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Game of Thrones Television vs. Book (may contain spoilers)


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#1

TWoP Dietrich

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Posted Apr 13, 2011 @ 10:43 PM

Does the show live up to the books? What's going to be tough to film? What scenes got cut? And so on!

Discussion of upcoming plot details does not require spoiler tags in this thread. If you're talking about plot details that were in the books, that is. If something unexpected is going to happen, still use spoiler tags.
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#2

Egeria

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Posted Apr 14, 2011 @ 11:07 PM

I definitely think the scenes of the dragons hatching will be tough to film. I think anything involving the dragons and older dire wolves are going to be hard and take away from the realistic tone a bit. I don't mind, but I hope it looks decent.
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#3

redgarlic

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Posted Apr 14, 2011 @ 11:19 PM

Thankfully we won't have to worry about that until the end of the season!
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#4

Danny Franks

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Posted Apr 15, 2011 @ 5:23 PM

The direwolves still worry me, even after seeing footage of them in the various 'making of...' features. I think the six wolves for the five Starks and a Snow is going to be a point at which some viewers might just give up. Too fantastical, they'll say.

But, there was no way they could excise them, so I guess we'll just have to hope they do as good a job as possible.

The dragons? Yeah, well we've seen pretty good CGI dragons in movies already, so that's not too big an issue, and they're only going to appear in a scene right at the end of the season.

One shot in the previews though, got me really worried. The one of Bran hopping along the battlements and roofs of Winterfell just looked so CGI fake that I pray it was an unfinished effects shot.

I've watched those five sneak peek scenes, and there's one change that I'm glad of. In the scene where Jon meets Tyrion, Tyrion isn't perched above the door, and able to leap down with a somersault. He's just standing in the shadows. That works for me, because that introduction of Tyrion always felt so wrong, given the character that unfolded. I think GRRM is on record as saying he did change the character, and wishes that he'd written that differently.
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#5

sueli769

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Posted Apr 16, 2011 @ 1:34 AM

I think the six wolves for the five Starks and a Snow is going to be a point at which some viewers might just give up. Too fantastical, they'll say.

I think that could be helped, though, if it is pointed out how the mother wolf was found - with the (House Baratheon sigil) stag horn broken in its throat.

Tyrion isn't perched above the door, and able to leap down with a somersault.

What is it that GRRM wished he'd written differently? The book version or the series version? I kind of liked the gargoyle-like introduction and I thought the somersault was unexpected and "playful," for lack of a better word, that fit with his character.
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#6

Danny Franks

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Posted Apr 16, 2011 @ 5:00 AM

What is it that GRRM wished he'd written differently? The book version or the series version? I kind of liked the gargoyle-like introduction and I thought the somersault was unexpected and "playful," for lack of a better word, that fit with his character.


The book version. I can't remember the exact wording, but the gist was that he originally envisioned Tyrion differently, and the agility of the somersault, so surprising from him, was going to be an indicator of him having more physical abilities than it would appear. But, what we ended up with is Tyrion who isn't good in battles, who really doesn't have any physical gifts.

The gargoyle bit was good, I agree. It worked well for Jon's initial view of him, but I think that Tyrion, as he was written throughout the series, just wouldn't be capable of doing a somersault.
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#7

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 1:20 PM

I've been looking forward to this for awhile and am really eager to see how they adapt the books to a TV series. I think there are at least 2 potential pitfalls that I hope they figure out a way to avoid.

First, the books are incredibly intricate with a lot of plotting. I worry that the TV story line will either seem confusing/disjointed or there will be too many scenes of darkly-lit, whispered conversations, which might grow old pretty fast and can often be difficult to follow in their own right.

Second, the Stark children are so important to the books, but if they are cast to the ages in the books, there is going to be trouble ahead if the series goes into seasons 2-4. Kids that age grow and change so quickly. Anyone remember the little boy from Lost who looked to sprout up 6 inches in one off-season?

I don't worry so much about dragons and dire wolves. Even if the special effects aren't perfect, I am more willing to suspend disbelief for those types of things then I can for children who appear to be aging in dog years, or a confused, jumbled plot.

