DISCLAIMER: If you love the show or the books, GREAT! Don’t let my ramblings take that from you. This is mostly for comedic purpose. But, some of my true feelings are buried in this nonsensical drivel.
At the time of writing this, season 8 of Game of Thrones is only days from airing. Like me, maybe you’ve seen tons of countdown clocks and memes in your social media feeds. People are abuzz with anticipation. The culmination of massive phenomena that began on HBO in 2011 (or those pesky written versions in 1996). 67 episodes, five published main story novels, 2 more pipe dreams of “forthcoming” books, plus comics and prequel content.
BUT, not all is well in the Land of Ice and Fire. While some fans are excited others are angry. Since the show has gone past the published works, some consider the latest season as fan-service fan-fic. Others have commented that the off screen jetpacks and rocket-powered ravens** have made them upset. Or, how the Ironborn people of Pike can make that many ships from islands that look like bleak rock.
**These terms refer to how quickly the remaining main cast (and message by ravens) have been able to travel across Westeros and Essos with plot-convenient blinding speed. In season 1, it took what, a month of travel from kings landing to Winterell, and another month to the wall? Well, remember when Jon and crew were stuck beyond the wall in season 7, and Gendry ran back to some outpost, sent a raven to Dragonstone? Danny got on her dragon and flew there the next morning. (for perspective, just from Winterfell to Castle Black at The Wall is 600 miles by raven, 650 by road.)
There are defenders of these plot devices, saying that lore supports these things, or TV adaptation is required. Antagonists do as the internet does and just hates. So, nothing new there.
But, I’m here to say: I don’t give a shit and I embrace the insanity.
I like Game of Thrones, both the show and the books, but the grand epic story was ruined for me, long ago. The moment overt supernatural and prophecy was added to the story, the whole thing became a house of cards to me.
See, the show (and the books) in the beginning masterfully blended political machinations with the ever present, creeping fear of the supernatural darkness. While we gasp at things like the Red Weddings, we are also aware of Jon Snow’s plight, for he’s seen beyond the wall. And that . . . that’s the problem. Sooner or later, all the who fucked who over (or simply who’s fucking who), won’t matter. Not when the Ice Zombies come a knocking. And maybe that’s the point. But it also undermines the core. The human element. Added to this, is the prophecy, you know, The Prince Who Was Promised. See, once we got the Fire God, R’Hollr Lord of Light pitting its avatars against The Great Other, the cold god of ice and death, then the wine sipping snark fests between uppity nobles were . . . well, blah.
Seriously, do you think I give two horse apples about the Iron Bank or the Golden Company when the King of the Ice Zombies killed a dragon with a fucking spear, then raised said dragon as an undead ice dragon? No. No I do not. Looking back, remember in the hot springs when Jamie gave that impassioned speech about why he killed the Mad king? Or Littlefinger’s deft plots? How about Tyron facing his dad in the crapper? Or Theon’s torture at the hand of Ramsey? Powerful human moments right?
Well I also saw and entire dead village of Hardhome stand up at once under the power of the Night King. I saw Jon Snow get resurrected (among others). I saw face-shifting disciples of the God of Death. The human story is drowned out by the fantastic. Fun Fact: in the books, Thoros of Myr, you know, top knot drunken red priest brought back Catelyn Stark? Although, she didn’t come ALL the way back. She was dubbed Lady Stoneheart and she hung Brienne. Yup. Neat stuff right? But please, tell me more about The Vale or the politics of Dorn.
Add to that the Three-Eyed Raven and time travel, then you have a cycle you cannot break. The past/present/future is seen. Maybe you can break the cycle, or perhaps we’re just watching/reading actors playing the parts as fate already decreed. Yes, the Hold The Door/Hodor bit was an AWESOME scene, but you may as well have had Marty & Doc zoom past in the Deloran.
I know, I know, I’m being both overtly narrow in my view while also editorializing for my narrative. I get it, trust me. But this is just my opinion. But once you add prophecy to a story, any story, “the story” is over. Meaning, like any book, show, or movie, once you see the ending coming, it’s a wait and see game. And in GoT there were only two options. You either take the political “medieval” drama to its end while you hand wave the mythical stuff/deal with it off camera (pissing off fans of fantasy). OR, you make a hard turn into the fantastical, and piss on the backbiting and maneuvering (and thus anger your cerebral nerds). Which is where we seem to be heading.
Now MAYBE, the show (or books) can blend the two and do so perfectly. And something tells me that there will be people loudly saying that it did AND didn’t (again, see: the internet). But based on what we saw last season, I think we should settle in for more giant set pieces, giant battles, and giant magic. I’m sure there will be some surprise deaths, some revenge, and a twist or two.
And I’m totally cool with that . . . Because I WANT the fan service.
Like I said earlier, I like the show a lot. And in many ways, MORE than the books. Sorry literary fans. I know that is heretical of me to say, but I don’t care. Some epics are just too much. Like Dune, the first couple are solid, but then it just . . . goes on far too long, and diminishes the whole.
So after the better part of a decade for the shows, and 23 years of waiting for this goddamn series of books to be over, I say “bring on the fan service!” I was thrilled with last seasons events and I want more. you know what I hope happens?
I hope Jon Snow rides a dragon, wooshing by, and beheads Jamie Lannister for trying to kill Bran.
I hope Sam tries to kill the Night King only for Gilly to stab him in the ass with dragon glass.
I hope The Hound fights Franken-Mountain in the Clegane Bowl. After which, The Hound cuts off The Mountain’s dick and tosses that Icelandic anaconda to Theon and Gray Worm who then battle for it. The winner takes it to Qyburn for reattachment.
I hope Brienne refutes Torman Giantbanes advances so that she and Sansa fall in love and open a goddamn flower shop in Dorn together.
I hope Danny finally tells Jorrah The Knight of Friendzone, to get a life.
I hope Theon beats his uncle at something, only for his sister to put Theon down after.
I hope Arya kills the Hound for his past sins, like killing her friend the Butcher’s Boy.
I hope Sansa learns to smile . . . an act (I wonder if Dark Phoenix will be any good?)
I hope Ned Stark comes back from the dead . . . only to die again, as Sean Bean does.
I hope that when all the heroes are dead and when Cerci sits on the throne, Varys and Gendry stab her. Only for them to then dissolve the monarchy and institute democracy. #MakeWesterosGreatAgain
I hope not only that Bran is actually also Bran the Builder and the Night King, but that the story ends with young bran sitting in bed, having been read a bedtime tale and the whole thing was a story (the Rian Johnson cut.)
But above all else, I JUST WANT THIS OVER SO I CAN FINALLY CANCEL HBO!!!!
See y’all in a few days around the internet water cooler!