David Benioff and Dan Weiss on their pact to not read online comments
By Lightbringer on in Interview.

Game of Thrones is no stranger to controversy, especially in the past few weeks. Conversations about consent and book spoilers have been nearly impossible to avoid, unless you’re David Benioff and Dan Weiss.

James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly has released some new quotes from the showrunners from his visit to the set last year, revealing that the pair made a special agreement about reading online comments.

Benioff says, “We both made this pact that we were going to stop looking at stuff online because you can go into the rabbit hole and get lost in this world of online Thrones commentary if you’re not careful. We both felt a lot saner after we stopped doing that.”

And it’s not just the negative commons that they’re trying to get away from, which Benioff admits used to stick with him, causing him to have internal arguments with usernames like DragonQueen42. Weiss explains that the positive comments can be very distracting as well.

“It completely confounds the normal creative process. It seems like an all-or-nothing thing. Either you’re listening or you’re not listening. It feels great that they enjoy what we’re doing. You read five, six, seven of those [comments] and you get the feeling people love what you’re doing. But there’s a certain point that it gives you a little pleasure-hit each time you click on a comment and before you know it you’re like a coke-addicted lab monkey.”

For the full article visit Entertainment Weekly.


106 Comments

  1. JJT
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Hodor

  2. Nerd
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Is it wrong that I like new Dario better on Orphan Black than on GoT?

  3. 3eyes
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Smart move, especially as they are now hitting their stride. In D&D I trust!

  4. The Bastard
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    In general life is better of without reading internet comments. So says the man making an internet comment.

  5. Roger König
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    3eyes:
    Smart move, especially as they are now hitting their stride. In D&D I trust!

    Me too. I am really happy with them and their work! they deserve alot more respect.

  6. Interior Bannisters
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    DragonQueen42:
    Benioff sucks

    I see wat u did there ;)

  7. B
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Nerd,
    Ha Ha! I was just thinking about that on Orphan Black he seems to be more of a fit with that world. They seem like more of a match together- with chemistry. Not like he and Dany.

  8. Don't care
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    But then how are they going to know they’re ruining all the characters?

  9. Hoyti Von Totiy
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Well their loss.

    If they listened to MY advice and start trimming the story by killing sideline characters the show would be much better.

  10. House Mormont
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Fuck now David Benioff will never notice my admiration for his cheekbones

  11. GG
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Then just consult with Elio & Linda. They know the material inside & out, are perfectly articulate and love the story. Just bounce some ideas off them. Maybe common sense will move by osmosis.

  12. Sheriff Bullock
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    3eyes:
    Smart move, especially as they are now hitting their stride. In D&D I trust!

    You call Jaime raping Cersei and Asha/Yara trying to break out Theon hitting their stride??

  13. ajkdlfj
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock: You call Jaime raping Cersei and Asha/Yara trying to break out Theon hitting their stride??

    More likely it’s the fact that they’ve hit over 7 million viewers and growing ;)

  14. Sheriff Bullock
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    ajkdlfj: More likely it’s the fact that they’ve hit over 7 million viewers and growing ;)

    Ratings don’t equal quality or excuse ridiculous departures from the books.

  15. Macharius
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock: Ratings don’t equal quality or excuse ridiculous departures from the books.

    This. People don’t know better is all.

  16. The Bastard
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock,

    They have been more faithful to the books then any TV Show or Movie in the history of people watching things on a screen.

  17. Igor Veloso
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    The Bastard:
    In general life is better of without reading internet comments. So says the man making an internet comment.

    Ironic, but true nonetheless.

  18. Ferge
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Macharius,

    And you do, of course. Ratings don’t equal to quality but neither is book fidelity.

  19. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    GG:
    Then just consult with Elio & Linda. They know the material inside & out, are perfectly articulate and love the story. Just bounce some ideas off them. Maybe common sense will move by osmosis.

    The same Linda who constantly trashes the show and the showrunners on her TUMBLR?

    The show works – it has engaging plot(s), excellent acting, excellent production values and yes – excellent writing. That’s why it’s popular. Majority of the watchers are not bookreaders and the show works for them.

  20. Lady Wolfsbane
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand… you all reminded me I needed to see ther latest Orphan Black… he IS better on that show… ;)

  21. Tatters
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy,

    This isnt Spartacus, thank God whatever.
    Sheriff Bullock,

    Book Purism FTW!

  22. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Michiel Huisman is doing fine. He is doing his own interpretation of a character, not replicating something from the book. He’s a very good actor. It’s the Lena Headey-Cersei thing. People had to get used to such a different version of the character before they could appreciate it.

  23. Interior Bannisters
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Michiel Huisman is doing fine. He is doing his own interpretation of a character, not replicating something from the book. He’s a very good actor. It’s the Lena Headey-Cersei thing. People had to get used to such a different version of the character before they could appreciate it.

    Margaery and Cersei are my favorite changes from the book.
    I find a character who uses villainy and hatred to hide her own fears, pain, and insecurities far more interesting. It also gives the character somewhere to go. Also her future struggles and her walk of shame will mean so much more if the audience sees that at some point, her character was human even if she has gone off the deep end

    Also the Cersei/Margaery relationship in the show is so much more interesting than the books where the entire conflict exists inside a paranoid crazy psycho’s head. Though Cersei’s paranoia will probably play a big part in the show as well.

  24. cosca
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    GG,
    Linda is batshit crazy and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the adaptation process. Consulting Elio would be pointless, since “stick to the books” isn’t particularly useful advice

  25. Sunfyre
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Macharius: This. People don’t know better is all.

    So the show-only viewers are blind sheep because they didn’t read the books. Seems to me book purists are blind as well, just for different reasons… arrogance, elitism and stubborn denial of realities of what makes a successful television adaptation

  26. Steven
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock: Ratings don’t equal quality or excuse ridiculous departures from the books.

    That band was so much better in their early days when they were on an independent label, before they started departing from the books.

  27. GG
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy,

    I never said the show was bad. It’s great. But it can be so much better. Linda trashes it cos she knows it can be better and it’s being done this way just cos. I don’t always agree with their viewpoint but they have sound ideas. You can hardly blame them for being annoyed at the litany of plotholes that needed to be overstepped to get Jon to Craster’s, for example.

  28. Chríss
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always said the show does character better, but the book does story better. In other words, adapt the characters and create scenes to portray the characters. But by god, don’t make up story. I can’t think of any time they’ve successfully done that.

  29. Don't care
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock: Ratings don’t equal quality or excuse ridiculous departures from the books.

    Metacritic being 95 and the fact that every episode is getting nearly universal positive reviews is what then…

  30. Hizdahr for President
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    One does not simply stop being a “coke addicted lab monkey”. I think it’s a bluff. and in the hopes that they see this… KEVIN NASH as Victarion!!

  31. GG
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    Elio understands production realities and doesn’t jump on the show when he doesn’t need to. For example, when loads of critics were whining about Dany white girl coming in to save the coloured people, they never said a word about it cos they understood that they were shooting in Morocco. Coloured extras was all that was available. When something has to be moved, they’re fine with it. They were an awful lot less harsh on the “Cersei rape” than most people were. While they were disappointed by the lack of Weasel Soup, they understood the change had to happen for budget reasons Their only real objection is changing stuff that doesn’t need to be changed(which you can’t deny the showrunners do a lot of).

    Ever since Cogman graduated to the writing team, a lot of details(minor and major) are slipping through the cracks. While they do mention them, they let them go for the most part. They’re not entirely unreasonable. They’re just annoyed by changes made for the sake of changing it(as most book fans are). I know it’s a TV show and there’re plenty of TV fans who aren’t bothered at all. But, without the book fans, there’d be no TV fans. It’s not much to ask that you stick to the spirit of the novel.

  32. Don't care
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Chríss:
    I’ve always said the show does character better, but the book does story better. In other words, adapt the characters and create scenes to portray the characters. But by god, don’t make up story. I can’t think of any time they’ve successfully done that.

    Except the story was written for a different medium than television. So explain how chapters where characters do nothing but have internal monologues can translate to the screen? Many of the stories for certain characters have been stuck in neutral for a few books now and without actual story to adapt changes need to be made on that front.

  33. Rabid Grunt
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    Last time I checked, Linda wrote a review of SoS on Amazon without even reading the last third, and misses out chapters which are too emotionally intense. I think the show will do fine without her inputs.

  34. cosca
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    GG

    Ideas? They only have one idea, which they repeat and rephrase ad-nauseam. “The books are flawless and should be stuck to at all costs”. D&D don’t need mindless fanboys, particularly since they’re coming to Feast/Dance material.

  35. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I believe in you D&D skip the last two books they were garbage :).

  36. jentario
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy,

    To this day I don’t know if you are serious or running a long gag.

    GG,

    I hope you’re kidding. lol

    Sheriff Bullock,

    Ridiculous is a strong word. And an opinion.

  37. BobbyAtomic
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m not surprised they stopped reading comments, not after this shit fuck of a season.

  38. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    BobbyAtomic,

    You is Trolling

  39. House Mormont
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    “ratings don’t equal quality”

    right, but a 94% metacritic rating, even with the 60% from the biased New York Times, does that equal quality?

    Considering they’re now diving into source material that is popularly and critically badly recieved…

  40. jentario
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    This. They should stick to the overall frame of Feast and Dance, but a lot of details (a hell of a lot) should just be dropped. No time, and not very interesting. I doubt Elio and Linda would be fine with that, which makes them terrible consultants. As far as I’m concerned Bryan Cogman is a great consultant, and we don’t know much about Dave Hill.

    Ser Pounce,

    Luckily they won’t read that

  41. jentario
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock,

    Jamie raping Cersei was a mistake in execution, not intent. Yara trying to break out Theon is awesome.

  42. jentario
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    What is with this flood of Westeros.org people?

  43. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    Wow people really want D&D to consult Elio of house ponytails instead of GRRM himself. Way to call yourselves book purists when you shit on the author for two of his super fans :D.

  44. Lex
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    cosca:
    GG,
    Linda is batshit crazy

    So… the Lysa Arryn of website operators?

  45. jentario
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    What is with this flood of Westeros.org people?

    Ser Pounce,

    I would never ever want Elio and Linda to go anywhere near the show. Misquote?

  46. AngryGoTFan
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    DO YOU REALIZE WHAT THIS MEANS?! I AM WINNING!!!!!!!!!

