New eBook “It Is Known: Season 3 Deconstructed”
By Winter Is Coming on in Merchandise.

From Stefan Sasse, contributor at Tower of the Hand and one half of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour, comes a new eBook that examines season 3 of Game of Thrones in detail entitled “It Is Known: Season 3 Deconstructed”.

It Is Known: Season 3 Deconstructed, like the Analysis of Thrones releases before it, is a complete compilation of columns originally published on CoronaComingAttractions.com. Written by Stefan Sasse, easily one of the most accomplished authors on the Game of Thrones scene today, Deconstructed takes a step-by-step approach to the episodes, tracking each storyline as it develops – and even deviates from the source material – in minute detail across the entire season (rather than honing in on just a handful of [production] points, as An Analysis of Thrones is wont to do).

These aren’t simple recaps, however. Rather, throughout his in-depth analysis, Sasse makes a pervasive and, at times, rather controversial argument for how the HBO series actually improves upon Martin’s novels, even writing authoritative defenses of such contested characters as Ros the whore and Littlefinger the mockingbird. Readers will not only walk away with an entirely new appreciation of the show, they’ll be armed with tons of ammo to use against the book purists that so frequently tend to gang up on “Unsullied” viewers.

And for the novel readers, Sasse brings to bear brand-new, exclusive essays, further investigating the world of Westeros as realized on-screen and featuring a detailed breakdown of Jon Snow’s parallel storyarcs in both mediums.

Bonus features include an original short story by Mimi Hoshut of The Podcast of Ice and Fire and an essay by Marc Kleinhenz on the DC Cinematic Universe and why the Dark Knight trilogy is mediocre at best (Ed. note: WHAT?!).

You can order “It Is Known: Season 3 Deconstructed” at Amazon now to read on your Kindle or Kindle app.


125 Comments

  1. Marty
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Hodor. That is all.

  2. Sid
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I was also going to say something witty about how amazing the show is even though it won’t beat the novels for me, and how great it is to have a show that is true to the books – which to me is infinitely more important than a silly debate about which one is better (I’m pretty sure I don’t need to listen to an audiobook to know they both complement themselves)…. so instead I will just say…

    Hodor.

  3. Turri
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Listened to Stefan on the boiled leather podcast, but as a German, I can’t stand somebody with too much of a German accent. Just makes you feel uncomfortable, sorry.

  4. GG
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Don’t show this to Elie & Linda. They might keel over with the fury.

  5. GG
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    *Elio

  6. Aldi_A
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    That’s BS about ros and littlefinger
    Ros is a pointless character and they turned LF into a mustache twirling villain he is subtle about his plans in the books.

  7. Bard
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Turri:
    Listened to Stefan on the boiled leather podcast, but as a German, I can’t stand somebody with too much of a German accent. Just makes you feel uncomfortable, sorry.

    I might give it a shot when I find the time for it. As a fellow German, I hope ze aczent isn’t too unbearable. Ve haf vays of making you cringe!

  8. Easteros bunny
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    “one of the most accomplished authors on the game of thrones scene today”

    Really? What about GRRM himself? I think he is the most accomplished author on the game of thrones scene, because, he actually wrote the books.

    I really don’t like people making money off another’s works.

  9. gswelcome
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m s0rry, I’m never going to understand anyone who claims the show is superior to the books. It does a fine job in adaptation but the novels will always be the choice to make if you could one have one. If this guy is goin to use Ros and tv Littlefinger as examples in his argument he fails right away.

    Rather irritating too, the claim that Unsullied could use this against “book purists”. Unless you’ve read the books yourself you can’t take a stance on which is better. Foolishness.

    And the Dark Knight trilogy is mediocre? I echo, WHAT?

  10. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Easteros bunny,

    Then surely you’re very upset at how much money George has made off of the popularity of Game of Thrones?

  11. Laurentius
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I dont mind people making money off other people’s works. I dislike when they crawl so far up their own ass in search and then pretend that it\s not sheer for profit but somehow intelectually distinguished analysis.

  12. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Laurentius:
    I dont mind people making money off other people’s works. I dislike when they crawl so far up their own ass in search and then pretend that it\s not sheer for profit but somehow intelectually distinguished analysis.

    And you, of course, have already read the ebook and decided to inform us on its many failings.

  13. PCB
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Yeah I don’t like people who make money off of George RR Martin’s work either.

    Like Benioff and Weiss. Or Peter Dinklange. Or the stunt coordinators. Or the people at Amazon who ship ASoIaF. Or the creators of the Game of Thrones boardgame.

    Oh wait….
    Like it or not George Martin made a industry. This guy has a right to try and sell this book in the industry. It’s like when professors write books analyzing Shakespeare. (Except this will be far less scholarly…)

    But I agree with you what a sad way to try and monazite your love for a series. I can’t imagine how the hours this guy has spent reading, thinking and discussing the books and show were better than my own.

  14. VJ Stark
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Another stupid debate about show vs. books is coming…

    Looking forward to this ebook.

  15. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Whatevs. Some show fans (not Unsullied) find Book Purists annoying. If the writer feels that way all the power to him. I’ve learned to just simply shrug with the Purists; in real life and online. There’s no discourse possible between the two groups so why bother?

  16. Patchy Face
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I just feel that most book purists are those that have lately come to the party (don’t really consider Elio and Linda book purists). People that have recently read the books – those of us that have were reading before the show came on- are just so darn happy to have something else to enjoy in our world from GRRM.

  17. the other guy
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I was somewhat interested by the whole thing until I read “why the Dark Knight trilogy is mediocre at best “.

    Yeah, I won’t be buying that.

  18. Rygar
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    At least the show is consistent as to when it delivers new material to the masses.

    IMO : 2/3s of TDK trilogy is great. The last one was too rushed for as long winded as it was and overall mediocre at best.

  19. Penguini
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    the other guy,

    Well, The Dark Knight Rises is pretty mediocre.

  20. Carmen
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Original short story by Mimi? WTF? Fanfic?

  21. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    PCB:
    Like it or not George Martin made a industry.This guy has a right to try and sell this book in the industry.

    Totally…that includes derivative games, TV shows, analytical works, refrigerator magnets, mugs, GoT-themed condoms, ceramic thrones, swords, conventions, posters, …anything you can imagine. Let the industry thrive, give people jobs…not everyone can create such a dynamic fictional world as GRRM’s ASoI&F but you can’t fault people for being inspired because of it. The creativity and analysis that is available online and elsewhere is amazing and for the most part, respectful of the creator.

  22. King Of The Ashes
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I have to defend David and Dan. They have done an incredible job with the adaptation. Most of their shortcomings are because of the budget. Missing characters and scenes cut short like Jorah telling Dany we have won at Yunkai but not showing the fight. D&D get so much else right though. The added scenes like Robert and Cersei or Littlefinger and Vary’s, Clegane and Bronn and I could go on. They have done an amazing job casting too.

    There is so much garbage on TV and in the Cinema and I’m grateful guys like D&D and Quentin Tarentino are out there writing some of my favorite scenes. The books AND the show are spectacular.

  23. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face:
    I just feel that most book purists are those that have lately come to the party (don’t really consider Elio and Linda book purists).People that have recently read the books – those of us that have were reading before the show came on- are just so darn happy to have something else to enjoy in our world from GRRM.

    You might be on to something. I’ve noticed on Westeros on some of the show vs book threads that a lot of people who are the most pissed off at the show are the people who started reading after seeing the show or reading about it. It’s kind of baffling since the show is what got them reading in the first place.
    I’m glad that the show exists both on its own merits and because it introduced to the books, which are even better.

  24. Lex
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Stefan is well-versed in the book, and I love his stance on the purists. Also, I enjoy his accent.

    For fans of APOIAF, the short story by Mimi is definitely intriguing!

  25. DH87
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    King Of The Ashes
    There is so much garbage on TV and in the Cinema and I’m grateful guys like D&D and Quentin Tarentino are out there writing some of my favorite scenes.

    Since many of the regular posters seem to be here, I’m posting off-topic re: the future of premium and basic cable: Canada is about to approve “unbundling,” which is a la carte ordering of specific channels.

    U.S. cable execs will be watching this experiment closely. It could help HBO by freeing up money currently being drained from basic-cable captive buyers in many parts of the country. Regardless, it should open the door to quality TV of all genres, since channels will have to earn subscribers just as only HBO/Showtime/Starz must now.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/top-exec-delays-retirement-as-661242

  26. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, WiC. Well-timed. You caught me in a weak Cyber Monday moment. One-click, mine. Reading now. I eat this analytical shit up!

    DH87,
    Thx! Please keep us apprised! Let the customer determine their bundle!

  27. DH87
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: Thx! Please keep us apprised! Let the customer determine their bundle!

    If cable subscribers can pay a flat fee and choose their own twenty channels (the idea being bandied about now), it will cause a seismic shift in the viewing landscape. Will they use their twenty chits for TV Land and other 24/7-rerun vehicles? MTV and its denizens of the Jersey Shore? CNN/Fox/MSNBC/Weather? Upscale fare like Ovation/BBCA/PBS? Will cost-conscious viewers buy a channel for just one show, like Duck Dynasty or Breaking Bad, or opt for something more generally appealing and download DD/BB?

