Monday, June 4, 2012

Forbes on GoT...

Many annoying changes, but volume three gets two seasons.

On the other hand:

Having read the second novel, I’m not surprised by the plot. But this is really a model of adaptation. The character work is even deeper in the series than it is in the books, the plot has been trimmed to its essentials, and ending the season with the supernatural creatures assault is more dramatically satisfying than the revelation of Bran’s (in the book less unambiguous) survival.

The series has been quite faithful to the novels so far; it will be interesting to see if they are as willing to sacrifice characters next season as George R.R. Martin has been.

"Game of Thrones" is every bit as much about the exercise of power as Caro’s monumental LBJ biography is. Not quite on that level, of course, but deeply considered and challenging.


Tulkinghorn said...

I like your second thoughts better than the somewhat fannish complaints of the Forbes article.

I'm looking forward to watching it all again

David Chute said...

Those second thoughts are actually from Terry Curtis Fox, on TOH. I posted a comment there promoting the Forbes complaints.

Tulkinghorn said...

Hmm... Should have known that you never would have made that pretentious reference to the Caro biography.

Still, I guess I'll have to revise up my opinion of Fox. For a real good time, by the way, check this out:

"Game of Thrones is racist rape-culture Disneyland with Dragons..... The unfortunate girl’s new husband is a dark-skinned, savage warlord from the Mystical East who, being a savage, is unable to conceive of any sex that isn’t exclusively rape-based, and as such violently assaults the little princess every night. But it’s all ok because a prostitute slave teaches the thirteen-year-old princess super sexy sex skills, and she proceeds to blow the warlord’s mind so throughly that they fall in love. Later in the series she uses her magical blondness and a bunch of baby dragons to free all the slaves in the Mystical East. If the enormous teetering pile of ugly stereotypes here is not immediately obvious, see me after class and we’ll go through it step by step."

Christian Lindke said...

Game of Thrones is as much about "the search for the Good Ruler" as the Elric Saga is. That is to say, it provides an illusion that such a thing is possible, then shoots it IN THE the face.

David Chute said...

"Post-Fordist," in that piece, was a phrase I hadn't heard before. But upon looking it up, I realize I like the sound of it. Others who post here will make a rude noise and roll their eyes.

Post-Fordism (also named Flexibilism [also not bad!]) is the name given to the dominant system of economic production, consumption and associated socio-economic phenomena, in most industrialized countries since the late 20th century. It is contrasted with Fordism, the system formulated in Henry Ford's automotive factories, in which workers work on a production line, performing specialized tasks repetitively. Definitions of the nature and scope of Post-Fordism vary considerably and are a matter of debate among scholars.
Post-Fordism is characterized by the following attributes:[1]
Small-batch production.
Economies of scope.
Specialized products and jobs.
New information technologies.
Emphasis on types of consumers in contrast to previous emphasis on social class.
The rise of the service and the white-collar worker.
The feminization of the work force.

Tulkinghorn said...

I didn't bother to look it up, and I'm glad you did, because it's wonderful.

I liked the whole piece because of its verve and good humor, but mostly because she likes it anyway.

There's also a serious argument, by the way, that if you, like Martin, are in the business of manipulating archetypes you should be prepared to carry the baggage that come with those archetypes.

Which is why, oddly enough, I have much more patience with political deconstructions of fantasy than I have with them generally.

Christian Lindke said...

I found the rest of the piece to be quite good. I'm no Andrew Ouffut when it comes to this kind of thing. I just think that trying to squeeze in the "good ruler" search into the story is not quite accurate, as it seems to me that Martin expects his readers to be doing that very he shoots it in the the face!

David Chute said...

I liked the piece, too. Got the feeling I'd like the writer.

TC Fox's claim that GoT is a "model of adaptation" just seems bizarre to me. I suppose one could argue that many details of a source text could be changed without missing the point on a more fundamental level. No equivalent here yet of the horrendous "may I kill him?" betrayal in the US "Dragon Tattoo," a change that trashes the character

Another example: I'm re=reading St. Elmore's "Freaky Deaky," and notice that there's a film in the works. The date of the action has been changed from 1988, when the novel was published, to 1974, -- which sounds like fun, since several of the characters are ex-Sixties radical bomb throwers putting their skills to use robbing banks. Much more flavorful to shift the action from the drab late Eighties to tho early Seventies, one would think. But the twenty-year gap in the novel turns out to be crucial: This is a story about Sixties radicals who are now middle aged, with crime as a response to mid-life crisis. The romantic and sexual relationships also are between older people getting a second chance. All the actors in the coming film are sleek twenty-somethings. We need look no further for an explanation of the date change. The adaptation police should shut this one down.

Tulkinghorn said...

The sun has risen in the west -- the three stalwarts of this blog expressing admiration of a columnist whose slogan is "Pop culture and radical politics with a feminist twist."

All I can say is that charm and wit work wonders. And the ability to write this:

If the creator of a fantasy series can dream up an army of self-resurrecting zombie immortals he can damn well dream up equal marriage rights, and if he chooses not to do so then that choice is meaningful, as is our assumption that the default setting for any generically legendary epic must involve really rather a lot of rape.

David Chute said...

That she actually like the show helps, too. Gives us some common ground.

David Chute said...

And even though playing the rape card nowadays is the equivalent of the old Reductio ad Hitlerum.

Christian Lindke said...

I'm actually a fan of Penny's. I've been following her on Twitter for some time, and am grateful that Ryan Gosling prevented her from getting run over by a cab.