Jarv and Xiphos explain why Game of Thrones Season 2 sucks giant flaming dragon balls
Game of Thrones is unfairly lauded across the Internets and by bored TV critics salivating over something shiny. However, in all honesty, the second series of it hasn’t only been not very good but actually awful and quite unmeriting of the slavering adoration showered upon it.
Myself and Xi had varying opinions of the first series, in that we both liked different bits, but one thing we agreed on was that there was plenty of room for improvement, and the second series could well turn into something special. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case- and we both held the opinion that the second series is an absolute televisual atrocity.
Contains serious spoilers below- you have been warned.
Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s obese book series dealing with a war of succession. At the end of the first series the Stark house was riding from the North to King’s Landing to get revenge on the Lannisters that currently hold the throne. In the meantime, John Snow, the bastard Stark, had earned his stripes as a member of the Night Watch on the wall in the north, and Danaerys was Khaleesi of a Dothraki tribe in the East. Season 2 deals primarily with the initial skirmishes and expands the characters and storylines exponentially. Not necessarily to good effect.
PREEMPTIVE DROID STRIKE:
Xiphos: I know your argument will be “why watch it if you don’t like it?” It’s like this, I am trying to figure out the Nerd psyche. I am fascinated the nerds mental gymnastics over GoY and can’t for the life of me figure out where/how they see this crap pile as anything but what it is, a very talky very bland very boring not very well made show. Plus now the D&Ders are bitching about the amount of NUDITY for christ sakes! They say there is too MUCH nudity for crying out loud and it takes away from the story? FUCK THAT! The horrible story needs to be gotten away FROM and the feed bags do just that. I don’t fucking get it. You can’t have enough cans in anything. Speaking for Jarv here, his Old Lady loves GoY so the poor bastard is screwed, he has to watch it.
Jarv: Have to agree, and put my hands up: if it was up to me, I’d have binned it. I suppose it’s only fair considering the amount of shit I’ve inflicted on her over the years.
I don’t understand nerds, and don’t really want to- but there is a strange rubbernecking tendency over the excuses for the failings of this series. If it were set in, say, 19th Century England then I’d bet not one of them would defend it- yet because it’s fantasy, they suck on it like Amy Winehouse on a crack pipe.
Jarv’s look at the Good features of the series:
Jarv: Well, for me, and I know that Xi will probably agree with this, the only redeeming feature (aside from the massive amounts of nudity) is the performance of Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister- a smooth and Machiavellian little midget bastard. He’s at his best, again, in this series and to be fair the whole King’s Landing court shenanigans (the weak point of the first series) has been much better handled. However, there’s nothing really interesting to say about it, so I’m going to talk briefly about Oona Chaplin’s Talisa’s relationship with Robb Stark. Stark, actually, has been woefully sidelined this series in favour of all sorts of bloody tedium, but their relationship from first meeting to eventual marriage was nicely handled and she puts in the most warm performance of any of the actors other than The Dink. One of my major complaints with this piss poor series is that there are too many storylines, and I would have far preferred more time in Stark camp with these two than some of the shit with Stannis’ Baratheon’s brother- which only exists to introduce what will be a major character in the future. Aside from that, the Battle episode was at least watchable, which is more than you can say for most of it.
Xiphos: The Dink and Juggs FTW! Seriously they are the only consistently good parts of this show. Everything else varies in quality from mediocre to downright sucking ass.They keep referring to Robb Stark kicking ass everywhere yet we never see any of it. That is inexcusable writing. We see him so little that I forget what the actor looks like and it takes me a minute or two to remember who he is when he pops up occasionally.
Xiphos’ look at the Good features of the series:
Xiphos: For me the “good” is really a misnomer since season 2 comes down to me liking a few side characters like The Hound who came on strong this year. The total mercenary dude the Dink installed as head of the palace guard was a riot in his five minutes of screen time. The Gay King and his hot wife that was willing to pimp her brother (and she nuded up) was fun. The chick playing Sansa Stark will be a total hottie in 2 years (she’s 16 now so…). While I dislike intensely the Arya Stark on the run storyline, I did enjoy her interaction with Tywinn Lanister and the Assassin might be an interesting character later on. The “attack” episode was slightly above average but had several problems (some of which I will deal with below). To be fair how Daeny resolves the lame House of the Undying section was OK
Jarv: “Good” is probably overstating it- not shit would be better.
I completely forgot about both Bron and the Hound, probably because they had a combined 10 minutes of screen time in 10 episodes. On the other hand, I fucking hated gay king, and left to me, I’d have dumped him on the cutting room floor. Arya on the run I could deal with, and her interaction with Tywinn was a high point, but they screwed it due to the repetition with the other fucking Stark kids in what will inevitably be a straight forward repeat of the same fucking story (the overriding problem of the series). Robb stark may as well not have been in it.
Jarv’s pick for the Bad:
Jarv: Fuck me. What a fucking waste. In the first series, I thought that the most interesting storyline of the three was the rise of Danaerys from tribesman’s fucktoy to becoming Queen and “mother of dragons”. Given that the first series closed with a very naked Emilia Clarke (who unlike Xi, I do find attractive) striding out of the flames with her dragons, I (mistakenly) thought we may be on to something entertaining. Sadly, this didn’t prove to be the case. Of all the storylines hideously short-changed in this series, Dany’s took the worst hit. She barely appears in the first half of it, and even then it’s to moan about being stuck in a fucking desert that she led them to (never trust a woman on navigation). The second half, though, is even worse, because once she’s inside Qarth (Stupid name), which may as well be the worst cliché ridden excuse for an arabic shit pit that I’ve ever seen (and I’m not joking about this, it’s one cunt hair from Osama Bin Laden molesting livestock on screen), all the boring, whinging, useless cow does is attend parties in posh frocks, whine about how nobody gives her any respect, which she frankly doesn’t deserve, and generally get on my tits. The finale at least had her do something of interest, but blow me down if the whole House of the Undying wasn’t spectacularly unimaginative and utterly derivative.
I honestly, for the life of me, cannot see why she was in this series at all. Her storyline maybe, and I’m being generous with this, contained enough material to appear in about two episodes, but nope, she was on all the time moaning like a nymphomaniac riding a bucking bronco. Iain Glenn proved to be watchable as her retainer, again, but I’d honestly have excised her whole storyline from this series as it went precisely nowhere. I’m not kidding- she’s basically finished the series in the exact same position she was at the start: a Queen in waiting with 3 baby dragons and no fucking kingdom. Furthermore, her character hasn’t developed in any positive way, and gone is the determined woman from the first series, instead replaced with some bloody annoying shrew with a sodding fashion fixation. Just awful writing on every conceivable level, and I’ve got to blame the source material for this.
Xiphos: I couldn’t buy into Daeny’s storyline in Season 1. There is no way that mopey not very attractive wench would be in possession of a golden snapper that would tame a wild nomad leader, that just didn’t fly with me. Season 2 Daeny was even worse since she turned into a whiny, entitled chick that thinks she deserves to be queen just because. Sweet pants shut up, nut up and wait for the dragons to grow up, put together your forces, build political alliances then go whup some ass! Christ on a crutch, this story line, while almost thrown out in Season 2, was still too much and the Qarth scenes were plain awful to suffer through. I suspect all the Daeny’s sections were written by 15 year old girls. If there was a unicorn somewhere it would have been the smoking gun.
Xiphos’ pick for the bad:
Xiphos: The Wall. Jesus this was disappointing. I liked this section in the first series, even if it had Samwise Gamgee in it (Fuck you Martin you plagiarizing thief) but man did they cock this shit up hard this series. I freely admit I gave the first season of the Wall storyline a pass due to me being predisposed to liking stories about a few warriors way out on the frontier protecting the world from a very real danger that nobody believes exists except for the men doing the hard dirty work. This series on the other hand killed all my good feeling from last season. They took an interesting idea and shit on it. It became a very talky very boring foot trip around Iceland with dopey characters doing dumb things for no other reasons than the script calls for it. And for guys with the title of RANGER who go out beyond the wall among the Wildings they show a distinct lack of martial skill. I kept getting annoyed that they were operating in a white wasteland and they wear black armor and black cloaks instead of white camouflage (see picture above). Hell even the wildings wear white so they, you know, blend in with the environment. Fucking writer dipshits put down the doughnuts, weed and internet porn and maybe read a book about the Finns almost beating the Commies in WW2. That might help you understand about operating in a frozen environment you hack jobs. Also the mopey prick that plays Jon Snow (fucking stupid name BTW dramatic foreshadowing much?) turned into a colossal and limp dick putz and the ginger scottish broad with the bizarre accent kept on her bloomers WHICH WAS UNACCEPTABLE! She better drop trou in the very first minute of the very first episode of Season 3 or there will be trouble a coming their way.
