Game of Thrones

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Game of Thrones

Laurie Penny: Game of Thrones and the Good Ruler complex

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I love Game of Thrones, but it’s not subtle. The stupendously popular swords-and-sorcery HBO romp is a glossy smorgasbord of rape, gratuitous sex and ultra-violence. Its major plot points, based on George R. R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels, are so simplistic that they may as well have been scrawled in crayon on the intricate wallpaper of literary-televisual tradition: the goodies are the rough, noble Northerners, the Stark family, none of whom have any discernible character defects, and the baddies are the yellow-haired Southern Lannisters, prosperous, duplicitous, incestuous, murderous and lots of other horrible things ending in ‘ous’, and somewhere in there are ice-zombies and prostitutes and blood-feuds and dragons and prostitutes and eunuchs and prostitutes and pirates and prostitutes and witches and prostitutes and one randy dwarf with daddy issues. The whole thing is about as sophisticated as a sucking chest-wound, of which, incidentally, the series features a fair few.

Game of Thrones is, in short, about as much gory, horny fun as any pop-cultural artefact can be in a post-Fordist, post-crisis spectacle society which has not yet sanctioned hatchet-slashing death-matches between social outcasts and starving circus animals, although David Cameron has not yet revealed the details of his plan to tackle Britain’s housing crisis. No wonder everyone’s watching.

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As well as being mightily entertaining, Game of Thrones is racist rape-culture Disneyland with Dragons. To say that this series is problematic in its handling of race and gender is a little like saying that Mitt Romney is rich: technically accurate, but an understatement so profound that it obscures more than it reveals.

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the most interesting thing of all about Game of Thrones is what you get when you strip away the blood and tits and get to the bare narrative bones under all that greasy meat. I’m talking about the basic story of the whole saga. I’m talking about one of the oldest stories of all, a story with the power to draw millions of us around the flatscreen just as our notional ancestors gathered around the hearths. I’m talking about The Search For The Good Ruler.

The clue is in the title. Game of Thrones is all about kings and queens, all about who gets to be in charge and how they win and retain power, by violence, by force of will or simply by accident. The essential assumption of this story is a familiar one: sovereignty and leadership are inherently good things, common workers need decent kings or queens to make them happy and prosperous, and even if a catalogue of leaders are bad, mad or murderous, if you can just find the right king, the true, wise, noble king who deserves to be on the throne, then everything will be okay.

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The Search for the Good Ruler is the big story of Game of Thrones. One of the reasons that it’s so compelling is that it’s also the big story of most of the nations in which the show airs, in various different ways. That fundamental notion - that if we are just lucky enough to get the right ruler, the ruler who, by might of right or right of might or by virtue of being the richest bastard or simply because their German great-granny happened to marry into the right family of inbred peasant-butchering Saxons, that if we just find the right one everything will still be ok - that’s still a story that we cling to. The Good Ruler. It’s going to run and run.

So it’s interesting that Game of Thrones is reaching its climax just as the Diamond Jubilee really gets under way in Great Britain. My feed-reader, favourite news websites and Twitter timeline are simultaneously full of babble and gossip about fantasy kings and queens and chatter and nonsense about real-life kings and queens to an extent that excitement about the two rather overlaps. When I try to explain to people in America exactly why it matters that Britain has a queen and not a president, I’m thinking as a republican in the literal sense but also as a person who loves stories, a person who believes that stories are politically important, and as a fan.

The stories we choose to tell about power are important. It doesn’t matter if the Queen actually wields any of the surprisingly significant amount of power she has for anything other than the purchase and maintenance of a large collection of ugly hats. It matters that the people of Britain are subjects, not citizens, and that the rest of the world - especially the United States, which was supposed to have gotten rather definitively over all this two centuries ago - gets all het up about that. It matters that the big stories we tell each other about power are still about the Good Ruler, still about kings and queens, good lords and loyal subjects, with all the assumptions about hierarchy and inequality that that entails.

Issues Pages: 
CMOT Dibbler

Tyrion Rulez!

But seriously...

A Song of Ice and Fire (The truly epic series of books on which A game of thrones is based) struck a cord with me. Aria reminds me of my little sister at age nine. Bran and Tyrion are both gimps. They Both occupy really important positions whithin the story. Actually, ninety percent of the characters in these massively complex and wonderful stories that Martin has created are misfits. Most of the people who aren't misfits are evil.

Yes, it is racist. the brown people featured in the novels tend to be hyper violent and oversexed. If I were black or brown, I probably wouldn't identify with A Song Of Ice and Fire so much, but I'm not, so I do.

I would argue that the TV series is in fact more sexist than the books. In the books, through introspection, you get to see the complexity and richness of a character like Katlin Stark. In the TV series, we don't have the luxury of seeing every thought that passes through her head, and therefore she comes across as less interesting.

That's it. Let the ritual stoning comense...

milo204

i was happy to read this article on the new statesman today.  i can't stand all these shows about royalty, high society, rich people etc that all of us working stiffs seem to lap up.  

same with all this queen elizabeth crap.  why on earth do a bunch of regular people have any respect for a hereditary head of state, much less line up for parades, get dressed up or watch endless hours of tv on the subject?  envy? who knows...maybe we're just socialized to think it's actually worth caring about...

CMOT Dibbler

It should be noted that many of the people that the books focus on ar not really noblemen. Tyrion, Aria and Bran all end up loosing their aristocratic houses and spend the rest of the saga running for there lives. Gendry is a blacksmith. Brawn is a mercinary. Sir Dontis and Sir Bariston are both disgraced knights. Varees is a Eunoch John Snow is a bastard. Jora Malmont is a landless lord.

As I've said, ASOIAF is really about outcasts.

Doug

So Westeros is elitist, sexist and racist. So? That's where the drama comes from. Reading about somewhere perfect would probably be boring.

This writer must have read (or watched) rather superficially if she thinks the Starks have no character flaws. Eddard is too bound to the concept of honour for his own good and the good of the people he's responsible for. Catlyn woefully mistreats her adopted bastard son since he's a constant reminder of her husband's infidelity. Robb thinks a bit too much with his penis. Arya is almost literally losing herself to get revenge. Sansa mistakes the life of a fantasy princess for the life of a real one.

Danaerys does do the whole "nice white lady liberates slaves" thing, but in the most recent book that has caused her no end of problems. I don't think that any of the rulers or wannabe rulers presented so far are unambiguously good. There's even a culture of people (the Free Folk) who decided to shove this whole hereditary nobility thing and only has leaders by general consensus. Some places outside Westeros also don't work that way.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I don't think the drama comes from racism and sexism -- that seems like a very shallow way of illiciting affective responses. (As an aside, I've noticed an increasing trend in so-called "high" culture films to use rape as an emotion factory (cf. Marcy Martha May Marlene). I like Game of Thrones too but I'm rather amazed at the willingness of many of my friends to totally dismiss the gratuitous sexism (mostly) and racism of the show as not important. It is important.

I agree with you about the flaws of the Starks, Doug, but we're still meant to adopt the Starks as subject positions. And the point of the article is to say that desire for the Good Ruler motivates the show -- whether or not we actually get what we want. Viewers are invested in the candidate they prefer, if not many candidates. We're never given the perspective of a commoner: the only lens valued by the narrative is one of elite power--buttressed by, alternatively, honour, intelligence, goodness/purity or innocence. But the quest for the Good Ruler is perpetual and neverending. We'll get 'em next year, etc.

Bärlüer

I'm not going to comment at length, but I'd just like to point out what should probably be a truism, but clearly is not: depiction of sexism does not equal sexism.

Take Mad Men, for example. Probably the most feminist show on TV right now.

Caissa

The novel is in my to be read pile. How is it?

Unionist

I very much enjoyed Laurie Penny's article. What I dislike about Game of Thrones is pretty much what I didn't like about Lord of the Rings (simplistic good vs. evil, the search for the good ruler) - and the nonstop gratuitous shock titillation, whether via sex or (especially) violence.

As for racism and sexism, I think it's the least important aspect of the series. There is racism and sexism in just about everything on TV - and it's more dangerous in its subtler expressions.

Caissa

Does the book echo the racism or sexism or has there been a major re-write for TV?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I agree with you, Bärlüer, that depiction of sexism does not equal sexism, but Mad Men is not the most feminist show on television right now, although it has some feminist messages. Part of the "problem" with MM and GOT is the gratuitousness which invites a level of complicitousness in the audience. The message of both shows in many ways is a smug pleasure in the shock of how "bad" things used to be -- but in Mad Men there is also a whispered dose of "but wasn't that nice..." In GOT, the pure gratuitousness of many of the violently misogynist scenes with little to no connection to character or plot development makes it very hard to absolve the viewer of tacit participation, or ignore that some of the implied pleasure of the scene stems from the violence itself.

I disagree with Unionist that the racism and sexism are the "least important aspect[s] of the series"--in fact, if we agree with Laurie Penny's article -- and I do -- then the racism and sexism are fundamentally part of our obsession with a search for the Good Ruler: we will suffer or ignore any kind of oppression if we think it will hamper our quest for this flawed and impossible form of governance. A sobering parable of contemporary life, I think.

Bärlüer

Catchfire wrote:

I agree with you, Bärlüer, that depiction of sexism does not equal sexism, but Mad Men is not the most feminist show on television right now, although it has some feminist messages. Part of the "problem" with MM and GOT is the gratuitousness which invites a level of complicitousness in the audience. The message of both shows in many ways is a smug pleasure in the shock of how "bad" things used to be --

The gratuitousness? I mean, if Mad Men is "gratuitous" in its treatment of sexism, how could a TV show even escape that label from you...?

Mad Men tackles head-on the subject of subjugation of women in its subtle and not-at-all subtle forms. It deconstructs its components and lays them bare, and does so relentlessly. It's also interested in how female empowerment can develop—and in the myriad obstacles that lay in its path.

I fail to see how the show's tackling of sexism could be qualified as "gratuitous".

Catchfire wrote:
but in Mad Men there is also a whispered dose of "but wasn't that nice..." 

I really don't get how can anyone read that sort of sentiment in Mad Men. I mean, have you seen the recent episode "The Other Woman"...?

There is absolutely nothing celebratory about the subjugation of women in Mad Men. Compare and contrast with, say, Downton Abbey, where there is in fact something celebratory about the hierarchical and noblesse-oblige social mores that are evidenced. Or Weeds, which I've always found to be a rather conservative show despite what people might think at first glance.

CMOT Dibbler

Please...READ THE BOOKS. Much better then the TV series, I swear.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Re: "The Other Woman"

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The motivators that are used in the story to turn Joan around are basically (1) she learns that the partners were willing to ask her to do it, including Roger; (2) Lane offers a partnership, which simply amounts to a larger reward; and (3) her refrigerator is broken. The first presents the upsetting possibility that the men she works so hard for do not respect her; the second ups the ante; the third presents financial challenges.

But I just didn't think either of those things would believably motivate Joan to have sex for money if she was so grossed out by the idea that anyone would think she'd do it a day earlier. Whether or not she wants to engage in what she calls prostitution isn't about the amount or the difference between a partnership and a big check. It's because it's prostitution, and she doesn't see herself that way.

Re: "wasn't that nice"

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Beneath the Now We Know Better is a whiff of Doesn’t That Look Good. The drinking, the cigarettes, the opportunity to slap your children! The actresses are beautiful, the Brilliantine in the men’s hair catches the light, and everyone and everything is photographed as if in stills for a fashion spread. The show’s ‘1950s’ is a strange period that seems to stretch from the end of World War Two to 1960, the year the action begins. The less you think about the plot the more you are free to luxuriate in the low sofas and Eames chairs, the gunmetal desks and geometric ceiling tiles and shiny IBM typewriters. Not to mention the lush costuming: party dresses, skinny brown ties, angora cardigans, vivid blue suits and ruffled peignoirs, captured in the pure dark hues and wide lighting ranges that Technicolor never committed to film.

Unionist

Thanks, CF, for the link to Mark Greif's LRB piece. This excerpt sums up much of my discomfort with Mad Men:

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It’s a commonplace that portrayal of the past can be used to criticise the present. What of those cases in which criticism of the past is used to congratulate the present? I suppose it does at least expose what’s most pompous and self-regarding in our own time: namely, an unearned pride in our supposed superiority when it comes to health and restraint, the condition of women, and the toleration of (some) difference in ethnicity and sexuality. Mad Men flatters us where we deserve to be scourged. As I see it, the whole spectacle has the bad faith of, say, an 18th-century American slaveholding society happily ridiculing a 17th-century Puritan society – ‘Look, they used to burn their witches!’ – while secretly envying the ease of a time when you could still tie uppity women to the stake. If we’ve managed to become less credulous about advertising, to make it more normal and the bearer of more reasonable expectations, perhaps in 50 years’ time viewers will look back on the silly self-congratulatory subtexts of Mad Men, shake their heads, and be grateful that gender and sexual tolerance have likewise been normalised. 

Bärlüer

But how do those critics get to "used to congratulate the present"? Is it the mere fact that the story the Mad Men writers tell is set in the past? Surely not. What then? How do they infer this "present-congratulory" dimension?

On the contrary, I feel that a lot of the gender politics observations that are made in Mad Men could be replicated in a contemporary context.

Unionist

Bärlüer wrote:

But how do those critics get to "used to congratulate the present"? Is it the mere fact that the story the Mad Men writers tell is set in the past? Surely not. What then? How do they infer this "present-congratulory" dimension?

From my viewpoint, it's a fairly obvious inference. "Look how terribly they treated women - and this was once considered normal, just like smoking at work, or making jokes about hiring Jews!!" Isn't their an inference that we've moved beyond all that?

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On the contrary, I feel that a lot of the gender politics observations that are made in Mad Men could be replicated in a contemporary context.

Well, that's exactly right, and it's exactly the point. But in order to do that, why not show the contemporary context, with satire or exposé just as biting as that of some 1960 setting? Come to think of it, do you know of a single U.S. TV series that exposes contemporary gender discrimination in all its florid horror, along the lines of Mad Men? I don't. And I don't think one could exist. Because without the "self-congratulatory" aspect (along with which comes denial), such an exposé would surely be deemed too subversive for prime time.

 

Bärlüer

Unionist wrote:

Bärlüer wrote:

But how do those critics get to "used to congratulate the present"? Is it the mere fact that the story the Mad Men writers tell is set in the past? Surely not. What then? How do they infer this "present-congratulory" dimension?

From my viewpoint, it's a fairly obvious inference. "Look how terribly they treated women - and this was once considered normal, just like smoking at work, or making jokes about hiring Jews!!" Isn't their an inference that we've moved beyond all that?

I'd say that would be the superficial reaction of someone who's not prepared to examine in a critical manner the world around him/her as it stands today. I do not contest that it's quite possible that it may be the reaction of many viewers.

Another possible reaction (entailing more reflective analysis—and, I feel, completely consistent with the actual contents of the show): "Wow, this show really puts the finger on how fucked up gender politics are in the workplace! And look at things today—they haven't changed that much, when you think about it!"

Unionist wrote:
Bärlüer wrote:
 On the contrary, I feel that a lot of the gender politics observations that are made in Mad Men could be replicated in a contemporary context.

Well, that's exactly right, and it's exactly the point. But in order to do that, why not show the contemporary context, with satire or exposé just as biting as that of some 1960 setting?

Why not indeed. You may be totally right with the "too subversive for prime time" comment. But it does not follow that because Mad Men is set in the past, it means it adopts a self-congratulatory tone toward the state of sexism today. Do you think that because Deadwood is set in the past, what it has to say about capitalism can find no echo in contemporary life, that it is self-congratulatory towards our relation today with capitalism...?

Unionist wrote:
Come to think of it, do you know of a single U.S. TV series that exposes contemporary gender discrimination in all its florid horror, along the lines of Mad Men? I don't. And I don't think one could exist. Because without the "self-congratulatory" aspect (along with which comes denial), such an exposé would surely be deemed too subversive for prime time.

I don't have an example in mind that compares to Mad Men. (To me that's also a credit to the sheer force of Mad Men's dedication to the subject.)

Bärlüer

And on Linda Holmes' assessment of the character of Joan:

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But I just didn't think either of those things would believably motivate Joan to have sex for money if she was so grossed out by the idea that anyone would think she'd do it a day earlier. Whether or not she wants to engage in what she calls prostitution isn't about the amount or the difference between a partnership and a big check. It's because it's prostitution, and she doesn't see herself that way.

The refrigerator being broken is, as stated, a setback, and there's no question that she's worried about money. But garden-variety money worries aren't anything that would get this particular lady to agree to this arrangement, based on what I know of her. 

I think Holmes is imposing too simplistic and rigid a cadre of behavior for what is "plausible behavior" for Joan. (Holmes didn't pick up (or note), for instance, the moment, during Joan's discussion with Lane, when Joan points out that the money "proposed" was four times what she makes in a year and where she says something like "I suppose you wouldn't even be tempted".)

 

Unionist

Bärlüer wrote:
But it does not follow that because Mad Men is set in the past, it means it adopts a self-congratulatory tone toward the state of sexism today.

I think we're talking past each other somewhat here. I didn't say that Mad Men "adopts" a self-congratulatory tone about today. I think it generates one. And yes, you're quite right, it doesn't generate one in you or in me. But I highly doubt that the vast majority of viewers react by thinking: "Wow, that's enlightening, and things are just as bad today!" I guess at a certain point we're speculating as to how people respond, and how that relates to the political "intent" (if any) of the producers.

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Do you think that because Deadwood is set in the past, what it has to say about capitalism can find no echo in contemporary life, that it is self-congratulatory towards our relation today with capitalism...?

That's a good question. I love Deadwood, and will be eternally angry with whoever decided to cut it short after three seasons. The extent of analogy with contemporary ills of our society is impressive and incisive. But the context and setting are so much more distant than those of Mad Men that I detect no "self-congratulatory" inferences at all. I don't think viewers would react by thinking: "Wow, I'm so relieved that we've moved beyond that!"

I'll try to express what I'm saying. Sexism and misogyny are rampant in our society. Mad Men looks to me like a parody, a caricature, and one from which modern society can dissociate itself with ease because of the half century passage of time, and the caricature aspect itself. When I watch it (and I've only watched about 3 episodes), I hear myself saying: "Have the courage to show a contemporary setting!" So maybe my reaction is subjective. I don't see the courage in caricaturing the past.

 

Bärlüer

I think you'd see beyond what could be termed the "caricatural" aspects of it if you watched more of the series—especially the current season.

Unionist

Bärlüer wrote:

I think you'd see beyond what could be termed the "caricatural" aspects of it if you watched more of the series—especially the current season.

Well - to complete (hopefully) the thread drift - and given my respect for your opinion - I will make an effort to do so. And I'll let you know when if my opinion changes!

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Bärlüer, I like the shows we're talking about. The reason I think they're interesting is their double nature: Mad Men is both feminist and anti-feminist--which makes its feminism problematic. But like the first article I linked to about the show says, it's a testament to the complexity of the show that intelligent, politically minded people can watch an episode like "Other Woman" and draw completely different conclusions about it.

Other shows which are straight up misgoynist? I don't bother with them at all. 

Doctor Manderly

For Game of Thrones...I have not seen the show but I read the books...

I was expecting it to be Lord of the Rings Good Vs Evil derivative tripe...

 

It is the exact opposite...all grey area.....

 

Even the most noble characters do bad things...And vice versa!

 

The books raise many implicit societal criticisms in what I would argue is a Neo-Dickensian fashion...

 

At least in the books I found the plot very sophisticated and nuanced......

 

...by FAR the best popular fiction I have read in years...

 

 

 

Merowe

Let me nudge the thread off course once more...I think the real cleverness of Mad Men is in choosing just that historical period when postwar capitalism was at its most exuberant, just as it began the expansion and elaboration that would eventually carry it to the present, wobbly global hegemony. If you were to plot the arc of western capitalist societies, locating a peak somewhere about the point that middle and lower class wages begin to stagnate around the time of Reagan, if you drew a horizontal line from where we are at present - a couple of decades past the peak - it would intersect the ascendant line of the arc at just the time period Mad Men occupies.

So what they're doing is neatly summing up a historical period that is now passing. We can see the roots of the sexism we know and love today, along with the racism, classism and all those other wholesome attributes of the system we live in. We can begin to study the period as a singular whole and make judgements upon it. I don't think there's much self-congratulation going on, not a lot of 'look how backwards we used to be' with a sly wink, its simply locating a mark against which we might measure the present - as we see fit, there's nothing prescriptive about it.

I'm a huge fan and think the latest season is perhaps the best.

Caissa

I started a Game of Thrones last night after finishing Why Men Lie by Linden MacIntyre. 25 pages down about another 700 to go.

Doctor Manderly

Hope you enjoy it Caissa!

Caissa

Just over 100 pages in and the characters are starting to take shape and plots developing.

melovesproles

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Its major plot points, based on George R. R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire novels, are so simplistic that they may as well have been scrawled in crayon on the intricate wallpaper of literary-televisual tradition: the goodies are the rough, noble Northerners, the Stark family, none of whom have any discernible character defects, and the baddies are the yellow-haired Southern Lannisters, prosperous, duplicitous, incestuous, murderous and lots of other horrible things ending in ‘ous'

She makes some good points but really misses on this one. The Starks are definitely more sympathetic but they aren't cardboard cut good-guys. Ned's character is introduced executing one of his subjects wrongly instead of listening to him and learning of the danger which is approaching. Aria's character gets increasingly more sociopathic. And easily the most likeable character is a Lannister. Even Jaime, who comes off like a cartoon baddy at first, gets some of the best lines and character development.

