Off Topic: Is This Season Of Game Of Thrones A Bit 'Boring'?

This is a question I saw posted on Facebook yesterday by one of my friends. Most people said yes. I totally disagree.

(Bear in mind I haven't watched yesterday's episode. I accidentally played Bloodborne until 1am.)

To begin with, I feel like people have forgotten how a Game of Thrones season is typically paced. First eight episodes: politics, intrigue, Cersei delivering sick burns whilst sipping on a sumptuous glass of red. Daenerys making difficult 'leadery' decisions in moral dilemmas straight out of Mass Effect -- she's going for a mix of renegade and paragon this season. Jon Snow being boring as shit.

This is the first two thirds of practically every season of Game of Thrones. And I actually like these parts. Lean, smart, great acting, great set-ups. I think this show does such an incredible job of juggling multiple different characters. It's actually an incredible feat of writing.

But those 'OMG DID YOU SEE GAME OF THRONES LAST NIGHT' moments? Those cheap 'OMG BLAH BLAH BLAH DIED' shockers? Those tend to come towards the tail end. Actually, more typically they come the episode before the last one, with the final episode of the season being more of a gentle come down. That's just how Game of Thrones does things. And I like it.

Thoughts?


Comments

    Yep. I know people will say 'but its only up to ep 4' but the fact is we're already near the half way mark. It's unfortunately a bit of a slow season in comparison to 4 but 4 was the result of the slow buildup from 2 and 3. But to be fair, we're coming off the death of Joffrey, Tywin, the Mountain (more or less), Oberyn and others in one single season. A huge ask to follow that up!

    Last edited 05/05/15 11:21 am

      The way I think of it is how George RR Martin originally planned his trilogy, of 7 books, until he announces the 8th anyway.

      The first book (Game of Thrones) ended up as books 1-3 (so season 4 was the climax of Act 1).
      The planned second book (Dance with Dragons?) ended up as books 4-5 and so far looks like they might be trying to rush most of that out this season - along with a lot of changes. So things will probably start getting crazy again next season or at the tail-end of his one (depends how fast they get through the main Act 2 story really).

      As for Act 3, I get the feeling the TV show is just going to run wild with it (hopefully anyway)

    Noooope. Lots of stuff happening. I actually think the pace is a bit better than last year, which mainly featured Joffrey finally dying, Tyrion's trial and the awesome Prince Oberyn's tragic defeat by his own hubris at the end - everything else was a pretty slow burn. I also think the first four episodes are nicely setting up what I think will be an extremely hectic second half.

    The main whinge I'm seeing is the divergence from the books. Well sorry chums, we've run out of book. The showrunners know how it all ends up, they're taking their own path to get there. The next book may come next year, and the final book a few years later - by then the show will be long finished. Frankly, the show being substantially different is the only way people will still read them at this point.

      One review of last nights episode was nothing but 'Jon Snow did this, that wasn't how it was in the book', 'Jaime and Bronn did this, here's a recap of the books', 'Daenerys made decisions, here's a comparison of the books'. At no point did I get a sense that I was reading a review of the tv show. Annoying

        I like the divergence from the books, keeps me from knowing what's going to happen.

        Though I was upset by a certain event at the end of yesterday's ep, I was sad that it happened, not sad that they made the change.

          I'm not fussed at the divergence from the books at all, just that half of the review of a tv episode was a comparison between book and tv show.

      The show is doing it so much better than the books. George RR Martin is a lazy writer in so many instances. He makes up a new character every time he needs something done. The pacing in the books is terrible - he takes so long to build up to key events that you've just about given up on finishing the book and then OMGEVERYTHINGHAPPENSINTHELASTTWOCHAPTERSTHEEND.

      I've just about hit the point where the TV show has caught up to what I've read, and I'm quite happy to just watch the show and not read the rest of the books.

        There's several storylines and characters cut from the show entirely because the showrunners actually recycle and reuse characters. Now manybe that's time/budget driven but I think it has made the show much easier to follow and make more sense in a number of ways. There are some characters I still think we may see but the fact they've not been included yet lead me to believe that they're of little consequence - like the Greyjoys (with the exception of Theon/Reek), Jon Connington and young Griff, and Lady Stoneheart.

          One example of the character reuse was from season 3:

          When Melisandre needs one of Robert Baratheon's bastard children to conjure her blood magic, in the books she uses a boy called Edric Storm, who conveniently was just hanging around on Dragonstone. We know nothing else about this character, and he is never mentioned again. In the TV series, Gendry the blacksmith is used instead. We're reminded that Robert had 20 or so bastard children, but we only ever meet one, that that's a relief.

          It reminds me of the tv adaption of The Dresden Files. Sadly it didn't last past the first series, but it's noteworthy because the TV series had some major changes from the books that fans didn't necessarily agree with..
          Such as changing the Blue Beetle to a 1950s era ex wartime jeep, and changing Dresden's Staff and leather duster to a wooden hockey stick and a leather fireman's jacket

          In an interview with Jim Butcher, he actually explained why the changes were made, and that he didn't mind at all. The Beetle was changed because it was physically impossible to mount cameras inside for action sequences, whereas the open design of the jeep made it much easier, and it's basic design still made it a plausible vehicle for Dresden to be driving.

          Similarly, the outfit was changed because it was easier for the actor to wear, and because Harry looked silly running around in a modern city with an ancient staff. One of those things that's easier to accept as text, but doesn't necessarily translate to screen. The hockey stick served the same function as a staff, and didn't look out of place in modern Chicago.

          TL:DR; Sometimes the changes are necessary because some things just don't work on screen, or because there's just not enough time to tell the story in 13 episodes, unlike a book where you have (apparently) an unlimited number of pages to ramble.

        But I also like that the TV series is now going its own way. It had to. The books were totally messed up at the end there. I think that is why GRR Martin stopped writing them - he didnt know where to go next or how to bring it all together.
        But TV has to be better planned than that. We should get to see a story well-told in the show (fingers crossed).

    Nope, I found the last season way to rushed. We have to get to the Aerie, next thing, they are there. We have to ride out from the wall to Craster's place, oh look we are there.
    It lost the Epic Scope (TM) that it had before, where the world felt huge, journeys took multiple episodes and you got the character development and great banter along the way. I am loving this series so far, and they are straying from the books which keeps it exciting.

    I've only watched the first 3 episodes. First 2 were pretty much a waste of everyone's time, but I thought things started to get moving in episode 3, so hopefully it's on the up now.

    I was discussing this on Twitter earlier today.

    I'm now 2 episodes behind. Last season, I would've taken a day off sick to catch up. But now? Meh.

    We used to have dedicated chat threads at work about the episodes, now, aside from the first episode, no one even asks "did you watch it?".

    I personally put it down to there being so much great TV available these days. When GoT started there was maybe 2 or 3 shows that were considered 'quality' TV.

    But now? You have (not expecting everyone to agree with all of these): Hannibal, House of Cards, Daredevil, Orphan Black, Better Call Saul, Orange is the New Black, Penny Dreadful, Bloodlines and I'm sure a bunch of others that people could add.

    So I don't think it's just a case of this season being 'boring', I completely agree that the series are always slow to start. GoT just isn't the second coming of Jesus that it was a few years ago when it started.

      Also, there was a lot of novelty when it was in its first season. There was sex! Real boobies! Lots of blood! You get these things in movies, but not TV :O

      The novelty has worn off a little bit, which is to be expected.

        It's kinda like when The Sopranos first came out. People were like HIGH QUALITY WRITING? GREAT ACTING? IN A TV SHOW?

        Watching it now, after Deadwood, Mad Men, The Wire is a tiny bit underwhelming.

    as unpopular an opinion as it may be, I've found GoT a bit boring since half way through season 3.

    too many characters & storylines for a 1-hour show format to deal with satisfactorily in a season.

    feels like each story line gets only 5 mins per episode, so nothing much happens over the course of the season. then BAM. something big happens in episode 9.

      I stopped watching through season 2. I got sick of the repetitive backstabbing etc. and just plain bored of the show.

    Yes a little, but at the same time it is sort of a necessity, and I think boring might not be quite the right word we are after. A lot of changes happened at the end of the last season and we need a few episodes to let them play out. We will be seeing a lot of political maneuvering, verbal jousting, training and so on and we are close coming up on the books in terms of progression. bran is left entirely to his own devices this season because his story is up to date and there is off the top of my head only one major development to come this season. I feel that this season will play out a little like HP Deathly Hallows pt1, A movie that was ultimately a bit boring but one that needed to happen nonetheless.

