Even the greatest of empires must someday fall. Well, in this particular case, maybe not necessarily fall but kind of shift to the side to make a little room for something new. #HBO has done a fine job these last several years with their hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, but we knew eventually it would all come to an end. With the introduction of sci-fi western Westworld HBO has - perhaps unknowingly - set the stage for #GameOfThrones to take its final bow sitting in the number two spot of their epic TV empire.
What it really boils down to are four key ingredients that #Westworld was able to capture in a way that Game Of Thrones hasn't. The truth is that both shows have done exceedingly well and both are still pinnacles of what we can achieve in entertainment and HBO should be very proud of those facts. However, there's only room for one at the top. And these are the reasons why that spot belongs to Westworld.
*** WARNING: WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR SEASON 1 OF 'WESTWORLD' ***
1. The Ability To Set Up Major Plot Twists
I'm not saying that Game Of Thrones can't do this; I'm saying they just can't seem to do it as well. I mean, come on, we all totally knew Jon Snow was coming back. But if you're not the type of person to scour the internet for fan theories and spoilers, you were probably as in the dark as I was when it came to that major reveal about Bernard in Episode 7. It blew my mind, more so than anything I'd seen on Game Of Thrones.
The surprises didn't cease there. We also learned in that same episode that Anthony Hopkins was the true villain of the series as he ordered the death of Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen). On top of all that, two episodes later it was revealed to us that Bernard is actually a reconstructed robotic version of Ford's (Hopkins) former partner, Arnold.
And this was before we got to the season finale. Now, with Maeve being set up to be Season 2's most dangerous player in the game, we genuinely have no idea what will happen next season. With the internet being what it is, it's remarkable that the showrunners managed to keep these twists under wraps — and that they actually were surprises when revealed.
2. A Setting That's Far More Relatable
Game Of Thrones provided an escape for us into a world of dragons, sword fights, and clashing kingdoms. It was everything #Disney promised us as children, just slightly more based in reality - and with more murder. But even so, there was always the lingering notion in the back of our minds that it was never real, it's never going to happen, and we'll never get the chance to live out that fantasy. Hard truths, yeah.
Westworld came with a different approach. Our modern society has seen the overwhelming growth of online roleplaying #videogames, virtual reality, and even real life ventures such as live-action roleplay and the spectacular living art form that is #cosplay, not to mention the growing excitement and concern over A.I. This show, much to the network's delight, was able to cash in on this at a time when this sort of technology is making incredible new advances every single day.
The series is able to tap into our desires, our deepest secrets, and every bit of gray in between. And they did it without even needing to extend us an invitation to the park itself.
3. Spoilers And False Promises
We can only guess what this show has in store for us. And some people have done quite the extensive amount of guessing. Some will be right and some will eventually be proven wrong. That's the beauty that Westworld has presented us with. So far, almost every potential spoiler or theory is just that: a guess. There's no real way of being 100% sure. With Game Of Thrones, because of the source material, spoilers already abound all over the internet before each new season - even before the first season had aired. There is almost no way to escape them.
Some of those spoilers led to false promises and beliefs, ruining a great deal of what could've been so much more captivating a series.
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4. No Extensive Source Material To Ruin
Avid readers of George R.R. Martin's Song Of Ice And Fire series kind of knew what they'd be getting when HBO announced their intentions to develop a #TV series based on the acclaimed novels. But rather than catering to fans' wishes, the showrunners behind Game Of Thrones cherry-picked certain moments from the books and that's how it was decided what did and what didn't make the cut. It's been a blow to many fans as much of what we adore so much about the original books will never get the chance to be seen on TV.
Westworld also came from another source. The show is adapted from the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name. HBO's series takes very few keys from its source material, there isn't much to take in the first place. Though the original movie had some success, it didn't quite establish a cult following that would've carried it into the next few generations. In the minds of the modern-day audience, even if we haven't seen the original, the new show has already surpassed it. And therefore, the Westworld we know now is primarily the only one that will ever exist.