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


What to watch when you've finished running through The Wire, Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly on Netflix.
June 14, 2011 11:56 AM   Subscribe

Why should you be watching HBO's Game of Thrones? In two words: Peter Dinklage. At 41 and expecting his first child, actor Peter Dinklage may finally be coming into his own. Though his breakout role in the indie movie Station Agent might not have made it onto your Netflix queue, Dinklage is winning accolades for his performance as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, the HBO series based on George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series, A Song of Fire and Ice.

As Tyrion Lannister, aka The Imp, Dinklage has slapped the shit out of smarmy nephew and would-be king Joffrey Lannister, used his wits to navigate the world of treachery and intrigue behind the fight for the Iron Throne, and incited a " Just give him the fucking Emmy already" movement.
posted by misha (393 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite

 
Station Agent was a good movie and should make it onto your netflix queue.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:57 AM on June 14, 2011 [39 favorites]


(Also, great post)
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:57 AM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


My post was slapslapslapbetterslapslapslap. Just kidding, this is great.
posted by PapaLobo at 11:59 AM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


His priceless scene in Living in Oblivion
posted by Trurl at 12:00 PM on June 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


When I watched the pilot I didn't think they were going to pull it off, but it's a damn fine show. Without Dinklage it wouldn't have worked. It's also the most discussed show among television writers, if my show is anything to go by.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:00 PM on June 14, 2011


We used to drink in the same bar on Avenue A. That is all.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:02 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would like to highlight the "...slapped the shit..." link for special attention should you find yourself pressed for time.
posted by logicpunk at 12:03 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


We used to drink in the same piano bar in Greenwich Village. NOW that is all.
posted by oneironaut at 12:03 PM on June 14, 2011


Dinklage's personal coolness aside, after the end of this Sunday's episode, I want all the Lannisters dead.
posted by Trurl at 12:03 PM on June 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


Ever since I saw him as the children's writer-for-hire in Elf, I've been waiting for him to be a star.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:05 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


He really is the best thing in an already excellent show.
posted by mkultra at 12:07 PM on June 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd watch GoT if it were just Tyrion Lannister and John Snow being reluctant best buds and snarking their way across the realm. Arya can come, too.

Actually I'd probably like that show better.

Anyway, great show, great post, and fuck all the Lannisters except Tyrion, seriously fuck them all.
posted by pts at 12:08 PM on June 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


He was super great on Nip/Tuck as well. Haven't seen this series, but once I re-subscribe to HBO for True Blood, I'll try to catch up.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:08 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn, bars on Avenue A, piano bars, that guy got around. Anyone else care to report in?
posted by Ad hominem at 12:08 PM on June 14, 2011


I knew Peter in the mid-90s. Went to see his band in the East Village, the name of which is escaping me (he was the singer), and hang out with him when he came to visit the bookstore I worked at...sweet guy with balls the size of buicks. Totally a mensch.


That is not all, but that is enough.
posted by Skygazer at 12:09 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


The only concern I had about the adaptation was that Tyrion was cast well, because when the books get slow, and they tend to drag in spots, I just look for the next Tyrion chapter. Hearing Dinklage was cast put those concerns to rest. Seeing his work this season is even better than I could have hoped. The show is great all around, but, man, he is perfect.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:10 PM on June 14, 2011


He does the look of barely-contained disgust exceedingly well, doesn't he?
posted by de void at 12:10 PM on June 14, 2011


I've been a huge fan since Station Agent, and it's frankly impossible to imagine anyone else as Tyrion, but... he is jarringly weird as a blond.
posted by bonehead at 12:10 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


He was also hilarious in Death at a Funeral.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:10 PM on June 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


I want all the Lannisters dead

I'd be okay with leaving Tyrion alone, especially after hearing more of his backstory in Sunday's episode. But yeah, totally with you on the rest of those fuckers. Especially Joffrey. I'd like to kick that dude in the jumblies four or five thousand times.

I always forget that Peter Dinklage had a meaty guest role on Nip/Tuck. I have this problem where I can't watch graphic surgery stuff without throwing up in my mouth a little, and I'd heard Nip/Tuck was hella graphic so I avoided it, but am I missing out? Should I just gather my balls up into a tight bundle and let my love of Peter Dinklage win out?
posted by palomar at 12:10 PM on June 14, 2011


I once saw him coolly walking a large dog down University Place.
posted by gubo at 12:11 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want all the Lannisters dead

Heh.
posted by bonehead at 12:12 PM on June 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Ad hominem: "Damn, bars on Avenue A, piano bars, that guy got around. Anyone else care to report in?"

We grew up in the same town in Jersey but I didn't know him.
posted by octothorpe at 12:12 PM on June 14, 2011


NO SPOILERS!
posted by ColdChef at 12:13 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


I saw him once on University Place as well, and the dude looked pissed. Like "get the fuck out of my way" pissed. "Goddamn, Peter Dinklage," became an injoke among my friends for a while after that.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:15 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


> That is not all, but that is enough.

Oh, come ON!
posted by heyho at 12:15 PM on June 14, 2011


Good luck with that ColdChef. The internets are full to bursting with spoilers to Sunday's episode. Unless you watch it within a day or two, you're going to stumble on a spoiler for it.
posted by octothorpe at 12:15 PM on June 14, 2011


Kermode Uncut on Peter Dinklage
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:16 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Especially Joffrey

I don't think I've ever hated a literary/film/tv/whatever character more... job well done there
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:18 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


So where's the better place to start? The books or the show?
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:20 PM on June 14, 2011


I am reading (OK, really listening to an audible.com book) this now. I understand book 5 comes out in July. I hope I don't have to wait long for teh audio version.

The books are so long it's it's almost like you fall into their reality. If the TV show is even close it must be great. I've promised myself to not even look at a clip of it before I finish the books. I hope it comes out on DVD soon after the season ends.

W I N T E R F E L D ! !
posted by cccorlew at 12:20 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Halfman! Halfman! Halfman!
posted by greasy_skillet at 12:20 PM on June 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


Is there a legal way to watch this right now without paying for monthly HBO?
posted by gurple at 12:21 PM on June 14, 2011


I know a lot of people who adore the books and insist that they can't understand how anyone could make heads or tails of all the characters on the show without doing so, but I've never read the books and am very fond of the show. So either way, I suppose.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:22 PM on June 14, 2011


So I'm reading the novels now.

They're very well-written, and I admit I'm addicted. But they're also very lurid in a weirdly callow sort of way. I think a feminist scholar would have a field-day with them. Any sort of maternal or nurturing characteristics are portrayed as weak, foolish, and destructive. They also have the highest number of rapes per chapter that I've ever seen in a fantasy series, and I have yet to encounter a loving sexual relationship between equals despite the bucketloads of sex that are present in the books.

Still, sounds like a great TV series, and I'll happily watch it when it comes out on Netflix.
posted by xthlc at 12:23 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joffrey is a total douchebag, but they're totally riffing on the douchiness of that other faux-blonde blue-blooded brat, Draco Malfoy. At this point in media history, Blond Guys Are Evil.
posted by mek at 12:23 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would have to go with the books, if you're up for it. They're all 1,000+ pages mind (the show comprises the events of the first in the series) and the exposition can drag a bit if you're not the kind of person who likes reading long, rhapsodic descriptions of feasts and heraldry and such, but the show cuts a *lot* of supporting information out (by necessity) and would be a lot easier to follow if you'd read the books first. I've been watching the show with my girlfriend who hasn't read them, and I've occasionally needed to fill her in on what the relationship between two characters is or why we should care about whatever is happening to a particular character at one moment or another.

Also, despite my caveats about the books, they're some of my absolute all-time favorites and I have totally devoured them on more than one occasion. I'm getting ready to do so again, as the next in the series is finally to be released next month.
posted by Scientist at 12:24 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm in love with Peter Dinklage's voice. Especially on GoT - it is damn sexy.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 12:24 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Anyway, great show, great post, and fuck all the Lannisters except Tyrion, seriously fuck them all.

Jamie's not all bad. Okay, he is almost all bad, but once you start to understand his motivations he becomes a more sympathetic character. Cersei, OTOH, is just pure, liquid evil.

I'm glad that Dinklage is doing such a good job (so I hear. I haven't seen the series yet), because Tyrion is not only everyone's favorite character, he's most people's second favorite character too.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:25 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


NO SPOILERS!

I didn't know there would be spoilers, you asss, now you've gone and ruined the surprise!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:26 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Station agent and Game of Thrones were both directed by Tom McCarthy (who also co-wrote/directed Win-Win, and co-wrote Up). No surprise that he chose Dinklage for GoT.

I went to junior high school and high school with Tom. Let's just say, I know a Great. Many. Things. about Tom that he probably doesn't want the world to know.
posted by plinth at 12:27 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


My wife has been sort of half watching Game of Thrones over my shoulder; I've read the books, and she hasn't. I think she's fairly clearly following the basic plot, but there are definitely details she's missing.

I'm also LOVING the response to the last episode among people who haven't read the books.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:27 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going to be so sad when Tyrion dies in the season finale.
posted by ged at 12:28 PM on June 14, 2011 [32 favorites]


Boy, look at him smack around Malfoy.
posted by Muddler at 12:29 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any sort of maternal or nurturing characteristics are portrayed as weak, foolish, and destructive.

I think this is a short-term / long-term thing. It seems to be pretty clear (he says in a vague and hopefully non-spoilerey way) that in their own ways Bran, Jon, Daenerys, & Tyrion have nurturing sides and that will eventually (after a long parade of horribleness) triumph in some sort of way. (Arya's sort of a different case).
posted by feckless at 12:30 PM on June 14, 2011


2bucks, I'm in the process of reading the books (halfway through book three), and I'm watching the show with my boyfriend, who hasn't read them. There's certainly a bit of a backstory advantage and a sorting-out-characters advantage to reading the books before watching the show, but I'm tempted to tell you to watch the show first.
posted by alynnk at 12:31 PM on June 14, 2011


If anything I'd have liked a bit more buildup to last night's climax. That was the point where, when reading the books, I came closest to just throwing the book across the room and never picking it up again. Of course, once I accepted the nature of the world that Martin was portraying, I was more addicted than ever. And, of course, murderous at those fucking bastard Lannisters and that shit-eating smug little prick Joffrey in particular.
posted by Scientist at 12:31 PM on June 14, 2011


Am I the only one annoyed by Tyrion's terribly half-assed and inconsistent accent, though? I love the character and love his performance otherwise.
posted by empath at 12:31 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


For the record, I have not read the books, and I had no problems following the characters after getting past the first few episodes.
posted by empath at 12:32 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there a legal way to watch this right now without paying for monthly HBO?

Pirate Bay has been working just fine for me-- episodes are invariably up within an hour or two of showtime on Sunday night, and then I watch them on Monday.

Oh. Right.

Well, I'll probably buy the DVD set when it comes out, so I have no qualms.
posted by jokeefe at 12:33 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I like living!" is the one line that just DESTROYED me. I had to pause the show, because I couldn't hear the dialog over my own laughing, or see the screen through my tears. Dinklage manages to steal the show exactly the same way that Tyrion steals the books.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:33 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm going to be so sad when Tyrion dies in the season finale.

You are going to hell. You know that, right?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:33 PM on June 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


Back to Dinklage: gee whiz, I think he's sexy.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:33 PM on June 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


LOVE The Station Agent. Haven't gotten through the first episode of GOT, but may yet.
posted by Glinn at 12:34 PM on June 14, 2011


I'm going to be so sad when Tyrion dies in the season finale.

Liar. And I haven't even read the books.
posted by jokeefe at 12:35 PM on June 14, 2011


Even I have seen 'The Station Agent'. A lovely film.
posted by GuyZero at 12:37 PM on June 14, 2011


Hey, I just watched The Station Agent, and I'm in the middle of Clash of Kings ... I have relevance!

I know a lot of people who adore the books and insist that they can't understand how anyone could make heads or tails of all the characters on the show without doing so, but I've never read the books and am very fond of the show.

I watched the first few episodes of the show and had no problem keeping up. Then I decided to read the books on my phone (first full novel reading experience on a digital device). I'm in about 200 pages into Clash of Kings now. These things read fast. (They are also very well written, imo. Not a Dan Brown thing at all.)

It's remarkable to me how closely the show hews to the text. Most of the character's lines are verbatim from the book.

During the first book, I thought it was obvious that Tyrion would leave the Lannisters and take up arms with Lord Snow above the Wall or even the Starks in the North. How many times does your father have to insult you or get you almost killed before you say enough?

However, I must say I'm glad Tyrion hasn't defected (yet). Also, I'm mostly just still reading (and watching) to see Rhaegal, Viserion and Drogon kick some ass, but I suppose that will be another 1,000 pages or so.

And as much as I like Peter Dinklage (ever since Living in Oblivion, which is one of my favorite movies EVER), I'm constantly thinking, "aren't there any other little people who can act?"
posted by mrgrimm at 12:37 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hadn't heard of Dinklage before GOT, but he is some kinda awesome. Emmy! The whole show is perfectly cast, with characters/actors that seem to have no dimension emerging into their character over the season (Dany!). Love love love the show, and have started reading the first book based on that. The book is well worth reading, even if you've seen the show!
posted by bluesky43 at 12:39 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's Liz Lemon's sexiest almost-boyfriend ever. And I liked his to-scale office at the UN.
posted by macadamiaranch at 12:40 PM on June 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


He's a good actor and it's a great character but his accent is horrible. I think it's a shame also that he's overshadowing a lot of other great performances, such as Harry Lloyd as another evil male blond and whoever it is who plays Danaerys.
posted by Summer at 12:41 PM on June 14, 2011


I'm going to be so sad when Tyrion dies in the season finale.

My zombie flesh-eating dragon cyborg has been dispatched in your general direction.
posted by Skygazer at 12:42 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really love how none of the characters are flat and predictable, which of course allows for a lot of the plot twists that happen. But it also allows for layers of characterization. For example, once you think you know the characters pretty well, they'll also have vulnerable moments where they just look pretty average underneath all of the bravado; like when the three were just sitting around talking about their lives while playing the drinking game. I found that as enjoyable as any of the other moments in the show.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:45 PM on June 14, 2011


He's a good actor and it's a great character but his accent is horrible.

Especially when he yells. Yelling in an accent is really hard though, so I won't begrudge him. He's still the best part of the series.

How college was the drinking came scene in the tent? Especially with Bronn getting sexiled! Good times, man, good times.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 12:45 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


despite the bucketloads of sex that are present in the books

The "bucketloads of sex" in the book are overhyped. There is plenty of sex and rape, but there aren't many "sex scenes" - the lesbian scene in the brothel with Littlefinger, Theon Greyjoy's girl, and the other whore was much more graphic than the books get (at least so far).

I had no problems following the characters after getting past the first few episodes.

That's why my wife says, but when I mention Ilyn Payne or Theon Greyjoy, she says "who?"

I'm glad that Dinklage is doing such a good job (so I hear. I haven't seen the series yet), because Tyrion is not only everyone's favorite character, he's most people's second favorite character too.

Huh. Daenerys, Arya, and Bronn are probably my favorite characters so far (and not (only) because Emilia Clarke is gorgeous and I want to see dragons tear shit up.) I'm also partial to Sandor Clegane as well--I have a soft spot for anarchists of any sort.

I have yet to encounter a loving sexual relationship between equals despite the bucketloads of sex that are present in the books

Well that's an easy one: Jaime and Cersei Lannister.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:46 PM on June 14, 2011 [14 favorites]


If anything I'd have liked a bit more buildup to last night's climax. That was the point where, when reading the books, I came closest to just throwing the book across the room and never picking it up again. Of course, once I accepted the nature of the world that Martin was portraying, I was more addicted than ever.

