Archive for November, 2011


THIS BLOG CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS FOR “THE WALKING DEAD” TV SERIES. NO MAJOR PLOT DETAILS ARE EXPLORED, BUT MINOR ISSUES ARE BROUGHT UP. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. ENJOY.

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Around this time about two years ago, I was sitting on my couch watching on of my favorite shows on G4 called “Attack of the Show”. In case you don’t know, it’s almost like a news hour for nerds showcasing video games, gadgets, movies and comics.
One of their segments is called “Fresh Ink” and in this segment they talk about comic books that are currently making waves in the industry. The comic that was featured on that particular episode was “The Walking Dead”. Now, at this point I have never heard of this series but after hearing nothing but praises, and the fact that the first three issues were available for free on the Comixology app I decided to see what all the buzz was about. Six hours later, my credit card was almost maxed out and I was the proud owner of all 72 issues of “The Walking Dead”.
Now I know you might say to yourself: “Of course you spent all that money on a comic book. After all, you are a comic book nerd.” and you would be partially correct. I am a comic book nerd, but I did take a break for a while. You see, my love for comic books dried up a few years back, as a matter of fact I haven’t spent any money on a comic since September 2003 on the final issue of “Batman: Hush” so if me blowing almost $500.00 in a few hours isn’t a testament to the quality of the comics, I don’t know what is.

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A Batman story with art by Jim Lee and a story by Jeph Loeb = Comic Book Nirvana

“The Walking Dead” brought me back to the years of my youth where I’d look forward to the next issue that’s coming out impatiently. Simply put, “The Walking Dead” renewed my interest in comics. The way the art, storyline, characters and dialogue came together was unlike anything I’ve seen in many years. I’ve bought many comics since that fatefully day two years ago, but “The Walking Dead” is still the only one I buy on a regular, monthly basis.

I could go on for hours about how great the comic is, but we’re here to talk about “The Walking Dead” TV series. I’m not going to go into detail about the production of the show and how I feel about the overall quality of it in this blog. I actually already covered that in another, as of yet unreleased, blog. What I would like to talk about is where I feel the series went wrong. I am a TV nerd as well, and I understand that whenever something is being adapted to TV from another media there will always be changes and things will be left out. There are details to consider, such as budgets and running times, that will impact the adaptation but I feel like there are certain parts of the comic that could have been included in the TV series, but for some reason, we’re not. So without further ado here is the first blog in the series: The Things “The Walking Dead” TV Series Got Wrong: Andrea.

Andrea

20111122-143834.jpgDon’t let the shotgun and the belt of ammo fool you.

I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t hate TV Andrea right away. I really did think she did the comic Andrea justice for the first few episodes. Everything was fine and dandy until the episode where the camp gets attacked by geeks zombies (for the viewers out there, everything plays out exactly the same in the comic). In the comic book, that moment was a turning point for Andrea. Even before everybody in the group has a chance to collect themselves after the attack, Andrea puts a bullet in her sisters head. Amy doesn’t even get a chance to come back as a flesh-eating zombie before Andrea herself, without anyone’s input or advice, makes the call to shoot her. It was at that moment in the comics Andrea became the female version of Rick (we’ll come back to Rick in the next blog). She realized the world has changed and there are some things she has to do, no matter how difficult they are. She became tough, accepted the fact death is all around her and dealt with it which is one of the reasons she’s still around in the comics.

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It’s because comic book Andrea is so awesome (see: Above) that I hate TV Andrea so much. What made her character stand out in the comic is totally gone in the TV series. TV Andrea is weak, and even though she was the one to kill Amy, it did not have the same impact on her character or her storyline as it did in the comics. When it came for TV Andrea to kill Amy, it was more of a “in the moment” decision then anything. Zombie Amy was attacking her, and TV Andrea pulled the trigger because of her “fight or flight” instinct rather then making a logical decision that it had to be done. After that, TV Andrea went into a deep depression, attempted suicide and shot a member of her survival group because he looked like a zombie without actually checking if he was, you know, a zombie. All while comic book Andrea became a total badass.

20111122-152635.jpgThat’s Andrea Swiss cheeseing a zombie.

Comic book Andrea became the best shot in the group, an amazing sniper and Rick’s female enforcer, ready to back him up at the drop of a dime with a gun that’s just itching to come out of the holster on her hip. Now think how awesome the TV Andrea would be if she was more like her comic book self.

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THIS BLOG DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2 OF “GAME OF THRONES”. IF THERE ARE ANY NAMES OR EVENTS MENTIONED THAT YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH, DON’T WORRY. THEY ARE NOT IMPORTANT AND THEY WILL BE SHOWN IN THE FIRST EPISODE OF THE SEASON. ENJOY.

