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Evil Agent
April 10th, 2012, 08:18 PM
George doesn't 'okay' anything. The producers sometimes ask his opinion on things and will either listen to him or ignore him. However, he doesn't have any real power or say over the day-to-day operation of the show. He isn't a showrunner or executive producer.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.

Evil Agent
April 10th, 2012, 08:26 PM
HBO has renewed GAME OF THRONES for a third season (http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/04/10/game-of-thrones-renewed-3/?ew_packageID=20470532), to air in the Spring of 2013. At the moment it sounds likes the season will again consist of 10 episodes, although HBO has not officially confirmed this. However, in recent interviews the producers have said they cannot make more than 10 episodes a season without a substantial increase in budget and time, so it seems unlikely it will be more than this.Minor update: George says it will be 10 episodes, and he will be writing Episode 7, entitled "Autumn Storms".

KatG
April 11th, 2012, 12:51 AM
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.

Evil Agent
April 11th, 2012, 01:52 AM
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.

Luya Sevrein
April 11th, 2012, 03:37 AM
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

Loerwyn
April 11th, 2012, 04:04 AM
GoT has short seasons because each episode is mahoosively expensive, as far as I know.

Werthead
April 11th, 2012, 08:43 AM
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).

KatG
April 11th, 2012, 10:10 PM
Kat,

I disagree regarding Theon, however. I thought the captain's daughter scene was excellent.

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.


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.

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.

Luya Sevrein
April 12th, 2012, 06:11 AM
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.

Loerwyn
April 12th, 2012, 06:16 AM
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.
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