Alex Graves’ “The Children” commentary causes controversy

Alex Graves directed four episodes of Game of Thrones Season 4, and rather infamously raised the ire of fans of A Song 0f Ice and Fire, when he discussed Lady Stoneheart’s exclusion from Season 4 with Entertainment Weekly in June of last year.

Graves directed The Children“, “The Mountain and the Viper“, “Breaker of Chains“, andThe Lion and the Rose“. These episodes were arguably some of the best episodes of Season 4, which is why the director’s commentary on the Season 4 finale are so interesting…well, more like infuriating and perplexing for a fan of the books, such as myself.

Read some of his commentary, after the jump, and beware of major spoilers as I will be adding my own comments from a book reader’s point of view.

Warning: Spoilers really do abound, past this point.

Thanks to Reddit user azad_ninja, who posted some of Alex Graves’ commentary, after watching Episode 10 on Blu-ray/DVD, we now have a deeper look into the mind of the man who referred to Lady Stoneheart as “a zombie for a little while – and just kill people”. She is so much more than that, Alex.

It’s important to note here that we are going off of Azad_Ninja’s transcribing of Alex Graves’ words from the Season 4 Blu-ray/DVD set, here. Also, my comments reflect my own opinion of what Alex Graves has to say about Episode 10, and I would love to discuss it with you, below.

  • Tyrion knew the way through the tunnels under the Red Keep because he grew up there.

This comment simply baffles me. How can a director of such a phenomenon like Game of Thrones, which is based on a universally known and loved book series, make such an erroneous claim? Tyrion grew up at Casterly Rock…it is known.

  • Refers to Tysha as “Tyrion’s first wife that died”.

Okay, first 0ff, we don’t know that Tysha is actually dead, although I suppose that bit doesn’t really matter, in the long-run. However, Tysha represents so much more to Tyrion’s story than just “the first wife that died”. Without Tysha, we are robbed of one of the better on-going lines in the books “Where do whores go?”.

Also, he shot his father because he kept referring to Shae as a whore. Tyrion had just killed that whore, and had no aspirations of what she was before he choked her. His shooting of Tywin was lessened by the exclusion of Tysha, for that reason.

  • Says he was “relieved” that they didn’t follow the books with the Jaime/Tyrion/Tysha farewell. Lobbied to just have them kiss goodbye”

What else would one expect with a man who obviously cares so little for the book content. Tyrion’s farewell to Jaime is such a powerful moment in the books, that to exclude it from the show, cheapens it in my eyes.

  • Tormund was in love with Ygritte

This bit of falsehood is completely ridiculous. Tormund was never in love with Ygritte, in fact it could be inferred from the books, that Tormund looked on Ygritte and Jon as his own children. This comment really leaves a foul taste in my mouth.

  • The hound loves Arya

Okay, I’m not going to pick this apart too much. While I do not think that The Hound loves Arya, their relationship on screen was so strong and symbiotic, that one could interpret that as some sort of “love”.

  • His budget was blown, so they had to cobble together the Bloodraven scene from practically nothing and leftovers

This angers me almost as much as the Tyrion growing up in King’s Landing comment. Bran’s journey to the Three Eyed Raven has taken up four whole seasons, so why would you NOT want to ensure his big reveal was as close to the books as possible. To me, it appeared as if Bloodraven was some old man who kind of just tripped and fell into a bunch of roots, instead of having actual weirwood roots growing around and through him. Maybe less magical fireballs from Leaf, and a little more detail to a character that was supposed to be one of the biggest reveals of the show, to date.

  • No budget for the FINAL shot. He had to beg HBO for extra cash

No surprise here. And I’m not upset with Arya’s final shot, looking over the aft of the Braavosi ship. My only complaint is that there was no Lady Stoneheart, standing in a fog engulfed forest, with the silhouettes of Frey men hanging from a tree in the background. BOOM! I just directed a better Season 4 ending. You’re welcome.