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What Will Become of Game of Thrones (TV Series) in the Long Run?

Posted: 06/26/2012 12:14 am

This question originally appeared on Quora.

2012-06-26-cpeters.jpg
By Chris Peters, writer

I think this show has legs. I can easily see a successful ten year run, unless catastrophe hits.

  • Game of Thrones (GoT) is one of HBO's most watched shows. For scripted shows, GoT is second behind True Blood, and ahead of Boardwalk Empire. While many popular HBO shows average less than half a million viewers, Game of Thrones manages a respectable 3.6 million per episode.
  • GoT is shown in over seventy countries.
  • George R. R. Martin has four to six years to finish the next book before the TV show catches up. The man is only sixty three, he's got plenty of life left in him.
  • GoT has a definitive story arc. This isn't endless drama like The Sopranos or True Blood. The GoT story is building to something. It has a definitive end. We haven't met all the major forces yet, the true enemies have yet to be revealed. Plus the upcoming characters are just too cool.
  • When finished, HBO will have something completely unique. One can easily see a ten year run of this show. Book three is being split into two seasons, and the books after it are even larger. This would put GoT on the same level as The Lord of the Rings. Fantasy fans would definitely snap up the complete series. HBO would have a license to print money.
  • Season two was just plain weak. The new characters aren't interesting, or are hidden in the background. The established characters seem to spin their wheels, or just drift into position for the "next big thing." Not a lot of payoff in season two.
  • If they are like the book, seasons three and four will NOT be weak. A Storm of Swords is simply the best book of the series (so far). The events are grand, the risks great, the heartbreak unbearable. I will always think of book three when I think of this series. The producers made a very smart decision to split it into two seasons.
  • This series is not afraid of killing characters.  Don't worry, you won't need a study guide to follow along.
  • The TV Show has sold a lot of books, and these readers are very passionate. This is the kind of synergy producers dream of. Reading four fifteen hundred page books makes you an invested fan. Have you heard that GoT is the most pirated TV show in history?

Addressing one major weakness would, I think, fix a lot of the complaints I've seen: Spend more time with each character, let the stories breath. Quit jumping between twenty characters every episode. Mad Men has proven that a show can be successful if characters are ignored for two to three episodes, and such an approach would be greatly appreciated in this show.

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