(SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS!) Game of Thrones has had a good run for the past four years, surprisingly so in a sea of bad television and random cancellations. Game of Thrones, however, is based on a book. Let me explain that to those of you who choose to simply watch, not read, features based on books/novels/short stories, all that jazz. When a book is finally – FINALLY!! – given the opportunity to get on the big screen (the television screen still tends to be larger than the screen of imagination in your head), fans have a chance to see the characters and storylines they had previously envisioned, but now it’s real. Now they can “forreal” crush on a literary character and have physical attributes to back up their reasoning, they can reread the book with the character’s appearance fresh in their mind, or they can rant about how the casting is completely off; whichever option they choose, said fan will still somehow bask in the glory of their favorite, precious, baby book being reborn. Some do really well – look at Fight Club, The Help, Pride and Prejudice, The Da Vinci Code, Warm Bodies, whereas others like Twilight, The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, The Fault in Our Stars, and any Nicholas Sparks book simply sell-out. I have forever been on the fence with GoT, but this last season made me want to shelf the series in the latter section.
Let’s get one thing straight for viewers out there who have not read any of the A Song of Ice and Fire books: not all of the characters are true to their originals (e.g., Jaime, Shae, even Daenerys). I have my favorites (I’m not going to go on and on about them, this isn’t about favorites), and I also have my hit-list made up of obvious and not-so-obvious dreadful characters, but the fourth season of GoT made me a bit standoffish toward everything. Honestly, I can’t even list many of the occurrences this season because I was falling asleep through all the plot-holes until the finale (more like finale-y the show has redeemed itself and has kept me from tossing it in the pile of failures made up of Hannibal, The Walking Dead, and Once Upon a Time).
This season felt as though it was one deus ex machina after another.
Why did they drag Tyrion’s sentencing for 4+ episodes when they had the great big battle of Crows versus Wildlings span non-stop over a single 55-minute episode with its entirely predictable outcome? We all knew Jon Snow was not going to die. Sure, we’re all sad Ygritte was shot through the heart (aaaand you’re to blame, darling, you give love a bad name!), but GoT would not be what it is with a happy and satisfied Jon Snow. I’m pretty sure I had already seen that battle before in LotR at the Black Gate and those giants were not giants.
The pacing of the fourth season was dreadful for many reasons. We barely see anything from Dany’s perspective, yet she’s still considered a main character when all we see of her is how terrible she is at performing her royal duties and thinks “freeing” people is all a king/queen should do. (Also, Daario’s replacement? What the fuck? Step up on your casting-game, GoT.)
This season felt as though it was one deus ex machina after another. The youngest Stark and his gang running away from the 2005-era CGI’d skeletons? They make it into a dinky cave and suddenly all of their worries wash away. The Crows are outnumbered by Wildlings, right? Oh, so just bring in Stannis with his army and problem solved! Yes, I’m bitter the writers had less tact this season when it came to feeding the audience. I don’t know about you, but I only started enjoying season 4 during the second half of episode 10 when Arya and Brienne finally meet – now THAT battle was entertaining and kept me on the edge of my seat, nothing predictable about the Hound begging for Arya to take his life. It was a cheesy Father’s Day surprise otherwise, but I’m more than thrilled to see Tyrion freed, so I’ll let that slide, GoT. One of the very few things that kept me going was Oberyn (RIP), so now I’m left hoping for decent Martells in season 5. Please, GoT writers/producers/cast, please show audiences a good show does not rely on plot devices and shoddily timed episodes to bring justice to the ageless battle of paper-to-screen. Oh and please show more of Brienne fighting, thanks.
Ani is a twenty-something SoCal native driven by all things pop culture. Armed with a Master’s in communication studies, she spends her days analyzing her surroundings, enjoying live shows and film, traveling the world, eating pho, and being an opinionated individual. She also happens to be the biggest I Love Lucy fan of her generation.