Game of Thrones HBO - Disappointments, discuss.

Discussion in 'George R R Martin' started by Memnoch, May 8, 2011.

  1.  
    Memnoch

    Memnoch Devilish in a fun way!

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    A specific and simple thread to discuss any negative issues and disappointments with T.V. adaptation of this amazing feat of writing.

    The epic Malazan series aside, ASOIAF is the best set of books I have ever read and with re-reading and re-e-reading they develop even more depth and just simply get better. I have awaited with eager anticipation and equal trepidation the HBO series adaptation of GAME OF THRONES, knowing GRRM was involved with most aspects eased my fears somewhat.

    Following watching the third episode I wanted to list and analyse mine and other members dislikes in one place rather than a grey thread discussing the good and bad.

    My issues so far:


    i Although very faithful to the book (which is great) all three episodes, bar the opening White walker fright scene, have been, dare I say . . . pretty boring! As a production it is almost falling over itself to get things "to" right at the expense of visual entertainment. This worries me for the longevity of the show, although a second series thankfully has been commissioned.


    ii: Some "SOME" of the casting leaves a lot to be desired! Namely:

    Jaime Lannister, I expected a Matthew McConaughey type, dazzling, arrogant yet charming, calculating yet misunderstood, with flowing curly bleach blonde locks etc. Instead we bet a mousy haired, average looking, wooden actor who over works his lines.

    Ilyn Payne, oh dear . . . looked like he's lost his way from the old folks home. Terrible, where was the fear invoking persona!! Such a shame.

    Jon Snow, again not a believable/good actor IMO, he's playing the character to straight to morose. One of my personal fave characters to. Maybe as things progress he will improve. Also in the book allegedly the most Ned alike of the children, as the others have more of a Tully look. Not remotely apparent in the show.

    Catelyn Stark, much older looking than expected, to unlikeable, being played to manic almost. I just haven't related to her as I did in the novels. She is how I would imagine her sister in the Eyrie to be. (So far)

    Theon, only seen briefly so far, he looks nothing like I hoped, I expected a very good looking, swaggering, quick witted lad, on the surface engaging, charming and friendly, yet with underlying cynicism and a sarcastic attitude as a whole. (Similar to Henry Cavills character in the Tudors!) Obviously he's not played much of a part yet, barely introduce infact, but the little ratty looking lad playing him is a big disappointment. (Lilly Allens brother)

    Sansa, not nearly pretty enough.

    Yoren, to clean and standard looking.

    The Hound, not a fan of the make up or build and posture of the actor.

    Syrio, opppps, Manuel off Faulty Towers anyone!! Big disappointment.

    On the fence;

    Cersie Lannister, love Lena Headey buuuuuuut, hoped for a wicked looking bright blonde seductress, beauty belied with that nasty look in her eye. I think Lena would be better as Catelyn Stark myself.


    iii At the beginning of the first episode it wouldn't have hurt to hit us over the head with who was who, as the younger cast members all looked very similar, they could have done this by reiterating names during conversations to one another etc. On the flip side certain things were over worked/explained that didn't need to be, leading to clunky dialogue.


    iv The accents are a touch annoying and some of the cast are clearly uncomfortable with the speech, leading to bad almost hammy acting and makes the exchanges between key characters less weighty.

    v The initial Jon Snow and Tyrion meet, totally missed the mark for me, in the book you felt a certain bond instantly develop following there initial conversation. In the show if anything Jon's left irritated by Tyrion!! It is also a scene in the book that started to endear me to the imp, yet in the show he almost comes off pompous, very unsatisfactory I am afraid.


    I'll leave it at that for now, as I say this is simply my negative opinions, I have tons of positives but would rather have a vent thread seperate, please feel free to discuss, disagree, agree, add your own to this thread. Perhaps as an avid reader of the series I can't develop a fully objective view as one who hasn't read the books and would be interested to hear all opinions. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  2.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    Renly. I was expecting to recognise Renly as soon as I saw him. But what do we get? Some nondescript bloke who looks like he's just been dragged out of Tesco. Pah.

    (I sort of agree about Jaime, but I'm warming to him a bit.)
  3.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    Every little whelp's....


    * Returns to waiting for the DVDs. *
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    The Imp

    The Imp New Member

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    Memnoch


    SPOILERS BELOW













    I agree with some of what you said, disagree with other parts, and feel ambivilant about what remains. The character i'm having the greatest difficulty with is Cat. I just have a lot of trouble getting past how much older and less attractive she looks than in the books. She barely looks young enough to have a 6 year old son, and I think I'm being generous in saying that. I felt the same way you did about Theon. Jaime's acting needs to pick up. The line "the things i do for love" could have been delivered SOOOOOO much better. He almost mumbled his way past saying it. Given how small a part Payne has, and how few his lines are :D it doesn't much matter to me that he isn't imposing enough. Older is fine, i just think they needed to go bigger and meaner looking. I agree about Yoren, but it has no bearing on the story. Maybe the fact that he's leaving from Castle Black rather than king's Landing influenced how dirty they'd have him appear.

    You didn't mention Littlefinger. I'm hoping he'll develop the character. Right now he's not nearly snarky, slimy, and full of veiled sarcasm as he should be. Varys should be more "simpering", Renly more imposing.

    All of those are quibles though. The thing I disagree with you most about is the importance of being true to the story, which they've done a great job of so far.

    I'll take being true to the story at the expense of eye candy 100 out of 100 times. If the story was good enough for me to read it 4 times it's good enough to watch. Also, I think you may be forgetting how "difficult" it is getting through almost the entire first half of AGOT. For me at least, there were so many characters, plot lines, locations, etc, I felt totally lost when I first read AGOT way back when. I think the TV show "suffers" from the same dilemna. We both know that things are going to really start to pick up around episode 5 or 6 and then take off like a rocket. That's the way the book was written, and any marked departure from that might be good for those new to the series but would REALLY suck for fans of the books. Ultimately, I think it will be fine.

    There was an interview tof GRRM that Joe Abercrombie did which you can find here

    http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/531725-joe-abercrombie-interviews-george-r-r-martin.html

    What almost amazed me was when GRRM said that some of the things he's seeing are not as he imagined them. We all have an idea of how things and people should look, and probably no one's pictures would exactly match up with anyone else's. In the end it's going to be about the story, and how well they tell it. The acting is fine overall, the sets, costumes, props, etc. are all fine. They're being mostly true to the story, and what has been changed doesn't matter. I think it might be next season when people might actually start having issues with time lines, etc/
  5.  
    Wiggum

    Wiggum S.M.R.T.

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    The episodes are too short, and there won't be enough per season.

    HBO jerks.

    I don't have too much of a problem with any of the casting. Jon is a bit too much of a fop at this point for me, but I like him more with each episode.

    There's no doubt that Cat could suffer from some Oil of Olay, but she's good outside of that.

    Syrio....well, like I said in another thread, he was Robert Downey Jr out of Tropic Thunder, but somehow that made the scene all the more enjoyable for me.

    Ilyn pretty much sucks, he's kind of the creepy old dude that lives down the block. But it's Ilyn, I don't really care all that much. His lines are minimal.

    I'm probably in the minority, but I love the casting for both Jaime and Cersei.
  6.  
    No One

    No One Orange Aide ;)

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    Agree with many of the points, but won't harp on.

    I'll just say that HBO needed someone like Tom Fontana to helm a plot like this for translation to the screen. For anyone familiar with Oz, now there's a way to handle multiple stories with so much pace (and grace) that one episode accomplishes more than most films.

    David Benioff, while not the sole writer on the team, is no Tom Fontana.
  7.  
    svalbard

    svalbard New Member

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    I think the actor playing Jaime is doing an very good job. He is how I imagined him. He is arrogant and has an air of danger about him.

    Syrio is also excellent. I loved the look he gave Ned when he was clashing swords with Arya. That touch and there are others show that the producers have thougth long and hard about the show's storyline trajectory.
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    The Imp

    The Imp New Member

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    In all fairness though, the number of plot lines in Oz didn't come close to the number in GOT. They also had the advantage of the story being nearly entirely driven by dialogue rather than action. There are so many more elements that the writers of GOT have to deal with.

    I think the show will be fine. I still rate it between a B+ and A-
  9.  
    TK-421

    TK-421 I Do Not Sow

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    I'll be optimist here: I have none. I'm happily watching this series and ignoring "disappointments".
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    Tonk Rivers

    Tonk Rivers New Member

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    You lost me at Matthew McConaughey for Jamie Lannister.
  11.  
    Memnoch

    Memnoch Devilish in a fun way!

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    ha ha . . . hmm should have thought that may irk people,

    McConaughey is the golden boy of film, has the versatility to play the good natured masculine type (in his cringey rom-coms) and also plays the arrogant villain well to. Also he has the perfect blonde looks I imagined for Jaime. Although in the latest episode Jaime has improved tbf.

    Although, as stated elsewhere the tourney was a huge let down for me. As was the intoduction of Gregore Clegane.
  12.  
    Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Former Comment Giver

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    I have to join with the others here who like Jaime, he is exactly as I imagined him in the book, one of two characters who were virtually my imagination brought to life.
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    The Imp

    The Imp New Member

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    I would have liked to have seen a cast of thousands for the tourney, with joust after endless joust as described in the books. It's television though, not an epic movie, and there are just things that we're not going to see on the small screen that we would see in a movie.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the people who miss the white armor of the King's Guard. I'm thinking that might have been budgetary as well, but if it wasn't it was just a huge oversight.
  14.  
    TK-421

    TK-421 I Do Not Sow

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    Perhaps the off-white armour for the Kingsguard are a more literary interpretation of the fact that these knights are far from "pure". Just guessing.
  15.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Moved to the GRRM board as really this is all about bitching from the readers, rather than new viewers.

    Really, I can't understand why anyone would be so petty as to want a dedicated thread bitching about a major fantasy TV series, solely on the grounds that the HBO production does not exactly match their imagination.

    I think it's important to focus on the positives and any negative perceptions be posted in the relevant episode thread. After all, we bitch and moan about there being no good sff on TV, and then when someone takes a risk to bring it - and does it well - there are continued complaints.

    Maybe that's one reason why most stations don't bother, and that we're best left with our books and TV best kept to just soaps and reality programmes?

    Perhaps I'm just tired though.
  16.  
    TK-421

    TK-421 I Do Not Sow

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    Brian, I sing your gospels. Praise the seven!!!
  17.  
    xLORDSNOWx

    xLORDSNOWx Winter Is Coming

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  18.  
    Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    Caveat: I do not seem to be able to access the text editing functions such as italics or quotations, so please bear with me.

    I went through all the emotions of disappointment regarding costumes, settings, casting decisions, hair colors, horse colors, and cleavage in The Lord of the Rings. A different medium will produce different interpretations. And some of you have read my posts comparing a book to a baby... Once published, it's out of the author's control. It may grow up to disappoint, to inspire, to disappear, or to become a legend. And it will collect people as friends that the creator despises.

    The BIG problem for me with HBO's adaption is that it is too short. I know The Lord of the Rings was boiled down to nine hours while AGOT will be longer at twelve, but it feels to me (as an avowed fan who's read AGOT seven times) that they are merely putting in dialogue and skipping the character development through actions, thoughts, and memories.

    I've watched the first four episodes so far with three friends. One read AGOT twelve years ago and the other two are newbies. I wish I had tivo because I feel that I should interject explanations every minute or two during the fifty-five minute episodes. The family sigils, the hair colors, the orders (NW, maesters, Kingsguard, the Small Council), the unknown connections (Aerys II, Lyanna, Jon Arryn, Brandon, Rhaegar), the reasons why certain people are in certain locations (Theon, Aliser, Luwin, Littlefinger, Jorah, Viserys), and the constant interjection of new characters (Gregor, Gendry, Syrio, Varys) cannot be adequately understood by first time viewers.

    And just think of who will be introduced in next week's episode.... Aemon (he has to show up now, doesn't he?), Bronn, Brynden, Lysa, Robert, Mya, all the lords of the Vale, maybe all of Tyrion's clansmen (although ending the episode with Bronn saying, I'll stand for the dwarf." will be awesome)... Loras, Beric, Thoros, Anguy, Chataya, Alayaya, the Crones of Vaes Dothrak, the other Khals, Drogo's bloodriders mayhaps, Donal Noye, and dead Othor and Jafer.

    Each episode should be three hours. I'd love to get my hands on the director's cut or the original film and to be able to edit it to my heart's content. I'd suspect the first season of Boaz's cut to come in around forty hours.

    I do not feel like there is a lack of action so far. In fact, I feel quite the opposite. Swords and blood do not equal plot development. GRRM's characters drive this story and it seems to me that newbies are not getting their USRDA of Tyrion, Eddard, Dany, Jorah, Catelyn, Renly, Varys, Arya, Sansa, and the Hound.

    On the other hand, I was happier to see less nudity in episode four. Reading the naughty bits is one thing, but viewing them in mixed company is another. Mayhaps I'm just naive... or just a prude.
  19.  
    Eulalia

    Eulalia New Member

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    I would like to see real dragons...pity.

    Okay, I don't like the dragon eggs. They are disappointing.

    They cast everyone older for very good reasons and they have to convey most things in dialogue and setting. I think they are doing a great job. But the overall youth in the books is missing.

    Some of the poetry of the prose is missing. They have to cut a lot out.

    Catelyn and Cersei are far from what I expected, but perhaps it works in the way thay they are telling the story. I like the characters although they seem different. Sansa is not delicate and vulnerable enough, to me, yet. But she is a good snarky teen. Bran is okay.

    I think if they did the Kingsguard in pure all white, that you wouldn't like it. They would look like the stormtroopers from a certain popular movie series and they wouldn't fit very well with the gritty, dark and fantastic realism of the rest of the costumes and sets. But it is clearly different than the books.

    I think they are working hard not to make Jaime a prancing stereotyped villain, and making him more controlled, so that his character shift will not be too jarring in the short time available. They also don't want to make him too much a wussy, but he has to be believably obediant to Robert, a soldier, athelete, and dominated by Cersei. In the books it becomes clear that a lot of his struggle is internal, don't forget. I suppose they are going for manly and torn, perhaps.

    The direwolves are not scary enough. They seem almost like regular dogs!
  20.  
    The Imp

    The Imp New Member

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    I've also been using the DVR to pause and give my wife commentary on many of the same things. I had to do that less starting with epi4 as she at least by that point knew who the main characters were and where they were in relation to each other, both in terms of plot and also geography.

    Measter Aemon appeared in epi3 if i'm not mistaken, briefly though.

    I tosunds as if we have both gone through the same struggles reconciling what GRRM wrote with what is on screen. I just keep reminding myself that so much has to be conveyed via dailogue that is written in the books as just descriptive prose, and that the overall plot has to be slightly dumbed down for an audience that might be less willing to put as much thought into the series as we did the books.

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