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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Comments

  1. Vikings is better. And no, I don’t care about the nudity, we have streaming porn today.

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  2. Man, I gave up after the first book. Not only was there lacking a reason to give a damp about any of the characters, the book was also so incredibly bland. The guy made up for dry writing with disgusting or humiliating shock moments.

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  3. Xavier Reda says:

    The Starks constantly lose and are betrayed because they represent the common fantasy’s good guys. They have no flaws except their goodness. They show how characters like these would never survive in a world with realistic threats. No I’m not say dragons and zombies are realistic. I’m talking about the horrible pit of betrayal and greed that is King’s Landing and the South. The exceptions are those willing to change in time. Robb gave into star-crossed love like all the story tales, and payed the price for betrayal. Ned refused to break his honor until his last words, but it was too little too late. Bran is a daredevil who doesn’t follow the rules, and is forced to change. Jon is a man of honor who gives in to star-crossed love and makes choices everyone else frowns upon because they are good, and he dies, but he comes back. Maybe he’ll do things the right way, or maybe he’ll be the exception. Arya is a awesome. They also win a lot. Daenerys conquers several cities and earns thousands of followers. Sure she loses one and the other declines, but that’s because she is surrounded by enemies and changing an areas culture isn’t easy. Jon defends the wall against a massive army of wildlings and giants, and even turns them to his side after. Tyrion, wins, loses, wins again, and then wins?, but he is definitely winning now. Jaime ends TWO sieges without bloodshed. Don’t tell me the good guys don’t win.

    There are no “Bad Guys” In A Song of Ice and Fire. Cersei is a Arya but hot with a less allowing father. She loves herself and her children and only loves Jaime because she sees herself in him. She was forced to do a ton of things she hated like marry Robert. All she wants is for her, Jaime, and her children to live happily without fear. And the Iron Throne will allow that. Plus a woods Witch told her her children would die and she would be killed by her brother. Jaime loves Cersei. He does everything for her. He doesn’t care about anything else. That’s not bad. But he discovers later in the books that he really does care. He killed Arys to save hundreds of innocents. He starts to wonder if he was as close to his idle Ser Arthur Dayne as he thought he was. He starts to wonder if Cersei cares for him as he cares for her. His character fights between his honor and his love. I could go into each character but this comment would be way to long.

    GRRM introduces new characters in every book. AND DONT SHIT TALK DAVOS. HOUSE SEAWORTH IS DA BOMB. Anyway, besides giving previous characters their own chapters. Which is awesome in many cases. He also introduces a bunch of new ones. The Kingsgaurd. A few Dornish men and women. Asha. Also more characters means less time for the ones we have. Which sucks. He started writing other things because he wanted to take a break from the story he had been writing for more than a decade. As for the fantasy thing. Mieh. I could care less. Elves suck. Dwarf master race.

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  4. Android says:

    Game of Thrones, like The Walking Dead, is horribly overrated. Game of Thrones is just stupid gore crap, and Walking Dead has absolutely nothing to do with zombies anymore. Hate both of those shows. There isn’t a band wagon big enough for idiots who like those shows.

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