What a success Season 6 of Game of Thrones was! With every
new episode, the show broke ratings records. It received more Emmy nominations
than any other show this year. And it was praised as one of
the best seasons in the show’s history. But it wasn’t perfect.
As good as the show is, there are of course the occasional lackluster moments. Maybe it’s a scene that feels completely unnecessary, a fan favorite character who is given little to do, a storyline that seems to be going nowhere, or even a whole episode that feels nothing more than filler before the season’s conclusion. Despite all its good points, Season 6 suffered from all these problems.
Frustratingly, a lot of these problems could have been avoided with some fairly simple changes. That’s not to disparage the show’s amazing writing staff, as it’s perfectly understandable that a show with this many moving parts will occasionally stumble.
But looking back on the season now with the benefit of hindsight, we can identify the problem areas and spot where improvements could have been made.
7. Prince Doran Lives
The Problem: Fans were excited when Dorne was introduced in Season 5 as it's an unique setting for the show and featured interesting characters from the books like the Sand Snakes and Prince Doran Martell.
However, the show squandered the potential by making the Sand Snakes interchangeable and dull while Doran was turned into a pointless bore with nothing to do. Worse still, the show hastily tried to rectify the problem in Season 6 by having the Sand Snakes kill Doran for his ineffectual leadership and take the Dornish throne for themselves.
Not only was this a rushed plot, barely acknowledged in the rest of the season, but it totally misunderstood the criticism to this storyline. Fans didn't want Doran gone, they wanted a reason for him to be there.
The Solution: Ironically, if the show had stuck to the books, Season 5's mishandling of Doran could have been amended in Season 6. In the books Doran is similarly looked at as being an ineffectual leader so the Sand Snakes go behind his back with their own plan to avenge their father Oberyn Martell.
When Doran puts an end to the plot and locks up the Sand Snakes, his true nature comes out. He was playing the long con, feigning loyalty to the Lannisters while secretly backing the Taragaryen restoration plot.
Seeing that the season ended with a Targaryen/Martell alliance, there's no reason they couldn't have taken this path to get there. That would prevent the unnecessary death of the character (and waste of Alexander Siddig) while actually giving him something interesting to do.