If you know me at all, by now you should realize I have an unhealthy obsession with George R R Martins fantasy book series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. What’s unusual is that I’m not a big fan of the fantasy genre, especially books. I once attempted to read “Lord of the Rings” but gave up after about 20 pages due to the fact I couldn’t handle Tolkiens ridiculously long expositions. After that, I have never picked up a fantasy book again and was very satisfied just sticking to political thrillers and criminal biographies until HBO showed me the way. Yes, unfortunately, you heard that right; I’m a fan of “ASOIAF” because of the TV series, a n00b if you will, but that does not mean I don’t love the books any less. I have read all the books at least 4 times, and thanks to the TV series, it’s much easier to picture some of the characters. Now, enough of my self proclaimed justification and let’s move one to the point of the blog.

It’s been about 24 hours since I finished reading “A Clash of Kings”, the second book in the “ASOIAF” series, for the 5th time and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Yesterday (Nov. 20) HBO released an in-production trailer for season 2 of “Game of Thrones”. I figured I’ll do a trailer breakdown, just to talk about some characters and basically explain what’s going on for the non-readers, and maybe remind some people who haven’t picked up the book in a few years. I’ll only focus on the characters shown in the trailer, basically ignoring the producers and the really basic location shots unless they might be important. Also, when I refer to “viewers” I’m only talking about those of you who have only seen the TV series, and “readers” will be the ones who have read the books. Let’s get it started.

FYI: I watched the trailer on YouTube “Game of Thrones” Season 2 In-production Trailer The time marker underneath the stills is there to let you know at what point in the trailer the still happens.

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0:12

The Ironborn
The first shot we see is what seems to be a guard along a coast looking out to the sea. It’s not really much unless you look at the banner in the back. It’s a kraken on a purple background, the sigil of House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands. Viewers might not know these guys very well, but readers will be very familiar with the Ironmen as their role becomes more important as the series goes on. I believe the Greyjoys are mentioned in episode 2 of season one in a conversation Ned and Robert have on Kings Road while on their way to Kings Landing. Just to provide a quick explanation to the viewers, House Greyjoy led a rebellion against the Iron Throne around 10 years before the events of “Game of Thrones”. The rebellion was quickly squashed by Ned and his bannermen, and in their defeat the Greyjoys had to give Ned a hostage which ends up Theon Greyjoy.

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0:14

The Lord of Dragonstone
Stannis Baratheon, the older brother of Renly Baratheon and the now dead King Robert Baratheon. Viewers will have no idea who he is, as he was only mentioned in passing a few times, but he will be much more familiar to the readers. Basically, in season 1 Stannis found out about the twincest along with Jon Arryn, and got the hell out of dodge when Jon Arryn was killed. He’s been hold up in his castle at Dragonstone ever since but viewers should be ready, this season Stannis is coming back to settle some scores. I’m not sure how I feel about the look of Stannis in the TV series. In the books, he’s described as being bald, not to good looking and extremely uncharismatic, however I’m not shocked they didn’t follow the book exactly since they didn’t do it for a few characters in season 1. Personally, it’s not really a big deal for me as long as the actor pulls of the cold personality of Stannis.

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0:16

The Red Woman
Calling season 1 of “The Game of Throne” a fantasy series might cause some confusion. It does take place in a different world, but aside from about 5 seconds of dragons at the very end of the season, magic is completely absent. Well, I’d like to introduce you to Melisandre, The Red Preistess of R’hllor and the Kings Red Shadow. Although Melisandre is a Preistess of The Red God and she does have quite a few tricks up her sleeve, don’t expect any wand battles à la “Harry Potter” to happen. Viewers who enjoyed minimal magic of season 1 should rest easy, magic is never used to win battles, only to sway them. Apart from that, I have to say I love the look of Melisandre, she’s even better than I imagined. The blood-red hair is a great touch as I thought she was going to be cast as a ginger.

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0:18

Dragons!!!
Well, not really actual dragons, just a statue which I assume is at Dragonstone, but you have to admit it looks pretty cool. This is the second scene that doesn’t show us a specific character but does give us a clue what’s happening. If you pay attention, the frame pans up to the dragon statue from a spilled wine cup. Readers should know what this is, and if you don’t, re-read the prologue to “A Clash of Kings”.

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0:23

The Half-man
The best thing about “ASOIAF” is that there is so many characters that I love, but Tyrion is definitely in my top 3. Peter Dinklage truly deserved his Emmy for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister and hopefully he gets many more. As far as this scene goes, it looks like maybe Tyrion is being brought by somebody through and underground passage to see a certain somebody.

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0:26

The Mother of Dragons
The absolutely gorgeous Emilia Clarke has got to be the break-out star of this series. The way she potrayed the transformation of Dany from a scared, sad little girl to a powerful, brave queen of the Dothraki horde was amazing. Already a viewer favorite, her popularity will only increase now that she has the only three dragons left in the world as her pets. As the books go on, her journey story only gets better and she is also in my top 3 favorite characters in the series.

