Tag Archives: A Song of Ice and Fire

SDCC 2013: Game of Thrones Panel Discussion and Memoriam…

On Friday afternoon, July 19th,  in Hall H, some of the Game of Thrones cast gathered for a panel at the SDCC. Cast members Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, John Bradley, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie and Richard Madden, and author George R.R. Martin joined executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for the event.

The Game of Thrones panel began with an “In Memoriam” video played with Boys II Men’s “Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”. Such a horribly sad video, remembering all of those amazing characters that we won’t get to see again.

Here is a video that shows the entire panel: (Special Guest star at about 14:40)

Game of Thrones panel

Game of Thrones will return in the Spring of 2014.

Game of Thrones panel

Game of Thrones Panel

 

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Game Of Thrones Review: 3.06 – ‘The Climb’

Here we are in the second half of the third season of Game Of Thrones, and for those who haven’t read the books, I’d imagine things are getting frustrating when it comes to pacing. Granted not every episode could be the tour de force that was episode 3.04 “And Now His Watch Is Ended” aka “The Badass Episode With Dragons & Daenerys F***ing S*** UP” as most of my non book reading friends refer to it. Unfortunately with a series that has a cast of dozens, there has to be room made for the many storylines to all come together in lots of interesting ways. The most difficult thing for me, is trying to pinpoint what exactly is new to the story, adapted differently, or I’m just plain forgetting. That all being said, while “The Climb” wasn’t the most riveting episode in terms of plot advancement, it did well to establish important character beats that will pay off later. Or they should, unless they’re changed. Or done differently.

The Climb
darkness will be your cloak & your shield

Regardless of the changes, the episode did a good job of having all the concurrent stories touched on and expanded in interesting ways. We started off with Samwell and Gilly escaping off into the Gods know where trying to save her baby who had the audacity to be born a boy, followed quickly by Meera Reed trading some barbs with Osha about skinning rabbits. (Women!) Ostensibly they’re all working together to follow the Three Eyed Crow’s dream, who’s guiding them along a vague and unknowable path of certain divine and/or fortuitous significance, that even I’m not sure of. I don’t even think they’ve really gotten around to what they’re really after just yet, even in the books. Then again I’m impossibly stupid sometimes.

Beyond The Wall we got to see Jon Snow and Ygritte finally put into words their bond with each other, as well as her admission of knowledge that she figured out he’s still doing the double agent thing for The Night’s Watch. Of course, love blinds all to duty, honor or loyalty, and she makes a pretty reasonable argument as to him staying loyal to her only, by threatening to cut off his Johnson and wear it around her neck if he betrays her. Generally when women tell me that, I run the hell away, or I’m super turned on and maybe that’s the reason why  all of my relationships are horrific meltdowns of apocalyptic emotional proportion?

The Climb
Source: A Masterpiece in Chaos

Anyhow! Afterward, there’s a tense scene between Lady Melisandre and Thoros who discuss in Valyrian their agendas to the Lord of Light. We see Melisandre shaken for the first time, as she meets 6-times resurrected Lord Beric, and she proclaims it’s not possible. Which was interesting, because I’m positive Melisandre didn’t have this interaction in the book. Her role is beefed up here, and she’s portrayed a bit more humanely, as opposed to the starkly conniving, mysterious and witchy woman she is in the novels. Then they sell poor Gendry for gold to her. Because she needs nubile boys to make armor for her or something. I mean, sure yeah he’s technically the son of Rob Baratheon, but nobody really cares about King Rob anymore, and the only guy who did had his head chopped off. What? Too soon?

Then back with Theon, which is the one part of the show that’s entirely, wholly new, and subsequently to me is the most interesting. We’re just as curious as he is as to why Simon from Misfits torturing him so horribly, (I mean I have an idea, but no spoilers), or even who he is and where they even are. Theon is then forced to play a horrible game of “Guess who I am, where we are, and what’s going on, or else I slowly rip the skin off your fingers!”, which is the worst f***ing game in the world, probably. Right after all team sports. YEAH THAT’S RIGHT, I’M CALLING YOU OUT ALL SPORTS FANS! SUCK IT!

The ClimbThe Climb

Source: Ha, Never Again

Well eventually Theon loses, and we’re back to seeing Jaime and Brienne making a deal with Lord Roose Bolton, a man who’ll become very important soon, in ways I won’t ruin for you. We learn that poor Brienne won’t be let go along with Jaime, and Jaime’s defense of her slowly clinches Jaime’s eventual face-turn as an anti-hero. Then we get to see Lord Tywin and Lady Olenna Tyrell exchange snarky quips, the way old people do. I don’t know if it was just me, but if they were both about 30 years younger I have a feeling they would have totally boned right on that table. Right? Nobody but me got that?

The Climb

Okay then. Some more rumination on by the Lannisters, this time both Tyrion and Cercei, on their arranged marriage woes, then Tyrion’s awkward revelation to poor Sansa Stark that she now has to marry him. Which I guess is a downgrade from marrying a super hunky gayboy,  but personally I think Tyrion is much better company. All Loras has going for him is his knighthood, his looks, and his skills with a “sword”, as Lady Olenna would put it. Then Sansa cries because truly there is no fate worse than marrying a midget. Or something about her whole life being controlled by others, never being able to hang onto any semblance of happiness, and having every bit of hope snatched away from her. Either or.

The Climb
Source: Every man will be a King

Back at the wall, Snow and Co. are climbing it slowly, on the way to make their attack against Castle Black. Eventually the ice cracks and makes a big avalanche, nearly taking out Snow and Ygritte, who manage to save themselves in the nick of time right before their untrustworthy compatriot cut them loose. Then they climb on top, hug and share the scenic view of the land beyond the wall. All romantic and s**t. The end.

The Climb

Like I said earlier, as a fan of the books it’s difficult to reconcile what I’m thinking is new, and what I’m just not remembering. I read the book sometime last year, and while I know the broad strokes of the story, watching episodes like these is still interesting if only for the character building. Fans of the show only may find the pacing incongruent with the last two seasons, but that’s only because SO MANY THINGS happen in A Storm Of Swords we’re really only about 1/4 of the way through the book, and I have a firm idea in mind exactly what the season finale will be. So will any reader of the books, and waiting for that moment to happen is as anxious and as exciting as watching the show and seeing all the new developments, thematic changes, and straight up plot changes. It’s still the same story overall, but episodes like this highlight how the little scenes in a novel can translate into other things entirely, simply by the nature of the story becoming a visual medium. So yeah, it wasn’t the most important episode in relation to the plot of the others in the show, but character development, foreshadowing, and of course those awfully great added torturing scenes with Theon, keep the whole thing fresh and interesting for folks like me, who are silently waiting everyone else to have their damn socks blown off.

The Climb

If you’re complaining about the story not moving fast enough right now, stick with it. Believe you me, when your socks are flying around the damned room in circles and your balls or ovaries are exploding or whatever, you’ll thank me. Oh how you’ll thank me.

Check out the promo for next the next episode, ‘The Bear and the Maiden Fair‘ now!

[Editor’s Note – I thought this was one of the best episodes of the whole show. The scene between Littlefinger and the Spider at the end, as well as the one with Tywin and Lady Olenna were both about as good as you’ll see. I have no problem with the pacing. That is all.]

The Climb

Ros_ Mis step

At Long Last! The Season 3 Trailer For ‘Game of Thrones’ is Here!

