GRRM: “Book Littlefinger and television show Littlefinger are very different characters.”
By Hear Me Roar on in Books, Interview, Media.

Via Blastr.com an interesting item has come to our attention. Game of Thrones has become so pervasive one can find references to it just about anywhere. Thus it came to pass that GRRM was invited to participate in a BBC documentary on Niccolo Machiavelli. Among other things, he names Petyr Baelish as the most Machiavellian of his characters, and discusses how he is the one that changed most in the adaptation from the books to the show. Watch the full interview below.

There was a a line in a recent episode of the show where, he’s not even present, but two people are talking about him and someone says ‘Well, no one trusts Littlefinger’ and ‘Littlefinger has no friends.’ And that’s true of television show Littlefinger, but it’s certainly not true of book Littlefinger. Book Littlefinger, in the book, everybody trusts him. Everybody trusts him because he seems powerless, and he’s very friendly, and he’s very helpful. /…/ But of course there’s the Machiavellian thing.


182 Comments

  1. Varamyr 4 skins
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Littlefinger is a boss

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

    I might as well be the first: Hodor!

  3. Cary Storm
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Mayor Carcetti.

  4. who even?
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    So this is proof they’re doing it wrong, right?

  5. The Hand of Jaime
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    who even?,

    Not so much that they’re doing it incorrectly, just differently, I think. To me, the show Littlefinger embodies what I thought about him as a reader, not so much what the other characters thought of him.

    Just my $.02 though!

  6. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I know it is silly but I feel like instigating a debate with GRRM regarding the merits of book LF’s supposed trustworthiness, with people, with money, and with power. He plays both sides of the coin, so to speak.

    Machiavellian? Absolutely. Dependable/Helpful? Yes. Trustworthy? I won’t go that far.

  7. Abyss
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Lol, I feel exactly the same way. You are wrong, GRRM! :D

  8. Stannis
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s HBO not letting anything be ambiguous or mysterious. They beat you over the head with it sometimes especially with Renlys homosexuality or Roose and Walder being over the top either. Tyrion being white washed and Stannis being bad, they just don’t like subtlety.

  9. Jen@House Stark
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Abyss:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Lol, I feel exactly the same way. You are wrong, GRRM! :D

    I agree with these two bannermen. I pass the Motion. Little Finger could not be trusted by his own mother. Yes, he’s smart, yes, he is a gangster, i.e. can get you whatever you want for your loyalty, but no one is “safe” with him.

  10. Al Swearengen
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Season 1 Littlefinger was awesome. After that season ended Aiden Gillen had a brain transplant.

  11. patchface
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I agree with GRRM. Littlefinger on the show, from the very first moment is clearly a villain. She shock of betraying Ned would have been greater if everyone trusted him.

  12. Rygar
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I’d vote for him as mayor of Baltimore.

  13. A Jackson
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I digging in history books turns up the fact that Niccolo Machiavelli was a nice guy, probably nicer than LF!

  14. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Stannis,

    Seriously?

    The show only “beat you over the head” with Renly’s homosexuality in the same way it “beat you over the head” with the heterosexuality of any other character. The only reason his homosexuality wasn’t clearly spelled out in the books is because he and Loras aren’t POV characters. There’s no real reason to hide it absent the POV structure (incidentally, no argument that Loras was pretty stereotypical last season).

    And I don’t really get where your coming from with Walder and Roose. Walder is pretty much the same guy between book and show- he’s just more spry on the show. As for Roose, Roose is the most obviously evil person imaginable in the books. He’s much, much more subtle in the show.

    Stannis is sort of a topic for another discussion, but I think he’s no where as evil in the show or as good in the books as his defenders like to think. I do think Melisandre comes across more evil in the show than in the books though.

    RE Tyrion, I don’t think anyone would dispute he’s a lot more sympathetic in the show versus the book, but I don’t know how much that has to do with subtly. For instance, Cersei is also more sympathetic in the show, and that’s tied to her being a much more subtle character than in the books.

    The Hand of Jaime,

    That’s a good point. While I miss the more humorous/charming Littlefinger of the books, I don’t really know how the show could follow that and not make everyone else seem like a moron.

    You have a character that everyone likes and trusts but who the audience sees clearly is up to no good.

    I think Gillen overdoes it, but I think the idea of Littlefinger as “someone who is slimy and shady but gets the job done” is probably a good way of explaining why other people would put up with him without making it so that everyone loses IQ points in his presence.

  15. mariamb
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Agree. Maybe its because I watched S1 before reading the books but I don’t find either Show LF or Book LF to be trustworthy. Fascinating? Yes! But I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

    Rygar:
    I’d vote for him as mayor of Baltimore.

    As would I. Carcetti was a great character on a great show.

  16. Chibarin
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Take THAT those who say show LF is just the book LF that is seen without the influence of PoV characters. The ladder speech was one of the worst things added to the show.

  17. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Stannis:
    It’s HBO not letting anything be ambiguous or mysterious. They beat you over the head with it sometimes especially with Renlys homosexuality or Roose and Walder being over the top either. Tyrion being white washed and Stannis being bad, they just don’t like subtlety.

    I find this analysis a bit facile.

    Some of the characters do seem a bit less nuanced, but others are more so.

    Jaime’s ambiguity has been well played and well written, about on par with the book’s intent. Aidan Gillen’s Littlefinger is more of a mustache-twirling villain, sure, and they probably could have made his motivations a bit more clouded (excising that soliloquy to the girl-on-girl action would have probably accomplished about 70 percent of what was needed…scene laid it on too thick).

    I disagree on Stannis. Do we really get at his motivations? He’s earned respect that he isn’t given, well played in Season 2/Episode 8 in his conversation with Davos, and we see his pain (Kissed by Fire). The idea that he’s “just bad” is a bit overstated; I rather like show Stannis, despite how hard and brittle he is, and at times wonder if (both in books and the show), whether he’s the one best-suited for the crown, rather than Daenarys or anyone else. The “whitewashing” of Tyrion is a bit overstated, too – considering the events that would most cloud our view of Tyrion haven’t even happened yet. (Oh, yes, he has Symon Silver Tongue killed…but given this show has reduced all of the “annoying singers/fools” characters to just Marillion getting his tongue cut out, this is more just D&D pruning than anything else, I believe.)

    Meanwhile – one could argue a couple of the other characters have been shaded a bit more. Cersei certainly comes across as a woman carrying a lot of pain and regret, even if it makes her a victimizer, but still – she’s not just a witch as she seems to be through most of the first 3 books (admittedly, Feast for Crows shades her somewhat as well). Tywin has been given a depth never really hinted at by GRRM.

  18. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    RE the spoiler, I don’t want to disappoint myself if it doesn’t happen, but I could definitely see some variety of that happening in the first or second episodes of this coming season.

    In terms of Littlefinger, I think the show could have kept any one (or maybe two if you are generous) of his “speeches”. Like I think the infamous “sexposition” speech was good, as was his threatening of Ros, as was his “chaos is a ladder”, but all three of them?

    Personally, I’d have gotten rid of the second one. I think Littlefinger is just as evil in the book and show, so I can certainly see him doing that sort of thing (Jeyne Poole says hello), but he probably wouldn’t actually tell anyone about doing it.

  19. Leto II
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    CHAOSHH , OF COURSHHHH IS A LADDAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  20. mariamb
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber:

    Meanwhile – one could argue a couple of the other characters have been shaded a bit more. Cersei certainly comes across as a woman carrying a lot of pain and regret, even if it makes her a victimizer, but still – she’s not just a witch as she seems to be through most of the first 3 books (admittedly, Feast for Crows shades her somewhat as well). Tywin has been given a depth never really hinted at by GRRM.

    Thank you for this. I couldn’t agree more. The show – and these actors – have made these characters interesting and understandable rather than “mustache-twirling villains”. I actually enjoy having these characters on-screen.

  21. queenofthorns
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really agree with GRRM that “everyone trusts littlefinger” in the books. Maybe that’s what he intended but it’s not what the text tells me. Ned and Sansa isn’t “everybody” and even the latter catches on to his slimyness on some level.

    Maybe trust just isn’t the right word. It’s more like, “tend to overlook and discount”. Those in power certainly aren’t afraid of him, and maybe they should be, but trust him? Nah. Everyone knows he’s slime, they just think he isn’t a threat. Seems the same way in the show TBH.

  22. Amnesiacps
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I only started reading the books after the whole Ned thing.

    So to any people that read the book first. Did you trust Littlefinger/think he was harmless?

    I’m genuinely curious being as my perception of him was warped from the off.

  23. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    queenofthorns,

    It’s complicated…

    The first two books indicate a friendly relationship between Renly and Littlefinger that is quite different from how Renly acts toward him on the show (Renly is smarter on the show than in the books though).

    All of the Lannisters bar Tyrion seem to see Littlefinger as an ambitious commoner who can be trusted to do things to their benefit, because in return, he will be advanced.

    The willingness to shower honors on him is sort of a case of plot-induced-stupidity.

    There is also a scene in the fourth book where Jaime thinks of Littlefinger as someone trustworthy who he’d want to promote (to replace Cersei’s badly chosen advisers). See my comment about plot-induced-stupidity.

    Also, we do see that Littlefinger’s peasants seem to like him.

    So, I wouldn’t say that people view him as slime, but for the most part, they don’t trust him in the sense of “trust because someone is a good guy”. It is more like “trust because he’s good at getting the job done”, which isn’t much different from the show.

    The difference is that most people like Littlefinger in the books and dislike him in the show- he’s a lot more personally unpleasant in the show.

  24. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Chibarin:
    Take THAT those who say show LF is just the book LF that is seen without the influence of PoV characters. The ladder speech was one of the worst things added to the show.

    I thought that the closing monologue from LF in “The Climb” was appropriate (and even a defining moment) for show LF but I sincerely doubt book LF would have been so inclined….it is a moment in GoT where all Sullied should realize the difference between show and book LF.

    Although, sometimes I wonder if that “chaos is a ladda” speech was something that book LF might have secretly chuckled about and pondered within his own mind as he pushed Lysa out the moon door.

  25. Stannis
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    @Jordan
    Roose the most evil in the books? Have you met his son? Roose is pretty much a Psychopath but it’s over played in the show with the scene with him and Walder Frey twirling their moustaches. It leaves nothing to interpretation.

    The Renly stuff is essentially the same, they didn’t need to be as over the top as they were with the shaving scene it just almost came across as over the top to me but like you say the heterosexual scenes can be as bad.

    The thing that bothers me most is I get the impression they have to dumb things down to such an extent and they won’t allow the characters to be as grey as the books because they worry about ratings. Tyrion is too much of the lead character when he shouldn’t be.

  26. Patchy Face
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Amnesiacps,

    I am a long time book reader and no, never trusted LF. He always appeared to be plotting and scheming but his depiction is much more subtle in the books and his plotting and scheming kept under wraps. Of course, it becomes more and more obvious in the books that he is very Machiavellian.

  27. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Stannis,

    I apologize. I didn’t word that clearly with Roose. I was referring to how his appearance and manner is so obviously evil in the books- leeching fetish, pale skin, creepy eyes (the actor does kind of have those though), creepy whispering voice, dresses in clothing that looks like flayed skin, etc.

    I think the show improved on this but giving us a character who is kind of creepy, but really does seem like a loyal and trustworthy bannerman… up until he’s out of Robb’s sight/gets a chance to show Robb what he really thought of him.

    I personally liked the scene with he and Walder- I can certainly see Walder boasting about his actions like that, and Roose is sort of humoring him (while voicing his pique toward Robb) with some implied threats about Ramsay (compare to how in the book before the Red Wedding kicks off, Roose makes a point of telling Walder how Ramsay will take good care of his Frey squires).

    Also, this probably has a lot to do with feeling toward TV!Robb, but my sense is that reaction to the scene was to the effect that Walder is a real asshole, but that you can kind of see where Roose is coming from.

    Re Tyrion, it strikes me that a lot of book readers see book Tyrion as show Tyrion- by which I mean think he really is a great, not all that morally grey guy.

    I figure if people are going to fanboy the character, he might as well deserve it.

  28. the other guy
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Show Littlefinger is fine, they’re right to make him a more obvious “villain” than in the books because Book Littlefinger wouldn’t translate that well to screen imho. And Aidan Gillen is really good.

  29. Sean C.
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Jordan:
    The show only “beat you over the head” with Renly’s homosexuality in the same way it “beat you over the head” with the heterosexuality of any other character.

    And also by changing his and Loras’ personalities to make them more fit to be the subject of jokes about their being gay, which is in both cases (particularly Loras) now pretty much the main traits of their characters.

  30. Jentario
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The Hand of Jaime:
    who even?,

    Not so much that they’re doing it incorrectly, just differently, I think. To me, the show Littlefinger embodies what I thought about him as a reader, not so much what the other characters thought of him.

    Just my $.02 though!

    Yes. Good way to say it. It’s as if show Littlefinger is a more open and less hidden version of book Littlefinger. I think the source of this change may be that D&D may have wanted to highlight Littlefinger’s true personality to avoid confusing viewers, but whilst doing that they lost Littlefinger’s precision and perfectionism. He would never openly attack someone like he did to Cersei early in season 2 (though that was a good scene), and he wouldn’t be as straightforwardly hostile to him either. Show Littlefinger might have the same intentions, hopes and mentality of his book version, but he is much more careless- all because of the unavoidable process of streamlining that comes with adapting such a complex book series into a ten-hour-per-season TV show. I understand the change, and I still enjoy show Littlefinger greatly.

  31. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    @ Sean C:

    I agree with Loras, disagree with Renly. He definite has a different personality and I suppose broadly, you could say that sensitive is closer to gay stereotype than macho (although the second one can be a stereotype too), but show!Renly’s personality is more or less intelligent and “sensitive politician who may or may not be faking the sensitive part to make himself seem better”.

    I’ve defended this in previous threads, but I like how the show has the three Baratheons have such diametrically opposite personalities and all hate each other- it’s a good take on the hints of Freudian Trio in the books (Robert- Id; Stannis- Superego; Renly- Ego).

    In terms of jokes about Renly, Jaime’s comment RE the Iron Throne is exactly the kind of thing Jaime would say in the books and purists would find hilarious if Martin had written it.

  32. LordStarkington
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    If they kept LF exactly as he was in the books, I think (non-reader) viewers might get annoyed by this slimey, opaque, character that seems to get away with everything he chooses to get involved in, almost entirely off screen. I think it works fine in the books where you can gleen hints of what LF is up to through extended dialogue and description, but I don’t think it’s quite as feasible on screen.

    I also am not really convinced people *trust* LF in the books. It’s more that they don’t view him as a threat, which is not quite the same thing. They don’t seem to particularly care for him, and I don’t think the way they view him is really that far removed from how it’s depicted in the show.

  33. Jentario
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Jordan,

    That’s because it really was hillarious.

  34. A Man Grown
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Sean C.,

    Exactly. “Beating over the head” is quite accurate in Loras’ case. Book Loras is a valiant, highly skilled, headstrong, arrogant knight that happened to be in love with Renly and mourns Renly’s death. Show Loras IZ GAY LOL

  35. Jentario
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington,

    I don’t think that’s true. The only character other than Sansa and Ned to ever reflect on Littlefinger in the books as a POV is Tyrion, which obviously has a bit of a grudge against him for the dagger buisness. He doesn’t trust Littlefinger, he sees him for what he is. Others do not- Cersei, Tywin, the Tyrels. They see opportunity in him, not threat. Which is obviously a big mistake on their part.

  36. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington,

    Yes, that’s what I was trying to get at in an earlier post. You put it more concisely.

    Littlefinger in the books is simultaneously someone who comes across as trustworthy to almost everyone, but is just as clearly understood as an underhanded snake by the audience. And throughout the whole process, his plans always work and he keeps getting promotions.

    I wouldn’t say that it is necessarily impossible to adapt this to television, but it would probably be pretty difficult.

    Of course, there are shows that will have a shocking reveal that a seeming good guy is a bad guy, but in those instances, the audience was as much in the dark as the other characters.

  37. Rygar
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    What I love about show LF is that he would go get the City Watch to assist you if you were in dire straits and would also wipe the semen off your lips while high tailing it outta there.

  38. JamesL
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Stannis,

    What exactly have they “white washed” about Tyrion. I’ve seen people make this comment before yet I’ve never seen any specific examples of them “white washing” his character. The only thing I can think of is his fake threats to Cersei about Tommen.

  39. Hawk
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    He said that people trust him, NOT that he is actually trustworthy

  40. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    I agree that it was funny (I found it so), but it did strike me (to overgeneralize) that “purists” would cite this kind of thing as an anti-gay caricature, but would have no problem with it had it come from Martin’s pen.

    I was thinking of a comment I’d read which noted how much shit D&D would get had they invented Strong Belwas as an original character.

  41. Jentario
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Jordan,

    They would get a lot of shit on Strong Belwas, original character or not. It was wise to cut him, as awesome as he is.

  42. King Tommen
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, book readers are the worst kind of hypocrites.

    Complain when the “good in his heart” Jaime Lannister kills Alton. Check
    Complain when some of Cersei’s more evil actions are given to Joffrey and she is portrayed as a more compassionate character on the show. Check
    Complain when Varys shows his vindictive streak by revealing the wizard he plans to torture after hunting him down all those years. Check
    Complain that Renly is shown to be too “sensitive” on the show and not enough of a brute like Robert. Check
    Complain when Catelyn delivers a monologue regretting the way she treated and felt about Jon because it “weakens her character”. Check
    Complain when the show doesn’t just portray Margaery’s public face of innocence and sympathy but delves into her scheming and ambitious nature. Check

    So, with these examples, the show isn’t providing more “grey area” for the characters they are working with, they are “betraying their true nature”. But when the show doesn’t provide enough grey area for some of the other characters, they are “dumbing down and whitewashing the show as just a good vs evil, lowest common denominator” thing.

    If someone can help me out with whichever one it’s supposed to be this week, that would be great.

    See, I tend to chalk most of these complaints up as “it wasn’t that way in the books = I don’t like that = I’m going to try and justify my dislike by making a sweeping statement about the show that’s not really true.”

    Here’s a quick pro tip for everyone which should have been apparent from the start of the television series: You’re going to see more shading and characterization from the characters who are not POV’s in the books and you are not going to get as full as picture on the show of the POV characters we are in the head of in the books. That’s not going to change.

  43. Leto II
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    Symon “Silvertongue”, who was assassinated on Tyrion instructions.
    His body was served as food to the Smallfolk of King’s Landing, under the guise of “Pots O’Brown.”

    wait … this could be in Season 4

  44. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Leto II,

    That chronologically hasn’t happened yet in show time, which is why I’d expect it during the first or second episodes of the coming season (if it doesn’t, you’ll have a point).

    But right now, saying that they whitewashed Tyrion for that is like saying they whitewashed him by not having him kill his father.

  45. Cosca
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    “two people are talking about him and someone says “Well, no one trusts Littlefinger” and ‘Littlefinger has no friends.’ ”
    During which recent episode did this occur? Can’t remember that being said in Season 3 at any point.

  46. Rygar
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Is it time for the pizza party yet? Geez.

  47. Greenjones
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Cosca,

    I think he’s referring to Tyrion and Shae’s conversation in “Dark Wings, Dark Words” where Tyrion says “Is there an idiot in any village who trusts Littlefinger.”

  48. Jentario
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    I’m afraid it is…

  49. Steve
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    Amen, brother.

  50. JoyToTheSnails
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see, the complete list of friends and people who trust LF in the books:

    Lysa
    Cat in aGoT
    Ned (kind of)
    Some characters he paid
    Sansa
    Some peasants

  51. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Jordan: Like I think the infamous “sexposition” speech was good, as was his threatening of Ros, as was his “chaos is a ladder”, but all three of them?

    I would have junked the first, and kept the other ones. Some people’s intentions need to be laid bare – Ned Stark, Alliser Thorne, Yoren. Littlefinger should be more enigmatic.

  52. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Let me get this straight. People are mad because LF and Roose are too villainous. People are mad because Cersei is too watered down and not evil enough. I’m confused.

    I actually don’t think Roose or Cersei are very different in the show. Roose is a fun villain and people like him for that, but it doesn’t make him any less bad. We’re talking about a man who says things like “don’t make me regret the day I raped your mother.” Yeah, Roose is totally grey, not a villain at all!

    Cersei is nuanced in the books. She becomes three dimensional and very slightly sympathetic in Maegor’s holdfast when she tells Sansa about her bitterness at the different treatment she got as a female. She’s the one who wanted to learn politics, not Jaime. Maybe she would have turned out better if Tywin had recognized that. She’s still a terrible person, but not a cardboard cut out.

    I do agree that LF is far less subtle on the show. That isn’t necessarily bad. Casual viewers have a hard enough time keeping every character straight. Sometimes it’s necessary to lay things out for the viewer.
    I am wondering how the change is going to effect Sansa’s AFFC stuff. She sees the distinction between Petyr and Littlefinger, but in the show there isn’t a distinction. It’s going to look like she’s siding with a villain. Unfortunately this is going to earn her more hate I think.

  53. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Leto II:
    JamesL,

    Symon “Silvertongue”, who was assassinated on Tyrion instructions.
    His body was served as food to the Smallfolk of King’s Landing, under the guise of “Pots O’Brown.”

    wait … this could be in Season 4

    Right. It could either A) still happen or B) be cut because the character is unnecessary.

