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(Washington Post)   HBO gives George Bush's severed head a facelift on Game of Thrones, the terrorists have won   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 181
    More: Followup, HBO, David Benioff, head-on  
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18090 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Jun 2012 at 12:54 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-26 06:53:55 PM

Fragarach: Bill Frist:
I think Xaro is the only real black dude that's been on the show... and that wasn't in Westeros.

Salladhor Saan.


True forgot him.... although bizarre they only showed him once. Thought he'd pop back up in the blackwater episode.
 
2012-06-26 06:54:35 PM

Kazrath: jennyz: Pocket Ninja: If I was in charge of filming Game of Thrones, I would do exactly the same thing in the upcoming season, except that instead of using Bush's head I'd use Obama's. And I make sure it was subtle enough that nobody noticed it until the season was over and some low-level key grip or other junior executive "accidentally" let slip in a Tweet or something like that a line about being glad nobody caught it. Then I'd sit back and watch whether the same people outraged this time were still outraged, and whether the same people who are saying it's no big deal this time would still be saying it's no big deal.

I'm not saying they would be, mind you. I just think it would be interesting to see.

That's racist.

WTF are you talking about?

He is fairly certain how it would turn out. The same people who don't give a shiat now would be up to not giving two shiats about it and the others, "republicans" would think it was funny too. You know, because they are notorious hypocrites.


It's sad that I need to clarify. It was a joke.
 
2012-06-26 08:01:06 PM

I_C_Weener: I just saw the episode. The head was the one next to Stark. It was an extra in the scene about heads on a pike, not even the lead head.


And that's the real outrage.
 
2012-06-26 08:24:09 PM
Thanks for making my DVD's worth a little bit more, teabaggers.
 
2012-06-26 08:28:04 PM
Oh the political stupidity!

Those idiots should have kept their mouths shut, you couldn't tell it was Bush anyway.
 
2012-06-26 08:31:02 PM

pippi longstocking: Oh the political stupidity!

Those idiots should have kept their mouths shut, you couldn't tell it was Bush anyway.


They wouldn't have even known if David Benioff hadn't said anything during the DVD commentary. That episode had been on the air more than a year, and the DVD had been out for 3 months before anyone got all butthurt.
 
2012-06-26 08:32:31 PM
Countdown until the conservatears that now it looks like Bush as a burn victim in 3....2....
 
2012-06-26 08:48:21 PM

Bill Frist: It is pretty awfully written


I'm going to need to see some examples of this awful writing, or at least some specific things that you don't like about it. I like GRRM's style myself. And I like it even more when it's read aloud by Roy Dotrice.
 
2012-06-26 09:27:54 PM
Guy on the right looks more like this guy:

img.photobucket.com
 
2012-06-26 09:39:37 PM

GuyCaballero: Bill Frist: It is pretty awfully written

I'm going to need to see some examples of this awful writing, or at least some specific things that you don't like about it. I like GRRM's style myself. And I like it even more when it's read aloud by Roy Dotrice.


Let me actually amend this: it's really mediocre and uniterestingly written on a prose level. I shouldn't say awful. its passable, but Martin has virtually no style at all and does nothing even remotely interesting with language. He also seems pretty uninterested or incapable of doing much with atmosphere or really anything that doesn't have to do with PLOT PLOT PLOT in the first books. If a conversation happens, its to directly advance the plot or inform you of the plot that happened off page. If a character appears, its to learn about the plot, etc.

(Again, I think in books 4 and 5 he actually grows as a writer... at least at points. Some of the Cersei chapters, or the final Quent chapter in 5, are much more interesting in terms of POV, tension, atmosphere, etc.)

As for problems in the writing, at least for me:

- Martin has this funny habit of discovering a word or coming up with a phrase and then suddenly every farking chapter contains it or character says it. Examples: "wroth" "nuncle" "winkled" "words are wind" If you have the e-book files to search through, you can see how these words, that like no one says in early books, suddenly become the most common words in the whole world.

- Martin's love of cliff hangers makes him skip over much of the most interesting stuff. A character's chapter will end with "this cool thing was about to happen!!" and then his next chapter will start with "character x, days later, was still angry about the coo thing that happened."

- While some characters are pretty fascinating, I think a lot of the characters are flat and pretty boring as characters. Some of these develop interesting arcs over the course of the 5 books... but it shouldn't take you 5,000 words to make a character interesting.

- I think his italics passages, the direct thoughts of characters, should have been cut. They mostly just hit the reader over the head with what is obvious. "Do you love Joffrey?" "Of course, he is my king." Actually I hate him and think he is mean but I can't say that out loud, Sansa thought.

- Someone pointed out to me that there is a chapter in one of the books that uses the phrase "fearsomely strong cider" three times in like two pages. Martin gets lazy like that.

- It also bothers me how often Martin literally cuts and pastes text. Characters often remember whole paragraphs that other characters said, even if said speaking character was irrelevant and the paragraph of speech would have been unmemorable. The WORST is that between books 4 and 5 he must cut and paste like 1,500 words of text when he redoes a chapter from another character's POV. You can do interesting things showing the same scene from two POVs, but merely cutting and pasting dialogue is not a way!

So, those are a few complaints. OTOH, his style is passable enough that it doesn't destroy the good qualities, which include, for me, some rad characters, great plot twists (and plot in general), a cool and fully fleshed out world, and so on. I definitely plowed through the early books. I plowed through them recently, which is why I have so much off hand to say....
 
2012-06-26 09:40:56 PM
Heh, that was kinda long. Sorry.
 
2012-06-26 09:41:18 PM

The Italian Farker: As a conservative I had no issue with this but I do wonder how some liberals would have felt if it was Clinton or Obama's head?


+1

I'm sure "racism" would have been mentioned in the first article published as well.
 
2012-06-26 09:43:39 PM
and I should have proofread that. Shouldn't take you 5,000 PAGES to make characters interesting.
 
2012-06-26 09:44:41 PM

Bill Frist: Heh, that was kinda long. Sorry.


That was a well reasoned literary critique, damn you!
 
2012-06-26 10:03:44 PM
"You do the scene with the fake heads you have, not the fake heads you wish you had."
 
2012-06-26 10:04:25 PM

Bill Frist: GuyCaballero: Bill Frist: Again, I think in books 4 and 5 he actually grows as a writer... at least at points. .


HAHAHA Holy shiat, that's a good one. Keep them coming.
 
2012-06-26 10:06:24 PM
cdn-static.denofgeek.com
Miss Me Yet?
 
2012-06-26 10:24:20 PM
In addition to missing this entire thing as it came out, I was listening to Hollywood Babble-On and they explained it (to me) weeks after the fact that it was an extra prop that showed up in a bulk rent. Someone in the prop department clearly knew it was a GW Bush head but I doubt anyone else did - it's an inside joke on the show. If they hadn't pointed it out, no one would know.

So the right-wing echo chamber is wrong, but I can see where HBO is coming from because they can't just let it be now that it's a (manufactured) news story.

I voted for Bush. I'm a conservative. Nothing about this offended me and it wouldn't have if it was intentional. There were far more open, egregious, and directly disrespectful moments from the left during his presidency. This is nothing, and certainly nothing to get worked up over unless you have another hour of bullshiat news to fill.
 
2012-06-26 10:48:39 PM

Bill Frist: - Martin has this funny habit of discovering a word or coming up with a phrase and then suddenly every farking chapter contains it or character says it. Examples: "wroth" "nuncle" "winkled" "words are wind" If you have the e-book files to search through, you can see how these words, that like no one says in early books, suddenly become the most common words in the whole world.


Valid criticism. "more useless than nipples on breastplate" comes to mind. I was wondering why three different characters set it within a span of 100 pages in AFfC.

Bill Frist: - Martin's love of cliff hangers makes him skip over much of the most interesting stuff. A character's chapter will end with "this cool thing was about to happen!!" and then his next chapter will start with "character x, days later, was still angry about the coo thing that happened."


This doesn't bother me. He usually ends the chapter right after something major has happened (Jamie getting his hand cut off, etc.). Keeps the pages turning.

Bill Frist: - While some characters are pretty fascinating, I think a lot of the characters are flat and pretty boring as characters. Some of these develop interesting arcs over the course of the 5 books... but it shouldn't take you 5,000 words to make a character interesting.


But think of how well we come to know the characters by the ends of book 4/5. We know them like we know our family.

Bill Frist: - I think his italics passages, the direct thoughts of characters, should have been cut. They mostly just hit the reader over the head with what is obvious. "Do you love Joffrey?" "Of course, he is my king." Actually I hate him and think he is mean but I can't say that out loud, Sansa thought.


