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A Game of Thrones



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  #861  
Old May 30th, 2016, 3:59 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

But provides proof that the dead or as good as dead in Westeros will simply not do the decent thing and stop moving.


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  #862  
Old May 30th, 2016, 3:50 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

I wondered who wrote that play. It was the nominal "head of the troupe" who took a few of the selected events across the Narrow Sea and tried to just shoehorn them into a bunch of conventions he was used to onstage. Did he ghostwrite Crows, you think?

At this point I'm hoping for small victories as we move forward before the big battles start happening.

Victories such as

Spoiler: show
1. The Waif gets her throat ripped open by Needle and Arya manages to win or escape a confrontation with a sect of fanatical mercenary assassins.
2. Yara and Theon get there first and Euron either gets cooked or gets fed pieces of himself when he tries to dominate the Breaker of Chains
3. Somebody finds a way to kill Ramsey before he takes the chance to give Rickon the Reek treatment.
4. The Walder's plan to rip the soul from the Blackfish backfires and his idiot sons are executed before Walder himself meets a bad, painful, prolonged end.
5. Whoever's going to eliminate Kevan Lannister would just hurry up and do it already. He seems to have inherited the absolute worst of his father and has none of the soul of his younger brother or the toughness of his elder brother. Ugh.


Like I said, small victories.


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  #863  
Old May 31st, 2016, 7:52 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
Dany is in a similar situation to Hitler at the start of WWII -- massive forces and air power but no fleet to invade.

And the Greyjoys have a huge fleet but aren't much chop on land.
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Originally Posted by MrSleepyHead View Post
And how convenient that Dany's fleet in Meereen just happened to be burnt to a crisp...
Hints that Dany and Euron have been in talk already when Daario says no one has a 1,000 ships and she says not yet. One thousand being the number of ships Euron wants.


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  #864  
Old June 11th, 2016, 6:26 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

There's a book theory that Daario is some sort of blood-magic skinchanging disguise for Euron. Ugh. Things are looking pretty bleak after the last episode. *sighs*


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  #865  
Old June 27th, 2016, 10:40 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

So we see the end of the houses of Bolton, Frey and Baratheon. (Although Pod may be Robert's ******* son.)


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  #866  
Old July 4th, 2016, 5:14 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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Originally Posted by Wimsey View Post
AND she's about to invade a country as a devastating Winter is about to hit! That's Daeny: part Adolf Hitler, part Abe Lincoln…..
Were it not for the steadying influence of Tyrion, she would be more of the former. Crucifying the masters and razing their cities? She'd make a good Bolton.


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  #867  
Old July 6th, 2016, 4:55 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Um, I don't think so. I think she has more in common with the Cat of the Canals than any of the Bolton's. Someone care to explain where the theory came from that Pod could be the result of one of Robert's frolics? I don't get that sense. I do wish Gendry would make another appearance, though.


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  #868  
Old August 29th, 2016, 2:36 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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Originally Posted by jordmundt6 View Post
There's a book theory that Daario is some sort of blood-magic skinchanging disguise for Euron. Ugh. Things are looking pretty bleak after the last episode. *sighs*
lol.... That "theory" is sort of like "Howland Reed is the High Sparrow": all of the "evidence" is imagined by fans, not Martin, and all of the stuff that Martin has imagined that is at all consistent with the idea is incredibly weakly consistent: i.e., they have the same hair color.

At any rate, the last couple of episodes should have killed that idea.

Actually, this season killed a lot of stupid fan ideas. In addition to killing Euron==Daario and Howland Reed==High Sparrow, it also killed:
  1. Stannis is the true "hero" of the series (Stannis is not even a protagonist in the book series);
  2. The "Pink Letter" that Ramsay sends Jon was actually sent by Stannis/Theon/Mance/Roose/Tyrion/Varys/Benjen/Alliser Thorne/Third guy on the Left/ANYBODY other than Ramsay (none of whom would have half the knowledge in the letter);
  3. Jon would somehow "warg" into Ghost while dead, magically keep his human mind intact and then explore the north in order to find out the truth about the White Walkers [highly skilled dead wargs can leave traces of themselves in an animal, but they cannot leave their whole minds, and Jon is not a skilled warg);
  4. The Old Gods, not Melisandre, would be the ones to revive Jon (there never is any indication that the Old Gods can do anything like that);
  5. Euron actually is the true "antagonist" of the series (because it's just perfectly acceptable writing to give the main antagonist zero presence in the first 5 books of a 7 books series);
  6. Roose Bolton is a vampire (there is no indication that there are anything like vampires in Martin's universe);
  7. The North has long been preparing for a White Walker invasion and would immediately rally to stop it (everytime .
  8. Tommen, not Jaime or Tyrion, is the little brother prophesized to kill Cersei (a classic "let's pretend Martin's words mean nothing" just like certain HP fans did 10 years ago!); and, of course:
  9. Jon absolutely, in no way, could be Lyanna and Rhaegar's son!!!!!


There probably are some other ideas down there with the "Neville, not Harry, is the Chosen One" or "Harry's scar was a Summon Spell" or "Snape was at the graveyard at the end of Goblet" ideas. It might be that I've forgotten all of the dumb HP fan ideas (it's been nearly 10 years, after all!), but it seems like there are a lot more of them for Song of Ice and Fire. Of course, SoI&F is just as old and there have been 10 more years for fans to confuse their imaginings with Martin's imaginings.

