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Game of Thrones: 2.01 - 2.08

Pretty clear what I did with my weekend, eh?

It's a bit of weird experience, knowing that I'm soon going to run out of new episodes, and yet I could read the books and find out another three seasons worth of plot. I don't particularly want to read the books, though; I think I'd rather the surprises happen to me on screen, rather than on the page, since I've come this far with the show already. But of course that means I'll have to sit by knowing lots of people know lots more about the story than I do. It also makes venturing into any kind of fandom a treacherous activity.

In terms of spoilers, it's a weird place to be in.

Mostly my favorites continue to be my favorites: Arya, Tyrion, Catelyn. I find Cersei pretty compelling, too, probably at least 75% because of the actress, who's great. I continue to quite like Osha and her relationship with Bran. I feel terribly for Sansa, poor girl.

OTOH, Danaerys has had nothing to do this season but speechify imperiously at people, and it's wearing thin. In terms of entitlement and making demands of people, she's hardly any brighter than her brother right now. Also this thing with Jorah is overwrought; the scenes are a bit embarrassing to watch.

There are other relationships here that could also have used some more build-up/characterization. Tyrion/Shae, for one. It's not like he hasn't slept with hundreds of prostitutes, and sure, she's smart and fully capable of besting him in games of wits, but if that's what this attachment to her is about, then I'd really like to have seen more of that attachment being formed on screen. I feel like we jumped straight from "Hmm, she's a bright one" to "You're mine don't ever leave me."

Brienne of Tarth, too, seems to form attachments alarmingly quickly. I have zero grasp of what her deal with Renly Baratheon was. Why did she care? She sprang fully-formed from nowhere, the best and most devoted knight a man could wish for. And then of course she transfers that same strength of devotion to Catelyn. (Nifty scene, that, although I felt the actual writing was clunky. "You have courage. Not battle courage, but a different kind. A woman's courage." *facepalm*)

Occasionally there are bits of the story that I wouldn't mind getting developed a bit more, as I suspect probably happens in the books. Theon, for example - did he burn those two orphan boys as substitutes for Bran and Rickon to avoid having to kill Bran and Rickon? Or did it just seem an expedient way to give up the hunt and still save face? (Would love to see him try to explain to, say, Catelyn Stark that he didn't murder her innocent defenseless sons, but some other innocent defenseless boys of the same age.)

Or Tyrion, plotting marriage for the Princess Marcella. He told each person on the small council about a different potential match, and old Pycelle was the one who snitched to Cersei. But that's also the marriage deal Tyrion ends up making for Marcella. Did he plan out three legitimate possibilities and figure he'd go through with whichever one Cersei heard about? A peculiar way to randomize one's political decisions.

In general, though, Tyrion is fabulous as the Hand. He enjoys it and he's good it, and I enjoy watching him be good at it.

Speaking of people and politics, Catelyn Stark is so much better and more interesting a diplomat than Ned ever was.

Meanwhile, in things I could have done without: NAKED DEMON-BIRTHING SCENE. Obviously she couldn't be even partially clothed or the magic wouldn't work, amirite?

Original entry posted at Dreamwidth. Feel free to reply here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
penny_lane_42
Mar. 11th, 2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
The truth is that, for it's faults (which are many), I think the show is better than the books, which are in DESPERATE need of an editor. I gave up halfway through book three because things drag on and on and you don't hear from your favorite characters for hundreds and hundreds of pages (and sometimes entire BOOKS) and the show streamlines it all really well. Though there are a few things, like those you mention, that get skimmed over. But I really wouldn't recommend the books to you. I think you'd grow as frustrated with them as I did.
snickfic
Mar. 15th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
I couldn't bear to go hundreds and hundreds of pages without any of my favorites. I don't think I'd mind getting a little more backstory at certain points, but I really want someone to, like, give me a book with the relevant bits bookmarked, so I don't have to do any work. :D
eilowyn
Mar. 11th, 2013 06:02 pm (UTC)
My favorites are your favorites. Danaerys' plot kind of fizzles, but I expect her to be key in later books (maybe season 6? The kids will all be late teenagers when they finish this thing!). The Wall continues to fascinate. What did you think of Ygritte (that's how you spell her name)?

Re-watching this season with my non-book reading parents was . . . interesting. My mom isn't a fantasy fan, so she would ask inane questions about everything ("so the dragons came from the rocks? Who's the guy with the beard? Why is Tyrion doing that?"), and the demon birth was probably the biggest WTF moment of her life. She does like Sam, because she has a heart for awkward sidekicks (her favorite Friday Night Lights character was Landry). It's been a year since she watched season 1, so she kind of forgot that Arya really was a girl, so when Gendry figured it out she was kind of embarrassed.

