Game of Thrones prides itself on its attention to detail, but the show isn't without its faults or logical lapses. One of the series' biggest problems, especially in Season 7, is its timeline. Characters seem to travel huge distances in mere hours, despite the fact that their fastest means of transportation are either boats or horses (or dragons, if we're talking about Daenerys).
In fact, the series premiere had Robert Baratheon telling Ned Stark that he had travelled a month to see him. Unfortunately, though, the time inconsistencies became much more noticeable in the most recent season.
The biggest example came in "Beyond The Wall." Jon Snow tasked Gendry with returning to the Wall to inform Daenerys of their encounter with a wight, and he made the run back in mere hours. Hundreds of fans took to social media to mock the moment, and the controversy kept escalating until director #AlanTaylor addressed it during an interview with Variety. Unfortunately, the director didn't offer much of an explanation for why those time skips were there.
But one of the show's biggest time-jumpers, Davos Seaworth himself, has stepped forward to explain the situation. Actor #LiamCunningham sat down for an interview with the Washington Post to discuss his role. During the interview, the time controversy came up. The actor stated that, much like their unapologetic trend of killing off characters, normal rules don't apply to Westeros, and that translates into the constant time skips:
"When we saw Ned Stark getting his head lobbed off in Season 1, and people looked at it and their jaws hit the ground because it was a game-changer [...] when that happened, people realized the rules no longer apply. That's kind of like this jumping around with Varys and myself and a few others."
OK... that's certainly one way to look at it? Don't worry, though, there's a more valid reason behind these cuts, according to Cunningham.
Taking Advantage Of Every Minute Of Screen Time
Cunningham went on to explain that the time jumps are simply there to make the show compelling. The showrunners cut as much of the characters' downtime as possible in order to focus on the exciting situations:
"If we want them to stick to continuity, we'd have to wait another 12 episodes before Gendry got back to Eastwatch and gave me the news. The way I view drama is life with the boring bits taken out. I don't really want to watch Varys eating his lunch or me under a tree waiting for the rain to pass so we can get somewhere. Let's get rid of that stuff. As Alan Taylor said, we did stretch the believability factor of that, but it was for the purposes of drama [...] It's a grown-up show for grown-ups; let’s cut out the boring bits."
That's completely understandable, but it would be great if the time that passed was at least explained somewhat. The books have just as much of a jumpy timeline, but there's a reasoning behind it, as #GeorgeRRMartin explained in A Song of Ice and Fire:
"A Song of Ice and Fire is told through the eyes of characters who are sometimes hundreds or even thousands of miles apart from one another. Some chapters cover a day, some only an hour; others might span a fortnight, a month, half a year. With such a structure, the narrative cannot be strictly sequential; sometimes important things are happening simultaneously, a thousand leagues apart."
While time jumps are ultimately a minor detail, they're still enough to take you out of the story, so I'm hoping Season 8 changes that dynamic. The season is only six episodes long, which means the time jumps will probably be more noticeable than ever. With that in mind, hopefully the show takes a page out of the books — and lets us in on how its structure works.
What do you think about the explanation for Game of Thrones' fast travels? Do these lapses in logic bother you in any way? Let me know in the comments!
[Source: The Washington Post]