And, of course, there are plenty of book fans who are convinced that Stannis will be alive-and-well at the end of the 6th book, that Jon will be running around in Ghost's body in the 6th book, that the Old Gods will be the ones to put Jon's mind back into his somehow revived body, etc., etc. Of course, at this point, there also are a growing number of book fans who are conceding that we'll never read the 7th book, and that we even might not ever read the 6th book.

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
Were it not for the steadying influence of Tyrion, she would be more of the former. Crucifying the masters and razing their cities? She'd make a good Bolton.
Or a good Lannister. Or a good Baratheon. This is a world in which "Carthage solutions" are not as extreme as they are in our world. At any rate, the idea to which the "Daeny haters" cling so desperately, i.e., that Daeny is bordering on insanity, is (to be blunt) just sexist nonsense. Most of it is driven by Fantasy FanBoys who are afraid of girls: and (sadly) that is a notable demographic in the general "epic fantasy" fandom.


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So we see the end of the houses of Bolton, Frey and Baratheon. (Although Pod may be Robert's ******* son.)
Pod is a member of a minor noble family. He never is connected to Robert, save that the actor playing Pod and the actor playing Gendry look enough much more alike than do most TV brothers. However, they almost never use that as a criterion for casting siblings. Weirdly, some fans got the idea in their head that Meera and Jon were twins, and they were crushed when the wet-nurse presented Young-Ned with only one infant. (Of course, Jon and Meera look nothing alike in the books.)

Regardless, *******s are not part of Houses in Westeros, unless a monarch legitimizes them, or unless a young lady with much more moxie than height (and an adorable accent) legitimizes them with a stirring speech. So, House Baratheon is pretty much done. It turns out that Tommen's heir (pretending that he is a Baratheon) is none other than... Jaime Lannister! (He's some third cousin to the Baratheons with a Baratheon great-greatgrandmother.)

As for House Frey, they are far from done: there are lots and lots more Freys. Arya killed one of Walder's legitimate son's, but he has dozens more. (In fact, I think that his heir is one of his grandsons, as his eldest son is dead.)

House Bolton probably is extinguished. Oh, Ramsay probably has some cousin or another who would inherit, but my bet is that they will be Castamered for all intents and purposes. However, we probably will not get that catchy song from it!

Houses Glover and Karstark look to be in jeapordy, too: although, again, they probably have Cousin Matthew analogs somewhere.

The fate of House Stark is a bit uncertain, too. It seems very improbable that Bran will ever become Lord of Winterfell, never mind have descendants. Jon is now King in the North, and I guess de facto Jon Stark: but eventually everyone is going to learn that he's either Jon Targaryen or Jon Sands or whatever his ******* name would be. Sansa might take over: but given the sexist nature of Westeros, would they count her offspring as Starks? (Still, it looks like we'll have a Queen of the Iron Islands and a Queen of Westeros: I am still betting on a Queen in the North before it is all said and done.)

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Originally Posted by jordmundt6 View Post
Um, I don't think so. I think she has more in common with the Cat of the Canals than any of the Bolton's. Someone care to explain where the theory came from that Pod could be the result of one of Robert's frolics? I don't get that sense. I do wish Gendry would make another appearance, though.
If he does reappear, then it will be in Arya's storyline. I would not be surprised to see them hook up in the end: Robert's line about how he had a son and Ned had a daughter etc. foreshadows that.


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Last edited by Wimsey; August 29th, 2016 at 3:00 pm.
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  #869  
Old September 30th, 2016, 1:36 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

Well, I am sort of new to this series so I apologize if some of my comments will come across as idiotic to more hard core fans (I've read the last three books and watched the last two seasons so far; yeah, I know my chronology is way off).

I loved season six finale, I think season seven holds a lot of promise. In a way, it feels like the story is just beginning as the minor annoyances and obstacles have finally been eliminated. I do wonder about Jon Snow and his parentage. Is the implication of his being Rhaegar's son that he now has a claim to the Iron Throne because he's a Targaryen? Does that mean we have a Dany/Jon faceoff to look forward to in the next season? Also, does this mean Jon also has Dany's dragon-controlling powers as well as immunity to fire? From what I gathered, those powers come with having Targaryen blood but it could be that Dany is just special for some reason.

I'm also curious about Sansa and whether she was even a little bit tempted by Littlefinger's "vision". When Jon is declared King of North, Sansa and Littlefinger exchange a meaningful look. Maybe it didn't sit well with her that Jon didn't let her have the title?

Quote:
And, of course, there are plenty of book fans who are convinced that Stannis will be alive-and-well at the end of the 6th book,
He was well and alive at the end of the book five so I was a bit surprised when he died in season five. I know the series is ahead of the books but they changed some story lines quite a lot. For example, Asha was Stannis's prisoner in book five yet in the show their paths didn't cross. (Also, the name change for Asha is just so pointless. I mean, Osha died before Asha was even introduced so why would anyone confuse the two? The actresses do look a bit similar but not that much, IMO).

