A blog post! (also a game of thrones post)
ever since we were little, we had played our part as a television audience. we invest our emotions on the lives of the characters we watch on tv shows every week.
in the original power rangers, we were sad when the green ranger lost his powers and was equally elated when he returned as the white ranger. we were never scared for spider-man during the run of the animated series, whenever he finds himself in a bind.
we rooted for our heroes on these shows. we knew that in the end, they would always win.
which is why when this dynamic changes, our foundations, as audiences, are always shaken. i remember one of my darkest times as a cartoon-addicted child was when optimus prime during the movie tie-in. everything was in disarray for me. who gave a fuck about rodimus prime? i wanted optimus. it was even more traumatic for me when they brought him back as a robo-zombie hybrid. i really felt like i was an autobot who was struggling to find leadership within. even if i liked different autobots (bumblebee, jazz) there was a sense of security whenever optimus was around.
fast forward to now:
i just have to declare it, game of thrones, based on george r r martin’s a song of fire and ice book series, is the best television series that i have ever watched. it’s better than battlestar galactica (my previous no 1) and lost. what it did was to change the structure that we have all been used to when in came to storytelling, whether on tv or the books. how much subtext do viewers need. we immerse and debate in politics, leadership, morality, and chivalry whenever a decision is made in a character.
then there is the final act in the penultimate episode of the recently concluded first season, the death of ned stark.
to be honest, i spoiled myself a bit with what would happen on the first season. as always, i read up about the books in wikipedia, where i found that stark would be killed near the end of the first book. but i didn’t dwell upon it too much since i was thinking that it wouldn’t be likely that the show’s crowd drawer, sean bean.
and then bam!
as much as it was emotional for anyone who have invested on the characters of the show, i took the final scenes as horrifying: how chaos erupted when the highly unlikeable, young king ordered ned’s head, how the executioner slowly wore his mask and drew ned’s own heirloom sword, the looks on the faces of sansa and arya, ned’s daughters. for me it seemed that everyone knew it was coming, but was still scared for ned.
then the reactions came, mostly from online, like threats of not watching hbo anymore (which came very likely from casual fans).
yet the finale still aired last night. the story continues. you see, game of thrones is not just about one character. as with reality, shit happens and life goes on. so did the characters. the finale may have seem lackluster to some (save for the last scene), but of course we have to see the characters react and grieve. if you have been watching the show, you have to be invested with dany and her transformation (so to speak), with the imp, tyrion lannister and his knowledge and quick wit, the starks, and of course, the direwolves. and if you take a step backward, you end up siding with everybody!
the finale seemed dull but it was, i thought, a fitting episode. there need not be a sudden cliffhanger/twist with the risk of just making people talk to the show. just look at the reaction about the killing’s finale. it’s the m. night shyamalan backlash effect.
if you haven’t seen game of thrones, i compel you to. yes, it is a story set on a medieval - fantasy background. but this isn’t what game of thrones is all about. and besides, these wont come out until the last few episodes. where lost was all about finding the answers, and bsg was at times episodic, thrones is one big epic. the author hasn’t even published the final 2 books yet.
i read somewhere that the reason why you haven’t read spoilers from the book on blogs and the comments on them is because those who read the books want the viewers to experience how tragic it was to lose ned. how it would feel to suddenly lose the moral compass audiences anchored on. i thought that was very true.
the next season would be in 10 months. good thing i have 5 awfully thick books to read to help pass the time