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Rant about Game of Thrones

MrDupin May 19, 2016 User blog:MrDupin

I don't know why, but I wanted to rant a bit about Game of Thrones. So, here it is.

Game of Thrones. A show that has taken over the TV world, with millions of viewers and fan theories and fiction larger than the bibliography of Stephen King (probably not, but you get the point). Contrary to the title, I actually kinda like the show. It isn't my cup of tea, but the epic moments here and there and a couple of very fascinating characters keep me interested enough to continue watching.

What I hate so much about the series is that it is quickly falling (way) short of its potential. It is unique in its unpredictability and its grit and suspense is unparalleled in similar popular projects (especially on TV). It is a fantasy, LotR-esque world that separates itself from the optimistic and "happy-ending" tendencies of the genre. In short, it is something very different that sticks out from the rest. The series has the chance to become an all-time great that will be remembered for ages to come. But I believe it won't get there and that's a great chance squandered.

Why do I believe that? To answer that question I will first delve a bit into how most fantasy books work, without going into much detail. Most stories in the genre have a clear protagonist who is the face of all that is good. He is powerful without even realizing it, he has been through a lot, he is innocent and kind-of-heart, the whole world is resting on his shoulders and he is destined to be a hero. He/she is the chosen one to save the world from evil.

A little note before I continue. I find it strange that usually the hero is a teenage boy. Granted, that is the case in fiction aimed at teenagers, but I always found it underwhelming that the great savior of prophecies as old as time would be fulfilled by a (usually lonely and sad) teenager.

The above make a story predictable and fairytale-like. These are the two most common pitfalls of the fantasy genre, and I haven't read a single story that completely avoids both. I'm not saying they break a story, but it's something that most books follow and it becomes boring after a while.

George R.R. Martin though managed to avoid both, in a most elegant way. Even if some characters feel a bit like the "chosen one" (like Daenerys, Arya amd Jon Snow), Martin has done well to add a feeling of mortality to each and every one of them, making things interesting. He is not afraid to kill off characters, and that works wonders for the characters who remain. Also, because there are a ton of characters in this, with many "protagonists", the spotlight is never on a single character for too long. As a result, no character feels like a true, traditional protagonist. That, for me, is a breath of fresh air into a genre that was becoming increasingly monotonous.


Then, Jon Snow died. No problem yet, people die in the show all the time. Even though I would have loved to see him battle the Ice Zombie King and I was very disappointed, I was cool with it. A gutsy move by Martin and an interesting turn of events. All is good.

Then, predictably (one of the few things you could clearly see coming), he got brought back to life. Resurrected by the Old Red Fart. Now, I have a feeling Jon will turn out to be the chosen one to rally the fight against the evil, fullfilling his destiny. If it goes down that route, I'll be extrememly disappointed and I believe most true, book-reading fans of fantasy would will agree with me.

Now, this of course isn't set in stone. It might not happen. I'm certain that Snow will fight the evil one way or another, but he might not actually win. Picture it: Jon Snow leading a desperate charge against the evil horde of ice zombies, cutting them down like the true hero he is, until he reaches the Big Bad Evil Dude With Ice Horns. Imagine the great fight between the two. Jon fights valiantly, but in the end he falls. The chosen one is dead.

That would be cool as frozen hell. I don't see it happening though. His first death will be reduced to a gimmick. He got killed and resurrected to make him feel like the chosen one, only to have him fall again and shock the readers. Martin used a cheap gimmick to build up the cool-factor of his books. Understandable, but it will leave the sour taste of unfulfillment and disappointment.

To synopsise: Jon Snow being the "chosen one" will suck. Bonus points for being a teenage boy.

Game of Thrones was, ironically, the chosen one. The series to break the mold of the fantasy genre. It seems though it will fall short of the expectations it set early on. Let's hope I am proven wrong.

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