Bryan Cogman on writing iconic scenes, and diving into Season 5: “I’m terrified all the time.”
By Lightbringer on in Interview.

This week, the second Bryan Cogman penned episode of Game of Thrones Season 4 debuted, and like the first, it came away as a favorite among fans. Now that Cogman-written episodes are finished for the season, he can finally take a well deserved moment to relax- but only for a moment. Writing for Season 5 has begun, and he’s already feeling the pressure.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cogman admits that whether he’s writing the iconic trial scene, or diving into Season 5, he’s always terrified.

“I’m terrified all the time. You’re talking to me now as we’re writing season five and I’m at the stage where I think everything is going to be terrible. I go through all seven stages of whatever a writer goes through. I’m a wreck when I’m writing the show. It’s not until you see it air with an audience who enjoys it that you can finally relax.”

Although it has gotten a bit easier since Season 1, as years of experience as well as the actors portrayals have given the characters a clearer voice.

“At this point I know how to write these characters in terms of their voices. It’s been years of living with them and not only that, but living with the actors and playing to their strengths. It’s no longer Cersei Lannister, it’s Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister. I think the series gets stronger because the actors get more comfortable as well. The guys have been very generous over the last four seasons in trusting me with some big scenes.”

Of course one of those big scenes was Tyrion’s trial, but last week’s episode also contained some quieter, yet still powerful scenes, two of which included a bathtub.

“One of the reasons for setting Salladhor Saan and the courtesans in the bath is because it’s sort of an elemental thing. A bath is when you’re most at ease, but it’s also when you’re most vulnerable. The same thing dictated the Theon bath scene. It created this very intimate and all the more terrifying encounter.”

Cogman shared more details on where the inspiration for Theon’s bath scene came from, and Ramsay’s loaded question to Reek.

“In the book, there’s a scene were Theon has been cleaned up. So that led to us thinking we should show the cleanup. It shows Theon’s physical mutilation has already happened, but the psychological mutilation continues. “Do you love me Reek?” is one of my favorite things because there is so much behind the question and it tells you a lot about Ramsay and how Ramsay defines love. It’s not directly from the books but it’s definitely inspired by the books.”

For more from Bryan on Alfie Allen’s amazing season, reliving Tyrion’s greatest zingers, and his take on Daenerys in the latest episode, visit The Hollywood Reporter.

In case you missed it, Bryan Cogman was also a guest on the latest episode of our podcast, Game of Owns!


69 Comments

  1. House Nieder
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I always love Bryan Cogman’s writing. He hits it out of the park when writing scenes not in the book.

    Speaking of such scenes, Loras Tyrell’s siege of Dragonstone… Will we get this onscreen? It happens off page in the book. But That’d be cool to see. Oil and all… Assuming there was ever any oil in the first place and he didn’t find something there… there’s one mysterious book thread I’d love to see come to light on the show.

  2. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    House Nieder,

    Loras Tyrell’s siege of Dragonstone…

    Oh, I forgot about that! That would be cool except it would be a large budget item and I assume they will have much bigger items than that to contend with…..

  3. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Damn, I want to know what scenes he is tackling for S5!!!

  4. Luka Nieto
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Yeah, but which? What do you think is going to be the big action scene next season? Do you think they will bring forward the battle of Meereen, or the one at Winterfell, or both? I’m undecided myself… If they do not bring those plots forward, some action scenes are needed for Season 5. The Siege of Dragonstone seems like a great possibility, but honestly not many characters we know or care about in the show are involved in the conflict, so… yeah, I think they might just bring forward Stannis’ Battle at Winterfell, and maybe leave the big Essos event for next season. Honestly, all of these possibilities have their own problems… pf, writing a season 5 that feels climactic will be difficult.

  5. the other guy
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Daznak’s Pit is likely to be the big scene of S05E09 in my opinion, along with Cersei’s walk of shame (we know from Lena Headey that it’s in). If they follow ADWD’s plot the pink letter and Jon’s stabbing should be episode 10 material. As a major cliffhanger to conclude S5 i’m thinking of a shot of Aegon’s army arriving on the coast, with elephants, Targ banners etc… That or the ending of ADWD with Varys finally revealing himself as a major player No way to be 100% sure though, as we move closer and closer to unreleased book material. Before S3 aired, I was conviced the RW would take place in S03E09 and the battle at the wall in S04E09. However, things are more blurry for season 5. I feel like it will be the first year book readers can’t really know the general outline of the season in advance. We’ll see.

