Game of Thrones episode 502 drops in live viewership

While retaining the crown of the best rated cable show of the night, the inevitable drop from the premiere happened this week when it comes to the number of viewers for the initial airing. However, it is likely a bigger drop than some expected. The second episode of season 5 was watched by 6.81 million people, more than a million fewer than last week. Another 0.7 million watched the repeat, just like last week, for a total of 7.5 million.

The number is still high, and somewhere around the last season average. I have no doubt that the discussion will be ripe now as to how much the four-episode leak contributed to the numbers (it happened mere hours before the premiere, so it is reasonable to expect an effect only now).

Hear Marko Roar: Well, I hoped for the number to stay above 7 million. But if it stays stable for two more weeks and climbs from there, I won’t mind much.

269 responses

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    1. Half of our side of the coast had no power due to Tornados lol that’s the only reason we could’t watch it live!

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    2. The leak is to blame. Nba and nhl playoffs also. And for me personally the fact that it is so different from the books doesn’t make it appointment television. Obviously love the show and gonna watch it every week, but not gonna watch it live at 9pm EST every Sunday

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    3. I dont really worry, I’m positive the numbers will sky-high again for 505.

      Actually, due to the leaks and the subsequential wait, it’s possible 505 be the top watched episode so far

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    4. Likely because the opener wasn’t shocking. Don’t we usually see a dip in viewership in the middle of the season? A lot of people watch the opener, the casuals start to get lazy, and then you have spikes after/for big episodes and, of course, the last 2 of the season. I’d bet we’ll see numbers back up to matching or even superceding the premiere’s numbers later this season. Worry not.

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    5. Usually I would say pirating for a show doesn’t matter. But the type of fans who watch a show like Game of Thrones are smart enough to know how to find a pirated copy. I know I watched the first 4 episodes and watched the first one live and not the second one. I still subscribe to HBO so no loss for them.

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    6. Ouch, I hope it’s rather because of the leak than other, worse reasons (like the premiere being not to people’s liking).

      Hopefully it won’t get any lower that that and start growing.

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    7. It is the time of doom I say! Doom! DOOM! – Seriously, Doom 3 was a pretty good game and I never finished it, time to get that sorted out.

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    8. I am not convinced that the leaks had that much to do with it. A little bit, sure, but I’d think that the vast majority of HBO subscribers aren’t all that much into pirating what they already paid for, not to mention what they can watch in HD.

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    9. TOIVA,

      How is that ouch? It sill got more then double the rating in the 18-49 category for anything else that day. Actually, it got more then double then anything else on cable for the entire week. The only show on cable it is behind is The Walking Dead which has many more potential viewers.

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    10. Mr Fixit,

      HBO…. Who has basically said pirate out stuff…. Is trying to get people to stop watching them. If that isn’t proof that a lot of people viewed the leaked episodes, I don’t know what is.

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    11. The numbers are going to vary regardless and 6.8 is right in the general area of last year. It started 6.64, 6.31 and 6.59 for episodes 1-3 so it’s not like the number is bad this week.

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    12. There’s usually speculation about drops in viewership for the next episode due to this or that, and then those speculations are generally proven wrong.

      This time though, it did indeed drop as many suspected. Significantly too. We haven’t seen anything quite like this, have we? It will be very interesting to see numbers for the next week – and especially ep 5.

      The numbers are still really high, but then there’s always the slight possibility that this is the start of a trend. I’m not really worried yet, though.

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    13. The Bastard,

      I’m sick of seeing this comment “the type of people who watch game of thrones are smart enough….” Almost everybody I know watches it, both at work and outside of work, and there is a wide range of people both smart and stupid. Also, downloading illegally is SO fucking easy these days. I showed my 88 year old grandpa how to torrent. He doesn’t even own a cell phone but he has a computer with a 3 Mbps hard wired Internet connection so he can download discographies from his favorite musicians from the 1920’s-1950’s. So don’t tell me the viewership is smarter than other show’s viewership or that pirating content takes intelligence.

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    14. To be honest, even if it stays at this number. It’s still HBO’s most watched show, so nothing should happen in that case. It’s not like HBO is going to quit GoT because it suddenly has less growth, it still makes them tons of money.

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    15. Greg,

      Sure there are people who are not intelligent who can find illegal content. Look at it this way….

      HBO knows what kind of people watch Game of Thrones. They have probably done the market research for it. And what show do they put on after GoT to maximize viewership? A show about the tech industry. Is this just a pure coincidence? I don’t think so….

      GoT is also the most pirated show right now. Also not a coincidence.

      People who watch this show ARE more likely to know other means to get it.

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    16. davy,

      Exactly. And you have to take into account merchandise, home video sales, and international viewership numbers.

      This show is fine until the end.

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    17. The Bastard,

      It is the most pirated show because it is wildly popular and aired on a premium channel. And up until this point there were people in other counties who either could not watch at all or had to wait months to watch it live. So I am saying that you saying that GoT has a smarter fan base than other shows is ridiculous.

      Edit: Also, about 6 million people change the channel after GoT and don’t watch Silicon Valley. So that bares nothing for your argument

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    18. I have HBO and I’ve watched the leaked episode so I didn’t watch sunday and watched the nhl playoff instead as I’m sure a lot of people in Canada did. I’m from Quebec and a third of the population of the province was watching the Montreal-Ottawa game. It’s just normal that we won’t see huge ratings until episode 5

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    19. As I said before in another ratings thread, Episode 5 airs on Mother’s Day in the U.S. This has been associated with a slight initial-viewing ratings dip relative to the prior and following weeks. So, a truer test of popularity is Episode 6.

      Really, though, HBO likely cares even less about these ratings for Game of Thrones than they do for other shows, thanks to the show’s enduring global popularity. Unlike Seasons 3 and 4, Season 5 will air an episode on Memorial Day. That episode surely will take a ratings hit in the U.S., but millions of viewers overseas will continue to tune in.

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    20. dob,

      I wouldn’t go that far. After all, it doesn’t take into account people that record the show, torrent it, watch on HBO Go, etc.

      But hopefully this trend continues and it wakes D&D up.

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    21. SirSquinty,

      Classic response from a show apologist who has such thin skin that they can’t take any criticism even when I go on to say that I do love the show. You single out one small part of my comment. No, it is not appointment television when the NBA playoffs are on, or in the case of this Sunday and me being a NYC resident and Yankee fan, I will be watching the Yankees Mets game Sunday night. If it was closer to the books, which are my favorite story of all time, then I would probably watch the show instead of the other things I mentioned right at 9pm.

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    22. Mr Fixit:
      I am not convinced that the leaks had that much to do with it. A little bit, sure, but I’d think that the vast majority of HBO subscribers aren’t all that much into pirating what they already paid for, not to mention what they can watch in HD.

      Except if they really curious about what happens in the next GoT episodes.

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    23. I lean more to the fact it was a slightly below par GoT episode (higher of course than standard television fare) and newbies tuned in to see what the hype is all about and tuned out this week. The episode was extremely short, D&D could have written a wtf scene along with a buildup scene to keep newbies who hadn’t watched the show before interested.
      This is of course one of those hindsight scenarios, notice how the poster comments have dropped, unless book purists have thrown in the proverbial towel. Even this weeks episode didn’t have a big event, only a couple of small important events (Brienne and Arya) so I don’t anticipate a viewer increase for next week.

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    24. Here in the UK the Sky Now TV service was poor last night, had several instances of buffering which meant I missed a few minutes of it ( not of course the two long ad breaks). It’s enough to tempt me to wait and download HD pirated versions – which I did last year because of the same problem in the end. Except that the sites I used last year have been blocked and I’m probably the only person in the world who doesn’t know where to find them…! I’m very cautious anyway about malware.

      I always get the box sets anyway, so it’s only like I’m “borrowing” them and no-one misses out on my money.

      Anyway, we shall see if the UK figures dropped too.

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    25. LOL at some people trying to claim this is due to the show veering more off of the books. Just imagine what the premier episode would have been like had they tried to adapt all of AFFC/ADWD or just AFFC. People would have been riveted. The final scene would have been Arys Oakhart not liking the spicy Dornish cuisine.

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    26. The decline is due to a number of reasons. The leaks likely contributed the most, followed by a decline due to the premier not being a very entertaining episode. And lastly, the normal bleeding of viewers between the premier and the 2nd episode. I’m not sure if the live viewers will top the premier episode this season, but I do expect it to get close.

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    27. Season 1, Episode 2 : – 20,000 | Season Finale : + 804,000
      Season 2, Episode 2 : – 100,000 | Season Finale : + 440,000
      Season 3, Episode 2 : – 100,000 | Season Finale : + 1,112,000
      Season 4, Episode 2 : – 300,000 | Season Finale : + 780,000
      Season 5, Episode 2 : – 1, 119,000

      I think the Season Premiere will maintain the record this year.

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    28. Off-topic, but I have some speculation to share.

      So basicaly, Tyrion will meet Daenerys and talk to her (probably before Daznak)
      I was rewatching the second trailer and there’s a really short shot of Tyrion’s face in the trailer and judging from the background it seems like he’s in the Great Pyramid in Dany’s throne room.
      What’s more, the lighting of that scene matches the one with Dany giving the “I will break the wheel” speech, so I think we now also know the context of that speech, it’s her meeting Tyrion for the first time, there’s really no other alternative. Why would she even think of Westeros when she’s already having enough problems with the Sons of the Harpy. Here are some screenshots of both scenes:
      Tyrion: http://i.imgur.com/uxVbbzX.jpg
      Daenerys (wheel speech) : http://i.imgur.com/Hxu2whT.jpg

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    29. So how was my subscription viewership represented? I had 4 neighbors over for the ep2 9pm ET initial viewing where we drank shots to every Hotah sighting and “Valar Morghulis”. I DVR recorded it for my folks to watch the following morning. From my work conversations, my situation was not unique by any means, except that some folks watched it via HBO Now. Heck, a small group of cohorts watched it via OnDemand in the breakroom over lunch on Monday. In my small sample, the viewership did not drop off at all but became more energized.

      These old-school stats are foolish with large variance factors and don’t represent how many groups of folks watch this show (legitimately or not) in these highly flexible times.

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    30. You know what’s worse than a show apologist? People that don’t understand that this was the sharpest drop in viewers and that it was solely because of the leak.

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    31. Hodor’s Bastard:

      These old-school stats are foolish with large variance factors and don’t represent how many groups of folks watch this show in these highly flexible times.

      GoT is more popular than ever, but people didn’t watch S5E2 on HBO. That’s all.

      Many don’t care about HD and poor quality of the leaks.

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    32. I think D&D should stop being slaves to the books (affc-dwd).

      my friends who watch the show and havent read the books are complaining about Mereen, Dorne and Arya. It just dont seem to lead anywhere for them.

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    33. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Which is how I felt with Books 4 & 5. It didn’t lead anywhere.

      There two books were very hard to translate. They have done the best they can do with the source material.

      From a television show perspective…. They are onto season 5 and the main character arcs are still not close to complete. People want an end story, not an endless character drama.

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    34. Balerion The Cat:
      Off-topic, but I have some speculation to share.

      That’s very interesting. I hope you are right! I know a lot of people are waiting for that to happen.

      It makes sense that D and T meet before the pit episode, since T is in the “box” with D and Hizdar, watching the pit fights from leaked stills. T needs to become D’s hand ASAP.

      As for ratings, I expect the ratings will continue to drop till Ep. 4. The longer the time, the number of rewatches of 1-4 increases….. 🙂 Less incentive for some to watch on TV. (Not me, I watched on Sunday night – twice).

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    35. Ozymandias,

      From First to Second Episode…. In percentages makes more sense…

      Season 1 – 9% Drop
      Season 2 – 2.6% Drop
      Season 3 – 2.3% Drop
      Season 4 – 5.0% Drop
      Season 5 – 14.9% Drop

      That is a big drop off…. And also the season with 4 leaked episodes. Not a shock. It’s not like people didn’t see the episode….

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    36. I would blame the fact that the first episode wasn’t very compelling. They seem to be structuring the season as a build up to the finale without much in the way of compelling events in the interim.

      Plot lines that are strong: The North, King’s Landing,

      Plotlines that are OK: Littlefinger & Sansa, Jamie and Bronn in Dorne, sons of the Harpy, Varys and Tyrion

      Trash: Brienne and Pod, Sandsnakes & Watergardens, Dany’s court.

      Just burning Mance made for a super anti-climax, a huge mistake. They should have retained the plot twist from the books.

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    37. Obviously down to the leaks, I live in the UK and most of my friends ate those eps up, granted they still watched it live on Sky Atlantic (which like HBO is not readily available to everyone). Never underestimate the power of “free” things.

      Very much expect the figures to hit the 8 million mark, the big moments will come in heaps in the final 5 eps. Also if one HUGE event closes the season on a cliffhanger like I foresee, I expect big numbers come season 6.

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    38. While it sucks that the drop was so big,maybe this serves as a wake up call to those people who thought in their head that the show is going to last 10-13 seasons and the ratings will keep increasing like no other,now i’m not saying the show is going to be cancelled or what ever but this is as big as the show is going to get and the show will end after 7 seasons,the sooner you realise this the better .

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    39. The Bastard:
      Ozymandias,

      From First to Second Episode…. In percentages makes more sense…

      Season 1 – 9% Drop
      Season 2 – 2.6% Drop
      Season 3 – 2.3% Drop
      Season 4 – 5.0% Drop
      Season 5 – 14.9% Drop

      That is a big drop off…. And also the season with 4 leaked episodes.Not a shock.It’s not like people didn’t see the episode….

      The 800k jump from S4E10 to S5E1 was also the largest leap. We shouldn’t expect to retain that high every week, but hope to build and surpass it by the end of the season.

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    40. The viewership range has never gone down season-by-season before, i.e. this is the first time an episode’s viewership has dropped below the highest viewership number for an episode from the previous season.

      Season 1: Lowest 2.20 – Highest 3.04
      Season 2: Lowest 3.38 – Highest 4.20
      Season 3: Lowest 4.27 – Highest 5.50
      Season 4: Lowest 6.31 – Highest 7.20
      Season 5: Lowest 6.81

      It’s going to muck up the graph.

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    41. I force all my family to watch the show, and they made a complaint that I think its valid! This show is too damn dark! And Im not talking about the story! Its lighting! Oh God those interior scenes are DARK! I get it, in this world theres no electricity and they depend on candles and torches, but screw the realism my eyes are bleeding to see sh#t!!! Season 1 DID NOT have this problem, after that they got rid of half their lighting equipment I suppose!

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    42. Be interesting to see if this is a trend. The more weeks go on, the more people see the leaks, the lower the ratings.

      Until episode 5. When the hype should boost what would have been the original viewership way above what it otherwise would have been.

      Be interesting to see!

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    43. I do think it’s silly to get excited about these ratings issues. I don’t believe it has anything to do with the leaks (we’re usually talking a small fraction anyway), but now we have HBO Now which allows people to watch it even moreso on their own terms. Direct ratings won’t have as much of an impact going forward, since HBO obviously has enough faith in this show to continue it as long as they can.

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    44. JonSnow21,

      That’s not how it works.

      There are other shows on, you will expect dips. This past weekend had the NBA finals, the NHL, and the Country Music Awards. These are live events that people pretty much only watch live. HBO is on demand and can be watched anytime.

      HBO is based off of subscribers, not viewers. And in this day in age, the key demographic of viewers (18-49) don’t want to be told when to watch something, they want to watch it on their own time. Many people will be watching it on their DVR, internet, etc this week rather than live. I can attest to this because I am one of them!

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    45. Renly’s Peach:
      Hoyti Von Totiy,
      The Bastard,

      Are the unfinished plotlines not leading anywhere for you? Is it cause it has yet to be, you know, finished in the books? Aaw <:c

      It is way too streched out in the books and it is begining to feel that way in the show.

      Compare GOT to Vikings.

      Each episode of Vikings has some sort of a definite plot witch has a definite ending. Mulitiple episodes like that make an entire season.

      GOT is more like someone chopped up miniseries into a “regular” show. You have to wait for the last 2 episodes of the season for action and some sort of conclusion while in Vikings you get thet from ep1 of the season.

      GOT should try and focus on one episode at a time and not focus on the buildup, people are sick and tired of buildups.. like someone said it if f**king SEASON 5 of the show and storywise they treat it like its season 2.

      Dorne plot is CRAP, everyone is bored by the Sandsnakes and Ellaria. EVERYONE i have yet to meet one person that likes them.

      Do we have to watch Arya sweeping floors half of the season so that in ep 9-10 she could kill some minor charter like Trant?

      Seriously?

      Get Dany moving to Westeros and when i say moving i mean ep 1 she on her way, ep2 shes in Pentos, ep3 shes on Dragonstone.

      Kill off extra charaters … or make them a part of alarger gruop like Stannis and his crew joined Jon and his storyline.

      We are well over past the half way line with the show and yet it feels nothing like that. You cant keep all the suspense and payoff for the last 2 episodes of each season only to repeat the cycle next season and go like that for 5 seasons!

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    46. Cameryn,
      Topher Snow,

      I agree. I think that it has less to do with the leaks and more to do with the sports programming which even casual fans will watch live. With the hockey and basketball playoffs continuing, some of the drop-off in live viewing may continue.

      I watch GOT live but it is one of the only shows that I watch live. With the many options available to HBO subscribers, there is the ability to watch and enjoy it when it best suits your schedule.

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    47. Tatters:
      Stannis the Mannis,

      We havent seen Jaime or Bronn in Dorne. Neither the sand snakes or the water gardens for more than one scene.

      I am blown away by most of this season… but the scene w/ the Sand Snakes seemed right out of a high school play… I can’t exactly explain it… Don’t know if it was the writing or the acting

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    48. Renly’s Peach,

      And that is not likely to change. Maybe book 6 is out before next season, but they are writing the scripts for season 6 right now. This is why I don’t understand some of the consternation over the show creating a ton of scenes that weren’t in the books. Every scene in season 6 and season 7 will be different than what is in the books, because there are no more books. Unless someone thinks AFFC and ADWD should have been given 2-3 seasons between them, which is an insane thought, the show going it’s own way, while trying to stick to the overall themes of the story, should have been expected.

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    49. Everyone reacts to these ratings things by just asserting their own opinion, most of which boils down to:

      “The ratings are lower because they’re straying from the books.” (This, of course, wouldn’t matter to anyone who has not read the books. It would suggest that those who elected not to watch Episode 2 did so because of lack of fealty to the books, and there’s no way to separate out the ratings to see if it’s book-readers who decided to not watch the show. Also, it would mean you want the thrilling tales of Nimble Dick Crabbe. For Unsullied, that’s a pointless character from the fourth book.)

      “This is a wake-up call to D&D.” (Well, for one, the season has been completely filmed, and is basically done. So, no, that doesn’t work; they can’t change mid-stream. It’s also the most popular cable show not named The Walking Dead and it’s being shown in dozens of countries. But yes, *you’re* the smart one who knows.)

      “There were a lot of shows on that night including sports playoffs etc etc etc.” (This is true, and somewhat valid. And the gigantic jump in viewership from 4.10 to 5.1 means it could have set up for a big pullback.)

      “The Country Music Awards are on.” #ROFL

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    50. All this will be why the UK figures compared to last week will be interesting (if available) as there were no sporting distractions and no real competition on other channels.

      *In fact Sky Atlantic admitted there were technical troubles so that might affect it here.

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    51. Greg:
      The Bastard,

      And up until this point there were people in other counties who either could not watch at all or had to wait months to watch it live.

      This is still the case in some countries. There is no legal way to watch S5 in Japan until it airs on the premium channel, probably in July.

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    52. Not a chance that the show finishes in 7 seasons. They will either do an eighth or there will be movies after S7.

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    53. Greatjon of Slumber,

      Agree with you entirely. More importantly than any of those reasons – which I think are all very spurious *at best* (and nonsense at worst) – is the fact that HBO now has more of a built-in infrastructure for repeat viewing. No longer is there an actual NEED to watch the episode live… and more people are checking those other avenues out. I was able to go back and check out the opening credits an hour later (to see if I really had missed Dorne appearing – I didn’t) on HBO GO and there it was. Behind-The-Scenes stuff and all!

      The ratings for episode 2 still beats *every other Game of Thrones episode except S5 episode 1*, and yet people looking for ‘sky is falling’ answers when, in fact, not only is the sky not falling but there are more planes in it than ever before. 🙂

      (Although I do love “straying from the books” myself… yet another piece of evidence that a relatively large number of ASOIAF fans DO NOT live in the real world. Sorry, I respect your opinions and all, guys, but you all still watch Game of Thrones and you know it.)

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    54. Yung Wolf:
      Not a chance that the show finishes in 7 seasons. Either they will do an eighth or there will be movies after S7.

      Actually, I’m pretty sure that S5 is putting various characters (i.e. Sansa & Littlefinger, Tyrion, Jon) into positions for the endgame, and I can’t see it going *past* season 7.

      I’m predicting we see Dany in Westeros by season 6, and her team-up with Jon and Tyrion to battle the White Walkers in season 7. She’ll end up on the throne (buh bye Cersei), Jon at the wall, Tyrion as Hand of the King again, Sansa as Warden of the North. Just not sure what role Arya has yet to fill…

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    55. Cameryn,

      Oh, you’re one of those people that believes in the “three heads of the dragon” theory? Ew.

      First part makes sense, though. I just don’t see them not cashing in more on the popularity of the show. Not to mention that ASoS took two seasons to cover and TWoW could be 1500 pages minimum and ADoS could clock in at around 2k.

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    56. Dig,

      I’ll try not to be. Even though it will be completely illogical and the most obvious, predictable ending to any series ever.

      Unsullied’s wet dream.

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    57. Yung Wolf,

      And? AFFC and ADWD combined are longer than any of the books, and the events of those two books will be completed in 1 season. Moving forward, the show has cut out the Ironborn,the Griffs, and some of Dorne. And neither of the books you mentioned have even been completed. The series will not last beyond an extended 7th season. There will be no movies.

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    58. Sorry, but there is no way that 1M people watched this via the leak. Indeed, I highly doubt 1M people even know about it!

      Instead, this is just a classic pattern: season premiers for very popular series get huge immediate audiences who then get more casual about watching it later. Everything about it becomes more volatile in absolute numbers.

      Tyrion Pimpslap: This is why I don’t understand some of the consternation over the show creating a ton of scenes that weren’t in the books.

      And to follow up on GreatJon’s point, this is adaptation. Really good novels are really awful scripts and vice-versa: in many (if not most) cases, the way that you want to make Point A in a book and Point A on TV will be different. What needs to be the same is Point A: and all of the “new” scenes have made some point that the books made in some different (and cinematically unfeasible) way.

      Tyrion Pimpslap: Every scene in season 6 and season 7 will be different than what is in the books, because there are no more books.

      Well, yes and no. Remember, B&W almost certainly have access to a lot of GRRM’s unpublished material. So, they will be adapting unpublished chapters from Winter for Season 6: indeed, at this point, they might basically be doing nothing but adapting unpublished chapters from Season 6.

      However, given the pace at which His Glacialness writes, they will be adapting Season 7 from general outlines of plot and story from Spring. I am not sure which would be easier or harder. Up to now, their mindset has been: “The Books did Y; how should we do Y on TV?” This needs to change to “The Books is going to do something like Z; how should we do Z on TV?” I am not sure how different it will be.

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    59. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Yeah, but AFFC and ADWD were both half-filler. For all we know, TWoW and ADoS could be ten times better than ASoS and have double the main plot content.

      Agreed about the extended season, that’s one way to do it. How many episodes, though? And would HBO put up the vastly increased budget required for it?

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    60. Clob,

      No, the largest leap was from S3 to S4, the S3 finale got 5.3m but its peak rating was a mid season episode with 5.5m, the S4 premiere got 6.6m. That is the only season the ratings rose more than a million viewers between seasons.

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    61. Yung Wolf,

      Ideally, they would film 15 or 16 episodes at once, and HBO would delay the final season til the Winter, giving the production 9-10 extra months to film the additional material. More likely, it will be a split 7th season, with each half having 7 or 8 episodes, and airing in the normal time slots during the Spring.

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    62. Wimsey Really good novels are really awful scripts and vice-versa: in many (if not most) cases, the way that you want to make Point A in a book and Point A on TV will be different

      Adaption: Dany and Daario having a pillow-talk scene, where some of her internal monologue in the book is verbalized on screen.

      Fan Fiction that worked: Tywin meeting Arya. It clearly *could* have happened in the books with minor shuffling of when particular characters happened to be. If they HAD met, it would have been cool for it to go down like that. The meeting also had no long-term off-book implications for either character.

      Fan Fiction that didn’t work so well: Jon returning to Craster’s Keep. It was a big “meh” and the time could have been devoted to something else. At least it didn’t muck up the long term.

      Fan Fiction that is likely to suck hard: Sansa and Jaime’s arcs this season. Completely in contradiction to the source material and completely irrational behavior for all involved.

      ……………….

      Again, everyone understands that the books have to be adapted heavily to fit into the TV format and its inherent constraints. That doesn’t excuse poor choices in how the books are adapted. Most of the time, D&D have done well. At other junctions, their choices are just inexplicable.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Chad Brick,

      You might want to go look up GRRM’s response to fans labeling the show as “fan fiction.” In short, it’s not, and anyone who claims it is does not understand what the term means.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Another factor that will impact last week: HBO got really aggressive last weekend in booting off foreigners from HBO Now. Many people living abroad had the audacity to attempt to pay HBO for content rather than pirate it using various tricks to make HBO think they were living in the states (the only place where HBO Now is available). Most of those people received notices last weekend and were cut off on Tuesday.

      Too bad HBO still has so many “too stupid to take customer’s money” issues.

        Quote  Reply

    65. tyjon,

      This is of course one of those hindsight scenarios, notice how the poster comments have dropped

      Poster comments have dropped compared to when? Remember this is a new site and you can’t compare it to the community WIC.net used to have. A lot of WIC.net users have found this place but still plenty have not.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Chad Brick,

      You might want to go look up GRRM’s response to fans labeling the show as “fan fiction.” In short, it’s not, and anyone who claims it is does not understand what the term means.

      As we discussed yesterday, everybody has their own definition of what the term means. Yours is far too limiting. In my mind, all adaptions are fan fiction, or least should be. I wouldn’t want the adaptions to be written by people who are not fans.

      I mean it in the sense of “no longer adapting the source, but tossing it out and replacing it with something very different”. Most of the TV series has been adaption, but a growing percentage has become fan fiction.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      How long ago did GRRM make these comments and do you have a link to them?
      IMO the show is fan fiction, very good fan fiction but fan fiction nonetheless. It is not written by GRRM and quite different from the books so I don’t see what is wrong with labeling it fan fiction.
      GRRM has been an outspoken critic of fan fiction so he kind of has no choice but to say that the show is not fan fiction otherwise he looks like a hypocrite for allowing and supporting it.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Chad Brick,

      I agree with you that the show is fan fiction but I disagree with the negative connotations you attach to it. Fan fiction is what is saving this show and keeping its entertainment value now that they are adapting AFFW/ADWD.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Last Wednesday at work I talked my mate into watching the first episode of G O T , he agreed after much debate ( he has always said I’m not watching anything with fucking dragons in it) so i brought in the 4 box sets for him on Thursday. On Friday he told he had watched the first 2 eps and he kind of enjoyed them. I had Monday off. Went in today and he told me he had watched all 4 seasons and the 4 leaked eps in 1 wknd. He knows more than I do!!! We were talking about the targaryen dynasty tonight lol

        Quote  Reply

    70. Greenjones,

      I laugh so hard every time I see this. I wonder if he regrets selling the rights? Nah, probably not. He’s rolling in dough and loving his “fame” so much that his writing speed is at an all-time low.

