A few more reviews: Alyssa Rosenberg, Matt Zoller Seitz and EW
By Winter Is Coming on in Reviews.

Here are a few more reviews of season 3 of Game of Thrones. First, Alyssa Rosenberg of Think Progress, who says that the show rises to greatness this season.

While HBO’s fantasy series has always been an ambitious act of world-building and special effects work, Game of Thrones returns for its third season on Sunday as a more emotionally, intellectually, and visually audacious show than it was in the preceding two years. Whether Game of Thrones is expanding the roles of minor characters who previously were mostly on-screen as sex objects, articulating the growing threat posed by the White Walkers, long-lost zombie-like creatures who threaten Westeros’ human population, or staging a sword fight on a bridge that’s simultaneously playful and deadly, Game of Thrones is living up to the promise of its name, and staging a three-dimensional, and increasingly humane, chess match.

Next up is Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture who appreciates the show’s ambition.

More than anything else, I appreciate Game of Thrones’ degree of difficulty. In terms of scale, it’s the most awesomely ambitious series since HBO’s Rome, and it might have more recurring characters; and yet the storytelling is so measured and confident that the dramatic flowchart rarely becomes so tangled that you can’t keep up. And throughout, there are cunningly staged action scenes, earthy bits of slapstick, and unexpectedly lyrical images, such as the shot in Sunday’s premiere of Daenerys standing on the deck of a ship, watching a dragon pinwheel in the sky above her. The physicality of the visuals and the performances helps power Game of Thrones past any rough patches – not that there have been that many. This show knows what it is – Lord of the Rings with gonads – and its confidence and ambition are growing as quickly as Daenerys’s dragons.

Lastly, Entertainment Weekly gives their review. No more Ken Tucker, who was always a fan of the show, but their new TV reviewer Melissa Maerz, likes it just as well.

Last season, Game of Thrones told its stories in grand gestures — epic battles and public beheadings — so it’s exciting to see the people with the least power running the kingdom. ”There’s a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand,” Daenerys’ adviser warns her. But it’s thrilling when you put that sword in the hand of a woman who’s been waiting to use it for far too long.

Winter Is Coming: The reviews this year seem to be as strong as ever. And this is only based on the first four episodes. Given what occurs in the book during the timeframe of the later episodes, I feel confident in saying this will be the best season yet.


65 Comments

  1. Mrgreendinosaur
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    First!

  2. lonas
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Second son

  3. steiner
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    @MrGreenDinosaur: I believe you mean Hodor.

    @lonas: Lol!

    Episodes 1 and 2 will definitely be the worst this season. So if they’re great or even good it means we’re in for something truly special.

  4. pntrlqst
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Love that the Vulture guy liked Cat’s “character assassination” scene. He also called it a “gem” on Twitter. He hasn’t read the books.

    Goes to show how disillusioned book fans can be about the quality of some of the writing on the show just because it aint canon. Granted, Cat’s character in the book is, IMO, far superior and I wish that they had stuck with her. However, that the scene resonates with a professional critic who hasn’t read the books is telling.

  5. kevin
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Season 3 will be a ridiculously great season. looking forward to Jaime & Stannis and also some Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeek

  6. steiner
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    ASOS spoilers:

    Cat has been whitewashed to make the RW more impactful. It’s possible she won’t even kill Jinglebell. Similarly they’ve so far whitewashed Tyrion in order to give the audience someone to root for. I imagine that he will eventually murder Shae but they will probably set it up so that she betrays him even more than in the books.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of the changes but I do concede that they are completely understandable for a translation onto tv of what is essentially a very dark book series.

  7. Rukie44
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    “Lord of the Rings with gonads”… that sounds about right.

  8. Turri
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    pntrlqst,
    If the show doesn’t comply to my gender theory-based interpretation of the books, nobody could possibly enjoy it.

    /had to

  9. taim
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I think there was even an interview of an actor from the show who said that the season is starting slow and becomes much more exciting in the later episodes.

  10. pntrlqst
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    taim,

    Kit. David and Dan’s EW interview from today said something similar.

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/03/29/game-of-thrones-best-season-yet/

  11. Seven Hells Bells
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    The only thing that GoT and Lord of the Rings have in common is that they are both amazing. Other than that, and Sean Bean and Aemon (the guy who plays him was Bilbo in a Hobbit radio adaption), the two are nothing alike

  12. zod
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Weiss: Last season the vast bulk of stunts and resources went into the last two episodes. Here it’s more spread out over the whole season.

    Benioff: Especially the last six episodes. Our seasons are always designed to build. Pretty much the last six are full of major set pieces.

    Can’t wait. ;)

  13. pntrlqst
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    zod,

    I think he meant to say last seven, considering episode four has Dracarys and Craster’s mutiny. Even better!

  14. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    zod,

    This is very exciting, especially considering some reviewers have raved about the 3rd and 4th episodes. If the final 6 top those two then this really will be a special season, as we all expected and hoped for.

  15. Mike Chair
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    …earthy bits of slapstick…

    “What’cha do with the Queen?!”
    “Maybe he trumped her.”
    “Oh, a wise guy, eh?”
    [Smack!]

    Couldn’t resist.

  16. Mafthespartian13
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    steiner:
    ASOS spoilers:

    Cat has been whitewashed to make the RW more impactful. It’s possible she won’t even kill Jinglebell. Similarly they’ve so far whitewashed Tyrion in order to give the audience someone to root for. I imagine that he will eventually murder Shae but they will probably set it up so that she betrays him even more than in the books.


    Personally, I’m not a fan of the changes but I do concede that they are completely understandable for a translation onto tv of what is essentially a very dark book series.

    steiner:
    ASOS spoilers:

    Cat has been whitewashed to make the RW more impactful. It’s possible she won’t even kill Jinglebell. Similarly they’ve so far whitewashed Tyrion in order to give the audience someone to root for. I imagine that he will eventually murder Shae but they will probably set it up so that she betrays him even more than in the books.


    Personally, I’m not a fan of the changes but I do concede that they are completely understandable for a translation onto tv of what is essentially a very dark book series.

    Exactly !

  17. Timmen
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone whose seen the episodes know how the Dracarys scene in the show differs from the book chapter? I noticed Dany is holding the chain when drogon is in the air on the trailer, so I don’t know how she can do the exchange where Krasnys cant get Drogon to obey him if he isn’t holding the chain.

  18. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Timmen,

    She is only passing him to Kraznys in the trailer. When they show Drogon breathing fire you don’t see who is holding the chain.

  19. Shock Me Sane
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I love that the New York Times gave it a 50 on metacritic, which is an F and no one else gave it less than a B. Further proof of that hack paper’s irrelevancy.

  20. Timmen
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Shock Me Sane,

    Metacritic assigned NYT a 50, the papers don’t actually submit numbers to their reviews.

  21. Timmen
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Do we know that for sure, if shes passing it to him its a wierd way to pass a chain shes holding it in the air above her head.

  22. ralia
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Jamie tries to escape Brienne at one point, but wants the satisfaction of beating her first. “If you were willing to hurt me, you might have had me there,” he tells her towards the beginning of their match, only to find himself startled by her skill. Later, when he shuts down after a defeat, her contempt for him shocks Jamie back to life. “You have a taste, one taste of the real world, where people have important things taken from them, and you whine, and cry, and quit,” Brienne tells him, proving both emotionally and physically stronger than the man considered the greatest fighter in Westeros. “You sound like a bloody woman.”

    ….
    I’m not sure what to say about this.
    Do they feel obligated to twist every single character into something he/she is not? Brienne was a fascinating character in the book – a naive, idealistic woman who was the very personification of what a real knight is but, despite her physical strength, was very feminine in the way she dealt with her emotions and the people around her. And I, unlike Weiss and Benioff, do not think that being feminine means being weak and don’t think that is a vice. Sure, why should they actually explore the fascinating character Brienne is in the books? It would be better to replace her with a stone-faced, world-weary (despite being in her 20, of course she knows more about the world and how painful it is than Jaime Lannister, who totally has never tasted the “real world” and most certainly never heard of Aerys Targaryen or anything) manly killing-machine who enjoys torturing men who make fun of her.

    I don’t want to even discuss their version of my favorite character, “the bloody woman” who has never tasted the real world.