  6. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Some big “fight/battle” scenes in S5:

    1) Daznak’s Pit
    2) Shield Islands Battle
    3) Harpy Uprising
    4) Hardhome
    5) FAegon/JonCon invasion of the Stormlands
    6) Open water skirmishes/pirating on the way to Slavers Bay
    7) Stone Men/Sorrows melee
    8) Battle of Ice (Winterfell)
    9) Battle of Fire (Meereen)

    Some big non-fight scenes:

    1) Cersei’s madness & walk
    2) Riverrun standoff – Jaime/Brienne
    3) NW mutiny, attack on Jon
    4) Sam in Oldtown
    5) Adrienne/Myrcella shenanigans – Darkstar?
    6) Arya Faceless
    7) Alaynefinger
    8) Ramsay & Roose & Reek & FArya
    9) Jorah & Tyrion
    10) Davos & Manderly…Rickon/Osha!

    :)

  7. Sarella
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    s5: Kingsmoot and Victarion!

  8. Don't care
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I honestly think season 5 could be the best season yet if done right. There is a ton of great material when you filter out alot of the filler.

  9. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Forgot to list…

    1) R & V escape, Dornish barbeque
    2) Varys killing Kevin & Pycelle
    3) Loras conquering Dragonstone and “suffering an injury” (Redwyne navy disappearing)
    4) Hound the monk
    5) LS and direwolf chaos!

  10. Bard
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Big scenes in S5:


    1) Daznak’s Pit
    2) Shield Islands Battle
    3) Harpy Uprising
    4) Hardhome
    5) FAegon/JonCon invasion of the Stormlands
    6) Open water skirmishes/pirating on the way to Slavers Bay
    7) Stone Men/Sorrows melee
    8) Battle of Ice (Winterfell)
    9) Battle of Fire (Meereen)

    :)

    2. Doubt we’re going to see it. (Not enough time)

    4. Likewise.

    5. Too early.

    6. Almost definetely cut.

    8+9: Might be in, but both battles? No way (Time/budget).

  11. Ser Blount Sarkasm
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I would imagine writing season 5 will be a bitch with lots of new characters and story lines to get invested in. But given how will they have done with Oberyn… I have lots of faith in D&D and Cogman as well as the Seven. I wonder if they are going to bring Kevan Lannister back in a big way and if they are going to recast.

  12. Don't care
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Also the decision to give book 3 20 episodes in many ways has been negative. The show has been really slow at times and part of that is because they are giving excessive screen time to storylines that don’t deserve it. Think about season 3 Kings Landing. Did we really need the whole “Who is gonna marry Sansa crap” to run as long as it did? Did we really need bit characters like QoT to have a scene with every character? Or Tyrion and Shae domestic discord? Think about Stannis. Until he gets to the Wall he has basically nothing happen in his storyline. But because they are giving SoS the two season treatment he is been sitting around doing nothing for what feels like forever.

    Good thing about season 5 is that it will be streamlined. So the pacing for the storylines should be much better. Of course on the flipside too much streamlining can cause other issues. It’s a fine balance.

  13. Bard
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Forgot to list…

    1) R & V escape, Dornish barbeque
    2) Varys killing Kevin & Pycelle
    3) Loras conquering Dragonstone
    4) Hound the monk
    5) LS and direwolf chaos!

    2. Who the f… is Kevin? ;)

    3. Maybe in, but could happen offscreen.

    4. Fan theory and not a big scene.

    5. Direwolf chaos? We haven’t seen Nymeria since season 1.

  14. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Bard,

    A man can dream! Naysayer!

  15. Bard
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Don’t care:
    Also the decision to give book 3 20 episodes in many ways has been negative. The show has been really slow at times and part of that is because they are giving excessive screen time to storylines that don’t deserve it. Think about season 3 Kings Landing. Did we really need the whole “Who is gonna marry Sansa crap” to run as long as it did? Did we really need bit characters like QoT to have a scene with every character? Or Tyrion and Shae domestic discord? Think about Stannis. Until he gets to the Wall he has basically nothing happen in his storyline. But because they are giving SoS the two season treatment he is been sitting around doing nothing for what feels like forever.

