I want to start off by saying that despite any quibbles I may express, I have the utmost respect for showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. I don’t think fans quite realize the immense amount of pressure put upon them or the sheer volume of work they put in every year. They have basically been living and breathing Game of Thrones for the past five years, spending half the year writing ten episodes and then the other half shooting, editing and promoting it. It must be exhausting.
As an aspiring writer, I often think about the difficulty of adapting A Song of Ice and Fire to a visual medium, and so I can forgive missteps because the Ds have such an enormous task set before them. But as an aspiring writer, I can’t help but think of ways I would do things differently. After four episodes, I can finally see past the veil of my fandom and agree with show watchers that this season is moving too slowly. At first I didn’t notice—the first three episodes were a lot of set-up, and knowing what’s coming next made that exciting.
But “The Sons of the Harpy,” despite some great action scenes, moved the plot forward at a snail’s pace, and added unnecessary and boring filler while cutting subplots from the books. I am reminded of the third season, which despite the Red Wedding, still remains the weakest year in my opinion (others say it’s season two). In that season, certain subplots, namely the Brotherhood Without Banners, were cut or trimmed, in service of simplifying the often overly-complex story and moving it along faster. But it actually did the opposite because while those subplots were just that—sub—they were also plots. When you cut them what you get instead is scene after scene of Lady Olenna arguing with Tywin over how much money to spend on the Royal Wedding. No one wants to see that. (more...)