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    RangerGuy

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    Question Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    In the past I've posted some uncharitable things about the Game of Thrones television series,

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    ...I've long had my fill of dark, grim, and gritty, I want more "Princess Bride" less "Game of Thrones".....
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    ....I already have my fill of it watching "A Game of Thrones" with my wife, so please nothing too "dark'', "grim", or "gritty"...
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    ....My wife likes to watch Game of Thrones, the brutality of which would frankly make it unwatchable for me if it weren't for the Dragons!...
    but this week I watched season 7, and it was AWESOME!

    The Dragons vs. the Lannister army!

    The Dragons vs. the army of the Dead!

    The Dragon vs. the Ice Wall!

    So much better than the murder, rape, and torture previously shown.

    Is it just me or does anyone else find that the Game of Thrones television series is getting better now that it's left the A Song of Ice and Fire books?
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    It certainly sounds better.

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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

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    I think it's getting worse, the sense that main characters actually can die is gone.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    I remember quite a few murders and some torture from season 7. They just got it out of the way early.

    I would suggest that what you're talking about isn't so much the TV series leaving the books as that the books have covered the less TV-friendly parts of the plot and haven't gotten to the most TV-friendly climactic third act yet. Like, seeing the dragons in action in Westeros is awesome on screen, but GRRM spent five books setting that up, and it's only a departure insofar as GRRM hasn't written the books yet, because it's definitely going to happen in the books, though perhaps not in the exact same way.

    To be fair, there are some specific departures from the book that you might appreciate. IIRC, Euron is substantially more monstrous in the books than the show has portrayed so far, for example.

    On the other hand, there are also some weak, wacky, and/or nonsensical elements introduced by the post-book seasons that both depart from the books and don't really work. Everything in Dorne (albeit some of that isn't actually post-book). Euron's magically constructed teleporting fleet and Gendry's marathon run. The bizarre "you have to win the people by not doing things that will win the war" dynamic that D&D inflict on Dany for half of season 7. Jaime's character arc doubling over itself, where he goes back to Cersei just to reject her way of thinking all over again. The North not remembering. Littlefinger wasting his time and energy and ultimately life with pissant schemes in Winterfell. The poorly conceived suicide mission north of the Wall. It's the price of cranking up the pace--getting everything into place for the next set piece ASAP starts taking precedence over getting everything into place in a way that makes sense.

    Which isn't to say that the books are gonna do this perfectly when/if they get written--they'll have their own issues.

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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Well, I stopped watching about two episodes into season seven, so that should make my opinion clear. But then, I think the show has been on a nosedive for a few seasons now.The plot just makes less and less sense and the characters are all getting flatter.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Definitely not.

    Characters make idiotic decisions for the sake of plot that don’t even fit their own characters. Everyone feels safe. And instead of focusing on the tragedy of flawed characters and the problems of feudalism we have a generic and horrible romance plot and a lot of wheel spinning.

    Basically, they turned asoiaf into a generic fantasy. When originally it was supposed to be a deconstruction of them. It’s missing the entire point.

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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    I feel it's getting worse.

    In fact, all of the worst elements of the show, the stuff I really can't stand (like the whole Dorne thing, for instance), or stuff that doesn't seem to go anywhere (also Dorne), I would later look it up and it would turn out that it wasn't in the books.

    It seems anything original is pretty bad. Which is why I have no faith whatsoever in that Civil War series D&D are working on.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Worse, to be certain. For all the reasons stated and more. Not that the books weren't trending towards it either really. A Dance with Dragons was a total snorefest if we're all being honest.
    Last edited by Razade; 2017-12-02 at 02:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooo!
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    but this week I watched season 7, and it was AWESOME!

    The Dragons vs. the Lannister army!

    The Dragons vs. the army of the Dead!

    The Dragon vs. the Ice Wall!

    So much better than the murder, rape, and torture previously shown.

    Is it just me or does anyone else find that the Game of Thrones television series is getting better now that it's left the A Song of Ice and Fire books?
    The first Seasons were a medieval fantasy soap opera. The plot was moved along by the characters, their motivations and their actions. Then a twist. A character dies. A character does something out of character, but turns out they were actually that character all along. The bad guys, were bad. Murder, rape and torture let us know, in no uncertain terms, that we hate a character, and *this* is why. They are a bad guy. Our heroes are supposed to stop them.

