In the movie 300 there is an average of five people dying on film for every minute of the movie. Game of Thrones hasn’t quite reached that death rate but this fourth season is proving to be the one during which a major character is killed off in every episode. Who could possibly be next? “Something about a chamber pot” whispers the spoiler devil sitting on my shoulder.
Literary murder! At least George R.R. Martin does it in style. Benioff and Weiss turned one of the most heartbreaking deaths found in A Song of Fire and Ice into just another Spartan thrown onto the pile. Somewhere in the huge production with mammoths and ice giants actual drama was lost to spectacle. Poor Ygritte deserved better and so did Rose Leslie. For an episode with a giant ice axe in it I was left wondering why I was so dissatisfied.
Someone on the production team seems to have a bear fetish. That means something different from Tormund’s idea of what to do when alone in the woods. Sam has figured out a loophole in the Night Watch vow which if this were Friday the 13 would be a guaranteed kill. “I promise you I won’t die tonight.” is another guaranteed kill line from the movies. Whap Pip gets an arrow in the throat and you think Sam is next but then from out of the blue some creation of the TV show turns up to stick an arrow in Ygritte. Faithful readers know there’s another death next week to cap of the season. Will the faithful yet expendable sidekick meet his end? I guess you should have read those millions of words after all.
I don’t want to gripe about it too much but I do wish that Ygritte had gotten the same level of death scene as Oberyn. Rose Leslie is one of the reasons that the show is able to expand upon the characters from the books. She now owns the line: “You know nothing Jon Snow!” now. It was a huge moment in the books and the result of an anonymous sleet of arrows not a random boy soldier created for TV. I mean come, on she disappears for episodes then pops up as a murderous wench even the baldy wildlings can’t like, then dies without even getting a final scene fade to black. Charlie the Spartan that died in minute twenty of 300 got a better scene. What did Rose Leslie do to piss off the production team?
Maybe it’s all part of the way Hollywood has decided to substitute spectacle for content; The BLOCKBUSTER in which there are tons of explosions but nothing much ever happens. What seems to have been forgotten is all the clever dialog and unexpected plot twists are the reason that Game of Thrones is such a killer show. Ice giants and dragons are cool but when this viewer is wondering who’s having tea and lemon cakes back in Kings Landing while the Ice Giants are tearing down the gate… Let’s just say it’s not the best TV that I’ve ever seen.