by AJ Adejare
Note: Spoilers are light in context, but exists.
Wow, people seem really upset by this week’s Game of Thrones. Once again a lot of violence occurred in the show. Once again another shock ending occurred at another crucial junction of the series. Once again, a lot of people are upset about the events of the characters. Here’s where the story takes a turn: people are more upset at the show runners.
For animation and graphic novel fans, the issue with story adaptation is normal. Calling out non-cannon works and seeing the issue in the works happens on a daily basis. Look at Dragon Ball Z and the people having issues with Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemists. Let’s not get started on Marvel, DC, and the issue of retconning. I mean look at my call out of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, see it’s normal, once again at least to animation fans. So when I start seeing those same issues leak into live action stuff, I start to get curious.
Unlike with normal backlash where people get upset about characters, people are upset at the show runners handling of the characters. Consistently, people from social media to news outlets say the plot mechanics for the episode do not make sense complaining about character motivations, their development and how it feels as a retread of the past. Moreover, not only does it not make any sense but it’s just plain distasteful. The fact that, to them, the show runners would have the audacity to just throw in another rape scene just to add in shock wrecks the concept of the books and the series. , The Mary Sue will stop covering it, Deadspin, and AV Club pretty much said the storyline isn’t holding up. We also receive thinkpieces from places like Polygon and Entertainment Weekly with the original headline of questioning if Game of Thrones has gone too far.
When people scrutinize the show runners are starting to this extent and become fed up with their direction, they ditch. From more of a fandom check in, it’s already happening. From my social media people are already calling it the worst season and Inquisitr’s check in themselves only validates it. But, when people ditch it’s not a complete abandonment the way people normally see it. It instead an apathetic check out. Their feelings for the series become null, they feel nothing, will stop caring and more importantly will just stop talking about it or go with a casual “meh it happened“. That, in a nutshell is the apathy void: a place where people stop caring and will drift on to other content.
That is what should startle HBO. If anything HBO thrives on this point. Entourage, Sex in the City, The Sopranos, The Wire, all of these are series that people, even if they don’t care about them, know because people deliberately care about them. Fans, critics will go to the court to defend their choices at the moment because they felt that the content at that time held up. That is LITERALLY how HBO gets its money. If the showrunners and HBO are not careful, they could lose this clout. Hell has no scorn like apathy, and if that should trend, it could start the beginning of a slow nightmare.