Thursday, May 23, 2019

Game of Thrones Recap (by someone who read a few books and is on Twitter)

After eight seasons, numerous awards and breeding an obsessive fanbase on the level of Star Wars or Harry Potter, the Game of Thrones TV has aired its final episode. Maybe you need catching up on all that has transpired, or maybe you just want to relive all the best moments from the TV event of the decade. We here at NoaF have you covered.

There's just one catch: I have never seen the show, so I am just going based off what I know from my friends who tweet about it, and that I read the first few books up until the crow one, I think.

So pull up a chair for a semi-NSFW and possibly spoiler-ish but I can't be sure recap.

Season One: okay look, there is only one good thing about Game of Thrones, and that is that it kills people. This is the hook, that the guy who is the traditional fantasy hero gets his head cut off in (I think?) the first episode. Also: Ned. His name is Ned. Possibly my favorite thing is that they try to fantasy it up to "Neddard". This is a dude who definitely had his books dumped in a puddle when he was at, uh, Stark High or whatever. What a dorky name. He deserved to die. Also: Sean Bean.

Also, we get on the incest train super early. Based on what I remember, it follows the book pretty closely, which is to say: there is incest, attempted child murder, successful child murder and rape. So, so much rape. I think there were some wolf-things? That were symbolic? Did that go anywhere? I feel like they got offed sorta quick in the book, but maybe I am wrong. Anyway, season one wraps up with a lot of people dead and raped. Also 'Robb', Neddard's oldest, is in charge of their kingdom and they leave the [ten minutes of Googling] Seven Kingdoms.

Finding the best meme was the hardest part of this
Season Two: It's called "Game of Thrones" but there is only the one pokey throne, right? What's up with that? Shouldn't there be multiple thrones? I get that there are houses, because nowadays anything fantasy has to have houses or some such grouping, but I don't think they EACH have a throne - do they? I feel like that should be addressed in more detail. Maybe if there were thrones - plural - they wouldn't have to fight over the one. Look, I'm just trying to help.

Sorry all but I am really stuck on the names here. How do we have 'Robb', 'Ned' and 'Joffery', all really close to real world names and then have junk like 'Slynt' and 'Daenerys'? Did I even spell that right? I neither know nor care.

Speaking of Daenny, the one little bit I saw was her brother getting offed, because he is probably the most annoying character in all of literary history, so I made sure to watch that clip. I don't know what season that happens in, but it happened, so I am telling you about it. I think he was supposed to be king or something and he whined a lot about that (until he died, obv).

The White Walkers are establishing themselves as (A) a real thing that exists and (B) a real threat to the World of Men or whatever this particular fantasy approximation of medieval Europe calls it. Which raises the question of why there is a big-ass wall that the Stark clan has been up there saying ominous things and manning said wall all there years, if the threat is just a myth. Either way, they are here now and ready to make memes. The kid who got hucked out a window goes up past the wall at one point and has a vision quest or something. It's probably important.

Season Three: ooops, the whole raven thing takes place in this season. Anyway, he goes up beyond the wall and becomes Professor X. Meanwhile, the incest twins aren't a thing anymore and Jamie loses a hand. He gets some sort of redemption arc, or garners some sympathy according to twitter.

The important thing is that this is the Red Wedding season, which was great if you had read the books and could be all smug when people were always like "OMG GoT has soooo many twists and kills off soooo many people". You could look very knowing and tell them "you have NO idea". Then the Red Wedding happened and people FA-REEK-ED. It was glorious. It also revealed the flaw in the whole 'kill-everyone-who-seems-important' plot device, namely you stopped caring about anyone until they had been around for a while. It also started to telegraph that, hey maybe Jon Snow and Dragon Girl are the ones who really matter.

Season Four: We are in LOST/Wheel of Time territory now. Lots of stuff is going on, and I care about exactly none of it. This is about where I bailed on the books, because the writing was on the wall about Martin never writing another dang word. According to Wikipedia, Season three covers about 2/3 of A Storm of Swords, while Season Four is the rest. This is a crime. Fantasy writers, please learn brevity.

In any case, things are happening. Daenareays gets married against her will to Aquaman (is he who kills her brother? I think he was), and then falls in love with him, because of his very large [sounds of Joe ripping the keyboard from my hands from 2,000 miles away] [all our Hugo hopes are dashed forever] I'm not sure if the show makes it clear, but the book was VERY DETAILED about why she fell in love with him.

Then Aquaman, in true GoT B-character style, dies. Dannyerrous gets three dragon eggs around this time, but they are obviously not REAL dragon eggs, because dragons aren't real, just like the ice dudes aren't and oooooooooh I get it. Wait, isn't the series called A Song of Ice & Fire? Why is the show called something different? This joke post is getting FAR too involved. I have SO many questions and I don't know if the show has answers. Are we allowed in the Hugo losers party so I can ask GRRM these things?

Season Five: Like eighteen people have tried to rule and died in the last several seasons. At the time, their lives and deaths were SUPER important and you had very definite opinions about how they died, but now you can't name them, except the one whiney kid (no, the other one).

Also, the Stark girls have started to come into their own. One was super whiney at first, and she is getting to be a real bad ass. And the other one is... there? I think? Or did she die? Arya! That's it! Are ya... still alive? She is! Glad we settled that.

On the other continent or whatever, Denny Tarpaper has an army of freed slaves, which the people she got them from didn't count on and they get killed. Seems like the sort of thing they should have seen coming, or at least put in the contract. Also, I think in the book, they do the standard "give them a puppy and then make them kill it" bad guy thing. Is that in the show? I feel like there would have been more tweets about puppy murder.

Puppy murder aside, Season Five is is season that launched a thousand shirts, when Tire Iron uttered the immortal phrase "I drink and I know things", thus giving alcoholics a great catch phrase and permission to use alcohol abuse in place of a personality. It doesn't work, gang, I have been trying for damn near 34 years.



All this is to say, season six doubles down on middling middle episodes and I don't actually know what happens. It seems like no one else, including the actual audience, writers, showrunners, or creator of the whole damn thing do either.

I'm sensing a pattern.

Season Six contains the Hodor episode. That is the only plot point I gleaned.

Season Seven: As a writer, I am so envious of George R. R. Martin. First of all, only ERB has ever called him out on the R.R. thing. Second, he is living every writer's biggest fantasy - making millions of dollars off your book being turned into a massive success while you don't actually do any writing. Wikipedia says seasons seven and eight are based on his outline for Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. HIS OUTLINE. Let me in on this scam, I am BEGGING.

Also, did winter ever actually come? Or is it a metaphor for the night king? According to my twitter feed, he is a very big threat, mostly by nature of one menacing gif. Maybe he pronounces it 'jif'. Now THAT'S evil.

Speaking of, and I say this with every cynical, nihilistic bone in my body: Who is the bad guy here? I mean, is it just 'everyone' and that's the message? I guess Jon and Bran (is his back from his walkabout yet? Rollabout? This IS Lost, isn't it?) are pretty cool. But maybe the, uh, walkers? are actually the good guys. Have we listened to their plans for healthcare and infrastructure? Normally I am not one for talking to an army of the dead bent on destruction, but it's not like the humans are doing such a bang up job. Y'all have towns. Hold a town hall or something.

There are alliances, betrayals, etc, but literally no one cares at this point. Dragons or GTFO.

Season Eight: WE MADE IT Y'ALL! So many hours gone. So much emotional investment. I mean, from you. I spent like 45 minutes, and most of that was looking for a tweet I couldn't even find. Fun fact, a close friend got married recently, and I was his best man. I didn't find out until, like, the week of the wedding that it was (lightly) Game of Thrones themed. I posited they may have missed a few key ideas in the series about romance and weddings, but it went unheeded, and no one (so far as I know) died at his wedding, which was sort of a let down.

On to the show. I am going to serious up for a second, because I know a lot of you care very deeply about this show, so as far as I can tell, there are three(ish) things you need to know about season eight:

  1. Jon and Danny have sex, then stop having sex, because it turns out they are related, which everyone hopefully saw coming the second they both survived more than a full season. 
  2. Bran is the king! Horay for the KLDA!
  3. Season Eight is horrible.
And that's it! It ends on a season full of great moments... well, a few I guess. It ends on a underwhelming note that leaves fans dissatisfied, upset and/or outright angry. For that, at least, I can call it one of the most entertaining shows of all time.


 Dean is the author of the 3024AD series of science fiction stories (which should be on YOUR summer reading list). You can read his other ramblings and musings on a variety of topics (mostly writing) on his blog. When not holed up in his office tweeting obnoxiously writing, he can be found watching or playing sports, or in his natural habitat of a bookstore.