  47. Tatters
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Good grief D&D will never hear your screams, good for show, good for me.

  48. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    GG:
    Alex Greyjoy,

    I never said the show was bad. It’s great. But it can be so much better. Linda trashes it cos she knows it can be better and it’s being done this way just cos. I don’t always agree with their viewpoint but they have sound ideas. You can hardly blame them for being annoyed at the litany of plotholes that needed to be overstepped to get Jon to Craster’s, for example.

    I use the word “trashes” instead of “criticizes” because that’s what Linda is doing. She does it not because she has something constructive to say, but because D&D dare to put stuff on the screen that’s not literal adaptation of the books, which is what she wants and even wrote at least once (it was “I would prefer a season or two of low rated literal adaptation instead of many seasons of what D&D are doing” or something like that). Also, she’s probably insane.

    Also, try to imagine that you haven’t read the books and have no intention to do so, and you are only watching the show. Is it a great show? Does Jon’s attack on Craster’s Keep make sense in the context of the show? Is Cercei a consistent character? Does Yara’s attack on Dreadfort make sense?

    Finally, we don’t know what parts of the story are relevant to the ending and what parts are pure filler (hello Quentyn Martell and every Dornishman ever). D&D know more than us and I bet part of the cuts to the story is based on this knowledge.

  49. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    Mybad I was talking about the person who said they should consult Elio and Linda. I mean they can’t be serious right, Linda is going to recast all the characters who are not of westerosi skin Standards.

  50. jentario
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Book purists don’t understand… That the show is not meant to be the books. That being different doesn’t instantly make it bad. That they should be enjoying the show for everything it does right- because changes in the show don’t make the books any worse, and if the books are better… So what? Then the books are better. The show is still here, it’s still doing justice to all the big moments, it still gives us the awesome characters from the books (which are accurate 99% of the time…) and it gives us astounding visuals. If you can’t appreciate that, stop watching.

  51. Ashara D
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    I…what…just…don’t. Don’t even. David & Dan know the material just as well-wait, BETTER now-than those two pills do now. The choices they make are THEIR adaptation choices. HBO hired D&D to tell the story THEIR way, like it or not. The problems people have with E&L are not their “suggestions” it is the irrational vitriol with which they are delivered.

  52. jentario
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    That would be the worst decision ever. No offense intended to Elio and Linda, but they are big uberfans of the books that know them religiously and expect the show to do everything in its power to stick to the source material. With books THIS hard to adapt, that is terrible advice. You need someone more flexible (hell, even GRRM is flexible- he still enjoys the show very much).

  53. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock: You call Jaime raping Cersei and Asha/Yara trying to break out Theon hitting their stride??

    Really? There are a fair number of folks who interpreted the J/C scene very differently (myself included), Deadwood dude. Plus, the Yara change hasn’t happened yet, so how can you possibly judge it? Also, Crasters, for all its trouble and questionable direwolf/integrity snafus, ended up in almost the same place as the books, minus the awesome CH. (weep,weep)

  54. andy smith
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    cosca:
    GG,
    Linda is batshit crazy and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the adaptation process. Consulting Elio would be pointless, since “stick to the books” isn’t particularly useful advice

    Jesus , a show they helped to adapt would be canned after one season , they live in the realms of fantasy with the things they want done ,infact I’m pretty certain I am right in saying Linda hasn’t even read many of the most important parts of the books because they ‘upset her ‘ too much , that’s your expert right there…

  55. Matt
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m a book reader and I love the show but damn book purists PISS me off… You give the rest of us, who have taken the time to read and interpret these massive tomes, a really bad rep and paint us all in a bad light. If you don’t like the show fuck off back to the books then or post on a book purist forum. WiC is for everyone yes, and yes you can voice your opinion, but god damn you purists sound like Whiny schoolgirls!

  56. GG
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy,

    I think we can both agree that the whole Craster’s Keep thing was the defintion of filler. And his attack makes no sense. Mance Rayder has been hopping the Wall for years. He’s been in Winterfell, for crying out loud. There’s no way a man like that wouldn’t know how many men are in Castle Black. He doesn’t need the mutineers. Also, Jon says that Bran might have gone to Craster’s seeking shelter. Why? Would Bran go near another living soul? The fact that all the wilding villages are deserted is a good thing. The entire thing was clunky and contrived, book or no book.

    Seeing as the Sand Snakes have been mentioned at least twice this season, I’d say it’s very likely we’re going to Dorne next season. So that’s clearly not filler.

    And what’s wrong with wanting a better adaptation at the expense of some ratings? I’d gladly shave a couple of million off of Goblet of Fire’s box office if it’d get rid of Shouty Dumbledore. If you’re going to adapt a series, you should try and stick to the spirit of it. I’m not against changes(I may not have liked it but I understood why The House of the Undying was removed). But I don’t see why they feel the need to change things that don’t need changing.

  57. Sunfyre
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    jentario:
    Book purists don’t understand… That the show is not meant to be the books. That being different doesn’t instantly make it bad. That they should be enjoying the show for everything it does right- because changes in the show don’t make the books any worse, and if the books are better… So what? Then the books are better. The show is still here, it’s still doing justice to all the big moments, it still gives us the awesome characters from the books (which are accurate 99% of the time…) and it gives us astounding visuals. If you can’t appreciate that, stop watching.

