Having just finished listening to the interview with Nonso Anozie who is playing Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the second season of Game of Thrones, I feel as if all my worst fears for the season have been at least halfway confirmed. Of course, one shouldn’t go entirely by what an actor says, we’ve had some odd reports in the past that way, but it really sounds as if HBO has decided to change Daenerys’s storyline quite considerably.
Oh, and beware of spoilers.
I won’t even bother repeating my feelings about how miscast Nonso Anozie is for the slight and effeminate character of Xaro of the pale “Milk Men” of Qarth, what he says in the interview is bad enough. He says he is “the Prince of Qarth”. Uh-huh. So, their ruler or something? Sigh. He says he has read the first book, but it sounds as if he didn’t read the whole of the second book because the show is doing things so differently anyway. Lovely. He calls the book storyline in Qarth boring and mundane and goes on about how the show adds more layers and a real game of thrones. Oh, so now the book is being improved upon, is it?
Daenerys is my favourite character. I always say I am a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire because of the classic fantasy elements and how well they are done, not because it is not much like fantasy at all. Fantasy is what I read and what I love. Daenerys’s chapters have a sense of wonder and magic that only Bran’s chapters can rival and in A Clash of Kings, which is my least favourite book overall (which even so means it rates pretty darn high, but still), her storyline is by far my favourite and the most important event in the book for me is her visit to the House of the Undying. Boring and mundane? Please.
It feels very much as if HBO has caved in to what is typical for a TV series. They just couldn’t let Dany have as few chapters as she has in the book, they had to make her role bigger. The fact that characters have less chapters in some books, even disappear for some books, is as integral to the storytelling of A Song of Ice and Fire as the surprising deaths. No one is safe from death and no one is safe from being relegated to less important for a while. But apparently that was one part of the books HBO couldn’t see themselves being daring with. No, they had to give each character the same room every season.
I wonder what will happen to Theon in the third season? Will he be around? That would be a complete and utter travesty.
And even if they felt they had to give Dany more story this season, why not build on what was there? I am completely and utterly terrified of what they have made up, to be honest. A love story with Xaro? A little rebellion in Qarth? Dragons being unleashed a few seasons too early? Dany should be on a quest this season. A very fairy-tale like quest (albeit much darker) which ends in the amazing moment that is the House of the Undying.
Of course, looking at the first season, we probably won’t get much of that. Prophecies? Flashbacks? No, not important. Lets invent pointless stuff instead.
(Oh, and as a side note. What’s up with the Qartheen gowns not baring one breast? Non-sexual, culturally casual nudity wasn’t interesting to HBO?)