    Good thing about season 5 is that it will be streamlined. So the pacing for the storylines should be much better. Of course on the flipside too much streamlining can cause other issues. It’s a fine balance.

    Negative for some storylines, necessary for others.

  16. Bard
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Bard,

    A man can dream! Naysayer!

    I’m just trying to be realistic. ;)

  17. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Don’t care,

    I’ve seen an outline of book 3 crammed into 10 episodes, and it simply could not have worked. 15 episodes was probably the sweet spot for book 3, but there was no way of doing that, unless they split season 3 into two parts. For the most part, I didn’t mind the KL material being stretched out, but you hit the nail on the head regarding Stannis. He has suffered the most due to stretching ASOS over 20 episodes.

  18. Ser Blount Sarkasm
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Don’t care,

    Interesting. I’ve thought they’ve done rather well, especially with season 3. (I didn’t have a problem with Sansa, QoT, Tyrion/Shae, or Stannis). Do you think they could have done it in 1 season? Or would you have preferred 1.5 seasons?

  19. utherwolf
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I only want from directors to confirm will there be Euron, Victarion and Aeron of will they be merged with some other characters for which I think it would be very stupid.

  20. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    utherwolf,

    We’ll probably find out in 2 months which Greyjoy uncles, if any, will be included.

  21. Kyrion
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    The problem with Season 5 is that tons of things have to happen before we get to the battle of Meereen, all in 8 episodes presumably if the battle is episode 9(which it kind of has to be)

    We have to get
    Dany marrying Hizdahr, Escapaing on Drogon
    Barristan Seizing Hizdahr
    Quentyn trying to steal the dragons, dragons fleeing
    Tyrion joining the Second Sons with Jorah
    Victarion/Kingsmoot, heading to Slavers bay

    All this has to happen before episode 8 which is mindboggling, cause most of these scenes most of these characters are FAR away from Meereen in the first place and have to actually get there.

    Dany is easy, shell have to fly away on Drogon episode 5 maybe
    Barristan ditto, capture Hizdaht episode 7 or so
    Quentyn should have his story merged with Tyrion and end up on the boat with Griff and Tyrion, then branch off when Griff heads to the Golden Company, Quentyn will arrive in Meereen somehow around episode 5, then attempt to steal the dragons episode 8
    Tyrion will get major cuts to his travels, basically meeting Quentyn and Griff episode 2 or so, greyscale afterthat, then captured by Jorah by episode 4, and becomes the second sons by 8
    Victarion needs Kingsmoot Episode 1 or 2, and arrives in Meereen by 9, maybe meeting Moqorro episode 6 to heal his hand

    Wow thats hard to think about and alot of cuts will happen thats for sure…

  22. Matt Sinopoli
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Luka Nieto:
    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Yeah, but which? What do you think is going to be the big action scene next season? Do you think they will bring forward the battle of Meereen, or the one at Winterfell, or both? I’m undecided myself… If they do not bring those plots forward, some action scenes are needed for Season 5. The Siege of Dragonstone seems like a great possibility, but honestly not many characters we know or care about in the show are involved in the conflict, so… yeah, I think they might just bring forward Stannis’ Battle at Winterfell, and maybe leave the big Essos event for next season. Honestly, all of these possibilities have their own problems… pf, writing a season 5 that feels climactic will be difficult.

    I think they will have to do the battle of Winterfell first because it’s aftermath ties into the Pink Letter and Jon getting stabbed, which I’m sure they will want to use as a big moment at the end of next season. Also, the progression of Theon’s plot this season points to it being moved up. The Mereen battle can probably be saved for early in the following season. They can end Dany’s story with her flying off from the fighting pits or just use her last chapter from ADWD.

  23. Kyrion
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    They cant do the battle at Winterfell, George is saving that for book 6, and the pink letter will loose effect if we know what happened already. Also, Jon getting stabbed is definitely an episode 10 thing….something like Tywins Death episode 10 this season

    And by saving it for 6, I mean that the Battle of Meereen was supposed to be in ADWD but got moved out cause the book was too large lol, Battle of Winterfell was always planned for Winds of Winter

  24. Luka Nieto
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Matt Sinopoli,

    That does seem like the best option for the show, yes. Stannis will end up exactly where he needs to be as per the books this season, while they are moving up the Bolton storyline considerably. On the Battle of Meereen front, the Greyjoys (if they are included) have a lot to catch up to, Jorah is a tad behind, and Tyrion will be exactly in place. So yeah, considering where the characters are going to be when season 5 starts, I think it makes sense to have the Battle of Winterfell first, as the climax of that season, and have the Battle of Meereen sometime in season 6… it’s way too far to say exactly where it would be placed.

