Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Game of Walking Thrones

The only two TV shows I’ve ever really watched religiously were Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. If you haven’t heard of them, here are some quick descriptions:

Game of Thrones adapted from book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. It is very medieval based and is about a bunch of unique upper- class families fighting for power over the iron throne which basically is a chair made of lots of rusty swords which I’m sure can’t be comfortable but it looks badass and lets be real here, that’s what matters.

The Walking Dead is adapted from a graphic novel (which is just a fancy name for a comic) by Robert Kirkman. Having come from a comic instead of a novel with hundreds of pages, it is a lot more straight-forward than Game of Thrones. It’s basically about a group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse with different characters who change dynamically over the course of the show (character-wise, or from human to zombie).

The two shows have one major thing in common and that is that the constant fear that any of the characters will die. It’s not like watching Superman where if he gets himself into a completely hopeless situation, you know he’s going to be okay because he’s the hero and you know that obviously he’s going live. In these two shows, death is always imminent and the shows teach you that very early on.

Another thing that these two shows/ novels/comics have in common is that the writers are very conscious and aware that when they kill a character in their story, they are basically firing an actor. This is more so the case for Martin because his book series is still being written (I believe he is currently writing the 7th in the series) while The Walking Dead comic is already finished. So, as Martin keeps writing books for series, he does so with the thought in mind that if he has a character killed, he’s making an actor unemployed in a future season of the Game of Thrones TV series. For Robert Kirkman, he had finished writing the comics by the time that the show was made, so he didn’t share this experience with Martin. Yet still, these two men are like Gods of their TV shows. This idea kind of blows my mind. They more or less know the past, present and future of the show and are all knowing. And with a wave of their hands, they can end a life. I guess that’s just the beauty of fiction.  

-- Rudolph

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