The authors of Game of Thrones’ butchering of the Dorne storyline was the first big red flag that they couldn’t effectively deviate from the written word. Dorne and House Martell have a much greater presence in George R.R. Martin’s novels, with new characters and plots that were never introduced on the show.
Given that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss removed much of the Martell narrative, a cynic might conclude that Dorne has no impact on the larger picture, but that would be missing the points a slightly changed version of an old adage goes, it’s about the path, not the destination.
More specifically, the show’s handling of Dorne now seems like a “tell you so” moment, as though we should have all expected it. At the very least, thanks to Martin, Benioff, and Weiss were able to hide their flaws behind a mountain of compelling plot and character creation.
Starting with season 6, however, Game of Thrones no longer had that luxury, as the numerous plots in motion essentially went beyond what Martin had written down. The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, according to the poet, will be two more novels, the events of which have already been portrayed on screen in seasons 6, 7, and 8.
In the event that the show caught up, all the showrunners had was the details — an overview of the future — that Martin had shown to them before they set out to make Game of Thrones. Martin had only written five books in 15 years, so no one expected it to happen, but it did.
As Game of Thrones reached its final seasons, the writers were effectively left on their own. In that situation, Benioff and Weiss decided to work with what they had, the outline, rather than creating in-depth plots for the characters.
The first victim of this tactic was pacing, as plots that would typically take half a season or more were compressed into a few episodes or less. Some were marred by a lack of logic and characters behaving irrationally in order to advance the tale.
As Game of Thrones reached its final seasons, the writers were effectively left on their own. In that case, Benioff and Weiss agreed to work with what they had, the outline, rather than constructing in-depth plots for the characters. For what it’s worth, the final season of Game of Thrones wasn’t all evil.
The first two hours were adequate in and of themselves, with “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” being precisely the type of episode that drew many viewers to the show in the first place.
Even though the direction season 8 took to get there was largely frustrating, the second half of the series finale “The Iron Throne” offered satisfactory endings for the main characters.
In India, Season 8 of Game of Thrones is available on Hotstar.