    Season 7 drops the soap opera, and turns into action schlock. Characters hold Idiot Balls and plot contrivances make the plot move forwards, and the plot, is simply 'Which action sequence is next on the story board?' The second thing, is that we're now at the point where nobody can die. A group of people go North of the Wall and fight The Night King...And none of them die. Wait...I thought I was watching Game of Thrones? What happened to the character stakes? There aren't any.

    If we were watching 'real' Game of Thrones, the most powerful guy of the Season should've been Bran. He knows pretty literally everything. He can't be lied to. He can't be manipulated. If anything should've happened in 'soap opera' GoT, it should've been Bran and Cersei in the same room. That would sort things out. But, Bran can't 'action', he doesn't have any legs, and the writers for this season don't have a real writers manuscript that's written all the dialog for them already. No dialog. Only set pieces. Make everything one dimensional. This is made pretty clear when during the infamous time-manipulating boat ride. In GoT 'proper', that boat-ride should've taken the majority of the Season, where every character interacts with each other, we get odd character pairings, and several crude jokes and stories - Canturbury Tales style. Unfortunately we get none of that, and Characters travel half of Westeros in one episode.

    Here's the thing, and you'll pretty much fall into one or the other camp;
    Dragons and Zombies are the worst part about GoT, or
    Dragons and Zombies are the best part about GoT.

    The problem is, we've had a violent soap opera for five Seasons. Anyone who doesn't like that, has already turned it off. Leaving us with the audience that likes soap opera stuff. Then we get to S7 (although I'd also lump S6 as the starting point) where that starts to drop off, and people aren't happy about it. Meanwhile, people who don't like soap opera, and only like the show when Dragons are on screen, say that S7 is the bestest...OP in point.

    The Night King has no motivations. He's coming down to kill everyone. There's no shades of grey. We can't empahise with him (as we do say, Cersei or even Littlefinger). It's black and white morality.
    The bad guy is coming to kill us. We have to kill him first. That's the plot of S7.
    Last edited by Cheesegear; 2017-12-02 at 07:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    The central through line of both the books and show from the beginning has been that the Others/White Walkers were coming to destroy everything. That was the fantasy impetus used to provide weight to what is otherwise more or less a piece of alternate history fiction built around the War of the Roses (with a side of Mongol invasion to cover all the Essos stuff). This was necessary because attempting to show the medieval world and medieval warfare in all its grim and oppressive reality - which is directly part of Martin's stated mission to the point that he actually goes a bit too far into the grimdark at times - meant that we needed a reason to actually care who sat on the Iron Throne when ultimately they were highly unlikely to dramatically change society. So you have the setup where, if the wrong person wins, or if the war is simply too terrible, then absolutely everyone dies. It's a useful, and frankly quite common, fantasy device.

    The problem is that the Night King, his minions, and their zombie hordes has received absolutely zero build up at any point - in the books or the show (the show has actually done more, since they revealed his origins via the Children of the Forest and did that little seen with Caster's abandoned baby).

    By the end of Book 5, Martin had written himself into a fairly deep hole. There were huge issues regarding how to go forward from that point. How to get Daenerys out of Mereen and to Westeros, how to resolve the ongoing civil war that had sprawled out into unmanageable chaos (especially given that in the books Cersei is defined by her utter incompetence at ruling, one of the largest and most significant book/show characterization changes), and how to deal with variuos other unresolved plotlines such as Dorne and the Iron Fleet. The problem was that ASOIAF defined itself by subverting fantasy tropes, but the only option from the end of Book 5 to get into some position to stage a climactic battle for the fate of the world in Book 7 (or 8) meant leaning into those tropes hard. He has, instead, declined to publish further material, whether out of a genuine failure to find the words to make this happen or simply out of just giving up. To each their own opinion on that, but it is now unlikely that ASOIAF will be finished by GRR Martin.

