Thursday, May 5, 2016

Things are Moving Very Fast on “Game of Thrones”

After just two episodes, Season 6 of Game of Thrones is moving at a furious pace. The reason, I believe, is that the show’s writers are no longer tethered to George R.R. Martin’s books. But is that a good thing?

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things."
In just two episodes, we’ve confirmed the demise of Lord Stanis, seen a complete coup in Dorne, bid goodbye to Roose Bolton, watched Ramsay rise to new heights, seen Balon Greyjoy finally meet his end (three seasons overdue), witnessed the Wildlings seize control of Castle Black, and experienced a long-anticipated resurrection. Anyone who’s read George R.R. Martin’s novels knows that it might take 500 pages or more for so many events to play out. That’s just how his books work, and it’s why the earlier seasons – which more or less covered the novels – unfolded far more slowly than what’s happening now.

Ready for a Kingsmoot!
With the exception of the Ironborn plotline, which is taken straight from A Feast For Crows and was cut out of Season 5, most of the events in Season 6 have not occurred in the books. It’s as if the writers are now working from a list of future plot points provided by Martin once HBO realized this was going to happen. At this pace, it wouldn’t even surprise me if Season 6 goes beyond the events of The Winds of Winter, but only time will tell.

You have to love the giant!
In my opinion, this new pace has made for some exciting television, yet I wonder if anything from here on out will resemble The Winds of Winter whenever its released. In fact, I could see many of these events, including Jon’s resurrection, playing out differently in the novels, especially as Martin fleshes out, or even changes, his outline, which commonly occurs in the writing process. 

So what might this mean for viewers and readers? Both may win. On one hand, viewers will get a fast-paced Season 6. While, on the other hand, the show may not completely spoil The Winds of Winter for readers because the novel may deal very differently with the same subject matters. 

Of course, this will only further divorce the show from the books, but that was inevitable once the show greatly outpaced Martin’s ability to finish his epic tale. At this point, Season 6, and maybe Season 7, will wrap up before the release of the The Winds of Winter. And the show will probably conclude five or six years (or more) before Martin finishes the final book in the series, A Dream of Spring.

That’s just life. And I, for one, am okay with it.

* Images courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

1 comment:

Bill said...

You're optimistic if you think Martin will finish two more books, Joe.

I am enjoying this season. I hope Ramsey gets his due appropriately.