HBO's Game of Thrones Season Two [SPOILERS for EVERYTHING ASOIAF!!]

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by teahupoo, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    Thanks for pointing this out; it seems to be a pretty common misconception that George is "okaying" everything on the show which, as you've pointed out, is not the case at all. It's not his show, and they do not ask his approval on their decisions.
     
  2. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    Minor update: George says it will be 10 episodes, and he will be writing Episode 7, entitled "Autumn Storms".
     
  3. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    I don't have a problem with the sex scenes as sex scenes. I have a problem with poor choices and changes in story structure that I find to be a mistake (which did happen to include the sex scenes but not just because it's sex.) This is a very large war story, whether they stick like glue to Martin's text or veer around parts, and so some of the little experiments they're doing I think work against doing that story. Having yet another brothel sequence and showing yet again that Littlefinger is a psychotic with deep anger towards women was pretty much a huge waste of time. They are spending too much time on Littlefinger so far, in my view, who plays a key role but not as much in the beginning and not certainly requiring so much screentime as they're giving him, much as I like the actor playing him. Roz worked great in short bits as an expository device. Giving her an imaginary story arc of greater scope in a story stuffed already with them means that far more important and interesting things are getting cut and characters are getting cut or delayed from appearing.

    Theon's sequence was also way too long. It could have been shortened, and yes, the sex scene could have been cut even though it's in the book, or at least cut in half. We've already seen Theon having sex, being a jerk and know what his ambitions and dilemmas are from Season 1, where they added scenes for him that worked much better, and that sexposition scene had the least exposition of any so far, so again, complete waste of time. But really the whole sequence besides the sex scene could have been done faster. I like the Iron Island folk, but much of the story is not about them this time.

    The Stannis-Melissandre scene wasn't so much unnecessary as it was a radical change that completely re-set the two characters, and was incredibly hokey besides, a Skinnemax special down to the miniature figures clattering to the floor and horrible dialogue (at least they give Littlefinger good dialogue.) Plus Stannis' daughter -- who plays a small but significant role -- has been wiped out, along with the info about grayscale, and presumably also the fool's prophecies. The "son" Melissandre is promising would presumably be the shadow that will kill Renly, but it's one of those changes that the writers think is terribly clever but for me just fell flat. It felt again like a colossal waste of time. I don't mind having a couple of sex scenes that work in the story -- sexposition is fun and was very well done last year. I mind putting the whole story on hold just to have the largely unerotic sex scenes because HBO seems to be under the mistaken impression that this is the biggest selling point of the show.

    I also had mixed feelings about the Tyrion-Cersei scene. It was of course beautifully acted and had some key info, but again, it felt a bit like spinning wheels over old ground. I did enjoy Tyrion's disposing of Slynt and Bronn, a change that made sense. I loved the Jon and Sam material, even though it's still setting things up, and the Arya and Gendry sequences were good, but again, mostly set-up since Arya wasn't really touched on in Episode 1. Danys' scenes were brief, emotional and again mostly placeholders, but they couldn't really advance her story far forward yet and that should happen fairly fully in the next episodes. Davos' stuff was good, if mostly expository. I liked the religious son approach.

    Basically, I had expected things to get moving in Episode 2 and instead they mostly squatted and waited, only occasionally peaking my interest. I would say that this is the weakest episode they've had. I'm hoping that really they will go back to the book, or if they're going to make changes, at least make interesting ones that work with the story, instead of hokey ones that don't really fit the show. My big concern is that everything is weighted towards a CGI and set blow-out at the end and so other key sequences will get short-shrift. That was their one main weakness last season -- the tiny party of men for Robert's hunt, the oh the battle's already over, over there, for Rob's victory, etc. -- and I fear it will get worse. But I am willing to have faith. But not my favorite episode.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  4. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    Kat,

    I agree with you regarding Littlefinger. They're giving him too much screen time. Personally, I'm hoping this will be reduced in the next few episodes; if so, then I'm okay with it. But if they keep giving him this much screen time, I'd say it's a definite mistake.

    I disagree regarding Theon, however. I thought the captain's daughter scene was excellent. Despite being unpleasant, I always thought it was one of the most memorable scenes from the book, one that I've always remembered, and I thought they did a good job with it. Maybe it's effect has been lessened because of the Theon sex scenes that were invented for Season 1... but in the book I always found this to be one of the most telling scenes regarding Theon's true character, and I think that still holds true in the show.

    I also disagree regarding Stannis and Melisandre. How exactly is it a "radical change"? You do realize that they were having sex in the book, right? It was subtly implied, much like the Renly/Loras thing, but it was still in there. The only change is the removal of Shireen and "I will give you a son" line, but I'd hardly call that a radical change.
     
  5. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    I don't know the terms of their contract surrounding the IP, so I can't really comment. But I think George is more than an adviser since he co-writes some of Screen plays. But I get the point, he can't possibly be happy with everything.

    Also, yeah, the sex scenes are awful. I don't think they could turn on a horny frat house. But, as has been said, they're kind of meant to be that way. Spartacus glamourized sex, even sex in brothels with unwashed whores looked kinda fun. But in Game of Thrones everyone's a bit more 'real' looking, and the actions are... uh, real, I guess? Sex isn't really glamourous, especailly not with peasents or old, fat Lords.

    Also, the 10-episode thing makes me sad. Some shows which have basically no storyline get to run for 13, 18, 20, 22... Yet, we have to shove everything into 10? I saw Sophie Turner's audition tape the other day. It was the conversation between herself and Arya where Sansa wanted Arya to come into the Queen's carridge, but Arya wanted to play with Mycah. It's a shame it wasn't added in. All those little things like kids rushing off to find Rhaegar's rubies. Minor details. On the road to King's Landing is where I first fell in love with the book.

    Also, I agree that they do waste some scenes on people who don't need it - yet that's always been a problem. Remember in the last half of the last episode of season 1? We wasted a whole five minutes on a scene with Ros and Maester Pycelle. That was a finale!

    I am hoping that the sucess of Season One has given them more money to play with so they can actually have a Blackwater scene, for example. I mean, make some model boats and fly them round a river or something, guys. 8D
     
  6. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    GoT has short seasons because each episode is mahoosively expensive, as far as I know.
     
  7. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Yeah, GoT has 2 episodes less per season than True Blood but is about twice as expensive overall. To make 12 episodes they'd have to stretch their resources out and lose the ability to pack as much as they do into each episode.

    The writer-producers have also pointed out that making GoT is a pretty mental process. They're filming in three different countries thousands of miles apart. They're using two units simultaneously, filming scenes from several episodes at a time to make the most efficient use of locations. They have the largest regular cast and the largest recurring cast on television. And they're having to integrate CGI and human elements into numerous sequences (even shots that look free of effects usually have been manipulated in some way; the Red Waste scenes, for example, were filmed on a bit of sandy ground with all the desert vistas in the distance put in digitally, sometimes replacing the sea).

    Doing all that for 10 episodes requires six months of filming, three months of pre-production work and three months of post-production work. They can't physically make more episodes without a lot more money (which might make the show too expensive to produce) or more people involved (which might dilute the final product).
     
  8. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    It could have been a lot shorter, again as noted, because they'd already moved most of the material up into Season 1 in other Theon scenes. Which was a change I approved of. Again, I don't care if a sex scene is unerotic or unpleasant. But this is a matter of choosing scenes and getting in a lot of information, and so having Theon boast the same boasts for two and a half scenes was not doing that, I felt, and consequently, even though I like the guy who's playing Theon and think he'll make a great Reek, and I liked the guy playing Balon, it just sort of sagged for me.

    Actually, no, it's not entirely clear that they are. It's clear that people think they are and that Melisandre uses that and her looks, but turning her directly from sorceress who creates her own powerful magic to concubine, especially paired with the Roz brothel sequence, was, for me, a bad choice. Stannis has been changed from driven self-righteous marionette to grasping dupe desperate for an heir. That's kind of a big change. And Shireen has been increasingly hinted in the books of playing a key role to understanding a number of things in the story and with the Walkers, so removing her leaves several things up in the air. But mostly, the sex scene added nothing to the story, as far as I could tell, and so even though it was certainly the most erotic of the bunch, it was mostly annoying.

    I don't know, a lot of it just didn't work for me, more than usual niggles. It looks like the third episode may have a bit of the holding and set-up problem too, but Episode 4 should begin the major stuffage of events. It's a very difficult task that they have, dealing with this book.
     
  9. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    I have a few musings after reading Game of Thrones again, mostly about Sandor.

    I'm not one to complain about the sex scenes or uneeded scenes, really - because I'm mostly just high on the glee of seeing my favourite book series in motion.

    But now I kind of understand. I mean, Sandor is a huge fan favourite, and we know nothing about him yet. People who have not read the books still ask me who 'The Hound' is, and those who remember just know he's Joffrey's bodyguard. We don't know his feelings on Knights, his drunkeness, gruff, bitterness, anything of a relasionship towards Sansa or mention of 'little bird', whatever your thoughts are on such a relasionship. We also don't get to see Stranger, who is by far the most awesome horse in Westeros.

    I get that the main focus was the Lannister and Stark characters, but fgs, Theon got screen time in one that he did not need. Why can't we flesh out one of the most amazing characters people? I mean, I assume that they have read the entirely of the series and have some ideas upon direction? Did they find out which characters topped fan favourite polls? I'm not asking for much, one scene would have been enough for the entirely of the season. ONE.

    It's sad really, I was happy until I actually re-read the books and realized how little was shown in comparrison to others.

    I think there's certain things that don't come across to those who haven't read the books - like, watching it with my friend, she didn't realize Cersei had other children until Ned mentioned it to her in the courtyard. Critics are also saying it's hard to follow everyone and their cousins' storylines. I suppose the only up side is that it has driven a lot of people to actually read the books.
     
  10. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    This, a thousand times over.

    Most of this season has meant nothing to me. Partially it's due to almost a year between the end of S1 and the start of S2, but all of these characters have been introduced without so much as a "hello".

    I only found out who the redhead was thanks to one of Kat's latest posts. I had a guess the first time we saw her (which turned out to be right), but I would not be surprised if most people haven't really grasped who half of these characters are - I know I haven't.

    But according to a link Werthead retweeted yesterday, I found out who appears in Episode 3. I'm a happy bunny :D
     
  11. Daddy Darth

    Daddy Darth Boba Fett Lives

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    Well for my money season two is off to a great frikkin start. Each episode has ended with me literally begging for more, crying "no" to my tv. It all has such a big feel to it with amazing scenery and great acting, the great story hould go without saying but it's rockin. In brief I am loving it and don't find myself nit picking. People, we have here one pretty amazing piece of television to enjoy.

    Can't wait to see Brienne and have fingers crossed the Hound's character fills out a bit more and I think it will.

    Love, love, love it.
     
  12. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    If you're paying attention in season 1, we've learned quite a bit about him. But people don't pay attention, lol. They inserted a couple of bits in Season 1 so that his back story could come out, both in his talking and Littlefinger telling Sansa about him, foreshadowing the roles that both men will have in her life. He had the scene with his brother and is involved in a number of other scenes. They've also shown several times, mostly through facial expressions but also some speech, that the Hound is into Sansa. Most recently was during the name day scene in this season's first episode when Joffrey is ragging on Sansa and Sansa then saves a life. I think he's also already called her little bird once, but I could be wrong on that. And he has expressed his feelings on knights, back in Season 1. I'm also pretty sure that they aren't going to cut the Hound and Sansa's big scene for this season.

