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Huaracocha
July 12th, 2011, 02:39 PM
Warning - contains spoilers for events in first 2 episodes of the series!

If anyone else watched this 10-15 min making of/ preview show about GoT, were they struck by the way people involved were portraying the world as one of shades of grey? Talking about how it wasn't a simple case of good vs evil and such;

"It's not a good guys, bad guys story - it's a story where everyone is pursuing their own interests and everybody is following their own code and it's about those interests and those ethics coming into conflict with each other and this provides a much richer story than the guys in white beating the guys in black." D.B. Weiss

"It's set in this interesting world of contrasting ideologies, what's right and wrong and has a great philosophy about it." Peter Dinklage

Well forgive me for my perhaps overly simplistic morality but, having watched only 2 episodes, I'm getting a pretty good feeling of some good vs. evil!

Lannister

Incest with your twin and child-murdering = evil
torturing a commoner for sport, trying to kill a little girl out of pique and lying through your teeth about it in an attempt to get her whipped = evil

Targaryen

stripping and touching up your sister, forcing her to marry a savage foreigner against her will and telling her you'd happily let 40,000 men and their horses shag her to suit your purpose = evil

Stark

honour, duty, loving your children (even the bastard), keeping your oaths, honesty and (most of the time) fidelity = good

So far the only shades of grey (from where I sit at least) are the old King & Sansa. Too early to say on "the imp" and perhaps on Jason Momoa's savages.. although all the raping he gets up to could well be considered evil in some circles :eek:

Am I rushing to judgement or are the lines of morality perhaps a bit more clearly defined than that preview would have us believe?

VampyreWraith
July 12th, 2011, 03:34 PM
I think things might look black and white at first, but as the series goes on, the characters and their choices become more grey, as they are faced with problems that have no easy answers. Good and bad become a bit more relative to where or with whom(or what) the characters' loyalties lie. Sometimes even "good" characters need to do "bad" things; events and circumstance change the characters for better or worse

Some characters are clearly worse than others in the things that they do, or how they go about acheiving their goals, but sometimes even their actions seem understandable or sympathetic from a certain point of view (IMO).

Sorry if I'm being vague, but I'm trying to avoid accidentally being spoilery.

Huaracocha
July 12th, 2011, 11:45 PM
Yeah I see what you mean having caught up with the whole series.. insofar as a lot more characters have been introduced and they aren't all out and out good or evil.

Still I'm calling shenanigans since, by and large, to me it still seems to be a case of good vs. evil at least in Westeros. Although I guess with..
Stark dead and the family of super-evil in power they were right that it's not the guys in white beating up the guys in black but closer to the opposite :S

Keeps things interesting though and gives me a lot more people to want dead in the second series or if I start in on the novels :D

The Mighty 6 platoon
July 13th, 2011, 03:57 AM
I disagree that it’s a complete case of good and evil. There are sympathetic characters, yes, and there are some villains who are complete monsters, but so many characters have grey areas. Ned Stark for example, is completely obsessed with remaining honourable, at the cost of almost anything else. I’m not sure how far you are through the series now, so I’ll use an early example of the deserter, who is clearly scared out of his mind. Rather than investigating any further, taking the guy back to the wall, he lops the guys head off, because that’s the honourable thing to do to Night’s Watch Deserters. Thing is that might be the” honourable” thing to do, but it’s not the smart thing to do, nor arguably is it the right thing to do. And as the series goes on, there are even more extreme examples of Ned trying to preserve his honour at the expense of everything else.

Daenerys Targaryen is another very grey example. She may be a sympathetic character to the audience and she may seem nicer than her brother, but she is just as committed to reclaiming the 7 Kingdoms as he is. And if she turned up with 40,000 Drothraki’s it would not be a pretty site, half of Westeros would burn. What’s more she would view people like Ned Stark as mortal enemies, and probably have him and others executed, after all he and Robert were the leaders of the Rebellion against her father, which led to his death.

The Lannisters may seem evil, but if you turned the conflict on its head, then the Starks would have reacted the same way too many events. The Starks are capable of unpleasant actions as well. Theon Greyjoy for example, is a hostage, kept by the Starks to keep the Greyjoy family in line. They are nice enough to treat him as a Ward, but if his father had ever tried to rebel again, Theon would be killed.

Increasingly as the books go on, and hopefully the series as well, as the conflict escalates, you will find that no sympathetic character does not have their hand stained with blood. Many of them have to commit shocking actions in the conflict. That’s without mentioning that so many characters are just very grey, people like Tyrion, Jaime, Bronn, Sandor, Varys, Dany, Jorah, and Robert, to name a few, all have their dark sides.

magictrick
July 13th, 2011, 06:41 AM
Still I'm calling shenanigans since, by and large, to me it still seems to be a case of good vs. evil at least in Westeros. Although I guess with..
Stark dead and the family of super-evil in power they were right that it's not the guys in white beating up the guys in black but closer to the opposite :S

Keeps things interesting though and gives me a lot more people to want dead in the second series or if I start in on the novels :D

As you progress through the series, you will notice there are no knights in shining white armor. Even by the end of season 1, you should see signs that even the characters you thought were "good" will have to make decisions that puts them in a grey area.

Without spoiling much for you I will just say that your impressions of some characters right now will completely change by the fourth book.

Huaracocha
July 13th, 2011, 10:01 AM
Thanks for the replies Mighty 6 and magictrick :) Good to know that things progress through the books and I look forward to having my assumptions about the characters challenged. I've finished watching season 1 now and was so impressed I decided to start delving into the books, but of course have to read the 1st one so will be a while before I tread new ground :lol:

In the show at least I still see Stark = good and Lannister = evil from my perspective. Interesting perspective on Stark Mighty 6 but, to my rather Klingon mentality, honour is pretty much universally a good thing ;) I can give Tyrion grey although he's definitely hovering toward the darker end of grey in my mind but not Jaime.. his actions toward Bran alone have painted him as almost (totally?) unforgivable and I've seen nothing to redeem that so far.
Have to agree that Dany feels somewhat grey in the show.. Rather sympathetically though - she hasn't actually done anything evil yet imo. My favourite surviving character from the show's season 1 :) Discounting the half-man :p

Even in reading the first few chapters of book 1 some things do seem a little more grey already, which is to be expected I guess with the deeper characterisations and details that can be explored in the format.

A bit less sun shining out of Ned, Jon & Robb's behind as they are introduced.. no sign of the Queen or her brother eating babies or drowning puppies up to the feast at least. Although I'm coming up on the climbing incident so I may well feel a bit more partisan on them shortly!

The Mighty 6 platoon
July 13th, 2011, 10:58 AM
Thanks for the replies Mighty 6 and magictrick :) Good to know that things progress through the books and I look forward to having my assumptions about the characters challenged. I've finished watching season 1 now and was so impressed I decided to start delving into the books, but of course have to read the 1st one so will be a while before I tread new ground :lol:

In the show at least I still see Stark = good and Lannister = evil from my perspective. Interesting perspective on Stark Mighty 6 but, to my rather Klingon mentality, honour is pretty much universally a good thing ;) I can give Tyrion grey although he's definitely hovering toward the darker end of grey in my mind but not Jaime.. his actions toward Bran alone have painted him as almost (totally?) unforgivable and I've seen nothing to redeem that so far.
Have to agree that Dany feels somewhat grey in the show.. Rather sympathetically though - she hasn't actually done anything evil yet imo. My favourite surviving character from the show's season 1 :) Discounting the half-man :p

Even in reading the first few chapters of book 1 some things do seem a little more grey already, which is to be expected I guess with the deeper characterisations and details that can be explored in the format.

A bit less sun shining out of Ned, Jon & Robb's behind as they are introduced.. no sign of the Queen or her brother eating babies or drowning puppies up to the feast at least. Although I'm coming up on the climbing incident so I may well feel a bit more partisan on them shortly!
Dany is responsible for the sack of the Lhazareen village and indirectly the rape of Mirri Maz Duur and the other women in the village. She was the one who pressed her husband to invade Westeros, which required ships, which required gold to pay for ships, so the Drothraki attacekd the vilage for slaves and plunder to get gold. That to me is pretty grey.

As for the Stark's honour, the books and the series show that honour to the exclusion of everything else is not only stupid, but dangerous. Ned Stark, unwilling to face the political realities of the situation, has now inadvertently plunged the 7 Kingdoms into a brutal civil war. And I don't want to spoil what's ahead for you, but let's just say the war is pretty horrific. In fact if in the next few seasons they film even half of what is described on the book, it will still be very difficult to watch. I think one of the themes of the book is how honour at the expense of everything else doesn't work. Frequently through the series, bad stuff happens to characters who value honour above everything else.

Huaracocha
July 13th, 2011, 11:24 AM
Fair points and I don't disagree with anything you've said.. but it can be looked at another way too I think. Taking the example of Ned and the civil war and other consequences of his actions, you could argue that it is the dishonorouable (evil) people who are responsible for those things and not him. If everyone was honourable such problems wouldn't occur ;)

VampyreWraith
July 13th, 2011, 12:11 PM
I don't find the Lannisters to be evil, some of them do bad things for various reason, but they have their own kind of honor(mostly Tyrion and Jaime).