  54. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    You ninja’d me. :(

  55. Mad Hatter
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Where is it written in the book that everyone trusts LF? Nobody overly trusts anyone in this world, with good reason, as it’s in turmoil from the get since King Bob isn’t such a red hot ruler. Then things go downshill from there. LF has scrambled up the ladder by accepting unpalatable jobs like Master of Coin and Master of Whores and telling people what they want to hear (go ahead and spend all you want, free whores for everyone, etc.). So he has access to information from various sources but no one is, like, gee I’ll tell LF all my secrets because he’s so trustworthy. He’s a collector of information, a little here, a little there. You actually have to admire the tenacity since there’s just one of him whereas Varys has an orphan army at his beck and call spying on everyone.

  56. JoyToTheSnails
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger: Cersei is nuanced in the books. She becomes three dimensional and very slightly sympathetic in Maegor’s holdfast when she tells Sansa about her bitterness at the different treatment she got as a female. She’s the one who wanted to learn politics, not Jaime. Maybe she would have turned out better if Tywin had recognized that. She’s still a terrible person, but not a cardboard cut out.

    I feel she kind of became a cardboard cutout during Feast for Crows though. The reveal that she was a terrible person from the start (what with pushing her friend into the well as a child) made her even more cartoonish. And aside from those parts in Maegor’s holdfast (which were in the show too), I would argue that she generally is less developed in the books. The original scenes on the show like Cersei talking with Joffrey, her softer talks with Tyrion, and her conversation about her marriage with Robert, have really helped.

  57. Rygar
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Insert random cock statement here

    That’s what she said.

  58. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    The Hand of Jaime,

    This is how I feel. I may have read the character wrongly, but I could swear Tyrion didn’t trust Littlefinger in the books, and just like in the show, Littlefinger openly tells Ned not to trust him. I think Littlefinger is the toughest non-POV character to portray on the show. So much of what he does is done off the page and kept secret.

  59. Abyss
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Hawk:
    He said that people trust him, NOT that he is actually trustworthy

    Semantics… If you trust somebody with something than you think that he/she is (actually) trustworthy in this particular case.

  60. Arthur
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a cool rundown of the new characters and actors portraying them in season 4.

    http://hbowatch.com/game-of-thrones-season-4-casting-roundup/

    The picture of the girl playing the child of the forest looks kind of weird. I bet with a little makeup and stuff she can pull off that supernatural look really well…

  61. Stannis
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I have no issue with the show’s depiction of LF’S except that he started playing him COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY after season 1 with the Sean Connery voice etc

  62. Rygar
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    GRRM went on to further say so astutely that at this point the show LF is theirs and the book LF is his.

  63. King Tommen
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Rygar:
    GRRM went on to further say so astutely that at this point the show LF is theirs and the book LF is his.

    Not really astute as much a statement that fits every single character in both universes.

  64. shishaw
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Stannis,

    YES. This, this, a thousand times this. The last time I saw such a jarring shift in characterization was the change in the character Stewie Griffin from Family Guy between Seasons 2 and 3. Totally different genres, I know, but if you’ve watched that show’s early seasons you know exactly what I mean. His (arguably) most iconic line from Book 1 (“Mistrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done since you climbed off your horse.”) was delivered pretty much exactly how it sounded in my head. You know there’s something particularly greasy going on with this guy, but you can’t quite place it yet. Contrast that with the “Chaos is a ladder…” speech, which would probably be a fine speech in its own right had Gillen not delivered it in the voice of a chain-smoking Welsh Nazgul.

    Here is my question for sullied viewers: LF obviously becomes a much more prominent character in Book 4 (seasons 4-5? 5-6? not sure) as his relationship to the character Sansa is developed. With his bad-guy-ness so overtly manifested by Gillen’s portrayal, do you think that this particular plotline will help the viewers to identify a little more with characters who he seems to so easily manipulate, or will they simply chalk it up to Sansa’s laughable childishness?

  65. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen: Although, sometimes I wonder if that “chaos is a ladda” speech was something that book LF might have secretly chuckled about and pondered within his own mind as he pushed Lysa out the moon door.

    This. Season 1 Littlefinger was great, even if parts of the script were a little dubious. Season 2 Littlefinger was a significant step backwards with the change of voice + the lack of subtlety + the teleporting. Season 3 Littlefinger was similar in style to Season 2 but executed much more effectively, making him a compelling but different character.

    Ultimately, I still wish we still had Season 1 Littlefinger, who, like in the books, was a lot more subtly played and written (aside from the scene with the whores!). But the more blatantly nasty Littlefinger we have nowadays is starting to work in his own way.

  66. Zack
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Littlefinger’s up three with Jon Snow among my least favorite transitions of character from page to screen.

    I’m still looking forward to his story next year because, come on, and I remain a fan of Gillen b/c of The Wire, but he has utterly wrecked this particular character to this point. I hope it can be salvaged.

    It’s not that -I- thought Littlefinger was trustworthy in the book series, but I could always see why the other characters in the story might feel that way. He never overplayed his hand or twirled his mustache.

    That said, I don’t agree that the show has favored simplicity over subtlety in every case. I’m in absolute agreement that they’ve done wonders for Tywin and Roose Bolton in particular, and I remember them basically getting me to side with Alliser Thorne back in season one! Cersei is certainly more sympathetic on TV (a choice I am not in favor of, but we can’t have everything).

    And, Theon was much easier to hate on the page than he has been as played by Alfie. So glad they cast him.

  67. TheBlackFlame
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    queenofthorns:
    I don’t really agree with GRRM that “everyone trusts littlefinger” in the books.Maybe that’s what he intended but it’s not what the text tells me.Ned and Sansa isn’t “everybody” and even the latter catches on to his slimyness on some level.

    Maybe trust just isn’t the right word.It’s more like, “tend to overlook and discount”.Those in power certainly aren’t afraid of him, and maybe they should be, but trust him?Nah.Everyone knows he’s slime, they just think he isn’t a threat.Seems the same way in the show TBH.

    Yeah what the fuck does he know am I right?

  68. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    shishaw,

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    Pretty much agree with both of these. What I hope for in upcoming seasons is this: that he’ll act in a friendly and nice (but obviously creepy) manner toward Sansa and let her in on some details like his impoverished background and his duel with Brandon- the kind of thing that would give him nuance in the eyes of the viewers. It also wouldn’t hurt to show him being nice to some subordinates.

    TheBlackFlame,

    I was thinking more about that post/Martin’s quote, and I think the issue is about trust in the narrow versus broad sense. People in the books don’t mistrust Littlefinger in the way they do in the show, but they trust him in the sense of “he can be trusted to get stuff done”, not so much in the sense of “he’s an honorable, trustworthy guy”- people in universe aren’t thinking of him like someone like Ned or Davos.

  69. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Jordan,

    I hope so too but it may be too late. Will tv viewers ever see Littlefinger as a character reasonably well liked by those he interacts with? Probably not is my guess, although maybe it is worth a try.

    As for how people view Littlefinger’s character. I see it as though he’s someone who quite a few people who don’t know him well casually like and find interesting. For those higher up and in the know, they realise that he’s not particularly trustworthy but they know he gets the job done and that they can use him to help themselves out. Ultimately they think that they are manipulating Littlefinger when really the reverse is happening.

  70. WildSeed
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    I know it is silly but I feel like instigating a debate with GRRM regarding the merits of book LF’s supposed trustworthiness, with people, with money, and with power. He plays both sides of the coin, so to speak.

    Machiavellian? Absolutely. Dependable/Helpful? Yes. Trustworthy? I won’t go that far.

    I see your point, however the trust aspect seems to implicate those that perceive of
    him, or must do so. As GRRM stated, the higher ups ( or wannabe ) perceive him
    without any registered power. Machiavellian type, absolutely. A minion , no way.
    Those of privilege often undermines the talents of a common if lesser salaried, but highly intelligent person. The privileged Westerosi would doubt his position to move
    beyond any station not granted him by them, themselves. I noted too, how GoT
    Cersei addressed Littlefinger. In S2 she demonstrated her ” power ” over him by commanding her gold-cloak guards to chastise him, then reminded that she knew
    he was a low born with no real power, despite his talents. Book Cersei would dismiss
    him as non consequential in her grand scheme of things, unworthy of any demonstration.Why bother when you have Pycelle to kiss her butt ( :

  71. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Yeah and in addition, that scene is a classic example of something book Littlefinger would never do. As a social manipulator he is far too clever not to have realised that he would be offending a powerful person for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

    Littlefinger is a person who can hold a grudge. After Cersei’s insult he wouldn’t immediately insult her back. Instead he would store it up, at most toying with the idea of getting back at her directly at a later time given appropriate circumstances. Failing direct retribution he would at least make sure he is more successful than her in the long run.

  72. Cary Storm
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Chaos is a laddah.

  73. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor,
    Hey! How did Al Swearengen get my quote (in your linked response)? If I make an unwise, uncooth, or otherwise unsound comment, I want full credit, dammit!

    :)

    [By the way, did you think LF's dagger held to Ned's neck in S1 was subtle?]

  74. JoyToTheSnails
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    I felt that the delivery for Season 1 LF was really flat and wooden. Say what you want about the batman voice, but it’s definitely more expressive.

  75. King Tommen
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I really have to question how Martin can say that Littlefinger is well-liked and has friends in the books. There is no evidence of this that I can remember. Characters make deals with him and use him for advice because they know that he’s smart and he can get shit done. They do this out of necessity, not because they think he’s a good guy. There’s a tacit acknowledgement by almost every character that he’s slimy and opportunistic but he’s a means to an end so they ignore that to do business with him because they need him.

    Do they look at him as dangerous? No, not really. But I don’t think the majority of the characters on the show feel that way either. The only character that continually warns everyone about how much of a danger LF could be is Varys. And I think that if we had Varys’ POV in the books, the suspicions would be consistent based on their rivalry and Varys’ information and ability to read the motives of others more effectively than other nobles who have more important things they are dealing with to give LF much notice.

  76. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen:
    I really have to question how Martin can say that Littlefinger is well-liked and has friends in the books.There is no evidence of this that I can remember.

    Good point….as Wildseed mentioned, there is a KL-royal tolerance of LF because of his coin management and otherwise nefarious skills. But does he have trusted friends? That is a stretch I am unwilling to make….and it is definitely not true at the Vale.

    Since GRRM made that statement about LF’s supposed friends and trustworthiness, I am getting concerned about his memory. He has a lot of info to manage….but still, his LF assertions have me concerned. Furthermore, maybe he truly has forgotten about Benjen and needs to be reminded about him. Elio is not doing his job! :)

  77. Jordan
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    In fairness to Martin, he doesn’t say that book Littlefinger has friends (I don’t think he was rebutting that part) just that he’s well liked.

