Monday, April 28, 2014

Medical Miracle: Can George R R Martin (of Game of Thrones) Have No Heart?

Of course, I'm talking about the one and only, Game of Thrones.


It's an incredible, addicting, thrilling, enthralling show. And it's quite famed for the brutality of its author, George R R Martin (or GRRM from now on). Pretty much, he just kills off everyone. No poetic death for most of them. No great big send-off or emotional cliches. Just - yea, they're dead. Blood everywhere and gruesome, but yea, dead.

(Disclaimer: I only watch the show right now, but I'm going to start reading the books because I've caught up with the show.)

Now, I think it's quite a remarkable feat because he's the only author, ever, to make me feel so scared for every single character. We all know some characters just can't die. With GRRM? Not at all. It's pretty much just a game for him.

What I'm torn about about is this:

Is this a good idea?

Because now, I'm at the point where I almost don't care about some of the characters I should care about. None of the deaths have made me truly sad, just frustrated and upset and vengeful. Only one death made me sad, and that was the first big death (before I got used to the brutality of the show).

The deaths don't feel very strong any more. I'm losing my connection and love for the characters because I'm thinking, "What the heck, they'll die anyway." It's not holding up as a realistic emotional drama for me as much as it has just become a game - obviously fiction with controlled pawns. Sometimes, I feel there are twists and deaths just for the sake of twists and deaths (although, I guess, all of the deaths do have a plot purpose to them). I just think GRRM's tactics might be backfiring on him. It's creating a wall between me and the characters I should love.

But I am still hooked on the show. I want to see how it all ends - please, please don't let it be a disappointment, but I just don't know if GRRM knows how to do happy (or even satisfactory) endings.

Still, I have huge respect for GRRM for truly taking the writerly wisdom of 'kill your darlings' to a whole new level! And there are a handful of characters which I'd completely freak for if they die, so knock on wood and let's keep going on this game of thrones.

What do you guys think of GRRM's technique?


  1. I feel the exact same way. I quit watching after the first season. What's the point? I feel connected with a character and want to cheer them on, but I know that I'll just have to watch them be tortured and eventually more than likely die. I do love that there are so many strong female characters (go Arya and Dany!!), and I check in on the series every once in a while to see how those two are doing. Other than that, I'm not really invested.

  2. I need to read Game of Thrones, too! I watched the first season, but haven't had the family agreement to watch more. I don't need a consensus to read, however *grins*