GOT S6 : Saved at the Last Minute
I’ve always enjoyed the higher quality writing on Game of Thrones, but watching the recent season six, I’m beginning to realise that a good majority of that is down to the pen of George R. R. Martin. A great example of this is the classic, and lazy, studio habits of saving characters at the last minute. Martin rarely ever did this, in fact, if a character got caught in a tricky situation, they were almost guaranteed to bite the big one. Look at Ned Stark’s death as an example, this was the first big death in the show, and one that set the tone for the series. I’m pretty sure we all thought someone was going to stop Ned’s execution, and when his head rolled, we began to realise that Game of Thrones was a different type of show. Whilst shows such as Walking Dead was killing characters left right and center, the writers wouldn’t dare kill off any of the major ones. GOT did this with strings on.
Fast forward to the recent series, which is now running completely under the steam off showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and what we are seeing is the same studio writing that GOT had always avoided. I’ve compiled a little list to highlight this.
Khal Moro and his bloodriders chat about murdering or raping Daenerys. It does not look good for the young queen, until she pulls out a get out of jail free card, which ends this debate there and then.
Sansa and Theon are saved in the first episode just as they are captured by Ramsey’s Guards.
The onion knight and a group of the Nights Watch are saved just as they draw swords against overwhelming numbers.
A young Ned Stark is saved just as he is about to be killed in single combat.
Bran and Meera are saved by Bran’s uncle, just as they are about to be attacked by wights.
Arya warns an actress of a assassination attempt, smashing a poisoned drink out of the actresses’s hands just as she is about to sip it.
Tomme alliance with the Faith is revealed just as Jaime is about to assault the sept.
Basically, the writing has become a little formulaic, and a lot of the new story lines are just fan services, using fan theories and story ideas that have have been floating for a number of years. Take the reveal of Cold Hands, who turns out to be Benjen Stark reborn. This is a fan theory that has done the rounds and has even been flat out denied by Martin. Readers of the original George RR Martin novel will know that Cold Hands is 200 years old, whilst Benjen has only been missing for two. This does not make the show bad, it’s just disappointing to see such a well written and different show slump back down into the depths of boring studio writing, where people pop up from stage right, just in time to save the day.