  25. Leo
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Kyrion,

    My pet theory is Quentyn gets killed trying to steal the dragons in the chaos of the Battle of Meereen. You lose nothing. You save a lot of budget.

  26. Luka Nieto
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Leo:
    Kyrion,

    My pet theory is Quentyn gets killed trying to steal the dragons in the chaos of the Battle of Meereen. You lose nothing. You save a lot of budget.

    I’m confused, how is this different from the books, except for the timing of the scene? What are you saying, exactly? How does this save much time or money in terms of his storyline or any other?

  27. The Lord of the Red Light
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Can someone answer me a question. When Winter comes does it affect Braavos-Free Cities-Slavers Bay???

    If not why doesn’t everyone just take ships there to get away from White Walkers Others and everything else??

    Is this some flaw that he hasn’t talked about from the books? Can people just leave Westeros to get away from the White Walkers and The Great Other…..

  28. Leo
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Luka Nieto,

    Quentyn tries to take a dragon for himself, before the Battle, in his own scene…

    During the Battle, the dragons are already flying around killing people as they please. Just let them kill him then, too. That way, you don’t spend a lot of money on an entirely irrelevant action sequence before the Battle and more money actually goes to the Battle itself…

  29. Kyrion
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Leo,

    It could work that way, but I think the point of stealing the dragons is its really a convenience for George. If the dragons are able to be used, people will question why arent the dragons being used? Likewise, he can bypass the obvious answer of Barristan will never allow the dragons to be used since he doesnt do anything without Danys permission, since they have escaped already.

  30. Don't care
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Bard,

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Ser Blount Sarkasm,

    I think 15 episodes would have been the sweet spot. I do agree it would have created issues. Namely, all the climaxes being in the middle of season 4 and then ending the season on a weird note in the middle of two books. So I guess 20 episodes is fine, I just wish the pre- Purple Wedding storyline in KL was edited down. I understand with so many amazing actors there it’s hard not to spend a ton of time, but the material wasn’t there to justify it. On the other hand, this season has been excellent because there is actually material justifying the screentime there. And if the next four episodes knock it out of the park like the last episode than the decision might look alot better in retrospect.

  31. Turncloak
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    House Nieder:
    I always love Bryan Cogman’s writing. He hits it out of the park when writing scenes not in the book.

    Speaking of such scenes, Loras Tyrell’s siege of Dragonstone… Will we get this onscreen? It happens off page in the book. But That’d be cool to see. Oil and all… Assuming there was ever any oil in the first place and he didn’t find something there… there’s one mysterious book thread I’d love to see come to light on the show.

    The siege of DragonStone never happens IMO as Cersei is a complete joke and unreliable narrator. I believe Loras is an 100% health and Cersei is being played like a fiddle

  32. Rabid Grunt
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I think a lot of the early season action/excitement will center around the Ironborn plot, with Victorian and/or Euron basically acting as the Oberyn’s of season 5. Then, this arc ties into what I will imagine be the big finals of the season, the battle of ice (yara) and fire (victorian). If that happens, IMO, season 5 might actually be one of the tightest and most satisfying seasons yet.

  33. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Rabid Grunt,

    Euron and Victarion wouldn’t hold the audience’s interest the way Oberyn has because they won’t be interacting with as many main characters. Judging by the unsullied viewers’ reaction to the other Greyjoys, I have trouble seeing them getting excited for those two, unless they really got a couple of great actors to play them.

  34. Zack
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Season 5 can be just as strong as the rest, if they do it right. Good call!

  35. Leo
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Before I read AFFC+ADWD combined last year I was ready to be disappointed like so many others, but Dorne and Iron Islands were some of the strongest elements for me. I loved Aeron and Victarion POVs in the books way more than Reek or Asha. Comical characters.