    …. If, by chance, someone involved in the making of the series is reading this… I just want to ask you one thing – how do you decide whether a dissatisfied fan is just being a stupid “book-purist” or is voicing a reasonable concern?

    Are all of our concerns being ignored be default?

  23. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know if this has already been mentioned, but Around the Horn on ESPN (a show in which sports writers from across the country debate) opened their show with the Game of Thrones intro. They showed a map of the US and skipped from city to city as each of the writers were introduced. And then the writers each took a sigil for their “House”.

    I think it’s fairly evident that GoT has taken over pop culture when jocks start thinking it’s cool.

  24. ebevan91
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins:
    Don’t know if this has already been mentioned, but Around the Horn on ESPN (a show in which sports writers from across the country debate) opened their show with the Game of Thrones intro. They showed a map of the US and skipped from city to city as each of the writers were introduced. And then the writers each took a sigil for their “House”.

    I think it’s fairly evident that GoT has taken over pop culture when jocks start thinking it’s cool.

    I saw that today and for some reason I couldn’t think what they were doing. Then I was like “d’oh that’s a Game of Thrones style opening!”

  25. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    ralia,

    We have no idea what this quote is in context to. Besides, she calls him a coward in the books after he loses his hand. I understand your concern, but please don’t let this turn into another thread like the one from a few days ago. Everybody has their own personal opinion of who the characters are. Trying to project your views on certain characters on others is a losing battle. We all have our favorites, and are oversensitive to their portrayals. I’ll leave it at that.

  26. Damryn of Dorne
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Ughhhhhhhhhh i’m literally bouncing up and down waiting for sunday!

  27. Joshua Taylor
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the Rosenberg article, I really think its a faux pas of the sentence structure: if you read it this way…
    Jamie tries to escape Brienne at one point, but wants the satisfaction of beating her first. “If you were willing to hurt me, you might have had me there,” he tells her towards the beginning of their match, only to find himself startled by her skill.
    Later, when HE shuts down after a defeat, HER contempt for HIM shocks JAIME back to life”….
    Jaime is talking now: “You have a taste, one taste of the real world, where people have important things taken from them, and you whine, and cry, and quit,”
    Brienne tells him, (the sentence continues) both emotionally and physically stronger than the man considered the greatest fighter in Westeros. “You sound like a bloody woman.”

    The last line is Brienne responding to Jaime’s rebuke of her contempt of him. Rosenberg just wrote it differently. So Brienne is still naive. Yay!

  28. Steel_Wind
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    The reviews this year seem to be as strong as ever. And this is only based on the first four episodes. Given what occurs in the book during the timeframe of the later episodes, I feel confident in saying this will be the best season yet.”

    And as well it should be. This is Frikkin A Storm of Swords! GRRM’s best novel he’s ever written — and probably the best novel he ever will write, tbh. It is certainly the best novel in any genre that I have ever read.

    This season — and next — should be the greatest epic fantasy ever brought to the screen — big or small.

  29. Ro
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I don’t read it that way. I read it the way ralia read it and I have no problem with it. I don’t have a perfect recollection of the book, but I do seem to recall Brienne saying something along those very lines when Jaime loses his hand and is whining about how useless a swordsman is without his sword hand (ready to give up basically on life). Her words do resonate with Jaime and cause him to reconsider his own worth. This is in the spirit of the books even if it’s not using the exact same dialogue. Don’t know what the fuss is about.

  30. Gonfaloniere
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Jaime loses his hand and is whining about how useless a swordsman is without his sword hand (ready to give up basically on life)

    A lot of characters get accused of “whining” when they think despairing thoughts even if they never voice them out loud, and I’ve never really understood that. To me, whining is my kid saying complaining that I won’t let him have an ice cream! Like Cat is always accused of being whiny about her husband being dead, so apparently you’re not even allowed to be sad inside your own head about your losses and reverses. Which means, I daresay, that most human beings are incorrigible whiners.

    In regards to Jaime, I think having your hand chopped off and cauterized without anesthetic and subsequently suffering from a massive infection is probably reason enough to give up on life temporarily, and moreover, he never actually voices those “I am nothing without a swordhand” thoughts to Brienne, so how does she even know he’s thinking them? Be that as it may, Brienne isn’t contemptuous towards Jaime after the handchop; she’s compassionate towards someone whom she doesn’t even like because she can see he’s physically suffering. (Her compassion towards an enemy is one of the reasons I fell in love with the character.) Yeah, Brienne calls Jaime a craven for wanting to die (though is this her actual opinion or is she just aware of what will motivate him to live?) but she also exhorts him to live and fight and take revenge. That’s not remotely like saying that he doesn’t understand the real world because who hasn’t had their hand cut off and Jaime should quit bitching about this minor inconvenience. Although the show seems to want a harder, colder Brienne, I think this might be one step too far.

    Nonetheless, I was convinced in the other thread that this is something she says before the hand chop, maybe after the fight. And the “like a woman” thing that is bugging me is probably something Jaime said to her, along the lines of “you fight like a woman” or whatever. We’ll see, but I’m trying not to get annoyed until I actually see it play out onscreen!

  31. Shock Me Sane
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Timmen,

    If metacritic was assigning my review 39 points below average, I’d worry that my reviewer was starting to look like an idiot and send them an email.

  32. ralia
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    ralia,

    We have no idea what this quote is in context to. Besides, she calls him a coward in the books after he loses his hand.I understand your concern, butplease don’t let this turn into another thread like the one from a few days ago.Everybody has their own personal opinion of who the characters are. Trying to project your views on certain characters on others is a losing battle. We all have our favorites, and are oversensitive to their portrayals.I’ll leave it at that.

    It is not the portrayal I don’t like. If I was discussing Jon Snow or Cersei or Arya, then I would be discussing their portrayal in the series. Brienne (who is, I should note, nowhere near the top of the list of my favorite characters) is not being portrayed differently. She has been completely replaced by some vicious “amazon” who just bears the same name.

    I don’t want to start the same argument again. I’ve fallowed the development of the show since 2009. I was trying to get my friends excited about it back when, to them, it was just some nerdy thing no one else had or would ever hear about. Yes, I’m extremely dissatisfied with the show and recently had to, for the first time ever, actually discourage one of my friends from watching it, but I’m just one person so I don’t expect the producers to care much about my opinion. I’m not forgetting that the show is an adaptation.
    …. I do think, however, that B & W are forgetting this show is an adaptation. Necessary changes because of the format or for the sake of exploring the stories of non-POV characters? I’m the last person who will complain about that. I actually expected it and hoped for it from the very beginning. But, with all my respects, D & W are not as good at writing as Martin is. When it is necessary, they should make changes. When it is not, however, they should stick to the books. And every character in the books is a better character than Talisa and Ros, so I kind of think they shouldn’t try to improve every single one of Martin’s characters. He didn’t do such a bad job that every single one of them has to be changed in order to keep viewers interested.

    Also, I have noticed a tendency to silence every single concern someone voices with the words “Don’t be such a book purist, we caný be 100% happy with the show and changes have to be made because of the format”. Ok, I agree with the sentiment… but, taken too far, it would lead to every single concern being ignored by default. I’m not saying my concerns should be the one everybody should take seriously, but I would like to note that there should be a way for someone to voice a concern around here that is not ignored as yet another sign of book-purism.

    Joshua Taylor:
    The last line is Brienne responding to Jaime’s rebuke of her contempt of him. Rosenberg just wrote it differently. So Brienne is still naive. Yay!

    I’m not a native speaker but in every English novel I have read this dialogue tag:

    “You have a taste, one taste of the real world, where people have important things taken from them, and you whine, and cry, and quit,” Brienne tells him

    means that Brienne is the one delivering the lines.
    I hope it was a mistake made by the reviewer.

  33. voicareason
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    ralia,

    The “You sound like a bloody woman” is probably meant to be ironic, considering Jaime’s earlier sexist remarks towards Brienne.

  34. Carne
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Gonfaloniere,

    What I got from the review is that it’s someone she says to him right after the fight.

  35. ralia
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    voicareason,

    From the review I got that “you sound like a bloody woman” is something that Brienne says to Jaime. Once again, I hope I’m wrong.

  36. Carne
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    ralia,

    But what is so bad about that? As others have mentioned it might be something she says due to Jaime’s attitude towards her. He keeps insulting her and the last thing he expect is to be beaten by her.