    This. So much this.

  58. GG
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    andy smith,

    Seeing as their favourite season is season 1 simply because it was so true to the books, that’s clearly not true. And Linda has finished Storm of Swords. She finished the back third off before the season started. And there’s very few major complaints they have that haven’t been repeated to a lesser extent by book & TV fans(e.g. season 2 Dany, the whitewashing of characters like Tyrion etc.). They may be more passionate about it but they’re not wrong

  59. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    I’d rather have M Night Shamalan adapt ASOIAF before Elio and Linda.

  60. GG
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    The only real casting issues they have are Cersei & Margaery(both of which I disagree on(although I do wish they’d give TV Cersei more fire. She’s a bit demure. But I don’t blame Lena Headey for that)). And, to an extent, Daario. He’s waaaaaaaaay toned down from the books.

    To be clear, I’d say consult. As in bounce ideas of them. I didn’t say let them come in and write the show.

    I was in your camp for a while, kinda confounded with how furious they were. Then I watched s3 Catelyn. S3 Catelyn was a disaster that D&D should absolutely be held accountable for. Even TV fans think she was a mess. Out of the characters with the most lines last season, Cat was 38. Bronn had more lines than her. After that, I began to agree with E&L more. D&D are changing things are don’t need to be changed. There was no reason for Cat to have a speech about how she regreted her treatment of Jon. It was pointless and stupid and totally retcons her one major character flaw.

  61. Sunfyre
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    GG:
    Alex Greyjoy,

    If you’re going to adapt a series, you should try and stick to the spirit of it.

    We must be watching different shows. GOT the television show is most definitely sticking to the spirit of ASOIAF. It’s a very faithful adaptation.

  62. LordStarkington
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Some days I wish I had the self-control to ignore GOT commentary online too.

  63. Biscotti Knight
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Hizdahr for President:
    Does anyone know if Linda and Elio are swingers?

    *Chokes on coffee*

    MY MIND’S EYE IS BURNING!

  64. Salty Dornishman
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Matt,

    Yup. My best friend & I have read ASoIaF many times, and some of our favorite discussions are how the show deviates from the books, the reasons for the deviations, and how we think it will or won’t shape our expectations for the upcoming two books. Whining about not having Strong Belwas or that there was no Aristan Whitebeard reveal really does no good. I’m not saying one has to have their lips firmly pressed to the asses of the show runners, but come on!

    The books are the books, and the show is the show. Maybe I’m a bit more sanguine because I had to deal with how “Legend of the Seeker” adapted the Sword of Truth series, or how David Lynch adapted “Dune.” This experience has definitely prepared me for the changes that Showtime’s adaptation of Gabaldon’s Outlander will surely bring.

    Why, oh why, can’t folks just enjoy a story?

  65. GG
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Sunfyre,

    I know. That’s why I watch it. Cos they’re so good. Which is why it’s annoying when they fall of the wagon into such obvious pitfalls(e.g. making Cat regret treating Jon badly, having Emilia Clarke scream about the location of her dragons for half a season, making it seem like Margaery didn’t know Joffrey was gonna die, trying to make Cersei sympathetic(why waste time trying to create an emotion that’s gonna evaporate once we get to Cersei’s FFS material?), showing us the Theon->Reek transition). All of these are silly changes that either didn’t need to happen or could have been done better. They’re nowhere near big enough to make me stop watching the show. But they’re annoying all the same. And TV fans have complained about several just as much as book fans. That’s all I’m saying.

  66. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    Natalie Dormer and Lena Headey are awesome man I don’t know what you’re talking about. We must have been watching the different season 3 because Catelyn was really good on screen. The show watchers were only pissed she got killed off at the red wedding not because of bad writing. Whats so bad about a Cat regretting her treatment of Jon.

  67. Tori Targaryen
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I assumed they didn’t read any of the online comments anyway, and just as well they don’t. Would pollute their souls. I trust what they’re doing, and ultimately the viewing figures don’t lie. They are doing a great job

  68. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    To be clear, I’d say consult. As in bounce ideas of them. I didn’t say let them come in and write the show.

    Why should they do it if they can bounce ideas off GRRM himself instead of going to two insane people (one of whom hadn’t read the best part of the best book in series until very recently) whose idea of a faithful adaptation is to put everything from the books onscreen, no deviations allowed? Also, GRRM writes an episode per season based on D&D’s version of the story, so I guess he’s mostly OK with the changes.

    About Craster’s Keep – Mance thinks that there are about 1000 people at Castle Black, which AFAIR was true before the big ranging. Also, that’s what Jon Snow tells him. He has no new intel on the strength of the Night’s Watch because the raiding party south of the Wall hasn’t reached it yet. The only possible source of information for Mance are the mutineers, who would probably gladly spill the information and join him had he reached them first. Also, even if Thorne and Slynt think that Jon Snow’s idea is dumb, leading men to fight the mutineers could possibly result in Jon Snow’s death, which is why this ranging is allowed in the first place. It makes sense in the context of the show, even if by the end of the scene everything is back where it was 2 episodes ago.

  69. Leo
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    I wish Catelyn had more of a Season 3 presence. She had 1 talk with Robb, 1 talk with Talisa, and 1 talk with Blackfish in the first 3 episodes but then episodes 4-8 she, for the most part, silently sat on Robb’s advisory board. Almost out of sight, even.

