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  1.  (9805.1)
    I didn't get that memo either...
    I think there was just a general antipathy to their realisation amongst fanboy circles
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      CommentAuthorFrowardd
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2013
     (9805.2)
    White walker is kinda racist, can we call them Caucasian walkers?
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      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2013
     (9805.3)
    I was one of those who groaned out loud at the last shot of s2 as the icy blade of disappointment twisted in my gut. This is my story:

    I'm not really a ASOIAF fanboy given that I've never read any of the books (I skimmed the wiki between seasons instead) and probably spend more time talking about the show's problematic politics, or the perils of vast ensemble pieces where key plot moments are obscured by the occasional stiff or shaky performance, than I do talking about why I like it. I have watched it pretty compulsively though.

    I came to the first episode of s1 with zero prior knowledge of the story and no expectations whatsoever. The six minute scene that opens s1e1 completely blew me away. I still think it might be the best hook for a TV show I've ever seen; photography, direction, sound, writing, performances, effects, even props and wardrobe are all handled with so much care and attention that they come together to establish an atmosphere so thick and real you can almost taste those dry flakes of floating snow on your breath. The appearance of the Walker - its quality of seeming to be some shadowy bipedal manifestation of the frozen forest's malice, silent and swift and lethal - was ambiguous enough to support any number of fevered imaginings. These are the bad guys that Sean Bean is undoubtedly soon going to be killed by - is what I concluded as episode one unfolded - I am going to be watching the shit out of this. Rangers vs Walkers locked in mortal hand to hand combat deep in the winter wilderness? That's pretty much all my favourite things apart from boobies and weirdly icky sex scenes. Oh look! Ew!

    I digress. The mystery of the White Walkers is gradually spun out over the next 2 seasons. We never catch anything more than a glimpse of them though, they are sublimely liminal monsters, present in their absence, acting through other agents. Like I said, I had skimmed the wiki, I knew there was going to be a battle at the FIst of the First Men at some point.
    In which Walkers and wights lay waste to the Ranging force under Mormont.

    By about mid-season 2, I am wondering if they are going to duck showing the battle at the Fist. By the time the final episode rolls around I have glumly accepted that we are not going to see the frenzied hacking up of shouty rangers in the mist. There's enough else going on by that point (Blackwater) that I can see they had to make some difficult decisions to maintain propulsion towards the season finale cliffhanger. There's no principal characters at the Fist, so that will end up being yet another epic battle that we only see the aftermath of, or which is expositionally reported at some point. I'm sad that what feels like such an inherently dramatic moment (and the payoff of the promise implicit in the pilot's opening scene) will go entirely unseen, but I can see they have to make some compromises and, sigh, ok.

    But wait! Final scene, ice-zombie invasion, aaaand what the hell is that? Is that the same thing we saw in s1e1? I don't think so. He looks... sad. He looks sadder than I feel looking at him. He's all wheezy. He doesn't have anything in common with the hypnotic, pitiless black-garbed slayer from the pilot. Cue dodgy zoom out to establish size of zombie army - and there's another one, gesturing it up like a generic level three mounted undead champion casting Haste. Fade out.

    Without wanting to get too maudlin about it, it felt like a terribly disappointing return on the creeping tension building up around the Walkers. It's not that the CGI isn't good, but the minute you see him you know in your gut that he's never going to get a real fight scene, no matter how expressive his face is. And that knowledge somehow makes him harmless, pours away all the threat and horror in favour of cliffhanging spectacle. It also feels like a terribly lazy visual cliche, aiming to emphasise the scale of the invasion (which it arguably fails at) rather than the deadliness of the invaders, which is surely far more apposite to the outcome of the battle anyway.

    I know lots of people who watched it and thought it was a great final shot. It's not a dealbreaker for me, but it felt like a flat note in an otherwise raucously successful end to the season.
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      CommentAuthortexture
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2013
     (9805.4)
    Cheated out of a decent swedge cos of CGI. Now I'm disappointed too!
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2013
     (9805.5)


    If they do not put Strong Belwas into the show I'm going to be very, very disappointed.
  2.  (9805.6)
    ^^ This, altho I have a horrible feeling that

    they may just combine the characters of Belwas and Grey Worm, the Unsullied self-appointed leader.
    It's the kind of streamlining they seem to be fond of, and are going to have to do more and more of as time goes by. Oh, if only they'd given them 24 episode series from the get go. At this rate, I wonder whether I will still be watching should they ever come to shoot 'Crows or 'Dragons.
  3.  (9805.7)
    According to an interview with Benioff (or someone, this is third hand), they just physically can't do more than 10 episodes per season. Probably because they're shooting in three different countries on two different continents. I should hope that once more characters start being in the same place they might be able to do more episodes per season, but god only knows how long that's going to take.

    edit:
    And I think it's more likely that Barristan is going to be taking the majority of Strong Belwas's scenes, like fighting the Champion of Meereen. I'd wager on the fight with the Titan's Bastard having been cut altogether.
  4.  (9805.8)
    No Strong Belwas makes me sad. Hoping we get to see him later... He's kinda needed to bring on a bit of rowdiness to the TargParty. I'm just hoping they left him out so people wouldn't be overloaded with characters in the season's first episode.