Jarv: Aaaaaaargggggggggh- I fucking hate you Samwise “Character theft” Gamgee and just want your fat ass turned over to the Japanese whaling fleet. Obese, useless exercise in fucking tedium with a perpetually whiny voice and a face that looks like he’s puzzled as he’s misplaced his emergency cheese sandwich. He’s another cunt that should have ended up on the cutting room floor. On the other hand, I know nothing about combat, and even I spotted that mooching around on tundra dressed in black would make you stand out like a tarantula on a slice of angel food.
Fail. Epic fail. This is also an example of unearned nerd love as they described Snow’s sword fight as “epic”, which it most certainly was not.
Jarv’s pick for the ugly:
Jarv: 2 words: Theon Greyjoy. Has there ever been a more useless and series killing character in a major show than this utter cunt? I fucking despise him with the fire of a thousand suns, and I resent the amount of bloody screen time that the annoying, entitled, moaning, stupid, arrogant, conceited, spoiled little fuckhead had on screen. Every single fucking episode had him bitching about how he needed to prove himself as an Iron Islander, and that his daddy didn’t fucking love him. Oh boo fucking hoo you ungrateful little cockwomble. So you were sent off to live in luxury and treated as one of the family in Winterfell were you? Poor fucking you. So Daddy prefers your sister, who at least has earned her stripes, to you? Poor fucking you. So the Starks didn’t give you enough respect? Poor fucking you. You didn’t get command of the Iron Islands fleet, despite having displayed no aptitude for this whatsoever, and not even being in line for it? Poor fucking you.
Alfie Allen tries hard with the part, but the character is so inordinately detestable, as is his entire family and storyline, that he’s buggered, and by episode 7 I seriously resented every single second the fucking disgrace to humanity spent on screen. When he’s moaning about how he’s “travelled too far down this road” in the finale I begged the wife to turn it off, as it’s entirely self-inflicted- he’d had about 20 fucking opportunities to not be such a little fucking bitch and not fuck up as drastically as he was doing. There’s no excuse for shite writing on this level, and I genuinely believe he should not have been in the series at all. His final speech was a reasonable attempt at being rousing, and so forth, but too fucking little too fucking late, and I genuinely cheered when the fumbletrumpet was knocked out, but I regret that nobody took their chance to put the boot in a few times on the cunt.
Xiphos: Jesus Christ ,this shitbird where to start? He has severe daddy issues, like terminal the punk ass bitch. He’s ungrateful and a pussy. He’s a weak leader, his sister is TOUGHER, STRONGER AND A BETTER WAR LEADER APPARENTLY! BWHAHHAHAHAHA! The turncoat little bitch fucked over the Starks who treated him well when they fostered him. I could go on but I won’t. Mostly I just dislike the actor he grates on me and deserves a throat punch.
Xiphos’ pick for the ugly:
Xiphos: Anything to do with combat. Let me put on my military hat and tear George R.R. Martin a new asshole here. First though let me preface this by saying I have not read the books (nor have any plans to do so) but since the show apparently faithfully and dutifully vomited the books onto the TV screen I feel I am on solid ground here. The strategy behind the attack on King’s Landing was fucking dumb and annoyed the hell out of me.
Stannis Baratheon, another chump made out to be a great military leader, focused all his ships and fighters on one gate thus violating one the prime tenets of warfare, conservation of forces, and it led to Tyrion being able to take out almost the entire Navy of Stannis with one boat filled with dragon’s breath. Good writing job there Martin you dumb shit. Read a book about amphibious operations before you crap shit like this you fuck knuckle. I give kudos to Neil Marshall for making that hot mess at least watchable in that episode he directed.
The use of swords in this series sucks. The worst of the lot though is that giant blond chick. We are supposed to believe that she is some sort of fearsome warrior when you can see the wheels turning in her head thinking “step out here, slash there, parry here” and she has footwork that sucks and she’s as graceful as a cow on ice skates. Whoever is in charge of teaching the actors how to fight sucks at their job. It’s no wonder why they stay away from fights scenes. They mostly blow.
