Game of Groans
OK. This is going to be a long post and probably something that will cause many of you to scream at me and tell me I’m a table, but I am having a lot of problems with Game of Thrones.
1. I did not read the books. I didn’t know jackshit about the books. I saw there was going to be a fantasy show with Boromir on HBO and I was like, SIGN ME THE FUCK UP.
I love fantasy, as a genre, and I am a rabid, frothing Lord of the Rings fan. I read the series as a child as well as watched, and re-watched the movies. I have never been more excited than when I stood on line, at midnight, in the middle of Union Square to line up for The Fellowship of the Ring. I cheered and cried almost the entire time, too.
And don’t get me wrong; fantasy as a genre and well as Tokien’s worlds are problematic to me. The portrayal of race makes me wither. There are several examples of manhood that make me want to roll my eyes into the back of my head. But then we have Samwise Gangee and Frodo Baggins and that well, makes up for ALL of it.
I love the movies Willow, Reign of Fire and hell, even the 13th Warrior. Shit, I even like 300, and that movie is dopey. I LIKE Xena and Hercules and I am not ashamed, AT ALL. I will pretty much sit through any fantasy flick and find it enjoyable. I am more than ready to get it on with Game of Moans.
But I CAN’T. Part of it is because I am so triggered by its continued rape-sex and it ANGERS me. Can any 2 characters on this show not have incest sex or non-consensual sex? It is mortifying and horrible. I am triggered every single episode.
But what is really troubling, to me, is that while Game of Scones is topical and machinations within factions of people, it is heralded for a more modern and less cheesy, for lack of a better word, take on the whole genre. If that means women are treated like fuckholes and/or forced/traded in to sexual relationships, or worse, raped, for the purposes of power, I want NOTHING to do with it.
I preface that yes, I have NOT read the books, but on a show for 1.2 seasons, they have shown horribly icky sexual relationships that show no growth or depth beyond that women’s lives are atrocious and treacherous and the menz will treat them like shit. REALLY. REALLY?
This is fantasy, the genre re-writes itself. It’s NOT REAL, so you can do whatever and no one really cares. So why is there so much sexual inequality? I get there are women who are strong and powerful, but that doesn’t make up for the portrayals of women in the bedroom, on the Risk gameboard, on the floor on a tower, in the woods, wherever but…I mean, REALLY? There is no counter for these encounters, at least from what I’ve seen, and it just feel GROSS.
I also realize there is an element of taboo and ‘sexiness’ that has been absent from LOTR and other stories, which seem to favor chaste or very romantical stories about coupling, not actually I WANT TO FUCK YOU type stories, but there has to be a balance, right? Sheeit.
2. The portrayal of race is fucking horrific. I was soooooo excited at the concept of seeing Jason Momoa in ANYTHING, let alone as a leader of a group of people who…roll around half-naked and dance to tribal music? WAT? A group of people who are portrayed as ‘savages’ and the presence of his lily-white, young wife humanized him and he toughened her up. WHUT? Oh my gawd. Only a clueless, LOLwhiteperson could write a storyline that riddled with bullshit.
There are better interracial portrayals on fucking Star Trek. REALLY. Captain Kirk made out with Uhura 40 years ago and that was more nuanced that this shit. FOR REAL.
I realize that the uber-fans of Game of Foams will just tell me to go to hell and the books are way better or whatever, but that isn’t the point anymore. The point is, this shit is on TV and it’s…not that good.
Beyond the fact that there are 5 bazillion people on this show and I can’t keep track of everyone and what is going on…in a book, you can go back and read and re-read shit. There is so much going on, all the time, and I can NEVER figure out which British-accented dood is doing what to whom and why.
And I am not a dolt. I can walk and chew gum. I can pat my head and rub my belly at the same time. And I understand they’re making a show that is both interesting to watch as well as pleases the fandom, but I can’t get into it. I can’t get into Game of Scones because I can’t get into the fact that something this monumental and broad can also be so small-minded. And this is coming from someone who is PULLING for it. I love Tyrion and the Direwolf and DRAGONS!
And as a WoC, I’m tired of cringing while I watch TV. Like, I put up with a lot and have to sit through so much crap to find any nugget of goodness, of decent representation, and this story has the opportunity to rise above the nonsense and instead, it just rolls around in its own tropey muck.
Personally, I co-sign the fuck out of this.
I will probably continue to watch the series, but yeah, all of this, and so much more is true.
My only additional commentary is that as problematic as the books themselves can be, so much of the complexity has been lost in the translation that it actually hurts in a lot of ways that have been detailed here.
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- youremmylou said: I agree with everything you wrote here. Thank god I’m not the only one who thinks that Game of Thrones is kind of a hot mess.
- seagull said: I don’t get how anyone who hasn’t read the books could like the show; it’s too fucking dense and full of exposition. Don’t mean that in a smug way, I’m srs, I just don’t see how it can be liked unless you’re a book fan.
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- nomi-malone said: This is basically why I’ve been avoiding it. I know many people love it, but for me no TV show is worth being constantly triggered.
- softerxsoftest said: I have had the exact same problem and have stopped watching. Every time i’ve pointed out these things people go OMG IT’S FANTASY. I’m like, yeah it is fucking FANTASY so stop re-making medieval England. You could be doing literally anything!
- natface said: i can’t really get into fantasy in general because of its tacit treatment of the women/race issue, even when lessened like in LOTR.
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- room42 said: co-signed. i’m hanging on by a “Tyrion” thread.
- love-and-radiation said: See, this is why I’m glad I’m not watching the show.
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