April 24th, 2016 at 11:29 AM ^

The show doesn't make it as clear as the books, I think, but the Lannisters are not the "bad guys" in George RRRRR Martin's universe. Like everyone else, they are required by their circumstances (i.e. an amoral world where weakness leads to death for you and your family) to do awful things. But there really is no one with clean hands, not even Ned Stark before his untimely death. Indeed, Ned Stark is Exhibit A for why it is pure foolishness to maintain one's principles in Westeros; he could have united with the Baratheon's, replaced Joffrey, and lived. Instead, he stuck to his principles, was beheaded, and now the murderer of his son and his wife lives in his house and rapes his daughter ;-)  


April 24th, 2016 at 2:41 PM ^

beleive there is no such thing as black and white or good and evil, thinking that "simplistic." I saw an interiew with him where he said even Hitler didn't think he was doing anything morally wrong. While I completely disagree with that view, it makes for a damn good universe in the books, with many unpredictable occurences because of it.


April 24th, 2016 at 7:26 PM ^

Just because you don't think something is wrong does not make it so. Just because Hitler thought killing Jews should be a pastime does not make him less of a monster. Similarly, when a grown man and head of household decides to hunt down and exterminate an entire family in a show of strength (Reigns of Castermere), when someone decides to throw a child off of a tower to hide the fact that he's fucking his sister, or when some crazy bitch decides to enable her psychotic boy-king son because of his "divine right", that shit is evil. Regardless of attempted justification, that shit is evil. 

Now I agree that there is substantial grey area in GOT and in real life, but the bar needs to be higher than "I need to hide my illicit affair with my sister". The dilemna of Jon Snow, when he starts an affair with Ygritte when undercover: Saving my brothers at Castle Black vs Saving the love of my life and her people. That is a true conflict. And yes, not all Lannisters are bad (Kevyn Lannister in the books comes to mind), but the ones at the top are evil, though Jamie definitely has mellowed considerably. That said, I would consider the Boltons far more evil than the Lannisters, and I don't consider any single faction all that clean. 

That being said, I keep hearing how Ned Stark had his share of skullduggery as well. But, honestly, after reading the books, I just don't see that....can someone fill me in on what he did? 


April 24th, 2016 at 7:53 PM ^

was treasonous, albeit for utilitarian reasons. He followed the Baratheons during Roberts Rebellion, and was actually allied with the Lannisters in a US-Russia-WW2 kind of way. He was also allied with the Boltons for a time who were widely considered to be the most despicable people on the planet. He was also rigid to a fault, something that he would pass on to his eldest sons that would get them both killed. Ned had a firm moral compass but he was no Boy Scout.


April 24th, 2016 at 8:08 PM ^

He followed Robert's Rebellion because the Mad King already burned his father and brother alive and was then demanding that both Ned and Robert come to King's Landing in order to essentially be executed for speaking out against that treatment. That is nowhere near the same as the shit the Lannisters were pulling. 

And yes, I agree that he was definitely in that kind of alliance with the Lannisters; his mistake was assuming they would be honorable. This alliance is a good example of a moral dilemna: Oppose the Lannisters due to Jamie killing the Mad King and Tywin butchering Rhaegar's entire family and thereby start a second war after the first one was ending, or suck it up and make peace for the good of the realm. That bar is a lot higher than "I wanted power" (Boltons), "I was trying to hide the fact I'm fucking my sister", and "I was offended" (Frey). 

He wasn't "allied" with the Boltons - they are a vassal house of House Stark. In other words, the served House Stark. The Starks and the Boltons had gone to war before and the Starks crushed them and made them subservient. The moral failing here is that they allowed the Boltons to continue to exist, rather than removing them from power or wiping them out. But that decision was made centuries before Ned was born. 

And yes, Ned was wayyy too rigid. I don't think it can be argued that he was a very flawed man, and very naive in some ways. But a "good" guy doesn't have to be immune from making mistakes, he has to always seek to do the right thing and actually have a conscience for others. The "bad" guys in the classical understanding of the term are essentially sociopaths who don't give a shit who they hurt or stomp on in order to reach their desires. 


