Reflecting on Game of Thrones Part 1

Game of Thrones has finally died a slow and painful death. Season 8 Episode 6 did not wrap up Game of Thrones, it put the show out of it’s misery. Many fans sat back and asked themselves “What happened?” The answer is both simple and not so simple: The show runners did a great job adapting the books, but they are writers, they wanted to write their own story lines.

Spoiler warning for the entire show and the novels.

The Moment The Show Was Broken

Game of Thrones is based off of George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire. The show runners, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, had never run a series before, and it started to show. They got cocky. They fell in love with good actors saying lines they had written. They were getting all the praise. They could do not wrong!

They had enough money and clout to get any actor they wanted, so they did what any fanboy with the money would do. David Benioff and D. B. Weiss said in numerous interviews, panels and behind the scenes features they” re-conceived the role to make it worthy of the actor’s talent” And that is where the problem starts. They sacrificed the story and logical character development to play favorites with cast members.

It started slow. forgivable changes: Jaime and Tyrion have a funny scene together. Cirsei has a pretty speech about a her black haired son who died tragically. Jane Pool’s dialogue can be rolled into Sansa’s septa. Rob married Talisa instead of Jeyne Westerling. Tryion and Shea’s relationship was tweaked into a romance.

Then they dropped the Tysha reveal.

The Tysha reveal was a fundamental shift in Tyrion divorcing himself from the Lannisters and directly lead to him killing his father. And most show watchers don’t even know what it is.

Way back in season 1 Tyrion confesses something from his past: Tyrion and Jamie were out riding when they came across a terrified peasant girl fleeing from a rap gang. Her name was Tysha. Jamie set off to look for the gang, leaving Tyrion to comfort the girl. They fell in love, wound up in bed, and Tyrion secretly married her. Jamie then confessed that Tysha was a whore he’d paid to “make Tyrion a man.” When Tywin found out, he gave the girl to his guards and made Tyrion watch to drive the lesson home what kind of a woman she was.

In the third book, After Tyrion has been found guilty of murdering Joffrey, he sits alone in his cell waiting for his execution. Despite believing him guilty, Jamie breaks His brother out of the cells and arranges a plan with Varys to get Tyrion out of the city. Jamie doesn’t like Varys, and the brothers were never that close, so Tyrion asks why Jamie is doing this. That’s when Jamie confesses the biggest regret of his life: he’s the one who told Tywin about Tysha.

Tysha wasn’t a whore. Jamie never set Tyrion up to “make a man” of him. It was all real. Tyrion’s marriage to Tysha was real. Tywin had the only person who ever loved Tyrion gang raped by his guards, and he made Tyrion watch! What was worse: Jamie knew this for years and said nothing.

This is the moment when Tyrion is done with his family. That is the reason Tyrion confronts Tywin before he leaves King’s Landing: He wants to know what happened to his true wife!

To add insult to injury Tyrion finds Shea in Tywin’s bed. Tyrion confronts his father, tells him that Jamie told him the truth and demands to know what happened to Tysha. Tywin’s reply “Where do whores go?” That’s when Tyrion kills him.

Why was this cut from the show? I don’t know. Maybe someone has daddy issues, Maybe they thought it was too obscure? I honestly don’t know, but cutting this moment was the beginning of the end.

The Death of Dorne

Ask any nearly book reader and they will tell you the same thing; we knew the show was off track when we saw what they did to the Dorne plot.

The Dorne plot line is a subplot that setup some juicy conflict for Winds of Winter, but ultimately didn’t do much in terms of plot advancement.

Arianne Martell, eldest child of Doran Martell, has some daddy issues. She knows that her dad once promised her younger brother that he would rule Dorne. Despite the fact that inheritance in Dorne is supposed to go to the eldest child regardless of gender.

To stick it to her misogynistic father and the rest of the sexist seven kingdoms, Arianne comes up with a coup to put Myrcella on the Iron Throne as a puppet ruler. . . this plan ends with Myrcella getting her ear chopped off. Oops!

As Doran yells at Arianne for her stupidity, she tells him that she knows he plans to steal her inheritance and give it to her little brother. Forcing Doran to explain that he does intend her brother to rule Dorne, because Arianne will be on the Iron Throne.

That’s as far as the books have gone. Doran is established as a major schemer, but he hasn’t made a move yet.

The show runners originally planned to cut the Dorne plot to streamline things. But then they cast Indira Varma as Ellaria. In DVD commentaries they talk about how they were fans of hers for years. So yeah, suddenly they decided to go to Dorne… because they loved that story.

So what they did was this: they took the Dorne plot from the book and threw it out of the moon door a few times. Then they picked up the fractured pieces, melted them together with dragon’s fire and came up with this big ugly lump of a plot. That’s what they put on screen.

For no reason at all Ellaria wants to murder Myrcella. Book Ellaria was a nice compassionate person. In the book she was the one calling for an end to the bloodshed. It’s her speech about “where does revenge end?” That really hammers George R. R. Martin’s message in this series: The futility of war.

I hope you can see that Game of Thrones is a shadow of it’s former self. The further it got away from the book plot, the worse it got. I for one am convinced that the major characters will not end in the pathetic way they did in the show. Part two of this reflection will be about the major characters, and where I think they will go in the book series, which I hope you will agree will be better than what the show did. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine it could be worse.

1 Comment

  1. I remember watching the season 4 finale and being really excited to see how Peter Dinklage’s acting would be during the Tysha reveal. And I was even more excited for Lady Stoneheart’s reveal. O what fools we were…

    Like

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