    Well there again, it's a lack of attention. There is a whole scene in Season 1, very early on, where Tyrion has breakfast with his siblings at Winterfell and the two younger children. He calls them by name, he jokes with them about themselves, they call him uncle, and it's very clear who they are. And again, he does this more briefly when he arrives at Kings Landing in Season 2.

    I agree that the intro to Melissandre was ham-fisted a bit. I was too happy squealing over Davos to care much though. :)
     
  13. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Or maybe we paid attention but it's been a year since it was on so we forgot things, especially more nuanced/mentioned-off-the-cuff aspects.
     
  14. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    I agree that the Hound hasn't had nearly enough screen time... but we did learn about him in Season 1, including the story of how he got his burn scars.

    Fortunately, one of the writers has assured us that there IS more Hound content coming our way this season...
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  15. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    As a writer, I'm told that if my reader's aren't paying attention it's my fault. As an actress, I was told the same. It's too risky to pretend that everyone is a scatterbrain. I'm sure some people are, but many aren't. ...To be fair, my friend is a bit, Hehe. I'm sure if I hadn't read the books I'd be lost sometimes. But, you get what I mean. Just like I told you that I didn't notice it so much because I was picking up on every little detail and screaming like a thirteen-year-old fangirl.

    But if you read the books, he has already had many scenes with Sansa by the end of Thrones, in which he explains the story himself, in confidence and with a little threat, to her. He also shows his feelings towards Knights in general, which makes his appointment as head of the Kingsguard and the leaving behind of his cloak more poinient. (Uh, can not spell that word. xD) He's already said Little Bird, and he has some good scenes when they are with Trent regarding Joffrey's behavoir. From series alone I could not tell you this man has EVER even touched a drink, for example. Because he just stands, stoic, lazily amused, and carries out his orders. Though I have loved the brief hints of kindness towards Sansa all the same.

    I do think we're going to get more though. I'm looking forward to Episodes 3 and 4 A LOT, A LOT, A LOT.

    Random side-note; I find it hallerious that now even my friends who haven't read the book think Bran is boring and wish his scenes would go away. 8D Mwhahaha.

    I love Ousha, though. Lewin, too, great.
     
  16. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Readers process text. Not all of them necessarily process every sentence you write. They don't necessarily pay attention to details that are important because those details don't particularly interest them. I've run into plenty of Martin readers who are surprised to hear that certain details are in the books. And readers also forget details. I forgot that Jon Arryn was actually killed by his wife because it had been years since I read the book that was in. My husband completely forgot that Tyrion participated in a gang rape for revenge on his wife, etc. That's why Wert's summaries of the books were so very useful.

    If you're on stage, that would make a bit more sense. In film/t.v., it's really the director who's in charge of that. This t.v. series is very hard for people because it's not what they're used to. What other series do you know that has an enormous backstory of a long winter, the sister of one character being kidnapped by the crown prince, then dies, the rebellion, the murders, the entire history of the dragon riders, the great war thousands of years ago and the history of the Wall, etc., etc. Usually, any mythos gets laid out for viewers in a t.v. series, but on this show, there's no time for that, so you get quick encapsulated histories in one person's speech. Even if the actor nails it, people don't necessarily remember all the information. Tyrion slapping Joffrey, sure. But who fought which battle during the rebellion that put Robert on the throne and subsequent rebellions? That kind of goes out the window. And if you don't catch a character's name when they say it, you may be wondering who it is for awhile. It took me about fifteen minutes after he'd spoken to realize Dolorous Edd, one of my favorite characters, was Dolorous Edd. That's why the sexposition scenes are an interesting gambit. They hook people's attention with the sex scene and get a chunk of information in that way. But it's nothing to do with being a scatterbrain -- they just have a lot of info and a lot of audio and visual imagery going on.

    That's because she's one of the pov characters in the books. In the t.v. series, she's only going to get her big moments -- the memorable ones and Sansa does not have as many action or big speech scenes as other characters. She will, though, have quite a bit of screentime I'd think in the last part of this season. Likewise, the Hound's character is established in the series, but he's a minor character who only gets front and center for his key scenes. They don't have to show him drinking all the time, just drunk in the scenes where it's a plot point. They did spend the time on him in Season 1, though, because he's got bigger roles in the next three seasons.

    I myself am resigned to Davos having limited screentime, except for perhaps the latter half of this season. But it is a frustration, that despite the scope of the series, it is a choice of how much and who less than the books. Which is why I had some issues with Episode 2. I have been impressed, though, at how the series has including many really minor characters they could have skipped, working them into scenes, giving them a line or two. Overall, they are still being very faithful to the books.

    And that is my preference. I don't want them to be completely limited by it. I don't mind Roz, et. al., but Martin's plots and much of his dialogue kind of write themselves. Sticking to it has gotten them a lot of the positive attention for this show, I think.
     
  17. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    Wait... Lysa killed Jon? Holy hell, that totally didn't register. A bit like when I got confused over the Others and the White Walkers, the zombie-dead and the... Scarier things. I guess you are right there.

    But in the end, it doesn't matter why people aren't able to follow, if they aren't able to follow you've got a problem. It seems some people are getting minor details confused, but the majority know what's going on, if vaguely. I still get many, many questions though. Especailly about the Stannis arc.

    I also don't mind the scenes. But I would have prefered that some scenes, such as Theon and Roz's mini-love story were replaced with getting to know minor-but-inportant characters, for ONE example, Sandor. We get to see how much of a scrote Theon is later, anyway, like in the Captain's cabin. I didn't really know he was that bad till Book 2 anyway, just a smirking jackass.
     
  18. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Well Theon isn't really that bad. He's messed up and he's a glory hound, who then goes through remarkable things, which is why they're taking some time with him. One of Martin's big themes is how children are shaped by the actions of their parents/relatives. The Lannisters under Tywin and Joffrey, Robert ignoring his children and scattering base-born kids, the Starks and Jon's experience as the base-born, unwanted Stark, Danys under the thumb of her brother, the Iron-born and Theon being from that culture but then raised in the Stark household as the unwanted prisoner/ward, the children of Dorne, etc. It's a generational thing. Sandor's relationship with his family and his brother -- who nearly kills him and destroyed his face -- also comes into play there and they spent time with that in the show. Whereas Micah, a favorite minor character of mine and an influence on Arya, got three seconds of screentime and dies. As the cast gets bigger, it's going to get harder. The Hound is a minor character. Theon is a major character. So it's going to be limited. And as we've found, we all won't always like the choices the show makes. I do think the Hound is going to get to do some romping, though.
     
  19. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    Wether Theon is 'that bad' or not is subjective. He goes through some horrible things and I'm sure he is shaped, but I doubt the relatives or friends of the people at Winterfell he killed will care, nor those two orphan boys he killed, nor many Iron Born who feel he is too weak to see them to safety or power.

    And like so many of George's characters, he is one amazing cookie, with a diverse range of things happening to him. But so is... everyone else. So is Jeyne, and she had one unspoken scene sat beside Sansa.

    I also was wondering - and this isn't a dig, though it may sound like one, I don't mean it too. Have they got a full Season 2 cast? I've just realized how much happens in Clash of Kings - are they planning to do the whole book in one Season? I assume so, since Episode 9 is called Blackwater. Then, do they not have an Olenna Tyrell? Lord Tully? Blackfish? Thoros of Myr I know they do not have.
     
  20. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    I don't know. The Tullys they sort of dumped in Season 1 -- couldn't fit them in since they couldn't afford the battle scene. So I don't know what they'll do there. Would be a shame to lose the Blackfish entirely.

    However, Episode 3: I'm happy with them again. :)