So it's interesting that the show has made such huge changes from the books in a way which leaves fans with two different versions of the same story. I suppose the end game will be the same in both the show and the books because anything else would be very strange indeed. Still, the canon discussions in the GoT fandom must be fascinating. We harp on it so much in the HP fandom and I know the HP movies are generally not considered canon and are always trumped by the books. Yet the GoT show seems to have a life of its own so I kind of wonder which version of events do fans consider to be the "official" one.



Last edited by Sereena; September 30th, 2016 at 1:40 pm.
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  #870  
Old October 2nd, 2016, 2:33 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Well, I am sort of new to this series so I apologize if some of my comments will come across as idiotic to more hard core fans (I've read the last three books and watched the last two seasons so far; yeah, I know my chronology is way off).
No need to apologize! I've read all five books and a little of the World of ice and Fire and have watched all seasons of the show multiple times and still miss a lot and don't know everything, it's such a dense, complex series. I just got into this whole franchise in 2014. You really ought to separate the books and show into two separate continuities because they are diverging especially now from the books which aren't even finished yet. The books are the true canon and the show is like the HP films, their own separate universe similar to the books but really their own thing and not really canon. As with HP, I love and enjoy both in their way though the GoT show at least makes sense on its own grounds unlike the HP films which are kinda confusing for non book readers. The show stands on its own more successfully than the HP films IMO.

Quote:
I loved season six finale, I think season seven holds a lot of promise. In a way, it feels like the story is just beginning as the minor annoyances and obstacles have finally been eliminated. I do wonder about Jon Snow and his parentage. Is the implication of his being Rhaegar's son that he now has a claim to the Iron Throne because he's a Targaryen? Does that mean we have a Dany/Jon faceoff to look forward to in the next season? Also, does this mean Jon also has Dany's dragon-controlling powers as well as immunity to fire? From what I gathered, those powers come with having Targaryen blood but it could be that Dany is just special for some reason.
I wouldn't call the first five or six seasons as minor annoyances, pretty major events and wars and regime changes and characters lives and deaths etc but things are definitely moving towards an end game now.

Jon Snow was revealed to be the secret son of Rheagar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark as many, many fans speculated for many years although the show doesn't actually name Rhaegar as the father, it is strongly implied. Ned had kept his true identity a secret to honor his sister's wish and his promise to her and to keep him safe from King Robert who wanted all Targaryens dead, women and children included. He never even told his wife Cat who hated Jon as a sign of her husbands infidelity but that in itself was a protection for Jon as it strengthened the story that he was his ******* and not a secret Targaryen.

This definitely technically makes Jon the rightful heir to the Iron Throne of Westeros since Dany is his aunt making her like Stannis would have been to Joffery if Joffery really was Robert's son. It is important to note that not all Targaryens are immune to fire. Remember Dany's brother is killed with fire and Jon himself was burned when he threw a lantern at a wight in season 1. In-fact in the books, even Dany herself isn't immune to fire, the time she birthed the dragons was a special occasional ritual and a one-time kinda magic thing according to the author. In the universe of the show though, Dany is immune to fire though not all Targaryens are. I see it kinda like the magic gene in HP, it can skip generations and some people in the same family can be born with it or without it and even muggle borns can be born witches and wizards.


Quote:
I'm also curious about Sansa and whether she was even a little bit tempted by Littlefinger's "vision". When Jon is declared King of North, Sansa and Littlefinger exchange a meaningful look. Maybe it didn't sit well with her that Jon didn't let her have the title?
Great observation! I noticed that too. She looked kinda guilty to me too, like she still wants to please Littlefinger and feels indebted to him for saving her. Littlefinger wanted her to be Queen of the North and for her to marry him making him king of the north. This could foreshadow strife between Sansa and Jon in season 7 or maybe Littlefinger betrays the Starks? We will see.

Quote:
He was well and alive at the end of the book five so I was a bit surprised when he died in season five. I know the series is ahead of the books but they changed some story lines quite a lot. For example, Asha was Stannis's prisoner in book five yet in the show their paths didn't cross. (Also, the name change for Asha is just so pointless. I mean, Osha died before Asha was even introduced so why would anyone confuse the two? The actresses do look a bit similar but not that much, IMO).
Yeah this is a clear example of how the books and show are their own things. Stnanis is still alive and well in the books but he is definitely dead in the show. I can understand why they changed Asha to Yara, I think it does sound too similar to Osha who is now dead in the show.


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  #871  
Old November 20th, 2016, 6:28 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
He was well and alive at the end of the book five so I was a bit surprised when he died in season five.
Actually, he is dead in some plotlines, but not others. GRRM synchronizes his plot according to story, not time. Jon learns of Stannis' death at the very end of Dance with Dragons, shortly before he is assassinated. In the book, the uproar that arises from Ramsay's letter (which is read to the Nights Watch and the Wildlings at the same time) provides the cover for the "Nationalists" to attack Jon.

There are a handful of places that have tried to reconstruct how the different chapters line up against each other. There are some small quibbles, but the general pattern is the same.

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
I know the series is ahead of the books but they changed some story lines quite a lot. For example, Asha was Stannis's prisoner in book five yet in the show their paths didn't cross. (Also, the name change for Asha is just so pointless. I mean, Osha died before Asha was even introduced so why would anyone confuse the two? The actresses do look a bit similar but not that much, IMO).
?? Osha did not die until this season, whereas Yara/Asha was introduced in Season 2. Both characters appeared in the same episode multiple times. (Osha has not yet died in the books, too, although one would infer that she is probably going to die or disappear completely from the plotline in Winds of Winter: or she will if GRRM ever publishes it.)

And, of course the names had to be changed: two names separated solely by one vowel would sound indistinguishable to a huge chunk of the audience, particularly given the large numbers of accents used on the show.

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
So it's interesting that the show has made such huge changes from the books in a way which leaves fans with two different versions of the same story.
This is the important thing to remember. Benioff & Weiss know what the stories are behind each novel and thus each season. So far, every season has told the same story as the corresponding novel(s). (Season 5 lumped "Feast for Crows" and "Dance with Dragons", but those were part 1 and part 2 of the same story: GRRM originally intended them to be 1 large novel, then split them with the idea that Dragons would come out half a year after Crows. It did: if you live on Jupiter.... )

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Still, the canon discussions in the GoT fandom must be fascinating. We harp on it so much in the HP fandom and I know the HP movies are generally not considered canon and are always trumped by the books.
It is the same as it was here. GRRM has even chimed in by stressing that the concept of "canon" is useless and pointless in storytelling. He always uses questions such as "How many Children/Husbands did Scarlett O'Hara have?" The numbers are different in the novel and in the movie, after all. And his answer is: "She is a fictional character and therefore never had any husbands/children/whatevers." He also has been very open about the fact that he would have done things quite differently had he been writing this for TV. (GRRM wrote quite a bit for TV early in career, after all.) Indeed, he, himself, wrote a couple of episodes that "change canon" on the grounds that he thought it worked better on TV than what he put in the book(s).

There are, of course, some fans who are fans of the "world-building," and the series upsets them greatly. And, like Rowling fans, many have convinced themselves that GRRM must hate the series. In particular, the fact that he has not written any episodes for the last two seasons is used as big evidence of this. Of course, GRRM told us 2+ years ago that he was not going to write anything for Season 5 because he needed to finish Winds of Winter before Season 6. He claims to be hard at work on it, but he obviously badly, badly blew that deadline! At this point, I think that the best for which we can hope is that it comes out before the series ends.

That stated, the cadre of fans who are in it for the story are generally satisfied. GRRM's last two novels (particularly the 4th one) were not popular with a lot of readers due to the very poor quality of the story-telling relative to the first three novels. (Basically, the reaction to Crows was like the reaction to Order of the Phoenix multiplied several thousand times!) That, coupled with with GRRM's glacial pace at publishing, has left him with far fewer "blindly loyal" fans than JKR had.

And, after all: for those of us who were arguing about who Jon's mother really was on Usenet groups nearly 20 years ago, it is absolutely ridiculous that we finally got confirmation of the most widely accepted hypothesis on the screen adaptation rather than in one of the novels!


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  #872  
Old November 28th, 2016, 7:48 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

My problem with GRRM is that he's on live journal continually and seemingly not finishing Winds of Winter!

I still like to keep books and series separate. Having said that I enjoy both of them and there's merit in both, but if i'd to cross over the stories in both to keep track of who's who, who's doing what or who's alive or not my brain would be fried

Spoiler: show
I suppose the whole Young Griff story line won't go anywhere :roll:


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  #873  
Old December 9th, 2016, 10:29 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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My problem with GRRM is that he's on live journal continually and seemingly not finishing Winds of Winter!
My bet is that this is very much pennies on the pound, or even thousands of pounds!

That written, I suspect that he's just stuck: he seems to have become prone to over-thinking his plotlines, and writing much more convoluted narratives as a result. I will be surprised if Winter is released before the Series ends at this point, and I hold zero hope that he will actually finish writing the series himself.

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I still like to keep books and series separate. Having said that I enjoy both of them and there's merit in both, but if i'd to cross over the stories in both to keep track of who's who, who's doing what or who's alive or not my brain would be fried
Ultimately, it is the story that is important: and as GRRM himself constantly reminds his "purist" fans, both the show and the books are telling the same stories. The fates of the secondary, tertiary, quaternary and googleanary characters (i.e., everyone from Dorne) are not going to be important in the end. Then, it is going to be Daeny, Jon, and perhaps Tyrion, Arya, Bran and (maybe) Sansa. There will be some equivalent or equivalents of "Going alone to the forest" for those characters in which everything that has built him/her to what he/she is then as opposed to what he/she was at the onset of Book 1/Season 1 is going to be huge.

Spoiler: show
I suppose the whole Young Griff story line won't go anywhere :roll:


No, that is almost certainly going to be just gratuitous world-building. Alas! As the Slytherins are wont to say, everyone reverts to type in the end.... What I really hope is that
Spoiler: show
the silly idea that Young Griff is a Blackfyre scion is not true. It would be a huge plot lapsus, as there is no way that a 4th or 5th cousin of Rhaegar's who has not had such a large amount of inbreeding in his family history would look so much like Rhaegar that Tyrion would be able to see through a disguise and mistake someone for Rhaegar's son. Moreover, it would be just completely gratuitous world-building: yes, the Blackfyres were in his faux history, but they already have served a purpose: i.e., a warning against the dangers of legitimizing *******s. We don't need to see them again. I mean, really, we do not: it would detract from the story!


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Last edited by Wimsey; December 9th, 2016 at 10:45 pm.
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  #874  
Old December 10th, 2016, 5:21 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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Ultimately, it is the story that is important: and as GRRM himself constantly reminds his "purist" fans, both the show and the books are telling the same stories.
I'm not sure the story is as all-important as you maintain. If just the story and the message of books/movies/TV shows is important, series like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones wouldn't be nearly as popular. It is often the world building that makes the stories stand out and makes the journey immersive and enjoyable. A story can be summed up in a sentence. E.g.,
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And it does shape up to be a story about the internal compromises needed to make allies and followers out of those that do not want to be allies or followers.
But it's the storytelling that makes a good series. So if a book and film adaptation diverge on the storytelling despite the same story, the results can be very different.


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  #875  
Old December 11th, 2016, 5:09 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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I'm not sure the story is as all-important as you maintain. If just the story and the message of books/movies/TV shows is important, series like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones wouldn't be nearly as popular. It is often the world building that makes the stories stand out and makes the journey immersive and enjoyable.
World-building appeals to a very small minority of the viewers/readers of these tales. Now, this is a sizable proportion of the "hardcore" fans: but the hardcore fans are only a subset of fans, and fans are only a subset of readers/viewers.

Thrones and Rings both offer good examples. For all that Tolkien fans complained about how so much of the world-building was cut, the films were very well-received by both critics and general audiences. Rings really stands out in that a lot of people who have zero use for the books think that the films are really good.

Thrones is similar. Yes, a ton of GRRM's world-building is cut, and many fans are howling about that. However, it is extremely well-received by critics, and very popular with people otherwise have no use for fantasy.

The flip-side is that there are no popular series of these sorts that get by solely on world-building. If there was a market for it, then it would be exploited: and, let's face it, Hollywood will take any shortcut to peddle TV or films.


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But it's the storytelling that makes a good series. So if a book and film adaptation diverge on the storytelling despite the same story, the results can be very different.
That depends on what you mean by the result! At any rate, GRRM has said that if he fails to complete the series (and that is nearly certain at this point), then the TV show will be the only conclusion that we get. So, clearly he is expecting the same result! (Of course, he has been heavily involved in the making of the show: he was writing an episode or two a year until HBO told him to finish the book series; evidently, they are really not happy that the book series is not complete for whatever reasons.)



EDIT: Whoops! I forgot to list one of the biggest draws of these types of series. The mysteries rather than world-buildings are far bigger draws for series like SoI&F and Harry Potter. General audiences are much more interested in questions like "What is Harry's scar" or "What is Snape up to doing?" or "Who is Jon's Mother?" or "Who will be the three dragon riders?" than they are in learning about Hogwarts or Westeros. Over-arching plots in general have a huge effect on the audiences. This was first realized nearly 20 years ago when people noticed that "arc" episodes for the X-Files had much higher ratings than non-arc episodes. It turns out that the same had been true for Babylon 5, and more recently we've seen it for Lost, Doctor Who and other series with season-long or multi-season arcs.


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Old December 13th, 2016, 4:28 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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World-building appeals to a very small minority of the viewers/readers of these tales. Now, this is a sizable proportion of the "hardcore" fans: but the hardcore fans are only a subset of fans, and fans are only a subset of readers/viewers.

Thrones and Rings both offer good examples. For all that Tolkien fans complained about how so much of the world-building was cut, the films were very well-received by both critics and general audiences. Rings really stands out in that a lot of people who have zero use for the books think that the films are really good.

Thrones is similar. Yes, a ton of GRRM's world-building is cut, and many fans are howling about that. However, it is extremely well-received by critics, and very popular with people otherwise have no use for fantasy.

The flip-side is that there are no popular series of these sorts that get by solely on world-building. If there was a market for it, then it would be exploited: and, let's face it, Hollywood will take any shortcut to peddle TV or films.
Good points, and perhaps "world-building" was a poor choice of words here. Of course TV- and moviegoers don't want to watch an hour or two of pure world-building (e.g., focusing only on the scenery, the magical theory, family histories, character backgrounds), but successful stories are those that have a clearly laid out (and visually pleasing) backdrop, intriguing characters, gripping conflict, etc. I maintain that the underlying story is almost subservient (in the eyes of the viewers) to the way the story's told (e.g., how interesting are the characters, how gripping is the action, how immersive the world is) and the plot (which I see you've addressed later).

