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“Nationals October 2019

Game of Thrones: A Retrospective

| August 23, 2021, 06:00 PM

Between the years 2011 – 2019, there was only one show on everyone’s lips: Game of Thrones. The actors, the showrunners, no one could have anticipated the phenomenon the show would become, and for those eight years, it remained at forefront of the television industry. Sundays in America would become a special day as it was the day that the latest Game of Thrones episode was broadcasts and millions across the country would tune in to watch the latest adventure in Westeros; the first episode of the last season saw a record 17.4 million Americans turn the channel to watch the show. Despite this though, the last season proved to be unpopular with many, a sentiment that had already been held by certain groups of people as the show reached its final years.

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There is no questioning the quality of Game of Thrones in its first few years. Viewers were captivated by the grey morality of characters, none of them were truly good or bad, all of them had flaws and they all had their motivations and desires. This kind of characterization was a fresh take on the medieval genre, which can be credited to the series’ author, George RR Martin. Looking at high fantasy examples like The Lord of the Rings, Martin wanted to create a more adult, less naïve take on the genre. And that is exactly what he did. In Game of Thrones, fan favorites die because they lacked the social intelligence to survive. Uncomfortable themes are dealt with, including brother and sister relations. The politics of men is displayed in all its complexity, and debauchery. All of this is of course, over the backdrop of magic which has a surprisingly small role in the grand scheme of things.

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As the seasons went on though, fans noticed a drop in quality. It was not obvious at first, but certain things were noticed by the show’s faithful. A clunky line of dialogue. A choice made by a character that goes against everything we know. Little things were observed that eventually became big things, and soon became indicative of a much larger problem with the show. George RR Martin is infamously known as a slow writer, but when he agreed that HBO could make a series of his books, it was never thought that the show would eventually outpace the books. This created the scenario that led to the show’s not-so-perfect later seasons, the showrunners originally had material to adapt, but as of season 5, they were officially out of material and had to create their own narratives. This, of course, did not go as well as it could, and the later seasons proved to be divisive among fans.

Game of Thrones defined a generation. It became part of the culture, with many people calling their pets after fan-favorite characters. Even gambling companies got involved and they would post odds on who would rule Westeros, and those regions that have lax gambling laws like the Maryland gambling laws were able to enjoy betting on fun topics such as this. Despite its lackluster final seasons, `Game of Thrones is still one of the best fantasy shows ever produced, though this will soon be challenged by Amazon’s upcoming The Lord of the Rings show.

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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