The Season 2 Winds Are Rising
December 14, 2011 10:52 AM   Subscribe

HBO's Game of Thrones was a huge hit (with some controversy and rebuttals of same), securing a second season only two days after its debut. Filming of said season finished on December 11th and now the production crew is pulling all the pieces together for the April 2012 start of season 2. A few details have officially and unofficially come out, details after the jump:

First, check out the official teaser trailer and a look behind the scenes .

HBO is also running a Production Diary, with information delivered by Cat Taylor, assistant to the show’s executive producers. Posts have covered how fights and stunts are coorindated, planning for special effects while on location and Arya Stark's new look.

Unoffical blogs have pondered how season 2 will be marketed, glimpses of new character Ygritte, while Entertainment Weekly went looking for photos of the dragons.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (85 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I find it so goddamn baffling that they didn't choose to broadcast the show during a season when winter would, in fact, actually be COMING.
posted by elizardbits at 10:59 AM on December 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


Well, winter is always coming eventually.
posted by something something at 11:00 AM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


From the controversy link: no one can beat HBO for hookers — the pole dancers of "The Sopranos," Al Swearengen's Gem Saloon on "Deadwood," the record-breaking female nudity of "Rome," and now, "Boardwalk Empire." HBO has a higher population of prostitutes per capita than Amsterdam or Charlie Sheen's Christmas card list.

Ah, it turns out that HBO is where whores go. Mystery solved at last.
posted by mediated self at 11:06 AM on December 14, 2011 [69 favorites]


I find it so goddamn baffling that they didn't choose to broadcast the show during a season when winter would, in fact, actually be COMING.

premium cable like hbo has a noticable drop off in subscribers when their epic dramas (the wire, the sopranos) and comedies (curb) end. so, they stagger them so that there's always some show your addicted to, and then you won't cancel your subscription.

it starts in april because that's where it fit.
posted by cupcake1337 at 11:07 AM on December 14, 2011


CAN. NOT. WAIT.
posted by spicynuts at 11:10 AM on December 14, 2011


Are you saying that winter is not coming until April?

Worst. Christmas. Ever.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:13 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I knew Season II was coming when Season I finally made it onto iTunes. Sigh.

When is some go-getter at HBO HQ going to wake up and realize that the market for à la carte sales far exceeds whatever revenue they're generating inside their walled garden?

HBO: I want to give you money. I am dying to give you money. But I refuse to pay those shysters at Comcast for cable service I'll never use. So why do you force me to watch your beautiful shows in low-res on crappy russian rip sites?
posted by R. Schlock at 11:23 AM on December 14, 2011 [16 favorites]


HBO: I want to give you money. I am dying to give you money. But I refuse to pay those shysters at Comcast for cable service I'll never use. So why do you force me to watch your beautiful shows in low-res on crappy russian rip sites?

Ditto. I've been buying some older HBO series like The Wire on iTunes, but I'm not going to wait half a year to watch True Blood and Game of Thrones. Let me subscribe to HBO Go and watch the damn shows online in HD on your site, please.
posted by empath at 11:26 AM on December 14, 2011


I was looking up the casting of Stannis the other day and noticed that Aidan 'Littlefinger' Gillen has the best IMDb headshot ever.
posted by permafrost at 11:27 AM on December 14, 2011 [27 favorites]


Schlock: torrent?
posted by rebent at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can has Catelyn?
posted by R. Schlock at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


CAN. NOT. WAIT.

I can, waiting for the books has given me lots of practice.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:29 AM on December 14, 2011 [23 favorites]


Is he the guy from 5th element?
posted by rebent at 11:30 AM on December 14, 2011


Ditto. I've been buying some older HBO series like The Wire on iTunes, but I'm not going to wait half a year to watch True Blood and Game of Thrones. Let me subscribe to HBO Go and watch the damn shows online in HD on your site, please.

I think they really want to do this, but have to work something out with the cable companies first. Netflix is terrified of it too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:31 AM on December 14, 2011


Oh my god. Every single weekend immediately after GoT/True Blood, before the credits are even done rolling, I call Time Warner Cable and once again complain about the lack of access to HBO Go. I don't even fucking care if they think I am a total psycho.

And to get back to the actual post, I had a brief moment of grossed out terror on the "Arya's New Look!" thing, as I was momentarily scared that it would be something wildly uncanonically inappropriate and Bratz-like. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO GLAD TO BE WRONG.
posted by elizardbits at 11:31 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Let me subscribe to HBO Go and watch the damn shows online in HD on your site, please.

