As I write this review, season five, episode 9, of “Game of Thrones” just aired, which means this season has entered the home stretch.
With the season finale imminent, I think it’s a good time to look back at the good and the bad of a season which has deviated from expectation —and the books — far more than anyone expected.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s get to the point. I have heard complaints from everywhere — my friends, forums and reviewers — about how producers David Benioff and Daniel Weiss have taken the latest season of “Game of Thrones” on a fast train to crazy town.
A lot of characters have been cut or dramatically altered.
Lady Stone Heart does not appear in the show, and probably never will. Euron Greyjoy and pretty much the entire Greyjoy clan except for Theon are absent. There is no sign of Young Griff. Tyrion Lannister meets Jorah Mormont. Jamie goes to Dorne. It’s easy to criticise these choices from the comfort of the couch. We’d each like to see things play out like they did in our minds as we read the books.
Still, if you watch it for what it is, a TV show with real time and budget constraints based on thousands of pages of writing, it holds up pretty well.
Many choices make for a better show. Sansa Stark’s appearance at Winterfell makes for compelling viewing. It highlights Theon Greyjoy’s betrayal of her family and scenes from the book that rely on internal monologue would translate poorly if at all.
My only complaint is that it is difficult to watch a scene like the meeting of Tyrion and Danaerys, which clearly spoils the forthcoming book, “Winds of Winter.”
Whether you love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that season five has been dramatic.