Bored with Game of Thrones

I used to be a huge fan of Game of Thrones. Attempted to watch the latest episode, Season four episode one, gave up when we got introduced to some bad guys in the occupation army harassing the North. I don’t care about those people. They can rape the northerners all they want. Fine by me. Most of the northerners I cared about got killed off.

Lately the show assumes that the viewers sincerely feel universalism, and that universalism, caring about far away strangers, is the measure of virtue, that we will like people who supposedly care about far away strangers. Not working on me. I don’t care about those people. I wonder if it works on anyone?

Since Tyrion Lannister has turned from a capable and decent medieval nobleman into a thoroughly wimpy and gelded women’s rights respecting twenty first century male feminist mangina I have stopped caring about him also. Similarly, when the Daenerys Stormborn, daughter of dragons, mother of dragons, turned from being a hot sorceress bent on conquering the world and restoring the magic, to a do gooder abolitionist, aiming to abolish slavery, rather than become a magical queen of a world in which the magic is renewed, she became boring and unpleasant. Every time the viewers see her going forth to free yet more slaves, the viewers are disappointed. It is not just me, I also see complaints in the youtube comments. Let me know when she cuts loose with the dragon magic to make herself queen.

Early in the first season, we were told that there used to be magic in the world, but it went away, perhaps it never was. Then we meet Daenerys Stormborn, who is made of magic, takes magic entirely for granted, and intends to rule the world. It is implied that with a magical queen, magic will return to the world, which plot point seems to have been forgotten, or thrown overboard. How do you make a sorcerer queen with dragons boring?

Answer: Have her do good to far away strangers.

The problem is we are supposed to like these people because they demonstrate their virtue by doing the progressive thing, but it turns out that the progressive thing is just not likable. We don’t care about the slaves, because they are just faceless masses of unpleasant people living boring lives, so Daenerys Stormborn is doing good to far away faceless people we really do not like. Similarly, Sansa Stark, the wife of Tyrion Lannister has the unerring ability to make the wrong sexual choice, so we don’t really sympathize with the modern position that women should be allowed to make their own sexual choices. She is a spoilt brat who needs a beating. It is almost as if the writers are deliberately undermining their own propaganda. Who could be worse advertisement for a woman’s right to choose her own sexual partner than Sansa Stark? (Answer: Kate Gosselin)

Early in the series, I liked Eddard Stark, because he was doing the right thing for a medieval nobleman, but lately, the good guys are all good by being twenty first century progressives, not good by being good noblemen. I just don’t care about those people. Progressivism just fails to motivate or interest the viewer. A world with magic and dragons restored is just a lot more fun than a world with slavery abolished.

There was a time when progressive stories were appealing: Oliver Twist showed us that the bad behavior of the poor was wholly the result of the environment and could be cured by giving them money. Les Miserables showed us that criminals were people just as decent as everyone else, that crime was some sort of unfortunate accident, like having a heart attack, no indication of future conduct, and therefore criminals should not be punished. Obviously idiotic, but those were good stories. But in Game of Thrones, progressive propaganda has become a dreary story killing leaden weight.

First they established the Imp as a good guy. Then they show him having progressive attitudes – but having progressive attitudes to women makes him a sackless wimp, and thus totally destroys his appeal. Now we have three major characters that have had their genitals removed.

One of the reasons I stopped watching at that point is that I figured that Lady Arya Stark was about to kill one of the bad guys of occupier force – but the bad guys have not done anything, and don’t propose to do anything to Lady Arya Stark. They have been established as bad in that they mistreating the faceless occupied, but the standard way of showing someone is bad is he does something bad to people we care about, or he does something bad to his own people that he should care about (evil overlord condemns minion to horrible death for trivial transgression) As far as I can see, the occupiers care about their own people and are loyal to each other, their army, and their leaders, and their army and their leaders are loyal to them – the medieval virtues.

