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Old 04-19-2011, 08:43 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Old Dude View Post
Yup. Maybe this will help as a guide to who is related to who.

For about 300 years, Westeros (the England-like land where most of the action takes place) was ruled by the Targaryen dynasty - the so-called dragon kings. These folks were a little like the Egyptian Pharaohs and engaged in a lot of interbreeding. Marriages between brothers and sisters were common. (This practice did NOT extend to anyone else in the country.)

About 15 years before the story starts, the Targaryens were overthrown by a group of nobles. The leader of te rebellion was Robert Baratheon, who is now (the very fat and out of shape) King. (Baratheon also has a couple of brothers who haven't been introduced yet.)

The only surviving Targaryens were a brother and sister - and who were little more than infants at the time of the "usurpation." They've been bouncing around between various patrons on the continent ever since then. Theoretically, they have the primary claim on the throne and those who don't accept Baratheon's rule would like to see them returned. Obviously, their benefactors are hoping for various rewards and influence if this comes about. The sister, Daenerys, has just been married off to the continental equivalent of Ghengis Khan - with the hope that they'll eventually restore the Targaryens to the throne.

Among the noble families who assisted Baratheon in gaining the throne were the Lannisters, the Starks, the Tullys and the Arryns.

After the rebellion, there was a lot of intermarriage between these families to strengthen their alliances.

The head of the House of Lannister, Tywin, arranged a marriage between his daughter, Cersei, and King Robert. They have three kids, the oldest of whom is Joffrey. Cersei, as you know from episode 1, is having an incestuous affair with her twin brother Jaimie. Tyrion, the dwarf, is their younger brother.

The Tullys married off one of their daughters to Ned Stark. (Catelyn). The Starks have five kids. The other Tully daughter (Lysa) was married off to Jon Arryn. (They have one child - a boy). As the series begins, Jon Arryn (who was working as the Kings Right Hand Man) has died under suspicious circumstances. Lysa has fled back to the Tully castle and has written to her sister that she thinks Jon was murdered by the Lannister family.

Jon Snow is not a Stark. He is the bastard son of Ed Stark, who Ed allows to hang around.

The Theon kid we've been taking about is also temporarily residing with the Starks, but he's not directly related to them. He's from yet another noble family.

Anyway, that's for starters.
Thanks! That really helps! There were an awful lot of characters introduced very quickly.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:50 AM   #77
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Question: in this story, do the gals only get banged doggy style?

But seriously, thanks for the backstory.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:53 AM   #78
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By the time this story reaches Book 4, almost everyone gets banged doggy-style.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:57 AM   #79
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By the time this story reaches Book 4, almost everyone gets banged doggy-style.
I haven't read the books, but the author is apparently a scholar on royal lineages and such things were pretty consistent (and still are) with royal/elite behavior, including incest.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:14 AM   #80
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You'll also notice a few parallels with the War of the Roses - The House of Stark = House of York. House of Lannister = House of Lancaster, etc. Richard III (one of the Bard's best villains) was a dwarf. etc., etc.

But this only goes so far. Martin mixes all kinds of plots and issues into his story.

The other theme it might help to know is the role of magic. In this world, there was a time when magic really worked and magical creatures did their thing - more than just legends.

Eventually, it all faded away, and at the time the story begins, it's a very "low-magic" environment. A dire beast here and there. Some petrified dragon eggs. An occasional dream or prophesy.

Slowly but surely, that's gonna change.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:17 AM   #81
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Thank you very much old dude. Now I'll watch it again this week knowing a little more.

Can you please give us cliff notes after every episode?
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:34 AM   #82
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Lysa has fled back to the Tully castle and has written to her sister that she thinks Jon was murdered by the Lannister family.
.
Minor point, Lysa actually flees back the Eyrie, which is the Arryn family stronghold.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:38 AM   #83
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Sums up of the first episode. Too bad I already deleted it from my DVR. I think I would have enjoyed it more watching it a second time.

http://tvrecaps.ew.com/?post_type=tv...4&preview=true
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:50 AM   #84
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Minor point, Lysa actually flees back the Eyrie, which is the Arryn family stronghold.
Oops, you're right, of course. And the Eyrie should lend itself to some pretty cool FX.

Two other things to mention.

First is the Icewall. It's a rough analog to Hadrian's Wall. North of the wall is a bitter cold wilderness, occupied mostly by the "Wildlings." Think of them as barbarian Scots, and you won't be far off. The wall is manned by a small force of "rangers" known as the Night Watch. (Some of the the guys we saw in the introduction.) Their main job is to keep the Wildlings pinned up behind the wall - preventing raids into Westeros.

Some of the soldiers in the Night Watch are volunteers; others are criminals or exiles who were sent there permanently, as punishment. It's basically a life sentence, so deserters are hunted down and executed on the spot. That is part of Stark's job as warden of the north.

Second is the whole deal with the seasons. On this point, my memory is vague, but Westeros has a pattern of very long summers (or temperate seasons) - sometimes a few years at a time, followed by long and harsh winters. Some winters last an entire year or more - which is really tough on the food supply. As a general rule, the longer the summer, the longer and nastier the winter that follows it. As the story begins, we've had a very, very, very long "summer" and there is some concern that when winter finally comes, it's going to be a real biatch. But people have other things on their mind and no one is really in a panic about it just yet.

And I think that anything else I say would just be a spoiler.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:00 AM   #85
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iirc there's no defined length to the seasons, but the summer they are experiencing now has lasted for over 10 years.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:09 AM   #86
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iirc there's no defined length to the seasons, but the summer they are experiencing now has lasted for over 10 years.
So they had to deal with global warming too eh?
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:55 AM   #87
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Sums up of the first episode. Too bad I already deleted it from my DVR. I think I would have enjoyed it more watching it a second time.

http://tvrecaps.ew.com/?post_type=tv...4&preview=true
One thing I noticed after reading that synopsis is that, for purposes of the TV show, they've advanced the ages of all the children by two to three years each. Therefore, it could be that we're supposed to think the rebellion was more like 17 or 18 years ago, rather than 15.

Why did they do this? Some of it is probably a nod to modern sensibilities which would be a little freaked over 11 and 12 year olds getting married. Historically, the book is probably a more accurate version of medieval matchmaking, but there you go.

As a more practical matter, it was probably just a lot easier to work with slightly older actors and actresses - especially since the series could theoretically go on for a few years.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:44 PM   #88
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Old Dude gives a good background summary. Here's some character information

A "quick" run down on the most important characters introduced in the first episode: Most on this list are main/important characters.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

On the continent of Westeros, land of the "Seven Kingdoms" previously conquered and united under the rule of the Targaryens.

House Stark -- Rulers of Winterfell, Wardens of the North.

Lord Eddard Stark [Sean Bean] -- Noble who helped Robert Baratheon usurp the throne from the Targaryans. Lord of Winterfell. Baratheon travels to Winterfell to ask Eddard to become the "Hand of the King" after the death of the previous hand.

Lady Catelyn Stark (nee Tully) -- Married off to Stark to seal the alliance between house Tully and House Stark. Has grown to love her husband deeply.

Robb Stark: Eldest Stark son (15) and heir apparent to Eddard Stark

Sansa Stark: Eldest Stark daughter (13). Betrothed to Prince Joffrey Baratheon.

Brandon "Bran" Stark: Middle Stark son (10): Fantastic climber, which leads me to discover the incestuous relationship between Jaime and Cersei Lannister. Gets thrown off the a Winterfell tower by Jaime Lannister.

Arya Stark: Youngest Stark daughter (8-9). Tomboy (hates her needlework!) and general little pain.

Ricken Stark: Youngest Stark son (5)

Jon Snow: (16?) Bastard son of Eddard Stark. In Westeros bastards always take the same surname in each region. In the north the surname taken is "Snow". Wants to join the Night's Watch on the wall as his position as a bastard makes his life rather increasingly uncomfortable in Winterfell.

Theon Greyjoy (16?): Ward/Hostage of Eddard Stark. In Westeros it's common for children to be taken as ward/hostages to force compliance of treaties, etc. Heir of House Greyjoy. Close friend to Robb Stark.


The Lannister Children

Cersei Baratheon (nee Lannister): Queen consort of King Robert Baratheon. Involved in an incestuous relationship with her twin brother Jaime.

Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister: Member of the Kingsguard (an elite guard for the King). Slayed the last Targaryen king while a member of the guard. Involved in an incestuous relationship with twin sister Cersei.

Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister: Dwarf son of Tywin Lannister. Younger brother to Jaime and Cersei. Highly intelligent and sardonic. Despised by his father.


House Baratheon:

King Robert Baratheon: Usurper to the Iron Throne. King of the seven kingdoms of Westeros. Once a great fighter, now a reluctant ruler: occupies his time with whores, hunting and drink. Leaves the ruling of his kingdom to his "Hand". Was once betrothed to Eddard Stark's sister who was kidnapped and presumably murdered by the Prince Rhaegar Targaryen during the rebellion.

Prince Joffrey Baratheon (12): Eldest Baratheon son. Betrothed to Sansa Stark.


----------------------------------------------

On the Eastern Content (The Free Cities) -- ancestral home of House Targaryen

The Surviving Targaryens: Survived the sacking of King's Landing in Westeros and the Targaryen purge. Fled to the free cities on the eastern content after the rebellion.

Viserys Targaryen (late teens). Cruel, unstable and has grand ambitions (but no real means) of retaking the Iron Throne. Sells his sister to Khal Drogo to form an alliance.

