Friday, May 27, 2016

Hold your own Door, Game of Thrones is such Garbage

"I suppose what they say is true; society is to blame... High Society." - Batman:The Animated Series E:47
Game of Thrones (GoT) the most fawned over TV series currently on-air is nothing more than high society twaddle and great man of history bullcrap.

The latest episode Hold the Door, has been reviewed as one of the best and most emotional episodes, causing the writers to go so far as to craft a fake apology about all the door holding jokes which friends would inflict upon each other.

However, as I continue my hate-watching of this series, I had a different reaction to the story of Hodor origins; Revelusion. The sole purpose of Hodor's entire life is to help Bran Stark become great. That is the message of this episode and the series. Hodor has no goals for himself. Hodor has no dreams. Hodor has no agency. In fact, his whole being and back story is so one day he can be sacrificed for the advancement of the noble life of Bran Stark.

Bran uses Hodor throughout the series, but in this episode we learn that Bran has even gone so far as to kind-of travel through time damaging a young Hodor's mind, so that one day the elder Hodor will sacrifice himself, and Hold the Door against a tidal wave of zombies, allowing Bran to escape and to become the next all-wise, all-seeing great and powerful eldritch sorcerer.

This is a classic viewpoint of the rich and the 1%. This is Ayn Rand's vision of Utopia. The mass of humanity is nothing. The goals, dreams and desires of the Elected Ones are the only thing that matter. Throughout the show we are bombarded with this clap-trap. The only characters with purpose, the only characters with agency, the only characters who matter are rich, powerful, noble. Only those in possession of the Sang'Real can achieve and in their achievement it is right and proper for them to use the bodies/minds/souls of the mass of humanity.

Even charcters once believed to be partially of peasant birth (Jon Snow) are in fact secretly the melding of the two of the most powerful bloodlines. In fact inside one generation of Bran's family we have; The Last Greenseer (the most powerful eldritch sorcerer), his sister Arya  becomes a Faceless One (A Ninja/Assassin with added magical powers), and you-know-nothing Jon Snow is the reincarnated/resurrected/literal Song of Ice & Fire, probably destined to be the Prince who was Promised.

Time and again we've seen the GoT World advanced through the actions and lives of the Rich and those with the proper blood lines. Time and again these characters have been placed in completely foreign lands/cultures only to succeed because of their Noble status or their blood-written destiny.

It's the Great Man of History written with a dollop of fantasy. It's Ayn Rand's Galt's Gulch protagonists blithely living lives of consequence while ignoring those in society dying for their fantasies.

Now, rabid defenders of the show often retort that George R. R. Martin is just writing 'like it was', but when you move on from the glib retort about the time in world history replete with ice demons and dragons, if I wanted to read about honorless betrayal and skullduggery in Late Antiquity or the Medieval Era, I'd peruse Byzantinum by John Julius Norwich, or watch The Crusades by Terry Jones, or if I wanted to read about the despoilation and predation of society by the rich I'd read Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano.

Instead people voraciously consume George R.R. Martin's extra rapey repackaged world history, full of quirky names and dragons.


Nan said...

Martin's model is, IIRC, medieval England with some sword and sorcery thrown in. I always kind of wonder which English queen was the inspiration for Cersei.

I'm a little behind on the series so haven't seen the infamous Hold the Door episode yet, but I am getting a distinct whiff of jumped shark. I read somewhere that HBO had signed up for an 8-season run, which may have been a mistake on their part.

Dervish Sanders said...

It's very popular from what I've heard (and there is going to be a spin-off after the series ends with season 7). I watch it but I too have not seen the episode in question (I've only seen up to the first episode of season 6 because there was a free preview). Although I have the episodes, I just haven't watched them yet. In any case, you make a compelling case. But I'm going to keep watching it anyway. Have not, nor do I ever intend on reading the books though. Spoiler alert on the article you link to, btw. Article author says "regardless of whether you've watched the episode or not, you probably know [what happens]"... but no, I didn't know that.

Grung_e_Gene said...

I'll re-read Barbara Tuchman's Distant Mirror and Mackay's 19th century Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

Sorry about the spolier from Weiss and Beinoff!

One of my gripes is the way people claim Martin's series is so revolutionary because "Main" characters die. Of course, that's not what's happened. The major characters deaths were scripted out from the beginning by Martin. He didn't set up computer models or run simulations or even role-play out the battles and/or betrayals. He wrote the stroy this way. Also I have no doubt Martin writes what he likes and what he wants. So, I think alot of the story-line conforms to Martin's own beliefs about the world, especially Tyrion Lannister the true main character of the book.

BadTux said...

The sad thing is that the books are nothing like that. The nobles in the books are just people, and are no better and no worse than anyone else. The "good guys" are as likely to die as anybody, and the plight of the peasantry is oft referred to.

But of course the television series has run off the end of the books and is making up their own stuff now, so ...

Grung_e_Gene said...


I only read a little of the first book and haven't read any of the compendiums or historical novellas but, the TV Show is now the standard. If G Doouble R Martin does finish it, scenes will follow what's be established in the show (e.g. The death of Baristan the Bold).

BadTux said...

The TV show has deviated in significant ways from the novels. GRRM shrugs and says "they are different things." I seriously doubt that he cares one way or another what the TV show does. They asked him where he saw his future books going so they could wrap up the series, he gave them a five page plot summary that they may or may not have followed, and that's his total input to this season of the television show. In the meantime, he's still working on the next volume of the book -- completely divorced from the television show.

Anonymous said...

GoT way overrated. Very unbelievable.