    That itself is sort of questionable (off the top of my head, the people who I can recall thinking nice things about him in the books or seeming to like him are the Tully siblings, various Baelish family peasants, Jaime, and Renly.

  78. Joh
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I am an obsessive fan of the books. Like, it’s crazy, I’ve read the damn series and all of the associated short stories a dozen times plus.

    But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the show.

    I think I went into it with realistic expectations.

    Martin starting writing the novels because he was moving away from television work – he wanted to do something that at the time would have been difficult or impossible to adapt to television. Something totally different from his screen work.

    So seeing the scope of the books, I figured that many changes would be made to bring the Song of Ice and Fire stories to the screen. I figured that the creators of the show loved the source material, and would try to make something that was true to the spirit and feel of the books, even if it didn’t follow them directly.

    And in that sense, I think they have succeeded brilliantly.

    I see the show less as an adaptation, and more as a retelling of the stories. Like in comics, when they do an alternate universe storyline that runs parallel to the main storyline. It gives the reader a different perspective on the well-known characters, how they might have turned out differently in other circumstances, and it allows us to see them dealing with situations that wouldn’t be possible in the canon storyline.

    And that makes the show more fun. Even have read all of the source material, I never know exactly what to expect from the show.

    HBO’s Littlefinger may be a very different villain (antihero?) than the one I know from the books, but he is still a fun villain to watch.

    I don’t understand the hate for Aiden Gillen. The guy can be creepy as hell. Every time he makes eyes at Sansa…eek.

    Considering what an evil, manipulative SOB Petyr Baelish turns out to be in future books, Aiden Gillen should have plenty of material to work with in upcoming seasons. He may win you guys over yet.

  79. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    [By the way, did you think LF's dagger held to Ned's neck in S1 was subtle?]

    Interesting you say that. Ever since I read all the books and really started to understand the way LF operates, that moment always bugged me. Book Littlefinger is way too clever and subtle to show his true colors in front of all those people, even if they are his allies. His public persona is that of your helpful little bureaucrat with a useful gift to seemingly make money out of thin air, not someone who will hold a dagger to a Great Lord’s throat.

  80. Joh
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen,
    Jordan,

    I find it very interesting that many of the highborn or politically powerful characters have few or no real friends.

    Most seem very isolated from real, meaningful human contact. They may have enemies and allies, but not friends.

    I think this is why Cersei and Margaery turned out so differently. Margaery has close friends and a caring, supportive family around her, Cersei does not.

  81. Drfunk
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Book Renly was savvier than show Margaery. He was also very pragmatic (as showcased of his non bias towards Brienne). It’s not that he thought LF was going to be his BFF, just that he thought LF had the most to gain with him which is why he “trusted” him in that sense. I also agree book LF is a lot more complex than the 2 dimensional portrayal of the show (through no fault of the actor). The great thing about LF is that you really had no idea where his end game lied. He doesn’t believe in the long plan (like Varys), but kicks the pot and takes advantage of the ensuing chaos. That random factor is what made him a compelling character. He’s cunning, charming, ruthless, and understands that all loyalties are only good until it suits his needs. Very few people saw through that charade, and he was “trustworthy” because people couldn’t see the real manipulator behind his fake smile.

    The problem I have with show LF is that we’ve yet to see the “randomness” from him. The pimpin LF portrayal is one thing but they literally turned him into such an obvious power hungry character it’s depressing.

  82. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit: Interesting you say that. Ever since I read all the books and really started to understand the way LF operates, that moment always bugged me. Book Littlefinger is way too clever and subtle to show his true colors in front of all those people, even if they are his allies. His public persona is that of your helpful little bureaucrat with a useful gift to seemingly make money out of thin air, not someone who will hold a dagger to a Great Lord’s throat.

    Yeah…although a good scene, it was a jaw-dropping moment where the show definitely asserted itself apart from the books.

  83. Abyss
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit,

    Well, keep in mind that this particular High Lord was Eddard Stark, the one that got to marry Catelyn Tully, the only woman that Little Finger has ever truly loved as far as we know. He really hated Ned, and I think at this moment he lost his public persona for a second and reviled the hurt little boy, who didn’t get the girl he wanted.

  84. House Snow
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I think the problem is that in the books Martin had his cake and ate it too. He could paper over the things that LF did, but in the show as soon as LF betrays Ned in eps 6 or 7 the game is up, the genie is out of the bottle, etc etc. You can’t go back to LF being sweet and cuddly, like you can in a book.

    By the way when is GRRM eternal vacation suppose to be over. I swear he has been traveling for over 2 months now, basically since the emmys.

  85. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    House Snow:
    By the way when is GRRM eternal vacation suppose to be over.I swear he has been traveling for over 2 months now, basically since the emmys.

    We must have faith! Although on his blog, he is advertising a showing of the 70′s film, Coffy, at his theater this week. Going retro with Pam Grier, baby! She should be Stannis’s envoy to the Others.

  86. Eleanor
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Amnesiacps:
    I only started reading the books after the whole Ned thing.

    So to any people that read the book first. Did you trust Littlefinger/think he was harmless?

    I’m genuinely curious being as my perception of him was warped from the off.

    Interesting question. For myself, I didn’t think he was harmless (network of spies) nor did I quite trust him. But I thought that he was genuine in helping Ned for Cat’s sake, and I thought that his ambition wasn’t higher than being influential at court. When he speaks to Sansa of his background it’s quite touching. And his advice to Ned about acting to secure the Red Keep rather than telling Cersei first is sound, as well as being exactly what Renly, one of the few morally good adults in the books, recommends.

  87. GeekFurious
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    This is literally the only book series where I read people who call themselves “fans” pretend as if they know the characters better than the man who created them.

  88. Sean C.
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    JamesL:
    What exactly have they “white washed” about Tyrion.I’ve seen people make this comment before yet I’ve never seen any specific examples of them “white washing” his character.The only thing I can think of is his fake threats to Cersei about Tommen.

    Pretty much all the changes they made to the Tyrion-Sansa marriage in season 3 (apart from the obvious concessions to child protection laws) were designed to keep him looking squeaky clean and remove any suggestion of improper motives, or flowed from that decision (Tyrion being ordered to marry her instead of being offered it, having no interest in Winterfell and only the most slightly hinted at attraction to her, telling her about it beforehand, Margaery talking about how marrying Tyrion really isn’t a big deal, Tyrion getting her to smile before the wedding, she and Tyrion goofing around afterward and suggesting that it was only the Red Wedding the stopped them from making it work, etc.).

  89. Tar Kidho
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Oh come on, you’re calling amnesia on GRRM just because his view on a character differs from yours?? He’s the writer of the god damn books!

    My take on it: Littlefinger MUST have (had) friends to reach his high position, and that’s why it is imperative that he stays subtle. For that reason, show LF has not made much sense to me past the terrific first scenes between Ned and Petyr, which were so promising. It’s clear now that George agrees with us show-LF critics.

  90. Greenjones
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to Littlefinger in Season 4. We will see different sides of him, both softer and harsher than we have seen before. He will likely have the most screen time. He is over the top as Aidan Gillen can be, but his characterization is of a man who is theatrical and purposefully exaggerated for effect. Like when he tells those jokes in front of Joffrey’s court in a stilted way to get a stilted response.

    I wonder if he will incorporate Cersei’s “power is power” into his next big speech and mock her for making a fool of him. “Power is power she said to me. Does she still think that she has power after {spoiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiler]?”

  91. OldeCrone
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    I started to watch the TV programme on iplayer (the catch-up TV player for BBC in the UK) but it cut out after 27 minutes [it's an hour long show in total]. The BBC site said they were aware of the problem so hopefully it will be fixed and the show will be able to be “caught up” on properly. In what I saw, there were a couple of short excerpts with GRRM, near the beginning when he was talking about the intrigue going on in Florence at the time of Machiavelli and later there was an extract from Season 1 of GoT shown – where Ned and Robert argue about the proposed assassination of Dany. GRRM mentioned that it was hard to hang on to power while also hanging on to one’s ideals (I’m paraphrasing there). I will comment again if the problem of the programme cutting out early is fixed and I can watch it in total.

  92. msd
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Littlefinger is certainly a less subtle villain in the show. I’m not sure how much of that is the writing and how much is the acting but Aidan Gillen’s performance gets hammier each season.

  93. Shmofo
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Ungrateful fans who think they know better than GRRM. Everybody trusts LF in the books, man himself said it so, so you rather accept it and use this knowledge in the next reread!

    I mean, Mr. Martin said in an interview that Danny’s wedding night was romantic, and then again some ungrateful fans, of feminine persuasion mostly, dared to question it. Even if you are not interested in spending a romantic night with an old school romantic gentleman like GRRM, you should take his word on what is romantic for Danny and normal book readers. Ungrateful fans!

  94. TheBerylfly
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Oh god, here we go again, everyone who disagrees with D&D’s vision is a hysterical purist and a fair game for mocking
    Littlefinger isn’t trusted, but he IS discounted. He seems powerless. And at east in the books, you could question whether he is truly loyal to Cat and Ned – here his betrayal is obvious to everyone except Ned “honorable” Stark. Not to mention how obvious he becomes later one.
    Tyrion hadn’t been whitewashed? Really? What about his participation in Tysha’s rape? His threats to Tommen (he was actually contemplating scourging him so Cersei doesn’t win)? The singer stew? The Shae slap? (i spoilered it just in case but I think we can all agree it isn’t happening on the show)
    Tywin was given depth he never was in the books? IDK, people, I and many others found depth in Tywin aplenty in the text.

    Yet most everyone seems to accept Stannis’ unfortunate portrayal as a fact, while truly he was just as meh for the book fans until the arrival on the Wall

  95. Leto II
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    >Renly, one of the few morally good adults in the books

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhckuhUxcgA

    He does nothing to end the slaughter in the Riverlands

    He killed thousands of people in King’s Landing with his Blockade

    He planned to murder his “nephew” Joffrey (most likely Tommen and Myrcella to) and order his knights to kill Stannis in the upcoming battle

    Not to forget his awful yokes on Brienne , Shireen, Ilyn Payne and that he was Littelfinger’s best buddy in the small council

  96. Rygar
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    You put your right hand out and give a big Hand shake. Talk to me about that one big break. Spread your ear pollution both far and wide. Keep your contributions by your side and stroke me stroke me…

  97. sunspear
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Jordan,

    Very well stated. I would add that the loss of subtlety is also due to allowing certain characters to interact with each other. For example, those LF/Varys scenes. Varys knows enough about Littlefinger to know he can’t be trusted, so they have their awesome frienemy scenes. Is it better in the books? In LF”s case, I would say yes. But they haven’t completely ruined them like some people argue.