  36. Ser Blount Sarkasm
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Daario=Euron theory could make S5 interesting. All you have to do is slap an eye-patch on Daario

  37. Ser Blount Sarkasm
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Don’t care,

    Unfortunately, there’s not much left for the remaining four episodes from the original material. Maybe a pound of lemon cake and a slice of pigeon pie. Nothing too substantial… [sigh]

  38. jentario
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    You are unfairly cutting the scene at Deepwood Motte. It was really cool and honestly if they kept Moat Cailin they can keep this too. It was already mentioned in season 2, and Yara has to get to Stannis anyway. I am positive we will see a Yara vs Stannis scene, even if it’s not in Deepwood Motte- that’s the whole point of Stannis’s arc, gaining the support of the North before heading back south to contend to the Throne. It’s also a scene that has major impact on Jon (who essential sets it in motion). It’s his first concrete steps outside his vows as a Lord Commander (and the latter steps are what brings his downfall).

    I see no reason why to cut this cool scene. It would be great for, say, episode 6ish.

    And on the choice of Winterfell or Meereen as the big battle, I think Meereen looks much better on paper but is much more complicated since it relies on a bunch of other characters that have substantial arcs to fill (mainly Tyrion, but you can’t unveil Quentyn before Doran spills the beans and Victarion/Euron need to travel half the world in one season… Also, Winterfelll makes more sense for a number of reasons: it has already happened in book canon in terms of chronology, and Jon’s stabbing is rather reliant on the battle having happened, it rounds up the Stannis arc better, it makes a lot of sense to Meereen in the fighting pits (and there isn’t really a particularly good climax for Stannis unless you delay the Yara thing which is a stretch). I wouldn’t say this is my guess, but this is how I’d do it.

    Also season 5 will be confusing as hell to casual viewers.

  39. Ser Blount Sarkasm
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Don’t care,

    Actually, I agree with what you’re saying Don’t Care. I wish there was more flexibility with the length of each season and the length of an episode. Fucking corporate capitalism!!! This would allow for a 12-17 hours per season. Also, I wish the show runners were more confident to leave certain characters aside (Bran) when they’re not relevant rather than putting in filler (but I did like Stannis in Braavos). HBO could pay for it if they sold content directly rather than through the entrenched monopolistic interests that is cable TV. Fuck you Comcast and Time Warner!!

  40. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    jentario:

    You are unfairly cutting the scene at Deepwood Motte.

    Perhaps. For some reason, after the last episode, I don’t see Yara getting back to Pyke…and if she does (traveling another 5000+ leagues around Westeros back to the iron isles), she will be grossly ridiculed. She has nowhere to go but Moat Cailin. I think she’ll lose everything there, escape and will follow the Boltons/Reek to Winterfell, where she gets captured by northerners loyal to Stark/Stannis.

    Total crackpot, I know.

    Also, I think there is a hundred different ways for Stannis to start collecting Stark loyalists in the North…not just through Deepwood Motte. Maybe Mance might be in the mix too, and not just a silly mummer/server at Winterfell. In any case, as long as there is heavy snow, I’ll be fine. :)

  41. cosca
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Ser Blount Sarkasm,

    The problem is not only money, it’s time. They barely have enough time to get the 10 hours together before release. They’re still doing the post production on the last few episodes. They’ve said that they physically can’t do more.

  42. Ser Blount Sarkasm
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    Yes and very true. Could we wait three years for two and half seasons?

    I only respect what these people do in terms of putting together this show. We give GRRM 5+ years for a book. Why do we only give D&D one year for the same?

  43. Ser Blount Sarkasm
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Ser Blount Sarkasm,

    I’m not trying to be sarkastic.

  44. Ser Tahu
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Kyrion,
    Can a mod please spoiler tag this?

    Anyway, there is much more that needs to happen before the battle of Meereen than before the battle of Winterfell. If either battle was to appear in S5 it would be Winterfell.

    Kyrion,
    Both battles were meant to be in ADwD. And as you said, Jon’s death would make a good finale cliffhanger, which would mean that the battle of Winterfell would have to be before it. The show has never done things out of chronological order.

    Leo,
    That would be interesting. Although I like the book timeline that is definitely a change I could get behind. The one problem that could arise is the importance of Barristan sending Gerris and Arch to treat with Tatters which, based on the TWoW chapters, is pivotal in the battle.