The books are . . . long. I read the last three when they came out, but over the summer I did a huge re-read where I listened to the audiobooks, and that made the pages of exposition on the religion and politics easier to swallow. Book five does drag, but I really want to see what happens next to characters that won't be introduced for a while but are awesome (I realize how obnoxious I'm being by saying "THERE ARE AWESOME CHARACTERS COMING BUT YOU WON'T SEE THEM FOR FOUR YEARS!" btw). If, at the end of season 2 (or season 3, if you watch it), you really, really want to know what happens next to those characters you really like, I'd start book 3 (which will be split between seasons 3 and 4), knowing that they're LONG and INVOLVED. If you like world-building they're great, though. The world created is fascinating as it opens up to the reader. It just depends on your preferences, I think.
snickfic
Mar. 15th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
I think I like Ygritte? Half her time is spent jibing Jon for being a virgin, which was not my favorite, but she's spunky and seems to have some grudging sense of honor, so I'll be interested to see if she gets more development later.

I may conceivably jump into the books at some point. However, I don't think I could bear reading, say, the first book, knowing how all the first season goes down. :(
goldenusagi
Mar. 11th, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
OTOH, Danaerys has had nothing to do this season but speechify imperiously at people, and it's wearing thin.

Apparently in book 2 she didn't do much but wander around the desert. ? IDK, that's what I heard, but I haven't read.

I feel like we jumped straight from "Hmm, she's a bright one" to "You're mine don't ever leave me."

I wonder if Tyrion doesn't become quickly attached to anyone disposed to be around him at all.

In general, though, Tyrion is fabulous as the Hand. He enjoys it and he's good it, and I enjoy watching him be good at it.

I like all his conversations with Varys, where they both know exactly what the other one is really saying. Oh, and the line had to someone else: "I'm not questioning your honor, I'm denying its existence." AND his line to Joffrey (paraphrase): "The mad king did as he liked. Perhaps you should ask your uncle Jaime what became of him."
snickfic
Mar. 15th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
I wonder if Tyrion doesn't become quickly attached to anyone disposed to be around him at all.

Heh, possibly. So far Shae and Bronn have served him well; I hope that trend continues.

Tyrion+Varys = the best. "I'm not entirely sure what you're suggesting." / "I am entirely sure you're entirely sure what I'm suggesting." FAVORITE QUOTE. Tyrion CALLS IT.
brutti_ma_buoni
Mar. 11th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
And I am not clicking on your spoiler cut because I haven't seen s2, though I have read up to vol 5. This is indeed a weird place to be in.
snickfic
Mar. 15th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
Ha ha! Yep, a weird space indeed.
zanthinegirl
Mar. 11th, 2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I think the books do a much better job of explaining exactly those issues you have questions about. Tyrion isn't quite as randy in the books and settles on Shea much earlier. It makes better sense that the TV version IMO. And you get better background and motivation for Brienne's attachments and the thing with Theon and the children he burned.

On the whole I think the TV series does a pretty good job with the story. Even the changes usually make sense in terms of story telling (though honestly I could do without so much of the sexposition. It's replacing internal dialog but meh. I know, it's HBO) A couple of my favorite characters appear in the second book, but don't show up until season 3 of GoT. From a storytelling perspective though I understand why!

I'm just looking forward to this season. Book three is probably my favorite, and I'm anxious to see what they do with it.
snickfic
Mar. 15th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
*nod* Yeah, I've since thought of a few other places where some more development would have been nice. Cersei's chosen objects of particular hatred, for example. Sansa and Tyrion? I can fanwank her feelings about each, but I don't feel they've been sufficiently developed on screen. It's all a bit opaque.
shapinglight
Mar. 11th, 2013 07:36 pm (UTC)
I managed to read the first book in the series but I struggled terribly with it. Plodding writing and far too many characters, IMO.

I like the show very much, though. Have some quibbles with it, but overall like it very much.

Can't say I agree about Dany and Jorah being overwrought, though. I think they're wrought just enough. :)
snickfic
Mar. 15th, 2013 07:16 pm (UTC)
I think they're wrought just enough.

Fair enough! I'm disposed to like them; I just felt there were a couple of overly awkward scenes around the time when Dany started to suspect he loved her. (Does everyone shorten her name to Dany? I can't recall anyone using that in the show, but it is easier to spell.)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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