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Author Topic: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?  (Read 3388 times)

Offline Bradley Darewood

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The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« on: December 17, 2015, 07:42:53 AM »

So this is a sort of mixed review comparing the Expanse to GoT.

http://www.thewrap.com/the-expanse-review-syfy-series-tries-to-be-game-of-thrones-in-space/

I actually think the series deserves a lot more credit.  I'm loving the politics of it-- it seems so believable.

Do you think Corey should be compared to GRRM?

Online ultamentkiller

Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2015, 03:38:47 PM »
I haven't read this book yet, or even heard of it. The way I see it, it's not actually a bad thing. We tend to compare authors to the ones we think really changed the genre. It's just something that's always going to happen. We can't help but compare something we enjoy to another author we love.
Who knows, maybe I'll actually check out this series now. It seems like a fun concept.

Offline Hedin

Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2015, 04:27:08 PM »
Ty Franck used to be one of Martin's assistants so I'm sure some of the style may have rubbed off.  Abraham is a quasi disciple of Martin as well so I'm sure there are similarities.  I haven't read the books myself to know if the books feel similar to ASOIAF or if its just a marketing thing to compare the show to GOT.

Offline AshKB

Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 10:54:35 PM »
Having read four of the books, and watched the released episodes of the show...

I really don't understand the GoT comparison. It's a big story with politics and multiple factions. That's... Yeah, that's about it, honestly.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2015, 11:22:51 PM »
I haven't read the books. I've enjoyed the two episodes thus far. Even without having read the books, I can already see very clearly where it's going, which is either good foreshadowing on the part of the writers or just author-spider sense.

Themewise, I'd compare it more to BSG than to Game of Thrones, though I wouldn't put it up there with BSG yet in terms of action, suspense, and plot. The show has my attention, however, and I will continue to watch!
T. Eric Bakutis: 2014 Compton Crook Finalist and author of Tales of the Five Provinces

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Offline AshKB

Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2015, 09:03:33 PM »
I haven't read the books. I've enjoyed the two episodes thus far. Even without having read the books, I can already see very clearly where it's going, which is either good foreshadowing on the part of the writers or just author-spider sense.

I will be veeeeery curious if you accurately guess where the series ends up, actually! I read the first book and miiiiiiight have shrieked 'WHAT THE -!!!!' in the last act. I did devour the first book in about four, five hours, which didn't leave much room for prediction, but still. It was an impressive twist.
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Offline Jmack

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Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 12:35:07 AM »
JMacksson and I just watched the first three episodes. I've read the books and loved this. Dave hadn't read them and loved this. I think it's really well done.
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Offline Phil Norris

Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 11:49:02 PM »
I haven't read the books. I've enjoyed the two episodes thus far. Even without having read the books, I can already see very clearly where it's going, which is either good foreshadowing on the part of the writers or just author-spider sense.

I will be veeeeery curious if you accurately guess where the series ends up, actually! I read the first book and miiiiiiight have shrieked 'WHAT THE -!!!!' in the last act. I did devour the first book in about four, five hours, which didn't leave much room for prediction, but still. It was an impressive twist.

The WTF ending to book 2 tops the one in book 1. I've read the first 2 books and so far only seen the first episode, I do think theyve captured the essence of the books well based on the first viewing though I do feel some of the characters look younger than I'd imagined them.

Not sure how this compares to GoT, the only similarity are all the characters and various agendas in play.
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Offline Jmack

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Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2015, 12:38:48 AM »
Phil has a great point about the ages. Especially "the brute." Can't recall his name right now. Always saw him as a grizzled veteran, not a psycho 25 year-old.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline CameronJohnston

Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2015, 09:07:57 AM »
I haven't read the books but I'm really enjoying The Expanse TV series. I think it's being compared to GoT mostly because of the mature and gritty feel to it, then there is also the politics and the morally diverse characters with their own agendas.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2015, 08:58:19 PM »
Having read four of the books, and watched the released episodes of the show...

