Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


This spring: Winter is Coming
April 3, 2011 8:24 PM   Subscribe

HBO has a free 15 minute preview up for their adaptation of George R. R. Martin's fantasy series A Game of thrones. The folks over at Westeros.org have seen rough copies of the first six episodes and report on them. In general, reviews are very positive so far. Previously on the Blue. Via this thread at hipinion. Bonus: Next Media Animation briefs you on the subject. All links contain minor-to-major spoilers.
posted by codacorolla (104 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
So will each season be about 50 episodes long, with a wait of years between each one?
posted by explosion at 8:32 PM on April 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


The Westeros.org review has me hopeful.

Will the episodes be on iTunes or Amazon soon after airing?
posted by dragonplayer at 8:34 PM on April 3, 2011


And with about 90% of the characters being nasty, uninteresting, unpleasant people you really hope will die soon?
posted by Windopaene at 8:40 PM on April 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I liked the books, so I want this to be good, but I know better than to hope too much.
posted by Forktine at 8:47 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will the episodes be on iTunes or Amazon soon after airing?

No, that's not how HBO's model works. You either pay for the service, or you wait and buy the DVD set.

Some cable providers may provide HBO On Demand shows to non-HBO subscribers, and this show might (or might not) end up in those on-demand offerings.
posted by hippybear at 8:48 PM on April 3, 2011


OK, hippybear. If I can wait for the books, I can wait for the TV show to show up on sale 2 years from now in the discount bin. Thanks!
posted by dragonplayer at 9:00 PM on April 3, 2011


And with about 90% of the characters being nasty, uninteresting, unpleasant people you really hope will die soon?

I quite liked just about everyone except Sansa, and the Lannisters (excepting Tyrion, who was awesome), and Viserys.
posted by The Thnikkaman at 9:01 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anybody else think it's not the greatest idea to adapt a story that has not, and in all probability never will be, finished?

It's not television, it's Hodor.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:09 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


And with about 90% of the characters being . . . uninteresting

I can accept the other descriptions as a reasonable view, but 90% of the characters (and there's a LOT of characters) are uninteresting? Seriously? That's probably the single best thing about these books, that virtually all the characters are ridiculously interesting, with multiple levels of personality and motivations. I can't think of a single character off the top of my head that's not interesting, even the ones I hate like Sansa and Joffery.
posted by shen1138 at 9:10 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


My question is whether this is going to be worth watching if you haven't read the books. I'm not a subscriber and I can definitely wait for the DVDs, but I'd like to know before I get into it whether it's comprehensible without reading the books. I'm potentially interested in the series, but I'm not committing to another Giant Fantasy Trilogy-type series, especially one that isn't finished and is a lot longer already than a trilogy.
posted by immlass at 9:22 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've never even heard of this but anything will be better than Boardwalk Empire.
posted by puny human at 9:28 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Especially not with HBO's reputation for cancelling their own expensive shows (Carnivale, which was rubbish and deserved it, and Deadwood, which was genius and didn't). I have to imagine that without at least five million or more viewers every week it will die pretty quickly.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:28 PM on April 3, 2011


Whoa whoa whoa puny human, them's fisticuffs words. And yeah I see the hypocrisy inherent in getting uppity about one of my favourite shows just after dissing (probably) someone else's, wanna make somethin' of it?
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:29 PM on April 3, 2011


I want to like this, and 5 years ago I wouldve been completely pumped. But I can't really get excited about it without thinking that this is another side project that Martin is working on instead of actually finishing the books.

Yes I know he hates fans like me.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:30 PM on April 3, 2011


I have been thinking pretty much since volume 2 or so that the only way anyone could ever possibly do this story justice on-screen would be a long-running series on a network like HBO that positively embraces the brutal-violence-and-sex aspect of things. (Rome was a very different story in some ways, but in others you could look at it as almost a dry run for a GRRM adaptation.)

I sort of imagine that the calculation for the people funding this thing runs something along the lines of "well, there's already enough material to keep cranking out episodes for basically as long as an audience is interested"...
posted by brennen at 9:30 PM on April 3, 2011


immlass, I've all-but-given-up on the books (I'm waiting for a friend to comment on the next one before I read the currently-most-recent volume), but the first three at least are positively amazing fiction. If you were to read them / watch the show and the series turns out to have no satisfying resolution whatever, well, misery loves company, right?

It's A Song of Ice and Fire for the whole series, incidentally. A Game of Thrones is the first book.
posted by brennen at 9:37 PM on April 3, 2011


It seemed like Lord of the Rings + Predator + Dallas with unusual plot twists killing characters off to keep people awake. 2. Profit!
posted by stbalbach at 9:44 PM on April 3, 2011


Although, ok, they're calling the series Game of Thrones. Sorry.
posted by brennen at 9:47 PM on April 3, 2011


But I can't really get excited about it without thinking that this is another side project that Martin is working on instead of actually finishing the books.

Whether or not this is a fair characterization with respect to other projects, it certainly isn't fair about the HBO program. Martin has nothing to do with it apart from cashing the checks.
posted by Justinian at 9:48 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm quite enjoying these previews, but some of them aren't running for me. I'm getting sound with a green screen - just me, or everyone?
posted by harriet vane at 9:48 PM on April 3, 2011


I would have cast Renly much prettier, tried harder to get Danaerys eyebrows to match her hair, and gotten rid of Jon Snow's facial fluff. But the casting looks pretty damn good even when it's different from what I imagine when I read. Joffrey looks suitably creepy and annoying, for sure.
posted by harriet vane at 9:50 PM on April 3, 2011


It's A Song of Ice and Fire for the whole series, incidentally. A Game of Thrones is the first book.

Although, ok, they're calling the series Game of Thrones. Sorry.


Actually, the promo spots running on HBO reference both the series title and the book title. My impression is that they're calling this series A Game Of Thrones, but the series of series will be Song Of Ice And Fire.

posted by hippybear at 9:52 PM on April 3, 2011


this looks so good. My old housemates played the card game which I was not really into. The books really took me somewhere else.
posted by parmanparman at 9:55 PM on April 3, 2011


Sorry tumid dahlia. I wanted to like it, I really did. But I thought it started weak and then went downhill from there. All the actors just playing at being from the '20s. But I'm picky. The HBO shows I've really liked are The Wire (first 3 seasons, 5 was an absolute insult), Rome (though by the 2nd half of 2nd season it was already running out of ideas) and the Sopranos, which was wildly uneven, but at its best, genius.
posted by puny human at 9:56 PM on April 3, 2011


Yeah I guess I know what you mean, it just got pretty addictive, watching it in 2 or 3 episode chunks. The Wire was amazing of course, I've been less impressed by Treme but admit to only seeing 3 or 4 installments.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:57 PM on April 3, 2011


(Carnivale, which was rubbish and deserved it, and Deadwood, which was genius and didn't)

I still miss Brother Justin and I will never understand you.
posted by Myca at 10:04 PM on April 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I can't read this tread. I am on page 90 of the first book and I am trying to get through it before the series starts.

Seems unlikely.

I played the Game of Thrones TCG - which is like studying up for the book with flash cards. =)
posted by andreaazure at 10:09 PM on April 3, 2011


I still miss Brother Justin and I will never understand you.

Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden is the new Brother Justin.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:14 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anybody else think it's not the greatest idea to adapt a story that has not, and in all probability never will be, finished?

The Walking Dead
is pretty good
posted by brevator at 10:14 PM on April 3, 2011


Yeah but Walking Dead is already veering away pretty strongly from the books. Maybe this will veer as well. But I fear there will be rebellion if it veers too strongly. It's all veery complicated.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:17 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe this will veer as well. But I fear there will be rebellion if it veers too strongly. It's all veery complicated.

Would it be wrong of me to think that what I'd really like out of this is an adaptation of the trilogy that, by the end of book one, it still seemed like we might plausibly get?

(That's not entirely fair - a lot of what's amazing about the books happens well after you realize that things have gone way too Big Scale to possibly resolve by the end of #3. But. Well. You know.)
posted by brennen at 10:23 PM on April 3, 2011


Good Googly Godwining Gods; Walking Dead diverged from the comics from the get go and is a total bastardization of the comics.