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0:35

Dude with Torch
Honestly, I have no idea what this scene is about and where it takes place in the books. The only two options I could come up with is it’s either someone running to meet with Theon Greyjoy upon his arrival at the Iron Islands or Maester Cressen hurrying to meet with Stannis.

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0:39

The Banner
I can only conclude that this is the banner of King Jeoffrey. The Crowned Stag is the sigil of House Baratheon (King Robert) and The Gold Lion is the sigil of House Lannister (Queen Cersei), Jeoffrey believing he is their son would naturally have a banner combining the two.

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0:47

Lord Snow and Sam The Slayer
Jon and Sam, the best of friends, talking to each other beyond the Wall. This scene doesn’t mean anything to the viewers but to the readers I say: They have reached Crasters Keep and are talking about Gilly.

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0:59

The Fish and The Flower
I can only assume this is around the time Lady Stark goes meets with Renly Baratheon during the tourney at Bitterbridge. Lady Stark is easy to spot, but in case you didint notice, that’s Loras next to her. He looks a bit different since they took off the black wig and used his natural hair this season. The readers will know him as the best sword in the kingdom, second only to Jamie Lannister. The viewers will know him as the dude that blew the other dude.

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1:00

The Queen Regent
Cersei is one if the few characters that is clearly a villain. She is both power-hungry and paranoid which is a bad combination. Not much to say about this frame besides the fact that Cersei’s hair seems to look more realistic this season.

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1:09

The Badasses Badass
I’m sure we all breathed a sigh of relief last season when Yoren grabbed Arya and saved her from seeing her father die, as well as sneaking her out of King’s Landing. That was only a small bit of how awesome Yoren is and this scene will cement that into the ground when it plays out on our TVs. I’m not going to go into detail, but it’s here that one of the greatest quotes from “ASOIAF” is said: “That’s not the Law, that’s a sword….happens I got one too”

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1:12

The Ghost of Harrenhall
I said before that Dany is in my top 3 characters of the series. She’s number 3. I also mentioned Tyrion, who is number 2, but by far Arya Stark is number 1. There’s not much I can say about her without major spoilers since the best part of her story is what she goes through. Let’s just say that from where she started to where she is now in the story is something that will leave viewers, and any new readers, stunned.

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1:16

The Youngest Stag
Here we have a still of Renly Baratheon and his wife Margaery. Not much to say about this besides that fact that Renly’s crown is totally badass and his look has improved vastly over the previous season. Also, this seems to be takin place at Bitterbridge as well, so the readers should be able to figure out who he’s watching fight.

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1:20

The Captain of The Sea Bitch
This is the scene of Theon arriving at the Iron Islands. If you remember, last season Robb Stark sent Theon to ask his father to help Robb win the war. In the books, he meets a preist of The Drowned God who he later recognizes to be his Uncle, Aeron Greyjoy. However, I found out that in the TV series it’s just a random preist.

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1:24

The Douchebag King
I hate Jeoffrey. I refuse to write any more then that about him.

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1:29

The Lightbringer
It’s a well known fact that George R R Martin’s books are inspired by world history. Westeros is pretty much Europe, The Dothraki are Mongolian, and the Free Cities are like the Middle East. It is no surprise then that in the second book and in the second season religion starts to play a major role in the story. The readers will recognize this scene as one of the characters turning his back on the Gods of his homeland and putting his faith in a new, red god. In the end none of the religions are similar to our religions, but their impact is almost exact. War.

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1:35

A Queen and A Knight
This still is obviously from some point in the series where Dany is traveling through the desert, but that’s not why I put it up. The only reason why is here is because it’s so freaking cool looking. I wish I had a super hi-res version of it do I could frame it and put it on my wall.

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1:37

The King’s Dog
The Hound. Another awesome character is a roster already full of awesome characters. As a viewer, you might hate him right now but keep watching and you’ll start to smile whenever he appears on-screen.

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1:45

The Maid of Tarth
Once again, Renly Baratheon is so much of an improvement over last season it’s hard to believe its the same character. However, my focus in this still is not on Renly, but the person behind him. Since this won’t mean anything to the viewers, I feel safe in saying its Brienne.

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1:49

The Smuggler
I thank the gods that run HBO for showing us Ser Davos Seaworth, even if it was a blink and you’ll miss it cameo. The viewers don’t know him, but if you’re looking for someone to fill the honorable shoes of Eddard Stark then look no further then the Onion Knight.

Well, that’s pretty much it. I know I missed some stills, but the characters that appeared in the trailer and I didn’t comment about on here I simply had nothing to say about. I hope both viewers and readers alike enjoyed reading this breakdown, as well as my reactions to the trailer. I truly hope and recommend to any viewers out there to pick up the books, they are truly works of art.