For a fantasy series, this is about as gratuitously brutal and bloody and dark as it can get. Think Lord of the Rings as written by Cormac McCarthy: Frodo plans a trip to Mordor, but he’s tortured and beheaded before getting out of the Shire. Game of Thrones is like that. Any major character can die unpleasantly at any time, and when you find yourself wanting something to happen, that’s when the opposite will occur. In George R.R. Martin’s world, no good deed goes unpunished.
The most recent episode is a case in point. Yesterday the Internet was alight with shock and lamentation over “the Red Wedding,” which involved the graphic demise of three key players. Having read the books I knew it was coming, but I had a brief pang of sympathy for those who didn’t. It’s not every day a popular series eliminates its three most sympathetic characters in one big bloodbath. What if that had happened on The Andy Griffith Show? Andy, Bea and Helen Crump gunned down by a drunken Floyd? I think we have entered a new era in episodic television, and I’m not sure it’s a good one.
I know: I did read all the books, and I do keep watching all the episodes, so how bad can it be? Can’t argue with that. And while I hate admitting I watch a show with dragons in it, at least it’s better than, say, The Bachelorette. Now there’s a series that could benefit from a massacre or two. What a strange premise: 25 gay guys trying to coax roses out of one straight girl.
But back to GoT. At this time I would like to nominate Daenerys for most annoying character in a TV miniseries. I hate her harlequin-Fabio love interests and homecoming-queen smugness. I hate that her story plays out like a completely unrelated series. I hate her dopey dragons — which are taking a hell of a long time to become relevant, by the way. Look, since nobody else has an air force, she has already established worldwide air superiority. What are you waiting for, girl? Just invade, already.
I miss Breaking Bad.