    Seeing as the Game of Thrones show is almost Cliff's Notes for the books, it's understandable that they need to simplify characters and happenings. The way they did away with the battle that was starting at the S2 ending cliffhanger was just... lazy.
    They could at least have taken hints from the book and put us right in an in medias res of the aftermath, rather than brief sounds of clanking swords over a black screen and then some exposition and re-establishing that Fatty McCowardly doesn't do his job right.


    I see the budget concerns, but, seriously...
    A dark screen and some clanging swords? Really?


    The good stuff is still good, though. Again, every scene with Dinklage in it was gold, and not just because of Dinklage himself.
    They do a good job of establishing the Joff/Margaery/Cersei relationship without throwing it in our faces, too.


    Jon's explanation to you-know-who makes sense too, actually. The best falsehoods are the ones with a grain of truth to them. He could've blamed his libido, but the explanation he gave was one that... isn't actually a lie.
  5.  (9805.9)
    Book Spoiler

    My only problem with the meeting between Jon and Mance and the changing of Jon's story about why he's apparently broken his oath is that 'We need to get you a new cloak' doesn't have nearly the same weight without Mance explaining his own oath breaking, and 'where did they seat the bastard?'
  6.  (9805.10)
    There's a lot of weight being lost and characters being changed, sometimes for the worse, by time and budget constraints in the show. I'm hoping there's a lot of stuff left on the cutting floor, to be included in a later edition. Anyone have the season 1 DVD/Blu-Ray set? How many extra scenes, if any, did they include there as extras?
  7.  (9805.11)
    Got s1 bluray. Don't remember tons of extras other than bran's dictionary/history/explaination thingy, and commentaries. :And the v1 of s1 with the comment about a head that looked like bush on a pike, which was removed from later versions of the s1.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013
     (9805.12)
    My thoughts so far:
    favorite part of the episode last night was definitely the fight on the bridge. I think they did a pretty good job of showing that Brienne can handle herself (and, in her current state of having not been a prisoner for who knows how long, Jaime's better).


    However, if I remember correctly wasn't it the Goat who found them on the bridge and not the Flayed Men? If there's no Goat then I wonder how they're going to do the "THATHPHIRES!" bit.
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      CommentAuthorJ.Brennan
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013 edited
     (9805.13)
    @Ren: In the book it was Vargo Hoat who found them, but he was already working for Bolton at that point.

    The TV series seems to have shifted Jaime and Brienne's captors to be Bolton's men directly, cutting out the BCs' and their betrayal sublpot. The Northerners find Qyburn alive in the wreckage, and he was the only one of the Brave Companions to have an impact on the wider story. Also in that Harrenhal scene Roose Bolton tells Rickard Karstark that he sent his best hunter after Jaime, so I imagine he is the Hoat stand-in.
  8.  (9805.14)
    Episode 2 was a resounding success, I thought. A lot of the concerns that episode 1 raised in me were dealt with very well. Some excellent scenes.

    From the GoT Wiki:
    Locke is a recurring character in the third season.[1] He is played by Noah Taylor, and debuts in "Dark Wings, Dark Words".[2]
    Locke is a man-at-arms sworn to House Bolton, and acts as Roose Bolton's personal bounty hunter. Locke takes the place of Vargo Hoat from the A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
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      CommentAuthortexture
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2013
     (9805.15)
    • CommentAuthorBerserker
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2013 edited
     (9805.16)
    Having read most of the books up to this point ( certainly all the books that the series has managed to touch on so far ) I can definitely agree that they're making more and more changes to the characters and story as the series moves on. This is something I more or less expected to happen.

    And I pretty much have to say that even when a change/omission does disappoint me a little, I can understand the choice being made. There's just too much story in the books to NOT streamline in all into a tighter tale. If nothing else, just the rate that the actors playing Bran and Arya are growing is leaving them no choice - their actors are already outgrowing their roles!
    • CommentAuthorScrymgeour
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2013
     (9805.17)
    yeah, puberty hit bran hard
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2013
     (9805.18)
    Well...

    WELL.

    I didn't get my lisping THATHPHIRES! but that was...

    well.
  9.  (9805.19)
    Alright, keeping things vague, for those who haven't seen tonight's episode yet... I have a question, having not read the books:

    Does The Thing At The End happen in the books as well, or was that an alteration for TV? Just curious.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 15th 2013
     (9805.20)
    Nope, that happens.