Game of Thrones; Great Show, but a bit Slow

It’s been a busy few weeks, hence my mysterious absence on WordPress, work & family have been largely dominating my time and the days have all become weeks and too long has passed since I posted.

It’s been good though – after a long period of unemployment it makes for a nice change to be good and busy with work and on the family front the little one is becoming a right little character and I’ve had some awesome days out and after work play sessions with her recently. It all just leaves me too tired and drained to sit down and get something typed up and posted on my blog.

One thing I have been making sure I fit in is a bit of telly for relaxation – and the one show I consider unmissable and endeavour to squeeze into my busy weeks is Game of Thrones.

GoT Title Sequence

I’m just not sure I’m finding it particularly satisfying at the minute.

Before I continue to write my current thoughts on the show – let me be clear that I love Game of Thrones and consider it a real contender for my favourite show on telly at the moment.  There’s not much around in high budget telly on a scale as epic as this. It’s a fascinating world so brilliantly realised on the screen – I’ve been hooked from the very first episode and was gripped all the way through the first two seasons.

So, let me explain my satisfaction issue now in season three – there’s just simple too much going on. I don’t sense any real momentum each week, the many & varied plotlines don’t appear to move forward much each week because they are giving us very small snippets in each episode.

Here’s a great example of what I mean – Bran Stark. Bran, with his brother, Osha and Hodor have now been trekking North towards the wall since the sixth episode of last season – now 12 episodes ago in total. He currently appears to be no nearer to the wall and finding his half-brother Jon Snow, and his plot strand has only really had a small development in the arrival of fellow seer Jogen and his sister Meera. Neither of these new characters have had any significant screen time and the importance of the mystical experiences in this narrative are yet to be realised. How long will it take before something of note actually happens with this storyline?

Bran Stark

Not enough to support my claim? Consider this then; Jon Snow has been marching towards the wall for five episodes – arriving just last week in the sixth episode of the current season.  It’s true that his romance with Ygritte has been developed through this time, however, there has been no real character development or growth beyond this – he’s just been repeatedly threatened & intimidated by the other Wildlings.

The list goes on – Arya has been hanging out with the ‘Brother without Banners’ for four episodes now. Her pal Gendry’s royal heritage, which was discovered by Ned Stark himself in the middle of season one, appears only now to be on the verge of advancing as a plotline with his collection by Melissandre (I can only imagine that’s the reason she’s come for him – to return him to his Uncle).  Theon continues to be tortured week after week with no real insight as to the circumstances he’s trapped in. The Lannister’s and all of the politicos in King’s Landing continue just to flounder about – all that’s happened there is Joffrey is continuing his journey further as a sadistic asshole. And after the dramatic reveal of the White Walkers at the end of last season we’ve seen nothing of them at all yet this year.

The only story that has had any impetus is Deanerys’ across the water – and, lo & behold, we didn’t see her at all in last week’s episode.

Daenerys Season 3

In essence – this show is proving to be about watching people travel to places all the time, or sitting around waiting for these people to arrive.

Some may argue that all of this activity is still serving the story as it is providing character development, but I’m really not sure that that is the case. Stop and think about it for a moment – all of the character’s agendas are the same as in season two and many are displaying the same motivations and characteristics as they did when we were first ever introduced to them in the show. Those who have had any notable changes to their characters in terms of outlook and motivations went through those changes right at the beginning of season two. (I’m referring to the likes of Arya, Theon and Brienne here) There have been some small changes in Tyrion and Jaime Lannister perhaps, and Joffrey has become more of a nobhead, but in essence all is the same.

Tyrion Lannister

It seems to be that the epic nature of the story, told in a television format, is becoming its downfall. I am certain it is going to work extremely well as a DVD box set, when I can plough through numerous episodes in one sitting, but at this pace of an episode a week I’m starting to feel unsatisfied and, dare I say it, a little frustrated. There are just so many scattered strands of plot going on – some of them really need to start converging soon and destinies need to start becoming aligned.

Thank god the show gives me such pleasures as a flaming sword fight (Which I now feel every episode of every show should start with), a bit of sex & humour (Go on Podrick, son!), and fire-breathing Dragons to keep me going. Plus Leana Headley is a fox – I’ve had warm, gooey feelings for her ever since I watched the Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Lena Headey

I could, I suppose, save episodes up on my Sky+ and emulate a DVD box set; however, my love for the show is such that I do not have the patience to wait to do that. The plots are unravelling at such a snail’s pace I rush into each new episode in the hope of a notable advancement in what’s going on. In fact, the love I feel for the show is probably amplifying my feelings of frustration as I can definitely feel the slow burn towards something explosive and amazing – hopefully the equal to “Blackwater” last year. (As a side note, for anyone who may choose to comment on this post – please note I have not read the novels and am therefore completely unaware as to what may be coming next – so I implore you to keep any comments spoiler free and don’t ruin the undertone I’m sensing of something Biiiiiig coming)

I’ll keep going of course; it’s too intriguing a world to turn away from and my frustration with its pace is belittled by my enjoyment of the action, the depth of the fantasy world, and how wrapped up in the characters I have become. Fingers crossed its all building up to something worthy of the epic scale of the show and I’ll find the conclusion of this season as satisfying as I am hoping for.

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5 responses to “Game of Thrones; Great Show, but a bit Slow

  1. I think im in a similar boat to you, each week Im left wanting a little bit more but that doesn’t stop me from watching each episode as soon as it airs.
    I havent read a storm of swords but im guessing that a lot of it is due to them splitting it into two seasons, I guess it means that the individual plots are being stretched a bit more than they would be in a 10/11 episode run?
    Im hoping that what weve seen so far is building to something big as i sense it could be

    • Totally – there’s something on the way; all this meandering definitely feels as though it’s building tension to something HUGE.

      My work colleagues who have read the books, sods that they are, keep alluding to something MASSIVE on the way just to tease me every week when we have our regular GoT water cooler moment.

      A couple of these plot threads must surely be converging soon. Fingers crossed…

  2. Pingback: A Game of Thrones -The Final Scene of ‘The Rains of Castamere’ | True Mister Six·

  3. I completely agree with all these points. I love the show and was gripped by the first season particularly, but having just watched the forth season I’m still feeling the same way as I did after seeing the third. Is winter ever going to come? The white walkers don’t seem to be in a hurry to do anything. Bran and company are *still* travelling (at least they finally get somewhere, although no explanation is given). As much as I like Danerys’s storylines they just seem to be on repeat – is she ever going to go to Westros? To be fair there are big changes, but I still feel like the plot is advancing through treacle.

    • Hi – thanks for reading!

      I have sensed a little more momentum this season, but things are still coming & going to not be revisited in several episodes time – like the Roose Bolton stuff – just sort of came & went.

      I’ll stick with it though – it’s still a more enjoyable show than a lot of stuff knocking about!

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