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Game of Thrones is currently airing its sixth season on HBO. We're well past the halfway mark of the season at this point, and we've seen a bunch of wild and wonderful scenes play out as the season has worn on. But in between those emotional and intriguing moments, there has been some outcry that the show might be catering a little too much to the fanbase, while others seem to be loving watching some of their biggest predictions play out. This week, two huge Game of Thrones fans on CinemaBlend came at the topic from two very different perspectives, and they've decided to articular here why they do---or don't---think Game of Thrones is catering too much to the fans in Season 6. You can check out the conversation, below.
According to Corey...
Listen, I'm a big fan of Game of Thrones. I watch and rewatch the TV show, read the books, and even listen to the novels in audiobook form. But one of the aspects of Game that has always frustrated me is its pace. Plots tend to take forever to resolve. We've been following Daenerys since day 1, but she's only recently interacted with someone from Westeros proper (looking at you Tyrion). That's why I've been really loving Season 6; they've been giving us all of the payoffs that we normally never get. Finally seeing two Starks in the same room, Brienne completing her mission, and Rickon and Benjen returning all feel like a major payday from a series that---while I love it---has been a bit stingy in the past.
While some people may complain that Game of Thrones is pandering to viewers and making fan fiction into canon, I'm leaning toward a different interpretation. Because the fandom is so intense and, let's say it, smart as hell, they've been able to predict big plot twists. Of course, there are a shit-ton of other theories that will never come to fruition, but I don't think that the intelligence and attention to detail that the fans have should somehow negatively affect the quality of the series.
So bravo (Braavos?), Game of Thrones. The series may be ending soon, but I'd prepare for a ton more payoffs and shocking deaths that we never saw coming. Unless you're one of those fans who is nailing the whole prediction thing.
And then there's the opposite side of the coin...
Like Corey, I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones. I've pored over the books more than once and watched every episode at least twice. But Game Of Thrones Season 6 has started catering to the fanbase in a way it was never worried about before. In Season 5, the show faced criticism for the way Sansa's rape and Shireen's death were portrayed on the small screen. Now, it's like the show has taken those criticisms, thrown up its hands and decided to cater to the fans in every single way. (Except maybe continuing to kill off direwolves.) The "hold the door" thing with Hodor had been bandied around by the Internet before it happened, and both the Hound's return to the action and the big reveal that Uncle Benjen is this show's version of Coldhands, despite the fact Martin envisioned it differently. Does it wrap things up neatly? Yes. Does it make me as excited for every new episode? No.
When you have a series that has been coming together as long as Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire has, it's not unusual to see the fanbase influence the ultimate product, but I think the speed at which the showrunners are rushing through this season rather than lingering on moments like Dany's time with the Dothraki or Margaery's manipulation of the High Sparrow shows that they are ready to wash their hands of the series. It's a behemoth to produce, and probably exhausting, which is likely why we are only expected to get 13 more episodes after this season before the series ends. In some ways I don't blame them, but the final result is that Game of Thrones is less about strategy and more about inevitability than it used to be.
Most shows hit a peak in terms of quality, but it's a shame this may have happened just when the epic ending started to come together.
So, that's obviously how the CinemaBlend team feels about where Game of Thrones has opted to go during Season 6. The show has already been renewed for Season 7, so there will doubtless be more streamlined plots or fan-fiction-y ones in the future, depending on your perspective. For now, you can take a look at what we know about the upcoming episodes, which air on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET.