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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    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.
    The show also simply has fewer characters than the books and therefore less remaining meat on the storytelling bones that can be trimmed away while still having a story at all. Case in point: the Tyrells. In the show Loras, Mace, and Margaery got blown up at the Sept and only Olenna - heirless - remained. In the books Loras has two older brothers who would inherit and a bunch of other relatives. There's no real danger of the house being extinguished. The show trimmed out extraneous relatives from pretty much every grout house there is to the pint of eliminating Victarion Greyjoy - a viewpoint character. As the story has advanced that's meant considerably less room to maneuver. By the end of season 7 the number of characters who can reasonably be killed outside of major paths towards the ultimate resolution has been greatly reduced and is mostly limited to second-tier characters like Brienne of Tarth. Most of the remaining leads are in senior leadership positions without well developed deputies. There is simply no time left to allow them to be replaced before the end comes.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    I think what bothered me is not the stories as much as the way the story is constructed.

    Books are not built in the same ways as TV shows.
    TV need to "lure" the viewers with a cliffhanger at the end of an episode and a HUGE episode in the end of a season, while a book can have ups and down in the middle regardless of the chapter number.

    In season 6-7, my feeling was that the majority of the season was a buildup for the final bombastic episode.
    In previous seasons, I was more curious what happens all the time, and it felt like the tension was more equally distributed.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    It really depends on what you want out of a TV show. If you want a normal popcorn fantasy series, the most recent seasons are right up your alley.

    The problem is, it's getting further and further away from the core of what made Game of Thrones different from other fantasy series - characters. The character development has stalled. The conversations have lulled. The effects In the most recent season, the main thing that felt "Game of Thrones"-y was that trudge past the wall. A group of characters muttering about walking to their doom, exploring what they think - that is what made people fall in love with Game of Thrones. Not the zombie hoards, not the dragon fx, but the people. Of course, they ran out of material within an episode, which is why it turned into the sequence of "Run Gentry Run" to use the "Raven Signal" to summon a Supersonic Dragon strike.

    The key of Game of Throne's success was how the interesting parts were interesting because of the characters, not the events. The characters were the ones causing the events, not the other way around. There was mystery, plotting, hidden knowledge, wounds that needed to heal & convincing that had to take place, often over episodes or years. There were dozens of characters because it was hard to know who was important, or how they were important. GRRM, for all of his flaws, made the mundane interactions riveting; this made their big events that they caused, which were few and far between, even more special.

    The most recent seasons are much more of a situational Drama-dy. Everyone knows who the important people are, and some fan favorites have returned. Their development has stalled, they've run out of long plots, and the final mystery was accidentally discovered by a bored-Gilly-Ex-Machina. The vastness of the world is ignored for the tempo of the season, which is how the dragons have broken the sound barrier, the introduction of the instantaneous iRaven messaging system, and how the ships have developed warp drives.

    And of those characters that are left, they're suddenly wearing plot armor - Almost no one died in Season 7! Using this list of deaths of characters, there have been an average of 33 character deaths per season in the first 6 seasons (season 3 being the lowest with 24 deaths, season 6 being the highest with 46 deaths). In Season 7, there are only 12 named character deaths.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    RedWizardGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by random11 View Post
    Books are not built in the same ways as TV shows.
    TV need to "lure" the viewers with a cliffhanger at the end of an episode and a HUGE episode in the end of a season, while a book can have ups and down in the middle regardless of the chapter number.
    This is a good point, and I suspect also has to do with the paying model.

    When I buy a book, whether it's a paperback or an ebook (generally the latter these days) I pay up front. I slap down my 7-10 (wow, books are cheap compared to film and TV) and can read it at my lesuire (barring I lose the book or my kindle runs out of power). A single up front fee means I can enjoy Leviathan Wakes whenever I want. However they have to make sure that the book is good enough that I'll buy the next one the author puts out, which generally means a wham or giant climax in the last couple of chapters even if there's not going to mean a sequel so it sticks in my memory. Sometimes it just means a well written ending.

    TV is different. Ignoring physical box sets and some online stores if I watch a TV I'm paying either via a subscription fee (if using an on-demand service sans-ads, or technically the BBC*), people paying to advertise at me, or sometimes both. This means that they always want me to watch the next episode, and as such they will be putting in cliffhangers and plottwists more often, especially if it's something designed specifically for TV.

