Why Game of Thrones Sucks

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.


35 thoughts on “Why Game of Thrones Sucks

  1. […] Check out Why Game of Thrones Sucks @ rantingatthestars.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/why-game-of-thrones-sucks/ […]

  2. Taco says:

    Very true. http://www.gameofthrones.tv/2011/08/22/10-ways-game-of-thrones-is-a-terrible-show/
    Also the actions that is made by characters is stupid and imoral.

    • Thank you. 🙂

      Man, that is a weirdo list. I feel like the writer is more complaining that they have to work hard at morality (“Is Varys good or bad?”) than complaining about the show specifically. I’m actually pretty emphatically in support of media that encourages us to think critically about morality and introduces morally ambiguous characters; the world is not black and white, so why should our reflections of it (our media) be? I don’t think Game of Thrones actually HAS morally ambiguous characters, though. I think all the characters are just terrible people and not ambiguous at all, but there’s this illusion of moral ambiguity because of the differing houses. But it’s an illusion. There’s a good way to do moral ambiguity and Game of Thrones just ain’t it.

  3. Randall says:

    I just thought Game of Thrones sucked because there’s a lot of talk, but nothing actually happens. Didn’t think there was a deeper hidden moral in it!

  4. Sam says:

    Thanks, I think about this show in the same way. I also think it is a fascist show, reactionary and cruel.

    • Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and agree with you on that one. I guess I haven’t thought about it in terms of fascism specifically, but I definitely do think it’s reactionary and cruel. I emphatically think it’s reactionary and cruel. “Oh, our most famous line is all ‘the guy who gives the order should swing the sword'”, that’s not wisdom, that’s like…being slightly less cruel while still being cruel. You could also, you know, not give the order to behead the guy. Duh. It’s like they present this skewed worldview in which there are only two options: be a dick, or be slightly less of a dick. And then we think it’s noble when the characters are like, “Oh man! I’m totally going to NOT kill my sister!” That’s not noble, that’s basic fucking common sense.

      There’s this pretty fabulous concept of a “feminist cookie”: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Feminist_cookie
      which kind of explains how I feel whenever someone on Game of Thrones decides to be slightly less of a dick. “Oh wow, instead of getting someone else to beheaad the guy you decided to kill in a pointless war, you’re going to behead him yourself? Um…here’s a cookie, I guess? Am I supposed to be proud of you for that?”

  5. peace says:

    Thank you for this post. I’m sharing it. I feel the same and wondered if others did.

    • Oh wow!! I can’t believe people are sharing my blog. Thank you so much!! 😀

      I know what you mean. Sometimes it feels like EVERYONE is all “OMIGOD GAME OF THRONES *slobbering at the mouth”. I get the feeling a lot of fellow nerds are watching it because it’s pretty, which I understand (costumes!!), and because it’s nerdy, but it’s…it’s just so awful. I hate it. There are ways to do fantasy and scifi that aren’t this violent, or rather, don’t glorify the violence. It really bothers me. I’m glad to find other people who feel the same. ❤

  6. Nancy says:

    Now I have a few more good answers when asked why I am not watching it. Besides the lack of love, there is (naturally) a lack of humor, except with Tyrion. I wish the show was all about him- he feels like the only completely human character in the whole show.
    I think GOT is ugly, grim and lacks hope. That’s the same thing as not having love, in my opinion.

    • I so completely agree. I REALLY like that, actually. Maybe that’s the other thing I couldn’t put my finger on – that it lacks HOPE, as well!! Yes EXACTLY!! All the characters – oh my god. Yes. They are all despairing, all the time. And enough people see “pessimism” as “realism” that everyone is going, “Oh, this show is so HONEST, it’s what humanity really IS.” No, it isn’t. It’s one very depressing guy’s perspective. It is not truth, it is hurtful and pessimistic and lacks hope and love, and frankly, those are two of the most human qualities I know. How are hope and love not human?

      Game of Thrones only covers part of what humanity is, and thus when people say that it’s so human or the characters are so real, they’re wrong. If you leave out half of what humanity is, you cannot make a show that purports to speak truths about humanity. Period.

      I really hate this show. Thanks for reading and writing back!!

  7. LER says:

    I have to say you hit the nail on the head. The show is based off a series of books that are written by an author that seems to pride himself on topping his previous exploits to make his characters miserable. Seriously. I am through the first three books and all he seems to do is find ways to make any character with a shred of decency suffer. There is no morality to his tale. No realism. Any positive emotion has to be followed with second helping of poison and dung. I suppose that might be his tactic to draw the readers in. You hope and pray that something good finally happens, but you should realize by now it’s not going to. What you’re left with is characters that you may have liked to begin with becoming so twisted or depressing that you’re just hoping they die alongside the characters who are genuinely cruel and evil. Nothing redeeming in the story at all. I’ll probably finish reading the series, but I can honestly say I would never recommend the books or the show to anyone unless they’re a glutton for punishment.

  8. ZAR says:

    Nicely said.

    Personally, I never even bother to watch the show as the books were no big turn on in the first place. (And don’t start me on the tripe called “Eragon”.)

    I consider Martin’s Game of Thrones mostly just another (ok, clever) attempt to milk English history as a basis to churn out “fantasy” novels in regular intervals. Safes time for the writer to be creative himself or run out of ideas – or motivation (Wheel of Time anyone?).

    Since Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies hit a nerve in popular culture (as pirate movies did some time later with the Pirates of the Caribbean-franchise), people are really looking for decent fantasy – on a regular basis. (Too bad the same hasn’t started a similar trend in SF when Battlestar Galactica became a hit.)

    Unfortunately, television producers play it VERY safe these days and don’t go for better material by the same writers (yes, Martin CAN write creatively) – or even more creative writers to begin with.

    And if it has to be “medieval” fantasy, why not go for Vance’s Lyonesse or Kurtz’s Deryni-novels? Even the Eald-novels by C.J. Cherryh are worth a take. (Considering that Earthsea has been attempted twice – both pretty bad adaptations of superior material.)

    Or, if you don’t want to attempt another Conan-series without Arnie in the lead role, go for the REAL classics like Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. (Although, considering how they pretty much ruined John Carter of Mars with one shitty movie… maybe not.)

    But I’m afraid, in the end we’ll get a Lord of the Rings-television series… or worse. (Just wait, Star Wars also sold out that way. And Tolkien’s heirs WILL sooner or later change their minds once enough money is offered.)

  9. J_Jammer says:

    I lose a little bit of respect for writers that state they like this show. It also reveals what kind of person the writer is for liking a a show like this.

  10. Alex says:

    the only thing i hate about game of thrones, it’s the exploit of its producers towards the viewers. You can’t release 10 episodes (45-55min. each epis.) every 11months, for 1 month per year. With this tempo, game of thrones will end around 2017-2018… is this art? is this a right way to tell a story? 8 months of game of thrones in 8 years? i think it’s a rediculous exploitation. I don’t care if this series is considered costly (and what is costly? stannis’s tent? or the 4 walls of kingslanding?), i don’t care if it’s hard to make 22 episodes each season… i am wasting 1 hour from my life per episode, at least make it worthwile and stop exploiting me… us..

    • Erm, you could…you could just stop watching it. 🙂 As I say above, even if you are ranting at the screen during the show, the producers can’t hear you. The only thing they can “hear” are the ratings. If you dislike it so much, then…stop watching it. I agree with you; it’s a waste of an hour of your life, every time. Spend that hour doing something better. 🙂

  11. Jimmy Mc Bobb says:

    I don’t necessarily agree at all, but I like to see that someone has something against this stupid book and TV series. Good work.
    You point out some of the stupid things the TV show and the book says just to get viewers, or make it a little more… spicy, such as “The more people you love, the weaker you are”.