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Um…Littlefinger held a dagger to Ned’s throat in the books too.

  98. sunspear
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    TheBerylfly,

    -Tyrion killing a guy who was blackmailing him does not make him morally gray in the slightest. That action is completely defensible.
    -Shae’s complete unwillingness to take Tyrion’s attempts to protect her seriously gathers no sympathy from me.
    -I’ve had this conversation before, but the way I’ve always interpretted that scene as Tysha was having sex with the soldiers, not just getting raped. I see it this way because Tyrion sincerely believed that Tysha was a whore in it for the money, and if she had just been forcibly gang-raped by the guards, he wouldn’t be as willing to believe she didn’t care for him. If I am right, him having sex with her doesn’t reflect particularly badly on his character, since he thought she was into it.

    I’ll give you Tommen though, but I don’t think he ever seriously planned to do it, just thought about the possiblility.

    On Stannis, I do think they have weakened his character a little. He’s lost all of his best quotes from the books, and he was WAY to willing to jump straight to sacrificing Gendry. But they gave him some great scenes in Blackwater to make up for it, and it isn’t as bad as people make him out to be.

    Leto II,

    Thank you for saving me the trouble.

  99. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    Seconded! Well said!

  100. TheBerylfly
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Don’t get me wrong, I applauded Tyrion all throughout Tommen and Symon scenes (although your Shae/ESPECIALLY Tysha comments will get you in some bad shit, dude. Just warning). However, there is no denying those moments made him a darker character, and were meant as such. Can you imagine show Tyrion slapping a woman for mocking him? Ordering a guy chopped into stew? and no matter your interpretation, the fact that they felt fit to omit Tyrion’s part in Tysha’s ordeal speaks volumes (also, I am pretty sure he was told she was a whore and not that she was willing to bang those dudes. there is no way Tywin would have made a scared thirteen year old willing to perform active consensual intercourse with some thirty dudes)

  101. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I wonder if choosing to whitewash or not whitewash Tyrion was the decision that ensured the show’s longevity. After Ned, Dinklage was the main star afterward. So if they didn’t whitewash him would this have been disastrous for the show? I guess we will never know.

  102. Abyss
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious:
    This is literally the only book series where I read people who call themselves “fans” pretend as if they know the characters better than the man who created them.

    Nobody pretended to know the characters better than GRRM. If he says that everybody trusts LF in the book version than that’s true in in the sense that the author/creator has the authority on the interpretation of his creations. But that’s not to say that the text can’t interpreted differently. I am not proclaiming “the death of the author” here, at least not in it’s extreme form, but there is still a gab between GRRM’s intentions and what the text tells us.

  103. got
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Littlefinger will rock the shit up on season 4…. book readers know why.

  104. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor:
    WildSeed,

    Yeah and in addition, that scene is a classic example of something book Littlefinger would never do. As a social manipulator he is far too clever not to have realised that he would be offending a powerful person for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

    Littlefinger is a person who can hold a grudge. After Cersei’s insult he wouldn’t immediately insult her back. Instead he would store it up, at most toying with the idea of getting back at her directly at a later time given appropriate circumstances. Failing direct retribution he would at least make sure he is more successful than her in the long run.

    On this point I agree; there are a few moments where the shading of Littlefinger has been a bit too obvious. I’d have excised his speech from Season 1, and this moment from Season 2, and that would have handled the problem mostly. Those who say he was a bit more sympathetic and subtle in Season 1 exclude that speech in their thinking. In addition, while Gillen has clearly been a bit more theatrical and over the top in his approach in Season 3, I find most of that the result of having quite a few scenes with Conleth Hill – Varys and Littlefinger are the most theatrical (Tyrion too) of the characters on the show, and they’re performing, so to speak.

    That said, I thought his work in “The Climb” with Sophie Turner where he says that he hopes that he is her “true friend” was really strong. You could see that he’s of course remaining guarded against being played, but that underneath that, there’s some real feelings he has there that he’s straining against letting out.

    Of course, part of the reason we’re discussing this is because he was a weak-ass mayor of a broke-ass city, and it doesn’t matter how sympathetic he comes across, he’s still that rat-fuck Tommy Carcetti. :)

  105. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    King Tommen: The only character that continually warns everyone about how much of a danger LF could be is Varys. And I think that if we had Varys’ POV in the books, the suspicions would be consistent based on their rivalry and Varys’ information and ability to read the motives of others more effectively than other nobles who have more important things they are dealing with to give LF much notice.

    Another good point. We see more of Varys’ intentions in the show, and given he’s just as cunning as LF, it makes sense that we’d get a more wary view of him, also because, again, Conleth Hill is just killing it on GoT.

    Drfunk: The problem I have with show LF is that we’ve yet to see the “randomness” from him. The pimpin LF portrayal is one thing but they literally turned him into such an obvious power hungry character it’s depressing.

    Really? I think planting the seed of Tyrion Lannister going after Bran Stark in Cat’s head was a pretty random move that set everything on its ear.

  106. queenofthorns
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    sunspear,

    I’d recommend you reread Tyrion’s remembrance of that scene again. Pay close attention to terms such as “dead eyes” and I think it’s pretty clear consent was not on the table, and Tyrion knew it. Why else would he say “my cock betrayed me”? If everything was A-OK then where’s the betrayal? Plus ADWD: He admits to himself that he raped her.

    Shae:
    IIRC, the slap came directly after Shae asserted herself about not being paid for months and being forced into servitude. Kind of a dick move, not that she’s a good person either.

    Symon:
    Tyrion had plenty of options outside of murdering the idiot. He could have let the idiot play at the feast. He could have sent Shae away and gotten another whore, and I don’t give a damn if she “refused” – he had the power to plop her on a ship to Essos whenever he wanted. That would have been better for him anyway.

  107. John
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The idea that Littlefinger is the most Machiavellian totally puzzles me. Tywin Lannister is basically Machiavelli’s Prince transformed into a fictional character. Littlefinger is more like what we mean when we say the word “Machiavellian,” maybe, but Tywin is the real deal in terms of Machiavelli’s actual thesis.

    Since I’m already disagreeing with Martin, I’ll pick a more ridiculous fight and say that the idea that people find Littlefinger trustworthy seems clearly wrong. Here’s our first mention of Littlefinger, from Jaime’s pre-coital discussion with Cersei at Winterfell: “We ought to count ourselves fortune…The king might as easily have named one of his brothers, or even Littlefinger, gods help us. Give me honorable enemies rather than ambitious ones, and I’ll sleep more easily by night.”

    So Jaime doesn’t trust Littlefinger, and neither does Cersei, by implication. Later on, Cersei in her POVs talks about how she wishes Littlefinger were around, because he’s useful, but Cersei’s judgement at this point is genuinely terrible. Ned never trusts Littlefinger, although he does find himself relying on him despite himself. Sansa finds him creepy from the first. Catelyn does urge Ned to trust him, but she’s clouded by her childhood fondness for him. Varys obviously doesn’t trust him, and neither does Tyrion. I seem to remember, although I don’t have references handy, that when Tyrion protests Tywin giving honors to Littlefinger, Tywin more or less suggests that Littlefinger is a useful tool, but certainly not that he’s trustworthy.

    The show certainly emphasizes his overt villainy more than the books do, but Martin’s statement that in the books “everyone trusts him” is just completely unsupported by the text.

  108. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    sunspear:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Um…Littlefinger held a dagger to Ned’s throat in the books too.

    Yes, quite correct….but honestly, I interpreted that passage in GoT as if LF was disarming Ned after all his men had been killed or contained…as an adhoc (reactive) show of loyalty to Cersei. In the show, it was made pretty obvious that LF planned the betrayal and was quite the devious one (who couldn’t be trusted). His very public aggressive display was meant to keep his standing with the throne and assert himself as a player.

    Regardless, I thought that show scene set the tone of LF apart from the books and from then on, it was like we had a PoV of LF, via the sexposition scenes and especially via the overlaid “Climb” monologue.

    In no way am I faulting GRRM for disinformation or memory blurps (how could I?), but myself and others obviously have an issue with the “trustworthy” comment. Surely, we can jest without judgment, eh? LF is one of those deviously grey characters whose “monstrous” or “trustworthy” qualities can be debated to great extent. I think this is another case (like the Dorne and “Mhysa” ethnic comments made previously) where GRRM knows that his words will cause much fluttering within the ether…and he sits back and enjoys it.

  109. Nittanian
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Petyr threatening Ned in S1 is pretty faithful to the books. From AGOT: [As his men died around him, Littlefinger slid Ned's dagger from its sheath and shoved it up under his chin. His smile was apologetic. "I did warn you not to trust me, you know."]

  110. Omar Brown
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Greenjones:
    Cosca,

    I think he’s referring to Tyrion and Shae’s conversation in “Dark Wings, Dark Words” where Tyrion says “Is there an idiot in any village who trusts Littlefinger.”

    I think the show is accurate. Tyrion says that only idiots trusts Littlefinger, pointing out that *he* has him figured out, whereas all others are fooled by him.

  111. sunspear
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    TheBerylfly,

    Oh, I know what I’m getting into. Thanks for the warning though.

    queenofthorns,

    I could easily interpret those lines as Tyrion not wanting to have sex with her because of the painful memories but getting aroused anyway. And ADWD is after he had been told she wasn’t a whore, so that line doesn’t matter.

    The main point is that I don’t see how having is wife gang-raped is supposed to prove she’s a whore, and lacking any definitive lines to the contrary, it makes more sense that Tywin forced her to act like she was into it.

    Shae: The slap came after a long discussion of how Tyrion was trying to get her out of danger in the coming battle. I admit Tyrion isn’t exactly right to slap her, but it’s impossible for me to have any sympathy for her when she wants to behave like such an idiot. Oh, and she was living in an upscale house with jewelry and free food. That’s ‘getting paid’.

    Symon: So what if he had other options? This isn’t the 21st century, murdering blackmailers is completely morally justified. Just because he has other options doesn’t mean he has to use them.

  112. Rygar
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    While we are futilely debating two different mediums, I would like to know where South Park got the notion that GURM is obsessed with flaccid penises? If Stone and Parker are basing their adaptation on the show, then they should be using D&D as the flapping cock loving originators. From what I remember from the books, GURM is only obsessed with erect members, purple bulbous ones to be exact.

  113. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    John: The show certainly emphasizes his overt villainy more than the books do, but Martin’s statement that in the books “everyone trusts him” is just completely unsupported by the text.

    Sometimes I wonder if GRRM is saying things lately just to emphasize the difference between the two, and it makes me wonder if the gulf isn’t widening a bit, or if he has made peace with the idea that it’s an interpretation.

