OT: Why is everyone on GoT so dumb? (Spoilers)

Submitted by OwenGoBlue on August 24th, 2017 at 11:57 AM

If you've been on the internet this week the latest episode has already been spoiled by headlines alone. In case this is the only site you visit and you have yet to see Sunday's episode AND you still clicked on this, stop reading now.

Everyone is just so dumb in 700 AD or whatever and I can't handle it. 

Night King: Throw faster or at least have better caddies! Throw at the rock island!

Bran is just the worst at omnipresence!

Just have dragons burn the ships!

Writers: You have all of the deus ex machinas in the world and you still come up with "this dude who we never show rides in on a horse sometimes!" Why did you idiots give everyone plot armor this season?

Dear board, please answer me this: Who else is dumb? Who is the most dumb?



August 24th, 2017 at 12:09 PM ^

Completely agree.  The show took a turn for the worse when it got ahead of the books.

Also, I literally yelled "BOOOO!  Deus Ex Machina!" when the horse guy came out.  Such a crutch...

Praise the gods that football season is here and we'll have something better to disctract us from our real lives.


August 24th, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

Obviously they're deviating from GRRM's style/pace because they have to, but these characters were never smart.  They all work within a bubble, and they do because the bubble is the premise itself -- GRRM set out to make a fantasy version of the War of the Roses, so everyone operates within the framework of alliances and betrayals and the soap opera in between, when history shows the real difference-makers are those who work outside that paradigm.  (Historians question if the War of the Roses mattered at all, as it was basically a squabble to determine which House would win the privilege of walking all over an underclass for which that was the status quo anyway.)  So the story was never going to be about anything other than a bunch of insular nobles working within the premise-imposed constraints.  Strategically, they've always been a bunch of scrubs.

That doesn't mean it can't be a good story, but I've been meh on it from the beginning so I can't really comment on how it's taking a turn for the worse.  I just take issue with the notion that they suddenly got stupider when no one I can think of was particulary smart to begin with, so I wonder about the "this is what you get" take.  Didn't the producers have extensive talks with GRRM about it beforehand?


August 24th, 2017 at 1:32 PM ^

I'm all for criticizing the ham-handed way in which the showrunners have written (for lack of a better word) this season, but let's not lose sight of the fact that GRRM has more or less fallen down on the job as well and been doing so for nigh over 10 years.  

Feast for Crows (2005) was of inconsistent quality and Dance with Dragons (2011) was a scatterplotted mess.  If the incredibly talented author who created the world, the plotline and the characters cannot - after SIXTEEN years - figure out a way out of the corner he wrote himself into, it's probably not realistic to expect the show's producers to do much better in two years.


August 24th, 2017 at 4:57 PM ^

It seems the producers are completely obsessed with dragons and drunk skeletons and forgot what this show is really all about....  BEWBS!  Now I'm not sure if it matches up perfectly, but it sure seems like RR Martin's storylines led themselves to more nudity and all around ass grabery than we have been getting in recent episodes.   Almost unwatchable nowadays with all of the fabric, armor, etc. getting in the way.




August 25th, 2017 at 10:32 AM ^

Now that there's a lovable band of comedic heroes that don't particularly like one another, one of whom chooses to wield a hammer instead of a sword, coming together to defeat an evil dragon creature and non-human army, I realized I've seen this before...they're remaking the Avengers.


August 24th, 2017 at 12:13 PM ^

My attempt to explain, in the order you presented:

-  Notice that Viserion exploded in flames when the Night King hit him? He then fell into water, extinguishing said flames. If you hit Drogon, then yes, you kill many main characters, but you only get a skeleton dragon (which can't fly as it does not have webbed wings anymore) and the other 2 likely fly away and are lost. Subsequently, you now have no tool to dismantle the Wall, which is the biggest obstacle the army of the dead faces to bear down on the realms of men.

-  Omnipresence isn't "supposed" to be as easy as the show is making it out. Bran and other greenseers can only see small fragments of the past and present (and future...?) in the books and then have to piece it together. However, it's hard to do this on screen and keep a cohesive story. There's also the matter of Bran not being able to know based on scouting/visions that the Night King laid a trap. And the Night King is a greenseer too, but with thousands of years more experience than Bran.

-  Euron has tons and tons of ships ("a thousand ships"). Many of them are able to fling fiery cannonballs (or whatever they're using). Trying to burn a thousand ships from the air with juts three "units" or even a fleet means you're the primary target to hundreds of these catapults, plus arrows. You know they'd aim for Dany/the dragons above all else even if Dany brought her fleet, which she now barely has. It's too risky.

-  I think in terms of plot armor, the show could do better at portraying how it was realistic for characters to escape difficult situations. However, it's worth noting that this is the story of Jon and Dany, Ice and Fire. Of course they're going to live! Their story IS the story. 


August 24th, 2017 at 12:25 PM ^

I do appreciate the thoughtful response.

I still don't get why: NK doesn't throw a second spear quickly at Drogon; Bran didn't even anticipate the Raven being ignored by the Maesters; dragons can't drop rocks on ships from very high in the air or attack intermittently on a foggy day; other people haven't died this season in all of the massive violence that has been shown.

Best answer is  probably just "writers and showrunners." Sadly if GRRM never publishes again this is what we're left with. 


August 24th, 2017 at 12:55 PM ^

Yeah, I hear you on not throwing the second spear quickly. Why not "slow down time" on screen ala when Jon crawls to Longclaw and kills his first white walker at Hardhome? This would allow you to get all of the reactions to the dragon dying fit in without sacrificing a feeling of reality. Or even just have one of the characters comment on how they're running out of food on that island after days of being stuck so that we have an idea of how much time has passed. 

Some of these irregularities will have logical answers in time, I'm sure. But not all of them will. 

Much of it is definitely just "writers and showrunners." But there's more at play here, too. GoT fans love to complain (no offense to you, of course, because your complaints are warranted and well-articulated) and they extrapolate small plot holes into superlatives about how the show is going down the drain. They also complain regularly now about predictability. It makes me wonder if the season script being leaked didn't have a huge negative impact on the show because of the echo chamber nature of the forums where GoT fans discuss the series. Everything seems more "predictable" when a subset of your fans already know what's going to happen and spread their "predictions" to everyone else. It's a huge bummer. Although maybe at this point the fact that the show is in "end game" mode inherently makes it more predictable in some ways since we're almost entirley dealing with big picture conflicts now.


August 24th, 2017 at 4:30 PM ^

Excellent catch, I did not notice that. The NK may also have chosen Viserion due to the fact Viserion was in the middle of incinerating large swaths of the wight army and flying toward the NK, while Drogon was stationary.

The NK noticed that Drogon would be burdened by many riders, so maybe he opted to kill the smaller, unburdened dragon that was in the midst of tearing up his army, then go after Drogon after. That still wouldn't excuse why it took so long for him to throw the second spear, but it seems viable. That strategy had the potential to kill two dragons instead of just one.


August 24th, 2017 at 12:14 PM ^

First of all, it's not "700 AD" on the show. It's another universe, as you should have discerned by the differently shaped continents of Westeros and Essos, and, like, the dragons and magic and stuff. Second, war is hard. Not hitting something from far away with an ice spear during the heat of battle (no pun intended) isn't easy. Third, Bran is just getting started at greenseeing and warging, give him time. Of course, there is a fan theory that literally everything in GoT - including the building of the Wall (by "Bran the Builder", ah hem) thousands of years earlier, the Mad King's madness, etc. - were all caused by Bran being bad at greenseeing, and that his clumsy jumping around in time has set all these events in motion. Some even think Bran is the Night's King... :-O 


August 24th, 2017 at 12:33 PM ^

People used to be very bad at drawing maps, though!

Moving beyond the facetious, the Bran theories are really intriguing. I worry the showrunners are racing clumsily to the end and will stumble through it, particularly if the Bran theories hold true.

It feels like there is much work to be done to give that part of the story its due (if that's the case).  They still need to find room for the Sansa/Arya-type scenes that really make the show and add an emotional dimension to the greater GRRM story for book readers. 


August 24th, 2017 at 12:50 PM ^

Lots of people will have a role to play, of course. But I think the Bran "theories" are almost certain to be true, and he will really turn out to be the core character on the entire show. Last year, in his "time travel" scenes, he shows up in King's Landing and sees the Mad King. Right as Bran leaves, the Mad King starts throwing out the "burn them, burn them all!" stuff he would become so infamous for. But maybe he was talking about the White Walkers, and Bran is bouncing through time trying (unsuccessfully) to warn everyone about the White Walkers long in the future? Then there is "Bran the Builder." Maybe that was Bran warging through time who convinced them to build the wall to stop the invasion long in the future? Bran also saw the making of the Night King. And if you compare Bran's outfit to the Night King (lots of pics online), they seem to have a lot in common. I think Bran is the Night King, because he warged into him at some point and got "stuck" (as he was warned could happen)...


August 24th, 2017 at 1:00 PM ^

I don't pay a lot of attention to the many theories that are being discussed online, mostly because I'm lazy but also because I like to have the story unfold within my own "bubble".

