Reparative therapy for bad fantasy?


I don’t have a high opinion of Game of Thrones, but maybe I’ve just been looking at it the wrong way. Maybe, with just a few adjustments, I could be reconciled to it.

“Medieval Land Fun Time World” looks excellent.

If it has a subplot about some geeky guy trying to lose his virginity, it would make for a perfect ’80s movie.

Comments

  1. says

    My niece convinced me the read the books, as many as are out so far, anyway…. At this point there are like 2-3 people I would consider airlifting to safety, along with an uncertain number of peasants, before nuking the whole country of Westeros. It would be for the greater good. Well, the slave states too, and.. err. Ok, think its going to require a space ship or something. Not sure anything on that planet can be saved. lol

    Seriously though, its got every sort of asshole, privileged, idiocy you can imagine in it. I am surprised congress isn’t waving it around, at the moment, as a field book on how government is “supposed” to function.

  2. unclefrogy says

    I liked the linked video unlike the actual program while the look is really good opulent in places even the story is on par with “The Days of our lives” or “As the World Turns” just crap soap opera start to finish

    uncle frogy

  3. iiandyiiii says

    Game of Thrones is the best. You’re a dirty poopyhead.

    Ok, this was very funny. But poop on you for disparaging the greatest show ever!

  4. Jeff K says

    You aren’t missing much. I’ve watched it with friends and they have to keep telling me to shut up. I keep forgetting I’m not a member of MST3K. Perhaps the fact they systematically kill off any character with any honor or virtue has something to do with my feelings.

  5. laurentweppe says

    Perhaps the fact they systematically kill off any character with any honor or virtue has something to do with my feelings.

    I’m going to repeat what I said about t last time:

    You can also read history books about the Middle Age… Except in these no sympathetic character ever get three cool dragons and start blowing shit up. Which clearly makes Song of Ice & Fire the superior product

  6. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    laurentweppe @ 8

    You can also read history books about the Middle Age… Except in these no sympathetic character ever get three cool dragons and start blowing shit up. Which clearly makes Song of Ice & Fire the superior product

    And I’ll repeat myself from the last time this topic came up: Grimdark fantasy is in fact nothing like the Middle Ages in Europe. It’s a good approximation of our biases about what it was like, but it’s not an accurate representation.

    A great example is the treatment of women, who were business and property owners and leaders and warriors in reality. Not just a few notable women who stood out as strange, but many of them for hundreds of years. There was even a military order of knighthood that was entirely populated by women–orden de la Hacha–who took precedence over men in public assemblies. It was founded to honor the women who defended of the town of Tortosa in Catalonia.

    We have always fought, but stuff like Game of Thrones makes people buy fake “gritty reality” over the real history.

  7. fernando says

    “Game of Thrones”, despite some strange adaptions (Tywin instead of Roose in Harrenhal, with Arya, Talisa (!?) instead of Jeyne Westerling…) in relation to the books and too much nudity and sex around (to hook teenagers? maybe…) is a quite entertaining tv program.

    But, of course the books “A Song Of Ice And Fire” are much better.
    They are truly epic, dark, with the most imoral characters around, full of cruelties, envy, despair, cynicism, religious fanaticism and a sense of impending doom.
    We read about characters that we can love and that make us sorrow because of their destiny, and others characters – some of them make a gestapo torturer seem a gentle and nice human being – we love to hate.

  8. says

    Like it. The current protagonist didn’t get slaughtered. Imo, this trailer is better than the books or the movie. Yes, I’ve read all the books and seen the series up to present (the series not so much by choice, but some curious people in the household can’t make time to read the books). That said, the series acting is great and well chosen . . . too bad about the script. Oh, maybe that was the point?

  9. vaiyt says

    They are truly epic,

    A bunch of decadent warrior-nobles and petty tyrant wannabees endlessly stabbing at each other, how epic. I personally find these books utterly provincial and small-minded.

    dark, with the most imoral characters around, full of cruelties, envy, despair, cynicism, religious fanaticism and a sense of impending doom.

    Because only negative things are DEEP~

    We read about characters that we can love and that make us sorrow because of their destiny, and others characters – some of them make a gestapo torturer seem a gentle and nice human being – we love to hate.

    Except that I hate everyone in that wretched series, and my only hope is that the dragons burn that whole stupid society to the ground.

  10. laurentweppe says

    A great example is the treatment of women, who were business and property owners and leaders and warriors in reality

    Was I talking about the representations of women through the books?
    No I wasn’t talking about the representation of women in the book, I was specifically answering to someone (whom I quoted) who explicitely based his opinion of the show on the ratio of sympathetic characters killed. Open a history book, and look at the amount of real sympathetic people who died or suffered from the corruption and petty squables of the upper-classes: ASIF is not off the mark.

  11. laurentweppe says

    A great example is the treatment of women, who were business and property owners and leaders and warriors in reality

    Was I talking about the representations of women through the books?
    No I wasn’t talking about the representation of women in the book, I was specifically answering to someone (whom I quoted) who explicitely based his opinion of the show on the ratio of sympathetic characters killed. Open a history book, and look at the amount of real sympathetic people who died or suffered from the corruption and petty squables of the upper-classes: ASIF is not off the mark.

  12. says

    I love the books and the show.
    I find them more entertaining that most any other books I’ve read.
    I also think the show has done a great job of keeping pretty close to the books,

  13. chigau (違う) says

    Giliell
    Are you sure that’s not Faramir?
    (pretty much the same in teh peterjackson LotR)
    (aaack spit ptui)

  14. says

    Chigau
    Yeah, they look different.
    And yes, that’s the only thing I’ll never-ever forgive PJ. I can live with Elves in Helm’s Deep, I can live with Elrond playing UPS to get Andùril to Aragorn. But I can never ever forgive ruining Faramir. Every single good character is established by having the Ring presented to them and refusing: Gandalf, Galadriel, Aragorn, Sam, Faramir. WTF did he do with Faramir?

  15. Reptile Dysfunction says

    Geo.RR Martin has been around a long time, & at this point he reminds me of what
    Hitchens said about J. Falwell, after the Rev. died:
    “Every morning he pinches himself: ‘I’m still getting away with it!'”

  16. MJP says

    I only got as far as the first two books in that series before losing interest entirely.

    I cannot identify with any of those characters. Not even the ones I’m “supposed” to like, such as Eddard Stark or Tyrion Lannister.

    I also didn’t like this “parody” video. The humor is just “Ooh, look at all these mediaeval fantasy characters talking in modern slang! They’re not suppooooosed to do that!” Not the kind of parody I’m drawn to.

  17. scoubidou123 says

    Mellow Monkey @12

    So the current correct feminist line is:we had to topple the patriarchy and we still struggle with it, because it never existed in the first place?

    I mean, pick one or pick the other, but not both.

  18. scoubidou123 says

    Mellow Monkey @12

    You contrast the real world in which women were “business and property owners and leaders and warriors” and the Game of Thrones one… erh, what exactly do you think characters like Cersei, Catelyn, Lysa Arryn do? Are you lamenting, darn, if at least Daenerys was depicted as rising to the rank of ‘property owner’? How about Melisandre? Just material for male teenage rape fantasy or a terrifying power of her own? How do characters like Arya and Brienne fit in your ‘butbutbut in the real world women fought’ thesis?

  19. says

    scoubidou #25, 26

    I know nothing of Game Of Thrones, and not a lot about medieval social history, so I’ll leave that for MM to answer. This, though:

    So the current correct feminist line is…

    The readiness to generalise the thinking or actions of an entire group from the thinking and actions of a member of that group— is a telltale sign of someone harbouring an ism. You might want to watch that.

  20. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    scoubidou123 @ 25/26

    So the current correct feminist line is:

    ::record scratch:: Eh? Do you think I’m a spokesperson for feminism here? That my lament about people believing simplistic stereotypes about history is the official feminist manifesto?

    No.

    we had to topple the patriarchy and we still struggle with it, because it never existed in the first place?

    I mean, pick one or pick the other, but not both.

    I’m not going to get into patriarchy theory because a) there are people far better qualified to do so than I am and b) your interpretation has nothing to do with what I was saying. The view used today of how women and people of color lived in Medieval Europe is simplistic and relies heavily on stereotypes. Regardless of how oppressed they might have been–and they certainly were–they were still people. And they did things. Not some of them. All of them. Every last one was a human being with their own thoughts and feelings and desires. Their identities didn’t stop at “third rape victim from the left.”

    And yet that’s exactly how they tend to be treated in books like this. Yes, there are some Exceptional Women who are special in large part because they’re Not Like Those Other Weak Ladies. Those Exceptional Women tend to not be as well-rounded as the male characters and the vast majority of female characters aren’t even given that dignity. And so Arya and Brienne are treated as Exceptional Women and this is the only way the narrative can accept their behavior, instead of recognizing that living in a shitty, horrible world and picking up a sword is a pretty reasonable thing to do even if you have a vagina. And though it may be a shock to GRRM, heterosexual women do not actually engage in lesbian relationships because they can’t have the specific penis they want.

    Back on the actual topic: I desperately wish Medieval Land Fun Time World. I could watch Terry and Jimmy Whisper all day.

  21. scoubidou123 says

    There is a boatload of characters in GoT, many of which are female. There are all kinds, just as in the male characters. Catelyn is a loving wife and also obviously a sharp independant mind and a leader of her own. Cersei is clearly anything but a harmless airhead. Etc, etc, I won’t go through all of them. But I will add that some of the most interesting characters in the novel are female, and I like how they evolve. Sansa starts as the good girl who loves chivalry and knighthood, and gets quite the schooling on the wisdom of just trusting Prince Charming and living happily ever after. Daenerys, of course, starts as a terrified kid used as a pawn growing into something mythological.

    I suppose I have to brush all of this off as irrelevant since they are “exceptional”. Well, yes, but then Joan of Ark, though very real and very leaderly, was just as atypical of the average female of the age than Catelyn was to her fictional world. The male Starks and Lannisters and Baratheons and all the sorry lot of ‘em are also ‘exceptional’, and that does not keep them from being beheaded or maimed and suffer all of the misfortunes that happen to them over the course of so many thousands of pages.

    Sorry, I fail to see how reading this fantasy story would make anyone think actual medieval women could not be leaders, and I don’t think the place of women in GoT is out of whack with the place of women in actual middle ages.

  22. says

    I cannot identify with any of those characters. Not even the ones I’m “supposed” to like, such as Eddard Stark or Tyrion Lannister.

    Umm. minor spoilers, though I don’t go into specific details in any of this:

    Umm. Eddard Stark seriously believed he was doing right, but was as much caught up in the idiocy of his culture as the rest. Tyrion.. is only slightly less corrupt that his bother and sister, but has a bit of an honest streak, and enough of a sense of honor, justice, and comprehension of reality, that he was willing to go against his own sister, to do what was necessary, in later books, rather than just what ever the hell he wanted. Even the brother of the twin Lannisters eventually realizes how big of a total idiot his sister is, and tries to take redemptive steps. But, no, there is no one in the books that isn’t flawed, many of them fatally, with the possible exception of Daenerys, and her rise into something truly noble, who actually gives a damn about how screwed up the world is, only truly takes place when her brother is no longer there to push her towards “his” goals, and, even then, she refuses, initially, to accept the truth of what sort of person her father was, which led to her family being overthrown. She is perhaps the only one, mostly untainted by the madness the rest of the world thinks is “normal”, and he hands still end up tied, in ways that turn some of her goals into disasters, because no one else can comprehend what she is trying to do, or how they are fucking it up. Worse, **she** considers herself, as of the last book, due to her failures, and yes, even some of the things she has had to do to survive, to be “one of the monsters, just like all the rest.” That self awareness, and unwillingness to just be a monster, and now care, being the thing that makes it not really true of her.

    So.. No, there is no one you are supposed to “identify with”, at least initially, in the first few books. The true quality of the ones that may change the world are not yet forged, and everyone else is, often terribly, broken, and willing to do thing, for the supposed “greater good”, that just dig the grave of their society a bit deeper.

    You can contrast this with.. I don’t remember the author, but there was a mention of them in something recently, and how they wrote their books, where, its said, their own father, at one point said them, “You don’t write villains, do you?” The point of the statement being that his villains where people who, in different times, and circumstance, would have been the good guys, but.. they are obsessed with the idea that they *are* the good guys, right now, in the current situation they are in, but are dead wrong. The wrong person, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong solution, and thus, by default, the bad guys, instead of the good guy. In “Game of Throne”, everyone if the wrong person, at the wrong time, in the wrong place, with the wrong ideas, to some degree. They are all convinced they are the good guy, they are all, on some level, at some point, for various reasons, actually the bad guys, but, many of them also all show moment and signs that, if they could set the egos aside, and work to the common cause, behind someone that *is* the good guy, anything might be possible. Their failure is as much that there is, at the moment, no one in Westeros that fits that standard, as it is their inability to admit that *they* are not themselves the answer.

    What matters, in the end, will be who rises to the occasion when that person “does” show up, and which ones will fail, because they lack any ability to actually change, and what, in the end, the world ends up being, when the dust settles (or, since “winter is coming” the ice melts), because of it.