I sort of agree, but as much as I'm loving the books, midway through the second one it's getting a little tiresome. Which is why I wrote this in an earlier AskMe today. (Spoilers, sort of).
posted by The Bellman at 12:46 PM on June 14, 2011


There's no right or wrong here, since good vs. bad vs. okay acting is a matter of personal taste, but I don't get the adoration of Dinklage in GOT. My personal tastes aren't usually that out-of-line with the majority opinion.

Let me pause right here to say that I think he's really good in the series. I don't have a problem with his work, other than some dialect slippages, and that's pretty minor. So I'm not arguing that he's bad in the show. I've enjoyed every seen he's been in, and I look forward to the Tyrian scenes.

I just don't get why people are SO enthusiastic about his performance in particular. To me, there are half-a-dozen other actors in the show who are just as good. But I'm reading all over the web people saying they hope Dinklage wins every major acting awards.

Tryian is the most fun character in the books, and probably the most sympathetic. And he's witty and kind of who-you-want-to-be in that world, as he seems smarter than everyone else, and the show is doing a good job with him, too. But it's mostly in the writing. Aside from height, lots of actors could play Tyrian well. Yet people are talking about Dinklage as if he's Al Pacino in "Dog Day Afternoon" or Bryan Cranston in "Breaking Bad." Again, I'm not saying it's JUSt the writing. Dinklage is doing a good job making a well-written character come alive. I just don't see the actor's contribution as that amazing. It's good. It's fun. It's not -- to me -- Jane Fonda in "Klute," Derek Jacobi in "I, Claudius" or James Galdafini in "The Sopranos."

I don't mean to offend anyone who thinks Dinklage is giving a breakthrough performance. I just don't get the extreme views about him.
posted by grumblebee at 12:47 PM on June 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


He's a good actor and it's a great character but his accent is horrible.

What should a Kings Landing accent sound like?
posted by octothorpe at 12:50 PM on June 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


So where's the better place to start? The books or the show?

I have not read the books and am thoroughly enjoying the show. I'm not having too hard of a time keeping up with everybody. A little judicious looking at the Wikipedia recaps of the episodes I've seen helps keep it straight.

I'm waiting to read the first book after this season is done, because I'm really enjoying not knowing what's next and the anticipation that anyone can get killed or seriously f*cked up at any moment. I'm sure I'm gonna like the books, and don't feel watching the show first is going to wreck it any way for me.

I've been *ahem* watching them on DVDR and I sense a re-watching marathon coming up some weekend in my future.
posted by marxchivist at 12:53 PM on June 14, 2011


Dinklage is very well cast here. But in his favor, Tyrion was always the most interesting character (to me) in the series, so he had a great canvas to work on.
posted by chundo at 12:53 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


What should a Kings Landing accent sound like?

It should sound natural, whatever it is. It just comes across as a fake-y 'posh' accent to me.
posted by empath at 12:54 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


when I mention Ilyn Payne or Theon Greyjoy, she says "who?"

My wife (who, unlike me, has read the book) and I avoid this problem by referring to the GoT characters with convenient substitutions - i.e. "Draco Malfoy", "Tommy Carcetti".
posted by Trurl at 12:54 PM on June 14, 2011 [16 favorites]


They managed to make Joffery even more hatable with that little cape, which is quite an acheivement given that his name is already Joffery.

And yes, a Tyrion and Bronn show would be great. They fight crime! Well, no, they really don't.

Anyone weeping over thickie Boromir?
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's why my wife says, but when I mention Ilyn Payne or Theon Greyjoy, she says "who?"

That's because all the characters on the show have silly names. When they are on screen, you know who they are and what their relationship to the other characters is.
posted by empath at 12:55 PM on June 14, 2011


My wife (who, unlike me, has read the book) and I avoid this problem by referring to the GoT characters with convenient substitutions - i.e. "Draco Malfoy", "Tommy Carcetti".

I want Lady Mrs Nod from Superman 2 (née Elric) to win.
posted by Artw at 12:56 PM on June 14, 2011


I'm loving him in this show, seriously. I've enjoyed his work since a stint on Nip/Tuck and in Death at a Funeral, where he manages to be way less funny and way more creepy for a good portion of the movie.

However, like others have said, I hear it's just an awesome character, enhanced by Dinklage. The blond hair bothers me a bit.

Also, it's Winterfell, not Winterfeld.
posted by Sayuri. at 12:56 PM on June 14, 2011


I read the first book in anticipation of watching the show. My wife didn't read the book. We've been watching the show together (up to episode 6 now), and she actually asked me around episode 3 to stop explaining to her who all the characters were, and their relationships to each other, as she just wanted to enjoy the story as it is portrayed.
posted by antifuse at 12:57 PM on June 14, 2011


Also, you think the last names are silly? I swear to god I heard a character mention his Uncle Kevin. (Kevan, I know, but still.)

I am extremely angry over Boromir, though I know I have no right to be, considering this shit's already been written down. But I just love the Bean, I can't help it.
posted by Sayuri. at 1:00 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


OT: "Sean Bean Stabbed Outside London Bar, Remains Fully Awesome"
posted by Trurl at 1:01 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Viewer's Guide has been helpful for figuring out who is who. (Doesn't matter if you read the books, remembering the actors is another chore. I watched with a friend who had read them all and she couldn't keep the Stark boys straight for several eps, it was adorable.)
posted by Sayuri. at 1:02 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved The Station Agent. It's a shame Dinklage hasn't had any significant starring roles since, though it sounds like he's doing great in GoT. I wouldn't know - after watching the first episode I needed to resolve the cliffhanger, and have since rapidly digested the books. They're addictive. The best feature is the way that all the characters are fleshed out; the "villains" are complex people with complex motives, whose personal journeys are no less interesting than those of the noble Stark clan.

The only sore point for me in the series is that the fictional world has apparently been stuck in the midieval period for something like ten thousand years. It's a good read on the Kindle, where I can easily look up all those references to barbicans.
posted by unmake at 1:03 PM on June 14, 2011


[T]he lesbian scene in the brothel with Littlefinger, Theon Greyjoy's girl, and the other whore was much more graphic than the books get.

Yes, and those scenes weren't depicted in the book, and two of them were wholly invented (Theon with Ros was at least referred to, I think). HBO has gratuitously sexed up the series - my only real problem with it so far. Dinklage is excellent, but as has been pointed out that's in part because Tyrion is a great character.
posted by Eyebeams at 1:05 PM on June 14, 2011


I've been a fan of Dinklage for years, going back to the criminally underrated movie Safe Men (with Sam Rockwell and Steve Zahn as safecrackers/ lounge singers).

His part in the short lived Threshold was probably my favorite role of his, because someone realized what a great actor he is, and let him be a character who was a brilliant, flawed, alcohol and gambling addicted scientist first, and sort of, in passing, also someone with dwarfism as a mostly unremarked second. It was fantastic seeing him as a character before everything else and a short guy by way of coincidence.

Which is one of the reasons I'm liking Game of Thrones so much, because every moment he's on the screen, he's stealing the scene.
posted by quin at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Peter Dinklage is why there needs to be a Miles Vorkosigan film.
posted by rdc at 1:08 PM on June 14, 2011 [15 favorites]


I sort of agree, but as much as I'm loving the books, midway through the second one it's getting a little tiresome.

Yeah, you might want to give up now.
posted by Justinian at 1:10 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're talking about "Peter Dinkage in A Game Of Thrones" aren't you? 'Cause thats how I'm seein' it.

Also, the accent: Part of Tyrion's annoying personality. A good 70% of the guy's mission is fucking with people so I see the shifting accent as part of that behaviour. I think Peter could hold an accent if he wanted to.

(sincerely in the Just Give Him the Fucking Emmy, already camp)
posted by djrock3k at 1:17 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think Dinklage is doing well with the role, but as has been said above Tyrion is perhaps the most entertaining character in the series. That said, Dinklage's visage has not taken over my mental image of Tyrion. That's a testament to what a strong character he is in the book.

On the other hand, Jon Snow in my mind now looks exactly like he is portrayed in the film. Arya simply clicked in as well. I think Theon is the furthest from my mental image. It took me two episodes to even figure out who that dude was.

Mild Spoiler: are they going to make his scarred face as gruesome as it's described in the book?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:17 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Justianina: Yeah, I know. I've heard. And I actually might give up for exactly that reason. I know everybody dies, George. I know life is a grim and uncaring cycle of soul-crushing despair. That's not why I'm here. If I wanted that I'd just, you know, read the newspaper or whatever.

For now, though, I'll soldier on because I like that one character who doesn't die but merely ends up becoming a psychotic assassin. You know the one.
posted by The Bellman at 1:17 PM on June 14, 2011


I don't have HBO. Always have to wait until the series come out on DVD and until I get to the top of the queue at my library.

I so don't care for this genre. LOTR bores me to tears. But I do share in the love for Peter Dinklage. I'm so desperate to see him in just about anything, that I'll probably end up watching this, solely out of fandom. I just wish he would regularly get the kinds of roles he deserves.
posted by marsha56 at 1:18 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obligatory link to this. (Episode 9 SPOILERS)
posted by Jofus at 1:20 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's why my wife says, but when I mention Ilyn Payne or Theon Greyjoy, she says "who?"

I have this problem, too. The only way I know who Theon Greyjoy is, unfortunately, is that he's the guy who was rude to the pretty whore, and who in real life is Lily Allen's little brother (and subject of her song "Alfie").
posted by palomar at 1:20 PM on June 14, 2011


Oh, neat. He (also) grew up in my hometown and went to my church.
posted by schmod at 1:20 PM on June 14, 2011


Spoiler: Reaction Video NSFW
posted by ColdChef at 1:22 PM on June 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I so don't care for this genre. LOTR bores me to tears.

Don't think LOTR. Think bloody historical drama set in an era you're unfamiliar with.
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on June 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


I just wish he would regularly get the kinds of roles he deserves.

This is exactly the kind of role he deserves.
posted by Justinian at 1:23 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I hope that the show runs long enough for everyone who hasn't read the books (or won't read them, for whatever reason) to see just how purely awesome Jaime winds up being. It takes a while, but (without going into too much detail) by the end of the third book he gives less of a shit than a honeybadger.

After Arya and Tyrion, Jaime is my favorite character.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:26 PM on June 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm just glad I'm not the only one who calls that little fuck Draco.
posted by kbanas at 1:26 PM on June 14, 2011


We've been watching the show together (up to episode 6 now), and she actually asked me around episode 3 to stop explaining to her who all the characters were, and their relationships to each other, as she just wanted to enjoy the story as it is portrayed.

Oh I agree completely. I don't explain anything either, but when I comment "Oh, that Theon Greyjoy" (cuz I know what's coming) she's all huh?

Also, did I dream a homosexual love scene between Renly and Loras Tyrell? That was kinda nice to see, considering that their relationship is much less overt and much more cliched in the books.

I sort of agree, but as much as I'm loving the books, midway through the second one it's getting a little tiresome.

Yeah, you might want to give up now.


Honestly, I feel the same way. The books are pretty good, but for me, not much better than I remember Piers Anthony or any other hack fantasy writer. I'm still gonna read them because they go fast, like a book a week or so and they are great commuter fare.

The only way I know who Theon Greyjoy is, unfortunately, is that he's the guy who was rude to the pretty whore

He also saves Bran from the wildlings with a very well placed arrow.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:26 PM on June 14, 2011


Especially Joffrey. I'd like to kick that dude in the jumblies four or five thousand times.

Okay, bad guys are traditionally the fun, juicy roles, but you think Jack Gleeson, or his management, is maybe a little worried that his breakout role, the thing that's really getting him big mainstream attention, is playing somebody you really want to beat the fucking shit out of just on general principles?

I'd be a bit concerned about the impact on my career in that situation.
posted by Naberius at 1:29 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The books are pretty good, but for me, not much better than I remember Piers Anthony or any other hack fantasy writer.

Well, I think that's pretty ridiculous. To your taste or not there is absolutely nothing in common between Anthony and Martin. This is the man who wrote Dying of the Light and Fevre Dream. I'm finding it a little hard to comprehend the comparison.

There are plenty of reasons someone might dislike Martin but being too much like Anthony is not one of them. Where exactly do you see the similarity?
posted by Justinian at 1:29 PM on June 14, 2011


Also, the accent: Part of Tyrion's annoying personality. A good 70% of the guy's mission is fucking with people so I see the shifting accent as part of that behaviour. I think Peter could hold an accent if he wanted to.

No.

If if gives you pleasure to interpret it that way, that's great. But that's not what's literally happening with the actor and the accent. He's an American actor trying to do a British actor and getting some of the sounds wrong. That's not unusual. It's hard to pull off an accent that's not your own, and American actors are, almost always, not great with British accents. Lots of really good actors -- like Dinklage -- have trouble with accents. It's a separate skill from the other stuff they do. Also, they don't get a lot of time to work on it, and they don't tend to get critiqued much on set when they get sounds wrong here and there.

Of course, I can't prove I'm right, because I can't read Dinklage's mind. Maybe he's doing some amazingly subtle trick where he's purposefully trying to sound like he's doing a bad British accent.

But I'm basing my opinion of several decades of working with actors, very often on dialect-heavy shows.
posted by grumblebee at 1:29 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


If you have HBO and you're not re-watching the episodes on HBOGo with the added content, you're missing out. Good stuff, that.
posted by ColdChef at 1:30 PM on June 14, 2011


What kind of content is the added content?
posted by Justinian at 1:31 PM on June 14, 2011


Short videos, 360 degree views of key props, maps, family trees. Good stuff.
posted by ColdChef at 1:32 PM on June 14, 2011


(When asked to do dialects, there are actors who spend hours with IPA charts, accent tapes and dialect coaches -- who go through their scripts marking up all the vowels and so on. And there are actors who don't, who just wing it. The latter type makes way more mistakes than the former, but it's rare for anyone to call them on it, even -- maybe especially -- in the professional world.)
posted by grumblebee at 1:32 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Station agent and Game of Thrones were both directed by Tom McCarthy (who also co-wrote/directed Win-Win, and co-wrote Up). No surprise that he chose Dinklage for GoT.

McCarthy has nothing to do with Game of Thrones.

Dinklage was actually George RR Martin's pick to play Tyrion.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:34 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


The books are pretty good, but for me, not much better than I remember Piers Anthony or any other hack fantasy writer.

Can we have better pulp fiction please? - touches on the appeal of the books. And yes, they are pure pulp.
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay, bad guys are traditionally the fun, juicy roles, but you think Jack Gleeson, or his management, is maybe a little worried that his breakout role, the thing that's really getting him big mainstream attention, is playing somebody you really want to beat the fucking shit out of just on general principles?

I'd be a bit concerned about the impact on my career in that situation.


Could be worse.

"I'm hungry, mummy."
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on June 14, 2011 [29 favorites]


HBO has gratuitously sexed up the series - my only real problem with it so far.

It is crazy how much nudity HBO has just thrown into episodes seemingly randomly. I mean, the books have lots of sex and rape. If they wanted to make it 'adult' through nudity, there are a lot of options.

Instead, we get red-haired whore (barely a footnote in the books) flashing Theon, and having a long protracted nude scene while Littlefinger talks. And we get nude Hodor for some reason. It's kind of like HBO is putting the script on a wall and throwing a dart at it, and saying "That's the scene with nudity in it!"
posted by graventy at 1:36 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


They managed to make Joffery even more hatable with that little cape, which is quite an acheivement given that his name is already Joffery.

Joffery is the one character who looks and acts much different than I expected. In the books, he seems like more of a "bro" and he's bigger than Robb Stark. In the TV show, he is purely sniveling weasel.

Poor, poor Sansa.

you think Jack Gleeson, or his management, is maybe a little worried that his breakout role, the thing that's really getting him big mainstream attention, is playing somebody you really want to beat the fucking shit out of just on general principles?

I'd be a bit concerned about the impact on my career in that situation.


I think it indicates some job security. Somebody has to do it.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:36 PM on June 14, 2011


how purely awesome Jaime winds up being

I'll take your word for it. However, he'll have his work cut out for him in surpassing... [minor Episode 8 spoilers ahoy]

... the jaw-dropping badass-ery of either: 1) Syrio confronting five murderous Lannisters with a wooden sword or, 2) Drogo confronting a scimitar-wielding Dothraki warrior bare-handed before ripping his tongue out of his throat.
posted by Trurl at 1:37 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would watch the shit out of a Tyrion/Bronn spinoff where they just wander Westeros, boozing and wenching and just fucking shit up.
posted by Rangeboy at 1:37 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's probably complete sacrilege but I'm starting to wonder if this, near perfect as it is, film could have been even better with Dinklage.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:38 PM on June 14, 2011


Hipster Khal Drogo : Ripping dude’s tongues out through their throats before it was cool
posted by ColdChef at 1:39 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


mrgrimm: "I think it indicates some job security. Somebody has to do it."

Exactly. At least when you say "I played Joffrey Lannister", people go "oh, the sniveling brat-king". If you are Art Parkinson, try explaining that there are actually FIVE trueborn Stark children in the series.
posted by specialagentwebb at 1:40 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Naberius: "Okay, bad guys are traditionally the fun, juicy roles, but you think Jack Gleeson, or his management, is maybe a little worried that his breakout role, the thing that's really getting him big mainstream attention, is playing somebody you really want to beat the fucking shit out of just on general principles? "

No publicity is bad publicity. Your reaction is also testament to his performance- one thing I've really come to appreciate is an actor who can handle a villain who is fundamentally insecure and weak without turning into a cartoon.
posted by mkultra at 1:41 PM on June 14, 2011


graventy, I think nude Hodor is from the book (which doesn't mean the show had to include it of course), but the hot tub scene with Viserys and the lesbian porn scene with Littlefinger are just invented. I guess HBO thinks people would tune out without some added sex.
posted by Eyebeams at 1:42 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The sex and violence is part of the awesome, sorry prudes.
posted by Artw at 1:42 PM on June 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


Re-watching each episode, you realize that the sex scenes are there to give you TONS of exposition on each of the characters.
posted by ColdChef at 1:43 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can we have better pulp fiction please? - touches on the appeal of the books. And yes, they are pure pulp.

I agree, and I like SOIF better than LOTR (so far--it's not quite clear i can maintain a high level of interest without some FUCKING DRAGONS, PLEASE).

If you are Art Parkinson, try explaining that there are actually FIVE trueborn Stark children in the series.

Hodor enters naked.

Mom: “WHO THE FUCK IS THAT?”


lolz.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:43 PM on June 14, 2011


And we get nude Hodor for some reason.

I did find it amusing that the only nudity (as far as I can remember) in the Martin penned episode was Hodor's wang.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:43 PM on June 14, 2011


try explaining that there are actually FIVE trueborn Stark children in the series.

Are you absolutely sure about that number?
posted by Justinian at 1:43 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


He's a good actor and it's a great character but his accent is horrible.

I'm not sure that I know what a Westerlands accent is, or if Lannisport or Casterly Rock have any 'city' accents. Tyrion is better educated than his siblings and his father, so I would expect him to sound different from them, too.

In any case, I hope everyone who has a problem with his accent tries to remember that Westeros isn't Europe and that The North isn't Scotland, the Westerlands aren't England, the Vale isn't Ireland and Dorne isn't Greece.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:44 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you have HBO and you're not re-watching the episodes on HBOGo with the added content, you're missing out. Good stuff, that.

Some of us have Time Warner Cable, and despite the fact that the mother company, Time Warner, actually owns HBO, and TWC helped to develop the HBO Broadband product that eventually became HBOGo, they haven't been able to play nice enough to give access to the new Go app to TWC customers.

I am not bitter I am not bitter I am not bitter...

I figure if I keep telling myself this, eventually I'll believe it.
posted by quin at 1:44 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ad hominen : "Damn, bars on Avenue A, piano bars, that guy got around. Anyone else care to report in?"

Yeah, I worked for a theatre near Port Authority for 6 years and there was a long stretch of time where almost weekly he'd be in the elevator with me, holding the door at a coffee shop for me, standing next to me at a red light, etc.

I almost started getting paranoid (not that I thought he was stalking me, but that there was some weird cosmic thing going on) until I realized I was probably coming into contact all the time with other people in similar ways. He was just slightly more noticeable.
posted by stagewhisper at 1:44 PM on June 14, 2011


We got Hodor's wang because that was lifted directly from the book. Hodor!

Hodor hodor hodor!
posted by Justinian at 1:44 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's even a name for it: Sexposition.
posted by ColdChef at 1:45 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't think LOTR. Think bloody historical drama set in an era you're unfamiliar with.

It's about equivalent to Rome... better on some metrics, worse on others, but the same sort of show.
posted by furiousthought at 1:45 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


One degree of Dinklage.
posted by stagewhisper at 1:46 PM on June 14, 2011


What should a Kings Landing accent sound like?

Consistent.
posted by morganannie at 1:46 PM on June 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Syrio confronting five murderous Lannisters with a wooden sword
He's awesome, too, and I wish he wasn't a side character. First time I read the books, I kinda wanted to see a chapter head that said "SYRIO".

He does have a legacy of sorts in the books in that (among other things) Arya occasionally punctuates violence with a well-placed "Just so."
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:46 PM on June 14, 2011


Some of us have Time Warner Cable, and despite the fact that the mother company, Time Warner, actually owns HBO, and TWC helped to develop the HBO Broadband product that eventually became HBOGo, they haven't been able to play nice enough to give access to the new Go app to TWC customers.

One of the laundry list of reasons I'm cancelling TWC this month.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:46 PM on June 14, 2011


Five true born Starks, who cares, Rickon has never done anything to justify me remembering that he exists.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:47 PM on June 14, 2011


Don't get me wrong, go nudity! I do have friends who have teenage kids also watching the show who are finding it a bit...awkward.

Sexposition would be a better idea if the sex didn't distract me from the exposition.
posted by graventy at 1:47 PM on June 14, 2011


some FUCKING DRAGONS, PLEASE

Sort of hoping they never turn up, I kind of like them as a distant and possibly false legend. Also, was that magic last ep? That's a first isn't it?
posted by Artw at 1:48 PM on June 14, 2011


In any case, I hope everyone who has a problem with his accent tries to remember that Westeros isn't Europe and that The North isn't Scotland, the Westerlands aren't England, the Vale isn't Ireland and Dorne isn't Greece.

I do realize that it's not set in England, but, rather, in a fantasy world. IF Dinklage's intent was to make up his own fantasy dialect, he's making an odd choice by doing what sounds like an attempt at a British accent, especially since his "variations" are on exactly the same sounds that I hear my actors screw up when the haven't done enough IPA work and drilling.

This feels a little bit like a "your favorite band sucks" conversation. But I think Dinklage is really good in the series. He's just not gifted with accents and/or hasn't been given enough time to work on it.
posted by grumblebee at 1:48 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


GRRM is a master of pulp. What gets tiring by the fifth book is EVERY CHAPTER ENDING ON A CLIFFHANGER. You've got me, buddy. Don't need to make me beg like that.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:49 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, was that magic last ep? That's a first isn't it?

Magic is startng to seep back into the world with the coming of the white walkers, yes.
posted by Justinian at 1:49 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


quin: "Some of us have Time Warner Cable, and despite the fact that the mother company, Time Warner, actually owns HBO, and TWC helped to develop the HBO Broadband product that eventually became HBOGo, they haven't been able to play nice enough to give access to the new Go app to TWC customers."

Despite the name, Time Warner Cable isn't associated with Time Warner anymore. It was spun off two years ago.
posted by octothorpe at 1:50 PM on June 14, 2011


Hodor's Wang would be an awesome sockpuppet (I almost typed cockpuppet).
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:50 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


He does have a legacy of sorts in the books in that (among other things) Arya occasionally punctuates violence with a well-placed "Just so."

Eet? Is that you?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:52 PM on June 14, 2011


I would watch the shit out of a Tyrion/Bronn spinoff where they just wander Westeros, boozing and wenching and just fucking shit up.

"Westerbros," 10pm Tuesday on CBS.

try explaining that there are actually FIVE trueborn Stark children in the series.

Are you absolutely sure about that number?


Am I missing something ...?

I kind of like them as a distant and possibly false legend.

Hate to burst your bubble so I won't. ^_^

Also, was that magic last ep? That's a first isn't it?

Daenerys and the eggs in the fire. Bran and the three-eyed crow. Othar as a wight. Not technically "magic" but an indication that supernatural is coming (along with, of course, winter).

Magic is startng to seep back into the world with the coming of the white walkers, yes.

One of my biggest complaints about the TV show was that they open with this wicked supernatural action scene ... and then we get no supernatural action for a while ... but that's how the books seem to be go as well.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:54 PM on June 14, 2011


Anyone else kind of wondering how they're going to work the Tower of Joy stuff in now? It seems kind of central to me. Maybe GRRM didn't tell them it was very important so they didn't know.
posted by Justinian at 1:55 PM on June 14, 2011


Mister Moofoo: Hodor's Hodor
posted by 7segment at 1:55 PM on June 14, 2011


I love sex. And the actress playing the red headed prostitute is drop dead gorgeous. But the long-ass lesbian soft-porn scene with Littlefinger was excruciating to watch. Just horrible. Ditto for the hot tub scene.

Overall I really like the series, and am a big fan of the books as well. But the TV show throws in an absolutely terrible scene every once in a while. The Syrio training scenes are lame. Arya sneaking in the deep dungeon tunnel looked cheap as hell. Why were there lit torches way down there? And she runs to find a locked gate she can't get through, even though the bars were obviously wide enough for a tiny little tomboy kid like her to squirm through.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 1:55 PM on June 14, 2011


Are you absolutely sure about that number?
...
Am I missing something ...?


Probably. Most people do. Does speculation count as a spoiler? I dunno. I'll just say that I don't think there are five trueborn Stark children.
posted by Justinian at 1:56 PM on June 14, 2011


Ha! The westeros.org forum's servers have been crashed by GOT fans. I wonder how much sales of the books have spiked since June.
posted by Eyebeams at 1:56 PM on June 14, 2011


God I hope a LOT since I own one of the very, very few unbroken lettered sets of limited editions from Meisha Merlin and Subterranean Press.
posted by Justinian at 1:58 PM on June 14, 2011


Well, I guess I'll be disapointed in my hope that it turns out they actually DO live in a giant globe too.
posted by Artw at 1:59 PM on June 14, 2011


Does speculation count as a spoiler?

No, but we've reached an uncomfortable point where people book knowledge is starting to push into the conversation about what's happening on the TV show, and I've already seen a couple of comments that have me knowing more than I want to, so I'm going to continue reading this thread in the most skimming way possible, so as to avoid any other actual book-born spoilers.
posted by quin at 1:59 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Given Tyrion and Arya, height and gloriousness are inversely correlated in this world.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:01 PM on June 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Onion AV Club is doing a very clever thing where they run two different discussions on GoT: one for experts (people who have read the books) and one for newbies. The newbie thread was really fun to read this week.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:01 PM on June 14, 2011


Don't think LOTR. Think bloody historical drama set in an era you're unfamiliar with.

and you've just named what bores me to tears.

I so don't get the hype on this show, i just watch it and feel in a few years to a decade we will look back on it like we look on older shows and mock them. So tired of everything having to be bleak, dark, oppressive, etc. in the name of "realism". Even Doctor Who has taken this on to pathetic levels. Let's not also forget Camelot which had Arthur torturing someone for information, he should have been able to guess. What's next? A retelling of the bible where Jesus crucifies and tortures others?

The pendulum needs to swing the other way i feel.
posted by usagizero at 2:01 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Robb, Bran, Rickon, Sansa, Arya. I count five trueborn Stark children. Or do you think Ned's statue should have horns?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:04 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's interesting: (SPECULATION NOT SPOILERS...) I've read all the books, and I'm not sure what Justinian is talking about. Obviously, since John Snow is a bastard, there's speculation about his origins. But I don't remember any hints about the true-born kids. Presumably Catelyn remembers giving birth to them. I guess one or more of them could have been swapped with some other baby after birth, or Ned and Catelyn could have been keeping a big secret. Or Catelyn could have had an affair, though that seems out of character to me. I guess Rob could ACTUALLY be the son of Catelyn and Ned's older brother, since they were betrothed before Ned and Catelyn were.

Justinian, please shoot me a memail with your speculation in it.
posted by grumblebee at 2:05 PM on June 14, 2011


I think Jon Snow is a trueborn Stark child. I just don't think he's Ned's.
posted by Justinian at 2:05 PM on June 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Justinian, I think that kind of speculation is okay here. It really is something you could guess (maybe guess wrongly) just based on the series so far.

I have a totally different idea about his parentage.
posted by grumblebee at 2:09 PM on June 14, 2011


"Damn, bars on Avenue A, piano bars, that guy got around. Anyone else care to report in?"


I once saw him coolly walking a large dog down University Place.
posted by gubo at 12:11 PM on June 14 [+] [!]
I think he lives in the west village. I see him around the neighborhood sometimes in the morning on my way to work, walking that gigantic dog and rocking a hoodie. I always want to say hi or something, but I always think he'd be more irritated than flattered. I mean, a guy just wants some alone time with his dog, right?
posted by ben242 at 2:10 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of my biggest complaints about the TV show was that they open with this wicked supernatural action scene ... and then we get no supernatural action for a while ... but that's how the books seem to be go as well.

Having not noticed the supernatural element in the opening scene - since I was only half paying attention then - I felt quite put out when, seemingly out of nowhere, supernaturalism showed up.

Way to spoil the "authentically grim medievalism" vibe.
posted by Trurl at 2:10 PM on June 14, 2011


As I mentioned in a MeMail, I suppose it hinges on what precisely a "trueborn Stark" is. I think it's very likely Jon Snow is a legitimate offspring between two people, one of which is a Stark. Is that close enough?
posted by Justinian at 2:11 PM on June 14, 2011


Having not noticed the supernatural element in the opening scene - since I was only half paying attention then

You didn't notice the, uh, glowing blue eyes? The dead girl who turned into a zombie? The giant weird monster guy that killed the Night's Watch dudes?
posted by Justinian at 2:13 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm now well tempted to dive into the books once the series is over... though I do fear I'll end up of those frothing at the mouth loonies who resents GRRM taking time off from GETTING THE DAMN THING FINISHED to blog, watch football, eat or sleep.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:14 PM on June 14, 2011


Yeah, it's a fair point about the ice zombie business.

Any fucking wizards show up and I'm off though.
posted by Artw at 2:14 PM on June 14, 2011


Any fucking wizards show up and I'm off though.

Sorceress, actually, and she's a major part of the plot next season.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:18 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


the short lived Threshold

OH MAN was I annoyed when that got canceled.

Although having not seen GoT yet, I'm still in the "just give John Noble the fucking long overdue Emmy" camp.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:18 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


It that's true, then he wouldn't count as a Stark though, would he?
posted by bonehead at 2:19 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


PapaLobo: "My post was slapslapslapbetterslapslapslap. Just kidding, this is great."

This post was honestly and truly intended as an homage to yours. I love Peter Dinklage and hated to see it deleted, so I just fleshed it out a bit!
posted by misha at 2:21 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


In any case, I hope everyone who has a problem with his accent tries to remember that Westeros isn't Europe and that The North isn't Scotland, the Westerlands aren't England, the Vale isn't Ireland and Dorne isn't Greece.

Now, I know that they're NOT, but given that they kind of ARE, isn't The North actually Northumberland or North Yorkshire while Scotland is the scary bit beyond the Wall? (I haven't read the books).
posted by Summer at 2:23 PM on June 14, 2011


It that's true, then he wouldn't count as a Stark though, would he?

That was my thought when Justinian first brought it up, but I realized I was being dumb. If you can't be a Stark unless both your parents are Starks, then there are no Starks, because Catelyn is not a Stark.
posted by grumblebee at 2:24 PM on June 14, 2011


No, still confused, Justinian. Legitimate means not a bastard. The dictionary definition of "trueborn" has nothing to do with bastardy, but it seems to me that GRRM uses it to mean "legitimate". Even using the dictionary definition, I don't see how Jon could be legitimate. Possibly I'm just being dense. But now I'm curious; please MeMail me as well if you regard it as a spoiler.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:24 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


In this patralinieal world, legitimate Stark means parents legally-married, dad was a legitimate Stark too, right? At least one major speculation has Jon being legitimate and a Stark relation, but not a Stark.
posted by bonehead at 2:27 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah. I am adding to the confusion. Sorry. Justinian and I have the same theory, but I now DO think Justinian is wrong in his wording. Legitimate in GRRM's world means born of a man and wife. I THINK, if Justinian and I are right, Jon is still a bastard. He is -- if we're right -- half Stark, but not born of a MARRIAGE between a Stark and a non-Stark.
posted by grumblebee at 2:28 PM on June 14, 2011


You didn't notice the, uh, glowing blue eyes? The dead girl who turned into a zombie? The giant weird monster guy that killed the Night's Watch dudes?

Yep.

You only have to look away from the screen for a few seconds to miss the glowing eyes and the fact that the girl was shown as dead. And giant hulking killers in primeval forests are not necessarily supernatural.
posted by Trurl at 2:28 PM on June 14, 2011


Bonehead sums up my speculation. Jon Stark's parents were legitimately married and one was a Stark. But I guess he would be a "Stark relation" under this family tree since I thought if either of his parents was a Stark that would make him a trueborn Stark.
posted by Justinian at 2:29 PM on June 14, 2011


. So tired of everything having to be bleak, dark, oppressive, etc. in the name of "realism". Even Doctor Who has taken this on to pathetic levels. Let's not also forget Camelot which had Arthur torturing someone for information, he should have been able to guess.

Did you ever read Le Morte d'Arthur? Arthur's not anything like what we'd think of as a hero and a lot of the tales are very dark and bloody.
posted by octothorpe at 2:29 PM on June 14, 2011


I THINK, if Justinian and I are right, Jon is still a bastard. He is -- if we're right -- half Stark, but not born of a MARRIAGE between a Stark and a non-Stark.

Actually, I think it probable his parents were married. Or at least not unlikely. Obviously that part is pure speculation.
posted by Justinian at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2011


From what I've heard of Camelot it has Arthur shouting "yo dudes, let's roll!" and skateboarding into battle, more or less.

Excalibur FTW, motherfuckers!
posted by Artw at 2:32 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Part of the reason I think his parents were married is that it makes the story much more interesting, particularly the Dany storyline.
posted by Justinian at 2:32 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon Snow is King of the World! Maybe.
posted by bonehead at 2:33 PM on June 14, 2011


My wife is watching this with me and it is kind of fun on seeing the details she seizes on and those she misses. I told her something bad would happen this episode and the Dothraki horse sacrifice was what she thought it was. Then I told it would be far worse. But she still didn't see it coming. "HOW CAN THEY KILL XXXX XXXX?!"

I also predicted early on that she would get hooked on four characters: Jon, Tyrion, Arya, and Dany. She scoffed but that is exactly what has happened.
posted by Ber at 2:33 PM on June 14, 2011


Game of Thrones Infographic: Illustrated Guide to Houses and Character Relationships
posted by naju at 2:41 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Justinian's theory is the predominant one among book-readers, there's been almost no supporting evidence for it in the show so far. I think that's what's contributing to the confusion because the theory is near-impossible for show-watchers-only to come up with at this point. There's been very little building to it, which I wonder about because I'm not sure how they'll integrate that later on. One of the things I like about the books is that the evidence for so much is always right in front of your face from the beginning, but saving the riddles for later loses some of the feeling of "oh wow that thing that seemed unimportant was actually really important!" And I like that feeling.
posted by lilac girl at 2:41 PM on June 14, 2011


How could you not get hooked on Arya, the kid is the best character on the show (excepting Tyrion), and the actress that plays her, Masisie Williams totally reminds me of a little Alyson Hannigan, which is going to make the ass-kicking I'm hoping she is going to deliver all that much more awesome (in anticipation).
posted by quin at 2:42 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that's what's contributing to the confusion because the theory is near-impossible for show-watchers-only to come up with at this point.

The showwriters cut one of the most pivotal scenes in the series from the show! That's why I wondered if perhaps GRRM didn't tell them it needed to be in there. Because unless you pick up on what is happening it seems like a good piece of characterization and background but not the monumental bit of backstory that it really is. I'm going to very disappointed if they just introduce a new character to tell everyone what is going on.
posted by Justinian at 2:47 PM on June 14, 2011


Although it now occurs to me that Jon Snow being legitimate would require polygamy. CURSE YOU, MY THEORY LIES IN RUINS.
posted by Justinian at 2:49 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to sulk now. Thanks a lot, haters.
posted by Justinian at 2:52 PM on June 14, 2011


A retelling of the bible where Jesus crucifies and tortures others?

INT. PALACE, DAY

Pontius Pilate: Jesus! You... you're dead!
Jesus: I rose. (PALACE EXPLODES)

And on the third day... he kicked ass.

This summer, the prince of peace.. goes to war.

JESUS 2: RESURRECTION
posted by Sebmojo at 2:52 PM on June 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


Anything's possible if you're pope prince. Look at Cerebus and Astoria, for example. Anyway, she wasn't married at the time, I don't think.
posted by bonehead at 2:53 PM on June 14, 2011


I think your theory's still correct, Justinian, except for maybe that one part. And every week I complain very loudly about the omission of that scene from the show.

As long as they don't give it the sexposition treatment next season.
posted by lilac girl at 3:00 PM on June 14, 2011


one for experts (people who have read the books)

Hows that for elitism, I don't need no books to be an expert.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:08 PM on June 14, 2011


Jon Snow is supposed to be Wylla's son, by the books and by what I've seen of the show. It's possible Wylla wet-nursed some other Stark child, but I'm not sure how it could work out that Jon Snow was a legitimate Stark.

For one thing, Eddard would've had a real difficult time raising him as his bastard son if he was a legit Stark (if he was a trueborn Stark & not Ned's, wouldn't he be the heir of Winterfell before Eddard?) If he was Brandon's bastard I suppose there's some way it would work out, but that's neither trueborn nor can I fathom a sufficient explanation for why it'd be secret from Catelyn, who mostly hates Jon as Ned's bastard.

A Feast for Crows was a bit hard to work through, and damn it I hate that Martin left Arya the way he did.
posted by polyhedron at 3:11 PM on June 14, 2011


My fave thing about The Station Agent is that the protagonist is a little person (that's the term nowadays, right?), but the movie is not about that. It's not even mentioned; doesn't affect the plot in the slightest.
posted by Tom-B at 3:12 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's kind of like HBO is putting the script on a wall and throwing a dart at it, and saying "That's the scene with nudity in it!"

How HBO Writers Create ‘Game of Thrones’ Episodes
posted by homunculus at 3:16 PM on June 14, 2011


Also, as someone who never read the books, I'm not sure what to do after this season is over.

Do I start the books? Will that ruin the show? oh god. Decisions!
posted by kbanas at 3:16 PM on June 14, 2011


Ned tells Jon "you have my blood". That just means he has some Stark in him. It does not have to be Ned.
posted by Ber at 3:18 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon Snow is supposed to be Wylla's son, by the books and by what I've seen of the show [...] If he was Brandon's bastard I suppose there's some way it would work out

The most popular theory right now is that neither of the above are true. I'll let you look it up rather than potentially spoiling it here.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:19 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Read the books, they're good.

Also: Maybe Hodor isn't Nan's, maybe Hodor is the real heir of Winterfell. Hodor hodor!

(Ok, I've been trying to cut down my wasted time on the internet... should I go look for this theory in the "expert" discussion at the Onion AV club?)
posted by polyhedron at 3:21 PM on June 14, 2011


Do I start the books? Will that ruin the show? oh god. Decisions!

I've read the books and here's my thoughts. I think the show is great fun. But I'm never shocked at any of the developments. I was really fucking shocked at some of the developments in the books, though. But reading is a necessarily private endeavor. You're not going to be able to turn to the person next to you and exclaim "Holy shit!" So if that's something you really like about the show, then you might want to hold off reading. On the other hand, it's only going to get harder to remain unspoiled from here on out. More people are reading the books, and so the potential for spoilers is only going to increase. If you want the shock of reading the surprises of the story then reading is the more likely way to get them than waiting the years required to get to those points on the show.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:23 PM on June 14, 2011


Er, I found it on the Wiki. Intriguing theory...
posted by polyhedron at 3:23 PM on June 14, 2011


Don't get me wrong, go nudity! I do have friends who have teenage kids also watching the show who are finding it a bit...awkward.

I've been using the sex to try to convince my teens to watch the show. Most of what my husband and I watch is 'lame' just because, you know, we're Mom and Dad. So after explaining a lot of what was going on and how cool it was and noting that they appeared unpersuaded, I ended with, "Oh, dear, but there is an awful lot of sex, might not be appropriate for you after all..."

I'm thinking that will do the trick.

I think that's what's contributing to the confusion because the theory is near-impossible for show-watchers-only to come up with at this point.

I've never read the books, only watched the series (so far), but I told my husband right off that I don't buy Jon Snow as Stark's bastard, and I've mentioned it on Mefightclub as well (great thread going on over there on GoT).

Stark was gone a year and came back with this 'bastard' son, and yet Stark's defining characteristic is honor in all of his dealings. I can't see him fooling around with a woman and having a kid, out of respect for his wife, and certainly not after such a short time. But even if he did, why would the mother allow him to bring the bastard son back to his home, instead of keeping him herself? Unless the Mom was unable to have a say in that decision. Or she had at some time asked him to look after the kid.

I think we are on the same page about the parenthood of Jon Snow.

grumblebee, I'm being a bit tongue-in-cheek here, but the way Peter Dinklage dominates the show and just steals every scene he's in has so totally won me over to his acting ability that I'm inclined to think that any apparent deficit in his accent is just attributable to the lazy British-born actors never having taken the time or the pride in their craft to get their own accents down perfectly.

I do have one question, and that is about the Creepy Old Dude with the sons and daughters just flowing out of the walls of his home, the one with the poor 15 year-old wife.

I clicked on a micro-map, but the names are throwing me, because I have my own nicknames for the characters.

I picture the map in GoT like a clock with The Wall running between, say, 11 and 1. The scary North is at 12. Stark's castle is South of the Wall, between 10 and 2. In my mind King's Landing is close to the center of the clock and Drago's is farther South, separated from King's Landing by water.

But I am unclear where Creepy Old Dude and Tywin Lannister are at the moment. I figured Cat's sister is East and Tywin's place is West, because Tyrion ran into these wildmen on his way to Tywin's from Cat's sister's place.

So where is Creepy Old Dude's place located, that Robb Stark needed to get their troops through him? He never came up in the story before, and Tyrion didn't run into him. I'm guessing it's because Robb was taking that small group some Sneaky Back Way to find Jaime?
posted by misha at 3:25 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


kbanas, I faced that same decision after only seeing the first three episodes. Ultimately I dove in, and finished all four books within a couple (marathon) weeks of reading. Trust me, the shock and surprise will absolutely be none the less for reading rather than viewing. Besides, you'll have a loooong wait if you decide to follow the story only through HBO.

Additionally, having read the books affords one the pleasure of witnessing others' reactions to the sotry. I sipped many delicious tears yesterday.
posted by BrotherFeldspar at 3:28 PM on June 14, 2011


I'm going to continue reading this thread in the most skimming way possible, so as to avoid any other actual book-born spoilers.

This would obviously be a good thread for ROT13.

Although it now occurs to me that Jon Snow being legitimate would require polygamy. CURSE YOU, MY THEORY LIES IN RUINS.

I thought I had figured out your theory (I still think I have it, i.e. "Promise me, Ned"), but then you threw me again with the polygamy thing ... oh, OK, I think I get it (yeah, already married ... and Jon sure doesn't look like those guys anyway, but you may be right ...)

Anyway, even if a different Stark is Jon's, um, parent, he wouldn't be a true-born Stark. That's what confused everyone, I think. "True-born Stark" requires a Stark father and a mother married to the Stark father, by definition I think.

I'm only in the middle of Book 2, but based on responses, it seems like we'll have to wait for Book 5 to find out ...

Still your whole "are there really 5 true-born Stark children" question was really confusing... ^_^
posted by mrgrimm at 3:29 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon could be trueborn if some untold events happened in conjunction with this theory. Link to the Wiki of Ice and Fire, for the spoiler-averse. Incidentally, if this theory is correct I kind of regret reading it, the books have surprised and upset me several times, this would be a good one.

However, I thought "promise me, Ned" was all about being buried in the crypts with the other Starks...
posted by polyhedron at 3:34 PM on June 14, 2011


However, I thought "promise me, Ned" was all about being buried in the crypts with the other Starks...

Yes, the ambiguity of that request is the cornerstone of the theory.
posted by Justinian at 3:36 PM on June 14, 2011


I knew Pete Dinklage when we were high school age. He went to an all-boys prep school so I can't say "We went to school together" or anything, but we're from the same town or little clump of small towns in New Jersey.

We did a musical together my senior year, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Pete was one of the brothers, can't remember which one (there were twelve, gimme a break), but he sang "Those Canaan Days." He's got a beautiful deep rich baritone singing voice. Super guy, also, very kind and very cool. We lost touch, but I'm always so pleased to see how well he's doing.
posted by stennieville at 3:37 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


You can talk about reading being a private thing to my roommate who keeps getting frantic all caps emails about how someone has died.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:38 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


So where is Creepy Old Dude's place located, that Robb Stark needed to get their troops through him?

Instead of a clock, picture an hourglass. Robb is trying to cross from the top glass to the bottom one. Creepy Old Argus Filch is at the bottleneck.
posted by elizardbits at 3:38 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


So where is Creepy Old Dude's place located, that Robb Stark needed to get their troops through him?

The creepy old dude, the Late Lord Frey, is here at a river crossing.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:39 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've read the books and here's my thoughts. I think the show is great fun. But I'm never shocked at any of the developments. I was really fucking shocked at some of the developments in the books, though.

I agree. Episode 9 (titled "Baelor," just so those of us who've read the book know what's coming) had probably the biggest surprise of AGOT, and it was a heck of a lot more surprising in the book. It was one of those passages where you go "what? ... wait, wait ... WHAT?!" (same for the later Daenerys scenes (which I am pretty excited to see)).

I do have one question, and that is about the Creepy Old Dude with the sons and daughters just flowing out of the walls of his home, the one with the poor 15 year-old wife.

Lord Walder Frey (SPOILERS IN WIKI LINK)

So where is Creepy Old Dude's place located, that Robb Stark needed to get their troops through him?

