Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin is quite a Phenomenon of our Age. After recently finishing the reading of 5 volumes (and the watching of 3 seasons of the video version), some troublesome trends emerge:

There's also a reduction, though not a disappearance, of beautifully drawn scenery and evocative atmosphere. There's more repetitive prose, including excessive use of catch-phrases (e.g., "much and more", "little and less") and the past perfect tense ("... had done"). The world has only a tiny playlist of popular songs, an even smaller subset of which are repeatedly cited. And there's the prurient focus on women as perverse or evil temptresses, as objects for public exposure and exploitation, and on menstruation as a deeply disturbing phenomenon.

All negative drifts of the narrative flow, disquieting in multiple ways. They add up to a sad feeling of exploitation of the reader/viewer, a manipulation of the addicted fan base by steady ramp-up of violence and nastiness. Ugh.

^z - 2014-04-02