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Game of Thrones 
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Post Re: Game of Thrones
I watched the first episode of the new season tonight. It was worth the wait, though I do wish I could have seen more of my favorite Stark. They made more changes from the books in the interest of compacting the story within the series, but they were sensible changes that didn't detract from the story or the characters. I do like that they gave Peter Dinklage first billing now that Sean Bean is no longer in the show. Some thoughts:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
- The scene with Lord Baelish and Cersei seems to me to be a way to foreshadow what he does to Joffrey later, though of course that likely won't happen until the next season.
- Not enough Arya, as I said earlier! I know why, given that they had her first scene in the 2nd book in the last season, but I still wish they put more of her in this episode.
- Hopefully they don't make Robb too much more astute than he's been in this episode. One of the main points of his character in the books was that he was as short-sighted politically as his father, which of course led to his death later.
- The change to the 2nd book in having Janos Slynt the one who killed the bastard baby of the whore rather than telling his henchman Allar Deem is one of those that was sensible in terms of compacting things. It was also good for adding to the drama to show him going after other bastard children of Robert then ending it with the shot of Gendry and Arya at the end.


Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:47 am
Post Re: Game of Thrones
I'd be curious to get reaction from some who haven't read the books. Last night's was another episode where they started throwing a lot of new characters at the audience with little explanation of who, and where, they were. I also wonder how many casual viewers made the connection that the executed children were all bastards of Robert; there was a bit of screen time between the massacre and Joffrey's accusation to Cersei. For the average non-book viewer, I'm sure many were wondering what the heck was going on.


Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:51 am
Post Re: Game of Thrones
johnny larue wrote:
I'd be curious to get reaction from some who haven't read the books. Last night's was another episode where they started throwing a lot of new characters at the audience with little explanation of who, and where, they were. I also wonder how many casual viewers made the connection that the executed children were all bastards of Robert; there was a bit of screen time between the massacre and Joffrey's accusation to Cersei. For the average non-book viewer, I'm sure many were wondering what the heck was going on.

Stannis was mentioned several times by Ned in the previous season due to being the rightful heir to Robert, so his appearance this season shouldn't be that big a surprise. Ser Davos, Maester Cressen, and Melisandre are all his servants, so their appearance shouldn't be huge surprises either. This series does fairly well at not insulting its audience.


Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:12 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Ragnarok73 wrote:
johnny larue wrote:
I'd be curious to get reaction from some who haven't read the books. Last night's was another episode where they started throwing a lot of new characters at the audience with little explanation of who, and where, they were. I also wonder how many casual viewers made the connection that the executed children were all bastards of Robert; there was a bit of screen time between the massacre and Joffrey's accusation to Cersei. For the average non-book viewer, I'm sure many were wondering what the heck was going on.

Stannis was mentioned several times by Ned in the previous season due to being the rightful heir to Robert, so his appearance this season shouldn't be that big a surprise. Ser Davos, Maester Cressen, and Melisandre are all his servants, so their appearance shouldn't be huge surprises either. This series does fairly well at not insulting its audience.


As long as "its audience" are people who've read the books, I'd agree. Because Stannis was mentioned a few times in a series that was broadcast a year ago doesn't mean that average viewers will not be confused. There's a fine-line between making the series only for the book fans and "insulting" the fans by broadening the narrative to offer more explanations or reminders to the non book readers.


Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:35 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
I'm a big fan of the series and have not read any of the books, or even read about any of the books. Frankly, I found the first 4 or so episodes of Season 1 very hard to follow, but quite suddenly things started clicking into place. The same happened last night for the first episode of Season 2. Certain aspects were confusing (a lot of the names mean nothing to me), but I assume as the story unfolds I'll slowly get a grip on who the unfamiliar characters are and where their allegiances lie.


Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:25 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
I'll just say that my wife is certainly glad to have me around to explain what the hell is going on. Well, to clarify who is who and how everyone is related, actually.


Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:14 am
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Like most other HBO shows it doesn't insult the audience, they respect fans of a series and don't assume it has been a year since you've seen it. With the recent Blu-Ray/DVD release and playing the series again on HBO gave people no excuse to forget plot points.

The only complaint I could see against the series is the sheer volume of fantasy style names thrown around, as a non-book reader of this series I didn't even know Theo Greyjoy's name on my first viewing of the series just the face and his basic story.


Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:24 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Nick wrote:
Like most other HBO shows it doesn't insult the audience, they respect fans of a series and don't assume it has been a year since you've seen it. With the recent Blu-Ray/DVD release and playing the series again on HBO gave people no excuse to forget plot points.


Assuming, of course, that the "average viewer" would take the 10 hours necessary to re-view season 1, which I doubt more than 50% did. I would think that the Season 1 replay WAS watched by a small percentage of harder core fans, but was probably more for newcomers (after hearing the buzz) to get caught up before they dove into Season 2.


Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:09 am
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Well even though it was the premiere this show has definitely grown in it's time off garnering the highest ratings for the series yet and I suspect it is only going to get bigger. I've put people onto the show and every single one has loved it then passed it onto someone else they know and generally watched the whole series within a day or two, and I've heard similar stories around the web.

Finally caught the first episode last night after debating on whether to wait for a few episodes like last year...man it's going to be tough watching it week by week the hour goes so fast and always ends on a note of MORE MORE! Loved the final sequence with all of Robert's bastards but my favourite of the episode was the encounter between Cersei and Littlefinger, such conniving smug characters at times.


Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:42 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Nick wrote:
Finally caught the first episode last night after debating on whether to wait for a few episodes like last year...man it's going to be tough watching it week by week the hour goes so fast and always ends on a note of MORE MORE!

I feel the same way about the next book in the series, The Winds of Winter, only in that case it's going to be *years* before it comes out. Compared to that, waiting a week for the next episode of GoT is nothing at all.


Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:14 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Quote:
Assuming, of course, that the "average viewer" would take the 10 hours necessary to re-view season 1, which I doubt more than 50% did.

Yep. I, for one, totally didn't rewatch Season 1 to prepare for Season 2. But I still remembered enough from a year ago to get back into it (are peoples memories that short?). The first episode of Season 2 seemed to me to be hopeless for first time viewers.


Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:24 am
Post Re: Game of Thrones
I can't imagine watching season two without re-watching the first season (for normal viewers) or having read the books. Or not even having seen the first season. It would make no sense.

I on the other hand, have read the books (except the last one) 4 or five times. I do realize just how complicated the whole story is when I have to explain to my wife all the relationships and character interactions, and how even the smallest scenes have meaning and fit into the overall story. I couldn't imagine approaching the series as a total novice.


Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:06 am
Post Re: Game of Thrones
I kinda hate to say it (and maybe I'm too early with this rant), but having just watched Episode 3 of Season 2 last night, I'm starting to think this season is definitely a bit shit (compared to Season 1). It doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and is severely suffering from focus (they're switching to different threads every minute - does the book swap character arcs every other page?). It seems the makers have taken an affection for the ADHD school of film making. Also, is it just me or do the actors seem to be slumming it? They seem to be lacking the conviction and passion I remember them having from Season 1.
Don't get me wrong, I'll still be tuning in next week - it's still a hell of a lot better than 99% of TV shows, but at this point I'd be more excited about new episodes of Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy than GoT.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:04 am
Post Re: Game of Thrones
This always happens when a new season starts for most shows (especially for people who came in late and watch a whole season in 1 or 2 days), but to me it seems about the same pace as the first season. I loved the episode last night plenty of the usual deception, and character building, personally I think they are handling the introduction of new characters while keeping us up with the old ones rather well. As for the acting Dinklage last night was off the charts good and I even felt something for Cersei being mother bear and protective of her children after being so god-damned cold week in week out.

For those who have read the books - is Sansa meant to be a tough character to like? After Ned's departure last season I really felt for her but last night made me want to see Shae slap her upside the head.

