Thoughts on Game of Thrones Season 5

I’ll be honest – this can’t really be a review yet of Game of Thrones season 5. Because Holly and I still have two episodes to watch, and we just can’t quite bring ourselves to watch them.

As book readers, what we expected from the season was for books four and five – which split the characters in half, and followed the same timeline – to combine and tell the story all together. They had already split book three into two seasons, so we were also expecting them to at least take two seasons when they combined books four and five. Maybe three! Which could also have delayed things potentially until book six came out…

Instead, the news at first was that they were planning on powering forward, on diverging from the books and telling the story that they could, since they will finish before the books do. But that still didn’t prepare us for what we saw.

It was like watching chaos theory, the butterfly effect, in action. A few small changes, ripples in a pond, and an increasingly divergent story. Each change decision leading to more and more changes, to things that felt like bad decisions (such that The Mary Sue is no longer reviewing the show, for instance), or to just cutting off whole storylines.

And now, what should have taken at least two seasons suddenly plowed through and is finishing the timeline of both books (if not the original events of both books…) in one season. We took long enough to watch the show that we started catching rumors about the end, and about next season… who is coming back, who isn’t…

And by this point, I’m not sure it’s the story I signed up to watch anymore. I don’t know if it’s a show anymore that I care about. So I guess I’m turning to you, readers. What do you think about season 5? Would you recommend we watch the rest? Are you interested or excited in next season? Let us know in the comments below!

9 responses to “Thoughts on Game of Thrones Season 5

  1. You know how I feel. (For those of you who don’t, I’ll make it explicit.)

    Watch those episodes. You’ve heard rumors of season 5 and its finale, so you have a sense of where season 5 ends and where book 5 ends. There may still be a chance for Season 4/5 material to resurface in Season 6.

    I’ll still defend the show as a very close adaption of the novels (in fact, I have months and months to do just that) although some of the adaptation might be hard to accept, or hard to identify.

    Some of the character’s storylines have changed, but I think more of them are still being faithfully adapted. I feel pretty confident that book six will be out before season 6, so I’m hoping season 6 will still be reasonably faithful (with the book being better, because that’s what books do) – the big question is what will we see in season seven?

    Please watch those episodes. I’m not saying that it’ll be a comfortable watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually didn’t know your stance… I’ve been avoiding reviews (of which let’s be honest, I pretty much read yours) because we haven’t seen the episodes…

      I think the saddest thing for me has been bucked expectations. I really like A Dance With Dragons, and the speed with which they blew through it made me sad.

      Meanwhile… I’m excited by your optimism that book 6 will be out before next April! I feel like for that to happen, it would need to be done here really soon, because I’m pretty sure the printing and promotion cycle takes a while… In terms of promotion, though, simultaneous release with season 6 would be brilliant 🙂

      I showed Holly this post once I wrote it and she was kind of like “oh yeah, we really should watch those.” Will try to do so soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not a devoted fan of the TV series like I am with the books, but I’ve always felt that books 4 and 5 shouldn’t have been 2 books anyway, so cutting them down to one season was probably the right choice. There was so much extraneous (and in many cases boring) material in Feast and Dance that really could have done with some serious editing.

    Diverging from the original plot is not a big deal. Now we will have two versions of the story, two visions, maybe even two different endings. You can enjoy one without spoiling the other, and we have fodder to debate until Judgement Day which one was better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The idea of two endings – which seems very likely to me – is something that could be a lot of fun! And certainly worthy of debate.

      I would agree with Feast, but I liked Dance a lot more – though to be fair, that might just be because it contained more of the characters I liked! Or like any of them besides Arya… Meanwhile there’s characters we haven’t seen in the books since Storm, so even with two books it wasn’t enough to cover it all!

      So I can understand a lot of changes for the TV shows around the characters, you have these actors, the fans like them, put them on screen. And a lot of Dance is exploring new territory – which would have required a lot of new location shooting. So maybe it was cost prohibitive.

      I’m still waiting for the King of the Iron Islands to die, though…

      Liked by 1 person

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