My biggest problem with the first season's adaptation of Game of Thrones was it's portrayal of Sansa and Caitlyn who were my two favorite characters in the books. The show cuts out and changes key actions by both of them which make them less complicated, interesting and far less consequential to the story. In the book, they are the most important characters impacting what happens to the Stark family.

 

As for the show and the books primarily showing the story through the eyes of the aristocracy that is true but I don't think it glorifies the idea of the good ruler. It's shown pretty clearly, perhaps more so in the books, the devastating consequences of the nobility's political games on the average person. Armies on all sides are shown to be predatory and rape, starvation and murder are the realities that the people have to live with during war. As for what it says about the politics of ruling, I think it's pretty clear that the archtypical 'good ruler' is often incompetent and that seizing power and holding on to it has nothing to do with being 'good'. There's nothing nostalgic about it's portrayal of monarchy, the history of the world is full of insane rulers and arbitrary dynastic wars that devastate the population.

 

Although she attacks a couple of straw men, her point about the Orientalism of the story is pretty spot on. The slavery, occultism and decadence of the East pretty clearly taps into a long tradition in fantasy literature.

 

The second season has included a lot of gratuitous sex and prostitution scenes that were not in the books. This is pretty in keeping with how HBO likes to sell their shows and reminds me a lot of what we saw in Deadwood and The Sopranos. I think it has a lot to do with the production/marketing values of the channel since we've seen the same dynamic over and over.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I was too furious to post about this when the "Red Wedding" episode came up at the end of season three, but Christ, George R. R. Martin is an asshole.

Unionist

I haven't read the books, and I haven't started Season 3, but CF's quasi-spoiler has just dulled my appetite considerably. I'll go back to watching Breaking Bad.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Maybe we should start a new thread about BB, Unionist. I'm jonesin' for the final (half) season to start. 

Mórríghain

Catchfire wrote:

I was too furious to post about this when the "Red Wedding" episode came up at the end of season three, but Christ, George R. R. Martin is an asshole.

Why is Martin an asshole? Depending upon why you think he's an asshole, if he is why does it matter?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I don't know, is this a spoiler thread? If not it is now (SPOILER WARNING): Martin is an asshole because he kills off all the main characters. Not like Joss Whedon-style killing off main characters, in which he kills off some high-ranking co-star or whatever. Martin kills off all the main dudes, like all of them. ALL OF THEM!

I mean, I'm all for bucking convention, but this one is pretty effing low. What's the point of watching the show now?

Mórríghain

Catchfire wrote:
... Martin is an asshole because he kills off all the main characters. ... like all of them. ALL OF THEM!

I mean, I'm all for bucking convention, but this one is pretty effing low. What's the point of watching the show now?

Martin has not killed off any of his major characters (Catelyn Stark, Rob and his wife Talisa, and Greywind were not major characters). Jon Snow, Tyrion, Jaime, Stannis and Melisandre are all doing fine, as are Arya, Daenerys and Cersei. I think you just didn't like having George Martin pull the rug out from under you. Wink

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Ned Stark was a major character and they killed him. Rob Stark was certainly a major character and his entire contingent was certainly a major, if not the major focus of the plot. The whole series was set up as if the Stark family was the point of the show. Now they're all dead except for a moronic bastard, a sociopathic newt and a joyless zombie. You're right, I didn't like Martin pulling the rug out from under me. Don't you think someone who does that is an asshole? I'd hate to meet your friends... ;)

Mórríghain

Catchfire wrote:
You're right, I didn't like Martin pulling the rug out from under me. Don't you think someone who does that is an asshole? I'd hate to meet your friends... ;)

The trials and tribulations of the Starks were not the points of the show, or the books. That's why Winterfell was destroyed early on—foreshadowing. I'm going to tip-toe out onto a limb here and suggest you don't like it when writers fuck with formula. If HBO stays true to GRRM you're not going to like the coming seasons—happy viewing.

Valar morghulis. I have no friends. Tongue out