Like Jeff Pearlman, Ben Mehic doesn’t give two shits about Game of Thrones. He wrote this review of the show from a perspective of someone who’s never watched it.You can follow Ben on Twitter here and read his amazing profile of Chris Douglas-Roberts here.
SPOILER ALERT: If you’re not among the 17 million people who saw episode 3, season 8 of “Game of Thrones,” you probably shouldn’t read this.
Where did Arya come from?
I have not a clue – which was true for the entire duration of episode three, and not just that particular part of the episode which has since become a sensational meme.
My girlfriend, Amanda, sat on the edge of her seat – clutching the blanket, covering her mouth, and occasionally whispering a name that’s missing a letter in it, which I discovered is a common theme throughout “Game of Thrones” (“Bran” – you’re “Brian” without an “I” and “Gregor” – you, too, are missing a “y”).
I’m the last Mohican, if such a thing exists. I’m not even sure if I used that reference correctly – because I haven’t watched the movie, much like I’ve never watched “Titanic,” “The Sopranos,” or really, any of your favorite films or TV shows.
Prior to last Sunday, I never watched an episode of “Game of Thrones” from start to finish. And yes, I still carry a six-pound Android in my pocket.
But after seeing the massive anticipation online, listening to Amanda’s theories about what’s to come, and experiencing a bit of F.O.M.O, I caved.
With Nova, our dog, curled up in my lap and a dark chocolate Reese’s bar in my hand, I was ready to join the millions in watching their favorite characters – none of whom I have any sort of emotional attachment to, which makes this experience that much more strange – get slaughtered in what was supposed to be an hour and 20 minutes of endless violence.
Except, I couldn’t see any of it.
Amanda, who’d been completely silent, asked me if something was wrong with our TV. It was that dark.
If you looked closely enough, you could kind of see what resembled a stampede of stabbings – and judging from Amanda’s non-reaction, not a single important character had met their demise.
Eventually, the semi-important deaths came.
The friend-zoned fella they call “Jorah” – who should totally be “Jonah” – died without ever even getting Daenerys’ number. The poor guy gave up his life without hesitation and she couldn’t even give him a courtesy brunch date.
“Oh, Joooorah,” Amanda whispered after he collapsed. That sort of reaction is kind of all his character was worth, I suppose.
I don’t remember exactly what happened after his death, but I know that the character’s departure from the show was sandwiched in-between an intense collision of the nerdiest worlds.
There were zombies, dragons (including a bearded guy on a dragon), evil dragons attacking the tamed dragons (even though you can’t really tame a dragon – it’s only a matter of time before Jon Snow suffers the same fate as Roy from “Siegfried and Roy”), and a really scary frozen guy who kind-of, sort-of resembles the wicked characters from “Starwars” (another movie I’ve never watched but will happily criticize).
I’m 23-years old and I remember when kids who were into “Dungeons and Dragons” got made fun of. Apparently, they were way ahead of their time. Had “Game of Thrones” been released, say, even in the early 2000s, I’m not sure it would be as popular as it is today.
That, more than anything, made me appreciate how gigantic the show has become. It’s transcended “nerdy” – it’s become a weekly Superbowl for the nerds, a reason to get together with family (and awkwardly watch the incestual scenes together).
“Game of Thrones” is “Harry Potter,” “Walking Dead,” and every piece of erotica literature sitting inside your mother’s bookshelf rolled into one. And for transparency purposes – I, again, have yet to experience any of those three …
From an entertainment standpoint, “Game of Thrones” is everything one can ask for. It has something for everyone – the classic, handsome hero who yells at dragons instead of actually doing something substantive to change the course of the episode, the kick-ass female lead and the lovable pup (but seriously – someone check on Ghost).
That, though, isn’t always a good thing. It’s a double-edged sword …
Lauded for its complexity, the writers turned to low-hanging fruit to cap off what could’ve been an emotionally devastating piece of art.
The good guys don’t always have to win – and if there’s one thing “Game of Thrones” is known for, it’s ending a life or two (or a couple thousand). The “important” deaths may soon come, but after such a chaotic episode, the main characters remained intact – ready to continue battling and miraculously escaping death.
We’ve seen the David and Goliath story repeated countless times since, well, David and Goliath. Maybe the writers are too ahead of the books and were running out of steam – but you mean to tell me that there really wasn’t another way to end the evil, seemingly-untouchable Night King besides the classic one-hit, Mike Tyson-esque knockout?
Ironically, by ending the Night King with one poke to the thigh – although Arya does deserve credit for successfully completing Michael Jordan’s hand-switch move – the writers of “Game of Thrones” pulled what could’ve been one of the most shocking punches in television history.
And really – where did Arya come from?