  37. Gonfaloniere
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Carne,

    That makes a lot of sense; someone suggested that in the other thread too and it definitely fits better and makes sense if she’s throwing his mockery back at him too.

  38. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    ralia,

    If you are actively discouraging people from watching the show, then why spend time debating it on a mostly show website? BTW, discouraging someone who is interested in watching the show is a dick move, unless it was a reader who was hyper sensitive to changes from the books.

  39. ralia
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Carne,

    “Like a woman” may be an insult in Westeros but it’s not an insult Brienne, of all people, would use. And she, the person who spent months travelling around Westeros and being disgusted by what human beings can do to each other, is the last person who can teach Jaime Lannister about the real world.

    I’m going to sleep.

  40. Friend Of fire
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I have to agree with you, it seems people think that their opinion matters more than all others the reality is that most people who watch the show or read the books will come away with different takes on each character and that is great but it is just despotic to think everyone should see and feel a character in the way you want them too.

  41. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    This is the second time this week people have been up in arms over something they have yet to even see. I can’t wait for the episode recap comments. I don’t think anyone should worry about the producers not hearing the criticisms, they are voiced after every episode, no matter if the episode of TV is great or not. But as they have said before, they are going to tell the story as they interpret it, and they have a hell of a lot more contact with the author of the books than any of us do. By all means, voice your displeasures, just don’t expect for them to have much of an impact.

  42. Mrgreendinosaur
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    steiner,

    You are correct sir. I have shamed myself. Hodor (sniff).

  43. Perks
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    ralia:
    Carne,

    “Like a woman” may be an insult in Westeros but it’s not an insult Brienne, of all people, would use. And she, the person who spent months travelling around Westeros and being disgusted by what human beings can do to each other, is the last person who can teach Jaime Lannister about the real world.

    I’m going to sleep.

    It’s an insult because she knows who her target audience is. He just got beat by a woman, who he made fun of for weeks for being a she-warrior, and she called him a lady for crying so much about it. She obviously doesn’t truly believe that about women, she just knows where to throw a punch.

  44. Lisa
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Man, I love people who truly believe the books are flawless.

  45. ducky
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    About the “whining” of a particular character – anybody who loses their hand and then has to deal with this and the resulting infection without any painkillers probably is entitled to a bit of “whining”.

  46. Set Dingleberry
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Wow people really get this upset over a single sentence of dialogue, unbelievable.

  47. Pau Soriano
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Timmen:
    Shock Me Sane,

    Metacritic assigned NYT a 50, the papers don’t actually submit numbers to their reviews.

    They do. Some do at least, I remember a critic (Mo Ryan?) talkiog about it last year

  48. pntrlqst
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Zm7hDTLAU28

    So not only will Mel get Gendry this season, she’ll be having sex with him to create Shadow Baby.

  49. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    pntrlqst,

    Hmmm.

    Like: Carice Van Houten in the buff again

    Not Sure: Melisandre seducing Gendry to get him to leave with her.

  50. charles
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    wow, really worried about that out of nowhere melisandre gendry plot. The writers do love pulling shits out of their ass. One thing is to change something for the sake of making an adaptation work, another is to randomly make up a story line that is nowhere even close to being in the books, but can also have major implications as to plot continuity later.

    I’ve said it once and i’ll say it again, David and Dan are at their absolute worst when start making shit up. I know i haven’t seen it and i’m critisizing, but there’s really absolutely no reason for them to take such unwelcome liberties with the writing. The stuff they went out of their way to change from the books last season (as opposed to stuff they needed to change to make things work), things like the additions to the Qarth storyline such as Irri’s death and Doreah’s evil turn, the way they changed up jon’s storyline near the end, and the much hated Talisa change-up were almost universally panned by the fanbase as the weakest aspects of last season–yet the writers don’t care and still feel incredibly comfortable with these unecessary and unwelcome differences.

    There’s is a difference betweeen comming up with a new great death scene for Yoren, or that fantastic robert-Cersei scene in season one, and comming up with a plot line that was never hinted at in the books, one with possible future plot complications and which wil be an almost guarantee to absolutely be despised by the fanbase.

