I know I’m not the only one buzzing with anticipation for the new Game of Thrones season… July 16 can’t get here soon enough, and, as bummed as I am for the shorter season run, I have to assume that this means less filler, solid episodes and amazing action leading up to the grand finale that will be the (even shorter) last season of the show.
When Game of Thrones first came out back in 2010, it took all my willpower to refrain from watching each new episode. I’d learned my lesson over the years: the long wait, week after week, would be excruciating. Instead, I patiently waited for the season finale and then spent a long weekend devouring the entire first season.
What an amazing season finale. Could we even ask for more after this supersized episode of awesomeness?
(Actually, yes: seeing as everyone seems to have found Littlefinger’s portal and can travel around 2 continents at warp speed – hell, Varys went from Mereen to Dorne and back to Mereen again in the span of two episodes! – we could have used a Stark/Brienne/Sandor Clegane reunion over in the North, or even a Jorah Mormont/Sam meeting at the Citadel, but now I’m really just nitpicking at what was a truly satisfying, fan-service-galore GoT episode).
Holy shit was this one phenomenal episode! Dare I say, the best episode of the series so far?
Sure, nothing can surpass the Red Wedding in terms of absolute shock value, but for me, this one takes the cake, not only as far as penultimate episodes go, but out of all six seasons of the show.
If we were wondering how could Game of Thrones possibly amaze us without actually surprising us, The Battle of the Bastards was the answer. Nothing that happened in this episode was truly a twist no one saw coming, yet I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, gasping, cringing, cheering. Never before have I had such a guttural reaction to a GoT episode, which automatically makes episode 9 of season 6 my favorite one to date.
Unlike several recappers (most notably the one at nymag.com), I find last week’s episode ‘No One‘ to be the weakest of the season.
Not because it lacked action, humor or story development; it just made it very obvious that the writers are working from the finale on backwards: there needs to be a sea battle in Mereen and a land battle at Winterfell, hence let’s stretch some storylines (Arya) or quickly wrap up others (Blackfish) in order to get all the chess pieces in place for the last two episodes of the season.
Still, there were a lot of stellar moments in Episode 9, especially when we’re willing to suspend our disbelief.
I have neglected the blog for a while now but I’ve been spending so much time writing, editing, even trying my hand at graphic design, and baking up a storm lately that I just don’t have the courage or energy to spend more time in front of a computer in my spare time…
Of course, we’re not the ones doing the allowing. It’s up to the screenplay writers to adapt the book to screen, however they see fit.
Sometimes the books themselves pose the problem: whatever universe is created in the author’s mind might be extremely hard – indeed, sometimes downright impossible – to translate to the screen in a believable way. In some cases it’s done masterfully, in others… well, the results can range from kitch to awful, with bad CGI and even worse acting and directing being the usual culprits.
But for the sake of this post, I have to assume that the writers’ and directors’ vision was originally to stay true to the raw material. To take this carefully crafted world they were handed in book form and bring it to life in front of our very eyes. So what is it that usually goes wrong?