Game Of Thrones: Breaking The Myth
I wanted to write an article on why does „Game Of Thrones” appeal to so many people, but I realized it actually doesn’t. Moreover, it is not as surprising, unpredictable, spectacular and so on as people pretend it is. It’s just a dull story, full of common places and lackluster characters, leading dumbed down audiences towards the most predictable ending there can ever be. And I can prove it.
First things first: nobody expected [insert loved or major character name here] to die. I say, bullshit. Take, for instance, Ned Stark, the one who seemed to be the main protagonist of the series (for the ones who hadn’t read the books at least), and who died at the end of the first season. But Ned Stark had „death” written all over him since day one, and more than that, he screamed „cheap clone of Dune’s Leto Atreides” for all who had a little knowledge of XXth century pop culture. He was Thomas Wayne as well, as his death made his son Jon – awkwardly related to dark winged beings – the apparent hero of the series. „When I’ll see you again, you’ll be all dressed in black”, another Stark brother tells Jon. Holy premonition, Batman.
The death of the rest of the Starks falls under the same logic – the hero has to be orphaned, the hero has to suffer, whoever he or she is. Because the writer GRR Martin does to his sources of inspiration what Kerouac did to his real life family in his first novel, „The Town And The City”, by transforming his real life persona and experince in various different characters.
Then we have the worst character that has been written on paper and transposed to screen: Daenerys Targaryen, the feminine version of Jon Snow, a non-sensical narrative presence that one way or another will turn into a useless „deus in machina”. Orphaned, sold into slavery, she climbs on the bizzare social ladder of the world of Game Of Thrones up to the positon of self-made queen. But not a full blown queen, as she only accepts one crown, the one of her homeland, the seven kingdoms of Westeros. Daenerys is, obviously, mentally insane and all her actions lead to destruction, without any relevance to the story as any other character could have been in her stead (Sansa or Arya, Ned’s daughters? A boy, one of the mad king’s sons? Joffrey? The list is endless).
But one of the most blatant, bad taste stunts the writer and the producers pulled was Jon Snow’s death and ressurection. Few people who watch the show actually believed he’ll stay dead for more than an episode or two. Jesus Christ died and came back to life, Superman died and came back to life, Neo died and came back to life, so why wouldn’t Jon? It’s in our culture to have the hero, the saviour, even apparent, die and ressurect. After the critical moment, everything goes downhill story wise (remember the Matrix sequels? Neither do I) and everything that came up in Game Of Thrones, all the other 2 or 3 seasons were just a pathetic excuse to keep the story as long as possible up to the inevitable, predictable ending.
GRR Martin has been praised for his world-building skills, as in the original fantasy universe he has created for Game Of Thrones. Unless it is not original at all, and its inspiration can easily be indentified as the computer game (back when he published the first novel, now multi-platform) „The Elder Scrolls”. A great deal of elements, such as politics, religion, conflicts and lore, have been slightly adapted from the world of that game, and even though I am not pointing my finger and screaming „plagiarism!”, I cannot have Martin and HBO praised for their inspiration without as well praising those guys at Bethesda studios.
All along its 8 season run, Game Of Thrones has focused on a deeply nonsensical shock factor, gratuitous violence and gore, compromising serialized storytelling by abusing the format in a way that makes the narrative irrelevant. In some way, it is GRR Martin’s fault as well, by always uselessly extending the narrative and increasing the time between the release of the novels. This would have been completely unimportant had there not been the TV series and the so-called global phenomenon it generated. The novels themselves have lost their value by being transposed on screen, and even the original elements the producers could not adapt are becoming now useless details of a story no one wants to read any more.
Game Of Thrones is not what one might call a „phenomenon”. It’s just a cheap, money-making stunt pulled by a huge corporation in purpose of making profit and nothing else. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever; it is not the event of a generation, like Dune, Star Wars, The Godfather or The Matrix beforehand. It cannot even be compared to comic books, as it takes serialized storytelling to the lowest level it could have reached in the past 100 years.
You keep on watching Game Of Thrones because you got used to watching Game Of Thrones; you could just watch older episodes and it would be just as fine as watching new ones — it would not matter at all.
After 9 years and 8 seasons, the story of Game Of Thrones is going to end in 2019. The ending of the series is considered to be the greatest secret in the history of television (apart from who shot JR in Dallas 30 years ago), and yet, it is completely (and I am using this word again) irrelevant. The ending of Game Of Thrones is completely irrelevant simply because there are many possible endings to be concieved, all just as valuable as the one the producers will pick to use for the series. All possible endings that make sense in the universe are potential spoiles for the series, and that is the reason for HBO’s so called war on spoilers. A story so simple and ridiculous makes all imaginable endings valid, and the sole reason why your personal ending (or endings) would not matter is HBO’s craze to make money out of everything, even things or ideas that do not belong to them. Only an idiot would be afraid of spoilers, of knowing beforehand what will happen in a story, but then again, we are talking of the corporate world, which is universally accepted to be comprised of idiots.
Adding insult to injury, and to confirm what I have said here, HBO is making a prequel series. George Lucas tried that, and ruined the whole mythos of Star Wars. Good luck, HBO.