136. QueenofThorns
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    natehilk: Dany’s entire ACoKs storyline is a boring pile of shit.

    Look, you’re entitled to your opinion on Dany’s ACOK storyline (can’t say I agree with you, though I do agree it wouldn’t have made very interesting TV) but to stay stuff like this but then lambast others for critiquing the show’s decisions is ridiculous. GRRM isn’t God but neither are D&D.

  137. bleh
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    I liked the parallels drawn from Robb acting out of honor much like Ned, and then suffering the consequences. It gave his character more depth and made a deeper connection to his family and his upbringing. Not that it was ever explicitly stated in the books, but it would have been a nice motivation for Robb to marry Jeyne because he didn’t want to father a bastard, because he’s seen how difficult Jon’s life was. Jon never once mentioned Robb in Season 2, and neither did Robb mention Jon. It would have been a nice reminder that they grew up as brothers, and had strong family bonds.

    Question: Will we see Robb write the letter to Jon naming him heir to Winterfell if he dies? Whatever happened to that? Feels like that whole plot went out the window in the books, but I loved that scene nonetheless.

  138. Darquemode
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Tywin’s Bastard,

    Agreed.
    To me the last 2 books have aded a lot of nuance and subtle layerng, context, to past events and also set the table for futue events. I will admit that they may not be as action-filled or advance some arcs very much, but they are as enjoyable to read as the earlier books for me personally.

    Yes, to some people the last 2 books meander too much. Call it poor planning or GRRM working out his Meereenese knot, but to me it is a happy accident since the books contain a lot of character development that may not have happened in a more linear editor-honed book.

    For me personally GRRM’s storytelling is not necessarily perfect at imes, but his world-building is second-to-none. I love the attention to detail (perhaps obsession to detail) of the books as much or more than the story.

  139. Nick_Scryer
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    lol Emilia Clarke causing a frenzy on Broadway by getting naked again
    http://hollywoodlife.com/2013/03/07/emilia-clarke-nude-broadway-game-of-thrones/

  140. Scott Glennon
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I long ago resolved myself to the idea of changes or cuts. I think we all knew this was going to happen one way or another. I remember stomping my internet feet over Weasel Soup. I expect to do so in future, because I love all things ASOIAF. I know people who throw things at the screen whenever Joffrey is on. This is how it goes. You love it, you hate it, you laugh, cry, and cheer for your favorite characters. The emotional ramping up is part of the experience. While I reserve the right to remain critical, I am truly thankful that many more people get to experience this great story because of the show. Thank you Dan & Dave, for all the good work you have been doing.

  141. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    I completely agree. When the storytelling halts up a bit we’re instead treated to an in-depth view of the world and fantastic character development, which for me easily weighs that up. I do have a feeling that some might view AFFC and ADWD as better books in hindsight when future books bring the payoff to everything we’ve seen (and perhaps will see for the first time when future events make the old hints obvious).

    All the character setups, all the prophecies and so on will make the payoff so much more special in my eyes, given that George keeps his quality of writing at the same level of course.

    This is of course much on the level that will be very hard to portray on the TV show.

  142. Independent George
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Wow, unsurprisingly, this post generated a lot of comments.

    Anyway, I want to say that my problems with some of the changes aren’t because they deviated from the books, but because they didn’t make sense in the context of the show. I can live with alternate interpretations of characters, or even changing events to make them more cinematic on screen. For example:

    1. In the DVD commentaries on S2E7 (“A Man Without Honor”), D & D quip during Jaime’s escape that they wouldn’t get very far on television without stupid guards. While I can appreciate the self-deprecation, it does bother me that they were so willing to rely on the stupid guard trope to break Jaime out.

    2. When Jon kills Qhorin, he does so after it’s already established that the Wildlings meant to interrogate them both for intel on the Night’s Watch. So basically, the Wildlings had decided they were going to let one or both of their high-value prisoners/hostages kill each other for… what exactly? Did they just forget why they took them prisoner in the first place?

    In both cases, it’s not the fact that it changed that matters; it’s the fact that it was changed into something that makes no sense on screen, independent of the source material. Whether I agree or disagree with the changes, forcing a character into holding the idiot ball is bad writing.

  143. DawnRooster
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Matt S,

    Matt S:
    The hardcore book fans are the only aspect of this website’s comment section and indeed the entire fandom that just irritates me to no end. I’ve read the books and they are good I admit but the show being different from the books isn’t harming the content of the books. If people seriously can’t separate the two and belligerently insist on everything being the same then maybe they should stop watching the show because there’s plenty of people who think the show is better than the books.

    If Strong Belwas is missing then consider content harmed.

  144. Zack
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious: 2) Consider the books as historical documents (easy to do with Tolkien since that is how he approached the writing of the books) and the show as based on another set of historical documents that sometimes differ from the books since they are based on different perspectives on history. The show is not an adaptation of the book but instead a telling of history from a sometimes different point of view.

    This might be the single most valuable key to the entire dilemma. It’s a perspective that makes a lot of sense and I am going to try to look at everything through this lens in the future.

  145. David Jones
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    Absolutely we have to remember as well that in the books Martin often fleshes out his characters some time after their introductions due to the POV structure.

    Tywin, Jaime, the Hound and to a lesser extent Cersei are all presented as fairly black villains when we first see them. As the chapters and books role by we learn more about their history and motivations and they become more grey characters. Jaime comes across as pure evil until book 3. Tywin is only humanised by characters looking back on his life in the later books because up until then we only see him through the eyes of those who hate him. Cersei remains something of a bitch throughout, but her POV goes some way to explaining why this is.

    For the show to reflect this level of subtle characterisation it needs to take more time to develop the characters. This is why we get scenes like Tywin discussing Jaime’s dyslexia; to show that in many ways he can be excellent father and isn’t just a callous bastard with no regard for his kids.

  146. StraightBlackMan
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    It’s fine for them to alter the letter of the story, so far as they adhere to the spirit of it. That’s why I can easily roll with a whole bunch of changes they’ve made, but others just stick out like sore thumbs to me – and in S2 for example, the latter parts of Jon’s and Rob’s stories just don’t fit. It’s one thing that the characters act in a nonsensical way due to the changes, but the end result simply doesn’t fit.

    I can, to a certain extent, understand why they did what they did (except for Talisa, that’s just bad overall), but I was hoping for a shred of acknowledgement that some things didn’t end up working that well in S2. Or did we get that, and I’m just behind the times?

  147. obsidian
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I find it quite annoying that no one can voice a rational criticism of something , anything ,on the show without an immediate over reaction from the “show purists “, for whom every character deviation , every show-invented detail , right down to the slurping noises during sex scenes :D is gold , and the best artistic choice that could possibly have been made.

    This is every bit as ridiculous as the complaints about eye colour ,or about Quartheen fashion , or ..I don’t know..which hand a character picked his nose with. ( No , no , that’s my invention)

    There is a middle ground, and rational opinions pro and con to be found here, but we often have to wade through a lot of BS on both sides to find them.

  148. KG
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Luana,

    Now see, I don’t think of you at all. (Shrug) It’s nice that you care, though.

  149. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    obsidian,

    Most of the criticism of the show that I see around these parts is usually strictly concerned with the fact that there is some difference inherit between said scene and the source material. That’s not to say that all of the criticism is focused on that, but for the most part, none of the good criticism is.

    Any show or film is always going to pale in comparison to your imagination. So for me, that doesn’t come across as a particularly valid criticism. Perhaps it would help if these complaints could be quantified through discussion of why they don’t work in the television show on their own merits, or even in relation to other high-quality TV series.

    I mean, people seriously say things about the book being better than the show as if it’s some kind of revelatory statement they’re making. No shit! That’s the case 99.9% of the time. Not because the adaptation isn’t quality in and of itself, but because people will almost always prefer their vision of things to those of another, especially when it’s something they are passionate about.

  150. Lex
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Overall, I still think they’re doing a good job. I’ve read the books 3 times, but I’m not a purist.

    I’m okay with most of the changes, such as: Dany’s dragons being stolen, Jaime killing Alton, no chain (it sucks, but I can live with it), not enough direwolves (again it sucks, but I understand the limitations of budget/time).

    Changes I DID NOT like:
    -Jon and Qhorin (not nearly enough time spent on them. Biggest misstep of the season)
    -Talisa (clunky, unrealistic, illogical, dumb, and worst of all, BORING).
    -No weasel soup or other killings for Arya

    So yeah, D&D are definitely not perfect, and I do hope they can take into account some constructive criticism, and distinguish between good feedback and fundamentalist/purist complaints.

  151. Ed
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Well, D & W just aren’t as smart as you. Sigh…

    bleh: These are just my thoughts, I understand that people have different opinions, but to me the TV show choice was much less effective.