With the more honorable characters, a lot of their conflict comes when they need to choose between duty, family, and honor ; especially when doing your duty would mean doing something "dishonorable" but not doing what you were sworn to do is "dishonorable" as well.

The Mighty 6 platoon
July 13th, 2011, 01:52 PM
Fair points and I don't disagree with anything you've said.. but it can be looked at another way too I think. Taking the example of Ned and the civil war and other consequences of his actions, you could argue that it is the dishonorouable (evil) people who are responsible for those things and not him. If everyone was honourable such problems wouldn't occur ;)
There will always be, in this world and in Westeros, evil and power hungry people. Saying it's ultimately their fault might be true, but it doesn't deal with them. In the real world "honourable" solutions to major problems often don't work. For example to bet Germany in World War 2, the U.S and U.K allied themselves and supported with the Soviet Union, who were just as bad as the Nazis, but without them, the war could not have been won. Similarly in Westeros, sometimes things that may be dishonourable or unpleasant may have to be done, to serve the greater good.

Ned failed to play politics, and as a result he didn't take action that could have prevented the 7 Kingdoms from falling apart, which was a critical mistake.

Huaracocha
July 13th, 2011, 06:25 PM
I don't find the Lannisters to be evil, some of them do bad things for various reason, but they have their own kind of honor(mostly Tyrion and Jaime).

With the more honorable characters, a lot of their conflict comes when they need to choose between duty, family, and honor ; especially when doing your duty would mean doing something "dishonorable" but not doing what you were sworn to do is "dishonorable" as well.

Bear in mind I'm not far into book 1 but have seen season 1 of the show so that's what's informing my perceptions at the moment. That being said I guess it's just a different take on things, to me they seem to be the epitome of evil with the possible exception of Tyrion. Some of the things they get up to...

Incestuously & adulterously conspiring to put a bastard on the throne (Jaime & Queen Evil Face), attempting to murder innocent children (Jaime - Bran), slaughtering babes (Tywin), treacherously and oath-breakingly (bad word I know ;P) killing the King and trying to take his throne out from under their 'ally' (Jaime), torturing for their own amusement be it butcher boys or their betrothed (Jothree), poisoning and murdering good people, husbands who happen to be the King to protect their own dark secrets and even tying up loose ends of the people used in their machinations with finality (Queen Evil Face I assume) or even simply breaking their word to show mercy (Jothree - Ned)

well to me it's hard to see a more evil antagonist without maniacal cackling or pronouncements about the "dark side of the force" :p


There will always be, in this world and in Westeros, evil and power hungry people. Saying it's ultimately their fault might be true, but it doesn't deal with them. In the real world "honourable" solutions to major problems often don't work. For example to bet Germany in World War 2, the U.S and U.K allied themselves and supported with the Soviet Union, who were just as bad as the Nazis, but without them, the war could not have been won. Similarly in Westeros, sometimes things that may be dishonourable or unpleasant may have to be done, to serve the greater good.

Ned failed to play politics, and as a result he didn't take action that could have prevented the 7 Kingdoms from falling apart, which was a critical mistake.

Yes indeed that's very true. Allying with Russia was hardly a clean move, nor was permitting the bombing of Coventry to protect the Enigma code secret. I'd agree that Ned's glaring flaw is excessive honour, even stupidity in the face of the treachery of others. As fatal as such a flaw can be though, it doesn't strike me as 'evil' in any way.

I love honourable characters who are willing to set aside their own virtues and do what must be done in dealing with the treacherous and dishonourable in a ruthless manner. This would almost invariably be a wiser and more successful strategy than one employed by the likes of Ned but, if anything, would make such a character less 'good' than a blinkered so-and-so like Lord Eddard :)

VampyreWraith
July 13th, 2011, 06:52 PM
Bear in mind I'm not far into book 1 but have seen season 1 of the show so that's what's informing my perceptions at the moment. That being said I guess it's just a different take on things, to me they seem to be the epitome of evil with the possible exception of Tyrion. Some of the things they get up to...