I really don't understand the GoT comparison. It's a big story with politics and multiple factions. That's... Yeah, that's about it, honestly.
I've read the first book (show hasn't made it out here, yet) and I also don't get the GoT comparison. I think it's a marketing thing, every second book or show these days seems to have to mention a GoT connection to catch people's attention. Add the connection of the two authors who comprise James S.A Corey to GRRM and that gives it the marketing hook.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2015, 10:24:55 PM »
I will be veeeeery curious if you accurately guess where the series ends up, actually! I read the first book and miiiiiiight have shrieked 'WHAT THE -!!!!' in the last act. I did devour the first book in about four, five hours, which didn't leave much room for prediction, but still. It was an impressive twist.

Haha, well, I've only watched two episodes, so I'll post my best guesses as to where it's going! I may be completely off base, but who knows!

Spoiler for Hiden:
First, the destruction of the Canterbury. We've seen a couple of things so far - first, the heiress the detective is looking for WAS on the abandoned ship and sent the distress call (we see that in the opening scene). However, she was not there when the crew of the Canterbury arrived. Because of the presence of the "cloaked" vessel that blew up the Canterbury, I'm going to assume someone in that faction picked her up - alternately, she is actually working with them. So she's either mixed up with the people who owned the stealth ship, or a captive of them.

Second, the actual stealth ship that blew up the Canterbury - it's not the Martian military, at least not officially. The reason my mind goes that direction is 1) nuking a civilian ship seems like a stupid provocation and 2) The Canterbury was carrying ice/water for the belters, and the belt is ALREADY starting to unravel due to water rationing. If the stealth ship faction wants to start a war, increasing unrest is a great way to help that along, especially if they can frame Mars.

Finally, the lady who took charge of the away ship found a "Martian control panel" or whatever in the wreckage, which was a very clear sign that Mars blew up the Canterbury. Except if Mars really DID want to secretly blow up civilian ships, why would they be leaving behind obvious clues that they did it? It seems more likely to me that Mars is being framed by a third faction, someone who wants to start a war between Earth, Mars, and the Belt. They could do that by framing Mars for blowing up civilian ships, and by increasing unrest in the belt by eliminating water shipments. A two for one punch!

Next, the XO guy realized that their distress call had been picked up by the flagship of the Mars navy, he sends a desperate signal accusing a stealthed Mars ship of blowing up the Canterbury. This is more a meta-concern, but we've spent enough time with these five characters that I don't think we're going to blow them out of the sky (though if we do, surprise!). If the Martian navy DID blow up the Canterbury, the Martian flagship coming to answer their distress call would simply blow them up as well, ending these character's stories. But in order for the story to continue, it can't do that.

Why wouldn't it blow them up? Because Mars DIDN'T authorize the strike on the Canterbury. Instead, the commander of the flagship hears the accusation from the XO guy and is immediately like "Oh hell, someone is trying to frame us". So he captures the crew to debrief them, find out what they know about the true culprits, and prevent the story from spreading.

This will also provide some nice opportunities for interpersonal drama - I bet the captain of the Mars navy ship will turn out to be a decent person, or at least rational, but the XO won't trust them because he thinks "Mars" blew up the Canterbury. So we'll have some additional drama where the Captain of the Mars flagship is trying to find out who is using a stealth ship (possibly stolen, or used by a rival Mars faction of warhawks) and stop them, while also building trust between then and the XO guy.

Next, we have the line from the lady navigator, what she was trying to tell him right before the nukes hit. A surface idea would be simply that she was pregnant, but that doesn't seem like it would carry forward in the story. So instead, I bet we'll find out something else was going on with her - either she had some ulterior purpose for being on the Canterbury (her post as navigator was a cover - she got transferred in recently, right?) or she knew that the Canterbury was involved in something clandestine. Maybe the Canterbury was carrying some secret or illicit cargo, and the faction from Mars knew about it, and THAT's why they nuked them.

Anyway, moving forward, the only way I see the crew of the away ship living is if the Mars navy isn't actually officially involved in sinking the Canterbury, and given the developments we've seen on Earth (with that lady diplomat convinced the belters are planning an attack) I think it's more likely that the show will reveal there is a third party trying to start a war between Earth, Mars, and the belt for their own ends.

