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Has Game of Thrones revealed Jon Snow\'s dad? Has Game of Thrones revealed Jon Snow\'s dad?
Maybe it was. But sometimes it\'s for the best when an adaptation of a popular novel or book series breaks away from the source material, in order to better suit the requirements of a movie or television series.
No-one wants their favourite book brought to the screen in an adaptation so slavish that the whole thing ends up mechanical and lifeless.
novels. The first season in particular is a remarkably faithful translation of the opening book.
Eventually though, David Benioff and Dan Weiss – showrunners on HBO\'s hit series – were forced to get creative. The first entry in Martin\'s series was published back in 1996, but 20 years on and he\'s yet to complete the sixth. The show was rapidly outpacing the books.
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Martin was willing to offer a guiding hand – he revealed a few key points in his narrative arc that could be adapted for television – but for the most part Benioff and Weiss were out on their own for season 6, crafting a wholly original series for the first time.
It could have all gone so terribly wrong. Without Martin to set down a path, would
fall apart, fumbling its way forward with no clear plan? We primed ourselves for the worst.
But then, something amazing happened. The show didn\'t fall apart. It didn\'t get worse. In fact,
In our review, Digital Spy suggested that this year\'s explosive finale \'The Winds of Winter\' "might be the series\' best ever episode" – and it\'s not just us thinking season six was a cut above. Fans are flocking to the show in greater numbers than ever before, with \'Winds\' setting a new ratings record for HBO.
Now let\'s be clear: Benioff and Weiss owe everything to GRRM. Without him, there would be no
But there\'s an unmistakable feeling that the show has taken its foot off the brake. The pace of this year\'s 10 episodes wasn\'t much different from any season previous, but Benioff and Weiss did deliver a number of big moments in 2016 that
fans have been waiting on for a long,
After bringing Daenerys and Tyrion together last season – something that hasn\'t really happened, yet, in Martin\'s novels, though they share a location – they had Jon Snow and Sansa find each other in episode four at Castle Black. The Hound makes a triumphant return, Benjen Stark resurfaced (after
set sail to goddamn Westeros. All that\'s missing is an appearance from Lady Stoneheart.
Moving beyond the novels also seemed to give the showrunners the freedom to clean house. Minor characters who no longer contributed much – your Balon Greyjoys and your Roose Boltons – were executed with a merciless efficiency. It wasn\'t just wanton carnage either. Rickon might not have been anyone\'s favourite Stark, but his death at Ramsay\'s hands served a huge narrative purpose in kicking off the Battle of the Bastards.
Benioff and Weiss seem a little more willing to be crowd-pleasers, while Martin was apparently so hungry to defy convention that his story twists sometimes crossed over into being just plain mean-spirited.
Take the battle between the Mountain and the Viper. Faithfully translated for the screen, it ended with a vengeance-seeking Oberyn Martell brutally murdered by the same monster who\'d raped and killed his sister.
In subverting the standard tropes of a revenge story, it was certainly shocking. But was it satisfying? Tropes are tropes for a reason, and the resolution to Oberyn\'s story – the horrific injustice of the whole thing – left a bad taste in the mouth.
Being unpredictable\'s not a bad thing – like with the Red Wedding – but sometimes, it doesn\'t hurt to give the audience a little of what they want.
Thank goodness the Battle of the Bastards, which hasn\'t happened yet in the books, assuming it ever will – ended with the awful Ramsay defeated and meeting a gruesome fate. After his rape of Sansa, his torture of Theon, his murder of Rickon and so many others, anything else would have been hugely frustrating and disappointing.
The villains Martin seemed content to let thrive are finally paying the piper on television, with Meryn Trant and Walder Frey joining Ramsey in hell.
All of which seems a little unfair on Martin. He still has a hand in the series and, with his sixth book – the now almost mythical
– yet to be published, who\'s to say he wouldn\'t have done all of this in the books?
We might never know for sure – certainly not if he\'s changed how the books play out after having been lapped by the TV show. But whatever happens next in the novels, we can be content in the knowledge that
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