Incestuously & adulterously conspiring to put a bastard on the throne (Jaime & Queen Evil Face), attempting to murder innocent children (Jaime - Bran), slaughtering babes (Tywin), treacherously and oath-breakingly (bad word I know ;P) killing the King and trying to take his throne out from under their 'ally' (Jaime), torturing for their own amusement be it butcher boys or their betrothed (Jothree), poisoning and murdering good people, husbands who happen to be the King to protect their own dark secrets and even tying up loose ends of the people used in their machinations with finality (Queen Evil Face I assume) or even simply breaking their word to show mercy (Jothree - Ned)

well to me it's hard to see a more evil antagonist without maniacal cackling or pronouncements about the "dark side of the force" :p





Regarding Jaime and the previous king, I think it was mentioned during in the TV series this season but just in case King Areys was a bit nuts, he was going around burning and killing people, and everyone just stood there and watched him, until Jaime finally killed him. i think theres more to Jaime than what he outwardly presents and later on it comes out more.

magictrick
July 13th, 2011, 07:02 PM
Regarding Jaime and the previous king, I think it was mentioned during in the TV series this season but just in case King Areys was a bit nuts, he was going around burning and killing people, and everyone just stood there and watched him, until Jaime finally killed him. i think theres more to Jaime than what he outwardly presents and later on it comes out more.

It is mentioned in the first season, I think it comes up when it is explained why people call him "Kingslayer". I always found it interesting how he gets all this flack for being the Kingslayer, but no one else would step up to do it either. Its like they forget what a whack job King Aerys was and how many meaningless deaths he was responsible for.

Huaracocha
July 13th, 2011, 07:23 PM
It is mentioned in the first season, I think it comes up when it is explained why people call him "Kingslayer". I always found it interesting how he gets all this flack for being the Kingslayer, but no one else would step up to do it either. Its like they forget what a whack job King Aerys was and how many meaningless deaths he was responsible for.

There's a conversation or two in the 1st book quite early on, specifically one between Robert and Ned, that clear all that up a bit..

It's the fact he was in the King's Guard and sworn to protect the King that gives the derisive aspect to the nickname. I think people like Ned would feel a lot more comfortable if it had been Robert, Ned or anyone else who had done the deed rather than Jaime doing it and oath-breaking in the process. I guess they didn't have the time to go into all that in the show so they substituted him doing it by backstabbing since nobody likes a backstabber ;) There's also the matter of him trying to / thinking about taking the throne out from under Robert after killing him which is touched on in the show.

VampyreWraith
July 13th, 2011, 07:39 PM
There's a conversation or two in the 1st book quite early on, specifically one between Robert and Ned, that clear all that up a bit..

It's the fact he was in the King's Guard and sworn to protect the King that gives the derisive aspect to the nickname. I think people like Ned would feel a lot more comfortable if it had been Robert, Ned or anyone else who had done the deed rather than Jaime doing it and oath-breaking in the process. I guess they didn't have the time to go into all that in the show so they substituted him doing it by backstabbing since nobody likes a backstabber ;) There's also the matter of him trying to / thinking about taking the throne out from under Robert after killing him which is touched on in the show.

So Jaime should have just stood there and watched Aerys kill more innocent people until some else got up the nerve to kill the mad king, just so he wouldn't be an oathbreaker? Robert and Ned think he was trying to to take the throne after killing Aerys, their opinion of Jaime isn't exactly unbiased.

Huaracocha
July 13th, 2011, 07:54 PM
So Jaime should have just stood there and watched Aerys kill more innocent people until some else got up the nerve to kill the mad king, just so he wouldn't be an oathbreaker? Robert and Ned think he was trying to to take the throne after killing Aerys, their opinion of Jaime isn't exactly unbiased.

Well it's difficult to say..

They don't really make it very clear what the situation in the throne room was in the show. Assuming it follows the brief account I've seen so far in the books, the Lannisters had taken King's Landing (through treachery :p ) after the King's forces were routed and retreated there. Bearing in mind this was at the end of a civil war / rebellion and Aerys was defeated he wasn't killing anyone at that point unless I'm missing something.

So Jaime could have held him to await 'justice' at Robert's order. Admittedly that might have necessitated killing a handful more troops / guards in the process although from what I've seen of the Lannisters they were most likely all slaughtered anyway. Or he could have ordered his troops to slay the King thus avoiding having to break his sacred oath.

It's Ned who says he was trying on the throne in the conversation I was referring to, Robert wasn't there at the time. In the show someone mentions at one point that Jaime only got off the throne because Ned made him but I forget who. In any event you're right, that's Ned's version of what was happening and Jaime's may well be different. Although if it came down to it, I know who I'd be more inclined to believe ;)

VampyreWraith
July 13th, 2011, 08:38 PM
Well it's difficult to say..

They don't really make it very clear what the situation in the throne room was in the show. Assuming it follows the brief account I've seen so far in the books, the Lannisters had taken King's Landing (through treachery :p ) after the King's forces were routed and retreated there. Bearing in mind this was at the end of a civil war / rebellion and Aerys was defeated he wasn't killing anyone at that point unless I'm missing something.

So Jaime could have held him to await 'justice' at Robert's order. Admittedly that might have necessitated killing a handful more troops / guards in the process although from what I've seen of the Lannisters they were most likely all slaughtered anyway. Or he could have ordered his troops to slay the King thus avoiding having to break his sacred oath.

It's Ned who says he was trying on the throne in the conversation I was referring to, Robert wasn't there at the time. In the show someone mentions at one point that Jaime only got off the throne because Ned made him but I forget who. In any event you're right, that's Ned's version of what was happening and Jaime's may well be different. Although if it came down to it, I know who I'd be more inclined to believe ;)

Regarding Aerys and Kings landing, and since I'm not sure if this part was mentioned in the series yet,( and I really don't think it has been), since I don't think it's explained until later in the books when

(not really spoilery, but can be if you consider confirming someone is still alive at least until a he/she gets a pov chapter is a spoiler)Jaime gets pov chapters, Jaimie really becomes more sympathetic(imo) once the reader get to see things from inside his head. I think they started showing this in the series

(actual spoiler, because I don't think it's been mentioned in the tv series yet)
Aerys wasn't really a good guy, Jaime sees how bad he is first hand. When Aerys saw that he might be beaten he had his pyromancers rig things so that the city would burn and kill lots of people. Jaime new of the plan but did nothing at first. After Tywin tricks Aerys into letting him into the city, he ordered Jaime to kill his own father, and he(Aerys) sent orders to burn the city. Jaime killed the messenger and then killed the king to stop him from sending another message. Later Ned finds Jaime sitting on the throne and assumes meaning behind it. I think Robert hears second hand, that Jaime was sitting on the throne and he too he just asumes the same as Ned. Jaime doesn't really explain himself, because he kinda of figures that people would think whatever they want anyway, and probably wouldn't believe him even if he tried to explain.

Huaracocha
July 13th, 2011, 10:39 PM
I'll get back to you on that then ; ) I don't want to spoil things in book 2 onwards for myself since I'm really getting into book 1 now. Knowing me this means I'll devour them in a week or two and then be cursing that I have to wait 2 years+ for book 6!

VampyreWraith
July 13th, 2011, 11:21 PM
I'll get back to you on that then ; ) I don't want to spoil things in book 2 onwards for myself since I'm really getting into book 1 now. Knowing me this means I'll devour them in a week or two and then be cursing that I have to wait 2 years+ for book 6!

The books are great, the worst thing about them(imo) is the wait between them because they so leave you wanting more. :D


*If anyone notices that I'm wrong about things, and that they've already been mentioned on the tv series feel free to correct me; the books and tv show blend together for me now. I can picture the actors playing the characters, saying and doing some things that take place later in the books so well, that it feels like I've already seen it on screen.

NerdyRaptor
July 13th, 2011, 11:52 PM
Well not everyone in the Targaryen family is evil. I mean, his sister was once fearful, but then became this alpha female who showed compassion. Though it's true that the Stark family is meant to be the heroes of the story, it also shows that the mother didn't take to the bastard son real well-even though he showed nothing but kindness to the family. Not necessarily good, but not downright evil. I see them more of an anti-hero. The only 'real' hero I can see in Game of Thrones is Bran.

But getting back on topic...
I saw the preview. Looks wicked awesome, but it's a bit disappointing that I don't have cable. I'll be sure to check it out once it comes out onto DVD.

The Mighty 6 platoon
July 14th, 2011, 03:51 AM
Yes indeed that's very true. Allying with Russia was hardly a clean move, nor was permitting the bombing of Coventry to protect the Enigma code secret. I'd agree that Ned's glaring flaw is excessive honour, even stupidity in the face of the treachery of others. As fatal as such a flaw can be though, it doesn't strike me as 'evil' in any way.

I love honourable characters who are willing to set aside their own virtues and do what must be done in dealing with the treacherous and dishonourable in a ruthless manner. This would almost invariably be a wiser and more successful strategy than one employed by the likes of Ned but, if anything, would make such a character less 'good' than a blinkered so-and-so like Lord Eddard :)

Ned isn't evil, but I'd actually describe him as fairly selfish, and of course a bit of an idiot. He's so obsessed with his honour, that as I said he wants to preserve it at the expense of everything else. It barely even crosses his mind what the consequences for the peasants and the "small folk" will be, and they are the ones who suffer the most from the conflict.

Luckily there are many characters who are good people, but are more than willing not to let "honour" get in the way of what has to be done, as you shall find out in later books and seasons of the show.

Huaracocha
July 15th, 2011, 11:38 AM
The books are great, the worst thing about them(imo) is the wait between them because they so leave you wanting more. :D

I read a bit about some issues the author had with writing 4 and 5, changing his plans for the timeline and then re-writing to split into 2 books because it was too long etc. So hopefully 6 & 7 may not take quite so long. Perhaps a vain hope for the conclusion to a series which often takes longer than the beginning but I'll stay optimistic :)


Well not everyone in the Targaryen family is evil. I mean, his sister was once fearful, but then became this alpha female who showed compassion. Though it's true that the Stark family is meant to be the heroes of the story, it also shows that the mother didn't take to the bastard son real well-even though he showed nothing but kindness to the family. Not necessarily good, but not downright evil. I see them more of an anti-hero. The only 'real' hero I can see in Game of Thrones is Bran.

But getting back on topic...
I saw the preview. Looks wicked awesome, but it's a bit disappointing that I don't have cable. I'll be sure to check it out once it comes out onto DVD.

Yeah I like Dany a lot as a character.

Mighty 6 is right she is partly responsible for the sacking of the Lamb village (indirectly imo) but she is evolving rapidly as a person and seems to try and do the right thing most of the time. Cat was a bit mean to Jon but I guess if she'd really had it in for him she could have gotten Ned to foster him away or something years ago. Sansa is the must unlikeable Stark imo, at least in book 1.


Ned isn't evil, but I'd actually describe him as fairly selfish, and of course a bit of an idiot. He's so obsessed with his honour, that as I said he wants to preserve it at the expense of everything else. It barely even crosses his mind what the consequences for the peasants and the "small folk" will be, and they are the ones who suffer the most from the conflict.

Luckily there are many characters who are good people, but are more than willing not to let "honour" get in the way of what has to be done, as you shall find out in later books and seasons of the show.

As far as Ned goes..

Of course ultimately he does sacrifice his honour but to no avail so it does have a price!

It's a good point about the small folk but then I like high adventure, battles, toppling evil forces and such in my fantasy so I guess I don't care much about the welfare of the small folk either ;)

I look forward to seeing the characters develop and if there are new ones to meet in line with your last point (currently in book 2).

I'm liking Tyrion more and more and even starting to forgive Sansa as she gets her 'just desserts' for being such a simpering, vapid, pitiful creature throughout most of book 1

The Mighty 6 platoon
July 15th, 2011, 04:20 PM
It's a good point about the small folk but then I like high adventure, battles, toppling evil forces and such in my fantasy so I guess I don't care much about the welfare of the small folk either ;)


Well the future books, and presumably the next few seasons will show the small folk and how their lives are ruined by the High Lords. If they even film half of what is described in the book it will make for some disturbing viewing. George RR Martin spares nothing in showing the horrors that are unleashed, as the population is raped, murdered and pillaged into oblivion.

This is not your traditional fantasy work where the heroes can fight a war without collateral damage. Look up some of the stuff about the invasion of Russia during World War 2, and then just think about that happening in Westeros, because we are talking that level of horror and death. Some of the new characters in season 2 include the Brave Companions, a mercenary company. I won't go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil it, but suffice to say they are the stuff of nightmares. And they join the Starks side...

Skydiver
July 16th, 2011, 06:17 AM
HOnor only works if everyone is doing it. Or if everyone's goal is to do what does the most good for the most people. Very few are doing that. Most are 'lookin out for number one'....they're just all willing to go to different lengths to get what they want.

As to Ned claiming Jon (his bastard), yeah, he did....claimed him as a bastard. he doesn't know who his mother is and he's treated as a second class citizen his whole life because he's 'Lord Snow'.
so yeah, ned claimed him. but honestly the kid woulda had an easier time of it had Ned brought him home with a 'found this child, his mother was dead and he has no one' story. Cat would have likely been more sympathetic to a foundling than she was proof of her husband's infidelity.

so yeah, his honor demanded that he claim him, but denying that honor would have served Jon better and given him a better life potential

Huaracocha
July 17th, 2011, 04:29 PM
Well the future books, and presumably the next few seasons will show the small folk and how their lives are ruined by the High Lords. If they even film half of what is described in the book it will make for some disturbing viewing. George RR Martin spares nothing in showing the horrors that are unleashed, as the population is raped, murdered and pillaged into oblivion.

This is not your traditional fantasy work where the heroes can fight a war without collateral damage. Look up some of the stuff about the invasion of Russia during World War 2, and then just think about that happening in Westeros, because we are talking that level of horror and death. Some of the new characters in season 2 include the Brave Companions, a mercenary company. I won't go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil it, but suffice to say they are the stuff of nightmares. And they join the Starks side...

