Game of Thrones is undoubtedly one of the most popular television shows of the current moment, and has millions of dedicated followers. It is not uncommon to hear the most recent episode discussed wherever one goes, as the majority of people seem to watch it. The question, however, is just how long the hit HBO series unstoppable legacy can last.
The show is currently in its fifth season, which kicked off on April 12 of this year. It had been highly anticipated since the wrapping up of season four in June of 2014. Anxious fans who had waited almost a year for the new season were treated to a pleasant surprise a few days before the official premiere, in the form of screener copies of the first four episodes. This leak happened on April 11, and resulted in 32 million downloads in the first week of the files having been uploaded to various torrent sites. This did not overly affect the season premiere, as many still wanted to see the episode in a better quality on their own televisions. Although the start of season five has proven to be no less successful than that of those previous, there are two main reasons why the Game of Thrones legacy may end up winding down.
Firstly, even though a sixth season has indeed been ordered for Game of Thrones, this does not mean that it will live up to the undoubtedly large amount of anticipation from the fans after having to wait several months following the end of the currently aired season. When a series is this far in, there tends to be something of a dip in interest. This can be for various reasons, whether it be an undesirable change in storyline or a new set of characters that the show’s audience does not take too very well. For this reason, many hit series seem to, as the expression goes “quit while they’re ahead”. It is the worst fear of any producer to have their creation get put on the “why did this show not end years ago” list, therefore they do their best to end things on a high note, before viewers get bored and start writing negative reviews on the internet for all to see.
The other reason why the legacy of Game of Thrones may not last much longer relates to the fact that the show’s plot is quickly catching up to that of the written series. As previously mentioned, the six season has been officially ordered (as of April 8, 2014) despite the fact that there is not yet another book for the script of the show to be adapted to. Although George R.R. Martin had hoped to have the next novel, The Winds of Winter, completed by the time the sixth season aired, this has not turned out to be the case. There is not yet any official word as to when the book will be completed, although the time frame is said to be anywhere from the rest of 2015-2018, therefore meaning that the plot time frames have little choice but to overlap.
This could create a potential problem for those Game of Thrones fans who became invested in the television series due to their dedication to the written version, who may not like the fact that the on-screen script will be going in its own direction due to the books not having been written yet. Questions could be raised as to what the book series will be like after the HBO version takes over, in terms of whether it will follow the TV plot or continue in the manner of which the previous book installments were written. Dedicated readers of the Game of Thrones book series may fall away from the television adaptation as a result, making the legacy fall short of that which it has achieved previously.
Although Game of Thrones is most certainly still in its prime, it is quite possible that the legacy of which producers have been able to boast since it’s premiere in 2011 may soon be coming to an end. There is, of course, a bright side to this outcome; even though fans would undeniably be upset at the loss of such a groundbreaking television series, it is certainly better that it come to an end while it is still on top rather than become one of the aforementioned old and tired TV series.
Opinion By Rebecca Grace
Photo by Maria Morri – Creativecommons Flickr License