“The Climb” Could be the Worst Game of Thrones Episode to Date
Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones was a complete let down for fans of the series who have also read Martin’s novels. “The Climb” featured too many deviations from the book, and most of them revolved around the hidden strife between the Lannisters and Tyrells. The show runners have completely re-written the drama that exists between these two houses. The reasons are understandable, because some of the book characters are only mentioned in passing that are involved in these scenarios, but the results paint a different tone than the books.
The meeting between Tywin and The Queen of Thornes never happened. Loras is already a member of the Kingsguard in the book, and he is never betrothed to Sansa or Cersei. This scene paints the picture that Tywin threatened the Tyrells into a marriage deal between Loras and Cersei, when in fact he never did. He did as he pleased in the book version, and brokered the deal of marrying Sansa to Tyrion without ever consulting the Tyrells. He wants to marry Cersei off to Willas Tyrell, who Sansa was supposed to wed, but that never comes to fruition. The HBO version has turned Loras into Willas, and it paints a confusing picture to fans who have read the book.
Speaking of Sansa, she’s never privy to Lord Baelish’s plans in the books. The scene last night where she’s sobbing at the sight of Petyr’s ship never happened, because she doesn’t know his plans in the books. Sansa is a tragic character, and her awful tale is much more impactful in the books, and it gets further diluted with each new episode of Game of Thrones. Her plans for escape are much more discrete in the book, which makes the pay off of her revolt that much more exciting than how it’s being setup on the show. Again, the reasons for it playing out differently on the show are clear (no need to develop Dontos’ character), but “The Climb” just seemed to highlight how much different this season truly is when comparing it to A Storm of Swords.
This particular episode also liberally changed plot points in regards to the story of Melisandre and her religion’s God of Light. Unless a similar meeting happens in books 4 and 5, she never interacts with Thoros and the Brave Companions like HBO’s version portrayed. Her meeting with the outlaws to secure Gendry never takes place, because she has her sights set on another of King Robert’s bastards who already lives with Stannis at Dragonstone. Again, this was probably done because the show has invested development into the character of Gendry, but it’s very misleading, and fundamentally changes how the book played out.
The last scene “The Climb” that didn’t jive with the book whatsoever was the meeting between Cersei and Tyrion. At this point in time in the book these two barely speak to each other, and do their best to avoid being alone together. The scene featuring these two estranged siblings commiserating together over their Father’s marriage proposals made it seem like there is still hope for a relationship between these two Lannisters. Fans who have read the book know that this isn’t the case at all. In fact, these two hate each other so much that they never exchange even the smallest of pleasantries. The show is making it seem as if these two can at least talk together in a friendly manner, which isn’t the case at all.
You may be asking why the Theon scenes haven’t been mentioned in this rant, because they’re not even in the book that this season is based on, but they’re so out of place, and have been featured all season, that they’re not even worth bitching about.
“The Climb” is the first episode of the Game of Thrones series that just didn’t work. A few scenes, such as Robb’s meeting with the Freys, and Jon Snow’s Wall climb stayed fairly true to the source material, but overall the episode just changed too many facets of Martin’s novel. The changes are understandable because HBO can’t financially develop every minor character that George created, but their handling of some of the story lines just doesn’t seem right. Each problem scene listed above fundamentally changes how the book plays out, and they just seemed to go against the tone of the story.
Feel free to chime in on the discussion by leaving a few comments down below. Do you agree or disagree with the critiques? Are they too harsh, or do you feel the same way? Please weigh in on the matter, because it’s more fun to debate fantasy than real world problems! Hopefully next week’s episode, which you can preview below, is much better than “The Climb”. You’ve been thinking Game of Thrones had its first bad episode in three seasons…
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