Tag Archives: Grimdark

Referring to a nihilistic sub-genre of pseudo-fantasy that seeks primarily to escape the inescapable influence of Tolkien. Grimdark protagonists are typically rapists and the like.

One rapist kills another rapist.

The Grimdark Genre and Why I Hate It

I’m supposed to be the one with cynical, even nihilistic tendencies.  Why is it that I’m the one having to stand up and defend humanity as not being irreparably broken?  I once wrote an article about the differences between Epic Fantasy and its largely American counterpart Sword & Sorcery.  This article will be somewhat similar, except that I didn’t really have much of an opinion on the quality of Sword & Sorcery.  Grimdark, on the other hand…  I can’t bloody stand it.
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King Joffrey is the only well-written character in Game of Thrones.

King Joffrey: The Only Well-Written Character in Game of Thrones

Thus far, I’ve written a number of articles on George R. R. Martin’s horrendously boring A Song of Ice and Fire series.  Among these were two in which I analyzed some of the many poorly-written shells that pass for characters in Martin’s world.  In this article, however, I will discuss the villain of the first few volumes, King Joffrey.  Joffrey is the only well-written character in A Song of Ice and Fire, mostly because he’s the only character who’s internally consistent.
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Bronn the mercenary sings The Rains of Castamere.

The Music of Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones, the show that captivates fourteen-year-olds everywhere, is bad.  It’s not well-written; it’s not well-shot; it’s not well-lit; half the time it’s not even well-acted; and even the music to the opening credits is little more than a rip-off of better music.  When I first heard that opening theme, I liked it, and indeed it was what made me watch the show in the first place.  I’d watch the opening credits then suffer through the blandness that followed, but I was always struck by how similar it was to the theme from another show…
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Stannis Baratheon arrives at The Wall on his horse.

Stannis Baratheon: Another One-Note Asshole

Stannis Baratheon, a character in Game of ThronesIn my last article concerning A Song of Ice and Fire, I discussed a character called Jon Snow.  He was, as are all George R. R. Martin’s characters, incredibly bland and unpleasant.  Although they’re all basically the same character, there are more of the same character to tear apart in these articles, so let’s get started with Stannis Baratheon.
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Jon Snow, a character in Game of Thrones

Jon Snow: The Boring Bastard

“What’s wrong with the characters in A Song of Ice and Fire,” you ask?  Well, let’s just take a look.  As for what’s wrong, where do I begin?  Why don’t I start with the fact that they’re all basically the same character?  You can’t really expect any better when an author divides his attention among a thousand of them, which is why you need to limit the number of pivotal characters in a story.  Every character in the story has, at most, a few personality traits to differentiate it from the cookie-cutter template that Martin applies to the lot of them.

I plan on suffering through several more of these character analyses, but I’ll start with the ever-tedious Jon Snow.  No, I’m not talking about Dr. John Snow, the Victorian physician who discovered that drinking polluted water was a bad thing—oh, I only wish!  Jon Snow is, amazingly, one of the least irritating of Martin’s characters.  I shudder to think of analyzing any of the others, but that’s Future Hamish’s problem!
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A Game of Thrones Review: “A Little Adrift”

I had intended to touch upon this in my actual review of Chapter 16, but it slipped my mind when I actually sat down to write the review.  In case anyone needs further evidence in support of my claim that the direwolf’s slaughter had almost no effect on the characters, I found a quote by the author about just that while making sure I hadn’t misremembered anything.
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A Game of Thrones Review: One Dead Direwolf and a Whole Cast of Unlikable Characters

After looking at the first chapter of George R. R. Martin’s abhorrent A Song of Ice and Fire series, it almost goes without saying that we should, without warning, jump fifteen chapters ahead to one of the very worst this series has to offer, doesn’t it? Therefore I will jump straight to reviewing the chapter that should have made me quit reading this awful series.
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A Game of Thrones Review: Chapter 1

In my last post concerning A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, I reviewed the prologue. In today’s post, I shall review the first chapter. Surprisingly, there’s actually one line of dialogue I like in this chapter. Unsurprisingly, however, there is only one line I like.
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A Game of Thrones Review: The Prologue

In my first article on the subject of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, I mentioned that after subjecting my eyes to the ugliest map ever rendered, the first volume began with a prologue.  One of the first things you learn about writing a book is that your first paragraph has to entice the reader.  The prologue is a book’s first impression; it’s essentially the story putting its best foot forward.  After hearing fans expound upon his “gripping prose” and “realistic characters,” I hadn’t expected the writing to be so blatantly inept.  In this post, I will go into some detail on what makes the story’s first impression so unbelievably dull.
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The ugliest map I've ever seen.

Review of A Song of Ice and Fire

A great deal of what I’ve written thus far has been in preparation for this review.  Unfortunately for me, its subject cannot be properly critiqued in a single article.  For quite a while I was at a loss for how to start this review, and no part of this has been easy.
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