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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 341: Could Game of Thrones be any Better?

I, like many people, was introduced to the works of George RR Martin when Game of Thrones was announced by HBO. There was a lot of excitement surrounding it so, naturally, I became curious. I Googled it and found out that the show is based on a series of books which, after more research, turned out to be the most highly praised fantasy books in any forum or website. Obviously with me being a fan of fantasy novels a procured the first book and started reading it about the same time the first episode aired. I was hooked immediately.


The storyline was immersive and addictive - I read all of the books that had been released at the time and then A Dance With Dragons after it was released a bit later on in the year. I loved every moment. It was dark, yes - some of the characters are truly sadistic and evil, and the storyline does not follow the same old Hollywood narrative we are used to in which good always overcomes evil. The last book ended on such a seemingly hopeless note that I cannot imagine... OK let me not spoil anything.

Interestingly enough, pretty much no one had even heard of GRR Martin or A Song Of Ice And Fire before Game of Thrones came along - the book shops in my city didn't even stock any of the books. Well, now they're a sensation and can be found anywhere. 

The TV series, on the other hand, was about as much as I expected. Well, I concede that it is definitely better than any other book-to-TV/movie that I have ever seen - the first series could actually be called good. The second season... not so much. As far as I am concerned, the books are so much better and the TV show could be so much better.

The main issues are as follows:
  • HBO claims that budget constraints meant only 10 episodes per season - severely limiting the depth of the story and the addition of content. Simply put, there was so much good stuff that was skimmed over or skipped entirely in the show.
  • Parts of the storyline were changed completely (mostly from season 2 onwards) in ways that make no sense, or simply to create some kind of sensationalism purely to "increase the viewer's interest" - which translates into adding typical Hollywood drama and sex. Stupid.
  • It turns out that of the 3 main guys in charge of the show (where the storyline goes, etc) - only one of them has actually read the books and the other 2 are completely game to go in their own direction entirely - especially if the storyline of the TV show overtakes that of the books (since GRR Martin is still writing the books)
  • As far as I am concerned, some completely irrelevant scenes were added or used in the TV show when much more contextually relevant parts were left out. 
Here is one (of many) sites that lists some of the differences: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/lists/game-changers-the-10-biggest-changes-between-game-of-thrones-and-the-books-20120515

Now, why would anyone in their right mind not want to make a show as excellent as it could possibly be? The only reason that comes up in one way or another is MONEY. Either the producers have a constricted budget, or they are trying to make more money and everything then becomes focussed on MONEY instead of on the excellence of the show.

If only we could focus on doing things well, without budgets constraining our potential, or profit driving our decision-making... In reality this is possible - it only requires that we change the way we think of and participate within the world. How different would our capacities for freedom of expression and self improvement be if we didn't have to worry or obsess about money or survival all the time? How different would all of our lives be if we all gave to each other and to ourselves the opportunity and freedom to truly live? How much different would Game of Thrones and other shows be? Just imagine if True Blood had actually fulfilled the promising potential it showed in the first season, instead of turning into a gross mockery most likely warped by the mind of a drug-addled and sex-obsessed crazy person...

We have the ability to reform our society into one that honours life and excellence - why the hell don't we stop the madness of living for profit so that we can start living for living, enjoyment, expression, peace...?

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