    Turncloak,
    Cersei is an unreliable narrator, yes, but Kevan is not. Based on how convinced Cersei is in her own thoughts that Loras is dying, and Kevan treating it as fact, it seems pretty certain that it did happen.

  45. PodricksThirdLeg
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Ungrateful fans think it is easy making this show like they do it with a magic wand or some shit. It is easy writting on paper then it is translating the art onto a screen with a huge team involve when time and money comes into play.
    The show has been amazing so far minus random tits that throw the story off a bit but i like what they have done so far.

    Season 5 will be a HUGE challenge that I think if they don’t make up stuff here and there the audience will have a hard time swallowing these none JoyGrey people and the trolling that comes with it

  46. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Don’t care:
    Also the decision to give book 3 20 episodes in many ways has been negative. The show has been really slow at times and part of that is because they are giving excessive screen time to storylines that don’t deserve it. Think about season 3 Kings Landing. Did we really need the whole “Who is gonna marry Sansa crap” to run as long as it did? Did we really need bit characters like QoT to have a scene with every character? Or Tyrion and Shae domestic discord? Think about Stannis. Until he gets to the Wall he has basically nothing happen in his storyline. But because they are giving SoS the two season treatment he is been sitting around doing nothing for what feels like forever.

    Good thing about season 5 is that it will be streamlined. So the pacing for the storylines should be much better. Of course on the flipside too much streamlining can cause other issues. It’s a fine balance.

    Splitting the book into two seasons provided some creative challenges, but I think D&D pretty much overcame them for the most part. The two plotlines you bring up, King’s Landing and Dragonstone, I actually enjoyed this year. Yeah, they stretched out the Sansa marriage plot…but I pretty much enjoyed every scene involved in that story. In fact, stretching it gave us some of the best moments with Olenna, Margaery, Varys and Littlefinger we’ve ever seen. And Sansa marrying Tyrion isn’t quite as exciting as ending on a trial by combat, but it was still compelling stuff. The Stannis stuff was good too. Stannis’ decision to sacrifice Gendry, and Davos’ decision to free him, made for decent, somewhat low-key climaxes for what was a low-key storyline. Stannis didn’t have much to do, but he also wasn’t in it very much, so his material was short but sweet, and really paid off in Episodes 5 and 8 in particular.

    I think Theon and Dany are the only ones who have maybe suffered from the splitting significantly. Theon’s torture scenes didn’t have a narrative point to them until this season, and Dany spent the first half of this season doing pretty much the same thing that she was doing last season (though I’m hoping that she will develop a unique storyline and climax for this season).

    Maybe 20 episodes is a little too much, I can’t think of too many episodes that I would consider throwaway, or having a significant amount of material that I could have done without. They stretched out some stuff, but I like seeing big moments in the book built up to a bit more. The buildup itself is almost always fun to watch and it gives those big moments more importance.

  47. loco73
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Honestly, reading some of the comments here on this thread, I’m not surprised he is terrfied to write for the show…

  48. Chickenduck
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    loco73,

    Yep.

  49. Winter's heart
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    I love how everyone believes that adwd and AFFC will all be crammed into one season! Lol. Just lol. It’s almost twice the pages of asos and they did two seasons for that. It simply wouldn’t work.

  50. Jackol
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    The siege of DragonStone never happens IMO as Cersei is a complete joke and unreliable narrator. I believe Loras is an 100% health and Cersei is being played like a fiddle

    And other comments about future Loras storyline.


    I don’t think show-Loras can be written to fit the Dragonstone siege. book-Loras was motivated by the emotional devastation he felt at the death of Renly – joining the Kingsguard and convinced to lead what amounted to a suicide mission against Dragonstone. None of that makes sense for show-Loras given he apparently got over Renly in a week or two. No “When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” for show-Loras.

    Also, of course, show-Loras has no brothers so is the sole male heir to Highgarden. The Tyrells would never let Loras be in the Kingsguard and would hardly be passive about him leading a foolish assault.

    No, I can’t see show-Loras being shoehorned into that role. If they keep the siege storyline at all (there may be some great significance to the siege down the track, we don’t know yet – otherwise they would be better cutting it), someone else will have to lead it. Perhaps Lancel or someone else going through an existential crisis?

  51. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Winter’s heart,

    We shall see. Come the dawn, we shall see.

