Okay, okay, so it’s not the most clever title for a Blog Post. What can I say? I have the maturity of a third grader.
The next Podcast I do will be a very special “ALL POSITIVE” version of NUCLEAR CLOWN RADIO, where for once, negativity will be outlawed on penalty of death. That being said, since I have a lot of thoughts on the Game of Thrones Season Finale (a lot of them are negative) it would be against the rules for me to discuss them on the all good stuff podcast, so I will do things the old fashioned way and type up a Blog Post on the subject (and boy, I’m already winded typing out actual words this far! I’m far too used to talking all my gripes about this stuff.)
Now, this is going to be pretty long, and undoubtedly long winded, so please do forgive me for the rambling and poor grammar. I will try to organize my thoughts as much as possible, but with a series this grand in scope and characters, it’s surely going to get crowded in the jumbled-ideas department.
First, let me give a very important blanket statement, because I feel it is of importance.
I DID NOT READ ANY OF THE BOOKS THIS SHOW IS BASED ON
So, when I say “I don’t understand this character” or “I didn’t get this part,” please know that I don’t know if said part or character later goes on to play a HUGE role in the unfolding story. My observations on this material is SOLELY from the HBO show. I am POSITIVE that there are things and characters in the show that they mention briefly that end up being more important to the overall scheme, but I don’t know any of that, so keep this in mind.
Now that that is out of the way, we can proceed.
After watching the first season of Game of Thrones, I have come up with one opinion that I think sums up the entire show thus far.
THIS MAKES A FAR BETTER BOOK SERIES THAN A TELEVISION SHOW
I know, I know, I just said I never read the books, so how can I say that this makes a better book series than TV show?
There are too many characters in this show to effectively give them all enough camera time to make them stand out. Towards the end of the season, when Robb Stark raises an army and is later proclaimed King of the North, I found myself saying “What is this guy all about?”
He is obviously an important character, but how is he different than any of his other five (or nine, or thirteen, or whatever) brothers they have already introduced? I honestly could not tell you ONE facet of his personality that makes him stand out. Robb Stark is an important character, but since there are 5,000 characters all jockeying for air time on the show, they all end up with less attention to detail, and they all end up not very fleshed out.
|"What, me? I'm a main character on this show? Coulda fooled me. I thought I was just a vanilla-bean average Joe. Does this sword make me look like a main character? No? Howsabout when I hold it out at you all menacing like?"|
Even with season 1 coming to a close, there are still people who pop up on the show and inspire an immediate “Who dat?” response in me. Sure, you could chalk it up to me being an imperceptive moron, but I think it is less that, and more that the show, for ALL its characters, really only has a handful of well defined players. It’s a limitation of TV, of course, and it’s something I think hurts the series.
I have read that the HBO show follows the books VERY closely, and I think that may have been a mistake. Books and episodic TV are VERY different mediums, and I think the story thus far would have benefitted from a hefty culling of lesser characters. In a book series, you can afford to have a whopping cast, because there is no page limit on how long a book can be. With television, you don’t have endless time to flesh out everyone, and you need to make some cuts to keep the vision focused.
That is my main gripe with this show. It seems unfocused, and brings way, way too much to the table, with little of it actually being necessary. When you have to keep track of who is who in three different families, you really need to keep things a bit more strict and focused as to not tire out your audience. Hell, I feel like I need a family tree and a timeline to keep track of this stuff.
Now, as I said, for a book series, this is just fine. But we’re talking TV here.
THE SEASON FINALE GOOD STUFF
I love King Joffrey. Seriously. They picked the perfect actor to be a spiteful little inbred creep, and he plays the role masterfully! I was cheering him on when he ordered Ned executed, and in the season ender he was equally great in this role.
With Tyrion being appointed hand of the King (lol I typed ‘Kink’ at first) I can see some great fireworks between the two relatives, as the last time Joffrey and Tyrion met, the creepy inbred fella was getting slapped around something fierce by the plucky dwarf. I can see Joffrey not forgetting this, and now that he has the power to do so, getting a bit of payback, but that’s just my prediction.
While I’m on the topic, I want to talk about everyone’s (not mine) favorite character on Game of Thrones. Tyrion Lannister is a neat character who gets quite a bit of camera time on this show. Too much, I think. Everyone I know who watches the show just loves him to death and he is their favorite character on the series, and I think they gave him a bit too much time. When you are dealing with this wellspring of supporting players, you can’t focus on anyone too long, or the balance of the show kind of goes off. I feel they focused too much on Tyrion at the expense of other people important to the story they could be developing (like Robb Stark, who really should have some kind of distinctive presence or flair about him which I am just completely not getting for a character who gets to be important to the story.)
Personally, Arya Stark is my favorite on the show. She’s a memorable character, and they don’t overdo it with her. Tyrion is a bit played out, I feel, and while I like the character and the performance, in my opinion they focus on him far too much at the detriment of the other movers and shakers in the story.
