Pin It
Favorite

TV | GAME OF THRONES 

click to enlarge Winter is always coming.
  • Winter is always coming.

The world of Game of Thrones (HBO, Sundays, 9 pm) has ice zombies and fire dragons, wizards and alchemists. It has old gods and new gods, a god of death and a god of fire. But there's one supernatural force it certainly doesn't have: A god who rewards good and punishes evil.

Here, justice isn't. Kindness, goodness, compassion, trust, honor — those are just synonyms for naiveté. Karma doesn't exist. Life's a bitch, and then rats gnaw through your chest.

Now in its fourth season adapting George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, this unsentimental brutality in many ways is the series' defining attribute. Last season was punctuated by yet another ugly massacre, showing once again how Game of Thrones refused to abide by television's rules of fair play.

Winter is perpetually coming.

But in its fourth season, that pervasive injustice has begun to feel less fresh and bold and more cynical. Watching torture is, well, torture. And Game of Thrones seems intent on making viewers suffer through every lopped-limb cry. No, the not-quite-authentically-medieval nudity doesn't compensate for it.

That doesn't do anything to detract from the job Game of Thrones has done in adapting a nearly unadaptable series on a TV budget. That's especially true the further you get from the dreary ice wastes up north, and the closer you get to King's Landing, the headquarters of government, backstabbing, and the show's best acting. There, Peter Dinklage imbues the wry dwarf Tyrion Lannister with beleaguered nobility; Charles Dance brings imperial chill as Tyrion's father; Diana Rigg issues particularly poisonous old-lady barbs as Olenna Tyrell, the "Queen of Thorns." Each character excels alone, but thrives when allowed to banter with, batter and burn each other.

Yet gritty narratives, even ones with compelling characters, need to be leavened with hope, a reason for trudging through all that suffering and nihilism. Perhaps that's the optimism of fools, a delusion worthy of a headless Stark. Even if winter is coming, Game of Thrones could use the occasional burst of sunshine to thaw the snow. ♦

  • Pin It

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • The Newcomers
  • The Newcomers

    Gonzaga has hit gold in the transfer market this season
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Earthly Delights
  • Earthly Delights

    A new local business brings indoor gardening and the terrarium trend to Spokane
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • BOOK | <i>HOP KING</i>
  • BOOK | HOP KING

    One tasty bit of Washington history
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Real and Implied

Real and Implied @ Prichard Art Gallery

Tuesdays-Saturdays. Continues through Jan. 28

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Daniel Walters

  • Rich Man, Poor Men
  • Rich Man, Poor Men

    Can the wealthiest U.S. president ever help the poorest U.S. citizens?
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • CMR and MLK
  • CMR and MLK

    Congresswoman among community leaders responding to post-election racial slurs; plus, remembering Judge Sam Cozza
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • The Other Washington
  • The Other Washington

    Our local state representatives and senators gear up for another year of fights over education, taxes and crime
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Most Commented On

Readers also liked…

  • Multimedia Composer
  • Multimedia Composer

    "Force of Attraction" reflects Larry Ellingson's fascination with light, sound and making art with unusual stuff
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • A Night's Work
  • A Night's Work

    How downtown Spokane transforms into Hoopfest in a matter of hours
    • Jun 24, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation