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A Game of Thrones

 
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Mikeythorn



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:34 pm    Post subject: A Game of Thrones Reply with quote

I was quite looking forward to watching HBO's interpretation of "A Game of Thrones" - but was a little horrified to find that no NZ broadcaster has picked it up. Argh! Sky/Prime did tell me that they may consider picking it up - so if you are keen on watching it on the telly it might be worth emailing them to express your own interest:

http://skytv.custhelp.com/app/ask/session/L3RpbWUvMTMwMzMyOTEzNy9zaWQvUmhodFdacms%3D

You don't need a Sky customer number to submit a query to them.
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happyfunball



Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Igor here

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan Paddy wrote:

Is this show decent quality like some of those, or is it just of interest to fantasy fans? Judging by the first couple of episodes, how does it compare to more mainstream TV shows like Xena or Legend of the Seeker?


For a fantasy show, its amazingly good. Sean Bean (Sharpe, Boromir) brings the show some serious acting talent. Its limited by its source, IMHO, the books are not the best fantasy series ever but very nice to see a fantasy series turned into a show.

I never could get into the books, the plot was intricate but the writing seemed so geared to the adolescent reader I couldn't get into it when in my 20's.

I'm hoping the show is a great success and they turn some other fantasy classics into TV shows. Imagine Elric on HBO!
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Ryan Paddy



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I skimmed the first book in a bookstore once, and got a kind of "huge magic swords! Massive wolf pets!" vibe from it, so I think I know what you mean about the adolescent thing. Some people eat that stuff up though. Each to their own.

With an adaptation, you can chill that stuff down and emphasise the good bits. True Blood, for example, is based on what looks like some pretty poor specimens of writing. Even The Vampire Diaries looks to have made a transition from poorly-written pap to well-shot pap. It takes good writers and production to create an adaptation that outshines the original, though. Money alone doesn't do it, as Twilight has shown. (My wife likes vampire romance stuff, so I get a bit of exposure).

I re-read some Elric recently, after playing in a Multiverse larp in Auckland. Moorcock has some cool ideas and characters, but the stories are often rambling and there's also still kind of a "huge magic swords!" thing going on, actually. I think the imagery alone gives them potential to be pretty amazing on screen, but they could also be a screaming disaster if they weren't given a solid storyline and dialogue overhaul.
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Luke
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Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 2697

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan Paddy wrote:
I skimmed the first book in a bookstore once, and got a kind of "huge magic swords! Massive wolf pets!" vibe from it, so I think I know what you mean about the adolescent thing. Some people eat that stuff up though. Each to their own.


As a matter of interest, which huge magic sword are you referring to? The House Stark Execution Sword?
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Ryan Paddy



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't remember, it was just the impression I got from reading the first chapter or two. I may be misremembering the details, I just recall this panting-over-exaggerated-stuff vibe to the writing. Who knows, maybe I'd like it okay if I tried again. I had always heard good things about it. Are there really giant wolf pets or is that my memory failing too?

Ironically perhaps, I'd be more excited to see Conan done well. I'm going through a Hyborian phase just now. I know Robert E Howard's writing is even more exaggerated, it's super pulpy and the bigotry fairly drips off the pages, but there's also something dark and evocative about the writing and setting that I dig. I have my doubts that this is going to live up to my hopes, but who knows.
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Luke
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Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan Paddy wrote:
Can't remember, it was just the impression I got from reading the first chapter or two. I may be misremembering the details, I just recall this panting-over-exaggerated-stuff vibe to the writing. Who knows, maybe I'd like it okay if I tried again. I had always heard good things about it. Are there really giant wolf pets or is that my memory failing too?


There is an ancestral sword used to execute people in the first chapter. It never displays any magic, though it might have a certain mystique about it given it's age and role.

There are dire wolves much like out of European folklore. A dead one is found in the first chapter or so and her pups are given to each of the Stark children as a portent of the House. Again it is all superstition with no real magic involved.
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: Palmerston North (bugger)

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan Paddy wrote:
Ironically perhaps, I'd be more excited to see Conan done well. I'm going through a Hyborian phase just now. I know Robert E Howard's writing is even more exaggerated, it's super pulpy and the bigotry fairly drips off the pages, but there's also something dark and evocative about the writing and setting that I dig. I have my doubts that this is going to live up to my hopes, but who knows.


Nothing can compete with the original Arnie version.
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Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan Paddy wrote:
Ironically perhaps, I'd be more excited to see Conan done well. I'm going through a Hyborian phase just now. I know Robert E Howard's writing is even more exaggerated, it's super pulpy and the bigotry fairly drips off the pages, but there's also something dark and evocative about the writing and setting that I dig. I have my doubts that this is going to live up to my hopes, but who knows.


Trailer
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Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
Nothing can compete with the original Arnie version.


While that is true, it looks like the new one will scratch itches the Milius version didn't reach.

Bit of trivia I discovered on Wikipedia: Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski is based on John Milius.
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Ryan Paddy



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Arnie Conan movies were okay in their time, but having watched some of the first one recently I wasn't hugely impressed any more, especially having just read all the Conan stories. Looking at the trailer I suspect the new movie will come a lot closer to how I see Hyboria.

The only thing I find off-putting with this new take is the quest-to-find-my-father's-killer plot. That doesn't sound like Conan to me, he's all about adventure-seeking and his background is mysterious, not centre-stage. I don't think it had to turned into yet another revenge biopic in order to make it accessible.
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Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan Paddy wrote:
The Arnie Conan movies were okay in their time, but having watched some of the first one recently I wasn't hugely impressed any more, especially having just read all the Conan stories. Looking at the trailer I suspect the new movie will come a lot closer to how I see Hyboria.

The only thing I find off-putting with this new take is the quest-to-find-my-father's-killer plot. That doesn't sound like Conan to me, he's all about adventure-seeking and his background is mysterious, not centre-stage. I don't think it had to turned into yet another revenge biopic in order to make it accessible.


I kind of agree. I didn't like the way the original movie made the Hyborian Age look like a big dustbowl. (Comes from filming mostly in Spain I suppose.) It did have a very good story however and the characters were great even if Arnie (and I'll probably be pilloried for saying this) munted Conan.

By the way, while I don't know much about the script of the new movie, I think they dropped the revenge biopic approach for being a bit rubbish. I think there is still some revenge element to it but it looks more like it is going to involve Conan rescuing a nubile princess from some evil warlord, and saving the world.

It worries me a bit that the trailer gives away so little of the plot, which suggests that the plot is secondary to the spectacle. (The other thing that bugs me about the trailer is the use of "Hyboria" as if it is a place.)
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no rectangulars



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to GoT - I've read all the books out so far, and yes they do suffer a little from the OTTness often found in adolescent fantasy and in the later books the writing starts to feel a little textbooky and repetitive, but it's still waaaay better than a lot of fantasy out there (especially recent fantasy, as opposed to classics like Moorcock which are brilliant).
I found the characters to be fairly well-written and 3-dimensional, there are no quests to find magic amulets/revenge/apotheosis and virtually no stupid made up words tring to emulate Tolkien and failing. There is no complicated system of magic, and the writer is NOT precious about killing off characters - being a protagonist in this book will not protect you from an untimely demise. On the one hand it's refreshing to see actions have real consequences and certainly adds to impact of the book, but on the other hand it can be quite dispiriting to see your favourite characters die.
The show, being an HBO show, is fairly epic in scale and vividly realised with gloriously detailed sets, costuming etc. It also has a ton of sex and boobs in it (again, think True Blood, Rome etc). As far as plot etc goes, with only a few episodes out it's hard to judge. The acting is good, and the presence of Sean Bean especially really grounds it I think. I"m enjoying it so far.
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