(WARNING: This article contains very minor spoilers regarding the basic plot of Saga.)
What exactly makes Game of Thrones so epic? Is it because the source material is so revered and was adapted in a manner that allowed people who usually wouldn't read the material understand what a truly remarkable story George R.R. Martin had crafted? Or, was it that the writers did such an excellent job with characters arcs that the audience fell in love and then mourned each and every time someone beloved was lost?
Honestly, there are probably too many factors to even count why Game of Thrones is so interesting and extremely popular. If that's the case, then #HBO needs to seriously take into account Image Comics' #Saga for GoT's replacement. Here's why:
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4. It Features Star-Crossed Lovers
Game of Thrones started because Rhaegar Targaryen fell in love with Lyanna Stark and incited a great war. Lyanna was someone that he had no right to fall in love with, but love is love. Y'see, in Saga, Alana and Marko are from two different planets, Landfall and Wreath, but fall in love while Alana holds Marko as a prisoner of war. They soon bond over some ridiculously cheesy novel about the opposite of war.
It's a great concept, but unfortunately HBO is one of few networks that could afford to spend the budget required to bring it to life. Movies wouldn't do justice to Saga's well-written storylines in such a short amount of time. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the only example of such elaborate material doing well on the big screen.
3. It's All About Protecting A Baby
The book starts out with Alana giving a rather graphic birth to their daughter, Hazel. Both of these characters are now being hunted by both sides for defecting from a pointless war. This sets up a tense plot that just keeps getting more tense as the story goes along. Since the stakes are so high, author Brian K. Vaughan takes a page out of Martin's book by killing anyone whenever he pleases. There has never been another comic that resonates with me on such an emotional level.
2. Bounty Hunters And Monsters
This book is filled with the most outrageous planets, people and creatures one's imagination could ever create. Fiona Staples (the artist) has become a legend thanks to her skillful depictions of creatures and her ability to display emotions on a such a static medium. It starts out with The Will (hunting our protagonists for bounty with his trusty companion, Lying Cat). If GoT can get away with Ghost, then I see no problem depicting one of the coolest characters in all of comics.
After The Will loses his way (for good reason), the story starts to focus on Gwendolyn, Marko's ex-fiance. Y'see, when The Will was on Sextillion (a sex planet), he came across a very young girl named Sophie and did the unthinkable: He rescued her. After The Will parted ways with Sophie, Gwen took care of her, becoming a sort of family with Lying Cat, just like Alana and Marko. There are four or five storylines that'd be awesome to follow throughout the first season, just like how GoT had the Wall, Essos, King's Landing and Tyrion's journey.
1. It's Much More Hopeful And Funny Than 'Game Of Thrones'
When Saga was released, it was described as Star Wars meets Game of Thrones. I find that as unfair comparison due to how unlike Saga is to anything other comic, movie, or TV story.
Moreover, Game of Thrones is rarely ever funny, and that's OK. However, #Saga will make you laugh time after time, cementing how easily you will fall in love with these characters. Saga may include more changes to their status quo than other comic books you may ever read, but with Alana, Marko and Hazel there's always an optimistic vibe that gives the comic a great warmth. I hope it's not a prerequisite for cable television to be dark and grim for it to prosper.
There are so many great works of fantasy out there currently, but none of them have become a cultural phenomenal through comics alone. I know it's hard to think about, but Game of Thrones only has such a short amount of time left on HBO, and we need to think what's next. I love Westworld, but I doubt it will have the lasting power it needs to replace the greatest show of all time. That's why HBO should replace it with the greatest comic book of all time.
What will you feel when 'Game of Thrones' is gone?
Is 'Saga' a suitable replacement?