I have a hard time believing John Doe actively watches Game of Thrones to follow how characters, for instance, choose between two bad choices. Rather, to paraphrase an acquaintance of mine, he may watch it for the dragons, violence, and nudity. Sure, he keeps watching it (subconsciously, perhaps) because of the underlying story, but for the most part he tunes in for the action, the scandal, and the conflicts within the world (without necessarily drawing parallels to our world). Meanwhile, the critics see the underlying story as the nonpareil and the world of Westeros a fitting means of conveying that story. But consistent between the two motivations for watching Thrones are both the story and the telling - good books, films, and shows have both. There's a reason Aesop's fables are not simply the morals.
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Originally Posted by Wimsey
That depends on what you mean by the result!
A difficult thing to define, but I would say a resemblance of the overall structure supporting the story (e.g., narrative and plot). If only the story need be consistent between a book and its film/TV adaptation, then you could have Harry Potter become Game of Thrones in the transition, for instance. Let's say the story is how one chooses between a rock and a hard place. In The Book, that story is told by how a boy wizard sacrifices himself so that others don't have to die any more. In The Movie, that story is told by how a noble b*****d chooses to save his family rather than uphold his vows. Or, a five-year-old likes turkey but not beef, but he chooses the beef on his plate so that it doesn't go to waste. The "stories" (in these diluted, extreme, and rather ludicrous examples) are the same (or pretend they are!)! But the narratives and the plots are entirely different (saying nothing of the settings and characters). Is that, then, a successful adaptation so long as the "story" is preserved?

Obviously I'm perverting your point a bit, and I don't mean to put words into your mouth. But with any good story comes a good supporting cast that makes the story worth reading/watching. When that supporting cast is altered in a transition in media, I think it's understandable that fans of the old medium might have difficulty in enjoying the new telling of the story. Clearly, the different means of telling a story require some different tools - I do not disagree all together with your literary gills and cinematic lungs analogy. But there are many things that need to be retained in the transition other than just the story - otherwise they can become entirely separate narratives.

[Part of this discussion, of course, centers around the definition of "story" being discussed here. "Story" seems to have as many definitions and non-definitions as a word/idea can have. If I'm misconstruing your interpretation here, then forgive me. But in this and other threads you seem to boil down the "story" into "ten words or less," which is a very different meaning to "story" than a lot of folks would have.]

I did not mean in my previous post to comment directly on the adaptation of Thrones from book to show. My point is that the story may not be the primary reason people consume any form of literature and that the narrative, plots, characters, action, setting, etc. all have a large role to play in an individual's enjoyment of the story.


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Old December 13th, 2016, 11:57 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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[Part of this discussion, of course, centers around the definition of "story" being discussed here. "Story" seems to have as many definitions and non-definitions as a word/idea can have. If I'm misconstruing your interpretation here, then forgive me. But in this and other threads you seem to boil down the "story" into "ten words or less," which is a very different meaning to "story" than a lot of folks would have.]
Well, there is the definition of story, and how people use the word! Often "story" is confused with "plot" or even "narration." However, the best contrast I remember is a literature teacher stressing that a history is all plot, and a history book is a narrative, but history does not create a story. By the same token, characters in a story will be aware of the plots in the same way that we are aware of world-events, or at least some of them. However, they are not aware of the story: Jon has no idea that the types of "Am I person A or Person B" choices that he's had to make over the last few years parallel neatly those of Daenerys Targaryen and vice-versa. Similarly, Tyrion, Bran and Arya (and, on TV, Sansa) do not realize that their own ironing out of personal inconsistencies parallel and mirror those of the other protagonists.

GRRM himself has said that these are Faulkneresque stories that stem from internal conflict. This has come up when some of his fans try to get him to agree that changes on the show change the story: and he's always pointed out that these changes just put one of the main characters in the same sort of circumstance that he/she faces in the books, and it's the sort of circumstance that is important to the story, not the exact circumstance itself.

This is, however, the biggest problem for a certain class of fans. The ones that we label "purists" really tend to be people who look at SoI&F (or Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings) as documentaries rather than as stories. The books give "what really happened." However, the authors never set out to create documentaries: not even Tolkien! So, whether Merry has a Numenorean sword in his hand or not has no effect on the story of Death and Immortality: Merry risking all to put something point into the Witch Kings knee is what contributes to that story!

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I have a hard time believing John Doe actively watches Game of Thrones to follow how characters, for instance, choose between two bad choices.
Why? When you look at the other shows that GoT viewers watch (given HBO's data), that is one of the common themes. Faulkneresque stories are the staple of cable TV series: Breaking Bad, Sopranos, Mad Men all told different types of stories of this nature. Now, the GoT audience has been augmented by Fantasy fans: but the typical viewer is much older (40's) and much better off (6 digit salaries) than the typical fantasy fan.


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  #878  
Old December 14th, 2016, 7:37 am
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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I have a hard time believing John Doe actively watches Game of Thrones to follow how characters, for instance, choose between two bad choices.
Haha yeah, that's probably right. I don't read what GRRM says about GoT so maybe that's why I never viewed the story as being about choices. My intepretation is that it's about power (different types of power) and what one would or wouldn't do to get it. Which is probably similar to it being about choices. To bring in the HP series a bit, GoT is an illustration of "Slytherins gone wild" as most characters fit more or less neatly in that house. So that's how I viewed it and that's what drew me to both the books and the TV show. The whole thing is like a chess game where each character makes a move that will either benefit or harm the others in their way to achieving their ends.