Just finished book 2..

I see what you mean about the small folk and the Bloody Mummers, although I'm a little on the fence about whether working for Bolton means being on Stark's side given the activities of his charming son :eek: I know he denounced him and all but he doesn't seem overly trustworthy. Not that hardly anyone in Westeros does to be fair.

I don't mind him making a thing about the suffering of war, it's often neglected in this type of story and helps to bring the world more to life imo.. but ultimately I want to see heroes crushing villains! If a few million peasants get killed, raped and burned off the land in the process well that's just the price of a good yarn :p

I think they're going to have to take some poetic license with the ordering / focus of events in season 2 of the show because, to me anyway, book 2 is veeeerrryyyyy slow for the first half at least. In fact they already did with the conversation Catelyn has with Kingslayer near the end of season 1 that is well into the back half of book 2.


HOnor only works if everyone is doing it. Or if everyone's goal is to do what does the most good for the most people. Very few are doing that. Most are 'lookin out for number one'....they're just all willing to go to different lengths to get what they want.

As to Ned claiming Jon (his bastard), yeah, he did....claimed him as a bastard. he doesn't know who his mother is and he's treated as a second class citizen his whole life because he's 'Lord Snow'.
so yeah, ned claimed him. but honestly the kid woulda had an easier time of it had Ned brought him home with a 'found this child, his mother was dead and he has no one' story. Cat would have likely been more sympathetic to a foundling than she was proof of her husband's infidelity.

so yeah, his honor demanded that he claim him, but denying that honor would have served Jon better and given him a better life potential

Yeah I completely agree, it seems honour is definitely of limited value in Westeros..

so far at least anyway since almost all the important characters are scum! It must be a disadvantage in fact (as Ned found out to his cost) when almost every other Lord, noble house, etc is scheming and plotting to their own ignoble ends. I'm left desperately hoping for news of Barristan the Bold since he's about the only non-Stark kicking around in Westeros whose honour is in intact!

I'm not sure I completely agree about Ned & Jon, from what I've seen so far. Cat was a bit hard on him but he was treated more or less as a son by Ned and a brother by the other Starks. A random foundling of no noble birth could hope for a place in the household and maybe to become a squire or such I guess so perhaps that would have been better for him.

Although I've formed a wild theory about Jon's parentage that is quite different from what we've been led to believe so far and would explain Ned taking him in as a bastard. It's probably wrong and I don't want to get into discussing it for fear of spoiling the future books but let's just say it involves Ned's obsession with the promise he gave and Dany's vision of her brother and the number 3..

Back to the original topic of good vs evil in this saga and I guess I have to take back some of what I was saying..

I still feel pretty much the same way about the main characters originally discussed but, at this point at the end of book 2, it seems more a tale of evil vs evil vs evil vs super-evil vs morally ambiguous with a few good guys running around not sure what they're doing and looking fairly ripe for slaughter! A bit depressing actually.. someone bring me Cercei's head and feed Joffrey's cock to the goats and I'll feel a lot better about the whole sorry busines :)

Cold Fuzz
July 17th, 2011, 07:33 PM
Back to the original topic of good vs evil in this saga and I guess I have to take back some of what I was saying..

I still feel pretty much the same way about the main characters originally discussed but, at this point at the end of book 2, it seems more a tale of evil vs evil vs evil vs super-evil vs morally ambiguous with a few good guys running around not sure what they're doing and looking fairly ripe for slaughter! A bit depressing actually.. someone bring me Cercei's head and feed Joffrey's cock to the goats and I'll feel a lot better about the whole sorry busines :)

GRRM has almost completely done away with the idea of good and evil. I've come to think of almost every character and house as having an agenda they're trying to pursue and it's a no-holds-barred end-justifies-the-means free-for-all. I think very few characters are actually consistent with some kind of personal code. Consequently, many of them have struck me as unsympathetic and when they get scragged by someone else or their own intrigues backfire on them, it becomes satisfying to read about them reaping what they've sown.

Huaracocha
July 18th, 2011, 01:12 AM
GRRM has almost completely done away with the idea of good and evil. I've come to think of almost every character and house as having an agenda they're trying to pursue and it's a no-holds-barred end-justifies-the-means free-for-all. I think very few characters are actually consistent with some kind of personal code. Consequently, many of them have struck me as unsympathetic and when they get scragged by someone else or their own intrigues backfire on them, it becomes satisfying to read about them reaping what they've sown.

