October 10, 2019

Blogtober | Are You Ready for Sweater Weather?: Falling Leaves

Blogtober | Are You Ready for Sweater Weather?: Falling Leaves
First my internet went down, so I couldn’t access the website to post this up. Then in a sudden turn of events this blogtober, I have been offered an internship at a PR company. Which is why I’m now trying to play catch up, but I am positive there will still be thirty-one blog posts and one going up every day now I’ve had to time to get the library to schedule them.
If you missed my previous two posts on what Are You Ready for Sweater Weather is, or who created the tag, you can check that out here.
3. What are some changes that appear bad, but you secretly love?
Change is ineffable. Whether it be the clothes you wear, the temperature, where you live or your job; something is always evolving. When I was thinking about all the changes that occur that surround books, publishing and the entertainment sector, I was left to reflect on how my opinion on adaptations has changed since the archaic days of a fangirl. If fourteen-year-old me could hear what I am about to say she wouldn’t be able to get up off the floor.

Adaptations are incredibly difficult to get right, let alone just writing the script. Trust me, I’ve tried, just for the hell of it. The most obvious reason behind this is not because the screenwriter is incompetent, but because of how vastly different novel writing and screenplays can be. Not only are they different in format, but are consumed as different media, offering alternate experiences. Furthermore, screenplays aren’t meant for general reading, they serve a different purpose. Think of them as instructional manuals to build a visual narrative, these then get interpreted by a director and/or a production team, and then consumed by you – the viewer.

At this point, I'm not even going to give a spoiler warning, because a good pop-culture touchstone to exemplify this is to talk about Game of Thrones. There are a few changes that I will always not be a fan of, especially in how D.B. Weiss and David Benioff interpreted the characters when book material ran out. However, one change that I loved, and still do, is an added scene during Game of Thrones S1x03 – “Lord Snow”.

In both media, there is a conversation between Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon whilst they are traveling due south to King's Landing. That is where the similarities end. In the book, this conversation could be split into two topics, the first being the reminiscent glory days of wielding a sword and shagging whores. The second is about the aftermath of the trident, Jaime Lannister's regicide of the Mad King, and Robert and Ned’s opposing opinions. At this point, it could be safe to assume we are onside with the Starks. Jaime Lannister has proven to be arrogant, dishonorable and potential child murderer – what is to stop unlawful regicide from being just another item on the list?

To contrast, the second part of the conversation never occurs between Ned and Robert. Instead, Benioff and Weiss add a scene where Jaime Lannister greets Ned Stark in the Throne Room. Here’s a transcript of the scene:

Robert and Ned discussing this over a couple of beers. Furthermore, there’s a great sense of dramatic irony – as an audience we know what Jaime has done to Ned’s son. This adds another layer of tension and interest, as well as deepening the history between them.

It had been a few years after I had first watched this scene, that I realized that this scene plants the seed of Jaime’s character arc through into series three. He explicitly relives and relays those moments of the Mad King’s death to Ned Stark, as if he wants approval for the honour-bound Stark. Quickly he is shunned as the Kingslayer, the name of his past that will live on in the stories and songs of Westeros. It gave me caution that Jaime was more complicated than the initial wrongdoings he acts out and the air of arrogance that he presents.

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