  152. Skipjack
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    obsidian,

    There are no such people as show purists. There are no people claiming that the show is better than the book in every particular respect, there are no people claiming every change is gold as you put it, there are no such people. There is no middle ground to be found in your false equivalency. If there really are such people, all you have to do to prove it is show one.

    You just have to deal with the fact that the people who get their back up are the ones who are complaining about how the show deviates from the book. You may just find yourself on the minority side of an opinion, it happens, but there is no excuse for pretending that you occupy a middle ground by misrepresenting the people with whom you disagree.

  153. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    To play Devil’s Advocate here, I’d like to address those three complaints:

    1. I agree that not enough time was spent with Jon and Qhorin, however just because he’s a favorite minor character of many people, doesn’t mean D&D made the wrong choice in enhancing the role of Ygritte and minimizing the role of Qhorin. The major beats remain the same: Jon goes ranging with Qhorin, they’re both capture, and Jon kills Qhorin to build trust among the Wildlings. I think what we’ll see is that a lot of the mentoring that Qhorin provided to Jon in the books is going to be transposed to Mance Rayder, which isn’t a bad choice from the perspective of adapting this series as a whole. The increased focus on Ygritte in season two also allows the audience to build more of an emotional connection with her, which is more important than fleshing out a character who is ultimately not going to be around very long anyway. I understand the disappointment, but I agree with the changes, nonetheless. If each season were twelve episodes long, I’d imagine we would have gotten a more faithful representation, but with only five hours of shooting time a day in Iceland, and spending only a few weeks there for the entirety of the shoot North of the Wall, there is a lot more at play here than D&D simply misunderstanding their relationship or the story as Martin presented it.

    2. Take everything criticism you placed against Talisa, and it can just as easily be attributed to Jeyne. It’s illogical, it’s stupid, it’s clunky, and most of all, it’s boring! We agree here, again, except I see Talisa as a slight (but definite) improvement over Jeyne Westerling. Robb’s decision to marry Jeyne makes even less sense than Robb’s choice to marry Talisa (and please, anyone who was thinking about doing so; spare me the ‘honor’ spiel, because that is full of more holes than the fact that Talisa is following Robb’s camp as a field nurse).

    3. I think it’s a bit too early for Arya to go around murdering people. Character development in books and visual mediums have to occur in distinctly different ways by their very nature, so it makes sense that D&D are slowing down Arya’s descent. It will be more powerful when we see Arya commit her first act of intentional murder in season four after we’ve seen her continued struggles and frustration with the Brotherhood Without Banner’s and the Hound. Following the R.W., it will feel more organic and natural for Arya to really lose control on Polliver at the inn, rather than to see her murder a few nameless soldiers to escape Harrenhal. That transition in season four will then lead naturally into her decision to travel to Braavos. D&D have a long-term plan here, and for me, some of these decisions/alterations/omissions seem pretty obvious for the sake of the narrative. Nothing was lost by not having Arya kill a few Lannister guards, in my opinion. We know that she’ll end up in approximately the same place that she was in in the novels, with or without weasel soup.

  154. The_Rabbit
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    If we are starting again to tell our complaints about the S2, here are my 2 cents:

    - Jon and Qhorin (and the overall beyond the wall arc)
    -Talisa – but not her existance as such (omitting Robb s arc from the show as it was in the books would not work on screen – I am absolutely sure on that one), but rather out-of-ASOIAF type of character – a feminist nurse from Volantis in the middle of the Riverlands. I say: NO way. So, a bit different Talisa would work for me. Jeyne and the whole Westerling plot was most likely out of the question due to the budget reasons.

    The rest of the changes: Dany & Quarth, killing off Irri (although I was bit of sad on that one because I really liked Amrita s performance), older Margery, etc…did not bother me at all.

  155. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    David Jones:
    GreatJon of Slumber,

    Absolutely we have to remember as well that in the books Martin often fleshes out his characters some time after their introductions due to the POV structure.

    Tywin, Jaime, the Hound and to a lesser extent Cersei are all presented as fairly black villains when we first see them. As the chapters and books role by we learn more about their history and motivations and they become more grey characters. Jaime comes across as pure evil until book 3. Tywin is only humanised by characters looking back on his life in the later books because up until then we only see him through the eyes of those who hate him. Cersei remains something of a bitch throughout, but her POV goes some way to explaining why this is.

    For the show to reflect this level of subtle characterisation it needs to take more time to develop the characters. This is why we get scenes like Tywin discussing Jaime’s dyslexia; to show that in many ways he can be excellent father and isn’t just a callous bastard with no regard for his kids.

    Very good points, for sure. Jaime’s transformation comes across very well in Book 3 when you start to develop sympathy. But I feel the writers have done a nice job with that to this point as well, even if you only point to his lines to Cat and Brienne about loyalty to the crown that conflicts with serving a mad king. You’d have to agree that Cersei is being presented much more sympathetically at this point in the story in the TV version vs the books, and at this point the trajectory she’s on would still seem to present a bit more sympathetic figure than Cersei of the books.

  156. DawnRooster
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    StraightBlackMan,

    StraightBlackMan:

    I can, to a certain extent, understand why they did what they did (except for Talisa, that’s just bad overall), but I was hoping for a shred of acknowledgement that some things didn’t end up working that well in S2. Or did we get that, and I’m just behind the times?

    I don’t see how you can understand Qhorin’s death scene. Everyone who has watched only the show I have had to explain that Jon snow is not an asshole but in fact on an undercover mission. It just doesn’t come across in the show and it really makes out Jon to be craven. There are subtle hints but you only recognize them if you read the books.

    The Talisa shit well that just undermines Tywin’s strategic brilliance.
    in the books its subtley hinted that Spicer and the Westerlings are working with Tywin, Jeyne has been drinking moon Tea and Grey Wind hates them all which is the greatest implication that they are in fact working for Tywin

    The Talisa shit is resolvable since it is only subtley hinted in the books but the Qhorin death, that was botched, horribly.
    When Jon gets back to castle black he will still probably be all like ” it was my final mission given by the halfhand and so on” but the show only watchers will be all like “i doesn’t remeber misson”

    As for Dany (season 2), well I liked her POVs better in the show than the books. House of Undying would have been too difficult for tv adaptation and they did a decent job.

  157. That Chubby Kid
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Hey…I read all the books. I enjoyed every little bit. I even appreciated the seemingly overindulgent character wandering, travel, and activities of daily living. Lest ye forget, Our Heavenly Father George (OHFG) began writing this stuff having been frustrated with trying to translate big ideas to the screen. The desire to tell a sprawling story that could never be completely transubstantiated in another format is his sacred essence.

    If a director faithfully adhered to every aspect of OHFG’s stories, you would end up with the fantasy equivalent of Warhol’s “Man Sleeping on a Train”.

    Thank OHFG for the cuts that D+D have made.

    May the book purists always have something to whine about…

  158. obsidian
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Skipjack,

    Nonsense. I’m not going to be baited into calling out people individually . But for every book purist , there’s a show apologist , then..( But you may not like that term any better )

    My personal feelings are much in line with Lex’s ,above. I’m a fan of both the books and the show and have things I like and dislike about both.. Obviously , since I’m still reading and still watching ( both with a high degree of anticipation)the pros outweigh the cons. I wouldn’t waste my time to watch or read something just give myself fodder to shred it.

  159. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga:
    Lex,

    To play Devil’s Advocate here, I’d like to address those three complaints:

    1. I agree that not enough time was spent with Jon and Qhorin, however just because he’s a favorite minor character of many people, doesn’t mean D&D made the wrong choice in enhancing the role of Ygritte and minimizing the role of Qhorin. The major beats remain the same: Jon goes ranging with Qhorin, they’re both capture, and Jon kills Qhorin to build trust among the Wildlings.

    True this, mostly. For me, one scene would have done the trick. And separately agreed on Arya, in terms of her descent.

  160. Drewr15
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I agree with them. I can quibble about a few of the changes they made (Rob’s affair in the book fell more in line with his personality being like Ned whereas in the show he just acted like a kid who shirked his responsibility is the biggest character miss in my opinion) but those changes would never make me stop watching as long as they keep doing it well for the most part.

  161. Drewr15
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    I agree with 1 and 3 but not 2. It was all about honor with Rob. In the books he was hurt and just found out about his brothers dying. As Jeyne nursed him back to life in a weak moment he had sex with her and then felt obligated to marry her. In the show – if they had it happen after he found out about his brother’s, it would have flowed fine. Out of weakness and anguish he gave in to his desires instead of his honoring his obligations. In the show he just decided not to honor his obligations. It is a big miss about the character in my opinion but not anything that would make me stop watching or hated it. Honestly if you never read the books he would just seem like an impulsive kid which is fine but in the books it was a little more.

  162. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Drewr15:
    Khal-A-Bunga,

    I agree with 1 and 3 but not 2. It was all about honor with Rob. In the books he was hurt and just found out about his brothers dying. As Jeyne nursed him back to life in a weak moment he had sex with her and then felt obligated to marry her. In the show – if they had it happen after he found out about his brother’s, it would have flowed fine. Out of weakness and anguish he gave in to his desires instead of his honoring his obligations. In the show he just decided not to honor his obligations. It is a big miss about the character in my opinion but not anything that would make me stop watching or hated it. Honestly if you never read the books he would just seem like an impulsive kid which is fine but in the books it was a little more.

    To me, yes, this changes the motivation of the character but not in a detrimental way. It provides a strong, intelligent counterpoint to Danys’ decisions in the House of the Undying — Robb gives in to desire when he should not, and you feel the anguish in his words when he says “I don’t want to marry the Frey girl.” It’s a terrible mistake, of course – and a brilliant counterpoint comes at the end of the season, when Danys has the chance to stay (even if only in a fantasy-type sense) with her beloved, dead Khal Drogo and the son that never was. And she rejects that for this other calling. So put in that way, there is something thematic to it. From the perspective of just Robb’s story it does change things. But still, I think it works for the reasons I’ve just said.

  163. That Chubby Kid
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    …AND WHERE IS THE EEL PIE!!!

    The books were loaded with eel pie. The lack of eel pie is a serious shortcoming. It shows D+D’s total lack of respect for the source material. You know what? The lack of eel pie just really makes me hate this show. I am seriously regretting buying all the GOT dvd’s, watching them repeatedly, dissecting all the hidden messages, listing all the plot holes in my diary, watching all the commentary and bonus material, and….posting about it on the website.

    WHERE IS THE EEL PIE?…I WANT MY EEL PIE!!!

  164. WildSeed
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    That Chubby Kid,

    In season two, Cersei invited Tyrion to dinner where they dined on Lamprey Pie.
    This was just before Cersei demonstrated that Tyrion’s ” love interest ” had been
    tortured, it turned out to be Roz. Happy now ? *>*

  165. Turri
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    D&D have a long-term plan here, and for me, some of these decisions/alterations/omissions seem pretty obvious for the sake of the narrative.

    Exactly. Some of the changes are still to pay off and it’s too early to say whether they work. It’s probably not a good idea to criticise the Robb/Cat/Talisa story until we’ve seen how it ends.

    Also, I don’t really get all the concerns about Qhorin (or Belwas), small roles will be even smaller in the show, naturally (the books simply have too many characters for TV). Making Jon-Ygritte the center of his storyline is the obvious choice and should pay off in this season as well.

    D&D are clearly aiming for maximum emotional impact in breaking the genre conventions as hard as they can, I’m confident this season will create attention on unprecedented level.

  166. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Drewr15,

    Okay, so in the books, Robb has sex with Jeyne after finding out that Bran and Rockon have been “killed”, and decides to marry her because it is the “honorable” thing to do… There’s so much wrong with that, I don’t know where to begin.

    For one thing, it’d simply be creepy to show Robb and Jeyne/Talisa having sex after hearing such awful news. Does no one else find this justification off-base and just plain weird? Sure, people react to tragedy differently, but please raise your hand if the death of a loved one has ever made you feel like you just had to get it on… No one? That’s what I thought.

    Also, the fact that Bran and Rickon aren’t revealed to be “dead” yet will almost surely have implications for the story line involving Theon and Ramsay, which is also why Theon’s fate (including who sacked Winterfell) was left open-ended.

    Beyond that nitpick, we’ve got the main issue, which is the idea that marrying Jenyne because he had sex with her is an “honorable” action, despite the fact that Robb simultaneously breaks his vow to Walder Frey in the process of doing so. It was selfless of Robb to agree to those terms, but it isn’t selfless of him to forsake them – it is selfish. Since Robb was never given a P.O.V. in the books, the only plausible explanation here is that Robb and Jeyne were also in love with one another. Otherwise, why marry her right then? Why not wait until after the conflict had ceased? And that being the case (plausibly), there isn’t much difference between the two scenarios (the show and the book, for those who aren’t following). How does betraying his oath to a prominent family of Westeros make Robb an honorable individual, in either case?

    I think it was made quite clear in the show that Robb wasn’t marrying Talisa out of spite for his mother releasing Jaime, or because of the dissent among his banner men, or because his father had been killed and his two sisters were now captives, or even because someone he considered a brother had betrayed him and taken Winterfell – it was because he loved her, and felt that he should be free to follow his heart as everyone else around him was doing. Why use the “deaths” of Bran and Rickon to reinforce what most of the audience can already see clearly? It is naïve, certainly, to think that there would be no repercussions on Robb’s part, but that same complaint can be filed against the character in the books.

    Admittedly, Robb is much younger in the books, but he comes across as every bit as intelligent and mature, so I’m not sure I buy that as a more solid reasoning for why what happened in the books is any better than how it was portrayed on the show. Sure, Talisa comes across as a bit anachronistic, but that’s preferable to Jeyne being as interesting as a plank of wood in the books. “But why not give Jeyne the personality of Talisa and keep everything else the same” you say…? Why bother? Making Talisa a Westerling complicates the matter unnecessarily, when things are already complicated enough from the perspective of a non-reader.

  167. That Chubby Kid
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    This only further demonstrates the yawning chasm of ignorance related to the deeper meanings conveyed by Westerosi cuisine in the books. Not to mention the total lack of concern displayed by everyone involved with the making of HBO’s Game of Thrones ( season 3 premiere 3/31/13) in regards to the actual frequency of EEL PIE consumption in the books.

    REAL FANS understand:

    “George R.R. Martin must really love food, because he spends what some might consider an inordinate amount of time describing in great detail the dishes served in A Song of Ice and Fire. All I need to say is “LAMPREY PIES” in the presence of another fan to make myself known as one of the faithful.”

    I call upon all those truly faithful to the Seven-Pointed Star, all of those true Warrior’s Sons. Rise up and demand MORE EEL PIE!!! Do not let the infidels belittle our faith or our diet.

  168. bleh
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    Why doesn’t Robb wait to marry Talisa?

  169. Lord Selwyn
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Agree with your comments about Robb’s ‘honor’ and some of his actions in the book.

    Khal-A-Bunga:
    Drewr15,
    Making Talisa a Westerling complicates the matter unnecessarily, when things are already complicated enough from the perspective of a non-reader.

    Changing Jeyne to Talisa made far more sense for TV viewers than Robb just arriving back at his army camp and introducing his new wife. Stuff that may work in the books doesn’t always translate well to screen, as GRRM understands. Talisa means that the writers can drop the whole minor sub-plot concerning the Westerling family, who were sworn to the Lannisters, including the idea that Lady Westerling has been acting as some sort of agent of Tywin .

    My main problem with Talisa was not just that she was an anachronism, but accepting that this attractive lone woman could have survived for so long in the middle of a large rough army without getting attacked/raped. When we know from the books that even the warrior Brienne was always afraid of this, and had trained herself to sleep very lightly in case she was attacked.

  170. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    bleh,

    Because, as I said, he’s feeling as if his life is slipping away from him. Not in the sense that he’s terminally ill and dying, but in regards to the control he can wield over any particular situation. He’s a long way from the camp where his banner men cried out for him to assume the title of King in the North, and a lot has happened to change his views on life itself. Robb doesn’t wait to marry Talisa because he’s in love with her, and is acting on a decision he alone made, just like he’s to assume Theon did when he betrayed him, his mother did when she released Jaime, Joffrey did when he had his father executed, etc. Marrying Talisa isn’t an act of defiance against anyone, but a means to assert himself – he loves her, so he’ll marry her. Naïve, yes (as I already said), but that’s a complaint that can be leveled against… Well, anyone, at one time or another.

    Why did he marry Jeyne when he did? Obviously the two must have deeply cared about one another, otherwise the act makes no sense. And if that’s the case, then the two scenarios aren’t as different as many like to think they are.

  171. Isabelle
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Luana: Hard to read that interview and not develop some degree of dislike for D&D. They come off as egotistical asswipes. Hopefully that’s the fault of the interviewer, and not a true reflection of what D&D are really like.

    I think it’s called dry wit. I find their interviews–both on screen and printed–hilarious…and very, very honest, which is to be appreciated. They could stick to the normal drivel directors, writers and producers spout, but thankfully, they don’t.

  172. Kiftyn
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    As a fan of the novels, I can say with certainty that the producers have done a marvelous job in the adaptation. And honestly, if they make A Feast For Crows even remotely watchable I will find them and kiss them on the lips.

  173. Al Swearengen
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Here we go again bashing the people who are the reason the series is even on tv, if it wasn’t for all the fans who bought these books we wouldn’t even have the show.

    Book fans are allowed to complain considering some of the liberties D & D have taken that aren’t due to financial restraints or time issues, like Ros and making Stannis sexually involved with Melisandre. I like the fact we have passionate fans out there because it makes it difficult for D & D or HBO to stray too far from the material.

  174. Al Swearengen
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I am still baffled at the decision to make Jaqen H’gar kill The Tickler in season 2 instead of Arya in s3/s4, that scene from A Storm Of Swords was a joy to read. My hope is that they’ll unleash Arya on Poliver instead.

  175. Baramos
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    ROS IS A VERY IMPORTANT CHARACTER

  176. Al Swearengen
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Baramos,

    I know she’s going to be a vital part of Varys game. I can see it now when they shoot the epilouge of ADWD they’ll get Ros to shoot Ser Kevan Lannister with a crossbow instead but to make it more dramatic she’ll be nude.

  177. Delta1212
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen:
    Here we go again bashing the people who are the reason the series is even on tv, if it wasn’t for all the fans who bought these books we wouldn’t even have the show.

    I read the first sentence and thought this post was going in one direction, then read the second sentence and realized it was going in the completely opposite direction.

  178. Jen@House Stark
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Don’t like what they have done with Asha Greyjoy and Jayne Westerling, but, other than that, they are spot in IMO. Love the books, love the HBO series.

  179. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen: Book fans are allowed to complain considering some of the liberties D & D have taken that aren’t due to financial restraints or time issues, like Ros and

    making Stannis sexually involved with Melisandre

    .

    While they didn’t show it, this was heavily implied in the books. And I don’t doubt that they got confirmation from GRRM before showing it.

    And Ros is basically a vehicle for exposition and substitute for Alayaya (and Dontos?). Certain changes and additions definitely bug me, but she doesn’t. The people who constantly bitch about her bug me more.

  180. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Isabelle: I think it’s called dry wit. I find their interviews–both on screen and printed–hilarious…and very, very honest, which is to be appreciated. They could stick to the normal drivel directors, writers and producers spout, but thankfully, they don’t.

    Well said, they actually seem like people I’d like hanging out with.

  181. Isabelle
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: For me it wasn’t Jeyne herself that I missed, but the fact that there was a Lannister bannerman family involved that ties to later events. And I hate what it did to Robb’s motivations, made him look like just some dumbass in love instead of a person having to choose between two paths, each with its own sort of honor (even if in reality he was a dumbass in love, or at least lust).

    Even if the woman and her background was different, D&D remained faithful to the idea that Robb put the needs of himself over the needs of his men, which was GRRM’s main point–the kid acted like a fool and messed up, big time, placing his personal honour (read: vanity) before his cause/what was best for his people. I’ve a great fondness for Robb, but he was a rash 16-year-old and acted like one. His actions just resulted in consequences that were more severe than if, say, some random soldier broke off a marriage contract to pursue a different woman (not that random soldiers have marriage contracts). In the books, the personal honour was about marrying a girl he’d deflowered. In the show, it was about listening to his heart. Both were very unwise moves, though I don’t think anyone could have anticipated how the Freys would retaliate.

    But yeah, it was sad that that extra richness was lost with the use of a random Volantine lass, even if the larger point was made.

  182. Astonished
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    I only read the books once a long while ago. I have a fond memory of them, though I don’t remember most of it. I do remember I loved reading the books, and I remember the feeling of the books.

    W&D seem like nice guys, besides the point.

    The term in the GoT fandom ‘book purist’ is used by people who don’t ‘get’ the element–resulting in an experience perhaps best described by W&D as “compulsively addictive” that all dissenting book fans have expressed hasn’t been transferred to the show in one form or another. It’s not always about every damn detail being written in a script that makes ALL book fans cry out. It’s about something FUNDAMENTAL lost in the shuffle.

    I’ve watched the show but I wouldn’t say I love the show or even have much respect for the show. On the positive, the amount of good actors on the show is astonishing.

    I guess you can’t please everyone. I’m open to the show turning out to being more than just a pop show before the end.

  183. Isabelle
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Thanks! :-) They do seem like very real people.

  184. Spryte
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t been following everyone’s responses here, but does anyone get the impression that D&D are just.. tired? Especially after the response where they say they’re happy to read novels much less think about writing any. Kind of broke my heart, and makes me wonder for how much and how long they’ll be invested in this series.

  185. Astonished
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Spryte:
    I haven’t been following everyone’s responses here, but does anyone get the impression that D&D are just.. tired? Especially after the response where they say they’re happy to read novels much less think about writing any. Kind of broke my heart, and makes me wonder for how much and how long they’ll be invested in this series.

    Yes, it’s very sad when people with a demanding but awesome high paying job would rather do nothing but read books. Breaks my heart.

  186. Joshua Taylor
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    Dude Stannis was sexually involved with Melisandre. Just like Renly was involved with Loras. It’s all implied, like Frey Pie.

  187. Drewr15
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    Yeah we’ll just have to agree to disagree here. Saying it was just about getting it on after someone died is not accurate at all. He was a 16 year old boy in the book whose dad just died, which is why he went to war, to suddenly find out someone that he grew up with as a brother just betrayed him and stole his homeland and killed his two brothers. A kid who just had everything he fought for ripped out from under him and he was injured being healed by this pretty young girl so he had a moment of weakness. But then why not just get what he needed from her and move on like most other lords. Because he didn’t want to dishonor her. Your point about it being selfish of Robb is true but it’s made even more selfish on the show by not having the circumstances affecting his state of mind and making him weak. Either way he is choosing the girls honor over the Frey’s, the difference to me is the book makes it feel like while yes he did fall in love with Jeyne he acted more hasty because in his moment of weakness he did something he wouldn’t of in his right mind. I always felt the link between Robb and Ned where how trying to be to honorable to everybody led to the same result for both, Robb was to much like his father. I do think what they did in the show breaks that a bit. Ah well, to each their own.

  188. Drewr15
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Ha ha ha…frey pie is great.

  189. Drewr15
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    True it does provide counter point to Dany. I just felt that Robb being to much like his father was the point of the books and I think that is now missed. As I said, doesn’t ruin the show or anything for me but that was the one change that really stuck out at me.

  190. Astonished
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Al Swearengen,

    Dude Stannis was sexually involved with Melisandre. Just like Renly was involved with Loras. It’s all implied, like Frey Pie.

    Interesting. However, the problem with relying on implication as anything more than implication (ie., your example value of truth) from fiction is that it’s a bunch of lies. The truth lies in the explication, when the narration admits to the truth. Until the truth is admitted, it is only suggested, like the admission of mystery novel. In an external interpretation, the admitted implications can be used “with permission of the author”. Urgh…. With fiction, it’s best to read the works of a dead author, so that he can never again explicate his implications. Authors are not the narrators and no stamp of approval will change that besides in scholarly (superfluous) footnotes which you will never ever see in a SoIaF book even if you are frozen and come back in 9 years from now when people of the next generation will ask what HBO was and who the hell is GRRM. It is implied.. Please, it is explied. The fold is a black hole.

  191. Ioco73
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    All I can say on the matter on the books and the show is this. I have read all the books and have gone back and saw the first two seasons of the show. I did not feel the least bit let down by the show, nor do I feel that the series takes away from the books or diminishes them in anynway and vice versa. Actually having read the books gives me a better perspective and understanding of the why changes had to be made in the adaptation.

    I am sure that people have valid concerns and complaints, however too often they get drowned out by your garden variety trolls and assholes! If perfection meant not having the show…well I say fuck perfection! I for one will continue to enjoy both the series and the books and not really give a shit on anything else…

    PS I’d rather worry for the show to have a full run!

  192. Gurgi
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I was most annoyed at the changes in the character or Cersei. I hated the fake baby story in the very first episode. No Queen can hide a pregnacy and birth. The whole country would of heard of it. I am against humanizing Cersei at all. Even though Martins whole stchick is to make everything grey. Cersei was one character that was almost all dark. The should leave her this way. Every story needs a hard core villian. And she was doing fine at that role. Also the Cersei character is supposed to be volupuous. Much like the aging Maryilyn Monroe. Our Cersei is anything but curvy. Starved she has done. Curvy hotty……..she aint.