Or, you know, just torrent it.
posted by mlis at 11:33 AM on December 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


So over Game of Thrones. I was in love after the first season, rushed out and got the first four books, hung in there until 1/3 through through the 4th book, subsequently gave them away, and now have zero interest in any further adventures in Westeros. Am I the only one?
posted by PapaLobo at 11:35 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


yes. yes you are. BURN THE HERETIC.
posted by elizardbits at 11:36 AM on December 14, 2011 [18 favorites]


Possibly.
posted by mlis at 11:37 AM on December 14, 2011


Schlock: torrent?

Yeah, I've just gotten totally paranoid about torrenting. I did it back when I was living abroad and wanted to watch Deadwood, Rome and BG. But I feel like those days are over now. I'm older and a nasty letter from a law firm would cause me more anxiety than I want to deal with. Also, I'd like to actually pay for the shows. Doing so will encourage HBO to make more of them.

It's crazy to me that HBO's production arm is so relentlessly excellent about staying at the cutting edge, while their business side is working to prop up a dying industry. If they cut out the cable providers and started delivering content directly to consumers, HBO could basically print money.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:37 AM on December 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


i cant wait dudes i got me a frey shirt from the hbo store cuz it has castles on it and that means they are a honorable and trustworthy lot

i tried to talk to some people wearing stark shirts at the ren faire but they just threw their turkey legs at me
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:38 AM on December 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


Or, you know, just torrent it.

When I tell people I pirate stuff, mefites tell me I'm a filthy thief. When I tell people I want to pay for stuff, mefites tell me I should pirate it. I can't win, I tell you.
posted by empath at 11:39 AM on December 14, 2011 [25 favorites]


I want this with a white-hot fury.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:39 AM on December 14, 2011


I was looking up the casting of Stannis the other day and noticed that Aidan 'Littlefinger' Gillen has the best IMDb headshot ever.

Possible the only one I've seen that looks like it came from a Webcam.

In other news, the GOT cooking blog, Inn at the Crossroads, is producing a cookbook.
posted by melissam at 11:40 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one?

Nope. I stopped reading halfway through the first book and just can't make myself to pick it up again despite the assurances that it gets good in the second book.

Not bragging. Just admitting the fact that these books are not for me.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:40 AM on December 14, 2011


If the show was available to me in a reasonably priced, crap free (drm, etc.), timely download (i.e. same day it airs) I would totally buy it.

but as it is, I will stick with downloading it in HD within minutes of the end of the original airing, easily, quickly and without DRM. I even do this for shows I could be PVR'ing... it's just the way I want my content. If I can pay for it, I will.
posted by utsutsu at 11:42 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


BTW everyone I'm thinking of starting a GOT meetup in Chicago. Bar that subscribes to HBO + themed snacks = awesome???
posted by melissam at 11:44 AM on December 14, 2011


I find it so goddamn baffling that they didn't choose to broadcast the show during a season when winter would, in fact, actually be COMING.

Because winter isn't here yet. THE WINDS ARE RISING.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:49 AM on December 14, 2011


Who farted?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:50 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


April is late spring in my homeland. Winter will be coming.
posted by Jilder at 11:52 AM on December 14, 2011


hung in there until 1/3 through through the 4th book, subsequently gave them away, and now have zero interest in any further adventures in Westeros.

Book 4 was a meandering low point in the series. I say skip it and read Book 5 . . . knowing that it will not tie up loose ends.

I have never considered myself a fan of the fantasy genre (never read LOTR, for example), but with the aforementioned exception of Feast of Crows have loved these books. Hard.
posted by donovan at 11:57 AM on December 14, 2011


I am half way through book 2 and loving/hating it. And I just torrented all of season 1 the other day, since there was no way to buy it yet. Watched epi 1 last night and was a bit disappointed (seemed too much a simple transliteration, I think) though it was a joy to see the costumes and sets for sure. I imagine it gets better as the season progresses.

Anyway, I was glad to read above that you could buy the season pass on iTunes, even though it is not available for actual download until March. So now I've at least paid for what I've illegally downloaded.
posted by ericost at 11:58 AM on December 14, 2011


They had me at "Vermithrax."
posted by rahnefan at 12:14 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually way before that, but still - VERMITHRAX! (fingers crossed)
posted by rahnefan at 12:14 PM on December 14, 2011


Book 4 was a meandering low point in the series. I say skip it and read Book 5 . . . knowing that it will not tie up loose ends.

I have decided that the series ended after 3 books.
posted by Justinian at 12:16 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved Feast of Crows, but I went into it knowing that it was all focused on secondary and tertiary characters, and I read the series straight through in time to go right on to book five, so I didn't feel like I'd been robbed of anything by having to wait to see what was happening to everyone else.
posted by padraigin at 12:23 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


PapaLobo: "So over Game of Thrones. I was in love after the first season, rushed out and got the first four books, hung in there until 1/3 through through the 4th book, subsequently gave them away, and now have zero interest in any further adventures in Westeros. Am I the only one?"

Sorta kinda. I also ripped through the books after watching season one, but by the end of it, it all melded into a mush I affectionately call A Series of Poor Decisions. I'm resigned now to a few things:

* There is no way that this mess can be resolved in one book, at the current pacing.
* I can't find myself looking forward to another doorstop that ends on a cliffhanger with absolutely nothing resolved.
* I find myself caring less and less about most of the characters, mostly because of the aforementioned Poor Decisions.
* Even if I do end up reading the rest of the series (and of course I bloody well will, damn you sunk cost fallacy), it will be over the next decade or so and I will have mostly forgotten the minutiae of the earlier books by then. By the last book I already found myself forgetting who many of the incidental characters were, not really caring, and can only see that problem getting worse.
posted by vanar sena at 12:39 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I tell people I pirate stuff, mefites tell me I'm a filthy thief. When I tell people I want to pay for stuff, mefites tell me I should pirate it. I can't win, I tell you.

Sure, but it's not the same people. I'll advise you "Do what you feel is right."

Just ask yourself, "What would Arya Stark do?"
posted by tyllwin at 12:45 PM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


* There is no way that this mess can be resolved in one book, at the current pacing.

I believe there are supposed to be two more books: "The Winds of Winter" and "A Dream of Spring."
posted by grumblebee at 12:47 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


You want the definition of pathetic?

I watched the video about Arya's new look.

When a middle aged man watches a minute and a half video of a kids new haircut, you are into the series for the long haul. HBO could triple in price and I'd be like "well, we're switching to store brand cereal around my house." I wouldn't sit through a youtube video about my own daughters getting a haircut.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:47 PM on December 14, 2011 [29 favorites]


no one can beat HBO for hookers — the pole dancers of "The Sopranos," Al Swearengen's Gem Saloon on "Deadwood," the record-breaking female nudity of "Rome," and now, "Boardwalk Empire." HBO has a higher population of prostitutes per capita than Amsterdam or Charlie Sheen's Christmas card list.

1. I really hate the way this quote labels all sex workers, and miscellaneous naked women, as "hookers."

2. I also really hate the gratuitous ambient female nudity on HBO shows, especially Game of Thrones. It's as if someone is watching every scene going, "Well, this is kind of lacking in sexism, could we please drop some tits in? You, female extra number four, you've got some tits, take off your top and wander through the foreground right after he says the thing about wenches, okay?" It would be great if even half of the women on TV at any given time were there for something other than decoration. I know, I'll keep dreaming.
posted by milk white peacock at 1:10 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


milk white- I don't get the anger WRT to a series based on a novel trilogy based on a fantasy world based on some combination of old-world methodologies and where the two main antagonists are an incestuous brother and sister and where, one could argue, the lead protagonist is the widowed wife of the hand of the king. I mean, you do realize that lower-caste working women were...well..wenches, right?

That said, I read the first book and found it vapid...not sure how there could be any "surprises" in the series...I mean, the trilogy has been out for a while.

It does have good production value though.
posted by TomMelee at 1:18 PM on December 14, 2011


the trilogy has been out for a while.

It's been out for so long, it's a trilogy of five books.
posted by grumblebee at 1:20 PM on December 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Just ask yourself, "What would Arya Stark do?"

So...you want me to straight cut dudes for my GOT fix? I'm not saying that's out of the question, mind you, I'm just making sure.

And to get back to the actual post, I had a brief moment of grossed out terror on the "Arya's New Look!" thing, as I was momentarily scared that it would be something wildly uncanonically inappropriate and Bratz-like. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO GLAD TO BE WRONG.

