Game of Thrones Goes Off Book

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*No spoilers this time!*

Well, Game of Thrones is back in style- sort of. There were some heart in the mouth moments, some seriously-did-they-just-kill-another-good-guy moments (hey- that’s not spoilery- it’s Game of Thrones) and some parts where people repeated sentiments they had 4 seasons ago and I just wanted to nudge the plot along.

Just to whiz through some of my favourite bits, the opening and ending scenes in Castle Black were dark and gritty and quite excellent. Davos reminded me why I love him; Melisandra reminded me why she freaks me out. I swear if the whole episode had just stayed in the north (including the brief but epic Sansa scenes- *squeals all round for that bit*) then I’d have been a very happy bunny. But immediately after Sansa had done her bit, it hopped down south for what felt like a bit of a recap and some predictable back-stabbing.

Which was fine- the problem wasn’t really the physical direction of the story, but how disconnected all the scenes felt from each other. In the past, Game of Thrones was able to beautifully balance one story or theme across all the different board games. Here that just didn’t happen. I suppose that’s in part due to how big the story has become. It just doesn’t have the cohesiveness it used to and I wonder how long it will take before it starts to feel like one story again.

But that’s being super nit-picky because it’s still Game of Thrones and it’s still awesome. I think it’s fair that they used the first episode to set the scene, pick up all the threads of the old stories and set the tempo for the rest of the series. I’m just not sure if it’s going to be the calibre of seasons 1-4, or a bit lacklustre like last season. At the moment there are parts that feel a bit repetitive and are bordering on boring (I seriously don’t know whether I’m ever gonna care about the Sand Snakes- I should– but I don’t). We shall have to wait and see how this continues…

I hope you enjoyed that- I’m planning to do reviews of all the upcoming episodes of Game of Thrones (just cos!)- which may in the future get quite spoilery, fairly fangirly and very excitable!

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25 thoughts on “Game of Thrones Goes Off Book

  1. Read Diverse Books says:

    Yeah, the first episode was all over the place, but I don’t mind! I’m used to it. The story is so large and sprawling that I’m genuinely surprised I can keep up with everything that’s going on in all the corners of Westeros and Essos.

    You think the Sand Snakes plot is boring?? Wut!!
    Ok, please do a spoiler-only post so we can talk about this freely. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      I know right! Yeah it is becoming bigger and more sprawling- I just want the individual stories to connect a little more though- you know like that episode in season 3 or 4 (I can’t remember) called the climb- where all the elements came together perfectly and littlefinger was conniving and delivering his speech just as the wildlings scaled the wall- I want *that* perfection again (it’s a tall order I know)
      yeahh…. I’m not a fan- I actually liked it in the books- but I’m not sold on the drastically changed adaptation. I did think they were good in this episode- but they kind of made me hate them by killing off all the nice dornish men :p
      haha yeah as the episodes go on I definitely plan to just talk spoilers- I just thought I’d start off with a more spoiler-free post- especially cos I didn’t feel there were enough spoilery things to talk about. (and since we’re talking spoilers- what the heck with the whole melisandra thing right? totally freaky!)

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      • Read Diverse Books says:

        I had heard a few fan theories about Melisandre, so I was not surprised at all. Still freaky and awesome! It makes so much sense, lol.

        It was such a dramatic way to end the episode. I have never seen her so vulnerable and raw. I was stunned. Is she having a crisis of faith? Or does she take off the ruby necklace every day? I want to know!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. luvtoread says:

    The show has gotten a lot right, but they’ve also gotten a lot wrong. They’ve butchered many characters plotlines, and made them unrecognizable (Jaime, Brienne, Sansa, Tyrion). I get so frustrated because the books are SO good, and there is no reason to alter the plots that much. I just feel like the show is trying to sell sex and gore rather than story, and that’s really irritating. But – with that being said, I did watch last night’s episode, and the Melisandre reveal was freakin’ awesome. That was really well done I thought and made me want to watch the rest of the season (I was on the fence about it). Rest of the episode was boring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      That is one hundred percent true (what were they thinking with Jaime’s story? and why kill of selmy just to have tyrion take his place? and why not include caitlin and brienne’s story- that would’ve been good? the only one I don’t mind as much was sansa- cos I could see a certain logic to it- but we’ll have to wait and see if it would have been better if they’d just gone with the book’s version)
      I agree to a certain extent- I usually prefer the show- but I do think they’ve butchered a lot of stories from last season and got rid of too many storylines (what have they done with the dorne plot? and aegon’s?)
      Yes! The melisandra bit was excellent! I didn’t see that coming at all! What a twist! I agree with you- most of it was repetitive, but I did like the bits in the north and at the wall.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. rantandraveaboutbooks says:

