Has "Game of Thrones" jumped the shark? Discuss...(WARNING: SPOILERS)

Sep 2012
743
Las Cruces, NM
The term "jumped the shark" is used to describe a point in the history of a TV show at which the series has reached it's highest point before dropping in quality/ratings. The term refers specifically to "Happy Days", an American sitcom in the 70's, and an episode where "Fonzie" literally jumped over a shark tank on water skis. After that episode the quality of the series dropped dramatically as Fonzie became the main focus of the show and the Cunningham family became ancillary characters.

Inevitably nearly every show jumps the shark as the writers can't think of any more original ideas and start increasingly relying on gimmicks to try to boost sagging ratings. Examples of "jumping the shark" are: introducing new family members (a baby or an adoption), a sexual liaison, abduction by aliens, etc.

Everybody hates Joffrey and we've all wanted to see him dead for a long time. Despite the cathartic value of finally seeing the boy king dead I can't help but think that a lot of the "dramatic tension" will now depart from the show. Having read all the books in the series by G.R.R. Martin I know that the 4th and 5th books are quite tedious. Has Game of Thrones jumped the shark with the death of King Joffrey?

Also, feel free to mention "jump the shark" moments that stick in your mind from other TV series. This can be a very fun thread, keep it polite please!
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
G.R.R. Martin I know that the 4th and 5th books are quite tedious. Has Game of Thrones jumped the shark with the death of King Joffrey?
I don't think so. They're already moving to get some of the Book 4/5 plotting out of the way with Dany and the Boltons, and if they seriously cut down on the travelogues of Westeros, I think they can make an interesting season out of the AFFC/ADWD material. The best plotlines from those books (Jaime, Cersei, Jon Snow, Stannis storming the north) were extremely good, so just focus more on those.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,102
Sort of wondering if Martin to some extent didn't "jump the shark", with his retooling his series of books mid-stream? With the exculpating rider that he still has the opportunity of just possibly bringing it all to a successful conclusion.

If anything the script writers for the show might have an opportunity for tighter story-telling in those parts of the series. If they can rise to the challenge remains to be seen though.
 
Sep 2012
743
Las Cruces, NM
I don't think so. They're already moving to get some of the Book 4/5 plotting out of the way with Dany and the Boltons, and if they seriously cut down on the travelogues of Westeros, I think they can make an interesting season out of the AFFC/ADWD material. The best plotlines from those books (Jaime, Cersei, Jon Snow, Stannis storming the north) were extremely good, so just focus more on those.
I agree that if they COMBINE the 4th and 5th books and remove the dull travelogues that perhaps 1 good season is there. That being said I think book 3 of the series is easily the best and that is about where we are in the series now. The only dramatic stuff I can think of that might be left for this season are (SPOILER ALERT): The death of the Red Scorpion and the Mountain, the death of Tywin (and Tyrian's little whore ex-girlfriend). There are still some good episodes left, don't get me wrong, but I think that the shows best episodes have got to be behind it now. Hopefully I'm wrong.
 
Sep 2012
743
Las Cruces, NM
Sort of wondering if Martin to some extent didn't "jump the shark", with his retooling his series of books mid-stream? With the exculpating rider that he still has the opportunity of just possibly bringing it all to a successful conclusion.

If anything the script writers for the show might have an opportunity for tighter story-telling in those parts of the series. If they can rise to the challenge remains to be seen though.
I agree. The first 3 books were very good. Then the 4th book came out after a long lull and much of the previous story was ignored, then the 5th book came out after a long lull as well. The 4th and the 5th books didn't work well together in my opinion, and I never bought into Martin's belated excuse that there was too much material for one book and that is why he wrote the two books. And now it's been years and the 6th book is showing no hint of being near completion.

I think Martin was surprised at the success of his series. I believe he was planning just 3 books and realized that he had the potential to keep making money on the series. Then he started dragging the story out so he could cram more books into the series. There is a lot of garbage in the 4th and 5th books that need to be left out of the TV series, but they could maybe squeeze one good season out of those 2 books. I can't help but think the series has jumped the shark with the death of Joffrey, especially since I know what is upcoming can't compare with the previous 3 books.
 
Mar 2010
2,522
Inevitably nearly every show jumps the shark as the writers can't think of any more original ideas and start increasingly relying on gimmicks to try to boost sagging ratings.
Breaking Bad never reached that point. The last episode felt like the same adrenaline rush and intensity as the first episode. In fact, it was so much heavier just with the history involved... the poetry and irony of it all.
 
Sep 2012
743
Las Cruces, NM
Breaking Bad never reached that point. The last episode felt like the same adrenaline rush and intensity as the first episode. In fact, it was so much heavier just with the history involved... the poetry and irony of it all.
I'd disagree. I think Breaking Bad jumped the shark when Gus died. That being said I think Breaking Bad was so excellent that even after it jumped the shark it was still a very high quality show. Realistically the show could've ended after that episode (with Walt "winning") and the series would've gone down as one of the greatest TV shows ever. As it is I still think it was one of the greatest TV shows ever anyway, the quality was simply so high that Breaking Bad couldn't completely collapse in the short number of shows until the series finale. If they had milked the show for another 2 years I think we'd have seen bad things happen to the show. However the final episodes of Breaking Bad redeemed some of the weak episodes in the final two years and allowed it to go out with a bang.
 
Apr 2013
222
Denmark.
No. The thing is about GoT the series never revolves around one person, but around the all characters. Plus, the series will introduce new characters soon. Did they introduce the death of Joffrey too soon? Sure, they rushed it. I believe they did it since GoT is so mainstream now, and they wanted to introduce an exciting scene for all new viewers. One can only hope they will up their game. Plus, the shown is known not to follow the books, I see this as positive since the latter books are kinda slow-paced. But I do feel that the show has been down in quality.
 
Apr 2013
222
Denmark.
I agree that if they COMBINE the 4th and 5th books and remove the dull travelogues that perhaps 1 good season is there. That being said I think book 3 of the series is easily the best and that is about where we are in the series now. The only dramatic stuff I can think of that might be left for this season are (SPOILER ALERT): The death of the Red Scorpion and the Mountain, the death of Tywin (and Tyrian's little whore ex-girlfriend). There are still some good episodes left, don't get me wrong, but I think that the shows best episodes have got to be behind it now. Hopefully I'm wrong.
I have to disagree. *SPOILER FROM ADWD* We have yet to see Jon Snows death and political actions at the wall, Dany's relations with her court and dragons, the ironborns counter offensive, tyrions quest, etc. The show got plenty good episodes left.