I want to like Game of Thrones. And often I do. But I’m disliking enough of it that it’s starting to wear on me.
I think Benioff & Weiss are quality adapters of existing work. I haven’t always agreed with what they leave out and what they put into their adaptations of the 5 books, but generally I could live with it.
But their original material is far more often disappointing than not. For example: Dorne.
To be clear – it isn’t always disappointing – Arya + Tywin, Arya + The Hound, Hold The Door, Hardholme are all excellent interactions that aren’t in the books, or at least not as fully fleshed out.
But on the other hand…. Dorne was just a catastrophe, from start to finish… Arya’s ridiculous escape from the Faceless Men… Tommen’s sudden conversion to the Faith, supported by an incomprehensible plan of Margaery’s… Sansa’s inexplicable interactions with Jon before the Battle of the Bastards. These are just layers upon layers of evidence of a lack of creative vision that beguile this whole post-book process.
None of these things feel natural, or flow logically from the stuff that came before. Over and over again, these feel like the creative process has boiled down to: “How do we get X to do Y?”… 60 seconds later… “Well, screw it, we’re out of ideas, let’s just force it to happen”
I made excuses for Lucas in the prequel trilogy, until I couldn’t anymore. And unfortunately, I can’t make excuses for Benioff & Weiss for season 6 either. Maybe it’s part of the complexities of a 10 show format – maybe 7 longer shows will give them room to breathe, and the stories will be more elegant. Maybe this was all the forcing they had to do, and everything from this point on will flow naturally. I’m not going to be a pessimist, partly because it’s not my nature, and mostly because I find most pessimists to be the most uninteresting people on the planet.