Since I’ve written on Game of Thrones multiple times for the paper, it should be known I am a huge fan of the show and books. As I’ve said before, I believe both mediums allow for George R.R. Martin to explore the characters, themes, and moments he wishes to create or revisit. And while I usually am all for both, this season was the exception, in a very bad way.
For those who read the books, people will start to realize things have started to get a bit jumbled in terms of placement within the story, but most things within this season have been from book five, A Dance with Dragons. Personally, this is one of my favorite books in the series with lots of action, betrayals, and all that stuff you would expect from GRRM. And just to be safe, I will not include any spoilers from the books or this most recent season. But for those who haven’t read the book, or watched the show, let me tell you that the problem is not in how they clash.
In fact, the problem lies in how it is portrayed, the most important parts of the book I found to be the most boring. Dorne wasn’t the incredible side story we were expecting, but rather a pretty predictable plotline that was stretched for much too long. The best part of the Wall was a scene not even written about in the books, involving a large fight scene with Wildlings, Jon Snow, and even White Walkers. Even Tyrion, probably the most beloved and interesting character, got shafted with some pretty terrible supporting characters that did not make his scenes that memorable. The best moments I found were the ones not in the books, like the Jon scene I mentioned before, as well as some important ones with Sansa and Stannis. I don’t know if they were trying to highlight the scenes especially because they were new, but they stood out especially because of their quality of emotion and build up, which made the book scenes portrayed look even worse by comparison.
However, I would say that any Game of Thrones fan should watch this season, while it doesn’t display its important scenes with the right amount of passion, it does include some very pivotal events that would catch even book readers by surprise. I celebrate the times where the book series has evolved past being a simple copy and paste scripting of the text, but disliked when the show couldn’t live up to the moments from the book like they did in previous seasons.
This season is dark and full of terrors, but if you burn away the fat, of which there is a lot, you will still be entertained. If you’ve gotten this far in the series, there’s still no reason to drop it, and I remain faithfully optimistic for the next season.