Summary of post: Game of Thrones, I'm not feelin' it. Season 1 was (just) OK. Season 2 is kinda tanking for me.
So here's the deal. I can't get wildly excited about this show! Despite the fact that everyone around me, fans of the book or not, seems to have whipped themselves up into a fervour about it! I'm kind of envious... frankly I wish I had a show I *was* that passionate about it right now, but Game of Thrones sure isn't it. I gave it a good go, and in Season 1 was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed some aspects. However, others were strongly at odds with my own vision of the books. It's such a deeply personal thing whether a conversion to screen works or not, and I first started reading the series over ten years ago so, like many fans, I had a *very* specific and detailed internal vision. Unlike many book fans, I haven't found it so easy to embrace the television version. In Season 1, it was quietly bearable... I took what I could from the shows, liking some of the casting choices very much and others not at all, and didn't think it worth making a post because other people seemed so squeeful and that's great--they should be! carry on, peeps! I just can't join you I'm afraid...
Summary of my feelings:
- Tyrion: fabulous actor (even if visually not like the character in the book), great fun to watch on screen. He was by far the highlight of Season 1 for me. His scene with Pycelle this week was the only one that rang with any of the strength I remember from the book (for me, obviously)
- Shae: Ugh, I really hate the casting here. Not nearly subtle enough to be effective. In the television version I can't understand at all why Tyrion would keep this demanding bitch around ... in the book I really *did* understand and feel his affection for her.
- Arya: in season 1 I liked her training scenes and contrast to Sansa, but in Season 2 I'm kind of over her :((( which is very sad as she's my favourite. A lot of the time I just feel nothing in her scenes and they are SO weak now compared to what they were in the book--this is the heart of Arya's character development and everything seems so tepidly done.
- Cersei: HAAAAAAAAAATE. Can't stand the character direction they took here, am absolutely opposed to it and every scene with her in it is unbearable to me. Nothing like how I imagined Cersei, and I do not think the shift is for the best from a narrative perspective either. Not poor Lena's fault, it's clearly bigger than her and stems from the direction. The worst climax was the painful scene in the latest episode where she reacts to the idea of Myrcella being sent away. In the books I remember the shock of seeing Cersei rattled. Here she just had to mount one more step in the ladder of excesssively histrionic acting. Sigh.
- Dany: I really liked what they managed to do with her story in Season 1--that was definitely good work and good casting. But her story was never my favourite and now we're entering the deathly boring throes of it and I just don't caaaaare.
- Jon: OMG, where the hell did they get this guy from and whyyyyyyyyy??? He is nothing like I imagined Jon, visually or in manner/bearing, and he can't act!! I'm in agony whenever he has to convey an emotion because he kind of just flits his eyes around and does a shouty thing. :( He's getting massively overshadowed by Sam, just because Sam's actor CAN act. Ugh ugh ugh.
- Theon: Meh, never cared about him but don't find the actor good at all.
- Renly and Loras: OMG, who is this UGLY Loras????? and again: whyyyy??? They seem to have taken the path of replacing the suggestion of affection (as well as sexual attraction) with PORN (sigh HBO sigh). I could put up with that, but really Loras needed to be better looking!! It was especially ridiculous in this episode where they refer to 'Brienne the Beauty' because YES, compared to Loras she's gorgeous! It was a double-whammy casting FAIL for me.
- Jaime: he's ok. He looks the part. Doesn't get me actively excited though.
- Bran: yeah, good enough actor, but again I kind of can't get that excited.
- Brienne: Was saddened (but it was inevitable) with the casting. Not at all how I imagined Brienne. Sure, she's tall, but it was far far more important to me that she be physically unattractive and I'm sorry, no matter how sullen an expression that actress makes, she's still very striking. Especially with the bright blond hair--that alone makes her stand out which works against her characterisation for me. Obviously I've only seen some brief scenes from the actress but I felt nothing at all watching them. They just felt empty to me, as do most of the scenes in Season 2.
So many scenes I remember from the book feel so small and lacking in emotional power when I watch them in the television series, and it's starting to get me down. In season 1 there were enough that had a bit of the book's feel to them that I could bear the others, but now, not so much. And on top of that the gratuitous (ridiculous) sex, layered over the already-squicky gender politics of Martin's text is a downer for me. It's getting very hard to make it through a whole episode, I'm so booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooored (punctuated by moments of irritation at the bad acting or writing).
I don't expect anyone to agree with me. Most people I have aired said views to so far have responded by talking over me and insisting it is a 'brilliant adaptation' (pricelessly including someone who HAS NOT READ THE BOOKS *g*).
At this stage I think I'm going to bail on the show. I was kind of hanging on to see if Brienne would be the saving grace, because I did love her so much in the books, but it looks like she won't be.
I'm so sorry, queenofthorns! I sincerely hope you get your Jaime/Brienne vid... but looks like it won't be from me.
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