The only thing worse than an annoying character is an all-powerful annoying character with no apparent weaknesses. In preparation for tonight’s True Blood season finale, I’m going to kvetch a bit.
In season 3 of True Blood, Sookie et al had to contend with the 3,000-year-old, entirely-psychotic vampire Russell Edgington. Basically, no character could do much of anything to hurt him, at least physically, on their own. The only explanation ever given for this, as best I can recall, was that he is over 3,000 years old. Evidently, vampires only get better with age. It was only through a collective effort that the main characters were able to weaken Russell by getting him into the sun, and then they proceeded to not kill him. I still don’t get that. I suspect that the producers wanted to keep his character on the back burner for the time when they decided to start phoning it in, e.g. season 5. (Seriously, how do you bring back Russell when Roman barely had a chance to do anything yet?)
Now, in season 5, a group of religious fanatic vampires who never seem to leave their conference room have brought Russell back to assist with their whatever-the-hell-they’re-doing, and Russell has entirely predictably gone off the deep end and freaked everybody way the fuck out. Setting aside the question of how the characters didn’t see that coming, were the producers expecting the viewers to be surprised? Once again, no one can stand against Russell because (cue inscrutable accent) he is over 3,000 years old!!! Continue reading →
To say I am excited about “Game of Thrones” season 2 would not do justice to the concept of excitement. Even words like “stoked” don’t truly convey the feeling. Of course, the stokedness is mixed with any fans apprehension that adapting such a huge novel to a TV screen will invariably screw it up somehow, but consider this: I had misgivings about season 1 when it started, and now I don’t remember what they were. That is either because (a) I did not blog about them at the time and so therefore they were not retained in my mind, or (b) any misgivings were overshadowed by how great the show turned out to be. I prefer option (b).
Season 2 will be largely based on the second book of the series, A Clash of Kings, although I fully expect that the show’s story arc will delve into other volumes now and then, as it did in season 1. HBO has put out a couple of shorts that introduce some of the new characters and showcase the new settings.
Fans of the books might notice that they seem to be giving much more prominent roles to Margaery Tyrell and Qhorin Halfhand. I’m all for that. Qhorin is a great character, and I have always been curious about Margaery (no spoilers, but she goes through a lot of crap.) My only complaint regarding her is that they put the accent on the first syllable of the Tyrell name, which means I have been mispronouncing it for years (the same was true for both “Daenerys” and “Targaryen,” though. I’m just glad I know now.)
Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth
Now then, here’s the burning question: Brienne of Tarth, where the hell is she??? She may come closest to being the moral center of this part of the story, and they don’t even see fit to introduce her? Think about it: through the first four books, she is instrumental in turning one bad character (Jaime Lannister) sort of good, and in showcasing how one good character (Catelyn Stark) has turned bad, sort of. She’s also one of the most interesting characters overall–in a universe full of people who have lost all control over their own destinies, she is one of the few who dares to try to be who she really is. It almost never works out for her, of course, but the scorn and ridicule that nearly all of Westeros puts on her just makes her that much more heroic. She deserves to be prominently featured.