Well the chaos is back on television for the people of Westeros and the people of that other continent whatever its name is. I won’t be revealing any spoilers within this post besides general trends in the show, my own pondering over the show’s draw as well as what the past of the show implies about the show’s future.
The show depicts a fantasy world akin to the world created by JRR Tolkien in Lord of the Rings. So there clearly is a draw to fantasy in large, immersive worlds such as these. George RR Martin created something that sort of blends Tolkien’s fantasy with much more sinister, Machiavellian characters. Hundreds of characters, and each character carries a unique backstory. And the show has created such a vast world where it seems primarily the most ruthless end up winning, that you wonder how the show can ever end in a satisfying way.
Which brings me to my main point, will this show have a satisfying ending? I understand that not everybody can be pleased by a show’s end. And in no way shape or form am I arguing whether or not George RR Martin is a great writer. I think he’s brilliant. To keep straight all these inter-tangled plot lines and to write out results which make sense while factoring in each person’s individual interests, you wonder how his head doesn’t explode. I’m in the minority of people who actually feels sympathy for George RR Martin’s glacial writing pace, because I understand how difficult that must be crafting something so solid and with so many logical twists and turns, all the while trying to have it culminate in something meaningful.
The show reflects certain realities of existence. One of which is the fact that the good don’t always thrive, and the bad don’t always thrive either. It appears to be those who position themselves without exclusive regards to morality but rather primarily with regards to the realities of cause and effect in politics and interpersonal relationships who appear to consistently be the victors, a somewhat depressing message.
At this rate, with the show structured at present, they could make it so it never ends. But I know that won’t happen since they’ve already said it will end. So the only way to end the show must be to introduce other beings within the plot line of supernatural power that can act as a sort of etch-a-sketch shake, erasing much of what the show’s built up. Burning things down to allow a new world to rise up from the ashes, like a phoenix from the flame.
Anything of that nature is a delicate task to make believable without betraying the basic concepts which have made the show so popular in the first place. Among them the subtle interplay between the characters, the building up of plot lines before ripping you in new directions (you’ll get whiplash with this show if you’re not ready) and the sparse use of magic. Killing people in mass just feels like too heavy a hand for a show that has taken such surgical care to make every death feel meaningful. And I worry that the show will go in the direction of much more magic=much more death (spoiler alert, people die in this show). Much of the show is spent wondering where people’s loyalties and intentions lie, and then all of the sudden oh shit there’s magic. Magic gets used as a tactic for surprising the viewers, but the future of the show looks like magic will have a much more consistent role, which may harm its shock value.
I’m hitting that point where I’m part rambling part tempted to spoil certain things, though the books and the show haven’t quite hit this point I’m alluding to just yet. I digress.
George RR Martin himself said the end would be bittersweet, so I’m bracing myself for it. All in all it’s a great show with plenty of political intrigue and it seems like nobody can watch it without feeling one character who you want to root for, just be careful caring too much.
I’ll end the post with a nice cover of the theme song from Boyce Avenue. Enjoy the music!