Tag Archives: Game of Thrones

I’m half man, half Game of Thrones

I’ve never watched Game of Thrones, but it’s no secret that it’s an enormously popular show. I’m reluctant to get into it, for a number of reasons. I’ll probably cave eventually, and once I become part of the George R. R. Martin-verse, I’m sure I’ll be defending and championing it as vociferously as everybody that I know. But until then, it’s kind of nice to be in the dark, to not know why everyone else is talking about it, what the reason is behind all of the excitement.


And it kind of allows my mind to wander in ways that wouldn’t be possible if I were to be in on the action. For example, while I don’t watch the show, while I haven’t read any of the books, I still have the tiniest idea of what’s going on. Through overhearing snippets of other people’s conversations, from catching thirty-second glimpses of the show while picking stuff up at my brother’s place, to witnessing the barrage of billboards and online advertising getting everybody all pumped up for season three, I think that I have somewhat of an idea of what’s going on.

So with this extremely limited knowledge, I’ve pieced together a synopsis of what I think is happening so far. Years from now, when I finally decide to sit down and watch, I’m assuming I’ll be underwhelmed and unsurprised, seeing as how I’m pretty sure that all of the stuff I see in my head is probably exactly what’s going on in the show.

Let’s start from season one. When the show was in production, I remember reading some article about George R. R. Martin in the New Yorker. It told about this fictitious continent filled with kings and a vast library full of different characters. Once season one aired, I remember seeing this short clip of some albino lady standing in a field, naked, with a little dragon crawling over her body, and a whole field of men bowing down before her.

She’s definitely an alien. From a world at least three thousand light years away, she crash landed to shake up whatever they call this version of Middle Earth. Maybe this little baby dragon – he’s actually a cyborg, but you can’t see any of his robot parts – he’s going to one day grow up to be big enough to destroy any one, or all of the kingdoms. And so this alien lady appears and everybody has to kneel down before her, lest she direct the baby dragon’s future robotic wrath at them.

Season two. I wasn’t really paying attention to anything Game of Thrones related during season two. I did however, manage to catch about thirty seconds of an episode while I was waiting for my order at the pizza place. At first I thought it was the Lord of the Rings. I thought it was that guy who gets killed after killing like thirty-five orcs. But then the pizza guy was like, “I just love Game of Thrones,” and so I figured out my mistake.

In the clip, one of the kings executed some guy for desertion, then immediately went over to his little son and asked, “You understand why I had to do that, right?” and the kid totally didn’t understand, he was just staring at this litter of puppies. “Can I keep them daddy, can I? Can I?” and then the king was like, “Only if you walk and feed them yourself!” It was a little boring, actually. It reminded me more of an episode of Full House than an epic fantasy series. Also, right before that deserter was executed, he started babbling about something winter related, a white-walker, or a snow-giant or something from the north. “Nonsense,” the king said, “we haven’t seen those winter guys in over a thousand years.”

Cut to season three, currently airing. There was a ton of buildup this year in terms of marketing campaigns and billboards and magazine advertisements. It was definitely some very aggressive marketing. Most of the billboards didn’t say anything, they just showed various characters, one at a time, half of their faces were regular, but the other half were blue. Interesting. Then I saw some other ad and it said, “Winter is coming.”

So that’s where we’re at now. Putting two and two together, I’ll surmise that everybody’s scared of these snow people that the deserter was talking about earlier. The alien robot queen, she’s probably their messiah, destined to bring destruction to the kingdoms. But she’ll fall for humanity, maybe develop a romance with some human. The king is still a huge asshole who executed one of his own men without listening to him, without believing that he actually did see a winter-walker, and that mistake is going to bite him in the ass. Or it would, but there’s a twist: based on those half-regular, half-blue billboards, I can only assume that everybody turns out to be from the north, that the enemy that they dreaded was within themselves all along. And then the robot dragon self-destructs and blows up the whole planet. Deep.

I probably nailed it, although as of yet I have no way of knowing. While I’m at it, here’s my prediction for Iron Man 3. Tony Stark is at the pinnacle of his career. Just when it seems nothing can go wrong, it all goes wrong. Really wrong. The bad guy shows up. He hits Tony where it hurts, hard. Really hard. Tony almost dies. You see his chest-light start to flicker. But he makes it. The chest-light is brighter than ever. And then he beats the bad guy. Roll the credits. But don’t leave yet! There’s a clue at the very end. Did you see that guy? Did you see what he said? Did you get it? Did you understand? Yeah, me neither, but Iron Man 4 looks like it’s going to be fucking sick.

Game of Thrones? Sorry, I’m way too serious for games.

Here’s why I’m not watching Game of Thrones yet. My gut reaction after watching the commercials and hearing people talk about it is that the whole series seems way too similar to the Lord of the Rings. And I thought that the Lord of the Rings movies were pretty boring. Whatever, boring, yeah, but it’s not like I’m hating on them or anything. I really don’t have anything against them. I watched all three and really tried to get into them. But there were too many characters and I could never keep track of what was going on. And everyone had weird names, so I couldn’t keep anything straight in my head. I got all of the different kings confused. Everyone had a beard. There were too many swordfights. I thought that guy who got killed by the arrows was the same guy that got poisoned and almost burned by his dad. You only got to see Lord Sauron once, in the beginning, and that was it. Right? What was the whole eye thing, was that Sauron or something else? I mean, I watched all of these movies and, at the end of the trilogy, I had little to no idea what had actually happened. And they were all so long.

Everyone’s probably getting so pissed right now. I began with why I haven’t started watching Game of Thrones and immediately jumped to Lord of the Rings. I know that this is a cardinal offense amongst Throners. “But you don’t get it Rob!” everyone always protests, “It’s a fantasy series but it’s not about fantasy!” I get it, I get it. It’s like magic exists but it’s in the background, OK, I got it. I’m sure it’s actually a really great show. Things don’t get to be that popular by being stupid and lame.

But where Lord of the Rings had close to five hundred main characters, I’ve heard that Game of Thrones has something approaching a hundred thousand. And the names are just as crazy. King Fragomire or the honorable knight Sir Heglioth. If I were writing a fantasy series, I would just use regular names so people wouldn’t get so confused. And I’m not trying to say that regular is better, it’s just that, when people make up names that aren’t rooted in any actual human culture, and you’re planning on using a ton of them, it all winds up sounding kind of silly. Or alien. Like Kal-El. But he actually is an alien, so that works. Think about Star Wars. It’s a long time ago somewhere very far away. But the names are still Luke, Ben, Porkins. At some level I can still connect with what’s going on.

But all of this is just secondary to the real reason why I won’t get into Game of Thrones, and it’s not at all a unique or original reason or insight. As everyone knows, the author is two books short of finishing the series. He’s old, and because he’s old, and fat, everyone’s worried that he’s not going to be able to do it. Personally, I feel bad for the guy. He’s just writing his stories and all of the sudden his books take off and the whole world starts getting angry at him because he might die. It seems a little shortsighted and inconsiderate of us a species.

Having said that, I really don’t want to get sucked into an engaging series that doesn’t have an ending. That’s why I’ll never watch Lost. Where’s the eventual payoff? I’ve read something like the author of Game of Thrones wrote way too many characters into his books, so many that now he can’t even keep track of what’s going on as he tries to finish the last two. It sounds like a nightmare from his perspective. Meanwhile, to ratchet up the pressure even more, HBO is coming out with a new season every summer. What’s going to happen when the series catches up with the books? What, is there going to be some sort of a six year hiatus? I don’t think so. Our modern public won’t stand for it. HBO would probably rather hire an assassin to finish off the author while they just write the rest of them it themselves.

If I were a fantasy novelist, I would read all of the books that already came out and then I would just write the last two by myself. Screw the author. I don’t care if I wouldn’t make any money. I’d just write them and release them on the Internet. And even though I’d probably be hated for completely jacking this guy’s series, people would get so tired of waiting around that they’d eventually have no choice but to read mine. And, like any entrenched series, there would be people for and against my books. And maybe it would light a fire under the author’s ass, and he’d rush to finish the series on his own. But that would be even better, because there would be two endings to this series, his and mine. And maybe mine would be better. They probably wouldn’t, but maybe. Who knows right?