I have yet to read George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the story adapted into the HBO series Game of Thrones. Who has time for multi-book sagas anymore? I certainly don’t. I have a stack of books waiting as it is. One day I’ll read them because I am a Game of Thrones fan. I admit it.
The complex story on screen pulls me in again and again despite the fact I must look away when my screen fills with death and loss. After last season’s bloody finale, I said I was done. Then I wondered about the characters and had to see what was happening in their lives. The same thing happened after the first season, and the second. Intrigued I’d watch, feel revulsion and vow no more, then I’d wonder about those characters and come back in. Like a moth coming to the flame to get its wings singed again and again, that’s me. Despite the darkness, I’m drawn to the light that exists in the tale because I’m a sucker for a hero quest.
In the Game of Thrones story, the bastard nobleman Jon Snow is the reluctant hero and his character illustrates the traditional hero in a hero’s quest more than any other. The hero always steps up to the plate for the greater good. Even when death and personal tragedy waits there. Now that I have a pretty good idea who he is, I’ll continue to singe my wings to watch his life and destiny unfold.
Heroes and anti-heroes.
My son is an author and we talk writing all the time. He laughs at me when I say I can’t kill off my beloved characters and cautions me against writing the “Mary Sue”. This Mary Sue character is written to be a sacrificial lamb, his/her sole purpose is to die so beloved characters don’t have to. A classic example can be found in Star Trek. They’re usually wearing red shirts. lol If the “away mission” has people wearing red shirts, expect them to be eaten by an alien or blown into space. To some, the Mary Sue is the perfect flawless character– a sort of wish fulfillment by the author. Yeah I can see that too. We writers can’t help but insert our ideals into our characters. I do. People who know me can see me in my novels if they look hard enough.
My son is all for upping the stakes in a story and using sacrifice to make a point. It took him five years to convince me to watch Breaking Bad. Though reluctant, I gave the saga a go then lost interest after two seasons. A meth-cooking, drug-riddled world of destroyed lives doesn’t entertain me for long. But my son convinced me it was worth my time to check it out because of the “writing genius” involved. I admit it was good storytelling regardless of a repugnant storyline. He just wanted me to “see the anti-hero in action”. I knew what a hero was, all of my novels have them. But an anti-hero? Anti-heroes are big right now apparently, but with no clear image to go by I sought the dictionary.
The World English Dictionary defines the anti-hero as a central character in a novel, play, etc, who lacks the traditional heroic virtues.
I recognized what an anti-hero was after reading the definition. They’re the one you find yourself rooting for regardless of their dubious qualities. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Long John Silver is one of these anti-heroes. So are Scarlett O’Hara, Severus Snape, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Game of Thrones’ Tyrion Lanister. They’re sort of nebulous-personality persons. You can’t quite decide if they’re good or bad, but somehow they strike a chord and you mysteriously end up cheering for them.
Last night’s Game of Thrones was as expected — colored red with pain and loss. And once again I couldn’t look away.
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 92 entries to come.
Here’s a cliché for today:
A necessary evil.
Today our guest is Author Kat Martin.
The June contest is on Romance Books ‘4’ Us and the theme is wedding. This month’s contest will have 2 winners who’ll each receive a $50 gift card for Amazon/B&N and a $10 gift card toward books from Secret Cravings Publishing. The rest of the prizes will be split between winners (randomly chosen by RB4U). http://www.romancebooks4us.com
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