Game of Thrones, the HBO hit series, is awesome. Don’t get me wrong. It’s based on the Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novel series by George R. R. Martin. I read the first four novels before the TV series even started and I really appreciate Martin’s style. Yet, Martin has a problem: ending the madness.
First, let’s applaud Martin’s ability to engage readers and audiences. His approach is absolutely unique. He makes you fall in love with heroic characters and then systematically destroys their lives. Then, Martin allows his villains to evolve to the point that the reader (audience) begins to feel genuine empathy for them. Jaime Lannister for example, started as the primary villain but evolves over the course of the series to become a (dare I say) human being. This is an outright rebellion against literary conventions, and the source of George R. R. Martin’s creative genius.
Now, let’s get to the problem. Where does it all end? I told myself that I wouldn’t read or watch past the 3rd installment of the story because all the likable characters were dead. Recently, HBO audiences experienced the death of Jon Snow, the last true hero of the series. Yet, does the story end? No, the books go on and the TV series will go on. Admittedly, it’s hard to end a series, but everything must conclude at some point. Martin has dug himself into a hole by dragging his story through yet another book and yet another season of the show. An ending is important for readers (audiences). The end gives us a moment to breathe and absorb the message of the story. Without an ending, the reader is trapped in the madness. To the fans of George R. R. Martin, I’ll quote Tyrion Lannister – “Your loyalty to your captors is touching.”