Game of Thrones > Game of Thrones: The Ghost of Harrenhal - A Novel Approach > Comments Page 2
This review made me so very glad I have not read the books. I, apparently, watched a completely different episode than this person did and I thought it was one of the best episodes of the season thus far. Did more to elucidate the motivations behind each character's actions than any I can remember.
This column is not meant as a crucifixion of the writers of the series, more as observations of the difficulties and challenges the writers are faced with in bringing such a huge undertaking to the screen. Admittedly, there are times when I am overwhelmed.
Parts of the book that were stand out for me were not necessarily the same for the screenwriters. That requires re-reading and comparison. While this particular episode felt as if much was changed, there have been other episodes where I have noted how much the screenwriters brought directly from Martin's masterful works.
Harrenhal's Ghost threw me around and I had a difficult time finding my center between the books and the show. This is NOT a regular review of the series, but meant to be read by those who have also read the series and want to discuss the similarities and differences. Please read the full review here: http://www.tvfanatic.com/2012/04/game-of-thrones-review-hard-truths/
While it is difficult not to get distracted when something memorable from the book gets changed or lost, for the most part, I haven't felt that the overall story arc has been ruined. These is however one change that came through the past two weeks that really stung: Having the shadow birth scene come before the Renly stabbing REALLY takes the surprise element away from the book. I remember reading that scene several times to try to piece together what was happening. Martin did such a great job setting up how obvious it seemed that Renly was going to defeat Stannis that his instant supernatural death by some unknown thing was incredibly shocking. Granted we get the birth scene later in the book under Storm's End (which apparently will be skipped altogether), and I thought they did pretty well with it last week, but I wish the TV audience could have gotten the same jolt that the book provided inside Renly's tent!
Also, the show is a television series. The logistics of playing the long game with the Tickler's death is an understandable narrative casualty. Our time with the Mountain's posse of pebbles was necessarily abbreviated anyhow. It's not wrong to have hoped for the proper Tickler treatment, but unreasonable to crucify the writers over that particular decision. It makes perfect sense for the show's Arya, who's probably more scarred by the marathon of rat-themed chest-bursting inflicted on her fellow captives than anything else she's seen on the path to Harrenhal, to single him out for elimination. Seriously, how do you expect a non-reader audience to keep up with every relatively minor freak Arya comes to hate in the book adapted to film? It would be overwhelming.
I hope more of you will come to enjoy the show with fewer reservations, changes and all. I'm happier for it, and you can be too. There are no heinous crimes against the source material on record, and most changes are still bel
I'm with Bean on this episode. I went crazy over the first three books (ultimately indifferent to the latest two), but I'm glad I have enough distance from them all to enjoy the show on its own terms. I had lots of trouble accepting the first season for what it was, but the little conniption critic/book purist in my head seems to have piped down a great deal. I honestly believe each episode of the second season gets progressively better, though I do think Renly's death was a mite rushed. Still, there was an incredible flow to this episode overall, and many memorable moments. The scope of the world is conveyed very well in its scene shifts. This episode felt larger than the rest for it, which was a wonderful feeling.
Although it is never clearly stated in the books that Margaery is a player in the game, it IS fairly obvious that House Tyrell is. By allying with Renly, then Lannister it is quite obvious. So they have taken the general thrust of House Tyrell and embodied it in Margaery and Loras, which is a good way to go about it. It also gives Marg, Loras and Littlefinger something to do on screen.
Margaerys motivations were never clearly stated in the books, but certainly marrying 3 kings in succession certainly seems to indicate that she has a desire to be queen.
I'll reserve my judgement on the show for killing the tickler the way they did. I have a feeling the scene where Arya kills him will still happen, but with a different victim. Considering how fast they need to move the plot along on the show, I wouldn't be surprised if it's the Hound she winds up killing instead.
I really do hope they end up splitting the 3rd book into two seasons. Them rushing all these things together makes it really hard to get involved with everything that is going on. Just as you're about to care for these new characters you're swept off into something that doesn't fully make sense. They need more time to go into the depth the story deserves.
