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A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

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    #76
    A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

    For some reason, Ser Loras reminds me of the young Percy in the first Blackadder series; but when I look up the images it doesn't seem right.

    I think it's his erm "acting" , and pouting that seems to be based on young Tim, rather than physical appearance.

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      #77
      A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

      Well, nine episodes down in a little over three weeks; it's certainly been more compulsive viewing than The Wire. Funny thing is, though, can't quite pin down exactly what has made it so watchable. Much of the attraction, I think, has been the opportunity to slow down into box set viewing mode, where a plot that could be comfortably retold in 90 minutes is allowed to languish for more than eight hours.

      If I could single out any part of the production team for congratulations it would be the casting department, for their choice of actors to play Jaime and Cersei Lannister and Joffrey Baratheon, surely the most inherently slappable trio of villains ever to have graced the small screen.

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        #78
        A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

        Which is going to make Jaime's transition into a somewhat likeable character an interesting one.

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          #79
          A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

          What? Come on, spoilers!

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            #80
            A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

            S02EP06 was interesting, as there were some large deviations from the books; but they actually improved the story.Well for viewing anyway.

            Nice to see Theon taking his righful place as nearest rival to Joffrey for the coveted "most loathed person in Westeros".

            Very enjoyable episode , except for Patsy Palmer turning up North of the Wall - and still no "You're a fool John Snow" utterances, my favourite saying from the books.
            Although I am inclined to say, when a manly chore is rqeuired around the house,"The man will do the rest."
            The Man is certainly The Man.

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              #81
              A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

              And so to episode 7 - and I need to re read the books I think, as I keep thinking "was that how it was, or have they changed it again?".
              I mean, I even got "You know nothing John Snow" wrong above , so I think a re read is in order.
              Thanks to Patsy Palmer for saying it how it should be said.
              I think they use Iceland for alot of the North of the Wall shoots, and it really is stunning.

              Anyway, not to add spoliers, but some things worked nicely, some not so.
              Lily's brother Alfie is certainly capturing old Theon's esprit very well.

              The interaction between Tywin and Arya (although totally made up for TV) is really very nicely done, and Jaime finally meets Brienne, and other Lannisters almost had a touching moment in Kings Landing.
              In fact a Lannister rich episode.

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                #82
                A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                Gosh, I'm the only one watching it seems.

                Quite a subdued one, some deviations from the book; but definately a calm before the storm, one.

                The Man shows 'em, again, how to do things with minimum fuss.

                Next week is "Blackwater", it sounds like most of the budget went on that one episode, so it had better be good, plus George directed this one himself..no pressure.

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                  #83
                  A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                  I've gotten back into it. I find that it works better if I watch a few episodes back to back. I can't remember everyone's name, but I think I have all of the relationships straight.

                  I don't really understand what Rob Stark is up to now. The Barathians are going to attack the Lannisters in Kings Landing. What is Stark hoping to accomplish now? Just get his sisters back?

                  I'm still a bit annoyed by how slow it's going, but it's tolerable.

                  It also occurs to me that, whatever else its cultural problems might be, Great Britain probably produces more decent actors per capita than any country in the world.

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                    #84
                    A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                    Not really, it's just that, given Hollywood's criteria, the US appears to produce the fewest.

                    We're toddling along with this. It's sandwiched between The Borgias and Mad Men on Sunday evenings. It's not as satisfying as either of them but doesn't disgrace itself either.

                    I'm still having a problem with characters' names, but I do in daily life so it's just me. So far it's mainly the good-guys who've died horrible deaths, which is sort of dispiriting. I'm kind of waiting for one of the truly nasty ones to get it.

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                      #85
                      A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                      I gave up on Mad Men. I just don't care any more.

                      Haven't tried Borgias. Seems too much like The Tudors and I feel like I got enough of that for now.

                      I don't know if the American drama education community is doing a particularly bad job, just that the British equivalent seems to do an especially good job of producing the kinds of pros that can carry a series like this. Not a lot of "movie stars," but a lot of people like Tom Hollander that you know will always get the job done well.

                      It's also worth nothing that the new Great Gatsby film, perhaps the most American of stories, has three Australians and an Englishwoman in major roles.

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                        #86
                        A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                        Haven't tried Borgias. Seems too much like The Tudors and I feel like I got enough of that for now.

                        Aside from the sex and violence (a good deal more of the latter) it's not a bit like the Tudors. It has proper actors to begin with, including arguably Jeremy Irons doing best work of his career. There's far more work gone into an understanding of the period than the softcore, Voguelike evocation of Henry VIII's court in The Tudors. If you want to compare it to something it would probably be Rome from a few years back.

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                          #87
                          A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                          I liked everyone in the Tudor's except whatshisface playing Henry. It lost a lot of steam, in more ways than one, after Anne Bolynne lost her head. I quite like her - the actress, I mean. Not sure about Anne Bolynne. She's in GOT too, of course.

                          Jeremy Irons kind of turned me off of it, actually. Somehow whenever I see him I think "tedious."

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                            #88
                            A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                            Usually he does have a kind of dessicated, corpse-like on-screen persona. But that suits the part and he's excellent, as are most of the cast.

                            The Tudors was produced by the same people who did Camelot. Which really says it all. I suppose once the music-vid market dried up the artlessly pretty were bound to resurface somewhere.

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                              #89
                              A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                              It's not him so much as the kind of stuff he's usually in, although he was great in Margin Call.

                              The Tudors had more than just artifice - yeah, it was mostly artifice. And boobs.

                              But it did touch on some interesting stuff with the struggle with the church, etc, which then compelled me to go back and read up on some of the stuff I had covered in college and much that I didn't (I studied the reformation, but not English history per se). It shows that the Church of England didn't come into being just because Henry wanted a divorce, as is commonly retold, but by much more intractable tensions over power and money. It also shows that Henry was just an awful, awful, awful excuse for a human being, especially later in life.

                              Like I said, it really peters out after Anne Bolynne dies. She's by far the most interesting character. Her father totally whored her out for his own benefit, but she managed to hang on to some of her dignity and was more than just a tasty strumpet. She really cared about the reformation. And altough Natalie Dormer has sort of an unusual look about her, she inspires impure thoughts in me.

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                                #90
                                A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                I saw the first series until Anne Boleyn's death(?) it never really grabbed me though, beyond the fact that pretty people simulating sex are always going to be somewhat arresting. See when it comes to religious/political history The Borgias are in a different league. We're just heading toward the playoffs between Pope Alex and Savonarola, gripping, and very bloody, stuff.

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                                  #91
                                  A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                  s02 e09: well, you can see where the budget was splashed on the Kings Landing battle scenes, but as ever the best bits were the more intimate dialogues between pairs of major characters. Lots of Cersei in this one, who is a great villain.

                                  This episode was actually written by Martin himself, who seems more than happy with the changes made to the books in order to streamline the story for TV. Be interesting to see how they square the circle with some of the changes, as a couple of characters they've cut are key to what develops in later books.

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                                    #92
                                    A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                    Oooh finally caught up. Excellent stuff - best battle I have seen on TV, and in places rivals some big screen versions - especially when you see them on small screens afterwards.

                                    Stannis is a hard nosed bastard isn't he?

                                    Some of the scene setting, Tyrion et al on the battlements etc - great.

                                    The interplay between characters is really top notch - and Sansa - really excellent this episode - Cersei is wonderful- love her breast plate.

                                    I must watch it again - next week has 10 mins extra as well, to sign off.
                                    The man must find time to watch this.

                                    Oh as an edited add on, this review from Grantland is excellent - er may contain spoilers - No shit!
                                    Grantland's Blackwater review

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                                      #93
                                      A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                      Took me a while to figure out that Tyrion's wise-cracking bodyguard Bronn was played by Jerome Flynn (one half of Robson & Jerome)

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                                        #94
                                        A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                        I've yet to see anything of the second season but the first episode, but that last post by M_L_M has done my head in. I know it's been said before, but the UK in the 90s must have been a very, very strange place.