  114. MUGger
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The real problem with Littlefinger in the show is not his portrayal, but his “magical” ability to cross leagues of travel in an instant. I keep thinking that he has his own dragon hidden away somewhere.

  115. House Mormont
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Oh god I should have known from the title of this thread that there’d be a huge adaptation argument… oh well i may aswell jump in

    1) I feel like Aiden Gillen is the worst actor on the show now that Doreah’s dead. I could never point out what it is, but it just feels jarring when he speaks. It might just be that his English accent is bad (it is), or just that he has a monotone delivery. I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem very natural.

    2) The only changes I’ve noticed, is that he’s a lot less of a creepy pervert in his scenes with Sansa than he was in the books (although that’ll probably change this season when her makes her pretend he’s her daddy) and that Cersei mistrusts him, but that’s was because he never found Arya, which atleast makes sense.

  116. House Mormont
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    3) Loras was completely ruined in adaptation and it gets me very angry. They actively changed his reaction to Renly’s death from getting mad and killing two men to crying on Margaery’s shoulder.

    4) Tyrion has definitely been white washed. People have missed out that he burned all the homes near the outer wall of the city and didn’t care about the people dying. He also sent out KL’s fleet just to be destroyed in the books. He also poisoned Cersei and made her bed-ridden for a week. And he threatened to rape Tommen. Oh and it was clearer that he armed and supplied multiple groups of savage terrorists…

    The only difference is that after ADWD when you look back and realise that he was actually a horrible person all along… well that won’t happen and it’ll just look like he’s suddenly turned dark after Season 4

  117. queenofthorns
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Tysha:

    it makes more sense that Tywin forced her to act like she was into it.

    That would be great, except that’s not what the text describes at all. Tyrion goes into great detail about how she’s basically catatonic in this scene, dead eyes, tears, dropping the money that’s being shoved into her hands. If she was “into it” surely Tyrion would be motivated to describe that.

    Shae:
    Hm, I was pretty sure the slap occurs after she’s been made into Sansa’s servant and had her jewels, etc taken away. But it has been awhile.

    Symon:
    well that’s just a silly comment. If you want to go with moral relativism, then everything Gregor (Tywin/LF, etc etc) does is justified too. Some things are just wrong, I don’t care if it’s a “might makes right” world or not.

  118. Abyss
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    MUGger,

    The show never addresses exactly how much time passes between episodes, but there is no reason to think that it can’t be up to a month in some cases. And then there is the fact that LF has a ship of his own and because of it is able to travel much quicker to some places than those without one.

  119. John
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    MUGger,

    I don’t understand why people are so hung up about Littlefinger’s travel. Catelyn’s travel in Season 2 is even less realistic. Personally, I’m not convinced that GRRM even has a clear internal timeline in the books that makes sense (it’s exceedingly hard to work out, for instance, how Tyrion can meet Catelyn at the Crossroads Inn – they should meet considerably further north, I believe), and it’s obviously even harder to do in a television show, so I have a hard time seeing how people get worked up about this kind of stuff.

  120. Joh
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Rygar,

    Why the heck hasn’t WiC said anything about the South Park parody yet?

    They’ve devoted three whole episodes to it.

    I loved the “Betrayal Garden”

  121. Drirlake
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    D and D have basically soiled game of thrones for me. To me Game of thrones represents D and D fanfiction fantasies in ASOIAF. Like completely butchering Rob with the ridiculous true wuv talisa story line and having him discuss his fucking battle plans with his lover and mom not with his military council. Tyrion becoming a saint and little finger transforming into some sort of Disney villain.

    Lets not forget completely butchering the idea of the brotherhood without banners. Cersei not being adulterous at all (How is she going to be judged by the faith now?? Just for lancel??) and many many other changes that pisses me off justing thinking about it.

  122. John
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    I think it’s fairly natural for an author to unconsciously exaggerate these kinds of differences. But “Everyone trusts Littlefinger” is just obviously silly. Of our POV characters who think about Littlefinger in their POVs:

    1. Ned doesn’t trust Littlefinger

    2. Catelyn *wants to * trust Littlefinger, because of their childhood friendship. She thinks his assholish exterior hides a good heart, which is not the same thing as not noticing the assholish exterior.

    3. Tyrion doesn’t trust Littlefinger, and pretty clearly didn’t trust him even before he found out he lied about the dagger:

    “Why would Petyr lie to me?”

    “Why does a bear shit in the woods?” he demanded. “Because it is his nature. Lying comes as easily as breathing to a man like Littlefinger.”

    4. Sansa always finds Littlefinger creepy.

    5. Cersei wishes Littlefinger were around because he’s useful. She never says she trusts him, and given that, in AFFC, she trusts Aurane Waters and Taena Merryweather, it’s not like her judgment is very good.

    Of Non-POV characters:

    1. Jaime doesn’t trust Littlefinger, as seen from his conversation with Cersei that Bran overhears.

    2. Varys doesn’t trust Littlefinger, as seen from his conversation with Illyrio that Arya overhears

    3. Tywin views him as a useful tool, but never mentions trusting him.

    4. Stannis never trusted him.

    Martin’s statement is just totally baffling.

  123. Rygar
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Drirlake,

    Not to mention all the flaccid floppy cocks

  124. Abyss
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Drirlake,

    I really don’t mean that as an insult, it’s just a piece of advice. If you really feel that D&D have “basically soiled game of thrones for” you and that it represents their fan fiction, then just stop watching. It will only get worse from here for you.

  125. Darkstar
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Rygar:
    While we are futilely debating two different mediums, I would like to know where South Park got the notion that GURM is obsessed with flaccid penises?If Stone and Parker are basing their adaptation on the show, then they should be using D&D as the flapping cock loving originators.From what I remember from the books, GURM is only obsessed with erect members, purple bulbous ones to be exact.

    I saw that episode! My 15 year old son couldn’t wait to show it to me. I cannot believe that GRRM would be okay with that portrayal of himself. I was quite frankly astounded.

  126. jentario
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Proof that Maisie is indeed the bomb:
    http://www.tv.com/features/best-of-2013/vote/poll/SpecialFeatures:list:best-kid-character-2013

    GoT is losing in the rest of the categories, though.

  127. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    John:
    GreatJon of Slumber,

    I think it’s fairly natural for an author to unconsciously exaggerate these kinds of differences. But “Everyone trusts Littlefinger” is just obviously silly.Of our POV characters who think about Littlefinger in their POVs:

    1. Ned doesn’t trust Littlefinger

    2. Catelyn *wants to * trust Littlefinger, because of their childhood friendship. She thinks his assholish exterior hides a good heart, which is not the same thing as not noticing the assholish exterior.

    3. Tyrion doesn’t trust Littlefinger, and pretty clearly didn’t trust him even before he found out he lied about the dagger:

    4. Sansa always finds Littlefinger creepy.

    5. Cersei wishes Littlefinger were around because he’s useful. She never says she trusts him, and given that, in AFFC, she trusts Aurane Waters and Taena Merryweather, it’s not like her judgment is very good.

    Of Non-POV characters:

    1. Jaime doesn’t trust Littlefinger, as seen from his conversation with Cersei that Bran overhears.

    2. Varys doesn’t trust Littlefinger, as seen from his conversation with Illyrio that Arya overhears

    3. Tywin views him as a useful tool, but never mentions trusting him.

    4. Stannis never trusted him.

    Martin’s statement is just totally baffling.

    A great summary.

    In my opinion show!LF is pretty much the same guy as book!LF, an upstart who has ways of making himself essential to people in power for a reasonable price. As your textual evidence nicely demonstrated, almost noone in the books trusts him and almost noone in the show trusts him, but he’d make a great Wall Street exec so they keep him around. He is a petty noble with no armies at his disposal so he’s not a real threat to anyone (or so they think) in both the show and the books.

    The only scene that I’d agree is out of place is the one with him “threatening” Cersei in 2×01. That was indeed silly, an amateur move he’d never make. Aside from that single incident, everything else Littlefinger does in the show is perfectly in line with his book persona, the only difference being the books follow PoV structure so we’re not present when he’s alone with whores or Varys.

    We know LF is probably a sociopath with low impulse control who makes plans on the fly and is quick to adapt. Such a person would quite easily strike a “professional rivalry” with someone like Varys (also a man of low birth, an outsider really) and their verbal sparring is one of the highlights of the show. Sociopaths also tend to brag and “vent” around people they don’t perceive as a threat and whores certainly fit the bill. I find his scenes with them natural and easy to believe – I think book!LF behaves pretty much the same around people he “owns”.

    I’d say that the differences between the two Littlefingers are greatly exaggerated.

  128. DH87
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Stannis: It’s HBO not letting anything be ambiguous or mysterious.

    You do realize that by “HBO” you are talking about D&D, correct? HBO does not typically get into character direction with its showrunners.

    This is the point in the show’s history where the show is still a huge hit but the fandom begins to splinter apart, with show fans either blaming the author/original material (“It was never that great to begin with”) in order to stand behind the showrunners or denying anything of the sort is going on, while the purists slowly begin contemplating which side of the ship looks best for jumping.

  129. DH87
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious: This is literally the only book series where I read people who call themselves “fans” pretend as if they know the characters better than the man who created them.

    You weren’t on the True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse boards in their heyday then.

    Oh, and has anyone considered that GRRM’s remarks are not just about Littlefinger but are CODE for his view of the entire series, CODE that will not get him into trouble with showrunners or HBO but allows him to be critical in plain sight?

    Just a comment from the grassy knoll.

  130. Rygar
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    We’ve been at that point since the first season. Unless you’re new here.

  131. Veltigar
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Shmofo:
    Ungrateful fans who think they know better than GRRM. Everybody trusts LF in the books, man himself said it so, so you rather accept it and use this knowledge in the next reread!

    I mean, Mr. Martin said in an interview that Danny’s wedding night was romantic, and then again some ungrateful fans, of feminine persuasion mostly, dared to question it. Even if you are not interested in spending a romantic night with an old school romantic gentleman like GRRM, you should take his word on what is romantic for Danny and normal book readers. Ungrateful fans!

    Yeah no. What he said in that interview was that he prefered the show version of the wedding night, because it was more obvious. GRRM never intended the wedding night to be interpreted as romantic (which for some strange reason a minority of readers seem to do).

  132. Listen 2 Ghost!
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    John,

    In terms of impossibly fast travel the most egregious offender is never even mentioned. In the show it’s specifically stated that Stannis is 2 days out from King’s Landing yet somehow Tywin moves his ENTIRE army from Harrenhall (which the opening credits clearly establish is pretty $#%$%%&! far away from the capitol) into a position to flank Stannis while, oh yeah, rendezvousing with the Tyrells in route. Compared to that Littlefinger’s travels are downright plausible. For some reason everyone focuses on Balish’s “jetpacking” but ignore the fact that Tywin can move troops around like he has helicopters. Of course everything about the show’s portrayal of the war after season one is a mess (sorry personel pet peeve).

  133. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Shocking. I haven’t heard this opinion from you before.

  134. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    DH87:

    Oh, and has anyone considered that GRRM’s remarks are not just about Littlefinger but are CODE for his view of the entire series, CODE that will not get him into trouble with showrunners or HBO but allows him to be critical in plain sight?

    Just a comment from the grassy knoll.

    Actually, no. I have heard pretty much every word Martin uttered on the subject of the TV show and, save for an occasional (and expected) honest remark or disagreement over this or that, there was never any indication of him having any substantial beef with the show. Quite the contrary, he seems genuinely enthusiastic and positive.

    Of course, you’re free to think otherwise.

  135. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit,

    It doesn’t fit her agenda.

  136. Shmofo
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar: Yeah no. What he said in that interview was that he prefered the show version of the wedding night, because it was more obvious. GRRM never intended the wedding night to be interpreted as romantic (which for some strange reason a minority of readers seem to do).

    Unlike you, I don’t know what Martin intended. But I clearly remember how he defined the Dany’s wedding night as ROMANTIC (as written in the books), unlike her wedding night on the show.
    I searched for the direct quote though, couldn’t find it at the moment, but the issue was discussed a lot on Westeros boards.

  137. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Shmofo: Unlike you, I don’t know what Martin intended. But I clearly remembered how he defined the Dany’s wedding night as ROMANTIC (as written in the books), unlike her wedding night on the show.
    I searched for the direct quote though, couldn’t find it at the moment, but the issue was discussed a lot on Westeros boards.

    That deviation was actually done on Emilia’s and Jason’s suggestion. They reportedly couldn’t understand the scene and Daenerys’s motivation.

  138. Shmofo
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit: That deviation was actually done on Emilia’s and Jason’s suggestion. They reportedly couldn’t understand the scene and Daenerys’s motivation.

    I really dislike how Emilia and Jason intervened to change this fantastic romantic scene in the books. Mr. Martin knows how 13 year old girls crave for a strong adult body, and when they say no, don’t really mean it. It’s romantic, folks, just face it.

  139. sunspear
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    queenofthorns,

    Well, no, he doesn’t get into great detail at all. That’s why we’re having this conversation. I don’t remember a word about her being described as catatonic, and the coins slipping threw her fingers fits much better as statement on how many people she had sex with.

    And as for Symon, that’s the most ridiculous comparison I’ve heard. Tyrion acted in Self-defense, or in defense of Shae when he killed Symon. Gregor, Symon, and LF do not.

    DH87,

    We already dismissed your conspiracy theory in the last thread. Please keep it contained there.

  140. DH87
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    :)

  141. sunspear
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Listen 2 Ghost!,

    SERIOUSLY. I am so sick about hearing about Littlefinger’s magic jet pack. However, you are incorrect. The most egregious time travel in the show is Tyrion going from the wall to the Crossroad inn in the same amount of time it took Catelyn to get there from Kings Landing.

  142. zambi76
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Well, count me as another one of those fan-wankers that shook her head at GRRM here and went: “You’re reading it wrong!” (the show that is) internally here.

    Me defending the show over the books, now that’s unheard of. :P

    But I think, both in the show and the books, it becomes clear, that Littlefinger is so successful in his schemes, because he is for the most part overlooked/not taken seriously. I can’t even say that trust issues have much or any part in it.

    [Off topic]

    Loras was completely ruined in adaptation and it gets me very angry. They actively changed his reaction to Renly’s death from getting mad and killing two men to crying on Margaery’s shoulder.

    I agree with the bolded part and I like to come up with reasons for D&D as to why (because I’m a major book!Loras fangirl):

    1. Who gives a fuck about this (let’s face it) tertiary character? Let’s do whatever.
    2. Since season 3 he’s actually “Willas” now, just with Loras’s backround.
    3. He was the character in season 2 they wanted to get rid of (and the writing of him in season 2 really seemed to me like a write out in places) but GRRM objected, because of some later plot development and they had not the slightest idea what to do with him in season 3 now.
    4. They want to make Loras more sympathetic or at least harmless for some reason (no psychotic break in season 2, too dumb to form a coherent sentence in season 3).

    Well, #4 has worked insofar, as I have heard multiple Unsullied refer to him as “the most adorable clueless gay thing ever.” (While I’ll grant that the cluless and gay thing is – if not quite in that fashion – in the books too, the adorable part is a bit of a head-scratcher.

    [/fangirl rant]

  143. John
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Listen 2 Ghost!,

    Yes, that is worse. But, basically, I’m just going to turn off my brain about stuff like that in the show.

    And, as I said before, it’s not like the book’s are unimpeachable on travel timelines. Another example: Jaime departs Harrenhal for King’s Landing (for the second time) one day after Roose Bolton leaves for the Twins. Jaime is riding with a small group, all on horseback. Bolton is leading a large army, mostly on foot. On the way, he has to ford a river and, apparently, wait for a battle to be fought. Harrenhal is about halfway between the Twins and King’s Landing, but slightly closer to King’s Landing.

    By the time Jaime arrives in King’s Landing, Bolton has taken his army all the way to the Twins and participated in the Red Wedding, a message from the Twins telling about the massacre has reached King’s Landing, and at least several more days have passed to get to Joffrey’s wedding (one of Tyrion’s chapters shows that by the time of Joffrey’s wedding, Sansa has known of her brother’s and mother’s deaths for at least a few days.) By any reasonable standard, Jaime ought to reach King’s Landing well *before* news of the Red Wedding arrives, not days afterwards.

    Somehow, nobody complains about issues like this, but there’s constant complaining about Littlefinger in the show.

  144. House Mormont
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    it’s not really self defence, more like self preservation. And everything Littlefinger does is self preservation or for the personal gain of him, Cat or Sansa.
    Just because a persons’ actions are understandable (which in a well written book, they all are) doesn’t mean they are moral.

  145. Rygar
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow. They just cast Ian Whyte as Wonder Woman when they needed Conan Stevens.

  146. Jentario
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit,

    He previously called D&D “the best showrunners ever”. And this is a direct quote.

  147. House Mormont
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    zambi76,

    YES, they did seem to make him “dumber” though. His scenes with Sansa are basically a five minute satire of a dumb gay stereotype.
    I can justify just about every decision D&D make but that one just stumps me

  148. John
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    That problem is roughly present in the book too, if you actually try to work out the timeline.

  149. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Good catch.

    Perhaps it’s because of things like these that Martin went for the other extreme in the most recent books. All that stalling and doing nothing while the plot moves an inch at a time could very well be the result of an extremely hypertrophied desire for temporal congruence.

  150. Listen 2 Ghost!
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    John,

    That’s a good catch and one I missed but I think I know why GGRM receives less flak for things such as this. In short the timeline in the books is COMPLETELY #@(*&! Due to his POV jumping it’s difficult to determine exactly what is happening when. The problem was bad enough BEFORE the infamous book 4/5 charcter split. Now there are apparently a plethora of chapters coming in book 6 that are behind the ending of ADwD in the timeline. My point being is that GRRM probably gets away with things like what you mentioned because the timeline is so muddled to the reader that we miss such gaps in logic. However, the TV show is presenting a seemingly more streamlined narrative, thus making things like jetpacking Littefinger stand out more.

  151. Greenjones
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Please Wicnet make a post out of today’s MGoT so we can stop quibbling!

  152. Joh
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    zambi76,

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Loras in Season 4.

    The whole dynamic between him and Jaime in A Feast For Crows was great.

    I hope they keep some of those scenes for the show.

    Jaime is all like “This prettyboy Loras kid is insufferable. Thinks he is the gods’ gift to knighthood at 17 – cocky, arrogant, fearless in a really stupid way, thinks his rich family and status makes him an exception to the rules…wait a second…why does this sound familiar?”

  153. Skipjack
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s not just the two mediums of telling the story, book vs TV, which are at odds here, but the mediums of interpreting them, TV vs. Internet/print. It seems that GRRM was being conversational in describing Baelish as Macchiavellian, since as John pointed out above, Tywin is the Prince Who Niccolo Promised. And the characters are different in interpretation not just in reading the books the first time, but in conversation with each other. I’ve definitely re-interpreted certain characters based on others’ takes on them. In some ways that’s why I felt let down when Ros was killed, I thought she offered a unique opportunity to reflect certain characters she interacted with in new ways.

    I don’t think there has to be a definitive take on the characterizations. I think the show has made some character motivations clearer at the expense of wanting to know more about those characters and what they are thinking. Aiden Gillen is doing a fine job, and if his character were written to be more subtle and amused by it all as it was in the first season he’d be following that route.

    I know there aren’t that many new angles to talk about until the show catches up with the books, and won’t that be a time to be on the Internet, but I feel sorry for anyone who can’t hold both the show and the books in their affection.

  154. queenofthorns
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    sunspear: Well, no, he doesn’t get into great detail at all. That’s why we’re having this conversation. I don’t remember a word about her being described as catatonic

    Like you, I don’t have the book in front of me. But phrases such as “dead eyes” and “lying there motionless” are what stuck in my head. Also, why, if Tyrion thought she was consenting, would he hate Tywin so much? If he really thought “oh she was just a whore and was fine with all this” his anger would be directed at her instead. It seems clear not only from that description but also from context re: Tywin that he knew what happened to her was totally fucked up, but he was 13 so he was also a victim

    And as for Symon, that’s the most ridiculous comparison I’ve heard. Tyrion acted in Self-defense, or in defense of Shae when he killed Symon. Gregor, Symon, and LF do not.

    It’s hardly self defense when there are myriad safe alternatives I outlined. Tyrion wanted to have his Shae and eat her too, so he used his power and murdered a guy to make it happen. It was ruthless, similar to things Tywin or Littlefinger have done.

    Anyway the comparison was only to highlight the fact that you implied what Tyrion did was OK because it’s the ASOIAF world. I was pointing out that a lot of terrible things are accepted in that world, but that doesn’t make them morally OK.

    Shmofo,

    Very well executed troll, I was wondering if someone would fall for it, and, lo, they did. *hat tip*

  155. Veltigar
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Shmofo: Unlike you, I don’t know what Martin intended. But I clearly remember how he defined the Dany’s wedding night as ROMANTIC (as written in the books), unlike her wedding night on the show.
    I searched for the direct quote though, couldn’t find it at the moment, but the issue was discussed a lot on Westeros boards.

    Sorry, you are mistaken. I remember that interview pretty well. It was right after season one and the interviewer asked GRRM that if -after seeing season 1- he could rewrite one scene from the books which one he would choose and why.

