Table of contents:
- 1. The series saved us from the feeling of loneliness
- 2. "Game of Thrones" destroyed stereotypes
- 3. The viewer stopped believing in a happy ending
- 4. The world saw so many strong women for the first time
- 5. On forbidden topics finally started talking frankly
- 6. We were able to rethink our historical past
- 7. Power has ceased to seem like a reward and has become a test
- 8. The intrigue around the ending kept in suspense to the last (and still holds)
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
The saga can be loved or hated, but not ignored. Caution: Spoilers!
The tension ahead of Episode 6 of Game of Thrones' final season has reached a climax. And the main thing here is not even a question of who eventually took the iron throne. Moreover, back in 2017, I assumed that it would remain empty. The main thing is that truly unique place that the series has taken in modern culture.
Donald Trump constantly uses slogans and pictures from "Game of Thrones" in his. VTsIOM conducts among Russians, which of them watched "Game of Thrones". BBC political experts to comment on the plot. Viewers sign a petition demanding a reshoot of the last season. World has gone mad? Of course not.
All this in general made me think: what, in fact, is the uniqueness of the saga? Here are eight reasons why it should be considered the premier TV show of the 21st century.
1. The series saved us from the feeling of loneliness
Game of Thrones has been running for eight years now, and its popularity is increasing year by year. And even if one season or another is actively criticized among loyal spectators, this again works for its recognition.
Recently it was reported that 27 million Americans are ready not to come or be late for work due to the release of the latest episode of "Game of Thrones". This speaks to the colossal lack of a sense of belonging in modern society. In other words, people have a need to unite around some vivid emotions that they can share with like-minded people.
In the case of the sixth episode of the last season, it is even more interesting: the audience has a sense of belonging to a unique event, because until the very last moment no one knew how Game of Thrones would end.
2. "Game of Thrones" destroyed stereotypes
Why is this series so interesting if the fantasy genre has long been at risk of becoming a set of cliches in popular culture? Answer: that's why. George Martin's books, like the series, were originally built on the rejection of established genre elements. In particular, there is no division of characters into good and bad, the plot is not built according to the quest model, and there is no inevitable happy ending.
Under the influence of marketing, fantasy became a kind of Lego constructor: here are figures of a magician, hero and villain, here is a princess, and here is a unicorn or a dragon. Voila! George Martin in his epic "A Song of Ice and Fire" tried to break this stereotype, and the directors and screenwriters of the series went even further. At least in the first seasons, they offered us a kind of fantasy for adults, where a happy ending is not implied at all and even the main characters can die at any moment.
3. The viewer stopped believing in a happy ending
For decades, popular culture has been convinced that the viewer does not like disappointment, so he needs a happy ending at any cost. As a result, the plots of the films became the same: the main characters survived under any circumstances, and the villains were necessarily punished.
But HBO took a chance and relied on the logic of George Martin. And what? She won. Moreover, she became the founder of a new trend in popular culture - a plot where key characters die, and the viewer has a chance to sympathize with them. The success of the Star Wars spin-off Rogue One is largely due to the main characters being killed in the finale, but this film was released five years later than the first season of Game of Thrones.
There are no winners in the finale of Game of Thrones Episode 6. As Tyrion Lannister said, “Everyone is unhappy. Perhaps this is the compromise."
4. The world saw so many strong women for the first time
In an interview, George Martin was asked how he manages to create such striking female characters, and the writer replied that he always sees a woman first of all as a man. Each heroine of the series is a strong personality, even if she finds herself in situations where there is absolutely nothing she can do. So, the two weakest and most infantile heroines at the beginning of the series - Sansa Stark and Daenerys Targaryen - become rulers by the end. Sansa, let me remind you, rules the North, and Daenerys … you know everything about her. The series, perhaps, anticipated a new understanding of the role of women in the modern world.
5. On forbidden topics finally started talking frankly
“I did it for love,” is how Jaime Lannister answers the question of why he threw Bran out of the window. Both George Martin and the HBO team were able to show the diversity of human emotions, and they did so, often going beyond 16+. Thanks to this, viewers were able to see the algorithms of the relationships they were familiar with. The difference between heroes and observers is not so great, which, perhaps, helped some viewers to see themselves from the outside.
At the same time, both the author of the book and the creators of the series were not afraid to show us not only habitually decent relationships, but also deviant models with which the heroes, like ordinary people, have to deal with.
6. We were able to rethink our historical past
One of the undeniable advantages of the series is the complex socio-political structure of the Game of Thrones universe. Usually, the fantasy world is bizarre and unreal, and this is its main attraction for the mass audience (of course, we are not talking here about really serious authors like Tolkien, Lewis and Le Guin).
But in the book and the series, the emphasis is not on magic, but on history and politics. We see the slave system of the city-states of Astapor, Meerina and Yunkai, we see Braavos - an analogue of independent Venice, the nomadic Dothraki tribes, as well as Westeros, very reminiscent of either the High Middle Ages or Europe of the Thirty Years War. The fantasy series has become a reflection of European history and an occasion to rethink it.
7. Power has ceased to seem like a reward and has become a test
The series said a new word in the discourse of power. “Whoever plays thrones, either wins or dies,” Cersei has proven this from her own experience. More precisely, so far: there is not a single ruler who would voluntarily leave the iron throne. He is like a magnet that attracts potential kings. The only exception to the rule was Eddard Stark, but he paid dearly for his unwillingness to rule. Perhaps this is a warning to readers and viewers: there are games that are better not to enter, because it will be impossible to get out of them.
8. The intrigue around the ending kept in suspense to the last (and still holds)
What will eventually happen to the iron throne? Since the seventh season, this has been a concern for all viewers. I never tired of saying that the iron throne will remain empty. Or the last of the Targaryen will melt in the fire of the last dragon - just as it was once created at the behest of her ancestor Aegon the Conqueror. However, there were still chances that Jon Snow could rule Westeros, but would he want to sit on the throne that killed Ned Stark - that's the question. John is the only one who, until the last moment, renounced both power and making decisions that change the fate of the country.
The ending, where the king becomes the elected figure, was, perhaps, completely unpredictable. The creators of the series managed to keep the intrigue to the end.
As a result, we got a unique phenomenon: firstly, a series, the plot of which literally developed before our eyes, secondly, a formally fantasy series that spoke to adults in the language of adults, and finally, a series with an open ending. Because it is still not known what will happen next with Westeros, which is ruled by the inexorable Bran - the keeper of time.