April 24th, 2016 at 7:55 PM ^

Ned was "good" and the Starks are generally moral. Being good is not easy in this world or that one. This does separate them from most other people in that world. I agree that neither the Lannisters nor anybody else are traditional "villains," but I think the Starks are pretty clearly traditional protagonists in the books and the show.


April 24th, 2016 at 5:35 PM ^

That's not what happens in the books, and the amoral Lannisters and outright villainous Bolton's are in just as bad of positions as the Starks largely because everyone hates and wants to kill them, where as the North still loves Ned and are rallying to his legacy.

The show is far more pessimistic than the books.


April 24th, 2016 at 6:54 PM ^

I know, I am a book reader too, and I know the deviations. Most of what I said did happen in the books, some still could, etc. Regardless, you kind of prove my point - the world of Westeros, in my opinion, isn't about "good guys win, bad guys lose," or even "bad guys win, good guys lose." It is total moral chaos, nihilism and anarchy. So sometimes bad guys do good things and become "likeable" (Jaime is a good example here), and vice versa. But the real survivors are those that are guided by strategic motivations over all others. It is pure Machiavellianism, and even then, the most strategically adept and ruthless can be undone (aka Tywin).


April 24th, 2016 at 7:32 PM ^

This story is just the ultimate Social Darwinism story. The political, social, and economic environment keeps shifting, so everyone must adapt to these changes or lose power, prestige, and/or life. The goal is just to keep having babies and continuing the legacy no matter what it takes. I think good old George just has a really pessimistic world view. 


April 24th, 2016 at 1:22 PM ^

Agree.  Problem is I think the plot will be rushed in the last couple seasons.  There will probably only be 10-15 episodes maximum after this season.  That's not a lot of time given how slow some of the other seasons have been.  Daeny is no where near being ready to invade Westeros.  Nothing has really happened yet with the white walkers.  We need more time GOT!!




April 24th, 2016 at 5:01 PM ^

I think that they dragged out some of the seasons to allow Martin to catch back up, but that's not an issue any more.  

I don't see any reason why they cannot wrap up the show in 15 episodes after Season Six.  There will be a lot fewer characters and therefor plot lines, and they can make their own story to fit the time and budget they have left.

In fact, I'd hate to see them announce that they were going to keep going beyond the 75-episode point.  Eventually, even the best writers and actors start to get stale if they stay in the same story too long.  You don't need to spend a lot of time on the White Walkers - they are better as a threat than as the centerpiece of multiple episodes, because familiarity will spoil the horror.

A Fan In Fargo

April 24th, 2016 at 6:34 PM ^

Two more seasons is what I predict tops after this one. There just aren't many places to go with the story line. However, I forget many things with this show every time I reflect. The white walkers should have like one or two big battles and then get burnt to dust by dragons. The Boltons and Lannisters will be a part of these battles and will perish in the flames. End game. Jon Stark(Snow) takes his place in Kings Landing.


April 25th, 2016 at 3:20 PM ^

 Not sure how they can get past that length. They have pretty much gone off their own way after last season. Everything that happened in the books has already happened, (well, except for stuff they already ignored/bypassed Griff, Lady Stoneheart, Alleras, or Euron Greyjoy. However, already killed off "Young Griff")

 Of the ones they elected to feature, only Arya tale in Braavos is still left from the books and it's been slightly rearranged. So everything else is being written for the show as it passed the books at end of last season.

 Just saw the new season first episode, I was rather disappointed, most was just rehashing what has already happened. Found it rather boring.


April 24th, 2016 at 11:01 AM ^

A few days ago, we had a thread on pop culture misses and I will admit that this is kind of one for me - I haven't gotten much past the middle of season 3 and it has taken until just a few days ago for me to get that far. That being said, I tend to use these threads for some advance scouting as I rely on some help from outside the bubble to fill in gaps, suffering from "too many shows syndrome" as I do. 

Marley Nowell

April 24th, 2016 at 11:02 AM ^

I am hoping that now they are not beholden to the books they don't have to cram so much plot into every episode. Back half of season 5 was not up to the quality of previous episodes/seasons.