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Spoilers if you haven’t caught Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Gift,” yet. Skedaddle out of this article and feel free to check something else, including everything we’ve seen from HBO’s hit fantasy drama this season.
Season 5 of Game of Thrones has been slower moving at times, but this weekend, the drama pushed forward on multiple fronts. One of these exciting developments happened when Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont finally managed to gain an—albeit impromptu—audience with Daenerys Targaryen. It was a shock for fans of the books who may have expected a longer journey for Tyrion and Jorah before reaching Dany. However, showrunner David Benioff recently explained in an interview why that particular plotline was fulfilled much earlier than expected.
We’re really excited to see these two characters we love so much finally set eyes on each other. Creatively it made sense to us, because we wanted it to happen. They’re two of the best characters of the show. To have them come so close together this season than have them not meet felt incredibly frustrating.
What Benioff is not mentioning is the fact that many fans of George R.R. Martin’s book series agree that book 4 and 5 meander a little, thanks to covering the same timeline from different characters' points of view. While a lot of that meandering can be interesting, it’s not necessarily the safest bet for a series that only produces 10 hour-long episodes a season. Especially, since Benioff and fellow showrunner D.B. Weiss have already expressed little interest in producing new episodes beyond Season 7 or 8.
Apparently, the amount of seasons the showrunners are interested in making also had an effect on the big Tyrion and Jorah meet Dany revealed. Benioff also told EW that the number of seasons on the drawing board also gave the writers reasons to cram the plot together quite a bit.
We’re on a relatively fast pace. We don’t want to do a 10-year adaptation of the books, we don’t want to do a nine-year adaptation. We’re not going to spend four seasons in Meereen. It’s time for these two to get together.
Tyrion’s journey has been super sped up this season, as well as changed. Instead of taking a boat journey with a potential other Targaryen heir (as in the books), Tyrion took a similar journey with Varys. When they promptly reached their destination, Tyrion was then kidnapped by Jorah and they began to travel to Meereen, where they met stone men and were picked up and sold by pirates. They ended up in the fighting pits, but by coincidence, Daenerys was going to the low end fighting pits before the larger fighting pits were opened. The three met, and next week we’ll see what fate is in store for the two men.
Anyone who has kept tabs on Season 5 before it premiered should have had an inkling this is where the story was headed, but when and why it happened is still pretty fascinating. You can catch new episodes of Game of Thrones on Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET.