There are two more episodes until “Game of Thrones'” sixth season wraps up, and some viewers are less than impressed.
Over the course of this season, fans have taken to Reddit to discuss its quality of writing — all of its hits and misses.
Dorne is a trainwreck
One of the earliest disappointments was the handling of the Dorne plot. We haven’t seen Ellaria and the Sand Snakes since episode one, after they slaughtered Doran Martell, his son Trystane, and his loyal bodyguard Areo Hotah all in less than four minutes.
Fans pointed out plot holes in the last episode, when two of the Sand Snakes make their way to King’s Landing to kill Trystane. They had watched from the Dornish docks as the boats shipped off, so how did they sneak away and set sail undetected so quickly? Fans were also dissatisfied with Areo’s death. The incredible warrior had no time to show off his battle skills.
Fans feel that character development was stunted in the Dorne plot line, and that the future of Dorne still remains unclear.
While the show has always diverged from the books, this particular part left readers angry.
“Why even include [Doran] in the show if you’re going to butcher his entire story line? Dorne is such a train wreck,” one Reddit user said.
But that’s not the only writing viewers have criticised.
Arya would never leave herself open to attack
The eighth episode ended with Arya Stark reclaiming her identity, which thrilled viewers, but the events leading up to Arya’s growth have been a sore topic for some.
Arya sailed to Braavos at the end of season four and has been training at the House of Black and White since season five. She’s cleaned corpses, has used the Hall of Faces, learned how to sneakily kill people, and underwent extreme fight training with the waif. Finally, in episode seven of season six, Arya decides to go home, but as she’s preparing to leave she lets her guard down and is stabbed in the abdomen multiple times by the waif.
Fans on Reddit believe that this was a serious character flaw. Arya is a smart and wary character, and to leave herself open to attack felt forced. So did her escape through the city, which would have made even more sense if she hadn’t suffered life-threatening wounds. Men have died for less.
Comment from discussion [Main Spoilers] Megathread Discussion: Quality of Writing.
Mark Mylod, the episode’s director, told Tech Insider that he wanted to show that Arya has faults.
“She allowed herself a moment [of reflection] — and this is where you have to remember that despite what an extraordinary warrior she is … she’s still such a young woman, and is vulnerable and flawed like every wonderful character in the show and every human being on earth,” he said. “One of the many things our writers are so great at is allowing our characters to be flawed. Nobody is perfect… and Arya nearly pays dearly for it.”
Still, there are other ways to show her faults.
As one user put it, “If they were going to have her run around like a cheetah and vaulting off high places they shouldn’t have had her been stabbed multiple times. That was a botched sell by the writers.”
Regardless, Arya is finally going home, and it’s been a long time coming.
The Blackfish’s decision to stay and fight alone seemed unlikely, and he deserved more
Brynden Tully, the Blackfish, returned after a three-season absence to face off against Jaime for control of Riverrun, the Tully’s home. He is as heroic and stubborn as ever, refusing to give in to Jaime’s demands. An episode later, Brienne and Pod arrive to try and convince the Blackfish and his Tully army to fight with Sansa in the north.
The Blackfish still refuses to give up his castle, but when Jaime lets Edmure, the proper Lord of Riverrun approach, his army surrenders. The Blackfish helps Brienne and Pod escape, but decides to stay back and fight against the Lannister men alone.
He dies off-screen in an anti-climatic ending.
One Reddit user called it “cheap” and said, “I loved the Blackfish as a character, but it seemed like such a seachange for him to go from fighting for his family’s home to just giving up and calling it quits once it falls apart. He still had family in the North in Sansa, and he had a clear opportunity to escape and continue on up there.”
Another user said, “I simply can’t buy that a legendary military strategist like Blackfish knowingly goes straight into his guaranteed doom just to maybe kill a couple more Freys/Lannisters, which would obviously bear no significant impact, when he full-well knew he could freely go North and be a huge impact in saving his family, reclaiming Winterfell, uniting the North, defending the realm against the White Walkers, etc.”
This is another divergence from the books. Edmure gives up the castle but helps the Blackfish escape. We last see him swimming away as the Lannister forces fail to find him.
Mylod told Tech Insider that he agreed with the writer’s decision to kill the Blackfish off-screen.
“In the case of the Blackfish, it was really a storytelling call,” he said. “The most important tonal story would be — at least for me and I can probably speak for the writers here — to show the passing of this great old school warrior with a real warrior’s death … So it was really just a question of choice. I expect that one could make an equally compelling argument either way. That was the writer’s choice and I fully agreed with it.”
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