Same here. I was also charmed by her accent, mainly because it's so different from the RP that we seem to get from the cast in the show. And from what I can tell from the fan sites (I know, I know) it also looks like she's not just coasting on being Arya, she's genuinely excited about the show and the fans, and will engage with them pretty easily.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:22 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


milk white- I don't get the anger WRT to a series based on a novel trilogy based on a fantasy world based on some combination of old-world methodologies and where the two main antagonists are an incestuous brother and sister and where, one could argue, the lead protagonist is the widowed wife of the hand of the king. I mean, you do realize that lower-caste working women were...well..wenches, right?

I'm sorry, I really have absolutely no idea what this has to do with my comment about gratuitous nudity.
posted by milk white peacock at 1:33 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just ask yourself, "What would Arya Stark do?"

As long as it's not "What would Sansa Stark do?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:41 PM on December 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


glimpses of new character Ygritte,

Dear English-subtitles-writer, I salute you.
posted by mstokes650 at 1:53 PM on December 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


A great deal of the gratuitous nudity (and sexuality in general) in shows like these is a reaction against an older generation of fantasy and historical productions, where the sexuality was sort of air-brushed out. Even more modern movies, like the LotR trilogy, have romance, but no sex. Modern audiences can often just roll their eyes at that, and HBO is just fumbling around trying to put it back in with a vengeance.
posted by tyllwin at 1:54 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


How GoT uses gratuitous nudity:
"Sexposition" is the clever technique of jazzing up boring plot exposition by pairing it with sex.
posted by ColdChef at 2:08 PM on December 14, 2011


Season 1's on iTunes now? I'll be damned, it's a Christmas miracle.
posted by COBRA! at 2:18 PM on December 14, 2011


"gratuitous" is a complicated word here.

TV drama and most movies, as much as they're attempting to "hold a mirror up to nature," which, according to my aesthetics, is what they should be doing, get sex all wrong. There are all kinds of reasons for this. Partly it's due to censorship; partly it's due to custom; partly it's due to sexism.

An analogous situation would be one in which all TV shows set in Los Angelas showed mostly bikes on the road and just a few cars. Or if almost all cars shown were minivans. We'd say, "That's not right! That's not realistic!" But most of us are so used to the warped, frightened way TV and movies deal with sex, we don't notice the oddness. Or we notice and move on, because whatchagonna do?

Sex is such a HUGE part of the Human Condition, it would be hard to tell a story in which it's gratuitous. Of course, if a character is going to the bank and the teller is naked, that's gratuitous, but any story that goes into depth about humans is going to collide with sex. And when it does, it's either going to have to tell the truth about the fact that we're animals (just like dogs and cats and lamas) shaped by eons of Natural Selection to reproduce, or it's going to have to lie about the truth. Or ignore the truth. And -- again, according to my aesthetics -- a story that lies about the truth is a bad story. (I am talking about emotional truths here. I am not talking about historical truths. I don't consider a story to be "lying" because it's set on an alternate Earth. But if it diminishes the role of sex in human affairs, it's lying in an astronomical way.)

If a TV show has a scene set in a brothel, you can bet it's trying to make some kind of point. It's either saying "Look! We, the creators of this show are not prudes! We have a scene with naked people!" Or it's saying "Look how low this character has sunk! He's going to a BROTHEL!" Or it's saying "Look how terribly women are treated!" Or it's saying "Look how nobel prostitutes are in spite of the fact that they lead horrible lives..." Or something else. It is never, ever saying, "Brothels are a part of life. They have existed for thousands of years. And they are complicated places. Some of the women who work in them are miserable. Some enjoy their work. Some enjoy parts of their work and don't enjoy other parts..."

The problem is that if you want to tell the truth about sexuality, you have to matter-of-factly show that people masturbate all the time. Matter-of-factly, because there's little that's more matter-of-fact than that. You have to deal with the fact that men get erections. You have to deal with homosexuality, bisexuality and that myriad fetishes that the Internet has taught us everyone has. You have to deal with the ways that sex drives politics. And you also have to deal with the massive amount of prudishness in the world, which is also a part of the Human Condition. You have to deal with the fact that our culture went into a FRENZY when Janet Jackson accidentally exposed a nipple for two seconds. Or you have to set your story in a time period that's less prudish than ours, and, if you do, you have to honestly deal with what that means.

Of course, TV shows can't do this. Almost no drama does it right, including porn. Porn portrays an absurdly prude-free world. Non-porn portrays a world that is largely sexless or has some cleaned-up or limited kind of sexuality in it.

