So, GoT could have ruined ASOIAF forever…
Seriously, we know people watching the show does it for one reason: they want to get shocked. A few years ago I could have said that people saw GoT because they wanted to feel themselves a bit intellectually superior due to all the intrigues and the human drama that was the first seasons. But now the show is a mess and no one really cares, watching the show is like riding a roller-coaster. No one rides a roller-coaster because they want to see the view, right? People wants to feel the rush of being both scared and shocked.
And that’s what GoT has become, and also, without intention, ASOIAF.
The fact Martin has to step forward and ask people to relax and that the story won’t end up in some sort of post-apocaliptic mess in which everybody dies is telling of what people are not only expecting of the show but also of the books (who they probably believe D&D follow to a T).
“I think you need to have some hope,” he said Wednesday of how he envisions the end of the series. “We all yearn for happy endings in a sense. Myself, I’m attracted to the bittersweet ending.”
We know that, in the books, no matter how terrible the things that happen to the characters are, there is a small ray of sunshine for them, even if it comes with a price (like Stoneheart). Yet, the show only portrays disgrace after disgrace for them (and disgraces that are not even related to the plot: they fall on them like an anvil), because this is the show that is edgy, mature and totally realistic. This is the show in which you’ve paid no attention if you expect happy endings.
Sadly, pop culture many times overrides original source. And ASOIAF is already a victim of this.The article (the title) does not even call the story by its real name: A Song of Ice and Fire. For the general public, the story will always be Game of Thrones, the name of the show (not even book 1, which is A Game of Thrones). Gah, even Martin calls it that. And, the fact he teases the ending as bittersweet (something he has done before) shocks the author of the article as something unthinkable or at least, a curiosity. “Some hope”, he writes. Wow… how strange concept…
The truth few people know is that Martin is not only a romantic but an optimist.
When asked about the future of his favorite genres — sci-fi, in particular — Martin noted one astute observation about the contemporary stories crowding bookshelves now. It seems we’re afraid of the world of tomorrow, he said, referencing the fact that sci-fi books in the ’50s and ’60s typically marveled at the possibility of future advancements that would make life easier; whereas, now, such stories like The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and The Giver spin much more pessimistic, dystopian yarns. “Where does science fiction go from now? Does it go into dystopias? Or is there a new way to constitute this stuff?” he asked, pointing out that writers have seemingly abandoned the older sensibilities of the Robert A. Heinleins of the genre. “I don’t know.”
For a man who writes scenes such as the Red Wedding or people like Ramsay and Gregor, it seems cynical that he protests for the lack of less nightmarish scenarios, but what people don’t get is that the reason he creates these monsters is for the heroes to EARN their happy endings once they defeat them and he will make them do so, even if, like I said above, comes with a cost.
That’s the difference between good storytelling and whatever is happening in Game of Thrones.