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This is, however, the biggest problem for a certain class of fans. The ones that we label "purists" really tend to be people who look at SoI&F (or Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings) as documentaries rather than as stories. The books give "what really happened." However, the authors never set out to create documentaries: not even Tolkien! So, whether Merry has a Numenorean sword in his hand or not has no effect on the story of Death and Immortality: Merry risking all to put something point into the Witch Kings knee is what contributes to that story!
I agree that there's no need to get hung up on details. Whether a character says this or that or has this hair color or that one or what spell/weapon is used to kill someone is indeed irrelevant to the overall point. However, I would disagree that major changes should not matter to the fans at all. If we're talking nerd culture and online communities dedicated to a book or movie, then a major part of it is getting into the nitty-gritty and knowing all there is to know about a fictional universe and its characters. Same goes for discussions. It's impossible to discuss Sansa, for example, if the fans cannot agree on which Sansa they are discussing. Furthermore, it's a suspension of disbelief sort of thing as well. Even in a fictional universe there needs to be cohesion. Two versions of the same event cannot co-exist. If they do, as it's usually the case with book-to-movie adaptations, then the fans usually choose which one they consider to be the "real one". Of course we all know that neither Westeros nor the characters are real but again for a story to work there need to be some facts which everyone accepts as being true. I cannot go around saying that Arya killed Joffrey without anyone correcting me on it. That's simply incorrect even if neither Arya nor Joffrey actually exist. Otherwise what's to stop an author from making changes from one chapter to another for example? Suddenly maybe Arya's the one who can control dragons, or Sansa. Would that not matter as long as it's still about hard choices? Would that not stop anyone from immersing themselves into the experience?

And also, whether or not something which got changed in the TV show is important or not to the overall point also depends on what one thinks the overall point is. I think Stannis sacrificing his daughter in the TV show relates to the point of the story as I see it (power). If that doesn't happen in the books, then sure that's fine too but that particular point would be lost. Sansa marrying Ramsay also contributes to her character development. If she doesn't marry him in the books, then I think it would be difficult to create a different circumstance for her that would allow her that same development. Theon actually helping Sansa escape and not a servant girl posing as Arya (IIRC) also makes a stronger point about his character and his allegiance to House Stark. And so on. Not even GRRM himself can say which changes were or weren't relevant because not everyone sees the story as being about the same thing.


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Old December 14th, 2016, 4:22 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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If we're talking nerd culture and online communities dedicated to a book or movie, then a major part of it is getting into the nitty-gritty and knowing all there is to know about a fictional universe and its characters.
No it is not! We saw that with Harry Potter: the people who got hung up on the nitty-gritty and the world building were the ones who were most wildly wrong about what would happen in Deathly Hallows 10 years ago.

This is true with Thrones as well. The phrase "losing the forest for the trees" is an apt one here: by putting too much emphasis on details and ignoring the general patterns, many Thrones fans barked wildly up the wrong trees. (Damn: that actually works despite being a mixed metaphor!) Robb Stark was not the hero of the series: and neither was Stannis (although some fans still are asserting that the Winds of Winter book will "correct" that). Littlefinger is not the mastermind agent provacateur working on behalf f the White Walkers.

Of course, part of the issue here also is: "What is a major change?" Is Barristan dying when he did a major change? Some fans think so. Others consider it a trivial detail. GRRM himself has said that none of the changes are major: but, of course, his fans (like Rowlings' fans) are convinced that he really hates the adaptations and is just lying for contractual reasons.....

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Furthermore, it's a suspension of disbelief sort of thing as well. Even in a fictional universe there needs to be cohesion. Two versions of the same event cannot co-exist. If they do, as it's usually the case with book-to-movie adaptations, then the fans usually choose which one they consider to be the "real one".
Neither one is real: there is no such thing as "canon." Martin's apt example is that the correct answer to how many children Scarlett O'Hare had is: she never existed in the first place.

Moreover, what is important to the over-arching stories in series like Thrones or Harry Potter is how the protagonists (or single protagonist in the case of HP) evolve. Jon's evolution and Daeny's evolution strongly parallel one another's: and from that, we can bet that in the big crunch moment, many of the key features that have come to typify both (particularly the ability to see enemies as beings and empathy with the hated/downtrodden) are going to be huge.

Now, for the plot (which obviously is a very different beast from story), there has to be connections, and thus perhaps what you mean by "cohesion." Something cannot be both true and untrue in key moments. But this is like "Sharp, strong, slicing mechanism" for a predatory animal: it can be teeth in one case, or claws in another, just as long as it accomplishes the gestalt task of allowing one animal to eat another.

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Would that not matter as long as it's still about hard choices?
Conflicted, not hard! There is a subtle but important distinction! Harry Potter stories were all variant of "hard/right vs. wrong/easy" choices. It was very Dickensesque. SoI&F stories are about confronting internal inconsistencies: it is wrong to not do Action A because of Value 1 but wrong to do Action B because of Value 2. I.e., damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't. It's all very Faulkneresque. (And, of course, both Rowling and Martin have expressed great admiration for Dickens and Faulkner respectively.)

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I think Stannis sacrificing his daughter in the TV show relates to the point of the story as I see it (power).
The story that year was "Kill the boy/girl, become the man/woman." In the case of all the characters, it came down to who they had been was at odds with who they wanted/needed to be. If there was a thematic point to Stannis' actions (GRRM is not as big on those as Rowling is), then it was "moral absolutism gets you and others killed. Stannis is not religious, but he adheres very strictly to the moral-code of "honor." He is honor-bound to do everything he can to restore his family to the Iron Throne, and because he actually has come to accept that the White Walkers are real and that he's the one who has to do something about it. (GRRM himself is an avowed agnostic who Catholic parents: and thus he has a very jaded view towards moral absolutism; he's been very open about how this has affected all of his works.)

Indeed, something that a lot of people miss (in both books and show) is that Davos, not Stannis, is the protagonist in the bulk of the storylines emphasizing Stannis. Stannis is an absolutist: he cannot handle any sort of moral ambiguity. Instead of puzzling out a new behavioral algorithm, he gets stuck. Davos' primary job is to reorient Stannis to do the "least wrong" thing. This creates huge binds for Davos, who is extremely loyal to Stannis and who genuinely loves the man despite Stannis' many flaws.

Indeed, one line from their interactions in particular is almost surely going to be important in the end. Stannis has no problem sacrificing one of Robert's *******s for the war-effort. After all, generals throughout history have sacrificed a small number of troops to help the larger army (i.e., a gambit). To the military mind, one life is nothing against millions. However, Davos' tells him that sometimes one ******* boy's life is that important. This is not going to be relevant for Gendry or Edric: but Jon. He's going to understand just how much honor Ned sacrificed to save Jon from Robert. And in the big crunch moment concerning the White Walkers, that's going to be big.

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Not even GRRM himself can say which changes were or weren't relevant because not everyone sees the story as being about the same thing.
Actually, yes, the author can say it. After all, it is his story: and if you've got it wrong, then he has every right to say so. Now, we can debate how whether this means that GRRM did a poor job of telling the story, or whether he subconsciously let another story slip into the tale. For example, people do this all the time with Tolkien: Tolkien wrote that Lord of the Rings is a story about Death and Immortality, and one can sort of see that. However, some Tolkien scholars (and, yes, there is such a thing!) have argued cogently that Tolkien really wrote a story about Restoring/Preserving Natural Order, and that eliminating Immortality from the Mortal World was just <em>part</em> of that. (Rings is a very different type of story from Potter or SoI&F, as the story comes from plot rather than protagonists: after all, there are no protagonists in LotR!)

And, of course, your literature teachers certainly thought that they could, too. After all, when you wrote short essays about what a particular story was, or comparing and contrasting two stories, not all answers were equal!


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Last edited by Wimsey; December 14th, 2016 at 4:26 pm.
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Old December 14th, 2016, 4:58 pm
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Re: A Game of Thrones

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No it is not! We saw that with Harry Potter: the people who got hung up on the nitty-gritty and the world building were the ones who were most wildly wrong about what would happen in Deathly Hallows 10 years ago.
So what if they were wrong? My point is that was the enjoyable part. You cannot have a community of people devoted to a book series or a show in which you cannot agree on which version of events you discuss or focus on. That was my point. It has nothing to do with how correct one's theories are.

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Neither one is real: there is no such thing as "canon."
If that's your opinion, that's fine of course. But I'm afraid many people don't share it. From what I've seen, it's generally considered that even a fictional universe has certain facts about it which everyone accepts to be true. Canon is a well established concept with its own definition. The position that canon doesn't exist makes literary analysis impossible. One has to determine what is or isn't part of the story in order to know what one analyzes. And the same applies to theories, since you brought them up. If there are no facts then how can there be theories? What are the theories based on?

Without a canon or "facts" you would not be able to say this about Davos and conduct an analysis of his character and role in the story: "Indeed, one line from their interactions in particular is almost surely going to be important in the end. Stannis has no problem sacrificing one of Robert's *******s for the war-effort. [...] However, Davos' tells him that sometimes one ******* boy's life is that important.[...] "

Quote:
Martin's apt example is that the correct answer to how many children Scarlett O'Hare had is: she never existed in the first place.
Schrondinger's Scarlett, then? For people who are interested in her character, it will matter a great deal how many children she had, if any.

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Conflicted, not hard! There is a subtle but important distinction! Harry Potter stories were all variant of "hard/right vs. wrong/easy" choices.
Okay. Point was, would you be ok with events being changed from book to book or chapter to chapter as long as the story is still about conflicted choices, then? Honest question.

Quote:
Actually, yes, the author can say it. After all, it is his story: and if you've got it wrong, then he has every right to say so.
It doesn't mean that somebody's got it wrong if the story means something different to them than it means to the author or to another reader. That's just the nature of literature. If you ask five people what GoT is about (or HP for that matter), you'll probably get five different answers. Some may be ridiculous but others quite reasonable. If a work of art is good, then it usually lends itself to different interpretations. If it's too black and white or clear cut, it's usually not good.

So yes, I stand by my original point: no one can say what is or isn't a relevant change, especially when it comes to changes as big as some in the TV show. And for those who read the books because they are drawn to the psychology of the characters for example, it will matter a great deal what the characters do and how they act.

It seems like you assume that because the message of the work is the most important thing to you that it should also be the most important thing for other readers/viewers. Am I understanding you correctly? Whereas I'm trying to say that people are interested in a book or TV show for different reasons and therefore, depending on the reason, those people might find some changes to be jarring.



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