      I would pay to watch GRRM watching the new episodes.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Yung Wolf,

      Ideally, they would film 15 or 16 episodes at once, and HBO would delay the final season til the Winter, giving the production 9-10 extra months to film the additional material. More likely, it will be a split 7th season, with each half having 7 or 8 episodes, and airing in the normal time slots during the Spring.

      That’s about the only possible option as it pertains to an extension. It’s either going to be 7 seasons period, or 7+, with the last season something along the lines of 14-15 split up. But my guess is maybe they do a super-sized last season of 12 episodes, and no split. D&D work their butts off, and two semi-short seasons seems like it would be exhausting to handle.

      JamesL: It is not written by GRRM and quite different from the books so I don’t see what is wrong with labeling it fan fiction.

      Because it isn’t. Because adaptation, by its nature, changes a previously published source and “adapts” it to a new medium. And that holds for ballet, opera, film, theater, television, radio, et cetera. Now that doesn’t mean all adaptation is “good” adaptation – some is very bad (giving The Scarlet Letter a happy ending, for one example). But the best of it does change and alter the structure and events of a story to try to bring forth similar themes out of the story in question.

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    72. Wimsey:
      Sorry, but there is no way that 1M people watched this via the leak.Indeed, I highly doubt 1M people even know about it!

      Instead, this is just a classic pattern: season premiers for very popular series get huge immediate audiences who then get more casual about watching it later.Everything about it becomes more volatile in absolute numbers.

      I agree that the drop can’t be predominantly attributed to the leak. If reports based on IP addresses are correct, only a couple hundred thousands of downloaders are from the US. When you deduct those that aren’t HBO subscribers (which is likely the most), it turns out that a very, very small percentage of legal GoT viewers in the US torrented the show. And even so, at least some of those would watch it again live. So no, leaks are hardly the main reason for the drop.

      However, I don’t agree with your assertion that the drop in Episode 2 is a classic pattern. There has always been a decrease, true, but it has never been greater than 9% at most (in Season 1) and only roughly 3-5% in Seasons 2-4. Therefore, there has to be another explanation for the 15% drop.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Chad Brick: As we discussed yesterday, everybody has their own definition of what the term means. Yours is far too limiting. In my mind, all adaptions are fan fiction, or least should be. I wouldn’t want the adaptions to be written by people who are not fans.

      I mean it in the sense of “no longer adapting the source, but tossing it out and replacing it with something very different”. Most of the TV series has been adaption, but a growing percentage has become fan fiction.

      The problem is that pretty much every time someone declares the show “fan fiction” it is done to insult the show and its creators. Maybe that’s not the way you view it (you are very rare if so!). Game of Thrones is the officially endorsed adaption airing on premium television for millions upon millions of people world wide. This is a far difference from some nobody with no professional writing experience writing side stories based on the books. When people call the show fan fiction, it is to disparage the show and its creators and put it on the same level as that nobody.

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    74. I blame the leaks. However a decline in ratings is inevitable, no show is able to sustain such a momentum for years, no matter how great it is. Not in this day and age when there is so much competition out there.

      Nothing to panic about though, we’ll see GOT reach the finish line.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Yung Wolf,

      I think he means what he says. He worked in TV for a long time, and I get the sense that he is much more forgiving than most of the fans who rip on D&D. Obviously, he probably disagrees with some of the choices, but I bet he is understanding most of the time. He is still involved in the scripting/production process, after all. If he was truly pissed, he could cease having anything to do with the show and let D&D fend for themselves.

        Quote  Reply

    76. I think the drop is a combination of various factors including the leaks, other, live events going on at the same time and the natural drop that one will see in a second episode. I will say I think this season has a bit less *buzz* to it and the leaks are the reason why. I personally have held off and am watching each episode for the first time when they premiere it, but a great many do not do that. It is undeniable that the leak has an effect on the ratings, especially now that people have had a lot more time to watch them. If I was HBO, I’d seriously consider scrapping screeners entirely, or reducing it to a single episode. The show is huge, the world is not going to end if some professional critics need to wait longer to write their reviews.

      As for the overall impact of ratings going down because of the changes from the books, I would argue it is the exact opposite, that changes are making the viewership increase. The psychotic book purist who declares that the hate the changes and are no longer going to watch anymore can’t make up more than 0.0001% of the viewing audience. If they followed the books exactly, we’d be getting at least 2 seasons of AFFC/ADWD and the ratings would tank massively. The show gets complaints about a slow episode or two. How would people react to 2 slow seasons?

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    77. Mr Fixit,

      Perhaps Dany fans realized that instead of leaving Mereen anytime soon, the show is going to delve into the topic of insurgency, which is becoming quite redundant in Hollywood (see below), especially after leaving the two dragons chained in lieu of releasing them, casual fans want to see dragon’s unleashed upon the world of men. Wonder if casual fans are starting to say to themselves, where the fuck is Winter, after all it was snowing in the Vale last season, and in the opener, the Vale was all Indian Summer like.

      Concerning Mereen, I wonder with Dances being written in the later half of last decade and that GRRM needed filler for it, he decided to delve into insurgency because it was relevant, hence Sons of the Harpy and Brazen Beasts became the topic for Dany’s chapters.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Yung Wolf:
      Greenjones,

      I would pay to watch GRRM watching the new episodes.

      Yung Wolf,

      GRRM was no doubt laying in bed in his “tighty whiteys” eating a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal saying to the Missus …….”Just wait till the movie ~ I’m going to make another fortune with this thing!”

        Quote  Reply

    79. JamesL,

      I’m not comparing to the old, I have seen posts climb to over 400 hundred here, just thought fans talking about the new episodes would climb just as high in the comment section is all.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      Compare GOT to Vikings.

      Each episode of Vikings has some sort of a definite plot witch has a definite ending.

      I agree. Viewers tuned out week two because week one’s plot witch(Maggie) did not have a definite ending. We should have found out what happened to her.

        Quote  Reply

    81. It’s probably been said, but I’m sure It’ll increase back up after the playoffs, and even more so at 5×05 and onwards.

      I’m willing to bet that it’ll increase up to at least 10 Mil at one point this season. 😀

        Quote  Reply

    82. Lexyvil,

      That’s a bold prediction. Ratings for GoT have never increased more than roughly a million in one season.

      Biggest jump was S03E01 with 4.37 and S03E10 with 5.39

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    83. king of gods: If that happend in the other seasons how could’ve that play a part? WTF? We are talking about a trend here.

      As stated by Balon01 above, those free views aren’t factored into the viewer numbers, so it’s irrelevant. But ignoring that, my original post mentioned *some* seasons. Meaning that it may have not happened in some other seasons. If those free viewers were counted and there were free viewers some but not all seasons, then that would affect the supposed trend.

        Quote  Reply

    84. There are certain episodes which tend to rate higher in live viewership. Season premier episodes usually are higher rated because of new viewers who started watching in the offseason and casual viewers being eager to see what is new. Outside of that, ratings spikes usually follow an episode with a big cliffhanger or that was particularly memorable.

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    85. <a href="mailto:lorrydavid@hotmail.com">lorrydavid@hotmail.com</a>:
      Meh who cares about ratings at this point? Theres no way they are going to cancel the series before its over now…

      That’s really the point isn’t it. One of the main reasons everybody initially ratings-watched was for the hope that it would be greenlit for another season. Once it got to a certain point the fear of cancellation was eliminated and the focus moved to HBO records and fans wanting it to remain popular. Those have been achieved so I suppose the only thing that could stop it now is if EVERYbody quit watching, which won’t happen, and that may not even end it early. At this point it’s difficult to foresee that it would even drop consistently below 6.0 moving forward, having not been below that since the finale of season 3. HBO was quick to renew it at even around 4. They want to see it finish properly and for once I think they want the fans to be able to see that too.

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    86. Mr Fixit: However, I don’t agree with your assertion that the drop in Episode 2 is a classic pattern. There has always been a decrease, true, but it has never been greater than 9% at most (in Season 1) and only roughly 3-5% in Seasons 2-4. Therefore, there has to be another explanation for the 15% drop.

      It is classic for shows over the post the history of TV. It has become particularly pronounced since the early 1980’s, when VCRs started to allow people to watch a show whenever they wanted to do so. (It was, of course, a standard joke in the 1980’s that programming a VCR was nigh un impossible, but that really was not the case: it was programming someone else’s VCR that was impossible!)

      However, people still are much more apt to tune in then and there for the season premiere and other “much-anticipated” episodes than for later shows. Look at it this way: despite the week-to-week variation in episode ratings last year, just about everybody who watched the finale watched the prior 9 episodes before then, too: and yet there was considerable heterogeneity in the weekly ratings.

      Tyrion Pimpslap: Obviously, he probably disagrees with some of the choices, but I bet he is understanding most of the time.

      Moreover, I would bet that most of the time that GRRM disagrees with the adaptation, he is thinking: “I would have done it a third way.” GRRM has made it clear that he is most concerned about the story, and he’s been perfectly clear that you have to do it differently (and that he would have done it differently) for TV than for a novel. Remember, GRRM is not hung up on the small details in the way that some fans are. (The same was true for Rowling, Tolkien and every other SciFi/Fantasy author with a large fanbase.) He has a story that he wants told: and just as long as the TV show keeps telling that story, then he’ll be happy.

      Now, the fans who are in it for the world-building or incidental characters rather than the story might feel betrayed by these sorts of attitudes from the authors: but they have to remember that narrative details and minor characters are simply tools that authors use to tell stories in novels and not important in and of themselves. They would use different tools if they were writing this as a TV series or movie series. It works both ways: JMS sometimes would discuss how he would have done Babylon 5 differently if he’d been writing it as a series of novels rather than as a TV series.

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    87. Wimsey,

      Unlike the purists, GRRM has worked for 10 years in TV, and has a firm understanding of what D&D are working w/.

      And Im sure hes firmly aware of how GOT is one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows of all time….

      Not to mention all his gleeful posts everytime they get nominated for any kind of award

      Notice his mood for the season 5 trailer: “enthralled”…
      http://grrm.livejournal.com/411570.html

        Quote  Reply

    88. I have read and watched every interviewer from the D’s & Martin. I believe this show will run a solid 80 hours. To what extent and how, i’m not sure. But this will be an 80 hour long story. I could even see it being 80 – 85. But anything past is delusional. And anything before 80 is just pre-renewal pessimism. Season 1 has been my favourite season to date, followed by 4 and 5.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      A lot of the D&D and show haters have always liked to pretend that GRRM secretly agrees with them and I never bought it but I do feel he is becoming disenfranchised with the show. I think it has more to do with some of the reviews this season that disparaged his books while praising the show as a superior version. He is aware of the mixed reactions AFFW/ADWD got from fans but has always prided himself on the great reviews his books get in the media. When confronted about some of the negative opinions of ADWD on his blog I remember him bragging how it got the most rave reviews of any book he has ever written. I think it is very telling that he was promoting season 5 prior to the premiere but once the reviews starting coming out and critiquing his books while praising the show as superior he stopped mentioning the show on his blog.

      He has yet to mention the show once since the premiere, not even a post on premiere day which he always does or a post about the huge premiere ratings which he also usually does. I know he read those reviews that praised the show while bashing his books and I know they bothered him. It is the first time his books have ever been lambasted by mainstream media and not just fans on the internet. Westeros is his creation and this story is something he has been working on for decades and I know it has to upset him for the media to say the story and world that he has worked so hard on is being improved by other writers. So I believe his growing disenfranchisement with the show is more from the increasing amount of people saying the show is superior to the books than just because they are changing things.

        Quote  Reply

    90. JamesL,

      This might be true. But I still think GRRM has a sense of pride in the show when it does well and when it wins awards. But I can understand if he got upset by those reviews… or maybe hes just too busy writing about whatever has been happening w/ the hugo awards

      Btw, I think those reviews were awful to him. This season is still hugely his story. There might be changes and cuts, but its still all from ADWD and AFFC.
      Honestly, I’d rather read through Linda’s tumblr than listen to those idiots.
      GRRM is still the mastermind behind it all

      and yes, as much as I love and praise this show,
      I unashamedly admit that I adore every sentence that GRRM writes in ASOIAF and have unflinching faith that hes gonna steer us to an insanely incredible ending and none of the AFFC/ADWD haters can ever convince me otherwise

        Quote  Reply

    91. Not surprising, new sporting seasons are always like this, the first round of games often have high attendances and then it settles and then sometimes it picks up in the second half depending on a teams form and if they go on a good run of results etc

      next 3 episodes will probably be the same at about 7 million, people are probably figuring E9 is the big one so I reckon 7-10 will be quite big in terms of viewership numbers

        Quote  Reply

    92. JamesL,

      Think a big issue here is the fact the show has transitioned from a cultish genre to a mainstream pop icon

      The books are a thinking persons books very rich in depth, thing with mainstream TV shows and books etc is that they are just meant to have that explosive wow factor and be entertaining without going into too much depth.

      In the case of a TV show this generally means action and shock moments rather than intrigue, exploring the nature of power and mystery which is probably why Quaithe is being replaced by Drogon

      The thing with AFfC and ADwD is that they are transitioning from the action-packed first books, and setting it up for the final run-in where WoW will be action-packed.

      Eg They have deliberately had a lot of references thrown into Briennes walks so that the ending can pick up momentum and flow very fast without having to have backstory explained

      One thing you have to look at is who is reviewing, are they thinking people or just general pop culture reviewers. I tend not to care what pop culture reviewers think because they tend not to explore anything in any depth

      If there is any discord, I am wondering if it is because GRRM wants 10 seasons + movie trilogy to wrap it up whereas the Showrunners want 7 seasons and making it very fast-paced.

      As far as the books goes, lastly AFfC and ADwD would have been tricky to write given he had to adapt away from a five-year gap, now we are past that tricky stage and I reckon WoW and ADoS will be excellent

        Quote  Reply

    93. JamesL: He is aware of the mixed reactions AFFW/ADWD got from fans but has always prided himself on the great reviews his books get in the media.