Also, although it is not a pitfall, I fear that one of my favorite characters from the book, Sandor, will be reduced to a very minor role of a scary "heavy" in the background. I hope I'm wrong, because I love the story of the damaged, anti-knight as told in the books. But they have to cut something to make these books work for TV, and I can see that story line being something they couldn't squeeze in. Plus, without the benefit of Sansa's internal narrative, the key exposition scenes between him and Sansa would probably just look creepy.
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#8

Danny Franks

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 2:01 PM

Second, the Stark children are so important to the books, but if they are cast to the ages in the books, there is going to be trouble ahead if the series goes into seasons 2-4. Kids that age grow and change so quickly. Anyone remember the little boy from Lost who looked to sprout up 6 inches in one off-season?


They've aged all of the kids up by about three years, and cast those ages. So no need to worry about Jon, Robb or Dany suddenly shooting up. They're played by actors in their 20s, I think.

There could be issues with the younger kids, though. Especially Arya, Mrycella and Tommen. Arya needs to pass as a boy, and whilst Maisie Williams can do that now, it might be tougher when she's 16 or 17.

Still, it has to be better than Rome, where none of the characters aged at all in the almost 20 years the series covered. Except for Octavian, who was simply recast with an older actor.

One thing I've noticed already that doesn't quite flow, is the way one character will explain something to another. A good example is the scene with Viserys and Dany seeing Drogo for the first time. Viserys talks about what a great warrior Drogo is, and it just feels way too much like exposition. I suppose that's unavoidable, at times, but I wasn't completely sold on it.

Plus, without the benefit of Sansa's internal narrative, the key exposition scenes between him and Sansa would probably just look creepy.


Obviously YMMV, but I think they're seriously creepy anyway.

Edited by Danny Franks, Apr 17, 2011 @ 2:03 PM.

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#9

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 3:38 PM

Something that the show is supposed to do is make somethings a little more clear. I read an After Elton interview where Martin mentions that it's much more obvious that Renly and Loras are lovers. I know it's there in the books, but I didn't quite get it during the read through, (mostly cause I went through 4 books in a week)
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#10

Danny Franks

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 3:51 PM

Something that the show is supposed to do is make somethings a little more clear. I read an After Elton interview where Martin mentions that it's much more obvious that Renly and Loras are lovers. I know it's there in the books, but I didn't quite get it during the read through, (mostly cause I went through 4 books in a week)


In the books, it seems to be treated as one of those things that people know but don't really talk about. Either because it's something shameful or because it's simply not worth commenting on. I think the only people who mention it are Jaime and Stannis. Though that could simply be because most of the book 1 and book 2 POVs that feature Renly are from the Starks, who may not know anything about it, given that they don't know Renly or Loras. Tyrion may think something about it in one of his ACoK chapters, but I don't recall.

Did Cersei know? Because I seem to recall her being skeptical about Renly not having slept with Margaery. Or maybe she just thought he'd have done his duty, even if it wasn't his preference.

Edited by Danny Franks, Apr 17, 2011 @ 3:51 PM.

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#11

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 4:20 PM

As far as I can remember from an earlier non-TWOP discussion about this topic, the R/L hints come from Renly, Loras, Stannis, Jaime, Tyrion and Cersei, and one of Gregor's men calls Loras the "Knight of Pansies" - who knows whether the meaning is meant to be the same in Westeros, but to a reader who doesn't just skip past it the connection is there and can suggest R/L is talked about even outside the court. I know GRRM has said he didn't intend for there to be any connection between Renly's Rainbow Guard and his sexuality.

