HBO’s original series “Game of Thrones,” based on the novels by George R.R. Martin, recently concluded its third season with events that shocked its massive viewership. The season’s penultimate episode ended on a brutal note, killing off a few key characters in a startling massacre. The series is known for not holding back when it comes to showing that even the heroes are vulnerable, and this season’s reminder of that has garnered it a large amount of media attention.
Outlets such as “The Today Show,”“The View” and “CBS News” discussed this violent event and how it has divided the viewer base. One the one hand, there are those who are praising the series for its willingness to go against the undying trope of the good guys always winning. On the other hand, some fans are upset and have lost interest in following a show that continually kills characters they have become attached to. Upset fans have taken to HBO’s website to complain.
“I have never seen anything as vile, disheartening, hurtful and revelous [sic] in the bloodshed of heroes as this episode,” one viewer wrote.
Both sides have valid arguments, but the words of series creator David Benioff put it best.
“You go watch a Spiderman movie and there might be thrilling fights, but you know Spiderman is going to be there at the end. So there’s not that much suspense,” Benioff said. “But here, just as in real life, sometimes the best of us don’t make it to the end.”
The show is progressively moving drama forward by admitting that sometimes the villains do come out on top.
The series is also very well known for blurring the lines between what makes a character good or bad. One major character, Jamie Lannister, did horrible things to characters in the first season and was believed to be the series villain. Surprisingly though, he has built up a fair amount of sympathy
from the fan base through multiple surprising choices this season. There are some characters that undoubtedly have dark intentions but expect even them to show a hint of goodness at times.
Series author George R.R. Martin points out his realistic basis for the story in an interview with USA Today.
“We don’t tend to have wars where one side is really ugly and wears dark clothing, where the other side wears white and has glowing magical swords,” Martin said. The ambiguity of the characters is simply a reflection of the complexity of real life.
Due to the aforementioned massacre that concluded the second to last episode of the season, the media have also called attention to the violence of the show. One can either view it as another reflection of the show’s realism or a shocking attempt to raise ratings and attention for the series. But the truth is simply that the creators are just adhering to the content of Martin’s novels. The heartbreak, realistic violence and moral ambiguity in the books are all reasons the creators want this show to exist. “Game of Thrones” will return for its highly anticipated fourth season in early 2014.