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24.11.14 2002
The W - Movies & TV - Game of Thrones 1x9 - "Baelor"
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John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 149 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.23
Wherein Lord Eddard Stark met the pointy end.

It's been a couple of months since I read Ned's execution in the book and I was plenty shocked then. Ned Stark is the Hero of this story and has been since the beginning. With the exception of Braveheart, movies and TV conditions one to expect a last second rescue or something to happen that would have saved Ned's life so he could then somehow turn the tables on the Lannisters, but that's not the kind of story Game of Thrones is.

I thought the show at least made a couple of key dramatic concessions that gave some small amount of solace and satisfaction compared to how George RR Martin wrote Ned's demise in the book, from what I recall:


Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
I liked that Arya and Ned saw each other as she was sitting at the foot of the statue of Baelor, and that Ned passed Yorin from the Night's Watch and pointed him towards Arya. "Baelor." One word was all that was needed. Good TV/cinema writing. In the book, Yorin came out of nowhere and recognized Arya and took her away, all the while calling her "boy". Also, in the book, Varys and the rest of the Small Council looked on more passively when Joffrey swerved everyone. I liked how Cercei was shocked, tried to argue with her son, and Varys made a move to do... something... even though there was no stopping the beheading. It was all dramatized very, very well.


Joffrey is a scumbag. He was already a heel, but can a heel pull off an even bigger heel turn? Yes. Because that's exactly what Joffrey did. And he gets even worse.

Incidentally, the actor who plays Joffrey, Jack Gleeson, is the little blond boy Batman meets in the Narrows in Batman Begins. And I kept seeing the name Julian Glover in the credits: The Maester, the old man in Joffrey's court is the villain in Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade, the one the Grail Knight tricked. "He chose poorly."

Another example of George RR Martin zigging when you expect him to zag is the fate of Khal Drogo. It was only a couple of episodes ago when Drogo made his declaration that he'd invade and conquer Westeros to win the Iron Throne for his Khaleesi and their unborn son Rhaego, and now via a cut on his chest, he's all but a dead man. Will the Dothraki ever cross the Narrow Sea and kill the usurpers to the Iron Throne? Things aren't looking too good for that. The decisions Daenerys made to have the witch save Drogo's life also introduces forbidden black magic into the story, which has been relatively straightforward and "realistic" prior to now.

I think Game of Thrones is now the unchallenged record holder in depicting horses beheaded or throats slit on television.

Wonderful scene with Tyrion, Bron and Shae(!) playing the drinking game, with the reveal of Tyrion's previous marriage to a whore and how Jaime set up the entire thing. And how about Tyrion's first time "leading" his wildling friends into battle? Bron: "You're a shit warrior."


Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
The drinking game was an added scene. Shae becomes very important to Tyrion, who falls in love with her. Also different was that in the book, Tyrion isn't comically knocked out by one of his own wildling's hammers conking him in the head. In the book, Tyrion leads the assault, gets pinned by his horse, and fights and kills, though a lot of luck plays into the success of the battle.


I liked the scene in The Twins where Catelyn met with Lord Frey, that creepy old dirtbag. First, Lysa in the Eyrie and now Lord Frey... it seems like the vast lands in between Winterfell in the North and King's Landing in the South is filled with some real ghastly weirdos.

On one hand, Robb Stark defeated and captured Jaime Lannister in battle. That's pretty impressive for a teenager. On the other, boy, does Robb give a downer of victory speech. Way to bolster morale there, Robb. Plus where is Robb's direwolf Grey Wind? Grey Wind should be running beside Robb in battle all the time.

Jon Snow receives Longclaw for his efforts in saving Mormont from the Other last week, then gets a good talking to from the blind old man, who it turns out is Daenerys' uncle and a Targaryen, but with no claim to the throne since he took the black and joined the Night's Watch. I feel like the primary duty of a man of the Night's Watch seems to be Talking Jon Snow Out of Doing Something Stupid.

There was a lot of debate in "Baelor" about how far one would place duty vs. the well being of someone you love.

Which brings us right back to Ned. He foreswore his honor and called himself a traitor, all to save his daughters' lives, and he got royally screwed. Boy, was Ned's face red. From his own blood. When his head hit the floor*. Sigh.

This gem from Damon Lindelof had to be shared:

@DamonLindelof
No matter how bad LeBron feels tonight, Sansa feels worse.

*Oh, I neglected to mention that it's Ned's own greatsword Ice that was used to lop off his head. Fitting.

(edited by John Orquiola on 12.6.11 2235)

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MUTigermask
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Since: 8.10.03
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00
    Originally posted by John Orquiola
    I thought the show at least made a couple of key dramatic concessions that gave some small amount of solace and satisfaction compared to how George RR Martin wrote Ned's demise in the book, from what I recall:


    Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
    I liked that Arya and Ned saw each other as she was sitting at the foot of the statue of Baelor, and that Ned passed Yorin from the Night's Watch and pointed him towards Arya. "Baelor." One word was all that was needed. Good TV/cinema writing. In the book, Yorin came out of nowhere and recognized Arya and took her away, all the while calling her "boy". Also, in the book, Varys and the rest of the Small Council looked on more passively when Joffrey swerved everyone. I liked how Cercei was shocked, tried to argue with her son, and Varys made a move to do... something... even though there was no stopping the beheading. It was all dramatized very, very well.


    Actually, when Joffrey makes his pronouncement in the book the queen, the High Septon, and Varys all try to stop it(I decided to re-read them). Varys most frantically. The High Septon's role in the book was taken by Pycelle the scene.



    (edited by John Orquiola on 12.6.11 2147)
CxMorgado
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Since: 21.1.02
From: Boston MA is the rippen'ist town...

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
That scene was executed perfectly.



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John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 149 days
Last activity: 149 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.23
    Originally posted by MUTigermask
    Actually, when Joffrey makes his pronouncement in the book the queen, the High Septon, and Varys all try to stop it(I decided to re-read them). Varys most frantically. The High Septon's role in the book was taken by Pycelle the scene.


I must have misremembered. I feel like when Ned's execution is referenced later on, the admonishment is that everyone stood by passively and let Joffrey do it for fear of treason. Though Cercei does express some regret about it out loud, to Sansa, I think.

    Originally posted by CxMorgado
    That scene was executed perfectly.


Pun intended?



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CxMorgado
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Since: 21.1.02
From: Boston MA is the rippen'ist town...

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
Pun absolutely intended. But I'm also completely serious: I knew what was coming, and the way they handled it, I still got all worked up over it.

I was ever so psyched that "Shagga likes axes" making it in. That exchange is one of my favorite bits from the first book.

I figured we weren't going to see Robb's battle, and I understand the dire wolf situation at this point (apparently the dogs playing them were difficult. Kind of sucks, because Grey Wind really is the cornerstone of Robb's army, but maybe they'll mention it in dialogue), but I was surprisingly pleased with the decision to not show Tyrion's. Him going into battle successfully was one of the few things in the first book that I had a hard time buying, but I had figured we'd be seeing it.

Bronn is shaping up to be much more of a medieval Han Solo than I remember from the books. Not a bad thing, mind.



(edited by CxMorgado on 13.6.11 0142)


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wmatistic
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Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
Much happier with this week than last, I think Martin kinda did a poor job with the one episode they put him in charge of. It's the only one that felt messy all season.

Neds death was perfectly done. And the outrage online has been a wonder to behold. I was almost anticipating this as much as the actual show.

John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 149 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.23
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Neds death was perfectly done. And the outrage online has been a wonder to behold. I was almost anticipating this as much as the actual show.


Oh yeah, the outrage over Ned has been as hilarious as people shitting all over LeBron.

If I had a time machine, I'd travel back in time so that Captain Picard is killed instead of Tasha Yar in season one of Star Trek The Next Generation and Jack Bauer is killed in hour 23 of day one...



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lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.82
You do have to wonder if killing Ned is somehow going to lead to the cancellation of the show. Granted, the people who read the books know this was coming, but for people who don't then this maybe a tipping point for them. HBO has them for season two, so we will see if the ratings continue to climb.



The Wee Baby Sheamus.
wmatistic
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Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by lotjx
    You do have to wonder if killing Ned is somehow going to lead to the cancellation of the show. Granted, the people who read the books know this was coming, but for people who don't then this maybe a tipping point for them. HBO has them for season two, so we will see if the ratings continue to climb.


I think people are upset now but they'll tune in for the season finale which will leave them wanting more. I mean hell Ned's death may make them ultimately stick with it just to see if Joffery gets paid back eventually. They've certainly done a great job making him easy to hate.
John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.23
This ten minute loop of Tyrion bitch slapping Joffrey might make people feel better.





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dMp
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Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.21
    Originally posted by lotjx
    You do have to wonder if killing Ned is somehow going to lead to the cancellation of the show. Granted, the people who read the books know this was coming, but for people who don't then this maybe a tipping point for them. HBO has them for season two, so we will see if the ratings continue to climb.


I doubt it. While Ned is a great character and obviously the big name in casting, the story itself and other characters are interesting enough to keep people invested (after all. Did you stop reading after he died?)
Plus they can hire other big names for other (upcoming) parts.
I was told they were trying to get Tim Roth for Stannis.
No clue if that's true but it'd be interesting.

I guess the budget of the show isn't big enough (yet?) to show battles. Knocking Tyrion out was a fun yet silly way to get around it. Then after that battle switching to Robb returning from the other one was nicely done.

And poor Daenerys. She started making some stupid (dark) choices that is going to set her on a crazy path.

Joffrey made a stupid decision as well. Cersei was shocked..
I guess this is when she realizes that inbred children might not always have the best DNA pool





Avatar Mud
Mr Shh
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Since: 9.1.02
From: Bergen County, NJ

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.07
Part of me is very happy I didn't read the book ahead of time. If I had, I would not have been able to watch that with someone who hadn't (and enjoy it). Makes me wonder if I'll read ahead during the break. I'll read to catch up, for sure, but probably not ahead.

In the middle of all the online uproar (which I also greatly enjoyed), I came across a comment (or maybe it was from a recap) that added a lot of perspective. Ned is not the main character of the series - the kids are. And (A) Game of Thrones is a massive prologue to the main story, like the Star Wars prequels. That GRRM managed to do it this way is a testament to his vision.

(edited by Mr Shh on 13.6.11 1212)


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Since: 23.6.10
From: Auburn, AL

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.77
I appreciate you book readers showing so much restraint with spoilers (even your invisotext doesn't spoil anything more than the episodes events.)

-I figured Ned was gonna die sooner or later. GoT is a lot more down to earth and I don't feel like there will be a lot of "one man against the world pulling off a desperate escape despite all odds" moments.

-I wonder if Cercei was truly shocked or just playing the part...

-Tyrion throws a hell of a slumber party.

-Jon Snow's new blade is the tits.

-Man it looks like Arya is gonna go on a blood soaked revenge tour. So I am guessing that will not happen.
odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.61

Anya is going to be the medieval version of Vernita Green's daughter in Kill Bill.



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Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
I was not surprised of Ned's death either. Maybe it was earlier then I expected (which made it a pleasant surprise for me) but from day one it seemed like it was shaping up to be more about Ned's kids. I haven't really seen any of the internet outrage but I think if they expected Sean Bean throughout the whole series then they just weren't paying attention.



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THAT IS AWESOME!
John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.23
What kind of a man is Sean Bean? The kind of man who'll defend a Playboy bunny outside a bar, get stabbed, and order a drink afterwards. A real man.

http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b247126_game_of_thrones_sean_bean_stabbed_in.html



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Since: 23.6.10
From: Auburn, AL

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.77
Ned is 52????? Damn.
Loosie
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Kitchener, Ontario

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.27
    Originally posted by dMp
      Originally posted by lotjx
      You do have to wonder if killing Ned is somehow going to lead to the cancellation of the show. Granted, the people who read the books know this was coming, but for people who don't then this maybe a tipping point for them. HBO has them for season two, so we will see if the ratings continue to climb.


    I doubt it. While Ned is a great character and obviously the big name in casting, the story itself and other characters are interesting enough to keep people invested (after all. Did you stop reading after he died?)



Actually I did. I only read the first book becuase I didn't like how he killed off Ned, who seemed to be his central character. Now friends of mine, adn the fact that this serie has come out have convinced me to go back and read the series, and it is next in line for my books to read. So we'll see.

(edited by Loosie on 14.6.11 1537)


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odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.61

The show's renewal was announced after the first or second episode, so HBO is happy with the ratings and probably the critical acclaim the show has gotten.

HBO apparently also announced it will be doing an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods book.



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Since: 4.11.02
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#20 Posted on
Wasn't HBO supposed to be doing Preacher at some point? I remember hearing about it on and off.



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