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‘Game of Thrones’: Meet Indiewire’s Panel of Critics For Season 6

'Game of Thrones': Meet Indiewire's Panel of Critics For Season 6


Game of Thrones” is one of television’s most discussed shows because, well, there’s an awful lot to discuss, from the show’s rich epic world to the dark and depraved actions of its characters. So for Season 6, Indiewire is bringing together four unique points of view to cover the show from a critical perspective. Each week, we’ll be bringing you their takes on the latest episode.

READ MORE: ‘Game of Thrones’: Can You Name the Landmark Episode?

But first, you should get to know them. Indiewire scoured the vast plains of Westeros to find some of the brightest minds and best writers, all of whom hold varying areas of expertise, preferences and ideas as to where the show should be headed. Who will you side with? Well, read on to learn what makes the show special for each of our chosen scribes, what they’d improve if they had the chance and more key background that will shape their opinions in the coming weeks. Then, starting with Sunday’s premiere, get ready for a season of battle — intellectually, that is.

Jay Bushman

Award-Winning Multiplatform Writer/Producer (@jaybushman)

Have you read the books?

I’ve been reading the books since the late ’90s. I used to keep a second copy of “A Game of Thrones” around to give away, and I bought “A Storm of Swords” from the UK because it came out a month earlier there. You could say I’m invested in this story. But I never expected that this show would actually get made, much less become a cultural juggernaut. So really, everything else is gravy.

Do you have a favorite character?

Cersei MF’n Lannister. We all want to be as fearless as Arya, brave as Jon or relentless as Dany — but it’s more likely that we’re just as angry, bitter, and drunk as Queen C. Or is that just me?

Runner-up: Brienne, because Brienne.

Which House would you pick as your own?

Team Lannister all the way! Cersei, Jamie and Tyrion are what the Stark kids could turn into after another decade or so of Westerosi living.

What was the saddest death in the show’s history?

Ygritte. Not because she died, but that it came right on the heels of that wonderful moment when she sees Jon and all her resolve to hate him melts. It’s a breathtaking moment of performance from both actors. Her heart is lifted — then immediately pierced by Olly’s arrow. Devastating.

Runner-up: Shireen. Too good for that world.

What do you think the show does best?

Make the world of Westeros feel real and lived-in. As a long-time fantasy reader, I’m used to seeing dramatic adaptations dumbed down, treated as childish, or somehow exempt from the rules of good storytelling. This show avoids all of those traps and makes every side of the conflict feel earned.

What would you change about the show if you could?

More episodes per season! Not just because I want more, but because many of the show’s missteps feel like they come from the incredible amounts of compression they have to apply to the various storylines. Two more episodes per season would give them a little bit more room for those stories to breathe. Also, I’d get them the heck out of Meereen already. Reek, Reek, it rhymes with “We’re still stuck in Meereen? Weak.”

Eric Deggans

TV Critic, NPR (@deggans)

Have you read the books?

No.

Do you have a favorite character?

Tyrion

Which House would you pick as your own?

None!

What was the saddest death in the show’s history?

Shireen burning.

What do you think the show does best?

Tart lines for Tyrion.

What would you change about the show if you could?

More action, faster plotlines and don’t kill absolutely every hero in the story.

Sarah Mesle

Senior Humanities Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books (@sunsetandecho)

Have you read the books?

I started but had to stop because it was so clear Martin had no idea where he was going.  I don’t read books if they don’t have an endgame in mind for the pets.

Do you have a favorite character?

Arya’s fantastically murderous attack on Meryn Trant in last season’s final episode is just one reason why she is my favorite of this show’s many splendid psychos.

Which House would you pick as your own?

Probably Stark. I’m midwestern and we get down with the noble do-goodery.

What was the saddest death in the show’s history?

The saddest death was actually when Arya refused to kill the Hound. That is some vicious heartbreak.

What do you think the show does best?

Besides the braids and embroidery, which we should not underestimate, “Game of Thrones” is best at layering the narratives so that both the small details and the major plot points line up to give viewers intensely cathartic experiences without sacrificing emotional or moral complexity. It doesn’t always do this, but when it does, it’s staggering.

What would you change about the show if you could?

I think they should really back off any portraits of sexual violence until they figure out how not to be such idiots about them. I’m not just talking about Sansa. I’m talking about ROS: NEVER FORGET.

Hanh Nguyen

Contributor: The Hollywood Reporter, LA Weekly, GameSpot, Tech Republic (@hanhonymous)

Have you read the books?

Yep!

Do you have a favorite character?

Hodor. He gets the best lines. Truely, there is something intriguing about him and his history. Having Bran warg into him is messed up, though.

Which House would you pick as your own?

House Martell in the way the books depicted it, not so much as how the show has ruined it.

What was the saddest death in the show’s history?

Oberyn Martell, aka the Red Viper. And then maybe Lady, Sansa’s direwolf.

What do you think the show does best?

It captures how epic in scope the story is, starting from that amazing opening sequence to how it creates the different cultures.

What would you change about the show if you could?

I’d like more history other than just quickie exposition. 

“Game of Thrones” Season 6 premieres this Sunday at 9pm on HBO. 

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