I read an After Elton interview where Martin mentions that it's much more obvious that Renly and Loras are lovers. I know it's there in the books, but I didn't quite get it during the read through, (mostly cause I went through 4 books in a week)


That's good. In the books, I thought it was kind of cheap that it still didn't get confirmed when Cersei was thinking about why she doesn't believe Margaery is a virgin widow. Sure, the hints are all there and it's not the biggest of the mysteries, but there are still readers who miss it even though by this point there's nothing to be gained from hiding it. Especially once Margaery's virginity becomes such a plot point. Regarding the wedding night of Margaery and Renly, why does Cersei just think about how men might have a drink of wine even if it's not what they prefer (or something like that) instead of stating in her thoughts, at this perfect opportunity to make a minor issue clear for the reader, that she thinks Renly was able to consummate his politically advantageous marriage to his gay lover's sister? At that point, I thought the "secret" was being kept only as fodder for more hints that aren't even going to encourage fan speculation since, IIRC, GRRM had confirmed R/L in answer to a fan question. Cersei's insistence that Margaery isn't a virgin becomes even more of a sign of her paranoid state of mind if you know the husband was gay. Why keep it from readers who don't remember every detail from rereads? I know I'm not GRRM, but I haven't come up with a good reason for that.
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#12

Danny Franks

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 4:50 PM

Why keep it from readers who don't remember every detail from rereads? I know I'm not GRRM, but I haven't come up with a good reason for that.


I'm going to take a guess that he was playing it safe. Perhaps he feared that, as enlightened as many people are, there are always going to be some people who are not prepared to accept homosexual relationships in their fiction (I always thought that about myself until I read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a few years ago, and found that it didn't bother me at all. Except for the one scene that was supposed to bother the reader). Hell, go check out the ASOIAF board for the thread where someone complains that the tv show is going to be "too gay". So GRRM dropped in enough information to let readers know what the situation was, but left out explicit confirmation of it in order to not offend some 'sensitive' readers.

Either that or her wanted to treat it as Medieval Europe seemed to treat it. People knew, but it wasn't something they wanted to talk about.

As for Renly's Rainbow Guard, I never even made that connection until you mentioned it. I honestly though it was just his own arrogance, and love of brash, flashy things. The Kingsguard wear all white, so Renly's will wear all of the colours of the rainbow. It seemed appropriate for his character.

Edited by Danny Franks, Apr 17, 2011 @ 4:50 PM.

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#13

Becks

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 4:55 PM

Did Cersei know? Because I seem to recall her being skeptical about Renly not having slept with Margaery. Or maybe she just thought he'd have done his duty, even if it wasn't his preference.


When there's discussion of Loras teaching Tommen to joust and she rejects the idea, she says something like 'I know what he is. I don't want him near my son'. Always took that to mean she knew and was making the typical leap from 'gay' to 'child molester'.
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#14

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 6:08 PM

Did Cersei know? Because I seem to recall her being skeptical about Renly not having slept with Margaery. Or maybe she just thought he'd have done his duty, even if it wasn't his preference.


Yes, Cersei definitely knows. Jaime wanted Loras to teach little Tommen to joust since for obvious reasons he couldn't teach their son at that point. And Paranoid!Cersei flipped out about it and was all no way is the big bad gay going near her son.
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#15

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 6:17 PM

Not saying that Cersei didn't know Loras was gay, but I thought her distaste for having him around her son had more to do with him being a Tyrell than anything else.

And gay or not, she still thinks he and Margery are fucking because she projects like whoa.

Edited by Mod Suit, Apr 17, 2011 @ 6:19 PM.

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#16

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 8:48 PM

So GRRM dropped in enough information to let readers know what the situation was, but left out explicit confirmation of it in order to not offend some 'sensitive' readers.


Which seems quite silly, and a flimsy excuse, considering the two graphic lady loving scenes we get in SOS and AFFC.

It makes perfect sense, to me at least, to allow Loras/Renly to be more explicit in the series considering that GOT won't follow the POV structure of the novels. While the aforementioned lady scenes took place between POV characters and someone else, neither Renly nor Loras could have an explicit scene without having another POV character walk in on them or hear of something taking place. Still though, Martin could have easily had someone come right out and say that Renly/Loras were lovers instead of all the "hints" we get from characters dancing around the issue: Obern calling Loras Renly's "little rose" and Jaime threatening to shove Loras's sword somewhere not even Renly could find.
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#17

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 9:03 PM

So GRRM dropped in enough information to let readers know what the situation was, but left out explicit confirmation of it in order to not offend some 'sensitive' readers.