    Stupid TV show and book series is stupid.

    • Thank you. 🙂 Yeah, it’s just nice to finally find other people who aren’t into the show. Seems like everyone is this days. I’ll admit it’s nice costume porn, but I’d rather watch something that’s actually meaningful and has plot that isn’t put forth by everyone killing everyone else.

      So, we’re agreed. 🙂

  12. Personally, I hated the book and thus felt no compelling reason to try the tv series.

    The plot was virtually non-existent. I kept waiting for something to happen—all of the talk of zombies and dragons seemed exciting, but all that continued to happen was boring politics and characters dying. It was more of a gaudy historical romance than ‘fantasy’.

    Oh and the characters? Don’t get me started.

    Hyped up book and hyped up series. Don’t waste your time—there’s better fantasy like Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

  13. Gabriella says:

    I agree! Im 18 and my dad, and two of my friends are ”sold” on Game of Thrones, while I have watched perhaps 2 episodes of season 1 and then a few clips of season 2 in youtube, i thought its pointless to watch another series that is just another ”white old men” writes a ”moneymaker”. i mean, the important thing is quality in the script….

    • Squee, so glad to meet a fellow anti-GOT conspirator ^.^ On occasion I’ll get drawn into the costume porn of it, but then something – like, er, lack of plot, good characterization, or morality – will throw me back out and I will go “fuck this” and watch something worthwhile. 🙂

  14. Eddie K. says:

    When I came across this rant I wasn’t expecting much, but you did take your time to write your point of view, and I can see where you’re coming from, but I disagree with you.

    First of all you name your rant “Game of Thrones sucks”, at which point I think “Huh, I guess this person is going to pinpoint theflaws of the show/books.” But no, instead you chose a line of arguably the most twisted character in the series (Cersei Lannister) and counterpoint it throughout your whole rant.

    You have a lot to write on theme of love, I’ll give you that.

    I agree that love is important and I don’t agree with the line “the more people you love the weaker you are”, but Game of Thrones and Song of Ice and Fire books are all about the characters. Each character has a different motivation, they all act differently, they all “love” differently.

    This is what makes the show for me. It shows the characters from different angles, even if they do something amoral, it is not like “muahaha I did it cuz’ I am a villain”. You can see the reasoning behind the action, more often than not it is love. Cersei tries to spite Tyrion because he sent her daughter off to another land, because she loves her. Theon attacked Winterfell and betrayed Rob whom he considered brother, because of his love for his real family. Robert Baratheon started a war and killed nearly all of the Targaryens, because a woman he loved got kidnapped by one of them.

    I am still waiting for you to bring a good point on why the show sucks.

    p.s. Don’t perceive it as hate, because it isn’t. I just love a good argument. 🙂

    • MayYeo says:

      Your 5th paragraphs summarizes why this TV series suck. I couldn’t go past the 2nd episode, forcing myself to understand why the hype. No, it’s not a good show, just a very expensive and overrated one.

      • Eddie K. says:

        So according to you the show sucks because of the complex characters, and the absence of clearly illustrated good and evil. Which is what I tried to bring across in my 5th paragraph. Or maybe you interpreted it differently.

        Now I posted my “counter-rant” here to clarify the confusion about the series and the books. I did my best in providing arguments on why many people like it and why it is a good show/books in my opinion. But every argument against my point I get is very obscure, or just says that the show outright sucks. I honestly don’t understand that kind of attitude.

        If you do not like the show, you would say so, and it’s understandable. If you say it’s bad you are bound to provide reasons as to why.

  15. Damn I loved reading this. The blog post I mean.

    I didn’t buy the books, I obtained digital copies using means I’m sure GRRM is frowning upon, with his views on Fan Fiction and all. And God help me, I’m glad I didn’t give this man any of my money.

