Lately I haven’t felt like writing much, but I am determined to not pay any iron blogger, so here goes!
I watched the first episode of the second season of Game of Thrones. I was excited to get back into it, since I generally enjoyed the first season; I haven’t read the books.
Everything was going fine until the last five minutes. It isn’t a spoiler that the show contains horrible things in, as well as the books it is based on. After I watched the episode I was upset. I told Susan about how much it bothered me. Talking through it, we decided to stop watching the show.
In our discussion, we explored what it was about it that we enjoyed, and it turns out that a lot of the elements Susan enjoyed were present in other stories as well. For me, I enjoy many fantasy tropes, but I don’t enjoy senseless violence. I am sensitive to violence, in particularly against children. This real world of ours has enough tragedy that I feel hyper-aware of, so I pass on stories that focus on it.
I feel kinda silly expressing that, because it seems that the Game of Thrones series caught people because it is brutal and dangerous in a way that most fantasy isn’t, where the ensemble cast isn’t really safe, and bad things happen to the so-called “heroes”. It isn’t that I need the heroes to win, or ensure that the characters succeed in the end. I enjoy a variety of endings, but I just think that my tastes in fantasy are more aligned with a fantastical setting, and less having to do with the physical challenges presented.
An example of this is the Harry Potter movies (based on books which I have also not read): I enjoyed the earlier movies more, because it was more about solving puzzles and self-discovery, whereas the later movies was about war and its struggles. I liked the later movies more visually, because we don’t have enough movies filled with spells and stuff, but I didn’t really care to see characters I liked die. This real world of ours has got that covered.
Our discussion made its way to Dragonlance. I’ve always loved Dragonlance, and I’ve read everything up to the Chaos War. I have the Annotated Chronicles, which is great for a fan of the series, but impossible to read for someone new, since it has spoilers scattered about in the sidebar. A few years ago I had started reading it to Susan, and we decided to pick it up again, this time with Clover.
So, I’ve gone from over-violent and HBO-sexualized fantasy show to reading about an intentional family overcoming governments with a focus on relationships, while also bonding with my family and teaching Clover the pleasure of storytelling.
Even Peter Dinklage can’t compare.