A Blog of Ice and Fire

With Season 3 exploding across my screen the other night,  perhaps it is time to expound on the wonderful television “Game of Thrones.”  As many friends and longtime readers know, I am a huge George R.R. Martin geek.  I began proselytizing “A Song of Ice and Fire” (ASOIAF) long ago, having found Martin’s writing to be much to my liking in the early 80s.  Horror and Sci-fi gave way to fantasy in 1996 and I was hooked early on in Game of Thrones.  Most people reading the series have had that moment when they realized this was no ordinary tale.  Bad things happen to good people.  I had that ah hah moment when Jaime tried to help Bran learn to fly.  Other people have been known to throw a specific volume across the room and swear they wouldn’t pick it back up.

I have probably read the series twice and listened to most of it on tape 3 or 4 times, save A Dance with
and it is time to pick that up again.  This is a complex series that rewards patience and study.  Assuming George does the ending more justice than “Lost” did with its conclusion, which he swears he will, I can see ASOIAF being a graduate course in plotting and characterization.  Haven’t our colleges had enough of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens?

I spent years hoping for an ASOIAF movie.  Peter Jackson took on the Lord of the Rings and succeeded, perhaps he wanted a new challenge.  But nothing materialized.  Ultimately when the blogosphere reported that it had been optioned and pilot was being developed for HBO, I was ecstatic.  (I still think Michael K. Williams should have been cast as Bronn.)Years later, here we are and the show has not only popularized the books, but it is a top show with the critics and the ratings.  I’m sure I’m not the only on that looks forward to Sunday nights for my time with the Starks and Lannisters.

As with any adaptation, there are changes.  This is not a transcription; this is its own entity.  I am constantly amazed at how they have done so much with the show.  Its scope is wide and the events are only slightly smaller than “The Towering Inferno.”  George has commented that he was frustrated with Hollywood (having written for a few TV series) budgets.  He wrote this series without any budget constraints – for examples, horses are expensive on shoots – and wrote bigger than life scenes.  There are always compromises and I’m impressed with how it has been pulled off thus far.  It is easy to overlook the fact that the Kalisaar is less than 50,000 strong.

One of the better features of the show is moving from the “viewpoints” of the series and showing scenes and conversations that couldn’t have been written.  Varys and Littlefinger have no points of view so we are not privy to any conversations they had.  But we are on HBO.  I enjoy these scenes.  Well, and the sex too. There has to be sex, how else could there be a Ros? Let’s see how they handle Lyn Corbray  in Season 6.

But as any fan, there are things that catch my eye and force me to scream, “WHAT!?” Well sometimes I just wallow silently in my disappointment.   Let’s share a few of those.

(If you haven’t seen episode 1 of season 3, minor spoilers await.)

  • More direwolves.  Please.
  • Not enough of the Mountain that Rides.   So what if he left to do “The Hobbit?”
  • Tywin at Harenhall.  Clearly a result of the above.
  • The Others (or White Walkers in the TV vernacular) walking past Sam, ignoring him while making eye contact.  This isn’t the “Walking Dead.”
  • What happened to the Prophecies?  Oh wait, it is on American TV.   Might be too much for the viewing audience to remember.
  • No inner monologues and not enough history lessons.  Half of the joy of books is putting together clues of the unfolding history to see how things fit together.  Did you learn nothing from Summerhall?
  • No Tower of Joy Flashback
  • The Chain.  See budgets
  • I want Strong Belwas.  And his meals.
  • Warlock Assassins?
  • Stealing  Dragons? Bah humbug.
  • When did Maergery become a cross between Kate Middleton and Anne Boleyn?
  • No Reek.  No Betrayal.
  • The Reeds are late to the party.  So is the Blackfish.
  • What happened to Riverrun?  Why is Robb without a base of operations?\
  • Not enough Ser Dontas. Alas, poor Florian, I knew him well Petyr.
  • Why was S3E1 title Valar Dohaeris?  I know what it means and it has little to do with this episode.

Don’t take this too harshly, I really am not critical, but having invested so many hours studying and discussing ASOIAF, the details stand out.  I love the show and fully appreciate and understand the reason for these changes.  The show might have the best, most watchable opening on TV.  Winterfell smolders this season.

Did I miss the obsidian and the horn?  See what happens, the books and the show overlap creating confusion.  No wonder my father calls me on Tuesdays to help explain things like, “if the boy is the king, why does everyone listen to his Grandfather?  He’s not the king.”

And I hope HBO add “The Hedge Knight,” appropriate titled to its schedule in 2015.

These days my biggest concern is there are (at least 2 more books for George to write.  What happen is HBO finishes first?  It makes one wonder, doesn’t it?  Enjoy the show, read the books eat lemon cakes and share with your friends.  I do.

Courtesy of the Atomic Rocket

on sale 4/4 only at Teefury.com

(And surely you noticed that my wallpaper here is from the Game of Thrones comic.  Of course you did.)

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1 Comment

  1. While I love the show for what it is, I like your list. I especially miss the direwolves (yes, they are there, but not often), and the historical details.


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