  193. mike
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    bleh,

    1) writting it wrong? how effing picky do you need to be? i didnt realize the miswording of something as pivotal and book altering as rodricks death would ruin the book 2) valid arguement 3) brienne being a killing maching is actually much more reasonable than the character displayed in the book. hmmmmm, lets see..entire life put down as a freak. brutally turned down by someone she was betrothed to because he considered her ugly. being used as part of bet between guys to see who could get her virginity first, playing with her emotions brutally. being told be a lord and commanding officer maybe she needs a good raping, it could teach her something. what exactly is more realistic? the idealistic knight we see in the books or someone with a little pent up rage against men? please4) you’re right on that count, but it really doesn’t hurt his character. with the non book readers i saw with it seemed to amp up his “bad assness”. and kinslaying? he’s a cousin he doesnt even know existed till five minutes prior. 5) cunt? i don’t see what you’re trying to argue, does the word offend you or something? whats the big deal that she said it? i mean….shes a pirate captain….whose around men almost constantly…..and acts like man……you don’t think she’d pick up any mannerisms? 6) if i recall my books correctly he’s leaving kingslanding pretty much permanently soon after being made lord of harrenhall. was it out of character? kinda. but it doesn’t really matter, its nitpicky

  194. KG
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Al Swearengen Astonished,

    “With Stannis away, her bed saw little use.”

    That’a a pretty explicit statement, taken DIRECTLY from a Melisandre PoV chapter. Do you think it’s possible that maybe you just missed the bus on this one?

  195. Tom O' Sevens
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Just saw the religions of Westeros feature in the season 2 blu ray where GRRM basically confirms that Azor Ashai and The Prince that was promised is the same prophecy. He states “Melissandre believes that Stannis is the Prince that was promised.” The debate of those being separate prophecies/people can be put to rest

  196. KG
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Gurgi:
    I was most annoyed at the changes in the character or Cersei.I hated the fake baby story in the very first episode.No Queen can hide a pregnacy and birth.The whole country would of heard of it. I am against humanizing Cersei at all.Even though Martins whole stchick is to make everything grey.Cersei was one character that was almost all dark.The should leave her this way.Every story needs a hard core villian.And she was doing fine at that role.Also the Cersei character is supposed to be volupuous.Much like the aging Maryilyn Monroe.Our Cersei is anything but curvy.Starved she has done.Curvy hotty……..she aint.

    It’s never stated that she’s voluptuous. Or particularly curvy. Quit projecting your fantasy onto GRRM’s page and then crying when the show doesn’t match up.

  197. Shan
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    MATTHEW:
    I tend to disagree with almost all book purist complaints (I love good TV as an art form and think bookworms and television don’t mix), but one change that absolutely kills me is the early death of the Tickler.

    His death in the books is perhaps my favorite moment in the entire series (my other favorites are the trial by combat between the Mountain and the Red Viper, anytime when the Hound cries, and the stunning and creepy soliloquy by Roose Bolton in Book 5).They could try to subsitute his death with that of some other guy, but it will not be the same!

    IS THERE GOLD IN THE FREAKING VILLAGE?

    I’m still holding out hope that they’ll play that scene out eventually with Polliver. They’ve been careful to mention his name on camera, shown numerous shots of him holding Needle, etc. and he’s connected closely enough to the torture scene that the line still fits, more or less.

  198. Luana
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    If “book purist” is a bad thing, and it seems to be accepted as such on this forum, then why are there 200+ posts pointing out and complaining about every change from the books? Does nobody else recognise the hypocrisy? It’s the old, “I’m not a book purist, but…” situation.

    It’s odd that most people here still seem unable to connect D&D’s apparent disparagement of book fans who complain about changes to disparagement of themselves. Seriously, people, you’re on an internet forum arguing about book changes. Label yourselves whatever you want, but you are the people that D&D are talking about, and if you’re not at least slightly uncomfortable about what D&D are quoted as saying in this interview, then you need to work on self-awareness.

  199. Lord Selwyn
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Gurgi:
    I was most annoyed at the changes in the character or Cersei. … . I am against humanizing Cersei at all.Even though Martins whole stchick is to make everything grey.Cersei was one character that was almost all dark.The should leave her this way.Every story needs a hard core villian.

    Oh please! One of the best things about Cersei’s story arc in the books is her gradual descent into paranoia and blackness as she tries to impose her will and ambitions, yet things spiral out of her control despite her best efforts, culminating in the walk of shame. And if you think that ALL stories need a hard-core villain and don’t like Martin’s ‘shades of grey’ complexity with characters (which after all, merely reflects Real Life), then you probably shouldn’t be reading these books. As Martin himself has pointed out in various interviews, even the worst villains in history all exhibit some ‘good’ aspects, just as even the most famous heroes all have their darker sides.

  200. MATTHEW
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    DawnRooster: StraightBlackMan, I don’t see how you can understand Qhorin’s death scene. Everyone who has watched only the show I have had to explain that Jon snow is not an asshole but in fact on an undercover mission. It just doesn’t come across in the show and it really makes out Jon to be craven.

    I hear it a lot, but I just dont get this complaint. I watched the show with at least 3 non-book readers. And they ALL picked up on the fact that Qhorin was trying to provoke Jon into killing him to win the wildlings’ trust. It doesn’t get much clearer than when Qhorin tells Jon that a brother on the inside is worth more than 1,000 on the outside and then when Jon objects that the wildlings would never trust him, Qhorin begins provoking him to “betray” him in order to prove himself. They all felt it was fairly predictable and easy to understand. Someone evene made a comparison to a similar scene that takes place in the Harry Potter saga (I’m not familiar with HP series, btw), and felt it was a very familiar trope.
    In fact, my objection is that they made Qhorin’s plan TOO obvious–to me, it appears that Qhorin deliberately drops his weapon (Obi Kenobi style) so that Jon can kill him. I wish Qhorin would have fought harder to make the phony display more convincing.
    Non book-readers may be smarter than you give them credit for.

    I loved the book and I love the “you must not balk, whatever is asked of you” line but I didn’t miss it nearly as much as I missed some other stuff, such as the Hound’s tears (see my earlier posts) :-)

  201. MATTHEW
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Al Swearengen: know she’s going to be a vital part of Varys game. I can see it now when they shoot the epilouge of ADWD they’ll get Ros to shoot Ser Kevan Lannister with a crossbow instead but to make it more dramatic she’ll be nude.

    I think you’re being sarcastic, but that would actually be kind of cool. The Lannisters have been horrible to her. I’m definitely not a Ros hater. Besides her obvious attributes, Esme has an incredible smile. The only time we actually see one of Varys’s little birds to my knowledge is in episode 1 of season 2 (the floor washer child is in several scenes, listening discreetly)

  202. MATTHEW
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    Did someone seriously read the books and not pick up on the fact that Stannis was boinking Melisandre? It’s more than just “implied.” she comes right out and says it to Davos in Book 3. It couldn’t be more explicit (ok, doing it on the painted table is, by definition, more “explicit” but you know what I mean)

  203. MATTHEW
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Luana: If “book purist” is a bad thing, and it seems to be accepted as such on this forum, then why are there 200+ posts pointing out and complaining about every change from the books? Does nobody else recognise the hypocrisy? It’s the old, “I’m not a book purist, but…” situation.It’s odd that most people here still seem unable to connect D&D’s apparent disparagement of book fans who complain about changes to disparagement of themselves. Seriously, people, you’re on an internet forum arguing about book changes. Label yourselves whatever you want, but you are the people that D&D are talking about, and if you’re not at least slightly uncomfortable about what D&D are quoted as saying in this interview, then you need to work on self-awareness.

    I don’t buy this at all. Yes I admitted that I almost cried when they ruined the Tickler’s proper fate, but what separates me from the people who are disparagingly referred to as “purists” and “fundamentalists” is that I support the showrunners, I think they’re ridiculously talented (I wasn’t familiar with Weis but was a huge fan of Benioff before I even know who GRRM was), and I think they’re doing a wonderful job; I don’t accuse them of being venal, lazy, incompetent or of not “understanding” the ASOIAF books. I don’t call Season 2 “pure fan fiction”. I really, really like the show. In some ways ,I like it better than the books. In other ways, the books are superior. But I’m an unabashed fan of GoT both as TV show unto itself AND as an adaptation. Are there things I miss? Yes. Do I think *I* (or you) would do a better job overall at adapating the show? No.

    There are people who very vocally engage in all the behaviors I just described, and those are the “fundamentalists”/”purists” who get on D&D’s case, not people like me.

  204. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Lord Selwyn: Oh please! One of the best things about Cersei’s story arc in the books is her gradual descent into paranoia and blackness as she tries to impose her will and ambitions, yet things spiral out of her control despite her best efforts, culminating in the walk of shame. And if you think that ALL stories need a hard-core villain and don’t like Martin’s ‘shades of grey’ complexity with characters (which after all, merely reflects Real Life), then you probably shouldn’t be reading these books.As Martin himself has pointed out in various interviews, even the worst villains in history all exhibit some ‘good’ aspects, just as even the most famous heroes all have their darker sides.

    Cercei’s chapters in AFFC are my favorite parts of that book. So she got her wish for absolute power and it turned out that she wasn’t very smart after all. The fact that it came after she bitched for three books about men and women roles in the society just makes it even more fun. She’s not a complete monster, whatever happens to her is very human. The book has its share of complete irredeemable monsters – Joffrey, the Mountain, Ramsay Bolton – but Cercei is not one of them.

    Outsmarting Ned Stark wasn’t difficult at all, and it was what got her the unbased confidence in her political abilities. It’s just so fun to watch her crash and burn, it’s one of the things I’m waiting the most in the later seasons of the TV show.

  205. Hear Me Roar
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    Well put, that summarizes my views perfectly.

  206. MATTHEW
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky: Cercei’s chapters in AFFC are my favorite parts of that book. So she got her wish for absolute power and it turned out that she wasn’t very smart after all. The fact that it came after she bitched for three books about men and women roles in the society just makes it even more fun. She’s not a complete monster, whatever happens to her is very human. The book has its share of complete irredeemable monsters – Joffrey, the Mountain, Ramsay Bolton – but Cercei is not one of them.Outsmarting Ned Stark wasn’t difficult at all, and it was what got her the unbased confidence in her political abilities. It’s just so fun to watch her crash and burn, it’s one of the things I’m waiting the most in the later seasons of the TV show.

    Yes.

    She has always been self-serving and power-hungry and happy to trample over others in order for her and her children to get ahead, but she was never without a conscience or nagging doubts, and she was never as cruel/sadistic as someone like Joffrey, Ramsay, Gregor or even her father Tywin (what Tywin did to Tysha and Tyrion is up there with the most cruel acts described in the books, including all the f***ed up stuff that goes on in Slavers’ Bay).

    In Book 4, I find her path mirrors Theon’s arc in book 2 to a certain degree, as she feels pressured to commit increasingly heinous acts–things that she doesn’t quite have the stomach for, things that keep her up at night. Qyburn ends up playing the role that Reek played in the books and that Dagmer played in the show. He convinces her that it would be a good idea to send Falyse to the dungeons to be tortured and vivisected; she does it without hesistation, but the guilt gnaws at her. I also love the scene when Qyburn tortures the Blue Bard and she stays in the dungeon, uneasily, to watch every second of it.She’s not a good person, but she wasn’t cut out to be purely wicked like mad king Aerys or like. At heart, she’s weak and profoundly fearful. It’s really fascinating aspect of her character. I’m a huge fan of book 4 (even the Brienne stuff!) and I cannot wait to see those parts adapted for TV.

  207. johnny motherfucker
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    KG,

    (Shrug)????
    Are you role playing now? How cute, works well with your softness and all :)

    Love you use you as a target for my sks, come visit little buddy.

  208. Zack
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    I agree about Cersei’s chapters in that book. That’s what stuck with me from the book 3 years later, how powerful an arc Cersei had. I remember it vividly. That (and Sansa’s) are what made that book worthwhile for me to read. Sansa finally sort of becomes an actor instead of a reactor–and rather interesting as a direct result) and Cersei completely self-destructs from the pressure.

    I think the book overall is like a C-. Not the best storytelling overall, it meanders quite a bit, and it took awhile for even me to grow to like the Dorne/Iron Islands chapters though it did happen and I’m glad they’re included. His world building remains wonderful as well.

    But pages and pages describing things can be shown in 10 seconds on a screen. I am apprehensive about how seasons 5 and 6 can possibly remain compelling.

  209. natehilk
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    I bet Ros takes the place of Ser Dontos and helps Sansa escape to Littlefinger’s ship and then gets the crossbow for her efforts. I’m going to take bets that this happens.

  210. Darquemode
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    natehilk,

    I like that idea!
    I’m no Ros hater at all, but her replacing Ser Dontos works on a few levels.

    I have tried to figure out how they will execute “Sansa’s escape” without having Littlefinger directly involved. It fits his character more to be behind the scenes using pawns to do his bidding. Ros would work in that sense and it would be a fun year of watching the Ros-haters fume only to rejoice upon her death! XD

  211. Zack
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    I’m already overjoyed, because no matter what happens this season, at the end, Littlefinger and Sansa will be at the Vale, and without Littlefinger why would we need any brothel scenes? Hopefully there aren’t many this season anyway, but at least we can be fairly certain none will be in the following seasons.

  212. Darquemode
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    So true!

    The brothel scenes so often were too long or poorly done (not to mentioned not needed). I would wager HBO will come up with a way to keep the nudity factor though. I have hopes that the future sex/ nudity scenes will have a better flow and enhance the story a bit more.

  213. Ross
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    natehilk:
    Al Swearengen,

    I bet Ros takes the place of Ser Dontos and helps Sansa escape to Littlefinger’s ship and then gets the crossbow for her efforts.I’m going to take bets that this happens.

    That is a great shout. Makes perfect sense. Well, with the possible exception of setting up her collusion with Varys last season. Not sure that would make any sense in this context.

  214. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    I think what will make Season 5 compelling once Tywin is gone is Cersei’s arc itself, along with moving a lot of ADwD into the fifth season as well. Much in the way the show “belonged” to Sean Bean in season 1 and Peter Dinklage in season 2, I think Season 5 will be Lena Headey’s to own (I think it’s NCW for this year, and probably Dinklage again in Season 4).

  215. A-Gone
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  216. saluk
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I must say, as someone who 100% supports D+D’s interpretation and need to forge a slightly different path than the one George did, their comments did bother me a bit and leave open the possibility to go completely off the rails. I’m not too worried – compared to other adaptations I am surprised at what people complain about. Even season 2 is surprising in it’s accuracy and ability to fit so much of the story in. But it was much less successful than season 1 in this regard, and if things slip too much more it could be a troubling trend.

  217. Rain
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I am open for the Show taking it’s own ways simply for practical reasons, like cost or time, or just because certain plots need to work in time with others. But I don’t really like when they change things ‘just because they think it’ll be cooler’. That’s like painting over someone else’s art. The both of them were huge fans of the books, you’d think they’d be as loyal to them as possible.

    And while I don’t consider myself a purist, I am against the idea simply because the additions they have made have not been impressive – Talissa, for example, feels ‘too modern’. No one minds this surgeon-woman coming and going between camps and telling them they shouldn’t fight wars? Hell, someone would get pissed at that, c’mon. What they turned Sansa and Sandor’s interactions into felt awkward and incomplete, like they were too scared for it to be romance but too unsure of what they wanted it to be. Not to mention the ‘WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!’ storyline, and the fan service that the House of the Undying turned into.

    All their best work has been in bringing the books they love to life. So, yeah, I do get annoyed when people complain because there are so many factors that mean obviously the two can’t be the same, but I think I’d also be annoyed with large changes.

  218. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    If the escape doesn’t happen until Season 4, then why not bring back Ser Dontos? Why introduce the character at all?

  219. Miss
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a book purist, but nor do I think Benioff and Weiss have done everything well.

    I think they have done Catelyn Stark a great disservice in their depiction of her, and none of it’s excusable by “medium change”.

    I think they have some weird issues with some outdated ideas of female dichotomies and have a tendency to fall back on stereotypes of Strong Female Characters. This shows up with Cersei and Sansa and Arya, though they are much better to them than to Catelyn.

    I think it’s undeniable that they bank on sexed up femininity to bring in the lowest common denominator viewer numbers.

    I think they underestimate their viewers’ intelligence and as a result lessen the thematic depth instead of taking out their unnecessary added characters (Talisa, Ros).

    They really have taken the fun out of Littlefinger too.

    OTOH, I don’t care if they amalgamate minor characters or forget about Renly’s peach or delay Riverrun or things like that.

    I understand that Benioff and Weiss can’t please everyone and it’s good to be secure about it to some extent, but it would be a shame if they think that everyone who criticizes them, even with meaningful valid criticisms, are just carrrrrazy “fundamentalists”. That’s just being a spoilt brat because someone doesn’t like what you like/made.

  220. WildSeed
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Scott Glennon:
    I long ago resolved myself to the idea of changes or cuts. I think we all knew this was going to happen one way or another. I remember stomping my internet feet over Weasel Soup. I expect to do so in future, because I love all things ASOIAF. I know people who throw things at the screen whenever Joffrey is on. This is how it goes.You love it, you hate it, you laugh, cry, and cheer for your favorite characters. The emotional ramping up is part of the experience.While I reserve the right to remain critical, I am truly thankful that many more people get to experience this great story because of the show. Thank you Dan & Dave, for all the good work you have been doing.

    Attaboy !

