Three Reasons Why Game of Thrones is Overrated

Game of Thrones is Overrated

Game of Thrones is Overrated

Everyone’s jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon these days. It’s a geek’s dream come true because we finally have a serious attempt at transforming a well known fantasy series into a watchable TV show. Most shows end up doing a horrible job like the terrible “Legend of the Seeker” based on the Sword of Truth books. This is a trend. TV shows usually end up mauling the source material. So when geeks see a classy production closely following the Song of Ice and Fire book series, they go overboard praising it. And they’re right to do so. HBO makes awesome shows and it’s clear they’ve done Game of Thrones with a lot of love and respect for the source material.

Unfortunately none of that can make up for the shortcomings of the series itself. Warning: I’m not shy of giving away lots of spoilers, so read this at your own risk and peril. So here’s why the entire story line of Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire) sucks hard.

Good Guys ALWAYS Lose

I keep hearing how this series is a “breath of fresh air” where Martin isn’t afraid to kill off his main characters and that in “real life”, the good guys don’t always win etc etc. This is true. In real life, the bad guys win some and the good guys win some. Except that in Martin’s world, the good guys never win. Character after character bites the dust without gaining a victory. Ned, Robb, Catelyn, Bran…they all get shitty deals. All of them without exception betrayed. Even our darling Arya gets royally screwed.

And the baddies? While some shit happens to them, they’re essentially self goals. Joffrey gets his comeuppance not at the hands of any hero, but from within his own side. Cersei self destructs. Tywin gets it in the gut from his own son. In other words, revenge is tragically missing from the entire Game of Thrones series. All the good guys (and wolves too!) die horrible and humiliating deaths and the bad guys essentially slip down some stairs and break their neck. Like I said in “real life”, both goodies and baddies will have victories. But Martin is just a sadist.

I get the feeling that whenever Martin feels like his plot is losing its way or is in danger of being resolved, he just sits down and thinks “Hmm..this can’t happen. Let’s kill someone!” In other words, he uses the death of his characters as a substitute for plot development and for sheer shock value hoping that others will laud him for being “gritty” and “real”.

No New Engaging Characters

I wouldn’t mind Martin polishing off his characters if he comes up with new ones at the same rate with which they exit the stage. But he doesn’t. Instead, he gives us lame creatures like Davos who no one really cares for. And then he kills him too! So who the hell is left? Brienne?

So while the initial books were riveting for the sole reason that tragedy and betrayal abound, Martin pays the price for his carelessness by not having a plot to carry the story forward. No wonder he took five years to come out with “Dance with Dragons” and openly admitted that he was working on other stuff in the meantime. He didn’t know what to do with the story! He’d killed off or crippled every single person of interest to us on Westeros so what more was left?

Moral of the story: Don’t be so casual with your main characters. We were emotionally invested in them and you chose a single big payoff by disposing of them at the cost of future story lines. Congratulations. You now have colorless remains. I haven’t even bothered to pick up Dance with Dragons because I saw nothing in the previous book to interest me further. My wife started reading it, and gave up halfway. Too boring. Did anyone expect differently? When your main characters are missing it’s like trying to squeeze water out of a rock.

It’s not Real Fantasy

At the most, we can say that the series has a passing acquaintance with magic elements. A couple of dragon scenes and veiled references to “walkers” do not a fantasy make. I initially picked this up because I was told it was one of the best fantasy writings ever. The truth however is that it’s basically fictional history. The fantasy elements are kept down to a minimum or are even non existent. I felt pretty cheated.

So much potential. All wasted by lazy storytelling. The solution to the current hysteria is to have more good fantasy novels converted into TV series with the same attention to detail and production quality that HBO is showing the with Song of Ice and Fire series. Only then will we get a sense of perspective and finally stop mooning over Game of Thrones simply because it’s all we have to look forward to at the moment.

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  1. stevewhocaresnot says:

    Omg why are you people going so crazy over a show hat is so bang average its annoying as hell.
    Lots of talking that has led nowhere half the team, none of the characters have a decent arc,
    alot episodes there is no cliff hanger to make you want to watch another.
    it seems that everyone is in a different part of this dull world and will never meet.
    my girlfriend is hooked and I keep fslling asleep cos upto now season 3 episode 7 its been mostly different people riding different places, a fair bit of sex when the plot grinds to a halt.
    the dwarf is the only one worth watching and he is starting to bore me.
    Charles dance looks decidedly over qualified for the gig.
    and dont tell me the little stark girl will grow up to avenge her father?!
    You can see it coming from a mile off and yet it will take them 7 seasons to get there!
    Great shows kill off great characters without fear and this show doesnt.yaaaawn!!


    • Kel says:

      In reply to stevewhocaresnot

      I think people just mostly love the idea of it. There aren’t any good fantasy shows for TV. Game of Thrones is really the first mainstream attempt to do so. I watched a little and couldn’t be bothered to watch more than a few episodes. Gore and sex don’t make a series good. The dialogue is laughable at times (I mean, were they really dropping f-bombs during medieval times/middle age?). There are far too many characters shown onscreen that no one is invested in and most are one-dimensional. I feel like most people would rather focus on the compelling character the show does have.

      There is also seemingly no real plot. Perhaps that is the point, to just show people interacting. I do not know, but I won’t keep watching to find out. I’ll just stick with rewatching the Lord of the Rings. I understand the appeal of Game of Thrones and appreciate what it has done to advance the fantasy genre. The acting has been rightly praised and the production value has high quality. But I just don’t personally enjoy watching it.


    • ffan says:

      In reply to stevewhocaresnot

      I also find it overrated. It’s not bad, but it’s not one of the greatest shows of all time. Not even close. It’s basically a soap opera, just a fantasy soap opera.


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