Game Of Thrones just finished its seventh season and lots of people didn’t like it and it’s still basically the best thing on the television, so …. Huh. I guess, pick up the pace lesser television shows? Maybe make time for some frigging dragons or at least a eunuch, NCIS.
If you follow The Internet, you’ll know that people had a few issues with this most recent season of GOT, most notably the sudden introduction of hyperspace travel to what had previously been a gritty, realistic world. Characters would lunge back and forth across the continent within the span of an episode or two, and while the producers were careful to avoid discussing the length of time that passed between scenes, meaning it was all maybe technically possible, it didn’t feel great. In fact, the pacing of the entire season felt like it had accelerated way too much.
I suspect this was caused by the increasing gap in progress between the show and the books. While the first five seasons were based on the books and the sixth was based on what were probably fairly detailed notes from George R.R. Martin on the book currently in progress, everything past that (i.e. this season) seems to have been based on a fairly loose outline Martin has for the overarching plot of the show. And instead of filling that in with more politics or delightful weddings or fucking Dorne, the producers have evidently just shot from high point to high point. An increase in the pacing was probably necessary and welcome (fuck Dorne), but this past season it felt like they took things a little too far. We live in a world where The Hobbit was turned into a nine-hour movie. They probably had some time to show a few more conversations on boats.
But there’s a deeper problem at work here, something which is causing a disquieting sensation that the show seems broken now. No, not just the latest incest plot, that’s fine, fuck your aunts all you want, Cracked’s position on that has always been clear. No, what’s really happening is we are seeing a collision between two immutable laws of fiction which have lived side by side within the show for years. Recent events have forced these two laws into conflict with each other, and it’s the fallout from this collision which is making everything feel so weird now.
The laws are:
Realistic Stories Have To Kill Off Major Characters
What was the first major plot point of Game Of Thrones that made you realize something special was going on? The prostitutes? It was the prostitutes for you? Ok, sure. You do you.
Because for most other people it was the death of Ned Stark. For the first several episodes of Game Of Thrones, Ned Stark was clearly established as the primary protagonist. He was brave and honorable and had nice kids and a cool wife and he did what he thought was right. And about midway through the season, when he was taken prisoner by the villainous Lannisters, everyone familiar with fiction began quietly, even subconsciously, wondering how Ned Stark was going to get out of this one.
And then he got his head chopped off.
Holy shit! Clearly this was a different type of show entirely, and Martin would return to this blood-filled well again and again, brutally killing off major characters at weddings across the continent.
The reason this worked was that, as surprising as it was, it was still realistic and believable. Political machinations and assassinations and open warfare result in people dying, so we can’t be too surprised when it happens to major players. Large portions of Game Of Thrones are inspired by real history, which — spoiler — has a fatality rate of around 100 percent. Look at the War Of The Roses (which several elements of Game Of Thrones are based on.) That little conflict saw dozens of Edwards and Richards die each year, major players each one. A plausible depiction of that kind of conflict has to have major characters die. It’d look ridiculous without it.
And now one question. Answer it as quickly as you can. On Game Of Thrones, who was the last major protagonist to die?
The uh … hmmm. Is it Hodor? It’s Hodor, isn’t it? Is that major enough? He was certainly a big character. Not really major though, and it was quite a while ago.
Let’s talk about the second immutable rule of fiction at work here.
Traditional Stories Can’t Kill Off Major Characters
The whole point of a story is to read about interesting people doing interesting things. It’s more satisfying if we know something about the people doing amazing things — we don’t want to hear that some chump elf dropped the One Ring in Mt. Doom, because his army fought its way there and he was just the closest one to the precipice. We want to read about Sam and Frodo doing it, because we’d followed those characters and their discussions about potatoes for a long time. If we’d followed the chump elf for a thousand pages, that might be different. He’d be our hero, and we’d know a lot more about him, and we’d delight in seeing how he had finally become the chump he was always destined to become.
One big side-effect of this law is that if we follow a character for hundreds of pages, they will fairly predictably go on to do interesting things. It’s essentially a corollary to Chekhov’s Gun; if a character is introduced in the first act, they’ll have to do something by the third act. Readers pick up on this too; we know when characters are important and can often even predict what they’ll do long before they do it. The coward will become brave, the hero and romantic interest will kiss, the guy with a chainsaw for an arm will be killed with his own chainsaw. And when that hasn’t happened yet, no matter what dire situations our heroes find themselves in, we don’t feel like they’re in real peril. It’s called plot armor, and it’s the reason people found it so surprising when Ned Stark died. He was our hero! He had to do … something. Right?
This is probably why we haven’t had any major characters on the show die in a while now. They all have a role to play in the final season of the show.
Ok, so what? What’s the problem? You want Bran to die or something? Well, yes, but there’s more.
Game Of Thrones Combines Both These Type Of Stories
In Game Of Thrones, everything south of the wall can be airily summed up as “humans fucking each other over.” It’s a realistic political story, which generally follows the first law discussed above. Using examples from history, Martin was able to create beloved characters and hated villains and kill them off more or less whenever he wanted, because that’s what happens in a “humans fucking each other over” story.
North of the wall, we have a very different kind of story, something a lot closer to a traditional fantasy epic, in this case the “humans fighting ice-zombies” trope that lies at the core of 90 percent of the stories you’ve ever been told. It’s no coincidence that this story never blended in too much with the story south of the wall. Characters from each side didn’t cross back and forth or interact much with each other at all. Every now and then someone might send a raven to the other story, and the other story would read it and laugh and throw the raven in the garbage. (Is that how the ravens worked? I don’t think we’ve ever seen the details.) And this story north of the wall is following those rules of fiction which apply to traditional stories. Characters can die, but not the main ones; we need those around to deliver the ultimate blow at the end of the story to make that ultimate blow actually feel meaningful.
Now the two stories are merging, and suddenly it’s clear that all the vulnerable people in the gritty political back-stabaganza we had come to love and fear for, are actually heroes in an epic fantasy, immune to death until the very last pages. Think of all the improbable nonsense we’ve had to sit through this season. Jaime getting tackled off a horse instead of incinerated. Theon escaping death for the twentieth goddamned time. Arya and Sansa overcoming Littlefinger’s schemes with hilarious ease. And most damningly, seven named characters marching into the wilderness on the dumbest mission ever conceived, running into impossible, overwhelming danger, and six of them walking out. This is not the same show we started watching; Ned Stark would have died a dozen times over on that mission, and lost several thousand sons in the process.
You can argue that maybe this would all be better if Martin had written the details himself, that’d he’d gloss over or write around the improbabilities we’d seen this season. But the fundamental conflict between these two stories would still be there. We have important, previously very vulnerable characters who now for narrative reasons cannot die. No matter how well it’s done, everything about that type of story is going to feel at least a bit weird.
I’ll still watch the last season, though. So will you. What other socially acceptable venue do we have for watching aunt sex?
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and plans to die in the first act of whatever story he’s in. As the author of the amazing novels, Freeze/Thaw and Severance he thinks you should definitely go buy both of those now. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.
More From this publisher : HERE
The content you are looking for is not available or you just .... misspelled the url.
No worries I have some free stuff for you .......
Nr 1. You can learn about : The hottest social networking site that will send an unlimited stampede of traffic to your site - for FREE! How to quickly locate a swarm of hungry buyers using "information portals"! The fast and easy way to use simple images to siphon targeted traffic, on command! Learn how to get the most possible traffic from Instagram, and make sure that traffic converts! And much more ...
Nr 2. It’s no secret… Facebook is an incredible place to get tons of free, viral traffic. But… most people are going about it all wrong. How many of these mistakes are you making? Download the free report to find out.
Nr 3. Special free report . It's called "Operation Midas Touch" and you can download it here...
The report features a surefire method for generating at least $1000 per week online,without a website or product of your own!
Nr 4. Instagram is still one of the hottest ways to get a LOT of traffic fast. All by sharing images. Sounds easy enough, yeah? Well, yes and no. If you want to really start driving a lot of traffic and making sales using Instagram then you should download this report.
Nr 5. When it comes to creating a product online there are so many ways to approach it. Wouldn’t it be great to just get the meat of it all so you can get started faster? Well, the good news is, today you can download a guide called the Product Creation Formula Quickstart Guide. It’s as the title suggests - a Quickstart guide. You’ll get a list of action steps to take right away. Download your copy today !
Nr 6. Would you like to finally USE all of that dusty PLR you have sitting around on your harddrive? Or maybe find the resources for the best PLR available - at the best prices? What about how to use that PLR to make you money with just a few minutes of work. Well, you’re not going to want to miss this!
Nr 7. Buzzfeed’s top post has more than 21 million views. Think about that for a sec… ONE of their articles has had over 21 million people who have read it! And they have thousands of articles... what would you do with that kind of traffic? A friend of mine hacked their method and was able to use it to get 11,592 targeted new subscribers in 2 weeks on their very first attempt!
Nr 8. Push notifications are one of today's hottest trends in website traffic and conversions, and for good reason. Studies have shown that as many as 40% of people will opt-in for push notifications, which is about TEN TIMES the rate of people who opt-in for emails! That’s huge! Not only that, but they're also highly effective at pulling clicks, as well. Some studies have shown CTR at an average of around 40%, with highs of as much as 80%! Again, that’s huge!
Nr 9. Would you like to know how to get more money from the exact same number of website visitors you’re currently getting? Even if you’re website is getting as few as 1-2 visitors a day, this report will show you how to increase your profits using these few handy hacks.
Nr 10. People have now realised that it's not the size of the list which matters, it's the quality. ... and the only way to create a quality list is by launching your own products. Let it be $7 ebooks, $17 info products, $27 video training product or software's... all of these work. My good friend Kevin Fahey has is revealing how he's launched over 20 products in the past 4 years, many of them top sellers. Needless to say he's banked a handsome amount in this time.
Nr 11. Do you ever feel that the man you like or even love, just doesn't see you or desire you in way you want him to? Or... maybe you're able to get a man's attention though not the right kind of attention? Or... maybe you're still single because you wait and wait for men to approach you first? What you may not know is that the way we flirt will either attract the "wrong" man for us or the "right" man.
Nr 12. When it comes to getting sales and leads online, there is ONE thing that 95% of marketers use... it's called a LIST. My friend Jimmy just released a free book that explains WHY a list is important and how YOU can build your own list. It's available right here (and it won't cost you a penny)
Nr 13. If you have tried everything, and still aren't able to get your Ex back, then you need to pay attention.
Nr 14. What if I told you that you could make ANY woman WANT to do ANYTHING for you? Would you think I'm crazy? Well... what If I told you that you could also make her LOVE every minute of it and come back for more?
This plugin will triple your blog traffic by compelling your visitors to share your images on social media. This is some really clever stuff and it works like a charm. After you grab your free plugin, don't forget to read the free bonus report as it will show exactly how and why this strategy works like crazy.
Nr 16. The days of being able to get away with a basic WP theme and a pic or two are gone, your site needs to look good. Even Google are looking for you to have engaging graphics on your site. But getting good quality graphics made for your site is a pain, AND it will cost you both time and money (if you outsource it). But I have a special free download for you today. A virtual treasure chest of over 21K profit pulling graphics you can start sing today to generate more traffic & sales!
Nr 17. 20 professional full HD background videos. These background videos are perfect for giving your videos that extra kick they need to stand out from the crowd Oh yeah they are in full 1080p HD too, I hope you'll enjoy them.
Nr 19. No doubt, you've seen all of the video launches lately! There is a reason for it... Video marketing is a GREAT way to make money, and with the recent creation tools making it super accessable for anyone to get started... It's no surprise that more people are making videos. However... there is a missing element to most video marketing products...
Nr 20. For the first time ever... You can get the straight scoop on how someone is selling over $1,000,000/year of t-shirts on Facebook!Use them .... and have fun !