Home / Entertainment / What to learn about screenwriting from Game of Thrones (Contains Spoilers)

What to learn about screenwriting from Game of Thrones (Contains Spoilers)

We all share a similar dream, even if we all have different media to pursue it. We all want the story we tell to become one of the most influential stories in the world, affecting every part of the world and causing millions of people to want more of our world. We want the world we write to become a successful TV show, a movie, a book, a game and even be used by AU online casinos for real money games. But to write a book or a story like that, you need to learn a few things from the stories that have already been written. One of the best ways of going about this is to look at one of the best shows that have ever been on television and learn from the best things it did and the biggest mistakes it made. We are going to make a review of our own and see what a few reviewers from around the world can add and say about the show itself. Hopefully, through this process we can understand what a writer should never do, when they are writing a TV show themselves, and maybe something that they should have done to make us feel a little more satisfied, because we all know that we are not that satisfied, at all, with what they have been giving us.

Australia, US and UK all find it disappointing

The biggest viewership for Game of Thrones comes from the English speaking world. The Australian, US and UK audiences all love the show with a passion. So it is not surprising that the loudest critics of the show have come from these parts of the world. Many Australians, who have only gotten to see the latest episode a little later than the rest of us, have only started talking about the issues they have with the episode, catching up to all of the problems we have been underlining online in discussions and so on. Together, we all have started pointing out some of the biggest issues that have been plaguing the writing of the past couple of seasons and are just becoming a full-on the problem right now. While the bigger magazines might be having a hard time being entirely honest with us in what they think about the show, others from all around the world are saying it as it is – the show is not up to part anymore, and it is all because of the writing. So what went wrong?

Character Arcs forgotten

One of the biggest issues that have been plaguing this season, and the past few seasons in general, has been the strange way character development has been treated. The Australian reviewers treat us to a good talk about the fact, and it is true what they say: some character arcs have been entirely abandoned, while others have been skewed in ways that they should never have been. Just looking at Tyrion – one of the most important characters in the entire series, who has since season 4 seemingly encountered a wall in character development. One of the most intelligent men in all of Westeros who, after proving himself to be a natural strategist and politician, has not managed to make one intelligent decision since seemingly season 5.

Every writer knows that, if you create a character and give them a certain set of traits, it is important to be consistent in these traits, otherwise you lose the character. After all, a character is not just simply a name, they are a set of actions and characteristics. If you lose all of that and replace those with something else, without ever justifying the replacement, you are simply losing a character, all of their development and the reason the reader (and the writer) liked or disliked the character in the first place.

Rushed events

It is important to note that the final two seasons have been shorter than the average season of Game of Thrones, and this has had an effect on how the episodes were written and how the events took place in them. With a show as rich with storylines and secrets as Game of Thrones, it takes a lot of time to wrap them up in a satisfying way. And the rush to do so has resulted in events within the series occurring in a way that is far more fast-paced than what the viewers are used with the show. The result? Instances that feel like teleportation across the land, ships sailing faster than sound and events taking place when they feel like they should not be taking place.

Rushed writing is a big issue for many pieces of art around the world. Pacing is an important part of any story, and setting the pacing happens in the very beginning of the story. It helps the reader identify how much time happens between different events in an intuitive way and makes the passage of time within a story feel natural. As a result, when you change the pacing in the middle of the story, what you get is a sense that a lot of the story gets jumbled. The show, over the past seasons, has changed the pacing of the story, and this has become most apparent in how fast Sansa told Jon’s secret to Tyrion and how fast the armies traveled from the North to the South. It feels like the story is progressing a lot faster than it used to and the beats of the story are too close together, making the story feel like it is happening too fast and that almost no time is passing in between each event. It becomes as if the time is no longer the driving power within the story and that it speeds up in order for the plot to progress. Consistency with pacing makes for better writing.

Exaggerated actions

This is a bit of a pet peeve rather than a critique of the writing. While it was expected that some things would’ve happened (such as Dany burning a big chunk of the city), it was a little unexpected the way she reacted. She did not have to burn the peasants and the fact that she did feel like an overreaction. It feels unearned by either side and more like a way for the writers to cause the rest of the characters to hate Dany. And that extreme action not because of the character warrants it but because the story needs it results in the sense of disappointment. It makes the people feel like the character betrayed everything they stand for. It makes them stop feeling for the character, instead of making them realize that the story is no longer character is driven and character-centric, but written so that the plot progresses and the story can end. And while all stories need to end, a character-driven story such as Game of Thrones needs to continue being so, otherwise, it risks losing all of their readers.

In the end, the biggest sin that Game of Thrones commits is the failure to be consistent. It changed from a story from where characters define the plot to where the plot defines the character and the result is the loss of sense of consistency and that initial feeling of greatness that came with the amazing writing. So, the one lesson all writers can learn from the story of the Game of Thrones is that they should remain consistent in how they write and how they tell it, otherwise, they risk to lose the thread of the story and the reader together.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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