Tonight marks my final review of the third season of Game of Thrones. This season certainly was invigorating when it wanted to be, but I’ve been a little bit bored since episode seven. Don’t get me wrong, this series is fantastically written, produced, acted, and developed. It’s a great show. But… the final act left me with wanting more.
I can tell you why, and once again it will almost certainly be an unpopular opinion. For a multitude of reasons I have been forced to stop caring about the Starks as a whole. I know that I stopped caring about them before the Red Wedding—I especially stopped caring about Robb—probably back around episode 5, if not earlier.
One reason sticks out. Let me be clear: the Internet has ruined Game of Thrones for me. I can safely say it’s because of people who have read the books, who are producing memes such as “Every time someone asks George R. R. Martin when the next book will be done, he kills a Stark.” That’s a horrendous message to have blatantly thrown in your face day-in and day-out because it completely beats any desire to root for that family out of some of us sole-TV watchers. I understand that this is something that people have loved for a long time and that many have been waiting for years for a screen-adaptation. I understand how exciting it is to see your favorite character from a book series come to life and navigate the world… but all of you are ruining it for the rest of us.
I get it, we live in the social media age where nothing is sacred. Big whoop, I know how to keep my mouth shut when I want someone to watch Battlestar Galactica. I don’t go around telling everyone I meet who the final five are, or even the original cylons (Okay, I kind of accidentally spoil Cylon 8 sometimes out of excitement. BUT YOU FIND THAT OUT IN EPISODE FOUR, NOT THREE SEASONS IN).
I’m tirelessly reading compare and contrasts from book-to-TV, and that’s fine. I think that’s a great way for a fan to spend their time—I’ve done it with comic book adaptations of my favorite characters, and I’ve done it with True Blood. But there’s something that I really love about True Blood that Game of Thrones doesn’t appear to do that often*: True Blood takes liberties with the book material and creates a world that us readers couldn’t have even fathomed. I love the book series, but the television series has taken that world to a whole other level. Characters that should be dead in book-world are central characters in the television-world, and I accept them both equally.
I strongly believe in changing the source material when you turn the written medium to the screen because there’s just no way to translate the information perfectly. Someone is always going to be sad that a world wasn’t represented properly, a line wasn’t spoken, or what felt like an integral scene was omitted. That being said, Game of Thrones is remarkably consistent with the book material (or so I have been told), so any spoiler that can be written has been, and many a troll has sent them my way.
I understand the juvenile fun these spoilers can instill. I myself ruined a major plot point from the 4th season of Dexter for many people just for luls… but I was 18 and I was an immature idiot.
I’m done complaining, but for the record: I had to put out there for my sanity.
I’m not going to go too far in depth with my power rankings because I feel defeated right now. I watched all of the 2nd season of Game of Thrones a year after it had aired completely spoiler-free. I will most likely do this with season 4… but only time will tell if my pouty wounds will heal.
Let’s break down the fight for the iron throne one last time in We Love TV More’s weekly power rankings! These rankings are based solely on my enjoyment and understanind go the events that took place in “Mhysa”, not any given character’s viability for the throne. These reviews are unadulterated by the books as I am a television reviewer, not a book reviewer.
1. Daenerys Stormborn
There’s no one I like seeing on screen more than Daenerys. I’d totally watch a show just about the Mother of Dragons taking down the adolescent tyrant whose family stole her father’s crown. She barely did anything in this episode, but her kindness toward the freed slaves brought tears to my eyes.
2. Tyrion and Tywin / Tyrion and Cersei
King’s Landing is where the show’s writing truly shines, especially when it concerns any Lannister that is not Joffrey. Tywin’s grace as a true leader, Tyrion’s defiance, and Cersei’s clever desperation really held the season finale up on a whole other level than the other material.
3. Arya Stark
Something finally happened in Arya’s story and it was built up perfectly. She has not allowed the tragedies in her life to cause any kind of PTSD, rather she has become a fierce and unwavering rogue. I anticipate that this young woman will soon become my favorite character if I return to the series.
4. Lord Varys and Shae
This little bit of dialogue was absolutely fascinating because Lord Varys’ motive does not clearly come from Tyrion nor does it explicitly benefit himself. Has he taken pity on a character he previous had seldom interaction with? Only time will tell, but Conleth Hill (Varys) has some of the best screen presence in the series.
5. Jaime and Brienne
I’m relatively certain they had no lines in the season finale, but Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime) have the best on-screen chemistry of any two actors I’ve ever seen on television. Beyond that, Coster-Waldau and Lena Hadley (Cersei) also did not need any dialogue to convey a powerful message and longing for one another. These three actors need not speak to inspire awe.
6. Sam Turly and Ginny
They got to the wall. Yay! And Ginny named the baby Sam! Huzzah!
7. Davos Seaworth and Gendry
Stannis’ Hand of the King, Davos, set Gendry free thus allowing me to breathe a sigh of relief. I love Gendry and hope that he kills Joffrey as well as Stannis. By the way, I do not care about Stannis or Melissandre at all. The god of light should consume them to remedy the fact that we’ve been forced to endure this terrible plot for two long, tiresome seasons.
8. Jon Snow
Here’s the deal: Jon Snow’s story is incredibly dynamic. He shows us the whole world from a perspective other than that of royalty, for which I am thankful. As a conduit, he has introduced us to the wildlings, the Night’s Watch, and a whole lot of beautiful snow. Kit Harrington is cute and a fine enough actor to carry the role. I still don’t really care about Jon Snow that much, and I especially don’t like Ygritte, especially after what she did to Jon. I anticipate that he’ll survive the wounds and I am grateful that he’s made it back to the Night’s Watch… but yeah, I’m totally done with Ygritte and her entirely one-dimensional female character.
9. Theon Greyjoy
I’ve been done with this plot since the second torture scene. It’s gratuitous and takes up a lot of space that could otherwise be filled with Daenerys. If his sister had set off to find him mid-season I’d probably care more. But by now it’s been strung along for far too many episodes. They should kill him and be done with it.
Overall it was a good episode of Game of Thrones. Every plot has gone exactly where it needed to, and my only major complaint is that every story arc felt rushed and forcibly crammed into the next (which is almost certainly why the episode went for an extra ten minutes). This was also overall a good season, but my complaints are piling on top of one another, leaving me feeling a little bit helpless and as though I ought to just watch the fourth season as a binge in its entirety once it has concluded next year.
- * – I recognize that Game of Thrones is considered a greater series both in written and filmed forms, but that does not lesson my admiration for the world of True Blood nor that this is a point of reference I can make. I’m not into Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or any other major book-to-film, so I’ve got to work with what I’ve got.