This is it, the last month before Season 3 of Game Of Thrones premieres, and with it hopefully there an end to the updates, previews, snapshots, preview pics, and other ultimately meaningless little teasers. We’re now hitting the home stretch and that is officially marked by the long-awaited full trailer to Season 3. A trailer I had been waiting for not only because holy crap am I tired of looking at or writing about set pics, but because it gives us (me) a glimpse at how they’ve further adapted the books. Show only fans of course, will get a glorious preview of the King Beyond The Wall, and most obviously, GODDAMNED DRAGONS! Book fans will see other little things they’re familiar with, and revel in the endless amount of terrible, awful things they’ll be waiting to watch their Show Only fans to see in due time. Or if you’re like me, you’ll tease them with fake spoilers about the show and watch as their jaws drop in disbelief/hatred. It’s hilarious!

Well, aside from being incredibly short, the trailer does show a few things I recognize from the books, and as the series has progressed away from the books, a few things I don’t recognize at all. Though I suppose that could be my fading memory. The bummer about this is it’s being interpreted as the “first” trailer for Season 3, so this means there will be more soon coming. Of course there will be, why shouldn’t there? It’ll keep going on and on until the show starts, and then it’ll be replaced by speculation endlessly about what the show will be doing to adapt, or change its source material, until the season ends. Then it’ll be replaced by more teasers and updates endlessly for the next season ON AND ON OH GOD MAKE IT STOP I JUST WANT TO WATCH IT ALL RIGHT NOW.

Is it bad thing if a one minute trailer for a TV show drives you to the brink of madness? Probably right? Probably.

CCI 2012: Game Of Thrones Panel!

I’m not sure how big a presence Game Of Thrones had at last years CCI, but I’m positive it wasn’t nearly as big a deal as it is this year. What with the show becoming a mainstream success, reaching audiences far and wide, It’s no surprise that the panel at CCI was packed to the brim with GoT fans eagerly waiting to see their favorite characters, hear their anecdotes, and most likely, get some sweet, sweet details and teasers about Season 3. Being a huge Game of Thrones fan myself, imagine my surprise to hear from several sources, fans included that the panel was a bit… let’s say lackluster. While George R. R. Martin himself was moderating the panel, the consensus seems to be that he wasn’t a very good moderator. Most of his questions seemed either uninteresting, or boring, and the basic outcry is that the panel was a bit of a disappointment.

While I’m bummed to hear that the panel was disappointing, It does provide me, and probably you, the reader, some relief that we didn’t miss anything AMAZING. I know I’d be really saddened if they had had amazing, mind blowing, insightful revelations about the show, crazy behind the scenes stories, titillating previews of the new seasons, all wrapped up with some kind of awesome free poster giveaway. In essence, It seemed that the panel got a bit better when questions were turned over to the audience, but still, the impression is there, and now that’s it’s over, we only have HBO’s marketing team for any kind of Season 3 teasers or photos. Anyway, here’s some of the highlight anecdotes from the Panel.

Courtesy of [Collider]

–     Martin asks Allen if he considers Theon a villain.  Allen says Theon isn’t a villain, but he’s misguided and has issues.  Martin then jokes how he’s given Theon so many sex scenes, and hasn’t received a single thanks from Allen.  Allen responds that he had to get in shape for the sex scenes, but so far he’s been enjoying it.  Apparently preoccupied with sex, Martin then mentions how Robb has a sex scene as well, and then asks if Madden prefers the loving or the fighting.  Madden says he enjoys “swinging a sword”, waits a beat, and then realizes the innuendo.

–      Clarke says she can still walk down the street without being noticed, but when it happens “it really happens.”  For example, when she was in a department store, a woman came up to her and said, “Khaleesi.”

–      It turns out that Kristian Nairn (Hodor) is in the audience (instead of the panel for some reason).  “He’s still learning his line,” Martin jokes since Hodor is a mute.

–      An audience member asks if the show relates to contemporary issues.  Clarke responds that it deals more with universal issues like family and death.  Strauss adds that the show goes beyond the fantasy paradigm of good vs. evil, and says that Game of Thrones boils down to complex stories and characters.  Martin notes that J.R.R. Tolkien rejected the notion that Lord of the Rings was an allegory for World War II.  Martin says it’s the same way with A Song of Fire and Ice, and he’s trying to relate to larger issues rather than recent real-world events.

Overall the panel was fairly by the numbers, and didn’t appear to be anything really special. In my opinion, the biggest announcement was that Season 3 will be premiering March 31st, 2013. Which seems so far away right now… But oh well.

If you’re interested in watching the panel, the videos are below.

Check out more Comic-Con coverage here, more pics on our Tumblr and follow the action at the Con over on our Twitter! Oh, and Like our Facebook page while you at it!

BOOK vs. TELEVISION: A Clash Of Kings/Game Of Thrones: S2 [Part 3]


Once again, If you’ve not read the books, STOP READING HERE! Major spoilers abound.

Episode 8: The Prince Of Winterfell

This episode pays off the one of the main changes from the books, and effectively gives Ros The Wonder Whore a reason to have been around, other than her breasts, instead of the whole Alayaya/other whore/switcharoo, we get basically the same outcome, only with Cersei thinking Tyrion’s prostitute lover is Ros. Cersei holds her at ransom, to ensure Joffreys safety against Tyrion, because she think’s he’s plotting to kill him. This, readers will note, is foreshadowing to what happens to Tyrion in Book 3, and probably foreshadows Ros’s execution to be in Season 4, (revenge by Cersei), when we finally, finally, get to see Joffrey die.

The scene between Davos and Stannis isn’t quite different, as much as it is the second half of an earlier conversation they had in the series, that was split up into two different parts. This conversation in the book to me, defined Stannis to a T. He’s the kind of guy who would thank you, and honor you with knighthood for smuggling in food to save all the lives of the people during a siege, and then turn back around and punish you for smuggling. He is bound by duty to punish you, but will lessen it by only taking the tips of your fingers, rather than the whole hand, in recognition of the good you’ve done. He’s the creepy older uncle type who sits in his castle all day playing building models, and his brother is the young, cool, hipster guy who throws awesome parties. Unfortunately, it’s Stannis’ duty to be King, and he’ll take what is his by right, because it’s his duty. It’s prevalent in the series, but not as concrete.

Arya actually makes a pretty brilliant turn, and picks a different name at first from her third name in the novel. She thinks to name Tywin, but can’t find Jaqen and loses her chance. I can’t remember her third name in the book being anybody BUT Jaqen, since she required his help to escape. In the book, she pretends to be delivering a message, and even stabs a guard in the throat herself to get out. I was sad to see this scene missing, because it was a pretty awesome moment in the book.

Again, almost everything with Robb in this is new, since he wasn’t even a POV character in the book, but the basic reason for Catelyn stupidly letting Jaime go stays the same. Robb’s urges getting the better of him and having sex with Talisa are there, and we see his the beginning of his downfall, the second he drops her robe and lets the name “Frey” disappear from his duty, and his honor dies, like his poor dad did, only way more sexy and with 100% less beheadings.

Over the wall, the scene between Qhorin and Jon discussing him defecting is abridged, and ends up having pretty much the same outcome, as we’ll see later in the show, but one of the bigger differences, is Sam and Grenn finding the dragon glass weapons, along with the Horn Of Winter, which Mance Rayder had in the books, and we haven’t seen or heard about yet in the show at all. I’m assuming it’s the Horn Of Winter, unless the show is double faking us out, and making multiple horns, and the future series will have horns that have weird horny effects, and everybody starts getting really horny and… Sorry. I’m getting off topic. The point is, the little changes here, are gonna be a big deal later. The last change I noticed, was Asha actually showing some affection and love for Theon, which was a great difference from how she treats him in the book. It was a great scene, and added to their respective character depth.

Episode 9: Blackwater.

This episode is mostly the same as the chapters from the book, only with its perspectives changed around, and previous details that were changed, adhered to in turn. There was no chain to trap Stannis’ fleet, and Stannis’ fleet was MUCH smaller than the literal half page of named ships in the book. They seemed to purposely leave Davos’ fate ambiguous, along with his son, who we know dies in the book. Tyrion is still attacked by Ser Mandon, but no real context is given to who he is, and one could easily miss the fact that he was betrayed.The other rather significant change is the far less literal depiction of Ser Loras showing up in Renly’s armor. In the book, this was taken as Renly literally rising from the dead to fight and defeat him, and may not even have been Ser Loras in the armor, The entire vanguard in the book was supposed to be led by “Renlys’ ghost”, but has been changed to Tywin and his alliance with Ser Loras winning the war by coming in and taking them from the back. Stannis does notice Renly’s armor, but it’s a very subtle scene that lets the viewer decide it’s meaning, until it’s shown to just be Loras a few minutes later. A definite downgrade, as Renly’s ghost was a huge WTF moment for me as a reader.

Episode 10: Valar Morghulis.

Hoo boy. Where to begin? I guess I can first start by saying, that there’s officially no Ser Dontos pretending to be the rescuing knight for Sansa. In the book, she believes Ser Dontos is her ticket out of the hellhole she’s in, and is the reason she keeps refusing offers to get out from others. In the show now, they’ve seemingly cut him out entirely, and just gone straight to Lord Baelish up and telling her he’ll get her home. If this means we’ll get to the Lysa/Arryn/Baelish murder plot reveal sooner, remains to be seen, but it was definitely a revelation for me in book 3, where we find out almost everything was Lord Baelish’s machinations. So this change, while small, may lead to yet another future change, that will be big. Joffrey deciding to wed Margaery Tyrell, in the manner he chooses, is also a change, as that wedding doesn’t really come into play at all until book 3, and I’m hazy as to whether it was first planned in CoK, or A Storm of Swords, but either way it’s different. The scene with Varys turning Ros into one of his “little birds”, so to speak, will assuredly pay off with some kind of new scene in the future, since it’s not in the books at all. Ros is a character that is simultaneously frustrating and intriguing, because she personifies the changes in the story, in a way, and just like the changes, I sometimes hate her, and other times find her great. What we can all agree on, is she has great breasts, and ultimately, great breasts make anything easier to accept.

In the book, Shae genuinely seems to care for Tyrion, which makes it such a shock when she is forced to betray him so terribly later on. The show did a lousy job showing this, right up until this added scene, with her telling him to leave all the BS behind, and go with her to live together. It’s very well acted, and genuinely tugs at the heartstrings to see such a big man, (in spirit), come to tears with emotion.

Over in Stannis’ camp, he starts to really wig out and choke the hell out of Lady Melisandre. This never happened in the book, since by this point, she has him totally around her finger. In the show though, he’s clearly questioning his judgment and trust of this woman, but she turns him once and for all, making him gaze into the fire, to see the visions she sees, cementing him as a R’hollor zealot. In the book, he’s been far gone for far longer. Back to Robb’s story, the main change of his continues, with his love for Talisa being proclaimed to his mother. She has a great dialogue that actually makes a solid argument for arranged marriage, but he’s not having it. In the books, if I remember correctly, I believe it’s at this point where he just drops Jeyne Westerling on her, revealing that he plans to break his deal with the Freys. Then again, this could be in Book 3, but regardless, he’s sealed his fate, and marries Talisa.

Theon’s story continues, showing new scenes between him and Maester Luwin, expressing great doubt over his decisions, and truly questioning everything he’s done to come to this point, where he’s facing almost certain defeat and death. It goes a long way towards making him a much more tragic character, rather than the lying, backstabbing bastard he was in the book. His speech and the subsequent interruption, beating and blackbagging by his own men is all new, since the book just shows the battle with Roose Bolton’s bastard attacking and allegedly killing Theon. Soon after, there’s a new scene showing Maester Luwin’s death, and he officially gives them their mission to go north, rather than the Reeds, like in the book.

Now, nearly everything about Daenerys’ scenes in the show at this point are different. Everything. Xaro Xoan Daxos didn’t have an empty vault, he didn’t turn Doreah heel, he didn’t get Amontillado’d by Dany as punishment. Her entire scenes inside the House Of The Undying where totally and absolutely different, in many ways. In the book, this is a much stranger scene, where she enters willingly after having drunk a potion made by Pyat Pree. She is given instructions to only take doors to the right, and only take stairs up. During her exploration, she sees many doors on the left, showing many prophetic visions of the past, future and things that couldn’t be. She eventually reaches the right door, and makes her way out, and all the readers collectively wonder what the hell they just read, until all of its prophetic meaning becomes obvious in later novels.

Here’s where they made one of the biggest changes in the whole series, and in my opinion one of the best. In the book, the House of the Undying is almost certainly illusory. It’s a trick, and while the prophecies it shows of the Red Wedding come true, the things happening in it, aren’t “Real” for lack of a better term. By not including these prophecies, the show runners have given us NEW, more subtle, and nearly fourth wall breaking prophecies to decipher. Fourth wall breaking, in that they’re for book readers and show watching alike, to both decipher. In particular, Dany entering the Iron Throne room, now broken and covered in snow, reeks of symbolic meaning that wasn’t in the book. Does this mean Winterfell will be breached by the icy threats north of the wall? Does it spell doom for Westeros, since this would mean that Jon and Nights Watch have failed their duty? This is further compounded, by showing her leave the room, exiting The Wall itself! Is it her fate to go north? What will she find there? The questions abound, but none of these changes and the new questions they raise rival the last big change, where Dany is reunited with Khal Drogo.

Aside from being one of the most emotionally impacting scenes in the show, it’s also one of the most curious. They both embrace each other, and both openly question what they are experiencing. As the viewer, we’re left to interpret this scenes’ “trueness”, and wonder if Dany really is speaking to Drogo here? I personally like the idea that this literally is a real section of the afterlife, and she literally is speaking to Khal Drogo’s spirit, who has spat upon his journey into the Night Lands, and has been waiting for her since. Also with him, is their unborn child, adding further question as to what exactly this place is, and the nature of it being an elaborate illusion, or an actual gateway into the afterlife.

It’s a scene akin to the buddhist belief in the Bardo, a word that translates to “intermediate state”, and is a religious concept, where one exists between the two states of existence, being after death and before rebirth. In this state, one’s consciousness isn’t connected with their physical body, and they see and experience a variety of phenomena, memories, and symbolic hallucinations. The show creates the possibility that Dany has entered this state via the House of The Undying, and is effectively getting her rebirth, prematurely via Drogo’s choice to wait for her, making this scene, and their love, truly unique and something revelatory in its importance for the show, and the finality of death therein.

Of course, I could be looking too much into it. I guess what I’m saying is, I really liked this change. A lot.

The last change, is the manner in which the Whitewalkers attack the Wall. Sam wasn’t there to see them, and the scene of him, Edd and Grenn hearing the horns and running in terror is taken from the prologue of the third book, only the book had three entirely new characters instead. It’s a change that left everybody clenching their teeth, ready for the REAL war to go down, and ended the season pretty perfectly, and I think, better than the book ended, which I don’t even remember.

That being said, the amount of changes the story has seen, while being seemingly minimal, are overall adding up. This is a going to be a continuing effect as the series goes on, as changes build upon more changes, and spiral either somehow back into the story we know, or diverge entirely into new things. I honestly can’t decide if it’s something I dread or look forward to, but it’s there, it’s happening, and we’ll have to accept it. That being said, I am optimistic, as the show in and of itself, is still excellent, and consistent within its own storytelling and development. Sometimes, change is good.