Fantasy; One good reason why American TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ could be termed the most successful TV show ever is because it managed to get hold of something in human psychology that’s not easily available otherwise, Imagination. Being a die-hard fan of this epic TV show, if you ask yourself the reason why you’re so badly hooked on to this fantasy drama, there are chances you won’t be able to come up with a very distinct and comprehensive answer.
What is it that the show feeds to human psychology? The answer can’t be a simple term like ‘Entertainment’. If it were mere ‘entertainment’, fans across the globe wouldn’t have gone berserk when John Snow was killed in the last episode of season 5 which eventually followed up by his resurrection back to life in the first episode of season six. Game of Thrones didn’t just offer entertainment, it fed one of the most important human needs, the escape from reality to an imagined world which is so immensely vivid that it’s hard not to avoid a one hour break from your regular life and slip into this world of great imagination.
Sex, the immense bloodshed, a world where absolutely no-one could be trusted, a world where evil is always shown one step ahead of good, the show is definitely a treat for your evil side (which every human has).
But there’s something where the makers of this great show fell short of achieving, the demarcation of reality, fiction and fantasy. While the show is the combination of all three of these, as a viewer you can’t really tell one from the other. But wait, how does that matter as long as you like what you’re watching right? I mean how many of us flinched during Cersie’s naked walk of atonement and still watched the episode on repeat (especially the last part) innumerable times.
The viewers loved it while hating it at the same time with his inner world in dismay constantly. That must have been makers’ fundamental aim, to keep stirring the viewer’s inner peace while giving him something to hold on to, something that falls short of cheap porn, a world with betrayal all around, a plot where just about every character (mostly the good ones) gets killed in the most brutal manner possible.
When you talk about the storyline or the content of the program, you’re not talking about the elements that were meant to play the role of a festoon. Frivolous sex, bloodshed in the most raw form possible, fancy flight of illusion in the form of dragons that has no rational explanation for their existence, all these could be the peripherals of a decorative festoon but they can never replace the content itself. This is one reason why it’s very difficult to give a good narrative of the overall theme of the show to someone who has never watched it because you can’t really narrate the embellishments when there’s not much of content.
But probably that’s how the makers intended to make the show. Probably they were only sure on Sex, Violence and Deceit and planned every episode, every single move after gauging audience’s reaction to the previous one. After all everything seemed to be at peace before poor Brian decided to show off his acrobatic skills when he climbed the wall of his castle and ended up interrupting the brother-sister cum lovers while they were immersed in their act and the brother decided to shove him off the window to hush up the matter and everything changed from there. Almost everything that unfolds from that particular scene seems uncalled for.
People like little finger plan tricks in their mind even when it’s not required, innumerable characters of whom you eventually stop keeping track of because it’s just too much of work, unnecessary violence, rape, prostitution, excruciating torture, characters (mostly the ones you like) who could die any moment especially when they are finally about to evolve, leaves you feeling like a blockhead (remember that scene when Robb along with his wife and mother gets killed just because makers wanted to make you jump ten feet off the ground in dismay?).
Setting the brutal dogs at infants, offering a child to the flames on insistence of a witch, a naked woman walking the streets with mob abusing, hurling dirt at her, calling her nasty names, a fight scene that ends with one man bursting another’s eyes out with bare hands, Arya Stark’s so called transformation period through the aid of faceless man that no one except those who have the time to do their own research or been in close proximity to George R.R. Martin been able to figure out (the rest like us just call it magic and choose to walk away), Bran’s visions where he can see just about anything and everything, the three eyed raven. All that and the makers’ attempt to bring about something shocking and frightening at every turn of the event had no limits at all.
Even though it’s fantasy, you still need a touch of reality. In this imaginary world, where the good and evil are constantly at loggerheads, good never seems to win which at times gets really annoying and makes one wonder the ideas from which it all emerges. Did the makers really have to take sides with evil so frequently to make their show compelling? Did betrayal have to be so prevalent that made characters lurk in the shadows with leery expressions so common that one feels shitty as fuck by the time the episode is over.
While ‘Fantasy’ is supposed to use ‘Magic’ and other ‘Supernatural’ elements as main elements of plot, they can’t replace the plot which one really has to strain hard to figure out in GOT.
All these points don’t deny the fact that GOT is probably the best show ever in terms of its popularity worldwide. Everything, right from the cast, visual effects, exotic locations, costumes, a huge budget but somewhere it feels to lack the depth even though it’s very hard to articulate or diagnose.
They say a strong foundation is imperative for a strong building but in GOT’s case George R.R martin made such a spectacular building that the bedazzled viewers forgot to even notice the foundation.
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