AMC totally dropped the ball and completely shitcanned their license for the franchise. The comics are *great* and about it never being finished... it makes sense for the series and... I do actually expect the primary character(s) to get extinguished. Eventually. The whole "not ending" thing is kinda what keeps me reading the series because that's what it's about - surviving.

So far, I don't think anyone other than Michone could carry the story if/once Rick (gets) bites it.
posted by porpoise at 10:24 PM on April 3, 2011


It's good telly though.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:27 PM on April 3, 2011


excepting Tyrion, who was awesome

Was? Tyrion is still awesome! And I keep wondering if his path with cross with that of Daenerys since he has now fled across the sea. . .
posted by arnicae at 10:57 PM on April 3, 2011


I don't get people complaining about HBO canceling shows. OK, they do, occasionally, but the subscription model means they can gave things a far far longer leash than network ever could. Big Love, for example, got at least two more seasons than it deserved.

Certainly we are pretty far from the Six Feet Under/The Wire/Sopranos heyday at this point, but I'm still willing to give things I otherwise have little interest in a chance, based on the HBO brand alone.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:12 PM on April 3, 2011


Just wanted to brag that they had a promo for Game of Thrones in New York City a few days ago, where a food truck sold medieval dishes to a limited number of people. My sister tracked it down to outside a Goth nightclub and brought back a tiny piece of venison on a skewer with barley and apple stuffing. Yum. (Passed on the head cheese, thankfully.)

I know what I'm doing for eats when this comes out on Netflix... partying like it's 1399.
posted by Soliloquy at 11:19 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sansa and Bran both seem way too old, and the fight with the White Walkers felt pretty fake, but I still can't wait to watch the rest of this.
posted by willnot at 11:59 PM on April 3, 2011


Does anybody else think it's not the greatest idea to adapt a story that has not, and in all probability never will be, finished?

What are you talking about? I have the manuscript for the final volume here, and I have to say in my considered opinion, it is AWESOME.

George might be annoyed that I've decided to spill the beans, but I'm so excited that I've got to give you a synopsis of the action. Set ten years later, the first chapter details how all of the characters we grew to know and love died in the interim. Now with the stakes for Westeros higher than ever, a new set of heroes takes center stage. With the land reeling from the devastation of war, and no contender able to seize the throne, it is agreed that a new form of warfare will settle the question of ridership; a single design of the new game known as "baseball" will settle the fate of the kingdom. With this volume the series truly comes into it's title of "Game of Thrones", as the destiny of the world rests on a simple decision: forward pass or punt?
posted by happyroach at 12:04 AM on April 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sansa and Bran both seem way too old

Almost all of the characters are several years older than in the books, for good and obvious reasons. Portraying Sansa and Danaerys, to pick two examples, as the ages they are in the books is untenable for a television series.
posted by Justinian at 12:08 AM on April 4, 2011


Almost all of the characters are several years older than in the books

Which actually seems like a much more reasonable decision than aging some but not all of them. I think in this timeline, King Robert's rebellion was about 20 years ago rather than 15, and the rest simply flows from that.
posted by Myca at 12:56 AM on April 4, 2011


Finally watched the preview. I felt the same frustrations that I did when I read the first three books - there's not going to be a satisfying conclusion in a period of time compatible with the extent of my interest. Shame :-/
posted by tumid dahlia at 1:15 AM on April 4, 2011


From the opening 15 minutes at least, this seems very faithful to the book – to the extent that it’s hard to see how everything can possibly fit in if they plan on recreating every scene. I guess there’s a fair amount of interiority and exposition to cut.

The accents seem a bit all over the place. The Starks have all grown up in different parts of England and I’m not quite sure what Peter Dinklage is going for, but it sounds a bit uncomfortable.
posted by him at 1:57 AM on April 4, 2011


A Song of Ice and Fire always felt "made for TV" because the books are very episodic, doubtless owing to George R. R. Martin's time spent as a screenwriter.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:30 AM on April 4, 2011


mutter mutter someone do sandkings mutter mutter
posted by Redhush at 3:46 AM on April 4, 2011


Mutter mutter wheel of time would be better because even fans would appreciate the massive editing mutter.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:18 AM on April 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


mutter mutter someone do sandkings mutter mutter

Done.
posted by PenDevil at 4:24 AM on April 4, 2011


Trivia: filmed mostly in and around Northern Ireland and inside a very large hall where they painted bits of the Titanic.
posted by Damienmce at 5:30 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whether or not this is a fair characterization with respect to other projects, it certainly isn't fair about the HBO program. Martin has nothing to do with it apart from cashing the checks.

He's one of the writers on the show.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:45 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


i'm on Storm of Swords right now.

trying to convince my boyfriend that spending $80.45 a month on tv just so i can watch one show is not working tho. i have a hard time convincing myself of that anyways.

that said, i'm pretty excited for this and hope it lasts long enough to get through at least one book. and make it to dvd so i can buy that.


before i even heard about the this though, i had pictured Tyrion as the Peter Dinkleage in my head.
posted by sio42 at 5:48 AM on April 4, 2011


I had a long ranty unreadable post all typed out but I realized it boiled down to this:

Am I the only geeky person who finds most of these sprawling fantasy series to be nearly unreadable?
posted by Fuka at 6:00 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to read this book because it was recommended to me but I'm not a fan of fantasy and it's only making me frustrated and angry. Should I push through it?
posted by litnerd at 6:18 AM on April 4, 2011


m I the only geeky person who finds most of these sprawling fantasy series to be nearly unreadable?

No, that's part of why I can't get into it. I still read a few of them but they're all universes I got into when I was younger and had more time and brainspace to remember who all these people were and what they were up to and why I should care. For new stuff, I mostly prefer one- or two-offs.
posted by immlass at 6:28 AM on April 4, 2011


Fuka, litnerd - there's no rule that says you have to like multi-part fantasy series, or any fantasy at all. Even if someone you trust tells you you'll love it. Although I'm guessing ASOIAF was recommended to you because it's more low fantasy than high fantasy (i.e. mud and not much magic compared to wizards with sparkly wands). Often people who don't like fantasy object to the unrealistic prettiness of the people and scenery, or maybe the crappy dialogue. But if it's the supernatural or the faux-medieval setting that annoy you, ASOIAF probably isn't going to change your mind.

I love the series (Winter is Coming! Tyrion! Arya! Jon Snow!), but I can't actually recommend it in good faith when it's so long already and showing signs of never being completed in book format.
posted by harriet vane at 6:28 AM on April 4, 2011


Mind you, my sci-fi reading habits make me wonder what kind of solar system setup produces summers and winters that go for years rather than months. I hope it's not magic causing that, I actually really want a planet with a tumbling orientation instead of just a tilt.
posted by harriet vane at 6:31 AM on April 4, 2011


Should I push through it?

No. If you don't like fantasy genre anyway, the book is only going to make you mad. There's radical twists at the end, which leave many more questions open than they solve. If you want to see stick it out, the end is the best part of the book, but you probably won’t like it. And the next 3 books don't really solve much either, other than the question of "how many new characters is it possible to keep track of in a single series?" Everyone has a different answer.

I couldn't recommend ASOIF to a new reader, much less to one that didn't already like fantasy to begin with. To old readers waiting for the next books, I say: Choose you second favorite faction (as your first has probably already been slaughtered somewhere along the way). Now imagine a scenario in which your second favorite faction comes close to achieving a satisfying resolution, only to be gut wrenchingly thwarted by another previously mentioned faction which received little to no screen time prior to leaping onto the stage and strangling your (now second) favorite character. That's probably how the series ends.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:38 AM on April 4, 2011


> Should I push through it?

I do like fantasy and had a very hard time with the first 200-300 pages of the first book. I did push through it and loved the series and devoured the rest of the books. Your mileage may vary and I know of people who were hooked from the first page, but for me it took a lot of patience to get to the point where I was hooked.
posted by davextreme at 6:47 AM on April 4, 2011


I really couldn't disagree with T.D. Strange's assessment more. I despise the fantasy genre, and ASOIF is one of the best things I've read in a long time. In many ways it's the anti-fantasy fantasy series.

The second paragraph to T.D.'s post is totally accurate, but for me it's not criticism, but it's actually why I liked the series as much as I did. It's really the point of the whole thing, that protagonists and "good" factions have as much or more possibility of meeting sad fates as anyone else. This is a series certainly not for people that want all plot lines tied up in a pretty bow and resolved in a hero-friendly way. For me, the joy was in the journey.

All that said, I thought the 4th book was quite a cliff dive in quality. I'll read the 5th, if it does end up coming out in June as currently promised, but I think it's the first 3 books that really define the series.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:49 AM on April 4, 2011


Whether or not this is a fair characterization with respect to other projects, it certainly isn't fair about the HBO program. Martin has nothing to do with it apart from cashing the checks.

But don't you see, any source of income that puts food on GRRM's plate without requiring him to finish another book is a problem.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:23 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Ice and Fire books are just so long. So many pages, so little artistic density. They're beautifully entertaining epic fantasy and I didn't mind the length because the writing was enjoyable enough. Books you read to pass the time. But it's going to be hard to translate to screen.

Dune suffered from bad adaptation of doorstop-length-books; neither the Lynch movie nor the Sci-Fi miniseries really worked as adpatations. The Harry Potter movies suffered the length problem but seem to have mostly found their way by going through all the events very quickly. The Lord of the Rings movies also managed pretty well, in their case by cutting whole sections of the books and focusing really well on cinematography.

I'm kind of hoping the Game of Thrones will go another route and embrace the soap operaness of it. Something like The Young and the Restless sees no shame in spending 15 hours of screen time before advancing a plot point. I think that approach would suit Ice and Fire well.
posted by Nelson at 7:51 AM on April 4, 2011


Nelson: I think the reason that shows like TYATR can get away with that is because they're so cheap. As soon as you start throwing in medieval costume design (which is absolutely fantastic in the preview, IMO), digital effects, location shooting, etc. then you start to limit how much screen time a show can have. Plus, to justify the cost of the production, you have to have the ratings as well. I think that ASOFI (so many acronyms...) can pull it off, but it may not be a sure thing.
posted by codacorolla at 8:04 AM on April 4, 2011


Plus, to justify the cost of the production, you have to have the ratings as well.

Yes, but having the show on HBO means that it's playing by an entirely different set of ratings rules. The show won't have to be successful in the way that network shows have to be, in that there are no advertising dollars the show will be competing for. The network will keep the show on the air as long as they think it's a series which will entice people to pay the monthly subscription fee, or will eventually sell DVD sets.

I have to imagine that without at least five million or more viewers every week it will die pretty quickly.

You're talking Sopranos-level numbers for this series, which I don't think will have that kind of audience. Even Boardwalk Empire is only drawing under 4 million...

More likely will be whether or not it draws the kind of critical fawning reception that HBO considers necessary. Even if its only got a first-run viewership of 2 million a week, if the series is routinely held up by the chattering class as being wonderful, HBO will continue to make episodes. They really do run things differently there, and many times that means keeping alive a series for reasons other than ratings.
posted by hippybear at 8:28 AM on April 4, 2011


Walking Dead diverged from the comics from the get go and is a total bastardization of the comics.

Huh? That first episode followed the comics so closely you could do a panel-by-panel dissection. The only one that felt off was the finale with that stupid explosive climax at the CDC. Gah, that was bad.

Does anybody else think it's not the greatest idea to adapt a story that has not, and in all probability never will be, finished?

I dunno, sounds perfect for series TV. At least they won't have to invent absurd plot twists to keep the thing going. It's still already going.
posted by mediareport at 8:35 AM on April 4, 2011


I do like fantasy and had a very hard time with the first 200-300 pages of the first book. I did push through it and loved the series and devoured the rest of the books.

Ditto that. I put the first one down halfway through (The first half dozen chapters were quite good, though.) I came back to it a few weeks later and got hooked. I tore through the rest of the series in a couple weeks.

I think the thing with AGOT is that it's setting up a really elaborate series, so there are parts of the middle of the book (when most of the action shifts to the capitol) that are a bit overwhelming. It's going to be interesting to see how they manage that in this series.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:22 AM on April 4, 2011


Sansa and Bran both seem way too old

They do, and yet... I can't be the only one wondering if the reason GRRM has taken so long with the last book is that his child characters are still too young to realistically be part of the political landscape (with the exception of Sansa, given the nature of her storyline). Aging them up a few years will help with the future after Game of Thrones - and after that preview, I dearly hope there will be a future after Game of Thrones.
posted by Catseye at 9:40 AM on April 4, 2011


I can't be the only one wondering if the reason GRRM has taken so long with the last book is that his child characters are still too young to realistically be part of the political landscape...

GRRM has said that he would up-age the characters in the novels if he was to do them over.

He was planning a five-year gap that would have allowed the younger ones to grow up some, but he's resigned himself (for continuity reasons) to just have them end up younger than he planned.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:53 AM on April 4, 2011


I have made my opinion well known before, so I will keep my head down now.
posted by Samizdata at 10:08 AM on April 4, 2011


I've avoided commenting because my screen ID here gives my fandom away...but i have to say that (though I love the books), I am not optimistic about the success of the TV series.

I suspect that the things that make the books so amazing - the depth of characterisations, the different interior perspectives on various events, the unreliability of any character's understanding of what's going on, the amazingly 3D female characters - won't translate well.

Even in the previews, there is one character who has been simplified and made more sympathetic (because in the books her redeeming characteristics show up mostly in interior monologs) and one who seems to have had his character development sped up by about 2000 pages and months of storyline. Even the less conventional female characters have been cast conventionally pretty and costumed revealingly. Plus, there's the accents and hair dye issues to consider.

I also suspect that (as the comments here show) the fantasy trappings will be tough for many people to get past. Too bad - the books are well worth reading, even if you (like me) are generally allergic to sword-and-sorcery fantasy.
posted by Wylla at 10:21 AM on April 4, 2011


Even the less conventional female characters have been cast conventionally pretty and costumed revealingly.

Hrm? Which one have we seen?

If the series continues, it's going to be very interesting to see who they cast as Brienne.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:29 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Minnie Driver.
posted by Senator at 10:33 AM on April 4, 2011


I've neither read the books nor had HBO for years, but I was jazzed to learn that Corvus Corax appear in the pilot episode playing a live version of Ballade De Mercy.

I will Netflix the fuck out of this one.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:34 AM on April 4, 2011


I will Netflix the fuck out of this one.

Yeah, good luck with that. HBO isn't giving Netflix the rights to stream its shows.
posted by hippybear at 10:45 AM on April 4, 2011


Churchhatestucker : The Danerys scenes which have been posted as previews show that they've costumed the character in a revealing dress for most of her earlier scenes, for example. The descriptions in the book have her in leather riding clothing for many of the same scenes.
posted by Wylla at 10:47 AM on April 4, 2011


The descriptions in the book have her in leather riding clothing for many of the same scenes.

In the books, the Dothraki women wear leather vests over bare chests. Dany's look in the series may actually be less revealing.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:59 AM on April 4, 2011


Yeah, good luck with that. HBO isn't giving Netflix the rights to stream its shows.

Oh well. Guess I'll miss out.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 11:19 AM on April 4, 2011


Yeah, good luck with that. HBO isn't giving Netflix the rights to stream its shows.

Oh well. Guess I'll miss out.


Yeah. Pity that there will be no way to get the episodes online.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:24 AM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hoped they would get to a Tyrion scene in the preview but I'll settle for what we got. I've been following this for a long time on the ASOIAF forum. I remember when casting suggestions were flying around and it was practically unanimous that Peter Dinklage was the only choice to play Tyrion Lannister. And not just because of his obvious height - Dinklage has the gravitas to pull off such a complex character.

At one point someone who worked in the same office complex that HBO headquarters posted on the forum that he saw Dinklage in an elevator and posters went just a little nuts. And apparently the producers thought Peter was the only choice for the part as well.
posted by Ber at 11:26 AM on April 4, 2011


I must admit that I pretend the children are a couple years older than portrayed in the books. If there was a chance that Martin would actually finish the series (there is not) the lack of a 5 year gap to age up the kids would become a problem. But since there is no chance I suppose we can live with what we've got.

He's one of the writers on the show.

Who has written how many of the scripts? Credits are cheap.
posted by Justinian at 12:03 PM on April 4, 2011


(Note: I am currently reading the series - in the middle of Book 2.)

I do love Peter Dinklage. But I think he's far too good looking to play Tyrion. My impression of him from the books was that he was particularly unattractive besides being a "dwarf."

