Thursday, May 23, 2019

About That Ending

Like so many of our friends, Jim watched Game of Thrones avidly. And, like so many of our friends, I did not. Apparently when the show ended last Sunday, viewers everywhere began to blow up, as in their heads were exploding. Although I didn't watch, Jim was good about sharing story lines and characters with me, so I always had at least an idea of what was going on. And since this show engendered such devotion, I guess it's not surprising that the opinions about how it should end would be legion. And very strong. I know there's a petition going around to have HBO re-do the entire season. I can understand disappointed fandom. But I also look at this from a writer's point of view.

There are times that a story can't end the way we (even the writers) want, no matter how hard we try. Speaking from experience, since I'm the sort of writer who has to have an ending in mind when I write a story, I do know the bitterness of having that ending in view, like dawn at the end of a very long night, and then realizing that my intended ending will not work, not after the turns the story has taken. It doesn't matter how hard I try to make it fit; even if I were to go back and rewrite some of the earlier parts of the story, the original ending is not going to work.

Game of Thrones had an amazing set-up so I suppose the ending must have seemed, what? Anti-climatic? Skewed the wrong way? As in, what the what? How did that person end up on the throne? Why didn't that person kill this person? Are you serious -that's how that character's story ends? The Internet outcry about this has been loud and sonorous. But I also know that the people doing the show were working beyond the source material, since George R. R. Martin is approximately two books (I think that's what I read) behind the TV series. He may have tipped the writers off to major plot points, but bottom line, those writers were working on their own. Not an easy thing to do when the canon is incomplete and fiercely loved all over the world. (No pressure, there...)

Also, I was thinking that the idea of HBO redoing an entire season is impractical, to say the least. For starters, think of the  budget. Just for the costumes and the special effects, they must have been spending gazillions of dollars already. Add into that the salaries of the entire crew, the production staff, the post-production staff, and the stellar cast, and the reality of the expenses needed for such an undertaking should already be overwhelming.

And then there's the staff and the cast. This was shot a year or so ago wasn't it? Haven't all these people already moved on to other roles? What are the odds of getting every single one of them back again  to do another season? I think I remember Kit Harrington saying that he was very much done with playing Jon Snow. I can't blame any of them. They've been doing this for about ten years now, haven't they? At least two of the actors have come out and said that the idea of a re-do is crazy. They're sorry that fans didn't like how it ended, but it ended.

(Avengers: Endgame also concluded a long story arc this year, and fans have been flocking to it in droves, repeatedly. I can't say I'm happy about how everyone wound up in the final scenes, but it was an ending and it was what the writers had in mind, so I accept that and move on. As they say, "end of story.")

I can't help wondering if some of the dissatisfaction at the GOT ending could be helped if everyone wrote their own conclusions according to their own private specifications. But since Mr. Martin doesn't allow fan-fic of his world, then any fan-written ending would have to stay VERY private. As in, don't share this with ANYONE.

Maybe if I had been as zealously involved with the show as all of the disappointed viewers, I would feel the same way. Maybe. But as a writer, I know what it's like to try to make my ending work, even though deep inside I know it doesn't. In the end, the story has to dictate how it ends.

I know lots of people, including many of my friends, won't agree with me, and that's okay. Any story that can generate the kind of passion and the kind of outcry we're seeing for Game of Thrones? Well, the TV storytellers may not have nailed the ending to everyone's satisfaction, but I'd say they must have been doing something right.

And hey, this is just my take on it. Feel free to disagree but please don't come after me with dragons...

No comments:

Post a Comment