This didn't really bother me. I like the POV format of the novels, and I really like when a character we have only seen through the eyes of someone else is suddenly sharing their most intimate thoughts with us. Getting to see Cersei's mind was in my opinion the best part of book 4. What a psycho. Before I thought she was just nasty.

Bill Frist: - It also bothers me how often Martin literally cuts and pastes text. Characters often remember whole paragraphs that other characters said, even if said speaking character was irrelevant and the paragraph of speech would have been unmemorable. The WORST is that between books 4 and 5 he must cut and paste like 1,500 words of text when he redoes a chapter from another character's POV. You can do interesting things showing the same scene from two POVs, but merely cutting and pasting dialogue is not a way!


Not much choice when you are showing live scenes from two points of view. If they are remembered scenes, you can definitely play with unreliable narrator, but if they are direct live scenes you have to present the dialogue the same way every time. I myself was cheesed with the way DWD wound back the clock, and I'm itching for the series to drive towards its conclusion, but I've greatly enjoyed it.

I think I can forgive the meandering pace because I supplement reading with the audio books (in the car, shower, cycling, etc.). This untethers me from book and allows me to enjoyed as performance as well as literature. In fact, I have consumed the series in three formats for each book -- paper, ebook, and audiobook. I think it's worth the effort to get through, and this has made it more enjoyable.

You're right, though, it's by no means perfect. Seeing Dany STILL twiddling her thumbs across the sea in book 5 is pretty frustrating. Get the fark on with it already. I'm not up for a twenty-book series.
 
2012-06-26 11:31:59 PM
farking nerds couldn't keep their traps shut for 8-10 years and make this impossible to retract.
 
2012-06-26 11:58:41 PM
I'd be pissed about this if I were President Bush. It's probably the only thing he's ever been associated with that has a high approval rating.
 
2012-06-27 12:06:22 AM

hammettman: It remains to be seen if liberals will do the same should a conservative ever be elected as president again.


Er...as much as I hated Bush, there were liberals calling for Bush's head at war protests.

The whole "chimp" thing, too.

Or "shrubbie".

I seem to remember some other pretty vile stuff, too.

The respect, it was lacking.
 
2012-06-27 12:13:16 AM
GuyCaballero

I'll definitely admit that some of those things are things I wouldn't expect others to really notice or be bothered by (like the italics). Just things I dislike. My main feeling is that for the first books, and most of 4/5, he just isn't doing much with the prose of the book. He has cool characters, a cool plot, plot twists, and an interesting world. But beyond that, not much is going on. Again, I plowed through these, so I'm not saying they are bad books. I enjoyed them... well at least till 4/5. But the writing--on a prose level--struck me as unmemorable.

To clarify a few things:

I like the POV structure, I just think that his direct thought italics tend to be pointless and repeat information we already know. Like, we KNOW Sans hates Joffrey without her thinking "I hate Joffrey." I agree the Cersei chapters were some of the most interesting, and examples of how I think his writing was sometimes better in books 4/5 (even though those books were far more flawed on other levels).

I think some characters (Tyrion, Jamie as the book progresses, Cersei [although her chapters get repetitive in Feast and some could have been cut], etc.) are both interesting and well developed. Others, though, I think remain pretty flat and uninteresting. I don't think Martin knows how to write Brienne at all (she is more interesting on the TV show) and Sansa bores me in her POV chapters... even though I'm interested in her plot..

I disagree regarding the two chapters question. Not EVERY bit of dialogue or action is told in a "direct live scene" as you say. You choose what to spell out on the page. So in the scene we are talking about, the second time you have Jon give his speech to Sam you could skip over most of it easily with "Sam felt nervous as Jon spelled out his plan" or whatever. In fact, giving us Sam's thoughts instead of repeating Jon's words makes a lot more sense, because why else show the scene twice if not to give us a different perspective?

That said, that's the only time that I remebmer seeing so much text copy and pasted so probably no point dwelling on it.

On the macro plot level... I do agree that it is hard not to be nervous about Martin's ability to wrap this up anytime in the next decade. It's funny how when you start the book, or start the TV show, you keep hearing about how "winter is coming." And then there is the gigantic subplot about Dany (well, first her brother) raising an army to come to Westeros and then her hatching dragons.

5 books later and winter is only JUST starting and Dany is nowhere farking close to coming back!
 
2012-06-27 12:15:32 AM

Ned Stark: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: The Italian Farker: As a conservative I had no issue with this but I do wonder how some liberals would have felt if it was Clinton or Obama's head?

If Obama, I think most of us would have asked "Wait, there are black people in Game of Thrones?"

And then we would laugh at you.


Umm... I don't laugh 'cause there is...
Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie)
i46.tinypic.com
 
2012-06-27 07:48:38 AM

theMightyRegeya: Er...as much as I hated Bush, there were liberals calling for Bush's head at war protests.

The whole "chimp" thing, too.

Or "shrubbie".

I seem to remember some other pretty vile stuff, too.

The respect, it was lacking.


Yeah, you'd think the guy stole a national election(or two), shat the bed on a terror attack, started 2 unwinnable unnecessary wars, let energy companies write energy policy, signed off on the torture of prisoners of war, fired DOJ employees who wouldn't give him carte blanche to torture prisoners, blew a covert CIA operative's cover for political payback, let a city drown without so much as an appearance of giving a shiat, and gave his banking buddies an undeserved bailout on his way out or something.

Boo farking hoo, somebody made a mean comment about Bush. Seriously, fark that asshole with a rusty dildo. There's not enough urine in the world cover his grave.
 
2012-06-27 09:45:43 AM

Bill Frist:
He also seems pretty uninterested or incapable of doing much with atmosphere or really anything that doesn't have to do with PLOT PLOT PLOT in the first books. If a conversation happens, its to directly advance the plot or inform you of the plot that happened off page. If a character appears, its to learn about the plot, etc.

So, those are a few complaints. OTOH, his style is passable enough that it doesn't destroy the good qualities, which include, for me, some rad characters, great plot twists (and plot in general),


I must have a different concept of plot than you do. Sure, there are dozens of minor storylines, but there is no unifying story or plot to this series at all. You could document all the interactions of the populace of a small town, and you would have a decent analog to this bloated work. They would both have twists and turns, but no unifying story. This whole series is nothing more than Days of Our Lives or General Hospital. You can jump in at any point and you won't be hindered by not reading the earlier work. You can also jump out at any point, since the lack of a story means you wont miss out on the conclusion (sort of like how The Sopranos ended).
 
2012-06-27 10:04:37 AM

Bill Frist: He has cool characters, a cool plot, plot twists, and an interesting world. But beyond that, not much is going on.


Taking this at face value. . . you could do a LOT worse.
 
2012-06-27 10:53:48 AM

Bill Frist: I think his italics passages, the direct thoughts of characters, should have been cut. They mostly just hit the reader over the head with what is obvious. "Do you love Joffrey?" "Of course, he is my king." Actually I hate him and think he is mean but I can't say that out loud, Sansa thought.


I agree with most of what you said, but I don't recall this particular problem. Your cited example isn't really good because it's Sansa, and for most of the first two books Sansa is a complete moron. Her thinking thinking moronic thoughts to herself is just par for the course, even if it is just pummeling a dead horse.

I happen to love this little passage from Game of Thrones and I think it's an exception to all of your complaints:

"I looked for you on the Trident," Ned said to them.
"We were not there," Ser Gerold answered.
"Woe to the Usurper if we had been," said Ser Oswell.
"When King's Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were."
"Far away," Ser Gerold said, "or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells."
"I came down on Storm's End to lift the siege," Ned told them, and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them."
"Our knees do not bend easily," said Ser Arthur Dayne.
"Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him."
"Ser Willem is a good man and true," said Ser Oswell.
"But not of the Kingsguard," Ser Gerold pointed out. "The Kingsguard does not flee."
"Then or now," said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.
"We swore a vow," explained old Ser Gerold.
Ned's wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three.
"And now it begins," said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.
"No," Ned said with sadness in his voice. "Now it ends."
 
2012-06-27 11:29:26 AM

dragonchild: Taking this at face value. . . you could do a LOT worse.


Sure, and I said I enjoyed the books, despite a Martin's mediocre prose. I do think, however, that a lot of this stuff means that the TV show, if it continues, will supplant the books as the more interesting version of the story.
 
2012-06-27 11:48:28 AM

slarti0001: Ned Stark: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: The Italian Farker: As a conservative I had no issue with this but I do wonder how some liberals would have felt if it was Clinton or Obama's head?

If Obama, I think most of us would have asked "Wait, there are black people in Game of Thrones?"

And then we would laugh at you.

Umm... I don't laugh 'cause there is...
Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie)
[i46.tinypic.com image 620x388]


Yeah - if I were Danerys I would've dumped the dragons and the crown for Xaro in a hot second.
 
2012-06-27 02:58:03 PM
d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net
 
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