      Crows got eviscerated by the book reviewers. Moreover, SoI&F has never gotten stellar reviews from “serious” reviewers: although GRRM develops characters extremely well relative to other fantasy authors, general reviewers still deem GRRM’s characters to be a bit wooden and 2-dimensional compared to characters from other novels.

      JamesL: He has yet to mention the show once since the premiere, not even a post on premiere day which he always does or a post about the huge premiere ratings which he also usually does.

      Gee, do you think that the copious discussion of the Hugos might not be responsible for that? I mean, geez, if he’d written that much of SoI&F over these last couple of weeks as he’s about “Puppygate,” then he’d have finished Winter and been halfway through Spring!

      Moreover, you are forgetting that the HBO people want GRRM to finish Winter. His editors want GRRM to finish Winter. At this point, GRRM wants to finish Spring. Any extra “distance” that exists now exists because GRRM cannot be involved with the show and write at the same time. By GRRM’s own admission (and, at this point, it’s tough to doubt him), he cannot do much of anything and write at the same time.

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    94. Ghost’s Lunch,

      I couldn’t agree more with that. The fact that it got mainstream, the long-term book fans who knew they struct gold before anyone else became the minority and that change gave a different view on both the books and the show altogether.

      Those who started with the show (which is the majority) are more accustomed to the way the show is trending and that makes everyone forget the initial reason why the show came into existence in the first place.

        Quote  Reply

    95. tyjon,

      There is some truth in what he says. Which is why I understand the cuts D&D have made and why trying to stretch the series out would be disastrous.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Ghost’s Lunch: The books are a thinking persons books very rich in depth, thing with mainstream TV shows and books etc is that they are just meant to have that explosive wow factor and be entertaining without going into too much depth.

      If anything, then the opposite is the case. This is a highly critically acclaimed TV show that gets praised for the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sociopolitical stories. The people watching this show are the ones that watched Soparanos, Breaking Bad, the Tudors, etc. The shows that hook these people are the ones in which we see people slogging their way through unpleasant alternatives, and constantly at odds with themselves about the person that they are, the person that they want to be and/or the person that other people want them to be.

      And here is the thing: GoT succeeding because it’s getting people that do not read fantasy or even take fantasy seriously to watch it. The single biggest demographic GoT gets is “professional” men in their 40’s. This is not a demographic that buys a lot of fantasy books: to the contrary, these are people who would scoff at the idea that any fantasy books are “thinking persons'” books; fantasy books might be fun and entertaining, but fantasy books are “escapist” rather than “deep.”

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    97. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      The decline is due to a number of reasons. The leaks likely contributed the most, followed by a decline due to the premier not being a very entertaining episode. And lastly, the normal bleeding of viewers between the premier and the 2nd episode. I’m not sure if the live viewers will top the premier episode this season, but I do expect it to get close.

      I think it’s likely a combination of leaks and normal premiere decline.

      Generally, the premiere decline for shows is not as small as GOTs has previously been — it may simply be that viewership has started to flatline and so it’s a bit more noticeable. Add in the leak and a few more small things…

      People always want to claim it’s because of show quality but there’s little to no evidence of that.

      In terms of budget, etc., there’s absolutely no concern.

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    98. Wimsey,

      Amen. I really do think we are in a new era of televion: what I sometimes refer to as “visual novels.” Filmmakers finally caught on to the fact that TV is a good medium for telling a story. A medium in which one has more flexibility over how long the story has to go on for. Heck, even shows like True Detective are using the 1 season/8 episode arc as a format for telling a concise yet complete story. I’m sure the way the writers have to write GoT factors into its success.

        Quote  Reply

    99. tyjon,

      Hmm. I see GoT doing the same thing the author of the Forbes article commends BB for-some ultimate setup.

      It took 5 seasons to get to and set up Hank vs. Walt, so I don’t see a problem with it taking 6ish seasons to get to the consequences of active White Walkers in GoT. Consequences which will surely be informed by the political situation in Westeros at that point.

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    100. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Pretty much.

      It seems like the more time that passes and the more that I think about it, the more accepting and understanding I become that they cut LS, CH, and the Greyjoy arc. They already have so little time for the plots at the moment as it is and not enough room to cram in every detail that book “purists” such as myself would like them to, even if the show still does drag and get tedious at times.

      It’s still depressing to know that we will never see all of the great book details that were cut come to life visually.

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    101. JamesL:
      tyjon,

      Poster comments have dropped compared to when? Remember this is a new site and you can’t compare it to the community WIC.net used to have. A lot of WIC.net users have found this place but still plenty have not.

      If that’s true, I doubt that has to do with the quality of the show.

      I know I comments a ton less — I would comment 3-4x on almost every thread. But it’s mostly because posters have gotten more angry about the same old arguments.

      There was never a time when everyone was civil, but there’s simply less civil discussion when discussion seems to be dominated by the same, usually angry, anti-show and anti-book comments. Who wants to get involved in that?

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    102. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Okay well, that’s like.. entirely your opinion. What you view as “stretching out” I call exposition and build up. Yes, I want to see Arya sweep the floor, cause that’s an essential part of her training. It’s to test her resolve and see whether or not she really wants to be there. Yes I want to see Daenerys ruling Meereen and failing, because this is a major lesson to her character and something which will definitely impact how she goes about facing the endgame. I do think some things could have been trimmed down (Oakhart, Hotah, Damphair, Victarion), but the vast majority of the complaints I see are completely blown out of proportion and irrational. You want your instant gratification and you want it now!

      But I’m sure Vikings will do it better. lol jfc

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    103. Tyrion Pimpslap: I get the sense that he [GRRM] is much more forgiving than most of the fans who rip on D&D. Obviously, he probably disagrees with some of the choices, but I bet he is understanding most of the time.

      So are the fans who criticize D&D. Most of the choices they have made in terms of what to cut, combine or modify have been solid if not elegant. Some have been meh. Some outright facepalm. I reserve the right to criticize the latter in particular.

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    104. Alan,

      Exactly. Nothing to add to what has been said over and over and over (and over and over and over) on some of these topics. I lurk much more than comment these days.

      I must say something as a lurker, though, and no offense is intended to any non-native English speakers here, but the correct word for what D&D are licensed to do is “adaptation” not “adaption.” “Adaption” is not a word. Driving me NUTS! [retreats to hermit cave]

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    105. Wimsey: Sorry, but there is no way that 1M people watched this via the leak. Indeed, I highly doubt 1M people even know about it!

      Actually, over a million people downloaded it within the first 18 hours alone, just from public torrents, so that’s not even counting any direct downloads or pirate streaming sites (which are harder to count, but probably brought the total up to 2 million in the first 18 hours). That was the potential impact before episode 1 even aired. News like this spreads very quickly.

      When the leak happened, many people had probably already planned viewing parties and such for the premiere, so I doubt the leaks had much of an effect on that. Someone who heard about the leak Sunday morning or afternoon probably wouldn’t disrupt their plans and watch in lower quality just to see the premiere a few hours earlier.

      By episode 2, more people had had a chance to hear about the leaks and download them, and possibly give in to the temptation to binge watch, or defensively watch to protect themselves from being spoiled by other people who had watched them. I’m guessing that a lot of people watched the premiere on HBO, but watched the leaked episodes in the week before episode 2. I’m still stubbornly waiting for each episode to air, and trying to avoid seeing any spoilers until then.

      Only about 9% of the downloaders appeared to be from the US, so it’s probably not the complete cause of the drop-off, but I think it could have been the primary factor in why the drop-off is larger than previous seasons.

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    106. I can’t imagine this show going for 9 seasons. It needs to wrap up at some point with a good ending.

      And from either a book or show perspective…. Dany in Meereen drags on way too long. I just want to see her in Westeros. Who cares how she ruled in Essos.

      I’m sorry, but we are 5 books in and the White Walkers have barely been around and Dany hasn’t landed in Westeros yet. That isn’t good writing. That is getting lost in the story.

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    107. Wimsey: Crows got eviscerated by the book reviewers.

      I just went out and read a bunch of AFFC reviews. The consensus was praise, though not as good as the previous book. Most of the critcism was rooted in how AFFC and ADWD were ultimately divided. AFFC had no ending, because its ending was in ADWD.

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    108. Schrödinger’s Cat,

      Very telling.

      This downward trend will continue to episode five at least, but from the synopses of eps 5, 6, and 7 it doesn’t really start getting good till 7 when they start moving all the pieces set in place for the season finale. I think folks can start getting excited again when they dynamic at the end of season 4 is back in place: ie Stannis moving on Winterfell, the Others moving on the Wall, and Danearys moving on Westeros. Introducing Dorne was an error, the focus on Missandie and Greyworm is an error. Pod and Brienne’s duo is a total bomb. Ladystoneheart actually would have stirred up some interest in the slow early part of the season, some crazy pirates might have as well, and more battles with Stannis not just “LOL Winterfell”.

      Someone was regretting that a lot of the books were not going to ever be put on the viewing screen, but I don’t agree. Like Dune, ASOIAF will be redone in at least a generation, if not sooner, and it will be done with the full knowledge of the books from the start of production.

      I would actually love to see a fan made youtube series where the books are broken down page by page and put on the screen with small teams responsible for small chunks. I think this was done with Star Wars and it was reasonably cool.

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    109. There also seem to be more weekly posts which might dilute comments. There’s a recap for everything. Video recaps, audio recaps, written recaps, funny recaps, interview recaps, critic recaps, unsullied recaps, sullied recaps, Twitter recaps. It’s a feast of recraps.

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    110. Stannis the Mannis,

      How do we know including Dorne was a mistake? Admittedly, I am one who preferred Dorne to the Iron Islands, but I’ll try and look at it from the other side of it: If the Iron Islands were included and Dorne omitted, I’d be disappointed, but I’d like to think I’d question, “why?” If I did so, the answer would likely be, “if they included the Iron Islands and not Dorne, it must because the Iron Islands and/or the Greyjoys have a key part to play in the end-game, and Dorne must not (if it doesn’t get included in the subsequent season [and I still think it possible the Iron Islands, or at least one or two more of the Greyjoys, probably

      Euron

      , will be included next season).”

      Yes, sometimes I have parenthetic (and apparently bracket-thetic) thoughts. 😉

        Quote  Reply

    111. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I still think Euron is a possibility for season 6 too. I was thinking about what new characters that already exist in the books we might see in season 6, and Euron is one that I think we could see. Casting for season 6 is going to be really interesting. Can you imagine the fan reactions if Howland Reed pops up on the casting call?

        Quote  Reply

    112. Dig,

      The Wall,Meereen and KL are strongest arcs this year with plenty of interesting stuff that already happened(or will).Mance’s(Tormund?who knows really) death,LC election and some interesting conversations.There doesn’t have to be major fight scene for that to be entertaining.

      The Bastard,

      I can see 8th season,but nothing more than that.A lots of shows tends to struggle after 7the season.

      Hardhome will remind everyone about WW and their threat.They slowly build up this threat,but I can imagine at some point the Wall will fall down.Dany’s arc in Essos is essential to her future as ruler.She will gain a lot of experience there and with Tyrion’s talent for politics she could make potentialy really good Queen.
      Anyway,Dany will leave Meereen in the first part of season 6(I think) and then set sail to Westeros,and land there in last episode.If the plan is 7 season than maybe she will set sail to Westeros even earlier.

        Quote  Reply

    113. I only get HBO when the new season starts. A friend, show watcher only, has HBO year round. I sent her a text two Sunday’s ago to ask what she thought of the premier and she didn’t even know it was on.
      Is it just me or has the promotion of this show been scaled way back? A few weeks leading up to season 4, we had character posters and teaser vids. Billboards. I didn’t notice much of that this go round. Not that a show of this size really needs to “advertise” but the hype has been sort of muted if you aren’t active in online ASoIaF/GoT communities.
      That aside, the first two episodes didn’t thrill me. I have to echo Stannis the Mannis , I think the Brienne/Pod duo is a bit of a snooze. She drops the knee, swears a vow and is rebuffed time and again. It’s getting tiresome because she continues to look pretty stupid. “I swore an oath to Renly, then your Mom and…oh, by the way, here is my sword with the lion’s head pommel because I swore an oath to Jaime Lannister I would find you.” Huh?

      And if she now heads towards Stannis to avenge Renly, as some spoilers have said, I will be uber pissed that she is the cause of his downfall.

      Dorne could be cool but I am one of the fans who wished they sacrificed the Sand Snakes for Arianne. Don’t care about curly-mop Trystane and Marcella. And Jaime and Bronn in Dorne should provide some good one-liners but don’t feel it will end well for the latter.
      Look forward to Arya in Bravvos but hope we see some action aside from

      her one big kill.

      Hope the Sansa/LF stuff isn’t all about LF and his manipulations but from the spoilery stuff, sounds like, while onto LF’s game she is still a pawn. I have been taken out of the Dany stuff for so long, Tyrion will be a welcome addition to the plot at this point. She’s not a politician. She’s a Queen. No wait. Not a Queen…a Khaleesi. She is confusing.

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    114. Kells: She’s not a politician. She’s a Queen. No wait. Not a Queen…a Khaleesi. She is confusing.

      That’s not confusing, that’s just a developing character.
      ‘Not a Queen… a Khaleesi’ was in season 1, when she was with the Dothraki. ‘Not a politician, a Queen’ was four seasons later and ‘Khaleesi’ is just the Dothraki word for queen, so it’s a shifting mindset based on who she’s ruling at the time.

      And the suggestion is,

      Brienne will take on Yara’s part of meeting/being captured by Stannis. There’s nothing to suggest she’ll be his downfall.

        Quote  Reply

    115. I have actually considered to stop watching the show, not because it’s bad (some of the scenes in both episodes were great) and not because it strays too far from the novels (although that is a concern) but because it doesn’t feel like the show is really telling a story anymore, just extremely rushed single scenes of ten diffrent stories.

      Season 1 was so great because every scene kind of tied in with the others, there was a real sense of buildig up an epic story about characters we are meant to care about. There are few characters I care about any more. I love Arya, but she was much more interesting in S1-3. I like Dany, but her dilemmas and the moral ambiguities of her storyline lack the subtlety they had in the books. I loved Jamie’s journey in S3, while since he has been a talking prop on the set and his Dorne mission might just be terrible.

      Which brings me to the new places and characters. Dorne? The scene in E2 felt terribly rushed, I hate that they made Ellaria the revenge seeking madwoman (what a cliché),

      Doran is a worried guy in a chair and not Westeros’ great schemer (after Manderlay, maybe). Hizdar is completely unthreatening and boring. Cersei’s storyline seems to lack the subtle intrigues it once had. Sansa’s mission to Winterfell might be interesting, but so far lacks any logical explanation. Brienne and Pod are doing nothing that makes sense – they may be looking for a script that had LS in them. She might not be endgame material, but at least she gave Brienne, Jaime and Pod something more interesting to do than they are doing now.

      The show is still watchable, because of beautifully shot and sometimes good, well written and well directed scenes. I don’t think it’s a particularly great narrative anymore. Somewhere during season 4, the show lost the determination to tell a really great story.

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    116. Alan,

      Looks like there might’ve been a glitch, because the same thing happened to me, but just refreshing the page brought the censor block up.

        Quote  Reply

    117. King Varys,

      because it doesn’t feel like the show is really telling a story anymore, just extremely rushed single scenes of ten diffrent stories.

      Which is what the show is attempting to correct by altering the book narrative and linking Jaime with Dorne, Sansa in Winterfell, and Tyrion with Dany while also cutting some of the other plots and characters from the books. And of course by doing so D&D get bashed by many book fans who want more and more plots and characters to be jammed into the show and lambast any signification plot alteration like Sansa in Winterfell.

      I like Dany, but her dilemmas and the moral ambiguities of her storyline lack the subtlety they had in the books.

      I think thought her storyline in ADWD was a chore to get through and is far more engaging in the simplified TV version.

      Somewhere during season 4, the show lost the determination to tell a really great story.

      The same could be said about GRRM after book 3….

      I think season 4 far was a step up from season 3 and even more so from season 2 which was quite lackluster by GoT standards except for Blackwater. And I think through 4 episodes GoT season 5 is as good as it has ever been.

        Quote  Reply

    118. JamesL,

      I think thought her storyline in ADWD was a chore to get through and is far more engaging in the simplified TV version.

      I thought her storyline*

      Sometimes when I post a comment it gives me the option to edit it, for a few minutes at least, and other times it does not give me the option to edit once it has been posted. I’m not sure if that happens to anyone else or it is just my computer…

        Quote  Reply

    119. The ratings slump is because of the leaks and not because the book purists are suddenly abandoning the show in droves. The ratings of this show mean nothing to HBO at this point, so this whole discussion is pointless. The ratings will bounce back and the show will run for as long as HBO and D&D mean it to run.

      The show at this point is far better than the books and since the book series will probably never be finished, the show is the canon for me now. Maybe it even will make me forget the very unpleasant experience of slogging through AFFC/ADWD.

        Quote  Reply

    120. tyjon

      I have to agree with the Forbes editorial, espcially concerning The Wall, Dany and White Walkers. First and second seasons ended with a bang, things were moving forwards. Third and fourth seasons were just more of the same with nothing really happening. We know from the spoilers that there will be things happening this season, but we don’t know just how much. And it’s 3 years too late.

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    121. No name calling allowed! Express you disagreement and prefereably give arguments for your stance, but do NOT go ad personam. Such posts will be deleted.

        Quote  Reply

    122. King Varys:

      because it doesn’t feel like the show is really telling a story anymore, just extremely rushed single scenes of ten diffrent stories.

      The show have 6-7 storylines and in your opinion it doesen’t tell a story, but the books with 20 storylines are telling a story? LOL

      I hate hypocrisy.

        Quote  Reply

    123. liz:
      Maybe if HBO hadn’t made HBO now an apple exclusive, they’d have more views. That was their mistake

      Idiot…. HBO now views don’t count.

        Quote  Reply

    124. Stannis the Mannis: Someone was regretting that a lot of the books were not going to ever be put on the viewing screen, but I don’t agree. Like Dune, ASOIAF will be redone in at least a generation, if not sooner, and it will be done with the full knowledge of the books from the start of production.

      This will never, ever happen. It’s pure delusion.

        Quote  Reply

    125. Hodor,

      Well, I can certainly sympathize with that opinion (though I don’t really agree), but for better or worse, it has nothing to do with the show and everything to do with the source material. I think we’d all like Dany in Westeros and WWs to finally make their move, but D&D’s hands are tied by the larger chronology of the novels.

        Quote  Reply

    126. mau,

      I agree with you. The Books are pretty much a mess. The show is pure quality, while the books are unneeded quantity and a mess. D&D purified the books and turned them into a masterpiece.

        Quote  Reply

    127. Mr Fixit,

      You’re right about that, and I don’t mind it at all, having read the books. Some friends of mine who haven’t read the books think the way the Forbes article and I mentioned, purely from show perspective. When 2nd season ended with the White Walkers approaching, they thought the invasion would start. It’s been 3 years and nothing has happened so it’s a really good thing D&D are editing the books 4 and 5 so heavily.

        Quote  Reply

    128. Oh no… drop in live viewership… how will HBO recover? It’s all over! All the advertisers will now pull out! SHOW OVER EVERYONE!!!!!

      Oh… wait. HBO doesn’t give a shit. I forgot.

        Quote  Reply

    129. Hodor,

      But this story never was about WW and dragons. If someone didn’t understand that by now, I don’t know what to say… To be honest, WW and dragons are the least interesting part of this story.

      I like them, dragons more, but I don’t think that people wach this show to see them. Well, I hope so. If they do, they are sure disappointed.

        Quote  Reply

    130. mau,

      a good part of the audience still just wants ice zombies vs dragons and the politics in between is just filler.

      Thank god neither Martin nor D&D cater to these people.

        Quote  Reply

    131. HelloThere,

      Quite the opposite , I am very “afraid” for the end. I don’t know. How will they do that? Will season 7 be like LOTR? Will it fit with the rest of the show?

      I don’t want good vs evil at the end.

        Quote  Reply

    132. mau,

      disagree w/ this

      Personally, I don’t I could ever love the TV series more than the books, but I love copious details and world building.

        Quote  Reply

    133. Hodor,

      Yeah, I can fully understand the impatience and the seeming lack of forward momentum on certain story fronts some Unsullied viewers are experiencing. After all, that’s a common criticism of the novels themselves. I believe we have to adjust our expectations and prepare for the long haul.

      That said, the Forbes’ guy comparison to Breaking Bad is… well, bad and totally off the mark. BB is a show about one guy and the way his moral descent affects his immediate circle of friends, family members, and “associates”. It’s a tightly-focused drama with a small number of characters. Comparing it to a sprawling epic with dozens of characters involved in earth-shattering plots is meaningless. I love BB but I wouldn’t want GoT to emulate a completely different genre.

        Quote  Reply

    134. Hodor: I have to agree with the Forbes editorial, espcially concerning The Wall, Dany and White Walkers. First and second seasons ended with a bang, things were moving forwards. Third and fourth seasons were just more of the same with nothing really happening. We know from the spoilers that there will be things happening this season, but we don’t know just how much. And it’s 3 years too late.

      Mr Fixit:
      Hodor,

      Well, I can certainly sympathize with that opinion (though I don’t really agree), but for better or worse, it has nothing to do with the show and everything to do with the source material. I think we’d all like Dany in Westeros and WWs to finally make their move, but D&D’s hands are tied by the larger chronology of the novels.

      ——————————————————————-
      Well exactly, it’s always been a large part of the story as GRRM envisaged that “nothing happens”* for a long time, we just see the nobles squabbling over baubles and a lot of shuffling of deckchairs while the poorest people get caught up in the shitshorm caused not by “Winter is Coming” but by the king and the lords warring and not seeing the bigger picture – and the books and the show are none the less fascinating and absorbing for all that.

      That’s why the true fans love it and anyone who just wants wall to wall action of battles, ice warriors, dragons and general carnage is watching the wrong show. It’s the “smaller” things such as what will happen to Arya, Sansa, Tyrion, Cersei et al that are intriguing as to what part they play in the “big picture” and if the answer is actually not much well that how real history played out too: people who seemed to be important fade out of the picture or get killed. Who will survive and who won’t?

      * if you exclude the Dany freeing the slaves and causing general chaos in Slavers Bay, the dragons getting bolshy, the Red and Purple wedding, the Battle for Castle Black, King’s Landing going all to shit while the elite play their games, the Boltons and Freys taking over the north…

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    135. Game of Thrones season 5 Headcanon: Those pigeons that Arya was killing in Braavos were all actually Bran trying to communicate with her.

      In fact, all animals that we see in the show are secretly Bran trying to communicate with people. He’s just really lonely.

        Quote  Reply

    136. mariamb,

      I would take what Sophie Turner says w/ a grain of salt tbh.
      Sometimes I feel like she kinda just says stuff, lol.
      Shes probably talking about “For the watch”…

      The only major character I am worried about is Jaime… God I hope they don’t kill him :'(

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    137. Seriously guys, after reading most of the comments for the recaps for episodes 1&2, it’s sad to see so many people crapping all over everybody’s opinions if they criticize some of the episodes or show. Obviously if someone just trolls like “Dude D&D SUXXX” or “THESE EPISODES SUCK”, that’s not real criticism; don’t feed those trolls. But King Varys, Chad Brick, and others have offered perfectly valid analysis and thoughts on why certain aspects of the show aren’t satisfying for various reasons, and they get crucified. Another point, not all of the critical comments have to do with “misunderstanding” adaptation issues, so we really don’t need the 100th explanation of When You Adapt A Book To TV It’s Hard So Shut Up. I thought the purpose of a comments board is to, I don’t know, comment? Why does every criticism earn “cray cray book purist” insults and worse? I’m a book reader and show watcher, I love both, and yet anyone intellectually honest can see that neither the show nor the books are perfect, so there’s lots to discuss.

      Like others said, I’m lurking because there doesn’t seem to be any real discussion here lately, and that’s disappointing for me because this is a really great website, I check in nearly every day during the show’s run. For the record: I loved the first two episodes, Emilia and Kit are starting to get much better with their acting (good for them!), am loving Stannis, Cersei and Doran, am hopeful to see the new non-book storylines, can’t stand the Missandei-Greyworm storyline because it’s BORING not ‘cuz I’m a racist, and like many others can’t wait for more dragons!

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    138. chameleon,

      Perhaps because it is a show that has started slow each season for 5 seasons in a row…. so the complaining about it being boring are irrelevant at this time. This is a show built on the slow build up.

        Quote  Reply

    139. chameleon:
      can’t stand the Missandei-Greyworm storyline because it’s BORING not ‘cuz I’m a racist, and like many others can’t wait for more dragons!

      Storyline? They have 30s scene . Grey Worm had more scenes with Daario than with her.

      chameleon:
      But King Varys, Chad Brick, and others have offered perfectly valid analysis and thoughts on why certain aspects of the show aren’t satisfying for various reasons, and they get crucified.

      Maybe because King Varys didnt offer valid analysis but hypocritical comment about too many storylines in this season.

      I don’t know if he is a troll, but I also don’t know what to say to a book reader who criticizes show for number of storylines, when you have 20 storylines in the books and he is perfectly fine with that.

        Quote  Reply

    140. mariamb,

      I think that big momenst this season will be:

      FTW
      WoS
      Daznak
      Hardhome
      Sansa’s escape
      Roose/Stannis/Ramsey/Brienne’s death (someone of them will die this season and maybe all of them)

        Quote  Reply

    141. I don’t know if he is a troll, but I also don’t know what to say to a book reader who criticizes show for number of storylines, when you have 20 storylines in the books and he is perfectly fine with that.

      I once tried to count the number of “storylines”, basically equivalent to the number of POV’s in distinct places in the books. AFFC peaked at 17 story lines at once by my count, while the show tends to run about half that. Currently we have

      Cersei/Jaime/King’s Landing
      Dany/Meereen
      Jon/Stannis/Wall
      Tyrion/Varys
      Littlefinger/Sansa
      Arya
      Dorne
      Brienne/Pod

      That’s pretty typical for the show. As the season progresses, some of these will change or merge (Jaime from KL to Dorne, for example) but the total will remain around 8-9 as it always has.

      Obviously, given 60 minutes per show and 600 minutes per season, this number of plot lines is all one can stuff in, and why the books need adaptation. No one disagrees with this. Plot lines must be either merged or cut to fit into the constraints imposed by TV.

      Btw, while “adaptation” is preferred by Grammar Nazis, “adaption” is consistent with how all other verbs that end in “pt” are nominalized if they use an “ion” form. I prefer consistency over listening to nannies, and since both forms are easily understood, I see no reason to keep the more archaic, inconsistent form.

      Now excuse me while I endure an interruptation of the corruptation of my adoptation of some sweet sweet eruptations!

        Quote  Reply

    142. snip…
      Btw, while “adaptation” is preferred by Grammar Nazis, “adaption” is consistent with how all other verbs that end in “pt” are nominalized if they use an “ion” form. I prefer consistency over listening to nannies, and since both forms are easily understood, I see no reason to keep the more archaic, inconsistent form.
      …snip

      You can blame the French and the Romans 😉

      French adaptation, from Late Latin adaptationem (nominative adaptatio)

      To change it now would be a corruptation 😀

        Quote  Reply

    143. Chad Brick,

      In the books we have

      1. KL
      2. Dorne
      3. Riverlands (Jaime)
      4. Riverlands (Brienne)
      5. Iron Islands
      6. Victarion
      7. Asha
      8. The North (Theon)
      9. The North (Davos)
      10. Jon
      11. Bravos(Arya)
      12. Sam
      13. Tyrion
      14. Jon Connington(after the disappearance of Tyrion)
      15. Sansa
      16. Dany
      17. Bran
      18. Quentyn

      And in the show we have:

      1. Dany
      2. Tyrion/Varys

      but this storyline will become part of Dany’s before the end of the season

      3. Dorne
      4. KL
      5. Brienne/Sansa

      and from S5E3 Brienne/Sansa/Boltons

      6. Arya
      7. Jon

        Quote  Reply

    144. Wimsey: If anything, then the opposite is the case.This is a highly critically acclaimed TV show that gets praised for the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sociopolitical stories.The people watching this show are the ones that watched Soparanos, Breaking Bad, the Tudors, etc.The shows that hook these people are the ones in which we see people slogging their way through unpleasant alternatives, and constantly at odds with themselves about the person that they are, the person that they want to be and/or the person that other people want them to be.

      And here is the thing: GoT succeeding because it’s getting people that do not read fantasy or even take fantasy seriously to watch it.The single biggest demographic GoT gets is “professional” men in their 40’s.This is not a demographic that buys a lot of fantasy books: to the contrary, these are people who would scoff at the idea that any fantasy books are “thinking persons’” books; fantasy books might be fun and entertaining, but fantasy books are “escapist” rather than “deep.”

      For mine though the first series were full of intrigue but I reckon the Red Wedding changed it all. Eg much of season 1 is centred around the mystery of the Valyrian dagger,Raven dreams, Jon Arryns death, and trying to figure out what is going in-between the machinations of LF, Varys, Cersei etc with their spies everywhere and there’s prohecies in Vaes Dothrak etc

      KL in season 2 was interesting and largely focused around Tyrion pitting wits against Cersei. We also get cryptic Quaithe and Comets in the sky and people everywhere pondering what it means

      Later we start getting Olenna just blurting out she killed Joffrey when it would have worked great as a whodunnit for a while, Lysa Arryn blurting out about Jons wine etc. But there is a great shock moment between Oberyn and the Mountain

      This season, I can understand the themes they were tapping into but it would have been great to see some Sam scheming with Cotter Pyke and Denys Mallister to get Jon over the line, instead there’s a funny speech giving crap to Slynt which was nice but the whole thing lacked intrigue

      There’s pros and cons, no deep drama, I loved E2, one of my favourites for a while because of how it intelligently explores power and it is being highly cryptic, yet people seem to be whingeing about a lack of action or wow moments and saying that’s the reason for the drop. It’s not a procedural show, it is telling a story.

      Need a mix of the two throughout the whole season as a good balance. Brienne vs Vale Knights was enough for this episode and I expect there will be heaps of brutality to come in future episodes

      For the most part I think the Showrunners are doing quite great, people are over nit-picky and don’t realise how poorly it could have turned out if it had cheap production values etc. Only criticism I have is they have hampered themselves significantly with this no flashbacks rule they seem to have put in place

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    145. Ghost’s Lunch,

      The first half of S5 is like S2 and S3 – major plot setup and deeper character arcs. The second half of S5 will be the payoff: did-I-just-see-that moments coming fast and furious of S1 combined with the when-worlds-collide-and-wow-it’s-bloody theme of S4.

      Unfortunately, since the episodes are aired weekly, it requires a lot of patience. No Netflix-style binge marathon where the entire season is posted at the outset. That’s why S5 seems so boring and slow for some viewers (and why the episode leak was so popular).

        Quote  Reply

    146. mau,

      Walk of Shame
      Daznak’s Pit
      Hardhome
      FTW

      this could be spectacular.
      Personally, I’m waiting for the walk of shame… That will be brutal and shocking in a completely different way than the audience expects… Just to see a character so relentlessly and utterly humiliated and struck down. I am sure they will do a great job with it.

        Quote  Reply

    147. mau,

      Yes, but I think the PW fallout made things more exciting. In S5 there hasn’t been that level of a moment yet – except for maybe what happened to Mance and NW election.

        Quote  Reply

    148. Flora Linden,

      The end of season 4 reset all the pieces… This season can almost be seen as ACT II of ASOIAF so there needs to be a lot of buildup and setup to get us to a point where major things can happen again.

        Quote  Reply

    149. I don’t get the folk that say this is moving too slow. I think that S4 was so ripe with emotional/get your attention stuff that the expectation is for every episode to deliver the same. According to D & D, it is coming this season too, there needs to be new set ups though for merged or changed storylines and character arcs.

      I am more loyal than to want to wash my hands of this because I didn’t see nudity or any head crushing last week. Where is the love, people?

      *sigh* I am a Sullied who is actually excited to “go where no Sullied has gone before”. Beam me up D & D!!

        Quote  Reply

    150. HelloThere,

      Yes, you’re right. All I’m saying is some viewers are impatient now. Waiting a week at a time is just too long.

      Assuming they didn’t watch the leaked episodes. 😉

      So from their standpoint, S5 is slow/boring.

        Quote  Reply

    151. mau: King Varys:

      because it doesn’t feel like the show is really telling a story anymore, just extremely rushed single scenes of ten diffrent stories.

      The show have 6-7 storylines and in your opinion it doesen’t tell a story, but the books with 20 storylines are telling a story? LOL

      I hate hypocrisy.

      Ouch, sorry, but can’t let that stand – hypocricy? Yes, the book can tell a story that seems unified, feels like a whole, even with all the storylines it contains. There are so many links between all the many story lines, through minor characters, through the historical background, through literary means the series just doesn’t have. That’s what’s amazing to me: That the show threatens to fall apart with just 9-10 storylines, while the books don’t (at least imo) with almost twice as many (by the way, the book doesn’t have 20).

      And, uhm, when did it become a crime to criticise the show on this site? There is some weird hostility here towards people who aren’t quite happy with some turns the show is taking – I thought people went to WiC for that, keeping this a forum where people don’t hiss at you for differing with their opinion …

        Quote  Reply

    152. King Varys: There are so many links between all the many story lines, through minor characters, through the historical background, through literary means the series just doesn’t have. That’s what’s amazing to me: That the show threatens to fall apart with just 9-10 storylines, while the books don’t (at least imo) with almost twice as many (by the way, the book doesn’t have 20).

      So many links? I don’t think so. Please, can you give me some examples of those links?

      I didn’t read any review from professional critics who thinks that show is falling apart.

      But you can read in many book reviews that GRRM lost his plot, focus, sense of momentum,….

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    153. chameleon,

      Thanks for pointing out that the tone of some comments is unworthy of this forum – I feel the same. On the other hand, it’s the first time somebody has called me a troll in a reply that is far more trolling that my post, the irony of which I kind of enjoy. And yes, you’re right that I’m far from being one of the silly D&D haters, on the contrary, I admire the biggest part of the adaptation a lot, I just fear it’s getting slightly out of control and may not be able to keep up the amazing quality it had during the first three seasons.

      mau,

      I’d be glad to offer a valid analysis and I’m sure I could get my point across more accurately. On the other hand, by calling me hypocritical you showed that you didn’t even understand a few sentences the way I meant them, so I fear an in-depth analysis might be lost on you.

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    154. mau,

      Is there a storyline that you think is badly integrated into the others? Even the Greyjoy plot, which seems quite removed from the rest and overall unnecessary, affects many subplots – the battle of Mereen, Stannis’ progress in the North (Asha), Cersei’s intrigues in KL, the conquest of Dragonstone. All storylines work like this – a small event in one of them can initiate an important turn in another.

      I don’t deny that some of the plotlines aren’t as exciting as others, but while some critics find AFFC and ADWD partly flawed, other readers, myself included, think they are in some aspects even superior to the first three books. Many people who re-read books 4 and 5 say that the second reading made them appreciate them much more. You can’t say there is any consensus of the last two books being flaws, because there is no such consensus. Opinions just differ more.

      I admit I shouldn’t judge the show on its first two episodes – you’re right when you say my criticism was a bit premature. I do hope the show can convince me that what it’s trying to do actually works. But I think I have a right to be sceptical, even if you don’t agree.

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    155. Books 4 and 5 felt disjoint from the first 3 books. So far the show feels seemless from one season to the next. At least that is how it felt when I watched all 40 episodes in a few weeks and then the 4 leaked episodes within a week after that.

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    156. King Varys:
      chameleon,

      mau,

      I’d be glad to offer a valid analysis and I’m sure I could get my point across more accurately. On the other hand, by calling me hypocritical you showed that you didn’t even understand a few the way I meant them, so I fear an in-depth analysis might be lost on you.

      I understood your sentences well, but I still think that your are hypocritical, because I don’t see any real argument that the show is falling apart.

      And many reviewers think that the show is tighter than in previous seasons. Because it is.

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    157. King Varys,

      The books basically abandoned half of the Stark family for books 4 and 5 in the last 14 years we have had something like a total of 11 chapters total for Sansa, Arya, and Bran combined. The show stays on the main story so much better.

        Quote  Reply

    158. King Varys,

      I think it is a premature judgement… U can’t really judge books 4/5 either with only reading the first 10 chapters 😉

      Honestly the whole “show diverging wildly in season 5” is totally overhyped.

        Quote  Reply

    159. The Bastard,

      I agree, but then the disjoint didn’t really bother me, as the first book did bring a trilogy to an end, the story of which would continue with a slightly different focus. I agree about the ‘seemless’ part only when we talk about the broader picture – there are a lot of details that bug me – like Arya dropping people from her list.

      The great thing about a re-read of the books is that you realise Martin set up so many later plots in very early chapters of the first book. I only realised the second time how very early Reek was mentioned. The show on the other hand doesn’t do that – because that’s not how shows work, they don’t write scripts for seven seasons. Only writers can afford to do that – and that’s why I think Martin is better at juggling different storylines than the show is.

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    160. I wouldn’t be surprised if the show has peaked out. Unpopular here I know, but I don’t think the show is all that good anymore. And it has nothing to do with being a book purist before you start arguing with me on that. I’m not a book purist. I was bored by AFFC and ADWD wasn’t much better. But it’s reached the same problem George has with his books. It’s too long. It’s too big. I watch the episodes and I’m left shrugging my shoulders at the end, thinking meh, who cares really what happens. Is there even really a plot in this story? What’s the plot? People running in circles non stop vying for a throne? Many of the characters have traveled from place to place, but to what end? What has been accomplished by that? Seems like an endless on and on we go loop. For what?

      And in the show they’ve reached the point where the story is not a tight story anymore. There are way too many quick 3 minute scenes that are rushed and jumbled. It’s not totally their fault. They only have 10 hours. I get that. But it doesn’t change my opinion on what I’m seeing.

      And it’d be difficult for me to believe I am alone in this opinion.

        Quote  Reply

    161. King Varys:
      mau,
      Is there a storyline that you think is badly integrated into the others? Even the Greyjoy plot, which seems quite removed from the rest and overall unnecessary, affects many subplots – the battle of Mereen, Stannis’ progress in the North (Asha), Cersei’s intrigues in KL, the conquest of Dragonstone. All storylines work like this – a small event in one of them can initiate an important turn in another.

      But that is the main problem with those books. The Greyjos plot didn’t affect anything yet. We had 2000 pages of exposition.

      And you can find same examples of affection in S5. Dorne-Lannisters, Tyrion-Dany, Stannis-Boltons,…

      Many people who re-read books 4 and 5 say that the second reading made them appreciate them much more.

      I know that, but I don’t want to read something for 100 times to realize that is is good. You don’t need to re-read first 3 books to appreciate them.

      But I think I have a right to be sceptical, even if you don’t agree.

      You have every right to hate the show if you want, but I think that is important to stick to the facts. S5 has 7 storylines and AFFC and ADWD have 18.

        Quote  Reply

    162. King Varys,

      Books 4/5 are a phenomenal reread!!!

      Wow, they are full of amazing material that completely goes unnoticed on the first read. The first read through of those books might seem underwhelming on a plot level, but the rereads show just how much is going on behind the scene and being setup.

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    163. I think some of what is happening here is push-back from some of the blatant trolling that’s been taking place. Lots of people are on the defensive, so even when someone offers thoughtful criticism, it isn’t always interpreted that way. Maybe if everyone took a deep breath (myself included) and saw certain posts for what they are…criticism with which some may not agree, but just criticism, not trolling, it would be a positive thing for everyone.
      I will say the use of the word “fanfiction,” even though the person who used it (long thread…can’t remember who is was who took the time to define how they meant it) did not seem to mean it in the way others do when they use it (strictly dismissive and derogatory) definitely gets the hackles up around here. That’s not to say don’t use it, just that some see that word and the hackles go up, so whatever else is posted with that word doesn’t get taken at face value, but seen through the filter of “usually when this word is used, it’s by someone who cannot abide any deviations, and will shit all over the showrunners for the smallest detail.”

      Again, maybe if all of us just take a deep breath and try to see each other’s posts individually, instead of, well, this person criticized something, so they must be just like that other person (a book purist and hater of the show, and vice versa), some of the defensiveness will dissipate, and more “productive” conversations will result.

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    164. The Bastard:
      King Varys,

      The books basically abandoned half of the Stark family for books 4 and 5in the last 14 years we have had something like a total of 11 chapters total for Sansa, Arya, and Bran combined. The show stays on the main story so much better.

      Sure, but I always thought the first three books were supposed to show the tragic fall of House Stark – I never considered them to be the main characters. I didn’t mind losing them for a while, as long as they have some endgame relevance. But yes, the show does do a good job with the main plot, it just doesn’t always have good ideas of where to go with secondary characters (Brienne most of all) or how to fill in scenes so that the climax happens in episode 8 or 9 (like that aweful, aweful Craster expedition).

      But yes, judging books 4 and 5 on the first ten chapters would be equally bad, I admit. So I’ll shut up until we’re at the end of the season.

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    165. King Varys,

      The problem w/ this show is that, TV, by nature is judged on an episode by episode basis,
      which kinda doesn’t make sense w/ a show thats trying to tell one very long story… sometimes a single episode just doesn’t stand out on its own, but is meant to flow with the others as one long piece of work.

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    166. For what it’s worth I can only give an example of who I know who watches the show, and none of them are book readers. They do not like the new season thus far. For the first time in 5 years I’ve heard complaints of being bored. And indeed, I noticed a few people on their phones during the live viewing which hadn’t happened before in my own inner circle of viewers. And the whoa dragons!!!! thing isn’t doing it for them anymore either.

      I cannot say if their enthusiasm will pick up in the weeks to come. Even if the episodes are great, at least in my own sample size, I’m not feeling they have any strong desire to must see this show anymore. The people I watch with are becoming indifferent to it.

      It’s only my own sample size though. So, probably not indicative of anything larger. Just though I’d share.

        Quote  Reply

    167. mau,

      mau: But that is the main problem with those books. The Greyjos plot didn’t affect anything yet. We had 2000 pages of exposition.

      And you can find same examples of affection in S5. Dorne-Lannisters, Tyrion-Dany, Stannis-Boltons,…

      Yes, but I think that those are 200 pages of very good exposition! It took a long, long time for Cersei to fall in AFFC, but I enjoyed every chapter and the twist was amazing. And yes, the storylines will merge, and I will take back everything I’ve said if they do so successfully. I’m sceptical though.

      mau: You have every right to hate the show if you want, but I think that is important to stick to the facts. S5 has 7 storylines and AFFC and ADWD have 18.

      I never denied that – I said I thought the book is better at keeping those many storylines under control than the series is. I’m aware this is just my opinion, but in the books, I kept caring for most characters, even if they didn’t show up show for 200 pages after. In the show, I don’t care much about most of them, some start to bore me – that’s what I found alarming when watching the first two episodes.

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    168. HelloThere:
      King Varys,

      The problem w/ this show is that, TV, by nature is judged on an episode by episode basis,
      which kinda doesn’t make sense w/ a show thats trying to tell one very long story… sometimes a single episode just doesn’t stand out on its own, but is meant to flow with the others as one long piece of work.

      I couldn’t agree more – that’s what makes “The Wire” the best show on TV ever – it’s a 50 hour film that hardly loses any threads it ever picks up. I’m unconvinced GoT will achieve the same. I think it will be remembered as a very, very decent show, with moments of TV history in it. But it has already given up on many subplots it started to set up (the BwB will likely never be mentioned again, and I have my doubts we will ever see Balon, Quaithe or the Blackfish again. I hope we will see Rickon again played by the same actor, but I’m not so sure. I don’t really blame the show – you don’t and can’t make contracts like that unless you are sure seven seasons will be approved. But while I’ll rewatch the show many times, I will feel a sting everytime something was set up that wasn’t followed up on.

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    169. Number of storylines per season

      SEASON 1

      1. WF
      2. Dany
      3. KL
      4. The Wall
      5. The Vale and Riverlands (Tyrion/Cat)
      6. Robb (later in season)
      7. Tywin/Jaime/Tyrion/Kevan (later in season)

      SEASON 2

      1. Robb
      2. Cat/Renly/Brienne
      3. Theon(before WF)
      4. WF (before Theon)
      5. North of the Wall
      7. Dany
      8. KL
      9. Stannis
      10. Arya
      11. Brienne/Jaime

      Season 3

      1. KL
      2. Dany
      3. Robb
      4. Arya
      5. Theon
      6. Bran
      7. Brienne/Jaime
      8. North of the Wall
      9. Stannis

      + Iron Islands (at the end)

      SEASON 4

      1. KL
      2. The North
      3. Arya
      4. The Vale
      5. Dany
      6. Bran
      7. The Wall
      8. Stannis
      9. Brienne/Pod

      SEASON 5

      1. KL
      2. Dany
      3. Tyrion
      4. Dorne
      5. The North
      6. The Wall
      7. Stannis (?)
      8. Arya

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    170. No news on the UK viewing figures, if it was up or fell a lot it would have made the news ( viewing figures aren’t the be all and end all for TV shows here really).

      Since epi 1 set a record I expect it fell slightly due to new viewers tuning in to see what the fuss was about and then finding it wasn’t their thing.

      The figures will be known in 2 – 3 weeks anyway.

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    171. King Varys: I couldn’t agree more – that’s what makes “The Wire” the best show on TV ever – it’s a 50 hour film that hardly loses any threads it ever picks up. I’m unconvinced GoT will achieve the same. I think it will be remembered as a very, very decent show, with moments of TV history in it. But it has already given up on many subplots it started to set up (the BwB will likely never be mentioned again, and I have my doubts we will ever see Balon, Quaithe or the Blackfish again. I hope we will see Rickon again played by the same actor, but I’m not so sure. I don’t really blame the show – you don’t and can’t make contracts like that unless you are sure seven seasons will be approved. But while I’ll rewatch the show many times, I will feel a sting everytime something was set up that wasn’t followed up on.

      GOT will be remembered as far far far far more than just decent…..
      Most show watchers won’t even realize what plot points are not followed up on.

      The BwB plotline could simply be seen as a precursor to Jon’s revival.. And Melisandre was there, so it makes sense that she first saw the power w/ Thoros and Beric. I am sure Balon will be back as well

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    172. King Varys:
      mau,

      I never denied that – I said I thought the book is better at keeping those many storylines under control than the series is. I’m aware this is just my opinion, but in the books, I kept caring for most characters, even if they didn’t show up show for 200 pages after. In the show, I don’t care much about most of them, some start to bore me – that’s what I found alarming when watching the first two episodes.

      I think that GRRM lost control of the plot 15 years ago. And I really can’t say that any storyline is more exciting in AFFC/ADWD than in S5.

      Sansa, Jaime, Brienne, Dany are snoozefest in the books for me, but now I care for their storylines.

        Quote  Reply

    173. mau,

      You forgot Brienne for S5.

      And strictly speaking, Sansa and Jaime/Bronn could be added for the moment, although their stories will probably merge with The North and Dorne.

      Can I add that both Mereen and KL in the two episodes have had subplots (the brothel scene, Grey Worm/Missandei in KL, Margaery/Loras in KL)? And that most places that will be the focus of S5 will have multiple “POVs”? Not trying to argue with you again, just pointing out the series follows nearly as many characters in condensed space than the books have recurring POVs (also: I agree that this isn’t a bad thing per se).

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    174. mau: I think that GRRM lost control of the plot 15 years ago. And I really can’t say that any storyline is more exciting in AFFC/ADWD than in S5.

      Hey, now you’re doing what you criticised me of – premature judgment 😉 We will only know whether he lost control after reading ADOF.

      I didn’t enjoy the Jaime chapters much, and Brienne’s were interesting at times, but not exactly exciting. I liked the Dany chapters. The only ones I’ll skip next time are Victarion’s.

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    175. powe,

      That’s the thing with every long story and every long show. In one point you ask yourself : Why would I care?

      But we know what is comming in this season and in week or two your friends will care again.

      But all of this is, I think, a strong argument against 8 seasons. Some book purists even want 10 or 15. LOL

      This story needs 7 seasons and nothing more. I am not sure that they need extended 7th season.

      Season 6 – Dany’s invasion
      Season 7 – WW

      The end.

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    176. Yivo,

      Like the movies that are never going to happen? Ha!

      Folks don’t understand money. Hollywood is an industry. They have bills to pay and rational measurements of success. They remade Dukes of Hazard and Scooby Doo; THEY WILL REMAKE ASOIAF. Deal with it.

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    177. King Varys:
      mau,

      You forgot Brienne for S5.

      She had 2 scenes and both with Sansa. In episode 1 they didn’t meet , but they were in the same scene.

      Jaime/Bronn could be added for the moment, although their stories will probably merge with The North and Dorne.

      I don’t want to spoil anything, but I watched leaked episodes.

      Can I add that both Mereen and KL in the two episodes have had subplots (the brothel scene, Grey Worm/Missandei in KL, Margaery/Loras in KL)? And that most places that will be the focus of S5 will have multiple “POVs”?

      Yes, but that was the case in every season. It is easier to count KL or Meeren as one storyline.

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    178. Stannis the Mannis:
      Yivo,

      Like the movies that are never going to happen? Ha!

      Folks don’t understand money. Hollywood is an industry. They have bills to pay and rational measurements of success. They remade Dukes of Hazard and Scooby Doo; THEY WILL REMAKE ASOIAF. Deal with it.

      Some book purist thought the same with LOTR and Harry Potter.

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    179. Stannis the Mannis,

      You can’t remake ASOIAF unless it’s on tv. I can’t say what the tv industry will look like in 20-30 years, but I doubt any remake will receive the backing that HBO has provided. I also doubt any remake will be as loyal to the source material as GOT has been. So this is a case of be careful what you wish for.

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    180. King Varys,

      The fact that there hasn’t been a great book in the series released in almost 15 years…. I think we can say the story is lost until proven otherwise.

        Quote  Reply

    181. Stannis the Mannis: Folks don’t understand money. Hollywood is an industry. They have bills to pay and rational measurements of success. They remade Dukes of Hazard and Scooby Doo; THEY WILL REMAKE ASOIAF. Deal with it.

      No problem dealing with it, it might be a different show if all the material was available from the start. I still doubt we will see a remake, at least not for many, many years. GoT has set very high standards – the acting and the locations especially are hard to beat. I won’t watch a remake just because it has better and more battle CGI. Unless there’s virtual reality tv or whoknowswhat in 20 years, you can’t improve the show enough to generate as much profit with a remake. The interesting thing though would be that would be GoT 1.0 purists in the forums (“Dinklage was so much better as Tyrion”) 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    182. mau,

      I agree. 7 seasons and lets end this thing.

      I have liked everything so far, but you can only devote so many hours to a story before it falls apart for the viewers.

      Personally, I have always thought 5 seasons was the perfect amount of time for a series. Typically when they try and go longer, the story starts to suffer. I noticed this with The Sopranos and currently with Mad Men.

      Game of Thrones is slightly different because it has so many more characters and plot lines. But that will only give it an additional year or two (7 total max), before it gets worse.

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    183. The Bastard:
      King Varys,

      The fact that there hasn’t been a great book in the series released in almost 15 years…. I think we can say the story is lost until proven otherwise.

      That really is a matter of opinion – I think both AFFC and ADWD are better books than ACOK, and I know I’m not the only one (though I agree that the incredible number of awesome chapters in ASOS is something I missed). In my eyes, the story is not lost at all, it is still bloody excellent. And no chapter in the first three books was as well written as “Mercy” from TWOF – storytelling at its very, very finest imo.

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    184. Raitings for season 5. I can’t see any drop. The strongest season after S4.

      Rotten tomatoes

      E1 – 8/10
      E2 – 8,2/10

      Metacritic

      91/100 (S1-80, S2 – 90, S3 – 91, s4 – 94)

      IMDb

      E1 – 8,6/10 (in S1-8,5, s2-8,2, s3- 8,2, s4- 8,7)
      E2 – 8,7/10 (s1- 8,3, s2 – 7,9, s3 – 7,9, s4- 9,5)

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    185. King Varys,

      Books 4 and 5 are mostly fillers. GRRM himself admits he never intended to write about this time period. He wanted to skip 5 years in the story and just couldn’t find a way to do it.

        Quote  Reply

    186. The Bastard:
      King Varys,

      Books 4 and 5 are mostly fillers.GRRM himself admits he never intended to write about this time period.He wanted to skip 5 years in the story and just couldn’t find a way to do it.

      So instead he came up with something you may call a filler, but others don’t. I’m fine with you reading them as a filler only, but claiming that’s what they ARE in general I find problematic. Many, many fans appreciate the books as much as the trilogy, some like them better. They bring many great new aspects and characters to the table, give characters more depth, enrich the ASOIAF universe, to many readers at least.

        Quote  Reply

    187. King Varys,

      doesn’t always have good ideas of where to go with secondary characters (Brienne most of all) or how to fill in scenes so that the climax happens in episode 8 or 9 (like that aweful, aweful Craster expedition).

      There was nothing awful about the Craster’s Keep arc in season 4 and I don’t know why so many book readers seem to have such a stick up their ass about it. Dany in season 2 is an example of awful not because it was different from the book but because it was just a cheesy storyline with bad writing. I don’t know of any casual viewers who look at the Craster’s Keep arc and think it was awful, only book readers because it is a storyline that didn’t happen in the books so it automatically gets labeled as garbage and a waste of screentime. It added some much needed suspense and action midway through season 4.

        Quote  Reply

    188. powe,

      For what it’s worth I can only give an example of who I know who watches the show, and none of them are book readers. They do not like the new season thus far. For the first time in 5 years I’ve heard complaints of being bored

      This does seem to be a common complaint from casual viewers this season and I wonder why do I feel this season is so great. Than again it is important to remember despite these complaints being new from your friends these criticisms about episodes being boring have always been common among casual viewers especially at the beginning of the season with the exception of season 4. Season 1 got complaints about it being slow and boring in the beginning, season 2 got even more of these complaints, season 3’s first 2 episodes were labeled boring and without Jaime getting his hand cut off and Dany’s “dracarys” scene episodes 3 and 4 probably would have been labeled boring too.

      I sometimes wonder how many of these “fans” got hooked on the show in the first place. Is it just the occasional action set piece and shocking moment that hooks them and then any episode without one is labeled boring? That seems to be the way it works with a lot of GoT fans.

        Quote  Reply

    189. mau: Storyline? They have 30s scene . Grey Worm had more scenes with Daario than with her.

      Maybe because King Varys didnt offer valid analysis but hypocritical comment about too many storylines in this season.

      I don’t know if he is a troll, but I also don’t know what to say to a book reader who criticizes show for number of storylines, when you have 20 storylines in the books and he is perfectly fine with that.

      Considering the difference in medium, it’s not hypocritical at all to think a book can accommodate many more storylines than ten hours of tv show.

      I don’t agree with King Varys’ analysis as a larger whole — and I would urge him to evaluate the season as a whole rather than rushing to judgement — but I also think your response is incorrect and unnecessarily combative.

      Episodes 1 & 2 were set up episodes. I rate them as solid sevens.

      Having seen 3 and 4, they are fantastic

      . I’m not sure why someone offering the slightest criticism gets a response that attacks character.

      And I’m not sure why some show-watchers seem so invested in bashing the books. The latter is true as well – it’s almost as if there’s a group of people on both sides who view this as a zero sum game.

