Game of Thrones is awesome, no doubt about that; David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are dedicated, Peter Dinklage and Charles Dance are captivating, the costumes are great and the opening title is something that truly shows the scope of Martin’s world in an interesting way. But there are only so many things one can do good.
There were problems from the beginning only, but the harm they did was not that visible. Here are the problems that have been choking the series from the beginning (Season 1-3, ie, when they had yet not deviated too far from ASOIAF).
- In actuality, in the TV series, all are either good guys or bad guys. The moral greyness is lost. They are not able to portray characters realistically. Rather than develop nuanced and interesting characters, they’ve sort of shied away from the ‘gray’ that defines the book and made them more white/black on screen. See Jamie Lannister: In the books, with Martin’s genius, he goes from being an incredibly bad guy to a great grey character, whereas in the series, he goes from being an incredibly bad guy to an incredibly good one. Tyrion is also an obvious example of this white-washing tragedy, and I doubt D&D have much interest in Tyrion’s self-loathing, bitter, poutiness part that defines his life. Dany is another example of catering to the audience with a popular member and giving us less gray. Although it is yet to be seen if they continue down this path now that they’ll focus on her going to Westeros. She is the starlet of this show so I doubt they’ll go too far making her gray. Arya seemed to be getting similar treatment to some degree. Stannis is one the show seems to have gone the other way on. While, I’m admittedly biased in my love towards the Mannis, it doesn’t seem like D&D have any interest in portraying him fairly. He’s a religious zealot who is unable to make any decisions and ends up listening to whatever Melisandre says, much to the dismay of lovable and reasonable Ser Davos.
- They got time to incorporate all things related to Ros and Podrick, but they didn’t get time to introduce Tysha. She was even barely mentioned after Season 1, even though she would have been a more plausible reason for Tyrion to kill Tywin.
- This goes ties into the second argument of wasting time. Things happen but nothing is ever explained clearly. There are far too many instances of this. The Qhorin Halfhand and Jon Snow storyline, for example.
- They tried to turn the great Tyrion Lannister into a comic relief. Yes, they did. And, in Martin’s own terms, they changed the “most morally neutrally character” into a goody-two shoes. Book Tyrion is one of the greatest characters ever because of all his flaws/insecurities, and they’ve unfortunately gone away from it.
- The cast is not actually that great as it is over. Apart from an exception or two, they are all bad. They show one, just one emotion: stiff haughtiness from Daenerys, endearing naïveté from Sam, glowering frustration from Jon Snow, camp sarcasm from Varys, and so on. Why can’t they show more emotions?
- How come they have to put characters so interesting as Quaithe into such a minor role because of time constraint and still have time to show two characters making out?
They somehow almost perfectly managed to ruin the dilemma in Theon in the second season were it not for Alfie Allen’s acting. Aside from showing Theon burning a letter to Robb Stark, they forgot about the complexity of his character.
And then there comes the part when GoT deviated from the source material and ultimately got ahead of the source material. The first true time GoT was not faithful to ASOIAF was in the Sansa-Hound scene of the first season, but from here the scope of deviation went to another level. Yes, we’re talking Season 4-6.
The bittersweet nature of Martin’s novels is now lost: Martin’s novels have always been about bittersweet moments. In A Game of Thrones, we get Ned Stark’s beheading with the birth of the dragons. In the third book, The Red Wedding is there with The Purple Wedding. But as the seasons crossed the books, they lost the bittersweet moments. We only get the bad guys in Season 5 and only the good guys in Season 6. “The glimmer of hope” concept is lost; either there is no glimmer or only glimmer and nothing else.
The show is now cheating to either triumph the good guys or else the bad guys: Earlier, it used to be all organic than contrived. It was because Martin didn’t go out of the way to save the characters and everything was usually justified, even if appalling. The tragedy on the show used to be organic. Now, in Season 5, it bends over backwards to fuck the good guys and in Season 6, it bends over backwards to fuck the bad guys over.
If they didn’t understand what should happen to a character, D&D either killed them off or blatantly removed them: Look at the ending of Season 6. Need I say anything anymore.
Just damn terrible writing: I’m fine with where Daenerys story is going, but the Dothraki dialogue is positively atrocious. Gratuitous back and forths about white pubic hair, anal rape, and the five things better than seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time are some of the most terrible writing I’ve ever seen on any show.
Everything related to Tyrion Lannister: First, let us see the time given to Tyrion Lannister season by season.
- Season 1: 9 episodes: Time – 52:45 minutes
- Season 2: 10 episodes: Time – 65 minutes
- Season 3: 9 episodes: Time – 50 minutes
- Season 4: 8 episodes: Time – 47:45 minutes
- Season 5: 10 episodes: Time – 44 minutes
- Season 6: 8 episodes: Time – 34 minutes
Clearly, as the show moves beyond Martin’s epic saga, Tyrion’s importance is degrading and slowly but surely, his character is being strangled into a minor one. Even what he was in the first three seasons is now forgotten. In fact, they’ve even forgotten Tyrion’s character. Tyrion, who a soft place for cripples, bastards and broken things, has ridiculed Varys in both episode 1 and 2 of Season 6 regarding him not having a cock.