Wait...I think you're unfairly attributing a motivation to GRRM in not giving us an explicit L/R sex scene. Neither character has a point of view (though Loras could possibly get one later in the series) so unless Tyrion or Cersei were spying on them, at what point would we have seen one? We get Dany's pov, so that's why the girl/girl action was clear.

As for the way L/R was portrayed, homosexuality in GRRM's world seems to be treated as something that is not a crime but not open either. There was no gay marraige so that's why Renly married Margery to create a tie to Loras' family. It seemed to me that Westeros operated under the Don't Ask/Don't Tell mode. The fact that Jamie and the others mocked Loras seems to indicate that homosexuality was considered less valid than heterosexuality.
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#18

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 9:03 PM

I think Renly and Loras being lovers was merely hinted at, it was not explicitly stated. There were clues given but frankly I thought that it was something that the two kept quiet about. I did not get the notion that everyone knew about it. I don't think Ned Stark knew, he never mentioned it in his POV's, even though he had interactions with both Loras Tyrell and Renly. Even Brienne who was in love with Renly did not mention it. However Garlan Tyrell does tell Sansa that Tyrion would make her a better husband than his brother Loras. So obviously he knows. Also Littlefinger mentions to Sansa that it was doubly difficult for Mace Tyrell to find a bride for his son Loras, so this is one of the reasons why Loras joins the Kingsguard who are supposed to be chaste.
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#19

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 9:08 PM

I think that Brienne, having a horrible no good very bad crush on Renly, has reasons of her own for not seeing Renly's attraction to Loras. It isn't that she doesn't see it, it's that she can't bring herself to understand yet one more reason that her love cannot ever be.
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#20

Impi

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 9:19 PM

Was anyone bothered by the abruptness of the Daenerys / Khal Drogo love scene? It did not convey the subtle gentleness of the book.
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#21

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 9:27 PM

Was anyone bothered by the abruptness of the Daenerys / Khal Drogo love scene? It did not convey the subtle gentleness of the book.


I actually thought it was an improvement. I always hated the love scene in the book. To me it felt like too much of a male fantasy: the young virgin says no and yet after the touch of the man changes her mind and says yes. I'd rather see a blossoming of the romance between them as time progresses where they learn about each other. I'd rather they earn that relationship.

After all, everything else we see of Khal Drogo does not suggest a sweet, gentle, exterior. He needs to grow as a character as does Dany.
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#22

Impi

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 9:36 PM

I can see that point of view.

I did love the fantasy romance in the book and that scene just jumped out at me for being so different. She had just spent the day essentially terrorized and feared he would take her like the men had been taking and fighting at the wedding. So there was a great amount of emotion tied to the surprising gentleness contrasted against the brutality of the day.
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#23

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 10:46 PM

As for the way L/R was portrayed, homosexuality in GRRM's world seems to be treated as something that is not a crime but not open either. There was no gay marraige so that's why Renly married Margery to create a tie to Loras' family. It seemed to me that Westeros operated under the Don't Ask/Don't Tell mode. The fact that Jamie and the others mocked Loras seems to indicate that homosexuality was considered less valid than heterosexuality.

Thatís the case. It seems that atitudes in Westeros towards homosexuality match those of medieval Europe, with the exception of Dorne, were it is accepted. They seem to be more open minded down there because of the influence of Rhoynish culture.

I did not get the notion that everyone knew about it. I don't think Ned Stark knew, he never mentioned it in his POV's, even though he had interactions with both Loras Tyrell and Renly.

I think everyone at Court knew, but Ned wasnít in the court long enough to become familiar with the gossip.
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#24

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 10:50 PM

Having not read the books, does Bran survive his fall, and did the queen's brother know who he was when he pushed him out the window?
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#25

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 10:55 PM

Bran survives but he is unable to walk after the incident. Jamie knew it was Bran he threw out the window.
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#26

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 11:11 PM

Bran survives not only the fall, but an assassination attempt, due to his incoherently grieving mother. Don't count Catelyn out. She's very strong.
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#27

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Posted Apr 17, 2011 @ 11:28 PM