I have seen some stuff about this over the last week or so, and it's interesting.  It makes some sense to me, but it seems almost too complicated to try to explain to the viewers in the time alloted...  It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

I've thought for years that Bran would probably end up controlling one of the dragons (which might have been a lethal combination at one point).  Now it seems that if Bran were in control of a dragon, it would end up in a police interview room somewhere in Louisiana, drinking beer and discussing the nature of time.


August 24th, 2017 at 3:05 PM ^

"The past is written. The ink is already dry." This is the key, from the old Three Eyed Raven to Bran. In other words, history is a loop, and he cannot change the past. Even though he has ALREADY "changed the past" by greenseeing (see: Hodor). 


August 24th, 2017 at 12:28 PM ^

GoT is a stupid person's idea of what a smart TV show looks like.


I gave up after three episodes (and no, I don't care about the super-duper character and plot "developments" since then). It's porn for people who won't admit they like watching porn.


August 24th, 2017 at 12:51 PM ^

there's nothing wrong with dumb TV shows - they can be very enjoyable. It's just that GoT is a dumb TV show that's dressed up as a smart TV show. If you actually think about the various plot devices for more than a second it's clear that most of them make no sense at all, either in terms of human behavior (which is *perhaps* explainable by saying that this is a strange alien planet so people behave in totally different ways) or, more damningly, in terms of simple logistics (e.g., "where did they get the wood for the boats from?" as in a comment below).


There aren't that many truly smart TV shows around but they exist. In terms of literary adaptations I would say that the BBC John Le Carre serializations and Wolf Hall were both very good, some 30 years apart from each other.


August 24th, 2017 at 1:17 PM ^

The Iron Islands are off the shore of what would be one of the biggest forests in the known world. "Time" would be the resource that would be a real head scratcher. But if "time" is what we are worried about lets break it down.

****Spoiler alert*****

Guys on the Island for perhaps a few hours correct?

-Gendry runs for a minimum of 8 hours

-ravens fly a minimum of two days

-dragons fly a minimum of a half a day

(To put the flight distance into perspective Danny couldve flown to Westeros instead of taking ships)

Also why does a Raven paper message mean more to her than Jon asking in person? Just do it the right way to begin with and army with dragons. She isnt defending anything and a mobile army is just as good as one plopped on Dragonstone.

All that said I still love the show. Someone with a keen eye needs to go over these scripts though.


August 24th, 2017 at 12:52 PM ^

Not at all. You are describing Big Bang Theory or something to that extent. This season of GOT have been terrible but the first 6 seasons have been of great quality. You don't get an opinion unless you make it to episode 9 of first season. That's when the payoff happens.


August 24th, 2017 at 1:03 PM ^

I would say that's the better show in the sense that it's not pretending to be deep - it's just a well-written mainstream comedy show (I don't watch it all that much but that's my impression). Those are hard to make, as evidenced by the fact that many of them flop.


I have no problem with GoT existing as a swords-and-tunics vehicle for violence and titillation, but let's not pretend that it's a super-complex exploration of the forces at play in social power dynamics or whatever, which is what motivates the original question here, to wit: why are all the characters so stupid?


August 24th, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

This was a good critique of the show at this point:


It really seems like they are just trying to wrap up loose ends and don't really care how they do it.  Everything is pretty absurd.  The end of season 6 was awesome as the massive Targaryen invasion fleet sails with Dornish and Highgarden ships in it.  Then basically Dorne and Highbarden are completely wiped out within like two episodes of season 7...  Where are all their men and ships lol?  Like how does that happen?

I will still watch because it's still enjoyable, but this season has basically killed the show's chance at immortality in terms of being an all-time great show.


August 24th, 2017 at 3:06 PM ^

Dorne was always a shitshow (Martin's Dorne was a shitshow, too), but the showrunners should have spent more time on the rebellion of the Reach against the Tyrells to make the Highgarden story plausible.  They could have gotten the time by halving the buddy-talk in the quest beyond the wall (and getting rid of the stupid flaming bear).


August 24th, 2017 at 12:32 PM ^

I don't know, I fundamentally disagree with your premise, but I will make a couple of comments.

Benjen Stark is kind of convenient, but he isn't really a deus ex machina, imo, as he's already rescued Bran in basically the same way and has been long established (since book 1, as I recall) as a presence beyond the wall that's keeping an eye on things that happen there.

I do agree that things have gotten more sloppy since the story has advanced beyond the books.  I think most of the problems are with pacing and with the desire to resolve the story without bankrupting the production company.

My biggest quibble at this point is about Arya's transformation from aspiring badass to sullen teen.