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As for the show being about good vs. evil, that's something else I don't necessarily buy. There are elements, yes, but the story (as a whole) is more about the shades of gray in between.

Huh. Well I'll give you that apparently evil characters suddenly do good things and supposedly good characters will do evil things.

I didn't really expect Theon to do what he just did in the episode last night. The contrast between his story and Jon's story was well executed (no pun intended) as they both are confronted with a few things they remember Ned Stark teaching them.

And, do my eyes deceive me, or is that red-headed wildling girl the maid with the typewriter from Downton Abbey? (if, in fact, there is anyone else here who actually enjoys both shows).

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And, do my eyes deceive me, or is that red-headed wildling girl the maid with the typewriter from Downton Abbey? (if, in fact, there is anyone else here who actually enjoys both shows).

There are such people, trust me! Yes, that's her — excellent casting choice, in my opinion.

I've read some reviews of last night's episode (I'll probably catch it later this week), and the showrunners continue to deviate further from the books. Seems like it's working too, for the most part. You have to streamline with something like this.

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I've read some reviews of last night's episode (I'll probably catch it later this week), and the showrunners continue to deviate further from the books. Seems like it's working too, for the most part. You have to streamline with something like this.

Some changes are working, yes, or at least not jarring too much, but this review from Wired(beware of spoilers) struck me as on target a good bit regarding some changes that seem pointless or even going off track. Especially this:

It’s impossible for me to view Arya stealing and being caught with Tywin’s letter as anything other than an idiot plot contrivance. (An “idiot plot” is where the only way to make the plot go the way you want is to make your characters behave in uncharacteristically stupid ways.) Why on earth does Arya steal the letter? It was short enough that she could easily peruse its contents while Tywin was lost in his avuncular reverie, and what possible use could she have for the parchment itself that would outweigh the risk of Tywin noticing it was gone? The letter does provide a reason why Arya would waste her second assassination coupon on a nobody like Amory Lorch rather than on a more obvious target like Tywin himself, but this could certainly have been set up in a less contrived way.

They also point out that

t’s been something of a running theme this season that the writers seem to think it’s “dramatic” for characters to openly threaten each other, when in fact it just makes the characters seem weak and not truly a part of the world they inhabit — a world that breeds and demands much greater savviness.

We've seen this kind of thing from Petyr, Dany, and several other characters. It never ends well.

Edited by BethR

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Good thoughts as usual, Beth.

I wonder if some of these changes also serve to merge unused book plot points in with what the show is doing. How does Lorch die in the book? Vargo Hoat tosses him in the bear pit. But if the show isn't even going to show Hoat and the Brave Companions (a shame), I guess they'll just kill Lorch another way. But then if the Brave Companions don't show up, that changes lots of other details down the road... ...and so on.

So I can understand why they're doing some of these things, but that doesn't always make them good ideas. I heard about some of the changes they made this week with Dany's story, and I thought, "Really? Why?"

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Finally got to watch this past Sunday's episode, I'll repeat the "Really? Why?" for almost all of the new stuff. The only new bits I didn't mind were with Robb and Jeyne Talisa, which worked well. Though there was some really heavy-handed foreshadowing in there, if you know what I mean.

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HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' On Track To Be Crowned Most Pirated Show Of 2012:

With its popularity swelling and no easy way to watch for viewers without cable, HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones” is inspiring massive levels of piracy, according to numbers from the BitTorrent-tracking and analysis firm Big Champagne. By the firm’s rough estimate, the second season of the show has been downloaded more than 25 million times from public torrent trackers since it began in early April, and its piracy hit a new peak following April 30th’s episode, with more than 2.5 million downloads in a day.

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HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' On Track To Be Crowned Most Pirated Show Of 2012:

With its popularity swelling and no easy way to watch for viewers without cable, HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones” is inspiring massive levels of piracy, according to numbers from the BitTorrent-tracking and analysis firm Big Champagne. By the firm’s rough estimate, the second season of the show has been downloaded more than 25 million times from public torrent trackers since it began in early April, and its piracy hit a new peak following April 30th’s episode, with more than 2.5 million downloads in a day.

"I tried to watch Game of Thrones..." has been posted here before, maybe? [language alert]

Personally, I watched most of season 1 via free HBO that came with a new satellite account (the merits of not having cable/satellite are discussed in another forum), then lost out on the final two episodes due to an act of God (lightning strike!), so bought the DVDs. Resubscribed to HBO for series 2 & will cut it off after that again. I'm enjoying watching the recorded episodes with friends. Still, HBO could have seen this piracy situation coming ten miles away. I'm not saying it's right. But obviously a lot of people lose that struggle with temptation, if they even care.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

Haven't read this thread, so apologies if this has come up (but it's 11 pages long people).

Having read the first book and half of the second and watched the dvd of S1 episode at least three times I am STILL confused about Joreh's involvement or not in Dany's assassination attempt. He gets a message from Vaserys offering a pardon and then intervenes to stop the poisoning...is this supposed to imply that the pardon would be for stopping it. Vaserys says to Ned that he can't stop, that the bird has already flown. Is the implication that the message he gets that a pardon will be offered if he kills her but he declines, responding like Ned that this is dishonorable...? If so, why does he appear to know about the merchant and only stop him AFTER the letter?

