Heather Havrilesky writes:
Reviewing HBO’s “Game of Thrones”:
It’s strange, then, that fantasy writers would so often take the oddest quirks of the imagination and the loftiest flights of fancy and boil them down to the same pools of blood in the dust. Why invent nomadic tribes, noble kings and mythical creatures from whole cloth, only to doom them to repeat the worst mistakes of human history or reflect the saddest aspects of human nature? Surely, someone, somewhere can imagine an alternative to this endlessly repeated unhappy ending.
Ultimately, this is the worry with “Game of Thrones” — that, like so much in its genre, it will turn out to be all thrones and few games. Sure, the life-and-death, gods-and-girded-warriors gravitas of fantasy explains much of its appeal, but maybe we should try throwing in a gaggle of philosophers, artists, scientists and idealists, who might collaborate to lift us out of the mire of our shared dread, to prevent us from reproducing our own suffering in the generations to come. That way, maybe, instead of blindly fornicating and fighting ourselves to death in a repetitive loop, we might imagine a whole new ending. Isn’t that what fantasy is for?