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    190. An increase in thoughtful programming may contribute to this disparity of viewership. However these number ratings vacillate, as would any televised series. Included are those viewers upset with the Benioff & Weiss revisions, balanced with an equal or similar number of new fans because of the positive media coverage. GOT is in it for the long haul, recent numbers shouldn’t affect dedicated viewers, too much.

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    191. King Varys: So instead he came up with something you may call a filler, but others don’t. I’m fine with you reading them as a filler only, but claiming that’s what they ARE in general I find problematic. Many, many fans appreciate the books as much as the trilogy, some like them better. They bring many great new aspects and characters to the table, give characters more depth, enrich the ASOIAF universe, to many readers at least.

      A Dance with Dragons threatens A Storm of Swords for me in terms of quality, and there are times I prefer the former. I’m far from the only one — look at any of the variety of threads on book rankings across the internet and Dance ranks very well.

      Feast, no so much, usually down at the bottom or right above Clash. But I still enjoyed Feast immensely.

      Largely, I think it’s a matter of taste. It’s certainly not writing quality — I can see an argument for editing Dance and Feast better on a sentence by sentence basis — but people’s reactions seem to be less about the quality of the books rather than why they were reading them.

      Storm is most people’s peak because it combines plot-action and “kick-ass” scenes with character development, world-building and some of the key underlying thematics that drive the world (wielding power, etc).

      Books 4 and 5 are a necessary pause after the end of the first Act. The calm between the Storms. There’s less action (though I question what people call action if there is less). There’s more character development. More world building.

      I’m fascinated by the contrast between Cersei, Jon and Dany in Books 4 and 5 as they try to rule and the mistakes each of them make (or don’t make). I love considering what I would do — and how much of a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation they often find themselves in. I love Theon’s storyline and Arya’s.

      I also think it’s okay to not like the books (or the show). But the way some people say it is unnecessary. I’m not sure how you can love this story and make such comments towards Martin. It’s the internet, I suppose, but the lack of respect is odd to me.

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    192. I wouldn’t worry about these numbers. The premiere had the highest number to date…obviously the leak affected the numbers and the overall numbers were still high. I feel bad for reviewers next year…I doubt they allow any screeners to be sent out for review then.

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    193. Alan,

      Word. Literally. Book compared to timed motion pictures, any aspect of reading conveys more .

      On the subject of wayward criticism : subjects had become so sensitive among the online fandom, I felt compelled to take a well needed break. I took to reading several books from authors Jim Butcher and Micheal Lewis, quelling the anxiety of what to do
      while awaiting the next ASOIAF installment ( when career and family isn’t enough ).

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    194. JamesL:
      powe,

      This does seem to be a common complaint from casual viewers this season and I wonder why do I feel this season is so great. Than again it is important to remember despite these complaints being new from your friends these criticisms about episodes being boring have always been common among casual viewers especially at the beginning of the season with the exception of season 4. Season 1 got complaints about it being slow and boring in the beginning, season 2 got even more of these complaints, season 3’s first 2 episodes were labeled boring and without Jaime getting his hand cut off and Dany’s “dracarys” scene episodes 3 and 4 probably would have been labeled boring too.

      I sometimes wonder how many of these “fans” got hooked on the show in the first place. Is it just the occasional action set piece and shocking moment that hooks them and then any episode without one is labeled boring? That seems to be the way it works with a lot of GoT fans.

      Many people post this complaint after almost every season. It’s simply the early episodes have set up. People even said it last year despite the Purple Wedding.

      Season 1 did the best job of having a memorable ending to every episode. I suspect D&D have stopped trying to force that; the story is overall probably better for it but it does make some episodes seem less consequential.

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    195. JamesL:
      King Varys,

      There was nothing awful about the Craster’s Keep arc in season 4 and I don’t know why so many book readers seem to have such a stick up their ass about it. Dany in season 2 is an example of awful not because it was different from the book but because it was just a cheesy storyline with bad writing. I don’t know of any casual viewers who look at the Craster’s Keep arc and think it was awful, only book readers because it is a storyline that didn’t happen in the books so it automatically gets labeled as garbage and a waste of screentime. It added some much needed suspense and action midway through season 4.

      I thought the Craster’s Keep storyline wasn’t great. It was good on the Bran side, and it was whatever with Jon (I mean, action and not much else), but man, Karl just sucked. He wasn’t interesting to me because I felt like we’ve done that character in this show several times already, so, eh.

      I have no idea what they were trying to do with Dany in season 2.

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    196. JamesL: There was nothing awful about the Craster’s Keep arc in season 4 and I don’t know why so many book readers seem to have such a stick up their ass about it. Dany in season 2 is an example of awful not because it was different from the book but because it was just a cheesy storyline with bad writing. I don’t know of any casual viewers who look at the Craster’s Keep arc and think it was awful, only book readers because it is a storyline that didn’t happen in the books so it automatically gets labeled as garbage and a waste of screentime. It added some much needed suspense and action midway through season 4.

      I’ve seen a lot of both book-readers and non-book readers shaking their heads over Craster’s Keep in S4. Apart from offering a bit of action (something I can easily live without), this didn’t add anything to story, character or themes. It was a TV thing to do, suggesting a merging of storylines where there wasn’t one, to keep viewers interested. Karl’s was (re)introduces so cheaply (evil guy speech to show he is really evil) like hardly another character on the show, just to keep people rooting for the NW to kill him. Hollywood bullshit that was, though not as bad as the (re)introduction of The Mountain (he’s training by killing innocent prisoners, so he’s probably really, really evil!). If some people liked it, that’s fine with me. I could write pages on why it was weak storytelling, and not because I’m a a book purist. It was writing I expected HBO to do better.

      Dany in season 2 on the other hand was a bit of a filler, both in the books and the show, though there was a bit more purpose in the books. Show Qarth might have made more sense if Quaithe and Xaro would reappear at some point in S5, as they do in the books. Still, the Dany scenes set up a few things (teaching the dragons, the relationship with Mormont, the theme of betrayal, the House of the Undying) and the story needed a way to introduce the journey to Mereen and the arrival of Selmy. But yeah, rewatching season 2, you realise that this some scenes add very little to this storyline.

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    197. King Varys,

      I have to disagree with some of your opinions here.

      “I love Arya, but she was much more interesting in S1-3.” – Blame GRRM for that, I suppose. Of all the characters this season, Arya’s storyline seems to be sticking the closest to the source.

      “I hate that they made Ellaria the revenge seeking madwoman” – She’s not the same as book-Ellaria, but she’s obviously taking on some of the role and characteristics of Arianne and the other Sand Snakes. I imagine we’ll see her role in Dorne be taken on by Doran later on.

      “Doran is a worried guy in a chair and not Westeros’ great schemer” – This is his introduction scene. In his intro in AFFC, he’s exactly as he appears in Episode 2. He isn’t revealed to be a schemer until after Arianne’s plot is foiled. Making him out to be a Dornish Varys right from the start would kill the surprise that’s coming later on.

      “Hizdar is completely unthreatening and boring.” – And how is that different than ADWD? lol If you think that he’s the Harpy, I suggest you check out the Meereneese Blot. It may change your mind. It certainly changed mine. Throughout the book, I always viewed him as a pawn and a bit of a tool.

      “Cersei’s storyline seems to lack the subtle intrigues it once had.” – Subtle? Cersei? She might have thought that she had everybody else fooled, but I don’t think that she did.

      “Sansa’s mission to Winterfell might be interesting, but so far lacks any logical explanation.” – So far they haven’t explained where she was going, so why would they explain why she was going there? The first two episodes of the season aren’t meant to be understood as if you’d seen all the trailers and promotional materials available for the entire season already.

      “Brienne and Pod are doing nothing that makes sense” – They were supposed to find Sansa. They found Sansa. Brienne didn’t handle the situation in the smartest way possible, but I don’t know what part of that interaction wouldn’t make sense for you.

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    198. Alan: Largely, I think it’s a matter of taste. It’s certainly not writing quality — I can see an argument for editing Dance and Feast better on a sentence by sentence basis — but people’s reactions seem to be less about the quality of the books rather than why they were reading them.

      Storm is most people’s peak because it combines plot-action and “kick-ass” scenes with character development, world-building and some of the key underlying thematics that drive the world (wielding power, etc).

      Books 4 and 5 are a necessary pause after the end of the first Act. The calm between the Storms. There’s less action (though I question what people call action if there is less). There’s more character development. More world building.

      Exactly. I totally get why people liked ASOS more than the two following books, in terms of plot it definitely was the more compelling book. I liked AFFC because it showed the aftermath of war, the fallout of the battles and raids, and it did so rather convincingly (rereading the Brienne chapter that is basically just Septon Meribald was great the second time!). The sparrows introduced a whole new theme and set up interesting new dynamics. Dorne set up one of my favourite characters in Doran (though Arianne has yet to prove the need for the Dorne plotlines). Cersei’s POVs provided new, imo rather exciting KL intrigues. The Greyjoy plot showed how an imbalance in power will give rise to new threats.

      ADWD had the Mereenese knot, which wasn’t always easy and satisfying to read, but I’m not sure that Dany sailing for Westeros would have been much more interesting. Didn’t like the Greyjoy chapters, but liked Penny. Arya’s chapters were great. What made ADWD a good book to me was the Winterfell and the Wall plot – both are doing a great job in terms of showing what winter in the North really means and in setting up a combined Northern storyline that could prove fantastic reading in TWOF. Manderley was awesome.

      So yes, it’s a matter of taste. There are a lot of book fans who really liked the last two books or at least certain storylines in them. I’m totally aware that many of them had to go in the show, I can do without the Greyjoys, without Quentyn (though I liked him), without the Griffs, without the host of new side characters. I’d like to see some plotlines though, and I hope they don’t try to fill all the ‘roles’ with characters we already and don’t turn more characters into underdeveloped character clichés (if all the Sandsnakes want to cut Myrcella to pieces, that would be such a pity). I’d still enjoy it (and keep watching, of course), just not as much as I have so far.

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    199. Darren: “I hate that they made Ellaria the revenge seeking madwoman” – She’s not the same as book-Ellaria, but she’s obviously taking on some of the role and characteristics of Arianne and the other Sand Snakes. I imagine we’ll see her role in Dorne be taken on by Doran later on.

      I understand what they are doing with her, I’m just saying it doesn’t make much sense in terms of character development. Oberyn obviously wouldn’t want her to take revenge on Myrcella and as Ellaria certainly isn’t stupid, it seems strange that she would. She does in the show because it’s easier for the show if it does, even though it doesn’t make much sense, and that I find a pity.

      Darren:

      “Doran is a worried guy in a chair and not Westeros’ great schemer” – This is his introduction scene. In his intro in AFFC, he’s exactly as he appears in Episode 2. He isn’t revealed to be a schemer until after Arianne’s plot is foiled. Making him out to be a Dornish Varys right from the start would kill the surprise that’s coming later on.

      His complete apathy and unreadability is what drew me to the character in the books. You’re right though, I was rushing to judgment there. I simply remember him as a Dornish version of Manderley, which he isn’t here.

      Darren: “Hizdar is completely unthreatening and boring.” – And how is that different than ADWD? lol If you think that he’s the Harpy, I suggest you check out the Meereneese Blot. It may change your mind. It certainly changed mine. Throughout the book, I always viewed him as a pawn and a bit of a tool.

      I’m quite aware who the Harpy is, thank you. Hizar is a bit of a bore in the book, but he’s more threatening, making him at least a suspect for being the Harpy. In the show so far, he doesn’t add much to the dramatic tension. In the Mereen plot in the books, there were many Mereneese characters that were hard to read, which created suspense. So far, that isn’t true in the show, but maybe I should wait and see.

      Darren: “Cersei’s storyline seems to lack the subtle intrigues it once had.” – Subtle? Cersei? She might have thought that she had everybody else fooled, but I don’t think that she did.

      Cersei isn’t subtle, that’s true 😉 However, Lady Merryweather was a good addition to her plot, for example, and at least I didn’t get that she was probably a Tyrell spy . There is so much going on around her that she doesn’t get, which makes her chapters fun to read. In the show, nothing like that has been hinted at so far, except Margaery’s “perhaps”.

      Darren:

      “Sansa’s mission to Winterfell might be interesting, but so far lacks any logical explanation.” – So far they haven’t explained where she was going, so why would they explain why she was going there? The first two episodes of the season aren’t meant to be understood as if you’d seen all the trailers and promotional materials available for the entire season already.

      I’m sure the show will explain it,

      but it just has to go beyond the “Revenge your family!” that the S3 teaser suggests. It makes sense that Littlefinger wants the North, but I fear Sansa will become Jeyne and do parts of her plot, the purpose of which would be a few thrills, but it would also make LF look really, really stupid. But let’s see where it goes.

      Darren: “Brienne and Pod are doing nothing that makes sense” – They were supposed to find Sansa. They found Sansa. Brienne didn’t handle the situation in the smartest way possible, but I don’t know what part of that interaction wouldn’t make sense for you.

      They are riding about for 9 episodes now. In AFFC, Brienne’s journey ends up in the best possible dilemma for that character. In the show, Brienne is being kept around to probably fill in for Mance and the spearwives, who would have been easy to do in the show.

      I do regret I wrote that I might stop watching the show, which I won’t of course, and I admit I was rushing to judgment what all could turn out really well after all. My concern was and is that character development and narrative consistency and logic are being sacrificed at least partly to easy plotting. I do hope I’m wrong – and maybe am 😉

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    200. Yung Wolf:

      Oh, you’re one of those people that believes in the “three heads of the dragon” theory? Ew.

      No, I’m one of those people that believes that the major characters of the series will have major parts to play in the endgame of Game of Thrones. Because, like, ya know… that’s how drama works.

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    201. I quit watching after season 2 and started to read the books and listen to the unabridged audio books. The show became TV drivel, and I wanted the full story not some craptastic TV version that will slaughter the lore and world that Martin created. TV shows that deviate, become dumbed down for the idiot masses, no thanks I have more than a 80 IQ and my attention span is not short like a house cat!

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