Monday, May 18, 2015

On Game of Thrones no one remains unbowed, unbent, or unbroken specifically. However, I hope that Sansa Stark gets it together soon.

Every great house of Westeros has their own words. The Starks utter "Winter is Coming" on just about every occasion. The Greyjoys say, "We do not sow." House Martell in Dorne uses the words, "Unbowed, unbent, unbroken," which also just happens to be the title of the sixth episode for season five that aired last night.

The words mostly refer to their history: the Martell's were the only ones that resisted the Targaryens, making them pretty much unique. They used guerilla tactics against the Targaryens, avoiding castles where dragons could get at them easily, avoiding clumping together in huge armies that could just get blasted by dragons, and they used the desert terrain to their advantage to harass invading armies. Being a desert, there was very little in the way of support for a huge invading army anyway, which is a problem for a conqueror and not so much a problem for those who live there.
In Sunday's episode, I really felt for Sansa. This poor girl has had a miserable existence ever since she left King's Landing to be wed to Joffrey in the first season. She's seen her dad executed, has put up with insult after insult hurled into her face, has been betrothed about five times, has been married twice now, and each time her husband was someone that repulsed or horrified her. I kind of think that the words, "Unbowed, unbent, unbroken," maybe refer to her more than anyone in the sense that (despite all of the horrible things that happened to her including being raped by Ramsay Bolton on her wedding night) she may emerge to be "unbroken" and get a revenge on the people who have wronged her in some way.

I do love Game of Thrones, but I am disappointed in the fate of Loras Tyrell that is greatly different than was presented in the books. It seems the show has wanted to focus on Loras's sexuality, which is not how I remember the book in so much as he was the youngest Tyrell brother and had two older brothers who could step up and lead the house. In the television series, Loras is the only male heir to House Tyrell, which obviously increases the pressure because so much is bound to Loras's fate. Additionally, he attracts the eye of Jaime Lannister who becomes impressed with him, and he goes on to do some pretty great things before being maimed in a battle/seige at Dragonstone. As for Margaery, in the books she gets hauled before the faith because of issues having to do with being a virgin on her wedding night (there is doubt), but here she's just arrested because she's conspiring to deny charges of homosexuality leveled at her brother.

I think all of these deviations from the written material were necessary because 1) the volume of information that George R.R. Martin has written is simply too large for anything to handle (even a television series), and 2) the television series kind of "jumped the gun" and started filming while Martin was only halfway through the series. They really should have waited until the whole thing was commercially available for reading. That way they could prepare for all the different character arcs and make a proposal for more than seven seasons (allowing for deep exploration of the complex characters that inhabit Westeros).

Anyway, nothing's perfect I suppose, and as far as series go, "Game of Thrones" is one of the best fantasies I've ever had the pleasure to watch. So maybe I shouldn't be too critical. Just the whole "gay treatment" thing of a character as intriguing as Loras Tyrell kind of sticks in my craw.

But I do have a question for you writers out there. If a movie or television studio approached you to make your series into a show, would you consent if you were only halfway done? Or would you insist that they wait until the story is finalized? The answer is obvious for authors like J.K. Rowling and George R.R. Martin, but I'm interested if there are any of you out there that would play the "patience" card and insist that a film company wait until you were done. I look forward to your comments :).


  1. No spoilers! Watching it later today off a friend's HBO feed.

  2. Rowling came to mind immediately. She clued Alan Rickman in on Snape's secrets before the last book was out.

    I wonder if Martin didn't know where the series was going. Maybe he's a pantser and let the story unfold as it went.
    As to your question, Oh yes. With open arms

  3. Since this season is combining books 4 and 5, it seems to be altering the storylines the most. The only choice I've really opposed thus far is Sansa's, so we'll see what they do with it. There is still so much to cover in the last four episodes, it feels like they're saving everything for the very end. I hope we get to see Daenerys fly off on Drogon.

    I don't mind tv series going different directions from the books. True Blood and Dexter both did that well. I think it's different with Game of Thrones because the first few seasons were so true to the books, it kind of sucks they have to diverge now. But don't get me wrong, I still love it.

  4. If they had waited for Martin to finish they wouldn't be able to start filming until 2028. It's not their fault he's too busy ranting about the Hugos and Jets on his blog and running a movie theater and crap like that to go write the damned books.

    Anyway, I haven't watched the episode yet since this crappy motel in Louisville doesn't have HBO. But they rerun it 50 times a week so I'm sure I'll catch it sometime this week or on demand.

    And to answer your question: I like money. So basically even if I hadn't finished book 1 I'd let them start filming.

    1. Being my brother's chauffeur. BTW if you haven't seen it Ex Machina is really good.

    2. I did see Ex Machina. It's a disturbing and frightening glimpse of a future that I think is going to present itself within my lifetime. I could easily see some rich guy that's got a wee bit of perversion in him totally designing an A.I. and keeping them as his sex slaves.

  5. If I asked them to wait, my series would probably never be filmed. :) But I do have a vague idea as to where it's headed, so I suppose I could give them the broad strokes and let them run with it.

  6. I'm not the patient type, so I'd have them make it anyway. Gotta strike while the iron is hot in that business.

  7. I'm not the patient type, so I'd have them make it anyway. Gotta strike while the iron is hot in that business.

  8. I know I've said it before but it seems apparent to me that Martin lost his desire to write the books after the 3rd one. It took him two years the write the first three (1996,1999,2000) and about five for the next second three (2005,2011,2015?).

    In a lot of ways I really feel for Martin. Once he wrote the first three books his fan's were relentless in their desire for closure, much greater than Martin's desire to write. Every author knows the feeling when you sit down and can't find their muse. The only solution are either to walk away from the material or force yourself to write. Ultimately, I think Martin did both.

    Books 4 and 5 were a mess and it should be telling that HBO spent two seasons on Book 3 but appears to be blowing through Books 4 and 5 combined in one.

    I think deep down Martin is glad HBO's story is going to pass him. He created a world so big that it engulfed his desire. Now the pressure from fans has been passed to HBO to tell the end of his story from an outline he's given to them.

    That will allow Martin to take his time to finish the last book and hopefully allow him to find a different finish that will satisfy him and his hardcore fans.

  9. It depends, if i'm writing a series and the studio wants to jump the gun then I say, show me the money! LOL. It doesn't matter if a script is late or out of sequence in Star Trek for example because only trekkies know what stardates mean. So I'd use a system like that and edit in the later scripts once they were ready.

  10. If I had a series with several books out and someone wanted to do a TV movies or series of it, I'd go for it and give them a general outline and clues as to where I see the characters going. A lot of TV series are 'based on' the characters and story of whomever. Look at Parker's Spenser, the series Bones. They've been successful and Kathy Reichs is still writing the series.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  11. Money Baby! I'd totally go for the sale. It would likely give me incentive to finish the series faster too. Of course, that leave the author subject to the pleasure of the viewing audience also. A two edged sword there. Worth the effort in my view.

    Poor Loras, and Margary. But, I'm glad this is going to pull the Tyrell's at odds with Cersi. She needs to be removed. Tommen will have a better chance at being a decent King with her out of the picture. Margary is manipulative, but so far looks like she has the interest of the people at heart. Of course, that will likely change - given the witch's prophecy.

    Sansa is growing up nicely. The death of a fairy tale life isn't easy. I see awesome potential in her. And perhaps Breanna will finally save a monarch she has pledged her service to.

    I'm in love with Jon's character. And Tyrion, that little dude is doing some growing up too. I swear he has all the best lines in the show.

  12. In Martin's case, I think it's okay if someone else takes over. Also I recently read a quote from him saying that he doesn't outline. Perhaps that's what made his books so good, but also take so long.

  13. If I were approached to have my novels adapted...

    Sorry, couldn't stop laughing. I have no idea what I'd say. I can't even picture the circumstance. I suppose I have to finish something first...

  14. I'd be torn, but not being wealthy I'd probably let them go ahead as long as it looked like it would be done in a high-quality manner. I don't mind stories diverging as long as they are well done.

  15. I'm not watching GoT ever again.

  16. I had heard all the outrage about what happened to Sansa, and I didn't see the justification. Ramsay has done far worse things, and Sansa's arguably been through worse.