  70. GG
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    Re-read my comment. E&L hate Lena & Natalie. I don’t. While I can kinda see where they’re coming from, I disagree with them. Yes, Michelle Fairely was amazing. Easily my favourite casting. The writing is where I have a problem. Cat is incredibly prominent in the first half of Storm of Swords. Bronn has more lines than Cat in s3. Cat’s a POV character. Bronn’s a side character at best. This is my issue. They totally downplay her.

    As for regretting Jon, Catelyn despises Jon with every fibre of her being. There’s no way she would regret her treatment of him. To say that she does totally goes against her character in the book and the show. Even TV fans call that scene a character assassination.

    Again, I don’t hate the show. I love the show. But there’s a bunch of stuff they could do so much better and they’re not. And I don’t understand why. TBH, with the exception of the Catelyn thing, they haven’t really done anything that makes me properly angry. I’ll even forgive them the rape scene from BoC, simply because there was no way to adapt that scene that wouldn’t have caused a s***storm.

  71. King Stannis
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Book Purist make me sick. As a book reader I know there’s a difference between the show Game Of Thrones and the book ASOIAF. I’ve enjoyed both and don’t mind changes for TV here and there because obvious reasons “It Is Not A Book”. As much as I like GRRM for creating such a wonderful story, he often moves at a snail pace with some of the story. That shit will not help a TV show that is 1hr long.

    Want it like the book? Then read the fucking book. Just enjoy what it is a great television show

  72. Sunfyre
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    GG:
    Sunfyre,

    I know. That’s why I watch it. Cos they’re so good. Which is why it’s annoying when they fall of the wagon into such obvious pitfalls(e.g. making Cat regret treating Jon badly, having Emilia Clarke scream about the location of her dragons for half a season, making it seem like Margaery didn’t know Joffrey was gonna die, trying to make Cersei sympathetic(why waste time trying to create an emotion that’s gonna evaporate once we get to Cersei’s FFS material?), showing us the Theon->Reek transition). All of these are silly changes that either didn’t need to happen or could have been done better. They’re nowhere near big enough to make me stop watching the show. But they’re annoying all the same. And TV fans have complained about several just as much as book fans. That’s all I’m saying.

    Fair enough. Reasonable people can debate the merit of each individual change. And i’ll just say many of your examples can be argued the other way. For example Cersei: this is an enhancement from the books IMHO. making her an actual human being makes her downfall all the more rewarding. she’s not a cartoon villain, she’s a severely paranoid woman and one heck of a character Disagree also on theon to reek transformation — we needed to see that to lay the foundation for what Theon has become and where he goes in the future.

    i’d argue the biggest mistake they’ve made is Jon in season 2 (Halfhand relationship). So yeah, they do make mistakes. But carry on, didn’t mean to jump to the conclusion you were one of the extreme fundamentalist readers.

  73. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Leo,

    She is the Point of View character in the books and we get to be in her mind and most of Robbs stuff is offscreen you can’t do that in a visual medium. They were showing Robb on screen to tell the viewers hey look this guy messed up pretty bad to justify his death at the red wedding. You should take classes on film and you will understand how 500 pages of internal monologue can be explained in a close up facial expression on screen.

  74. GG
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy,

    Well George would be ideal but, as he’s said before, he doesn’t have the time to be on the writing staff in any long-term capacity. Seeing as George wrote The World of Ice and Fire with some help from E&L, they would be the next best thing.

    Elio actually did criticize some of George’s writing in his episode this season and last season. They’re not beholden to him. And they’re not against deviations. They were fine with the Weasel Soup deviation and loved the Maisie/Charles scenes that replaced it. They were fine with the change in how Yunkai was taken, although they would have preferred a bit more agency on Dany’s part. And what does that even mean? Just because the author isn’t making a fuss, we should be fine with it too? By that reasoning, the Percy Jackson movies should be beloved.

    Castle Black has no walls from the South. All Mance would have to do is climb a tree and look in their general direction & count. It’s not hard to figure out there aren’t 1000 men. And Bran would never go to Craster’s Keep. The whole concept is silly. It’s just silly filler writing. Which is fine. If it’s going to be filler, at least it’s entertaining. But let’s not pretend it’s good.

  75. Leo
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    I didn’t say anything about the books? I just wish she had a presence like she did in Season 2 with parleying the Baratheons, swearing to Brienne, and freeing Jaime. Doing something. I felt like Season 3 she was just sitting around waiting for episode 9 to be hers. I know it was important to show Robb’s story, but I wish it didn’t mean sacrificing Catelyn’s.

  76. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Leo,

    Yes you didn’t say anything about the books. I was trying to explain how they were building up Robbs downfall by showing it not telling it. The build up for the red wedding made perfect sense and it impacted a lot of viewers. They did it perfectly since the internet blew up right after the episode aired.

  77. Enfield
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    This comment section pretty much just highlighted why David Benioff and Dan Weiss are better off not reading online chatter. It would paralyze their creative process, not improve it.

    It both bothers and amazes me how some people don’t see their own prejudices about the books interfering with their judgement of the show. When you are watching the show, you aren’t even supposed to be even thinking about the books, much less tracking the progress and consistency of each character and event and comparing it with the source material. Honestly, if you haven’t seen the artistry and quality in the writing (and directing, acting, etc.) of the show by now, it’s likely you never will.