  52. Turncloak
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Winter’s heart,

    Feast and Dance is the most logical solution since so far D&D are planning on only shooting 7 seasons. 1 season for Feast/Dance is more likely than 1 season for TWOW/ADOS

  53. Turncloak
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    Source? I don’t recall Kevan ever being convinced that Loras is badly injured.

  54. Turncloak
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Also, it’s already Saturday and there is no episode 6 recap on Game of Thrones YouTube page. What gives?

  55. Ser Dosser
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Just cut kingsmoot, dorne and braavoos and all will be fine.

  56. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Winter’s heart:
    I love how everyone believes that adwd and AFFC will all be crammed into one season! Lol. Just lol. It’s almost twice the pages of asos and they did two seasons for that. It simply wouldn’t work.

    It’s more pages, but less actual material.

    Instead of thinking how much D&D can stretch the Mereen storyline, or how the Ironborn storyline can carry the season, or how many episodes Dorne can take up,think about how they are going to stretch out he storylines for Bran, Sansa, and Arya. Adapting FeastDance isn’t hard because of the number of pages dedicated to the political intrigue at Mereen and the Wall, it’s because while some characters have quite a bit of material (that doesn’t really go anywhere), other characters who the audience has been invested in for quite some time have barely anything to do. If some people think what happened at Craster’s Keep filler, I dread what others will think of Arya training with the Faceless Men for a season.

  57. Ser Tahu
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Turncloak,
    From the ADwD epilogue:
    “I resent your implication, Swyft,” Mace Tyrell said, bristling. “No wealth was found on
    Dragonstone, I promise you. My son’s men have searched every inch of that damp and dreary island and
    turned up not so much as a single gemstone or speck of gold. Nor any sign of this fabled hoard of dragon
    eggs.”
    Kevan Lannister had seen Dragonstone with his own eyes. He doubted very much that Loras
    Tyrell had searched every inch of that ancient stronghold. The Valyrians had raised it, after all, and all
    their works stank of sorcery. And Ser Loras was young, prone to all the rash judgments of youth, and had
    been grievously wounded storming the castle besides.
    But it would not do to remind Tyrell that his
    favorite son was fallible. “If there was wealth on Dragonstone, Stannis would have found it,” he
    declared.

    Ser Dosser:
    Just cut kingsmoot, dorne and braavoos and all will be fine.

    Except for the plot.

  58. jentario
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Winter’s heart,

    Twice the pages, ten times as much cut table material, and half as many significant developments. And, to be fair, it’ll probably be closer to 1.5 seasons considering we’re already getting a large chunk in season 4 and a little but will probably bleed into early season 6.

    To believe that they will spend significantly more than one season on these books when they are aiming to finish the story in season 7 is a bit delusional.

  59. hinesy24
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    One adaptation thought that I’m worried about is what if the show is keeping Balon alive because they intend for him to take the place of Euron? Of the three kings involved in Melisandre’s “spell” (seeing the future and then conning Stannis into thinking she was responsible when she had nothing to do with any of it, IMO), Balon was the first to die and unless he’s killed off soon, I wonder if the writers will do it at all? I certainly don’t want it to happen (no Kingsmoot/Queensmoot!), but the quickest shortcut to the Ironborn heading to Meereen would be to have Balon (an established and memorable character on the show) stay alive, assuming the role of Euron (who stays missing) and sending Victarion to Dany while he invades the Reach. Vic could still hate him and while there’s butterfly effect problems with “Yara” and Theon’s storyline, the Ironborn storyline would quickly be on track for Meereen at the end of S5 / start of S6.

  60. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    hinesy24,

    That 3rd leech seems to be the runt of the bunch. But its effect is inevitable. They sure are taking their time though, aren’t they? However, I don’t quite understand your rationale for such a late start to Meereen. If/when the ironborn (Euron/Vic) do head toward Slavers Bay, I believe they will start by ep1 or ep2 of S5.

  61. Turncloak
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    That seems to be some damn good evidence unless Kevan is also getting played. I guess we will see.

  62. hinesy24
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Agreed. The only thing that gives me any concern is Stannis being prepared to sacrifice Gendry after Robb’s death rather than responding with “two is not three”. With “Yara” (presumably) sailing back to the Iron Islands or Deepwood Motte, it looks like the story is probably resetting to the books (Oberyn mentioning his 8 lil’ snakes makes me think they won’t chop out any major storylines), but until Balon dies (preferably on-screen and at the hands of the only Faceless Man in the series so far, answering that theory for good), I’m still going to have a 5% hunch that they might go in that direction.