Btw I feel like the only person around in thinking that Breaking Bad is one of the most overrated of the "good" shows on TV.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:27 am
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Nick wrote:
This always happens when a new season starts for most shows (especially for people who came in late and watch a whole season in 1 or 2 days), but to me it seems about the same pace as the first season. I loved the episode last night plenty of the usual deception, and character building, personally I think they are handling the introduction of new characters while keeping us up with the old ones rather well. As for the acting Dinklage last night was off the charts good and I even felt something for Cersei being mother bear and protective of her children after being so god-damned cold week in week out.

For those who have read the books - is Sansa meant to be a tough character to like? After Ned's departure last season I really felt for her but last night made me want to see Shae slap her upside the head.

Btw I feel like the only person around in thinking that Breaking Bad is one of the most overrated of the "good" shows on TV.

No...Sansa is supposed to be likable. She is very much a victim in the whole scheme of things who has to tread very carefully in court if she is to survive. Previews for next week illustrate some more of the crap she is going to have to put up with from the Lannisters.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:27 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Nick wrote:
For those who have read the books - is Sansa meant to be a tough character to like? After Ned's departure last season I really felt for her but last night made me want to see Shae slap her upside the head.

When I started reading the books, my initial impression of Sansa was of someone who was too immature to be likable. As the story progressed, I learned to understand her more and dislike her less as a result. In a way, Sansa represents the innocence that is lost when faced with harsh reality among all characters. Her sister Arya is the exact opposite in that she's able to accept reality much faster under even harsher conditions than Sansa faced.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:56 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Nick wrote:
For those who have read the books - is Sansa meant to be a tough character to like? After Ned's departure last season I really felt for her but last night made me want to see Shae slap her upside the head.

When I started reading the books, my initial impression of Sansa was of someone who was too immature to be likable. As the story progressed, I learned to understand her more and dislike her less as a result. In a way, Sansa represents the innocence that is lost when faced with harsh reality among all characters. Her sister Arya is the exact opposite in that she's able to accept reality much faster under even harsher conditions than Sansa faced.


Definitely agree with The Rok. Initially, Sansa is portrayed as a weak, head-in-the-clouds, romantic who dreams of finding her perfect prince who will make everything all right. Definitely not a likable character compared to Arya, for example. I think Sansa's story arc is fascinating. She moves from this weak, Pollyanna-type dreamer to one who recognizes and realizes the true state of things and grows accordingly. If the series follows the books, Sansa will become much more sympathetic.


Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:14 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Quote:
If the series follows the books, Sansa will become much more sympathetic.


Ah it seems I spoke to soon then, especially after seeing the brief promo for tonights ep.


Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:59 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
Just started reading the series. Almost finished with book 1. I watched Season 1 when it aired and I rewatched it last month to prepare for season 2 (while reading book 1). I love this series, but have heard that Season 2 leaves out much more from the book. Anyway, what was the deal with that shadow baby?!?!?!


Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:31 pm
Post Re: Game of Thrones
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Just started reading the series. Almost finished with book 1. I watched Season 1 when it aired and I rewatched it last month to prepare for season 2 (while reading book 1). I love this series, but have heard that Season 2 leaves out much more from the book. Anyway, what was the deal with that shadow baby?!?!?!

What I've noticed is that this season is seeing more of the story and characters being compacted to fit within a series. An example just occurred in the episode that aired last night when Lord Tywin took Arya on as his cupbearer. In the books, Arya didn't become a cupbearer until after Lord Tywin left Harrenhal with his army, and moreover, she became a cupbearer to Lord Roose Bolton after the "Weasel soup" incident (read the 2nd book to get the reference). I don't mind the changes, as they've been done in the interest of keeping the story streamlined while still making it accessible to the non-reader audience.

As for the shadow baby, well, didn't you hear what Melisandre and other characters have said? The night is dark and full of terrors, man!


Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:56 pm
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