We are not inclined to naturally and spontaneously feel that it is bad for occupiers to mistreat the occupied, or that slavery is wrong. The show does not teach us to care about these things, but rather assumes that we should care about these things. I find I just don’t care. I wonder how many viewers do care? It just makes no sense that Arya Stark, a medieval noblewoman, would care.

So what is happening with progressive propaganda? I get the feeling that people are just checking off the boxes – that a list of requirements was handed down to the writers from on high, and provided that they go through the motions, no one cares if it is done well or badly. Good characters shall demonstrate modern progressivism. Bad characters shall demonstrate medieval reaction, regardless of whether this induces the correct attitudes in the viewer.

48 Responses to “Bored with Game of Thrones”

  1. Kgaard says:

    I just bought season 1 and watched about 7 episodes. It started off great but I am now sick of it. My problem is that the characters are basically cartoons. They have no depth. Most of them are dickheads. I like Ned Stark, who is now in the dungeon. He faces realistic dilemmas. King Robert was pretty cool as well. But that’s about it. Arya Stark is not realistic — she’s basically a bone thrown to the feminists. No 10-year-old girl would act like her. Joffrey is a dooshbag. Can’t stand to look at him. Ditto Jamie Lannister and her sister. Both dooshbags. The whorehouse owner, Littlefinger, conniving dooshbag. I hate all these people. I detest them. Why should I care what happens to them?

    That Daenerys blonde chick with the Mongol … she is a sell-out to her own people, though at least she is drawn true to form in some ways. Her brother was another doosh. Hate em all. Even that dark-haired bastard up on the wall … he’s such a do-gooder and has chosen this virginal lifestyle up there. Why? For what? Stupid.

  2. oscar the grinch says:

    “the only balls the British have are on film. Their country is being overrun with political correctness, thinking its okay to give up their heritage. When watching these shows, briefly, I am filled with disgust as Britain is living in its imagination”

    Yeah, good point.

    I just finished watching season three, which pretty much made no sense, so I stopped even trying to understand the show or follow the story. I just think a number of the actors are well cast, and it’s fun to see a bunch of well-spoken white people running around wearing armor and flinging swords and riding horses across melodramatic David Lean landscapes. I don’t really care who wins the throne or who kills who, it’s just a nice little vacation from the dreariness of vibrancy. There’s more and more of these shows that take place in the past, it’s like the whole West is saying to itself, Hey, remember when we had our own countries and they didn’t suck? Someone remind me why we gave them away to surly ungrateful unlikeable dark people, I’m sure there was a reason, but damned if I remember.

    But if Danerys is going to spend season four being followed around by drearily diverse mobs of freed slaves, I’m gone, forget it.

  3. Alex says:

    All the recent British productions: Spartacus, Thrones, Vikings, etc. make me sick. Why? Because the only balls the British have are on film. Their country is being overrun with political correctness, thinking its okay to give up their heritage. When watching these shows, briefly, I am filled with disgust as Britain is living in its imagination with these productions, reality need not interfere as they celebrate what used to be.

  4. […] Bored with Game of Thrones « Jim’s Blog […]

  5. B says:

    I tried to read Game of Thrones about 3 years ago when I was in a place with lots of spare time. It was awful. Stereotypical cardboard characters, wooden dialogue, thinly disguised agitprop, no new ideas.

    Then I realized that the sci-fi I’d enjoyed as a kid was also unreadable. Heinlein, Asimov-the ideas were good, but the characters and dialogue-it was like reading cheesy comic books.

    Neal Stephenson and Neil Gaiman are about the only decent writers in the genre over the last 20 years. But they both have the same problem-there is about one type of female character (the unrealistic ideal hot nerd girl that the authors spent their teenage years and 20s lusting for,) and three male characters: the thinly-veiled proxy for the author (an overly intellectual good guy,) the author’s idealized father figure (a masculine good guy whom the author aspires not to be, but to please,) and a bad guy figure representing the author’s dark side (actually, a sort of cardboard cutout for the forces of evil and chaos.) Stephenson overcame this in his Quicksilver Trilogy masterpiece to some degree, because he had such a great backdrop of richly documented historical characters to draw upon, and some of his other works show cracks (the hilarious dinner party in Cryptonomicon, for instance,) but he is still largely a Cathedralist.

    Anyway, it is sad to try to go back to this whole world which would absorb you entirely in childhood and the teenage years, and see the stage props blatant and plain as day…

    • jim says:

      Hey, young adult fiction. And I still like Robert E Howard’s hot warrior girl, even though even less realistic than hot nerd girl. And his bad guys are not his own dark side, but rather incarnations of civilizational decay, befitting the scenario of a civilization going down into a dark age and being ultimately forgotten.

      • B says:

        Well, it’s either young adult fiction or Joyce Carroll Oates…(I’m not talking about grinding through Ulysses’ Bow here, just entertainment.)

        I mean, fundamentally, all fiction except for things like War and Peace is young adult fiction.

  6. […] show can be easily ruined by writers pretending their characters are 21st century progressives deep down in their bleeding heart of hearts. When the thought police have the upper hand, people do the bulk of the policing […]

  7. […] Bored with Game of Thrones « Jim’s Blog […]

  8. […] Why Jim is bored with Game of Thrones. […]

  9. Noah says:

    Maybe you should have read the books, dumbass.

  10. Glenfilthie says:

    I read the first books years ago and simply gave up in disgust. The entire fantasy/SF genre has been hijacked by feminists, faggots and fools. Vox Day calls it ‘pink SF’ and I am utterly sick of it.

  11. Korth says:

    GRRM is a feminist and a pacifist. Of course his writings are filled with leftist propaganda, these people just cannot let go an opportunity to proselitize.

    I agree that by this point of the show most characters have been wrecked irreparably. But you are overlooking the grumpiest, most unapologetic reactionary in the entire show, a merciless unforgiving stoic who also happens to be the rightful king. Don’t give up on the show just yet, the best of Stannis is yet to come.

  12. Shenpen says:

    >We are not inclined to naturally and spontaneously feel that it is bad for occupiers to mistreat the occupied, or that slavery is wrong.

    You don’t. I do. Let me repeat what I wrote under another post of yours. Liberals make the mistake of thinking human nature “is” good. (In the universalistic sense.) Decent conservatives thing human nature “is not” good, but “ought to” be good, we should never expect it but still strive for it. You are basically saying that it “ought not” be good. That compassion and decency are totally overrated.

    Basically the problem with your kind of extremism is that you make the reactionary / conservative causes look bad. You are just serving a ball to liberals to paint everybody to the right of them as callous, insensitive, uncaring, and selfish.

    And then we can try to argue that we don’t think being so is actually good, we just think most humans are too faulty to grow up to this ideal, this voice will be drowned out. You just make us all look like assholes.

    Basically you are helping them. You are undermining our case that “look liberals you ideals are wonderful, just unattainable”. You are telling them their ideals themselves suck or are at least uninteresting. You are turning selfishness and callousness into a virtue. You will call you an insensitive, uncaring asshole and rightly so. The problem is, they will call us with you so. It makes harder to maintain the”we ought to, but we can’t” sensible middle ground.

    Essentally liberalism is about the Gnostic project of Heaven on Earth. Moderate conservative position is that it would be great, but not possible. You are basically saying even if it was possible, you would not see it desirable because fuck compassion towards everybody you don’t feel like liking. Thanks. That is surely going to be helpful. Not.

    • forx says:

      You’re an idiot.

    • jim says:

      You don’t. I do.

      Did the latest “Game of Thrones” episode work on you the way it was intended to?

      Let me repeat what I wrote under another post of yours. Liberals make the mistake of thinking human nature “is” good. (In the universalistic sense.) Decent conservatives thing human nature “is not” good, but “ought to” be good, we should never expect it but still strive for it. You are basically saying that it “ought not” be good. That compassion and decency are totally overrated.

      Compassion and decency for friends, kin, allies and neighbors is correctly rated.

      Compassion for far away strangers is fake, a pretense maintained for the purpose of destroying those near, in the name of those that are far.

      That is why, when the author wants to prove the evil overlord is evil, he has the evil overlord frivolously kill a minion or a relative. It is done that way, because doing the way they are doing it in “Game of Thrones” really does not work.

      My explanation of why the latest episodes fail to engage is disturbing, and no one wants to say it or think it, but my reaction, the failure of the story to manipulate the viewer in the intended way, the failure of the story to make the viewer care, is widespread, arguably universal.

    • Contaminated NEET says:

      What you’re saying is not totally idiotic, but the Right has been taking your position for the last 2-3 centuries, and look where it’s gotten us.

      You’re conceding the moral high ground the to the Left: they really are holier than us, but the world is sadly too flawed a place for their pure and beautiful ideas. People are going to see that even you admit they are better people than you, and they’re going to think there’s something to it. The Left is going to paint you as “callous, insensitive, uncaring, and selfish” regardless, and the charge will carry all the more weight because you yourself have endorsed it.

      Whatever you think of Jim’s strategy, you should be on the same side. Don’t wag your finger at him, use him the way left-wing “moderates” use their “extremists.” “Those extremists might go a little too far, but they are just responding to intolerable injustice. You’d better make a bunch of concessions to us moderates or else who knows what those dangerous-but-well-intentioned extremists might do to you!” No enemies to the left, no friends to the right is their rule, so why do we keep playing by it?

      • jim says:

        What Contaminated NEET said.

        If it is reasonable to love one’s non-neighbor as thyself, then progressives really are holier than we are, rather than engaged in a cynical alliance with far to destroy near. Therefore, to properly express our love for our non-neighbor, we should have no enemies to the left, no friends to the right. We should gladly enter into the united front, not withstanding that such alliances are entirely one way alliances, since one’s “friends” to the left also have no friends to the right.

        In reality of course, it is not likely that someone loves far away strangers – but is very likely that he hates those near to him, thus any action that is purported to benefit far away strangers, should be scrutinized to see if someone nearer is adversely affected to the advantage of those organizing the action.

        Also, check to see if far away strangers are in fact benefited, rather than supposedly intended to benefit. Not that we care if people far away benefit, but we do care if those near us who are supposedly benefiting them are in fact up to something different.

        Progressives did not burn Atlanta to free the slaves. They freed the slaves in order to burn Atlanta.

        • Andre says:

          The realization that “morality” is something reserved for one’s allies (including potential future allies, aka, your children) and not universal is the biggest quantum leap in my own social thinking… ever. I no longer consider “atrocities of war” to be ilegitimate crimes, or all human beings to deserve consideration simply for having human DNA (or other animals simply for having nerve cells).

          • Andre says:

            And even with children, the specific type of morality is different to that of a full-fledged ally.

        • Josh S says:

          Yeah, leftists really care about far away people. That’s why it’s always leftists who adopt non-white children from overseas and donate their own time and money to help and send missionaries to poor folks abroad.

          • jim says:

            I will never believe that leftists care about far away people because of “We are the world, we are the children”. Supposedly large numbers of Ethiopians were starving because of a terrible drought. A large number of very important very famous people got together “to show we care”, to raise money for the Ethiopians – in practice the Ethiopian government.

            In fact, large numbers of Ethiopians were starving because of collectivization, because collectivization is a piss poor method of growing food, because of passive and active resistance to collectivization, because the active resistance was drifting into full scale armed revolution and civil war, and because the Ethiopian government was using artificial famine as a weapon to crush resistance. Under these circumstances, giving money to the government, which is what they were in fact doing, was unlikely to benefit the supposed beneficiaries.

            The campaign to benefit the Ethiopian children ranks with the genocide of the Tutsi in the Congo among the greatest crimes of the Western left. They cared enough to show they cared, but not enough to check out whether what they were doing was harming or helping.

