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Graham Smith

Game of Thrones (HBO)

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I don't get HBO but I've read a number of really good reviews of this show, so when the Blu-Ray disks came out, I decided to take a chance on it. If I didn't like it, I could probably find someone who would.

Well, I've gotten through the first 7 episodes and decided my brain needs a rest. It's intense and there are so many different characters that you almost need a synopsis and character guide just to follow it. It's also gritty - that is to say dirty and rather violent with a dose of sex thrown in. While there is no doubt in my mind that the violence and sex sometimes seems overtly gratuitous and could be turned down a couple notches. The way that everyone just takes it all in stride leaves you with a strong understanding that these are not the folks next door. It has been compared to the Sopranos in this regard.

The other difficult thing is that I find it hard to watch a program if I don't like any of the characters. There are characters in here to like and characters to dislike, but the lines are often so blurred that it gives you a headache. And as one character points out, "I told you not to trust me." This show is, at it's heart, a political drama that makes our congress look like choir boys. J. Edgar would feel right at home here with all the spying and conspiracy.

While there are hints that there are some fantasy elements on the fringe, I have not read the books the series is based on, so I am not sure where things are going. But if they lavish the same attention to detail on that part of it that they have on the first part, it'll be interesting. The opening credits alone are fascinating. I've watched them every more carefully with each episode and I'm still picking out details I've missed before. Whoever created them deserves every penny they made.

I'm considerably less thrilled with the disks themselves. First off, I have a love/hate relationship with Blu-Ray. I like the clarity and the additional storage they provide but am bothered by the fact that each disk is essentially it's own Operating System with it's own quirks. Like many other Blu-Ray disks, you cannot stop a program and come back to where you were. If you stop it, then you have to restart from the beginning and it takes a good 3 minutes for the title page to reload. So, if the phone rings or you need to leave the room you either have to pause it or stop it then spend 5-6 minutes trying to get back to where you were.

The biggest problem I have with the disks are that the menus are identical on all 5 disks and no where does it tell you what's on what disk. So, when you load disk 1, you will find that all the episodes and all the features for all 6 disks are right there, So, to find out if a special feature is available, you just have to try it and wait to see if it plays or tells you to insert a different disk. Same with the episodes. What I have found so far is the episodes 1 & 2 are disk 1 along with some special features; disk 2 is episodes 3, 4 & 5; disk 3 is episode 6 and 1 special feature. I'm going to guess that disk 4 is episodes 7, 8, & 9; and disk 5 is episode 10 and the rest of the special features.

The disks do come with a nice fold out chart with a map on the back and a pictorial of the characters (which helps a bit) and a brief description of the contents of the set. Would it have killed them to include a list of the contents of each disk? Personally I think that this reflects less on the show itself and more on the company contracted to make the disks. In either case, it's darned annoying.

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The other difficult thing is that I find it hard to watch a program if I don't like any of the characters. There are characters in here to like and characters to dislike, but the lines are often so blurred that it gives you a headache.

That is one of the things I really loved about the books. In the books it is even more pronounced because you see the story through the eyes of different characters... You might go through half the book seeing a character as a "bad" guy or disliking him, but then when the narrator changes to someone from another side of a conflict, you form a totally different impression.

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The HBO series and the books are both great.

Looking forward to season 2 starting next month. :cheers:

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The other difficult thing is that I find it hard to watch a program if I don't like any of the characters. There are characters in here to like and characters to dislike, but the lines are often so blurred that it gives you a headache.

That is one of the things I really loved about the books. In the books it is even more pronounced because you see the story through the eyes of different characters... You might go through half the book seeing a character as a "bad" guy or disliking him, but then when the narrator changes to someone from another side of a conflict, you form a totally different impression.

Very true... Looking at things through the "Imp"s" eyes... He is one of my heroes of the set of books....wink.gif

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I just started listening to these books on Audible. I sure could use a legend of characters.

The story is compelling so far, though. Not my usual genre of fiction, but it was recommended by a friend and so far I like it. Reminds me of the science fantasy stuff I used to read as a teenager

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They are ruining season 2 by over-sexing it, SNL did a great skit on it that was pretty spot-on, I'm disappointed with HBO :/

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I just got HBO so I could watch the second season. I'm not surprised by the sex, just look at what HBO did with Rome. Having not read the books, I have no idea how much of this is out of the books but historically speaking (yes, I know that this isn't real history) sex and nudity were a lot more casual. Still, too much sex today is there to up the ratings rather than to be "historically accurate".

Of course, the same thing can be said for for violence x5 - but that's a heated debate in and of itself.

Edited by Graham Smith

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I read the books and really enjoyed them. Anyone here who read the books tell me how they compare? Do they do the books justice? I know they added the detail about Renly being gay to the show and that it wasn't in the books. Any other details they added for the show?

The whole 'no bad characters, just point of view' things was really intriguing for me.

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I have not read the books, but the author was involved with the first season as an executive producer and is very happy with the way things were done.

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I liked the firstseason and was waiting for the second. In the meantime I canceled my premium channels, no more thrones or spartacus.

The only shows I watched.. Are they available anywhere? I haven't seen them on Netflix.

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I read the books and really enjoyed them. Anyone here who read the books tell me how they compare? Do they do the books justice? I know they added the detail about Renly being gay to the show and that it wasn't in the books. Any other details they added for the show?

The whole 'no bad characters, just point of view' things was really intriguing for me.

Renly and Loras being gay was implied, but not stated openly.

The nudity, sex and violence is overdone in the series compared to the books. I suppose it sells - the same is to be found in The Borgias and Spartacus.

Perhaps because of the author (and former television screenwriter) Martin's involvement, the overall themes and characters are pretty true to the books, though with some consolidation and trimming of sub plots. There are so many characters and story lines that some things probably needed to go for sake of clarity and brevity.

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There are so many characters and story lines that some things probably needed to go for sake of clarity and brevity.

I agree. Nevertheless, just finished season 2 - what a great show, overall.

be

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I liked the firstseason and was waiting for the second. In the meantime I canceled my premium channels, no more thrones or spartacus.

The only shows I watched.. Are they available anywhere? I haven't seen them on Netflix.

I think you can see Game of Thrones on HBO Go.

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I liked the firstseason and was waiting for the second. In the meantime I canceled my premium channels, no more thrones or spartacus.

The only shows I watched.. Are they available anywhere? I haven't seen them on Netflix.

I bought season 2 on amazon for 20 bucks.

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Game of Thrones is excellent.My favorite character is the "Imp". Especially like it when he slaps and threatens King Geoffrey (sp?)

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Game of Thrones is excellent.My favorite character is the "Imp". Especially like it when he slaps and threatens King Geoffrey (sp?)

If you like the imp, I highly recommend the movie Station Agent. He's great in it. And it's in the "watch the movie over and over" category.

be

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Maybe the people who read the books and/or watched the movie can explain.

At Winterfell, the Iron Islanders (II) are surrounded by the 500 men. Grayjoy(?) was making the speech, when one of his men knocks him out. They put a sack over his head and they say something like "Let's go home" and they drag Grayjoy away.

The next time the movie is in Winterfell... the kids emerge from the crypt, Winterfell is burning, there is fresh dead and they find the Meister at the grove dying... I don't understand what happened.

If the seige army had overrun the II and had burned Winterfell to deny the enemy... why was there fresh dead and the Meister was left bleeding in the grove? Wouldn't the seige army have buried the dead and helped the Meister?

What do you guys think happened?

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They strayed pretty far from the books in that part I will just say everyone in the north is not "all in" and everybody wants to rule the world.

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Although most of the season was a bit slow, the 2014 season finale was great. Shit went down in all realms.

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As I already noted, I haven't read the books and I have stayed away from any discussions from those who have. As a result, I'm constantly surprised at what happens. The 2014 season ending wasn't as big a shocker as the 2013 season but it was about as dramatic as it gets. I keep thinking that at this point, just about everyone is a "red shirt" - which is exactly what the author is going for. The idea that a lead character is "safe" is right out the window.

More than any show ever done, this show seems to reflect the reality that was medieval Europe. It was not a nice place to live. Of course, the same was true for Asia and eastern Europe. And in some parts of the world, it hasn't changed that much. We may think that there is a lot of rancor and discord and back stabbing in Washington, but it doesn't hold a candle to the 15th Century.

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Re-watching again as I get ready for last season. Season 1, Episode 8, The Pointy End. Arya is practicing swords with Syrio and he tells her my tongue lied but my eyes were telling the truth. Arya responds I was watching...watching is not seeing dead girl. The seeing, true seeing is the heart of sword play. 

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Posted (edited)

“In winter we must protect ourselves, look after one another,”

 “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”

 

I believe Ned said this to the girls in season 1

 
Edited by Silver_Surfer

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On 6/18/2014 at 4:56 PM, benos said:

Although most of the season was a bit slow, the 2014 season finale was great. s#!t went down in all realms.

 

To quote Randy Bachman,  "You ain't seen nothin' yet." :D

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