Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Viper, With A Blade, In The Water Garden

Game of Thrones 4D Puzzle Box, Pittsburgh, 2015

The puzzle of Westeros...how fitting.  In the event that you have not seen episode 6 of season 5 of "Game of Thrones", be warned, there be spoilers beyond this jumping off point.
While I've seen episode 6.5, titled 'Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken', twice, and did notice a certain slash to a certain character's arm, I must admit that I failed to appreciate its significance until I read this piece in Vanity Fair.   Brilliant!  To sneak something in on us in a blink of an eye, something that clearly means that guy's gonna die a horrible death by poison, an action so fleeting in the bigger picture that's demanding the viewer's attention, that seemingly only one person in the entire blogosphere took note, is quite remarkable.
The show, at this point, had no choice but to deviate from the framework provided by the books.  A written narrative and a visual one are two different animals as it is.  A show or movie based on a novel need not adhere strictly to it, but in the case of "Game of Thrones" the showrunners had no choice.  George R. R. Martin writes at his own pace, and the show has outpaced that pace.  And, I would argue, that it's exciting to see deviations from the books.  It makes for more compelling storytelling for this viewer.  I think that, since I came to the books because of the show, that I am more vested in how the show is telling the story of the seven kingdoms versus how Martin is telling that very same story.  Well, not so very same any longer.

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