Thursday, May 14, 2015

Another Huge Break From The Books On “Game Of Thrones”

Before this season began, I predicted there would be some changes between the show and George R.R. Martin’s books, particularly because the show’s writers are running out of source material given Martin’s delay in producing The Winds Of Winter, the sixth book in his series. But I never imagined a change as big as last week’s episode, and I’m not sure I’m okay with it. (Book *SPOILERS* to follow.)

Ser Barristan dead? I didn't see this coming!
In the episode titled “Sons of the Harpy,” we saw Grey Worm and Ser Barristan Selmy get ambushed by assassins loyal to the now deposed slavers of Meereen. Selmy gets a knife in his gut, but I had assumed he was just injured. Ser Barristan couldn’t have been killed in an alley, right? He’s far too important to the books.

But last week’s episode, titled “Kill The Boy,” seemed to confirm that Ser Barristan is dead (barring some wild twist where, like James Bond in You Only Live Twice, he’s only pretending to be dead). If he is dead, however, this changes everything. And not in a good way. Hear me out.

Ser Barristan is a viewpoint character in A Dance With Dragons, meaning that a portion of the story is told from his perspective. He is also one of the genuine heroes in the books. When Daeneyrs’ life is imperiled in A Dance With Dragons, Selmy is the noble knight determined to uncover the true villain in Meereen and save what’s left of her kingdom. He’s about the only hope the reader has in this part of the story, and he’s so brave and noble that not even George R.R. Martin tries to kill him off. Think about that. Even Martin realizes that at least one of the good guys needs to survive in the cruel world of A Game Of Thrones. But on the show, Ser Barristan is gone.

Ser Barristan has some chapters in this - oh well . . .
I suppose this signals that Daenerys’ storyline is about to diverge wildly from the books, even though I thought it was one of the three plotlines the writers would try to keep intact. Yet I hope I’m wrong. I hope Ser Barristan is secretly alive, waiting to pull a James Bond when the sh*t hits the fan in Meereen. But I have a very bad feeling that’s not going to happen – especially after reading this article on EW. Barristan the Bold is dead, and I fear the story will suffer for it. 

With Ser Barristan’s death, the divergence between the show and the books seems irrevocable. And right now, I don’t think I like it. Not one bit.


Bill said...

Indeed a surprising turn, Joe.

I'm not as upset by this as you I think, since I have come to consider the TV series as something of a "stories set in the world of Game of Thrones" production.

Joseph Finley said...

Thanks for the comment, Bill. I think that's the only way to look at it at this point.

Bren + Lucy said...

Loving your pictures and the original and beautiful way you have put your story across - you're an inspiration and I am following your journey - awesome work!

Bill said...

Having now watched the six episodes out now, I feel certain that not one of the various story lines are conforming to the books at this point. There's obviously no going back either.

I think the producers decided they have a real money maker and don't want to be tied to Martin other than perhaps running thoughts by him for reaction.