Game of Thrones Round Table
Posted 25 June 2012 - 02:24 PM
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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:46 AM
Going back an watching it again I still find that the cast is so good that almost every individual scene (each so short for 9 of the episodes at least) are gems.
Yet you guys don't address the main global problem , at not at length, that way too much of this season seem like set of fine short scenarios stitched together such that all but episode 1 and 9 felt like a room full of cats caught in an electrical storm.
NO! NO! NO! about Arya and Harrenhal.
They did develop her character.
Doug Cohen makes the argument I have been making:
"The theme they seemed to exploring with Arya in HBO's season two was how a young girl in this brutal world is honing her survival instincts, whether it was the quick thinking with Gendry's helmet to save her friend's life, knowing what to say to Tywin each time he asks a piercing question, using H'ghar to kill Lorch, etc. The theme of Arya's change in the book was certainly more powerful, but this is one more reason why the books are better and will always be better. No matter how much HBO packs in, they'll never, ever manage to capture everything from the books."
My take is that they were showing that Arya was developing a 'thinking' survival skill, much more important than a ruthless physical skill in her interaction with Tywin, and clever , almost Machiavellian honing of her thinking wits. I thought their scenes together some of the best dialog of the season. And by damn it this IS a very important development of her character!
I am not even sure I agree with Cohen that the book does it better, this development may have trumped George on this one.
(As for being 'hardened' psychologically even in the show she has seen and experienced enough to already be there.)
So the argument about lack of character development is going to have be elaborated better than I have seen on this forum.
I don't know why it's overlooked...Harrenhal carries out her involvement with Jaqen , makes not one diddly who H'ghar's victims are. In fact they sort of speeded up Arya's intellectual development by jettisoning her pettiness about the book picks. The first two were more logical picks than Weese and Chiswyck , who were disposable characters to begin with.
Best of all they keep Arya's trick on Jaqen.
Because I think this is the finally evidence Jaqen was looking for. Other wise why was a Faceless Man in the close vicinity of Arya, when a man knows a FM could be anywhere a FM wanted?
As in the book, the final episode reveals Jaqen knew she was Arya Stark all along.
I have always thought Jaqen giving her the coin was another test, could she make it to Braavos on her own? The Faceless Men left that up to her.
I love this crazy brain-twister about the FM and Arya ... still hanging unresolved by the end of novel 5.
Edited by boojam, 26 June 2012 - 05:52 AM.
Posted 26 June 2012 - 06:40 PM
I couldn't agree more. The final episode is especially good example of that. Despite being populated with some great performances and even some well written scenes (Theon with Luwin, Tyrion, etc...), the episode felt a string of scenes cut together. This is in contrast to the final episode of last year which quietly built to a grand finish with both Jon and Danny. Oddly enough, the only major editing misstep in that episode was placing the King of the North scene much too early in the episode when it should occured near the end.
I do think Benioff and Weiss are really stuggled with breaking the novel and then constructing episodes with a key A plot each week that at least reaches some form of conclusion each episode. The B, C, D's don't have the same stringent requirements, but without an A story that goes somewhere, the episode is going to lack some structure and momentum.
There is another issue with pacing that is probably related to how they are breaking the stories for each episode. Some scenes and episodes are really dragging. I know Elio referred to a study of the number of scenes vs storylines vs. other complex dramas, in the 2 part video review, and this may be one of the sources of that problem. Especially if the scenes don't warrant the length.
It may also be related to how often they tend to have scenes driving home the same underlying idea even if the dialouge is somewhat different (Tywin and Arya, Ygritte and Jon are probably the most obvious examples, but there are others).
Edited by pleonasm, 26 June 2012 - 06:42 PM.