Despite generally being a fan of fantasy, I really, really don’t want to experience Game of Thrones. I came upon this blog post that pretty much sums up why. Here’s one quote:
I HATED THE BOOKS. But I read EVERY SINGLE ONE. Hating it the entire way but not able to put them down. And now with the show, I cannot stop watching. Those who read and/or watch Games of Thrones know there is little sense of rules or mastery or fairness. Instead, there is violence, abuse, systems of power that favor the powerful, good people dying, why are they ALWAYS dying?! Good people die. All the fucking time. And no magic to save them. Well, very little, and it is dark and scary and uncontrollable.
George R.R. Martin is such a different kind of fantasy writer. Where is the hero(ine)? Where is the arc of self-discovery and mastery? Where is the MAGIC?! I hated the books not because they weren’t well-written — Martin’s world and characters are some of the most (morally) complex I’ve seen; there is a terrible beauty to it all — but because of how they made me feel. Constant anxiety and disappointment and rage. And distrust! I did not, could not, trust the writer anymore. Horrible things could happen at any moment, betrayal and loss and trauma at every turn. (Umm, the Red Wedding. What.The.Fuck.) I found myself trying to disengage emotionally, trying not to care about characters as it became increasingly clear that Martin had an almost perverse interest in the exact opposite of character preservation. But I couldn’t. I kept reading. I’m still watching. And I’ll await the next book, the next season, with both excitement and dread.
I would hate it. And yet I would find it compelling. And I would keep reading/watching with that sense of dread and anxiety. And I would be angry. SO VERY ANGRY.
The author ends this piece speculating about what has drawn people into this story…in particular, a sense of catharsis that comes from “loving and rooting for and mourning and even reviling these characters intensely.” And while I’m sure this (and her other points in favor) is valid, I just don’t think it’s for me. Trust me, we’re all better off this way.
You probably don’t want me to talk about my love/but mostly hate relationship with Breaking Bad either…
(Here’s a secret…I’m saying this out loud because sometimes not liking the thing everyone likes is lonely. If you feel the same way, please speak up and make me feel a little less lonely!)