Because TV is so limited -- both through rules and through custom -- when it wants to buck trends and get daring, it generally shows tits. If it ignores sex or just hints at it, it's .... ignoring or hinting at it. If it tries to confront sex journalistically, it quickly realizes that it can't show penises because it's not allowed to. And it can't show much gay sex, "perverted" sex or sex between unattractive people, because custom (ratings) won't stand for it. Basically, it's a choice between prudishness and tits. Which is another kind of prudishness. It's prudishness that's saying, "Look how not prudish I am! I'm showing tits!"
posted by grumblebee at 2:24 PM on December 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


I just got The Witcher 2 on sale on Steam last night (thirty bucks! woo!) and I intend to install nude mods so everybody is nude, and as I play it I will be listening to the epic Game of Thrones intro theme and I think we know that HBO can't compete with that at all.
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:30 PM on December 14, 2011


Just ask yourself, "What would Arya Stark do?"

She would cut your damn throat and roll your corpse into a canal. Then she would sell some shellfish.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:18 PM on December 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh my God! I can't wait till spoiler spoiler spoiler, especially since spoiler spoiler! But I am not at all looking forward to spoiler spoiler. Because it makes me sad.
posted by Ducks or monkeys at 3:51 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh my God! I can't wait till spoiler spoiler spoiler, especially since spoiler spoiler! But I am not at all looking forward to spoiler spoiler. Because it makes me sad.


You know when you guys do stuff like this, I try to figure out how the spoiler tag works and think it's just my cell phone that can't view them because it's an alt tag or mouseover or something. And finally I realize Mefi doesn't have them...
posted by melissam at 3:55 PM on December 14, 2011


So over Game of Thrones. I was in love after the first season, rushed out and got the first four books, hung in there until 1/3 through through the 4th book, subsequently gave them away, and now have zero interest in any further adventures in Westeros. Am I the only one?

No. I'm not going to harp on it, I've said my bit plenty of times here, but no, you are certainly not the only one.
posted by Errant at 4:21 PM on December 14, 2011


Nope. I stopped reading halfway through the first book and just can't make myself to pick it up again despite the assurances that it gets good in the second book.

I put AGOT down halfway through too. It does get a bit overwhelming there Fortunately, I picked it back up a few weeks later.

When I got to the end and realized there's an appendix with a who's who of the houses, I wanted to kick someone.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:29 PM on December 14, 2011


I read "A Clockwork Orange" when I was 13 without realizing there was a glossary in the back. Felt like I'd been tolchocked in the yarbles.
posted by ColdChef at 4:36 PM on December 14, 2011


Am I the only one?

No, you are not. Made it about a third of the way through book 4 and put it down. I could put up the glacial (no pun intended) pacing if GRRM weren't such a sadist. Let someone I'm rooting for (aside from Tyrion) get the upper hand once in a while, or at least turn the tables occasionally, FFS.
posted by Scoo at 4:37 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aidan 'Littlefinger' Gillen

No way, ever. This show can provide every other actor with their defining role, but Gillen will ALWAYS be Tommy Carcetti.
posted by SpiffyRob at 4:49 PM on December 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


ColdChef, that glossary was added by American editors, and Anthony Burgess despised it. (They also lopped off the last chapter.) You read the book as he intended you to.
posted by whir at 4:51 PM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


"one could argue, the lead protagonist is the widowed wife of the hand of the king."
Really? Lysa Arryn is the lead protagonist?
At first I thought you meant Catelyn Stark, but nobody would be daft enough to think that the person who personally provoked a civil war war that killed tens of thousands of people (including at least n of her children)all because somebody cut her hand with a fancy knife could be any kind of protagonist I'm supposed to root for.
posted by Megafly at 5:12 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


At first I thought you meant Catelyn Stark, but nobody would be daft enough to think that the person who personally provoked a civil war war that killed tens of thousands of people (including at least n of her children)all because somebody cut her hand with a fancy knife could be any kind of protagonist I'm supposed to root for.

I've always been meh about the Starks. They don't seem to care about whether or not their actions will make everyone's lives worse.
posted by melissam at 5:24 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let someone I'm rooting for (aside from Tyrion) get the upper hand once in a while, or at least turn the tables occasionally, FFS.

I was not a fan of AFFC, because I had to wait years for the resolution. I think it works better now with Dance available immediately.