    Channel execs will be quaking in their boots. If their programming strategy isn’t popular enough, they’ll be looking for new jobs PDQ.

  28. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    It makes sense that the most vitriolic of the Purists are the ones who got into the books after seeing the show. As pre-show readers we’ve grown to love the books separately from the series. Therefore we are more open minded and forgiving of most of the changes made (we all have key pet peeves about the show) because we view it primarily as an adaptation. Whereas those who decided to read the books after the first season to continue their GoT experience uninterrupted from the hiatii of the television schedule somewhat expected the book experience to be replicated on the series; a blurred line between watching the show and reading the books.
    Thus when changes occur in the adaptation their experience was sullied. Now in a nutshell this could describe the original Pre-show purists but I think the Pre-show readers who love the show were prepared for the reality of an adaptation and the changes it implied all the way up to the first season premiere.

  29. DH87
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    I agree that book purists must make their peace with the show (which for all intent and purposes, is making their peace with D&D) and go through the stages of grief—anger/disappointment/acceptance, etc. Those who find their disappointment too much of blight on their viewing enjoyment shut up (but then they move on)….

    …And when TB’s book purists moved on, TB was cancelled. Then all the show defenders just stopped posting rather than admit they had been wrong and they went away too. The End.

  30. razha
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Stefan had the best essays on Tower of the Hand site and I really appreciated ADWD twice as much after reading his very insightful and interesting chapter by chapter analysis of that book. The guy has better understanding of GRRM writing than most of us out here – whether with German accent or not.

    and you know what?
    - it was a standard communist catchphrase during the USSR – when they condemned some writer – they would say “I haven’t read it but I know it is bad and I hate it” – so pls – don’t be communists now.

  31. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Rygar:
    IMO : 2/3s of TDK trilogy is great. The last one was too rushed for as long winded as it was and overall mediocre at best.

    Although there were many interesting moments and fun Batman lore explored in TDKR, there really was no way they could duplicate the brilliance captured in TDK.

    But at least we’ll get to see Batman resurrected from the nuclear blast as Ben Affleck….Feel like jumping sharks, anyone? :\

  32. Kael of the Lake
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    gswelcome,

    Well, if you read again the sentence regarding “unsullied” you’ll find out that it’s not about which medium is the best. It says about ammo for the unsullied that are ganged up by purist – and that’s a thing that, we can all agree, happens frequently and it’s always ugly. A defense mechanism can never be “foolish”.

    I’ve also heard the reverse childish claim from book-purists who are adamant on never watching the show because the books are better.
    Although the best strategy is to stay away from such flame-wars, some arguments are completely out of reason they literary beg for an answer. So if someone is determined to engage, it’s no harm if he’s armed with what the eBook promises.

    Personally, I don’t think I need it. But this is a site about the show and there’s no better place to announce any type of merchandise that regards (or merely exists because of) the show. So there you have it.

  33. flipthetruck
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    how big is the spoilerstuff in tgese essays? is he mentioning upcoming plotlines or just focusing on the current season/book.

    i am asking as someone who has watched s1-3 and read the first two books

  34. TheBerylfly
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    What really annoys me is this site’s stance on those that get called “book purists”. As soon as someone tries to point out flaws in the show and uses the argument of “it made much more sense/made for better characterisation/whatever in the books” they get called a spoilsport and hysterical purist, no matter if they are bitching about Dothraki hanging out close to water or the storyline/character changes that make about zero sense.

    At least that’s the attitude I have encountered many times. Mayhaps I had very specifical limited exposure. I hope so, because I really like this site otherwise

  35. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Honestly…I think I would almost always recommend the show over the books to most people I know. I love the books, but D&D have done a near perfect job of capturing what was so good about the books, but at the same time cutting the fat and making numerous improvements.

    I respect that some people may prefer the book version of characters or events. I’m right with them on the characterization of Littlefinger, the handling of Jon’s relationship with both Quorin and Mance, and somewhat on the characterization of Catelyn. But for every mistake made by D&D, there are so many things they’ve improved on. Tywin, Shae, Bronn, Sam, Theon, Cersei, Jorah, Beric, Thoros, Robert, and Ygritte are all characters I find much more compelling on the show than in the books. I enjoyed certain sequences in the show more than when I read them, specifically Ned’s execution, the mutiny at Craster’s Keep, and the Battle at the Fist (just kidding on that last one). Arya’s story is much more fun to view than to read, due to the addition of Tywin to her story in S2 and the characterization added to characters like Thoros in S3. Theon’s S2 arc is more compelling. As was Dany’s.

    It’s probably the only adaptation that is so good that I recommend it over the books that it is based on.

  36. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    Based on my very limited understanding of True Blood, the problem wasn’t so much that they deviated from the books, but that the deviations were terrible. I don’t think that’s a validation of the purist argument. I think of purism not so much as preferring a book’s version of events/characters to the show, but a belief that strict adherence to the book is something that adaptions are obligated to do to the best of their ability. I’m thinking of Harry Potter fans who hated that the hero had blue eyes instead of green eyes in the movie, or Avengers fans who didn’t like that Ant Man and Wasp weren’t in the Avengers movie even though they were original members in the comics.

    I think a fan can prefer a book’s version of something over the show’s without being a purist. I think they can very consistently prefer a book’s version of numerous things over the show’s without being a purist. As long as they have a reason behind their preference beyond “it was different in the book, therefore they shouldn’t have done it that way,” I don’t think they’re being a purist. Which is the reason why I can’t stand purists. Some adaptations are good, some are bad. Within Game of Thrones, I think we can find several examples of good and bad changes from the book. Admitting that D&D have the ability to make improvements on the story GRRM made (even if you think it is unlikely that they will, or rare that they have) fundamentally means you’re not a purist.

    That’s a very long way of saying that purists can never really be right, because the premise that their arguments rest on (no change from the source material is a good change) is completely false.

  37. Patchy Face
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen,

    Yes – but would you love the show if D&D started to do major diversions from the books and I mean major plot diversions. The genius that is GRRM continues to have the plot move forward but also continues to throw in unseen twists and hints. D&D have the advantage of GRRMs overview to work from – Nah, books are better though I love the show as well.

  38. Rygar
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I don’t care if you’re a book purist, troll, intellijerk, of unsullied. If you’re hot, I’d still bang you.

  39. Skipjack
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Some of the writing about ASOIAF has actually helped me appreciate the work more. I was underwhelmed by the last couple books, and I didn’t care much for Dany’s chapters in ADWD. But a blog called Meereenese Blot really helped me appreciate what GRRM was trying to do, or I should say improves on what GRRM was doing, by drawing some contrasts into greater relief.

    Initially GRRM was writing several different stories into one cohesive novel at a time, now it seems he’s writing several different novels within each collection and tying them into a larger story. At least that’s how I feel after reading that unpacking of Daenerys’ chapters, which are considerably more freighted with symbolism than I had realized or than most other character’s stories are.

    The blog is at the link below, and if you were kind of blah about those or just want to read a deep take on it all, you should check it out:

    http://meereeneseblot.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/untangling-the-meereenese-knot-part-i-who-poisoned-the-locusts/

    Spoilers there, obviously.

  40. Marianna
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    TheBerylfly:
    What really annoys me is this site’s stance on those that get called “book purists”. As soon as someone tries to point out flaws in the show and uses the argument of “it made much more sense/made for better characterisation/whatever in the books” they get called a spoilsport and hysterical purist, no matter if they are bitching about Dothraki hanging out close to water or the storyline/character changes that make about zero sense.

    At least that’s the attitude I have encountered many times. Mayhaps I had very specifical limited exposure. I hope so, because I really like this site otherwise

    I agree. Calling someone a book purist is just a way of dismissing all the criticism aimed at the show.

  41. Marianna
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Rygar:
    I don’t care if you’re a book purist, troll, intellijerk, of unsullied.If you’re hot, I’d still bang you.

    No one cares who you would like to fuck.

  42. Alice
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Marianna,

    I care.

  43. Rygar
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Marianna,

    I assure you that my sexual exploits are far more engaging than debating show vs books. The rigor of my kraken is far superior to the inflexibility of those two perspectives and mine will surely result in a satisfactory outcome.

  44. Patchy Face
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Skipjack,

    Yes, read the blot as we’ll and really enjoyed it. I loved the last 2 books especially on second reading tho. GRRM deserves any capitalization he can get from his masterpiece. Look at the discussion he has created over how many websites, blogs, etc.

  45. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    Oh absolutely, D&D have the advantage of relying on GRRM’s genius. The show is so good primarily because of GRRM’s story. I did not mean to diss GRRM in my post, or say that D&D were better than him or something. I would say the show as it exists now (not hypothetically if it made major deviations) takes advantage of GRRM’s genius, while adding to the quality and even improving on many characters, events and storylines. Which is why, if I was recommending one or the other to a friend, I’d say the show. And why I would say that I probably enjoyed watching the show more than reading the same material in the books (especially book 2).

  46. serum
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Sid,

    well said…hodor

  47. Patchy Face
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen,

    Interesting take – like everything else there are differences in taste for books v show. I have to say there are friends that I would recommend show and others, the books. However, to most I would recommend both. Just get more nuance (& sometimes SO much detail) in the books. Personally, I love the detail and especially the nuanced scattered clues in the books but could see how others would prefer the more direct plot approach in the show. The second season actually annoyed me more than the third because of interpretation of HOTU.

  48. Cosca
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face:
    Hodor Targaryen,

    The genius that is GRRM continues to have the plot move forward but also continues to throw in unseen twists and hints.

    He hasn’t done that in any substantial way since Storm of Swords.

  49. DH87
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen: That’s a very long way of saying that purists can never really be right, because the premise that their arguments rest on (no change from the source material is a good change) is completely false.

    I have said all along that the possibility that any script writers can make as good or better decisions as the novelist is so remote it’s hardly worth discussing. When we’ve heard wee Bryan recount his decisions he has been remarkably humble about the reasons for the changes he’s had to make and despite his success I don’t think he has ever implied they were as good as what GRRM had devised.

    Why? First and foremost is that the novelist has had months/years to consider every possibility from every angle—plot, character development, motivation, pace, tone—and has discarded all but one for a reason. The scriptwriter has mere days or weeks to make these non-existent “better decisions” with restrictions the novelist doesn’t have—-those of schedule; budget; actors’ scope, abilities, and aptitudes; whims of network executives; showrunner’s fancies—to name a handful. How could anyone short of a William Inge or Robert E. Sherwood hope to do that? Are screenwriters so gifted that they can come up with some concept or conceit that solves the problems of the original novel? Perhaps that’s why there’s a Nobel Prize for Screenwriting as well as one for Literature! Oh, wait. No, there isn’t. In fact, Nobel Prize winners have written screenplays, with varying success. It’s not easy.

    Indeed, today’s top screenwriters—Matthew Weiner and Vince Gilligan—have written original scripts, not adaptations. There’s a reason for that.

    And I hear your argument about True Blood over and over: “It’s not that Alan Ball deviated from the books but that his decisions in doing so were so bad.” That argument assumes there were choices better than or as good as the author’s to begin with. Why? If an Oscar-winning screenwriter can’t “improve” on the author’s work, who the heck can?

    Adapting a great book is like sitting down to a gourmet meal. You don’t need to eat everything that’s served but you’d be crazy to reject any dish in favor of whipping up some Hamburger Helper on your own. To serve it to the other guests under the guise of improving on the original would just be ridiculous. :)

  50. JoyToTheSnails
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    DH87:

    Why? First and foremost is that the novelist has had months/years to consider every possibility from every angle—plot, character development, motivation, pace, tone—and has discarded all but one for a reason. The scriptwriter has mere days or weeks to make these non-existent “better decisions” with restrictions the novelist doesn’t have—-those of schedule; budget; actors’ scope, abilities, and aptitudes; whims of network executives; showrunner’s fancies—to name a handful. How could anyone short of a William Inge or Robert E. Sherwood hope to do that? Are screenwriters so gifted that they can come up with some concept or conceit that solves the problems of the original novel? Perhaps that’s why there’s a Nobel Prize for Screenwriting as well as one for Literature! Oh, wait. No, there isn’t. In fact, Nobel Prize winners have written screenplays, with varying success. It’s not easy.

    First, you are assuming that the writer will always spend ages debating every little part of the book, which is nonsense. Sometimes novelists include things for little reason, sometimes just because it seemed like a good idea in the spur of the moment. Do you honestly think Dan Brown, Christopher Paolini or Stephanie Meyer spent days thinking about the ramifications of every sentence and event? Second, you are assuming that because the scriptwriter is under more pressurs, it is impossible to make improvements, which makes no sense either. You can have screenwriters improving on the original, by being superior writers, or by looking at the ways in which this original idea may have negatively impacted the original work. Also, these scriptwriters have a lot longer then a few weeks to write scripts, particularly with Cable dramas like GoT.

    Are you arguing that books are always superior? Because poor books have made great films in the past (The Godfather being a glowing example).

  51. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    While granting you refer to great books in your last paragraph (not sure if either True Blood or Game of Thrones would fall into this category), it is certainly possible for an adaptation to surpass the source material. The Godfather films (at least the first two) are a famous example of great films from a kind of crappy book, and since many classic movies are adaptations of little known source works, it is far from the only example.

    If I”m understanding it, you are arguing that no adaptation can ever equal or surpass the source material (and by extension, any change to Martin’s books is automatically a bad one by your calculation). Am I understanding you correctly?

    I know you like to post about your prediction/hope that Game of Thrones will go down in flames just like True Blood, but I don’t know, could you maybe wait until if/when that actually happens. Then you can smugly say “I told you so.”

  52. DH87
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Jordan: If I”m understanding it, you are arguing that no adaptation can ever equal or surpass the source material (and by extension, any change to Martin’s books is automatically a bad one by your calculation). Am I understanding you correctly?

    Thanks for giving my post serious thought—I appreciate it. My argument is that an adaptation theoretically can equal the source material under the best of circumstances. GRRM’s timeline in the books is problematic from a film perspective and reordering chapters to make a chronological sequence is an example of an acceptable change. I don’t think that any change made by D&D has been an “improvement” and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the best episodes have been written by the writer with the least experience but the greatest loyalty to the original material (BC). The possibility that some other screenwriter working today can improve upon GRRM’s characters, plot, motivation, etc., is so remote it’s not worth discussing, I suspect.

    Jordan: I know you like to post about your prediction/hope that Game of Thrones will go down in flames just like True Blood, but I don’t know, could you maybe wait until if/when that actually happens. Then you can smugly say “I told you so.”

    I don’t hope that GOT will go down in flames. I just wish I didn’t see so many similarities to TB’s trajectory. They are one of two reasons I’ve moved on, more or less, to follow another show, online at least.

    And those who make the Godfather argument are ignoring the fact that Mario Puzo was both the author of the book and the main screenwriter on the first two films. Of course the author could collaborate on a script that could improve cinematically upon his own novel! GRRM could potentially improve the GOT adaptation if he had responsibility/approval for all ten scripts. Beauty and the Beast proves that.

  53. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    JoyToTheSnails:
    Because poor books have made great films in the past (The Godfather being a glowing example).

    I’m not going to argue your choice of “poor” book (and I rather enjoy this mature debate in its latest form) but “The Godfather” had the benefit of being adapted by the author himself, Mario Puzo.

    My choice would be “Silence of the Lambs”…a really good book made even better by the film.

    [Edit] DH87 beat me to the punch with the Godfather comment!

  54. DH87
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    JoyToTheSnails: Do you honestly think Dan Brown, Christopher Paolini or Stephanie Meyer spent days thinking about the ramifications of every sentence and event?

    Yes, I do. As a novelist myself, I’d like to think I have a bit of experience to draw upon.

  55. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Thanks for the reply. I honestly was not aware that Puzo was a screenwriter for the films.

    So, putting the Godfather aside, speaking for myself, I like the film Stardust better than I like Neil Gaiman’s book and incidentally, I also like the film of Layer Cake better than the original novel (incidentally, both are directed by Mathew Vaughan).

    I bring them up as examples because like the ASOIF versus GOT distinction, these are fairly faithful adaptations in terms of events, but can be somewhat tonally different, and I find myself liking the “tone” of the adaptation over the source material. I can see why in all cases though someone might prefer the original.

    In terms of GOT, I don’t think the show has ever improved upon Martin’s plotting (I agree it is a lot easier for a writer to “arrange the pieces” over years of writing than it is for a tv show that can’t have such a large cast or necessarily guarantee that its cast will stay on).

    On the other hand, I happen to prefer the characterization of a number of characters in the show over the books.

    In some cases (Cersei and Bronn) I think the show gives a lot more depth, and similarly, I like the snarky characterization of show!Davos. Cersei’s kind of a big one for me, since when I look at her book characterization, I kind of wonder if Martin has some issues with women/the feminist movement (not sure a better way to put this).

    For some characters (Berric and Catelyn for instance) I think the show and book go in somewhat different directions with the characters, but I like both versions, and think the one in the show is a reasonable “evolution” of the original character.

    Edit- Incidentally, I liked the film of The DaVinci Code a lot better than the original novel. I thought the film’s dialogue far surpassed the writing in the novel, and it was a good change to make the relationshipw between the leads a platonic one.

  56. JoyToTheSnails
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    DH87: I don’t think that any change made by D&D has been an “improvement”

    Not a single change? Not even something as small as Ned shouting Baelor to Yoren? Or Alliser Thorne’s story about his ranging? This statement is just too black and white. You may think that most changes are bad, but this is over the top.

    DH87: Yes, I do. As a novelist myself, I’d like to think I have a bit of experience to draw upon.

    I think your mistake there is thinking that every other author puts the same amount of effort, thought, and time into their work as you. There really are hacks out their that churn out complete garbage following a set formula. (Kevin J Anderson). And even the best author can make mistakes, or put things in without great thought.

  57. DH87
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Jordan,

    Of course, opinions can vary. :) You can argue that the DaVinci Code (book) was more successful than the movie, based on books/tickets sold, but taste is individual.

    Cersei was based on GRRM’s interpretation of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV, the notoriously manipulative Yorkist queen, in an era of manipulative queens (Margaret Beaufort, Ann Neville, Margaret d’Anjou, etc.) When recasting a historical figure, it’s sometimes hard to ascribe a motive/point of view to the novelist. (For a much more sympathetic view of Elizabeth Woodville, see The White Queen, not coincidentally penned by a woman novelist, Philippa Gregory.)

  58. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    I’m not sure how to phrase this, but while I don’t doubt you that Cersei had an inspiration from this historical figure, I don’t think you can treat her (or any character) as simply Martin’s attempt to accurately depict a historical figure.

    Cersei may be inspired by Elizabeth Woodville, but she isn’t Elizabeth Woodville- it’s not the same thing as a work like The White Queen which is historical fiction.

    By the way, on the topic of historical figures, I find it quite interesting that “Aegon” seems to be a clever combination of the stories of Perkin Warbeck and Lambert Simnel and I wonder which if either of the two will be the model for his fate

  59. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    Yeah, when I was writing my response to you I was realizing the silliness of the hypothetical I put myself in. If they have the time, I’d probably tell my friends to read/watch both (perhaps with the exception of AFfC/ADWD, though I don’t feel it’s fair to compare those books to the show since they haven’t adapted those parts yet). I guess I’m really expressing that this adaptation is so good at capturing the magic of the books that the viewers aren’t missing out on a lot of stuff by not reading them, and in fact may be frustrated with parts of the book that are different than the show.

    Re HOTU: I think this is why I’m one of the few ASoIF fans that prefer the show. I’m sick of prophecies in the booms and do not find much of the magic elements in the book very compelling. So I didn’t care about changes like that, but that’s very much based on my own personal taste.

  60. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Another film I very much prefer over source material: Blade Runner. I feel it is thematically and character-wise a big improvement over Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and that’s not even taking into account the pitch perfect aesthetic and atmosphere of the movie.

    It’s really silly to generalise to such an extent.

  61. DH87
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    JoyToTheSnails: I think your mistake there is thinking that every other author puts the same amount of effort, thought, and time into their work as you.

    The best-selling novelist JR Ward has said “You can only write the best book you can” (or words to that effect), which I take to mean, no one sets out to write a bad book. Effort doesn’t necessarily translate into quality. “Hack” writers may follow a formula but they may still be writing to the best of their ability.

  62. WildSeed
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    This is possibly the most progressive consideration for customers on behalf of cable enterprises, of late. Thanks for the link.

  63. DH87
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit,

    What is silly is not acknowledging that film screenwriting and tv-drama screenwriting are quite different kettles of fish (a film screenwriter doesn’t have to worry about keeping Alfie Allen “busy” with an 8 -episode torture scene in Season 3 or making his version of Tyrion match Bryan’s/David’s/Vanessa’s from episode to episode).

  64. DH87
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed:
    DH87,

    This is possibly the most progressive consideration forcustomers on behalf of cable enterprises, of late. Thanks for the link.

    I’m very glad you’ve joined this discussion. You were a witness to the decline of TB—particularly the split between bookies and showfans and the abandonment of the book fandom prior to the show’s cancellation. Would you be kind enough confirm to some of these folks the sequence of events I outlined in my post of December 3, 12:05, if you have a moment?

    Do you agree with me that you see early signs of the same pattern in the GOT fandom?

  65. WildSeed
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen,

    I respect this, very much, and glad you clarified the intent of your earlier statement, lol,
    I was beginning to doubt you. *>*

    I realize that the term ” purist “, conjures up impressions of rigid conservatives, but I
    refrain from including it when discussing entertainment, rather than literature or
    fine arts. Whether traditionalists remain unmoved when confronted with improved
    methods, more defined or even revised work, their uncompromising attitude is what
    prevent further enlightenment. These are the attitudinal shifts of ‘extremists “, unable
    to accept or respect what current practice ( or literary works ) may become. Like so
    many terms that have been re-appropriated, the true meaning gets lost.
    My brother has another phrase, it goes ” stick in the mud ” ( :

    I recall when many Shakespearean plays were put to modern day costume garb, when
    acted out onstage. Several in attendance actually left the amphitheater in protest.
    Nowadays such a reaction is laughable, but the sentiment is not lost on those who
    hold sacred, if unchanging point of reference for certain traditions. I was new to
    the area, Berkeley, and sat in the audience. Anyway, I do now as I did then, hunch
    my shoulders and say ” whatevs ” either you respect the work as written, and accept the appreciation of it to make it larger in the eyes of a new audience ( or fresher appeal )
    or go home. The outcome of such an endeavour would not diminish the original work. Some actually learn to discover the original work to appreciate it more. Extremists
    hold back from challenging their point of view. However, as the internet now makes so many non bonafide experts, each opinion competes instead of enlighten. The ” spice guy ”
    Atreides and DH87 make valid points, and duly noted….. yours too ( oops !)

  66. WildSeed
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    The demise of TrueBlood dates back to the events you’ve outlined, and I cannot
    add any words to what you’ve detailed so eloquently , in the comment below.
    DH87,

    What I believe some are relating to or describing , is the misunderstanding of
    each phase of work and what that implies for both mediums. While some adaptive
    works, from film to stage, have taken place over the decades , the impact felt by the
    audience has taken on a world of intrigue, all on it’s own. Often creating an entirely
    different buzz than the spirit of the written work. The fandom can be either prickly
    or excited by the buzz, but the digital medium has taken this to new heights , from
    angst to outrage of mixed emotion. To a lesser degree, books of the past caused a
    stir, but these days it’s off the charts.

    As for TrueBlood, an accepting readership looked forward to beloved characters being
    animated for screen. The derailment of the entire story premise was the poor guidance
    of the show’s creator, and nonchalance ( inexperience ? ) of the book series author.
    There ceased to be any adaptation, beyond the debut season. Rather than giving into
    rebuke, serious fans remained respectful and hoped for anything that made for a
    reasonable story. It’s no secret that even non book readers considered the show as
    silly, bordering on comedic, given the sloppiness of each season. It became
    embarrassing.

    There is always a measure of success for any adaptive work, especially book to screen. For what was well thought out,
    as you aptly put, through months or years of insights,
    has to meet efficient and effective scaling back, to meet
    the confines of a production ( complete with location and
    costs, to real life creations and ingenuity ). This is why,
    in part, I prefer to differentiate the two works, less I become wholly dissatisfied . It’s not been easy, but looking forward to new CLEVER insights gets rewarding, as a viewer. That does not overlook, the larger and well reasoned premise , for the story.
    Change that , and you’ve got a another medieval drama, soon forgotten . The statistical decline of viewing audiences have
    been extrapolated for specific time periods, as well as evidence of those taking risks to diverge from chartered stories. A larger
    measure of success is attributed to the original author’s cooperation or screen writer status. No doubt Benioff and Weiss have a proven track record, but ASOIAF is an epic, of sorts. The author is quoted as saying ” un-producible ” for screen or
    shortened where it makes no sense. A balance needs to be met, if greater success is desired in the end.

    Game of Thrones might be that show, but only if the story remains true…… notice that I didn’t use the word ” accurate ” (:

  67. WildSeed
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    I need a typing course, pronto !

  68. WildSeed
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Jordan,

    Yes, well said !

  69. WildSeed
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit:
    Another film I very much prefer over source material: Blade Runner. I feel it is thematically and character-wise a big improvement over Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and that’s not even taking into account the pitch perfect aesthetic and atmosphere of the movie.

    It’s really silly to generalise to such an extent.

    This is one of my all time favourites to watch, and I find the music score tough to beat
    in any competition. As classic as the film has become, imho, I believe it’s measure
    of success went to a truer and richer adaptation for screen, along with a superb cast
    and Ridley Scott at the helm. Having an accurate, verbatim account for source material,
    depends on the method by which it is presented . Notably, an author has to captivate
    the reader with explicit details, whereas it’s only implied onscreen. Some details make
    no sense in and of itself. Aside from revisions , poor screen portrayal and pacing could
    kill any production.Do you recall the last two The Harry Potter films? I could almost
    quote the lines that Radcliffe recited , and I couldn’t stand the acting or the most
    celebrated character ( Jon Snow, anyone? ). The film breathed life again, every time
    Michael Gambon ( Dumbledore ) took the scene, or the fast pace of expected events
    took place. Similarly, ” the Time Traveler’s Wife ” “, needed revisions deliver an
    interesting screen version. On the other hand, there is arguably something to question
    about any presentation, from book or cinematic representation. It comes down to a
    reasonable if well orchestrated effort, to render a fine product . Film industry peers and
    audiences may not always agree on the same thing, but no one likes to be taken for
    granted. The $ buck really stops with the fans in the audience.

    That said, I have a soft heart for ” Ron Burgundy ” , or superfly guy, Will Ferrell.

  70. WildSeed
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Jordan: By the way, on the topic of historical figures, I find it quite interesting that “Aegon” seems to be a clever combination of the stories of Perkin Warbeck and Lambert Simnel and I wonder which if either of the two will be the model for his fate

    Interesting correlation. As I’m unfamiliar , in detail, I’m now inspired to sit down
    for a review.

    And btw, Elisabeth Woodville, withstanding, I am complete agreement with DH87′s
    recollection of factual events concerning TrueBlood and the fandom, with respect
    to statistical notes. The articles have been many, and I read them all. I became
    so disgusted with the show, and quit watching nearly 4 years ago.

  71. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    DH87:

    And I hear your argument about True Blood over and over: “It’s not that Alan Ball deviated from the books but that his decisions in doing so were so bad.”That argument assumes there were choices better than or as good as the author’s to begin with. Why? If an Oscar-winning screenwriter can’t “improve” on the author’s work, who the heck can?

    Adapting a great book is like sitting down to a gourmet meal. You don’t need to eat everything that’s served but you’d be crazy to reject any dish in favor of whipping up some Hamburger Helper on your own. To serve it to the other guests under the guise of improving on the original would just be ridiculous. :)

    I don’t really care how long a writer spends on their book, or whether it’s even possible to look at a story in every way from every angle before they make a decision. Writers of books, even books as good as ASoIF, are human. They can make mistakes. I recognize that writers can make mistakes, and therefore recognize the ability of a showrunner/screenwriter/director to fix those mistakes in their adaptation and therefore improve on the story in that way.

    So, yes, I assume that it’s possible to make choices better than the writer of the original source material. I don’t think that’s a grand assumption to make, I’m merely applying the fallibility of man to writers. Assuming that all writers always write the best versions of the stories in their heads seems like a grander assumption to me. I would also say that even a gourmet dish can be improved on by, say, adding another ingredient to the recipe, or taking away a side dish, which is more comparable to what D&D are doing on Game of Thrones.

    My initial distinction between purists and those that frequently prefer the book’s version of things was actually meant to distinguish purists from most members of this site. I think that “purist” is a rude term to throw at people who are just arguing why they enjoyed the book’s version of an event or character, especially if they explain the difference and why it matters to them. Even though I often find myself defending the changes the show has made from the books, I respect the logical and reasonable arguments that other fans make about, say, why the show shouldn’t have given Robb Stark a love story. Arguing that Robb’s love story took away the role that honor had in his death isn’t a purist argument to me. Saying that Robb shouldn’t have had a love story because GRRM probably considered that, had time to think about it, and still decided not to do so is one I would put in the purist category. I think purist arguments fail to explain numerous adaptations that are universally considered better than their source material, or the even more numerous changes in adaptations that were at least minor improvements. I’d much rather discuss/debate the quality of each change on its own merits, the way I think most book-preferers do on this site.

  72. DH87
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    WildSeed: I am complete agreement with DH87′s
    recollection of factual events concerning TrueBlood and the fandom, with respect
    to statistical notes.

    Thanks, WildSeed. I assume, then, that GRRM’s recent disavowal (“What’s mine is mine, and what’s theirs [D&D's] is theirs”) sounds as ominously similar to Charlaine Harris’s (“I write Sookie Stackhouse, not Anna Paquin”) to you as it does to me.

    [Edit] In one aspect, D&D have been far more honest and generous than the duplicitous Alan Ball: they have not teased the fans endlessly about upcoming events in the Sookie Stackhouse books appearing in True Blood in order to keep them “on board,” only to disappoint them time after time.

  73. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I still don’t see the comparison between TB and GOT. Dismissing the fact that ASOIAF is vastly superior to TSVM and has way more interesting characters and backstory to work with. From what I gather, TB was basically it’s own story after season 1. Whereas GOT is still right on track with the book’s story through 3 seasons. Not only that, but D&D + Cogman have stated their desire to stay true to the books, going as far as to have meetings with GRRM outlining the future of the series. Alan Ball mentioned wanting to take the series totally away from the books as early as pre-season 4. I think you are way off base in your comparison and will be proven wrong.

  74. Greenjones
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Since there’s no news this week really I guess its quibbling season again. True Blood though…that’s a shitty show based on shitty books. Let’s give GrrM and D and D some credit here please. GrrM isn’t pissed off at the showrunners, they’ve deviated sure, but as he’s said this was the best adaptation he was going to get rather than regular tv or a movie series. He was involved in its development, he pushed for it, he’s got what he wanted and he’s all the richer for it.

    If he’s mad at anyone it’s the higher-ups in HBO who seem to be pressuring him to write faster. So far as I’m concerned that may be a good thing though.

  75. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    But do you share in her opinion that GOT is going down a similar path? I have a hard time comparing them, as they are so dissimilar in all things, except that they were adaptations of a book series. I don’t mean to disparage those who loved TSVM, but they were pretty mindless fare. And the show was utter trash, even when it was at least watchable.

  76. Jordan
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Thanks for the comment. Always nice to have positive feedback.

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I agree (although my knowledge of TB and the source material is second hand). I do think that Martin’s comment is eerily similar to the one made by Harris, but I tend to think he has a rather low threshold for what he considers an egregious change and I’m frustrated at comments he’s made of this nature (see also the ones about the “butterfly effect”) because of how they’ve encouraged this idea that D&D hate the books/have this stated desire to go in and change whatever they can.

    It also struck me that in many cases, it seems like while there’s a minority of fans who hate changes to book characters, the majority are neutral or even supportive (and the Unsullied audience also likes them). So for example, Martin might say he can’t recognize his version of Cersei or Catelyn, but since the characters are well-drawn and acted on the show, him saying that doesn’t really have anything to do with the quality of the show.

    I think the times where the show has been less successful in plotting/dialogue (i.e. Dany’s season 2 plotline and Robb’s plotline), it seemed to me to be very much tied to logistical concerns more so than desire to change things (which is not to say that means there was no problem just that I don’t think those things necessarily indicate a huge desire to go off the rails).

    Random thought/question- I know that book readers (both “purists” and “show defenders”) tended to dislike (or outright hate and send death threats to the actress- partly joking) Ros and Talisa, but what did the Unsullied think of them?

    My sense is that it wasn’t that positive either (although presumably more positive than among the “purists”/book readers).

    Edit- As I understand it, True Blood had a plotline involving fairies- which from my knowledge that the show is about vampires interacting with humans in the Deep South- seems kind of strange.

    It’s hard for me to imagine anything really comparable to that being done on GOT. I mean I guess you could argue that GOT came close to that with Dany’s season 2 plot or Robb’s plotline, but those still ended up in the same place as in the books.

  77. DH87
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap: Alan Ball mentioned wanting to take the series totally away from the books as early as pre-season 4. I think you are way off base in your comparison and will be proven wrong.

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    For every Ball statement to support your theory, I can produce one that supports mine. Feel free to make sense of these, for a start:

    I “feel a certain responsibility to be as true as I can be to the nature and the spirit of the books.” http://www.thefutoncritic.com/interviews/2008/09/05/

    True Blood is “about the terrors of intimacy . . .who knows what that means but it sounds good.” http://www.thefutoncritic.com/interviews/2008/09

    True Blood is “about archetypes, the subconscious, mythology and wish-fulfillment.” Rolling Stone, August 2010.

    “If we did just do everything in the books, there would be no surprises. It’s not like we have a formula for what we’re going to keep from the books and what we’re going to change. If there’s a consensus that something makes sense, that’s usually the way we go.” Entertainment Weekly 7/12/11

  78. DH87
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    Look, believe me, don’t believe me—it doesn’t matter. All I’ve said is that I’ve seen the signs. If they turn out to be true, by the time most folks see them, no one will be here, either to commiserate or to preen triumphantly. Everyone will have quietly struck their tents and disappeared. The purists are just the first to do so.

  79. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    You’re right. It makes no difference. My main argument is that the two shows are not alike in any way. The quality of the characters and story is far greater in ASOIAF/GOT. Say what you will about GOT, but it will never be as bad as any of True Blood’s last 5 seasons. HBO saw what everyone else did. TB was god aweful the past several seasons. If there was a Razzies type awards show for TV it would have been a multiple time nominee. HBO cares about quality and True Blood had become an embarrassment. Meanwhile, GOT is viewed as one of the better shows in TV history, loved by critics and fans. That’s not to say GOT won’t face it’s challenges post S4, just that I doubt HBO would ever cancel. In True Blood’s case, fans have speculated since season 4 when HBO would drop the hammer, and most everyone who wasn’t a blind fan expected the cancellation, with some being surprised it didn’t come after season 6.

  80. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Since we are mentioning True Blood again, I’d like to add my 2 cents, again.

    TB, beyond the first season, was bad. The writing was terrible, the acting was terrible, everything looked cheap (and even worse as the show progressed, especially the CGI). People watched it because it was entertaining bad – like watching Lloyd Kaufman’s movies (Tromeo and Juliet is my favorite Romeo and Juliet adaptation ever). It stopped being entertaining bad and became just bad somewhere in the early 4th season, at least for me. As I see it, and I’m not an expert on all things TB, the ratings started to decline when people understood that it’s all it’s ever going to be – just bad. Nowadays, when there’s so much good stuff on TV, people have much less tolerance for just bad. TB got cancelled, finally, because the HBO bigwigs understood that it’s never going to improve and that 7 seasons is good enough for this trash.

    GoT is nowhere near as bad as TB, no matter what some parts of the ASOIAF fandom might think. In fact, it is infinitely better than TB in every single aspect . And yes, some parts of the show are done better than in the books – Hodor Targaryen, you are not alone in liking the show’s version of HOTU more than the book.

    You know when people will abandon GoT en masse? When the viewers will understand that the series go nowhere, just like it feels now with the books. D&D have an enormous task to make the last two books into a watchable TV material, because if they’ll do a literal adaptation of AFFC/ADWD, the show will get cancelled before they’ll get the chance to tell the whole story. As one who didn’t like AFFC/ADWD and has very little interest in the next books (if they’ll ever come out), I think I would be fine with D&D’s version of events after the end of the third book.

    As a reader, I think that another difference between the two book series is that Sookie Stackhouse books had no overarching plot, each one (at least those ten that I’ve read) had more or less a complete story – the first was about the killer who murdered humans who liked vampires, then there was the Dallas plot, then some shenanigans with witches, then a bit of vampire politics, then fairies and so on. ASOIAF is a very different beast, because several things set up in the first book (the Others, Dany’s invasion of Westeros, the fight for the Iron Throne) don’t have any payoff yet and we see those plots progressing throughout the books. Those plots are also set up in the show and if viewers will understand that by the end of, say, 5th season those plots still go nowhere, the viewership will decline fast.

  81. Stefan Sasse
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Turri:
    Listened to Stefan on the boiled leather podcast, but as a German, I can’t stand somebody with too much of a German accent. Just makes you feel uncomfortable, sorry.

    Yeah, well, I can understand that. This book provides the advantage of not being narrated by me.

    GG:
    Don’t show this to Elie & Linda. They might keel over with the fury.

    Why would they?

    Easteros bunny:
    “one of the most accomplished authors on the game of thrones scene today”

    Really? What about GRRM himself? I think he is the most accomplished author on the game of thrones scene, because, he actually wrote the books.

    I really don’t like people making money off another’s works.

    Then don’t buy it. Your choice. And I’m not making money off other people’s books. That would be the publishers. I make money of writing my own books, which just happen to be about other people’s books. They’re the subject, not the content.

    TheBerylfly:
    What really annoys me is this site’s stance on those that get called “book purists”. As soon as someone tries to point out flaws in the show and uses the argument of “it made much more sense/made for better characterisation/whatever in the books” they get called a spoilsport and hysterical purist, no matter if they are bitching about Dothraki hanging out close to water or the storyline/character changes that make about zero sense.

    At least that’s the attitude I have encountered many times. Mayhaps I had very specifical limited exposure. I hope so, because I really like this site otherwise

    I call those book purists who base their arguments about the show solely on the fact whether or not it’s “like in the books”. I like arguments about whether or not something WORKS on screen, which is why I defend LF and Roz and trash the Jon-Snow-storyline in season 2. I’d be happy to engage in discussion about this, and have done so in the past.

    flipthetruck:
    how big is the spoilerstuff in tgese essays? is he mentioning upcoming plotlines or just focusing on the current season/book.

    i am asking as someone who has watched s1-3 and read the first two books

    He is mentioning them from time to time. While being very reserved about it, if you want to remain unspoiled, you should read the book after finishing ADWD.

    As for the rest, if you read the book, please share your opinion on it!

  82. sunspear
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    I’m sorry, but this is an inherently bad argument. “GoT is going the way of TB because the creators have made kind of similar statements about the need to change things for the adaptation’ is insufficient evidence in light of the fact that GoT has not made anywhere near the changes from the source material that TB has. TB is unrecognizable from the books since season 2. GoT has changed a few scenes but is still following the overall plot.

    If you want to convince anyone that GoT is going down the path of True Blood, you need to argue actual quality, which you have not yet done convincingly.

  83. Rygar
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    TB didn’t suck because they strayed from the source. It failed because the way they strayed from the source sucked.

  84. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    On a mostly-unrelated note: the BBC has apparently just cancelled Ripper Street which is nearing the end of it’s second run. There may be a place for Bronn in the show’s future after all, but it could be too late to see it in season 4.

  85. sunspear
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    On the subject of Canada greenlighting a n a la carte cable model:

    I like that someone is trying the experiment, but I really doubt that’s it’s going to work. First, one of the advantages of the current model is that there are only a handful of different cable plans to manage. Once everyone has there own unique plan, overhead for cable companies will go through the roof. And then there’s the supply/demand aspect. If certain channels get a lot more subscribers, the price of the channel will likely rise to the point that the cable package won’t save any money anyway.

  86. sunspear
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    One other comment I want to make about why I definitely favor the books in a book vs. show debate.

    Budget and time constraints are things we have to accept as an adaptation, and anyone who doesn’t accept that deserves a ‘purist label’. But the key words in that sentence are ‘as an adaptation’. Things like the Battle of the Fist, the Battle of the Red Forkthe minor characters missing from the Red Wedding, the smaller scale jousting tournament, and the loss of several great speeches from characters like Stannis and Renly are unquestionably weaker in the show, and you can’t use not enough money as an excuse when you’re just arguing which one is better.

  87. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Stefan Sasse:

    I call those book purists who base their arguments about the show solely on the fact whether or not it’s “like in the books”. I like arguments about whether or not something WORKS on screen, which is why I defend LF and Roz and trash the Jon-Snow-storyline in season 2. I’d be happy to engage in discussion about this, and have done so in the past.

    Exactly.

  88. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    sunspear:
    One other comment I want to make about why I definitely favor the books in a book vs. show debate.

    Budget and time constraints are things we have to accept as an adaptation, and anyone who doesn’t accept that deserves a ‘purist label’. But the key words in that sentence are ‘as an adaptation’. Things like the Battle of the Fist, the Battle of the Red Forkthe minor characters missing from the Red Wedding, the smaller scale jousting tournament, and the loss of several great speeches from characters like Stannis and Renly are unquestionably weaker in the show, and you can’t use not enough money as an excuse when you’re just arguing which one is better.

    Well, I think budget and time constraints actually explain almost all of the changes you listed, besides the Stannis/Renly criticisms.

    But I would agree that GoT makes several changes from the books that are unnecessary, and using budget/time constraints isn’t a sufficient defense of those changes.

    I think some of those unnecessary changes were pretty darn good, though. Was it necessary for Tywin to be at Harrenhal at the same time as Arya? Was it necessary to make her cupbearer to him instead of to Bolton? Absolutely not. But I’m glad they did, and D&D deserve credit for coming up with that idea. In the same way that they deserve criticism for their handling of Qhorin Halfhand, to name one almost universally accepted example of a bad change from book to screen.

  89. DH87
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap: That’s not to say GOT won’t face it’s challenges post S4, just that I doubt HBO would ever cancel. In True Blood’s case, fans have speculated since season 4 when HBO would drop the hammer, and most everyone who wasn’t a blind fan expected the cancellation, with some being surprised it didn’t come after season 6.

    Any fan who thinks HBO would have cancelled TB while AB was around, no matter how bad the show became, doesn’t understand how HBO works these days. AB made sure that after he wrecked the show exploring his personal pseudo-Jungian/Buddhist/gay symbolism/anti-governmental ideas and ratings began to erode, he jumped ship before HBO called him to account. (Alternately: HBO telegraphed its unhappiness to the point that AB jumped. We’ll never know which was the chicken/egg.) Either way, HBO rewarded Ball by smoothing the way for his departure with a two-series deal.

    HBO had patience with TB because (l) hey, it was Alan Ball and (2) it’s been relatively cheap to produce. GOT is terrific in many ways, and so long as the ratings hold up—and D&D don’t venture too far afield from GRRM or go over budget—all should be fine. But GOT isn’t cheap and D&D aren’t Alan Ball, at least not yet.

  90. DH87
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy: When the viewers will understand that the series go nowhere, just like it feels now with the books. D&D have an enormous task to make the last two books into a watchable TV material, because if they’ll do a literal adaptation of AFFC/ADWD, the show will get cancelled before they’ll get the chance to tell the whole story.

    This is a very provocative comment and it would be interesting to hear everyone’s take on this, at least to me. My hope is that GRRM will find a way to right the TV ship (via leaking plot solutions to D&D) more easily than he’s been able to right the book ship thus far. I don’t expect D&D to be able to do so, but I could be wrong.

  91. Patchy Face
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    You guys really need to read the last two books combined as one – they actually are awesome. If you have only read them once , you have not done them justice.

  92. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    DH87: This is a very provocative comment and it would be interesting to hear everyone’s take on this, at least to me.My hope is that GRRM will find a way to right the TV ship (via leaking plot solutions to D&D)more easily than he’s been able to right the book ship thus far. I don’t expect D&D to be able to do so, but I could be wrong.

    For one thing, GoT is not a literal adaptation of the books. D&D have already interpreted, amalgamated, shifted, and reworked events and characters to fit the small screen in a discrete amount of time and budget. As a book fan since 2001, GoT is like having a perfect tart and sweet dessert after an amazing 5-course dinner.

    Mid and post-S4 GoT, which will combine AFfC and ADwD like the Boiled Leather chrono-retelling effort did, will obviously focus on the strengths of the two books, such as chaos in Meereen, Stannis taking the north, Jon as LC, Arya’s transformation, KL chaos, Greyjoy madness, Vale politics, Dorne plotting, LS/BwB/Brienne, Jaime vs Blackfish, Bran’s weirnet, (Benjen), snow, etc., and fit it into no more than 1.5 seasons. Many fans (like Ser Tahu, Jentario, etc here and at Westeros) have already creatively outlined possible arcs for S5 & S6, highlighting the many significant events to come. We can be sure that in their “copious” spare time, D&D are outlining it as well (with budgets in mind and expert consultation). They also have the advantage of already knowing some TWoW material, which allows them to weave the tale with artistic prejudice to get to a similar destination.

    Even though it will be challenging, it most assuredly will not be boring. I am looking forward to events starting mid-S4 that take us into AFfC and ADwD. Even if it doesn’t meet rabid book fan’s expectations, it is still a great dessert after a fantastic meal. Surely you, DH87, can appreciate that.

    (….and we have had this conversation before!)

  93. DH87
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    The good thing about the show’s reception thus far is that it should give D&D the confidence to do just what you outline without resorting to the controversial, arguably unsuccessful sidetracks we’ve discussed here ten thousand times. I also believe they may have learned from some of their missteps (at least those the critics have pointed out). The challenge is large enough without having to add more to their burden by coming up with character/plot solutions that cause more trouble than they are worth.

    I’ve said all along that D&D have huge responsibilities without adding those of the writers’ room but they seem determined to write, even though it is not their strongest contribution to the show. Nothing would make me happier than to see them give more eps to BC and bring in at least one additional writer.

    In comparison, Outlander, with a veteran showrunner, is producing sixteen episodes for its first season using five veteran writers, including the showrunner. That D&D are writing seven episodes between them while overseeing the second unit in three/four locations, the CGI, budget, etc. is pushing it. (They each seem to have a writing credit for nine eps last season, according to IMDb.)

  94. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    DH87:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    I’ve said all along that D&D have huge responsibilities without adding those of the writers’ room but they seem determined to write, even though it is not their strongest contribution to the show. Nothing would make me happier than to see them give more eps to BC and bring in at least one additional writer.

    That is a great point. Although it may be a budgetary thing, D&D’s writing responsibilities are huge. Maybe they could benefit creatively and energetically from offloading some script writing responsibilities and focusing on showrunning and fine-tuning the grand-scale of books 4&5. Or maybe they thrive off of massive pressure of showrunning and scriptwriting.

    We’ll see how BC’s extra episode goes for S4 (greatly anticipating it)….if it goes well, maybe D&D will let go a bit more in the next season. Hopefully, the show can energetically streamline the massively meandering vision and storyline in upcoming seasons. Great shows don’t need RW events every other episode…just an enthused creative team without ADD.

    (Oh, and I meant to link to and credit GreatJon’s S5 speculation thread, which does this topic justice….sorry, GJofS!)

  95. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    I’ve read AFFC 3 times, just as the three earlier books. It somehow was more boring to read each time. It’s not that it has no interesting parts (it does – King’s Landing stuff, Greyjoys’ shenanigans, Jaime), but those parts lie between some of the most boring and pointless stuff I’ve ever read – Brienne and Dorne mostly.

    I’ve read ADWD only once when it came out and read several separate chapters since then. I have absolutely no desire to go through the whole book again. Maybe I’ll read the North stuff someday (Jon Snow, Theon, Davos), because it was really good. I have other much more interesting books in my reading queue.

    I’ve said all along that D&D have huge responsibilities without adding those of the writers’ room but they seem determined to write, even though it is not their strongest contribution to the show. Nothing would make me happier than to see them give more eps to BC and bring in at least one additional writer.

    D&D manage fine what they have to. They even found time this year to write one episode for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, because they are huge fans of the show and Rob McElhenney (one of It’s Always Sunny’s creators) is a huge GoT fan. The episode was awesome, BTW. They are not the only ones who write the majority of the episodes in their show, Michael Hirst of Tudors and Vikings fame wrote all 38 episodes of The Tudors and all the 19 episodes of Vikings (9 for first season and 10 for the upcoming second).

  96. DH87
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy: Michael Hirst of Tudors and Vikings fame wrote all 38 episodes of The Tudors and all the 19 episodes of Vikings (9 for first season and 10 for the upcoming second).

    But Michael Hirst is some jet-propelled writer bot from the planet HistorianaMajor.

  97. Patchy Face
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy,

    Well we will have to agree to disagree- upon further reading, my appreciation for the last two books has greatly increased (even for the Brienne and Dorne stuff).

  98. WildSeed
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    WildSeed,

    But do you share in her opinion that GOT is going down a similar path? I have a hard time comparing them, as they are so dissimilar in all things, except that they were adaptations of a book series. I don’t mean to disparage those who loved TSVM, but they were pretty mindless fare. And the show was utter trash, even when it was at least watchable.

    TrueBlood and Game of Thrones are vastly different in concept and fan base, so true.
    I believe what parallels each make, are the statistical analysis of viewer satisfaction
    and sustained fans, over the broadcast period ( length ) of the series. Discussed here
    many times, from subject posts set by WiC, have demonstrated expert news-press
    opinion of how GoT or any screen project stacks up against the trend. Probably
    many well argued commenters added links to true non biased statistics of broadcast
    shows, but there appears to be a well reasoned and reproducible statistic for certain
    viewer habit and or trend, with traceable evidence of viewer decline beyond a certain
    year . For what parameters are studied, irregardless of a strong beginning, viewers
    grew less interested over time. Adding certain complaint, such as deviation of certain
    known text or adaptation elements, only increased the exodus. While nothing is
    new about viewer attention, more and more statistical data is being extrapolated by
    such agencies, which may help or hinder marketability of particular long term cable
    commitment . I’ll stop there, with what I recall about the subject.

    Arguably there are always projects that buck the trend. With valid exceptions to this
    data of proven failures or success stories. While there may be something to declining
    viewership over a certain period of time ( boredom? ), an earlier dissatisfaction need
    not be attributed to an abandoned or botched effort like TB. If anything, a multiyear
    or 8 season project may be a reasonable standard for length, for a number of reasons.
    However bringing a strong team of show runner plus award winning staff would make
    any old precedent worth proving wrong. ASOIAF is a great epic, worthy of accolades,
    but with the wrong scope of vision, and total dismissal of reasonable viewer focus
    groups, even a series like GoT could meet a nasty end. A better example would be the
    show ” The Walking Dead “, with Robert Kirkman on board, and contributing greatly
    to the tweaks with the script. Despite the changes from the original work, and where
    the pulse reflex data ( of the viewer ) was respected, the show continues it’s steady
    satisfaction.

    I only understand the basics, Nielsen ratings, and the like. Greater insights have been
    gained reading comments here, from links WiC and others provide, and posing to
    questions to those who understand the industry ( DH87, Alan, etc ).

  99. WildSeed
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones:
    Since there’s no news this week really I guess its quibbling season again. True Blood though…that’s a shitty show based on shitty books. Let’s give GrrM and D and D some credit here please. GrrM isn’t pissed off at the showrunners, they’ve deviated sure, but as he’s said this was the best adaptation he was going to get rather than regular tv or a movie series. He was involved in its development, he pushed for it, he’s got what he wanted and he’s all the richer for it.

    If he’s mad at anyone it’s the higher-ups in HBO who seem to be pressuring him to write faster. So far as I’m concerned that may be a good thing though.

    LMAO !! Let’s hope that HBO delivers a few cryptic tails in the weeks to come.
    ” Orphan Black ” has a trailer coming out soon, per BBC, and Showtime’s ” Shameless ”
    is touting their upcoming season as well, GoT won’t let us down. It does appear that
    certain GoT events and confirming characters are being strategically withheld this
    year, probably for good reason…… saving the best for later.

    As for TrueBlood and the Sookie Stackhouse books…….. your thoughts are echoed by
    many that either read and watched the show, and me, who took up the nasty habit
    while recovering from a chronic illness. People will read anything if pain killers were
    recently ingested ( :

  100. WildSeed
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy,

    Well said !

  101. WildSeed
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Rygar:
    TB didn’t suck because they strayed from the source.It failed because the way they strayed from the source sucked.

    So very true, and to add…. the acting really sucked. I quit watching more than
    4 years ago.

  102. DH87
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    I’d ask those of you who claim to have foretold True Blood’s doom as early as season 2 whether you posted regularly on any of the dozen-odd active websites devoted to the show? I followed at least six with a combined membership in the thousands on a daily basis for four years and don’t recall anyone sounding the alarm other than myself. (I was asked to stop posting on one where AB was regularly termed a “genius” and drummed out of another because of my “negativity.”)

    Few fan sites acknowledge when things begin to go wrong. Those who post on general-interest sites, like Vulture, EW, Huffington Post, etc., begin to mock and complain far sooner than anyone does on a site like WiC.

    I’m not saying things have started to go wrong with GOT, but if they ever do, this will be one of the last places to acknowledge it.

  103. WildSeed
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    I’m not sure if it was James Hibberd, of Entertainment Weekly, that penned the article(s) that I’m familiar with, but the warning for TB’s demise did come early. And although we did get a few squeaks of disapproval from author Charlaine Harris, regarding TrueBlood, her ambiguous statements came very late or later continued unjustifiable support for a failing show. I understand that many fans kept watching the show, in hopes of reconciling some favour with familiar characters, if only by name
    only. Even differentiating the onscreen version from the books couldn’t be appreciated from my point of view, the show was just too stupid.

