I’ve been watching GOT episodes the night they air this season. In previous years I would power watch them after they all aired or whatever, but since we’re getting close to the end I am eager to see them right away, and I want to be in some of the discussion. I also want to avoid the episode being “spoiled” for the most part.
I’ve been quite disappointed with the episodes this season. The main issue I’m having is how fast time seems to pass with no real significant consequences for making a decision that will take time to play out. For example, when Jon and the dwarf go from dragonstone to kings landing, back to dragonstone then north past the wall. The distance between dragonstone and kings landing is relatively short…but going north should take some time. Even if they are sailing it should take awhile. As we’re watching the episodes there is no feeling of time passing. Also, while these people are doing all that travel, Cerci is not shown doing anything. Are we to believe that she is waiting patiently being her castle walls for -something- to happen? She’s got to be making some kind of move. Also, she tells Jamie she’s knocked up again…are we going to see her in full blown pregnancy in the next episode when they all meet, or are we going to pretend that something like a week has passed?
The time line might seem like a nerd thing to pick on, but the significance of the distance and how army’s can cover a given distance is kind of a linch pin to warfare of the age. I get that there are dragons and magic stuff going on, but no one has introduced a travel time widget. I’ve always kind of picked on how fast the tv show covers material vs the books, but this is like warp speed (no pun intended) compared to even last season.
The plot also seems very spoon fed and dumbed down. The thrill of the previous seasons was that we had no idea who was going to die at any given time. The authors would get you attached to a character then viciously kill them…it was fabulous. There was subtlety in the moves people were making for control. The games little finger would play, how cerci made various moves..tyrion navigating the world…it was all fascinating to watch play out. This season it’s been all in your face…we’re getting beaten over the head with the story. There is no nuance or benefit to watching the show closely or multiple times because you might have missed something. Jon’s parentage for example. Last season bran warged in to the past and saw what we presumed was Jon being born. His parents at that point are still a “mystery” to the viewers. Then this season in the same episode we see him pet a dragon, and sam’s girlfriend/wife read about a marriage annulment in the old texts. Sam blows her off…but the viewers know what it means. There was also something in a previous season where I think Lady Tyrell said something about how Rhaegar Targaryen ran off from his wife for some other woman. All this stuff is great if it’s spread out over a few episodes or seasons, but having him both pet the dragon and the exposition of the annulment in the same episode is when it becomes spoon fed.
From what I’ve read online part of the problem is cost of the episodes as well as the show runners wanting to move on from this project. It seems like that’s what has made things more rushed to get to the end. Each episode runs HBO something like 10million. At that rate I don’t see how they can make much money on the series, but I’m sure they would see more of a subscriber backlash if they just cancelled the series. If they finish it up they can make some more money on dvd box series sales and so forth. This is also the first season where they haven’t had the books for a template. They are creating more of the story on their own instead of having a very solid well detailed map from which to take bits and pieces.
I’ll watch to the end, but I think all nuance is permanently gone from the series. They are going to have quite a bit to do to get to the “end” so i think we’re going to constantly see all of these big hit episodes and any story is going to get painted with a broad brush instead of a fine one.