    I think that the climax of Season 5 will be Drogon’s return to the fighting pits (or their equivalent) and that the rest of the events in Meereen will happn in Episode 10 or the beginning of Season 6. Since the Ironborn arrive there at the beginning of Winds Of Winter, Vic and the Iron Fleet will need to leave by Ep. 5-7. That would leave enough time for the other I.I. events before-hand, but there’s about a dozen other storylines to work in if nothing gets cut. Glad I don’t have to write next season. lol

    As for Quentyn freeing the dragons, that would only require two scenes (Dany showing him the dragons and him setting them free) and the second scene would be amazing on screen, so if they don’t excise Quentyn completely, I’d expect them to leave it in.

  63. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    hinesy24,

    Sticking with stuff I’ve mentioned in prior threads, I think the transfer of power at Pyke will be quick after Balon meets the bridge troll and fails to answer those questions three. :) But I believe the ironborn will think that he was murdered and it is a plot by KL. After a quick intro of Euron and Vic, during which they hear of the activities in Slavers Bay, Vic will set off toward the east (with a bloody pitstop at the Shield Islands) while Euron starts engaging in Westeros invasions immediately. Vic will probably rescue or hijack Tyrion & Jorah on the way to Slavers Bay. All of them will definitely be in the vicinity of Meereen by S5ep10.

    Given her predicament, I don’t believe Yara will have any involvement with Pyke’s transfer of power. She is basically on her own now (as an upcoming scene at Moat Cailin will demonstrate).

    But who knows? Jentario really wants Deepwood Motte, so that’s probably going to happen instead of my gibberish. :)

  64. hinesy24
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Does “Yara” have an upcoming scene at Moat Cailin? Is that based on something I missed or speculation at this point? I thought that she might be captured by Stannis before he arrives at Castle Black, but I have nothing to base that on other than story-telling time conservation for next season.

    Your Ironborn theories would work, but it would probably mean no Kingsmoot, as that would probably need a lot of screen-time. Victarion snagging Jorah and Tyrion makes a lot of sense geographically and timeline-wise. It would make for some interesting interactions, too, as both a Lannister and the former Lord of Bear Island would have plenty or reasons to despise the Iron Islands (and vice versa), while all three seem pragmatic enough to recognize each other’s usefulness in achieving their goals.

  65. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    hinesy24:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Does “Yara” have an upcoming scene at Moat Cailin?Is that based on something I missed or speculation at this point?

    Your guess is as good as mine. Pure speculation on my part, since we have been forcibly UnSullied by the invented/demented Yara thread. I am just intrigued by the Moat Cailin possibilities for Yara (and maybe an appearance by Vic!!).

  66. hinesy24
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Moat Cailin is where Vic should be, since that’s where he was before Balon’s death and only leaves the Moat for that reason, but if he were going to appear this season as anything other than a shadowy outline, we would have heard about him being cast for this season, I would think. I doubt that we’ll be introduced to any new Greyjoys until next season, though we may hear about them second hand or see their ships arriving on the horizon for one murder-related reason or another.

  67. Turncloak
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Something just occurred to me. Young Griff has to be older than Dany in the show since he was born first. Since show Dany has already been aged up than we can assume we will get a much more seasoned/mature Young Griff (or Griffith as it might be silly to give him the “young” moniker). That being said, a mature Griffith might make Jon Connington expendable. He kind of came out of left field in the story to begin with. I wonder if he will be cast at all now. I still say he’s cast as it gives Peter Dinklage more players to interact with.

  68. hinesy24
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    I wouldn’t worry about it. Connington is important to the big picture and there isn’t a logical replacement character that’s already been established on the show to take his place. Dany needs advisors, and so will Aegon, even if he’s aged up as he should be. Whether the rest of the crew is present is up in the air. You’ll need certain characters to sell the idea of a King In Training, but if any of the characters are absent from the story, we could probably assume it’s because GRRM didn’t tell D&D that they were essential to the story.

  69. lagos of skagos
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    my over all feeling is that seeing as i have read the books i don’t mind that the show truncates some of the story. what does bug me,at times, is when they change it fully,like changes to a character.


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