Also, I don't think the novel approach is bashing the television series at all. The point of it is to show the differences. I enjoy both, the show and the books, for their own reasons. But the stories are very complicated and they need more time to develop with the audience for them to truly care about these characters.
Agreed! Arya and the Tickler was a pivotal scene in the books, and now they've killed any chance of it happening for a random death. Would it have been so hard to introduce Weese and Chiswyck! Arya could have asked for Weese's death this time, and then next episode hear Chiswyck's gang-rape story and ask for his death.
And then the Weasel Soup. :D
Really wasted potential here by killing The Tickler. A great scene that now we'll never see the televised version of, and I feel that Maisie Williams would have really pulled it off.
I was quite disappointed with the way they handled Renly's death scene. It was an epic, shocking moment in the book and here... it felt rushed & anticlimactic - I was really underwhelmed tbh. I felt the same with Maester Cressen's death - it was a really intense and creepy opening in the novel. The Battle at the end of Episode 3 was hardly a battle in the show, while in the book it was a really staged, epic and intense sequence.
Is it because of budget reasons that they can't give more emphasis to these major scenes? Because they are really important for the pacing of the storyline. I hate to say this, but the book really is better.
ooops - i meant "disagree"
Interesting to have the comparison, but I have to agree with the overall assessment/ranking:
this was the best episode of the season, perhaps the show, so far, because things weren't too choppy. there were focus and flow, and there was substance. it never felt rushed, like many previous episodes have.
I find the invented parts of Margaery Tyrell more bearable than Ros the prostitute's character, who it seems just there to pad/justify the sex scenes.
Margaery was always such a mystery in the book because we never get a viewpoint and some of the things that come out about her later were kinda mystifying. The TV show is really explaining her to me in ways I hadn't thought of.
It does seem like the flow of the plot is a little off. There were a lot of developments just rushed through this episode.
I do agree with Hobson that not saving the Tickler for Arya was a heartbreaker.
Why!! OMG WHY?? Why did they rob us the chance to see Arya go mental on the tickler? I was sooo looking fwd to seeing her stab the TICKLER over and over and over and over all the while shouting his questions back at him. I love the series I do, all of it, even most the differences because I understand with out more knowledge some of the events won't make much sense but I don't see why they would take away Arya killing the tickler. That was EPIC and it would have been (in my opinion) emmy worthy done right on HBO. UGH I'm dissappointed.
Totally disagree with your review. This was a great episode that flowed well. I didn't mind at all the book diversions.
"...read it for themselves because things like that are significant enough to stand out)."
I meant to say "are NOT significant enough to stand out." Sorry about that.
While I don't agree with the tone of Ben's post, I do agree with his point. It seems like the novel approach reviews are getting caught up in the smallest details of the show vs. the books and then only concentrating on what the show does wrong and ignoring what it does right. Yes, the books were more detailed then the show simply because the books were not restricted by budget and, increasingly for the show, by time. In the 5000+ pages I've read of A Song of Ice and Fire, I have to admit that I really didn't care whether Catelyn saw Stannis in the shadow figure or not and wouldn't know differently if I didn't go back and read it (and I will guarantee that the reviewer had to go back and read it for themselves because things like that are significant enough to stand out). I thought the point of the novel approach review was to give the viewpoint of someone who has read the novels, not nitpick over minutiae that either doesn't matter or that the show didn't have time for. I hate cr
I'm sorry but these "novel approach" interviews are terrible. So what if the TV series has strayed from the books in certain places? I absolutely love the books, and I still find every moment of this show intriguing and captivating! If anything, it's nice to still be surprised by the show on occasion after reading the books! But to me it's ridiculous that this episode would be given a 3/5 just because of seemingly insignificant deviations from the book!Now I know that reviews of any kind are highly subjective, but still, these reviews are just plain annoying...
We don't know Marge Tyrell had eyes to be the queen when reading because we never get to see her or have her POV...but, as the story goes on in the novels it's clear she is power hungry and conniving. Did you think Cersei was just paranoid in Feast for Crows? I like that the story is giving us an earlier glimpse into her scheming.
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