Martin surely was writing a conventional fantasy novel about an ancient evil and an exiled princess but somehow got distracted by what probably was summed up in some original one page outline in about one sentence (“Westeros monarchy weakened by infighting and succession problems”). Having fallen in love with what was supposed to be a bit of window dressing, he has continually expanded its role within the series even though it threatens to completely drown out what the series was supposed to be about in the first place. Is it any wonder that he has suffered from the contemporary genre’s most famous case of writer’s block? I’m sure that long ago he planned what would happen to Daenerys and the Night’s Watch, but now he feels obligated to give equal time to characters like Brienne who are likable yet serve little purpose to the central narrative and are instead dragged through increasingly arbitrary make-work scenes to keep them available for some later bit of relevance.
Benioff: "But what this series will not ever become is the epic conflict of good and evil. And that’s one of the very first things we said to HBO when we came in. Every fantasy we’ve seen, in the movies at least, has been that, where it’s good versus evil. There’s never been a fantasy movie of the epic battle of good versus evil that ended with evil winning. I mean, I’d like to see that movie, but..."
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