GoT Red Wedding Spoilers: Book vs TV

selfishly, i ask that spoilers be kept up to the Red Wedding only, as i have only read up to the third book.

it was this post that prompted the thread:

having read the scene before i saw it, i found the buildup in the books more gut-wrenching. together with Cat, the feeling of dread as we read the little trail of hints along the way. the descent into madness as she watched her son’s demise. her thoughts that lead to her last act of desperation.

the TV on the other hand, focused on the visceral: the slashing of throats and the stabbing of the unborn child which didn’t even happen in the books, which presumably, was changed to ensure the the scene was as impactful as the books.

i wonder how it was like to see that on TV first. everything seemed to be over so quickly. reading it after would fill in the blanks but the suspense and buildup would be gone. having read first, the scene on TV isn’t as powerful, but it served as a visual replay of what happened. i wonder which is better. i think i would watch the next season first before i read them, just to compare.

I suspect whichever version one experienced first will factor heavily into their preference.

I saw Ned’s beheading on TV before reading it, but I read about the Red Wedding before seeing it on TV.

I would say that I enjoyed the impact of seeing on TV first unspoiled. The problem was that after that it was very difficult to stay unspoiled.

I read about the Red Wedding on A Wiki of Ice and Fire before reading the novels, and was actually kind of glad it wasn’t a total shocker.

I have to say I prefer Robb’s wife in the series better than in the novels, where she’s just kind of a cipher.

I was disappointed they let Cat kill Lady Frey, if only because the poor girl is such a sad character anyway and the only thing she had to look forward to was her husband dying while she was still young enough to maybe get some happiness in her life.

I’m assuming that G.R.R.M. is involved in the scripts and thus neither Lady Frey nor Robb’s Wife were going to be important after the Red Wedding. (I feel like Cotton Hill saying “Robb’s Wife!”)

Sorry for the hijack but . . .
Reading up on TRW, I found out that in the book Robb’s wife was the “infertile” Jayne Westerling that does a whole lot of nothing and not Oona Chaplin. My question is: does GRRM se the TV series as a chance to rewrite the story or is it simply what plays well on TV?

I’m sure it’s what plays well on TV; GRRM had a lot of experience as a screenwriter before he started the ASoIAF books and got more while writing them, so I’m sure that a lot of the changes in the TV show were for TV play.

That being said, I think it’s pretty clear by the dialogue in the books that he was a screenwriter- many of them translate beautifully to TV verbatim, and they flow rather naturally when the little mental movie in my head is playing as I read.

Robb’s not a POV character and the whole Jeyne thing happens largely off-screen (I’m not sure she ever actually appears in the books or is only mentioned). By necessity they had to build up Robb’s story line for the show to make him more sympathetic and because a bunch of scenes where people discuss the events of the war second hand don’t make for good television.

Given that it also makes sense to build up his wife’s character, and since she’s such a non-entity in the books it didn’t really change anything to give her a new name and back story.

incidentally, the episode has revealed that nothing would come of Robb’s child. it was left alive as a little hope and consolation in the books.

Not a spoiler because it’s total speculation: I’m hoping Roslyn becomes an ally in a total genocide of her father’s line. It would be ironic if an old rake with dozens of children ends up being succeeded by a grandson born to an umpteenth daughter.

The state of the King of the North rebellion reminds me of the Wars of the Roses when Edward (Prince of Wales) and his father Henry VI were killed and there was no longer a Lancastrian claimant so the Yorks had clear victory. However, in that case a Lancastrian claimant presented himself (ignore the bastardy on both sides of his lineage) and overturned the Yorkist applecart, and I’m guessing the same will happen here- my guess being Rickon with his sister Arya as his general, but I’ve no idea.

The TV show by necessity has to cut out an EXTREMELY large number of background characters. Making Talisa a foreigner with no family around saves them the entire Westerling cast, who because of being a large part of the betrayal would have needed backstory and screen time they did not have.

This is one thing i found lacking on the TV version of the wedding, all the minor characters that were an albeit small part of the story who died bravely through no fault of their own. There were many “well I didn’t really care about Robb or Cat so it didn’t bother me that much”, which is a very valid complaints. On the other hand you could not help to care about Dacey Mormont fighting off one Frey with a beer mug just to take an axe through the stomach, or the Small John throwing a table over Robb saving him from the crossbow men as his last act before getting decapitated. The show offset this a bit by adding Talisa but it still lacked the impact of the book removing a large swath of minor characters that had been around since book 1.

