Game of Thrones, transition to more black and white characterization for the show?

I don’t think I’ve posted this video yet, so here it is. It’s a political smear video against Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen:

So, the third season of Game of Thrones is over. It’s an interesting one for those who haven’t read the books, but I’m not going into specifics, since I’m not planning on spoiling anything in this post. Although I might rant just a tiny bit.

The third season highlights some of the differences between the books and the TV show. One of the major differences is that the TV show strives to soften or remove scenes which may make the protagonists less likable.

In the books, it’s a little different to have point of view characters mistreating each other because they’re supposed to be enemies, and because they don’t know the things which the reader knows about each other. We’re inside their heads and it makes sense that they don’t see other characters the way the readers see them. Or know other characters the way the readers know them.

There’s still a lot of controversy in the fandom, with people hating characters who’ve done some not-nice thing to their favorites. But it’s still believable and realistic that people in these positions would react negatively towards the wrong targets. That’s life.

I wonder if maybe the TV show thought this kind of thing wouldn’t come across as well without being in the characters’ heads. Still, for whatever reason, they tried to make the situations in their version of the story more black and white. This is something I’m unsure about, as a tactic. It makes things a bit too clean. Despite all the impediments to understanding each other, the good guys will recognize other good guys. And then they’ll somehow magically get along. I’m having more trouble buying this one.

And what is it with all the romance that’s happening in the show? Some of the relationships portrayed as love in the show were not based on love in the books. It’s less interesting to see such a dwindling diversity of motivations–that said, depending on what they do with one of them, I might change my mind about that one. It’ll depend on how they play out the events that follow in the book. But at least one of these relationships had a more powerful motivation in the books, and having it changed to a love story made it less believable.

And don’t get me started on Talisa. Her character is anachronistic, and the story tries to artificially inflate her importance.

Still, there are a bunch of things that worked out well in the show. The most obvious is possibly Jojen Reed, who’s being presented as rather compelling. Along with his sister, who also had a stand out scene when she explained why she looked out for her brother.

There’s more, both good and bad, but I don’t want to get into any more specifics in this post.

Anyone else watching the show? Are there any changes you think work or don’t work?


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2 Responses to Game of Thrones, transition to more black and white characterization for the show?

  1. The Reeds have been a really pleasant surprise- I found them really flat and uninteresting in the book, but for some reason, they’re a lot more fascinating on the show, and I really enjoy their slots.
    That said- I feel like you’re exactly right that they’re making these characters too simplistic. They completely shafted Catelyn’s development, and are making/made Tyrion, Robb, and Cersei (who I find really interesting in the books) just shadows of what they were like in book-universe.And it’s frustrating to see.

    • Marie Erving says:

      Catelyn is definitely one of the most notable characters that’s been changed like this, along with Sansa. I didn’t notice too much change in Cersei, but my most recent memories of her are from book 4, where she comes off a little different.

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