    At this point, isn’t HBO ahead of the books? I never finished the books since GRRM hasn’t come up with an ending to the series, but from what I’ve read online, HBO had to make up season 6. I was also wondering if we would keep seeing the all over the place stories from last season or if what they were writing this year would somehow match up to the books at some point. I think the lack of direction is that we’re losing some of GRRM’s story since he’s forcing HBO’s hand in that regard. If it were like True Blood where only the first and parts of the second season were the same as the books and then shifted gears, it probably wouldn’t feel so drawn out, but since they decided to stick with most of the story from the books, I think that’s where the problem with the pacing lies. I still love GoT don’t get me wrong. I’ve never missed an episode. The HBO Now app didn’t work last night when I tried to watch at 9pm, so I had to wait until the traffic died down at 10 to watch. To say I was bummed is an understatement. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah it is now. Well, I think they’ve made up a lot of it, but they do have GRRM’s guidance and notes. So yeah, they’re planning to match up with the books in the end. But I do agree with you that’s why they’ve lost a lot of direction and I do agree with you about the pacing. Haha gosh I know that feeling- I always have to watch it a day later cos of the time difference (unless I wanna try watching it at 2 in the morning :p )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kat Impossible says:

    I really get what you mean by the cohesiveness missing from GoT … it’s become more and more apparent as time progressed, but I think that also partially happened in the books. It’s so difficult to make all those storylines come together, but they better by the end hahaha
    And YAY for all the Sansa scenes. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ayunda says:

    I’m super excited to see the series be different from the book. Makes me anticipate what will happen next! But this first episode did seem a little off for me. It did represent a typical GoT episode though, with lots of blood and stabbing and excellent screenwriting 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Oh so am I!!! Definitely!!! I’ve spent so long anticipating it (and had loads of lengthy discussions) so I can’t wait to see what actually happens! Definitely- it was just a bit too much of a filler and an intro- but I get it. And like you said there were loads of excellent bits!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nicola Alter says:

    Yes I see what you mean about it being a bit jumpy switching from story to story, but I actually didn’t mind it because it helped me catch up a bit on where everyone is now and what happened at the end of the last season – I had a lot of “oh that’s right, he died” and “oh yes, she’s still around” sort of moments (maybe I should have just watched a recap beforehand but I think I overestimated my ability to remember what had happened in the last season!). Maybe it’ll get better as the season progresses as they won’t necessarily try to pick up all of the story threads in each episode… it seems like the kind of thing they would just do in the opener as a sort of “here’s where we stand” thing. I guess we’ll see next week though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      That’s totally fair- I think one of my issues is (being the nutcase I am) I rewatched everything before the series started, so I really didn’t need the recap cos it was all fresh in my mind. Yeah exactly, that’s actually what I’m hoping for! Definitely makes sense- my sister who watched the first episode after having read the book as oppose to me (I watched the 1st season then read all the books), said the very first episode was basically just exposition and not necessary if you’d read the book- when I rewatched it I noticed that more- there’s a lot of intros going on there- so like you said, it makes sense. Yeah- definitely waiting a seeing what will happen next (and given it’s got, that could be anything!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicola Alter says:

        True, I think if I’d re-watched everything or read the books I’d probably have felt the same as you about the episode. Actually, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to do a re-watch beforehand, as I had to go online and watch a season 5 recap afterward to clear up some points of confusion! Anyway, the recap and the first episode got me decently filled-in so I’ll also be hoping to see something new and surprising next 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • theorangutanlibrarian says:

          ah that’s fair- I think that was one of the hardest seasons to follow (well it was for me cos it strayed from the book a lot) Yeah it’s a totally fair point! oh gosh me too!!! And the ending was pretty exciting and set some cool things up- so that’s cool! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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