As a triathlete whose bulk of time is spent swimming, riding or running, I’ve not always had the time to engage with every great series on HBO, Starz or other cable delights. I’ll confess to watching much of the late, semi-great series Spartacus. That was a violent and often profane lark of a show in which one scene featured the entire front of a warrior’s face chopped off.
Then I landed on an island with the show Black Sails. The pirate-based epic lasted six seasons and actually had a satisfyingly complete ending, unlike the show Lost, which I binge-watched together with my wife during the late stages of her cancer. Lost concluded with a lame-ass episode in which the main characters discovered a light in a hole in the ground.
Which brings us to the topic of how the massively popular program Game of Thrones will end. Game of Thrones seems headed toward a massive cluster-fuck of expected carnage.
Personally I think it would be great if those dead dudes from the far north wiped out the entire human race. That would be a cataclysmic ending suitable to the raw surprise often delivered by Game of Thrones.
But my desire to see it all end with the white-walkers taking down the humans probably proves I’m not a “true fan” of the show. And to that, I say fuck off to anyone who tries to GOT-shame me. I engaged with the show in what I consider a game and open-minded fashion. At first I watched single episodes in random fashion. Whatever GOT episode was on when I sat down, I watched it. That forced me to piece together the plot on the run.
Which is actually a somewhat honest way to go about it. When you’re forced to figure out the characters on the fly, it makes you pay special attention to what they’re doing. Then you’re additionally forced to ask, “Why are they doing that?” When you figure out the answers, it is that much more satisfying.
At one point during all this mish-mash watching of GOT, I would have described the show like this:
“Okay, there’s this round-faced little girl who stood up to this massive brute with a half-burned-off face. She came out of her experience carrying around this long shiv blade that she uses to stab people. And oh yeah, this queen had to walk naked down the streets and get creamed by bad fruit and all kinds of shit because some holy zealot wanted to shame her. And there’s this smart little dude with a wrinkly countenance who’s always nearly getting killed only to think his way out of it.”
Finally, with much thanks to repeated rebroadcasts of the GOT seasons, I put it all together and arrived at a decent picture of how the various houses of power and people grabbing for authority behaved in both honorable and evil ways. The show gives you plenty of people to hate, especially one brutish pig of a man whose abuse of the men and women in his life surely condemns him to die at some point. Yet he’s still around while some otherwise honorable people met ghastly fates. Such is life.
I watched a 60 Minutes interview with the author of the books on which GOT is based. He confessed that what he’s written about is basically the harsh and cold formula of human conflict throughout history. Like Star Wars or any other such fare, the setting doesn’t really matter so much as the characters.
I’m not hoping that evil wins, per se. But it might serve as a warning to millions of people that it is indeed possible that the bad guys truly can win out if people don’t work together in some fashion to combat the influence. That’s the overall plot of GOT. Just like the Bible.
Even at a personal level, one needs to feel as if there is enough good in the world to combat the bad. This morning I read an account of a triathlete competing in a 70.3 down in Lima, Peru. When she came out of the water, one of the pads on her aero setup was missing. And once she got out on the bike, she realized that someone had stolen one of the batteries from her electronic shifting setup. She couldn’t shift gears properly.
That is some nasty shit, right there. Whoever did that deserves a special place in triathlon hell. But it’s proof that some people will do anything to gain advantage over others. Whether it’s Game of Thrones (GOT) or Lust of Podium (LOP) some brand of evil is always lurking around the corner. They’ll smile in your face even as they conspire to bring you down. That’s one of the tarsnakes of our existence in this world. You can’t always tell who to trust or who your real friends are. Sometimes, either by mistake or on purpose, they turn out to be your worst enemies.
It pays to be vigilant in this world. Because otherwise the ice zombies and triathlon cheats will undermine our efforts. Kind of sad, it’s true.
So I recommend you watch GOT with a dose of fictional absorption. Learn what you can from this human drama, because you never know when things might hit closer to home.