By blog on Mar. 18, 2010.
HBO’s version of A Game of Thrones has been given the green light!
I know, I know, I’m dreadfully late in reporting this, but yes, A Game of Thrones, by George R R Martin – FINISH THE NEXT BOOK, GEORGE – has been picked up by HBO after the pilot was shot late last year and earlier this year. I’m excited, I must say, to see this come to pass.
I do know that I’ve said in earlier blog posts about this that I was trepidatious, that I was concerned for the ‘corny’ factor, the clichés that could arise, but I have to say, after watching Rome recently, and having just bought three more seasons of The Wire because the first was so bloody good, I’ve got confidence in HBO. They put on some damn fine shows, I have to say. More on that story later.
So yes, the show has been given the go ahead, and the first season shall cover the first book, and will contain ten episodes in total. That seems a little on the skimpy side for such a massive book, but so much can be said without words that I suppose it should be alright. I’m just hoping to see the story play-out as faithfully as possible to what happened. No missing certain awesome characters – Tom Bombadill is noticeably missing from The Lord of the Rings! – or just altering things for the sake of making it easier to understand or some such. I hate to see that sort of thing happen, but I do look forward to seeing this play out.
Of course, I have no expectation that all the books will be made into a season of the series. I mean, seven seasons of A Song of Ice and Fire would cost quite a fortune, I believe, and HBO does have a history of cancelling shows if the cost is getting too high.
I suppose, though, that this show will have a huge following before anything is even shot. That’s the bonus of working with non-original content, I suppose. Anyway, this particular geek is most anticipating this one!
By blog on Feb. 15, 2010.
I’m aggravated, and I frankly think he oughtn’t be!
Every now and then I go and check George R R Martin’s ‘Not A Blog’ to see how much longer I’ll be waiting for a book that he said would be done within a year, five years ago! In perusing his previous posts, I noticed an irritated mini rant at his blog readers, and I had to investigate.
It turned out that back on the 29th of January, Martin posted a very brief, and rather vague in my opinion, blog post that was titled ‘A Good Day, With Snow‘ and the only contents of said post was ”nuff said’ and the mood listed at the bottom was ‘accomplished’. Now, I took this to mean he’d finished a Jon Snow chapter, but many others didn’t. Comments poured in on the post congratulating Martin for finishing the book, and excitement rose to see when the book would hit the stores. There were also many others like myself who took this post to mean that George had just finished a chapter, but it was easy to see where some had gotten the wrong idea.
The following day, George posted another blog entry, but this one had a lot more in it. This mini rant, entitled ‘No, No, No‘ – as if admonishing a naughty child or disobedient dog – was having a go at his blog readers for trying to ‘decode’ his previous post and assuming that it meant that A Dance With Dragons was done. He made a comment about this being why he hated to make updates, and that all he was saying was that he’d had a particularly good day of writing. To that I say, for a person who makes their livelihood off of communication, he should be able to readily understand why his ambiguous post got the hopes up of many readers.
Quite frankly, the idea of Martin being aggravated with us, his readers, for the understandable assumption that that terribly obscure post meant that the next ASoIaF book was finished is quite preposterous. Sure, I thought it was quite clearly about Jon Snow, but it’s much like an optical illusion, it’s easy to see two different images contained in the small amount of information given in that post.
The fact that fans of this series have had to wait five years for the second half of the last book is bloody ridiculous. The first in the series was released back in 1996, and at that point it was set to be a trilogy. Book two was released in 1999, book three in 2000, and book four in 2005. We are now to expect seven books in the series, but if Martin keeps this writing pace up – and lack of focus, in my opinion – we’ll be waiting on the final instillation till 2020!
By blog on Sep. 10, 2009.
I’ve one more cast member to announce, and general frustration with George to complain about, too.
I noticed on George’s blog a few days ago that Cersei Lannister has been cast, and will be played by Lena Headey. Now, obviously they will have to give her golden hair and green contacts, but I think this is a very good casting choice for Cersei, actually. Doesn’t this lady look like she could play an evil calculating so-and-so? I think so, and it’s nice to see that the casting is still going pretty well.
There are more pictures of the two Stark girls, too, up on George’s Not A Blog, and they really do fit the parts of Arya and Sansa, if you ask me. I was concerned about these characters, because finding good child actors can be very difficult, one imagines, but George said Arya especially blew the competition out of the water. That sounds like Arya spirit to me.
I was watching season six of 24 recently, with Boothe Powers as the President, and I think this actor could fit in so very well in the SoIaF world, he looks and sounds just right. It’s funny, but I couldn’t say exactly which character – have to be ‘bad’ or ruthless one – but I think he’d be a great addition to the show.
Now, just for a little bit of a complain, because it wouldn’t feel right to leave this out… George has been talking about writing more on A Dance with Dragons… about tackling a certain portion of the book, and not getting anywhere with it… Well, and this is a restrained version of what I want to say… What the hell is going on!? I want to write in all capitals right now, but I will refrain… George! Stop spreading your attentions over fifty bloody projects and get this bloody book bloody-well published! You told your fans when you released the last one that Dance was more than half done, which later turned into a third done, which meant this should have taken half to a third of the time of the last one! But no, NO! The last book came out October 2005! The one before that August 2000, so by my estimation of time and what he said, this book should have been out at latest early last year… We are looking to hit 2010 before Dance with Dragons is actually released, and I can’t help but feel this is due in part because of George’s lack of focus.
I know that it’s hard to write a book, to write a short story let alone a novel, but when you’re running off to write graphic novels and other things, it’s going to take even longer. It’s just so annoying. Respect the people who love your work. This is part of the reasons why Malazan makes into my top five favourite series, Erikson gets books written in a fifth of the time, and they are just as epic, larger in scale even, that Song of Ice and Fire, and as interesting in terms of storylines. Too depressing, I will admit, but Westeros has more than it’s fair share of that, too!
By blog on Aug. 22, 2009.
Here are my reactions to the next seven cast members announced for the TV series of A Game of Thrones…
Tamzin Merchant will be playing Daenerys Targaryen and I have to say, I don’t think she’s the right choice. She doesn’t seem at all like Daenerys, though it’s not just the looks, because that is sort of approximately close, but not really there, and I don’t think she has the strength of presence for this character.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will be playing Jaime Lannister and this choice seems alright to me. This actor looks like he could carry the arrogance of Jaime pretty well, actually.
Sophie Turner will be playing Sansa Stark and she actually seems like a good Sansa… not at first, I have to admit, the blonde threw me off, but she actually seems alright for Sansa.
Maisie Williams will be playing Arya Stark and she seems a good choice, she’s got a certain energy that says Arya to me.
Iain Glen will be playing Sir Jorah Mormont and I’m really not sure about this one… he does have the right look, though, but I think I imagined the knight to be bigger, more bearish.
Richard Madden will be playing Robb Stark and it seems an alright choice, a bit iffy that he is older than the character, but I know they are doing that with all the children. But, I don’t know, I picture Robb quite different…
Alfie Allen will be playing Theon Greyjoy and this does seem like a good choice, the actor already seems smug in the shots on George R R Martin’s blog.
Okay so that is now a total of 14 of the cast members so far, we are still missing Bran, Rickon, Tommen, Myrcella, Cersei, the Hound, the Mountain and all the Maesters, too. So a whole bunch, it’s safe to say. I wonder who, though, will actually be needed for just the pilot?
By blog on Aug. 19, 2009.
HBO will soon be shooting the pilot of the TV series of George R R Martin’s epic fantasy novel A Game of Thrones.
Now, I think these books, A Song of Ice and Fire, are the best fantasy series I’ve ever read. I’ve read a lot, and these are the best, in my opinion, so far. That’s a pretty big call, but I’m making it. The people behind this series are the same who created Deadwood and Rome; two good shows, in their own ways. Today I’m going to outline my response to each of the announced cast choices. George R R Martin also said on his Not a Blog recently that six more characters are about to be cast, but we will have to wait some time for the announcements. When they are announced, I will do a follow up post. I’m interested to see how this series works out, because as I said, this is an amazing book they are working with, and Martin has even been involved with the screen plays, I believe he is writing one episode himself. Now, onto the cast and my impressions!
Sean Bean will do quite well as Eddard Stark, in my opinion. He voiced Martin from The Elder Scrolls Oblivion game quite well, and the character has a similar sense of… rigidity or dourness, so I think this was a good choice.
Peter Drinklage as Tyrion Lanister will be awesome, I think. Drinklage has a tenacious and sardonic personality in many of his roles, and I think this will suit The Imp so very well.
Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark will work very well, even as Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice she had an austere coldness that I think will work wonders – now that she is older – as cold and hateful Catelyn. I dislike Catelyn intensely.
I’ve never seen Kit Harington in anything before, but he looks okay for the part. I would have liked to have seen someone perhaps a little longer in the face, but this serves, and there could be – with hair and make-up – similarities brought out with him and Sean Bean.
Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon is interesting… I’ve no doubt he can play it, I just envision him as being… bigger, swarthier, and at least somewhat intimidating… But I still think this will work out well.
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon I’m not sure about because I can’t see a picture of him that is anything like recent on the net, so I don’t know. It’s going to take a good actor to portray that horrid little abomination.
Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen… he seems too old, to me. This one sticks out a bit… but with a lot of alterations, silver hair, lilac eyes, maybe it’ll work.
So far only the pilot is sure to be shot, but if the reception is good enough, more could follow, and I for one, bloody hope so!
By blog on Jun. 25, 2009.
After my last post where I wrote of the live-action film of Avatar: The Last Airbender, I have had more thoughts on both that movie and live-action remakes in general.
Okay, first off, as for Avatar… I have to say, I am actually leaning more towards racebending.com’s perception of things. I mean, Katara and Sokka and their people are based on the Inuit… and the casting call for them stated ‘Caucasian or any other ethnicity’. Doesn’t that seem odd? The two actors picked to play these characters are pretty damn Anglo-Saxon looking, and I find that just a little bit sad. It would have been really exciting to see some up and coming actors who at least remotely looked Inuit. So, whilst I will not boycott the movie, I can clearly see that there is some stuff going on there that I would rather wasn’t.
Now, on to what I wanted to say about live-action remakes in general. When you see an actor cast in the role of a character that has only been either cartoon or an image in your imagination – as with characters from books – it is so very highly unlikely that the actor will look exactly like you imagined them that it is sort of ridiculous to try. What has to be attained is the right ‘feel’. Not everyone was perfectly happy with casting choices from The Lord of the Rings, but no one can doubt that the cast really ‘owned’ their characters. They managed to embody them, even if they weren’t the spitting image.
Now, that’s not to say that it doesn’t matter at all what the actors look like, I mean, I care about the Avatar actors so there’s proof to that. But I am also extremely leery of who is going to be cast in The Song of Ice and Fire series that HBO is going to make. I really hope this series will be good, and the actors cast good, but not overly known ones. I think that would work best, I mean, that’s what worked so well for the Harry Potter movies.
On the flip side to that, the Cowboy Bebop film is going to be starring Keanu Reeves as Spike, but I honestly think that could work. Either way, with all these things, people care. People love Cowboy Bebop, they love Song of Ice and Fire, so what they don’t want to see is crappy remakes of them.
By blog on Apr. 7, 2009.
I am about to finish, about to finish, HA! I have around one hundred pages left to read in my current book, Reaper’s Gale by Steven Erikson. There are two reasons why this is a really good thing. One, this book is damn awesome and I am looking forward to seeing how certain things pan out, and two, I already have a brand new copy of Toll the Hounds that I picked up today!
I love a new book, I really do. It is all pristine, the spine is un-creased, the pages are yet to be opened, the book sits perfectly flat. There is also, with an unread book, a sense that you are an explorer. You are the very first person to watch this story unfold, share its triumphant victories and harrowing defeats. Perhaps that is just me, and the fact that it is really late is making me somewhat poetic in nature. I’m not sure, and I don’t really care, as I really am looking forward to this next book. And, thanks to the well paced writing of Erikson, I don’t have to wait a couple of years before the next book, either, as it is scheduled for August 27th!
Great authors inspire this Christmas like joy in me, waiting for years to finally see the end to the saga that is the Wheel of Time, or reading those final chapters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hoping that George R R Martin lives up to his bloody promise of delivering another book… sometime… soonish… maybe… FINISH THE DAMN BOOK ALREADY, GEORGE!!!
Yeah, I have been waiting for Dance of Dragons for a few years now, since 2005 when he released A Feast for Crows. See, the thing with that book was, that only half, HALF, the character list even made a damn appearance in the book. Why, I hear you ask? Because ol’ Georgie boy had written the bloody thing so long that he had to separate it into two books. Right. Now. Okay. The thing is, when this happened, it was really frustrating for me because you miss out on some of the best characters, in my opinion. But there was hope! That hope came in the form of George saying he was almost done with A Dance of Dragons, so it wouldn’t be long before we got the rest of the point of view characters. So. Four years later. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. WHERE’S THE BOOK, GEORGE?
For the loyal fans, he is really being a git. I mean, he is working on completely different projects, completely different books that he co-wrote with other authors; this angers me no end. His story is just good enough that I will pick up the next book in the series, but seriously, his piss-farting around has seriously diminished what was a great set of books.
And I was feeling so upbeat until I remembered I was waiting for that book. Bah! By the time George finishes the bloody book, I will have read the next two installments of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series! Maybe three, and will have finished the whole lot! Now that’s a thought that makes me a little happier and a little less angry.