I read somewhere that GRRM deliberately chose not to be involved in the writing of the red wedding episode.

Walder Frey alone has more than 20 children who are named in the books, some of whom are significant to the plot (are are a couple of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren).

Somebody in the “no spoilers” thread referred to him as “new money”. IIRC, he’s no more ‘new money’ than most bannermen; in the Egg & Dunk prequels set when he was a little boy his father was a powerful lord.

While I like the actor who plays him in the series, I wish they’d aged him so that he’s as ancient as he is in the books. And made his wife pregnant, which would be more shocking than cutting her throat (which I think was done mainly so The Readers could have some surprises too).

Regarding, in the Book, the future adventures of Robb’s wife, mostly from Book 4:

[spoiler]She was sensibly left behind at Riverrun when Robb and Catelyn and Edmure went to the Red Wedding. Lannister and Frey troops soon besiege Riverrun. Later Jaime heads out to speed things up, comes up with a plan to end the siege. He allows Robb’s wife Jeyne to live, and be married off to some other person, but warns Jeyne’s mother that she cannot marry for a year so there can be no speculation that her child will really be Robb’s child. The mother assures Jaime that there will be no problems of that nature, she’s made sure of it. It is ambiguous in the mother’s “not pregnant” certification whether Jeyne was pregnant and was forced to abort or not.

The character then disappears, and doesn’t appear in book 5. And since George RR Martin will likely die before book 6 comes out, we’ll never know any more.[/spoiler]

I’m surprised the writers bothered to retcon Ned and Catelyn’s wedding from the book so that it didn’t include a bedding ceremony. It’s such a tiny, tiny detail.

According to the depths of the interwebs (and no I’ll never be able to find it again) GRRW was at a convention doing talks, and he pretty much flat-out said

that he **meant **for Jeyne to be a dead-end, and that all of the speculation and hope about Robb’s “unborn child” was utter tosh. So I imagine he’s ok with that speculation being… um… aborted. ahem… for the show.

I’m almost finished with Storm of Swords and I’m curious as to why people were so surprised with the Red Wedding. I haven’t seen the series but it seems like he telegraphed the massacre fairly early on. The Freys were terrible to begin with so why did they expect anything but an ambush? So readers/viewers were really that shocked?

They’re fun reads but thus far in order to survive in Martin’s world you need to be completely and utterly amoral. I figured that out after book one thus the Starks have no chance. As I said though, fun reads and I do hope he finishes the series.

I’m re-reading the books (middle of SoS now) and sure, knowing about the Red Wedding, you see the signs everywhere. The Witch of the Woods even prophesizes about it and Cate’s fate. Reading it unspoiled, I knew Frey was going to demand some kind of recompense from Robb - but the depth and savagery of the betrayal was completely shocking. I got a pit in my stomach and had to put down the book for a little while.

That’s a sign of good story telling! It was remarkably vicious.

Frankly Robb struck me as an idiot as did his Mother. I wanted to like them but the fact that they didn’t learn from really anything sort of doomed them to their fate. Don’t get me wrong, I do hope there is a serious comeuppance for a number of characters but as I’m reading (almost done with the third book) it doesn’t seem like there is any competition left for the Iron Throne and that the Lannisters are probably the best people to sit on it given what a train wreck Westeros is. If they can’t control it then no one can*

  • I know that the Dany and the dragons are out there but they pull me right out of the story. What’s the use of intrigue when you can just breed a dragon and fire bomb every one into submission.

Well, the thing is that Dany doesn’t want to be another Aerys, hated, feared, and assassinated because he had a reign of terror. She wants to be just and actually be a good leader, and the Powers That Be over in Westeros know that if she attains that goal, they’re SOL.

Also, “Dany and the Dragons” is a good name for a rock band.

Robb’s 14 at the beginning of the books, of course he’s stupid.

I was shocked at the Red Wedding because the whole story is so out of character for the genre. When Ned died I just sort of recentered myself. “Ok, it wasn’t actually about Ned. This is more like a prologue that sets up the revenge of the Starks to be more powerful.” Nope.