Death comes to us all, especially in the land of television, but nowhere is it more prevalent than on HBO's Game of Thrones. In the time before Thrones butchered all and sundry, most TV spectacles were reserved for the odd big death that had us reaching for the tissues. From Charlie on LOST to George O'Malley on Grey's Anatomy, Adriana on The Sopranos and Maude Flanders on The Simpsons, death was a big shocker from which we thankfully had time to recuperate.
As HBO's show has lumbered on into its encroaching winter, we've barely had time to shed a tear before another fan-favorite takes a blade to an orifice and shuffles off this mortal coil. Now, shows like The Walking Dead have followed in the footsteps of Thrones, teasing that even the show's de facto lead isn't safe. However, "Thrones Syndrome" hasn't just been reserved for rambling zombies over on AMC, the Ice and Fire saga has spread its roots elsewhere on #TV.
A Red Shirt Wedding
As we prepare to blast off into the final frontier with CBS's #StarTrekDiscovery, showrunner Gretchen J. Berg revealed to EW that Game of Thrones has had a big influence on the Star Trek prequel:
"'Game of Thrones' changed television. They almost made it difficult to fall in love with people because you didn’t know if they were going to be taken away from you. That show’s had an influence on all TV dramas that have come after it."
While some shows are accused of killing its characters just for shock value (even TWD is guilty of this), it feels completely natural in the progression of Game of Thrones; perhaps it comes from the fact that author #GeorgeRRMartin has put decades into writing the novels and has a clear endgame, but it works just as well on our screens. Since the death of King Robert in Season 1 of the show, we have seen many stumble in the race to the pointy chair. In fact, Thrones has had some 150,000 deaths, and audiences have felt every single one. Taking a leaf from Martin's book, it sounds like no one is safe aboard the Starships Discovery and Shenzou:
“Death isn’t treated gratuitously on this show. It’s not for shock value. But when it happens we want to make sure that people really feel it.”
While it became a running joke that red shirts were destined for death on Gene Roddenberry's original show, it looks like a 2017 reimagining of #StarTrek won't discriminate due to uniform color. This isn't to say that Discovery plans on killing off Sonequa Martin-Green’s Commander Michael Burnham by the time Season 1 comes to a close, but expect some of the ensemble cast to meet a grisly demise in that cold abyss of space.
Across the 700+ hours of Trek TV franchises, there have been a number of notable departures, however, deaths like those of Tasha Yar, Dax, and Trip Tucker were due to disputes, contract expirations, or big finale death sentences. Discovery seems to be throwing the rulebook out the window and starting things off with a cut-throat attitude.
With Burnham's presumed rise in the ranks, fans are already tipping Jason Isaacs's Captain Lorca for a Sean Bean-esque death to solidify Discovery's premiere season as a shocker. Elsewhere, Michelle Yeoh's Captain Georgiou could be a big hitter in the death stakes, although her demise would be yet another blow to the woefully small population of asian women in leading roles on TV. It certainly sounds like Discovery plans on hitting warp speed as soon as possible, but we will have to wait and see who gets caught in the Klingon crossfire when the show debuts on September 24.
Check out the trailer for Star Trek: Discovery and don't forget our poll below!
Are you excited for the "no one's safe" stance on 'Discovery'?