The End (no, not that end)

The other day I tweeted that “Game of Thrones really isn’t all that good”. This prompted Matt to ask what, exactly, I did like. Matt seems to labor under the impression, like many, that I can, at times, be somewhat cynical.

I don’t know where this comes from.

Here’s what I like, and basically don’t like about Game of Thrones (and a lot of other fantasy epics; more on that in a bit): I like endings. I don’t like stories that drag on forever and the middle- which can only rightly be called that after the author finally dies or gives up- is this endless quagmire of minutia that is a chore to get through. What I like are series that, through the whole thing, are building to the end. It’s what invites you to turn the page, tune in next week, Netflix the next movie (Netflix is a verb now, right?). After I read A Feast for Crows, I just didn’t care anymore. It felt like the Wheel of Time, which just… never… ended. I stopped caring about what happened next.

On the other side, you have Lord of the Rings, Babylon 5, Firefly. Lord, Firefly was a revelation, and just gut-wrenching for  it to go the other way when it was canceled and so clearly was just getting started (yeah, I watched it on TV). Bablylon 5- make your graphics jokes now- told one hell of a good story. There weren’t wasted episodes, where you wondered why they even bothered. It also has the benefit of having the best spaceships ever.

Now, I get it. There is a lot to love about Game of Thrones, and if you like it, I’m not judging you. It’s action packed and has lots of smut. It’s not that I don’t see the appeal of it. It’s that stories- even stories we love, either as a reader/viewer or author, have to end. That ending should be planned from the beginning, and everything should work towards that.


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11 thoughts on “The End (no, not that end)

  1. Alton Bock says:

    I agree with you. A friend keeps trying to get me to read Wheel of Time but I just can’t find the time to read something that drags on for 15 books or whatever. I know little about Game of Thrones but everything I hear confirms what you’ve said. I see the appeal of it to some people, particularly because it’s on HBO and is allowed to be “edge” (which I’ve learned is just code for “gory + boobs”). I like tightly-woven stories, sure, but I like stories that end. Battlestar Galactica did that nicely, too. No wasted shows, and it all built to tidy ending that I just loved (and only atheists seemed to hate).

      • sj says:

        I got it! I will check it out – but probably not VERY soon as my reading plate is super full at the moment. :/

        If we’re link passing (and since you love LotR) you should check out the tab I have for Puttin’ the Blog in Balrog. Last summer was full of Tolkien-y goodness.

      • sj says:

        That’s what most people are like. That’s what I was like the first several times. It gets easier, though (or maybe you just have to be in the right place for it).

      • sj says:

        No, I don’t blame anyone who can’t get through it. Why else would I have written several thousand words about it? I AM THE MOST HELPFUL!

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