I had a lot of problems with the second season of Game of Thrones. In fact, this blog practically became dedicated to talking about the series and its disappointments.
But I am an eternal optimist, and so I've been having lots of fun counting down to Season 3. Hopefully, it'll be as awesome as the book that it's based on! Hopefully. And my expectations aren't that demanding. Let it change the story around if it needs to. Condense some storylines, expand on others. As long as a few things are addressed...
WARNING! Spoilers for A Storm of Swords follow.
Give Catelyn the respect she deserves
In the books, the "King in the North" story isn't Robb's story; it's Catelyn's. It's not the typical fantasy story of a young man thrown into kinghood and learning to fill his role with all the skill and dignity required. It's the story of that out-of-his-depth-boy's mother, attempting to keep her family alive and end this damn war before it destroys absolutely everything. It's the story of a shrewd, intelligent woman who is almost always right (trust of Littlefinger excluded), but whose advice is ignored, again and again and again, because she is a woman. Because, even worse, she is the King's mother, and so not wanted anywhere near their plans for war. Yet in the second season, Catelyn became a side character, a somewhat irrational pest who freed Jaime Lannister for no good reason, and really just wanted to go home to be with her younger sons (who, for some reason, she never learned "died"). She was occasionally allowed her moments of badassery, but generally, we were seemingly meant to side with Robb over his mother's interference.
This season is their last chance to do Catelyn right, and I'm already worried. Promotional interviews have been talking about Catelyn getting her "comeuppance" (comeuppance for what?), seemingly keeping her firmly in the role of "interfering mother," while Robb's role as the King in true love is played completely straight. It doesn't bode well.
A Brienne with some depth
Brienne isn't a heartless warrior. She is incredibly skilled, rather stoic, sees the world in black and white, and has learned to be untrusting. She's also quite naive, sweet, honorable and romantic. I really hope that the show will bring out some of her softness this season, especially in her interactions with Jaime. She's not just the Woman Warrior figure. She has a lot of depth to her, and cannot be properly captured by a brusque figure who kills without a thought.
Also, some exchanges of "wench" and "kingslayer" would be appreciated!
More Sansa and Shae
This is one change in the show that I really adore. Shae's adaptation from a rather superficial woman to an incredibly intelligent, caring and blunt individual who is both set on survival and willing to help others was wonderful, and her friendship with Sansa is a joy. More please! Anything that allows a male-dominated series to pass the Bechdel test with flying colours is more than welcome. Speaking of...
Include the relationship between Sansa and Margaery
I'm not sure how they're going to play the relationship -- was it a true friendship? Was Margaery just manipulating Sansa from the beginning? Either way, it's bound to be an interesting relationship to see. I really hope the show doesn't forget it!
Give Daenerys something to do
This was perhaps the fault of A Clash of Kings, rather than the adaptation, but Daenerys is a really interesting character, and having her run around shouting "Where are my dragons?" doesn't really bring that out. A Storm of Swords is an excellent chapter in Daenerys' story, the first time since she stepped into that pyre that she is able to take charge of her own situation and use her brains and bravery to outsmart others and improve her position. She also shows a genuinely caring side, even if the way she acts on it is occasionally naive. Please let the show bring it out!
Oh my god, no more sexposition
Yeah, this one is a pipe dream. But the story has so much depth and intrigue. How do they even have time for these scenes?? Come on, show. Respect your audience.
It would also be really awesome if the show stopped suggesting that there are good women (aka action, "not like other girls" women), useless women, and "let's stick someone naked here while a man discusses the plot" women. But that seems unlikely to happen.