  221. WildSeed
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    That Chubby Kid: This only further demonstrates the yawning chasm of ignorance related to the deeper meanings conveyed by Westerosi cuisine in the books. Not to mention the total lack of concern displayed by everyone involved with the making of HBO’s Game of Thrones ( season 3 premiere 3/31/13) in regards to the actual frequency of EEL PIE consumption in the books.

    It sounds like you are making light fun of this, but in case you’ve forgotten………

    In season one ,Littlefinger also mentions to Ned, that he was invited to dine with
    Lollys and her mother. The menu included Lamprey Pie, his favourite.

  222. Gem
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s rather frustrating when D&D and others assume all critics of their choices are “fundamentalists.” I don’t care about Salvador Saan’s ethnicity or about incorporating all elements of prophecy surrounding Dany. I am still angry though, that they chose to take the most dynamic female characters in the book who basically ran her 16 year old son’s army for him into a irrational nagging mom figure. That serves no purpose for making the show watchable for anyone except misogynists.

  223. Gem
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Luana,

    This is consistent with the attitude they’ve been showing the entire time. Let’s face it – Game of Thrones is ASOIAF through the lens of a couple of horny misogynist bros. That is a rather common type among westeros.org and WIC posters so that’s why any criticism is immediately shouted down with strawmen like “book purist.”

  224. DawnRooster
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    That Chubby Kid,

    This is what your saying

    Qhorin = Eel pie

    there is no comparison

  225. Ed
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Whew, good thing you’re being rational.

    Gem:
    That serves no purpose for making the show watchable for anyone except misogynists.

  226. DawnRooster
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    natehilk: natehilk
    natehilk,

    We can only pray to the seven that such events occur. I’ve been waiting since season 1 for her to go away.

  227. Andrew
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Gem,

    I am honestly curious, does Catelyn Stark actually have any fans who don’t immediately accuse anyone who doesn’t love her of sexism, ignorance, and/or misogyny?

  228. The Bear
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to go all science nerd on you guys but lamprey are NOT eels.

    Eels are actual bony fishes with jaws while lamprey are of a more ancient vertebrate lineage of jawless bloodsucking water creatures.

  229. so tired of boys
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    DawnRooster:
    That Chubby Kid,

    This is what your saying

    Qhorin = Eel pie

    there is no comparison

    Yeah, seriously. The lamprey pie contributed way more to the story and appeared way more. But I guess since the lamprey pie isn’t a ~*huge badass*~, all you dumb boys aren’t drooling all over its 30 pages of screentime. Maybe the lamprey pie should have been missing a few fingers, that would have given it some fanboys. Nothing is cooler than missing fingers!

  230. Heart of Wynter
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    bleh,

    The boy with the bulls head helm, was what they were looking for because to the black smith, gendrys hair color didnt define him in the show, but his pride in the helm he’d made, to the point of telling the second most powerful man in kings landing (ned stark) he couldnt have it, was the best way the blacksmith could, under threat of death by gold cloaks, describe the pain in the ass boy who would never be parted from his helm.

  231. Napoleonbuff
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    DawnRooster,

    Oddly, people I know had the opposite reaction. People who hadn’t read the books weren’t confused at all and really liked the Jon/Qhorin scenes; book readers (myself included) were somewhat-to-very disappointed.

  232. KG
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    johnny motherfucker,

    Heh did you actually just threaten to shoot me? Well aren’t you the epitome of the Internet Tough Guy?

    You just flex those muscles in the mirror some more and tell yourself what a badass you are. I’ll be over here laughing my ass off.

  233. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Omar Brown:
    Bwahahaha! Book Purists are Fundametalists now, so perfect. I agree, let the show do it’s own thing, don’t like it, go back to the books. NBD.

    A woman is in 100% agreement!

  234. Napoleonbuff
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    I don’t think they were bashing the book fans — they were pointing out that fundamentalist book fans (or purists, what have you) wouldn’t be able to create a successful TV show. Fundamentalist book fans are, I believe, only a small fraction of the book fans, though a very vocal minority.

    By limiting their comment to this small group, they aren’t saying that all criticism is somehow invalid (in fact, I don’t think they’re even saying the opinions of purists are invalid, just that a show created by such a fan wouldn’t make it to air or, if it did, would be quickly cancelled).

  235. Anna Krakina
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    For some people,being obsessed with books canon is not fundamentalism, it is fanatism ! There is no other word to define this obsession, and as someone said, don’t think they thought of the major part of the fandom but of a really tiring minority counting every single hair on a fly’s butt (Turner is not red-haired enough, Van Houten is ugly, Fairley not red-haired enough, Wheelan awful,Clarke too old, this one is not black, this one is olive skinned, this one said this at this page , blah blah blah ).
    By the way seeing purists writing Salvador saan instead of Salladhor is quite fun.^^

  236. natehilk
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    A quick thought about sexposition:

    It is pointless and some people do find it revolting. But not me. Did Littlefinger have to give a monologue about his past to two whores finger-banging each other on a couch? Did Ser Loras have to shave Renly’s armpits? No, but these sophmoric displays can be highly entertaining at times. It adds nothing to the story but it can lighten the mood during the otherwise gloomy nature of the show.

  237. KG
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Anna Krakina:
    For some people,being obsessed with books canon is not fundamentalism, it is fanatism ! There is no other word to define this obsession, and as someone said, don’t think they thought of the major part of the fandom but of a really tiring minority counting every single hair on a fly’s butt (Turner is not red-haired enough, Van Houten is ugly, Fairley not red-haired enough, Wheelan awful,Clarke too old, this one is not black, this one is olive skinned, this one said this at this page , blah blah blah).
    By the way seeing purists writing Salvador saan instead of Salladhor is quite fun.^^

    I would disagree with your disagreement on the definition. A fundamentalist believes that whatever book they are concerned with should only be dealt with on a word-for-word basis. This is exactly what some fans want done with the show.

    I do, however, agree with the rest of your post.

  238. Zack
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Napoleonbuff: in fact, I don’t think they’re even saying the opinions of purists are invalid, just that a show created by such a fan wouldn’t make it to air or, if it did, would be quickly cancelled).

    That’s how I would assume it was meant as well. These two men have admitted to being wild fans of the saga themselves, hence their tireless work. I think I recall some interview after S1 had aired where they’d said they would generally try to let things play out as they did in the book, but had to alter things that just didn’t work on screen. The white attire of the Kingsguard, purple contact lenses, things like that. It’s about more than money for them, because why else would they choose to adapt a hugely sprawling epic that’s still years away from being finished?

    Changes have to be made in the translation. And sadly, unless you’re in on the production, sitting at those meetings and discussions, the intricacies of each decision are probably lost on you.

    My belief is it’s not really fair to say ‘Well it wasn’t like this in the books, so I don’t like it and these guys are not trying to do this the right way.”

    What’s fair is to say “I don’t think this is the best way forward for the television show” and talk about why you think particular decisions could have been altered to make it better without relying on “because the books” as a crutch.

  239. MATTHEW
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Anna Krakina: Van Houten is ugly

    WHO SAID THAT!!!! she is stunning and beguiling and a fairly good singer as well.

  240. MATTHEW
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Gem: Luana, This is consistent with the attitude they’ve been showing the entire time. Let’s face it – Game of Thrones is ASOIAF through the lens of a couple of horny misogynist bros. That is a rather common type among westeros.org and WIC posters so that’s why any criticism is immediately shouted down with strawmen like “book purist.”

    keep posting your bizarre and reductionist complaints about GoT creators and its fans. I am confident that with time and persistence, your “horny misogynist bros” strawmen will become as popular book purist “strawmen”

    those woman-hating frat boys, David and Dan! Excellent take. -___-

  241. Joshua Taylor
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    It is Known. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. But back to the subject at hand I’m sure Amanda Peet who has been married to Benioff for several years disagrees with his “misogyny” whether it’s real or perceived.

  242. Serjeant Grumbles
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    The Bear,

    Thank you. I was about to say that myself.

  243. Rita Jones
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Croccifixio,

    While I agree with you on both those points, I have to say that the addition of Tywin in Arya’s arch was an improvement on the source material, so your first point is kind of a wash for me.

  244. Serjeant Grumbles
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I’m expecting that said Frey pie, like those aformentioned aspects of the books, will likewise be more explicitly shown on GoT. Maybe even with a musical number.

  245. MATTHEW
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    The Bear: Sorry to go all science nerd on you guys but lamprey are NOT eels. Eels are actual bony fishes with jaws while lamprey are of a more ancient vertebrate lineage of jawless bloodsucking water creatures.

    Lampreys are the stuff of nightmares. I used to wonder wondered if circle-shaped mouths with a ring of sharp teeth all the way around them really exist somewhere in the animal kingdom, or if they are merely a product of science fiction imagination (often depicted on alien tentacles, etc.). Then I saw a picture of a lamprey. I wouldn’t want to step on one in a dark alley.