Any clarifications in a PM or here would be much appreciated..or a link to where this has been discussed already.

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I sent Ken a DM yesterday, and realize some of what I included might be pure speculation (so if I'm kind of wrong, sorry Ken). I'm thinking specifically to Varys's loyalties — if I remember correctly, I took it as Varys sort of nudging Jorah toward saving Dany, and also Varys telling Ned what he felt Ned needed to hear.

Edited by Jason Panella
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I sent Ken a DM yesterday, and realize some of what I included might be pure speculation (so if I'm kind of wrong, sorry Ken). I'm thinking specifically to Varys's loyalties — if I remember correctly, I took it as Varys sort of nudging Jorah toward saving Dany, and also Varys telling Ned what he felt Ned needed to hear.

Oh yeahh...I think you're right, Jason. I forget what Varys is doing at any given time because he's always saying three things and doing three others.

I totally get that Varys would not tell the whole truth to Ned, because his agenda is difficult to parse and his "loyalty" fungible, but WHY would he tell Ned that Dany was beyond saving? He wanted Ned to stay as Hand, didn't he? He had to have guessed that the assassination of Dany would create a rift between Ned and Robert....? Am I missing something?

And Varys couldn't offer a pardon for stopping the poisoning, right? Not when Robert wanted assassination? Varys can do a lot of things but he can't offer a royal pardon...unless it was a forgery I guess.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Ken and Anna, going back to our discussion about Jorah and his motives....

Talked to one of my friends today, who is my go-to person for any A Song of Ice And Fire questions. I think I was off with my assessment. He said that the letter that Jorah received was totally separate from the blanket assassination edict (which spurred the poisoning attempt). Jorah's entire motive to get involved in Dany's life was based on that letter of pardon, but has he came to know her, he fell in love, etc. When Robert's assassination order went out, Jorah decided to act on his feelings more than anything.

Also, I still think Varys has his fingers in all of these pies.

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After some recent hate-watching (House of Cards, The Walking Dead), it's nice to be back in the company of a series where I'm really sad when the ending credits hit the screen. I devoured the first season in a four-day period bookended by a weekend-- the sort of binge made nearly-impossible by work/family circumstances-- and went out and bought the second season, which I'm four episodes through.

Maybe the remaining six episodes depart from this model, but I really like the way in which the battle scenes have been elided thus far, whether that was an aesthetic or budgetary decision. We've got collective battle-ennui at this point, which is part of the reason watching THE HOBBIT is such a slog, and the thought of two more of those films is less-than-enthralling.

Edited by Russ

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There's a battle near the end of the season that definitely isn't elided. Maybe skirting the early battles was a deliberate choice to make that big one have even more of an impact; it ties together a lot of the threads from the season.

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Maybe the remaining six episodes depart from this model, but I really like the way in which the battle scenes have been elided thus far, whether that was an aesthetic or budgetary decision. We've got collective battle-ennui at this point, which is part of the reason watching THE HOBBIT is such a slog, and the thought of two more of those films is less-than-enthralling.

From what I've read, the decision was 95% budget-related. Lots of the book series's superfans howled about this constantly online, as it goes. Tyler's right, though; the battle near the end of the second season works so well because they've avoided anything like it up until that point (that, and Neal Marshall knows how to do violence on the cheap). Not that this is any super departure from the books, though. Martin does talk a bit about battles, but never to any excruciating detail or anything.

Edited by Jason Panella
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  • 3 weeks later...

I strong disagree with the notion that there's no one to admire and nothing to cheer for. I can think of several admirable characters in the series, but the thing is, they're all deeply, deeply flawed. As such, I think it's quite "cheer-worthy" when a character whom you previously loathed, or who seemed like a total villain, suddenly starts to feel the pangs of conscience, and begins to make those first, faltering steps towards heroism, honor, and sacrifice.

For me, that's the most compelling part of Martin's novels. Sure, there's the epic backdrop, the political machinations, the huge battles, etc., but the real focus of Martin's novels is on the humanity, warts and all, of his characters. That's what I find so fascinating, watching these very human and incredibly well-drawn characters (Martin does an amazing job of giving you insight into characters with just a few words and images) fumble about for their own desires, success, and honor -- and reap the reward for doing so, for good or ill.

All this and, of course, Hot Pie.

Oooooh! That's a joke!

Unless...

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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You wanna know how excited I am about this show? Excited enough that I'm setting aside a forty-two year-old bias against fantasy fiction and buying that mass-market paperback box set amazon is selling for less than $20.

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You wanna know how excited I am about this show? Excited enough that I'm setting aside a forty-two year-old bias against fantasy fiction and buying that mass-market paperback box set amazon is selling for less than $20.

This might be a good time to post this article, which is incredibly relevant. Also, it's incredibly spoilery; it keeps the spoilers to the first two books/seasons up 'til the halfway point and then just gets worse.

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Great review article, Jason. I especially liked this comment (non spoilery) describing the world Martin has created in ASOIAF, and which the GoT series captures well:

It’s not a world any sane person would want to live in, not for a moment; which is another respect in which it manages to resemble the real Middle Ages.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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