Bleats

Blame The Books For Why The Final Season Of Game Of Thrones Sucks

Or the lack of books to be specific.

SPOILERS FOR GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8!

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

A lot of stuff has gone down in the last couple of seasons of Game of Thrones.

In just this final season alone we’ve had Daenerys’ armies go up North to fight the army of the dead, Arya and Gendry getting down and dirty, the Battle of Winterfell, Arya stealth-knifing the Night King, preparations for the final battle against Cersei, Jon saying an awful goodbye to Ghost, and even a cameo appearance from a coffee cup.

While so much has gone down in just four episodes, it’s all been a little…underwhelming. In fact, I would go as far as to say that most of the last three seasons of GoT has been pretty bad so far and I’m definitely far from the first person to admit that.

Your mileage may vary on this.

The characters make some weird decisions that make no sense, the time logistics are all over the place, the pacing is way too fast, some of the narrative choices really push the suspension of disbelief to breaking point, and the dialogue has lost some of its early season zing.

This sort of decline happens to most TV shows, especially for those that have stuck around for over eight years, but GoT‘s decline has been especially noticeable, partly because it’s literally the biggest show on earth and partly because the early seasons were so damned good.

So how did the show get so sloppy in the last few years?

There are undoubtedly a number of reasons why but I think it all has to do with the unfinished book series and the issues that stem from that.

Okay, just bear with me here while I explain.

For the first five or so seasons,  showrunners for GoT, Dan Weiss and David Benioff, had the benefit of five intricately plotted novels from George R.R. Martin to act as a roadmap for where the show should go. But once they burned through the books, their guide was gone.

It is a known fact that Dan and David Benioff have talked to George about how the whole series ends when it became clear that the show was going to overtake the books, which happened at around the midpoint of season five. While having the duo know all the big plot points is a logical solution to this problem, it meant that Dan and David had to make up stuff to fill in the gaps.

The pair are actually pretty good at coming up with original material (such as Cersei and Robert’s conversation in season one) in the earlier seasons, but they’ve been forced to come up with increasing amounts of original content on their own in the latter seasons due to the lack of source material from George, which explains the increasing number of deviations from the novels.

Couple the pressure of having to write high quality material that lives up to George’s meticulously plotted writing with the time constraints put on them by HBO in regards to getting the show made in a timely manner (unlike George, who spends years perfecting each novel), it’s perhaps no surprise that the wheels have begun to fall off the wagon over the last three or so seasons.

Here’s to the situation we find ourselves in.

In an attempt to add some quantifiable evidence to my dumb argument, I had a look at the review numbers on Metacritic and they align up suspiciously close to my argument.

The first five seasons averaged a score of about 89, which is critical acclaim. But for the final three seasons? An average of 75, which is “only” very good.

(Rotten Tomatoes paints a much more flattering portrait as the show registers an average of 92% but that is a bit misleading due to the site’s method of counting anything that’s a 6/10 or above as a positive rather than taking an average of all the review scores like what Metacritic does.)

It really is.

Now this is obviously nothing more than a wild stab at an explanation as to why Thrones is no longer as satisfying, however, it is fascinating to see how a TV show operates when its source material is still being written concurrently.

This is definitely not any criticism to the work from Dan, David, and George, who deserve all the praise in the world for putting up with all the pressure they get from fans to properly land this plane.

The three did the best they could do under a series of unique and trying circumstances, and hopefully this is something everyone understands when they watch the Game of Thrones finale and it turns out to be something they didn’t expect.

A Game Of Thrones OG Will Join The Marvel Cinematic Universe As Its Latest Superhero

Marvel are definitely not messing around with Phase 4.

Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will wrap up in bombastic style with the record shattering Avengers: Endgame and the guaranteed-to-be-successful Spider-Man: Far From Home, but the comic book movie behemoth aren’t about to rest its laurels just yet.

So far we know that Marvel are toiling away on a movie about The Eternals and they’ve managed to pull off a massive coup by getting a Game Of Thrones veteran onboard to be its newest spandex-wearing superhero.

According to The Wrap, Richard Madden is in talks to star in The Eternals, which means the MCU is about to get this stupidly handsome chap as one of its newest superheroes.

Welcome to the MCU, you handsome devil!

Now as for who Richard will play, Variety reports that he is going to portray the character of Ikaris, who a member of the titular Eternals. This is another case of pitch perfect casting from Marvel as Ikaris is basically a regal god-like figure not unlike Thor and who better to play a part like that than someone who was literally Prince Charming.

For those wondering who The Eternals are, you’re in for a wild ride. The series basically revolves around beings called Celestials, whose experiments on early humanity resulted in heroes (the Eternals) and villains (the Deviants). If you thought Guardians Of The Galaxy was bonkers then you haven’t seen anything yet.

While we are still light years away from hearing anything about The Eternals, it is shaping up to be something special as  the immensely talented Chinese filmmaker Chloe Zhao will be directing, and starring alongside Richard will be Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani.

Marvel has yet to officially announce its Phase 4 line-up of films but it is looking like the post-Endgame would is going to be in good hands.

Jessica Chastain Slams Game Of Thrones’ Spin On Sexual Assault And Character Development

A scene involving Sansa Stark and The Hound in the latest episode has stirred up considerable controversy.

SPOILERS FOR GAME OF THRONES SEASON EIGHT EPISODE FOUR!

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

After the lack of lighting nearly derailed the Battle Of Winterfell, we were all hoping for a return to form (and more light) for the next episode of Game of Thrones. While there was a plenty of light, it fell woefully short on the return to form part.

But the part that caused the most controversy among viewers was the scene between Sansa Stark and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane where they discuss her sexual assault from way back in season five at the hands of Ramsay Bolton, which is arguably the most criticised moment in the show’s history.

In the scene, the Hound suggests that Sansa could’ve avoided all of the abuse had she left with him early on in the series. In response, she says, “Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a little bird all my life.”

Following the episode’s airing, Jessica Chastain, an avid feminist and women’s rights activist, slammed GoT for its spin on sexual assault and character development on her Twitter, writing:

“Rape is not a tool to make a character stronger. A woman doesn’t need to be victimized in order to become a butterfly. The #littlebird was always a Phoenix. Her prevailing strength is solely because of her. And her alone.”

Following Jessica’s criticism of Sansa’s scene, a debate was sparked as many people shared their thoughts about the show’s representation of assault and its role in the character’s development.

Unsurprisingly, this has made fans worried about whether the show will stick the landing in its last two episodes. Having hit a new low with its most recent episode, the only way is up from here.

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