Jarv: Oh god, blonde Sasquatch chick. Forgot about her as well. Never mind the fucking sword fighting (which she basically didn’t do), she was just horribly unappealing and another extraneous and boring character.
As for the more military matters, I can’t answer to that, so will bow to superior knowledge- except it’s telling that the Dink, with no martial experience, can clobber the whole fucking fleet. This suggests that it’s horseshit. It was at least watchable though, and was the only time in either series that anyone got a semi-decent performance out of Lena Headey- so kudos to Marshall.
Oh, and talking about Headey, stop it with the fucking incest storylines. Please.
Room for improvement:
Jarv: For me there are 2 fundamental problems to Game of Thrones: the source material and the writing. The source material is just too bloated, stuffed full of repetitive and hateful characters, and buckets and buckets of boring talk going nowhere. The series reflects this hugely, as almost every episode basically consists of people talking portentous and pompous guff back and forth with no real action. The writing of the series actually compounds this, because by being so slavish in converting the source to the big screen, we get every single fucking character talking absolute bollocks about “Winter coming” or how hard it is to be fucking Queen, or some other such absolute honk.
Adapting a property, in my opinion, involves translating it to a different medium. As part of the adaptation process, you may have to make hard choices, and this is your chance to excise some mistakes that the original writer made. In the case of Game of Thrones, I’d have pared it down- Theon would not have made it to the screen (he adds nothing to the narrative thrust), the youngest Stark boy would not have survived, as he’s basically repeating the same journey as Ariya, and I’d have written Danaerys and The Wall totally out of this series.
That this shit features in it is that it’s purely to satiate the rabid needs of online dingbats, and I, personally, don’t see any fucking need to pander to these cretins at all. Furthermore, to a large degree, the character bloating is down to Martin’s “POV” characters. There’s no need for fat Samwise (actually the cunt’s name) at the Wall. He adds nothing, and is entirely punchable. So, therefore, what I would have done is intentionally butcher Martin’s source and pare down the number of storylines to a maximum of THREE per fucking series. No fucking more than that is acceptable, particularly given the paucity of interest in the Wall and the East’s sections. Yes, the dorks would wail and gnash their teeth, but frankly fuck them- their opinion gives us things like Watchmen.
Sadly, we aren’t getting this- the next book has been split in half. That’ll be entertaining then. This is a huge mistake in my opinion, because not only will the TV series overtake the books in a few years, but the author may well croak before he finishes it. As such, I’d have taken far more liberties with the source to turn in something coherent and concise- to crush the coal into a diamond.
I agree entirely with what Jarv wrote but I want to hammer home a point here and this goes for any nation’s version of Hollywood and for the adaptation of any property being considered. DO NOT TRY AND DO A STRAIGHT ADAPTATION. Books and movies are different mediums that demand different approaches to storytelling. I’m not saying that this approach is golden and always works since there is a list as tall as Everest with failed adaptations that used this approach. All I am saying is you have a better chance of making something good if you chose the way of making it. More importantly though DO NOT PANDER TO THE NERDS THAT WORSHIP THE SUBJECT BEING ADAPTED. Subject nerds, especially in the fantasy world, suck. They are whiny living in the forest but can’t see the trees douche nozzles that want the story they made in their heads produced exactly or they will hold their breath and stamp their feet and go on a crying jag that makes you sick to your stomach to read. Or worse they become like the GoT sycophants who think every clichéd bit of writing in GoT is like the greatest thing EVAH!!!!! and they sit around online trying to convince each other that it is. It’s truly a pathetic spectacle to behold.
It sucks, obviously, so it can have a barbarian orangutan of doom sitting under a Joshua tree. However, if some hard choices are made in the next series, and they seriously pare back the source material, which will no doubt be a massive source of consternation, then it could be redeemable. It is lush, and there is mucho nudity, but that, frankly, is not enough.
If we’re honest (and speaking for Xi as well here) we hold out no hope for improvement whatsoever. Basically, it’s shit and whatever promise the first season held has long gone, At the end of the day, Game of Thrones is looking more and more like Lost but with swords, sandals and tits.
Until next time,
Jarv & Xi