    The show has no such options. They have money invested and production contracts to uphold. So, they leaned into the tropes hard. This has led to some very bad decisions - the whole mission north of the Wall in season 7 was a travesty and the fact that the Night King used an ice dragon to melt the Wall - implying that he had no way of getting around that barrier until it was dropped in his lap - is one of the worst pieces of fantasy writing of the past decade. There has been other irregularities - the Iron Bank backing Cersei, the entire poorly plotted Daenerys vs. Lannister campaign overall, how Littlefinger was ultimately handled, and so forth. However, it's hard to blame the show that much. Writing a massive sprawling fantasy epic on the TV filming schedule is much more difficult than adapting one, especially when the show is obligated to maintain certain plot threads and characters whose implications Martin never made clear - ex. what is the purpose of Arya? Why is her becoming an assassin important? Readers don't know - she's still stuck in Braavos training - and in all honesty I don't think the showrunners know either. They clearly didn't know what the ultimate purpose of Littlefinger was intended to be, which is why he was unceremoniously eliminated.

    tl:dr - yes, the show is getting worse, a lot worse, but so are the books, and since Book 6 doesn't exist we can't actually say how the show is doing compared to the books anymore.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    I can't say its worse, because its not, but I can say its different from the earlier seasons.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The show has no such options. They have money invested and production contracts to uphold. [...]
    ...and characters whose implications Martin never made clear - ex. what is the purpose of Arya? Why is her becoming an assassin important?
    I think the purpose of Arya's journey, was to ultimately end up at the Frey's. That was a very well done scene, and one of the three (?) things I actually liked about S7.
    Had it been a 'book scene', Arya would have died right after she finished, suffering a mortal wound during her escapade. The show simply doesn't have time to do anything else.

    But, the show is expensive. Why was S7 episodes reduced, and why will S8 have even less episodes?
    ...Dragons. Dragons are 'ruining' the show.
    Dragons (and zombie polar bears) are expensive. The more of that they do, the less episodes they can have. Less episodes to do things in, ultimately, results in less time to develop the story. Things have to happen quickly and urgently, because the showrunners have had their episode number cut, in addition to a hard 'end date' when they have to finish by. This results in them cutting out vital parts of the story (e.g; The Plot), in favour of more action scenes CG.

    tl:dr - yes, the show is getting worse, a lot worse
    I feel that 'worse' isn't the right word. 'Different' is the correct word. The problem is that anyone who liked S1-5 (and 6) doesn't like S7, and anyone who didn't like S1-5, does like S7 (and 6). The show effectively has a clear dividing line between when the writers were adapting the book, and not. When a show about political intrigue with some battles, becomes CG-heavy action schlock with some political stuff thrown in.
    Last edited by Cheesegear; 2017-12-03 at 01:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    As the Show began leaving the published books behind in Season 6, I started to notice a few changes which I attributed to making the production of the show easier.

    First, they have been whittling down the cast to the marketable favorites. Actors do not work for free. People are willing to pay money for a t-shirt with the Mother of Dragon's face on it, but not for a t-shirt with Stannis's wife. We see this with Stannis being killed off, the exclusion of Lady Stoneheart, Arya's slaughter of the Frey's, the destruction at the Sept of Balor, and the off screen defeat of Highgarden.

    Second, the life span of a filming set rarely lasts more than five years. How many scenes were filmed at Castle Black in Season 7? How much of Eastwatch did we see? And obviously we do not see anything of Bravos or Meereen and likely never will because those sets have likely been trashed. In the last two seasons, there has been one scene set in the Vale that I remember. It was outside and was Littlefinger convincing Lil Robin to come to the aid of Sansa. They are using new sets so they don't have to maintain the old ones and they are not investing much into sets that are needed only once.

    Third, merging character arcs. Sansa doesn't marry Bastard Bolton. Jen Poole forced to pretend to be Arya does. Like my first point this is the reduction of characters to reduce the number of actors to pay.

    So much of the books avert and defy the cliché fantasy storybook tale and follow reality. That is what made them compelling for me. Bran is the danger seeking child who loves climbing the walls of a castle. Normally that would be set up as a Chekov's skill to be used at the climax. Instead he is paralyzed and cant ever climb again. And the books are littered with examples of this. Another name for Game of Thrones might have been Reality Ensues: the Series. Hope for a happy ending for the good guys was bleak.

    Once the TV series diverged from the Books, that bleakness faded. The number of villainous characters are dropping. Popular villains are seeking redemption and the good guys are uniting under one banner. Victory for Team Snowy Imp Dragon feels almost certain.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    I think the purpose of Arya's journey, was to ultimately end up at the Frey's. That was a very well done scene, and one of the three (?) things I actually liked about S7.
    Had it been a 'book scene', Arya would have died right after she finished, suffering a mortal wound during her escapade. The show simply doesn't have time to do anything else.
    Arya is one of the most important viewpoint characters in the books. She's one of a very small group of characters who have been getting viewpoint chapters since book one. By the end of Dance of Dragons there has been enough Arya words to make a novel in their own right. Eliminating the Freys - a house of no more than modest significance as Lannister lackeys by this point in time - is nowhere near sufficient to justify her immense character arc. What is Arya's role? We don't know. The books do not have the answer to that because she is still in Braavos in the books.

    The thing is the books have several characters with massive amounts of face time: Arya, Sansa, and a couple of others whose purpose is ultimately unclear. The show, by pushing forward in the timeline is obligated to find roles for these characters (or if not write them off - like they did with Meera Reed). The show has actually handled Sansa quite well, but they're clearly lost as to what to do with Arya.

    Quote Originally Posted by archon_huskie
    So much of the books avert and defy the cliché fantasy storybook tale and follow reality. That is what made them compelling for me. Bran is the danger seeking child who loves climbing the walls of a castle. Normally that would be set up as a Chekov's skill to be used at the climax. Instead he is paralyzed and cant ever climb again. And the books are littered with examples of this. Another name for Game of Thrones might have been Reality Ensues: the Series. Hope for a happy ending for the good guys was bleak.

    Once the TV series diverged from the Books, that bleakness faded. The number of villainous characters are dropping. Popular villains are seeking redemption and the good guys are uniting under one banner. Victory for Team Snowy Imp Dragon feels almost certain.
    Again, this is not entirely a show issue. This is an issue the books have raised because we've known about the White Walkers from the very first scene. Cersei wins is not, and has never been, a viable option - because that means everyone dies and you cannot publish a massive fantasy epic in the United States where the ending is that Ice Zombies exterminate all life. That is not going to happen and has never been an option. You can have a grim ending, with a pyrrhic victory that leaves almost all the heroes dead, but a victory is demanded.

    So the question has always been how do we get to victory, and its been pretty clear in both books and show that Dany was going to be essential to that, simply because if she wasn't there really was no need to spend all that time on her character - just having a Tarygarean invade Westeros can be done much easier as actually happens in the books. The problem is that there is no good, non-cliche answer. The book plot line beats the heroes down so hard that an eleventh hour reprieve is needed to make victory possible. Case in point: they had to bring Jon Snow back from the dead, because otherwise the Night's Watch collapses, the Wall falls and it's all over. And we know that event is in the still unpublished book material as well, and once you concede resurrecting the chosen hero it's a lot hard to push back against further acceptance of known tropes.


    Ultimately, yes, the show has made a number of bad choices - the whole 'capture a wight' mission in Season 7 was terrible, and there were other issues like Euron's teleporting battle fleet that were evidence of a sloppiness not found when they were drawing directly on the books - but the overall change in direction and tone towards a more conventional fantasy scenario was inevitable.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    She's one of a very small group of characters who have been getting viewpoint chapters since book one.
    Ned and Robb had viewpoint Chapters.

    Eliminating the Freys - a house of no more than modest significance as Lannister lackeys by this point in time - is nowhere near sufficient to justify her immense character arc.
    ...and having her die, mission uncompleted, would be very fitting for the story.

    The show has actually handled Sansa quite well, but they're clearly lost as to what to do with Arya.
    Because when Arya isn't killing people, she's not really doing anything. Separating her from The Hound was always a mistake.
    As with S6-7, if it isn't an action scene, the writers don't entirely know what to do.

    So the question has always been how do we get to victory, and its been pretty clear in both books and show that Dany was going to be essential to that, simply because if she wasn't there really was no need to spend all that time on her character - just having a Tarygarean invade Westeros can be done much easier as actually happens in the books.
    Jon Snow goes to fight the Night King. Dies immediately - 'cause Game of Thrones.
    Night King raises Jon. Westeros is dooooomed.
    Sam rocks up with his Valerian Steel sword that he stole and hasn't done anything with, and wins.

    Everything Sam ever did, led him to the point where he would be brave enough to fight both Zombie!Jon Snow and the Night King, and win.

    Is how I'd do it.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Because it would be fun to have a guy named Sam be the hero after so many comments about LotR.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    Ned and Robb had viewpoint Chapters.
    Minor correction, the King in the North never had a viewpoint chapter. And Ned’s chapters are absolutely vital for understanding the setting the conflict and themes of the story.

    While Robb as a character never had a chapter he too was useful to setting up the ruin of House Stark and separating the heroes from a banner to rally around.

    Arya (and later Brienne) had a purpose from a world building perspective in showing just how destructive the wars were on the common people. Ultimately reinforcing the notion that regardless of what we think about the Starks and Tyrion, their war is little more than a petty squabble between families that ultimately get thousands of people killed for no reason.

    Now, of course, Arya is a magic assassin and no longer even really has a role in the Westerosi narrative. Personally, I still have faith that GRRM knows what he’s doing, since I still enjoyed Feast and Dance (though admittedly not as much as Swords which remains the pinnacle of the story in my mind).

    But, we’ll see.

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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Betterß

    Nope, worse as a Season of GoT.

    Better as a switch off your brain Fantas Action Series, because lets be honest, while there were fewer set pieces, they were among the best looking so far.

    Overall very very different.


    Things that I liked/found better" in Season 7:

    Aryas Revenge (my personal all high in this season)
    The Sept of Baelor blowing up and its immediate consequences
    The first Fight of Dragon vs. Army ons creen.


    The rest was bland/clicheed (Jaimee, Highgarden, Bran) to horrible (teleporting fleets, dumbness all around, the master intrigant not seeing 2 sisters agreeing with each other coming, and worst of all Ice melting Ice (Undead Dragon) and so on).
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Definitely did not see ice melting ice. Saw blue fire melting ice. Which make sense as blue fire is hotter than orange fire.

    The teleporting fleet and quick movement can work for me becauseof a detail we are missing in the series: a clear way if measuring the passage of time. Seasons last for years. Sam's arrivsl at the citadel shows the releasing of the white ravens, signaling the change of seasons. The changeover to Autumn.

    We dont see snowflakes in Kings landing until the end of season 7 signaling the change to winter. Season 7 takes place over multiple years.

    We dont have teleporting fleets, supersonic ravens, or world record marathon Gendrys. We have the travel times cut out.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by archon_huskie View Post
    The teleporting fleet and quick movement can work for me becauseof a detail we are missing in the series: a clear way if measuring the passage of time. Seasons last for years. Sam's arrivsl at the citadel shows the releasing of the white ravens, signaling the change of seasons. The changeover to Autumn.

    We dont see snowflakes in Kings landing until the end of season 7 signaling the change to winter. Season 7 takes place over multiple years.

    We dont have teleporting fleets, supersonic ravens, or world record marathon Gendrys. We have the travel times cut out.
    This solves some things but not everything. Dragonstone is at the mouth of Blackwater Bay, yet Euron goes from King's Landing to Dorne, back, and to Casterly Rock unmolested - and without running into the Dothraki fleet, either - and fast enough to make two trips by the time the Unsullied make half of one. Gendry still has no ranging experience - it's not like there's an arrow pointing to Eastwatch. And Jon&co. weren't depicted as waiting an especially long time - it seems like one night, and dramatic tolerance could extend to a few days. Weeks are right out.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Better? Ahahahahahahahahahaha no.

    Season 4 was the last season that wasn't absolute nonsensical fanfic garbage trash.

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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    How can it be fanfic when the original author is part of the development team?
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by archon_huskie View Post
    How can it be fanfic when the original author is part of the development team?
    Presumably it becomes fanfic in Malimar's eyes when the author (a) hasn't written the book yet and (b) has stepped away from production ostensibly to work on said book.

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    The use of the term 'fanfic' as an insult is juvenile and utterly erroneous in any case. The status of a derivative work as fanfiction simply means that it is an unlicensed production of a work not yet placed in the public domain. It refers to legal status and has no inherent implications for quality whatsoever.

