Battle Of Winterfell

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

I just watched this while falling asleep last night. While I agree that the battle could have been shorter, I also feel that every single episode of Game Of Thrones could be shorter. I’m constantly stunned about the amount of extra footage that any competent film editor would normally remove, but which somehow makes it into this show. Is this done to pad the time? Is the goal to stretch the show out as long as possible, because it is a big hit for HBO? There are some stretches of this story that were so dull I had to fast forward through them:

1.) Bran and friends go north to find the Raven. Lots of scenes of them walking across mountains. Good lord this was dull. I got to the point where I would hit fast forward any time they came on the screen.

2.) Sex in Little Finger’s brothel. Yes, yes, I get it, its a brothel, there is a lot of sex. If this was a normal film, there would be one shot of sex in the brothel, to establish that there is sex in a brothel, and thereafter the audience would simply assume that sex was happening in the brothel.

3.) Theon being tortured by Ramsay. Are you kidding? if this was a normal film, a normal film editor would give us one torture scene, 15 seconds if the film was supposed to be watched by teenagers, maybe a full 60 seconds if the film was trying to established credentials as dark and gritty. But in Game Of Thrones this torture scene drags across several episodes. Really?

4.) Daenerys liberates Slavers Bay. This drags on for several seasons. With proper editing, I believe this story could be told reasonably well in 45 minutes. There are a few good scenes, spaced across oceans of boredom.

The saddest part is that the good stuff that I want to see is often missing. When characters who are enemies finally meet, after years of hating one another, I want interesting dialogue. And often there is silence.

And what about reconciliation? The episode before this last one, the Hound and Arya meet again, after years apart. I was looking forward to this reunion. I very much want to hear what they say to each other. Instead, they exchange a few glib lines.

When Game Of Thrones is over, the whole show, over 8 seasons, will be almost 70 hours long, but I think with proper editing it could be boiled down to 3 good movies, 2 hours in length, for a total of 6 hours. Something like the original Star Wars Trilogy. If one wants to throw in every story line, even the bad ones, make it 4 movies for a total of 8 hours. But nothing justifies the 70 hours.

It is a frustrating show, full of potential, much of which gets wasted on the wrong things.

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