    It will pick up when Snow takes control of the Drogon.

      Yeah, people will lose it when Zombie Ned Stark rises up and melts down the throne to make himself a new sword for his mission of feeding on dragon brains.
      Oh, spoiler...

    The pace is slower this season, but I get the real sense that what we're seeing is the setup for the bigger events of the next book and season. What's going to be interesting is what happens since the series and books are more or less caught up. George either has to finish and release the new book before they start next season or just hand everything over to Weiss and Benioff.

    It clearly needs more Lady Stoneheart....

    People expecting massive action sense and explosive revelations of various characters in each episode are missing the point

    I've never really understood the criticism that a TV show or film was 'slow'. I always assume it's a person with a twitchy attention span that needs captivating things on screen who makes it. I like slow.

    Yes, yes it is. But the books were fairly boring at this point too.

    Gotta stretch it out to 20 seasons somehow :P :P

    I haven't found it boring in the least. Then again, I've never been the type to need all action/suspense/excitement all the time which is probably some people have found it boring.

    I'm still watching it and enjoying it but... I'm just not as captivated, I guess? Riveted? Obsessed?
    I don't think it's boring, per se, but previously I'd count down the hours until Tuesday evening whereas now I'm actually more excited about Tuesday being "new Silicon Valley" night instead.
    Last night's biff between the Sons and Unsullied was piss-poor, as well. For an elite, brainwashed army of moral-less murderers, they sure got their arses kicked.

      Fully.

      My thoughts exactly regarding The Unsullied.

      Been watching Vikings and the same thing happens constantly: Previously unbeatable army - gets taken down easily this time for story reasons.

      Last edited 05/05/15 2:24 pm

        The fact that they were outnumbered doesn't excuse the fact that those Harpy bitches were able to sneak up and cut a bunch of throats. If they depicted them being overwhelmed by numbers I'd be fine with it. This just made it seem like they never learned how to use their spears.

          Yeah, suddenly they were dorky beat cops as opposed to the highly trained Essos SWAT team they were billed as.

      Uhh, Unsullied are great warriors on the battlefield. They fight well as a unit because they are unflinching and will follow any order without question. They are not supposed to be amazing fighters one on one, or in an unorganized bar fight in a whorehouse; because that is not what they were bred for.
      It is known.
      Barristan the Bold however... Well.... I thought he was better than that.

    @markserrels, I wondered why this was familiar until I looked at Bennett's post. I'm in the same boat as you, people are being quick to judge considering there's still 2/3 of a season to go and there's plenty of character development happening in the first 4 eps! Bring on the rest I say :D

    I was bored by Season 3. *hipster hair-flick*

    (OK. 'Bored' is a little strong, but I just... haven't been excited enough to get around to watching seasons 3 and 4.)

    My Wife made comment last night that this season seems to be jumpy and everything is all over the place. Neither of us have read the books so we are not sure but to me i am having problems getting my head around everything.

    Well they're adapting a fairly boring part of the books. Everything that is happening now is pure setup and nobody really knows if there's going to be a decent payoff to the setup anymore. What happens with Jon as commander? Dunno, what happens with Arya and the faceless men? Dunno, what happens with Tyrion over in Esos? Dunno, What happens at winterfell with Sansa? Double dunno because she doesn't go there in the books and same for Jaime in Dorne. What happens with Daenrys? Who cares at this point? It's all leadup to exciting things with nothing really exciting happening in the meantime and even book readers don't know what the payoff is.
    At least with the red and purple weddings there was a horde of book readers gleefully awaiting the moment the show-watchers saw shit go down.

    Last edited 05/05/15 3:05 pm

    The unfortunate truth is that it's become the "cool thing to do", to blab on about how much he show sucks simply because it has strayed so far from the book. Book yupis fail to understand that so much in books translates poorly to the screen due to time, budget, pacing and a whole host of issues.

    People just need to enjoy each medium for what it is and enjoy the ride, hell we were told from day one the show was gonna be it's own beast.

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