While I harbor no sympathy for assertions of quality for one work over another across media (i.e. “the book was better…“) and have zero tolerance for people who complain that an adaptation isn’t sufficiently representative of their personal experience with or perception of the source material (“wah wah wah, they cut this, they changed that“), I will freely admit that as someone who has read and loved the Ice and Fire book series, there is something extremely disconcerting about watching what was once an exceedingly faithful adaptation begin to diverge from the source text to such an extent that it fundamentally changes the experience of viewing the series. I don’t mean this as a total negative; it is exhilarating as well as disconcerting to know that in any given sequence one of my favorite characters I haven’t prepared myself to say goodbye to because they’re alive in the books might be killed off. This must be what the non-readers feel when watching Game of Thrones. Continue reading
The narrative acumen of the Game of Thrones show runners and their crew was on full display this episode. The opening sequence was masterful and cinematic, setting the perfect tone for the entire episode, which has to be the most well-structured, evenly-paced, and deftly executed installment of the season up to this point. All the transitions were narratively and thematically coherent; there was no filler in the episode, even if there was a small amount of fat in isolated instances. Continue reading
I missed a week in terms posting, but that’s okay for our purposes here because the last two episodes make a really logical pair tonally and thematically, especially in terms of Tyrion’s arc. That brings me directly to Tyrion’s scene with Oberyn, which is now one of my favorite scenes of the series so far. Peter Dinklage is consistently great on the show and in his career in general, but he’s really great here, in my opinion, and for a specific reason. People are quick to rightfully praise things such as his speeches, witty retorts, and comic timing. I, however, believe the real brilliance in his performance is to be found in the way he listens and reacts. This is a particular skill he happens to share with Maisie Williams. Their reaction shots and the specific ways in which they listen on camera are continually astounding to me.
Weiss and Benioff earned their money on this one. This episode is a prime example of why you actually write the teleplays instead of just sitting there with the books cutting and pasting together an episode. Consider how much we as an audience gained from the “Craster’s Keep” deviation over the course of the last two episodes (so, credit to Bryan Cogman as well) and culminating in the climax of “First of His Name.” We have a wonderfully gory action sequence that provides a punctuation to an episode that despite its overall quality felt a bit stationary. Continue reading
Let’s just get right into it. I always try not to read other pieces on Game of Thrones before finishing my own, but I couldn’t hide from the amount of stuff written about Jaime’s rape of Cersei. Before I begin in earnest, let me be very clear up front that I am not defending rape, the depiction of rape or the use of it as a narrative tool by media-arts producers. As for the latter, I reserve the right, as any viewer does, to question and deride whatsoever I please within any piece of work. I will not do so, however, for the sake of propriety, personal preference, or moral outrage. The works I find to be morally outrageous are those which are wantonly intellectually dishonest or somehow produced in bad faith; I do not find Game of Thrones the television series in particular or A Song of Ice In Fire in general to be such works. Continue reading
The Purple Wedding did not disappoint. If I have a big complaint it would only be that the wedding sequence was so dominant in the episode that when I sat down to write this I had forgotten most of what happened in the run up. So, naturally, I’ll start from the back. Continue reading
As I sat alone in my apartment slowly applauding computer generated images of dragons I realized without embarrassment that I really am part of a specific class of people. The class I’m referring to is that class who believe that this particularly inspired combination of the mythical, carnal, gory, and political is the richest narrative universe in all of genre fiction. George R.R. Martin is the talent of a lifetime. Continue reading