Friday, April 24, 2015

Gamey Thrones

Re-watching Game of Thrones from the beginning.

First season much better than the second.

The religions of this world are either repellent or boring. None are convincing. GRR Martin might well have followed the lead of JRR Tolkien's Fellowship stories and left religion out of it altogether.

Two good lines about this, though:
Tyrion the Dwarf: "The Drowned God wants men drowned, the Fire God wants men burned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts?" *
A pious son asking a wise relative about his irreverent father: "But doesn't father believe in the gods?" Answer: "Yes, he believes in them. He just doesn't like them very much."

The same-sex stuff is shown unsentimentally. It is tolerated if kept private, but not respected. Not treated with PC sensitivity, although both the boy-loving eunuch Lord Varis and the homosexual royal pretender Renly Baratheon are portrayed as more decent than most of the men in Westeros.

As is pretty well everything else, although girl-power infects the show too much, with the usual litany of complaints.

Arya Stark is a royal pain in the ass and not at all interesting. Endlessly one-note oppositional/defiant brat girls hold no appeal in fiction. The real world is already too full of them. All the Starks, come to think of it, grow boring fast, with the self-righteous stubbornness. Lannisters, though/because evil, are much more compelling.

Lord Littlefinger Baelish and Jaime Lannister are nasty men, but I kinda like them. You never quite know what they're up to.

The blond queen slave emancipator with the dragons is stiff and morally pompous except when out of control. Only then does she become a little interesting.

The series is about complex plot development and surprise, not about character. Most of the characters are flat, narrow or repellent and one-dimensional.

But the dwarf is the most interesting of all. His is really the only one whose death would move me.

Well, negatively. Little King Joffrey is written entirely to be loathed and at that the series works well. When he does die, it's entirely too swiftly. He deserves the fate that Theon Greyjoy got.

Like House of Cards, though, it is unblinking about human nature. More often than not it is Eros who provokes the missteps that eventually bring the characters down.

*GoT has an abundance of vicious cunts, of the human variety, Cersei Lannister not alone among them . GRR Martin is a violently anti-Republican ideologue in real life, but like all liberals, he can only make interesting art by adopting a conservative view of human nature.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Arya is the blandest character in my opinion. The other Stark girl is starting to get interesting now that she's learning the political intrigue game from Littlefinger.

The Dragon Queen is learning quickly that the role of an emancipator is often a thankless one. The nobles she disgraced resent her for it, and the ex-slaves have turned on her for not bowing to their every whim. And it's a little funny that her entire cabinet is made up of men, who are constantly steering her from making terrible decisions.

The Sparrows are being portrayed far more negatively in the show than they ever were in the books. They were certainly devout, but they took their cues more from, say, the historical Franciscans and less with the Taliban, like the show seems to be insinuating with the black robes and intolerance of whoring and alcohol.


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