A Lot – What Went Wrong with Game of Thrones

 

Shhhhhhh, he doesn't know I'm doing it, the fool.

To read the associated diary click here.

As you all well know we’re sticklers for consistency and sobriety here at Analytical Madness. So when we watched the latest seasons of Game of Thrones we found ourselves a bit… puzzled. And not just a bit puzzled. But more like you found a box in a random trashcan and like half the puzzle pieces were missing so you just threw together a half-dog, half-cat puzzle. That kind of puzzled. So who else but the being who’s mind is missing half the puzzle pieces could be of more use in discussing exactly what went wrong with good ol’ GoT. And, dearest audience, I hope you enjoy for I have a… special treat for him which will make sure that this is his final CG. Ha Hahaha Hahahahahaha.

Maddy: “Why are you laughing, Mr. Analyze?”

Analyze: “I’m just so glad to see you here. I’ve laid awake thinking about your arrival for almost two weeks now. And about this wonderful tub of ice cream that I have all to myself.”

Maddy: “Enjoy your ice cream, my dearest companion. Hopefully your smile can cheer me up.”

Analyze: “Oh but… I couldn’t, you know… have all this ice cream for myself. And I… hate to see you… sad? Do I? Yeah, yeah, definitely. Hate to see you sad. Have some ice cream.”

Maddy: “Oh, but I wouldn’t want to rob my bestest buddy of his i-”

Analyze: “Eat the damn ice cream! I mean, I’ll just put it here. If you… you know, feel so inclined to… have a non-toxic bite. I mean a bite, yes. Bite. Food. Delicious.”

*puts the ice cream in his lap*

Maddy: “That’s very sweet of you, but I only eat ice cream when I feel depressed and while watching Game of Thrones the past few weeks has made me feel rather downcast, since the last few seasons haven’t been that good, I have to say that I feel slightly better seeing you again. :)”

Analyze: “Oh, well, we’re going to have to fix that.”

Maddy: “I know, right? If the two of us put our inquisitive minds together I’m sure we can work out why the show went downhill like an apple cart slipping down a mountain of delicious chocolate ice cream.”

He Swallowed The Them Earlier

Analyze: “Sure, that’s what I meant. Let’s go with that. I certainly think the butterfly effect is at least partially to blame.”

Maddy: “I feel butterflies in my tummy every time I see you. <3”

Analyze: “Kill ’em with ice cream. Martin himself has talked about this. There were many things D&D changed, like them actually killing off Mance Rayder (who’s alive in the books), which will have affected the story.”

Maddy: “Mister Analyze, spoilers!”

Analyze: “Do they make you sad?”

Maddy: “Very much so!”

Analyze: “In the books Barristan doesn’t die and actually becomes ruler of Meereen, overthrowing Hizdar in a little coup. He then proceeds to thoroughly screw up rulling Meereen because he’s a political idiot, unlike myself, and gets manipulated left and right.”

Maddy: “Thanks for inviting me, btw.”

Analyze: “Oh! No problem. The city then falls into madness. In the show instead, Tyrion arrives before the arena fight, gets into Dany’s… graces…”

Maddy: “Mostly her wine cellar.”

Your son's an idiot.

The “surprising” twist of Tyrion’s deal with the slavers failing.

Analyze: “And after the arena he’s left rulling Meereen. Because they killed off Barristan and introduced Tyrion early, they had him take on Barristan’s role. The problem is Barristan had been established as being a poor politician while Tyrion had been established as a good one. So they had to have the poorly thought out slaver plot which went awry and made Tyrion look like an idiot to get to the same point. And he’s not the only character this happens to.”

Maddy: “The same happens with Tyrion’s bestest friend in the whole wide world: Varys. In the books our Spider supports a character called Aegon Targaryen, the (supposed) surviving son of Rhaegar. Varys’ plan was to raise the boy in secret, teach him to be the perfect king and put him on the throne when he came of age. That’s why he wants peace…”

Analyze: “Pussy.”

Maddy: “…in book and season 1. His preparations aren’t finished yet. But in the show this doesn’t pay off because Aegon is scrapped from the story, so Varys ends up just joining Dany and twiddling his thumbs for two seasons while we’re told he’s spying around. It’s really depressing how to see such a beautiful bald man brought so low.”

Analyze: “Oh, depressing is it? What about Sansa? She’s the primary “beneficiary” of this “writing technique.” They haven’t mentioned Jeyne Poole since like season 1. So they couldn’t use her in the Ramsay plot. So Sansa filled that role despite it turning her from an empowered goth woman back to a scared little not-so-goth girl for Theon to rescue. And she had to be the one to organize Petyr’s sham trial instead of say Lady Stoneheart who is well-known for her shammery. Now that’s depressing.”

*subtly shoves ice cream towards Maddy*

The Epic Battle of Fanservice vs. Nuance! You Know Who Wins…

Maddy: “But they couldn’t use our favourite undead lady because that would turn Catelyn from a lovable mommy into a vengeful mummy.”

Analyze: “Well, that and lack of time, presumably.”

Maddy: “And because they follow a trend of the “good” characters never doing anything unambiguously bad. Tyrion doesn’t kill Shae out of a dark rage, he does so in self-defense. Cersei commits atrocities…”

Analyze: “Don’t you mean ‘dark atrocities?’”

Maddy: “Very good, Mister Analyze! Very dark atrocities, because she wants to protect her children, at least before season 7. Theon has an entire dark scene…”

Analyze: “This is just getting ridiculous….”

Maddy: “…dedicated to him being conflicted about following his daddy when in the books he immediately accepts the dark plan to conquer the dark North.”

Analyze: “And, conversely, they do the opposite too. Meryn Trant…

Maddy: “King of darkness! The darkest of dark…”

Really? A fucking pedophile? They may as well have written "it's okay to kill me" on his forehead.

Meryn Trants hitting little girls, because nuance is a little too nuanced.

Analyze “…IS TURNED INTO A SADISTIC CHILD RAPIST! Cuz they can’t possibly have Arya kill someone who might not have deserved it.”

Maddy: “Well, that’s a rather dark change, isn’t it Analyze?”

Analyze: “I need a happy pill…”

Maddy: “Here have some ice cream!”

*Analyze takes a big chomp*

Maddy: “Don’t worry! A child ends up killing him. So it’s all PG-friendly.”

Analyze: “And at the same time subverting Arya’s turn to darkness…”

*Analyze takes another, bigger chomp*

Maddy: “And as a result it makes her more sympathetic to the audience and make all of her future actions justifiable one way or another. Like the Frey pies. Delicious as they may be, it’s rather messed up…

Analyze: “Yeah, and it’s fucked up too.”

Maddy: “…to kill siblings and then feed them to their daddy. In fact, it’s the biggest taboo in Westeros.”

At least they didn't have a star-crossed romance.

Ed Sheeran and Arya sitting in a tree.

Analyze: “But then later they have her encounter Ed Sheeran, Lannister guard extraordinaire, and be all buddy-buddy with him.”

Maddy: “So they stopped her character arc to present her as more sympathetic to the audience, again.”

Analyze: “It’s not just stop. It’s stop. Then put it in reverse. Then stop again. Then move forward a bit. Then put it in reverse. Are they trying to write a character or parking instructions?”

Maddy: “And so with these changes the characters become flanderised: they’re no longer complex, flawed people, but characters that have one element taking over their personality. Like badass Arya, creepy Littlefinger, horrified Tyrion,…”

Going in Blind

Analyze: “And also, I think, because of the bullet points. In the early seasons, and the books, you can see it’s always character driving plot. That’s why Martin’s characters sometimes get completely out of hand.”

Maddy: “In what way?”

Analyze: “The story started with 9 POVs covering a single complex plot in “A Game of Thrones.” Dance has 18 POVs and I can’t even remember what all the plots are. If you started a campfire and ended up burning your house, sorry I mean shack, down I’m pretty sure that’d count as a bit  ‘out of hand.’”

Maddy: “… Did you talk to my camp counsellor?”

Analyze: “The show’s characters don’t get out of hand like that. But instead, what you see in later seasons, is plot driving character. Very intelligent people are making very stupid decisions… .”

Maddy: “Tyrion.”

Analyze: “…just so the plot can go on. Just so Dany doesn’t crush Cersei the moment she lands. And I think that’s a product of the fact that D&D only got bullet points from Martin. They know where to go, but not how to get there. Couple that with time pressure and budget and they try to get the characters there as fast as they can. Sometimes with literal teleporting.”

Maddy: “And sometimes they also change the plot Martin has written because they feel the need to deliver their own interpretation of the story and the themes.”

Analyze: “Like Robb getting his dick wet. Makes you thirsty, don’t it? Makes you crave some nice melted ice cre-”

I think he's dead, Ellaria.

Ellaria after killing Doran.

Maddy: “That’s why Dorne is considered by many demanding dragons to be a vanity project. Dorne in the books is all about exploring whether vengeance should be prioritised over the well-being of people. Dorne in the show is all about how Ellaria don’t need no man to… kill Doran. And the facial features of Indira Varma.“

*Dragon Demands’ dick hardens*

Analyze: “I don’t think it’s entirely D&D’s fault.”

*Dragon Demands goes flaccid*

More Plot Threads Than Anime Has Tentacles

Analyze: “Feast and Dance were structured very oddly. If they turned each book into a separate season then the audience wouldn’t be able to see its favouritest characters. And they couldn’t have had those lovely end-of-the-season cliffhangers they love unless they blended them together..”

Maddy: “And because they did season 4-7 became incredibly plot dense. Martin had to split the story into two books to structure them properly. D&D had only 10 episodes per season to deal with these gazillion plot threads. That’s why they had to push various plotlines around to odd moments. Like the Ironborn appearing in season 2 and 3, then going on a holiday, to all of a sudden re-appear in season 6 and then take up a very important role in the story.”

He's sad, dammit!

Sad Theon being sad at the Kingsmoot.

Analyze: “And this ‘pushing storylines’ around had the side-effect of them being out-of-sync. Theon saving Jeyne and escaping Wintafell only comes after the kingsmoot in the books, but it comes before it in the show. Meaning that Theon has to be at the moot, making it make… let’s just be kind and say ‘less’ sense.”

Maddy: “And as…”

Analyze: “Actually, let’s not be kind. It made no fucking sense!”

Maddy: “You shouldn’t curse, Analyze. That makes me fucking sad.”

*Maddy gulps down the entire tub of ice cream*

Analyze: “Same thing goes for Jaime sticking by Cersei for like 3 seasons after being disenchanted with her. They wanted the Dorne story with him, they wanted the Riverlands story with him and they wanted him as her general in season 7. Involving him in these things and spreading them out over multiple seasons meant they could not have him tell her to fuck off as soon.”

Maddy: “And Bronn was given his castle and his darling wifey at the end of season 4. But because Jaime’s arc happens only after season 4 they take it all away, leaving him a sad Bronn. Instead we’re treated to many a filler scene in which ser Bronn of the Snarkwater snarks at a ser Jaime the Buzzslayer. Sure, these filler scenes started in season 1, but back then the scenes had to be there because people didn’t know the characters. But do we really need to hear for the tenth time that Bronn loves money, sex and is snarky?”

Analyze: “Damn straight! Sex is great (I hear), money is fan fucking tastic (I hear) and snark is what it’s all about, babeh!”

Maddy: “Is that really all there is to life, Analyze? Sex? Money? Snark? Or is there more? Is there something that, really gets to the heart of things? Because Bronn and Jaime have more than just that between them. They have… friendship. Love. Bromance. Maybe it’s possible in this… world of woes. For two good men to find each other. Even to… start a project together. And one day, one day, become succesful owners of a small website that they’re proud to call home.”

Analyze: “No, Bronn’s gonna shoot Tyrion and you’re gonna eat the rest of this fucking ice cream!”

Maddy: “Actually, I finished it ages ago. I ate the rest of it in the freezer too.”

Analyze: “The free… those were ice cubes!”

Maddy: “And they were delicious.”

Analyze: “You’re remarkably upright…”

Maddy: “I’m always upright when I’m around you.”

Analyze: “… I think there’s another ice cube over there.”

Maddy: “Oh! Over where?”

*introduces a heavy object to Maddy’s skull*

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Copyright: The images used in this article are screenshots taken from the episodes of the show. We are allowed to use them under section 107 of the US Copyright Act of 1976. Game of Thrones is created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, belongs to HBO and was inspired by the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin.

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