    That said, I wouldn’t be opposed to eating one– if it’s tasty–as long as I don’t have to look at that mouth.

    A quick google search reveals that people have Photoshopped pictures of lampreys in ways that… would not occur to most men. Yuck!

  246. Serjeant Grumbles
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    MATTHEW,

    They ought to be more available in the States, considering that they are an invasive species in the Great Lakes.

  247. MATTHEW
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Serjeant Grumbles: MATTHEW, They ought to be more available in the States, considering that they are an invasive species in the Great Lakes.

    There you go. Someone needs to start a theme-concept pub in Detroit or Chicago that serves old school pub fare including lamprey pies, among other delights. Eat local, they say.

  248. Ian
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,
    There’s an excess of hate everywhere these days. We have forgotten how to converse with each other.

  249. Astonished
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    KG:
    Al Swearengen Astonished,

    “With Stannis away, her bed saw little use.”

    That’a a pretty explicit statement, taken DIRECTLY from a Melisandre PoV chapter.Do you think it’s possible that maybe you just missed the bus on this one?

    Melisandre has POV chapters? GRRM must be slipping. Perhaps dementia. Definitely Dance of Dragons. You know, the mediocre fan fiction by GRRM based on his SoIaF series that ended with the third installment back in 2000.

  250. MATTHEW
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Astonished,

    Excellent trolling. Well done.

    Incidentally, melisandre also explicitly states that she fucked stannis in book 3, in a Davos chapter.

  251. Joshua Taylor
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW:
    Astonished,

    Excellent trolling.Well done.

    Incidentally, melisandre also explicitly states that she fucked stannis in book 3, in a Davos chapter.

    Excellent is a weak term for Astonished’s type of trolling. The word ‘Epic’ comes to mind.

    Astonished,

    How’s the new IP address working out? Did you watch any more of The Wire?

  252. KG
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    If you call that epic trolling, you need to get out more lol

  253. Joshua Taylor
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    Private joke between me and “Astonished”. :-)

  254. Anna Krakina
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    KG,

    Well that’s the problem with polysemous and ambiguous terms , but your point is smart and true.
    That said, it doesn’t mean i enjoyed all the changes they wrote, but some hardcore fan’s behaviours are ridiculous to an extreme point. And that tv show and books are not the same products, even Martin said it. And i talk about products, not works of art, or it would be “minor art” as would have said Serge Gainsbourg. We are not talking about Ingmar Bergman or Tolstoï, but both the books and the show are very good entertainment. That’s already someting in my opinion, enternainment industry can be so cheap.
    And as someone said it , no director can manage to recreate the scenes we have in our heads when reading, so keep calm and have a white russian…
    After all, Stanley Kurick’s Barry Lyndon was very different from the one by Thackeray, and both are masterpieces and that’s for the best. And we are not even talking about Stanley Kubrick and Thackeray there (so far as i should know), we are talking about a very good tv show and a book made by a great storyteller (at least til ADWD) but not by a classical and overtalented writer as Thackeray. So not a tragedy if changes are made, in my opinion. It can even be for the best (mereenese knot, could’nt stand this).

    @ Khal Pono : who said the lovely, funny and good actress Carice Van Houten was ugly ? Well nearly-blind people i guess, don’t remeber their pseudos, but saw this opinion several times on Westeros , “she is too old, she is not sexy enough, blah blah blah”. And it seems to me that Linda Antonsson said that she wasn’t curved enough or something like this …^^

  255. Zack
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Anna Krakina,

    I think there was an interview where Carice said of herself that she wasn’t beautiful.

    I was shocked. Don’t get it at all. Not everyone judges beauty the same way I guess, but it’s disappointing. There are too many gorgeous women out there who don’t see it in themselves.

  256. Astonished
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW:
    Astonished,

    Excellent trolling.Well done.

    Incidentally, melisandre also explicitly states that she fucked stannis in book 3, in a Davos chapter.

    I wasn’t trying to troll. I am accused of it sometimes, and I just take it with a grain of salt because that’s just who I am. I hope you have fun too.

    I never ‘explicitly’ went against the idea that Melisandre and Stannis aren’t doing it. I only said that it was only implied.

    In reality, I enjoyed the Stannis Mel implications a whole lot more than making it obvious and ultimately, cliche, mundane.

    I also think that making a POV of Mel takes away from the mystery and all that’s happening in that witch’s head. Which was very exciting to contemplate.

    These days, the argument about what really happened in the books vs what’s the show has run dry…. And in the first place everyone knew it would happen as it happens with all screen adaptations. It is fun to complain about your favorite part that is missing. My favorite part: the Brienne Bear fight is coming up. She better be as naked as that bear, or else.

    To me, what’s missing in the show that is found in the three first books is what is not mentioned. Theory of omission. GRRM did it accidentally, and now he and the show are …basically ruining it by explaining everything away and making it obvious and … *accessible*.

    So I guess I’m a book purist who thinks the show puts too much into the show.

    Josh, I’m finishing season 4. I think it’s a very good TV show, but I don’t know if I would put it on a pedestal like you do. Maybe I would if I watched more TV.

  257. WildSeed
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Astonished,

    I understand you, especially with respect to Stannis and Melisandre as
    depicted on GoT. While the books did imply their carnal relations,
    and married to a prudish wife, there was much more at stake than sex.
    Stannis is stoic conservative, that many find unyielding and cold. He
    is also stubbornly obdurate to pursue a just cause, not one completely
    self absorbed with self gain, or whipped by some siren’s call. Sure
    he’s horny, and Mel is seductive, but we’re not supposed to be watching
    reruns of Spartacus or Rome TV.

    The very rageful sex scene on GoT bordered on violent, especially with
    Melisandre being choked as she was. Stannis here is under her spell
    afterward, driven to conspire for something less than his ” right ” to
    the Iron Throne. I respect Stannis , as I do Tywin, as opposites on an
    equal scale of greatness and shrewd leadership. I would not belittle their
    intellect with pussy whipped actions, although many men have steeply
    fell because of that. Of course Robb ‘s actions on GoT follows closely,
    he has had the benefit of larger scenes. With the upcoming episodes
    and or seasons, I’m sure the continuity of the story will be put right.

  258. Astonished
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Does the show Stannis deserve respect? The books were more consistent with him at the occasional expense of boredom and predictability. Hence we all agreed he “has the personality of a lobster”. The show has arguably rebooted Stannis with an aging-well rock star zealot vibe and erotic asphyxiation fetish….. and with evidently loose morals…

    But at least not boring in the immediacy of the scene.

    Boring; that’s what HBO is afraid of, in a nutshell. The reason behind the infamous gratuitous (aka exposition) sex scenes. They went slightly too far with making it ‘exciting’… it’s a bit on the shallow end of the river, and with several great screen magic opportunities lost.

    The show hasn’t found its footing yet. The first season was superior over the second. A slightly better budget and renewed confidence a better season does not make.. and did not. HBO has to look at the successes of season 1 to realize its mistakes in season 2.

    I agree with the reviewers above–season 2 was confident. But during the heights of the tension during the last few episodes, the confidence turned into a blunder. For example, Blackwater was well written and acted, but the film, the editing, and apparently the budgets stretched to the limit, made it among the worst episode of the series once you consider how much excellent material it has compared to other episodes. Absolutely no tension.. a bore fest.

    The Pointy End (s01e08) written by GRRM relied on witty editing, timing, and everything that is in my opinion best about GoT.

    I know a lot of fans rave on Blackwater like its some kind of victory with budget. But sometimes, all you need is great writing and acting to take away from the two dimensional background. Dinklage won best supporting acting in season 1 for good reason as I barely noticed they were shooting in D&D’s back yard.

    I have read several fan praises of Blackwater, so I’m not unaware of what some people supposedly think is good about it, mostly the obvious things. But it could have been a lot better between expensive explosions. Worst case: the Hound, sipping on wine bitching about fire.. was a disaster. And secondly Tyrion’s Let’s Go Kill Them speech had 25% dramatic effect. Where was the tension? Finally, Loras walks in to the ladies’ chamber out of nowhere, interrupting a slightly engaging suicide sequence with Cerise. I’m at this point happy to know in the back of my mind the episode is finally almost over.

    Hope: lesson learned. If RW is as poor as Blackwater, the show is doomed.

    Wildseed, it’s interesting to read you are assured so well the story will be back on track with season 3. I still have hope for the show. Season 1 learned to cut up the frames to hide the poor sets, and season 2 with its nicer sets forgot to keep up the wit in pace for all its confidence. Maybe in this season, D&D can put what they’ve learned so far and plot out a balanced drama with consistent quality.


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