I'll take it though - makes me like Tyrion even more picturing him looking like PD.
posted by MsVader at 12:06 PM on April 4, 2011


Yeah, Tyrion is supposed to have lanky hair, mismatched eyes, and a jutting forehead. But Dinklage is awesome and, well, how large is the pool of potential actors to play Tyrion in the first place?
posted by Justinian at 12:27 PM on April 4, 2011


Who has written how many of the scripts? Credits are cheap.

Wha? Credits are dear.

He does get story credit for one episode (the 8th, IIRC) but writers are very involved with each others' scripts.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:34 PM on April 4, 2011


Writers are very involved with each others' scripts on some shows, but AFAIK HBO shows tend not to be that way. Benioff and Weiss are supposed to write all the other scripts although I guess one or two other people are going to pick up a script as well now.

But still, I didn't realize Martin was going to write even the one script so I guess I was... less correct than usual.
posted by Justinian at 12:37 PM on April 4, 2011


Benioff and Weiss are supposed to write all the other scripts although I guess one or two other people are going to pick up a script as well now.

B&W are the showrunners as far as I can tell, so they have the last pass by default. It'll be interesting to see how the credits are broken out.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:51 PM on April 4, 2011


Justinian: If there was a chance that Martin would actually finish the series (there is not) the lack of a 5 year gap to age up the kids would become a problem.

I don't get where this paranoia about the books never being done comes from - George RR Martin is 62 and in good health, and hasn't expressed any desire to stop writing the series. I've never seen an explanation for why so many people are obsessed with this idea, other than "He must be dying because he's overweight" and "I was a Wheel of Time fan." Really, the next books could take 8 years each to finish, and he would be 78 when they were both done.

Whether they will get done as fast as you'd like is another question...but the level of bitterness about the delay in some quarters is another thing I just find strange.
posted by Wylla at 12:56 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pity that there will be no way to get the episodes online.

lol
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:49 PM on April 4, 2011


When I read the books I pictured Jillian Armenante as Brienne. She is probably too small though.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0035395/

I think dinklage is too handsom for Tyrian although it might make all the crap he takes about being a twisted little imp seem even more unfair.

I want this to be great so bad it hurts.
posted by subtle_squid at 3:01 PM on April 4, 2011


but the level of bitterness about the delay in some quarters is another thing I just find strange.

Oh, I'm not bitter! He doesn't owe us anything at all, except possibly his publisher if he accepts an advance. But you've got to be realistic about these things. All indication is that after A Storm of Swords Martin lost control of the story. Maybe once we see Dance it will become apparent that he has managed to wrestle it back under control, but I sure wouldn't take odds on that being the case. Remember, Dance was supposed to be nearly complete back in 2005.

I wasn't making a macabre comment on Martin's health; that would be in poor taste. I was making a critical comment about his storytelling.
posted by Justinian at 3:07 PM on April 4, 2011


Is Viserys supposed to be a weedy little guy?

You wanna be king, I'm thinking you're expected to armor up and go kill people with sharp/heavy things. I mean, Branagh demonstrated that even a man without lips can give an inspiring speech, but KB at least looked like he could lift the sword with which he was going to chop a bloody French path throneward.

The actor the got for Viserys looks like his forearm would break if he lifted anything heavy enough to kill another man with.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:05 PM on April 4, 2011


Well, I think the point with Viserys is that he is totally unsuited as a king. He's a tempermental teenager with delusions of grandeur, half crazy, and no idea how far he is in over his head with his sister's new friends and family. All his talk about "don't wake the dragon" is an empty threat in the face of his new brother-in-law.

And casting Jason Momoa as said brother-in-law is pretty damn good.
posted by Ber at 4:26 PM on April 4, 2011


I don't get where this paranoia about the books never being done comes from

Over 10 years since the last Tyrion chapter.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:19 PM on April 4, 2011


BTW, for anyone still on the fence about this series, Geekdad has a list of ten reasons why you should watch it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:32 PM on April 4, 2011


Viserys is the result of in-breeding and a crazy father. His talk about reclaiming the throne is just that, talk. There's no way he's up to the job. I'm pretty sure all the people 'helping' him are just there to rip him off.

