Recently, Ian McElhinney voiced his disappointment about the fate of his character, Barristan Selmy in season five of Game of Thrones. One of the top comments I saw on social media stated “It’s Game of Thrones. They’ve got to kill someone.”
That might be a problem. After watching season five, you could imagine that same comment coming from the writer’s rooms. “Well, it’s Game of Thrones. We’ve got to kill someone.”
Let’s leave the differences from the books out of it for now. Focus on that perception of the show. If you’re constantly trying to raise the stakes and shock the viewers by eliminating characters, you’re entirely missing the point. What you want to do is put your characters is more dire consequences.
Okay, I lied, I’m going to talk about the books. This is exactly what happens to Barristan Selmy towards the end of the A Dance with Dragons. Daenerys is missing and as the Lord Commander of the Queensguard he left not only to uncover a conspiracy by her husband Hizdahr zo Loraq (Also killed off) but prepare for oncoming armies head for Meereen.
The show should be building tension and not desperately trying to shock. That is what felt off about season five of Game of Thrones. They’re are, in a sense, desensitising us all to the shock that shook us in all when Ned Stark and Khal Drogo died in season one. No one is going to care anymore if all you do is kill off characters.
Featured image: Ser Barristan – by Mike Capprotti ©