    Really makes me wonder why they keep doing it.

  51. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    charles,

    They killed Irri to cull the cast of a minor character and clear up more cash to hire new actors. Her duties are replaced by Missendei going forward.

    They changed Jeyne to Talisa so they wouldn’t have to cast her family and add yet another subplot.

    And a character that does next to nothing in the books(Gendry) after Arya leaves is replacing another one of Robert’s bastards who does nothing except for serving as a potential sacrifice. Gendry can easily make it back to the Brotherhood in time to save Brienne in season 5 or 6. Remember, Davos helps Edric escape in the books. In the show Gendry can just ask to go back to Westeros to search for Arya. Once again, this saves them from hiring a new actor and introducing another backstory by not casting for Edric

  52. Josla
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:59 am | Permalink
  53. charles
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    It’s not that Irri died, it’s the way she died. I’m not a book purist by any means and i understand characters need to be cut, and things need to be changed for this adaptation to work. I’m am however, diamerically opposed to unnecesary changes that don’t stem from the logistics of adapting the show and rather come off as a writer’s whim. From something as minor (but unecessary) as a changing Asha’s name to the incredibly badly written Irri death scene, as well as the vast majority of the Qartheen storyline last year.

    See, it’s not that i mind change, when it is well executed. For example, eliminating the character of Jacelyn Bywater in season two, and Donal Noye (though he’s sorely missed) in the first in favor of giving their screentime to Bron and Tyrion respectively was a brilliant idea, and deviation from the books that truly worked, as was replacing Bolton for Tywin.

    As far as I’m concerned however, from my own experience with the show–most of these changes have been failures. I mention again the Qartheen storyline, the changes to the end of jon’s storyline last year, the confusing mess that was the last death in the jaquen/Arya storyline (as well as cuting out some of her be character moments at the end, like killing the bolton guardsman), and while i hadn’t considered the point you brought up about not having to cast Jeyne’s family, very few here will say that they thought the character of Talisa and her scenes with Robb were well writen.

    What i want to do is contrast what i view as “organic” changes. Changes that fit well, with changes that haven’t, specially when viewed in the context of being an unecessary addition, lacking any logical reason for being there other than the writer just thought it worked. Time will only tell how this particular one will turn out, but given past experiences I’m expecting to be very dissapointed.

  54. charles
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    The series is better when the writers are adapting the material instead of making it up. Anyone disagree with that statement?

  55. babingo
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    charles,

    me.
    Proof: Arya/Tywin

  56. Juego de tronos
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t read more reviews, I want to view the first episode and do my own review

  57. mariamb18
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Lisa:
    Man, I love people who truly believe the books are flawless.

    THIS!

  58. Roger Kevin Dering
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Brienne’s quote struck me as pretty worrying too. Brienne and Jaime’s interaction are mostly about him waking her up to the real world, I do hope that’ll be left intact.

    That comment about Meera worries me too. The person that is upset about her carrying a weapon I hope isn’t Bran. Given his exposure to Arya and Osha he should not find Meera carrying a weapon very upsetting.

    I mean, Westeros is filled with strong women but I hope some of this is spread out so there’ll be a handful scenes in the first episode without a man being emasculated by a woman or Varys.

  59. greg
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    As of 9:17am EST season 3 has a 91 on metacritic pretty good

  60. Isabelle
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    pntrlqst:
    Love that the Vulture guy liked Cat’s “character assassination” scene. He also called it a “gem” on Twitter. He hasn’t read the books.

    Goes to show how disillusioned book fans can be about the quality of some of the writing on the show just because it aint canon. Granted, Cat’s character in the book is, IMO, far superior and I wish that they had stuck with her. However, that the scene resonates with a professional critic who hasn’t read the books is telling.

    That was the stand-out from the Vulture review for me–that the scene made such an impact that it “will bring a tear to the eye of any parent who ever failed to properly appreciate a child,” which goes to show how strongly the scene might resonate with viewers on an emotional level. I think if I get the idea of “THAT’S WRONG!!!” out of my head while I watch, I’ll be able to judge the scene (and others) on its merits more aptly…and enjoy it more quite frankly! It’ll be tough because we all have these strong expectations of what will play out in Season Three, and how, but I think we’ll have a richer viewing experience if we do.

  61. Alan
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    charles:
    wow, really worried about that out of nowhere melisandre gendry plot. The writers do love pulling shits out of their ass. One thing is to change something for the sake of making an adaptation work, another is to randomly make up a story line that is nowhere even close to being in the books, but can also have major implications as to plot continuity later.

    I’ve said it once and i’ll say it again, David and Dan are at their absolute worst when start making shit up.I know i haven’t seen it and i’m critisizing, but there’s really absolutely no reason for them to take such unwelcome liberties with the writing. The stuff they went out of their way to change from the books last season (as opposed to stuff they needed to change to make things work), things like the additions to the Qarth storyline such as Irri’s death and Doreah’s evil turn,the way they changed up jon’s storyline near the end, and the much hated Talisa change-up were almost universally panned by the fanbase as the weakest aspects of last season–yet the writers don’t care and still feel incredibly comfortable with these unecessary and unwelcome differences.

    There’s is a difference betweeen comming up with a new great death scene for Yoren, or that fantastic robert-Cersei scene in season one, and comming up with a plot line that was never hinted at in the books, one with possible future plot complications and which wil be an almost guarantee to absolutely be despised by the fanbase.

    Really makes me wonder why they keep doing it.

    Arya and Tywin.
    Theon in the Iron Islands.
    Margaery and Renley.
    Varys and Littlefinger.
    Yoren’s backstory.
    Viserys stealing Dany’s eggs.
    Margaery and Littlefinger walking through the camps.

    Sometimes I think they are at their best when they get a bit of freedom.

  62. Alan
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Roger Kevin Dering:
    Brienne’s quote struck me as pretty worrying too. Brienne and Jaime’s interaction are mostly about him waking her up to the real world, I do hope that’ll be left intact.

    That comment about Meera worries me too. The person that is upset about her carrying a weapon I hope isn’t Bran. Given his exposure to Arya and Osha he should not find Meera carrying a weapon very upsetting.

    I mean, Westeros is filled with strong women but I hope some of this is spread out so there’ll be a handful scenes in the first episode without a man being emasculated by a woman or Varys.

    That’s funny. I always read those scenes as being as much or more about Jaime waking up and realizing that he’d been an unthinking, reacting dickhead for years and maybe he should start taking responsibility for his own actions.

    People read and interpret the books differently. I’m not quite sure what the uproar is over this quote from Brienne — that doesn’t mean she isn’t naive at heart, either. Most of the most naive people I know think they are worldly. She’s seen the man she’s loved killed and die in her arms, and there’s no reason for her to be nice to Jaime.

    When I’m trying to hurt someone, I rarely make sure I’m not being hypocritical when I do it.

    Some of you are holding very tightly onto views of characters, that frankly, Martin may not even share with you.

  63. Samson
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Shock Me Sane,

    My thoughts exactly, the New York times just hates Game of Thrones every year. They have reviewed the last 3 seasons as a 40, 40, and 50. So I guess giving it a 50 is technically an improvement, just give them another 6 years and maybe they will give a decent review.

  64. quadurp
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I truly believe the books are flawless. Love me now!

    Jaime/Brienne story arc is the only one I’m interested in and I fear they have ruined it for me.

  65. tysnow
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Another review from Hercules over at AINTitCool;

    He says what is great about episode 3.1, quote….”The Slaver’s Bay translator and her loutish master. Tyrion’s tense first post-battle meeting with his sister generally and the rumor about his nose in particular. Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister, the new King’s Hand, generally, and his sit-down with Tyrion in particular. The striking visual effect that precedes Jon Snow’s first meeting with wildling king Mance Rayder. Bronn’s nibbling. Joffrey peering out of his conveyance. Dany’s hungry dragons and less-hungry Dothraki entourage. The Obi-Wan-ish kingsguard and the tiny girl. “They say she sang to them as they burned.” “It’s not slander if it’s true.” “Full of envy, lust and low cunning.” “We can’t all have a king’s bravery.” “No, not truly.”…end quote.

    What is not great, quote…”no Theon, Jaime, Breinne…Arya, Hound…” end quote.

    I loved his terminology in cutting to the juicy parts.


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