Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Game of Thrones: Final Season + some other stuff about the new censorship (sort of spoilery)

So people could not shut their yaps about Game of Thrones. We tried playing nice. We tried threatening violence (I promised to find the secret algorithm that make people's computers electrocute them if they posted spoilers--you didn't know that existed? Wishful thinking must not be as electrifying I'd hoped). Anyway, their blabbing ruined two key scenes--one beloved, one "behated." And they are probably two scenes that could have been foreshadowed better.

Ah well. The real question: Did they screw up the finale? Was it worth it?

Hell no, and hell yeah, respectively. For two reasons:

  1. The genius of this is the same--maybe a distant cousin--that caused people to riot at Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Everybody knows how that vanished without a trace. Likewise, people have petitioned that they rewrite the series, which amounts to an attempted coup, a kind of censorship of creative artists. (see below)
  2. The theme is the theme of our time, for the same reason that people have petitioned although it will probably take another generation to recognize how apt the series was. "Yes, but..." Every "yes, but" happened for a reason. It was well-constructed (well, apart from the aforementioned lack of foreshadowing).
Of course, we will all be keen to read how George R. R. Martin does it differently. Will he listen to the spoilers, to the complainers, or will he lock himself in a soundproof box until he's finished the m.s. sometime in the next millennium? Only time will tell.

Major spoilers implied in this paragraph: Scientific American feigns to have the answer as to why people dislike what happened, but actually the story did tell a sociological tale (and not just because it maps onto our society's current topography). Since the moment Daenerys fell in love with Khal Drogo, she was the show favorite. She was treated with kid gloves compared to all the other characters. We were meant to fall in love with her and root for her over the other characters. Meanwhile, the other favorite Jon Snow was set up as the reluctant savior, and they pulled the rug out from under the viewers on both accounts. The problem is simply one of a lack of foreshadowing (for Daenerys and Arya). Tyrion made some poor choices (and maybe he'd been given too much kid-glove treatment, comparatively), but he was genius in the end. I will ask, "What was the point of Bran during that war anyway? Let's have some crows flap around."

Further examples of the new censorship in action--the iceberg's tip:

Natasha Tynes did the typical moral superiority thing, but then people turned tables and delivered morally superior "poetic" justice to her. Well deserved, right? Yeah, I don't care for her act either, but why try to ruin her career? Why lie on Goodreads and pretend you read and disliked the book when it's her personal action you disapprove of? We all live in glass houses and all throw stones. It's not that I don't get these urges. When people are jerks, I, too, want to "show them," but we have to consider if the punishment fits.  As Sartre put it in No Exit: "Hell is other people." Are we creating a hell on earth?

Writers blocked: Even fantasy fiction is now offensive

"Cancel Culture Comes for Counterculture Comics": "Today it's creators, not cops, who want to banish R. Crumb, onetime king of the comics underground."

he wasn't going to publish Stephen Graham Jones's story because he tried to read Jones's mind. He thought it was about something political and since it came down on the wrong side of the political fence, he couldn't publish it. (To his credit, he did publish the story but only after he learned that his politics weren't being challenged) 

Sensitivity is good. We need to understand other people--people who think differently--but all people need to be understood, not just our people--the people who look and sound like us. Otherwise, we're perpetuating miscarriages of justice. Anger, retribution, destruction of people's lives are not sensitive. Let's be a positive force. Let's avoid being someone else's hell on earth. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe we got it wrong.

ETA: George R. R. Martin on the ending:

How will it all end? I hear people asking.   The same ending as the show?  Different? 
Well… yes.  And no.  And yes.   And no.   And yes.   And no.   And yes. 
I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget.   They had six hours for this final season.   I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done... and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them.… 
Book or show, which will be the “real” ending?   It’s a silly question.   How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have? 
How about this?  I’ll write it.   You read it.  Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment