Inside the Episode: Dark Wings, Dark Words
By Winter Is Coming on in Media.

Go inside Game of Thrones with the latest Inside the Episode video from HBO. Writers and executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wax philosophical on the events of “Dark Wings, Dark Words”, including giving their thoughts on the controversial Catelyn monologue.

Winter Is Coming: Interesting remarks from David and Dan. Do you agree with their assessment of Catelyn?


170 Comments

  1. Hellfell
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Hodor

  2. Jboxtownd
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Hodooor?

  3. First
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    no

  4. Choomanama
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Nodor

  5. Rabid Grunt
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Fodor?

  6. GerB40
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Frodo

  7. direhound
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Gregor

  8. Alice
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    C-C-C-C-Combo breaker.

    That being said, I don’t really agree with D&D’s justification of Cat’s “character assassination”. Why make her talk about Jon Snow when they could have made her monologue about how she abandoned Bran and Rickon to track Tyrion ?

  9. Reverendkilljoy
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t mind Catelyn’s monologue

  10. WompWomp
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I found Cat’s monologue to lend more personal substance to the worship of the Seven while also really connecting Jon to his family for the first time in ages.

    Was she really so incredible in the books that the changes warrant cries of bastardization? Don’t answer that, folks. Too busy enjoying the show. :]

  11. Daemon
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Alice,

    In the books there’s multiple times (can’t remember external or internal) where she wants to or is on the verge of returning to Winterfell but first decides to visit her dying father and then more importantly she, not Robb, decides she’ll go see Renly. Because she made both decisions, it’s reasonable she’d feel more regret as opposed to the show where the decision was taken away from her the one time she thought about it and she is supportive of fighting so more likely to stay with Robb than the peaceful Cat from the books. Also, I think in the books she hears that they are dead and not missing. I’m not defending the changes, but once they were made it’s understandable why she wouldn’t be as full of regret as the books.

  12. Alice
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Daemon,

    You’re right when you say that book!Cat shouldn’t be as full of regrets as show!Cat regarding the fact that she leaves the two mini Starks. However, they did establish this “leaving your children behind” theme in an episode in season 1 where Bran whines like a little bitch during Maester Luwin’s lesson about the houses and their sigils, saying that he is upset that his mother left him. That could have been used, and would have been just as impactfull and a lot more coherent than this nonsense about how wishing Jon’s death brought all this misery to the Stark family.

  13. Jeff
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    She said she ended up still hating Jon after it all. How is this that big of a deal? There are bigger changes to cry about(see most of season 2). This is minor, didn’t ultimately really change her character and was a well acted scene. I’m all for good entertainment over slavish devotion. A character full of nothing but one-note, unreasonable hate isn’t interesting. This is, and I’m a book reader.

  14. Jen
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    ngl, it makes me happy dance that they chose to discuss Theon in this video out of all the other stories they could have discussed, b/c D&D share my love for the character <3

  15. papachou
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    wow, some book readers need to chill out. if you are just going to get unreasonably angry over minor changes in the show, then don’t watch it. the way the books were written it is not possible to adapt them in another format without some changes. either chill out, or just don’t watch the show if it makes you soooo angry

  16. JP Dayne
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    IMHO, catelyn has been crapply developed from day 1. I’ve been saying this for 4 years now.
    It’s ok to have sean bean cast as ned, and trying to find a more age-appropriate wife for him makes sense, but I’m sure there are a lot of better options than michelle. She’s a good actor, but I still can’t see her as Cat. It just went downhill from there. Cats flaws have been greatly diminished in a desperate attempt to make Cat more sympathetic to the audience and maybe make non book readers grieve more for her. We have Vanessa Taylor is to blame for the “character assassination”. I won’t even be surprised if catelyn survives the RW, or they make her some sort of hero that in the heat of the moment

  17. JP Dayne
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    papachou:
    wow, some book readers need to chill out. if you are just going to get unreasonably angry over minor changes in the show, then don’t watch it. the way the books were written it is not possible to adapt them in another format without some changes. either chill out, or just don’t watch the show if it makes you soooo angry

    it’s not about little chances, it’s about big changes. for the worse. what they’ve done to theon’s storyline is good, what they did to marg is good; king bob’s scenes in S1 were awesome. I could go on, but we also have to say what isn’t working, not because it’s different, but because it’s just bad…

  18. Mike Chair
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    papachou: don’t watch the show if it makes you soooo angry

    Gary Busey: “ANGER” stands for Another Negative Grievance Explaining Rage.

    “CAT” should stand for Characters Alterting Temperament.

  19. Nikki
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was the website that posted hilarious tweets that happened during GoT episodes. Is this not the right site? Can someone point me in the right direction?

  20. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    papachou,

    These are not minor changes. These are pretty huge character changes. Also, people can be critical of one scene, and be angry about it, and it doesn’t mean they should stop watching a show. Analysis of the show can be very rewarding.
    Anyway, even though I loathed the Cat scene and Benioff’s remarks in the video make me cringe, I still really enjoyed the rest of the episode. Complaining about one scene or aspect does not mean we discard everything else.

  21. Holly
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Nikki:
    I thought this was the website that posted hilarious tweets that happened during GoT episodes. Is this not the right site? Can someone point me in the right direction?

    This is the right site. That post should be coming in a couple of days or so. ;)

    And… for some reason I cannot see the video! I am a sad panda!

  22. Mike Chair
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Nikki,

    You came to the right place! They’re just not up yet for episode 2. That’s what we’re all waiting for.

    It takes FaBio a while to compile them and categorize them, and it’s worth the wait. He’s got it down to an art form.

    They came out on Wednesday last week, so check back tomorrow.

    You can read last week’s here (link).

  23. John Webster
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Controversial? I thought Catelyn’s monologue was one of the most emotional and powerful moments of the episode.

    As for differences from the book character, Show Cat has been different since day one (i.e. insisting that Ned not go to King’s Landing). At a certain point, you just have to let go of the books a bit and enjoy the show on it’s own terms. To be completely honest, the monologue last night made me like Michelle’s Fairley’s Catelyn more than I ever liked Book Catelyn.

  24. akperidot4
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I actually loved the Cat scene. It showed how strong her character is trying to be when she’s around Robb, but when she is with Talisa she opens up in a way she can’t with him. Plus, I think that it is only natural for her to think of Jon because all of her other children are gone and Robb and Jon are the only ones in one place that she knows of.

  25. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Only part I didn’t like was that she said she thought about asking Ned to legitimize Jon. That is something Cat would never consider, as it would catapult him ahead of Bran and Rickon in the line of succession. I don’t have a problem with the idea that a devout Cat would think that the Seven are punishing her for not keeping her promise to treat Jon better, though.

  26. WompWomp
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    John Webster,

    I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I think you nailed it. I really enjoyed that vulnerability. Cat’s had her game face on for so long in front of so many people that it’s easy to write discount the character Fairley’s been given.

  27. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Ms Fairly is reprising her excellent performance this season I shall
    be sorry to see her last, as Catelyn Stark
    . However GoT script has
    left little to redeem in her character development, there are to many
    changes and inherit flaws that make her unattainable in empathy.
    I saw little that reminded me of ” Family, Duty, Honour “, with
    exception to a few scenes in season one episodes. I could have
    enjoyed the adaptation of both Robb and Catelyn’s story, but the
    changes were not enlightening or made sense from any perspective.
    They both appear irrational and impulsive, instead of wise and thoughtful.
    I miss the successful self assured Robb that his banner men respected, and
    the wise confidant that his mother displayed during the Northern raids.

    GoT has greatly altered one of my most admired ASOIAF characters,
    to the point of non recognition, yet I’m curious to view the experience of it.
    I wonder if lady Stoneheart will appear in future seasons ?

  28. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    We’re giving too much importance to that scene really, 99.99% of the viewers won’t mind it and book readers have the books, so why all the hassle??

    Here’s something to take your mind off the scene, I need a recommendation for a fantasy book (or books) ‘casue I wanna order Blood of Dragons on amazon and its just 9 pounds, so I need to spend 16 more to get the shipping free…any ideas??

    Books I enjoyed lately besides Robin Hobb’s or Martin are Joe Abercrombie’s ones (The Heroes and Red Country are fantastic) , Celia S Friedman Magister series or Bakker Prince of Nothing series, and books I did not like was A Wise Man’s Fear, Elantris or the Lies of Locke Lamora so not interested in more Sanderson or Scott Lynch stuff…also could not get into the Malazan series.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated ‘casue is getting damn hard to find good fantasy lately ;)

  29. WompWomp
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    This was a younger Cat who, under the emotional duress of Jon’s illness, would consider any relevant promise to pray away his death that night. I’m not sure why this is so hard to believe if you accept the rest of the show’s characterization of her. The very notion of legitimizing him isn’t so far removed from the part of her that utterly rejects him. Quite a promise, granted, but at that point I believe her guilt would have driven her to pledge anything in return for his life to grant her peace in those harrowing moments.

  30. papachou
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Then it sounds like you are not one of the book readers i am talking about. As a book reader, I don’t see a problem with the way they are developing Cat. And the monologue from 302 certainly seemed like something that is totally in line with show Cat and how she has been developed. The odd thing is there was already an insane amount of hate for Cat from book readers before the show came out. She has been changed a bit from the books, but not drastically. And none of the changes are fundamental…she still basically has the same arc. I agree with what D&D said about Cat in the video, and I don’t see how that scene made her more sympathetic to the viewers. Her admitting that she had an irrational hatred for Jon Snow despite logically knowing she had no reason to doesn’t really make her more sympathetic. And the monologue contained perfect subject matter regarding her feelings of personal responsibility for the series of terrible events that have happened to her family, especially since she just found out her father is dead (and youngest children may well be dead as well).

    JP Dayne: st went downhill from there. Cats flaws have been greatly diminished in a desperate attempt to make Cat more sympathetic to the audience and maybe make non book readers grieve more for her. We have Vanessa Taylor is to blame for the “character assassination”. I won’t even be surprised if catelyn survives the RW, or they make her some sort of hero that in the heat of the moment…

      

  31. WompWomp
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    I actually see the potential for this new Cat to more smoothly make the transition into Lady Stoneheart than Book Cat. I’m sure Stoneheart will be included in the show as a disturbing agent of change within the Brotherhood. Having the moment shown on-screen could actually be incredibly powerful and frightening. That said, I really hope they change her name. Awesome concept, silly name, if you ask me.

  32. Mike Chair
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Here’s a great page I’ve linked to before. It’s called “10 Great Fantasy Series to Read While You’re Waiting for George R.R. Martin’s Next Book.”

    Some of the books you mentioned are listed there.

    Judging by your list, you probably already read what I’m reading right now: The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss). I recommend it. It’s much more serious than the Scott Lynch books and very well written.

    Another good page is called Top 25 Best Fantasy books.

  33. papachou
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I am a bit confused about the criticism of this scene. It seems like some people believe it makes her more sympathetic, while others believe it makes her less sympathetic. Personally I am a fan of the scene, as it gives a glimpse into the inner dialogue of Cat that we haven’t gotten to see since Ned left. She was always one of the more controversial characters in the books so I am not surprised the same is true for her TV arc as well. And I think the monologue used Jon Snow instead of one of the Stark boys to setup her reaction to some future decisions Robb may or may not make on the show regarding Jon as Robb’s successor as King

    Although not all of her decisions are made for the same reasons in the TV show as they were in the book (and some decisions, like Ned going to King’s landing are opposite), the theme of her decision making is the same in both the book and the TV show, with that theme being that she makes some poor decisions in the interest of what is best for immediate family. I think that keeping the reasoning behind her decisions mostly consistent with the books is more important to her character development than some of the changes people are so angry over.

  34. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair:
    Pau Soriano,

    Here’s a great page I’ve linked to before.It’s called “10 Great Fantasy Series to Read While You’re Waiting for George R.R. Martin’s Next Book.”

    Some of the books you mentioned are listed there.

    Judging by your list, you probably already read what I’m reading right now: The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss). I recommend it.It’s much more serious than the Scott Lynch books and very well written.

    Another good page is called Top 25 Best Fantasy books.

    Thanks for answering man…I liked The Name of The Wind but I could hardly finish A Wise Man’s Fear, not because it was boring but due to other issues I won’t get into not to spoil your fun. But theres definitelly very good things about Patrick Rothfuss, I just hope he grows up a little. I will give book 3 a chance nonetheless.

    I’ve checked that page u linked many times, I actually think is one of the best…but of the 25 books he lists I’ve read 19, some are ones of my favourites and others not so much, so.. ;)

    Of the 6 I haven’t read the one that calls my attention more is Daniel Abraham, but I’m not sure, I hope is not another Brandon Sanderson…also been tempted to try The Dresden Files for a while but I’m really not into urban so that throws me back a little. I also saw he added a new one I never heard of called The Engineer Trilogy by K.J. PArker but I dunno, being an engineer ir real life I’m not sure I wanna read about engineers XD

    So as you see the search continues hehe

  35. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    John Webster:
    Controversial? I thought Catelyn’s monologue was one of the most emotional and powerful moments of the episode.

    As for differences from the book character, Show Cat has been different since day one (i.e. insisting that Ned not go to King’s Landing). At a certain point, you just have to let go of the books a bit and enjoy the show on it’s own terms. To be completely honest, the monologue last night made me like Michelle’s Fairley’s Catelyn more than I ever liked Book Catelyn.

    From a viewers perspective, GoT Catelyn performance in S3, ep 3 was indeed
    emotional and compelling. Ms Fairley owns that role and she has done a
    lovely job with the script she’s been given. However, the whole of Catelyn
    Stark ‘s characterhas been cleaved and reduced to what we’ve witnessed on screen.
    Gone is the wise confidant and pragmatic female, counseling her son and
    helping to inspire the Northtern Bannermen. There could have been substitutes
    for some aspects of her counsel, by inserting a different commander here and there.
    Too much has been trimmed away to leave an unchanging impression of erratic
    female. With exception to a few scenes in season one, primarily with Ned and
    ser Roddrick, I failed to comprehend the balanced and well studied Catelyn.
    That said, I have enjoyed Ms Fairley on the show, but I winced often of the
    overstatement of her emotional imbalance .To be distraught does not equate
    inability to comprehend the dangers facing us. There was little to promote
    her deservingly being recognized as strong but grieving. Much the same as
    Robb has become fierce and horny.

    Perhaps Benioff & Weiss has major major plans in the future to improve
    upon the Stark’s legacy . Perhaps as unfortunate Qhorin Halfhand’s story
    unfolded, another character up hold the essence of the story. I’ll stay tuned to watch.

  36. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    The handling of Catelyn Stark by D&D is, in my opinion, the only major flaw of Game of Thrones as an adaptation. Catelyn (together with Tyrion and Sansa) is Martin’s best-written main character and she may be his most nuanced. That makes her complicated, especially within an environment such as the Seven Kingdoms’ aristocratic society.
    I enjoy the series very much and I understand and agree with most of the adaptation’s changes – be they justified by narrative, financial, or technical reasons. But Catelyn’s thorough alteration has, to my knowledge, no basis in either of those three. It merely serves some superficial notion of ‘protagonist likeability’ (which, in this case, amounts to ‘dumbing down’).
    Had they kept her original motivations, capabilities, and – most importantly – her agency, Game of Thrones could boast about having the most interesting and strongest female character of any programme on the air.

    This, by the way, does not diminish Mrs Fairley’s impressive work. She is a great actress and excells in her role. However, if she had been given the opportunity to play a more ‘original’ Catelyn, her task – and, subsequently, her achievement – would have been even greater.

  37. dubq
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Oh here we go. More crying about Catelyn’s supposed “character assassination.” Get a grip, people.

  38. Mike Chair
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Well, let me know if you find something you like. Just reply to any of my comments at any time.

    I loved all 6 of the Abercrombie novels. Believe it or not, I haven’t read Hobb yet. She’s next.

  39. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:
    WildSeed,

    I actually see the potential for this new Cat to more smoothly make the transition into Lady Stoneheart than Book Cat. I’m sure Stoneheart will be included in the show as a disturbing agent of change within the Brotherhood. Having the moment shown on-screen could actually be incredibly powerful and frightening. That said, I really hope they change her name. Awesome concept, silly name, if you ask me.

    Yes, there may be truth to this , BUT , once again appealing to extreme *>*
    Definitely worthwhile to watch in future seasons though.

  40. papachou
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    She was never that wise or pragmatic. She made poor decisions in the books, just as she has in the show.

    WildSeed: From a viewers perspective, GoT Catelyn performance in S3, ep 3 was indeed
    emotional and compelling. Ms Fairley owns that role and she has done a
    lovely job with the script she’s been given. However, the whole of Catelyn
    Stark ‘s characterhas been cleaved and reduced to what we’ve witnessed on screen.
    Gone isthe wise confidant and pragmatic female, counseling her son and
    helping to inspire the Northtern Bannermen. There could have been substitutes
    for some aspects of her counsel, by inserting a different commander here and there.
    Too much has been trimmed away to leave an unchanging impression of erratic
    female. With exception to a few scenes in season one, primarily with Ned and
    ser Roddrick, I failed to comprehend the balanced and well studied Catelyn.
    That said, I have enjoyed Ms Fairley on the show, but I winced often of the
    overstatement of her emotional imbalance .To be distraught does not equate
    inability to comprehend the dangers facing us. There was little to promote
    her deservingly being recognized as strong but grieving. Much the same as
    Robb has become fierce and horny.

    Perhaps Benioff & Weiss has major major plans in the future to improve
    upon the Stark’s legacy . Perhaps as unfortunate Qhorin Halfhand’s story
    unfolded, another character up hold the essence of the story. I’ll stay tuned to watch.

  41. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair:
    Pau Soriano,

    Well, let me know if you find something you like.Just reply to any of my comments at any time.

    I loved all 6 of the Abercrombie novels.Believe it or not, I haven’t read Hobb yet.She’s next.

    Hobb is almost my favourite, but is totally different to Martin or Abercrombie. Well except on one thing; characterization. Wich I guess is the most important thing for me. Robin Hobb prose is the best of all 3 by far though, it’s a real treat to read. If you like The Name of the Wind you’ll love the first trilogy by Hobb, Assassin’s Apprentice…and once u read that you’ll be forever hooked :P

  42. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    I love The Name of The Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. Two fantastic books, IMO, and I can’t wait for the final book of this trilogy to come out.

  43. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    LV:
    The handling of Catelyn Stark by D&D is, in my opinion, the only major flaw of Game of Thrones as an adaptation. Catelyn (together with Tyrion and Sansa) is Martin’s best-written main character and she may be his most nuanced. That makes her complicated, especially within an environment such as the Seven Kingdoms’ aristocratic society.

    Just to add: This is one of the reasons, why many readers (especially new and young ones) fail to assess Catelyn in a sensible way.
    As anybody knows, there is a lot of ‘fan hate’ for her character (similar to what Sansa’s character gets). Most of this, however, stems from a failure to interpret protagonists’ decision-making within the (fictional) framework of Mr Martin’s world. It’s no surprise that two of the most common misreadings amongst ASOIAF fans are the opinions that Catelyn’s decision to capture Tyrion somehow was a big blunder and that Sansa caused her father’s downfall at the hands of Cersei.

  44. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    A smooth transition from Catelyninto Lady Stoneheart is not particularly a good thing. Stoneheart is supposed to be completely different from her, the women we knew stripped of all humanity and left with nothing but hatred and vengeance. Less of a contrast won’t be very interesting.
    I am a little amused by the “I don’t agree with this subject, let’s talk about other books instead” turn of things.

  45. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    Mike Chair,

    I love The Name of The Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. Two fantastic books, IMO, and I can’t wait for the final book of this trilogy to come out.

    I actually look forward to the second trilogy, the one that will explain what he does in the present/future instead of explaining what he did in the past wich is ok for the most part but gets totally unbelievable at the end of the second book …I’m talking about the 2 “teachers” that he manages to find…the best sex teacher in the world and the best fight teacher in the world??? come ooon Rothfuss is just making his teenage fantasies come through through his Alter Ego!! :P…also because Rothfuss will be a better writer, and more grown up, so the themes in the books will get more grown up too

  46. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    The Cat scene is easily my favorite “change” of the entire series so far. As a long-time book reader/poster I was floored by the emotional response and added depth that D&D gave to this oft-maligned character.
    I’ve read many a post on this site and others complaining about how Cat’s insistence to have Jon leave Winterfell was cold, thoughtless and heartless. This episode’s revelations add dimensions to her character that Cat defenders have only been able to speculate and hypothesize previously.
    Yes, she still kicked Jon out. She is a Tulley after all. The threat Jon poses to her natural-born children would trump any internal struggle she may feel. Her insistence on his dismissal could also be scene as an attempt to avoid the guilt of failing in her promise to the Seven. Out of sight, out of mind. Ultimately it was wonderful for me to see the crafty enhanced character development infused into Lady Stark with this scene.
    Bravo D&D!

  47. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    A smooth transition from Catelyninto Lady Stoneheart is not particularly a good thing. Stoneheart is supposed to be completely different from her, the women we knew stripped of all humanity and left with nothing but hatred and vengeance. Less of a contrast won’t be very interesting.
    I am a little amused by the “I don’t agree with this subject, let’s talk about other books instead” turn of things.

    It’s more “I need to find a good book for my amazon order and this is the post that was up at the moment, in wich accidentaly people is talking AGAIN about the zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Catgate :P”

    If it was the ratings post the last one that was up would have been something like “Great Ratings!! By the way guys I have this issue with amazon that…”

    …but well the boredom of the Cat issue makes it much better on my conscience to ninja the thread ;)

  48. Zack
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    LV: Sansa caused her father’s downfall at the hands of Cersei.

    I think Ned’s naivety had something to do with it, but Sansa wasn’t exactly logical either. I don’t even buy the refrain that “that’s what any teenager would do in the same situation” because for one thing seeing your boyfriend threaten to kill your sister and her best friend ought to be enough for anyone halfway intelligent to think “This dude’s a psychopath.” Instead she just displays future battered wife Stockholm syndrome tendencies. It takes so long for Sansa to o something other than the dumbest option available. Far more of an offender in that area than Cat.

  49. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    papachou,

    I respect your decision to think what you will. I ‘ve read all ASOIAF thus far,
    and committed myself to respect the story and the evolving traits of each
    character. It’s possible to to both admire and remain neutral in placing
    judgement . I concur with GRRM that lady Catelyn is the strongest female
    lead he has written ( I assume thus far ), and I hope he includes more
    in the future volumes. The stories as a whole bring balance or full context
    to the author’s underlying premise of power and rule.

  50. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I would reconsider an opinion that equates lack of intelligence with “battered wife” behavior.

  51. outdoorcats
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    The monologue was character assassination? For Catelyn-haters, maybe. It’s a bit of a change from the books, since she never expresses regret regarding her treatment of Jon Snow, but given how many, and much BIGGER changes the TV series has worked, isn’t throwing around the phrase ‘character asssassination’ hyperbole? The essence of Catelyn wasn’t that she was a cold bitch who hated Jon Snow when she should have blamed Ned instead. The essence of her was that she was a powerful, emotionally strong ultimate matriarch figure who would do anything for her children and immediate family–and the writers and Michelle Fairley captured that essence perfectly.

    IMHO

  52. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    A smooth transition from Catelyninto Lady Stoneheart is not particularly a good thing. Stoneheart is supposed to be completely different from her, the women we knew stripped of all humanity and left with nothing but hatred and vengeance. Less of a contrast won’t be very interesting.
    I am a little amused by the “I don’t agree with this subject, let’s talk about other books instead” turn of things.

    It’s inviting more extremes, if not an exaggeration of the same person. Either way,
    it will be interesting to view how they plan to make this into a coherent story in
    future seasons or episodes.

  53. Darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Holly,

    I have the video uploaded here and it should be region free.
    http://www.spoilertv.com/2013/04/game-of-thrones-inside-episode-302-dark.html

  54. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    LV: Just to add: This is one of the reasons, why many readers (especially new and young ones) fail to assess Catelyn in a sensible way.
    As anybody knows, there is a lot of ‘fan hate’ for her character (similar to what Sansa’s character gets). Most of this, however, stems from a failure to interpret protagonists’ decision-making within the (fictional) framework of Mr Martin’s world. It’s no surprise that two of the most common misreadings amongst ASOIAF fans are the opinions that Catelyn’s decision to capture Tyrion somehow was a big blunder and that Sansa caused her father’s downfall at the hands of Cersei.

    Sansa’s unfortunate errors were egregious, but her youth factored in too. Still,
    in later volumes she continues to be lead along, instead of bravely lead,
    as her younger sibling is encountering.

    There are also Jaime and Theon haters to the point of exhaustion and hilarity.
    It’s easy to get away from the larger story of power and rule…..It’s happened to
    me in the beginning. Some just cannot let go or read the redeeming values that
    follow in later chapters.

  55. Visenya
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    outdoorcats,

    Exactly. Catelyn ISN’T simply a cold-hearted bitch who was mean to Jon Snow. But for some reason, the show keeps insisting she was or else there would be no need to “redeem” her for anything.

    As many other commentators have already stated, the changes to Cat IS a huge difference from the books to the show. Fundamentally altering a main character’s motivations, actions, and (let’s be real) entire personality totally qualifies as one of the show’s bigger – if not biggest – changes.

  56. Zack
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    It’s one thing to stay with an abuser out of fear, but Sansa seems to blame Arya for that incident. Doesn’t even recognize that Joffrey is at fault. Delusional, unintelligent, extremely imperceptive. I don’t know what word you want to use for it. But the behavior of your average teenage girl? Shit, I’d hope not.

  57. Visenya
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Wellll Sansa simply isn’t allowed a lot of agency by those around her. She is constantly being scrutinized and spied upon so it’s not exactly as though she can start a rebellion or something, is it?
    Despite these facts, Sansa still does display a strong ability to lead and take charge. She comforts the women in the Red Keep after Cersei abandons them during the Blackwater battle. In later books, Sansa is basically running the Eyrie, takes care of her cousin, and oversees his ascent down to the Gates of Moon. If by “being led,” you mean she is blindly following Littlefinger, that is also incorrect. She is very much aware of his manipulative nature and her POV chapters make it clear that she does not fully trust him. So please don’t tell me she’s blindly being strung along.

  58. outdoorcats
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Visenya,

    I don’t understand. In what way is the show insisting, more than the books, that Catelyn was a cold bitch? I mean, they left out her nastiest line to Jon from the books. They’ve only had one monologue in which Catelyn expresses some regret over her treatment of Jon, though it is principally religious guilt that she broke an oath, which is TOTALLY in character with book Cat. Or are you suggesting Catelyn’s hateful treatment of Jon was justified in some way?

    My original comment I think you misunderstood. What I meant was that her relationship with Jon is not what makes Cat, Cat.

    As many other commentators have already stated, the changes to Cat IS a huge difference from the books to the show. Fundamentally altering a main character’s motivations, actions, and (let’s be real) entire personality totally qualifies as one of the show’s bigger – if not biggest – changes.

    Can someone explain to me why the monologue about Jon fundamentally alters her motivations and entire personality from Book Cat?

  59. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    An average teenage girl who has been raised in a society that limits women’s aspirations to that of wife and mother, and to want otherwise is a struggle (as we see in Arya and Brienne). Sansa IS a typical teenage girl of the nobility in Westeros. She’s been taught that wanting to be married to the best match possible is her role, and should be her goal. She should not be penalized for adhering to the role she is restricted to.

    And I still think it’s questionable to call someone dumb for exhibiting what you yourself have called battered wife syndrome.

  60. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    outdoorcats:
    The monologue was character assassination? For Catelyn-haters, maybe.

    No.
    First of all, “Catelyn-haters” are out of the discussion. They either lack reading skills or are incapable of judging a protagonist’s actions on the basis of her/his motivations, knowledge, and environment alone, instead projecting all kinds of personal baggage on them. Now, everybody is entiteled to do that – but it has nothing to do with assessing a character’s role (or writing, for that matter) in a fictional narrative. Screaming “I love her because yada yada!” or “I hate her because yada yada!” is not criticism.

    Furthermore, the monologue is no instance of ‘character-assassination’ within the television series, since it’s perfectly reconcilable with television-Catelyn’s characterisation so far. In fact, the monologue is well-written and beautifully acted.

    However, the monologue highlighted, again, how different television-Catelyn is from novel-Catelyn. As I wrote above, D&D have taken away some of her original motivations, her nuances as a person, her ethos, and ultimately, her agency. That makes her a very different protagonist – in fact, it makes her less of a protagonist, since many of her original decisions were given to Robb by D&D. Novel-Catelyn is a driving force throughout three books. She is knowledgeable, loyal, dutiful, virtuous, proud, ambitious, sensitive, confident, decisive, protective, observant, loving, and wise – amongst other qualities, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. She is neither dumb (what a ridiculous assessment) nor cruel. Television Catelyn is, first and foremost, a fiercely protective mother to her children and a dutiful widow. That’s something (and Mrs Fairley puts much more into her), but it’s still so much less than Mr Martin wrote. As I wrote above: What in my opinion amounts to the dumbing-down of Catelyn Stark is the only major flaw of D&D’s adaptation. And, of course, that flaw doesn’t kill the series for me. But Game of Thrones would be even better without it; and it would be better with respect to a very important part of the story.

  61. NOTABOOKREADER
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    For all book readers, PLEASE STOP. The TV show is based on the books but the creators have repeatedly said MANY things will be different on the TV show vs the book. Just because they change things in the TV Show does not make it those changes bad. If you have some criticism of the show, make it about the what the show has done wrong from a writing/acting perspective instead of basing criticism on differences between the TV show and book. Regarding this episode, I believe Cat’s conversation with Talisa was excellent and it did make me sympathize with her more because she feels guilty and responsible for most of things that have gone wrong for the Starks since the beginning. My issue with this episode is regarding her reaction to hearing Winterfell has been torched. I don’t believe her (or Robb’s) reaction was realistic after hearing the news that the kids are dead and the castle is gone. I also believe they are doing waaaaay too much foreshadowing with the Bolton/Karstark contempt for Robb….I’m a non-book reader and I can pretty much see that Robb will probably not survive this year and i believe it will be at the hands of Roose or Rickard…. I also believe the Theon torture scenes were weak and the Tyrion and Shae scene was a total waste of time….can’t wait for the next episode still though…lol

  62. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Visenya:
    WildSeed,

    Wellll Sansa simply isn’t allowed a lot of agency by those around her. She is constantly being scrutinized and spied upon so it’s not exactly as though she can start a rebellion or something, is it?
    Despite these facts, Sansa still does display a strong ability to lead and take charge. She comforts the women in the Red Keep after Cersei abandons them during the Blackwater battle. In later books, Sansa is basically running the Eyrie, takes care of her cousin, and oversees his ascent down to the Gates of Moon. If by “being led,” you mean she is blindly following Littlefinger, that is also incorrect. She is very much aware of his manipulative nature and her POV chapters make it clear that she does not fully trust him. So please don’t tell me she’s blindly being strung along.

    You misunderstand me. Yes, she defied her father’s warnings and proved herself
    selfish as many spoiled ladies of her class, perhaps even lacking in moral
    character. Yet she remains a unchallenged youth suddenly thrusted in a major
    if not life altering change. After this she recalled lessons of reserve and caution,
    taught to her by her mother and wizened souls ( Septas, maester Luwin, etc ).
    True, she represented a contrast to her much younger sister, whom may have
    discovered an escape, but this was not Sansa…….and that’s okay. With her
    head out of the clouds, and a promise of help, her circumstances changes.
    She is not to be dismissed however, as doing so ignores the continuum of
    her growth in the future. I look forward to it.

    The whole is greater than it’s sum of parts.

  63. Visenya
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    outdoorcats,

    I think I did misunderstand. The writers DON’T portray Catelyn as a strong-willed matriarch. She’s a rather one-dimensional mother trope – exactly the type of character GRRM sought to deconstruct in the books. I do not have time to iterate through every single reason why the Jon monologue was problematic but thankfully others have already done so. Here’s a good one: http://feministfiction.com/2013/04/09/catelyn-in-dark-wings-dark-words/

  64. Greg
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: It’s more “I need to find a good book for my amazon order and this is the post that was up at the moment, in wich accidentaly people is talking AGAIN about the zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Catgate :P”

    If it was the ratings post the last one that was up would have been something like “Great Ratings!! By the way guys I have this issue with amazon that…”

    …but well the boredom of the Cat issue makes it much better on my conscience to ninja the thread ;)

    Would recommend the Night Angel trilogy and the Misborn trilogy. You said not interested in more Sanderson but Misborn is really much better than Elantris.

  65. zaprowsdower
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Visenya,

    Exactly. It’s really frustrating to see people compare what Sansa does and and Arya does as they are in different but both dangerous situations and are not alike and have different skills. Not to mention the fact that we as readers/viewers have more information than the characters do. Sansa is way smarter than people give her credit for.

  66. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    zaprowsdower:
    Visenya,

    Exactly. It’s really frustrating to see people compare what Sansa does and and Arya does as they are in different but both dangerous situations and are not alike and have different skills. Not to mention the fact that we as readers/viewers have more information than the characters do. Sansa is way smarter than people give her credit for.

    Additionally, Arya is a much less believable character than Sansa and follows a much less believable story. There is no other character in ASOIAF (except, maybe, Daenerys) who requires more suspension of disbelief than Arya.

  67. KingJon
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Not sure what the controversy with the CATALOGUE was. I thought it provided nice insight into how she felt about Jon Snow. Also remember, she believes that she probably just lost Bran and Rickon, so her ‘venting’ about her own sin of wishing evil upon an innocent is understandable. She feels guilty and fears the Gods are now paying her back for her greatest sin.

  68. Visenya
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    LV: Additionally, Arya is a much less believable character than Sansa and follows a much less believable story. There is no other character in ASOIAF (except, maybe, Daenerys) who requires more suspension of disbelief than Arya.

    I agree. Both characters have their strengths and flaws, but many people find Arya easier to sympathize with. This is probably because she reacts to antagonistic characters in a way readers/viewers want to see. What many people fail to understand is that in the context of the books, Arya’s actions and way of thinking are as naive and tragic as Sansa’s (if not more). It’s part of what makes their parallel arcs so powerful.

  69. Zack
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    But…not marrying Joffrey wouldn’t mean she’d never be a wife or mother. “Dad, please find me another match with a suitable boy.” I probably wouldn’t tell Ned the precise details, but to just tell him she’s uneasy about him would suffice because I think Ned sees Joffrey for what he is anyway. But it’s like she does everything in her power to marry Joff, despite all the outs Ned gives her. She ought to know that there are noble houses other than the Baratheons that would be honored to join their line with the Wardens of the North. Is being Queen worth being paired to a vicious, rotten man?

  70. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I feel that I should revise my former comment to some degree.

    While the monologue is largely consistent with television-Catelyn’s character to date (and therefore no ‘character assassination’), it contains at least one gross exaggeration that oversimplifies the issue and lacks any merit as far as Catelyn is concerned: She would probably never consider legitimising Jon Snow. He is older than Robb and would therefore become an eligible heir apparent. Within the Seven Kingdoms’ society, such a move – by the legitimate heir’s mother of all people – would be insane.

    Zack,

    By arguing along the line of what you perceive as Sansa’s self-interest, you miss the important point (and ignore the environment in which these characters make their decisions):
    It is also her duty to act the way she acts.

  71. John
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    papachou: She was never that wise or pragmatic. She made poor decisions in the books, just as she has in the show.

    Exactly. Book Catelyn liked to pat herself on the back about the “wise counsel” she claimed she offered Ned and Robb. But the reality is that she’s still the one who set off the entire war (though to be fair, war might have happened anyway) with the Lannisters by falsely arresting Tyrion on nothing but the word of the least trustworthy man in Westeros. And she’s the one who threw away her son’s best leverage by releasing Jaime Lannister (who also doubled as one of their most deadly opponents).

    There’s no getting around those inconvenient facts for the pro-Catelyn faction. Does it really matter whether she went to see Renly of her own volition or at Robb’s request? That seems like small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. I actually thought this was her best scene of the entire series, in the books or on the show. I certainly didn’t think it was “character assassination.” Quite the contrary. I’m still not really a huge fan (again, there’s no getting around two of the dumbest decisions made by anyone in the entire series), but I think this scene made her more sympathetic than she has been.

  72. John Webster
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    I’m pretty sure Robb is older than Jon – at least in the show. The ‘History of Westeros’ feature on the GoT S2 Blu-ray explains that Cat was pregnant while Ned was away at war, which would mean that Robb was conceived earlier.

  73. Zack
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    LV: It is also her duty to act the way she acts.

    Duty to the King I get, but duty to oneself and one’s family are not unimportant and it’s not like Robert would have gone to war if the marriage hadn’t gone through. If duty were all there were to it, then Ned wouldn’t have given Sansa options. He would have said “We’ve made a marriage vow, it must be honored above all” or something. She just trusts the wrong people at every possible opportunity, just like being in the room when Cersei orders Lady’s death, Ned protesting directly to the king to no avail, but since Ned actually did the killing, he’s at fault? I’m just saying it’s going to be hard to sway me from thinking poorly of Sansa here. I try to listen and my intention is to be inoffensive. But…eh. Maybe we should just agree to disagree?

  74. Nikki
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Holly,

    Thanks Holly ;-) Those tweets used to make my day. I can’t wait for them to come back!!

  75. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Obviously, you belong to the group of people who don’t read close enough AND are unable to judge a protagonist’s merits (that is, the way he/she is written) without factoring in how well you ‘like’ him/her. It may come as a surprise to some, but whether you find a character ‘sympathetic’ has itself no bearing at all on the question of that character’s literary quality. People who praise Catelyn as a character do so because she is one of Mr Martin’s best-written protagonists, not because they *squee* love or hate her so much for whatever personal reason they may have.

    Of course, Catelyn’s decision to capture Tyrion was not a blunder nor was it even remotely ‘dumb’. In fact, it was the best choice amongst a set of less-than-appealing options, necessitated by the circumstances. Now, we can argue about the quality of Mr Martin’s plotting at this particular point of AGoT – but that would be another question…
    Her decision to release Jaime Lannister, on the other hand, was preceded (in ACoK) by the news of her childerns’ death. This made her actions much more believable, psychologically. D&D changing the order of events in the series was just another instance of painting television-Catelyn with a very different brush.

  76. papachou
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    LV: Inside

    I thought Robb was older than Jon Snow. Robb was born at Riverrun while Ned was away at war if I remember correctly. So he was conceived and born before Jon Snow.

  77. Darquemode
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Nikki,

    Did you read last week’s Twitter round-up for Ep 3.01?
    If not, it can be found here:
    http://winteriscoming.net/2013/04/twitter-dohaeris/

  78. sunspear
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    LV: Just to add: This is one of the reasons, why many readers (especially new and young ones) fail to assess Catelyn in a sensible way.
    As anybody knows, there is a lot of ‘fan hate’ for her character (similar to what Sansa’s character gets). Most of this, however, stems from a failure to interpret protagonists’ decision-making within the (fictional) framework of Mr Martin’s world. It’s no surprise that two of the most common misreadings amongst ASOIAF fans are the opinions that Catelyn’s decision to capture Tyrion somehow was a big blunder and that Sansa caused her father’s downfall at the hands of Cersei.

    Oh boy…

    Look, I’ll give you Sansa. All she did was get herself captured. But Catelyn kidnapping Tyrion is undeniably one of the top 10 stupidest things a character has done in ASOIAF. She was told they didn’t have enough evidence and what would happen if he they moved to quick, and she did it anyway. And don’t tell me she didn’t have other options. Tyrion had two guards with him.

    On topic, I don’t see how this was character assassination of Catelyn. Let’s follow the story.

    1. She wishes Jon was dead (Book Canon)

    2. When he gets sick and might die she feels guilty, so she starts making promises (I believe that this is something she would do).

    3. When he gets better, she can’t keep her promises (read, she acts just like she did in the book).

    4. Years later, she finds an excuse to blame herself. (Again, something I believe is in character for her).

    So how was this character assassination?

  79. Nikki
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    Glad to hear it! :-D Love those tweets.

  80. Visenya
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Ugh Cat hate.

    Can people please stfu about Catelyn starting the war? This argument is actually stupid and has been dismantled several times. No single action or character started the war, and if you think it did please go back to high school English class and acquire some basic reading comprehension skills.

  81. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    John Webster:
    LV,

    I’m pretty sure Robb is older than Jon – at least in the show. The ‘History of Westeros’ feature on the GoT S2 Blu-ray explains that Cat was pregnant while Ned was away at war, which would mean that Robb was conceived earlier.

    You are correct, of course (even if we acknowledge different theories about Jon’s parents…). Now, contrary to Catelyn’s decision, that was a blunder. ;)
    Additionally, the northern Westerosi rules of succession would likely put Jon at the end of the line (behind all of Eddard Stark’s legitimate children). Still, the threat of a legitimised bastard is too big to countenance, I think.

  82. papachou
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    And Cat deciding to take Tyrion hostage was a dumb decision. She had no proof AT ALL other than the word of a master liar and manipulator who despite growing up with she knew not to trust. Obviously this would not go over well with the Lannisters, who at that point were the most powerful and prideful house by far. It was one of several awful decisions Cat made in defense of her family. I am not one of the Cat haters, I loved her chapters in the books and thought she was a strong female character with many admirable qualities. But I don’t think you can really deny that she made some truly awful choices while trying to help/defend her kids. This has been accurately portrayed in the show as well. Her motivations were in the correct place, but the actions she chose to make were not wise actions.

  83. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    sunspear: On topic, I don’t see how this was character assassination of Catelyn. Let’s follow the story.

    1. She wishes Jon was dead (Book Canon)

    2. When he gets sick and might die she feels guilty, so she starts making promises (I believe that this is something she would do).

    3. When he gets better, she can’t keep her promises (read, she acts just like she did in the book).

    4. Years later, she finds an excuse to blame herself. (Again, something I believe is in character for her).

    So how was this character assassination?

    Because you’re pointing out your opinions and not facts.
    She said she wished it was Jon that one time when Bran was near death and she was devastated. It was out of character for her and GRRM himself said that Catelyn was not abusive to Jon as a rule. That was a one-time thing. She did not go around wishing him dead.
    Whether or not she would make such a bargain and whether she would break it, that’s your opinion. Nothing concrete. So some will see the scene as character assassination because they’re basing their opinion in their own experience in reading the books and watching the show. It’s subjective, but I don’t think we saw anything in the books that would lead to Catelyn making any kind of a deal with the gods and a speech like that.
    In the end, we all have our own interpretation, and the debate will likely become circular without new information to shift the discussion.

  84. sunspear
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Multiple responses to entire groups of people:

    “She would probably never consider legitimising Jon Snow.”

    I just read that as something desperate she prayed because of how guilty she felt. Catelyn is known for not thinking straight under emotional stress. Also, Jon is only older if R+L is true.

    “Does it really matter whether she went to see Renly of her own volition or at Robb’s request? ”

    Actually, Catelyn didn’t want to be the envoy to Renly in the books either. She wanted to take care of her father.

    “Catelyn’s decision to capture Tyrion was not a blunder nor was it even remotely ‘dumb’. In fact, it was the best choice amongst a set of less-than-appealing options”

    No, the best choice would have been to go to her room and lock the door. Again, he has TWO GUARDS in an inn filled with her fathers bannermen, it isn’t like she is in imminent danger.

  85. John Webster
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    LV: Still, the threat of a legitimised bastard is too big to countenance, I think.

    You may be right, but given her probable state of mind at the time – I don’t think it’s that outlandish that she would consider such a thing in the moment, while backing out once the crisis had passed.

  86. papachou
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    sunspear:

    “Does it really matter whether she went to see Renly of her own volition or at Robb’s request? ”

    Actually, Catelyn didn’t want to be the envoy to Renly in the books either. She wanted to take care of her father.

    “Catelyn’s decision to capture Tyrion was not a blunder nor was it even remotely ‘dumb’. In fact, it was the best choice amongst a set of less-than-appealing options”

    No, the best choice would have been to go to her room and lock the door. Again, he has TWO GUARDS in an inn filled with her fathers bannermen, it isn’t like she is in imminent danger.

    Unless I am remember the books wrong, I thought she originally came up with the idea to go to Renly and try to make an alliance. Later she gets some news that changes her mind, but Robb insists that she go so she goes. But it was her idea originally in the book and she was all for it at first. And I am in the camp that her actions with Tyrion were reckless at best.

  87. Shan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    When Book Cat was grieving over the loss of Bran and Rickon, she did something really shocking — she released Jaime Lannister from prison, despite the fact that (unlike in the TV show) there was no direct threat to his life at the time. She gave away one of the single greatest advantages her son had and wound up costing him a big chunk of his army.

    Compared to that choice — a dumb choice, but quite understandable, given the terrible emotional state that she was in — a little bit of irrational religious guilt from TV Cat doesn’t seem farfetched at all. It doesn’t matter whether or not everything bad that happened actually was her fault (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). That is, however, a perfectly normal thing for someone to think in her situation, whether it’s rational or not.

    I imagine that on a normal day, Catelyn wakes up and feels perfectly comfortable with the fact that she never made Jon Snow a part of her family. She had (from her point of view) good reasons to keep him out — she believed that legitimizing him would make him a threat to her children when the time came to jockey for Ned’s inheritance. Whatever her faults, I do believe that Catelyn makes choices based on whether or not she’d be able to live with herself after making them — and I don’t think she’d have made the decision to keep Jon Snow separate from the rest of her family unless she was able to live with it.

    The only time when Cat feels bad about it, I’d guess, is during unusual, extreme circumstances — like when baby Jon was dying, or like when she’s just lost two of her children. Her feeling guilty at those times doesn’t mean that she has to feel guilty on an average day. It’s not an average day.

  88. sunspear
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Ok. That’s a fair argument. But for my interpretation of her it just isn’t a very big change.

    papachou,

    Well, I’ve already gone on one extended argument over whether an alliance with Renly is really her original idea. For me it goes back to the fact that his bannermen were trying for the same thing right before the King in the North scene. But either way, she still didn’t want to be the envoy at first.

  89. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    sunspear: Oh boy…

    Look, I’ll give you Sansa. All she did was get herself captured. But Catelyn kidnappingTyrion is undeniably one of the top 10 stupidest things a character has done in ASOIAF. She was told they didn’t have enough evidence and what would happen if he they moved to quick, and she did it anyway. And don’t tell me she didn’t have other options. Tyrion had two guards with him.

    O boy…
    This interpretation fails to factor in the characters’ knowledge as well as their social and cultural environment. It has been debunked many times by many long-time readers.

    To keep it brief: Catelyn tries to avoid being seen by Tyrion at the crossroads inn. She wants him to be on his way, ignorant of her whereabouts and what can be inferred from them. But Tyrion spots her, recognises her, and she has to act. Within the mores of her society, one of the few things she can do is to take him captive and put him on trial. She has to make her decision very fast in a very confusing situation, involving high stakes, an unclear power balance, and a lot of observers. What she then decides to do is probably the best she can do, given the fucked-up circumstances.

    sunspear:

    No, the best choice would have been to go to her room and lock the door. Again, he has TWO GUARDS in an inn filled with her fathers bannermen, it isn’t like she is in imminent danger.

    What?! The danger in this particular situation is, of course, not some kind of fight between them, but the possibility (and later fact) that Tyrion sees Lord Stark’s wife in an inn on the Kingsroad. The danger is what Tyrion will infer from her presence and what that will ultimately do to her husband.
    I’m somewhat baffeled by your argument’s premise… oO

  90. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    I find myself at odds with this, to some extent. This may be because I watched Season 1, and then read the books, and then came back to the show. But to this:

    She is knowledgeable, loyal, dutiful, virtuous, proud, ambitious, sensitive, confident, decisive, protective, observant, loving, and wise – amongst other qualities, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. She is neither dumb (what a ridiculous assessment) nor cruel. Television Catelyn is, first and foremost, a fiercely protective mother to her children and a dutiful widow. That’s something (and Mrs Fairley puts much more into her), but it’s still so much less than Mr Martin wrote.

    I think it’s fair to say that the Cat of the show is not quite as deep and is not an example of a somewhat less written character that has been expanded through the writing in the way of Margaery, Davos, even Renly or Sandor Clegane (though much of that credit goes to Rory McCann). In the show, though (and I’d agree her character is a bit less interesting in Season 2), I see many of these qualities. Her move against Tyrion makes sense when viewed as the better of many bad options (other than perhaps just walking out of the room). To me the release of Jaime felt like a bad decision in the books and in the show – and can be seen as equally misguided and driven by a mother’s desire to protect or rescue the children she has remaining. In fact, having her make such a move after hearing of the death of her youngest boys strikes me as potentially a more rash decision than before, because before it’s driven less by grief and more as a strategic move, to try to appeal to the sympathies of those in King’s Landing. That may be ridiculous (though Tyrion would probably have understood this rationale, and even Tywin may have been pragmatic enough to make such a trade if possible), but it’s also appropriate on some levels.

    Further, she’s still the one who treats with Walder Frey (and volunteers to do it herself), negotiates with Renly, releases the Kingslayer, counsels against letting Theon go to try to convince Balon Greyjoy to come to their aid (she’s right about this) and impresses Brienne with her quiet resolve. So she does not come across as layered in the show as Cersei or Margaery – but I do not see that she can be reduced to the “dutiful mother.” They’ve shown her smarts on a lot of levels, and even if some of her decisions have been dumb, she ranks, at worst, in third place among “Bad House of Stark Decision-Makers” behind Ned and Sansa, and maybe even Robb, too. Just my 2 cents.

    LV,

    She would probably never consider legitimising Jon Snow. He is older than Robb and would therefore become an eligible heir apparent.

    I believe this criticism has less merit than your other points, which are good ones. She’s working through some emotions here. From a practical point of view, you’re probably right – but I don’t believe that’s the point of the scene, or her thinking at that time. Besides, if she stayed at Jon Snow’s bedside for a night while he cried through a fever, she couldn’t really have been thinking of the unborn Bran and Rickon in terms of a line of succession. (Robb, maybe…I suppose.)

  91. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    I see your points and can agree to an extent.
    Your argument about the question of legitimising Jon seems compelling to me. Also, I made a mistake in my original post on that issue… ;) I guess, that within the television series, her monologue is largely consistent and certainly not ‘character assassination’.

  92. sunspear
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    Her capturing of Tyrion got three of Ned’s guard killed and and his leg crushed by a horse. Tyrion being aware of her prescense would have led to…what exactly? You seem to be under the impression that starting a war by kidnapping Tyrion put her husband and children in less danger than the chance Tyrion might start scheming something. It isn’t.

    My premise is, she didn’t need to capture him, she had other options, and she should have done something else.

  93. JamesL
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Jaime Lannister is on Conan tonight incase anyone wanted to know.

  94. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I really do think that many of you here are WAY over-thinking this.

    Catelyn’s scene was not about Catelyn – it was about Jon. It was about reminding the viewer that Jon is a bastard — but that it is possible to legally declare him a Stark.

    That was the point of the scene. It was not about retconning Catelyn. It was about reminding the viewer who and what Jon Snow is, and that it is possible to just wave a hand and by decree make him a Stark. That’s the foundation they were laying, because Robb is about to do just that in Episode 6 and the viewer needs to know it’s possible.

    Moreover, because unlike the book, Catelyn does not “know” that Bran and Rickon are dead, she is going to have a huge fight with Robb about it, but be conflicted. And because Talisa will know about her sin and broken promise to the gods, so will Robb because Talisa will have told him about it.

  95. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    First of all, “Catelyn-haters” are out of the discussion. They either lack reading skills or are incapable of judging a protagonist’s actions on the basis of her/his motivations, knowledge, and environment alone, instead projecting all kinds of personal baggage on them.

    LOL! Yes, anybody who doesn’t agree with your view of Cat just doesn’t get it. I love the “your opinion is wrong” attitude.

  96. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: Because you’re pointing out your opinions and not facts.
    She said she wished it was Jon that one time when Bran was near death and she was devastated. It was out of character for her and GRRM himself said that Catelyn was not abusive to Jon as a rule. That was a one-time thing. She did not go around wishing him dead.
    Whether or not she would make such a bargain and whether she would break it, that’s your opinion. Nothing concrete. So some will see the scene as character assassination because they’re basing their opinion in their own experience in reading the books and watching the show. It’s subjective, but I don’t think we saw anything in the books that would lead to Catelyn making any kind of a deal with the gods and a speech like that.In the end, we all have our own interpretation, and the debate will likely become circular without new information to shift the discussion.

    If we’re basing our opinions on this on things GRRM has said, it’s more or less immaterial. . You’re correct, however, that this will become circular. I think it’s important to note that over a period of 17 years, it’s not unusual to have sympathetic feelings toward a baby, later a small child, even though his father has done something unforgivable.

  97. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    And your last sentence remains most pertinent – the longer the series goes on, the more we have to regard it as its own animal, even though one draws so much from the other. Either way, it’s interesting to see the direction the show goes, because after all, if it was just a filmed version of the books, we’d have very few surprises in store for us.

  98. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    LV,

    LOL! Yes, anybody who doesn’t agree with your view of Cat just doesn’t get it. I love the “your opinion is wrong” attitude.

    Well, it’s an attitude based on reading the text and applying certain tools of criticism, and as such it is shared – this might surprise you – by most people who have been discussing these characters (as well as their roles in Mr Martin’s expanding narrative) since the late 90s.
    Thus, you can probably see why I’m quite confident that any argument you could muster (not that you have…) will fail to present a new take or make any new point…

  99. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind:
    I really do think that many of you here are WAY over-thinking this.

    Catelyn’s scene was not about Catelyn – it was about Jon. It was about reminding the viewer that Jon is a bastard — but that it is possible to legally declare him a Stark.

    That was the point of the scene. It was not about retconning Catelyn. It was about reminding the viewer who and what Jon Snow is, and that it is possible to just wave a hand and by decree make him a Stark.

    Disagree whole-heartedly. From a plot perspective, perhaps, yes. But from the point of illuminating a character’s thoughts, feelings and state of mind, this was very much about Cat and who she is. And that, too, may set up later discussions, but I don’t think this can be reduced to machinations. Cat is too important a character to make her strongest monologue in the series there to serve as a set-up for something else. GoT by its nature has to do a lot of exposition, and sometimes that’s going to be clunky, but individual scenes need to stand on their own. This scene is not one that can be reduced to “expository dialogue.”

  100. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    So you set up for 2.5 seasons that Jon Snow “is a bastard and never to forget what he is because the world will not?” And then, out of NOWHERE, King Robb is going to declare him otherwise?

    You need to lay that foundation that it is even POSSIBLE to do that. That exposition is not available to a viewer. That’s what Vanessa Taylor and D&D were doing here. They showed us this scene so that Robb’s declaration concerning Jon makes sense. And THAT has to happen because in Book 6 and 7? It’s vitally important to GRRM’s plot.

    You guys are tying yourselves in knots without looking at the bigger picture and how the writers will make this bit of exposition clear to the viewer. That’s why that scene happens. It’s not intended to retcon Catelyn.

  101. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    What?! The danger in this particular situation is, of course, not some kind of fight between them, but the possibility (and later fact) that Tyrion sees Lord Stark’s wife in an inn on the Kingsroad. The danger is what Tyrion will infer from her presence and what that will ultimately do to her husband.
    I’m somewhat baffeled by your argument’s premise… oO

    So, if she had not captured Tyrion, then Ned would’ve been in danger? What, like setting off a chain of events that eventually cost Ned his head?

  102. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    Yes, I get it. You believe people who express their own SUBJECTIVE view of Cat are wrong. That is funny to me.

  103. Tom
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    i thought iwan rheon was cast to play Ramsey snow….doesnt appear that now does anyone know who is?

  104. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    sunspear:
    LV,

    Her capturing of Tyrion got three of Ned’s guard killed and and his leg crushed by a horse. Tyrion being aware of her prescense would have led to…what exactly? You seem to be under the impression that starting a war by kidnapping Tyrion put her husband and children in less danger than the chance Tyrion might start scheming something. It isn’t.

    My premise is, she didn’t need to capture him, she had other options, and she should have done something else.

    Thank you. We are at the core of this particular misinterpretation.
    To begin, arguing post-hoc (as a reader) doesn’t make sense when trying to judge a character’s decision-making.
    That said, Catelyn knew what Tyrion would be able to infer about her family’s suspicions from her presence on the Kingsroad (that the Lady of House Stark had undertaken a journey to the capital and back, meeting her husband). After several steps of inductive and abductive reasoning, certain Lannisters would reach the conclusion that Eddard Stark knew something important about their duplicity (hence his wife’s long and dangerous journey). Given Lord Stark’s vulnerable position in the capital, the Lannisters would have the opportunity to act against him in a number of ways, potentially with deadly force (if the threat necessitated such a step, which, in fact, it did – unbeknownst to Catelyn at this point). The Starks would have no political lever whatsoever (except all-out warfare), while the Lannisters potentially had three high-level hostages, including House Stark:s Lord. By capturing Tyrion, Catelyn gained a potential hostage herself. She also took one Lannister (somewhat famed for his cunning) out of the inference-making process and forced his family in the capital to rely on news delivered by observing outsiders instead of his own account. Given the situation’s volatility, high stakes, confusion, and unclear power-balance, Catelyn made a very difficult decision in a very short time. It probably was the best one she could have made.

  105. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind:
    So you set up for 2.5 seasons that Jon Snow “is a bastard and never to forget what he is because the world will not?” And then, out of NOWHERE, King Robb is going to declare him otherwise?


    You need to lay that foundation that it is even POSSIBLE to do that.That exposition is not available to a viewer. That’s what Vanessa Taylor and D&D were doing here. They showed us this scene so that Robb’s declaration concerning Jon makes sense. And THAT has to happen because in Book 6 and 7? It’s vitally important to GRRM’s plot.

    You guys are tying yourselves in knots without looking at the bigger picture and how the writers will make this bit of exposition clear to the viewer. That’s why that scene happens. It’s not intended to retcon Catelyn.

    Is it not possible for a scene to have more than one purpose???

  106. sunspear
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    Yes, that logic you presented was much less convoluted than “if I kidnap tyrion, the lannisters will attack my family.” (Rolls eyes). No matter what convoluted chain of events you make describing what tyrion might have done, it is never going to be worse than what tywin and Jaime were obviously going to do. And you have ignored the fact that by kidnapping him king Robert now sides with the lannisters. Ps, most book readers agree with me, not you.

  107. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    LV,

    Yes, I get it. You believe people who express their own SUBJECTIVE view of Cat are wrong. That is funny to me.

    No. Above, I wrote that expressing one’s sympathies (or their opposite) for a character is a subjective judgement that everybody is entiteled to. I ‘like’ some characters better than others – in fact, I don’t ‘like’ most of the characters at all.
    But that has itself nothing at all to do with the question of whether a particular character and his/her role in the narrative is well-written. That is a question about literary merit. And while such questions, to a degree, are matters of taste, too, it is possible to assess a character’s decisions and actions, his/her thoughts, motivations, and development of personality independently of any ‘feelings’ one might harbour for that character. And in this sense, Catelyn, in my opinion (see?) is a very well-crafted character – maybe Mr Martin’s best in ASOIAF. Now, when attempting to make such a judgement, the reader has to factor in the environment in which the character acts. What does the character know, what are the laws, mores, and beliefs at work here? How does the culture/society function in a situation like this? In short: What can we learn from the text about the circumstances in which someone like Catelyn Stark has to make a decision?
    And when one does this with some determination and skill (i.e. skill at keeping one’s feelings about a character out of it), a scene like that between Catelyn and Tyrion in the crossroads inn doesn’t allow an ‘anything goes’ interpretation any longer. There might still be argument about it. But – please – argue. And don’t tell everyone how you find someone dumb or reprehensible or unfunny or whatever. And don’t apply your reader’s knowledge and modern real-world values when judging whether a character is written as rash/wise/immoral/stupid/ambitious/horny in a believable fashion.

  108. Visenya
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Yes, the fact that most book readers agree with you obviously means you’re correct. Because y’know, majority opinion ALWAYS equals truth.

  109. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    She explicitly says she didn’t think the decision through at all. She just made an self-admittedly unthinking decision, and that decision turned out to lead to a chain of events that cost Ned his head. I’m not saying I blame Cat for the decision or for the outcome. I understand she didn’t have a lot of time to think things through, but it is pretty clear that what she did was not a good move.

  110. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    No. Above, I wrote that expressing one’s sympathies (or their opposite) for a character is a subjective judgement that everybody is entiteled to. I ‘like’ some characters better than others – in fact, I don’t ‘like’ most of the characters at all.
    But that has itself nothing at all to do with the question of whether a particular character and his/her role in the narrative is well-written.

    Yeah, you’re moving the goal-posts on me. I made my comments in response to this statement of yours that I’ll post below. As you’ll see, it has nothing to do with judging people who say Cat isn’t well written.

    First of all, “Catelyn-haters” are out of the discussion. They either lack reading skills or are incapable of judging a protagonist’s actions on the basis of her/his motivations, knowledge, and environment alone, instead projecting all kinds of personal baggage on them.

  111. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    No kidding. I find it fascinating that anyone believes Cat’s decision to kidnap Tyrion was the “best one she could have made.”

  112. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    sunspear:
    LV,

    Yes, that logic you presented was much less convoluted than “if I kidnap tyrion, the lannisters will attack my family.” (Rolls eyes). No matter what convoluted chain of events you make describing what tyrion might have done, it is never going to be worse than what tywin and Jaime were obviously going to do. And you have ignored the fact that by kidnapping him king Robert now sides with the lannisters. Ps, most book readers agree with me, not you.

    You obviously lack both reading and reasoning skills.
    At the very moment that Tyrion noticed Catelyn in the crossroads inn, she had to expect that the Lannisters (inferring the Stark’s level of knowledge) would attack her family – whether she captured/killed/ignored Tyrion or not.
    By capturing him, she denied them their most accurate account of what had happened and she procured her family’s first hostage for the conflict to come. Only a hostage could provide the political clout to avert open conflict. And if it should ultimately come to that, trading hostages would at least enable their families to avoid bloodshed (as Tywin Lannister would have done it). This was the framework on which Catelyn had to rely – which she did in a very decisive fashion.
    She could neither foresee Jaime Lannister’s impulsive (and socially unwarranted) attack on her husband’s party nor the course of events following Lord Eddard’s fateful conversation with Cersei later.

  113. sunspear
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Visenya,

    I was responding to lbs claim that the majority of the fandom supports her. Majority opinion doesn’t make me right, my logic does.

    One final point before I call it a night, if you really think that arresting tyrion was a good idea than she should have taken him to kings landing for a trial, so at least it wouldn’t look like a kidnapping.

  114. LV
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    The quote you provided refers, in context, to those in the larger discussion who ‘hate’ Catelyn for some reason or another and therefore hold all kinds of opinions about her portrayal in the novels and the television series. I exclude them from any argument I make because they are not interested in discussing a character and its role in the stories (books & tv). Having participated in discussions like this since before ASoS was published, I know this kind of pattern and long ago lost interest in it.
    To provide an example: Whether the monologue in “Dark Wings, Dark Words, amounts to ‘character assassination’ has naught to do with one’s feelings about Catelyn Stark. And while everyone is entiteled to their feelings, those who are unable to see past them and judge a character’s actions, personality or literary merit independently, are both numerous (this I know from experience) and boring to talk to. As I said above, I have a few feelings about Mr Martin’s protagonists, too. But to discuss the in-story behaviour or literary quality of a particular character (be it Catelyn Stark or Joffrey Baratheon) is almost impossible to do when the emotional attachment is so strong as to generate ‘hatred’ for him/her. This is especially true in the case of rather complex protagonists, whose decisions are judged controversially. And in my experience, most people who express knee-jerk reactions like “Catelyn started the war with a dumb decision” or “Sansa condemned her father by talking to Cersei” simply have no interest in getting at the heart of the matter, so to speak.

  115. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    I think a better decision would’ve been to confront Tyrion about Littlefinger’s accusation, hear Tyrion out, and then suggest going to King’s Landing to settle the issue of which of them were telling the truth. At that point, if Tyrion had refused, and knowing Tyrion we know he wouldn’t have refused, then she could have took him captive.

    Why is an option that would’ve exposed LF as the liar he is, a worse choice than the one she made?

  116. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    The quote you provided refers, in context, to those in the larger discussion who ‘hate’ Catelyn for some reason or another and therefore hold all kinds of opinions about her portrayal in the novels and the television series. I exclude them from any argument I make because they are not interested in discussing a character and its role in the stories (books & tv). Having participated in discussions like this since before ASoS was published, I know this kind of pattern and long ago lost interest in it.

    OK, but you didn’t just say you had no interest in involving them in the convo. You said they lacked reading skills, among other insults, simply based on their opinions. Had you just said you weren’t interested in discussing this issue with Cat-haters, and left out the pot-shots of their opinions, then I wouldn’t have responded.

  117. LV
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Fair enough! I guess I should have made that clear.

  118. Zack
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    That is exactly what I thought when reading the scene for the first time and what I think any time the scene is brought up again in discussions. It just never made sense to me that she would just be so immediately hostile to him instead of trying diplomacy first. Taking somebody captive on hearsay can’t be undone. The option would have been there if diplomatic efforts didn’t proceed as hoped.

  119. JamesL
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Tom,

    He is playing Ramsay….

    He is just tricking Theon.

  120. telobsidion
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    I don’t mind the changes made with regards to her attitudes towards Jon (though I cringe horribly at the idea of her wanting to legitimize Ned’s oldest son, making him first before her own offspring). What I do mind is that they’ve stripped her of all political savvy. I’m not saying she was a savant politician or anything, but she gave Robb good advice. All her good advice has been taken away from her and others have given it.

  121. Lars
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    telobsidion:
    I don’t mind the changes made with regards to her attitudes towards Jon (though I cringe horribly at the idea of her wanting to legitimize Ned’s oldest son, making him first before her own offspring). What I do mind is that they’ve stripped her of all political savvy. I’m not saying she was a savant politician or anything, but she gave Robb good advice. All her good advice has been taken away from her and others have given it.

    Huh? She’s given plenty of good political advice to Robb in the show:
    1. Don’t trust Balon Greyjoy
    2. Don’t threaten the Frey alliance by marrying someone else

  122. sCor
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    I don’t still get, why so many people are upset about the Catelyn/Jon Snow scene. That scene does not imply in any way, that she doesn’t hate Jon anymore. Yes, she is feeling guilty about hating him, but she explicitly states, that she can’t help still hating him, so in my eyes her character is still the same as it was before. The only difference is, that she opened up a little about it due to recent events in Riverrun and Winterfell.

  123. Drfunk
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    People here can call me a “purist” but I find all this Catelyn talk rather silly. Like seriously, get over this already. There were so many other fundamental changes from the books that had nothing to do with character shuffling or some silly aesthetic look to a character. Where was your righteous indignation for character assassination then? If you’re going to complain about Cat, at least be consistent about it. What other stuff?

    1. Cercei: from femme fatale to angry cynical women who we’ve yet to see use sex as a weapon.
    2. Littlefinger: Turning one of the most devious character into such an obvious lickspittle.
    3. Renly: Turning this massive Jock with better clothes than Jaime into this little pansy who needs to have his hand held for everything.
    4. Shae: Turning this happy go lucky prostitute with a heart of skank into this “deeply emo character”. Honestly, when has Shae ever been “charming” to the point non readers were questioning why Tyrion liked her.
    5.Yara: The male version of Cercei turned into some angry can lady with a cart. Once again where’s the charm?

    These are all some of the other character assassination which had nothing to do with truncating/merging character (like Marge). For every stellar book to life casting (like Ned, Arya, Varys etc…) there were these other clunkers for the purists.

    So why is it that all those things were somehow acceptable due to the adaptation argument but this Catelyn change makes you see red? Do I feel the Cat monologue was out of left field? Sure. Will I flip a table because of this? No, not really. If I survived the first 5 points and can somehow even manage not to throw stuff at the screen whenever Ros eats 5min of screen time, I can surely manage to enjoy GoT with this new spin on Catelyn. So let’s all please move on from the Catgate into something more constructive.

  124. Gonfaloniere
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano, if you have not yet placed your order I highly recommend Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet. It’s wonderfully done political fantasy set in a world that owes a lot to East Asian culture and influences. I really loved it and think it’s something I will reread. It follows one character’s story from youth to old age in four different episodes. (By the way, Abraham is a friend/collaborator of Martin’s.) I haven’t read his most recent series (waiting for the third book to come out in May) but Long Price is one of my favorite fantasies.

  125. King Tommen
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    It’s always been my opinion that whenever it comes to the show’s portrayal of Catelyn, the fans most enraged or upset are the ones who have been lugging around serious baggage for many years regarding how she’s been perceived by fans in the books. They wanted the show to validate their point of view with regards to the character and when it didn’t, they’ve been enraged even further and have exaggerated the issue beyond what it should be. It’s become some kind of feminist rallying cry and I honestly have never had any idea why.

    Nothing that I’ve read in this thread has persuaded me to think differently.

  126. sansa
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    D&D are amazingly talented men who have created an amazing TV show for us all to enjoy, for which I will always be grateful.

    They are also sexist pigs, in their treatment of Catelyn.

  127. Dan
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    I think it is tough to make such a blanket psychoanalysis stick. Sure, that might be the case for some, but clearly the reason for the anger has been pretty varied.

  128. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Greg: Would recommend the Night Angel trilogy and the Misborn trilogy.You said not interested in more Sanderson but Misborn is really much better than Elantris.

    Thanks for the tips man…I’m not interested in Mistborn as I said but is the second person that recommnends me Brent Weeks and the Night Angel Trilogy, and is definitelly a possibility ;)

  129. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Tom:
    i thought iwan rheon was cast to play Ramsey snow….doesnt appear that now does anyone know who is?

    He was the boy cleaning theon’s torture chamber

    Gonfaloniere:
    Pau Soriano, if you have not yet placed your order I highly recommend Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet. It’s wonderfully done political fantasy set in a world that owes a lot to East Asian culture and influences. I really loved it and think it’s something I will reread. It follows one character’s story from youth to old age in four different episodes. (By the way, Abraham is a friend/collaborator of Martin’s.) I haven’t read his most recent series (waiting for the third book to come out in May) but Long Price is one of my favorite fantasies.

    Thanks man. I checked the info of both series and as I’m not that into eastern style worlds I felt more attracted by the last one. Would you say the first is vastly superior? And would you put Abraham on the same level (or close) as Martin (not on quality, but on style?)

  130. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    This is a new low, as far as “controversies” are concerned.

  131. PatD
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    A couple other suggestions:

    The Red Knight (First Book of The Traitor Son Cycle) by Miles Cameron, and not medieval, but I think it would appeal to readers of ASoFaI: Low Town and Tomorrow the Killing by Daniel Polansky.

    Re: CatGate: Every year since this show has started the boards become inundated with some argument about the TV series straying from the books, and when all is said and done, I always wonder the same thing. What part of adaptation do you not understand?

    Your arguments are riddled with assumption that mandate any filmed adaptation must adhere to the same literary standards and skill sets applied to book criticism, while ignoring these are two completely different art forms.

    The creators of the filmed adaptation have spent uncountable work hours, raised huge amounts of money, organized a mammoth undertaking of a diverse group of craftsmen (and women), and paid/been granted the license to film this story according to their interpretations of the books. Not yours or mine or Martin’s, but theirs. They bought, earned, and have been allowed that right.

    That doesn’t mean I always agree with their representations, but as we are discussing another art form, at best it’s illogical to apply another art form’s standards to these efforts, and at worst it’s just plain disingenuous.

    This is how these cinematic artists interpreted the strong, female character of Cat. Their interpretation isn’t any less than yours. It’s just different.

    BTW: I don’t think Cat was lamenting guilt for Snow in that scene. She was very much in character with her religion during that monologue. She made a foolish bargain with her Gods, one she knew she’d probably never be able to keep, and she feels much of the tragedy befallen her family is punishment for reneging on those foolish promises. At this point of the game, her faith is almost all she has left. I thought the scene very much in character, superbly acted, and very poignant. Not knowing the end points that D&D have become privy, I’m willing to allow there might be other reasons for that scene, also.

    I’d like to remind some that being a strong woman does not necessarily negate maternal instincts. You can be one and still have the other. Possessing only strong, feminist qualities makes for a very one-dimensional character.

  132. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    PatD:
    A couple other suggestions:

    The Red Knight (First Book of The Traitor Son Cycle) by Miles Cameron, and not medieval, but I think it would appeal to readers of ASoFaI: Low Town and Tomorrow the Killing by Daniel Polansky.

    Thanks a lot, I never heard of those 2 and that’s exactly what I was looking for :)

  133. sunspear
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    LV: You obviously lack both reading and reasoning skills.
    At the very moment that Tyrion noticed Catelyn in the crossroads inn, she had to expect that the Lannisters (inferring the Stark’s level of knowledge) would attack her family – whether she captured/killed/ignored Tyrion or not.
    By capturing him, she denied them their most accurate account of what had happened and she procured her family’s first hostage for the conflict to come. Only a hostage could provide the political clout to avert open conflict. And if it should ultimately come to that, trading hostages would at least enable their families to avoid bloodshed (as Tywin Lannister would have done it). This was the framework on which Catelyn had to rely – which she did in a very decisive fashion.
    She could neither foresee Jaime Lannister’s impulsive (and socially unwarranted) attack on her husband’s party nor the course of events following Lord Eddard’s fateful conversation with Cersei later.

    Sorry, but your ‘logic’ is terrible.

    1. There is no reason to assume the second she was recognized that a war is inevitable as soon as she is recognized. Again, she had no evidence, and there is no reason for Tyrion to expect she had any. The dagger is no evidence at all, and if the assassin had survived and confessed, Catelyn wouldn’t need to be sneaky. Therefore, the logical course of action is to do nothing.

    2. Jaime Lannister is acknowleged by everyone in the series as hotheaded, loving his brother, and willing to kill anyone who gets in his way. Bullocks she couldn’t forsee him going after her family. She’s lucky the Lannisters didn’t getting three hostages instead of just two.

    3. You complete ignore the fact that by capturing Tyrion, Catelyn makes King Robert side with the Lannisters. That gives the Lannisters all the extra men they need to guarentee winning the war.

    Don’t accuse people of lacking reading comprehension and logic skills and then post nonsense like this.

  134. AikenDrum
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Did you make it past book one of the Malazan series? I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t get past the first book. I can assure this is a series that gets soooo much better with every book. But I guess if you struggle through the first book, but do not get past the second, then this series is not for you.

    Some personal others I didn’t see in your post: Zelazny’s Amber series, Bernard Cornwell’s books about king Arthur, Stephen Donaldson’s ‘The Gap’-series (I know that’s SF instead of fantasy, but it’s really good :)) and Glen Cook’s Black Company series. Also, GRRM has written a few very entertaining short stories and novels. I really liked Fevre Dream.

  135. NONBOOKREADER
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    papachou,

    papachou,

    I know man…its unreal how obsessed they are with the book material….give me a break!

  136. LV
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    sunspear: Sorry, but your ‘logic’ is terrible.

    1. There is no reason to assume the second she was recognized thata war is inevitable as soon as she is recognized. Again, she had no evidence, and there is no reason for Tyrion to expect she had any. The dagger is no evidence at all, and if the assassin had survived and confessed, Catelyn wouldn’t need to be sneaky. Therefore, the logical course of action is to do nothing.

    2. Jaime Lannister is acknowleged by everyone in the series as hotheaded, loving his brother, and willing to kill anyone who gets in his way. Bullocks she couldn’t forsee him going after her family. She’s lucky the Lannisters didn’t getting three hostages instead of just two.

    3. You complete ignore the fact that by capturing Tyrion, Catelyn makes King Robert side with the Lannisters. That gives the Lannisters all the extra men they need to guarentee winning the war.

    Don’t accuse people of lacking reading comprehension and logic skills and then post nonsense like this.

    Again, your supposed reasoning betrays your lack of understanding (i.e. reading comprehension) of the world in which the protagonists make their decisions. You continue to apply your post hoc reader’s knowledge as well as modern real-world assumptions and sensibilities to the analysis. Furthermore, you fail to factor in the mores governing Catelyn’s actions.
    To wit, the question of “evidence” is not nearly as important as you and others make it out to be. The problem is not mainly a forensic one. Also, I wrote that conflict (an “attack”) was enevitable, not “war”. However, should the situation have escalated, Tyrion’s capture would have provided at least some opportunity for negotiation.
    Whatever Jaime Lannister’s reputation was (and it was that of a one-time oathbreaker, not a raging lunatic), his reaction lay outside society’s rules of conduct – he had to flee the city and was rightfully reprimanded by his own Lord. By the way, it was not as if the attack on Lord Eddard somehow facilitated Stark’s undoing. In fact, it probably did more harm to the Lannisters than to their enemies.
    And King Robert did not “side” with the Lannisters. He commanded his bannermen to resolve a dispute (of which he knew almost nothing yet) amongst themselves. It would have been totally unthinkable for the king to stab his own Hand in the back – both personally (as a friend) and with respect to the governing mores.
    Your whole argument fails to appreciate the way Mr Martin’s Seven Kingdoms work socially. It disregards the way his protagonists think, how most of them rely on the framework of cultural laws around them, and the fact that they are supposed to do so…

  137. sunspear
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    LV,

    Ok, let’s break apart all the quotes in your post that contradict what actually happened in the book.

    he had to flee the city and was rightfully reprimanded by his own Lord

    Nope. Tywin only reprimanded Jaime on the show, not the book. And don’t you see the hypocrisy in saying Jaime was unjustified in attacking Eddard and Catelyn was justified in kidnapping Tyrion?

    He [Robert] commanded his bannermen to resolve a dispute (of which he knew almost nothing yet) amongst themselves.

    Nope. He ordered Ned to have Tyrion released. This means that he thought Catelyn was the one that messed up (which she did).

    It disregards the way his protagonists think

    Catelyn did not think at all. She specifically said in the book ‘there was no time to think it through’. It’s too bad she didn’t otherwise she might have realized how stupid what she was doing was.

    Furthermore, I am not arguing post-hoc what Catelyn did makes no sense, I am arguing that your thought process makes no sense. Even if Tyrion knows Catelyn is investigating her family, she knows she can’t prove anything. Therefore, Tyrion also knows she can’t prove anything, and thus has no need to further to antogonize the Starks.

    As far as making decisions ‘based on understanding of the world Catelyn lives in’, you may remember that Catelyn, Ned, and Littlefinger had a conversation in which they said, in no uncertain terms, that if they accused the Lannisters without evidence, then the King would side with them (which he did). Please stop ignoring book evidence and accusing me of not understanding it.

  138. barak
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    sunspear: As far as making decisions ‘based on understanding of the world Catelyn lives in’,

    Not to mention that the world Catelyn lives in is a fantasy world made up by GRRM. Yes, it’s similar to the real European Middle Ages but it’s NOT the actual European Middle Ages. Anything that is not confirmed by GRRM is, by default, fannish speculation or interpretation based on one’s subjective take on the characters and the world. It’s not any more valid (or intelligent or insightful) than other people’s speculations and interpretations.

    Anyone’s interpretation of Catelyn is not any less valid (nor less insightful or intelligent) than any other interpretation of the character. Furthermore, this is D&D’s show and not yours (general “you”). If you want to see your own interpretation on screen make your own ASOIAF adaptation.

  139. Visenya
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Let’s move away from increasingly convoluted arguments about the degree to which Catelyn’s kidnapping of Tyrion was abad decision. The thing to understand here is that Cat’s poor decision was just one in a series of poor decisions and manipulations by multiple characters that led to the war. Failure to recognize this and insisting the war would never have happened if not for Catelyn is equivalent to admitting you do not understand the story.

    Also need I remind everyone that this is a fansite? I’m a fan of the series and telling people to leave the site because they don’t love every single aspect of the adaptation is pointless. I might as well tell the people who dislike this conversation about Cat to leave the page or something.

  140. sunspear
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Visenya,

    No one said that it was the only thing. Just that it was the most significant thing.

  141. No One
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I don’t get why people blame Cat for starting the war. Even if she hadn’t taken Tyrion, something else would have see things in motion. Have people forgotten about Tywin Lannister? I found this and I have to say, I quite agree with it. There are spoilers for those who have not read the books I believe.

    http://oblivion-with-bells.tumblr.com/post/47579097457/bishop-takes-pawn-the-queen-takes-the-king-and-tywin

  142. Gonfaloniere
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Despite my handle, I’m actually a lady :D (But Gonfalonieressa sounds stupid!) I would definitely say that in terms of political intrigue and the importance of economics (most of the war in The Long Price has to do in an indirect way with monopoly capitalism!) and the lack of clear-cut “good” vs. “evil” Abraham is very comparable to Martin! He has another series (I think it’s called The Dagger and the Coin or else that is the name of one of the books) but I have been waiting to read it until the final book comes out in May.

    The East Asian influence is not nearly as pronounced as in Lian Hearn’s faux-Japan of the Otori books, just that the influence is there (the characters drink tea a lot). I enjoyed it because it’s so different from the vast majority of faux-medieval Europe fantasy. If you are undecided still, I would suggest you start with the second book, A Betrayal in Winter which is fantastic! (It is a series, but the story are loosely linked by common characters and each book has its own distinct arc that you can read without reading the previous one. I liked the first one, but the second one grabbed me and wouldn’t let go!)

  143. Visenya
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Hardly. While it’s true that her actions have consequences that may seem obvious to the reader, the blame for the war doesn’t really lie with Cat. There are players in the game who were actively creating animosity between powerful factions. There are players who were waiting for a power grab, and were unopposed to using violent means. When we know that all these people actually wanted to go to war long before Catelyn did anything, how can you place the majority of the blame on her?

    It’s a gross oversimplification of the narrative to place so little value on the larger forces at play in Martin’s Seven Kingdoms. People were literally waiting to go to war at the slightest provocation. It’s not as though Catelyn forced them to take up arms with her actions. Her actions just happened to be the trigger the big players were waiting for.

  144. barak
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Visenya: When we know that all these people actually wanted to go to war long before Catelyn did anything, how can you place the majority of the blame on her?

    Because she took the bait and created the most perfect casus belli anyone could’ve asked for?

  145. voiceareason
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Visenya,

    It was still a bad decision! Impulsive and reckless, and certainly one of the many triggers for war.

  146. Dandeliondancer
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I’m going back to the unsullied TWOP thread – at least people there don’t tell other people they have to go back to high school to improve their comprehension skills…besides, most of those spitballs are pretty spot on, which means that D&D are most probably steering this whole ship in the right direction :-)

  147. sunspear
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Visenya,

    When we know that all these people actually wanted to go to war long before Catelyn did anything, how can you place the majority of the blame on her?

    Because she was the catalyst who set the whole thing in motion. Yes, war almost certainly would have started without her, but that doesn’t excuse her for starting it early, giving Tyrion all the more reason to side with his family, and making the Lannisters look like the victims in the process.

    No One,

    That article failed to connect Tywin to anything truly responsible for the war. Not the incest, not the murder of Jon Arryn, not the plot to murder Robert, not the kidnapping of Tyrion. So, not that convincing to me.

  148. Visenya
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    barak,

    Again, you’re implying there would be no war if not for Catelyn. That’s untrue.
    I’m not arguing Cat made a good decision or anything. I’m just trying to get people to recognize there were a lot of other, larger forces at work which render the accusation that Cat started the war baseless.

  149. Michael Johnson
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Wow…it’s almost like reading forums at Westeros now…

    Fact: I love the books.

    Fact: I love the series.

    Fact: Allowing your love for one over the other to blind you to the relative strengths and weaknesses of both is depriving you of a lot of narrative pleasure.

    Fact: Righteous indignation about how the narrative is being treated by the artists who have every artistic right to do whatever they want to the material they are working with is sort of misguided – since everyone seems intent on ignoring Martin’s involvement in the series Martin himself is working with D&D on the series; Martin himself is giving either tacit or specific permission to D&D to do what they will with the material; Martin has written for television and understands the medium and its narrative necessities better than 99.9% of online commentators who apparently labor under the mistaken belief that having an opinion about something means you are an expert about that thing.

    Fact: I’m done with reading forums about this stuff…a waste of valuable time I could spend either rereading the books or rewatching the series and reveling in a fantastic fantasy narrative in either medium.

  150. Rabid Grunt
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    LV,

    Concerning all this about Cat making a good decision in the Inn, are you just making this up, or do you actually have any evidence to support your claims?

  151. barak
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Visenya,

    No, I’m not saying that there wouldn’t have been a war. I’m saying that AS THINGS HAPPENED (note: no “what ifs”) Cat basically made the first openly hostile step.

    Sure, the war would’ve happened without Cat arresting Tyrion. But fact is, she DID arrest Tyrion and thus played a huge role in the outbreak of hostilities. Arresting Tyrion with no concrete evidence whatsoever was a huge, HUGE diplomatic/political misstep that set into motion a chain of events.

    Michael Johnson: Fact: Righteous indignation about how the narrative is being treated by the artists who have every artistic right to do whatever they want to the material they are working with is sort of misguided – since everyone seems intent on ignoring Martin’s involvement in the series Martin himself is working with D&D on the series; Martin himself is giving either tacit or specific permission to D&D to do what they will with the material; Martin has written for television and understands the medium and its narrative necessities better than 99.9% of online commentators who apparently labor under the mistaken belief that having an opinion about something means you are an expert about that thing.

    Quoted for truth.

  152. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Alice,

    I think because the guilt she must feel about leaving the boys is so obvious, it doesn’t even need to be mentioned. Any woman, particularly mothers, would assume she’d feel that way. But with Jon Snow, the feelings are a lot more complicated. And Jon is such a huge part of the story, which is becoming more fractured as the story lines increase, that having her speak of Jon in this way reminds us of how it all ties in together. Because that is a major theme in GRRMs work…the ripple effect of the characters’ actions. Nothing exists in a vacuum kind of thing…..

  153. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I must be nuts because I just don’t see Show!Cat all that much different than Book!Cat. Both felt guilty about leaving her kids behind and felt that she played a role in what happened to them as a result. Both were strong willed and either challenged Robb or pushed their advice on him. Both made the wrong decisions time and time again. Both were very religious and very much relied on their belief in the 7. Both were against the relationship with Talisa. Both early on encouraged Ned to send Jon to the Wall to clear up Robb’s place as future lord. Both were jealous of Jon’s unknown mother and Jon and made no bones about it. So……I just don’t understand the kerfuffle.

  154. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    papachou,

    I actually liked the scene for it’s raw honesty. I mean, that kind of acknowledgment of such a crappy motive is powerful. And it was well acted. I’ve felt all along that Show!Cat hasn’t shown ENOUGH emotion after Season 1.

  155. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    Agreed! DnD rarely waste time in the shows, if ever, and they are always thinking ten steps ahead. I’m pretty certain there’s a plot/character development reason for that particular monologue involving her becoming Lady Stoneheart and Jon’s story arc in future seasons.

  156. mariamb18
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Completely agree with your 3 most recent posts.

    I, too, don’t understand this “kerfuffle”.

  157. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    AikenDrum:
    Pau Soriano,

    Did you make it past book one of the Malazan series? I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t get past the first book. I can assure this is a series that gets soooo much better with every book. But I guess if you struggle through the first book, but do not get past the second, then this series is not for you.

    Some personal others I didn’t see in your post: Zelazny’s Amber series, Bernard Cornwell’s books about king Arthur, Stephen Donaldson’s ‘The Gap’-series (I know that’s SF instead of fantasy, but it’s really good :)) and Glen Cook’s Black Company series. Also, GRRM has written a few very entertaining short stories and novels. I really liked Fevre Dream.

    I bought the second book of the Malazan series but never got around reading it.. I’ll keep what you say in mind and maybe I’ll give it a go in the future ;)

    I liked the Black Company, and I read the Thomas Covenant series from Donaldson (the first chronicles), wich were ok, but I’m sure I would have liked them more 25 years ago. Bernard Cronwell I haven’t tried yet, but I’m sure I will in the future, specially the Saxon series…but I just bought Robert Low’s The Oathsworn, wich is supposed to be similar, and want to read that seroes first. Thanks for your tips though, I really appreciate them :)

    Gonfaloniere:
    Pau Soriano,

    Despite my handle, I’m actually a lady :D (But Gonfalonieressa sounds stupid!) I would definitely say that in terms of political intrigue and the importance of economics (most of the war in The Long Price has to do in an indirect way with monopoly capitalism!) and the lack of clear-cut “good” vs. “evil” Abraham is very comparable to Martin! He has another series (I think it’s called The Dagger and the Coin or else that is the name of one of the books) but I have been waiting to read it until the final book comes out in May.

    The East Asian influence is not nearly as pronounced as in Lian Hearn’s faux-Japan of the Otori books, just that the influence is there (the characters drink tea a lot). I enjoyed it because it’s so different from the vast majority of faux-medieval Europe fantasy. If you are undecided still, I would suggest you start with the second book, A Betrayal in Winter which is fantastic! (It is a series, but the story are loosely linked by common characters and each book has its own distinct arc that you can read without reading the previous one. I liked the first one, but the second one grabbed me and wouldn’t let go!)

    What about Gonfalionera then? ;)
    I checked both series online and maybe I feel more attracted to The Dagger and the Coin…but if you say the last one comes out next month maybe I should wait ’till then to see the reviews. I will have to buy something by Abraham for sure though! Regarding Lian Hearn’s Otori books I never heard of them ’till a couple of friends recommended them to me last night after asking for books advice…maybe I should give those a go too, but as I said the eastern vibe throws me back a little. Also they seem Young Adult? Anyway thanks a lot for your ideas ;)

    Time to go to Goodreads and check the 1 star reviews of all the books people have so kindly recommended me!…yes, I find that reading the worse reviews you can easily tell if the book is for you or not, much easily than reading the 5 star ones hehe

  158. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    sansa,
    Whoa there, the books are that way. The writers could hardly have ignored that! The entire culture in Westeros treats women like shite BUT GRRM still gives us some very strong women. And from my background in sociology, I can tell you how the various women adjust to the misogynistic culture is realistic, both in the book and on the screen. Cersei relies on the Lannister name but wields power by getting rid of the men who resist her and keeping power with her son who she thought she could control. Brienne is androgynous (this is an EASY one). Cat uses her husband’s status and her role as mother for power (actually kind of similar to Cersei) but her methods and goals are different. Both Cersei and Cat have to be cold in many ways in order to maintain their power. Margery uses her sexual appeal and never lets the men see just how whip smart she is or how they are being manipulated (they’re too busy looking at her boobs….I see this ALL the time in the real world).

    So claiming D&D sexist pigs is calling GRRM a sexist pig and I think you’d find that GRRM is first and foremost focused on world building and through that showing the ugliness of war, sexism, slavery, etc. And you can’t show how wrong something is without delving into it and it’s consequences.

  159. afartherroom
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I liked the scene and, while sympathetic to the feminist critique of the show’s incarnation of Catelyn, didn’t particularly mind it myself….

    until I watched the above video and heard Benioff and Weiss talk about the character.

    Now I feel a little grossed out by the changes and think that I shall have to try to forget just how…well, how Dudebro-y these guys and their analysis can sometimes be. Otherwise it will really start to gnaw at me and I’ll have serious trouble enjoying the show and the character as much as I once did.

    ::reaches for brain eraser and drops Retcon into drink::

  160. Skipjack
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    The discovery of Jaime and Cersei’s incest is what starts the war, which is why the show starts with that, not with Cat arresting Tyrion. I can’t say whether it’s in character for Cat to shoulder loads of blame for developments, but I can say it’s not dramatically rational. There are so many things that have had to go wrong and so many promises broken for things to be where they are. So when she talks about feelings she may have had that have no bearing on recent history it seems like a distraction, no matter how well acted and needed to give Talisa something to do but tend to the wounded and be shmoopy with Robb.

    And everyone is forgetting the events which came right before Jaime pushing Bran out of a window, namely the murder of Jon Arryn which is what brought the Starks into this in the first place. Remember what motivated that? We are even initially lead to believe by GRRM that it is due to Cersei fearing what Jon Arryn knows, a red herring that should underline how important the incest and her children’s illegitimacy is.

    My pet theory, which the show is doing its best to undermine, is that Littlefinger is the mastermind behind all the conflict. We already know that he had Lysa kill Jon Arryn. We know he wants war, in order to create chaos and opportunities for advancement. What hasn’t been explicitly said is that he foiled Varys’ attempt to broker peace in sending Ned to the Wall, by putting it in Joffrey’s head that he’d look weak in front of women if he let treason go unpunished. But don’t both LF and Joffrey seem to share that similar misogyny? And truly LF is the one player who most benefits from plunging the country into war, while Varys was playing for time. The show is undermining my confidence though by having show!LF be someone you can see coming from a mile away. But I really want to underline that there would have been a war because LF was actively working to make it happen, and eventually Varys would have as well to bring Aegon in.

  161. barak
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Skipjack: The discovery of Jaime and Cersei’s incest is what starts the war, which is why the show starts with that, not with Cat arresting Tyrion.

    Cat arresting Tyrion was the spark that lit the flame. Until then there was nothing you could prove on anyone. Incest? The only witness is in a coma and even after he wakes up he doesn’t remember anything. Murder of Jon Arryn? Nah, that was just an illness. Oh you don’t think so? Too bad, you can’t prove anything on anyone. Assassination attempt on Bran? So what if the assassin had a Lannister’s weapon, it’s such an obviously clumsy ploy. And so on. But then Cat seizes Tyrion with no concrete evidence, and in that moment we have the first openly hostile act by one house toward another, and it’s something that can be pointed at to justify later acts.

  162. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    barak,
    Cat arresting Tyrion was the excuse that Lannister’s needed and were hoping for. They and/or Littlefinger and/or Varys were 10 steps ahead of Ned and the Starks the whole time.

  163. barak
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    As I said – a perfect casus belli. The Starks were set up and she took the bait.

  164. Currer Bell
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    There is just something just wrong about an episode that features a shirtless Joffrey and a full clothed Gendry.

  165. Cary Storm
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    If Catelyn had loved Jon Snow, Gendry would always be shirtless

  166. Visenya
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Michael Johnson,

    I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that GRRM has so much control over the series. I can’t find the interview atm, but he explicitly stated that if D&D wanted to take the story in a totally different direction, he would be in no position to stop them. I’m sure they run a few things by him but by no means is he signing off on every change with full approval.

    Also, debate about the books and series is totally okay. Fandom would be boring if everyone just agreed about everything. And it’s important to note that disapproval of some show changes isn’t the same as hating everything about it. Since when did loving every single thing about a TV show become a requirement to be a fan?

    As to the Catelyn issue, I think it’s agreed upon that her action just happened to be the first of many things that could have triggered open warfare. If you’re going to insist on hating her for this forever, I guess there’s nothing I can do to change your mind. However, I will say that you’re letting your judgment of this action cloud your enjoyment of who I believe to be one of the most dynamic, complex, and well-written characters in fiction. If only D&D felt the same way.

    Also that post about Gendry is perfection.

  167. barak
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Visenya,

    If you’re talking about me, I don’t hate Cat at all? She’s not my favorite but I don’t mind her, either in the books or the show.

  168. Maquillage
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    LV: She is knowledgeable, loyal, dutiful, virtuous, proud, ambitious, sensitive, confident, decisive, protective, observant, loving, and wise – amongst other qualities, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. She is neither dumb (what a ridiculous assessment) nor cruel.

    First off, I would agree with most of your adjectives – perhaps excluding “sensitive” – but you don’t think Cat is cruel? Really? This is a woman who faced a boy she had been responsible for from infancy and told him she wished he was broken and dying instead of her biological child. It’s actually one of the purest moments of emotional cruelty in the series – a woman who to everyone else is a paragon of breeding, honour and duty, a loving mother and wife – choosing to indulge her pain at the expense of a motherless child who has no emotional outlet. He wouldn’t go to Ned or Robb – he certainly can’t go to Arya who seems to be his only confidant. He has been raised to be honourable, which would prevent him from telling anyone about what she has said. She is the only mother figure he has ever known, and knowing this she chooses to speak those words, and leave him with that burden. This is the antithesis of grace under pressure, and tremendously cruel. Her grief is no excuse.

    I would add a few other adjectives to your list – self-indulgent, impulsive, short-sighted – and I’m not a Cat hater. I think she’s a well limned character full of flaws and prickles, and I have enjoyed her journey in both the books and the television show. She is clearly simplified and streamlined in the show, but I didn’t read her monologue as “character assassination”. She said she made a bargain with the Gods for his life, and couldn’t keep it. Her guilt was theoretical, not actual – her pain was real, but it was all for herself and her children, not Jon Snow.

    Moving on to where you really annoyed me.

    Are you basing your analysis of her taking of Tyrion on the actual text? If so, how do you reconcile the fact (as has been pointed out to you several times) that she admitted that she had reacted impulsively without thinking it through? Everything you describe (or “infer” as you seem to like to say) is certainly plausible, if convoluted and unlikely to take place within a the few moments that pass (and now I’m imagining Cat and Tyrion frozen and staring at each other endlessly as her voice over works it’s way through all the stages of your reasoning with corresponding changes in her facial expression and it’s amusing me to an inordinate degree), but if it’s contradicted by evidence in the actual text I’m not sure how you can continue to defend it, let alone mock those who dare to question you as barely literate meatbags, and those who bring emotional responses to Cat as a character as irrelevant. What we are left with is “theory” and “inference” contradicted by “textual evidence”.

    I do agree that we have lost something with Cat’s transition to the screen, but we can’t have it all. And that, my friends, is fact, not opinion.

  169. telobsidion
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Cat is impulsive, but she had good reasoning to suspect Tyrion, given all the information she had figured out on her own and she had gotten from Lysa and Petyr. And the Lannisters were plotting against the throne, and they did nearly murder her son, and then nearly murdered her son a second time. They weren’t all exactly working together in all of this, but there’s no reason that would be clear.

    As for what Cat said to Jon. She was hysterical with grief. Yes, that is an excuse. Oh, it was still a nasty thing, but to pass judgment on her whole character because of it? No, it’s an understandable reaction. I saw that in the text alone. But on top of that, Martin’s confirmed pretty much that, and that outside of that moment she was never cruel to Jon.

    I never get why people complain so much about Cat but are so much more willing to forgive Jaime or to think Petyr’s awesome.

  170. Mubashir
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Game of Thrones Clicks a fun android app for Game of thrones fans http://goo.gl/CVSCu


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