Game of Thrones. I think many of us can admit there is a no-holds-bar story here that really grabs a hold of us. I haven’t read the books, and I won’t pretend that I haven’t loved the show. I have. I just don’t know if I continue it any more. At least not on a week-by-week basis.
I had no idea what to expect when I started watching it, but it’s quickly turned into a bit of a regret. The reason? Hopelessness.
I get it. I do. The real world is cruel, we suffer consequences to our actions. We make our beds, we lie in them, we deal, life goes on…most of the time. The same is true for a story, and in this case, more specifically, Game of Thrones. Not everybody lives. Or in GOT’s case, everybody dies! It’s a sad truth that we all recognize. It’s like real life! The thing is, I already live in real life. Real life is already difficult at times. I already see death and sacrifice. I’ve already experience loss and pain. I’ve made mistakes and luckily I’ve lived to learn from them. I’ve done all this. Not on the same grand scale of course, but it’s existent in my life nonetheless. I feel it’s safe to say it exists in all of our lives to some degree. But I don’t want to watch real life. I live in real life. I want a story. Something different. I want to be taken on an adventure, and one that I’m happy to be on. I’m not sure I share that happiness with GOT any longer.
***POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD***
When Ned was taken in the first season, I was shocked. That word doesn’t even do true justice to how I felt. It was more like throwing a remote through a TV screen because it was the TV’s fault. I couldn’t believe it. Then Rob, Lady Stark, and a few others and I realized this show doesn’t hold back. How intense!
At first it was gripping. I couldn’t believe they would slaughter my favorites. Soon after the second season, I began to get bored with it. I continued, of course, because I loved what was being created. The tension was…well, intense! The action was thick and the characters were rich. As the story has progressed through, I feel like each season has let me down a little more. That’s not to say it isn’t all fantastically put together, it is. From acting to directing to screenplay–it’s all wonderful. I just don’t know that it’s for me anymore.
The reason for that feeling, I think, is the lack of hope. The entire reason I watch a show or movie, or read a book, is to enter another realm. My imagination joins with the creator’s for a little while and I let them take me on a whirlwind. Sometimes the bad guys win and sometimes I like that. It’s a nice change of pace. But it can’t be the only pace.
The thing is, hope must be kept alive and in long-running sagas, sometimes it must be re-instilled in the consumer of said content. GOT is quickly teaching me there is no reason to hope for anything in this world. Don’t get too attached to a character because they’ll die. Don’t hope to follow a story line because it’ll get sidetracked and the things you loved will disappear and be turned into something else. It’s as if the rules don’t apply because they don’t. There are no rules and nothing is off limits. Although I admit that was part of the charm that drew me in originally, it is unable to sustain me as a viewer forever. I need to be nourished occasionally, not simply starved.
Of course, this is just me. Me being tired of hoping endlessly and never being rewarded. NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS. It’s almost too real for me. I escape to these worlds to experience action, magic, victory and loss via another person in another world, but I’m trusting the imagination luring me along that they’ll keep me safe. GOT doesn’t make me feel safe. At times that’s exciting, but too much of anything is never good. You need variety. GOT continues to kill and slaughter and come up with surprising ways to torture it’s characters, but it no longer surprises me. I appreciate the show, but I think for my own sake it’d be better off left for a binge-watching weekend once the season’s have been completed. I can’t tune in every week, excited to see what is to become of this old world, only to be disappointed each time. Once in a while I need a release. I need something good to happen. If GOT really wanted to trick me and it’s viewers, it should do something positive. I need you to trick me with kindness the way you once tricked me with death. Do something great. Make something wonderful happen. If as a viewer you want to surprise me, don’t just kill another person. There is no more shock in that. Make something amazing happen to someone. Now that would truly give me a shock worth tuning in once again. Why? Because it would reestablish the hope that had been beaten out of me each week for five season. Hope is what keeps me lingering. Take that away and I have nothing left to hang on to.