Anyway, what I like most about GRRM is that he can make you root for a character that you thought you were supposed to hate, and not in a cheesy supervillian turned good guy way, but in an even the worst of us are human way. Anybody who has been through to book four knows the type of thing I'm talking about, but I think the best example of it happened in Dance.

So, my point is if you like that keep reading.

Honestly though, I've been shocked by how difficult it is to get people who love the show to read the books. Nobody I've introduced the story to through the show has gotten through the first book. If it was me I could never resist knowing what happens next. Can't explain it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:28 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aidan 'Littlefinger' Gillen

No way, ever. This show can provide every other actor with their defining role, but Gillen will ALWAYS be Tommy Carcetti.


Tommy "Littlefinger" Carcetti.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:29 PM on December 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am still amused by the writers/producers of GoT decision to give HBO the gratuitous nudity it wanted, and in many of those scenes included some key characters all revealing something crucial about their understanding of what was going on or what motivated their character (Maester Pycelle, Theon, and most of all Littlefinger). So anyone either turned off by the nudity, or too infatuated with it missed some really crucial information. Except of course, where whores go.
posted by Ber at 5:38 PM on December 14, 2011


ColdChef, you read it before I did (I was 16), but I thought it was easy after conquering Roots the summer before. Then I loved it, so I read Honey for the Bears because my English teacher was too dumb to limit our book selection, just our author selection, so she had to read it too so she could grade my paper.
posted by TomMelee at 5:38 PM on December 14, 2011


With regards to the all the female nudity on HBO shows, much of that is mandated by HBO itself. I've listened to several different podcasts with creators/witers/etc of several HBO series (and prospective series) and each one of them mentioned the fact that HBO literally demands a certain amount of female nudity in each show. The attitude seems to be "If you can make the nudity work within the plot of the show, great, but regardless of whether it adds anything to the show, we need titties!"

And that is why my friend refers to "True Blood" as "Anna Paquin's Tits," as in "Did you catch the latest episode of 'Anna Paquin's Tits" this week?"
posted by KingEdRa at 5:41 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The sad thing is that Sookie Stackhouse has enormous tits. Anna Paquin, not so much.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:55 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a tough call for me with the tits in the HBO series.

First point, the books themselves are tit/sex heavy so it isn't like they are jamming this stuff into LOTR. On the other hand, they aren't just using tits when GRRM said so they are putting them in to brighten up boring exposition that wasn't even presented in the books in simple exposition form. Again on the other hand, they added a very notable male gay scene that was not in the books too.

I think it would be best to wait out season two to really judge this. Of all shows, friggin Stargate SG1 started with shoving a bunch of tits in your face but did not make that a major thing later even when they were still on Showtime.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:57 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yet again, I had a MeFi comment to thank for steering me the right way. This is what finally got me to check out this show.

I can't wait to see Daenerys' baby dragons.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:00 PM on December 14, 2011


Book 4 was a meandering low point in the series. I say skip it and read Book 5 . . . knowing that it will not tie up loose ends.

I guess I'm unusual in that I got through #4 just fine but stumbled on #5. I ended up skimming Dances with Dragons and I was pretty damn pissed at Martin for making me lose interest in my favorite character, Tyrion. That and the torture porn that made me feel crappy just for reading it.

As for the Tits in HBO topic...My favorite show of ALL time is Deadwood. And it is rather maddening as a female to watch some of the scenes-- especially the infamous blow-job soliloquies by Swearengen. I like the historical realism, but there is very little mundane, not-nude realism to counterbalance the in-your-face tit show. The were only three women on the show who were not prostitutes: Jane, Alma, and Mrs. Bullock and we got fully nude scenes with the first two.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:23 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been looking forward to the show since I read the books. I pre-ordered season 1 on Amazon months ago thinking that HBO wouldn't want to miss out on holiday sales, plus "Winter is Coming" is a great tagline for Christmas. So they announced that the DVDs will be available in March. March! Fuck that!. Is this normal for TV shows? I feel the same as empath. HBO, please take my money to let me watch your shows. But no, I don't want cable. I guess there are some distribution economics so it makes sense for HBO not to let you buy their shows directly.

I can understand that the superfluous female nudity would be frustrating for women viewers. There's some in the books, but it sounds like they've really raised the level in the TV show. On a positive note, the story has at least a few very capable female characters. Especially everyone's favorite eleven year old ninja assassin in training.
posted by Loudmax at 6:58 PM on December 14, 2011


/polishes viking helmet
posted by bardic at 8:56 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Spoiler, but not really because I've got no details

Supposedly a character who manages to survive book 2 doesn't survive season 2 of the show. There was some speculation, but nothing concrete.