    GRRM responded by saying that he would have liked to rewrite the wedding scene and make it more like it was on the show. He never intended for that scene to be interpreted as romantic and wished he would have written it clearer that it was rapey

  156. John
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Are you guys really disagreeing with each other? I’d say that Martin probably didn’t intend for the scene to come across as romantic, but that as written it does come across disturbingly like a description of how a thirteen year old girl is given great pleasure by the terrifying grown man who is raping her. Written works aren’t totally under the control of the author, and in this case, what Martin apparently intended to write and what he actually wrote are very different.

  157. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Joh:
    I’m really looking forward to seeing Loras in Season 4.

    Me too.
    Although it probably won’t happen, I’d like to see Brienne beat the shit out of him…again.

  158. Carcinogen
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
  159. Patchy Face
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Carcinogen,

    Thanks for posting! Hilarious

  160. Joh
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Brienne beating on people is always fun to watch.

  161. Abyss
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Rygar:
    Wow.They just cast Ian Whyte as Wonder Woman when they needed Conan Stevens.

    And Conan Stevens really gave everything in his audition!

  162. Idaan
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Among other things, he names Petyr Baelish as the most Machiavellian of his characters,

    Yeah I really wish people stopped calling underhanded, ruthless and unprincipled people “machiavellian”. I mean it might be okay when you’re communicating colloquially, but it’s a documentary about Machiavelli ffs.

    The fact that he was a staunch and idealistic republican is shown plainly in “Discourses on Livy”. “The Prince” is either a satire, a means to overthrow Lorenzo di Medici by planting bad ideas about rulership in his mind (a literary inception so to say), or at the very worst, a handbook showing that to create an ideal, liberal republic s0me sacrifices have to be made at the very start.

  163. Greenjones
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Idaan,

    My understanding is that the Prince recommends creating new principalities that introduce new modes and orders. Through this way, by positioning himself as a prophetic founder rather than just another conqueror he can win over his people to actually follow him. He compared the plight of the Italian city-states caught between French, Spanish and Austrian influence to the Jews imprisoned by the Egyptians and said that Italy needed a founder like a Moses.

    To apply that to ASOIAF, Aegon the Conqueror would best fit the bill. Or maybe Dany. A conqueror who lays out a new foundation. While they are self-serving they make it appear as though they are not for their reputation’s sake and are remembered as heroes or prophets as a consequence.

  164. sherry
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Varys summed it up best when he told Ros that LF was a very dangerous man. I find LF funnier in the books, but overall I think the show LF displays the character much better with more depth. He kind of reminds me of a mobster, someone who has a job in the public arena but has a sinister psychology and hidden life. Yes, sociopath would be the correct word to describe LF, and the scene when LF was so politely making subtle threats to Ros actually gave me chills. However, I do believe LF truly loves Catelyn and when she dies I think that sends LF over the edge.

  165. WildSeed
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Jordan,

    This is my perception of GRRM’s statement, also. There’s a lot of two faced fakery
    going on, and decorum to boot. Even lord Tywin holds his tongue, although he’s
    no fool to Littefinger’s cleverness. On the other hand, like Cersei ‘s demonstration
    of arrogance, book Tywin dismisses Littlefinger as a true threat….. definitely a
    manageable one. With exception to the rest, Tyrion cuts through the bullshit, and
    bluntly calls LF on his bluffs.

  166. oic
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    the plot twist at the end of book3 came at a surprise to many book readers, but will not come as much of a surpise to movie watchers. The magnitude of the plot totally floored me when I first read it

  167. Sherry
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    Bingo. =D

    Books and show not precisely the same, and I enjoy both.

  168. Ioco73
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Well a bit off topic, but just to lighten the mood, here is the full “South Park” GoT spoof episode. I could only find the second part. If anyone else can find the first one…well by all means!

    ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ATTENTION

    SPOILERS AHEAD…FOR THOSE UNSULLIED OR NON BOOK READERS, THE SOUTH PARK EPISODE CONTAINS ONE OR MORE MAJOR SPOILERS FROM THE UPCOMING SEASON…PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4275F8aCWBM

    “Wiener, wiener, wiener…”. George RR Martin the choir conductor! LOL

  169. WildSeed
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Joh,

    You make all good points here. As for hate for Aiden Gillen, or excessive ” love ” for
    villainous characters from the books and perceived differently onscreen, it’s an age
    old secret. Sometimes it’s the actor or just the onscreen effect offering more dimension to book characters, ser Illyn Payne
    has never had more admirers. .. also not to forget that Kit Harrington and N. Costa-Waldau are favoured for something other than the roles they play ( heartthrobs ).

    Littlefinger the teleporter , did annoy me at times, but I realise the larger role that
    depicts her character. His gravel-like voice only adds to the mystery.

  170. WildSeed
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I agree.
    Joh,

    ( :

    Mr Fixit,

    I agree with your comments , with respects GRRM assessment , overall. And I get
    where DH87 ” critic in plain sight ” comment implies as well. The two statements
    aren’t that way off. It’s one thing to convey the merits and faults of a project, in an
    acceptable and professional manner…..within plain sight, than to contrast with
    rogue actions like trashing the production without show of respect whatsoever.

    There are limits to GRRM’s involvement in the production of GoT, and this may bode
    well for the series, but ignoring the passing judgement may speak to specifics we
    fans have no knowledge of….. and probably shouldn’t. GRRM did go on record, as
    Jentario correctly pointed out, with high regards to Benioff & Weiss, and he probably
    still believes in the project and the team, as he did then. However, as the series evolves, despite his comment that it’s HBO’s baby, reality sinks in, even though he’s being pragmatic about the adaptive screen process. Either way, it’s up to the
    fans to apprise themselves of the merits to both book and screen, and appreciate them for what they are. Differentiating the two is a must, to stay sane, imo.

  171. kurozukin
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Tyrion believed that Tysha was a whore because his beloved big brother Jaime told him so. What Tywin did to Tysha was never about “proving” to Tyrion that she was a whore; it was about punishing Tyrion.

    And how would the fact that it was nonconsensual make it any less believable that she was a whore? If Tyrion were stupid enough to believe that being a whore immunizes a woman against rape, then he’d be stupid enough to believe that a woman is a whore just because men throw coins at her after raping her.

  172. The Blue Grace
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    So, book!Littlefinger is liked by everyone because they think he is powerless. And show!Littlefinger is disdained by everyone because they think he is powerless. Both have much more power in reality, and both are huge assholes in reality. Other than show!Littlefinger being more overtly treated like garbage by the higher nobility(which, strangely enough, might be due to him being the owner of brothels) and us never seeing the point-of-view of Littlefinger’s employees in the books, thus hardly ever seeing his less-than-nice side there isn’t really a difference.

  173. The Blue Grace
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    sunspear: On Stannis, I do think they have weakened his character a little. He’s lost all of his best quotes from the books, and he was WAY to willing to jump straight to sacrificing Gendry.

    I can’t say anything about the quotes, because I’m not sure which you mean, but I don’t think he jumped too quickly to sacrificing Gendry. Consider that Edric he knew and lived with, while Gendry to him is just some random kid. And he is still shown to be torn about it both in 3×08 and 3×10.

    Aside from that Stannis’ popularity in the books largely seems to stem from Youknowwhat, so let’s get there and see how he’ll look then.

    In general I hope Team Dragonstone will get a bit more screentime in future, since while I understand that something has to give with that many storylines, it probably would make these glimpses of the characters clearer. (Also, Dillane is amazing at dry wit, they should really use that a bit more.)

  174. Wastrel
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Glad to see GRRM say this; it’s been one of my biggest problems with the show. LF was one of my favourite characters in the books – he was a three-dimensional, largely sympathetic (yet monstrous) character. Even though I knew he was causing immense harm, I still on some level wanted the poor, unprivileged socially excluded boy who’s smarter than all the rich idiots with swords to manage to out-think them all by being overlooked and ignored. He’s the Claudius of the books. In the books, LF is mostly trustworthy, which is why people trust him, and he times his betrayals precisely, and usually doesn’t get noticed in the process; show LF is just lying and backstabbing all the time. Book LF is friendly and funny and pleasant – I trusted him in the first book even after he told us not to trust him. Show LF I distrusted instantly, and not just because I’d read the books.

    It’s not that people in the books think LF is a paragon. It’s that they think he isn’t hiding his untrustworthiness. Everything thinks he’s kind of a used car salesman guy, you wouldn’t want to trust him with your wallet, but he’s basically an OK guy, and in any case he doesn’t have the guts to do anything serious. It’s sort of… imagine Saul turned out to be the ultimate big bad in Breaking Bad. It’s not that people trusted Saul, ever, because clearly he’s untrustworthy, but it would still have been a shock if we’d found out he was a serial-killing ruthless drugs kingpin. Because although he may be slippery, he comes across as both too cowardly and too nice to be that evil. So throughout the show, people trust Saul – and most of the time, he’s actually trustworthy and does what he’s told. He knows when he can be slippery and when he has to toe the line. That’s where people go wrong with Littlefinger: he doesn’t respect that line. Whereas show Littlefinger doesn’t know where the line is, and everybody else knows he doesn’t know where the line is. I would give an analogy, but on more realistic shows that sort of character doesn’t survive too long.
    [Varys on the show is a good demonstration of what I mean, though. Everyone knows they can't trust him - including the audience - but everyone ends up trusting him anyway]

  175. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Wastrel:
    ….It’s not that people in the books think LF is a paragon. It’s that they think he isn’t hiding his untrustworthiness.

    [Varys on the show is a good demonstration of what I mean, though. Everyone knows they can't trust him - including the audience - but everyone ends up trusting him anyway]

    I absolutely identify with that. Well put!

  176. Anon
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    For me,
    the show has done a million things correctly and brilliantly
    LF isn’t one of them though
    Thats basically it

  177. AY
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  178. OldeCrone
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I still haven’t caught up with the full Machiavelli programme but while I think of it, having spent a lazy Sunday morning last week watching TV, on “Sunday Brunch” they said Maisie Williams would be guesting on the programme (i.e. “Sunday Brunch”, Channel 4 in the UK) on Sunday 8th Dec. It’s on from about 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 early afternoon on a Sunday of course. It will I guess only be available to people in the UK and there won’t be 3 hours of Maisie but they will interview her and probably get her helping them cook something (if their handling of previous guests in anything to go by).

  179. dani
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    I like how so many show apologists are calling GRRM wrong about his own books. Seriously?

  180. Baramos
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Uhh, this seemed a bit odd. I thought Littlefinger was one character that was absolutely spot-on, much like Varys. I get what he’s saying here but it’s kind of a pedantic point–the character in the show is ruthless and manipulative like the book counterpart. Perhaps he’s not as charming?

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