Imagine this, for a second.
You wake up Monday morning with a groan. You’re tired from last night. It was a good night. A cool, quiet Sunday with your family.
Your wife cooked a wonderful dinner. Then, you took a lovely stroll down the street with her, discussing about Life, relationships, having kids, politics, etc etc. On the way back, you picked up a tub of ice cream. Together, you settled into your comfy couch with the one you love and binge watched a Netflix or Amazon Prime TV show. It was a fun night. Simple, sweet but exhausting. No thoughts about work, or any problems or stress in your life. They can wait till Monday.
But now it’s here. Monday morning. Hot, sunny and with it, crippling in a way. The only solace is waking up next to your wife, who loves you with all her heart. Hopefully. It’s a wonderful sight. It energizes you. Makes you get out of the bed.
Don’t get me wrong. You’re not depressed or anything!
You have faced depression before. You’ve fought it. You’ve survived it. Back when your life was not on track, your career was a joke and you didn’t know what you wanted to do in life. Or what you were good at. That, days and nights of crying or hugging a pillow with loneliness, fear, anxiety and sorrow – that was depression. This… Is not depression. At least, it can’t be.
After all, you have everything now.
The job you hate? It pays in millions. The people you work with are supposedly fantastic, the best in the field. Your boss acts like your underling, giving you whatever you want. You demand, he meets those demands. The world loves you. I mean, there are haters, there are naysayers. And negativity will always try to drag you down. But now, when you sit in that room at the head of the conference table with all eyes on you, only one thought lingers in the air between you and the coworkers : You’re the best. Fuck negativity.
And additionally, remember me mentioning your wife? She loves you, and is the perfect best friend missing in your life. She is the best sex you have ever had, but even the emotional side of the relationship is good. No, not good – GREAT! You have a lovely home as well. Simple, comfortable and your solace. Just the way you like it.
Fame, fortune, love and stability. They are the simple pillars of your life. But simple doesn’t mean weak. They are strong and uphold your life like nothing else.
By now, you must have caught on that something isn’t right! You have everything, and that too everything you always wanted! Nobody forced you, fame and fortune wasn’t thrust to you and you earned every bit of everything. It was a struggle, and that struggle brought you here. And now, every component of your life is stable and satisfying. And yet, Monday mornings are a chore for you. Why?
You thought this post was about me, wasn’t it? That I was writing yet another post about the perfect life and how we want it but don’t need it. But this isn’t about my life or yours.
It’s about A Game of Thrones!
There is a king, fat though he maybe, and he has conquered the Seven Kingdoms. He is the king, and has ruled peacefully for 15 years. Common folk see him and detest him. He is fat, whores around a lot and is rarely seen on the Iron Throne, ruling like he should. He isn’t actually a King. But he plays a role, the most crucial role. He acts like a King. And that much is enough. There is peace and prosperity in Westeros. And King Robert rules like is expected of him, albeit with his ‘trusted’ advisors doing the actual ruling.
So why did the Game begin? Because of one small thing: he didn’t want to be King anymore.
Robert of House Baratheon was a Lord of the Stormlands, one of the Seven Kingdoms. He was bethroted to his beautiful Lyanna of House Stark, meaning his best friend’s sister. He was powerful, he won at Tourneys. He had everything he ever wanted then as well.
And that’s how it began. He wanted to live a content life of peace and joy. And for him, joy was fighting, jousting, ruling his one familial Kingdom. He didn’t care about the Iron Throne.
And then, Robert’s Rebellion happened. One event led to many more. Fame and luck favoured him like a newly made mother favours her suckling babe. And now, he wanted the Throne. He wanted to win. And win, he did. He became King Robert, First of His Name, falana falana. But at what cost? He was meant to rule one kingdom. Now he had to rule seven. He was meant to marry the supposed love of his life, Lyanna. But she was dead and now he was bethroted to another. It was not like she wasn’t beautiful. Cersei was beautiful too. But she wasn’t Lyanna. And the Iron Throne wasn’t the Storm’s End. It would never be the same.
But this isn’t meant to analyze King Robert of A Game of Thrones. This is meant to analyze someone else. Or rather, some specific people. And hence, we go from A Game of Thrones to the Game of Thrones.
D. B. Weiss and David Benioff. D&D, as they are commonly known.
Imagine being newcomers. You’re not that good at script writing, least of all headlining your own TV shows. You two haven’t ever written TV shows, or worked on a popular one before. No fame or fortune yet.
You are still learning and growing. The one thing that does exist right now is your love for a certain book series. And you have a vision.
I really don’t know what went through their heads that made them adapt A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R R Martin all those years back. And I don’t want to guess either. But one thing, I am sure, was on their minds – success and money. They wanted to be successful and earn money.
And that’s how they begun. Let us wade through the rest – the famous lunch with GRRM, convincing him to let them adapt the series into a TV show, convincing HBO to let them do that, proceeding to make the TV show, proceeding to finally make money, earn fame and handle the legacy of the best epic fantasy series of the 21st Century, admittedly.