I'm a bit torn about reading anything about this, since I haven't read A Dance With Dragons yet. I'm trying hard to stay into the series after AFFC, but I honestly don't feel like he'll ever actually wrap up any of these loose ends. That, and the 'meanwhile, things happened off screen' thing was kind of cool for a little while (book 1, bits of book 2), but to some extent, I figure I could get a decent timeline by just skimming the beginning and end of each chapter, usually since that's when a random minor character would mention (in passing) the horrific massacre that took place where major character Y killed major characters A, B, and C (though there was misinformation, of course, and C isn't really dead).

The alternate title someone sent me for Game of Thrones is pretty accurate: "Don't Get Too Attached." Personally, I think the Song of Ice and No Good Decisions Are Made By Any Character In Any Of These Books, And No One Is Allowed Any Form Of Happiness Unless Later It Is Ripped Away From Them, Leaving Them More Despondent Than Before would be a pretty accurate title.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:17 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Tolkien with STD's"
posted by bardic at 9:40 PM on December 14, 2011


Ghidorah, the same thing (a minor character's death and the presumed transfer of his later actions to another character, to simplify things for the TV audience), has already happened in season 1, as well.
posted by Wylla at 10:19 PM on December 14, 2011


Wylla, somehow I missed that. Who got offed that wasn't supposed to?
posted by Ghidorah at 10:30 PM on December 14, 2011


I've always been meh about the Starks. They don't seem to care about whether or not their actions will make everyone's lives worse.

I always felt that the Starks were G.R.R. Martin's takedown of the "noble noble" stereotype. They're the only family that actually seems to give a damn about honor, responsibility towards the kingdom and their subjects, etc. And the result? They're arguable far more destructive than the Lannisters and their ilk. A Game of Thrones in particular can definitely be read as the story of how one honorable man managed to bring the tenuous peace the Seven Kingdoms down in flames despite all the efforts of dozens of cynical, manipulative men (and at least one woman) to keep it together.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:44 AM on December 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


The tenuous peace of the Seven Kingdoms, rather.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:44 AM on December 15, 2011


"She would cut your damn throat and roll your corpse into a canal. Then she would sell some shellfish."

Arya is one of my—if not the—most favorite characters in all the very many books I've read in my life. I've found that I very strongly relate to her entire arc (so far), from its beginning. It's not that I am entirely comfortable watching her go down this path—I think she's making a fundamental mistake—but that her decisions are completely organic and explicable given the character Martin has created and her choices are the choices I feel like I might have made in her shoes, right or wrong.

Also, she is absolutely going to be who she thinks she wants to be. Or, rather, who she thinks she is. All these characters are deeply at the mercy of cruel fate, of course—but Arya is very self-actualizing within this limited space.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:33 AM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This show can provide every other actor with their defining role, but Gillen will ALWAYS be Tommy Carcetti.

Nope. Because he'll ALWAYS be Stuart Jones from Queer as Folk - in the first five minutes of that, he had his tongue in the asscrack of Randy Harrison, which was the hottest scene I've ever seen on TV.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:30 AM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


the infamous blow-job soliloquies by Swearengen

Surely the hemorrhoid-push-back-inning scenes balance things out in the end, no?

Heh, out in the end.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:37 AM on December 15, 2011


Arya is one of my—if not the—most favorite characters in all the very many books I've read

Oh, I love Arya. My "What would Arya do" wisecrack above was really only a way of saying "follow your own moral compass."

Now, I've only read through AFFC so far, the fith one's going to be my Christmas holiday book, but this far, Arya seems to be one of the few people who's determined to accept what life throws at her. She has her little list, to be sure, but Arya nonetheless lives in the present and not the past. I don't see how her path can lead her to any real happiness, but I also don't see how she could have done any better. People with far better options have done far worse.

"She would cut your damn throat and roll your corpse into a canal. Then she would sell some shellfish."

True confession: That was one of the few times I have just about doubled over laughing reading these books. Then laughed again when I realized it was rooted in what Ned Stark had taught her.
posted by tyllwin at 1:22 PM on December 15, 2011


Surely the hemorrhoid-push-back-inning scenes balance things out in the end, no?

What? Are you talking about gleets?
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:17 PM on December 15, 2011


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