Anyway! That's what I gleaned from the first two episodes. As the show progresses, we'll see if it's going where I expect. :0
T. Eric Bakutis: 2014 Compton Crook Finalist and author of Tales of the Five Provinces

Book 1: Glyphbinder
Book 2: Demonkin
Book 3: Bloodmender

Offline AshKB

Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2015, 03:43:39 AM »
I haven't read the books. I've enjoyed the two episodes thus far. Even without having read the books, I can already see very clearly where it's going, which is either good foreshadowing on the part of the writers or just author-spider sense.

I will be veeeeery curious if you accurately guess where the series ends up, actually! I read the first book and miiiiiiight have shrieked 'WHAT THE -!!!!' in the last act. I did devour the first book in about four, five hours, which didn't leave much room for prediction, but still. It was an impressive twist.

The WTF ending to book 2 tops the one in book 1. I've read the first 2 books and so far only seen the first episode, I do think theyve captured the essence of the books well based on the first viewing though I do feel some of the characters look younger than I'd imagined them.

Not sure how this compares to GoT, the only similarity are all the characters and various agendas in play.


Actually, to me, Book 1 tops anything else the series threw out. Not that the other twists weren't amazing (they seriously, seriously were), but Book 1 made me go 'okay, series, you know what, whatever you will throw at me, it's going to be crazy and unpredictable and I'm just going to go with it'.

Phil has a great point about the ages. Especially "the brute." Can't recall his name right now. Always saw him as a grizzled veteran, not a psycho 25 year-old.

Amos's actor is 37, actually! To me, he doesn't look twenty-five or that young, just has a rounder face so he tends to look ageless. Although aside from Miller, everyone looks about the age I'd expect (and in Miller's case, I think the actor is still older than him, and I otherwise adore his performance, so, oh well.)

I've read the first book (show hasn't made it out here, yet) and I also don't get the GoT comparison. I think it's a marketing thing, every second book or show these days seems to have to mention a GoT connection to catch people's attention. Add the connection of the two authors who comprise James S.A Corey to GRRM and that gives it the marketing hook.

The first episode is up on youtube - totally legitimately, and I did find a version that didn't have a geo-lock on it.

I think what also really annoys me about the GoT comparison is...I wouldn't have picked it up if I heard that comparison. I could never get into the books, and the show made me ragequit fairly early on, so anything compared to that kind of 'dark, darkest, going to destroy everything good and decent' story? I'm running in the opposite direction. The Expanse has the kind of realism I like, where things are complicated but people are still loyal and decent (and not narratively punished for it) alongside the greedy, the immoral, and the monsters. And that those loyal, decent people can wind up on opposite sides of conflict just by following their morals until I'm shrieking at them because I am cheering on both sides but ahhhh, stop fighting! And the books run pretty quickly, with a high sense of adventure alongside the politics. So.

Eh, I don't get it, and I don't particularly like it.

Haha, well, I've only watched two episodes, so I'll post my best guesses as to where it's going! I may be completely off base, but who knows!

Well! Let me just say, I'll talk to you again in about three more episodes, and we'll see what your predications are then :D

(Although, Ade's (the Cant's navigator) didn't have that comment in the book, so, I'm not sure what the show is doing there. There's a lot of that with the TV series, which makes it just as tense viewing as if I hadn't read the books at all.)
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2015, 05:12:50 AM »
Watched the third episode tonight. I actually dug it even more than the first two - I think the first two had a lot of worldbuilding to get out of the way, and in this one, they could just focus on suspense/plot. Good stuff. I will continue to post my random suppositions because this is kind of fun. :)

Spoiler for Hiden:
Totally called the "someone else is trying to start a war" thing, but since that was pretty well foreshadowed, I'm not that impressed with myself. It's a pretty standard way to go, especially in a cold war type situation. They've also cleared that up pretty quick, which tells me it's the start of a big twist, rather than their whole twist. Which is good.

My favorite element from this episode is "I take drugs and I can tell if you're lying" guy. I like that they didn't spell it out for us in an "As you know Bob" and just showed the way the guy was focusing on all the classic tells - eye movements, lip movements, breathing. Maybe he even heard heart rate. And then he just knows everything. Good acting as well. I hope we're not done with that dude, because he was interesting.

I dunno why, but meathead dude (who works for counterculture lady) is giving me a strong Chief Tyrol (from BSG) vibe, especially when he goes unhinged. I think it's just because the actors look similar. I haven't seen much from him other than his loyalty to counterculture lady, so I hope he gets an interesting twist soon.

Also liked that pilot guy was former Mars navy, and pointed out pretty quickly that Mars nuking the Canterbury made no tactical sense. And doctor guy continues to have good lines, especially when he was taking about how much he told the Mars interrogators. They're doing a good job of contrasting the characters well enough that they don't all feel like the same person.

Also like that XO guy was willing to consider that he might have been wrong in accusing Mars after being confronted with all the arguments, and how he's started doubting counterculture lady. I don't think he'll turn on her, though. I think he feels guilty about the Canterbury getting blown up (since he logged the distress call) and saving "his" remaining people is his focus now. So he won't turn on her, but may end up doing something equally as dramatic as his earlier message.

As for counterculture lady, I'm on the fence about her being in OPA - she might be, she might not be - but I don't think she was involved in setting up the Canterbury or the ambush. She had no way of knowing XO guy would recruit her for the away mission, thus saving her from being nuked, so either she's playing a VERY deep game (and somehow guessed XO guy would ask her along) or she's in the clear. So if she is OPA, there's multiple factions in OPA (which makes sense) and hers wasn't involved in setting up the ambush.

I was not sure if XO guy's transmission would make it to Ceres. I thought, as suggested, Mars had jammed it. But it did, and it's having exactly the effect whoever blew up the Canterbury wanted.

Stuff with the Detective in the Amazing Hat was also proceeding this episode, but it didn't hook me as much as the stuff going on with the Mars Navy. It seems like they're spinning their wheels a bit because whatever is going on with Heiress Lady is going to be a big plot point. So it was pretty much what I expected - trying to keep a lid on tempers in the belt. I did not expect Nice Earth Guy to get staked through the heart though ... ouch! I was just starting to like him. So if the show has nothing else in common with GoT, given it first nuked all the people we'd gotten to know on the Canterbury and now staked Nice Earth Guy, even after he was doing that cool "learn the culture" thing, they aren't afraid to kill people off. I expect Detective in the Amazing Hat will be on the warpath next episode, avenging his partner.

So far, I am enjoying the subplot with Ambassador Lady, and though it was predictable, I did like her gambit to very quickly clear Mars of suspicion in blowing up the Canterbury. She's ruthless, but sees herself as trying to do what's best for everyone. Characters like that generally end up crossing a line eventually, so I imagine we'll see her continue to make moral compromises for the "greater good" until suddenly she realizes she's made one too many. I look forward to that, but I may be wrong.

No further clues or speculations as to what happened with the Scopuli or the Heiress lady yet. Still thinking she's either working with the people trying to start a war or captured by them, but leaning toward captured still, because she looked freaked out at the start of the first episode, which meant she probably wasn't expecting that ship to come under fire. So even the OPA is probably being manipulated by a faction we haven't seen yet.

Looking forward to the next episode!
T. Eric Bakutis: 2014 Compton Crook Finalist and author of Tales of the Five Provinces

Book 1: Glyphbinder
Book 2: Demonkin
Book 3: Bloodmender

Offline AshKB

The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2016, 07:28:08 AM »
I really hope you do keep posting your thoughts - they are really interesting both in a 'will you be right' sense and also from a writer's POV, seeing what clues and trope suggestions lead to what.

And now episode four has aired, only spoilers I know are broad strokes from the books :D

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The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lighted - Plutarch

I not only use all the brains I have, but all that I can borrow - Woodrow Wilson

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