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13 June 2011

Game of Thrones spoilers [More:] So they cut off Ned's head? I'm starting to get interested in reading the books, with such drastic and dramatic changes being commonplace. Have the people who read the book just seen all this coming? How is the show doing in relation to the book?
I haven't read those books. So can't help you there.

But I'd like to ask you two things:
1. have you seen the series Camelot? Am I showing a lack of taste in enjoying that? Mostly I think that Eva Green is fearsome as Morgan Le Fay. I don't know whether it's because her face evokes a Laurens Alma Tadema painting. Or because she's a better actor than most and can emote malice. (most other actors in that series are underwhelming I have to admit)
2. Wherefore 'ethylene'? I'm curious since I can't think of a reason to choose that specific compound as a personal totem.
posted by jouke 13 June | 11:43
I have not seen Camelot. How can one watch it?

I like the sound of it, ethylene. I like it better than my own name and it is impossible to search for. It's present at birth, death and decay. I'm a natural gas, although my humor has been misplaced for the longest while. It's disconcerting.
And what is a jouke? Just a name?
posted by ethylene 13 June | 12:02
I started out watching Camelot with much greater interest than in either Game of Thrones or The Borgias. Sadly it's fallen to the bottom of the three shows. It lacks the majesty I expect from a Camelot tale. Eva Green is indeed fearsome, but she's so above the rest of the cast--with a couple of exceptions I'll get to--her performance amounts to scenery chewing.

However (SPOILER ALERT!) for two episodes Green's offscreen and the absolutely stunningly beautiful Claire Forlani as Igraine gets to play a dual role that I found thrilling. I love love love her performance and was thrilled to see her get to play more than just a motherly figure to the boys.

Then there's Sinéad Cusack as the nun, Sybil. The anti-Merlin, I suppose, the true power behind the throne, though with less control over her charge. Manipulative, cunning, and all about self-preservation. I think her performance is masterly and far more evil and malicious than Green's. Mainly because it tends to be more subtle? I dunno.

As to the Game of Thrones books, I've not read them but I know enough people who are at least satisfied that they're not getting too much wrong, and understand the necessity of those things that ARE wrong (eg, Sansa's apparently supposed to be MUCH younger than Joffrey but the age difference might have creeped the audience out or something). There's also some compression going on in that things that seem to be vital to fans of the printed series aren't being given as much emphasis in the show as those readers feel ought.

When the show first started I thought I would be confused by all of this, but it's remarkably easy to follow and Peter Dinklage's performance is going to be serious contention for Ms. Emmy. Would that he'd be nominated as a lead actor--I love Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad, but he's had a lock on the thing for awhile now and he needs some competition--but probably he won't. The actress I'm most disappointed in is Lena Hedley. I loved loved loved her in TSCC but she just seems so ... monotonic here. Maybe she was in TSCC too, but then she usually had a big ass gun to distract from that. I dunno. :-)

PS Camelot is on the Starz network (who will also be doing a 10-episode run of Torchwood that looks interesting) and ... well, the episodes are easily obtainable winkwinknudgenudge.
posted by WolfDaddy 13 June | 12:21
Ah, maybe it evokes female name morphemes; Ethel, Marlène.
It made me think of calcium carbide, old fashioned bike lamps, etc.

Yep, just a first name. Very unimaginitive. It's pronounced yowkah.
posted by jouke 13 June | 12:22
I've been watching Thrones with a fella who's read the books, and, yes, he knows just about everything that's coming. It's been helpful for the rest of us to have someone who can clarify the minor points as we unwind the episode afterwards.

Last night, though, was the first time I've heard him audibly disturbed by the show's choices during the episode. Apparently, the book offers a lot more detail of the two major battles between the Lannister and Stark armies. Notably, Tyrion actually makes it into battle, and the events that lead to Jaime's capture are seen (which I won't mention in the chance that it comes up in the next episode). Apparently, the battle involving Tyrion and Tywin also wasn't as lopsided in manpower as it was in the show.

We were all profoundly saddened by Sean Bean's erasure from the program. Good ole Ned just couldn't play the game, and we loved him for it.
posted by pokermonk 13 June | 12:50
Heh, wolf, it's good to see that I'm not alone in my appraisal of Camelot. Maybe my weakness for that series stems from a childhood appreciation of T.H. Whites The Once and Future King.
posted by jouke 13 June | 13:00
We were all profoundly saddened by Sean Bean's erasure from the program.

I was thinking about Ned's death just now while I was waiting for my coffee to brew. At the hands of that Draco Malfoy punk and his horrible mother. And something snapped inside me...

"I want those Lannisters dead!" my heart declared. "Every last rotten one of them!"

It's a good show.
posted by Trurl 13 June | 14:38
Ten minutes of zen.
posted by ColdChef 13 June | 17:18
I adore you ColdChef. Worship and adore.
posted by WolfDaddy 13 June | 20:32
Man, Sean Bean never makes it through the first book.
posted by octothorpe 13 June | 22:40
I have a feeling none of the original players will make it to the end. I'm thinking the actors must get an hourly wage for this show. Heeeeee.
posted by WolfDaddy 13 June | 22:49
Martin seems to take some glee in upending people's normal expectations of what should happen in drama. Once the little kid got thrown out of the window, I figured that no one was safe.
posted by octothorpe 13 June | 22:59
I've read the books. The show has stuck very close to the plot, except when they skip things. I'm hoping they go off the rails completely sometime around season 4 *cough*.

Mostly I've been surprised about they way they've done some things. They've taken a sharp knife to many of the books little pseudo-historical or fantastic touches. I'm not talking about elf songs or not showing things that would have cost millions to film, but more small stuff. Like: when Bronn champions for Tyrion in the duel in the Vale, his opponent, a knight, wears a fairly ceremonial suit of armor that's colorful and maybe a bit impractical for a duel. It has one of those winged helmets and there's a memorable scene where Bronn whacks one of the wings off the helmet and you realize that this honorable knight is gonna get his ass killed, that he's put himself in the position of a fool to be butchered (you could call that a theme).

In the TV show it's just two guys in brown armor duking it out. I forget how they showed that Bronn's opponent fought "honorably". I mean it was a good fight I guess, and had a good ending and Bronn delivered the good final line. Is it better or worse? I'm not sure.

There's a pattern of things like that, where stuff is left out and I don't think it's, "we didn't have money/time", it's more like, "no, we didn't want that kind of thing." People who haven't read the books seem to like the show, so maybe the producers were right. Maybe if they'd done the stuff I like, the people who hadn't read the books would think, "Ugh this reeks of Cheetos hur hur hur."
posted by fleacircus 14 June | 16:26
Also, seeing people getting excited about the show makes me feel sad, too, because the books really lose their way eventually. So I'm already dreading the reactions a couple years from now where people are talking about how such-and-such sucks and really ruined the show for them etc.

If Martin dies without finishing the series, I hope someone capable takes up the mantle and finishes it. I also hope that person starts from the end of book 3.
posted by fleacircus 14 June | 16:32
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