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                                          #95
                                          A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                          Ah so it ends, for another year.

                                          Although "quite a few" digressions from the book(s) have been taken, generally very well done, and very enjoyable.

                                          This week saw a big catch up with all the characters after the Blackwater party last week.

                                          Some really nice touches, and the end beats last season's end nicely.

                                          Star of the series was again Tyrion; but Theon was great - far more sympa than in the books, and actually Lily's little bruv did well.

                                          I saw a suggestion, that they should somehow try and show this on the big screen, as it is.
                                          I am not sure what the quality would look like, and if we could see why movies really cost that much extra than TV series - but I would like to see a lot of this up on a large cinema screen - the scenes north of t'wall, Blackwater, the general feel of everything etc.

                                          Anyway a long time to wait until next April for series 3, and now we are getting into the third/forth book territories, things really start to take off and get really nasty.
                                          The ratings i think in the US are looking solid, so who knows this could run...

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                                            #96
                                            A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                            I can envisage the HBO seasons continuing with their divergent storylines, cutting out more of the chaff from the novels, and actually overtaking and finishing the tale before George Martin does the remaining written volumes.

                                            It must be difficult to follow all the strands and characters on TV if you haven't read the books, and certain scenes and actions aren't explained clearly enough, but generally I'd say the changes made on the TV show so far have made the major character interactions better.

                                            I'm also hoping the fantasy elements are kept very much as a secondary device to the political intrigue. I don't want this to end up as a Lost type show.

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                                              #97
                                              A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                              I'm still a bit annoyed by how slow it's going, but it's tolerable.
                                              Slow? Seriously? They've cut an awful lot out of what was already a dense book for this season. That said, if you found this season slow, the following few seasons are going to be painful as there are long periods of wandering around Westeros in the next few books.

                                              As for this season, which I caught up with over the long weekend, I'm happy with some of the changes they've made (Arya and Tywin in particular), but they've messed about a lot with John Snow's arc, which is worrying. And I don't like how they downplayed Tyrion's strategic defence of King's Landing, presumably because the CGI budget wouldn't allow for the chain. In general it's been striking how much they changed this season, given how little they changed last season. I suspect the changes are going to get even bigger as the series continues, as the books introduce or emphasise a whole slew of characters who haven't yet appeared in the show.

                                              I'm also hoping the fantasy elements are kept very much as a secondary device to the political intrigue. I don't want this to end up as a Lost type show.
                                              I wouldn't worry about it turning into lost, but the fantasy elements do become much more prominent as the books progress. It is, after all, a story about magic returning to the world.

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                                                #98
                                                A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                                I was really disappointed by the season finale. I wanted it to leave me saying, 'OMGWTF?' like some of the other episodes, but instead it left me saying, 'Is that it?'

                                                Very much looking forward to season three. I contemplated reading the books, but I don't want to buy another book I will never finish reading.

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                                                  #99
                                                  A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                                  I raced through Book 2 so that I would be ready to watch Season 2. Now I'm on book 3 and have already hit two or three scenes I can't wait to see Peter Dinklage perform.

                                                  I've been reading reviews of the season, and spoiling myself (rotten) all over the place, but still can't wait to see the whole season (maybe all of them this weekend on the HBO preview).

                                                  (I would recommend them as books on tape, if you've got a commute/lifestyle/puppy that allows you to listen to them.)

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                                                    A Song of Ice & Fire on HBO

                                                    I had thought about an audio book, but I'm also still thinking about reading. I wonder, since I've seen the first two seasons already, would it be weird if I started reading the third book, instead of starting at the beginning?

                                                    I'm more interested in what happens next than I am in knowing the entire back-story. But, if the books are so different from the show that the story would be hard to follow from the midway point, then I'll start at the beginning.

                                                    Maybe I'll just start with book three and see if it leaves me curious for what I might have missed in the first two...

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