New details on Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Game of Thrones role

AdewaleWhen news broke in October that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, star of Lost and HBO’s Oz, would be joining the cast of Game of Thrones, details were few and far between.

The initial release of information told us only that the actor would be playing “a character not in the books with the name ‘Malko.’”

Later interviews with Akinnuoye-Agbaje offered tantalizing hints as to what Malko might be up to in season 5, but no real concrete evidence. Earlier this month, the actor told Vulture, “The character that I play, it’s actually advantageous to me not to actually know too much. That’s all I’m going to say.”

Now, however, thanks to our sources, we’re able to reveal more about Malko, and a notable scene that features him in season 5.

MAJOR plot spoilers beneath the cut!

According to our sources, Adewale will be playing a slaver working on the continent of Essos. His character Malko runs a slave auction, and is presenting Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister for sale.

In the scene, Malko sells Jorah to Yezzan (a new season 5 character played by Enzo Cilenti). Tyrion, not wanting to be parted from Jorah at that point, makes a fuss, amusing the crowd until Yezzan buys him as well.

The auction scenes were filmed around St. John’s Fortress in Sibenik, Croatia, says our source, and indeed Peter Dinklage was sighted at the fortress set. Photos of the St. John’s set in progress were snapped in September, showing a platform stage and cages, and costumed Meereenese extras were seen just outside the fortress not long after.

Sue the Fury: Is Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s part a surprise to you, readers? Many had guessed he might be playing a pit fighter, but it seems he’ll be on the business end of things in Meereen. I’m curious to find out if he’ll have more scenes beyond the auction.

166 responses

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    1. I’m disappointed he isn’t a Moqorro Benerro hybrid as we were speculating. In the books, slavers are all interchangeable villains. This just seems like a cameo. He should be able to bring something to the role though.

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    2. I am so excited for the Tyrion and Jorah on-screen chemistry! I really loved in the books how Tyrion helps Jorah. I think the actors are perfect for some witty jabs at each other…

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    3. Sid,

      Same here! I’m thinking IG and PD on screen together could be pure magic as Jorah gives Tyrion the full scoop on Dany.

      I also think that with fAegon cut, it will be Dany to whom Tyrion gives his speech about how the 7 Kingdoms are not only ripe for conquest—he’ll argue that’s she’s *needed* as well. Maybe reference some of those ‘rumors’ from the Wall…

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    4. Winnie,

      Tyrion was playing fAegon in that scene. He later laughs about how stupid fAegon was to follow that advice. So essentially you think Tyrion will betray Dany? That could be intersting indeed

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    5. Turncloak,

      He was playing fAegon, but that’s because he wanted to get to Dany first. In Dany’s case, the advice will be genuine, (she does after all actually have an army AND dragons,) and I suspect Dany will be traveling to Westeros a LOT sooner on the show than in the books. I mean we already know from stills that on the show Dany and Tyrion will actually meet this season, something that has yet to happen in the books, (and Seven only know when it will come,) so for Season 6, I think the big thing will be Dany’s coming to Westeros.

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    6. Winnie,

      Tyrion lied to fAegon because he wants to set up a Dany/fAegon confrontation. He’s the only one that will be in Dany’s party who knows the he exists.

      A Dany/fAegon confrontation is the worst thing that can happen to Westeros with the Others rapidly approaching. Tyrion is using Dany for his selfish reasons. He wants Casterly Rock and revenge against Cersei.

      Tyrion knows the situation at the Wall, he’s been there. When Marwyn arrives he will tell Dany about the threat of The Others. This will be confirmed when Mother Moles Wildling slaves arrive in Volantis (assuming Dany defeats and takes Volantis and frees the slaves which I think she will).

      Tyrion will have a big decision to make. Will he tell Dany to ignore the threat of The Others and instead take Westeros? I think he will. Tyrion wants vengeance against Cersei and can’t achieve it if Dany goes off to the wall.

      Remember Quaithe’s prohecy: “beware of the lion”.

      Also remember that GRRM has already confirmed that we will see a second dance of dragons.

      Also remember the line in Arianne’s TWOW sample chapter: “I dreamed that the dragons danced. And everywhere the dragons danced, the people died”.

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    7. Turncloak,

      Good point that Tyrion *might* be planning revenge more than saving Westeros. I’m just saying that if he understands Dany at all, than the situation at the Wall would be the best way to bite her into going to Westeros in the first place-then he can try to convince her to take the IT and CR first.

      But its not in his immediate interests to outright *betray* Dany anytime in the future-he *needs* her, her army, her dragons for his own desires.

      Of course, I also happen to believe that however selfish Tyrion’s present motives may be, he will end up riding Visenya, (probably while being warged by Bran,) and again that requires a working relationship with Dany. (Unless Stannis or Shireen-being of Targaryen descent are gonna be the third rider but that seems unlikely.)

      JMHO.

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    8. Nice scoop!

      I’ll echo the thoughts that it’s kind of a waste to bring in an actor of this caliber to play what’s going to amount to a role roughly equivalent to the farmer the Hound ends up beating up and stealing from in Season 4.

      It seems weird that D&D sought out Akinnouye-Agbaje for this specific role. They’re obviously fans of him and wanted him on the show and I’m sure he’ll be good in the 5 minutes of screentime he’ll get but why not give him something more substantial?

      Kind of interesting to hear how the scene will play out which is essentially a reversal from the book scene progression where Tyrion is the one who’s wanted and he barters for Jorah to be included as opposed to the other way around.

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    9. Tyrion and Dany are not joining together long term…this is ASOIAF people.

      Tyrion will use her, and she will eventually want him killed. We know how this goes.

      Also, Tyrion was saved by Aegon on the Rhoyne in the shymaid, and a lannister always pays his debts. He will side with Aegon when its all said and done, theres even hints at this in ADWD where Tyrion, amazed Aegon goes to westeros and takes the bait, but later regrets how he wants to be in westeros with Aegon….

      Its not going to be cut and dry, but yea, Dany needs to beware the lion as the prophecy says, Tyrion will be her enemy eventually.

      “Kind of interesting to hear how the scene will play out which is essentially a reversal from the book scene progression where Tyrion is the one who’s wanted and he barters for Jorah to be included as opposed to the other way around.”

      In the books, George wanted to profile Tyrions negotiation skills and his political skills so to speak.

      Show tends to follow formula’s or cliches if you will.

      Show wants you to feel for sorry the main characters fate as much as possible like most shows, so for him to save himself makes more sense.

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    10. King Tommen:
      Nice scoop!

      I’ll echo the thoughts that it’s kind of a waste to bring in an actor of this caliber to play what’s going to amount to a role roughly equivalent to the farmer the Hound ends up beating up and stealing from in Season 4.

      It seems weird that D&D sought out Akinnouye-Agbaje for this specific role. They’re obviously fans of him and wanted him on the show and I’m sure he’ll be good in the 5 minutes of screentime he’ll get but why not give him something more substantial?

      It makes me wonder if the character might turn up again that season…perhaps at the Battle of Mereen?!?

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    11. Finally – the new year with GoT S5 in it! Happy tidings and best of luck in 2015 to everyone!

      Wish that AAA had a bigger role but guess you never know…

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    12. WeirwoodTreeHugger:
      I’m disappointed he isn’t a Moqorro Benerro hybrid as we were speculating.In the books,slavers are all interchangeable villains. This just seems like a cameo.He should be able to bring something to the role though.

      I agree. I was hoping for more with him. Regardless, he will have an impact.

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    13. Kyrion:
      In the books, George wanted to profile Tyrions negotiation skills and his political skills so to speak.

      Show tends to follow formula’s or cliches if you will.

      Show wants you to feel for sorry the main characters fate as much as possible like most shows, so for him to save himself makes more sense.

      I wouldn’t read it that way at all.

      In both the show and the books, this scene is meant to demonstrate that Tyrion now has forged enough of a bond with Jorah that he feels responsible for him to a degree.

      Of course, in the books, Tyrion is only chosen by Yezzan because he and Penny are part of an “act” that will entertain Yezzan which gives him plenty of value as a commodity. The show obviously doesn’t have Penny or the dog/pig riding act to tread on so things would have to be changed in order for Tyrion to make himself a wanted commodity for Yezzan.

      In fact, in the books, Tyrion would appear to be shown in a more sympathetic light because after being sold, he selflessly decides to manipulate the situation so Jorah can be thrown into the bargain in order to better Jorah’s situation as well.

      The way the show scene appears to play out has it more as Tyrion not wanting to be left behind and needing to use his cunning to ingratiate himself so as to be taken as well.

      It really has nothing to do with the show adhering to cliches, more a write around decision to accommodate for the fact that Penny is not a part of the scene.

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    14. Winnie: It makes me wonder if the character might turn up again that season…perhaps at the Battle of Mereen?!?

      Battle of Meereen won’t happen this season so yeah, it looks to be a 1 and done. Not sure how they’d incorporate a go-between slaver as anything more than a plot device to move Tyrion and Jorah further along in their story.

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    15. Kyrion,

      Fair points. Of course the lion Dany needs to fear may be a Lannister OTHER than Tyrion….

      But if Tyrion is destined to be Dany’s enemy EVENTUALLY, (certainly for a time they’ll be allies or he’ll be ‘advising’ her,) that does raise the question of who the third dragon rider WILL be. I still think all the foreshadowing points to Tyrion as riding Viserion but it could be Martin’s just toying with us, (AGAIN!) in which case who is it?

      We know Bran will ‘fly’ but that could be warging birds rather than dragons, (though I still think dragons are the most likely,) and maybe they won’t need a third rider at all.

      God how much longer do I have to wait for Season 5 and TWOW?!? THese questions are driving me insane!!!

      And for the record King Tommen I’m betting that either the Battle of Mereen or the Battle of Winterfell WILL take place this season. Maybe even both. They’re not going to do the build-up to battles like that THEN make everybody wait a year. It would be bad tv.

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    16. literally all i want from this season is for them to get Cersei’s storyline and characterization a least 60% right. is that too much to ask? probably is lol

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    17. I am reminded of the Star Wars scene where the Jawas are selling R2D2 and C3PO to Owen Lars. R2D2 is not initially picked to accompany C3PO but manages to make it happen anyway. Sound familiar? 🙂

      As King Tommen stated, looking forward to this subtle twist with Tyrion/Jorah.

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    18. WeirwoodTreeHugger:
      I’m disappointed he isn’t a Moqorro Benerro hybrid as we were speculating.In the books,slavers are all interchangeable villains. This just seems like a cameo.He should be able to bring something to the role though.

      I was hoping that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje would be playing some version of Moqorro/Benerro as well, if only because with that type of role he would have had more potential to become a recurring player in the show’s universe. I have little doubt that Malko will be a memorable and entertaining character in the scene described here, thanks in no small part to AAA’s performance. But in light of this new information, Malko does sound like he’ll be more of a one-off character. I would have liked to see him take on a more high-profile role … but then again, maybe 1-2 episodes is all that AAA was willing/able to sign on for, given his busy schedule.

      If Akinnuoye-Agbaje does wind up appearing in more than just this one scene, then I could imagine Malko filling a niche similar to the one that Burn Gorman’s Karl Tanner and Noah Taylor’s Locke occupied during the past two seasons. Namely, he could wind up being a relatively minor villain in the grand scheme of things, but during his time on the show he would fulfill a very important plot function and the character would become recognizable to a wider audience because he was portrayed by a strong, well-known actor who got some great lines and good material to play. Given how memorable Karl and Locke proved to be, a similar role for Malko might turn out to be a nice bargain for everyone involved.

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    19. I wonder if he’ll be the one who captures Tyrion and Jorah in the first place. That could give him a lot more screentime than he would otherwise have if he’s just runs the auction. I also wonder if he has some kind of story after the auction is completed. This could also just be a case of this actor really liking the show and wanting to play a role in it, but not having the time to play a major part.

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    20. Jared: in

      Jared: I was hoping that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje would be playing some version of Moqorro/Benerro as well, if only because with that type of role he would have had more potential to become a recurring player in the show’s universe. I have little doubt that Malko will be a memorable and entertaining character in the scene described here, thanks in no small part to AAA’s performance. But in light of this new information, Malko does sound like he’ll be more of a one-off character. I would have liked to see him take on a more high-profile role … but then again, maybe 1-2 episodes is all that AAA was willing/able to sign on for, given his busy schedule.

      If Akinnuoye-Agbaje does wind up appearing in more than just this one scene, then I could imagine Malko filling a niche similar to the one that Burn Gorman’s Karl Tanner and Noah Taylor’s Locke occupied during the past two seasons. Namely, he could wind up being a relatively minor villain in the grand scheme of things, but during his time on the show he would fulfill a very important plot function and the character would become recognizable to a wider audience because he was portrayed by a strong, well-known actor who got some great lines and good material to play.Given how memorable Karl and Locke proved to be, a similar role for Malko might turn out to be a nice bargain for everyone involved.

      I really REALLY like that idea. IMHO, both of those subplots were some of the better instances of having D&D go off script from the books. Locke was a LOT more convincing, (and creepier!) than Qarl Hoat and the Bloody Mummers ever were plus it helped establish that House Bolton attracted Bad Guys. And seeing Karl of Gin Alley get his comeuppance was one of the highlights of Season 4 plus added some more excitement to the Wall Storyline, as well as showing Jon in a leadership capacity.

      So yeah, having Malko serve a similar purpose for the Slavery’s Bay storyline could work quite well.

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    21. Turncloak: He later laughs about how stupid fAegon was to follow that advice

      No he didn’t! Tyrion’s “laughter” (such as it was) was for Connington: it amused Tyrion that the “pretty prince” would not be as compliant as Connington no doubt was expecting him to be. (I’m not sure what Tyrion would have thought after Connington

      basically seemed more pleased that Aegon is acting like a leader than he is displeased that his foster-son is not acting like a leal son: but although Tyrion is a good judge of character, he’s not a perfect one, and Tyrion mistakenly thinks that Connington’s desire for revenge is outweighing Connington’s loyalty to his best-friend’s son.

      ) Indeed, Tyrion grew fairly attached to Aegon: he (Tyrion) is surprised to realize how much he cares when he realizes that it’s a good thing that Aegon wasn’t coming east (for reasons related to Daeny’s actions, not Daeny herself).

      Tyrion also never thinks anything along the lines of

      playing Daenyrs and Aegon off against each other.

      Tyrion was just doing what comes naturally to him at this point: giving advice on how to play the Game. And Tyrion has a very good point:

      Aegon the Supplicant would get much less respect from Aunt Daeny than would Aegon the Invader;

      and, as Tyrion has aptly inferred, Daenyrs has a “saving people thing” (to use Hermione Granger’s line). Tyrion’s advice reflects a better on the situation than Connington et al. have, and for good reason:

      for all of these years, Daeny has been an after thought to them: and even now they just blindly assume that Daeny “just has to” marry Aegon because… well, they never planned on her being anything other than a pawn. That she wouldn’t just hand over a dragon and join their cause should be obvious: but they are too fixated on Aegon and rectifying past wrongs to do that.

      One thing that I think that we are supposed to glean from this is that Tyrion is a really good judge of character. Tyrion has never met Daeny, yet he profiled her very well simply thinking about what she has done. Other people simply have been seeing one and one and three and two and never adding them up to seven the way that Tyrion has. (No symbolism in the numbers: just an example.)

      Moreover, we shouldn’t read things between the lines for Tyrion’s thoughts. He is a protagonist, after all, and his thoughts are there for us to be read in italics. If Martin does not put it there, then we should assume that it’s not there.

      aurane waters: literally all i want from this season is for them to get Cersei’s storyline and characterization a least 60% right.

      As that would be a big decline in how well they’ve nailed Cersei, I hope that they keep up the much better work that they have done. Indeed, they have developed aspects of Cersei’s character that we don’t get until Crows in the book (which is when she first becomes a protagonist): and as they’ve based that development on what Crows gives us (although many of us had gleaned it already), it has set Cersei up perfectly for the story that she will help tell this year. That is,

      no matter how much she believes it of herself, Cersei Lannister is not Tywin Lannister Junior.

      Winnie,
      Yeah, I agree: he would be a good “visual continuity” extra the way that Locke did. I was expecting him to be the priest, too: but perhaps that was just because he’s been one before.

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    22. Check out one of my comments from Nov 2013. I was so young and naive back then.

      “A couple of months ago I extrapolated GRRMs writing pace for TWOW. I expect TWOW to be released early in 2015 before game of thrones season 5. However, I expect the show to pass the book in 2017 for season 7.”

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    23. They totally dropped the ball on Riverlands! And right after the Red Wedding!???

      Like what the hell is going on over there?
      Blackfish is still pissing at a tree, Edmure is baking cake for the Freys, Thoros is in rehab, Berric is getting plastic surgeries ???

      Come on D&D!!!

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    24. chamush: Like what the hell is going on over there?
      Blackfish is still pissing at a tree, Edmure is baking cake for the Freys, Thoros is in rehab, Berric is getting plastic surgeries ???

      As none of these characters are protagonists, very few viewers care. Hell, I found it to be deadly dull in the books: it made Jaime’s otherwise interesting story line tedious to read. So, thanks B&W for ditching it.

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    25. aurane waters,

      How? Cersei already is trying to be Tywinette, is already showing us that she misperceives what is happening around her, and already is showing us that she plays the Game with a broadsword when a scalpel is necessary.

      Cersei’s character is someone who resents the limitations placed on her for lacking a penis (shown last year), assumes that she is much smarter and knowledgable than others because she is a Lannister (shown last year), extremely spiteful against anybody she perceives as competition in anyway (Tyrion, Margaery, etc.: shown last year), about as capable of subtlety as a herd of stampeding elephants even when she thinks that she is being subtle (shown last year) and someone who cannot consider things that are not in her plain sight (shown last year).

      That is what the books give us (and most clearly in Crows, where we first start reading what she thinks), and that is what B&W gave us. If you think that Cersei’s character is different from that (or if you think that the TV show failed to communicate those things pretty plainly), then you misread or mismatched something, I suspect.

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    26. Turncloak:
      Check out one of my comments from Nov 2013. I was so young and naive back then.

      “A couple of months ago I extrapolated GRRMs writing pace for TWOW. I expect TWOW to be released early in 2015 before game of thrones season 5. However, I expect the show to pass the book in 2017 for season 7.”

      Oh you sweet summer child…

      Wimsey: those

      Wimsey:
      aurane waters,

      How?Cersei already is trying to be Tywinette, is already showing us that she misperceives what is happening around her, and already is showing us that she plays the Game with a broadsword when a scalpel is necessary.

      Cersei’s character is someone who resents the limitations placed on her for lacking a penis (shown last year), assumes that she is much smarter and knowledgable than others because she is a Lannister (shown last year), extremely spiteful against anybody she perceives as competition in anyway (Tyrion, Margaery, etc.: shown last year), about as capable of subtlety as a herd of stampeding elephants even when she thinks that she is being subtle (shown last year) and someone who cannot consider things that are not in her plain sight (shown last year).

      That is what the books give us (and most clearly in Crows, where we first start reading what she thinks), and that is what B&W gave us.If you think that Cersei’s character is different from that (or if you think that the TV show failed to communicate those things pretty plainly), then you misread or mismatched something, I suspect.

      Big fat WORD to all that…some of my favorite bits…

      Before the Battle of Blackwater…

      Tyrion-“It’s important that we talk about this.” Translation-Can you get past the fact you hate me for five fucking minutes so we can discuss this incredibly serious problem?

      Cersei-“It’s the King’s prerogative to withhold sensitive information from his councilors.” Translation-No.

      Every single one of her scenes in Blackwater. LITERALLY EVERY ONE. Just perfect vintage Cersei and god LH was hilarious playing drunk. When the teenage hostage who’s been terrorized for months is more queenly than the actual Queen Regent you *know* there’s a problem.

      Tywin-“I don’t distrust you because you’re a woman. I distrust you because you’re not as smart as you think you are.”

      Her dynamic with Margaery-sheer genius from day one. And asking Pycelle to feed the leftovers MArgaery promised to the poor to the dogs instead…so petty. So short-sighted. So cruel and indifferent to the smallfolk. So witchy. So, so Cersei!

      References to Cersei having a servant girl beaten so badly she lost an eye and Oberyn’s noting her viciousness to her little baby brother at an early age…they’re clearly implying the problems started early.

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    27. Wimsey: As none of these characters are protagonists, very few viewers care.Hell, I found it to be deadly dull in the books: it made Jaime’s otherwise interesting story line tedious to read.So, thanks B&W for ditching it.

      Grrrr. Beautiful storytelling is in the mind of the reader, W. I care.

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    28. GiGAFART,

      You were trolling on IMDB; are you seriously going to start it here also.

      And no, if season 5 maintains the quality or is only a slight dip from the first 4, then the show will have surpassed the books.

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    29. Wimsey,

      I agree. The show also cut Brienne’s Feast story, for which I thank them. In the novel, she wanders on and on, gets nowhere. In the show, she wanders for a short period of time, meets Arya and Sandor, wounds Sandor, freeing Arya to sail to Braavos. So in the novels Brienne gets nowhere, while in the show, she does something.

      It also sounds like they’re cutting Aegon, Quentyn, Arianne. Brilliant move on the part of the show. If they get rid of Moqorro and Victarian, too, I’ll send them roses.

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    30. Wimsey,

      I dont know about the books but in terms of show’s consistency you are wrong. Its like investing a lot of money on sth and then ditch it. If they are gonna change things around and send Jaimie to a tropical vacation thats fine but they cant just totally ignore where Red Wedding took place and the people involved/impacted by it.
      Again this is from a story telling point of view but yeah youre right , average viewers cant even keep up with the original characters and are just mostly waiting for dragons to show up!

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    31. Wimsey,

      show cersei just doesn’t have book cersei’s fire for me. she needs to be more passionate imo. book cersei is like a force of nature…..show cersei really isn’t. they need to stop with the cold depressed queen schtick and focus more on the angry fiery sexual queen side of her

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    32. Don’t be too harsh on Gigafart. He’s had to suffer from severe flatulence his whole life. A billion farts, spread over a span of 13 years, amounts to close to 77 million farts a year, 6.4 million a month, approximately 213 thousand a day, 8.9 thousand an hour, or about 148 a minute. I can’t even imagine what kind of sound that makes, let alone think about the other effects. I’m sure it does make watching television extremely difficult.

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    33. chamush,

      I don’t think it makes sense to go back to the Riverlands until something actually happens there.

      The show has made some pretty strong hints to that Frey will get comeuppance for the RW. I would have preferred if it happened now in season 5 as not to wait to long but I guess they either are not able to fit it in or they have to move some other plots to a certain point first in order for it to fit.
      We don’t know which characters will be in this story in the show but however it is I think it makes sense not to bring them back until they are relevant to the plot.

      I put this in spoiler tag just because I’m not sure how to deal with plot that seems about to happen in the book but hasn’t actually happened yet.

      As for the actual post. I think there are many possible ways this Malko could play a role outside just the auctioneer for the slave market.

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    34. chamush: I dont know about the books but in terms of show’s consistency you are wrong. Its like investing a lot of money on sth and then ditch it.

      In the case of either show or book, the storytellers didn’t invest anything in Edmure or Blackfish. Instead, tertiary characters like Edmure and Blackfish are the coinage used to invest in the protagonists: Catelyn and (on TV) Robb. (Robb himself isn’t a protagonist in the books, either: he’s literary coinage used to develop Catelyn.) The “where” of the Red Wedding is basically done. (This is a major problem in the books:

      many readers find the Riverlands plot tedious because it involves only two lesser protagonists (Jaime and Brienne), and because we essentially seem to be in an unnecessary denouement there: the Riverlands lost and is occupied, and that’s not worth much narrative given other events surrounding more important protagonists elsewhere.

      As for Jaime, his story can be told just as well in Dorne as it can be in the Riverlands. In the books, Edmure and Blackfish are just tertiary characters used to tell Jaime’s story of

      putting aside the son and (unsuccessfully) becoming the father.

      aurane waters: show cersei just doesn’t have book cersei’s fire for me. she needs to be more passionate imo.

      The “for me” is key here because suggesting that show Cersei is not highly passionate is ludicrous. If they had her anymore passionate, it would threaten to cross into ham-acting: and Lena Headey is not going to do that.

      aurane waters: they need to stop with the cold depressed queen schtick and focus more on the angry fiery sexual queen side of her

      What cold depressed queen schtick? How many more Angry Cersei scenes to they need? One a week is plenty. Any more, and it would look like she is just having tantrums: and Cersei is not supposed to start doing that yet. (This does become more common in Crows: but that is after several events that have either only just happened on the show or that have not yet happened.)

      As for the “sexual queen” side, the “to me” again is important because I think that you have misunderstood her. Cersei is not a nymphomaniac: Jaime is really the only man she really desires. She had short infatuations with Rhaegar and Robert, but those quickly passed. Sex with other men is a means to an end for her. (Moreover, most of what we learn of this in the books comes in Crows: and the show hasn’t gotten there yet.) She presents herself as a goddess, not a courtesan: one thing that Headey & the producers have done is get Cersei to project a superficial charisma of the sort that fools most of the people most of the time AND that matches well the way characters in the books either describe her (e.g., Littlefinger) or think her to do (e.g,. Tyrion, Kevan).

      (Indeed, one friend of mine asked me if Cersei was supposed to be based on Sarah Palin, a US politician considered to be good looking by many men [particularly conservative ones], but who is much less intelligent and knowledgable than she believes herself to be, and prone to angry outbursts when confronted with reality; the parallels are pretty striking, but I had to point out that Cersei was created a decade and a half before anybody ever heard of Palin!)

      Incidentally, the cold-depressed queen schtick

      actually should start this year; in Crows, Cersei’s drinking escalates rapidly, and she often is very maudlin. However, that is in reaction to events that either have just happened or that are about to happen, as well as frustration that reality is not cooperating with her brilliance and wisdom as she sets aside the daughter and (unsuccessfully!) becomes the father. The story, of course, is that her unsuccessful and Jaime’s unsuccessful go in opposite directions….

      Sofia,
      I think that it is even simpler than that. The events in the Riverlands are of only marginal importance to the over-arching plot, and they have very little bearing on the actual story. They were a setting for telling Jaime’s and Brienne’s stories in the book, nothing more: and (I think) a poor choice by Martin.

      Jaime’s story can be told just as well in Dorne. Moreover, because it looks like they are condensing two lesser book protagonists from Dorne into one lesser TV protagonist, that will let them have two protagonists (and thus two parts of the story) in one setting. Moreover, both protagonists will be doing very much the same thing in parallel. That should make the “point” of the events much easier for the audience to digest.

      However, the reality of the matter is that if the Riverlands are going to become important again in any unique way, then it won’t be until Winter: and that is next season.

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    35. Winnie,

      I hope so…although the Riverlands characters (and plot) can be viewed as minor when compared to other events, for continuity and vengeance sake, I hope the Tullys do make a difference in the endgame. I’ll also be rooting for another appearance by BF in the Vale soon.

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    36. Exciting news! I share the suspicion of others that D&D would not have cast such a big actor for just a few minutes of screen time… excited to see in what capacity they can otherwise use him, either before the auction (capture?) or after (D’s pit? Negotiations in Meereen?). I agree that they had to do a bit of a workaround with Penny but frankly that’s one character I’m happy they cut for the show.

      This still leaves the question, now that we know AAA will be a slaver, if we will see any priests of the Red God in Essos this season in any capacity (passing through Volantis?)? With Victarion presumably cut, unless Asha/Yara takes on that storyline herself (doubtful, I’d rather see her in her proper storyline in the North!)…

      I wonder what Yezzan’s character will be like on screen, obviously the actor has a very different appearance from book Yezzan (barring a fat suit of some kind)…

      Happy New Year everyone! By the old gods and the new! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    37. Bit of a non-event part for a named actor. See no reason in expanding this part out either to be honest as once he’s been sold to Yezzan ( the new slim line version which is shame as makes him less distinctive) then he’s not needed anymore unless he sticks around to petition for the pits to open. To be honest, don’t know why they don’t just have Yezzan or his crew capture Jorah and Tyrion in the first place. It’s sensible streamlining.
      Overall I think this is a bit of a waste of the guys talent and also think the chance for a Benerro/Moqorro hybrid or Brown Ben Plumm would have been a lot more interesting.
      Starting to tilt back towards being worried for next season again. Not sure the need for introducing new characters that I don’t see adding anything. We shall see.

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    38. WORD to everything you said Wimsey. I thought that “I’ll burn our house to the ground before I let that happen” in the season 4 finale was especially good “fiery Cersei” and I LOVE the Sarah Palin comparison.

      Personally I can’t wait to see how Lena depicts Cersei on power with no one to say no to her in season 5.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Hodor’s Bastard:
      Winnie,

      I hope so…although the Riverlands characters (and plot) can be viewed as minor when compared to other events, for continuity and vengeance sake, I hope the Tullys do make a difference in the endgame. I’ll also be rooting for another appearance by BF in the Vale soon.

      I agree. We can root for minor characters like the BF and hope that they make a difference in the end game. For me, that’s the beauty of this story. It is not only the so-called protagonists that matter. It is the sum total of many characters – some of them “minor” ones -that take this story in often unexpected directions.

      Personally, I care about the Tullys and the Riverlands and I am disappointed that we are losing much of them. I am also disappointed about the “disappearance” of the BWB (regardless of LSH). We can debate forever about what constitutes compelling TV. And, obviously, choices have to be made and story lines have to be compressed or eliminated. None of us truly know what is coming so it is difficult to state with any certainty what is a good choice or a bad choice. Its about personal preference.

        Quote  Reply

    40. mariamb: It is the sum total of many characters – some of them “minor” ones -that take this story in often unexpected directions.

      🙂 🙂 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    41. mariamb: t is the sum total of many characters – some of them “minor” ones -that take this story in often unexpected directions.

      Minor characters might take the plots in unexpected directions. They do not take the stories in new directions. For SoI&F, one could distill the stories for each book by just reducing the text to the italicized sentences that are the protagonists’ thoughts. Edmure, Blackfish, etc., don’t have those: at best, they have an influence on the italicized lines in the Catelyn or Jaime chapters, or they provide us with extra backdrop. Blackfish, for example, is pretty important for providing background on Catelyn’s character: she was very much shaped by a father who tolerated no personal ambition in his immediate relatives; the Blackfish rebelled against that, but much about Catelyn’s character is explained by this. Edmure also is useful for this, but he (and book Robb) also is (are) useful for getting Catelyn (and TV Robb) to the Red Wedding where we get the payoff for Catelyn’s (and TV Robb’s) juggling act(s).

      Here is another way to look at it. All modern stories are mysteries: who are the protagonists? It’s not just a mystery for the readers to solve, it’s a mystery that protagonists themselves are actively solving. Martin revels in the person in conflict with him/herself, which is a great way to express it: all of the stories are ultimately about Daeny, Jon, Tyrion, Arya, Sansa, Bran, Jaime, Davos, Cersei, Brienne and Sam working out whether they are Person A or Person B: either they have assumed that they are both and now realize that it’s a hard OR not a soft “and/or” (i.e., serve my daughters or serve my son?), or they currently are at A and they are striving to reach B (i.e., kill the boy, become the man).

      Characters like Edmure, Blackfish, etc., can create situations that bring about a Person A vs. Person B conflict for Jaime or Catelyn or other protagonists: but they aren’t doing it themselves. (Or, if they are, then we don’t read about it.) So, the Edmures, Blackfish don’t really add up to anything on their own: they are foils for the protagonists. Instead, it’s the protagonists’ thoughts, turmoils and responses that add up to something greater than the sum of their individual thoughts, turmoils and responses. I.e. that’s the story!

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    42. Wimsey,

      All due respect, I am not interested in revisiting a lecture from one of my many English Lit classes. I understand the definition of a protagonist and am able to identify them. I’m not sure why you are insistent on telling me that I need to respond to only the protagonists in ASOIF and GOT.

      I respond emotionally to this story and to this show. If I say that I want to see more of characters like the BF, I do not need to be told that my opinion is wrong because it isn’t “the story.” This is a rich, complex tale and every reader reacts differently to the events and the characters.

      I don’t care if the BF and Edmure and many others “don’t really add up to anything on their own.” I enjoyed reading about them and regret their diminished time in the show.

        Quote  Reply

    43. mariamb: I don’t care if the BF and Edmure and many others “don’t really add up to anything on their own.” I enjoyed reading about them and regret their diminished time in the show.

      That is fine: there really are not “right” or “wrong” reasons to enjoy a show or a book. However, there are common reasons: and those usually involve story rather than plot or narrative details. The conversation began by someone asking how the show could “invest” so much in the Riverlands and do nothing with them. My response was that the show had not done done that (in that it hadn’t invested anything in the characters or area), and that the general viewers are not going to see it that way. What has gotten this show critical acclaim and ever-increasing ratings is the fact that this has been a great character drama. The audience is focused on the main characters: and not on the extras. They are not sitting around wondering what happened to them: that whole plot line is pretty much dead. (The conclusion to it was quite apocalyptic, after all.)

      We can pretty much ditto this for the book readership: SoI&F often is labelled a good novel series despite being a fantasy. That is because it really is a character drama in a somewhat fantastic setting: but magic, dragons, magic rings, “good” and “evil” etc., are not the crux of the tale.

      Now, there are many of us here who like different aspects of the book. However, what “hardcore fans” of SoI&F (or Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or Doctor Who or Star Trek or Star Wars or any other series with a fan base) like about the books/show often is very different from what the vast majority of readers/viewers like. Fans of all of these series will revel in the details and express indifference or even disdain for the stories. But for these series to survive to have hardcore fans, they have to have a lot more general fans and even just general readers/viewers: and they are in it for the primary protagonists, not the details.

      (Indeed, it does strike me as almost comical that so many fans of these sorts of series find the background details and characters so much more interesting than the main characters: do they think that Martin/Rowling/Moffat/etc. choose the wrong characters to emphasize, or is there just something about undeveloped characters/details that enthralls them?)

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    44. Wimsey:
      (Indeed, it does strike me as almost comical that so many fans of these sorts of series find the background details and characters so much more interesting than the main characters: do they think that Martin/Rowling/Moffat/etc. choose the wrong characters to emphasize, or is there just something about undeveloped characters/details that enthralls them?)

      I’m not sure why you continue to imply that you are speaking for others, whether they be fans of GOT, or Harry Potter or critics or whomever. Please speak for yourself and offer opinions as your own.

      I’ll address this from my point of view. I don’t necessarily find the “background” characters to be more interesting that the “main” characters. I find some of them to be equally interesting.

      For the most part, Book Dany bored me to tears. I am more interested in Show Dany because I love Emilia. I had no interest in most of Tyrion’s “where do whores go” journey in the books. Hopefully, the show handles it better.

      But for these series to survive to have hardcore fans, they have to have a lot more general fans and even just general readers/viewers: and they are in it for the primary protagonists, not the details.

      I’m not in this show for the “details.” How does saying that I like the BF and the Riverlands indicate what I am in the show for? I like the show/story as a whole. For me, the minor/bakcground characters that you dismiss add immensely to the scope of the story and enrich it.

      If you want to focus your viewing on the so-called protagonists, that’s fine. But do not disregard my interest in other characters as the incorrect way to enjoy this story.

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    45. mariamb: I’m not sure why you continue to imply that you are speaking for others, whether they be fans of GOT, or Harry Potter or critics or whomever. Please speak for yourself and offer opinions as your own.

      I’m not speaking for others: I am responding to others. If people didn’t make statements along these lines, then I wouldn’t respond to them: I certainly wouldn’t think of them on my own! (If I ever found the protagonists less interesting than the tertiary characters, or even only as interesting, then I probably would stop reading/watching a series.)

      However, this has been a common refrain in fandoms, and not just this one: “oh, how I wish that X would elaborate on Y because I am just so fascinated by Y” where Y is some tertiary character or plot detail that isn’t the Doctor or Harry or Daenyrs, etc. It’s almost like those people who prefer the courtship to the relationship: that is it seems like actually getting the development of a character suddenly makes them lose their interest in the character!

      As I wrote, I do find this almost amusing because the people telling the stories are trying to tell the stories with particular protagonists: but it sometimes seems as if those authors have fans who actually aren’t interested in the primary product. Is it a case where the authors cannot win with a certain type of fan, or is it a case where some fans think that the author should have made an Edmure a protagonist instead of a Jaime?

      mariamb: How does saying that I like the BF and the Riverlands indicate what I am in the show for? I like the show/story as a whole. For me, the minor/bakcground characters that you dismiss add immensely to the scope of the story and enrich it.

      Well, taste is telling! But let’s consider this. Crows/Dragons tells a story about

      people reaching “up” from a lower Person A to a higher Person B.

      In Aemon’s words (and Jon’s subsequent mantra)

      “kill the boy, and let the man be born.”

      Every protagonist in the two books is going through some parallel of this, and every one has some parallel to Jon’s mantra. Take Jaime: his particular version is:

      “kill the son, and (try to) let Tywin II be born (but accidentally let man with a conscience evolve).”

      So, how does either Edmure or Blackfish enrich this? Yes, Martin uses them to develop Jaime:

      despite Jaime telling himself: “look at how Tywin I am being!” Jaime shows them mercy and displays a sense of statesmanship that his sociopathic father never would have shown. Jaime is aspiring to one higher state, and he’s actually achieving a different one. (Meanwhile, his sister is aspiring to a similar higher state and falling utterly short.)

      However, that is all about Jaime: Edmure, the Blackfish and the rest of the Riverlands peoples are simply one set of foils of the many possible sets of foils that Martin could have used. It is very easy to imagine how Martin could have done this somewhere else.

      So, what do you think I am missing? How does Edmure enrich the general

      “kill the child and become the adult”

      story for Jaime? I am perfectly willing to allow that I am missing some unique contribution that Edmure or the Blackfish or some other characters make to this, without which Jaime’s contribution to the story will fall flat. Convince me!

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    46. mariamb,

      Done? You never even started to tell me how these character enrich the stories! I am willing to be convinced by a well-supported argument, but not by an assertion. (There is a Monty Python sketch about this.)

      And this Oregon game is done: a 39 point deficit with less than 10 minutes to go is more “done” than a completed game in a lot of ways.

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    47. Wimsey,

      Man, you gotta be getting paid by “protagonists” corporation or sth cos of how many times you use that word!

      But on a serious note , Season 3 DID invest on Riverlands characters regardless of their involvement with your “protagonists ” Brotherhood was introduced in Season 2 and showed up in Season 3 as this alternative group fighting against the Lannisters, it wouldve been nice to see their reaction to RW in season 4 and their further actions.

      If BF was just there for Catelyn character, why did they (writers) bother saving him from RW and mentioning in ep10 of S3 that he escaped? See, if their reasons for omitting his character are what you are saying then thats a big inconsistency. If the character is of no further importance then kill him off!

      If Freys killed 1 or 2 of your protagonists then again it would make sense to see what theyre up to and not ignore them completely for at least 2 seasons that we know of.

        Quote  Reply

    48. chamush:
      Wimsey,

      Man, you gotta be getting paid by “protagonists” corporation or sth cos of how many times you use that word!

      But on a serious note , Season 3 DID invest on Riverlands characters regardless of their involvement with your “protagonists ”Brotherhood was introduced in Season 2 and showed up in Season 3 as this alternative group fighting against the Lannisters, it wouldve been nice to see their reaction to RW in season 4 and their further actions.

      If BF was just there for Catelyn character, why did they (writers) bother saving him from RW and mentioning in ep10 of S3 that he escaped? See, if their reasons for omitting his character are what you are saying then thats a big inconsistency. If the character is of no further importance then kill him off!

      If Freys killed 1 or 2 of your protagonists then again it would make sense to see what theyre up to and not ignore them completely for at least 2 seasons that we know of.

      If your argument is that the show shouldn’t introduce characters and then not come back to them for a long time, then I have no idea how you continue to read the books since that’s pretty much all Martin does with any character that isn’t a POV (and some that are).

      I would imagine there is a reason that Blackfish and the BwB were introduced and kept alive on the show the way they were. It’s just not going to be dealt with in Season 5 (most likely). Patience is a virtue, anyone who reads these books should be acutely aware of that.

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    49. Wimsey,

      While “kill the boy, and let the man be born” may be Jon’s mantra, GRRM has twisted it somewhat:

      “kill the boy, become the man (sort of), then kill the man.”

      🙂 While you always try to wedge ASoI&F into academic jibjab, GRRM has a habit of screwing with our sensibilities.

      Although you make many fun and valid points that attempt to fit GRRM’s storylines into a logical rattrap, sometimes you should take a step back and let folks (and yourself) appreciate their perspective regarding the minor stuff (that may become major stuff…). Maybe if this was a completed series, your views on protagonist and “foils” would have more merit, but there are too many balls in the air for anyone to be too assertive, imho.

      One thing I enjoyed about the controversial S4 Jaime-Cersei-Joff corpse sex scene is that no matter how it was intended to be portrayed via Jaime’s PoV text, it was obviously different when viewed from a 3rd eye. And that “3rd eye” varied per fan…some tolerated it, some detested it, some were alienated by it.

      The same must be applied to every aspect of this tale. I don’t want it to follow any established norm; I want to be ticked off (RW, RVvsGC, etc), uncomfortably gleeful (Tyrion/Blackwater, LS, BF escape, SanSan, AryaSan, Faceless Arya, etc.), disturbingly titillated (Mel’s shadowbaby, Shae, Taena, Dany birthing dragons, Dany-Drogon-Danzak, etc) and simply disturbed (Reek/Ramsay, Qyburn, Craster, etc). I want GRRM to screw with my sensibilities with this series.

      What is a protagonist in this series? Maybe Jon, Dany and Tyrion fit the mold but the other PoVs not so much:

      Arya: She is young girl who is becoming a merciless killer and constantly facing sexually-abusive situations, and will most-likely take her faceless mission to confront other “protagonists” directly.
      Theon: He is an antagonist who is facing the ultimate karma for his deeds. How can anyone cheer for him given what he has done (and claimed to have done)? Yet we do….(we are an odd bunch)
      Jaime: An antagonist possibly becoming a protagonist (fuck that…there is no “redemption” for him)
      Cersei: The ultimate antagonist
      Arianne & Hotah: Hah! Nope….they are more “foils” than anything else.
      Victarion: Hah!

      I don’t know if you concur with any of this (probably not) but the series is more fun when it screws with storytelling norms and surprises me.

      ———-

      Regarding some argumentative BF plot points that you requested (book only…the show is up in the air with this key continuity aspect):

      1) BF single-handedly represents the rebellious nature of the Tully/Riverland/Vale folk.
      2) BF is another Tully who has escaped the Lannister grasp (incl Arya, Sansa, and LS)
      3) BF is Riverland hero, LS controls the BwB, Sansa might (soon) have sway with the Vale folk (quite a force to be reckoned with). Them Tullys ain’t done yet.
      4) The BF – Kingslayer bridge meet is one of the great non-violent confrontations in the whole series, with incredible tension, causing much conflicting thought within JL, who is made a fool by the BF’s escape (who wasn’t rooting for the BF?!)
      5) You just know GRRM has something in store for him (if he isn’t already banded with the BwB or the Vale lords)
      6) BF is the coolest nickname 🙂
      7) The BF is a complex “foil” (as you use it); he has contributed to the storylines of Cat, Tyrion and Jaime (and soon to be Sansa or maybe Cat again). Imho, he is just as much of a non-PoV sub-protagonist as Doran, Jorah, or Stannis for that matter.

      Hope this helps…..and give MariamB some credit! 🙂

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    50. Wimsey,

      If I may provide some constructive criticism, it seems that almost all of your comments are arguments. That definitely gets tiring. Also not every post needs to be a wall of text 🙂 . Maybe you can add a tl;dr summary at the bottom

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    51. King Tommen,

      You’ve got valid points on the way the original story is in the books and on patience (great thing to have in life in general)

      But again Im just talking about the show regarding consistency in story telling and logical sequencing of events. I like the story/show for its totality and events occurring in this imaginary world we are immersed in and not just certain characters that general audience root for.

      Im not bitching or whining either, its still the best thing on TV, and I understand it is challenging for them to keep all these actors around too. It could very well be that actors for Edmure, BF, Thoros (my personal fav character) had other projects going on etc and D&D HAD to ignore their characters! (If that turns out to be the case it then rejects our “protagonists” loving friend’s reasoning for their omission)

      Hell, no one even cared when lord Umber mysteriously disappeared after Season 1 ended! S1 invested a lot showing him as Robb’s closest ally and then poof, gone with no sign and no mention where he went! Well they lost the actor for some reason and decided to just move on w/o him! Thats a case of unfortunate but justifiable inconsistency!

        Quote  Reply

    52. Hodor’s Bastard:
      Wimsey,

      Hope this helps…..and give MariamB some credit!

      Thanks! I’m not quite sure how a mention of “I like the BF and want to see him again” ended up in an lecture about the role of protagonists in literature. (If I had a dime for every time the word “protagonist” was used in this thread, I could retire.)

      Hodor’s Bastard:
      Wimsey,
      While you always try to wedge ASoI&F into academic jibjab, GRRM has a habit of screwing with our sensibilities.

      Although you make many fun and valid points that attempt to fit GRRM’s storylines into a logical rattrap, sometimes you should take a step back and let folks (and yourself) appreciate their perspective regarding the minor stuff (that may become major stuff…). Maybe if this was a completed series, your views on protagonist and “foils” would have more merit, but there are too many balls in the air for anyone to be too assertive, imho.

      Agree on the “academic jibjab.” While there is time and place for those type of discussions, it doesn’t mean that every post here must argue for that perspective. This is a fan site for a TV show. Sometimes it perfectly acceptable to come here and say “I like (insert name of random minor character) just because and want to see more of him/her.” Not everything has to have a logic do it…especially because this story is not finished yet.

      King Tommen: If your argument is that the show shouldn’t introduce characters and then not come back to them for a long time, then I have no idea how you continue to read the books since that’s pretty much all Martin does with any character that isn’t a POV (and some that are).

      I would imagine there is a reason that Blackfish and the BwB were introduced and kept alive on the show the way they were. It’s just not going to be dealt with in Season 5 (most likely). Patience is a virtue, anyone who reads these books should be acutely aware of that.

      Agree. I think that some of these “minor” characters are there for a reason. Some will prove to be only window dressing while a few may have an impact on the story. I actually enjoy that aspect of GRRM’s narrative. Trying to figure out who may do what (or not) is part of the game.

      Let’s keep this in mind: “Ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.

      There is no reason why readers/viewers cannot root for a non-protagonist. Or why we should view the role of a background character only thru the perspective of how they impact (or don’t impact) Jaime, Dany, Jon, etc.

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    53. So it sounds like they reversed the order of the purchase. In the books Tyrion is easy to sell because (with Penny) they are a good buy as entertainment. Jorah is a surly beast who looks ready to rip someone’s head off so is probably going to be sold for hard labor until Tyrion intervenes saying he’s the “bear” in their show.

      Here Tyrion is instead advocating on his own behalf rather than Jorah’s… I rather enjoyed the book version because Tyrion doesn’t even really understand why he’s helping, and it’s one of the few moments in adwd where he does something halfways decent. So I’m not sure why they’d change it?

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    54. GiGAFART,

      WeirwoodTreeHugger,

      If he is the person who auctions the slaves then yueah small part – but if he is the buyer of the slaves then his part could go for a few seasons. It kind of depends what part he is. But not much of a change from the books. I don’t mind them making new characters instead of using the book characters for small roles such Brown Ben Plumm.

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    55. Reema,

      Have you read the books? If not, go read them and find out.

      But I do agree I don’t think Yezzen buys Jorah or Tyrion, I think they have that wrong.

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    56. chamush,

      They have followed up with the Riverlands maybe not as much as you like but mainly have through Arya and the Hound. Running into those guys, keeping the King’s Peace. Also, when they ran into biter and Arya killed him, lastly when they met the farmer on Tully land and the Hound took his silver. They have shown the land burned and torn apart. Maybe they aren’t focusing enough on the Riverlands like you want but they have clearly shown the aftermath and stating if you are good and live in the center of Westeros you will fail.

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    57. TheTouchOfFrost,

      When a show starts to become a cultural phenomenon bigger names want to be tied to it. GoT is quickly turning into one of the best shows in history and actors want to be a part of that. When they do they also bring a fan base.

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    58. Turncloak: If I may provide some constructive criticism, it seems that almost all of your comments are arguments.

      For someone like me, you can offer no higher praise! No, I will never just assert something: if I think it, then I am going to support it, and that is the definition of an argument. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y)

      (You do not, for example, see me asserting that they should have put Val in the program: “Wimsey [probably] would enjoy seeing the character enacted” is not a justification! I am a fanboy who probably would have enjoyed watching the Hobbits hang out at Bombadils and who loves it when old enemies come back on Doctor Who; but I am a fanboy who realizes that fanboys/girls are the LAST people at which to tailor an adaptation.)

      Hodor’s Bastard: While “kill the boy, and let the man be born” may be Jon’s mantra, GRRM has twisted it somewhat:

      Well, maybe: not all of us think

      that Jon is actually going to “die.” (Badly wounded and then magically getting better is still very much in the cards.)

      Either way, it’s not like other stories don’t do this, is it?

      Hodor’s Bastard: What is a protagonist in this series? Maybe Jon, Dany and Tyrion fit the mold but the other PoVs not so much:

      Sure they do. Protagonists in modern literature, movies and (since the 1980’s or so) TV run the spectrum of possible characters. In SoI&F, all of the primary PoV characters have strong parallels in their dynamic development (and, no, I don’t consider “parallels” or “dynamic development” to be “academic jib-jab”! 🙂 ): that’s not so much “classic” as it is the definition of what protagonists are. The Cersei- or Theon- type protagonists certainly are common: heck, it seems like half of the Booker awards of the last 10 years have featured even less likable protagonists as the leads! (The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and Dexter made mints on these types of protagonists on TV.) I understand from friends with daughters a bit older than my son that Arya- and Sansa-like protagonists are common in a large market of book series aimed at “tween” (and early teen) females. Davos- and Samwell-like protagonists abound in all sorts of literature as minor protagonists torn between being supportive and being helpful where friends/lovers/family are concerned.

      (There is academic jib-jab distinguishing primary protagonists from minor protagonists, unpleasant protagonists from likeable protagonists, etc., but I always forget those. There also is a term for storytelling in which Protagonist A and Protagonist B are each other’s antagonists, but I forget that, too.)

      The variety in protagonist types and how likeable they are is something that GoT shares with many other TV shows that are both popular and critically acclaimed. I actually suspect that book critics might appreciate SoI&F if they could see past the dragons and swords: but, unfortunately, it is much harder for literary critics to do that than it is for TV and film critics, which is quite a statement!

      Hodor’s Bastard: Regarding some argumentative BF plot points that you requested (book only…the show is up in the air with this key continuity aspect):
      ….
      Hope this helps…..

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t. I do not dispute that claims 1-3 are true. (#6 is certainly is true.) #4 might be true: but I suffer from Crows dementia as almost nothing in that book stays in my memory. If #5 and #7 are true, then that is for Season 6 to deal with: there will not be a payoff in Season 5, so that argues to leave it out. (Martin will need to make it true in Winter: I, for one, see the Riverlands as a horse corpse with a lot of post-mortem post-Swords damage.)

      However, none of these support the original claim was that the Riverlands add depth to the story. (I was not responding to “I like the Riverlands”: the two statements are unrelated!) Is this narrative depth? Sure: but literary storytelling demands this sort of narrative depth in the same way that enacted story telling demands props, costumes, effects and background characters. If Martin had not done it in the Riverlands and with Riverland characters, then he would have had to do it somewhere else with other characters. That is a demand of the literary medium: the story might be in the italicizes lines, but those lines need supporting text.

      What I require is that these things add depth to Jaime’s

      try to show the world that I am Tywin II and really show the world that I am a Lannister with a soul

      storyline. This would have worked (and I put it in spoilers because I am telling people what does NOT happen!):

      the Riverland offering Jaime a unique opportunity to repeat some “war-crime” or utterly ruthless act that Tywin had committed earlier in the story in the Riverlands or against the Tullys, only to have Jaime come up with a peaceful and/or humane solution.

      Alternatively, this would have worked:

      giving Jaime to take personal revenge against the Blackfish after the Blackfish had taken his hand, and instead having Jaime show BF mercy that Daddy would not have done

      : that would have been great. There surely are more ways that we could imagine, but all of them require an additional imagination: a time machine. The show (and books) didn’t do the things necessary in Seasons 1-2 to tailor the Riverlands to Jaime in a way that the RL (or BF or BwoB) could add sometihng to the story that transcended the actual deeds.

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    59. Another pointless made up character by D & D. Adewale should be playing Moqorro!!! what a waste.

      Season Five is going to be awful.

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    60. Wimsey,

      Well, we’ve done a good job of hijacking this thread so I shall continue. I must admit that you retort well, even if I don’t align neatly. 🙂

      I agree that BF does serve as a foil for Jaime, but as I’ve stated before, he is so much more. I fully believe that many storylines are going to coalesce in the Riverlands/Vale in the coming book and BF will continue to surge in importance for the reasons I’ve defined before, which is much more than an “I like the Riverlands” perspective. Plus, Jaime is simply another player in the Riverlands coalescence. Although improbable, a BF PoV could even to usurp the JL PoV and screw up all sorts of projections and prophecies. 🙂

      For brevity’s sake, what I am obviously trying to point out is that not all PoVs are protagonists in this tale, and in the past two books many more of them are actually foils for non-PoV protagonists or are actually antagonists themselves. I’m still trying to noodle out the Hotah PoV rationale rather than have a superbly interesting Doran PoV. Even the Queenmaker plot was observed through Arianne’s PoV so Hotah’s PoV is goofy to me. But the tale is not complete, so…..BF could (and should) rise in significance.

      “You must be blind as well as maimed, Ser. Lift your eyes, and you will see the direwolf still flies above our walls.”
      — BF

      ——–

      Back on topic…AAA’s role seems similar in importance as Joseph Gatt’s Thenn warg role. A decent actor in a few GoT cameos. Yay. However, his name, “Malko,” is almost a dig at the Sullied who want an interesting Moqorro character, but it seems GoT’s quota of red priests has already been filled. 🙂

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    61. Dragonslayer:
      Related question: Yezzan should have a pretty big role since he was announced a SDCC but we haven’t heard much about him, How much screentime will he get?

      I don’t think that being announced at SDCC is necessarily an indication that the role is going to be pretty big. I’m not sure how that role could be much more than what it is in the books.

      Clearly, there will be some changes. The fact that he’s a Meereenese slaver (and that he isn’t a fat slug) suggests that he could be interacting somewhat with Dany prior to Tyrion arriving on the scene. But the show already has Hizdahr to provide the Meereenese perspective so I can’t see him doing too much there.

      In terms of what he does with Tyrion, you have to allow enough time in the season for Tyrion to get to that point (Pentos with Varys, travelling through Volanits, meeting with Jorah, getting (captured?) by Malko etc) so that doesn’t seem to leave much time for Yezzan to be a big part of Tyrion’s story. Furthermore, in the shots we see of Daznak’s pit, Tyrion is hanging around Dany’s entourage but Yezzan is nowhere to be seen so it doesn’t appear like he plays that big of a part in Tyrion’s journey.

      I’d venture to say he’s in 2 episodes with the possibility of being in a couple more earlier in the season if he’s part of the Meereenese crew that Dany interacts with for some reason.

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    62. WiC just posted this story and actually linked here, which I think is a first (without them needing to be prompted). So good on them!

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    63. Hodor’s Bastard: Well, we’ve done a good job of hijacking this thread so I shall continue. I must admit that you retort well, even if I don’t align neatly

      Thanks! And I see where you are going with your points. Indeed, I do like to “argue”: not to fight, but to discuss Idea A vs. Idea B.

      Hodor’s Bastard: For brevity’s sake, what I am obviously trying to point out is that not all PoVs are protagonists in this tale, and in the past two books many more of them are actually foils for non-PoV protagonists or are actually antagonists themselves.

      Oh, very true: being a PoV character is a necessary but insufficient condition for being a protagonist. Hotah, Mel, Kevan, etc., all provide PoVs without being protagonists. Usually what they do is provide additional development of a protagonist: after all, what I think of myself (or you think of yourself) is only part of the story; what other people think of either of us think of us would develop us quite a bit more in some 3rd party’s mind.

      Hodor’s Bastard: I fully believe that many storylines are going to coalesce in the Riverlands/Vale in the coming book and BF will continue to surge in importance for the reasons I’ve defined before, which is much more than an “I like the Riverlands” perspective.

      The plot lines certainly will coalesce. However, I am expecting this to swamp out most of the remnants of the War of Five Kings, save for Baratheon vs. Lannister.

      Coalescing the story lines is actually a very interesting issue. We are going to get a lot more situations where more than one protagonist is in the room. Now, to an extent that lets Martin use one protagonist to develop another protagonist. However, it also means that (say) whatever is going through Tyrion’s mind while Daeny thinks something will be lost to us: we’ll get what Tyrion says, but we all know that Tyrion (and all the other protagonists) think a lot that they leave unsaid or even opposite of what they think. (Tyrion is particularly prone to ironic statements!)

      Here is an exercise: how will the story lines coalesce? My predictions (in spoilers because they are based heavily on Crows/Dragons material):

      Daeny+Tyrion, then Daeny+Tryion+Arya before hitting Westeros; (I am betting that Victarion snuffs it by then, and Quentyn is out of the picture.)
      Jon+Theon, then Jon+Theon+Davos (after Davos recovers Bran);
      Jaime+Brienne, then Jaime+Brienne+Cersei.

      Here is my wild “just a hunch based on loose foreshadowing”:

      Sansa+bArianne/tvTrystane, leading to
      (Daeny+Tryion+Arya)+(Sansa+bArianne/tvTrystane) leading to:
      That is, I think that we’ll get some dancing with wolves at the same time as we get dancing with dragons, and that will lead to dragons/wolves united against lions:
      (Daeny+Tryion+Arya)+(Sansa+bArianne/tvTrystane) + (Jaime+Brienne+Cersei)

      Then that will go to:
      (Daeny+Tryion+Arya)+(Sansa+bArianne/tvTrystane)+(Jon+Theon+Davos) at the Wall, with three dragons, three wolves, a ton of tension, and a common foe transcending that.

      And, of course, the odds on my being correct are pretty low: this is all just based on proximity and where I think that Martin is taking this story, and even those allow for a lot of different pathways!

      Oh, and and Mr. Akinnuoye-Agbaje can have his thread back if he releases the Geek Liberation Front. (I saw them on 60 Minutes.)

      🙂

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    64. Wimsey:
      Coalescing the story lines is actually a very interesting issue.We are going to get a lot more situations where more than one protagonist is in the room.Now, to an extent that lets Martin use one protagonist to develop another protagonist.However, it also means that (say) whatever is going through Tyrion’s mind while Daeny thinks something will be lost to us: we’ll get what Tyrion says, but we all know that Tyrion (and all the other protagonists) think a lot that they leave unsaid or even opposite of what they think.(Tyrion is particularly prone to ironic statements!)

      That is perhaps the single most interesting aspect of TWoW/ADoS for me. As more PoVs coalesce, which PoV shall do the honors of being the narrator? That must be a huge challenge for GRRM.

      I felt a bit cheated that we didn’t get a single Brienne PoV in ADwD before she appeared and merged briefly with Jaime’s PoV. Will GRRM continue using Jaime’s PoV further, given what we know of Brienne’s mission? If so, that is probably spoiler territory in-and-of itself. Also in TWoW, will Jon’s PoV merge with the conveniently-newly-minted Mel’s PoV or will there be a cool warged Ghost PoV?

      Regarding your thread-merging predictions with Trystane, I cannot comment. I’m still baffled regarding that change. Long live Griff!

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    65. Hodor’s Bastard: Regarding your thread-merging predictions with Trystane, I cannot comment. I’m still baffled regarding that change. Long live Griff!

      I think that Tyrstane is going to be

      an amalgamation of Arianne and Quentyn, not a replacement for Aegon. I am expecting that tvTyrstand combines bArianne’s and bQuentyn’s roles of Queen-maker and Royal-Consort aspirants, plus bArianne’s role of working the game without realizing Doreen’s actual strategy and tactics.

      As for who does the narration in the multi protagonist chapters to come, my best guess is that we’ll get blocks in particular extended scenes, with chapters switching off from one protagonist to another. In published books, we get that at the Twins for the Red Wedding (Arya-Catelyn handoffs) and at Kings Landing at the Purple Wedding (Tyrion-Sansa handoffs). We get Ned-Arya-Sansa sequences in Thrones, I think, and Jon-Sam tradeoffs at the Wall, too.

      I am interested to see if we get more “overlapping” chapters: that is events 1 through 5 from Cersei’s PoV, and events 5-9 from Jaime’s PoV, events 9-13 from Brienne’s PoV or something like that. (I doubt that he’ll change the format radically and give us multiple PoVs in single chapters.) This is one area where TV/film has an advantage over books (or at least those written the way that Martin does): you can do multiple main characters in the same way in a scene the same way that you do just one main character in a different scene.

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    66. Stargaryen,

      No issue with that as long as it doesn’t rock the boat. If it’s a minor character it remains a minor character no matter how big the actor coming in is or how much they’re being paid. Just hope D&D are of the same train of thought.

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    67. Hodor’s Bastard: That is perhaps the single most interesting aspect of TWoW/ADoS for me. As more PoVs coalesce, which PoV shall do the honors of being the narrator? That must be a huge challenge for GRRM.

      Regarding your thread-merging predictions with Trystane, I cannot comment. I’m still baffled regarding that change. Long live Griff!

      The choice of narrators will be interesting especially in Meereen.

      We will have Dany, Tyrion, Barristan and Victarion meeting up soon. Clearly, a few of them aren’t going to last much longer. Same with the emerging situation in the Riverlands.

      I, too, am baffled by the beefing up of Trystane’s role. There has been a lot of worthy explanation as to why it was done but I’m still not happy about it.

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    68. mariamb,

      Regarding Trystane…I’m baffled that HBO/D&D would pass up an opportunity to portray an empowered, highly sexualized, plotting woman (Margaery, ver 2.0) and instead offer up a simple amalgamated teenage “prince who would be king” storyline.

      I believe the Queenmaker scenario is an important aspect of ASoI&F and I hope they do it justice in GoT. Not only does it emphasize the empowerment of women in Dorne (as initiated by the Targ Nymeria) but it supports their ambitions to change the course of Westeros rule…..but just wait until they (the SS in particular) figure out that Myrcella is not legit. 🙂

      Perhaps that last point will be overtly explored with Jaime in Dorne, which could prove interesting….and dangerous. I think Trystane and Myrcella may suffer a more severe outcome than ADwD presented….with Jaime/Bronn in the mix. Still, I will miss the celluloid interpretation of Arianne.

      High hopes for Doran, Ellaria and the SS (especially Nymeria…can you tell that I am a Nymeria fan?). May their significance, plotting and vengeance be driven home during S5.

      Grieving for the lack of Griff folk though. 🙁

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    69. mariamb: I, too, am baffled by the beefing up of Trystane’s role. There has been a lot of worthy explanation as to why it was done but I’m still not happy about it.

      It should make for much better TV than including both Quentyn & Arianne, and that’s the important thing: finding a way to keep the key protagonists while streamlining Martin’s narrative. After all, Quentyn + Arianne = ~1 interesting protagonist in the books, too! 🙂

      Hodor’s Bastard: Grieving for the lack of Griff folk though

      Well, when you get down to it, the Griffs did not contribute that much to the Dragons’ story. Connington’s storyline certainly fit, but was: 1) muted & 2) basically redundant with Tyrion & Theon. I think it highly probable that they will contribute a lot to the Winter story, whatever that is (torn between sides, perhaps?): but that is Season 6.

      (You do raise an interesting idea concerning the possible TV fates of some of the characters involved: that actually will tell us a lot about how other characters are going to unwind in Winter & Spring.)

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    70. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Wimsey,

      After reading the Dorne chapters the only ones who I had any interest in were Doran and Arianne. The rest were very forgettable.
      I still think Trystane being combined with young Griff would be the most sensible and interesting way of making such an minor character worthwhile, keeping Dorne, Varys and the Sandsnakes (if we must have them) relevant and not tying everything to Dany and her plodding and uninteresting storyline. This would IMO be the best way of combining/streamling elements from the books and not wandering too far away from the source material (which I’m very worried about them doing this next season).
      Anyone claiming that the Griffs aren’t important is either foolish or can predict the future. You can like or dislike them but to try and second guess the creator is a bit arrogant.

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    71. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Every new day I appreciate the title of “ADwD” more….it’s slightly-bloated text truly followed the gory and mundane details and periphery of the dancing dragons (and dragon wannabees) in this amazing tale: D, A, & J.

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    72. TheTouchOfFrost: Anyone claiming that the Griffs aren’t important is either foolish or can predict the future. You can like or dislike them but to try and second guess the creator is a bit arrogant.

      You misunderstand what I wrote. The Griffs were not important to the Dragons’ story. That is, Martin could have told that particular story just as well without them. This does NOT preclude them from being important in the Winter story: Winter will be, after all, its own story, and probably as different from the Crows/Dragons story as that story was from the stories in Thrones or Clash.

      In fact, the prediction for the future that I offered was that the Griffs will become important in Winter. However, that is Season 6: and things important for the first time in Season 6 should be introduced in Season 6. After all, did it hurt the story told in Season 4 that Oberyn wasn’t in Seasons’ 1-3?

      TheTouchOfFrost: I still think Trystane being combined with young Griff would be the most sensible and interesting way of making such an minor character worthwhile,

      The problem I have with this is that I don’t see how Trystane could be combined with Young Griff. It’s very easy to see how the could make Trystane an amalgam of Arianne & Quentyn: he can easily be the

      pretty young prince attempting to impress Daddy by aspiring to be Queenmaker and Royal Consort: but completely overreaching and failing in the end.

      If he does that, then Tyrstane is Ariantyn.

      However, I cannot see how Tyrstane can be a foil for

      getting Tyrion to start reaching up from self-pitying drunk to becoming Tyrion Lannister again

      . (That is how Trystane would be a replacement for Young Griff in Dragons.) Looking ahead, I don’t see how he can be used in the future to

      present Daeny with the dilemma of choosing between right of deed and right of primogeniture, and forcing Sansa, Arya, etc., to choose between Targaryens as well as to choose between some Targaryen and Stannis

      . (That is what I anticipate would be necessary for Trystane to be a replacement for Young Griff in Winter & Spring.)

      This is one big difference: I’m assuming that Trystane is going to be a minor protagonist (like Arianne & Quentyn, albeit slightly bigger for being both combined), and not a supporting character (like Young Griff). I was only half-joking when I wrote that Quentyn & Arianne combined made for approximately one interesting protagonist!

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    73. Hodor’s Bastard,

      I thought it was fine as a book. Probably the weakest in the series but coming off of SoS it had a lot of building to do and a lot of characters to introduce. Plus when it’s not featuring all of the characters some people will be annoyed that their favourites aren’t in there.

      Wimsey,

      Wasn’t specifically referring to you but…
      You may be right but surely it was better of him to introduce those characters now so they’re on the radar. Was done in a unintrusive way too as part of other characters journeys. I’d say that book-wise at least it would be hard for them not to have a significant effect on the overarcing plot.

      Will put this all in spoilers just in case…

      I’d argue it’s much easier to blend him in. Lookinf at Arianne and Quentyn, both are pretty non-crucial without the marriage bonds to Targs transfer that to the show and Arianne’s Queenmaking has been passed to otehrs and Quentyn doesn’t exist ( good IMO as he was a bit pointless).
      Now if we look at Trystane being revealed as Aegon. He already has already made the ties between Aegon and Dorne. The Sand Snakes now have a reason to get in position. Doran can adopt the Connington role ( I fear he’ll be irrelevant if not) as a protector who is on borrowed time (through age and not greyscale). Varys looks like his master plan is coming to fruition instead of being a chancer jumping on the Dany bandwagon, Dorne and it’s armies stay relevant, it makes sense Aegon is smuggled to Dorne (his mother’s homeland) instead of being sent to Essos, streamlines everything down and him striking at Griffons Roost can be worked in pretty much any time after this next season. It all fits very well IMO and would include the elements of the Aegon twist that may be missed out on whilst simulataneously keeping Dorne and it’s characters relevant. It’d be a great example of streamlining which is what the show adaption should really be about. Rather see that than D&D wandering further away from the core storylines.

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    74. TheTouchOfFrost: You may be right but surely it was better of him to introduce those characters now so they’re on the radar.

      Oh, I agree that it was better for GRRM to introduce them then and there in the books. If nothing else, than books demand more events than TVs and movies do: GRRM needed something like them then and there to push Tyrion’s development along. A TV show won’t need that. This is a situation where what is good for the books would be bad for the TV series, that is all: and that is hardly uncommon when we look at book->film adaptations!

      As for Q&A, I was not worrying about the effects of the Characters in Question on the overall plot. I was concerned with what they contributed to the Dragon’s story:

      both are “overreaching” (like Cersei, Victarion, Asha, etc.) by trying to play Queenmaker (albeit for different Queens) and doing so in large part to impress Daddy (albeit for different reasons). Ariantyn would actually be more Arianne than Quentyn: he’s trying to put a different Queen on the throne than his father supports, he’s probably using sexual magnetism as a tool (albeit for the prospective Queen, not other people), and he’s acting towards his own ends rather than towards his father’s long-con.

      So, amalgamating Q&A->T would keep the show on the core storyline of

      people reaching up from their current status

      , while offering one example where Q&A offer two (both fail colossally!), not alter with the over-arching plot by retaining

      Arianne’s plot that probably has long-term implications while cutting Quentyn’s plot that probably does not

      , and simply be much easier to show on TV.

      The big reason I expect to see the Griffs introduced next year is simply because the TV show will want some new supporting characters every year. TV shows like this can grow “stale” if there is not turnover. Moreover, if they are going to let us know next year who Jon’s parents are, then adding these particular characters could be a good way to streamline the necessary background details. And, of course, there probably will be some deaths reducing the cast, so it won’t be “crowding” the picture much. (Hodor’s Bastard‘s suggestion strikes me as a realistic one, too!) Moreover, the show has cut out some other regional plot lines and some lesser protagonists, which means that it should have room to fit this in as the overall plot lines and individual story lines begin to anastomize.

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    75. Man! This word “protagonist” is like crack! You need to get rid of it, you need help man!!!

      But seriously your English is very hard to read and understand. Im sure its because Im not sophisticated enough but still if I had to choose between easy and understandable writing vs. overdone and complicated, I’d go team easy.

      Having said that, I absolutely respect/admire your polite, long and yet hard to understand comments.

      In conclusion, D&D you better bring back:
      Riverlands
      Edmure
      Thoros
      Berric
      Freys
      And long live Blackfish!

      All protagonists must die!

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    76. chamush,

      What if we just get GRRM to agree to write a sequel series (first book due out in 2060) called “The Awesomeness That Is Blackfish”?

      😀

      As for not using “protagonist,” I’d find it as tough to do that as I would to write about baseball without using “shortstop” and “starting pitcher” or cricket without “bowler” and “wicket-keeper”. Everybody has a position in a game: and if your team needs a new pitcher or bowler, then you don’t discuss using a shortstop or wicket-keeper: you discuss other pitchers and bowlers!

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    77. Wimsey,

      I dunno. I think the Queenmaker plot will only factor in this season so Trystane will become a throwaway character if it does. This would give him more longevity and importance. I think introducing that important a character that late on in the show would be very hard to do ( they need to start resolving things if they insist on sticking to this small 7 season window) so would make sense to use Trystane as FA so the audience are already familiar with him to some extent. I think/hope Season 6 will see the introduction of Euron and perhaps the players from Old Town and maybe Howland Reed (if he ever turns up…or is revealed to be someone who may already have! 😉 ). I think it would start to get messy if they have to work the Griffs in around then especially as they should be focused on telling the story and moving towards an ending instead of bedding new characters in.

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    78. LOL! that was good man 🙂 your’e good

      I really like that! Maybe I should start my own fan fiction BS lonely crap blog and write Blackfish stories of what he is doing in the forests of Riverlands until he shows up in the show again!!!

      BTW You totally distracted me from how much I hate “protagonist” by mentioning baseball which is probably the worst thing ever invented in human history besides nukes!

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    79. chamush,

      Blackfish Uberblog

      Chapter 1: How to hold one’s breath and swim underwater for 800m
      Chapter 2: Evading a large pack of wolves and direwolf by climbing trees
      Chapter 3: Eavesdropping on the BwB and a strange hooded person as they hang some Freys
      Chapter 4: My dinner with Howland Reed

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    80. Hodor’s Bastard,

      🙂 Awesome, you triggered it for me.

      Im gonna quit my job, work hard and turn Blackfish into a Marvel like superhero and finally shove it into face of the masses.

      Suck it Wimsey, if he is not a “protagonist” I’ll make him into one!
      He is a badass with superpowers such as threat detecting urination alert system!

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    81. TheTouchOfFrost,
      There are two issues here. Yes,

      the Queenmaker plot will itself be just this season, just as it was confined to one story. However, that plot then anagenetically evolves into the Martells for Targaryen! And that in turn is going to bleed into Martells for One or More Targaryens in Winter. (The Arianne chapter strongly hints that whether they will cast for Aegon or Daeny, or try to broker a union, or something else will be a big issue for them).

      But one thing that we do have to keep in mind: regardless of what is happening in Season 6, B&W have to tell this season’s story. A Q&A amalgam could be very effective for that: and it’s a bonus that it’s probably a good setup for where Winter is going to go. (One thing that we also have to remember is that B&W know what is happening in Winter: we have only a 4-5 early chapters.)

      Regarding the others that you mention, I think that these are all very small potatoes compared to the Griffs. Each seems to be a one plot element line that won’t effect the actual story. As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if

      Euron is cut altogether. He is an background character who never even has a line in the book, and who seems to be just there to provide a plot device (a dragon taming horn) that the show can just skip altogether. I suspect that Oldtown won’t get much, either: that’s barely present in the books, and it seems to be setting up single plot points, too. I think that Howand Reed might be expendable: after all, GRRM fans have many ideas about how Jon will learn that Lyanna was his mother. More than one of them is very plausible: and that means that B&W can use one of the ones that fits in most neatly with the existing characters on the show.

      In other words, I think that these will be like Merry’s Arnorian sword being key for killing the Witch King: the movie completely ignored it, but despite Tolkien fans howling that nobody could understand how the Witch King died, millions and millions of non-geeks never wondered how Eowyn’s sword shoved through the WK’s head caused his death.

      The Griffs probably are going to be much greater than a one off plot-provider. I am betting that they are going to be a bombshell on the Winter story as much as on the plot: my wager is on the story revolving around (spoilers because my suspicions are based on the early chapters as well as the closing setup chapters in Dragons)

      Am I on Side A, Side B or Side C? There will be a general Targaryen vs. Baratheon vs. Lannister war: but at this point, the Lannisters are going to be toast in short order. Daeny might not be back for that: but when she does get back, it’s going to be Targaryen vs. Targaryen vs. Stannis. So, Aegon’s presence is going to mean that Sansa, Arya and the Northmen supporting Rickon are going to have to choose not just between Stannis and Daenyrs, but between Stannis, Daeny and Aegon. That’s key because we’ve already gotten hints that they would prefer Targaryens to Baratheons; moreover, we know that they are sexist pigs that prefer men to women; however, dragons are a three very convincing argument to prefer the woman in this case.

      My thought is that Martin will deal with this in Winter: and that is going to lead to the Trees vs. R’hllor vs. White Walkers final conflict with the humans split amongst them.

      chamush:
      Suck it Wimsey, if he is not a “protagonist” I’ll make him into one!
      He is a badass with superpowers such as threat detecting urination alert system!

      heh, there has got to be a fan-fiction website devoted to just that.

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    82. Ladies and gentlemen, we are getting Adebisi! Enough said! Man… reading some of the fucktarded comments here on this tread…it seems that the shortbus dropped a lot of special needs trolls again…

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    83. Wimsey,

      If it pans out the way you suppose then Dorne is still an aferthought. Dany has enough suitors already without trying to wedge Trystane into it to replace the not-missed Quentyn. Doran will be sat on the sidelines as will all the Sandsnakes and Varys has his character development sacrificed. If everyone has moved into position already for Aegon’s attack (which is why I like his story more than Dany’s he actually does stuff!) then what do they do whilst we wait for Dany plodding her way through more Slaver’s Bay dullness (ironically it’s got more interesting now she’s gone and Selmy and the Ironborn are tacking more of a role) which is going to take even longer now she seems to be backtracking in her development to the whole Dothraki stuff again. Arianne and Trystane are both easily cut if you cut out the middle man/woman and make Trystane Aegon. Saves much needless faffing about introducing characters later on.
      Again you’re making a lot of assumptions about characters. No one except GRRM knows what role Euron will play but the fact he’s been sat on the sidelines for a while suggests he’s going o do something significant. I personally think Howland Reed is the High Sparrow (for easons I won’t go into here as it will expand the discussion out too far) so is pretty easy to include with the right build and backstory.
      I’m think Dany will never sit the throne and actually end up at the Wall saving the realm and as a flip Jon Snow will find himself on the Iron Throne or at least in the North. The Lannisters look like a spent force at the moment and I imagine their story now is purely about the personal stories of the three siblings. Don’t want to make much more specualtion partly because there’s so much to resolve I can’t see how GRRM will do it in two books and even less how the show will do it in 3 more seasons.

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    84. Of course I am making assumptions! One of the main assumptions that I am making is that if any characters that are just background (or tertiary or incidental or however you want to call it) characters up to this point are going to remain lesser characters in Winter & Spring. At this point, the big characters should be up front and center: if you are waiting in the wings, well, that’s as close as you are going to get to center stage.

      (Note: that is what I am assuming for the book; I am making different assumptions about the TV series because of the different natures of the two beasts.)

      This (plausibly) will leave

      Dorne and (more importantly) Dornish characters in the forefront of the story in the books. Martin has set it up so that Dorne is going to support Aegon. Thus, what makes the Dornish plotlines in Crows & Dragons keeping is that they will do more than contribute to Season 5’s story: they will

      As for how Martin will finish this, well I suspect that it’s going to be something like this:

      Winter will primarily revolve around Targaryens vs. Lannisters vs. Baratheons. One big part will be how the “at large” Starks align themselves: and it probably will be different sides. Daeny does have some moving to do: but basically all the terms for her to start heading west have pretty much been met. And Tyrion probably has the right of it: hearing about Aegon could well be the trigger that does this. The “Dance” might well start after that: historically, immediate allies often fall out after defeating a common enemy.

      Spring then will scale up our A vs. B vs. C war: it’s going to be the duel to determine who (if anyone) is/are the Azor Azai. And it will involve the fact that at least two of the three “big” sides (Walkers, R’hllor & Trees) view anyone not with them as against them. Martin does still have to provide somethings about the Walkers, R’hllor and (possibly) the Trees that will make us stop and wonder whether we really want them to lose or win. More importantly, it will make the key protagonists wonder: after all, it will be their italicized self-musings that “discuss” the right vs. wrong of these things for us to read.

      A lot of the small details (Euron & his horn, that one Maester, remaining details within Westeros) will get swept up along in this.

      And that’s one other key assumption: I am not expecting elaborate play outs for a lot of the smaller details. To the contrary, I am expecting small play outs OR that several smaller details will culminate in the same big play out.

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    85. Add one thing to that:

      Daeny might need to make a stop at Asshai: but it’s also possible that the “shadow” refers to something else from Asshai or associated with it.

      But other than that, she’s ready to roll.

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    86. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Since we are discussing Dorne, Trystane and the missing Aegon, let me ask a question:

      Since Quentyn has been mercifully eliminated from the show, who will release Viserion and Rhaegal? It seems that Quentyn’s plot purposes were a) to release V & R and b) to be rejected by Dany and die and thus give Dorne a reason not to support her when she shows up in Westeros. (Of course, Quentyn also represents the prince that doesn’t win the princess, etc.) Whether or not Trystane = Aegon (and I don’t think that he does), it is not likely that he will construct the Queenmaker plot and then head over to Meereen, let loose the dragons and get roasted.

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    87. mariamb,

      Since no roasted Dornish Quen, I think the release of R&V in the show will be the result of a terrorist action by the Harpy folk. They will be trying to kill the dragons anyway and the dragons will surprise them during the attack and escape. Since Daznak’s is probably ep9, then the Harpy attack may occur in ep10…or…worst case… they may delay it until S6. The VFX budget is a huge consideration for this scene and Daznak’s will expend a huge chunk of VFX $$, imho.

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    88. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Thanks – I like that suggestion. Terrorist action makes a great deal of sense. However, who would be the Harpy in the show? We don’t have the Shavepate or the Green Grace. Hizdahr perhaps? And please let it happen this season. The sooner that we get out of Meereen, the better.

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    89. mariamb,

      Yeah…

      I only mention “Harpy” because of previous speculation/leaks that the Harpy will attack at Daznak’s, causing Dany et al to run and also attracting Drogon. Facing whatever “conflicting force” within Meereen (and Yunkai/Astapor) will probably be the primary Dany storyline for S5….culminating in Dany escaping and the great Meereen battle looming.

      Should be great entertainment. Go Nutter!

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    90. mariamb,
      HB suggests one possibility. However, there are dozens more: it takes little imagination to come up with lots and lots of alternative ways to set this up that will be perfectly acceptable to the audience. The book sets up an obvious one:

      one or both of the dragons had broken his/her chains when Quentyn arrives. Open chains, door are open to take in lunch: and: free dragons! Alternatively, broken chains and dragons banging at a door: which subsequently leads to broken doors and free dragons. Etc., etc. Dragons are, well, dragons: and showing the audience just how powerful dragons now are isn’t a bad thing. It’s also cinematically appealing!

      Also, just to clarify:

      I think that Arianntyn’s Queenmaker plot would be contained completely to Dorne. Like Arianne in the books, Trystane will not know that his people are supposed to be falling in with Daenyrs. What I envision is Trystane’s “reaching up” will be in part to rise to his perception of Oberyn. That could work quite well because Oberyn was such a memorable character that the audience will quickly understand his end-goal. But he won’t leave Dorne, at least not this year.

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    91. Hodor’s Bastard,

      “Conflicting political force” is enough for me. I do like the idea that someone (or some group) is actively working against Dany. I’m sure it will be great on screen. Changes from the book are welcome. I am worried for our dear Ser Barristan, though.

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    92. Wimsey,

      I wouldn’t make that assumption myself as folks like Howland, Rickon and even Garlan Tyrell could potentially play significant roles. I think Euron will have a big purpose before all is said and one but we shall see what GRRM has planned.

      If you feel Dorne has been set up to support Aegon then would you agree it wouldn’t be that objectionable for Trystane to become Aegon so the show is on roughly the same page as the books only a bit tidier.

      No idea how it’s all going to end up as there’s still so many pots in the fire that the end game is far from predictable.

      mariamb,

      I think they’ll just have an featured extra do it ( perhaps AAA!?). As long as the dragons are loose that’s the main plot point there. I also think that there were some casting hints that some maesters were wanted to be fried. The lack of a Dorne attempt to woo Dany is easy to explain away. If they go with the Trystane is Aegon route then they would have no reason to contact Dany as he is their horse in the race and they could negotiate if/when she comes that way. That or they could have her dismiss the marriage proposal that has been sent from Dorne via a no mark character because she marries Hizdahr to keep peace in Mereen. I don’t think it would be plauasble for Trstane to get over there propose and get roasted before Dany and the pit events if they are going to have him feature in the Queenmaker stuff (which I think they really need to with no Arianne). I’m quite happy if no Dorne and Dany links are established as it would seem very odd that Varys and Doran’s plans are based around someone like Dany who they have very little knowledge or contact with and have made no attempt to protect whatsoever.

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    93. TheTouchOfFrost,
      That really wouldn’t work because

      playing Queenmaker is reaching up for someone like one of Doran’s kids. Sure, they are destined for socially significant titles, but both are reaching up for Power beyond that title. For Aegon, Eminince Gris would actually be a step down from what he should be aspiring to reach.

      There also is the problem that part of Arianne’s contribution to the story is that she is unwittingly working against her father’s wishes. A disguised Aegon (which is what I think you are suggesting Trystane would become in this) wouldn’t be working against Doran’s wish to restore the Targeryen. Indeed, there is no way that he could be oblivious to it the way that Arianne is.

      At any rate, I don’t see this idea as saving any time or streamlining things. Having Young Griff as in the books sans

      hosting Tyrion for a bit

      requires no more time than the major gear shift that the “Tyrstgon” model would. And as Season 5 has to do things for here and now in Season 5, and as “Arriantyn” could feed Martin’s 4th story well, I expect that they will do that. After all, one consistent aspect of B&W’s modifications has been to emphasize Martin’s stories. I see this possibility as very consistent with that, whereas I don’t think that “Tyrstgon” would be.

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    94. Wimsey,

      Not necessarily. 1/ He could be doing it for love. 2/ He may not be aware that he is Aegon 3/ Going to be a lot easier to claim the iron throne if his wife is in line to claim the throne too.
      To be honest, I think they may ditch the Queenmaker plot anyway as Jaime trying to get Myrcella back seems to be replacing it. That’s fine with me as it doesn’t have any serious plot significance without Arianne and the getting Myrcella back can achieve the same as Queenmaking for the purposes of plot points.
      Trystane could be unwittingly be working against his “father’s” wishes by endangering the plan by acting wrecklessly over Myrcella and rocking the boat so to speak. That or the Sandsnakes can take the role of being a pain in Doran’s arse as they’re not aware of his greater scheme.
      As long as Aegon is in, I’ll be happy but I just think it’s not wise to leave it too late in introducing him, especially when there is still so much left to do.

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    95. TheTouchOfFrost,
      Given how

      distinctive Targaryens are, and given that Aegon is the spitting image of Rhaegar, it seems kind of implausible that he could not know who he is! Given that TV has to show, it will be important that Aegon (sans blue hair dye or whatever) look distinctly like Daenyrs and Viserys. (In the same way, it was important for Martin to leave the cues that Jon looks very much like Arya, who in turn looks like Lyanna.)

      Jaime trying to get Mycrella back will have no bearing on the Queenmaker storyline. Jaime’s storyline is Watch Me Be Tyrwin II! Myrcella, Trystane, Doran, etc., all will be foils for that. If Trystane’s storyline is Watch Me Be Queenmaker!, then Myrcella, Jaime and Doran will be his foils.

      At any rate, the big thing to consider when contrasting TV and books is that “too late” comes at different points. Yes, Book 6 of 7 is too late to make background characters major players. No, Season 6 of 7 is not too late to introduce major players, especially if those major players are of the variety that induce the culmination of the plot lines and lead to the wrap up of overarching story. (Indeed, this is a big difference: TV shows need to do this to some small extent, as shows can grow stale with the same old cast recycled; the big exception for this is always the last season, where they stick to established cast and usually find any excuse in the book to bring back old characters.)

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    96. Wimsey,

      In that case I refer you to Aegon being aware but the sandsnakes not being and then they become your agents in the queenmaker plot. Toby Sebastian could quite easily pass as a Targ if he peroxided his hair. May even be a hint that they picked a paler-skinned actor to be Trystane ( whereas all other Dornish characters are of darker skin). I’d say he could pass as either Targ or Dornish or they may have him mixed-race to represent his shared Dornish/Targ heritage?
      Again you’re making sweeping assumptions! We do not know anything yet. It may , it may not but I can honestly live without it and think the Myrcella rescue could easily replace it as the story for Dorne. The Queenmaker plot was a bit of a stupid idea anyway as no idea why anyone involved thought it would work. The Sandsnakes seeking revenge is enough conflict and them kidnapping Myrcella for their own purposes or stopping Jaime getting her back makes more sense than a half-baked attempt at trying to put her on the Iron Throne.
      I just think getting an audience to give a crap about a character who’s just been introduced when the show is drawing to a close is a hard sell and I wouldn’t take the chance. Introduce him earlier and then he’s set for a storyline.

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    97. TheTouchOfFrost,

      These are not sweeping assumptions! We know what the story is for Season 5. We know that B&W adapt the plot, characters and other details to amplify the story on screen. So, it is NOT remotely close to being a major assumption that the modifications we know they have made (cutting Q&A, beefing up T) are being done with an eye to using T to contribute to the story on TV in essentially the same way that Q&A contribute to it in the books. It also is not a sweeping assumption that they are not doing it for some plot line that will see no fruition this year, given that they have done it in the past: and nor have any long running shows with overarching plot & stories of which I can think.

      Your model requires much more sweeping assumptions, such as

      having Trystgon somehow be disguising his Tragaryen features without knowing why, and or that a Myrcella rescue can somehow be bent into a “reaching up” story.

      , or that B&W will pursue a markedly different tactic than they have in the past, or that other long-running series with overarching plot lines and story lines have done. We use Occam’s Razor for a reason: novelty is the exception, not the rule!

      As for getting audiences to care, this is not a problem for other TV shows, and it has not been a problem for Thrones in the past. Every year, dozens of TV shows including long running shows (and including Thrones) do this. Obviously, they probably do not want to be introducing new lead characters at this point: but why are not talking about that. After all, the Griffs are not going to be lead characters in the books, so why should they be on screen? (That also is why they don’t have to setup a storyline now: Martin has already said no new protagonists, so we know that they are not going to have storylines in the books, either.)

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    98. Knowing they adapt things and “knowing” how they’re going to adapt them are two massively different things!
      Sure I explained a couple of times how

      the sandsnakes could take Arianne’s role and Trystane could already know who he is and why he is having to mask his real identity.

      You seem to get these ideas into your head like ‘reaching up’ and ‘man killing the boy’ , etc and think that they are exactly what the writers and directors are doing. It’s not outlandish to think that they most likely aren’t! Why does a Myrcella-centred story have to be about reaching up?! Not sure why it’s a novelty when it’s pretty much the exact same storyline as

      the Young Griff is Aegon

      only with a hew minor changes and different characters taking the roles.
      Come on now, characters introduced later in series lives struggle to get over simply because they have less time to do so. Possibly because lead characters in the books and Show are handled very differently. Stannis, Robb, Meslisandre and other protaganists (if we must persist in using the word!) have never been POV and Cersei, Jaime, Brienne and others haven’t had many chapters ( until AFFC). The Griffs, Euron, Arianne and others have already been introduced so how does that play into the no new main characters theory? They’re not new so can become more prominent? I’m sorry but second guessing not just the book’s writer but the creators of the TV show is either arrogant or foolish. Speculate like the rest of us but to claim it’s anything more than speculation is overreaching.

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    99. TheTouchOfFrost: Knowing they adapt things and “knowing” how they’re going to adapt them are two massively different things!

      But I know how they have adapted things. I also know how other workers using similar approaches have adapted things. I am assuming that they will continue to do things the way that they have done them, and in the way that is very common for producers to adapt books to TV/film. Why should I assume that they would start doing it differently out of the blue?

      TheTouchOfFrost: You seem to get these ideas into your head like ‘reaching up’ and ‘man killing the boy’ , etc and think that they are exactly what the writers and directors are doing. It’s not outlandish to think that they most likely aren’t!

      But, again: that’s what they have done so far. Each season has been an adaptation of the story in Martin’s books. So, after telling the Thrones story so well in Season 1, the Clash story so well in Season 2, and the Swords story so well in Seasons 3-4, why would they suddenly decide to tell a story different from the Crows/Dragons story in Season 5? I just do not expect that they will do something different after four years of doing the same thing. People like this live and breathe story: it besots and enraptures them far more than it does normal people. It’s no different from how other artists are about music, painting, etc., or how (say) scholars are when it comes down to hypothesis testing and models. Why should I assume that B&W are different from that?

      Now, I do acknowledge that Crows/Dragons tells a very different story from the ones in Thrones, Clash and Swords: but I don’t think that B&W are one trick ponies who can only tell a certain type of story well.

      TheTouchOfFrost: Why does a Myrcella-centred story have to be about reaching up?!

      Because every other storyline in the two books does that and I am assuming that they will remain consistent to Martin’s story, just as they’ve done before. Why would you assume that they would do a different story from the one in the books when they haven’t so far? Why would you assume that they would alter one of the story lines to not fit the overall story when they haven’t so far? This genuinely perplexes me!

      Now, you are correct that the show has made protagonists out of non-protagonists in the book. Robb is the classic case. Cersei’s been pulled forward as one, and they seem to have made Margaery a lesser-protagonist. (I am curious to see what they do with her this year.) However, it’s all been for the same effect in the end, and it is hardly uncommon: many book -> screen adaptations have shifted these things around because the producers thought that it would improve a cinematic presentation of the original story. (They might not always be right in the end: but intent and execution are two different things.)

      As for what Martin said regarding “main characters,” he did state some time recently that

      there would be no new POV characters from here on out, and that we’d see them reduced.

      Of course, he might change his mind about that, or he might have been taken out of context. For example, maybe he had already written PoV chapters for new characters for Winter and he forgot that those were not in earlier books. Assuming he wasn’t, that means

      no new protagonists; although not all POV characters are protagonists, all protagonists much be POV characters at some point. So, I suppose that Connington could become a real protagonist (he was sort of borderline protagonist in his two POV chapters, rather than being there to develop some main character from a third person POV). However, it looks like Aegon, Euron, Blackfish, etc., will never get PoV chapters, and thus never meet the first step for becoming main characters. Arianne already has: like her or not, she was one of the lesser main characters in Crows. Early indications are that she’ll stay that way in Winter, too.

      Finally, what is this hangup with the word “protagonist?” This is not some fancy theoretical concept: it is the most basic concept in modern storytelling. Everybody knows more or less what a protagonist is (although some people get it confused with “hero,” I think). It’s like remembering what a “species” or a “planet” is from basic schooling. Jane and Joe Viewer-Reader know the basic concept: and particularly the Jane & Joe Viewers of cable series. At any rate, it is meaningless to discuss Martin’s (or any modern writer’s) stories without referring to them: and if we are going to discuss literature and TV, then why not use one of the fundamental terms in storytelling? (We could discuss Tolkien without them: but that’s not exactly an example of a “modern writer”!)

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    100. What they HAVE done and what others HAVE done is not the same as what they ARE going to do!
      See above paragrah.
      Again, you assume too much! I’m not assuming anything merely speculating as to what might happen. I can see why you’re perplexed as you appear to be the kind of person who doesn’t like uncertainty or for something to be unexplained (no offence). Just let it play out and not try t owork things out down to such fine details!
      A we agreed upon PoV doesn’t necessarily mean protagonist ( Damphair anyone?) and again a lot of characters have been introduced who could become important even if not main characters.
      Use it all you like for me , I just think people aren’t keen on it being overused and also with such a vast cast for this story deciding who is important or not is down to each individual with the exception of a few. Perhaps the analogy of the show being a sum of it’s parts better describes how all are important in their own way.

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    101. TheTouchOfFrost:
      ….Just let it play out and not try to work things out down to such fine details! As we agreed upon PoV doesn’t necessarily mean protagonist ( Damphair anyone?) and again a lot of characters have been introduced who could become important even if not main characters.

      Wow, it’s like deja vu wrt my ongoing debate with W (aka Sauron) from the past few weeks! 🙂

      Fight the good fight, ser! Long live brevity!

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    102. Hodor’s Bastard,
      What can I say, I am a very fast typer. (I write for a living, after all, so call it an occupational hazard.)

      TheTouchOfFrost: What they HAVE done and what others HAVE done is not the same as what they ARE going to do!

      True: but until you see something different, always assume that it will be done the same. I’m assuming they will do one thing (what they did in the first four seasons); you are assuming that they are doing two things (what they did in the first four seasons and then something different in the fifth).

      TheTouchOfFrost: Use it all you like for me , I just think people aren’t keen on it being overused and also with such a vast cast for this story deciding who is important or not is down to each individual with the exception of a few.

      The story tellers (M, B & W) decide who is important, or how important each character is. You and I have no say in it. Now, you might hope that incidental characters become important, and maybe they will. However, the hope and possibility that they might become important is different from saying that they are important.

      And, again, I am not sure how one can overuse a basic term when discussing something. Can you overuse “species” when talking about biology? Can you overuse “melody” when talking about music? Can you overuse “resources” when talking about economics? It is the same thing here.

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    103. Hodor’s Bastard,

      I fear it has become a war of attrition and nothing else now!

      Wimsey,

      When you assume you make an ass of u & me! Again, I’m not assuming anything. I’m speculating.
      I’m sorry but no one but myself can decide which characters are important to me! In this way it’s subjective as to who people find important (for example Hodor, The Tattered Prince or Dog may be your favourite character so therefore important to you) although, as I said, some are undoubtably important as they’re tied in to so much ( Dany and Jon for example).
      I think it’s because you write so much that a bit of variation or some synonyms would go a long way!

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    104. TheTouchOfFrost:

      I’m sorry but no one but myself can decide which characters are important to me! In this way it’s subjective as to who people find important (for example Hodor, The Tattered Prince or Dogmay be your favourite character so therefore important to you) although, as I said, some are undoubtably important…

      Thank you! A character can be important to me without being important to the plot/story/narrative/etc.

