Plausible Implausibilities

Plausible Implausibilites

Deviating a little from my usual gaming focus to discuss media… Warning! Spoilers for Game Of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6!

In an interview w/Variety, the producers of AGOT note that there’s a “…thing called plausible impossibilities,”

No, a “plausible implausibility” would be a dragon flight that should take 6 days taking 5… not one that should take 6 days taking a few hours.

Or maybe any ONE of several implausibilities: Gendry, who had never been north of King’s Landing, finding his way to the wall without being lost, frozen, and killed, OR, a raven somehow breaking all speed records to get the message to Daenerys, OR, Daenerys finding the characters in the vast wasteland beyond the wall despite having no knowledge of the terrain or experience with aerial reconnaissance.

All of them together, no, sorry. That it was amazing spectacle and fun to watch and set up a great cliffhanger doesn’t excuse that the writers basically decided on a series of great scenes and didn’t give a damn towards justifying them.

No, I’m not ragequitting the show or anything else. The problems of time and distance have been endemic since the series began; they just keep getting worse as the necessities of TV, vs. books, requires them to keep the cast small. (In the books, GRRM can create new characters at a whim to perform a needed role in the story; the series prefers to recycle characters, so it’s Bronn, not.. uh… some other guy.. who teaches Jamie to fight with his off hand, it’s Sansa, not some random walk-on, who is sold to Bolton, etc. And this season has just ramped it up, from Euron’s perfectly-timed fleet ambush to Jon basically teleporting from Dragonstone to the Wall and vice-versa.

“But there’s DRAGONS! So anything is possible!”

The argument that any supernatural/unrealistic/etc elements in a story means everything is on the table is not only an excuse for poor writing, it’s contemptuous of F/SF… it plays into the cliche that anything that’s not (haughty sniff) LITERATURE is just a bunch of gibberish where all the rules of both physics and characterization can be ignored.

“There’s dragons, so armies don’t need food.”
“Why? Do the dragons catch food for them? Or something?”
“No, it’s just… there’s DRAGONS! Given that, why would you assume people still need to EAT?”

Building on established precedent, extending from what’s been demonstrated, is good writing. Pulling an endless series of miracles out of your ass is not.

Good: Having established the White Walkers can animate humans, we accept they can animate bears. Having been shown they can animate bears, we accept they can animate dragons.

Bad: Having established the White Walkers can animate humans, we don’t accept this means they can evidently summon hundreds of feet of giant chains.

This entry was posted in Rants and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *