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. Andy. Just Andy says:

    Found myself skipping the boring stuff more and more. Like, in the middle of a grand siege of a castle we also have to sit through 2×5 minutes of emotion talking between 2 women? Not interested. Did I miss anything? Probably. Don’t care.

  2. pam says:

    Have just finished watching season 3 (on DVD) have come to conclusion Game of Thrones, is not a fantasy story at all. Instead it is horror soap opera – full of brutal violence over and over, and with a soapy story line, no constructive story line; thus serves no purpose other than to repeatedly show horror violence. Which is a shame because it has great actors, great direction, great camera work etc. I guess in near future someone will be able to make a good send up of it.

    • Funq says:

      Well said- Horror soap opera with no constructive storyline.

      Also, there is hardly a system of magic.

      Thus, this is not fantasy, or even good film/television. And the outcome feels over-acted and trite.

  3. LL says:

    I like Davos, dagnabit!

  4. I haven’t read the books but I am a avid fan of the show. It does get boring at times. There’s times I even pause the show and put on SOA to give me some excitement lol. Anyways I’ve put together a collage of different game of thrones t shirts at I even found a ice bucket challenge version, is epic. Click it out!

  5. MoLoLu says:

    I watched Series 1-3 (finally) and, while I found it entertaining, it was a little too scattered. Part of the issue I believe is this: too many scenes with just 2 characters in them. Fine in a book. Not so fine in a TV series where the dialogue isn’t as important as things happening. Being an author myself, I can see why Martin put those scenes in. But the content of many discussions could’ve been ported to the TV a bit better; or fitted into other scenes.

    Another part of the issue in my eyes: lack of character development. Three seasons in, and the characters stick firmly to their archetype. This is realistic if you think about it – most people don’t change very fast. The problem was it got to the point where I could reliably predict who would act how and do what to the extent there wasn’t any mystery left. It didn’t help that everyone kept dying either.

    Oddly, GOT kinda reminded me of HBO’s Rome in many ways. Only I liked Rome’s pacing and characters a lot better. Now that’s not to say GOT is universally a bad show. And the books might be great for all I know. I don’t know as I can’t be bothered to read them anymore. What I can say though is that, for my taste, the series wasn’t quite entertaining enough to keep me going – or interested past Season 3, which I lost interest in halfway through.

  6. Cyndy says:

    I agree, the novel series feels like a 3rd rate horror novel. I read the 1st 2 books and parts of the 3rd. They are different withother fantasy novel just because the willingness of the writer to kill most of his main char. Reading them is tiring and boring. We can start to see the pattern by the 2nd book and the pattern is simple. All good guys will be killed and betrayed. Bad guys will survive for a while before they kill each other. Stop reading and give all the books to local library. Half of them are still sealed.

  7. Jim Bob Rosen says:

    The camera work is excellent, the actors are pretty damn decent, the story itself is good enough to hold my attention the majority of the time.


    Here is my main gripe: Since the beginning when Rob Stark dies I have been waiting for revenge. Some kind of revenge, however insignificant, maybe Arya kills the execution or something. I’m not saying the entire Lannister family has to die, the Lannisters can still win and that’d be fine with me but jesus, literally nothing good ever happens in this show. I get it, it’s not a happy story, that’s fine, I’m cool with dark and brutal, but there is no moment of redemption for the Starks, ever, and frankly I don’t give a shit about anyone else except Tyrion, who has sucked ever since stopped being hand to the king. I mean talk about hanging people out to dry. You don’t just write a show where only shitty things happen. I watched the first couple episodes of season 4 and got bored. Why watch a show that is literally NEVER rewarding? Fuck Game of Thrones, I’m over it.

  8. LorrdWolf says:

    I agree totally. I read the first two books and was struck by four things:
    1) It’s a great story
    2) It’s filled with great characters
    3) It’s got totally predictable plotting – I was almost never surprised by anything
    4) There’s no one to root for because the good guys die quickly and/or are just plain stupid. The best characters I found to root for are Bran (a crippled eight-year old) and Tyrian Lannister (but if I root for him I’m rooting for the Lannisters…no way).

    My conclusion: Martin is a good storyteller but at best a mediocre writer. Give me Brandon Sanderson anytime.

    • Your Momma's Crusty Cunt says:

      > 1) It’s a great story
      > 2) It’s filled with great characters
      > Martin is a good storyteller

      You’re a fucking moron.

  9. MNb says:

    Martin is not a good storyteller.

    “I haven’t even bothered to pick up Dance with Dragons”
    Very sensible, as the last chapter sinks to an unimaginable low. Literally nothing happens but Daenerys getting refound.
    It’s remarkable how many characters either get stuck or get nowhere in the last two books. For instance Sansa climbs a mountain and then descends it …..

  10. k says:

    I started with season 1 when it first came out. Watch thru:

    It did not have much of fight scene I expect. The characters are described as season fighters and lords of a “country(house?)”. You have to start thinking how could they be so stupid and weak, Robert, Nedd. Robert OK he is fucked alcohol, whoring not caring(. But Nedd? comon you are fucking lord of a house(country/state?) you govern them. Don’t tell me you have no experience or u have not seen enough at your age? Boy people says that Nedd dies so series gets realistic, I tell you any politician no matter how righteous in our real world, would be more street smart to protect their own ass than Nedd which in comparison is a teenage in the body of a forty year old lord’s body. Then what about Robb?

    So I told myself maybe the series just picking up give it 3 books or so to make more sense. At Jan 2015 i gave the series another shot. And it sucked… So i thought maybe the book gotten to the better part already. The progess still suck!

    So I went to find out. So the author was initially to tell his stories in 3 books but he decided well extend to 6 7. = more money more fillers less substance.

    I am a mild fantasy lover. Read very little fantasy books but I do read quite a few series. Drizzit a black elf or something incest sex battles interracial wars thrones plenty of it. Was nice but repetive after 5 series. Good progression.

    LOTR series my starter pack for fantasy.

    TEmaire by Naomi novik. Best I read. Dragons wars aerial fights. After some years of following it. Great news came indicating that Peter Jackson has sign movie deal with the author. Freaking awesome.

    Point is although I am kinda shallow in fantasy read but I do know what they usually and essentially must be pack with.

    Magic heroes stories battles war that kind that you would flip every page in a night thru all the book if you could have one of those speed reading glasses.

    But GOT is just not good sad to say it suck. Its just got lucky

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