Why I Won't Be Watching Game of Thrones: Season 7
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Is it fashionable to be anti-Game of Thrones now? I don’t think so. Or maybe I surround myself with the wrong people.
Everyone I know projected nothing but intense excitement at the prospect of this upcoming season of Game of Thrones. When I was forced to scroll through the slew of Facebook statuses about the trailer - and past the trailer itself fifty thousand times - all I felt was exhaustion.
Truly it baffles me: why are people still into Game of Thrones?! Is it all a big joke that everyone is in on except me? Is it that everyone feels pressure to continue liking it because that’s what everyone else seems to be doing? That’s the only explanation I can come up with.
Now look, I’m a card carrying fantasy fan. I grew up with Lord of the Rings, and admittedly Game of Thrones has brought fantasy into the mainstream once more. The high budget production and the shock-factor sex scenes definitely appealed to a wide audience that might not otherwise consider sword-swinging, dragon-riding TV shows initially… but what’s holding their attention now?
Game of Thrones built its reputation on callously killing off lead characters, but whilst that came across as interesting and innovative storytelling in the early seasons, it has since lost its appeal. Having set that precedent, it’s annoyingly predictable to see Jon and Daenerys come back to life and/or survive improbable situations again and again. We get it: they’re important to the plot. Unfortunately they’re also the most boring characters in the whole show.
Dany’s relentless pursuit of her destiny to rule Westeros has been dragged out for so long; now that they’re actually on their way, I just don’t care any more. All that nasty white-saviour stuff with the slaves didn’t help her in my eyes either. Out of everyone in the show, Dany is the most “Mary-Sue,” and Jon is the male equivalent. These two have an inexplicable ability to inspire and lead people despite having zero charisma between them. Suspending my disbelief that far is really asking too much. Dragons? Sure. People liking those two? Nah.
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Even fan-favourite Tyrion got so much less interesting last season, removed from the politics of Westeros. Arya too, was pretty alienating to watch last season - mostly due to her isolation from other relevant characters, not to mention the weird spiritual journey she went on. On the other hand, we’ve seen Sansa develop the most out of everyone whilst maintaining audience interest. We’ve seen her learn how to play The Game, but the gratuitous sexual abuse she suffered last season made me rage-quit the show entirely.
I remember the dread with which I forced myself to watch the show each week, just so I could be part of the common room dissections of the episode the next day. This year, though, I’ve made a pact with myself to only watch TV that makes me feel good. The presentation of brown people as either exotic or savage in Game of Thrones? Doesn’t make me feel good. The horrific treatment of women in Game of Thrones? Doesn’t make me feel good. The brutal sex-shaming and anti-LGBT sentiments of the Sparrow cult? Doesn’t make me feel good.
Even if I were still gripped by the plot and character aspects of the show, those issues really do start to wear on an audience. Luckily for me, I’m not gripped anymore. I’m bored. And on top of that, whoever ends up on the Throne at the end is still going to be a terrible ruler.
Call me when the dragons and the White Walkers fight it it out and destroy the whole world. Maybe I’ll watch that episode.