Has Game of Thrones jumped, raped and murdered the shark?

ERMAHGERD! Season 4 sucks arse! {image}

ERMAHGERD! Season 4 sucks arse! {image}

SPOILERS, SWEETIE.

If you haven’t watched Season 4 Episode 4 of Game of Thrones, ABORT ABORT ABORT. Read no farther. Go water your garden, or have a nice cup of tea. Have a bit of a pillage and burn (but remember to pillage BEFORE you burn, yo). Or better still, go watch Season 4 Episode 4 and then come back and read this.

I love Game of Thrones with the irrational passion of a typical historical fantasy fan. If you know any of those rarefied creatures, then you know that’s a LOT of passion. I watch it diligently. I defend it publicly. I am a big, big fan.

The first three seasons of Game of Thrones (let’s call it GoT from now on, because I’m a lazy wench), was filled to the brim with a tasty ale of smart storytelling, (mostly) excellent acting, and a fair serving of delicious, provocative shocks, especially for someone like me, who hadn’t read the books*.

Now we come to the fourth season and this previously cold, frosty and enjoyable tankard of pillage, violence and death is starting to give me indigestion. I’m starting to greet each episode with equal measures of passion and unease.

Let’s put aside the differences between the books and the television series. It would be completely unreasonable to expect the producers to be able to take 96 bazillion pages of book, with 7,641 major characters, and 12 major locations, and convert all that to meaningful narrative for television, without cutting some pretty massive corners. (Let’s also put aside, for now, that the fourth season has cut so many corners that the show is in danger of becoming round.)

This season, I expected the usual serving of incest, violence, murder, sex, dragons and, of course, boobs. I haven’t been disappointed in that. There have been provocations aplenty, not to mention a lot of violence involving fowl. Between being sliced open in pies and eaten to violent extreme by The Hound, birds aren’t doing so well this season. Oh and Joffrey was murdered too.

AT LAST. What a turd.

I’m am disappointed, though. Where previous seasons have stalked slowly through the plot, sprinkling humour amongst the casually-examined graphic sex and violence, this season seems fractured and rushed. I’ve read the books and I’m still going WHO? WHAT? WHO WAS THAT? WHAT’S GOING ON?

Then there’s the laziness of the writing. Perhaps I wouldn’t be as disappointed, had the earlier writing been less clever. Scenes apropos of nothing that proceed with “Oh where could Bran be? Could he be at Craster’s Keep?”, then cut to Bran, 50 metres from Craster’s Keep, then cut to the head of the Night’s Watch conveniently telling them they could now have their trip to – you guessed it – Craster’s Keep, leave me rolling my eyes and wondering whether the work experience kid was the only person in the Writer’s Room that day.

As for the scenes inside Craster’s Keep, the less said the better. I couldn’t decide whether I needed to scrub my brain afterwards, or laugh my head off. Did the writers have a competition that week to see who could get the most c@nts into the script (and onto the screen)?

That scene was truly horrible, and brazenly calculated to titillate – revolting, even by GoT standards. The set-up is clear – we’re meant to hate these people with every fibre of our televisual beings, so we’ll cheer when Jon and his Black Brothers march in and eviscerate, behead and generally maul them all to death with monotonous predictability (and very sharp swords). Yawn.

It was lazy, lazy writing that left me feeling manipulated.

Bloody work experience kid**.

Where has the humour gone this season? In earlier seasons, the clever opportunities for a smile to balance out the horror were regular and plentiful. Littlefinger’s calm menace, always just one languidly arched eyebrow this side of a coma, has always been worth a giggle, but even the outrageous under-acting of the evil stud muffin could do nothing to save this episode.

So here I am, waiting for Episode 5. The books are far more graphic than the series, but until now I’ve been able to trust the show to be smart and provocative without being manipulative or crass. After Episode 4, I don’t trust it anymore. I don’t trust them to slow down and move through the storylines in the necessary depth to do them justice. I don’t trust them not to present another episode like Oathkeeper (or as I’ve come to call it, Audience-Breaker).

I love this show. I don’t want it to turn to shit, but if it continues like this, I won’t be wondering which Stark will be the next to get it in the neck, or whether Arya will end up on the throne of Westeros.

I’ll be wishing winter would hurry the fuck up.

* I have now

** Who is clearly a 14 year old boy.

Do you think Game of Thrones Season 4 has gone to the dogs?

I’m linking up with Laugh Link again this week. If you fancy a giggle, check out these other funny posts, and link up if you like – new or old posts, as long as they’re funny, weird or kooky!

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