Also, while I hate the Orlando Bloom clone Jon Snow, I do like where the Watch left off, pushing out beyond the wall to face whatever horrors lay beyond it head on. I thought it was well done and strangely enough, I am anxious to see what’s beyond the wall. A good little twist of events there that I found welcome.
THE SEASON FINALE BAD STUFF
I know I harp on this a lot, but seriously…what are they thinking with the Dothraki? These must be the most pussified band of “Barbarians” I have ever seen. I’ve talked at length about the absolute nonsense of how they consistently punk out the utterly pussy whipped Khal Drogo, but the season finale was the absolute icing on the cake for me.
So, let me get this straight…
The blonde gal (sorry, I am not up for spelling that name of hers) gets all PC on the raiding Barbarians, and makes a new ‘No Plundering’ policy. She saves a group of conquered women from getting a train run on them. Among these girls, is a healer type person.
|"Guskar, I told you in our staff meeting before that you have to keep your battle cry to an acceptable level. We are getting complaints from the neighbors. I am going to have to fine you ten Barbarian Bucks for the infraction."|
So, Khal Drogo, being a moron, walks into a sickle, and his wound gets infected (OH OH SPAGHETTIOS) but that’s cool, because they have this new healer with them. Right?
So the healer makes some kind of faustian, twilight zone deal. She will save Khal Drogo in exchange for a life. The Blonde agrees, and they make a horse bleed all over the place. I was hoping they would turn him into some kind of zombie centaur, but OF COURSE NOT/DAVE NEVER GETS WHAT HE WANTS.
So, the half horse/half dragon baby inside of the Blond has to die, so that the Khal can live. Okay, makes sense.
OR DOES IT? You see, Khal Drogo lived, but is in a vegetative state (Just like the Undertaker!) and can only lay there and stare blankly in the distance. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! FOOLED YOU!
So, the Witch double crosses the girl who saved her just a few episodes earlier. Then, the Blond, unable to see her big, bad Barbarian fella live like Rain Man, decides to kill him anyway with a pillow.
So, lemme get this nice and arrow-straight…
-Blondie doesn’t want Khal to die, so she makes a deal with this Witch lady.
-Witch lady saves Khal (kinda.) He isn’t dead, but he’s a vegetable.
-Blondie kills Khal anyway.
I have so many spectacular problems with this set up, that I will need to invent new words to properly convey said problems.
I am looking at this from a Barbarian’s point of view. Since this Blond girl has shacked up with my tribal leader, he has died, as did the child of my Tribal leader. Now, someone please tell me why on earth, as a Barbarian tribe, they continue to follow her? Ever since she joined them, the tribe has gone to heck in a hand basket, and they are marching god knows where to do god knows what.
Why is there not complete and utter open rebellion?
Well, naturally, because Blondie can walk through fire and not get burned, and hatch 3 Dragons…of course.
Now, maybe I’m just weird, but I didn’t get this part at all. Blondie hatches 3 baby Dragons. WOW. Big huge whoop. Now all they have to do is wait a few thousand years for those Dragons to get huge and dangerous, then they can kick a whole bunch of ass!
I watched this with my friend, and when I asked him “WHY ARE THEY STILL FOLLOWING HER?” he replied with “She walked in fire and wasn’t burned, and she hatched the three dragons. They see her as some kind of figure of power, so they will follow her.”
A fair enough explanation, but nothing but bad stuff has happened to the tribe since Blondie came aboard, and the Dothraki are all about horses. Not dragons. I don’t see why they would give a shit.
And again, beyond that…THEY ARE BABY DRAGONS. My cat is more dangerous.
Are they gonna pull a TV sitcom dealy where they have a baby on the show, then the next season that baby is like 4 years old? When season 2 starts, are the Dragons gonna be awkward teenagers? Now, I only got a C- in my DRAGONOLOGY classes in college, but I would assume it takes a long ass time for a dragon to reach maturity, so what is the big deal?
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but this was a huge EYE ROLL OF DOOM moment for me.
It may seem like I didn’t like the Game of Thrones season finale, but that isn’t the case. The stuff that I really liked about it kind of cancelled out the stuff I hated about it. I have absolutely HATED how they handle the Dothraki since very early on in the season, and they continually seem to crotch up these people as any kind of viable threat. All in all, the season finale of Game of Thrones gets a “Eh, it was okay.” From me, due to me liking some stuff, and me hating some other stuff.
If you’ve never seen the show before, and have the chance to, I do recommend it. If anything, because it’s exceedingly well done as far as sets, wardrobe, and general “Hey, this is kinda new and something I haven’t seen before.” All in all, it’s not a bad show, and if you are a fan of the books, you will no doubt be pleased with how close they attempt to stick to the source material.
That being said, in my personal opinion, I think this show would greatly benefit from a LARGE culling of superfluous characters and more of a focus on the main folks involved.
Also, please stop making Barbarians pussies. I’m asking so very nicely…