    I believe anyone desiring to examine how their favourite show measures up to scrutiny
    by critics and statistical analysis, will seek out formats that discuss those aspects. A
    fair amount will not go that route, which is okay too. Die-hard fans are always
    appreciated…… I just hope they respect the data and the reasons why their beloved
    show did not meet the standard to qualify for peer / industry awards. Whether or not
    the writing on the wall appears eventually for GoT, the ink may not be so indelible.
    For what merits good work, GoT may pull it off, should upcoming seasons demonstrate
    an improving learning curve. As of now, ” Doctor Who ” and the ” Walking Dead ”
    holds my interest more ( since ” Breaking Bad has ended ). For both , I’m sitting at
    the edge of my chair in suspense or fun ( GoT, not so much ). I’m hopeful though *>*

  104. WildSeed
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    RIP pres. Mandela *>*

  105. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    Yet, IMO GoT is better written than The Tudors. As much as I liked it, I freely admit that it was mostly soap opera VERY loosely based on historical events. Vikings has a much simpler plot and and about ten times less characters than GoT.

  106. sunspear
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy,

    I haven’t seen the Tudors, but I have seen Vikings, and that show really isn’t as well written as GoT either. Everyone who isn’t Ragnar is an incompetent, mustache twirling villain, and they have to go WAY out of the way to justify the Vikings being able to win their fights with the English. Still, good visuals, and battles that beat Game of Thrones in everything but Blackwater.

  107. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    sunspear,

    I don’t think there are any characters there you could call villains (or you can say that they all are villains, since the series is about people who pillaged and burned half of Western Europe). Earl Haraldson maybe fits the description, but you can kind of understand where he’s coming from and why he, as an Earl, is pissed off at some peasant who publicly disobeys him. What he does to Ragnar’s village was pretty common thing in those days.

    The Northumbrian king is not a villain. A bunch of barbarians came to his lands, sacked a monastery, murdered priests and stole stuff. He’s an incompetent buffoon who has even more incompetent underlings, but that’s also something that wasn’t uncommon. After all, it didn’t take the Vikings much time or effort to conquer about 3/4 of the modern England in 9th century.

    The Jarl from the last episode is just some guy who tries to defend his land. We don’t know much about him, so it’s not clear who’s right in the dispute – he or King Horik.

    I love this series because of its simplicity. This kind of story doesn’t require 200 characters and 15 story lines that run in parallel. It’s simple, it’s very well done, well acted and looks great. And you’re right – the battle scenes are awesome. I’m excited about the second season of Vikings just as about S4 of GoT.

  108. DH87
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy,

    I disagree that the Tudors was not so well written as GOT. As much as it played fast and loose with history, there weren’t any scenes that made you squirm like the Littlefinger sexposition scene, or lay dead, minus physical action of any kind, like the trumped up Cersei/Robert and Robert/Jaime scenes. Things happened organically in the Tudors; the viewer wasn’t conscious of poor construction. I’d say the same for the much simpler Vikings. Both shows also had the benefit of a single charismatic star (Rhys Meyers and Fimmel, respectively) to write for and around, something, of course, I believe GOT lacks.

  109. DH87
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    I don’t recall any of the media-site cheerleaders (like Hibberd and Ausiello) sounding the alarm, but I do recall the climbing metacritics score for seasons 2 and 3. Only the little- known Dan Flenberg of Netflix gave it a 42 in season 4, when TV Guide, USA Today (which gave it a perfect l00), Hibberd’s Entertainment Weekly (which gave it an 83), and People were still singing its praises.

    As for new shows, I’ve placed all my hopes on Outlander and Just Call Saul, along with Mad Men (returning), in the post-BB era.

  110. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    I thought that Rhys Meyers was the weakest link in the cast. He always acted like he was some pissed off teenager. The show had lots of very strong supporting characters – Wolsey (Sam Neill never disappoints), Cromwell (I still wonder why James Frain haven’t shown up on GoT yet), Charles Brandon (Henry Cavill should’ve been the lead IMO), Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer is both insanely talented and insanely hot), Thomas More and many others.

    I never had a particular problem with a nudity on GoT (or The Tudors, which had lots of it in the first season but toned it down significantly after that) and I liked the invented talky scenes, like Cercei/Robert and such. Matter of opinion, I guess.

    P.S. Blu-Ray set of S1 of Vikings has extended versions of all the episodes and there’s nudity in 3 of them, which is as unnecessary as it gets. Floki’s lady steps out of the house in her full frontal glory in one episode, there’s some nudity, including full frontal male, in the sacrifice episode and we see more reasons of why Ragnar fell for Aslaug so fast. Two more reasons, to be exact.

  111. WildSeed
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy,

    I agree , about both projects. Actor Jeremy Irons basically sleepwalks through a
    unchallenging role. I must admit beginning a look while it was mid season, but
    it was easy to figure out. The ” Vikings” series took more than 4 episodes for me
    to appreciate it… And that was because I really wanted to view how the series
    would demonstrate historical events that it was based on. I’m doing the same
    with the Starz network ” the White Queen “. Try as I must, I still retain higher
    hopes for ” Game of Thrones “. No matter what, though, nothing beats reading
    a book or an early morning hike through Yosemite .

  112. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    I think you’re mixing up between Tudors and Borgias :) Jeremy Irons was in Borgias, and yeah, it’s not the most challenging thing he had ever done. Jeremy Irons deserves better things.

  113. WildSeed
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy: James Frain

    He really bounces around. He was lending his appearances in ” Grimm “, as some
    Viennese royal that was murdered just recently. He did a great stint in “TrueBlood”,
    in fact ( possibly the last season I viewed or nearabouts ). Great Vampire villain.
    If Frain were to show up in GoT, even for a short stay, I hope he ends up in a strong
    character role….. Connington ? Greyjoy ? Danerys’s new hubby ?

  114. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    If you’re referring to Hizdahr Zo Loraq as “Daenerys’ new hubby”, he has already been cast. http://winteriscoming.net/2013/09/hizdahr-zo-loraq-cast/

    As for Frain, I guess it’s possible he could play Euron Greyjoy. I don’t see him as Connington.

  115. DH87
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    What I’m most looking forward to in Better Call Saul (after the crackling dialogue, that is) is how well Vince Gilligan puts over a minor character actor, Bob Odenkirk, as a star. It’s exactly what HBO has tried (and, for me, failed) to do with Steve Buscemi in the overpriced, over-written, over-produced Boardwalk Empire. If Gilligan pulls it off, it will prove that writing can trump bells and whistles any day (and on a basic cable network!).

  116. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    DH87:
    What I’m most looking forward to in Better Call Saul (after the crackling dialogue, that is) is how well Vince Gilligan puts over a minor character actor, Bob Odenkirk, as a star. It’s exactly what HBO has tried (and, for me, failed) to do with Steve Buscemi in the overpriced, over-written, over-produced Boardwalk Empire. If Gilligan pulls it off, it will prove that writing can trump bells and whistles any day (and on a basic cable network!).

    I hope BCS is decent as well, but as a BB prequel, set in ABQ? I wonder if they’re going to bring back Gus & Mike because they were in Saul’s circle before Walt. Good luck to them, but it will be hard to duplicate the originality and intensity of BB. I wonder if it will be a dark comedy?

  117. DH87
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m open to whatever VG thinks he can pull off.

  118. DH87
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    I’m with you—James Frain has hit it out of the park many times, from The Buccaneers to The White Queen.

  119. JoyToTheSnails
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    How the hell can something be overproduced?

  120. DH87
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    JoyToTheSnails: How the hell can something be overproduced?

    So glad you asked:

    The production would be very ambitious, with some even speculating it would be too large scale for television. “I kept thinking ‘This is pointless. How can we possibly afford a boardwalk, or an empire?’” says creator Terence Winter. “We can’t call it ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and not see a boardwalk.”[1] The production would eventually build a 300-foot-long (91 m) boardwalk in an empty lot in Brooklyn, New York at the cost of five million dollars.[13] Despite a reported budget of up to $50 million,[14] the pilot’s final budget came in at $18 million.[1] Wikipedia

  121. WildSeed
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I forgot about Hizdahr Loraq being cast, thanks for the heads up.
    Actor ,James Frain , would be wasted in a non pivotal role, and I was just
    brainstorming for an upcoming character . I do agree about Connington,
    I really wanted Kevin McKidd for that role ( not gonna happen ). All that’s
    left is…..are…… the Greyjoy men, or……………..Arianne’s love interest ??. Nah !

  122. WildSeed
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    It’s gotta be a comedie noire , even as a prequel. I thought Mike knew Gustavo, beforehand.

    Is ” Better Call Saul “, scheduled for a 2014 run ? midyear ?

    Alex Greyjoy,

    Yes, I’m afraid I did. Thanks for recognizing the lapse. The Borgias “, is too soap
    opera-ish…. I think I viewed only 2 episodes of the ” Tudors “. Not a fair assessment,
    but I could find something better to spend my time ,doing.
    Too bad ” Being Human ” went out with such a simper for it’s final season ) :

  123. WildSeed
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    So true ! To think I first watched him in ” Places of the Heart “, alongside Natalie
    Portman ( viewed on HBO ). He either causes me grave concern to fright, or cracks
    me up as he did in “TrueBlood” . ” ……why Tara, WHYYYY ?? !!!! “

  124. Eren
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    Reading it was boring but seeing it on screen will be cool. :)

  125. Patchy Face
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Eren,

    Not with the naysayers yet on this show – still think it’s the best thing on TV (just can’t get into zoooombies or Vikings pounding each others’ heads in). But guess time will tell. And admit I am a total GRRM fan.


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