Daenerys has evolved into a “Mary Sue”: A Mary Sue is someone – typically a female character – that can do everything easily and whom everyone loves.
Dany fits this bill pretty well. Everything with her past Season 2 was leading towards this, and now with no Martin to save her, she is definitely a Mary Sue now. In Season 6, her capture by Dothraki was just a thinly-veiled plot device to get her a new army of Dothraki, which she does single-handedly by killing off all of their chieftains.
The development of Sansa: When the series was on par with the books, Sansa was scheming with Littlefinger and growing into a real mature character. But then, instead of bringing an Arya fake, they brought Sansa, and messed up just about everything that had happened prior to her. In fact, she didn’t even get to be the one who pushed Ramsey’s psychopathic girlfriend to her death. But no, they’ve turned her into this victim, the same victim, for season after season and I’m growing tired of it. A real lack of consistency is also there, too. She sasses Boltons, then sobs deeply in front of them. Of course, it’s understandable for someone in her situation to be emotionally unstable and acting on whims, then breaking down, but she has been already doing that for many seasons. She’s already been broken down by abusers. I never expected her to murder Ramsay and take back Winterfell, or for her to be completely unfazed by his cruelty, but I did want a little promise of leadership and strength even while dealing with her new circumstances.
Arya’s story line: It makes very little sense to me, but Martin took it with a finesse not found anywhere on the show. Nothing is balanced here, and thus problems arises. The Faceless Men seem far too savvy to be played by an impetuous little girl. Arya Stark is clearly the most ill suited person to be NO ONE than anyone alive. She is obsessed with vengeance, still has feelings for people. She is about the most willful and headstrong person in the series.
Dorne, Dorne, Dorne: It’s so bad that I don’t even talk about it. First off, they removed Arianne, one of the few true feminist voices in Westeros. And then, they messed up everything about them in Season 5, because they had no Martin to back the story up. And then, rather than fix their mistakes in Season 6, the showrunners jumped the shark entirely by killing off Prince Doran.
Why is there even a character named Olly: Why has Olly become such a major character? He wasn’t in the books. And he serves no purpose in my opinion. At least Ros, the prostitute from seasons 1-3 who was never in the books served as a way to bridge other major characters together, and her death was part of Varys and Littlefinger’s rivalry. What does Olly adds to the story at all?
The (planned) destruction of logic: It is everywhere now that Martin is nowhere to be found but let’s focus on just some of them.
Did the commando ninja aristocrats also just… stopped rebelling after the Drogon left Meeren and never came back. How are Tyrion, Daario and Jorah still alive? That stadium was chock full of Sons of the Harpy when Drogon and Dany flew away into the sunset. Heck, they nearly killed Drogon.
This annoyed me very much during the stadium fight. Dragon comes down and suddenly everyone has a throwing spear but none of the hundred or so guys stood around decide to throw one at their hated enemy who is literally four feet in front of them not moving.
It’s pure nonsense that Ser Davos would enlist the Red Woman, Melisandre, to resurrect Jon Snow. In the context of the show Ser Davos has certainly seen her do amazing things, none of which involved resurrection. Even if Ser Davos knew this was possible, why ask her to do so? If anything Ser Davos would ask her to try to bring back Stannis or Princess Shireen, because he is still unaware of her direct involvement in their deaths.
And Lady Melisandre’s crisis of faith? If anything I thought it would be her who would press for the opportunity to raise Jon. She has seen him in her visions, seems to sense he is more than he seems and has Kings blood running through his veins. Why does she need Kings blood to do all kinds of powerful magic and all she needs to resurrect Jon is a sponge, bucket of water, a few magic words and a haircut to the dead person in question?
The scene where Prince Tristain is murdered is equally stupid. They are in tight quarters, and their weapons are a spear and a whip?
In the Sept where The High Sparrow confront Ser Jamie. Wow. Where do I start? Ser Jamie asks the High Sparrow, “What about my sins?” Great fucking question. He is accused of incest, he did kill his King. The High Sparrow suddenly doesn’t care?
Speaking of House Lords too smart to be murdered as they were, Roose Bolton. He didn’t see that coming? Seriously? And while I get why the new head of the Karstarks is loyal to the Boltons, he just stands there and has no reaction to Ramsey killing his father? REALLY?
And does Ramsey really think Walder Frey is gonna buy his story? Does he think that he doesn’t need the Freys to eventually fight the Lannisters? There was a reason Robb needed the Freys. The Freys control access between North and the South, they can keep Ramsey from invading South and allow the Lannister army to come and go as he pleases.
Now for an overall observation- how in the fuck are untrained militias of slaves and religious fanatics like the Faith Militant in Kings Landing and Sons of the Harpy in Meereen even remotely formidable versus The Kings Guard and armies as well as the Unsullied in Meereen? How do the Sons of the Harpy manage to burn the entire fleet?
FUN FACT: If you’re not a warg and not a Stark, then you’re a
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