I would really, really like to take this time to use the final characters of the Game of Thrones TV series to create allegories with politics, such as neo-liberalism, post-structuralism, environmentalism, constructivism – basically all of the –isms – but Vox actually already did THAT (and like, way better than I ever could have) so if my politics degree must go to waste, I might as well continue utilising my film one.
In the grand scheme of things, the one thing that everyone walks away from high school English or Media class with is the mantra “show don’t tell” – and I think this is a key point that might’ve been forgotten this season. Another key point was to pace things accordingly.
Yes, we are getting to the end of the show (thank the Gods), and so things are going to start coming to a head. Characters are going to finally meet, and people are going to finally die, the white walkers are finally going to descend on Westeros and blah blah blah blah all the rest of it. We all knew these things would happen – but I can’t help feeling like without the books to follow as a play by play to slow down the script, D&D are just taking all of the shortcuts they can to get to the end game.
There are a lot of examples of this I could pull from *cough* Night King gets a Dragon *cough* but the one I want to focus on is the Jon Snow/Daenerys Targaryen relationship. I’m being purely selfish but it’s because it was SUCH A BIG STORYLINE. We’d all been predicting that he was Aegon Targaryen from the start, and of course the name of the books are ‘A Song of ICE and FIRE’ (no subtlety here re: the Dany/Jon ba-doinka-doink) – but the reveals felt shoehorned and absolutely not as satisfying as I’d hoped.
For starters – the initial “reveal” (in quotations because we all bloody knew it by then) was overshadowed by mansplaining/manterruption. Gilly is learning to read and furthermore, reading one of the biggest game changers in Westeros – but D&D decided what that scene needed was Sam to interrupt her about some meaningless shit. You could argue that they were being coy, but I could then argue that it’s still a shit plot device. We’re getting to the nitty gritty of these storylines and I want maximum satisfaction with minimum mansplaining thank you very much.
My main issue? Jon having sex with Dany after what was (I can only assume) the course of like a week (because, another issue being, D&D are VERY unclear on timelines or how long anything can take e.g Gendry running back to the Wall and also how long the trips between the South and North are etc etc).
Jon’s whole thing is his honour, right? It pained him and took him FOREVER to get it on with Ygritte – and it ate him alive. Yes, he is no longer in the Nights Watch, so I guess technically he can have sexual intercourse with whoever he wants – but I firmly believe he would still not do it so quickly. There would be some painful conversations with himself about how they aren’t married, and how he would be tarnishing her honour, and what would this mean for his position and her political plans, and how would the enemy take it, and how would this look to the people of Westeros and – how they’re not married. He wouldn’t want to bring another bastard into this world.
But like with Sansa, and the Night King, and Sam, and Arya, and Little Finger, and Bran, and whoever else I’m forgetting – Jon’s character is secondary to shock value and cheap thrills. But what’s new there right? It’s what D&D do best.
So yeah, if we can all agree that D&D sped things up for no good reason – can we start asking why?
It’s not as though they don’t have the budget for it. Many shows speed up plotlines that might otherwise have naturally run their course because of budget issues, but I think we can all recognise what a behemoth Game of Thrones is at this point enough to agree that budget has nothing to do with it.
It’s also not as though they don’t have the time – this season was only 7 episodes long, almost half the length that the other seasons were. Those extra few episodes could’ve made a world of difference in these plotlines, and given the characters the development and pacing they deserve.
So why? I’m literally asking, because apparently HBO wanted 10+ seasons, so the only thing I can think of is that D&D are unable to manage running a show that doesn’t have comprehensive books to follow and are too lazy to give a damn.
But seriously – I hate this show and wish they would pretty much put me out of my misery (or release ‘Winds of Winter’), but at this point I still wish they wouldn’t cut corners. So if anyone knows why they are taking so many shortcuts PLEASE tell me I’m so confused.