I need to make a confession: I never watched Game of Thrones.
As the series wrapped up over the last few weeks, I often felt like I was in a very small minority of those who didn’t watch the show. Pop-culture osmosis means I know a strangely large amount about the show—far more than for any other show I don’t watch—as I’m familiar with most of the characters, their family bonds, the highlights of their plot and arc, etc.
All that exposure means that even though I didn’t watch the show, I’ve heard many of the complaints about the last few episodes: how the story felt rushed, how many of the character arcs felt off, how the pieces didn’t come together, and so on.
Many of those complaining have brought up how the show could have made several of the last twists work…if only the writers had taken the time to properly show the last part of the characters’ emotional journeys. The writers had built up many hintsof the future potential turning points, but many viewers seem to be of the opinion that the writers didn’t actually show the final veer into the twist and instead just jumped to the twist itself.
In other words, this last Game of Thrones season is an excellent example of the importance of pacing. Let’s take a look at how pacing can affect character arcs and readers’ relationships to our characters.