Thursday, April 3, 2014

Five things this season of Game of Thrones needs to deliver

I’m a big fan of HBO’s sweeping fantasy opera Game of Thrones – but to pretend the show is perfect doesn’t do it any favors.

The first season of the show was flawless. You can’t deny that.

I think a lot of the accolades heaped on the show, though, stem from that first season.

In truth, the second season of the show was often plodding – and the third season fell into the same trap until the Red Wedding swooped in and turned the entire season on its ear. People say they love the third season – but each and every one of them actually loves the Red Wedding – because that’s all they cite when they praise the season.

I’m more in the middle – what I like, I really like and what bores me really bores me. The good outweighs the bad, though.

I think Game of Thrones does have one issue – and it’s not an issue that can be easily fixed because the source material (which I haven’t read) set up this broad landscape: The cast is too big.

It is hard to engage with every story because you can’t engage with every cast member. So, you pick your favorites (for me that would be Arya, Tyrion, Brand and Jaime) and focus on them. When scenes with people that all start looking alike start to take time from your favorites – then things start getting tedious.

Game of Thrones does move the story along, though – and fans have learned that no one is really safe when it comes to this show.

So, with that in mind, I decided to put together a wish list. These are the five things I want to see happen on this fourth season of Game of Thrones:

5. Jon Snow needs to get a personality: Yes, I know this one is petty, but watching Jon Snow is like
watching a man with constant constipation try to act. It’s just flat-out painful. He’s an isolated character (not as isolated as Daenerys, but still) and the action he’s involved in is merely on the fringe of the big story. I’d like to see him become more than a mopey mess and embrace a little of the Stark family pizzazz (even though I don’t think he’s really a Stark). Jon was so close to Brand this past season that viewers could almost taste it – so close to something that would at least give the character a chance to shine – but it eluded him again. Let’s hope that a little bit of color infiltrates Jon Snow’s (really) white world this season. Oh, and if you could give that guy a haircut – that would be awesome.

4. Tyrion needs to get his revenge on his family: As the only Lannister of any worth (I hold out reserved hope for Jaime), Tyrion is always the one getting slapped down by a father that hates him, a sister that loathes him and a nephew that’s one despicable act away from being the devil. Sure, he’s had a few moments of greatness (slapping the crap out of Joffrey, saving the day in season two) but he never gets the credit he deserves. After all the awful things his father and nephew have done, Tyrion deserves to be the one that takes them down (or at least out, for awhile). So I want him to come up with one of his brilliant plans and yank the rug right out from under the ruling party in King’s Landing.

3. Daenerys needs to be less of an island: Everyone wants to see the dragons, I get that. The problem Game of Thrones is watching all of these freaks stab each other in the back. Daenerys is fighting with people – but she’s fighting with people that don’t matter to the overall story. I want to see her start to move towards the world she’s insisting is her realm to govern. Quite frankly, I’m often bored with her storyline because I know that it’s not really impacting the overall arc of the show. Just give her something more important to do.
(for me) with Daenerys is that her story is really occurring in a vacuum. I can ignore her less than probable character growth from scared misfit to dutiful wife to emotionally vacant leader – even if I’ll never understand her motivations – but I cannot understand why her story is so shut off from everyone else. The fun of

2. Arya needs to find one moment of happiness: Arya really is the angriest little girl in the world. And, yes, I get it. Her father got betrayed and beheaded. She lost her favorite pet because Joffrey was a sniveling little worm. She’s been separated from her family – and learned to kill for sport. Just when she was about to be reunited with her mother and brother they were slaughtered and she was left to run around the countryside with the deformed Hound. For all she knows, her entire family has been wiped out. She has no idea where to go or who to make pay – although she’s keeping a mental list and reciting it to herself on a nightly basis. I get all the reasons why Arya is ticked – and I don’t want to see her gleefully skipping through a field of daisies. I do want to see her find something to live for, though. Just one thing that will make her smile.

1. The Lannisters need to be taken down a peg (or ten): This isn’t a place for spoilers, so if (or when)
the Lannisters are being lanced – I don’t want book fans to ruin it here. From a purely fan perspective, Joffrey needs to die. That little rodent is a clear sociopath – one that gets pleasure in the pain of others. Sure, Jaime dropped Brand out of a tower window – but he had a motive for it. I didn’t agree with the motive – I’m never really going to get behind incest – but he wasn’t killing Brand because he wanted to kill him. He was killing Brand to protect a secret that could get him, his sister and their three children killed. That doesn’t make it right – but it does make it understandable. Joffrey, on the other hand, gets off when other people are in pain (often Sansa). He’s a spoiled little tart and this needs to be the season where he gets his comeuppance. If it happens, I’m sure it will be in the ninth episode of the season (which has proven to be the big turning point in every season so far) – but I will watch that little turd die a thousand times if I can. He can take his evil grandfather with him, by the way.

What do you think? What do you want to see on this season of Game of Thrones?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Amanda. And as a book-reader, that's about all I can say to this ... other than I will be tuning in for Season 4 and keeping my fingers crossed the show stays true to the books. :)

April 4, 2014 at 6:48 AM 

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