    I just can’t get behind any of the characters that are left in the story at this point. I just don’t give a flying baloney anymore. And It’s not because I don’t like complex, realistic characters, no. It’s because an unrealistic amount of screwed-up crap has happened right and left in this story, making me wish winter would roll in and that the Others would charge down from the north and kill everybody already.

    If you ask me, the game Dragon Age: Origins did the “let’s have a bloody civil war while our country is imperiled by unholly beasts” plot much better. At the very least least Ferelden, despite it’s faults, was worth fighting for, and if need be, dying in order to defend it from the abominations who wanted to wipe humanity off the face of the Earth.

    Anyway, that’s that. Keep up the good work, RATS (Is it okay if I call you thins?) . I think I’m going to be following your blog for a while.

  16. Well, just to be clear, I acquired digital copies exactly because I wanted to know if these books where worth my time. After the Robert Jordan debacle, I’m extremely stingy with my money when it come to novels.(I’m also dirt poor, btw.)

    • SBD says:

      Simalarly to the above readers/viewers. I watched the first few episodes, was intrigued, read the books ….. and stopped watching.

      “Love too many people”? That’s part of the problem with the series, trying to cover so many different people, and storylines, in so many places, that even at the end of book 5 the story has barely progressed.
      Perhaps another 5 or 10 books would take the whole thing somewhere, but to date its mostly pointless rambling.
      Perhaps if the author makes it to 40 or so books, someone can edit into the actual separate storylines.
      If you are thinking of reading it, set it aside, look at it again in 10-20 years and see if it ever went anywhere

  17. I couldn’t get past the first 15 minutes of the first episode.
    I don’t even remember exactly what they were about, I just had the reaction “oh… yuck. Not one of THESE. I can’t stomach it.”

    I think it was something about a woman being traded or owned or something… and it’s not that I couldn’t watch a show that contained those themes or where the characters have different morals than I do, but it felt like they were intending for the *audience* to find the concept intriguing or even sexy in some way instead of just gross.

    • Heh, right, because women being owned in shows is SUCH A RADICAL CONCEPT. So fresh! So original!

      I had the same reaction – “Not one of THESE.” You can just sort of sense it. I’m glad I can help other people put words to the feeling because I can’t even always put words to it; it’s just something you sense that is there, something off, something wrong. People whose comments I do not approve keep belittling me and internet-yelling at me to prove my points better, but sometimes you can’t, frankly. It’s just a sixth sense you develop, and if you don’t have it, you don’t have it, but I’m probably not going to be friends with you or approve your comments on my blog.

      Speaking of which, welcome to my blog. 🙂

    • Matt says:

      This is pretty much my exact thoughts (only far more coherent than I could ever hope to make them). Plus I just can’t stand this sort of genre anyways. I actually made it through the whole first episode and just ended up hating myself afterwards. No more of this trash.

  18. Josh says:

    and here I thought, I hated game of thrones because it’s the bleakest, most depressing, pessimistic, tragic, and all around retarded story ever. Does even one good guy avoid a horrible, tragic death?

  19. Keith says:

    Oh hurrah, some folks with sense.

    My mum and both brothers are fans of this series, and I tried to stick it out, having had my doubts since the end of the first season.

    Fantasy is essentially escapist, only one usually has a desire to escape to the world in question – not GoT. Who in their right mind would want to live in Westeros? Medieval, with no chivalry. Feudal, with no Church to restrain the nobles. Obligations, with no rights.

    A series without love – well said.

    There is a reason that people like this series, and it’s called schadenfreude – taking pleasure in seeing people suffering. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times.

    • Thank you, dear one. *hugs* I love the way you wrote your third paragraph – “Medieval, with no chivalry…Obligations, with no rights.” Indeed. I do not read books to become *more* depressed about the frailty of life than I already am. I read books to remind me why it is beautiful, why it means something.

      A sign of the times. Perhaps. Or a sign of a very emotionally and sexually repressed pervy old man who has managed to convince far too many people that this is what fantasy should be. I think I hate him.

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