    But by all means, keep that magnifying glass at full power and focused directly on the minor flaws in an otherwise incredible drama.

  78. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    GG:
    Alex Greyjoy,

    Well George would be ideal but, as he’s said before, he doesn’t have the time to be on the writing staff in any long-term capacity. Seeing as George wrote The World of Ice and Fire with some help from E&L, they would be the next best thing.

    Elio actually did criticize some of George’s writing in his episode this season and last season. They’re not beholden to him. And they’re not against deviations. They were fine with the Weasel Soup deviation and loved the Maisie/Charles scenes that replaced it. They were fine with the change in how Yunkai was taken, although they would have preferred a bit more agency on Dany’s part. And what does that even mean? Just because the author isn’t making a fuss, we should be fine with it too? By that reasoning, the Percy Jackson movies should be beloved.

    Castle Black has no walls from the South. All Mance would have to do is climb a tree and look in their general direction & count. It’s not hard to figure out there aren’t 1000 men. And Bran would never go to Craster’s Keep. The whole concept is silly. It’s just silly filler writing. Which is fine. If it’s going to be filler, at least it’s entertaining. But let’s not pretend it’s good.

    I love the show. I love the books.

    I agree D&D are at their worst when they deviate from the books unnecessarely.

    I also think Martin needs a better editor

    But Elio&Linda as advisers would be a terrible idea ;)

  79. WildSeed
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    King Stannis: Book Purist make me sick. As a book reade

    No offense specifically to you, really, but your statement is echoed throughout the web, and in face to face conversation in regard to the production. While those new to the series, via television, or foreknowledge through having read the books, the over zealous fan addiction spreads here and wide. Most notably the arguments tend to be superficial if trivial. Each blames the other categorization for the perception of the show. There are indeed points worth debating , and these become insightful when discussions balance merits of the show vs what felt awkward or formulaic. Complaining about a specific comes with the package ,even those Entertainment Media folk demonstrate this very human tendency. IMO, It comes down to seeking a balanced perspective , with respects to your stance as a reader or viewer only. At the end of the day, we are all observing the onscreen process at the same time. While it may become easier over time for some to appreciate the whole, others will never be satisfied, from both category of viewers. There are even people who watch because of decided favourites or a cute actor in mind. I say enjoy it for all it’s worth. However the vitriol towards those with or without source material knowledge, makes for a weak insult. Learning curves seem appropriate here, especially when it implies highest expectations and deny the reality of work involved and cost factor for a cable enterprise. HBO execs are wealthy, but as fans we get up to 8 seasons of an intriguing series, vs a single over-budgeted Hollywood flop. While many readers here have made on and off season speculation an energizing activity, while we balance appreciation of what gets demonstrated onscreen, a smaller percentage focuses on a missing prop, admixed with frequent movie goers expecting more bang. Again, there is much to talk about, flaws and all , but don’t blame the categorization of viewer, because there just no pleasing everyone. For what its worth, I’m aware of as many whining newbies as there are book readers. Those more content found maturity on the subject and reasonable expectations , separating them from those whom refuse. Blaming each other makes as much sense as hating people who hate ( : . Take the plunge or change the channel.

  80. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed: No offense specifically to you, really, but your statement is echoed throughout the web, and in face to face conversation in regard to the production. While those new to the series, via television, or foreknowledge through having read the books, the over zealous fan addictionspreads here and wide. Most notably the arguments tend to be superficial if trivial. Each blames the other categorization for the perception of the show. There are indeed points worth debating , and these become insightful when discussions balance merits of the show vs what felt awkward or formulaic. Complaining about a specific comes with the package ,even those Entertainment Media folk demonstrate this very human tendency. IMO, It comes down to seeking a balanced perspective , with respects to your stance as a reader or viewer only. At the end of the day, we are all observing the onscreen process at the same time. While it may become easier over time for some to appreciate the whole, others will never be satisfied, from both category of viewers. There are even people who watch because of decided favourites or a cute actor in mind. I say enjoy it for all it’s worth. However the vitriol towards those with or without source material knowledge, makes for a weak insult. Learning curves seem appropriate here, especially when it implies highest expectations and deny the reality of work involved and cost factor for a cable enterprise. HBO execs are wealthy, but as fans we get up to 8 seasonsof an intriguing series, vs a single over-budgeted Hollywood flop. While many readers here have made on and off season speculation an energizing activity, while we balance appreciation of what gets demonstrated onscreen, a smaller percentage focuses on a missing prop, admixed with frequent movie goers expecting more bang. Again, there is much to talk about, flaws and all , but don’t blame the categorization of viewer, because there just no pleasing everyone. For what its worth, I’m aware of as many whining newbies as there are book readers. Those more content found maturity on the subject and reasonable expectations , separating them from those whom refuse. Blaming each other makes as much sense as hating people who hate ( : . Take the plunge or change the channel.

    Well said!!

  81. WildSeed
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    well said.

    Pau Soriano,

    true.