    * to be specific, the BBC is paid by buying a TV licence, which you need in order to watch any broadcast TV live. You can have a TV without a TV licence, as long as you can prove you don't use it as a TV to watch shows (which is relatively hard).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogie View Post
    And of those characters that are left, they're suddenly wearing plot armor - Almost no one died in Season 7! Using this list of deaths of characters, there have been an average of 33 character deaths per season in the first 6 seasons (season 3 being the lowest with 24 deaths, season 6 being the highest with 46 deaths). In Season 7, there are only 12 named character deaths.
    Isn't S7 also shorter than previous seasons? Do you have a list where they take the seasons and compare deaths/episode or deaths/minute instead? It would be a more useful metric.


    I logged onto this thread to see if it was worth me watching the show, and the answer seems to have been no. It's moving even further away from the books, which I loved because they felt larger than life (although I'll admit that the TV show is better in terms of how big things are, that's not making up for how everything that happens feels smaller).
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    NinjaGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Isn't S7 also shorter than previous seasons? Do you have a list where they take the seasons and compare deaths/episode or deaths/minute instead? It would be a more useful metric.
    That is true - it's only 7 episodes long. On the link provided, you can see there is a sheer drop-off in deaths/episode in season 7.

    Then again, they also included much more of the "mass elimination of mooks" where unnamed CG characters are eliminated in cinematic fashion, usually, but not exclusively, by CG dragons. The overreliance of that type of story, where the answer to the question of "who died" has been answered by "I don't know, lots?" is also a problem. Not in a normal show's sense - It just isn't the Game of Thrones way. The rest of the series has a character-based thread - Yes, you won a battle and a bunch of people died over here, but it included Lord McGuffin, and now his bannermen have defected, his son wants your head on a plate, and will come for you in a season & a half.

    Other issue, which I failed to mention - They're cap'ing the series at 8 seasons before they dive into prequels and spin-offs. Those may be good or bad, but putting a known end to the series within a small period of time (within thereabouts of 10 or less episodes) means that they have to accelerate the pace of the various stories to nearly film-level speed to get it all to that point and wrap it up.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by random11 View Post
    I think what bothered me is not the stories as much as the way the story is constructed.

    Books are not built in the same ways as TV shows.
    TV need to "lure" the viewers with a cliffhanger at the end of an episode and a HUGE episode in the end of a season, while a book can have ups and down in the middle regardless of the chapter number.

    In season 6-7, my feeling was that the majority of the season was a buildup for the final bombastic episode.
    In previous seasons, I was more curious what happens all the time, and it felt like the tension was more equally distributed.
    Books in general are as you say. However, ASoIaF in particular was extremely adaptation-friendly in that regard. GRRM loves his end-of-chapter cliffhangers, his 'episode 9' climaxes, and so on; the first three books, and hence seasons, follow that structure closely. So the difference is not about following TV structure.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Legato Endless's Avatar

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

    There is probably a hypothetical television adaption that completely eclipses the source material. That's the beauty of hypotheticals. And Song is excellent fodder for such an experiment. But it's not this incarnation. The show runners have always been one of, if not the, weakest links in this endeavor.

    I'm curious about their next project, especially if they choose something as mythologically contested in Americana as the Civil War, but only in bleak fascination at the spillover from the elephantine wreckage their writing instincts will inevitably lead them to.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Legato Endless View Post
    There is probably a hypothetical television adaption that completely eclipses the source material. That's the beauty of hypotheticals. And Song is excellent fodder for such an experiment. But it's not this incarnation. The show runners have always been one of, if not the, weakest links in this endeavor.
    Pretty much this.

    The more the series departs from the books, the worse it gets. It's been steadily declining in quality ever since season 4.

    I don't say this because I'm a "book purist" or anything. I have my fair share of adaptations that I like just as much or more than the original source material... It's just that D+D are pretty bad writers. Their changes range from "unnecessary" to "completely nonsensical and/or out-of-character".
    Last edited by Lemmy; 2017-12-13 at 04:44 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Presumably now they're past the books, they only have a rough list of what's going to happen from GRRM, and that is what a lot of the episodes are feeling like.
    They don't have the thousands of incidental little scenes with subcharacters to use to flesh out the dialogue, no discources on the nature of power or the political uses of unrest. Instead they have people going to a place, doing a thing.

    The reason the seasons are shorter seems to be that they aren't really capable of making their own "padding" which is typically the stuff that people love about the series.

    Nobody has really paid for making bad decisions, either, which is something GOT has, in the past, really not let people get away with.

    Did anyone notice the wildlings with spears before they were killed? Even redshirts typically are seen when beaming down, rather than being ninja redshirts who leap out from Kirk's shadow to take a phaser blast!
    "Ech... details..."

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Books are different from TV series, sure. But that was apparently not a problem in the first few seasons of GoT, so we're still left wondering what happened since season 4 (answer: Martin leaving writing duties).
    "Like the old proverb says, if one sees something not right, one must draw out his sword to intervene"

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    The main problem with post-s4 GoT is that it plum stopped bothering to make any consarned sense at all.

    Northern Lords: "We follow only the King in the North whose name is Stark! So we choose to elect a bastard Night's Watch deserter who let the wildlings through the Wall and whose name isn't Stark, even though a perfectly suitable trueborn Stark is sitting right in front of us." As far as anybody knows, Jon snow is a deserter, so he should be put to death, not crowned. Which is maybe better than what the lords would just see as being a deserter with an absurd lie about having died and been resurrected. Either way, he should have an execution, not a coronation.

    The proper order of succession used to matter, but everybody's stopped giving a crap about it, even though it's the most fundamental thing underlying every lord's power. Cersei is queen apparently by virtue of being the only highborn named character left in King's Landing, with nary a peep about her total illegitimacy (let alone mass murder of the nobility and the church) even from her enemies, much less from her supporters.

    Jon and a whole squad of named characters elected to go north of the Wall on the dumbest, most ill-conceived mission ever (why do they think a live wight would make Cersei think anything other than "oh yay, my enemies are all going to be eaten by the undead"). Never mind how contrived having them all wind up in the same place on the same mission was. And then only one of the named characters on the team died (plus a couple unnamed redshirts), when every one of them to a man should have, if the story were still punishing people for reckless suicidal idiocy like it did early on.

    Everybody's magic teleporting fleets and armies and messengers isn't just a matter of travel time. If it were, then the solution would be obvious (the season lasts a year, we just skip over a bunch of boring time). It's also a matter of where the fleets and armies are at any given time in relation to one another. Any given fleet or army is always where the plot requires it to be, no mention of anything in between where they last were and where they need to be. (The army of the East passes the impassable-if-enemies-hold-Moat-Cailin Neck with nary a mention, Euron's fleet passes Dany-controlled Dragonstone several times without being noticed, let alone intercepted.) Plus, the season lasting a year introduces a whole suite of its own problems (including Gendry's marathon and how Dany was keeping and feeding her huge army for the whole year).

    Nobody's thought to bother to keep or take or hold Dragonstone, even though it controls the passage into the capital, leaving Dany free to just park herself there. And then completely not make use of that strategic position.

    Logistics matter (the Lannisters need the Reach's stores to feed King's Landing and pay their debts) except when they unaccountably don't (an entire Dothraki super-khalasar spends the entire season chilling offscreen, either on boats or on barren Dragonstone, with nary a mention of how they're being fed, and Dany burns all the stores from the Reach instead of thinking to seize them to feed her people, with nary a mention of how dumb that is, either. And don't even get me started on Euron's mysteriously conjured fleet of a thousand ships made of wood sourced from trees that don't exist, which could perhaps be justified if the Ironborn still held the North's Wolfswood like they did in earlier seasons, but they've long since lost that).

    Dany: "We just want you to leave us alone for awhile."
    Cersei: "I'll do more than that, I'll send my army to help you!"
    Dany: "...ok."
    Cersei: "Hahaha, it was but a clever ruse, I'm actually not going to send my army at all and I'm just going to leave you alone for awhile! Behold how diabolically clever I am!"

    Quote Originally Posted by archon_huskie View Post
    How can it be fanfic when the original author is part of the development team?
    You easily intuited that "garbage" and "trash" were metaphorical in that sentence, but failed to extend that same intuition to "fanfic", even though it was in just the same context. Curious.
    Last edited by Malimar; 2017-12-14 at 02:25 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Well at least the tv show is advancing. I fear Martin may die of old age at this rate before we see his next main book.

    For better or worst this was the endgame hinted since the start of both versions. The others/white walkers are coming to kill everything that's warm and the living must stand together to stop them. The TV series's basically rushing it now yes, and part of me dislikes that, but the other part is glad we finally get to see some dragons vs zombies plus zombie dragons after all this years.

    If the last season is a massive series of battles culminating with Aria shiving Cersei while the Hound and Brienne gank the Mountain, it will have been worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malimar View Post
    The proper order of succession used to matter, but everybody's stopped giving a crap about it, even though it's the most fundamental thing underlying every lord's power. Cersei is queen apparently by virtue of being the only highborn named character left in King's Landing, with nary a peep about her total illegitimacy (let alone mass murder of the nobility and the church) even from her enemies, much less from her supporters.
    I pretty much fully agree with all your other points (logistics don't matter, Jhon being accepted as king of da north, etc), however this one did made some sense:
    -Cersei was officially once the king's wife, and with her children all dead plus the non-bastard Baratheons dead too, so she has a strong point to getting the crown.
    -The lannisters have the biggest army around in king's landing, and the church's army was barbecue'd.
    -Cersei has the mountain as her zombie champion bodyguard.

    So basically anybody who disagreed with her probably had better chances just leaving to join one of Cersei's many enemies.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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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
    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.
    I agree with this, though I think it could be distilled further. For me, the addition of the Night King ruined the series. It's a completely different approach to the entire world than the Others being a natural other species that is migrating with the winter. But as you said, it's now a zombie show, and I just can't stand zombie stuff. Also as you said, other people will like it for the same reason.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    I find I am more interested/curious about what will happen now that they are off book. The early seasons were more waiting around for X to happen because I had read all the the books.

    **** is finally getting Magicky/Fantastical, there are things I like & don't like aboot that. The last season had some gems but it did feel like a slow set up for the next season a bit.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; Today at 12:53 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Is Game of Thrones (TV) getting better now that it's left ASoIaFire (books)?

    Quote Originally Posted by deuterio12 View Post
    -Cersei was officially once the king's wife, and with her children all dead plus the non-bastard Baratheons dead too, so she has a strong point to getting the crown.
    -The lannisters have the biggest army around in king's landing, and the church's army was barbecue'd.
    -Cersei has the mountain as her zombie champion bodyguard.

    So basically anybody who disagreed with her probably had better chances just leaving to join one of Cersei's many enemies.
    With regard to Cersei the greater point is that there's nothing and no one behind her. With Dany+Jon in an alliance - one that makes sense for both of them anyway and the Sansa or Bran or Rickon would also have made - and no other major powers present - Euron Greyjoy has a fleet but nothing else - if Cersei goes down then the show has nothing to do but jump ahead to the finale.

    It is worth noting that Season 6 was also composed primarily of post-book material and was much better than Season 7. Partly that can be attributed to utilizing Martin's existing notes, but partly it was simply bringing long-gestating plotlines to their logical conclusions. Jon taking control of the North has been long hinted at (I suspect in the books he doesn't become king but ends up acting as Regent for his still alive brother Rickon, who in the book timeline is something like six years old by the Battle of the Bastards), Dany finally getting out of Mereen and sailing for Westeros has been coming since the very first episode, and numerous subplots such as the Faith of the Seven, the Tyrells, the Boltons, and the rest were brought to an end. Cersei blows up the Sept of Baelor and eliminates the bulk of the extraneous plotlines but also commits what is probably the greatest act of sacrilege in Westeros history and ends the season with no allies at all excepting the much-maligned and equally hated Freys (who lasted like five minutes into season 7 when Arya murdered them all).

    The issue here is that the strategic situation at the end of Season 6 left Cersei with no assets worth mentioning: she had a Lannister army depleted by years of warfare (in the books the Lannister Army is doing way worse than in the show), no major noble allies, had just betrayed the faith, and had no popular support at all. Dany could have taken King's Landing in a lightning assault without needing dragons or Dothraki at all - which given the initial plan Tyrion proposed is something that the showrunners were clearly aware was the case.

    That doesn't work. If Cersei falls in S7E1 and Dany allies with Jon in S7E2, everyone else from Petyr Baelish to Randyll Tarly immediately falls into line and everyone, after Jon manages to convince Westeros' new queen that the threat is real, marches north to fight the White Walkers. And...then what?

    The show, at the end of season 6 wrote itself hugely into a hole. One partly of its own making - by leaving out the Jon Connington/Aegon Tarygarean plotline and the expansive Victarion Greyjoy plotline from Dance of Dragons - and partly of Martin's making because those plotlines are terrible and book five was far too late to introduce them anyway and because Martin made Westeros fall apart to the point that Dany's conquest was always going to be too easy (the show has almost completely eliminated the utter incompetence that is one of Cersei's main character traits in the books).

    Season 7 consists very much of the showrunners inventing obstacles - the defection of House Tarly, Euron's impossibly massive fleet, the absurdly simple fall of Highgarden to an army without any siege equipment, the Iron Bank playing nice with Cersei - to delay the inevitability of Dany gaining power in Westeros and leading an alliance to fight the White Walkers.

    The inability of the Night King or any of the Walkers to serve as characters is actually responsible for this. Zombies aren't an enemy; they're a natural disaster that you happen to be able to fight with swords. Ultimately, we really don't know if the lack of development of the Others/White Walkers is a show thing or a book thing. I suspect their inability to talk derives from the books, since they are mentioned as silent in the very first scene. Regardless, their silence has left a giant villain-shaped hole in the endgame.
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