      There may not be a logical reason why that particular character is important to me. It can be a minor detail (he seems like a stand-up guy) or it can be a superficial one (the actor is good looking; I want to see more of him). Sometimes it is acceptable to discuss characters and story lines without consideration of the literary jibjab. This story is so rich with interesting characters (major and minor) that – IMO – it is done a disservice if it is only discussed in context of the protagonist, antagonist, POV, etc.

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    105. Well… of course, you can enjoy whomever you like! That’s not Wimsey’s point. The thing is, if you are aware these are your purely subjective preferences, then how is it that you expect them to be adapted or be a focus in coming seasons? Why are you disappointed when they aren’t? Where does that expectation come from, if you do understand these are your personal favorites, even if they are not particularly important to the main characters and the story?

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    106. Luka Nieto:
      Well… of course, you can enjoy whomever you like! That’s not Wimsey’s point. The thing is, if you are aware these are your purely subjective preferences, then how is it that you expect them to be adapted or be a focus in coming seasons? Why are you disappointed when they aren’t? Where does that expectation come from, if you do understand these are your personal favorites, even if they are not particularly important to the main characters and the story?

      Expecting something to be a focus is different than saying that I want to see what (if anything) a character does or how he/she *may* impact the plot. And sometimes our personal preferences can overwhelm logical thinking: what we want to happen may not happen, a character that we want to be vindicated in the end may not, etc. Why is any of that not valid for discussion? I’m not interested in being right or wrong or proving a point. If I say that I like the BF and hope he impacts the plot in some way, that’s my preference…silly as it may be. This is a fan site for a TV show; let’s not take some of the fun out of it.

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    107. mariamb,

      Luka has the right of it. People are confounding “what interests me” and “what has a major effect on the story or plot.”

      I am not ever referring to what interests (or pleases or tittleates or humors) me or anyone else. I am referring to whether a character or item is has a strong effect one any of the four stories that we have read so far. This is as different from asking “what foods do you like?” versus “what should I eat to get a lot of vitamins.”

      Show runners (for GoT or any other program) are focused on the latter. That is something that they can objectively plan and for which there are many know tactics. They have to hope that people will find it interesting. Objectively, they can see what commercially and critically successful series do: but they know that for every series that success that way, more than one fails.

      B&W have operated in a particular way far. GRRM also has. Until they do differently, we should assume that these are their general strategies. For the show, we should expect TV tactics conforming to that strategy.

      (I would add that none of this is “important to me.” This is entertaining fun for me and thus not important. It is important to GRRM and B&W: their jobs are to tell stories, and thus it is important to their livelihoods and reputations to communicate those stories effectively and in an entertaining manner.)

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    108. Wimsey,

      Are Roose Bolton, Walder Fray, Locke, Shae, Edmure Tulley, Syrio Forel, etc main characters? Are they important in the development of the plot/other characters? If you mean important to what you consider the main plot then you need to be more precise when saying “important”. As I said before, the show is a sum of it’s parts so every character is important in their own way it’s just some have more focus on them. If I want to be entertained and enjoy something then the characters in it are important for that to succeed!
      If you persist in assuming you know what D&D and GRRM are going to do and whom they deem “important” then knock yourself out but I think it’s a touch arrogant on your behalf. The fact is for all your theorising about themes and ‘studying the form’ you have just as much idea what is going to happen and who is going to be important as anyone else…unless you’re GRRM or D&D…if you are then did Dog live?

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    109. TheTouchOfFrost,
      To answer your questions in order:

      1. No, none of these are “main characters” (= protagonists = leads). They are all supporting characters: that is, they do things that affect the evolution of the main characters. (That’s more or less the definition of a secondary/supporting character.)

      2. Following that, secondary characters themselves rarely are important to the story. Instead, they all do things that are important for the development of the main characters (and thus to the story). This might be the same as what you mean: but this is how I would phrase it: it’s the deed, not the man (or woman) that counts. (If character and deed become inseparable as in a Ramsay or a Stannis, then obviously the character is important.)

      3. I am extremely precise when I talk about characters being important to the story: I mean that they are invaluable for creating that gestalt abstraction that is “story.” I never use this as some euphemism for “I like this character a lot.” I like Val a lot. Val is not very important (if at all important) to the story. She might even be detrimental to telling it on TV. These are not contradictory statements.

      (I also am very precise about distinguishing stating that supporting characters or their deeds are important to the plot as opposed to the story.)

      4. A story that a show or books tells actually is more than the sum of its parts. All art is: if there is not some abstraction that only human minds can put together from the parts, then it isn’t art. (Well, intelligent minds: if the citizens of Alpha Centauri are watching Season 1 right now, then it counts for them, too.) Here, that is the general thing that all of the lead characters are doing but that we can recognizing only by looking at all (or at least most) of them. (This isn’t “theorizing”: it’s the concept.) But not all the parts are necessary for this either: remember, stories need narratives, and those narratives need supporting & incidental characters as well as other elements (descriptions of food, clothes, or props & costumes, etc.) to serve as some backdrop. Martin doesn’t have to describe every last meal, and the costumers do not need all of those details, but makes the telling engaging.

      5. It is important to the storytellers that the lead characters communicate the story well and that characters and other things (asteroids, dragons, magic rings) drive the plot efficiently. However, for every lead character, there are multiple secondary characters, and for every secondary character there are multiple incidental characters. They aren’t all equally important: and then storytellers are not obliged to provide every one of them with equal emphasis. (Hell, it would drown the story and plot if they did.)

      6. Finally, it’s easy to tell which characters are “important” in any well-presented story. Indeed, it is incumbent upon the storyteller(s) to make it obvious to the audience who is/ important! Storytellers that fail to do so need to get another profession. It’s not “theorizing” or anything like that. Just do the same thing with every book you read that you did for the books you read for literature classes. After all, the tests that we all took in those classes demanded that we know these things!

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    110. (Indeed, it does strike me as almost comical that so many fans of these sorts of series find the background details and characters so much more interesting than the main characters: do they think that Martin/Rowling/Moffat/etc. choose the wrong characters to emphasize, or is there just something about undeveloped characters/details that enthralls them?)

      Fandom spends a lot of time theorizing, and theorizing tends to flourish in the blank spaces of stories. There are simply more blank spaces where there are only colorful flourishes of characters but lots of space to theorize because there isn’t a whole heck of a lot there.

      Basically — it’s more fun. You can develop your own theories based on (very little) what you see is ‘hidden’ in the text until you are ‘Jossed’ when the story goes the way that the author intended it to go all along. Them people stomp and scream about the author betraying their story because the story didn’t follow the narrative the fan built in their heads.

      Happens all the time in oh-so-many-fandoms.

      I think it’s that fans believe they see the ‘real’ story that they spend a lot of times developing, and after a while it becomes boring to speculate about the obvious (primary protagonist) stuff and thus lots of fandom attention is devoted to minor details that are developed into elaborate theories that fans have a certain possessive affection for.

      Or to be put another way — fans have a lot of time on their hands.

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    111. Wimsey,

      To answer your points in a less long-winded and more easily digestible way:

      There are examples of “supporting characters” becoming main characters and main characters becoming unimportant (quite often their continuing importance is hindered through being dead!) but that’s not the point. Who you judge to be important to the “story” (don’t wanna go down that road again) is not the same as who GRRM and D&D may consider important to it. So waving your literal credentials about does nothing to predict what another human being is thinking! The way you’re looking at the books/show reminds me of a unicorn on a mortuary slab. You can bring as much expertise as you like to your speculation but it is still just speculation and ultimately of no more or less value as any of the rest of ours.

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    112. ship: Fandom spends a lot of time theorizing, and theorizing tends to flourish in the blank spaces of stories.There are simply more blank spaces where there are only colorful flourishes of characters but lots of space to theorize because there isn’t a whole heck of a lot there.

      Basically — it’s more fun.You can develop your own theories based on (very little) what you see is ‘hidden’ in the text until you are ‘Jossed’ when the story goes the way that the author intended it to go all along.Them people stomp and scream about the author betraying their story because the story didn’t follow the narrative the fan built in their heads.

      Happens all the time in oh-so-many-fandoms.

      I think it’s that fans believe they see the ‘real’ story that they spend a lot of times developing, and after a while it becomes boring to speculate about the obvious (primary protagonist) stuff and thus lots of fandom attention is devoted to minor details that are developed into elaborate theories that fans have a certain possessive affection for.

      Or to be put another way — fans have a lot of time on their hands.

      To make it even more basic. Different strokes for different folks. If everyone thought the same way the place would be a very boring place. Different things appeal to different people so it’s natural some characters will appeal to individuals more than others.

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    113. TheTouchOfFrost,

      What does that even mean? There isn’t any “judgement” or “theorizing.” The storyteller tells us who is important in the book, show, movie, play, etc. This isn’t supposed to be a mystery! Authors and producers do not want you wondering. They want you to follow their story. That is why they are telling it.

      You write as if these are mystical things at which mere mortals can only speculate. If only the author knows what the story is after he/she tells it, then she/he failed to tell a story. GRRM (and every other author) wants us to understand. They want it to be memorable and laudable. It is a criticism of one’s writing skills to state that nobody gets the story, not praise.

      Now, you are correct about secondary characters moving up to leads in this series. However, if GRRM is not wrong, then there will not be anymore of that. Moreover, the fact that (say) Cersei became a lead in Crows does not retroactively make her one in Clash or Swords. Similarly, the possibility that (say) Euron could become important in the future does not change the fact that he has not been important to the stories and has done little of importance to the plots so far.

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    114. Wimsey,

      It means you’re overanalyzing things and for a lot of people that takes the enjoyment out of it.
      Of course they want you wondering! If the show was predictable it wouldn’t be half as good nor half as popular. There’s a big difference betweeen understanding the story that’s been told and ‘knowing’ what comes next. You don’t know what happens next. To claim otherwise is ridiculous and arrogant.
      Surely that contradicts your previous position that says characters are either leads or support;
      ” One of the main assumptions that I am making is that if any characters that are just background (or tertiary or incidental or however you want to call it) characters up to this point are going to remain lesser characters in Winter & Spring. At this point, the big characters should be up front and center: if you are waiting in the wings, well, that’s as close as you are going to get to center stage.”
      So that doesn’t really blend with your other statement that they can free flow between both? It also doesn’t really work with your thinking that Young Griff will become a big part of the story as he hasn’t been introduced yet?

      *prepares to be bashed with the literary hammer again*

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    115. TheTouchOfFrost,
      heh, you make it sound like I’m descending from the cloud, smiting my staff on the ground and proclaiming “I am the mighty Wimsey! Behold! I can comprehend…. (dramatic pause)….. STORY. Nay! I do more! Play a song, and I can identify…. MELODY!!! (echoing boom….) Verily! I then do… Simple Algebra!! And to top it off… (gasps from the crowd…) I will … Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time!!!” Seriously, identifying the story in a well-told tale is about as hard as identifying the melody of a song. It barely requires analyzing, never mind overanalyzing. If you don’t know it, then either: 1) the performance was awful; or, 2) I was covering my (literal or figurative) ears.

      (They do want us to guess about the plot: but I’ve been writing “story”, not “plot”: these are not synonyms!)

      As for what I think is coming next (which is not the same as knowing), I just minimize assumptions. B&W’s strategy for adapting the first three books was to focus on story first, plot second. Thus, I expect them to do the same for Season 5. Until they do something so radical as T->A, I won’t consider it probable.

      Similarly, I am assuming that GRRM is going to continue along his general lines until I see him do otherwise. The only exception: he has said no new PoVs even though he has always added some new PoV; I won’t assume that he’s lying or dissembling. I am not sure why you think I stated that GRRM has characters freely flowing from main supporting (or incidental). GRRM never has downgraded anyone from main -> supporting. Yes, he’s promoted some supporting (Sam, Jaime, Cersei) and (I think 1) incidental (Asha). It is telling that all of the new (or formerly incidental) main characters are lesser main characters. (If I really had a literary hammer, I’d use the proper term: but I don’t remember what it is).

      And good old Aegon! (Isn’t that what started this discussion?) I still think that he (both character and deeds in a rare case) will have a big effect on the plot starting in Winter. Moreover, I predict that he is going to create waves strongly affecting the story lines of multiple protagonists: a big part of the story will be sorting out the additional complexity that he introduces. After all, hard choices and internal conflicts are what GRRM says make the best stories, and I can see a lot of potential there. As B&W have retained supporting characters who affect plots in multiple storylines, I expect that they will include Aegon next year. (If I am wrong and Aegon remains as unimportant to the tale in 6 as he was in 5, then I retract that prediction, obviously.)

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    116. One clarification: I am confused by why you think I know “what happens next.” If by “what,” you mean the plot (which makes more sense), then I do not know, although I think Martin’s calling cards greatly reduce the possible outcomes. If by “what” you mean the story, then I obviously do not know what the next story is going to be. Indeed, if you gave me the Winter plot today, then I still could only give you a range of plausible stories with the caveat: “And doubtless others of which I cannot think.)

      However, I’ve read the first 5 books. Therefore, I know the first 5 (well, 4) stories. That’s largely to what I’ve limited my discussion. Now, we can tell from these what general type of story Martin will write: but there are so many possible stories of that general type that it’s tough to peg it down. I would not, for example, have guessed that he would write the Crows/Dragons story after the first three stories that we got. Sure, it’s in the same general category: but it is pretty distinct.

      (That written, I would argue that we know what won’t happen next: Martin won’t write a story that doesn’t focus on some sort of internal conflict. But that doesn’t get us too far, does it?)

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    117. Wimsey,

      To be honest, that whole first paragraph was the perfect example of a rather arrogant vibe there is about your writing sometimes.
      Ah think! Now that’s the magic word. You can think and predict whatever you like but don’t assume! You can recognise patterns in story-telling (I’m very happy for you) but you don’t know what is going to happen next in either the story or the plot. Trying to apply your knowledge of story to things is how you make sense of things but you can’t know that they are going to use the methods that you think they are.
      Catelyn Stark has been downgraded to a support character. Could argue that both Brienne and Asha have too after having a brief stint as Mains.
      I’d love to have Aegon in but I fear they are leaving it too late to him right. Is two seasons really going to be long enough to introduce him and do his sotry justice along with everything else going on? I fear they’re not going to do al the storylines justice as it is.

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    118. TheTouchOfFrost,

      It isn’t remotely arrogant. Stories should be easy to recognize. I do not think that it is even a little impressive that I can recognize a story. If I don’t clearly understand a story after I’ve read a book (indeed, even by the time I’m about 3/4ths of the way through it), then I want my money back: after all, I paid for a story teller to tell me a story, and he/she failed to deliver the goods I wanted to buy. On the other hand, if I understood it and was intrigued by it (e.g., Thrones), then I’m interested in the sequel (e.g., Clash). After all, I have evidence that this author tells stories of the sort that I find interesting. (I am, of course, a total sucker for the conflicted individual type of stories.) It’s customer satisfaction, nothing more.

      As for what the sequel story will ever be, again, we can narrow down the field. Given the story Martin told in Thrones, it was not surprising what story he decided to tell in Clash. Would I have guessed it that exact nature of internal conflicts? No! There are so many that he could tell and that have been told. Indeed, the Crows/Dragons story was a very different type of internal conflict story from the first three stories. We can pretty much bet the farm that Winter/Spring will be another internal conflict story. The lead characters will once again be essentially fighting wars with themselves to about BLANK. (I am betting on BLANK being choosing of sides, or ally/enmity or something like that, but that’s just a hunch.)

      Regarding the shifts in character status, Asha only became a (lesser) lead character in Crows/Dragons: she hasn’t been downgraded. Brienne was just as much a lead character in Crows/Dragons as she was in Storm. I don’t think that the incidental character in question really is Catelyn anymore. Indeed, some SoI&F fans are very adamant that Signora Pietra Cuore is not Ms. Tully at all. I myself view her as a more of a fantasma retaining vestiges of the original: but a shadow isn’t the original.

      Regarding when it is “too late” to introduce a character in the TV series, we also have to worry about “too early.” If it’s going to be a big intro, then “too early” would be before the season in which he/she is going to start driving the story or start affecting the plot. IF that character-in-question starts to do so in Book 6 (because he didn’t in Book 5), then Season 6 is when to introduce him. Books have a little more leeway than do TV Series or movies here because incidental characters are less distracting to readers than to viewers.

      At any rate, B&W have introduced all of the “new” prominent characters the season where they first delivered a payoff of some sort. Thus, many (Oberyn, the Reeds) appear later on TV than they do in the books. Different medium, different rules: that is all. Until I see otherwise, I’m assuming that B&W will follow this model.

      Incidentally, what do you think of the criticism that Martin should have introduce the Griffs in an earlier book? Personally, I have no problem with when they appeared. Winter is the last book where I expect anybody new to turn up, however.

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    119. Wimsey,

      Well, that’s subjective. But I do get the feeling that you sometimes misjudge your audience so to speak.
      You can bet all you want. I’d rather just let it play out however it’s going to. For me, it’s fun to speculate about the way the plot or storyline may go but dissecting it with a literary scalpel doesn’t do it for me.
      Lesser? Downgraded? Surely we’re just arguing over semantics. They are reasons that you have given for them all being downgraded but, whatever the reason, they have all been downgraded. Brienne hasn’t really done anything of any note (besides some minor character development with Tarly and his gang which they really should have gone with on the show) since she parted ways with Jaime. I’m actually close to disliking show Briene as they seem to have made her wonder woman and forgot to include the more sympathetic parts of her character from the books.
      They can make viewers/ readers care about characters who are new if they are given a decent amount of time. With two seasons left when Aegon comes in then they won’t get that time with all the other things they’ve got to resolve. Oberyn worked because he had a “cool” factor about him but, if you look past that, the show character was pretty 2D.
      No issue with when they turned up at all. Introducing them earlier would havedetracted from other storylines going on. The fact that they are tied to Varys and Illyrio’s grand scheme that has been brewing since the start was a nice pay off on a slow-burning plot. I would really miss that if they just tag them onto Dany’s story (not to mention the problems with consistency and common sense that would present).

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    120. TheTouchOfFrost: Well, that’s subjective. But I do get the feeling that you sometimes misjudge your audience so to speak.

      Which audience? Mostly, I worry about the TV audience. I’d like to see this show succeed so that other shows like it can be made. GRRM’s story is the sort that appeals to Cable TV series audiences: it has a lot in common with the Sopranos, Tudors, Breaking Bad, Dexter, etc. (Cable TV series really do love Faulkner!)

      TheTouchOfFrost: Brienne hasn’t really done anything of any note (besides some minor character development with Tarly and his gang which they really should have gone with on the show) since she parted ways with Jaime.

      Brienne had 8 chapters in the last story. That’s not a downgrade. Now, you can argue that they were not effective chapters for the story and/or that they did nothing to advance the plot: and I would agree with you in both cases. That was a fail on Martin’s part. However, with that many story lines and that many plot threads, some of them are not going to work as well as others.

      I forget: what did Tarly do to develop Brienne’s character? I just remember her:

      slogging on and repeating to herself that she had to be the super knight to honor a promise to a dead person.

      But, I do have Crows amnesia. (Maybe I should read those 8 chapters again, if only for my real-world insomnia….)

      TheTouchOfFrost: They can make viewers/ readers care about characters who are new if they are given a decent amount of time. With two seasons left when Aegon comes in then they won’t get that time with all the other things they’ve got to resolve.

      The point won’t be for the book or TV audience to care about Aegon: you are right that GRRM introduced him much too late for that. The point will be for the book and TV audience to care about how Aegon affects the main characters. TV audience obviously can start caring about important characters (or the ramifications of characters) after a week or two: if not, then they do not continue to watch the show. They don’t lose the ability to care about new characters (or their consequences) just because a show is a veteran series. Indeed, it seems like most of the major Cable TV series (and similar series) have introduced new characters of the Griffs stature up to the final season. Many would make the opposite argument: failing to produce new characters and new consequences can make a show feel stale.

      As always, I think that it is a question of how well new characters and/or their effects on the plot are introduced and what payoff they produce. That’s why I think that this year would not have been a good time to introduce the Griffs: unless B&W radically revised things, there wasn’t going to be a payoff.

      TheTouchOfFrost: I would really miss that if they just tag them onto Dany’s story (not to mention the problems with consistency and common sense that would present).

      I am not sure how they could really tag them onto her storyline. Instead, they probably will become the big issue for Dany’s storyline. Looking ahead, that is probably is one of the two biggest story issues ahead of Dany in the books and on TV. (The White Walkers, Rhllor, etc. conflict will be the other.) If B&W don’t do that, then what is going to put Dany at odds with herself next year and the year after? Reclaim Westeros vs. Save the World has been the crux of Dany’s inner turmoils over the last two stories and thus the crux of what she contributes to those stories. But once she goes back to Westeros, what else could take the place of that? GRRM has set up a wonderful focal point for Dany’s story starting in Winter: assuming that is his intent (and it’s not a sweeping assumption by any means!), why would B&W pass it up?

      Once difference you and I have is that you seem to think that B&W have too much on their plate to do anything other than tie up what is left. I really don’t. On the contrary, I’m wondering what they would do with Dany and others if the Griffs don’t turn up.

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    121. Wimsey,

      I meant in people you’re talking to in the forums! Not that many of us are interested in the technical aspects of the story and the walls of text you throw up can dissuade people from wanting to continue the conversation!
      Main characters should be in the thick of things or at least doing significant deeds. She’s wandering around aimlessly so IMO has dropped in importance. See that’s my annoyance with show Brienne. In the books we got a bit about how she was teased growing up (brought on by some knights with Tarleys entourage at Maidenpool… I think…who used to bully her/taunt her) and became more sympathetic as you realised that those memories of all the shit she got still stung a little. I think her commitment and stubborness on her quest made her book counterpart much more endearing. She was scrappy and didnt’t always come out of scrapes unscathed plus made the odd mistake as she is still relatively green as a knight. Plus it handled her complicated relationship with honour better. Show Brienne has just turned into a rather dull “she’s a girl who kicks arse” type which is annoying as she should be about more than just her gender (kinda ironic!).
      But the audience needs to give a shit about him in order to give a shit about who he intereacts with! If he’s an afterthought then it detracts from the characters he’s meant to be enhancing. One of the show’s strengths is how strong and well thought out even the most minor characters are.
      The Griffs can’t be tagged onto Dany’s story. I was talking about Varys and Illyrio.
      I can’t see how GRRM is going to tie up the books in two more books so D&D tying up the series in two more seasons after this one looks implausible to me. I also worry about the lack of screentime to do certain aspects justice.

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    122. TheTouchOfFrost: I meant in people you’re talking to in the forums! Not that many of us are interested in the technical aspects of the story

      The “technical aspects of the story” provide the framework for discussing it. Ignoring it leads people up the wrong alleys. That’s what the Robbettes did all of those years ago: despite the fact that GRRM never even made Robb a protagonist, they were convinced that he would be the “hero” of the story in the end. Now, none of us quite saw just how dramatically wrong the Robbettes would be (although I do recall one poster who came spookily close!), but we were less wrong than the Robbettes were.

      TheTouchOfFrost: Main characters should be in the thick of things or at least doing significant deeds. She’s wandering around aimlessly so IMO has dropped in importance.

      The last part doesn’t follow from the first part. If GRRM gave 8 chapters of the last story to a character, then he thinks that character is important. Moreover, it could well be that the aimless wandering is what is important. (That would explain a few things!)

      At any rate, just because it bored you, it does not follow that it was not “important” to the story. By that logic, any story that is not interesting to you lacks anything important: and that’s obviously untrue. I agree that Brienne’s stuff was dull, but I suspect that it was important. I suspect that it is poorly executed, at least relative to the other story lines. After all, with X story lines, one of them has to be Xth best. Had the rest of the book been so poorly executed, then I might have completely lost interest in the series. (Actually, I sort of did!)

      TheTouchOfFrost: But the audience needs to give a shit about him in order to give a shit about who he intereacts with!

      No they don’t. We need to care about the established characters that a new character affects. Character A has an over-arching goal over multiple stories. Later, we learn new Character Z challenges A for that goal. Because we care about Character A, and because we want to see what Character A does with this new obstacle to his/her goals, we care about this.

      Ah, V&I, not the Griffs. I suspect that stuff is going to be cut from the show: it’s the avalanche that they create rather than the different attempts at doing so that is important. Indeed, I would be surprised if we get that much in the books: what little we’ve learned seems to suggest that it was heavily improvised!

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    123. SO admittedly your technical framework for discussing it didn’t really help predict what awas going to happen at all. Again, it’s my opinion but referring to story structures is pretty boring. If that’s your cup of tea then that’s fine.
      I guess we’ll find out whether it has any relevance but as of now it looks pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things. So much so you’d even forgotton what happened to her during that period for the most part!
      Here’s a formula: Me + analysing story aspects = boredom! Honestly, I care more about Aegon and his sotry than most of the people’s he can effect ( Dany mostly). So , to me at least, it’s important they make him interesting and someone I care about.
      I think that would be a real loss. All that time I and I’m sure others thought Varys was playing a very claculated long game. I it turns out he’s just a chancer trying to sruvive it makes his character a lot less interesting for me and I prefer the idea of a slow burning plot sliding into motion than a “hey look a Targ, lets back them”.

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    124. TheTouchOfFrost: SO admittedly your technical framework for discussing it didn’t really help predict what awas going to happen at all.

      Well, sure it is. You called it “sweeping assumptions.” For example, we can predict that Euron and Blackfish are never going to be an important characters given that they’ve never had so much as a PoV chapter. Indeed, I don’t think Euron has had a line.

      We know that the final story is going to be another story about internal conflicts: that is, Dany, Jon, Arya, etc., all will be wrestling with an angel on her/his left shoulder spouting different scripture than the angel on her/his right shoulder (just like every other story). GRRM has set up

      Aegon to be a primary source in conflict, and (of course) he’s set up Jon’s parentage to be another source of conflict. He’s set up the fact that Sansa, Arya and Rickon all will be vying for Winterfell: and, of course, given that there look to be three sides brewing for Westeros (Stannis vs. Aegon vs. Dany), and given that one seems to have thrown in with Rickon, we can predict that Arya & Sansa will choose different Targaryens. Which Targaryen Tyrion will support probably will be big, too: and what will he think when he learns that Cersei & Jaime have fallen out? Two enemies at war with each other leads to tough choices. In general, we can predict a rapid culmination of the Lannisters, as Varys has almost certainly set up Cersei to return to power and essentially instigate a civil war with the Tyrells (who were staunch Targaryen supporters). Oh, and when Robert Strong kills the Church’s Champion (who probably will be Lancel Lannister given what Martin has set up), Cersei’s quest to upset that prophecy will completely destroy it all: she will play the role of getting everybody in the world set against her. That will include, of course, both of her brothers in the end: one of whom will finish her. And don’t forget that the Church will be looking to support someone other than Cersei: after all, she’ll probably take quite a bit of revenge upon them. Stannis isn’t such a swell candidate for them (wrong god), but can Dany win them over Aegon?

      After all, there is nothing so conflicting as a three way war!

      On the other hand, your predictions seem based more on “what I really want to see is BLANK. To which I have to ask: how well has Martin ever fit that? (The Robbettes certainly never got that!)

      As to Varys and Illyrio, it is made pretty clear in Dragons that

      they have been improvising heavily all along. The Golden Company has had it with them changing plans so often: that’s why they set out on their own. They have a general strategy, but not a lot of specific tactics. Varys’ schemes to keep Cersei in power might be the biggest thing we get.

      All of this is keeping Martin’s story structures in mind. Now, these are pretty general predictions for the most part: but it does show that paying attention to how Martin told the first 4 stories should tell us a bit about how he’ll tell the last one.

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    125. Wimsey,

      Again, you can’t say that with certainty! Also POV doesn’t mean important as we’ve already agreed upon! On the Euron thing he did that who speech that got him voted for at the Kingsmoot. Plus he’s spoken to both of his brotehrs in their POV chapters.
      Sorry, you mentioned internal conflicts and I automatically switched off.
      I mention things that I think are important and should happen in order for it to be better in my opinion. I have never made assumptions as to what will happen because I want it to. For example, I’d be happy if Dany died in Slavers Bay and that was the end of her but it’s inncredibly unlikely to happen.
      They’re adapted their plan whlist backing the same horse. A complete flip would damage their credibility and lose a lot of people’s interest. Dany has enough support let someone be working for another faction.

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    126. TheTouchOfFrost: Also POV doesn’t mean important as we’ve already agreed upon

      No we did not! I wrote that being a PoV character was necessary but not sufficient to make a character a protagonist. Martin (like many other authors) will give one-off PoV chapters to supporting or incidental characters in order to provide a 3rd party view on and development of one of the main characters. For example, Melisandre’s chapter works very well to provide a new perspective on Jon. However, that did not make her a protagonist.

      On the other hand, when an author gives 8 PoV chapters to a character in one story, then he/she is trying to make that character central to that particular story. (Of course, trying and succeeding are two different things: I would agree that whatever Martin was trying to accomplish with Brienne in Crows & Dragons, he did not do a very good job of it.) Why else would Martin possibly write 8 chapters for one character if he wasn’t using her for the story? He was not using her 8 times to develop other important characters: most of the time, there are only secondary or (usually!) incidental characters with her. When she thought of other characters, it was a where she had been (Renly) and where she now is (Jaime), which is something that all of the other main characters do in these two books. She thinks a lot about how much more important it is to honor her vow to Catelyn now that Catelyn is dead: I suppose that must be her Man/Queen/Queenmaker/Many-Faced Man/Kings Hand/etc. The problem is, I don’t see where her boy/girl/princess/little girl/smuggler/etc. is in that: every other character has a more obvious “kill the x, become the Y motif in their storyline. (That might be me, or it might be Martin’s writing.)

      TheTouchOfFrost: I mention things that I think are important

      But you never say why you think that they are important or what they are contributing to the story, other than that they interest you or don’t bore you. You write off Brienne’s chapters as unimportant because they bore you. I am sure that you do not really mean this, but your posts come across as if something is important to a story only if it entertains or interests you. Now, I know that you cannot mean this because you know that GRRM and every other author in the world is not writing his/her/their stories with you in mind: they are creating characters and plots to further the story in their head, instead. However, you never state what you think that these characters do (or fail to do) for the story. You sometimes mention that you think they will contribute something to the plot, but that’s about it.

      TheTouchOfFrost: Sorry, you mentioned internal conflicts and I automatically switched off.

      Then why are you reading these books? Do Martin’s many comments about his idea of what a story should be count for nothing? If you think that Martin, B&W and other are wrong and that these are not stories about internal conflict, then what are the stories? I don’t have a clear sense from you what you think the different stories are if not that.

      (This is not impossible. For example, J.R.R. Tolkien stated that Lord of the Rings was a story about Death and Immortality; however, a lot of people think that he really wrote a story about Restoring & Preserving Natural Order.)

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    127. Wimsey,

      Right. So Stannis, Rob, Aegon, etc aren’t important characters because they don’t have POV? Damphair, Hotah, Will , Cressen, PAte, Oakheart, etc are important becauss they do? Surely the POV is just a means of communicating the plot and no importance of characters can be directly linked to it?
      That’s easy. They’re important because I find them interesting or exciting. Using Brienne’s as an example. I read through them and didn’t find them very interesting and failed to see why they had any relevance (except to flesh her character out a bit). If her aimless wanderings prove to have a purpose later on then I may have more interest in them retrospectively but as of now I’m entitled to think that I find them boring and I don’t think they’re very important.
      Nah: I switched off as we seem to be retreading old ground…even more so now the LotR comparisons have been wheeled out!

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    128. Can you overuse words? Yes. Now THAT’S basic schooling.

      Wimsey:
      Hodor’s Bastard,
      What can I say, I am a very fast typer.(I write for a living, after all, so call it an occupational hazard.)

      True: but until you see something different, always assume that it will be done the same.I’m assuming they will do one thing (what they did in the first four seasons); you are assuming that they are doing two things (what they did in the first four seasons and then something different in the fifth).

      The story tellers (M, B & W) decide who is important, or how important each character is.You and I have no say in it.Now, you might hope that incidental characters become important, and maybe they will.However, the hope and possibility that they might become important is different from saying that they are important.

      And, again, I am not sure how one can overuse a basic term when discussing something.Can you overuse “species” when talking about biology?Can you overuse “melody” when talking about music?Can you overuse “resources” when talking about economics?It is the same thing here.

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