Monday, June 16, 2014

The fantastical arrives in Game of Thrones

I watch a lot of reviews. Hey some folks like reading novels. I like reading reviews. So I've been watching reviews of Game of Thrones on the internet. And an interesting note has crept into the reviews: dislike of the fantastical intrusion. Especially in the finale for season 4.

Yep, apparently, they don't mind dragons here and there, or warging but full-on fantasy is annoying, boring, uninteresting, weird.

Ya see I find this opposition to the fantastical interesting on two counts. First, folks have gotten used to the rational and to the exploration of human power that the fantastical does seem odd. Second, George R R Martin is the writer who has created this stressing problem for these reviewers. Of course not all reviewers hate fantasy, and lovers of fantasy don't have to be religious. But it's interesting that an atheist should create a scenario which essentially echoes the supernatural Day of Wrath...a day when the seemingly rational universe opens up and the magical is revealed.

Let's face it: the folks in Westeros are like the readers of the Game of Throne books and like GRRM. They are pretty involved in unbelief. They don't believe in the supernatural. All the while the supernatural exists around them and is ready to show them what supernatural evil is like.  The world of Westeros is going on in its own human worldly way utterly unaware of encroaching evil or of spiritual matters underfoot. And as I said an atheist writer is presenting this scenario.

Reviewers love the machinations; they love power-struggles. They love the gamesmanship of human power. They love the rational of a known world. They don't like the idea of the unknown supernatural. The supernatural will probably be made rational and understandable in the final end of the series. But for now the supernatual exists. The supernatural cometh. The world we want to ignore is unveiling itself. And yes, GRRM is the one showing this strange situation.

This is what is interesting about Grace. Grace is everywhere, and truth is everywhere...even if the world, the rational, the atheistic don't want to acknowledge grace and truth. And this is why I often laugh when Christians talk about their need to affect culture. Seriously, Christian artwork rarely affects the world. Overtly Christian movies are seen mostly by Christians -- as are Christian book. So the cultural wars --wars that should disturb people by making folks uncomfortable with the whole notion of the supernatural-- are not being won by Christians. It is an atheist now who is making rational people squirm. Love that.  

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