Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And, Now for a Post Completely Lacking in Background Research or Alex's Thoughts on Game of Thrones

Do we have to destroy the ring? Oh fuck, sorry, forgot what
role this was again... 
I watched an episode of Game of Thrones a couple days ago. I don't know anything about the show, the books (except that they are really big and thick and fucking annoying to try and shelve because there were always like a kajillion of them to put away at the book store; oh, and they were red, blue, grey and yellow), the critical reception, the ratings, or the general plot line. And, yet, I feel qualified to write about my impressions; how great are the internet and personal blogs! 

In regards to the actual plot, the opinion that I formed after forty minutes is that it's like Lord of the Ring drunkenly Judd Apatowed Conan the Barbarian (the television series) and nine months later birthed Game of Thrones and it's freaky white-blond characters. 

Aside from that, basically, I feel like do we really need to have another show/movie about a bunch of white dudes fighting over power? Where the only women are slaves, prostitutes, mothers propping up their sons as the 'rightful' heirs (blech) and those who need protecting because they are fragile lil' princesses on the run and in need of big ole' protectors. Where the entire cast, with the exception of one Hawaiian man (a 'savage' who grunts a lot and in the one episode I watched ranted about raping the enemy's women), is white.

I get that it's adapted from the fantasy book series and that they didn't want to stray too far from that but come on, it's adapted, based on the books. The producers, writers, directors, they're allowed to take some liberties so why not exchange some of those meaty white guy roles for men of colour or women or, what the heck, women of colour.

Pretending that white men are the only people that viewers will believe are capable of holding power in some mythical kingdom is not just tiresome at this point; it's fucking insulting, ignorant, regressive and it's propagating racism. 


  1. Sometimes a show is just a show.
    It's a good show with a great well told story. Don't make it into more than it is. It's not a political commentary on our society or an impression of women (which are some of the strongest characters as the show goes on).
    just my thoughts.

  2. I was pretty clear that I don't know anything about the show and maybe the women characters are the strongest. The episode I saw consisted of about five scenes featuring women all of which fell into the old, tired "ladies be needin' protectin'" tropes (or they're conniving and not to be trusted shrews) and the only one where the woman was not being talked down to by a man was one where she was finger-banging another prostitute while he directed her.

    And, I don't think it's too much to ask that a TV show offers more roles to POC, why would it be?

    I don't understand why this would be offensive to anyone. I'm saying that the producers, writers, directors and everyone else who has a hand in creating the show has a responsibility to stop white-washing the world. No where in my post I called for anyone to not enjoy it or suggested that fans of the books or series are somehow complicit in the systemic racism of the entertainment industry.

    "Sometimes a show is just a show" is a pretty slippery slope there, Cassady.

  3. While i love diversity one should be careful in forcing it on or asking for it as a stipulation for it be good or acceptable. Where does this "responsibility to stop white-washing the world" come from? is it you putting it on them? maybe then your requirements for society (and tv) are a little lofty. Maybe i'm naive but i don't see the slippery slope in this context.

    I'll continue watching and enjoying Game of thrones (and Treme) for it's stories, characters, and dialogue.

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree. (or you could watch it from the first episode enjoy a brilliant piece of tv)

  4. Look, all I'm saying is that where a lot of shows are set in reality/history and this one is fantasy, the creators could have had some roles for POC and strayed beyond the stereotypical women roles. This is based on the one episode I've seen. I really don't think that wanting to see diversity on TV constitutes as a lofty requirement.

    There are a lot of shows, a lot of movies, books, musicians that I enjoy but are problematic in terms of race and gender (and many, many other ways -- so many ways to be enraged, so little time!) and I have no problem calling them out -- it's part of the whole fighting-social-injustice thing that I've got going on.

    When I do call someone/thing out I try to do so in a measured way that doesn't attack anyone needlessly or cause collateral damage, hence why I didn't call anyone who watches Game of Thrones racist or stomp my feet and declare it "the worst thing evah". I also didn't do those things because I don't believe them.

    I would love to have a discussion about my actual post or hear more about the show itself (for all I know I could be completely wrong and I just saw the episode where all the women in line for the throne were off at a boar hunt with all the MOC) but I really don't like the implication that I've suggested that anyone stop watching the damn show.

    Oh, and Treme is frakking awesome.