There was a time when I truly enjoyed viewing Game of Thrones episodes – I was curious to see what happened next and was intrigued by all of the characters. And then one day, something happened: I lost interest in the series. My enjoyment became irritation and I stopped watching it altogether.
What in the name of Westeros caused this strange change of heart to occur?
Well, I can identify six major issues I have with the show that caused me to shift gears. They range from contrived storylines to the overdose of violence, but it's the sum of these parts, not the individual problems, that have incited me to abandon #GameOfThrones. I realize I'm in the minority on these complaints, but I'm still going to voice them. No, HBO isn't going to mourn losing me as a viewer, given the fact that the series is just about the most popular thing on TV right now. It might, however, benefit from exploring these quibbles to see if they could be addressed in the future.
Here they are — Game of Thrones fans, please feel free to sling your barbs at my direction in the comments section.
6. The Storylines Are Too Contrived
Yep, it's distressing when the plot thickens too much. It only took a few episodes of Game of Thrones for me to realize that not all storylines would be wrapped up with bows, and that some would even remain unfinished or put on the back burner until much, much later. This is a device often used in television, but there's no other series I can recall that keeps its viewers hanging so frequently. It sometimes even felt to me that the writers were giving up on plots that weren't as relevant in the short run. That was highly problematic for me and contributed to my dismay with the show.
5. Swearing In Fantasy Is Too Jarring
I'm a big fan of profanity, but it just doesn't make sense in a fantasy land of the distant past — it seems jarring and anachronistic. This is especially true when the f-bombs dropped consistently sound more like 21st century American vernacular than ancient Westeros. I don't buy it and I stopped doing so after the first handful of episodes.
4. Too Much Brutal Violence
I still remember the episode of Game of Thrones where Jason Momoa's Khal Drogo tears out the throat of a rival. Yuck. We got the idea early on that the Dothraki liked to fight people, so why was it necessary to show the blood in all its gory — I mean, glory? Truth be told, most of the violence on this show is completely gratuitous and doesn't serve a purpose other than to horrify, or perhaps allow more unsavory viewers to revel in the mayhem. At any rate, it's a rather cynical way to attract followers. Count me out.
3. The Score Is Mediocre
After a number of exposures to the opening-credits of Game of Thrones, it became apparent to me that I disliked the show's score immensely. Composed by Ramin Djawadi, the music is repetitious, bombastic and full of dreary foreboding. That might be useful for a Berlioz symphony, but it's just plain out of place in a fantasy series. Djawadi is a better composer than this, and he can do much better, more complex work.
2. All This Nudity Isn't Sexy
Is Game of Thrones a fantasy series or a Skinemax movie? It sure seems like the latter, with endless shots of naked (mostly female) bodies episode after episode. Nudity can make a lot of sense if used judiciously on the small or big screen, but if it's overdone in the context of the plot, with its purpose more to titillate than to inform, it's about as enjoyable as a bowl of roasted Dothraki blood sausage. More often than not in Game of Thrones, the unclothed sequences call to mind the latter — and that just becomes tedious. If it can't advance the proceedings what, then, is the point?
1. It Kills Off Too Many Characters
Enough already with the killing of primary, important characters! It was done with Ned Stark. It was done with King Joffrey. It was done with Khal Drogo. Isn't all of that just a little too much? When characters you follow in a work of fiction fall by the wayside, the result can be apathy in the minds of its audience. It just becomes too much; we need people to latch on to, to follow, to root for and to root against. We don't want Game of Thrones to become "Game of Who's Going to Be Done Away With Next."
On the other hand, maybe it already has. In light of that and all the other problems I have with Game of Thrones, perhaps it's best to let go — forever. I've certainly justified my feelings enough.
Is there anything you can agree with? Let me know your thoughts in comments section!