Year after year I hear about the proclaimed “best show in history” that is Game Of Thrones. Whether it’s from a friend or a website or an award show, everyone seems to love this show. I remember a few years ago I decided to give it a shot by watching the first few episodes, I just couldn’t get into it. However last month I saw this trailer for the upcoming season….
Despite not knowing what the hell was going on, I still felt the epicness of this trailer. Seeing how different it looked compared to season 1, I gave it another go, this time making it all the way through season 1. While I thought it got better, it still wasn’t at the heights that people claim the show to be. I then moved onto season 2 which has to be one of the worst seasons of television I have ever seen, boring, sloppy and barely any movement in plot. It was at this point I considered giving up, I just didn’t see the “pure genius” that I had been promised. After looking online I saw many fans had said season 3 is where the show steps it up, so I decided to give it one last go. Within the first few episodes I saw what people were on about. The show was actually moving forward with it’s plots, characters started to stand out and the tragedies that Game Of Thrones is constantly praised for started to happen in a way that works well with the story and not just for the sake of it.
I really enjoyed seasons 3-6 with season 5 excelling on many levels in my opinion. While I had always been skeptical of the show (Mostly because I’m a salty Walking Dead fan) and didn’t expect it to be the best thing on the planet, I was expecting something of very high quality due to how popular and critically acclaimed this show is. There were times when I was given this quality and then times when I wasn’t, leading me to think, is Game Of Thrones overrated?
For me this is where Game Of Thrones succeeds and fails. Its a big problem in the first two seasons but once the show finds its feet it’s not too bad. The reason for this is because with so many characters, it takes a long time to introduce and establish them all and seeing as there is so many there is very little screen time to go around. This can lead to some characters disappearing for episodes and even seasons at times. Despite this being a burden, it’s a burden that the show needs to bear. In order for the world of Westeros and the surrounding Kingdoms to be fully explored, this many characters is essential to build the world and create the immersive feeling that the show desires to do. When talking about the characters themselves it’s very similar, quite dull in the first two seasons but then start to come into their own afterwards. This show has given me some truly great characters such as Tyrion, Jon Snow, Daenerys, Jaime Lannister, The Hound, Little Finger, Bronn and so on, who have become pretty iconic characters with their unique personalities and motivations.
This ones gonna be short because the action is faultless. Brutal, creative and awesome, probably the only thing that I can say is as good as everyone says it is. One of my favourite episodes, “The Watchers On The Wall”, is one that completely consists of action but still manages to tell the climax of a three season story arc with barely any words. This is an example of why the action isn’t just mindless gore, it has the ability to tell a story all on its own.
This is the thing that annoys me most, while this doesn’t actually have anything to do with the show itself, it’s the way it’s perceived compared to other shows. Season 7 of The Walking Dead got butchered for having slow pacing, relying on shock factor and for focusing on side characters. I personally don’t have a problem with any of these things but when I see Game Of Thrones do the exact same things and get praise for it, it angers me. Game Of Thrones is literally famous for its shock factor, The Red Wedding, King Joffrey’s death, all relying on shock factor because that’s what makes great television. However when The Walking Dead kills off a beloved character that’s been a part of the show since the start, it’s poor storytelling thats relying on shock to get by.
Keeping with the theme of shock factor that is apparently what makes Game Of Thrones “far superior”, I actually disagree with that claim. To be fairly honest with you Game Of Thrones is pretty predictable, the only things I didn’t see coming was the two things I mentioned above. Whether it’s deaths, rescues or the course of the plot, it’s all fairly easy to see coming. For me though, that’s not too big of a deal as where Game Of Thrones succeeds for me when it comes to these tragedies, is the emotions you feel when these things actually happen….
This relates back to characters but it’s what creates the spine of the show for me. The fact that so many characters are given either a disability or a burden creates the situation of them being an underdog whether you realise it or not. Tyrion’s a dwarf, obvious, Jaime Lannister has his left hand cut off , obvious, Jon Snow is a bastard child, not a clear burden until the ideologies of the show are explained. The harsh world of the show only adds to the feelings you have for these characters especially when they come up against universally hated people such as King Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton. Sansa Stark is a good example as she is abused in all sorts of manners by both of these men and her burden is that she is a woman living in a world that doesn’t value them very highly when compared to men.
Does It Really Kill Off It’s Main Characters?
No, it doesn’t. It kills off a lot of characters but it very rarely kills off a MAIN character. Killing off Ned Stark back in season 1 is the closest it’s came because i’m not counting Jon Snow’s death seeing as he was brought back to life only two episodes later. This is yet another thing that Game Of Thrones gets universal praise for but I genuinely don’t see why. If barely any MAIN characters are killed off then how did it start getting praised for doing so?
While there are some areas which are glossed over a bit too quickly, there isn’t a show that comes close to Game Of Thrones in this aspect. The detail and thought that goes into creating The Seven Kingdoms is spectacular, allowing so many stories to take place at once while all still being relevant to each other. The concept of The Wall and The White Walkers is something i’ve been a fan of from the start, it’s foreshadowing done to a great standard by always having it in mind while all the other stories take place.
Yes, I do think Game Of Throne is overrated. I don’t believe it’s the greatest thing to grace the Earth and I think shows such as Breaking Bad and The Leftovers remain high above it. However, I still think Game Of Thrones is a great show. Once you get past season 2 it’s very much worth it, there isn’t another show out there like it and I doubt there ever will be again. Now that I’m all caught up, I’m incredibly excited for the season 7 premiere as it looks to be the best season yet.