Glad to see I'm not the only one finding most of this bunch fairly unsympathetic! I've got a hit list of names, much like one of the characters does, so I'm looking forward to some of this scragging you mention ;)

Cold Fuzz
July 18th, 2011, 01:26 AM
Glad to see I'm not the only one finding most of this bunch fairly unsympathetic! I've got a hit list of names, much like one of the characters does, so I'm looking forward to some of this scragging you mention ;)

Oh with the events that go on all the way through the beginnings of book 5 (which I'm going through very slowly right now because of work and other things), there are plenty of characters I wish would get scragged--and my hitlist is considerably longer than Arya's. :lol: Alas, there are a few characters that I wanted eliminated and are still drawing breath. :P

Huaracocha
July 18th, 2011, 06:56 PM
I'm getting perilously close to adding Mr Martin to my "Arya list" at the moment!

Don't get me wrong I'm loving the books and can't put them down - currently well into book 3. The only thing is I'm just finding it so bleak and depressing ever since Ned's little accident. My heart would sing to find one of the characters I care about in Westeros (essentially the Starks) find a little comfort and happiness or achieve something meaningful.

I'm not looking for happily ever after but just to stop being constantly hammered from pillar to post, tortured and tormented. Failing that I'd settle for seeing one of the people I loathe killed horribly :o As it stands though neither is looking very likely at all :(

I dance a little jig every time the chapter heading "Daenerys" comes up. At least one of the characters I like is getting somewhere! I shouldn't have said that.. she'll spend the next book and half in chains being tortured and cruelly abused now no doubt :S

magictrick
July 18th, 2011, 07:42 PM
That is what the books are all about. I find them so interesting because they are a great depiction of real life, where a lot of the time there aren't heroes that save the day and the villains continue to thrive. But most of all, the shades of grey that almost each character possesses is great. Not necessarily evil nor good but just doing what they think is best based on the situations they are faced with.

Huaracocha
July 19th, 2011, 02:14 PM
But.. but... I want the people I like to win and the nasty people to die :p

Seriously though you're right, the realism of the world is a big part of what makes these stories so compelling. It just gets a bit too bleak for me at times but that's probably my own fault. Where most people seem to see realistic 'shades of grey' characters following their own motivations I see dishonourable, evil scum whose only purpose is to be killed by each other or, preferably, the Starks ;)

I'm a bit happier with things at the moment though.. (major book 3 spoilers ahead)

Jaime got a nice, nasty punishment for his misdeeds and we start to see him in a more sympathetic light. Well, now Robb is dead (saw that coming) and Stark Mommy - didn't see that coming at all :(

I must confess when he tries to pretend that Arya is dead, "the axe took her in the back of the head", I almost gave up at that point and was going to put the novels on the back burner for a few weeks. Just too much invested in this character from Mr. Martin and me. Then I remembered he doesn't flinch from confirming deaths or from pretending people are toast when they really aren't.

Reread that bit & refused to believe it and kept going for several chapters.. finally in desperation flicked back to the chapter headings to see I have an Arya chapter coming up shortly :D In the meantime... other Starks are in less perilous positions or at least progressing and what's really cheered me up about things in Westeros - ding dong the Joff is dead :lol:

Cold Fuzz
July 19th, 2011, 09:44 PM
But.. but... I want the people I like to win and the nasty people to die :p

Seriously though you're right, the realism of the world is a big part of what makes these stories so compelling. It just gets a bit too bleak for me at times but that's probably my own fault. Where most people seem to see realistic 'shades of grey' characters following their own motivations I see dishonourable, evil scum whose only purpose is to be killed by each other or, preferably, the Starks ;)

I'm a bit happier with things at the moment though.. (major book 3 spoilers ahead)

Jaime got a nice, nasty punishment for his misdeeds and we start to see him in a more sympathetic light. Well, now Robb is dead (saw that coming) and Stark Mommy - didn't see that coming at all :(

I must confess when he tries to pretend that Arya is dead, "the axe took her in the back of the head", I almost gave up at that point and was going to put the novels on the back burner for a few weeks. Just too much invested in this character from Mr. Martin and me. Then I remembered he doesn't flinch from confirming deaths or from pretending people are toast when they really aren't.

Reread that bit & refused to believe it and kept going for several chapters.. finally in desperation flicked back to the chapter headings to see I have an Arya chapter coming up shortly :D In the meantime... other Starks are in less perilous positions or at least progressing and what's really cheered me up about things in Westeros - ding dong the Joff is dead :lol:

Yeah, when you stick with the story, there'll be some moments that do make you smile.

And the death of that little monster Joffrey is definitely one of those moments. :D