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Pandering To The Base / Game of Thrones

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  • The show has been accused of this with the additional Tyrell scenes in Season 5 which didn't happen in the books. Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother Olenna Tyrell have become quite popular characters and the scenes are well-acted... however, overall they don't contribute much to the plot. Even worse, the writers were already making huge cuts to the material in Season 5, meaning other storylines seriously suffer and feel very rushed.
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  • Ramsay's Adaptation Expansion can be considered this. While monstrously evil Joffrey was still an enjoyable character, but was killed off early in Season 4. Ramsay seems to have been an attempt to redo this. In the books Ramsay, while a sadistic monstrous pyschopath, did not have the same prominence as the show, with it being clear he would not be able to rule the North himself. However his role was greatly expanded so he could be the next Joffrey. This happens to the detriement of other characters, with Stannis getting ignominiously beaten in Season 5 by Ramsay and Ramsay being built up as the main villain of Season 6's Northern storyline after killing his father.
  • The reappearance of the Ensemble Dark Horse Benjen Stark in Season 6 is also a pretty glaring example. Not only does it give validation to fans of the books who were adamantly convinced that "Coldhands" was Benjen (a widespread theory that was nonetheless never actually proven), but he's portrayed as a One-Man Army who effortlessly cuts down White Walkers in a snazzy black ninja-cowl. His big stylized action sequence is pretty at odds with the show's usual grounded realism, and it comes off more as a love letter to a popular character than a realistic fight scene.
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  • The Martells being killed off suddenly in the first episode of Season 6 seems to have been a reaction to the poor reception the Dornish storyline in Season 5 got. However this seems to have been a massive misreading of the situation, as Alexander Siddig's Doran Martell was probably the most liked character of the Dornish plot, his death meaning the heavily disliked Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes somehow became the rulers of Dorne.
  • Some of the sexual content is this. In an interview, one of the co-directors of the series admitted that the HBO executives told him and his colleague to add more nudity and sex scenes to appeal to "the perverted part of the fanbase."
  • Starting with the sixth season the show's writers began working this trope overtime, perhaps to compensate for having passed up the original A Song of Ice and Fire series the show is based on. In addition to Coldhands example above, there's also Arya's single-handed massacre of the entire Frey family, the kiling off of the Sand Snakes by Euron Greyjoy after they proved to be among the show's most unpopular characters, Jorah being miraculously cured of his greyscale thanks to a complete Ass Pull from Samwell Tarly, Daenerys crossing thousands of miles from Dragonstone to north of the Wall in a span of hours to pull off a Big Damn Heroes moment, and most infamously a romance developing between Jon Snow and Daenerys that culminates in them having sex on a boat. There's a reason the fans have taken to cracking wise about "RIP Game of Thrones writing: 2011-2016".
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  • Bronn was an amusing character but got highly expanded throughout the series. His trip to Dorne with Jaime in Season 5 was heavily disliked, even though it showcased the character he felt unnecessary. By the end he somehow ends up as Lord Paramount of the Reach and on the Small Council as Master of Coin, even though he has no financial knowledge and it just seems to be narrowing it down to people the audience know.
  • For some, among the criticism for Season 7 is that it used a bit too much of this, including Gendry's and the Brothers Without Banners' overly convenient return, The Hound's humanization Character Development, Daenerys and Jon Snow hooking up, Littlefinger finally getting killed, Theon gaining the (reluctant) respect of the other Ironborn, Jorah's infection being cured by a completely inexperienced Samwell, finding out Jon is the true heir to the throne, and so on.
  • Season 8 was viewed as having some moments of this, including most of the major characters surviving "The Long Night" even if realistically they shouldn't have, Arya and Gendry hooking up, Brienne and Jaime hooking up and last but not least, CLEGANEBOWL (although that one was deemed as acceptable pandering considering how long it had been hyped and it was seen as a bright spot in the season). Much of this apparent pandering was one of the things the fans criticized about the final season because of an apparent lack of realism/proper set up.
  • Season 8's "The Iron Throne" is accused of this in places. After Jon reluctantly assassinates his love Daenerys to save the world from destruction, he is taken prisoner, leaving some viewers to question why Daenerys's dragon Drogon and her loyal followers, the Unsullied, didn't immediately kill Jon in retaliation. Later, the idea of an elective monarchy seems to go over a little too well, as does the North being granted independence with Sansa as queen. Gendry is now the uncontested lord of the Stormlands, even though he was an unacknowledged bastard of Robert Baratheon until the now-dead Daenerys legitimised him. As for the small council, Davos is Master of Ships, which most people were okay with, but the other members range from unlikely to questionable. Tyrion is Hand of the King again despite being behind multiple disasters during his last stint as Hand, Sam is somehow Grand Maester, even though he didn't even finish the training to become an ordinary maester, Brienne is Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, which is more plausible though it seems unlikely Westeros would be progressive enough to accept a woman in the role when Renly's choice to add her to his Kingsguard was seen as controversial, while Bronn is Master of Coin despite having no qualifications for the role whatsoever beyond liking money a lot.
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