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Let’s talk about “Game of Thrones” for a minute … (some spoilers)

April 16, 2012

I absolutely loved season 1 of Game of Thrones. I didn’t watch it when it aired, but after the first episode, the rest of my day was cleared. I watched all ten episodes that day, and each one was better than the last. I began book 1 of the Song of Ice and Fire series back in November and haven’t put the books down since. After finishing “A Game of Thrones,” I re-watched season 1, and it was just as good. But now that I’m about 100 pages into book 5 and three episodes into season 2, I’m not experiencing the same excitement I got from season 1.

I think the main difference is that when I first watched season 1, I had no knowledge of the source material. Having already read “A Clash of Kings,” I’m feeling a bit more cheated as each new episode of season 2 airs.

For starters, they’re not major characters, but I would have liked to see Patches and Shireen on Dragonstone. I was so annoyed having to read that whole storyline from Davos’ perspective, I would literally put the book down each time his name was at the top of a chapter. I’m good with him now, but I feel like I earned a bit more than the producers are giving me on Dragonstone. And on Pike too for that matter. The events on both islands seem like they’re really getting glossed over.

While mildly unsettling, neither of those situations are as disappointing as how many pages of Arya’s storyline were skipped at the end of tonight’s episode. I guess that was Polliver who took her sword, but where is Gregor Clegane and The Tickler? There’s a lot that she’s got to accomplish at Harrenhal, but there’s still seven more episodes.

At least they did a good job casting Brienne. I’m guessing that next week is when we’ll say goodbye to Renly. I’m wondering if they’ll play that scene close to the book or if they’ll just phone it in.

Another thing that doesn’t seems to be getting all the attention it deserves is Bran’s relationship to Summer. They briefly touched on his dreams last season, so I won’t be surprised if they don’t develop the wolf dreams much further. Although, I am glad to see that they ditched the fish eye lens this week. One last thing about the wolves. I know direwolves are supposed to be bigger than regular wolves, but I really hope they don’t just keep filming the wolves on a green screen so they can re-size them. At least we’ll get to meet Jojen and Meera soon.

I know it has to be incredibly difficult to fit more than 1,000 pages into ten 1-hour episodes, so I’m cutting everyone some slack. In fact, I’d probably be just as enthralled as I was during season 1, if I hadn’t already ready book 2 … and 3, and 4, and part of 5. It’s been more than 3 months since I finished book 2, so there might be a bit of “A Storm of Swords” that I’m expecting to see later on this season. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

Another thing to consider is that I was able to watch all of season 1 at one time, and I’m having to digest season 2 week-by-week. I could wait another seven weeks so I can view the season as a whole, but I think we both know that’s not about to happen. Oh, I’ll watch the whole thing again in seven weeks, but it’ll be for the second time.

Judging by episode titles alone, if Jon Snow joins the wildlings in episode 7 and the Battle of the Blackwater happens during episode 9, I won’t be surprised if the season ends with some of the chaos at the Fist of the First Men from Book 3. After all, the Night’s Watch didn’t actually leave the wall until more than 100 pages into book 2, but it sure made for a powerful scene at the end of last season.

All that said, the show seems to be holding up on its own and it’s staying “true enough” to the source material that I’m not really all that annoyed. I just wish I hadn’t read book 2 yet. I’m not about to stop reading though. The books are just too good for me to wait until HBO films the next 3 seasons to finish them.

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