    In any case, seasons six and seven of Game of Thrones on HBO have contained a very large portion, probably even a majority, of originally written content. This will no doubt be true of season eight and if in fact future novels in the ASOIAF series are ever released it will be GRR Martin who is adapting story elements from the show in turn.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The use of the term 'fanfic' as an insult is juvenile and utterly erroneous in any case. The status of a derivative work as fanfiction simply means that it is an unlicensed production of a work not yet placed in the public domain. It refers to legal status and has no inherent implications for quality whatsoever.

    In any case, seasons six and seven of Game of Thrones on HBO have contained a very large portion, probably even a majority, of originally written content. This will no doubt be true of season eight and if in fact future novels in the ASOIAF series are ever released it will be GRR Martin who is adapting story elements from the show in turn.
    Martin has claimed he is not letting the show influence his writing. And has been against some of the changes, such as with Littlefinger.

    The one exception he admits to is Osha, who he says he enjoys Tena’s portrayal so much he has incorporated some of her mannerisms into his writing.

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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Is it just me or does anyone else find that the Game of Thrones television series is getting better now that it's left the A Song of Ice and Fire books?
    Well... I'm not going to say it's just you. I'm sure other people share your tastes. But in truth, many of the things that you found to be a chore to get through in the earlier seasons are what many fans of GoT enjoy.

    So for many people, these later seasons are not getting better, they are getting worse, for the reasons others have mentioned. Season 7 is probably the worst, but it does have dragons and zombies, like you mentioned .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    Season 7 drops the soap opera, and turns into action schlock. Characters hold Idiot Balls and plot contrivances make the plot move forwards, and the plot, is simply 'Which action sequence is next on the story board?' The second thing, is that we're now at the point where nobody can die. A group of people go North of the Wall and fight The Night King...And none of them die. Wait...I thought I was watching Game of Thrones? What happened to the character stakes? There aren't any.
    I'm sure Thoros will be glad to know that he is still alive, despite freezing to death and having his corpse burned.

    Seriously though, at some point characters have to stop dying or else the story will run out. Could that scene have been done better? Definitely? Should it have happened at all? Arguable.


    If we were watching 'real' Game of Thrones, the most powerful guy of the Season should've been Bran. He knows pretty literally everything. He can't be lied to. He can't be manipulated. If anything should've happened in 'soap opera' GoT, it should've been Bran and Cersei in the same room. That would sort things out. But, Bran can't 'action', he doesn't have any legs, and the writers for this season don't have a real writers manuscript that's written all the dialog for them already. No dialog. Only set pieces. Make everything one dimensional. This is made pretty clear when during the infamous time-manipulating boat ride. In GoT 'proper', that boat-ride should've taken the majority of the Season, where every character interacts with each other, we get odd character pairings, and several crude jokes and stories - Canturbury Tales style. Unfortunately we get none of that, and Characters travel half of Westeros in one episode.
    Bran has consistently been my least favorite character in the books, and the show has done nothing to change that. I was quite pleased when he got left out of an entire season, and disappointed when they remembered to bring him back.

    The problem is, we've had a violent soap opera for five Seasons. Anyone who doesn't like that, has already turned it off. Leaving us with the audience that likes soap opera stuff. Then we get to S7 (although I'd also lump S6 as the starting point) where that starts to drop off, and people aren't happy about it. Meanwhile, people who don't like soap opera, and only like the show when Dragons are on screen, say that S7 is the bestest...OP in point.

    The Night King has no motivations. He's coming down to kill everyone. There's no shades of grey. We can't empahise with him (as we do say, Cersei or even Littlefinger). It's black and white morality.
    The bad guy is coming to kill us. We have to kill him first. That's the plot of S7.
    Yeah, the tone of the show is definitely shifting, in a way that we pretty much knew had to happen eventually, as the long-term plots with Dany's return to Westeros and the white walkers coming south start coming to fruition. A lot of the tension in previous books/seasons has been centered on whether or not everyone in Westeros can stop fiddling long enough to notice that Rome is burning. For that to happen, Rome has to actually burn at some point.

    A lot of other things are at play here as well. As someone noted, real-world concerns about keeping the costs manageable have affected the story as well, which is why we ended up with a shorter season, some characters being killed off or combined with other characters to reduce the number of actors needed, and so on. That's understandable to a degree. The real problem is that they no longer have GRRM's script to follow since they passed the books, meaning that someone else with a different understanding of the characters is writing their actions and words now. It's quite noticeable, and sometimes jarring.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Arya is one of the most important viewpoint characters in the books. She's one of a very small group of characters who have been getting viewpoint chapters since book one. By the end of Dance of Dragons there has been enough Arya words to make a novel in their own right. Eliminating the Freys - a house of no more than modest significance as Lannister lackeys by this point in time - is nowhere near sufficient to justify her immense character arc. What is Arya's role? We don't know. The books do not have the answer to that because she is still in Braavos in the books.

    The thing is the books have several characters with massive amounts of face time: Arya, Sansa, and a couple of others whose purpose is ultimately unclear. The show, by pushing forward in the timeline is obligated to find roles for these characters (or if not write them off - like they did with Meera Reed). The show has actually handled Sansa quite well, but they're clearly lost as to what to do with Arya.



    Again, this is not entirely a show issue. This is an issue the books have raised because we've known about the White Walkers from the very first scene. Cersei wins is not, and has never been, a viable option - because that means everyone dies and you cannot publish a massive fantasy epic in the United States where the ending is that Ice Zombies exterminate all life. That is not going to happen and has never been an option. You can have a grim ending, with a pyrrhic victory that leaves almost all the heroes dead, but a victory is demanded.

    So the question has always been how do we get to victory, and its been pretty clear in both books and show that Dany was going to be essential to that, simply because if she wasn't there really was no need to spend all that time on her character - just having a Tarygarean invade Westeros can be done much easier as actually happens in the books. The problem is that there is no good, non-cliche answer. The book plot line beats the heroes down so hard that an eleventh hour reprieve is needed to make victory possible. Case in point: they had to bring Jon Snow back from the dead, because otherwise the Night's Watch collapses, the Wall falls and it's all over. And we know that event is in the still unpublished book material as well, and once you concede resurrecting the chosen hero it's a lot hard to push back against further acceptance of known tropes.


    Ultimately, yes, the show has made a number of bad choices - the whole 'capture a wight' mission in Season 7 was terrible, and there were other issues like Euron's teleporting battle fleet that were evidence of a sloppiness not found when they were drawing directly on the books - but the overall change in direction and tone towards a more conventional fantasy scenario was inevitable.
    This sums up pretty much everything I have to say about the show currently.

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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I'm sure Thoros will be glad to know that he is still alive, despite freezing to death and having his corpse burned.
    I had to say 'Who?', Google Image Searched...Oh, right...Him.

    Seriously though, at some point characters have to stop dying or else the story will run out.
    I'm aware of that. But, I'm also acutely aware of how TV shows work (and the MCU). Unlike 'one and done' movies with plot lines that can end, TV doesn't stop. Not really. If you kill a character on TV, it might be somebody's - or many somebodies' - favourite character. It might even be the only reason that some people watch the show. If you kill off a popular character, your ratings go down, your TV show gets cancelled and everyone loses their job.

    The difference between shows that get cancelled, and shows that end, is that once you know your shows are going to end no matter what, you can start doing horrible things to your characters, you can start introducing plot lines that may have been a bit weird or wacky during the time when your show wasn't doing so well. But, Game of Thrones is officially ending. This many episodes, in two Seasons (one, now). Would ratings go down? Doubtful. It's one of the biggest shows on the planet. So what's the problem?

    Writing.

    Killing a character - especially a main one - is the bravest thing that an author can do. It cuts their storyline short (provided character development hasn't ceased), and also completely removes any potential future storylines that you could ever make up, with that character (also certain actors have contracts meaning that they can't be written out of the show for any reason until a certain condition is met).

    Cutting a character's storyline short, is essentially GoT's M.O. Why start having problems now, when you know your show isn't being cancelled?

    Future Storylines. Because GoT is no longer following the books, or, at least, making up their own material, the writers of GoT have to fall back on traditional TV writing. They can't kill important characters because they don't know what they're going to do with that character, later on. But there is no 'later on'. Unless HBO has managed to buy the rights to the IP, there isn't going to be spin-off show after spin-off show after spin-off show...At least, none involving any of the current cast.

    Because GoT doesn't really know what it's doing anymore...Characters can't die.

    Bran has consistently been my least favorite character in the books, and the show has done nothing to change that. I was quite pleased when he got left out of an entire season, and disappointed when they remembered to bring him back.
    I've always said that the thing about Bran wasn't his journey, but his destination. Once he becomes all-powerful, what does he do? While he's not all-powerful, he's nothing. But, towards the end when he'll totally definitely end up warg-ing a Dragon and flying, it wont have come out of nowhere. We need to know all the boring stuff, before we get to the good stuff, so it all makes sense at the end.

    ...Which is basically S7 in a nutshell. To get to the bit with the Dragons and the Zombies, you had to sit through 'the boring bits'. But then, in S7...Bran does nothing at all. Even though he's back in Westeros, reunited with most of his family, with his newfound powers... And what's he doing? ...Nothing.

    Bran being boring is definitely a problem with writing. Because even as far back as Book I, I knew Bran was going to be important... And that certainty waned as the books wore on, as GRRM wrote a more traditional setting, and kind of setting magic to the side, almost like he didn't actually know how to handle it, and the show is the same.

    Of course, Bran might also be a subversion. Where I'm expecting something amazing to happen, but then it never does. In which case why give Bran any Chapters at all?

    A lot of the tension in previous books/seasons has been centered on whether or not everyone in Westeros can stop fiddling long enough to notice that Rome is burning.
    ...Which is where Bran should come in. He's above petty squabbling at his point...And he's the eldest only non-bastard Stark male.
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    I'm aware of that. But, I'm also acutely aware of how TV shows work (and the MCU). Unlike 'one and done' movies with plot lines that can end, TV doesn't stop. Not really. If you kill a character on TV, it might be somebody's - or many somebodies' - favourite character. It might even be the only reason that some people watch the show. If you kill off a popular character, your ratings go down, your TV show gets cancelled and everyone loses their job.

    The difference between shows that get cancelled, and shows that end, is that once you know your shows are going to end no matter what, you can start doing horrible things to your characters, you can start introducing plot lines that may have been a bit weird or wacky during the time when your show wasn't doing so well. But, Game of Thrones is officially ending. This many episodes, in two Seasons (one, now). Would ratings go down? Doubtful. It's one of the biggest shows on the planet. So what's the problem?

    Writing.

    Killing a character - especially a main one - is the bravest thing that an author can do. It cuts their storyline short (provided character development hasn't ceased), and also completely removes any potential future storylines that you could ever make up, with that character (also certain actors have contracts meaning that they can't be written out of the show for any reason until a certain condition is met).

    Cutting a character's storyline short, is essentially GoT's M.O. Why start having problems now, when you know your show isn't being cancelled?

    Future Storylines. Because GoT is no longer following the books, or, at least, making up their own material, the writers of GoT have to fall back on traditional TV writing. They can't kill important characters because they don't know what they're going to do with that character, later on. But there is no 'later on'. Unless HBO has managed to buy the rights to the IP, there isn't going to be spin-off show after spin-off show after spin-off show...At least, none involving any of the current cast.

    Because GoT doesn't really know what it's doing anymore...Characters can't die.
    I'm dubious. There is an outline for these seasons--the writers aren't flying blind.

    One problem is that the outline probably has all of the major character deaths next season. Everything this season was just about getting to "Walkers south of the Wall" as soon as narratively plausible without utterly destroying Cersei's faction, so that there can be both a Living vs. Walkers showdown and Living vs. Living showdown next season. So Dany loses her way to parity as fast as possible while falling in love with Jon, follows Jon north she can give away a dragon, and negotiates the quick cease-fire with Cersei so we can get Dany into the Walker fight. Dorne, House Tyrell, and Littlefinger get their arcs cut off to narrow the focus. Most everyone who's left matters for either beating the Walkers or beating Cersei.

    Some big hitters do go down. Queen of Thorns? Littlefinger? Audience favorites with major screentime. But now we're looking at the characters who matter for the Epic Climactic Showdown(s), and of course they all have to live. And it doesn't help that they put some of those characters in obvious mortal danger seemingly just to show off how much plot armor they have--Jon, I'm looking at you. (Also Tyrion, meeting Cersei in her stronghold and not being killed immediately.) So it feels like nobody can die, even though people do die.

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