    Biscotti Knight,

    I’m not even drinking coffee and I’m having a coughing fit. To be fair, they may be up for the task of co-editoring with an executive editor on hand. Jobs such as these have their limits. Nuclear attack is unlikely ( :

  82. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    To be fair, they may be up for the task of co-editoring with an executive editor on hand. Jobs such as these have their limits. Nuclear attack is unlikely ( :

    Maybe Elio would, I’d agree on that…but then again, maybe he wouldn’t ;)

  83. ace
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: I love the show. I love the books.

    I agree D&D are at their worst when they deviate from the books unnecessarely.

    I also think Martin needs a better editor

    But Elio&Linda as adviserswould be a terrible idea ;)

    Based on the feedback I got from some show only friends I have, they love the Craster Keep scene and how it got resolved. So I am not sure if your judgement of D&D were at their worse is clouded by your foreknowledge of the books.

  84. Leo
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    Oh yeah, sorry. Just used to the Internet distorting what I’m trying to say. I agree. The Red Wedding was just visceral.

  85. WildSeed
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Thanks Pau *>*

    I read the EntWkly piece, and I respect Benioff & Weiss’ perspective. Sometimes it just comes down to thinking through a project without a cacophony of voices distracting the effort. I also wouldn’t rule out them periodically checking in, just to regain the pulse of the audience. They need to focus even more , and probably felt compelled to comment as they did, as much for the overbearing entertainment writers as much as the over-zealous fans. Media scrutiny has reached a zenith, all an official authority by their own right. Some of what they write is utter nonsense and little oversight for accuracy, let alone fairness. I’m fine with my own analysis, but I occasionally review just for a different frame of thought. But really, some are as unbalanced as extreme fans. I gave up on believing most entertainment media when big screen films were critiqued months prior to their show dates ( poor films rated high, great films rated low ). Still, these folk draw some attention polls and peer events, so there’s some pole dance that’s built into the whole schematic. I can only suffer such fools for so long, though. My local San Francisco press is one I cannot bear to read. I ‘d rather fly a kite , instead ( :

  86. WildSeed
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    ace,

    I hear you. However let me say that those with foreknowledge do appreciate the whole , especially as the overall perspective remains true to the spirit of the books. Certain insights help propel renewed energy in oft’ misinterpreted or laboriously long material from the source. And while exec producers , Benioff & Weiss work tirelessly to put to screen their vision & script, they do honour the source….even achieving the same point via a different means. For those with foreknowledge , we still end up on the same path, just a different road taken. For those of us appreciating both the merits of the book and screen version, we are doubly psyched. While newbies grasp their own keen observations, we help each out by forwarding the actual events and minuscule nuances that may have been dismissed by some, and only realized by a second viewing. Again, the broad category of watchers seem to be less an issue than the classification of personality types than remain unfazed or dazzled at anything put out. Take me, for example, I ‘m very select where my precious time is spent, and television is not my typical preference. Any program I watch had better qualify it’s merits, irregardless of a known story. Quality programming draws detractors and fans alike, there’s no way to make a 100% grade.

    Another thought, if the showrunnere simply wanted to imply that they read the books, and no method of theirs’ would duplicate it it any way, they would have gone to refer to the screen series as ……. Based on the ASOIAF books, not implicitly name the series from one of the book’s title. Another show tried to do that and suffered badly.

  87. Dash
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy,

    Ey, i want to watch this… where is her tumbler?

  88. johnnytata
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    this is a ridiculous argument. i made this comparison elsewhere, but some people watch this show like they are grading termpapers. to me that is a miserable way to live life. why watch? honestly, why do you watch, this is not a rhetorical question. i have seen this asked a million times, and not one book purist has answered. if you hate it, why actually do you watch? i am not tdying to be an asshole, just want an honest answer to an honest question. unless you can provide one you deserve every bit of criticism that comes your way, because then i am left to assume that your main purpose is to complain, to lord your opinion over others, or something the like. and if you cannot answer, then you honestly have no place here, again not being an asshole just being logical, because most other book readers are not learning or gaining anything from your constant criticism and non-book readers do not give a shit.

  89. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    johnnytata,

    I know what you’re trying to say dude, these book purists sound like those star wars fanboys who ruined the prequels for everyone. I mean I was just in fourth grade when the first prequel movie came out and a fat dude with acne on his face wearing a star wars t shirt was yelling out his disappointment in the theater that kind of made me feel stupid for enjoying the movie. Or maybe just a bunch of bitter fanboys whose audition tapes got rejected by D&D :D.

  90. johnnytata
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    i believe the book purist opinion is incredibly important but have no time for people whose sole purpose is to nitpick and point out any change. have an opinion but take it a step further and let it lead to intelligent discourse.

    second, if you hate it, make your own adaptation. if some doofus can write, direct and produce sharknado and make it a hit, then the time is ripe for pissed off book purists to make their own adaptation, i believe you will find it’s not as easy as it looks. i have had a very smalltime hand in adaptation for a high school video project, of material not even remotely as complicated and voluminous and it is hard as shit.

    again, i have no time for people who just complain with no other purpose.

    another point, some of the source material was written almost 20years ago. if you have ever written anything, no matter how good you or other people think it is, 20years later, you will find ways to improve it. my opinion is that most of the changes work better and actually make characters more 3-dimensional, especially when you consider the structure means the story is told from each character’s pov, i know if i wrote my own life from my pov, it would be a helluva lot different from my wife’s pov of my life :)

  91. somuchforoldtown
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    Coming from a dude that probably thinks it’s best that Greedo shot first. Dude, if you didn’t see the original SW in a drive-in theater during its original release, you’re not qualified to say jack diddly shit about it.

  92. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    somuchforoldtown,

    I was born in 1990 so I didn’t see the original theatrical release. I’m a huge star wars fan and yes I think Greedo shot first :P.

  93. chamush
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Ok, so now that I know they will never read this I release this criticism into this void:

    The biggest problem with the show is the lighting! They need to fire whoever is in charge and go back to how season 1 was! I get it, this is as realistic as possible and a castle without electricity is pretty damn dark inside! But trust me I rather be a bit less realistic but be able to see wtf is going on! There are dragons and one time use only smoke monsters for gods sake, how realistic youre trying to be?

    My poor eyes would appreciate it…

  94. jwal
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Nerd,

    No, the character of new Daario is being played super low-key cool, the actor didn’t read the books so maybe that’s it. Soooo different than old Daario portray. Some people hated old Daario but at least he had a specific way of acting and speaking that made him Daario-esq and stood out.

  95. Tatters
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    GG,

    Well, Mance doesnt really know in the books either, scarecrows.
    It really makes sense for Jon to look for his brother, incase Mance comes first. Its not that few men at Castle Black either, certainly more than 40 and Jon took a few of them. Its not silly in the show since it doesnt say how long till crasters keep

  96. Tatters
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    GG,

    The season 2 Dany is a victim of book purists raging over the show, ask any unsullied.

  97. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    ace: Based on the feedback I got from some show only friends I have, they love the Craster Keep scene and how it got resolved.So I am not sure if your judgement of D&D were at their worse is clouded by your foreknowledge of the books.

    Look inconsistencies in the show shouldn’t matter to book readers because we know what really happened anyway.

    Inconsistencies in the show don’t matter to 95% of the unsullied because they don’t remember half the plot anyway.

    I’m worried about the last 5% of the unsullied, people like Dinos and Byron who analyze every little detail of the show and when they encounter something that doesn’t make sense it really breaks the magic for them, and I wouldn’t say ruin the show (although the jaime/cersei rape scene almost did for Byron), but really dissapoint them.

    You see, the thing that puts apart a universe like the one in ASOIAF is that it’s coherent, that “makes sense”, that all the players act “in character” and make rational and consistant decissions…how are they gonna speculate about the future when you remove that from the story?

  98. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Dash,

    http://hippoiathanatoi.tumblr.com/
    Enjoy.
    I think she deleted some of her most controversial (= insane) posts though.

  99. GG
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Tatters,

    Lol No it’s not. It’s 2 years later and the “WHERE AARRRREEE MY DRAGONS????” memes are still coin fast & loose. It was poorly acted & poorly written.

  100. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy:
    Dash,

    http://hippoiathanatoi.tumblr.com/
    Enjoy.
    I think she deleted some of her most controversial (= insane) posts though.

    Wow reading those posts makes you feel for Elio even more, that woman must be a nightmare to live with!!

  101. Tatters
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    GG,

    There are a line in which book readers tolerate and that is unexpected changes, book readers caused this.

  102. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Salty Dornishman,

    This experience has definitely prepared me for the changes that Showtime’s adaptation of Gabaldon’s Outlander will surely bring

    I’m a big fan of the Outlander series but I’m betting that the book fans of that story will be absolutely rabid for accuracy to book detail. Seriously think there will be a subset of people who will hate it the moment it deviates in any way. I may very well end up avoiding fan sites for that one if that is the case.

  103. WildSeed
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I’m intrigued with the trailers so far, and I agree too about avoiding related fan sites fan sites. Actually WiC is the only site I visit ( GRRM’s blog maybe a couple of times per year ). For me , some of these that bicker back and forth really exhaust what enthusiasm I have for the show. Robs me of my joy.

    I wonder if ” Penny Dreadful ” is as explicit horror type, similar to ” Hannibal ” . I’m rather squeamish , but it looks interesting with actress Eva Green on board.

  104. Kessell
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    It is amusing to read the knots book readers tie themselves into just to not get flamed outright for criticising the story being told. Anyway personally I’m just slightly disapointed whenever one of my unsullied friends points out a plot hole or something that is blatantly unclear, often anything to do with armies, movement, fighting or bond villain monologues. Often my response is; “it makes sense in the books”, and/or “remember that somewhat ‘cool’ moment a few eps ago, that never happens instead there is a slow but steady buildup to a big reveal and this is another ‘cool’ moment in that process that they didnt want to leave out but now feels a bit wierdly placed.” It is a shame they felt they needed to rush some storylines along, cutting away and then placing them on hold with invented filler anyway. So the net gain comes down to more plotholes and direct drama in your filler. Instead of 2 scenes last season with Bran and Meera making eyes at each other and telling stories we get Crasters keep revisited this season. Or consider how they rushed Jamie and Brienne through the riverlands, as opposed to the Hound and Arya doddling along now.

  105. Kessell
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    uhuh, well put. might be more than 5% , but even if it’s not, making the product more coherent (and guess what; uve got a cheat sheet) shouldnt be sneered at.

  106. Johnb79
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I am impressed with this website, rattling I am a big fan. agefabcdkdbb


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