I don't think it's going to be possible to post about this in the episode threads, between the "wait Drogo's not nearly the asshole he seems" to "well, no Bran hasn't yet named Summer" to be able to comment. So, it'll all go here.
I think I'm going to like this Catelyn alot more than the book - she's not pushing Ned into accepting the position for her own pride but instead argued against his becoming the Hand. It also meant we lost the inner dialogue where she equated Jon going to the wall as less of a sacrifice then her not seeing Bran for a few years. I'm interested to see how they handle some of her other less than pleasant scenes. I hope they keep "It should have been you" - that one isn't as character killing to me and Jon's handling of it with Robb is so character driven that it would hurt him to not include it.
I was a bit put off by the Drogo/Dany love scene - the fact that Drogo wasnt the monster that Dany thought he was, that he cared about her pleasure and her, for lack of better phrasing, consent was intrical to the character and where the relationship ended up for me. To see him simply take her while she was scared and not ready was heartbreaking in a way that the written scene wasn't.
Jaime.... The end scene was absolutely perfect. I've come to love him enough over the course of the series that that scene is always a jolt when I reread it and the show hit it perfectly. He hated what he was about to do and hated himself for doing it, but he didn't see any other choice and did the absolute worst thing he could do. At the same time, anyone who wasn't looking for the Jaime of aSoS/aFfC would simply see an asshole throwing a little kid to his presumed death - just like we did when we first read it. I'd have liked the exposition that we got from Bran's original spying, just to give the additional reason that Bran had to die from his viewpoint. Also, so much of that sets up the "who killed Jon Arryn" misdirection that leads to the ultimate OMG moment later.
Other than all of that, I can see this is going to be strange series to watch. For every "yes! Perfect!" moment, I'm going to have "er, why are the wildlings cut in pieces, who could possibly believe that Will only thought they were dead?" moments that I have to power through to enjoy this medium. What this episode showed me, thought, is that I can power through those pieces and be ok with them.
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#28

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Posted Apr 18, 2011 @ 12:32 AM

I missed a part of it, was there any hints of "Promise me, Ned." And I couldn't see it very well, but it didn't look like the statue of Lyana was set in the crypt like the book. In the same pose as her brother and father with a sword across her lap. Or am I remembering it wrong?

I fear that one of my favorite characters from the book, Sandor, will be reduced to a very minor role of a scary "heavy" in the background. I hope I'm wrong, because I love the story of the damaged, anti-knight as told in the books.


I should hope not. Her direwolf gets replaced by The Dog, doesn't it? And even with the exposition scenes the scenes between him and Sansa are a bit creepy at first read. Imo, a whole lot of Sansa's growing up out of her child-like fairytale idealizing of Knights and Ladies is her interaction with Sandor [and Joffrey].

Sansa looks a little too sullen at times. I expected her to be more "on" when the King and his family arrived.

Edited by sueli769, Apr 18, 2011 @ 12:34 AM.

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#29

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Posted Apr 18, 2011 @ 10:05 AM

I thought the choice to have Jon meet his uncle and Tyrion because he wasn't allowed to go to the feast was interesting...

My GUESS was that it was because the boys have been aged up a bit, so Jon getting drunk and blathering away wouldn't have had the same sort of innocence about it for the character in the series as it did for Jon the 14 year old.

Sansa looks a little too sullen at times. I expected her to be more "on" when the King and his family arrived.

I tend to agree... I got more of a "holier than thou" vibe from Sansa towards Arya in the Winterfell chapters of the book, as opposed to the peevish older sister that we got in the show. And honestly, I saw Arya as a more serious young girl than the prankster she was portrayed as here. Just a slightly different interpretation I guess...

Edited by marieelise0928, Apr 18, 2011 @ 10:13 AM.

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#30

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Posted Apr 18, 2011 @ 11:52 AM

And honestly, I saw Arya as a more serious young girl than the prankster she was portrayed as here. Just a slightly different interpretation I guess...


I would have to disagree ...given that Arya was ALWAYS getting into trouble for running away from her lessons and not listening to Septa Mordane (part of it is being a tomboy, part of it is having the "Wild Wolf" in her) and she was known as "Arry Underfoot" to the Winterfell rank and file, I'd say they got her character down the best out of all the kids, with the least amount of screen time.
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