At some point, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss lost me. Season five has been a very divisive season of television, not just for me but in the larger cultural conversation. Some people see this as the obvious continuation of the story we’ve been watching all this time; others have seen one of this season’s many atrocities as the bridge too far, the jumping off point for them, the point at which the show broke its contract with the viewers.
Browsing: Game of Thrones
The dance of dragons is an ancient dance, its moves echoing out across eons, its steps telling tales that stretch back to the dawn of time. It’s a story of conflict, a story of struggle, a story of lines drawn in the sand. But more than that, it’s a story of choice.
“Winter is Coming.” That simple sentence, with all the deep foreboding it engenders, has been a driving force behind the slow burn that is the building action on Game of Thrones.
This season of Game of Thrones is currently on very thin ice, in my estimation. I’ve talked before about my decreasing faith in the showrunners to effectively deviate from the source material, and season five has in many ways made my worst nightmares come true, in that regard.
The past is a vital thing on Game of Thrones. History drives much of how these characters think about the world and the political situations they find themselves in.
As much as Game of Thrones is an epic that spans continents and tells the tale of a mighty power struggle between factions with long histories, it is also an intimate character study. Though the show is interested in the slow, painful evolution of systems, it is also fascinated by the ways that same growth is reflected in individual characters.
One of the chief challenges facing Game of Thrones is just how much the narrative it is adapting is one of constant build-up and expansion, wave upon wave of potentially necessary exposition and newly important characters to introduce.
Status is a slippery thing. It is not something easily gained, nor cleanly maintained. It is not something that can be completely controlled, nor used in exactly the way we might like. Status is a crucial thing for the characters on Game of Thrones, heavily embroiled in their struggles for power and multi-layered manipulations.
One of the things that makes Game of Thrones, and A Song of Ice and Fire before it, so compelling is that, for all of its fantastic elements, the show’s politics always feels like it takes place at human scale.
The future is an idea, more than anything. It’s a vague notion, prediction or fantasy, hopes or fears, prophecy or guesswork. The future is an abstract until it becomes the present and, all too quickly the past. Those things exist.