Danerys "Dany" Targaryen (early teens). Younger sister to Viscerys. Born during the Baratheon rebellion. Victim of mental, physical and sexual abuse by her brother. Sold as wife to the warlord Khal Drogo to purchase the services of his army.

Others:

Khal Drogo: One of the most powerful warlords in the east. Commands an army of over 10,000 horsemen.

Jorah Mormont: Exiled knight who enters the service of Viserys and Danerys at the wedding of Dany and Drogo.

Last edited by Fedaykin; 04-19-2011 at 12:51 PM..
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:45 PM   #89
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As a more practical matter, it was probably just a lot easier to work with slightly older actors and actresses - especially since the series could theoretically go on for a few years.
Luckily the plot goes on for several years too.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #90
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Sucks WoT is too big to do this with. I'd love to be discussing that series atm.
Dreamworks has the rights. It's only a matter of time before you will get to see the girls fold their arms beneath their breasts.

I want a Mistborn TV series.

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Old 04-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #91
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HBO has announced plans to go ahead with season 2!!!

Boom!
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #92
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Interesting enough, I think Martin realized that he wrote the characters too young. He always had a idea that he was going to take a five year gap to let surviving characters get a bit more mature. He since scrapped that since he was doing too many flashbacks, but if his posts are too be believed, it's one of two things that really ****ed up his story, and he has had to work to fix.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:11 PM   #93
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Dreamworks has the rights. It's only a matter of time before you will get to see the girls fold their arms beneath their breasts.

I want a Mistborn TV series.
I don't get the reference. Are they folding them there because they're so large? I like the way this is headed, if so.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:34 PM   #94
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Dreamworks has the rights. It's only a matter of time before you will get to see the girls fold their arms beneath their breasts.

I want a Mistborn TV series.
Not to mention straightening their skirts, tugging their braids and complaining about how character x will never understand the actions of gender y.

Sigh. WOT sucks ass. So much so, that I've read all 13 books.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:44 PM   #95
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HBO has announced plans to go ahead with season 2!!!

Boom!
Awesome. Can't wait to see the Battle of the Blackwater on screen!
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:47 PM   #96
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I don't get the reference. Are they folding them there because they're so large? I like the way this is headed, if so.
Wheel of Time is a good story for the first 5 books or so but Robert Jordan has (had, sorry) some pretty annoying writing habits, which is what lostknight and antilles are referring too.

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Old 04-19-2011, 08:58 PM   #97
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Bypass the Game of Thrones and go with Name of the Wind. It fair better read.
I agree 110%

Martin just made the books so hard to read after the third book. I am not even going to finish the series, but I'll watch it!

Rothfuss and Sanderson are putting out some good books

Peter Brett is holding his own too
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:27 PM   #98
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Robert Jordan has a distinctive writing style. Mostly formed by repeating certain phrases over and over. Wheel of Time is a work of genius, unfortunately like most geniuses there is a certain amount of idiosyncrasy that the author unleashes from time to time.

The great news is that Sanderson is doing a phenomenal job wrapping the series. There was a sequence in the last book that was as good as anything that Jordan ever wrote, if not a shade better.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:06 AM   #99
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Wheel of Time is a good story for the first 5 books or so but Robert Jordan has (had, sorry) some pretty annoying writing habits, which is what lostknight and antilles are referring too.
You mean like how he introduces a character for ten minutes and then expects you know and care about him two books later? Or how he takes four pages to explain a table?
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:23 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostknight View Post
Dreamworks has the rights. It's only a matter of time before you will get to see the girls fold their arms beneath their breasts.

I want a Mistborn TV series.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antilles View Post
Not to mention straightening their skirts, tugging their braids and complaining about how character x will never understand the actions of gender y.

Sigh. WOT sucks ass. So much so, that I've read all 13 books.
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Wheel of Time is a good story for the first 5 books or so but Robert Jordan has (had, sorry) some pretty annoying writing habits, which is what lostknight and antilles are referring too.
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You mean like how he introduces a character for ten minutes and then expects you know and care about him two books later? Or how he takes four pages to explain a table?


All valid points, but the first 6 (Maybe not the first one. The Great Hunt is where I got hooked) and the last few are amazing. Dumai's Wells is probably one of the most bad ass sections of literary history.

Like I said earlier, it hit a lull for a while after that, but I REALLY think it was his Tor editor wife dragging out the cash cow.

Besides, once Saidin got cleansed (another amazing scene) it was full speed ahead again. I still don't know how they're going to cover the remaining plot lines with 1 more book... Tarmon Gaidon is going to ****ing sweet at least.

Half the Forsaken are still alive, who killed Asmo? Who is Taim? Is Logain going to kill him and take the black tower? Will the Seanchan leash Rand for the last battle? etc

Oh and the rights have been bought and sold a dozen times over. No one can figure out how to make such an intricate and massive story. TV would work, but it'd take like 10 seasons and a monster budget to do it right.
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