Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

The sheer awfulness of Game of Thrones.

Last night I watched Game of Thrones due to the fact that I have HBO in my hotel room and I thought, what the hell, I’ll give it a shot; how bad could it be? It was beyond bad. It was quite simply the worst piece of television that I have ever seen.

The week before I had caught the previous two episodes. The one with the giant battle against the army of the undead in the frozen north made for bewildering viewing seeing as the lighting was so dark when they filmed it that for most of the battle I couldn’t make out anything at all. It turned out that they won because a very small girl killed the very bad undead dude. Okaaaaaaay …

Then last week’s episode had a dragon shot out of the sky by a flotilla of triremes sporting gigantic fixed crossbows. As I watched I thought to myself that the other dragon is going to make mincemeat of them seeing as the ships were all in a narrow body of water and couldn’t turn around. I mean, all the remaining dragon had to do was to fly quickly around behind them before they could swivel the crossbows and simply open its mouth.

Instead, helmed by the blonde with the very dark eyebrows it flew away in a panic leaving the crossbow triremes to effortlessly destroy the dragon’s allied navy. Makes sense, not.

So I tuned in with extreme dubiousness last night and I was rewarded by being very correct in my judgement that this show is beyond awful. It is the pits of degradation and as such it is a most fitting theatrical representation for our times. The episode had a few talky bits until it got down to the meat of the show which was the whole scale slaughter of an entire city that just went on and on and on. Individual battles between two opponents, and there were a few of them, made a point of being as drawn out as humanly, and in some cases inhumanly possible. I found the entire thing revolting, and I am an old D&D player and epic fantasy film buff from way back. There were moments when I simply got up and walked out of the room or I muted the sound just so I would not have to continue to suffer through the on-screen degradation. This was barbarity for its own sake, not to tell a story.

And that is the enormous problem with Game of Thrones as far as I can tell – there is no coherent story arc. The reason that George Martin can never finish the books is because he never planned out a beginning, a middle, and an end. You can’t wrap up something if there is no structure in place that underpins the narrative. No doubt when the HBO producers set out eight years ago to put this onto the screens they figured that eight years would be enough time for Martin to come up with something to end it. Not so, old bean, but frankly they should have known better. Like most epic fantasy there is no story arc. Tolkien wrote the high fantasy epic to end all epics but what his far too numerous imitators failed to understand is that The Lord of the Rings is classic storytelling because it carefully follows basic rules which were set in place by chaps such as Chaucer and Shakespeare and the guy who wrote Beowulf, perhaps you’ve heard of them.

Martin set out to write something but he obviously never planned things out. Instead he just went along at his own pace hoping that he’d stumble onto a worthy finish. So the HBO writers had to do it for him and that meant carnage on a massive scale and just kill everyone in sight.

Hardcore fans of the series who have blithely followed along in the assumption that the producers and writers knew what they were doing have been somewhat disappointed at the outcome. My favorite fan reaction has to be this one:

So much fail in one Tweet.


A real mother on Mother's Day.


Ladies, your youth and beauty lives on in your children.


  1. I plan on writing on this tonight. The internet is royally pissed. There is no internal consistent with any of the episodes in season 8. What makes season 8 worse is that there is no consistency between seasons 1-7 and season 8.

    It’s absolute trash.

    On a positive note, tons of morons who named their daughters after the adolf hitler of Westeros are gouging their eyes out right now

  2. TechieDude

    “It’s not only that female characters deserve better stories, it’s that women deserve better storytellers.”

    Good lord. So write some stories dipshit. Why is the entertainment world at you beckon call?

    Good luck with that, BTW. The last female authored books I read were horrible, prattling messes.

    That said, Never seen it. Don’t get it. Don’t care about it.

    And don’t care about the suckers that invested their lives in it. Once I heard that slob hadn’t finished it, I knew it was a sucker play.

  3. Chuch Hortler

    uhhh… the TWIT-er is off her rocker. There are high profile women producers involved in GoT production. Shouldn’t that have sovled EVERYTHING?

    Nowadays production is so far removed from the original writer’s stories that HBO stuff, in particular, is barely the essence of the original writing let alone the entire purview of WASP-y old men to get it completely and totally wrong.

    By this twitter wingnut’s estimation, just the mere presence of the correct set of chromosomes in the planning and on the set should have solved everything. instead, it’s just more jacked up than it ever was…

    See CREW list here

  4. There are some reasonably capable – and very entertaining – female writers, but apart from Jane Austen (now watered down in silly film adaptations), I can think of only one I think brilliant: Ivy Compton-Burnett.

  5. PB

    I find that when the women at work are all saying how great something is, that is the most compelling reason of all to ignore it.

  6. Dan

    Any specific story telling rules you have in mind from chaucer and shakespeare that tolkien followed and these hbo retards ignored?

    Season 8 is vile imo. Beyond awful. “Degrading” as you say

    Season 1-4 imo had greatness in them. For instance

    • I would pay for a series solely based on Varys, Baelish, Jaime, and Tyrion insulting eachother

  7. Glad I’ve never watched. Shan’t bother either. Thanks Adam.

  8. Uh, isn’t Ella Dawson the chick that makes a living talking about happy she is even though she got herpes by being a sl*t?

  9. Watched the first two episodes twice. Never watched another. The books had a bit of a plot in that they followed the same family (the Snows) and you rooted for them to overthrow all the heinousness but it never happened and then the books ended without resolution. I don’t know why I would want to go through that on television, especially now that I know that it doesn’t end well.

    As far as white men writing, seems like most of the really great literature has been written by white men so just because these white men couldn’t cut it … On the other hand these kinds of comments no longer seem like serious criticism, but rather rote repetition of a meme.

  10. Rpro

    The greatest thing about the game of thrones is that the greatest white civilization is back in king arthur times. Back when people still rode methane machines ruining the planet. Practicing witchcraft by rubbing toxic toadstools on broom handles (wink-wink). Went from conquering the entire eastern globe to infighting with the Irish and the Scotts. Because everywhere else was under sharia law. Good times, good times.

  11. Scientific American, of all things, had an article. GoT is social commentary, and hollywood can’t do social commentary – it can only do stories about people. Heroes to cheer for, villians to execrate. The main problems in Westeros are stuctural and cultural, and that’s kinda hard to film.

    But yeah – as I have commented elsewhere, the GoT books are just one damn thing after another, without much attempt at story. But that, perhaps, is actually the whole point. The message of GoT is that the game of thrones just drags on and on. A fitting end to the lot of ’em wouldn’t have been a dragon attack, but everyone just plain starving to death over the coming 10-year winter for want of sensible planning during their 10-year summer.

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