Thursday, May 28, 2015

All May Be Well On “Game Of Thrones”

The last two weeks I’ve been fairly critical of the way HBO’s Game of Thrones has deviated from George R.R. Martin’s books. But after last week’s episode, “The Gift,” I’m feeling better about how everything might work out in the end. As usual, some *SPOILERS* will follow.

Cersei's story is progressing like GRRM intended.
My two big beefs from the last two weeks were the death of Ser Barristan the Bold and the fact that Sansa Stark was placed in Winterfell in the clutches of the psychotic Ramsay Bolton. At the time, I had speculated that what the writers were trying to do was preserve a number of the key storylines in A Dance With Dragons and A Feast For Crows, but portray them with fewer characters. Hence, Sansa was stuck into the unfortunate role of Jayne Poole, Jaime Lannister is playing the role of Ser Arys Oakheart, etc. After last week’s episode, however, I am more convinced than ever that the show’s writers are doing just that. 

The writers have jettisoned some storylines from the two books, including the Ironborn plotline, the story of Jon Connington and the (possibly fake) Aegon Targaryen, Sam and Gilly’s voyage to Old Town, and the tale of foolish Prince Quentyn and his attempts to win Dany’s heart. With these out of the way, the show is focusing on, arguably, the seven most powerful storylines – and, with one possible exception, I think the writers intend for these to play out the way they do in the books. If true, there may be hope yet for fans of the novels (at least those that are okay with a little deviation). Of course, I have no idea what the writers will do next year without The Winds Of Winter

Could Brienne and Pod save the Winterfell storyline?
There’s only time to discuss two of those storylines today, the first being Winterfell. In the books, this plotline does not involve Sansa. Rather, it’s the tale of Theon’s reemergence from the persona of Reek as he’s compelled to save poor Jayne Poole. Theon’s actions take place during a series of mysterious murders in Winterfell, all against Ramsay’s men (yay!). In the books, the mysterious assassin turns out to be Mance Rayder, though he seems to be dead in the show. But since the show has Brienne and Pod lingering outside Winterfell, I could see her playing Mance’s role and ultimately setting the Winterfell plotline back on track. Sure, things will remain bad for Sansa, but who’s to say she won’t be working with Brienne? And maybe she’ll end up saving Reek too. 

These two could keep things straight in Meereen.
The second plotline concerns the events in Meereen. Earlier, I thought the death of Ser Barristan left a huge hole in that storyline. But after I saw how the writers handled the reunion between Ser Jorah and Daenerys, I truly think Jorah, or some combination of he and Tyrion, might fill poor Barristan’s role just fine. 

With the exception of the Dorne storyline (which is just fun, by the way, with Bronn, the Sand Snakes, and a love-struck Marcella), I think the other four storylines may roughly follow that of the books. By this, I mean that the tales of Cersei, Stannis, Arya, and Jon Snow should play out like they do in A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons. Of course, anyone who has finished those books knows what’s coming – and THAT, I promise not to spoil!

* Images courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes


Bill said...

You may be on to the truth, Joe. Of course, that's assuming the writers actually know where they intend to go in future seasons. I suspect the first seasons carefully followed the books because that was the plan. They perhaps realized that would be very difficult in the medium of TV.

Joseph Finley said...

Bill, thanks for the comment. I guess we'll know in about three weeks whether I'm right.