Game Of Thrones just finished its seventh season and lots of people didn’t like it and it’s still basically the best thing on the television, so …. Huh. I guess, pick up the gait lesser television shows ? em> Maybe make time for some frigging dragons or at least a eunuch, NCIS .
If you follow The Internet, you’ll know that people had a few issues with this most recent season of GOT , most notably the sudden foreword of hyperspace travel to what had previously been a gritty, realistic world. Personas would lunge back and forth throughout the continent within the span of an occurrence or two, and while individual producers were careful to avoid discussing the duration of day that passed between scenes, signifying it was all perhaps technically possible, it didn’t feel great. In reality, the pacing of the whole season felt like it had accelerated behavior too much.
I suspect this was caused by the increasing gap in progress between the reveal and the books. While the first 5 seasons were based on the books and the sixth was based on what were probably fairly detailed notes from George R.R. Martin on the book currently in progress, everything past that( i.e. this season) seems to have been based on a moderately loose outline Martin has for the overarching story of the demonstrate. And instead of fill that in with more politics or delightful bridals or fucking Dorne, the producers have evidently only shot from high point to high point. An increase in the pacing was probably necessary and welcome( fuck Dorne ), but this past season it felt like they took things a little too far. We live in a world where The Hobbit was was transformed into a nine-hour movie. They probably had some time to show a few more exchanges on boats.
But there’s a deeper difficulty at work here, something which is causing a disquieting sensation that the depict seems broken now. No , not only the most recent incest story, that’s fine, fuck your aunts all you want, Cracked’s position on that has always been clear. No, what’s quite all right is we are seeing a crash between two immutable the statutes of story which have lived side by side within the reveal for years. Recent occurrences have forced these two laws into conflict with one another, and it’s the fallout from this collision which is attaining everything feel so weird now.
The constitutions are 😛 TAGEND
Realistic Stories Have To Kill Off Major Characters
What was the first major plot level of Game Of Thrones that made you recognise something special was going on? The prostitutes? It was the prostitutes for you? Ok, sure. You do you.
Because for most other people it was the deaths among Ned Stark. For the first several episodes of Game Of Thrones , Ned Stark was clearly established as the primary protagonist. He was brave and honorable and had nice children and a cool wife and he did what he thought was right. And about midway through the season, when he was taken prisoner by the villainous Lannisters, everyone very well known story began softly, even subconsciously, amazing how Ned Stark was going to get out of this one.
And then he got his head chopped off.
Holy shit ! em> Clearly this was a different type of appearance entirely, and Martin would return to this blood-filled well again and again, brutally killing off major personas at weddings across the continent.
The reason this worked was that, as surprising as it was, it was still realistic and believable. Political machinations and assassinations and open war result in people succumbing , so we can’t be too surprised when it going to happen to major players. Large one section of Game Of Thrones are inspired by real history, which — spoiler — has a fatality rate of around 100 percent. Appear at the War Of The Roses( which several elements of Game Of Thrones are based on .) That little conflict ascertained dozens of Edwards and Richards expire per year, major players each one. A plausible depiction of that kind of conflict has to have major personas die. It’d “re being ridiculous” without it.
And now a few questions. Answer it as rapidly as you can. On Game Of Thrones , who was the last major protagonist to succumb?
The uh … hmmm. Is it Hodor? It’s Hodor, isn’t it? Is that major enough? He was surely a large-hearted attribute. Not really major though, and it was quite a while ago.
Let’s talk about the second immutable the principles of the rule of story at work here.
Traditional Tale Can’t Kill Off Major Characters
The whole level of a narrative is to read about interesting people doing interesting things. It’s more satisfying if we know something about the people doing amazing things — we don’t want to hear that some chump elf plummeted the One Echo in Mt. Fate, because his army contended its course there and he was just the closest one to the precipice. We want to read about Sam and Frodo doing it, because we’d followed those personas and their discussions about potatoes for a long time. If we’d followed the chump elf for a thousand pages, that might be different. He’d be our hero, and we’d know much more about him, and we’d delight in watching how he had finally grow the chump he was always destined to become.
One big side-effect of the said law is that if we follow a character for the thousands of pages, they are able to moderately predictably is to continue to do interesting things. It’s basically a corollary to Chekhov’s Gun; if a character is introduced in the first behave, they’ll have to do something by the third behave. Readers pick up on this too; we know when personas are important and can often even predict what they’ll do long before they do it. The coward will become courageou, the hero and romantic concern will kiss, the person with a chainsaw for an limb will be killed with his own chainsaw. And when that hasn’t happened in there , no matter what dire situations our heroes find themselves in, we don’t feel like they’re in real jeopardy. It’s called plot armor, and it’s the same reasons people noted it so surprising when Ned Stark died. He was our hero! He had to do … something. Right?
This is probably why we haven’t had any major personas on the indicate expires in a while now. They all have a role to play in the final season of the show.
Ok, so what? What’s the problem? You crave Bran to die or something? Well, yes , but there’s more.
Game Of Thrones Combines Both These Type Of Stories
In Game Of Thrones , everything south of the wall can be airily summed up as “humans fucking each other over.” It’s a realistic political tale, which generally follows the first constitution discussed above. Applying lessons from history, Martin was able to create beloved characters and hated villains and kill them off more or less whenever he wanted, because that’s what happens in a “humans fucking each other over” story.
North of the wall, we have a very different various kinds of story, something a lot closer to a traditional imagination epic, in this case the “humans contending ice-zombies” trope that lies at the core of 90 percent of the stories you’ve ever been told. It’s no coincidence that this story never blended in too much with the story south of the wall. Characters from each side didn’t cross backward and forward or interact much with one another at all. Every now and then someone might send a raven to the other story, and another story would read it and laugh and hurl the raven in the garbage.( Is that how the ravens worked? I don’t think we’ve “ve ever seen” the details .) And this story north of the wall is following those rules of fiction which apply to traditional tales. Attributes can die, but not the main ones; we need those around to deliver the ultimate punch at the end of the story to stir that ultimate jolt actually feel meaningful.
Now the two narratives are merging, and abruptly it’s clear that all the vulnerable people in the gritty political back-stabaganza we had come to desire and anxiety for , are actually heroes in an epic fantasize, immune to extinction until the very last pages. Think of all the implausible nonsense we’ve had to sit through this season. Jaime get tackled off a pony instead of incinerated. Theon escaping extinction for the twentieth goddamned time. Arya and Sansa overcoming Littlefinger’s schemes with funny ease. And most damningly, seven named personas parading into the wilderness on the dumbest mission ever conceived, running into impossible, overwhelming hazard, and six of them walking out . em> This is not the same appearance we are beginning watching; Ned Stark would have died a dozen periods over on that mission, and lost several thousand sons in the process.
You can argue that maybe this would all be better if Martin had written the details himself, that’d he’d gloss over or write around the improbabilities we’d seen this season. But the fundamental rights conflict between these two stories would still be there. We have important, previously very vulnerable personas who now for narrative reasons cannot die . em> No matter how well it’s done, everything about these sorts of tale is going to feel at the least a little bit weird.
I’ll still watch the last season, though. So will you. What other socially acceptable venue do we have for watching aunt sex?
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and plans to die in the first act of whatever narrative he’s in. As the author of the amazing novels, Freeze/ Thaw and Severance he thinks you should definitely proceed buy both sets of now. Join him on Facebook or Twitter . strong > em>