And here we are, 8 years later. The final season of the TV show Game of Thrones.
The ‘you’ I started this piece with can be D&D. After all, they do vaguely fit the bill. Happy, famous, wealthy, with loads of accolades and trust of a large production house like HBO. Their bosses are ready to spend millions and exhaust their budget on their TV show. They have a huge fan base. They earned every bit of everything they have. They’re happily married. They are about to finish an awesome journey. Game of Thrones has been their baby, and now, it is an adult. Time to send GoT off to college!
Funny thing – they don’t give a fuck.
And it really is not their fault.
If anything, it is ours. Because we have forgotten a fundamental truth about life: everything you are sold is so that they can make money.
Let me explain: Game of Thrones began strong… It had a wonderful cast, fantastic plot, awesome VFX, music that would make you cry and all that good stuff. The first four seasons were the perfect balance of all of the above. It had everything and was just satisfying.
Not only that but also, it generated a lot of money and popularity. It became a cult classic. It launched careers of hundreds. It generated revenue like never before. It broke records.
But we are forgetting one thing. D&D were originally hired to adapt the books to a TV show. The key word here is adapt.
But the books have run out. GRRM has not published the next book in more than 8 years. His last book wasn’t that good. Loads of filler and side plot lines. And the HBO higher ups are bearing down on you like vultures. They don’t care about the books. They don’t care about the fact that D&D were hired to adapt a book to a season of TV show and that the absence of a book to adapt will no doubtedly result in low quality content. Remember, D&D are not gifted storytellers. They do not have decades of TV experience. They are newcomers who got lucky. They were good at adapting.
And so, they found themselves at the cusp of the season 5 premiere. They had to now think for themselves. Create content themselves. And that too, not content from scratch but content in continuation to something that already existed. If you have ever tried to write something, or create any form of art, you will know how difficult it is to take someone else’s art and continue it.
But let’s not get into that.
My point is, they don’t care.
They have everything they wanted. Their rich, famous and their jobs are not in jeopardy. The source content is in limbo with no publishing date in sight. Even the original author doesn’t care about the books anymore. He is rich, famous and stable as well. And the people will crib no matter what. Even if you had made a fantastic final season of your TV show, you would have fans who were disappointed. You would get hate mail and death threats. You would fail a lot of people who had hopes on you.
The only difference is in your mindset. Do you really care anymore? Whatever you do, HBO will throw money on you like you’re some stripper. Hollywood will keep fighting over getting you aboard their own projects. Celebrities will still vie for your attention. And after a long time, they will forget you.
And with a controversial last season, surely they won’t forget you or your TV show.
The writing for the last season has been crap. Absolute, total, incoherent crap! There is no ounce of logic, loyalty or beauty to the writing of the last season. The episodes are filled with plot holes, problems and illogical issues. But you know what?
They don’t want to please you. They want to please their bosses. They just want their money. They just want their job done. Like most of us, they may also be tired now. It’s time to move on to the next thing. But duty and their contracts with HBO won’t let them. So here they are, back one last time to finish and get over with something neither their bosses nor their source content creator care for. And fans will forget. They always do. Do you even care about the horrible LOST finale? Or Dexter finale? And if yes, do you remember the people responsible for it? I bet your answer is no.
But they got what they wanted: money, fame and a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow. HBO got what it wanted: money, game and an opportunity to grow. The actors got what they wanted: money, fame and… You know what? You know what I mean by this point.
Game of Thrones, much like most things sold to us, is a marketing ploy to make money. And they don’t give a shit about satisfying you. They give a shit about making you buy more. After all, in spite of the last 4 seasons being terrible, you still bought the HBO subscription right? In spite of hating the TV series at this point, you still watched it the first thing in the morning/night when it aired. In spite of loathing the writing choices, you still continue to talk about it!
So they make money, you give them the money. What’s the problem? Why should HBO care about your satisfaction? Why should D&D care about what YOU think about their choices with the show? You don’t know half of what goes behind the scenes! You don’t know how they were pressured to finish the show or what they were forced to do because of their contracts. You don’t know what they’re going through.
Just like you hate your job and going to it on Monday mornings, this is a job for them too.
King Robert got his Throne, a beautiful wife, wealth and prosperity, a peaceful 15 years and death while fighting a boar. And he doesn’t give jack shit what happened during, before or after. He got what he wanted.
And when the fad ends, it won’t matter how horrible the show was or who was responsible for it! They got their money, and you got something to complain about!
That’s the truth about life. From A Game of Thrones all the way to the Game of Thrones.
I am no expert analyst. But I have strong opinions. And best thing about them is they are mine, and mine alone. They are not forced upon you, and I don’t judge you for having a different one! And in turn, you don’t force your opinions on me! Isn’t it the best?
Enjoy the read and leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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