    • Konkvistador says:

      “look liberals you ideals are wonderful, just unattainable”

      I think this was still me in 2012. Now I’m:

      “look liberals you ideals are pretty much evil, fortunately they are sometimes unattainable”

  13. kenichi olsen says:

    Tyrion does not give a damn about Sansa. He truly believes that no one can love him since he is a dwarf. He sees her as something push on him by his father. Tyrion is in a bad spot and he knows it. He lost all of his power once his father returned and his nephew is a sociopath. Also, In the books Sansa is much younger, so yeah.

    • Steve Johnson says:

      Except that Tyrion and Sansa would both actually be happy if he just did his damned husbandly duty and got her pregnant.

      She’d fall in love with him for being forceful with her and bear children who would inherit Winterfell and the north. She’d leave King’s Landing and return to Winterfell where she is known and loved.

      He’d be regent of the north and would have power again.

      • kenichi olsen says:

        She is a child. In the books she is literally 13. I don’t know if Sansa understands the game, again she is young. Tyrion is a amateur compared to Littlefinger and Varys. I understand you all think G. RR. Martin is a liberal, and its probably true, but in his writing he thinks as a intelligent observer. Liberals Qualities don’t always win, never do conservative qualities. Power and Intelligence wins.

    • jim says:

      Sansa has duty to produce heirs to the North as soon as possible. She is old enough that it is possible.

    • jim says:

      Tyrion loves Sansa. This is made quite obvious in the latest episode – or at least loves her from afar in the way that sensitive progressive males are supposed to love liberated women.

      This is a form of sexual love I never could understand, even back in the day when I was theoretically a progressive. How can one love someone who is not close kin except they earn it first?

  14. Sigfadr says:

    Shenpen: I see what you mean but you mostly come off as a kid with an inability to focus on things for more than a few seconds. Perhaps a bit unjust, of course, since English is not my first language and I might be missing nuance. Sorry if so.

    • Shenpen says:

      Well, this is supposed to casual entertainment, a mainstream series meant for the masses, meaning it is supposed to be easy background noise for the not-so-masses, like a masculine version of Gilmore Girls. Not like playing chess…

  15. Shenpen says:

    We just started to watch the first season, first episode and second. From the beginning. I find it really boring. Drawn out, hardly anything happens just talk about neutral stuff. Little action. Just like Sopranos. Similary I could not watch it, it was so boring, just nothing happened. Somehow the masculine US series tend to be like this…

    … for some reason feminine US series are much better, Desperate Housewives, and Gilmore Girls. There is something actually happening every minute, like someone saying something humorous, or some disagreement, conflict. Something interesting. Usually it is some funny humorous snarky comment. It never gets boring.

    I wonder how much it it says about cultural ideas of mascuilinity. For example the German Cobra 11 series, a masculine series, is packed with action. Car chases, big explosions, tensions, investigation, and Samir blowing up in anger all the time. If Game of Thrones or Sopranos are meant as good masculine American series, does that mean that you guys have an idea of masculinity that means being a boring guy, just sitting around and discussing neutral boring stuff?

    I mean in the first two episodes for example about 20 minutes are wasted for the dwarf prince discussing all sorts of utterly boring things with others. No jokes, no controversy, no tension. Is that supposed to be interesting?

    • jim says:

      I found the Dwarf Prince’s conversations profoundly entertaining. I liked him and was interested in his doings until he became a feminist mangina and lost his testicles.

  16. spandrell says:

    Hey, he’s a Carter fan. Cognitive dissonance ability decreases with age.

  17. Konkvistador says:

    I grew to dislike the books with later ones being very boring. But in the books at least GRRM clearly shows that Daenerys freeing the slaves of various cities was an unmitigated disaster.

    Both for the cities involved and the slaves themselves, who painfully die like flies before her very city walls. And what are the refugees doing? Well they are running away from places where slavery is restored as soon as she goes away and places where slavery isn’t restored bloody madness reigns. Worse as war proceeds the surrounding country side is further despoiled and burned down, the environmental changes that pushed the cities on economic reliance of slaves is strengthened by her intervention not weakened, as alternative sources of revenue are made less viable.

    None of the characters seems to explicitly notice this but Martin makes it abundantly clear in his description of events. Talking to Athrelon about this we’ve long speculated that the graphic description of consequences will be omitted from the TV shows because freeing slaves ending badly is not something a modern audience can stomach to see, and modern film makers can stomach to make.

    Martin is a Progressive, but he used to be able to put his progressiveness on hold for the books and describe how things actually happen. As his inspiration is running out the books fall back on Prog cliches however. And the show deviates from the book in a direction away from the cognitive dissonance of showing a good that is different good!Progressivism. See for example how they changed the character of Rob’s wife.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they make the Character of Shae be a poor poor victim of Tywin Lanister instead of a whore who switched customers breaking Tyrions heart (who foolishly fell in love with a whore) enough for him to strangle her.

    The last popular show that pulled off showing nonProgressive values I can think of was Rome. Slave owners as normal people, patriarchy as common sense.

    • Red says:

      I’ll second this. Martin was very honest about the real nature of women in the books as well, but all that went as soon as the TV show started.

    • Steve Johnson says:

      The most important non-progressive idea in the books was that the rebellion against the mad king was an unmitigated disaster.

      Once the Schelling point of a Targarayian monarchy was destroyed the realm fell into entirely predictable disastrous chaos because everyone could smell that slice of power that they just had to fight for – under the Targarayians they could not.

      Imagine how much better off everyone in Westeros would have been if Jamie Lannister killed the mad king before he incinerated King’s Landing, was drawn, quartered, and hung as a warning about treason and Rhagar Targarayian was installed as king (Rhagar being described by every character as omni-competent and with great personal magnetism – a born king).

      “Who could be worse advertisement for a woman’s right to choose her own sexual partner than Sansa Stark?”

      Cersei Lannister.

      • jim says:

        “Who could be worse advertisement for a woman’s right to choose her own sexual partner than Sansa Stark?”

        Cersei Lannister.

        Ah, yes. Early episodes not only set in world where people cared about and generally followed medieval rules, but in which medieval rules made total sense.

  18. jim says:

    Here is how I would end the story:

    Season four, Episode two:

    Tyrion Lannister regains his testicles, bangs his wife and mistress, sequentially and simultaneously. Begets a son, King of the North.

    A cheerfully bloodthirsty Daenerys Stormborn conquers the world, with dragons and dragon magic bringing every power struggle to an abrupt and total end. Every character we don’t much like (and we dislike damn near all of them) dies horribly in dragon fire.

    Zombies invade. The watch and most of the remaining Starks get eaten by zombies.

    Daenerys Stormborn takes dragon form and takes care of the zombies with more dragonfire. Returns to human form, and marries Mr Lets-just-be-friends.

    Tyrion’s baby son becomes Lord of the North under Daenerys Stormborn with his wife as regent of the North. His sister in law Anya Stark joins the Tyrion Lannister household in the North, the household comprising Tyrion Lannister, his infant son, his wife, his mistress, and Anya Stark, the only character to live happily ever after.

    • Rollory says:

      You’ve just done in one post what Martin hasn’t been capable of doing for three books. Good work.

  19. Dr. Faust says:

    The worst part about the stories is that he killed off too many character too soon and then left a sprawling mess he couldn’t and still can’t seem to finish. It took Martin eight years in between books and both were disappointing with his latest work stagnating for most of the story.

    Martin has called himself a feminist in interviews, if that puts things in perspective, so his political leanings should be opaque. Whenever reading fantasy or science fiction it’s always important to remember that no one really has any grasp of the past or the future instead they show only themselves and the present with different costumes. Remember those adds showing what the futuristic households would look like they ran in the 50s? They got the technology right but missed the most important thing – who would be using the technology – so you see a bunch of 1950s housewives cooking dinner with 1980s technology.

    • jim says:

      Well, we may not know the future, but we know the past. Medievals should have medieval attitudes.

      • Dickbiscuit says:

        It isnt set in the Medieval period. It is set in a fictional universe. He can have whatever attitudes he likes.

Leave a Reply