As a proudly devoted fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, Season 3 of Game of Thrones has, for the most part, been adapted spectacularly thus far.
Jaime’s character transformation has been emotional and gut-wrenching. Dany’s rise to power has felt positively epic. Jon Snow’s long overdue love scene was the perfect combination of sexy and sentimental. The Queen of Thorns’ intellect and wry wit have been quite…thorny.
While some storylines (*cough Daenerys cough*) will run into serious storytelling knots in the future, almost every character’s arc is moving along relatively smoothly. Except Davos. Poor, unappreciated Davos.
Series fans who haven’t read the books are still probably wondering, a season and a half after he was introduced, what the hell he’s even doing here?
It’s a damn shame too, because Davos is one of my absolute favorite ASOIAF characters. In A Clash of Kings I admit I wondered the same thing, but Storm of Swords is where Davos is supposed to win the readers/viewers over. Now halfway through Season 3 (so 1/4 through the book?) Davos is still languishing in a Dragonstone dungeon, with no storyline to speak of aside from Shireen Baratheon sneaking down to teach her favorite Onion Knight how to read. He’s gotten maybe 10 total minutes of screen time in 5 episodes.
I know they’re pressed for space in every episode, trying to pack in as much as possible, but Davos is fan favorite character in sore need of deeper development. I think Benioff and Weiss could expend a bit more effort in convincing viewers why this old, stoic bearded guy exists at all.
He’s supposed to be the show’s honorable father figure. Has anyone noticed that soon after loyal Ned loses his head, we meet Davos to as a quasi-replacement for the role? In a world of murderers, schemers and conniving plotters, Davos is one of the few adults with any honor or compassion—and just like Ned it never ceases to get him into trouble.
This shortcoming is no fault of Liam Cunningham, who’s done his best conveying Davos’ endearing warmth and unfailing loyalty. The problem is hasty storytelling.
Where the show has cut corners to save time, Davos always gets the shaft. His tactical decisions and fighting during the Battle of Blackwater, his harrowing, hallucinatory ordeal stranded on a rock, his son (he had 4 more sons in the books) all scorched to dust by wildfire, it was all either glossed over or abridged to save money and move the narrative along.
Thankfully, Davos has some meatier plotlines coming up later this season and next, so it’s time to give the poor guy his due. That means more than 5 minutes of screen time every 2 episodes. Cunningham will do the rest.
Next to maybe Dany, Arya, and Jon Snow, Davos is written to be a fan favorite character, one you truly care about and want to triumph over all the obstacles George R.R. Martin plops in their way.
That simply hasn’t come across in a season and a half, and it needs to change. Developing Davos’ character more substantially can only benefit Game of Thrones, because suffice it to say, the guy isn’t going anywhere.
*Update: This post’s Reddit thread has brought up many good points or added thoughts that I hadn’t considered. Keep on keepin’ on, Redditors.*