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.
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.