'Game Of Thrones' Is Not As Good As Everyone Thinks It Is

I have little doubt that I’m going to cop a lot of hate for saying this, but...


Full disclosure: I haven’t seen the whole thing, or even the majority -- I just don’t have the energy, or the ability to suspend my disbelief and/or contempt.

I gave it a proper crack.  I watched the first season and a half.  I got invested in characters (only to watch their extremities gruesomely severed), I puzzled out the labyrinth of bloodlines, affairs, betrayals, plots, schemes, and political maneuverings, only to come to one conclusion: the whole thing is just so stupid.

It’s basically 'The Bold and the Beautiful' with swords, whorehouses, incest, zombies and dragons, but unlike B&B  it requires work to watch.  After an episode, you’re stressed out, mentally exhausted, emotionally gutted or -- like me -- have learned to feel nothing, as you come to expect the endless manipulation of characters and storyline for the sole purpose of shock value.

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The breaking point for me was halfway through Season 2 (I think) when a witch lady gave birth to some sort of ominous smoke entity.  Said smoke entity then randomly killed a guy, dissipated into the ether, and was never seen or spoken of again.


I mean, okay, I’ll suspend my disbelief long enough to buy into a smoke baby -- who am I to doubt the corporeality of a witch’s -- or anyone’s – offspring -- but the fact that he? she? it? was solely used as a convenient tool of murderous intent, only to then vanish, completely freeing the author of the burden of repercussion or consequence -- well, even I can see that’s lazy.  And ludicrous.

I’ve been told the smoke baby makes a comeback some seasons later, but it’s too late -- the show has already lost me.

Sometime after the smoke slaying, a giant female knight met Lady Stark, and after a five-minute interaction with her,  got down on one knee and pledged her entire life and everlasting devotion.

They just met!! I’ve had conversations at the grocery checkout that have lasted longer.  That was the ‘ridiculous’ straw that broke the camel’s (or dragon’s?) back.

I could probably think of more examples, but I have no desire to re-watch any of it, and over the last seven years, I’ve tried to wipe what I have seen from my brain.

Yes, "Game of Thrones" has some things going for it -- amazing production values, good acting, thrills, drama, excitement -- but, and I’m sure I’m in the minority here --  I just can’t bring myself to care. The second you like someone, they die.  Then you have to bring yourself to like another character.  Then they die.  A couple of smoke babies later and you find that some serious apathy is setting in.

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I admit I’m not really into the fantasy genre in the first place -- I watched the first "Lord of the Rings" in the theatre, all 17 hours of it, and came out saying ‘meh’.

But I gave "Game of Thrones" a watch because, way back in 2012 as Season 2 was getting set to kick off, my colleagues gave me an ultimatum.  My desk was in a close-knit table group of four, and the message was clear: catch up on all the eps and watch the new season as it aired or be ostracised from all conversations for the next 10 weeks.

Come back when you can speak Dothraki.

So, wanting to make a good impression at my new job, I dove in.

I’ve regretted it ever since.

And such is the ‘Game of Thrones’ culture (cult?), it spawns a ‘you’re either with us or against us’ ethos. It’s impossible to escape.  Everyone loves it, everyone talks about it, everyone has endless enthusiasm for it -- but if you don’t, you very quickly find yourself on the outs.

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My workmates even slotted in an official ‘Game of Thrones’ post-ep discussion meeting every Monday, reserving an office conference room to debrief and debate the latest theories and plotlines.

Luckily, I was able to band together with a handful of anti-"Game of Thrones" outcasts, and we scheduled our own meeting in the adjacent conference room: Friends Against Game Of Thrones.

We had a lovely discussion about our personal experiences with ostracism as dislikers of "Game of Thrones", all non-"Game of Thrones" topics, and someone brought muffins.

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As the final season goes to air, please,  enjoy the show, but spare a thought for those among you that would like to talk about LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE.  I’ll even bring you a muffin.