Due north, just south of "the Neck" (the southernmost part of The North).

I'm reading the books on my phone, so the maps there are almost useless...
posted by mrgrimm at 3:40 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


So where is Creepy Old Dude's place located, that Robb Stark needed to get their troops through him?

Here is an interactive map which you can use to click around and figure out where things are. It seems to use the Google Maps API which is cool. Google Maps Westeros!

The Creepy Old Dude is Walder Frey. His seat is The Twins which is almost due north from Riverrun (House Tully, as in Catelyn Stark nee Tully) and West from The Eyrie (home of Lysa Arryn and the Boobsucker). The importance of the Twins is that it is the only good crossing site for a large army for a huge distance in either direction if you don't have time to build boats or whatever.

The map should come in handy.
posted by Justinian at 3:40 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


misha, here's a map of Westeros that has the big names on it (and here's a more detailed version). The creepy old dude is Walder Frey, who's lord of the Twins. On the map, the Twins are just about smack dab in the center of the continent in its most narrow part. Robb needed to get through the Twins in order to pass over the rivers, and then head over to Riverrun (which is south of the Twins and a little to the east), which Jaime Lannister had under siege.

Tyrion was in the Vale, which is east of all this action. On his way back from the Vale he ran into his father's army, which is camped somewhere between Riverrun and King's Landing, I'm not exactly sure where. Tyrion didn't run into the Freys because the Twins are, for the most part, north of all the action and the Freys don't get involved unless they absolutely have to.
posted by lilac girl at 3:41 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been using the sex to try to convince my teens to watch the show.

It's a noble quest, but I can remember just how enormously uncomfortable it was, as a teenager, to watch any sex scene with my parents right there watching it too.
posted by mstokes650 at 3:41 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


See, this is why spoilers suck.

People are being told, "Hey, this is a great show, so you should watch it." So they read the thread to find out more, and then chuckleheads wreck the surprises and twists, meaning they no longer need to watch the show.

You destroy, in other words, the entire purpose of the post.
posted by Malor at 3:41 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


And now you have 5 different explanations to choose from! I shoulda previewed.
posted by lilac girl at 3:42 PM on June 14, 2011


A post about Game of Thrones has spoilers for Game of Thrones. FILM AT ELEVEN.
posted by Justinian at 3:42 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


You destroy, in other words, the entire purpose of the post.

What? No. I mean, I've read all the books and thus know how this and the next 4 seasons will play out, and I am still wildly interested in watching the show.
posted by elizardbits at 3:43 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Creepy Old Argus Filch is at the bottleneck.

And the bottleneck is surrounded by swampland. Marching 20,000 men and some thousands of horse through a couple of hundred miles of swamp is a non-starter.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:43 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was a big, awesome post about Portal 2 a little while back, chock-full of links, commentary, etc. Just one problem: I haven't played Portal 2 yet and I didn't want to be spoiled by all the stuff in the post.

So I did the unthinkable. I didn't click on it. Imagine that!
posted by Errant at 3:46 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The swampland is occupied by a group of people called Crannogmen, called by the derogatory term "frogeaters" by others. Howland Reed is an important off-stage character in the novels, and he is a crannogman. He hasn't been so much as mentioned on the show. But so it goes.
posted by Justinian at 3:47 PM on June 14, 2011


I'm of the opinion that if a story can be ruined by merely knowing what happens, it wasn't a very good story to begin with.
posted by empath at 3:55 PM on June 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Howland Reed was mentioned on HBO but unless you were really paying attention you missed it. I want to say it was Catelyn who said it but I am not sure. But it was remarked that he was with Ned Stark when they went off to and came back from war.

There are three characters GRRM will never do a POV chapter on because they know too much: Littlefinger, Varys, and Reed. And really it is just one BIG secret that Reed is hanging onto.

And hopefully that is not too big of a spoiler
posted by Ber at 3:59 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


McCarthy has nothing to do with Game of Thrones.

Tom McCarthy: Game of Thrones (TV series) (consulting producer - 1 episode) 2011

Also, I just wanted to add that HBO did a great job with the opening credits. They do a good job of laying out the geography of Westeros and Esseros quickly, and Ramin Djawadi's music is awesome. (Also, I believe they were changed for last Sunday's episode--the Twins did not previously appear in them.)
posted by Rangeboy at 4:00 PM on June 14, 2011


Damn, bars on Avenue A, piano bars, that guy got around. Anyone else care to report in?

I used to live above a bar in the E-Vil. One night Peter Dinklage was standing outside it in the little smoking area when I was coming back home after walking my dog. He was very nice to my dog.
posted by Zerowensboring at 4:00 PM on June 14, 2011


Also, I just wanted to add that HBO did a great job with the opening credits. They do a good job of laying out the geography of Westeros and Esseros quickly, and Ramin Djawadi's music is awesome. (Also, I believe they were changed for last Sunday's episode--the Twins did not previously appear in them.)

Yup, the titles change. Previously.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tom McCarthy directed the original pilot episode but after extensive re-shooting - due to, among other reasons, the recasting of Dany and Catelyn - very little of his material remains.
posted by aldurtregi at 4:05 PM on June 14, 2011


I will wait for them to finish the series and if it is good, I'll rent the DVDs.
posted by Renoroc at 4:07 PM on June 14, 2011


Tom McCarthy: Game of Thrones (TV series) (consulting producer - 1 episode) 2011

Aha, I see that he was 'sorta' director of part of the original pilot before rewrites, recasting and other work. I stand by my assertion.

I love the opening credits. Love, love, love them. Did you notice that the world is modeled such that it appears to be on the inside of an oblate spheroid -- like a dragon's egg?
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 4:10 PM on June 14, 2011


Anyone else kind of wondering how they're going to work the Tower of Joy stuff in now?

I assume it'll fall to Meera Reed to bring it up. To be fair, it would have been awkward to work it in this season without recourse to an astylistic flashback, seeing as Ned had zero reason to mention the Tower to anyone.
posted by Iridic at 4:11 PM on June 14, 2011


It's a noble quest, but I can remember just how enormously uncomfortable it was, as a teenager, to watch any sex scene with my parents right there watching it too.

Oh, I don't want to watch it WITH them necessarily. I do get the ick factor. I saw Body Heat with my parents and boyfriend! I just want them to see the episodes on HBO on Demand, so we can all gossip about the show together.

Thanks for the map links, everyone, they are excellent! I have a much better idea where everyone is now. And I know I really do need to remember the real names. Some of them are quite similar, though.
posted by misha at 4:14 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will wait for them to finish the series and if it is good, I'll rent the DVDs.

Well, if you're talking about the current season of the show, it'll be done next week. And it is good. I suspect the DVD release will be around for the holidays.

But if you're waiting for to watch the entire series on DVD, look for that box set to be available sometime around 2019, contingent, of course, on Martin finishing the books and HBO's production schedule.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:14 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


due to, among other reasons, the recasting of Dany and Catelyn

I am so fucking glad they recast Daenerys, omg. The original actress, Tamsin Merchant, was Catherine Howard the cretinous slut in The Tudors and I developed a wild and irrational loathing for her.
posted by elizardbits at 4:30 PM on June 14, 2011


This thread is enormous. Here's a book related question: is there a handy timeline or fact sheet I can used to refresh myself on the previous books' events before the next one is released in July?
posted by codacorolla at 4:48 PM on June 14, 2011


Dinklage is acting the hell out of that role. It's a great role, one of Martin's most fun characters, and Dinklage is working every inch of it. It's a really nice surprise. So much of casting of little people is gimmickry, it's hard to remember some of those guys and gals are serious talented actors. Dinklage is fantastic. I hope he gets to do some interesting parts after this one.
posted by Nelson at 4:50 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


This thread needs a huge SPOILER tag at the top of it. Mind you, I realize the OP had no way of knowing this would turn into spoiler nirvana, but someone adding it now would be good. Being that the ostensible point of the thread was to introduce you to a show and actor deserving of one's presumably not-pre-existing attention.

There's a lot to say -- too much -- so I'll just say that even the ridiculous wait between books has turned out to be a good thing, at least for me. It's been so long since I read Feast for Crows that I realized I'd have no idea what the fuck was happening in the series at all if I started the new one cold, and so have been rereading the series from the start. It's like reading them for the first time! I mean...because I don't remember a lot of this stuff. But still!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:58 PM on June 14, 2011


I really don't understand the hue and cry over spoilers, at least in this thread, as we're talking about a TV series based on the first book of a multi-book franchise -- and which was published fifteen years ago. Also there's that whole thing about how if you see a post on Metafilter about some media that you want to consume but haven't yet, why would you then go ahead and read that post? And then why would you blame other people for the decision you made to spoil yourself, if you view having knowledge of a story as somehow "spoiling" something?
posted by palomar at 5:57 PM on June 14, 2011


I guess I can understand Grumblebee's annoyance, only because I've repeatedly seen movies with fucking Jude Law trying to do an American accent that is plain shit and makes me want to claw my eyes / puncture my eardrums... Oh God, the memories, they burn!
posted by stratastar at 5:57 PM on June 14, 2011


Meta for "hue and cry over spoilers".
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:07 PM on June 14, 2011


Yeah, it's been a fun discussion but I'm bailing on this thread since folks will now make it as spoilerific as possible on general principle. I would advise anyone else who hasn't read the books to do likewise.
posted by Artw at 6:18 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is an interactive map which you can use to click around and figure out where things are. It seems to use the Google Maps API which is cool. Google Maps Westeros!

That site, Tower of the Hand, is neat because you can tell it how many of the books you've read / episodes you've watched, and it will block out any spoilery information from their reference articles (see this entry on Catelyn Tully for example). This feature is not available on their comment threads or all the other articles however, so you still have to be careful.
posted by emeiji at 6:20 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


God dang, how did I miss this re-do of the Peter Dinklage post all day?

I loves me some Dinklage.

*scrolls back up to read thread.*
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:41 PM on June 14, 2011


(Also, I'm currently working on a blog post called "Game of Thrones and the Art of Infodrinking." DAMN that was a good scene.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:42 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you rewatch the scene with Littlefinger and the whores, the "sex while infodump" becomes something more. Littlefinger reveals a good deal of his motivation right there and this is a character that keeps everything close to the vest. And in turn it bookends the episode nicely with his betrayal at the end of the show.
posted by Ber at 7:34 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess I can understand Grumblebee's annoyance, only because I've repeatedly seen movies with fucking Jude Law trying to do an American accent that is plain shit

Jude Law is the Brit's missile sent over the sea in retaliation for Dick Van Dyke in "Marry Poppins."

Emma Thompson can't do one either. She's a great actress, but she can't do an American accent.

And then there's that Counselor actress on "Star Trek." I didn't understand what kind of accent she was trying to do for a long time, and when I learned it was an American one, I thought "REALLY?" I don't get why they even asked her to try an American accent on a show with another British actor (who, I guess, is supposed to be French), speaks with his natural accent.

It's always surprising to me when a Brit can't do an American accent, because they're usually pretty good at it. I was surprised to find out that Idris Elba was British.
posted by grumblebee at 7:37 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also have been absolutely delighted to see Dinklage bring so much that was awesome about Tyrion on paper to the big screen. He really is doing the character justice.

I was SOOOO skeptical about this show, having been a huge fan of SOIF since the first book was published, and a huge George RR Martin fan since his very first writings back in the 1970's.

To say that I am thrilled about how it is being handled by HBO is a severe understatement.

And to whoever it was who compared Martin to Piers Anthony: WTF kind of crack are you smoking?
posted by Aquaman at 7:43 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you rewatch the scene with Littlefinger and the whores, the "sex while infodump" becomes something more.

What I took from the scene is that the guy is the medieval fantasy world version of Patrick Bateman.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:46 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought that the "sex while infodump" scene was meant to parallel the butchering while infodump scene with Tywin Lannister and Jaime.
posted by octothorpe at 8:10 PM on June 14, 2011


And then there's that Counselor actress on "Star Trek." I didn't understand what kind of accent she was trying to do for a long time

Really? I always thought she had an odd speech impediment. Whoa!
posted by winna at 8:21 PM on June 14, 2011


The origins of the betazoid accent are a little more complicated.
posted by Manjusri at 8:25 PM on June 14, 2011


The books are VERY gratuitous with sex. Also, there are Zombies(Magical Beings) almost from the get-go. I refuse to spoil anything. Read the books or get caught up on the show.
posted by apiaryist at 10:15 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The white walkers are in the first scene of both the books and the show. But its much easier to forget that in a book under the haze of what is going on than on the screen.
posted by stratastar at 12:41 AM on June 15, 2011


Dinklage was great in In Bruges, too - highly recommend seeing it. Everyone in that was fantastic, really. (Mr Pseudonymph and I shriek 'YOU'RE AN INANIMATE FUCKING OBJECT!' at each other as often as possible)

Dinklage fans may appreciate this GIF, too.
posted by pseudonymph at 1:02 AM on June 15, 2011


Is there a way to check these all out online, or do those w/o HBO need to wait for the DVDs? This show sounds like precisely what I'd like to watch right now, but had the bad manners to debut while school was still in session for me. Damned inconsiderate.

Where can I catch up?
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:41 AM on June 15, 2011


While In Bruges was filled with manky hookers and racist dwarves, it was not filled with Peter Dinklage. In Bruges featured Howard The Duck.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:49 AM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dinklage was great in In Bruges, too - highly recommend seeing it

Dinklage wasn't in In Bruges... That's Jordan Prentice...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:49 AM on June 15, 2011


Jinks...

Actually way up thread I was musing what Bruges might have been like with Dinklage in it
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:51 AM on June 15, 2011


Jude Law is the Brit's missile sent over the sea in retaliation for Dick Van Dyke in "Marry Poppins."

I really can't understand how Hugh Laurie has done umpteen seasons of House as his accent sounds fake as all hell to me, so much so it prevents me from watching it. I'm sure he's a talented musicain as well... but when he was singing in it in his recent specials to promote his album.... the pain! Though perhaps it's just me being British and too used to his Fry and Laurie/Blackadder upper-class twit voice. Then again someone like Bob Hoskins, who's got a very iconic normal accent can do a good American accent (and several others... he's only really faltered in Twenty Four Seven... but that's essentially my local accent - Nottingham/East Midlands - and nobody else even tries.)

There's very few Americans who can do a really good Brit accent without bits of 'gawd bless yah Mary Poppins' creeping in. Spike in Buffy wasn't bad if a bit generic. Gillian Anderson is good but's she's practically British anyway
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:06 AM on June 15, 2011


Gillian Anderson is good but's she's practically British anyway

Yeah, I could be wrong about this, but I think that Gillian Anderson's American accent is the fake one.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:38 AM on June 15, 2011


If viewers-but-not-readers of Game of Thrones need a little help with names and locations, the HBO Viewer's Guide has been made with you in mind. You'll be safe looking things up there. As mentioned earlier, Tower of the Hand is also good because they let you read theories, etc up to the book/season you're at, but comments and other parts of the site aren't sorted that way.

The AV Club's newbies threads are pretty good too if you want to speculate without having someone "helpfully" give you too-obvious hints, although you might want to wait a day after airtime so you don't get spoiled by the trolls there - the mods clean up those threads specifically, even though it's not usual AV Club policy.

I don't think it's essential to read the books if you're enjoying the show just fine and don't mind waiting for the series to finish before you find out what happens next. I love the books, but the show is sticking pretty closely to them and so I seriously don't think you'll miss much.
posted by harriet vane at 4:22 AM on June 15, 2011


Yeah, I could be wrong about this, but I think that Gillian Anderson's American accent is the fake one.

Looking into it she seems to be pretty much bi-accental, as it were
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:49 AM on June 15, 2011


Accents are really hard.