And re: the series never being finished, my impression was that GRRM had been working on other projects for a while and taking long breaks from ASOIAF. I'd love to find out what happens, but honestly, if his heart isn't in it I don't want to read a book he was forced to write out of contractural obligations. Life's too short, and he could be writing stuff that excites him and would be a better read because of it.
posted by harriet vane at 6:32 PM on April 4, 2011


Can I just take a moment to say that I think it's hilarious that the man who initiated the Wild Cards shared universe thing LOATHES fan fiction?

Because I do think it's hilarious.
posted by hippybear at 6:46 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the series continues, it's going to be very interesting to see who they cast as Brienne.

The football coach on Glee? I don't know if I'm joking.
posted by Durin's Bane at 9:06 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looking forward to watching this with friends, but our expectations are well calibrated. I do feel a long form series on HBO has the best chance of succeeding, but I will be pleasantly surprised if it does.

I'm currently listening to the fantastic reading by Roy Dotrice before the HBO series starts. His gravelly voice suits the subject matter perfectly. (Why they switched readers on the fourth book is a mystery to me. It's as if they switched out the entire cast after three seasons and hoped no one would notice. I found it un-listenable. )

To those who have not read, one of things that made the series stand out to me is the author's willingness to kill off main characters. Not knowing who will make it to the end of the chapter really adds to the tension of scenes. I found myself flipping forward to see if favorites were still alive.

It's also refreshing that most of the characters have relatable motivations beyond good versus evil. It's more the haves vs. the want mores vs. the fears less. Harriet Vane's description above of low fantasy as more mud than magic is a big part of the appeal for me.
posted by lucidprose at 9:13 PM on April 4, 2011


Game of Thrones: 10 Secrets About HBO's Adaptation
posted by hippybear at 9:05 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


lucidprose: Roy Dotrice took ill, otherwise he would have read that book too. Luckily for everyone GRRM announced that he is signed for reading Dance, and they hope to get him a good part in the HBO series if it gets a season 2.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:23 PM on April 5, 2011


From the "10 Secrets.." link:
Already, just the announcement of the date, I have some jokers writing me and saying, 'How's [Book 6] Winds of Winter coming?'"

JOKERS? They might be laughing, George, but through gritted teeth.
posted by coriolisdave at 3:42 PM on April 5, 2011


Winds of Winter?!? Release date or no, he's not even finished with A Dance with Dragons yet! 3 months out from the hard and fast this-time-we-mean-it date and he's still chipping away.

Anyone know the absolute quickest time a novel can be turned around by a publisher?
posted by Justinian at 4:03 PM on April 5, 2011


From what I've heard some time in May is the absolute latest he can get the last of the book to the publishers.
posted by 6550 at 7:08 PM on April 5, 2011


'Game of Thrones' author slams 'Lost': Damon Lindelof gives EW his response

(actually pretty interesting analysis by one of the Lost team about how things end and how that can play out with the fan community, etc, in the context of GoT)
posted by hippybear at 9:12 PM on April 5, 2011


My guess is that he has agreed with the publishers that they are going to print with whatever they have as of a certain date. He can tweak all he wants until that date, but whatever is there as of 12:01am on May XX is what we'll see as A Dance With Dragons. Which isn't quite as bad as it sounds given that they have undoubtedly edited and typeset what they do have, which should be 95% of the novel or so.
posted by Justinian at 10:28 PM on April 5, 2011


This behind the scenes look is what got me interested. The no-Netflix streming thing sucks.

No early-adopter premium for this monkey. DVDs it is.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:24 AM on April 6, 2011


HitFix Interview: A few minutes with George R.R. Martin at the 'Game of Thrones' food truck

GRRM shares his impressions of the marketing of the series and his reaction to having finally seen the first two episodes.
posted by hippybear at 10:47 AM on April 10, 2011


The New Yorker did an interesting piece on Martin & his relationship with his impatient fans (including the ones who've gone over to outright hostile). The author mentioned Gaiman's "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch", but made no note of the issue of his publisher selling pre-orders on a book he hadn't finished yet. If found that an interesting omission to the discussion.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:36 AM on April 14, 2011


« Older You're Doing It All Wrong...  |  Stephen King and John Mellenca... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments