One of the biggest complaints I am seeing all over the Internet is as follows – “why is this season of Game of Thrones so short?! Everything is so rushed! Why can’t they take more time and get to know the characters more? I mean, all Sam does is move the plot forward! It’s boring!” That may be a bit longer than I had thought, but I wanted to basically encapsulate all the complaints that I’m hearing in the same space. Generally speaking, anyway. And it’s frustrating. Because it’s like people haven’t really been paying attention.
Here’s the thing – Game of Thrones is the most ambitious television series ever produced. There isn’t a single comparison to be made, anywhere. This series has done with no others have even attempted to do. Because of that, they have had to make a lot of sacrifices. There are a TON of plotlines from the books that are either distorted or outright gone. Why? Because they don’t have the time, or another crucial element that everyone who is bitching seems to forget about – money. This series’ price tag has gotten astronomically-large. A lot of critics have wondered if the series has gotten to the point that it’s too expensive to keep making. A valid question. So, when the lead writers said that they only have 13 episodes worth of plot, any normal person would wonder – why not have some filler stuff. Little things where we take a break and get to know the characters more. That’s smart. The simple reality is that doing that takes more time and budget to shoot longer.
I understand how some people are a little annoyed. Yeah, it’s weird how characters are able to traverse great distances in ye olde times with great speed. But you know what I do? I do that thing called critical thinking. It’s a lost art in the age of conservative and liberal hand-wringing that eschews nuance completely. How many episodes would they have needed to realistically have Greyworm get the Unsullied to Casterly Rock? At least two or three. They have to speed things up. There isn’t enough plot left to fill in that kind of time. So yes, Jon Snow made it from Winterfell to White Harbor and then to Dragonstone in the span of a single episode. Hell, not even that. The series has at least attempted to make the audience understand that there are weeks going between episodes, but that part has been admittedly clumsy.
And sure, there is a ton of stuff that I’d like to see. Like, why didn’t Ghost go with Jon? What a way to have them get to know each other. Him being the father of a dire wolf with the mother of dragons? That seems like a good way for them to bond. I’ve missed Ghost. He has barely been in the series since the very beginning of last season. But then I remember – dire wolves have to be animated. And that takes money. Money that HBO unfortunately can’t spare. We may never see Ghost again. That will suck. I hope he survives until the end. There’s only one other dire wolf left. Thankfully we did get to see that Nymeria is okay. I’m really glad about that. Not glad that Arya went back to Winterfell. I thought her deal with seeing Nymeria and saying she doesn’t belong there anymore took it to mean that she doesn’t belong in Winterfell, so she was going to go south and finish her mission. But nope. Kinda disappointed with that. Not gonna lie.
The point of all this rambling nonsense is that HBO has to do the best it can with what they’ve got. They are out of plot and the budget just keeps growing. They’re too invested in this to stop now, but the studio can’t let this series bankrupt them. From a financial standpoint I understand their problems. For all of us, it means that we get less show to watch. But if what we see was like last night, with Drogon setting an entire army on fire, then yes, please, more of that. I love the political stuff in the series the most, but I got a raging nerd hard-on for how cool that is. Let’s enjoy how great this series is for as long as we can’t. One more season, and that’s it.
Until next time, a quote,
“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you get what you need.” – Lyrics by The Rolling Stones