The worst actors are the (American) ones who grew up quoting Monty Python. They are CONVINCED they can do a British accent, because all their friends laugh when the do the Dead Parrot sketch. They don't want to work on it. As-far-as they're concerned, they have it down. They don't. They get a lot of individual sounds wrong. But you can't tell them that, because if you do, you're rocking their identity as Anglophiles.

Some actors really do work on their accents, but then they reach a point where they consider their work done. And they're probably right -- on the play or film they're currently working on. They get Yorkshire DOWN for one part and, from then on, it sits on their resume: "can do German, Standard British, Cockney, Yorkshire..." And they don't brush up five years later, when they're asked to do the dialect again, because "they already know it."

I recently worked on an Irish play with a bunch of American actors. These were all classically-trained actors, most members of Actors Equity and most with MFAs in Acting. Most of them had done Irish before. Luckily, they were all very serious about getting the dialects right. We hired two dialect coaches, both Irish, and the actors all drilled every day for two months.

They did a good job, but a couple of the reviews mentioned that, occasionally, one or two of the actors dropped out of the dialect for a line or two. And those reviews were correct.

It's very, very hard to change the way you talk -- to do it in a consistant and technical way. And many actors don't try to do it in such an exacting way. They don't go over every single sound (or have someone else do that for them). Truthfully, most audience members don't have a great ear for dialects, so you can forgo doing the work and still please the majority of people who come to see you.

It can be close to impossible to do rigorous dialect work on a TV-series with a fast shooting schedule. It's quite possible Dinklage gets some of his script pages the night before shooting the scene. That's not enough time to circle all the sound-changes, consult an IPA chart, and drill -- unless HBO has hired a full-time coach for him.

My actors were lucky in that they were ALL American actors doing fake Irish accents, so at least they reached a kind of internal consistance. Dinklage is in the horrible position of being an American, having to do British, surrounded by a cast of native Brits. So it's easy to hear the mistakes via comparison. I hear him do a particular sound and then, five seconds later, I hear someone else do the same sound correctly. I don't envy him.
posted by grumblebee at 5:14 AM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Um. Can I point out that it is possible to refer to the women in the scene with Littlefinger without calling them "whores" all the time? It's starting to get creepy how casually everyone is throwing that word around.
posted by elizardbits at 5:58 AM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


What really messes with my head is that although I JUST read the first book, only finished it like 2-3 weeks ago, there are still bits in the show where I'm thinking to myself "did that actually happen in the book?" - I have a terrible memory for books, I'll remember the basic storyline and major characters and plot points, but I often quickly forget minor details. Of which there are many in a book like Game of Thrones. I think part of the problem is that I read before bed, and often I'll catch myself reading through 2-3 pages as I'm falling asleep - then I don't go back and re-read those pages the next day. So, for example, I really don't remember much of Theon Greyjoy from the book, other than as a MINOR MINOR character (aside from his saving Bran from the wildlings). He seems to be much more prevalent in the Westerfell scenes so far this season (I'm only caught up to episode 6).

Also, I really, REALLY don't remember Renly having a relationship with Loras Tyrell. That was quite jarring. But a bit of googling seems to show that it was actually only subtly hinted at in the book, which makes me feel like less of an idiot.
posted by antifuse at 6:03 AM on June 15, 2011


Um. Can I point out that it is possible to refer to the women in the scene with Littlefinger without calling them "whores" all the time? It's starting to get creepy how casually everyone is throwing that word around.

Would you prefer prostitutes? Ladies of the night?
posted by antifuse at 6:04 AM on June 15, 2011


I not that worried about Dinklage's accent... I think it's probably because I don't hugely well as an actor so am not or that familiar with his normal accent and the part is so interesting and his acting is so good that he just transcends any iffiness with the accent.

Years ago I remember watching a documentary about the making of Snatch, which in part featured Vinnie Jones visiting a dialogue coach to learn some sort of American accent to help kick-off his Hollywood career. You can judge how succesful that was in that his first role in a US film was playing a mute. And as for recent years... well I've no idea what the hell accent he was trying to do in Kill The Irishman but it's a wonder to behold.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:12 AM on June 15, 2011


Oh, and forgot to mention - since I had no idea who Hugh Laurie was before House, I had no idea he was British. So... I guess he is doing ok with his American accent. I don't watch the show religiously, but in the few episodes I watched before I found out he was British, I didn't notice anything funny about his accent.
posted by antifuse at 6:15 AM on June 15, 2011


"Women" seems to work just fine when describing women. If you're so dead set on defining them solely by profession, then yes, prostitutes is certainly less dismissive/derisive than whores.
posted by elizardbits at 6:17 AM on June 15, 2011


There are many scenes with Littlefinger interacting with women in the show, but there is only one scene where he is instructing two naked women to pleasure each other in a house of ill repute. Describing the scene as "Littlefinger and the two whores" is descriptive and people know immediately what you are talking about. Describing the scene as "Littlefinger and the the two women"... not so much.

Now if you would like to discuss your uneasiness with the level of incest, rape and misogyny in the books, I'm with you there. It is a bit unnerving, but I like reading unsettling fiction.
posted by NotMyself at 6:25 AM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Prostitute seems like such a modern word though. In a medieval context, "whore" really does seem much more appropriate descriptor for these no-name characters (though Greyjoy's... friend may have a name, I can't remember it since she's only appeared in those 3... 4? scenes so far in my viewing of the show, and if her name was mentioned, it was in one of the early ones). Especially since that's how they're referred to all over the show/book. As far as defining them solely by profession, it's easier to be more descriptive (and less cryptic) to do so. The same way I would refer to no-name Lannister soldiers as "Lannister soldiers" if I was discussing the scene where Ned is ambushed outside the brothel. As opposed to "those men that were with Jaime, with the pikes."
posted by antifuse at 6:26 AM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, on failing to preview (damn you, Ajax updates, spoiling me with your "1 new post, show it?" goodness, and then not showing me when there are updates!) - what NotMyself said.
posted by antifuse at 6:30 AM on June 15, 2011


Also, I really, REALLY don't remember Renly having a relationship with Loras Tyrell.

I totally agree. During that scene I was like, WOAH WHAT. When my husband asked me how I could have missed that I had to assure him that I would definitely not have missed a gay scene between Renly and Loras (even though I did suspect Loras was gay). I had to post rationalize: "I GUESS that's how it COULD be...."

It's nice that there's still surprises for the people who have read the books.
posted by like_neon at 6:41 AM on June 15, 2011


I love Tyrion Lannister's role but the best has to be Sharpe!
posted by walee at 7:10 AM on June 15, 2011


graventy: "If they wanted to make it 'adult' through nudity, there are a lot of options. "

If they are trying to make it more "adult", I much prefer they do that through nudity and sex as opposed to gore and violence. For an epic saga about a war over a kingdom, the gore and violence level has been surprisingly moderate.
posted by I am the Walrus at 7:37 AM on June 15, 2011


I had to post rationalize: "I GUESS that's how it COULD be...."

SPOILERS:

There were all these hints from other characters that Renly's marriage was not consummated and enjoyed Loras's company more than his wife's. Also Loras didn't worry about not being allowed to marry after joining the Kingsguard because he was in mourning over a lost love.
posted by zerbinetta at 7:37 AM on June 15, 2011


Describing the scene as "Littlefinger and the two whores" is descriptive and people know immediately what you are talking about. Describing the scene as "Littlefinger and the the two women"... not so much.

I've been describing that scene as "the one with the surprise lesbian anal fisting" but, yeah, I do absolutely see your point. It's still kind of squicky for me to see mefites I otherwise think are totes normal and nice people casually bandying about shit like "whores" which is traditionally not a delightful thing to call women.
posted by elizardbits at 7:41 AM on June 15, 2011


I guess I'm not as sensitive to the whole accents thing. It's TV -- everything is fake.

Geeze, next people will be trying to convince me that the stuff on those "news" channels is real.
posted by nonliteral at 7:50 AM on June 15, 2011


The clearest indication that Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell were sexually involved occurred in the books when...

SPOILERS for A Feast for Crows:

In order to keep his subordinate Loras from murdering Brienne for her widely assumed assassination of Renly, Jaime Lannister threatens to shove a sword someplace "even Renly never found" unless he stood down.
posted by The Confessor at 8:11 AM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or was that "A Storm of Swords"? Either way, it's easy to miss, being one of many utterly awesome moments for the character.
posted by The Confessor at 8:20 AM on June 15, 2011


I believe either Littlefinger or Varys made some sly comment about Loras and Renly as well in one of the first two books. And in Feast for Crows it is implied that Loras' sister Margaery might well prefer the company of women.
posted by Ber at 8:22 AM on June 15, 2011


Yeah it was in A Storm of Swords. I just started A Feast of Crows and remember that happening in the previous book.
posted by NotMyself at 8:23 AM on June 15, 2011


Re: accents -- I can usually spot a Brit doing an American accent a mile away, but even having seen Fry & Laurie and his turn as Bertie Wooster, I found Hugh Laurie's accent utterly convincing. Though I haven't seen the show in a few years, so maybe that's just my crappy memory.

Americans attempting Irish accents are almost invariably painful, though there again there are so many different Irish accents that if all a script is giving them is "Oirish," I guess I can see why they'd default to the Lucky Charms accent. Dinklage's British accent doesn't hold up, but it's not enough to stop me from enjoying his turn as Tyrion. Thus far I've been glad to see that they've done well with all my favorite characters (Jon, Tyrion, Samwell, and Tommy motherfucking Carcetti -- whose East Coast US accent was superb in The Wire). Though reading over these threads it looks like those are everyone's favorite characters.
posted by bokane at 8:28 AM on June 15, 2011


It's still kind of squicky for me to see mefites I otherwise think are totes normal and nice people casually bandying about shit like "whores" which is traditionally not a delightful thing to call women.

In a modern context it is not a delightful thing. In the context of a novel in which the women in question are, in fact, whores and are constantly referred to as such by the characters in the novel I think it's pretty fair to go with that. It's like arguing that we shouldn't call Tyrion a dwarf.
posted by Justinian at 9:04 AM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a non-reader, I'm growing to like all the Lannister siblings, and not in the love-to-hate-them sense either. For all the ruthlessness, Cersei and Jaime come across as damaged, morally conflicted individuals, brutalized by experience and bad parenting, but determined to find dignity in their duty to their family. And there's no doubt that the three of them genuinely care about each other, which is more than can be said for the Tullys.

Dinklage's British accent doesn't hold up, but it's not enough to stop me from enjoying his turn as Tyrion.

Sounds to my English ear like a sort of mid-atlantic/valley lockjaw. I think it suits Tyrion perfectly.

Anyway, here's where he sits on the alignment chart.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 9:19 AM on June 15, 2011


Cersei's shock at what happens to Ned Stark kinda redeemed her for me a bit. Even she's not that evil--even if her snit of a son is.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:23 AM on June 15, 2011


Justinian: "It's like arguing that we shouldn't call Tyrion a dwarf."

Half-man!
posted by mkultra at 10:14 AM on June 15, 2011


Cersei's shock at what happens to Ned Stark kinda redeemed her for me a bit. Even she's not that evil--even if her snit of a son is.

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER (but really, why are you still reading if you don't want spoilers?)


See, to me, I feel like she didn't feel BAD about what happened to him. She just thought it was a stupid thing to do, because Ned Stark was more valuable as a hostage than a corpse.
posted by antifuse at 10:23 AM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


You've all seen the Stupid Ned Stark meme, right?

I am reading the first book, and the TV series seems to track the book pretty well; plus, I find that there are lots of details in the book that help me appreciate the series more.

However, if you don't want to spoil the TV series, I would recommend holding off on the book because there is a major spoiler in the book regarding the identity of Jon Snow's mom, which we don't know yet in the series.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:33 AM on June 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


For all the ruthlessness, Cersei and Jaime come across as damaged, morally conflicted individuals, brutalized by experience and bad parenting, but determined to find dignity in their duty to their family.

Jaime is a damaged, morally conflicted individual. Cersei is ruthless power-hungry monster who manipulates everyone around her and makes the world a little bit worse every day she is still breathing.
posted by Justinian at 10:37 AM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dr. Zira,

I think I just peed a little reading the Stupid Ned Stark image macros. Kudos!
posted by NotMyself at 10:49 AM on June 15, 2011


Dr. Zira

Spoilers for the novel A Game of Thrones
(Contains information not covered in the televised series)

You're talking about Catelyn's recollection of the name Ashara Dayne in one of her narrated chapters, right? I tend to view that as more of a misdirection than anything; Ned's cold reaction to the rumor isn't necessarily proof that it was true. My own guess (which is not specifically supported by the text) is that there was love there, but it remained forever unconsummated because his older brother Brandon's death made it Ned's duty to wed Catelyn Tully instead.

Therefore, Ashara Dayne's suicide was motivated solely by the news that her forever-lost love Ned had killed her brother Arthur Dayne at the Tower of Joy.

Ned's well-developed sense of duty, as opposed to the "wolfishness" of his more impulsive siblings Brandon and Lysanna (which Arya has inherited), is often cited by those proposing alternate theories about the parentage of Jon Snow... since having a bastard seems entirely contrary to his character.
posted by The Confessor at 11:04 AM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cersei is ruthless power-hungry monster who manipulates everyone around her and makes the world a little bit worse every day she is still breathing.

Yeah, but she's at least more fully-fleshed evil in the TV series than in the first book and the first 200 or so pages of the second (can't speak to beyond that.) Several of the scenes invented for the show--most notably the one she has alone with Robert and the scene with her and Joffrey--give some real insight into her inner thoughts and motivation, and make it a lot easier to see what she picked up from Tywin growing up. The only sincere interaction with book-Cersei is the conversation with Ned in the Godswood, and that doesn't shed much light.

She's still cruel and ruthless, but she's a lot more human, IMO.
posted by kagredon at 11:05 AM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Howland Reed is an important off-stage character in the novels, and he is a crannogman. He hasn't been so much as mentioned on the show. But so it goes.

The Reeds are not really characters until the second book, no?

And really it is just one BIG secret that Reed is hanging onto.

And hopefully that is not too big of a spoiler


Nope.

See, this is why spoilers suck.

I was going to say that the community here has been very considerate in its restraint. I haven't seen anything other then minor spoilers (well, except for dead ned stark, but that's one that was gonna happen) from the TV episodes that have already run

Without a (much needed) Metafilter spoiler tag, this thread is about as good as it could possibly be in terms of not revealing spoilers.

The books are VERY gratuitous with sex.

I don't think you mean "gratuitous" ("uncalled for," "unnecessary"?). And again there's not really that much sex! There is occasional fucking, but it is no more erotic than the conversations between Tyrion and Varys. In a standard medieval fantasy, I would expect a lot more sex and rape (and drinking - in medieval england, everyone was drunk all day.)

E.g. when Theon's getting a blowjob on his ship to the Iron Islands, he's not thinking about thick, wet, red lips wrapping around his hard cock, he's thinking all about his past life at Pyke, his plan for his father, etc. The sex just isn't very sexual. At all.

Members get stiff in breeches, and women pull their clothes up over their head. That's about as erotic as the sex gets (so far--ACOS, ~300).

Anyway, here's where he sits on the alignment chart.

Again, I'm only in the middle of the 2nd book, but that chart seems off. Way off. I guess I would swap Varys and Daenerys--Varys seems definitely like Chaotic Good so far, and Lawful Neutral. How could Robert Baratheon be Chaotic Anything? Tyrion is Lawful as well. And I'd put Littlefinger more in the "Neutral" or "Chaotic" camp than in "Lawful."

It seems like someone assigned the characters fairly random alignments. I don't get it. I suppose in a decent piece of literature, none of the characters would pigeonhole into a standard D&D alignment anyway.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:35 AM on June 15, 2011


*ACOK*, ~300
posted by mrgrimm at 11:37 AM on June 15, 2011


(I think Hugh Laurie's American accent is very good if non-geographically distinct.)

I kinda agree that Cercei's characterization is not-fully fleshed out in the books, but only because she has very strong internal motives that don't require much exposition: namely, the survival of her children and family. Ned Stark is a pitiful thing in comparison.

I will say that we get a Cersei POV chapter in one of the later chapters, and Martin nailed it so hard it took my breath away.

Also one of the things that made the books amazing to read (if people are still wondering) is the sheer depth of the history of the connections of the characters, love interests, duties, grudges, and so on that date back for DECADES.

The show is good, but with the books, Martin wrote history. Piers Anthony, my ass.
posted by stratastar at 12:38 PM on June 15, 2011


The historical model for Cersei Lannister is Queen Margaret of Anjou. (According to Wikipedia, there were rumors that her son was not the King's. I haven't linked to Wikipedia--if you're concerned about spoilers, you may not want to look her up.)

Here she is in Shakespeare's Henry VI, putting a paper crown on the Duke of York before she kills him.
posted by russilwvong at 12:48 PM on June 15, 2011


As far as gratuitous sex scenes in the (first) book goes... The only really serious sexual depictions I remember are maybe Dany with Khal Drogo. And I'm not even sure if they were actually graphic, or if my mind is just remembering them as such because, you know, she was 13 at the time.
posted by antifuse at 1:15 PM on June 15, 2011


What is an example of a NON gratuitous sex scene -- and I'm not talking about one that makes some kind of profound social, political or philosophical point.

If I'm making a movie that's the story of one person trying to have sex with another person, and, in the end, they have sex and I show it in my film, is that gratuitous? What would make it not gratuitous? Omitting it?
posted by grumblebee at 1:24 PM on June 15, 2011


I love how they've sexied up the TV show. The sex is in the books but it's not terribly direct or present. HBO is living it up. And not just boobies, we get cocks! Big cocks.

The sad thing is all the sex on the show is deviant or twisted in some way. There's no happy couple just making love because they love each other. It's all incest, or whores, or violently urgent. I wish they'd had a bit more of a snuggly scene between Ned and Cat to balance it out, something.

Renly & Tyrell being lovers is in the books, but not explicit until book 2 or 3. (Hint: rainbow cloaks). It's lovely HBO gifted us with some shirtless shaving scenes between two handsome boys.
posted by Nelson at 1:34 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mr. Dinkledge also rocked 'Richard III' at the Public Theater a little while back (2004).
posted by From Bklyn at 1:37 PM on June 15, 2011


The sad thing is all the sex on the show is deviant or twisted in some way.

Renly and Loras?
posted by Justinian at 2:05 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tyrion's terribly half-assed and inconsistent accent

I actually thought it was because the character, as a survival trait, has to be entertaining and funny and I assumed the wandering accent was part of his gift for being noticed.
posted by Phalene at 3:21 PM on June 15, 2011


Yeah, the impression I had re: Tyrion's accent was that the character did it deliberately for the same reasons you or I might use a pompous fake vaguely British accent - mainly to poke fun at the pomposity of the people around him and the situations he's in, not to mention the amount of pomp and ceremony the world expects from him. Things he does a lot, via dialogue, in the books.
posted by mstokes650 at 3:34 PM on June 15, 2011


Okay, I just watched most of this series (thru ep 6) and I'm enjoying myself quite a lot. I have to agree with Dinklage's assessment in that Access Hollywood clip: this isn't really fantasy (as compared to LOTR or Harry Potter). Sure there are the white walkers and those dragon eggs, but these subtle fantasy elements are used to highlight the very human stories in the series. The white walkers introduce not a fantasy element, but the idea of the Oath and what it means to those who take it and those who depend on them taking it (and why). The dragon eggs weren't about dragons but about how much more worthy Daenerys is compared to Viserys.

I don't care at all about the quality of Dinklage's accent, his character is fantastic and how he fits in with the story is brilliant. SPOILER My only complaint so far was that he didn't handle his imprisonment very cunningly.

The nudity and sex hasn't seemed too excessive given the story and how it all fits. The creepiest moment was watching that very grown child suckle at his mother's tit. (Spoiler?) I just get ripped out of the story and start thinking about how the makers of the show explained that scene to the boy actor and his parents. The other scenes seemed fitting. The Lannisters in the abandoned tower was supposed to shock, and did. The scenes with Khal and Daenerys were to set up her eventual ownership of her new role. Even the Greyjoy and Ros scene was fitting since it was setting up the emasculating position of Theon.

Overall, I think this is an amazing piece of work for television, and I'm very interested in reading the book it's based on. Thanks for the post.
posted by effwerd at 6:19 PM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was discussing the mostly awesome casting of the show with a friend today, and we both agree that Lysa and Robin went way over the top too soon. If I recall the books correctly, Lysa seems sort of weird and frail and damaged at first, but reveals herself as f-ed up. She's not a shrewish harpy from first scene. Although I don't have great recollection on her.
posted by lillygog at 6:50 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I recall the books correctly, Lysa seems sort of weird and frail and damaged at first, but reveals herself as f-ed up. She's not a shrewish harpy from first scene. Although I don't have great recollection on her.

I think you are misremembering and the depiction in the TV series is more or less direct from the text.
posted by Justinian at 7:34 PM on June 15, 2011


In my household, we just refer to Lysa as "Extreme Breastfeeding Enthusiast."
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:45 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


In my household, we just refer to Lysa as "Extreme Breastfeeding Enthusiast."

At my house she's "La Leche" or "Madam Bazooms".
posted by palomar at 8:07 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, they showed it The Last Emperor-style? I've caught only youtube clips of the series, and I imagined they would have rendered it with a camera angle capturing only Lysa's back and Robert's head.
posted by The Confessor at 8:30 PM on June 15, 2011


Just wanted to pipe in that I too sat up and took notice first over Dinklage's portrayal of badass mathematician Arthur Ramsey in Threshold. Made me wish I were as cool as he was. Sad that it got cancelled, but it kinda wasn't very good other than that one character.
posted by nightchrome at 8:44 PM on June 15, 2011


(Spoiler?) I just get ripped out of the story and start thinking about how the makers of the show explained that scene to the boy actor and his parents.

Perhaps I shouldn't be allowed near children, but here's how I'd explain it: "you're playing a boy whose mother has treated him like a little baby for so long that he still kind of thinks he is one. And even though he's too old for it, he still sucks on his mother's nipples for milk."

I'd talk to the parents first, to make sure it's okay with them.

If I was one of the parents, I would say "no problem," because I don't really get the problem.
posted by grumblebee at 8:45 PM on June 15, 2011


Lino Facioli, who plays the young suckler, appears to be 9, maybe 10 years old in real life(can't really find an authoritative answer in a quick google search). In the book he was, what - 5 or 6? That's creepy, but not quite as creepy as 9 or 10. That was immensely jarring to see him pop the boob right out of his mouth like that.
posted by antifuse at 8:54 PM on June 15, 2011


I too hated Cersei with a passion for a while but she DID grow on me in subsequent books. She's all about protecting her family, just as much as the Starks. She just does it in her own way with what she has: cunning and talent for deceit.

Joffery however is a little piece of sh*t through and through.

My favourite reaction of the series so far was from my husband after Ep 8: "I wasn't expecting zombies."
posted by like_neon at 2:15 AM on June 16, 2011


In the book he was, what - 5 or 6? That's creepy, but not quite as creepy as 9 or 10.

I agree (although clearly my recollection of those characters is hazy!) and have found it interesting how the TV show aging these characters up even a few years has made a big difference. Jon and Robb start out like young men, rather than boys that have to age into it. And of course the Daenerys character is very different. I think even Arya was aged up a little?
posted by lillygog at 4:25 AM on June 16, 2011


They aged everybody up, it seems. Even Ned is supposed to be thirtysomething.
posted by emeiji at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2011


It's hard to beleive that Shaun Bean is over 50.
posted by bonehead at 10:03 AM on June 16, 2011


It was one of George R. R. Martin's only regrets that he started the children of the series too young, so he aged them up for the TV series about 3-4 years I believe. Some of them changed more than others.

Trying to find the information on his Not-A-Blog, but it's a rather widespread piece of information.
posted by lizarrd at 10:03 AM on June 16, 2011


And even though he's too old for it, he still sucks on his mother's nipples for milk

Mongolia disagrees:

"In Mongolia, there's an oft-quoted saying that the best wrestlers are breastfed for at least six years ..."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:37 AM on June 16, 2011


Mongolia disagrees:

"In Mongolia, there's an oft-quoted saying that the best wrestlers are breastfed for at least six years ..."


Well, good thing it's not set in Mongolia, then. :)
posted by antifuse at 12:00 PM on June 16, 2011


My favorite part about the breast feeding is that they had to make a fake tit, because otherwise it would be illegal I guess.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:43 PM on June 16, 2011


One of my favorite things about the books is how young the kids are! I think it ties in well with "medieval honor and warfare can actually make things really crappy for everyone" theme. I didn't know that Martin himself wished they'd started older. Interesting.
posted by lillygog at 4:01 PM on June 16, 2011


I think Martin's wish that they'd started older was that his original intent was to have a 5 year gap between books 4 and 5, which obviously didn't work out.
posted by Ber at 4:11 PM on June 16, 2011


Yeah, ended up being a six year gap...
posted by the_artificer at 4:40 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Coming in to echo Ber: I'm sure he originally wanted a lot of stuff to happen off book between books 4 and 5 when the characters would come of age and maturity into the plot he was originally planning on finishing.

Having to scrap that break means that he's had to rework the entire end of the books. I'm sure this is a major part of the reason for the 6 year delays between the books was that all of the intellectual work he put into figuring out the plot had to be thrown out.
posted by stratastar at 10:52 PM on June 16, 2011


I was planning on just reading up to the end of where the TV series ended. Now? Not so much. That was some badass television.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:28 PM on June 19, 2011


Happy Father's Day, Sansa!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:29 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm fighting the urge to start a Facebook group devoted to punching Joffrey in the nads.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:35 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, the GoT season is done, and next week we get... fairies throwing magic missiles at each other on True Blood?

I want more GoT.
posted by homunculus at 10:54 AM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


It had its faults, but I think GoT was about the best adaptation to television I've ever seen. HBO knows how to make some damn fine television.
posted by Justinian at 1:31 PM on June 20, 2011


Reviews and thoughts about HBO's adaptation of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones are starting to appear online (SPOILERS GALORE. Might be a good idea to keep comments to the tv series and not the books, to avoid revealing plot points to those who haven't read the books). The articles haved touched on a number of points about the cable series, including the display and power of grief, its female characters, the five sickets scenes and general thoughts on the first season. (All links discuss the entire first season, but not the books).
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:51 PM on June 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


*** Possible spoilers for HBO show Game of Thrones Season 1 and Season 2 and George R.R. Martin book A Clash of Kings ***

I've been looking forward to the Daenarys birth scene to see how they portray Jonah. Ah, so last night was the season finale. I guess we get to see the fire and the big ending too. Cool. I am very interested to see how they treat both. Based on the pace of episode 9, I should have figured they would wrap up book 1 in episode 10... hopefully I can watch tonight.

I gotta say that I wish I were more interested in courtly intrigue b/c Book 2 is full of it. I suspect that Book 2 will pick up at the end as Book 1 did.

Also, I can't be the only one who thinks Tyrion sucks. I like him less and less each page.

*** end possible spoilers ***
posted by mrgrimm at 2:16 PM on June 20, 2011


"The breakout star of the cast has to be Peter Dinklage, who brings Tyrion to life in a way that's hard to describe."
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on June 20, 2011


Metacooler is all over that Game of Thrones finale, check it out.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:04 PM on June 20, 2011


"The breakout star of the cast has to be Peter Dinklage, who brings Tyrion to life in a way that's hard to describe."

My favorite performance so far likely is probably the understated Varys. I wish they showed him in disguise more.

***Possible Spoilers for Seasons 2 of HBO show Game of Thromes and George R.R. Martin book A Clash of Kings***

Theon Greyjoy also holds a smarminess that will play well, I think. The two Stark girls are great too. And the Hound is most everything I could ask for...

The biggest break from the book characters for me are Littlefinger and Joffrey. Joffrey is a psycho, but not so much of a scrawny twat in the book. And Littlefinger seems much more of a conventional hetero dude asshole in the book. In the show, he seems strangely asexual.

*** end possible spoilers ***
posted by mrgrimm at 3:48 PM on June 20, 2011


Metacooler is all over that Game of Thrones finale, check it out.

I see 11 comments, a lot of which are "yay" ... I like misslapin's insight about the old gypsy curse of getting what you wish for (even though it ignores Robb, Bran, or Catelyn), though...
posted by mrgrimm at 3:52 PM on June 20, 2011


One of which was yay. But yeah, we're just getting started up and would be happy to have peeps come and talk about the episode with us (thanks for the plug, Brandon).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:56 PM on June 20, 2011


Also, I can't be the only one who thinks Tyrion sucks. I like him less and less each page.

I think you are the only one, yeah.

I started reading GoT after episode nine showed on HBO and now I'm about 1/3 through Clash of Kings. I really like what's being done with Tyrion, esoecially the way he navigates political waters in which Stupid Ned Stark would just flounder and drown.
posted by misha at 4:55 PM on June 20, 2011


But Ned was sooo dreamy and honorable!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:59 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am hoping all this kerfuffle means they'll get a bigger budget for the next season so they won't have to pull off the 'oops, got clocked by a hammer and missed the whole battle' bit again.
posted by emeiji at 6:02 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


With a war coming, they're probably going to have battle scenes whether they want them or not.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:07 PM on June 20, 2011


I'd like to see them do something about the dire wolves next season, if it's in the budget. I was a little disappointed to see them less involved in the show's story than in the book's. Hopefully, they were holding back on purpose. CGI dire wolves would have made the CGI dragons less of a surprise.
posted by zerbinetta at 6:17 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, some of the direwolf action this season reminded me of this.
posted by emeiji at 6:22 PM on June 20, 2011


One word: SHAGGYDOG!
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:07 PM on June 20, 2011


The Varys/Littlefinger exchanges are brilliant and one of the few things handled better than in the book. “Do you lie awake at night, fearing my gash?” Excellent.

I also thought the final scene pretty much lived up to the book's ending. I mean, the dragons looked fakedy fake but still, dragons! I also agree it needed more direwolves.

I was really surprised that they fit what they could into 10 episodes but I wish it was 12 or even 15. There's just so many characters you miss out on how well you get to know them through the alternating points of view used in the books. Thus everyone screaming bloody murder about killing off "the" main character, Ned, when in fact he's not really a main character at all but a catalyst for the real story to begin.
posted by like_neon at 2:31 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am hoping all this kerfuffle means they'll get a bigger budget for the next season so they won't have to pull off the 'oops, got clocked by a hammer and missed the whole battle' bit again.

SPOILER ALERT

You know, now that you mention it this actually happens a lot in the books! Maybe GRRM isn't comfortable writing the scenes but I am pretty sure Tyrion has not seen the last of getting clocked by a weapon and missing out. I feel like GRRM has used this a few times to trick you into thinking someone died and you fall for it everytime since he pulled a Ned so early on.
posted by like_neon at 2:34 AM on June 21, 2011


I was really surprised that they fit what they could into 10 episodes but I wish it was 12 or even 15.

Not me. It feels like the story is a bit unwieldy for no concrete reason. Combine this with Martin turning a three book trilogy into now seven books and it feels like a lot of story fat could be cut.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:43 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I totally agree that it shouldn't be the normal length of a season with like 20+ episodes but it felt so breakneck! Then again, I'm a total fangirl so my instinct is to say so moar plz.
My British husband who scorns the length of an American tv season was impressed that the season was so short. In fact, he thought they could have cut it down some more down to 6 "like Peep Show".
posted by like_neon at 2:57 AM on June 21, 2011


I've just started listening to Clash of Kings on audiobook, as some bastard appears to have nicked my copy of the book. What often strikes me is just how much time he spends painting a picture of the room, the food, the outfits, etc etc. Rather like Tolkien and his over-description of trees and rocks.

Like Tolkien, it shits me and I tune out... and then find I've missed something. I suspect the main reason they were able to 'compress' the story to 10 episodes was due to the visual medium effectively excising 2/3rds of the verbiage.

Regarding the final episode, my only nitpick lies with Dany's hair -- it should be gone! She should be bald after the fire! I was looking forward to seeing that actress with a shaved head.
posted by coriolisdave at 4:15 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Combine this with Martin turning a three book trilogy into now seven books and it feels like a lot of story fat could be cut.

Cutting the descriptions of food alone would turn this into a much shorter book series.
posted by zerbinetta at 4:40 AM on June 21, 2011


Ah yes the food descriptions. I love them. I'm not 100% sure what a capon is but I'd love a meal of that followed by some lemon cakes. And I'm really curious as to what black bread is, but I'm guessing it's some sort of rye? In which case, black bread, honey and a tankard of beer sounds like an ideal lunch for me. I can see how presenting those visually rather than through text could easily cut out about a third of the book.
posted by like_neon at 5:21 AM on June 21, 2011


Game of Thrones food blog. (via Kottke).
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:40 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for that, Dr. Zira. Good god, I love the Internet.
posted by zerbinetta at 7:14 AM on June 21, 2011


Regarding the final episode, my only nitpick lies with Dany's hair -- it should be gone! She should be bald after the fire! I was looking forward to seeing that actress with a shaved head.

I was pretty disappointed with the final scene, and I don't think that's a nitpick, I think even less so than Tyrion getting knocked out at the start of the battle. I thought that final scene pales in comparison with the book, but I suppose that goes with the territory...

A couple things that bugged me:

* the crotch dragon
* she's not nursing the dragons
* her hair is intact

I think TV is limited for those first two--you probably can't show lactating breasts (though they did in the Eyrie?) or female genitalia on HBO, but they dropped the ball on the third.

I wanted more smoke than fire, but I guess that's hard to show (and possibly dangerous) on TV. I also really wanted them to present that iconic image of Dany with her clothes and hair burnt off, suckling one dragon at each breast while another lays across her shoulders, glaring at Jonah, already making him fall to his knees.

The crotch dragon made me say "oh jeez you really can't show female genitalia on HBO? didn't we see a large dong?" but yeah, what I really wanted to see was how they did her hair. And they didn't. :\ (I also wanted to see the baby - I hoped the show would go there, but I guess they burned their CGI on the dragons.)

I don't know if she needed to be bald or not, but her hair really had to burn off at least a little.

Good episode overall though! Daenarys and the maegar were great. And yeah:

The Varys/Littlefinger exchanges are brilliant and one of the few things handled better than in the book. “Do you lie awake at night, fearing my gash?” Excellent.

Varys was already a contender for my favorite character, but that sealed it. Best line of the season by a landslide. (And one of the few (only?) memorable lines that's not from the book?)

*** Possible spoiler alert for ASOIAF Books 2-4 or, even worse, random fan fiction:

Fuck yeah Jon and Daenarys
posted by mrgrimm at 8:34 AM on June 21, 2011


Huh. Weird. I thought she WAS nursing one of the dragons.

That image is pretty, but the dragons have the wrong number of wings.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:00 AM on June 21, 2011


Er. Limbs.

(More coffee...)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:00 AM on June 21, 2011


* her hair is intact

The not being burned or dead doesn't phase you, but the lack of hair does? That's an interesting way of looking at it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:06 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The not being burned or dead doesn't phase you, but the lack of hair does? That's an interesting way of looking at it.

I get it though. When I first read the ending, I thought it was so very stupid and cheesy and I just couldn't buy that there were now dragons in this story. Then I remembered that I was all too open to the idea of zombies from the North, so I decided to roll with it.
posted by zerbinetta at 10:01 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


The not being burned or dead doesn't phase you, but the lack of hair does?

The TV show makes it clear that she doesn't burn (the scene with the eggs in the fire), so no, I didn't expect her to burn. She's Daenarys Stormborn, ffs. The book is less overt, I suppose, but no, I did not ever expect her to be harmed by the fire. That is clear, I think.

(Yes, I realize it's weird that her skin doesn't burn but her hair does, but there you go.)
posted by mrgrimm at 1:01 PM on June 21, 2011


As a writer, the food descriptions thrill me. Martin creates these sumptuous meals that just fit perfectly with the elaborately, also lovingly detailed clothing and settings. He has an incredible eye for detail. I think that's one of the reasons why his families, with all the detailed pairings and siblings, come across so well.

He doesn't just have the 'x married y and had z' down, he has the little nicknames and the family mottoes and the place names down, too. Tolkien also did this well, but for him it came mostly from his extensive linguistic background. I'm not sure where Martin's comes from--maybe just an active imagination, or a firm grasp of history or literary tropes? All the grudges and the schisms and the alliances are so rich.

Anyway, I flew through the second book and I'm about to start the third, and I just love how fleshed-out all the characters are now, even new ones he just introduced at the beginning of book two!
posted by misha at 1:56 PM on June 21, 2011


Oh, and the aging up of the female characters definitely makes sense, given the graphic nature of the sex scenes, etc. I do feel that it takes away from Rob Stark's and Jon Snow's character development, though.

It seemed like a much bigger deal when the 15 year-old boy lost his Dad and had to grow up fast (the scene where Rob is beating the tree with his sword makes the older actor seem childish, for instance, while boy Robb would be more sympathetic). And gettingmthe toughened old banner holders to follow him is more of an achievement.

Also, Jon Snow has a scene with Ned in the show that wasn't in the books, where Ned speaks to him kindly and says he'll tell him more about his Mother once Jon is older. Can't happen now, of course, but the point is Jon seemed very much alone and abandoned in the book, and the young age where he seemed to have to make his own way made it all the more poignant.
posted by misha at 2:05 PM on June 21, 2011


Upon reading some of the reactions on the internet, it bugs me greatly how many people completely missed the layers and layers of meaning in the Pycelle/Ros scene and who thought it was a useless waste of space. I'm glad HBO trusts the viewer to pay attention and think about what they are seeing, and I hope the fact that some people don't do that doesn't cause them to change.

Also, getting all het up over Dany still having hair and covering her crotch with one of the dragons just seems like over the top fanboy wankery to me.
posted by Justinian at 2:43 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, getting all het up over Dany still having hair and covering her crotch with one of the dragons just seems like over the top fanboy wankery to me.

Hmm, not even really a fan, per se. It's well paced mostly, with some good lines (Theon has some good ones in Book 2), but it's not really my thing. The whole rape after rape after rape thing is a bit off putting in the books perhaps more than the TV show. Not sure if I'll finish yet.

So the final scene of the TV show was less than impressive to me. Big deal.

Upon reading some of the reactions on the internet, it bugs me greatly how many people completely missed the layers and layers of meaning in the Pycelle/Ros scene and who thought it was a useless waste of space...

Pycelle is misrepresenting his health and his loyalties. Pycelle.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:01 PM on June 21, 2011


Also, Jon Snow has a scene with Ned in the show that wasn't in the books, where Ned speaks to him kindly and says he'll tell him more about his Mother once Jon is older.

Wait, what? That was in, like Episode 2, when Jon turns North for the Wall and Ned turns South for King's Landing.

I've been avoiding this thread because I hate (hate!) being spoiled, but just to chime in on how well I thought this was all done, particularly the tying up of themes realized as visual images: how Arya watches the King and his household arrive at Winterfell from a vantage point on top of a wagon (I think) and then watches Ned's confession from the base of the Baelor statue; how the series began with Ned wielding the sword that was eventually turned on him; Dany in her wedding dress walking into the pyre. All the drama of power and honour and corruption.

I hope Joffrey Lannister ends up somewhere dark and nasty, preferably because Sansa put him there. I really thought in the finale that we were going to see her either jump to her death or push Joffrey to his. Your chance will come, Sansa! I hope.
posted by jokeefe at 4:59 PM on June 21, 2011


Pycelle is misrepresenting his health and his loyalties. Pycelle.

Oooh, yes. And to Ros! Who has been the common denominator in so many scenes where the male characters let down their guards to discuss their feelings and strategies. And who has she been working for, and working for all along, I wonder?
posted by jokeefe at 5:01 PM on June 21, 2011


I loved the last episode so much (and am now intrigued by Pycelle, a character I'd not taken much notice of before), but if I have a gripe, it's that Daenarys's body in no way resembles that of a woman who's recently undergone pregnancy and childbirth. I consider that both mildly offensive and an egregious continuity error.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:52 PM on June 21, 2011


Also she is immune to fire which is atypical for some people.
posted by Justinian at 6:12 PM on June 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


it's that Daenarys's body in no way resembles that of a woman who's recently undergone pregnancy and childbirth. I consider that both mildly offensive and an egregious continuity error.

She was pregnant with a 'monster' and she has the blood of the dragon, so I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that she is not like other women. She also does not burn in fire, and, despite losing her baby, is later able to nurse three dragons, no problem.
posted by misha at 6:27 PM on June 21, 2011


No, I get it: she's magical. I have no problem suspending my disbelief about the fire thing. The perfectly flat stomach just doesn't seem like part of her magic to me; it seems like either an oversight or an artistic decision with which I mildly disagree. I'm not hugely concerned either way.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:32 PM on June 21, 2011


I like the throne leaning thing Joffrey's got going on. It's like he doesn't need to sit up straight before he cuts out your tongue because he's just that comfortable turning his inner jackass up to Eleven. He's like an Evil Scott McCreery.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:06 PM on June 21, 2011


Jude Law is the Brit's missile sent over the sea in retaliation for Dick Van Dyke in "Marry Poppins."

Truce, for the love of God, TRUCE! We're SOOOOOO sorry!!
posted by jeanmari at 5:45 AM on June 22, 2011


The perfectly flat stomach just doesn't seem like part of her magic to me; it seems like either an oversight or an artistic decision with which I mildly disagree. I'm not hugely concerned either way.

I'm with you "in theory" but ... what are you gonna do? Actors get into their roles, but not to the extent of getting pregnant and birthing a stillborn child for the sake of "continuity" ...

Are you really asking for a prosthetic belly? Or just a less sexed up final scene? (I didn't think it was that sexed up, fwiw.)
posted by mrgrimm at 8:10 AM on June 22, 2011


If you absolutely have to read the book now, Amazon is selling A Clash of Kings on Kindle for $5.

Better yet, they're selling all four books for $18.
posted by russilwvong at 8:54 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, it is possible for women to undergo childbirth and have a flat belly immediately (it rather surprisingly happened to me). Plus Daenarys didn't carry to full term so it's entirely conceivable she wasn't very big to start with.
posted by Go Banana at 9:02 AM on June 22, 2011


Better yet, they're selling all four books for $18.

GRAR! I just bought the Kindle set last night for $30.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:02 AM on June 22, 2011


You know, it is possible for women to undergo childbirth and have a flat belly immediately (it rather surprisingly happened to me). Plus Daenarys didn't carry to full term so it's entirely conceivable she wasn't very big to start with.

I think the most reasonable explanation is that, being a dragon, her uterus is protected by a giant dragon scale plate or, in the alternative, abs of Targaryen steel.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:06 AM on June 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


> Are you really asking for a prosthetic belly?

Sure, why not? Or CGI, while they're there. I think it would have added realism and pathos.

But like I said, no biggie.
posted by hot soup girl at 12:11 PM on June 22, 2011


Ack! Just finished watching season one. Only ten episodes? Feh! I want to see (more) people burn for what they have done. I want to see swords through throats. I want MOAR! When is season 2 going to be ready, dammit?

/sudden fanboy rant

**back to my Arrested Development marathon**
posted by effwerd at 9:38 PM on June 22, 2011


effwerd: I want to see swords through throats.

**back to my Arrested Development marathon**


And that's why you always leave a note.
posted by kagredon at 1:10 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


So if Daenerys doesn't burn, would that make her immune to Sookie's light powers? Who would win in a fight?
posted by homunculus at 10:15 PM on June 26, 2011


Daenerys would win because she would choose a champion to kick Sookie's ass.
posted by misha at 12:45 PM on June 27, 2011


Daenarys would win because she has three dragons (not to mention Aggo, Jhogo, and Rakharo) and Sookie (the TV flavor at least) has never done anything (AFAIK) but knock people (and vampires, and maenads) three steps backwards with her light balls.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:22 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


she would choose a champion

Khal Drogo vs. Eric Northman? Beefcake battle bonanza!
posted by homunculus at 1:26 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dr. Zira: "I think the most reasonable explanation is that, being a dragon, her uterus is protected by a giant dragon scale plate or, in the alternative, abs of Targaryen steel."

I think the most reasonable explanation is that, being a hot young actress, her body image is protected by a giant contract clause, or in the alternative, her agents.
posted by mkultra at 5:12 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Khal Drogo vs. Eric Northman? Beefcake battle bonanza!

$100 on Northman.

It's the battle between the 1,000-year-old vampire vs. 3 young dragons that us (violent hetero) boys want to see.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:59 AM on June 28, 2011


Amazon Deutsch "accidently" shipped a bunch of copies of Dance early. Clearly we need to re-invade Germany.
posted by Justinian at 3:07 PM on June 28, 2011


Christ, now some nerds are learning Dutch just to translate it into spoilers.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:13 PM on June 28, 2011


*German.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:13 PM on June 28, 2011


No you don't understand, people ordered the ENGLISH edition off the German site. I've seen photographs. There are spoilers in the wild. Careful!

Imagine if somebody posted a major ADwD spoiler on Metafilter? I think the rage would explode with the power of a thousand burning suns.
posted by Justinian at 4:12 PM on June 28, 2011


I'm steering clear of most of the internet for the next few weeks.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:03 PM on June 28, 2011


Where are the spoilers? Where? The book comes out two weeks before the bar exam! I need the spoilers so I can study for the bar instead of reading the book! SAVE MY CAREER! LEAD ME TO SPOILERS!!!
posted by prefpara at 5:41 PM on June 28, 2011


SPOILER: EITHER YOU OR MARTIN WILL DIE BEFORE THE STORY ENDS.
posted by Justinian at 6:25 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Knights of Badassdom
posted by homunculus at 8:20 PM on July 5, 2011


In defense of HBO's "unnecessary" nudity: Why a newspaper editorial about the naked bodies on the pay cable channel is a remnant of the Puritan mentality
posted by homunculus at 12:18 PM on July 6, 2011


Nudity and the swears were the entire genesis of HBO. Now that you can say asshole on Comedy Central, all they've got are the boobs and cocks.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:20 PM on July 7, 2011


I remember an article back in the '80s that said that HBO should stand for the Haul Breasts Out network. It's not a new thing.
posted by octothorpe at 6:49 PM on July 7, 2011


Nudity and The Swears is totally my new band name. We'll be like Fitz and The Tantrums, but sexier!
posted by palomar at 7:04 AM on July 8, 2011


« Older Burzynski, the Movie is the story of a medical doc...  |  It's not surprising that a col... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments