Okay. This is why I don’t like Game of Thrones. I have been trying and trying to put my finger on it for ages, and not been able to, but finally I can sum it up with a quote from their fb page, a quote from the new season coming out:
“The more people you love, the weaker you are.”
People watch shows and read books and obtain truth from them. Yes, even if you’re fucking watching “ironically”, dickwads. You still pick and choose WHICH shows you watch “ironically”, and add to their ratings no matter how many sarcastic comments you do or don’t make. The producers can’t fucking hear you.
What you watch or read absorbs into you and changes you. The things the characters say – particularly if there’s dramatic music while they’re saying it – sink into your very being and become part of who you are. They intertwine and become your essential self. How much do the books you read as a kid mean to you? They mean everything, because they are who you are.
Which isn’t bad, by the way. That phenomenon is often beautiful. But it also means that when shows say things like “the more people you love, the weaker you are”, and then post it and we repost it in our statuses…it means we’re accepting it as truth. And then we start to treat real people, in our real lives, with that in mind. And then fucking abuse happens. Because then WE become emotionally unavailable, and wonder why we are not loved. And hate people who manage to be loving. People who don’t watch Game of Thrones.
Stop watching the shows that tout lies. “The more people you love, the weaker you are” is a lie. I am going to go ahead and say that emphatically and directly. It is a lie, and believing it is hurting you.
The more people you love, the stronger you are. I’m not just saying that just to say the opposite of what George R. R. Martin is saying: I’m saying it because I have seen the evidence of it with my own eyes. When I was teased in elementary school, it was awful; but the worst part was that I had no friends. I was alone, alone, alone with my pain. I spent every single recess alone.
The teasing got worse in middle school…but it didn’t matter anymore. I had my first friends in fifth grade. I had people to talk about it with; people to stand up for me sometimes, and I had someone to stand up for. Best of all? When my tormentors told me that no one would ever love me, I already knew they were wrong. I was already loved. My friends’ love gave me the courage and the strength to face down my enemies. Love made me strong; being alone made me weak. When they teased me, all I had to do was breathe and think of my best friend. And later she would hug me, and comfort me, and I would be okay, in a way I hadn’t been in elementary school. Love is strength.
Love is limitless and has no end, and in fact, the more you give it away, the more you have. If you have found that that’s not been true for you, you have not been loving people who deserve you. You deserve to be loved back. You are amazing, dear reader. You truly are. Don’t date or love people who try and tell you that more love is weaker. You deserve better than them. Love makes you stronger; it makes you more able to face the world, because you know that you are loved. That knowledge is what propels us on. It is what keeps us warm with the when the night is cold.
Love is what makes us able to ride out into battle in the first place; it is the reason we go to war. We don’t go to war because we’re all emotionally unavailable idiots who live for killing and power. Nobody is fucking like that. And philosophies that say humans are obsessed with power are wrong, and were written by men who were only able to sit and think high thoughts all day because they had women to cook for them, clean for them, keep the children away from their studies, do their laundry, and let them not interact with the world. And thus their philosophies are flawed by not actually having ever really known how people are. They were never one of us.
Other books, other series, focus on the reasons people go to battle; the people express regret for having learned to fight, for how it changes them (though I’ll grant you the “oh god I can’t ever love people now” speech is getting a bit old). Game of Thrones focuses only on the battle itself. And THAT’S A PROBLEM!! The battle is not the point. What we fight for the point. And do you know what people often fight for?
We fight for love, we root for love, we come back home to love when the battle is done. The battle is not the point; it is the means to get to the end. Game of Thrones is, for some bizarre reason, glorifying the actual war.
War sucks. People die. I know it’s beautiful on the big screen (really, I know) but it sucks. The soldiers are always weary and always wanting to come home. Sam Gamgee is happiest, not in Mordor, but in his garden. With his children. With his wife.
At the end of the day, the hero is ready to come home.
George R. R. Martin, I wish you well. I hope you learn how to write books about why people go to war, instead of saying that they should. I hope you learn how to be loved.