Is this actually good world-building?

edited April 19 in Game of Thrones
So for some reason I started re-watching the show for the first time after the season 8 premiere, so here I am straddling my excitement for the conclusion and this newfound skepticism about the quality of the series in general.  I still love the show for all the really powerful scenes and memorable plot developments, and even though a lot of them don't really amount to much in the long run it's ok because this meandering, amorphous structure is what makes the story so compelling.

That said, I have huge underlying issues with the world-building that I'm not sure are legitimate criticisms or just gripes, so I wanted to put it out here in a really awkward way.  Also, if these questions actually have answers and I'm just ignorant, let me know!

1) Does it bother anyone else that no explanation was given, to my knowledge, of why the ice zombies and white walkers and whatever woke up now?  Why there's renewed magic and dragons all over the world?  Personally, I keep coming back to what the inciting event was, like that should be an important thing.

2) In terms of world-building, I just think it's kind of dumb to have this apocalyptic mechanism that will only evidently affect one of the major continents.  Like, I keep thinking about everyone chilling in Quarth or on the Dothraki plains in season 8, and the Zombie King could march all the way to King's Landing or Dorne and it wouldn't even affect more than half this planet, if you include the continents we only hear mentioned.

I got a lot of other things that really irritate me, but I guess those are two big ones.  I suppose my question is: does ASOIAF generally represent good or bugged world-building?

Comments

  • 1) Would it help if someone said "Magic is a flat circle, Marty, it goes around and comes back again?"

    2)  The Westerosi don't strike me as the world's most internationally interested people.  There may well be an apocalyptic history in other parts of Planetos, not sure they would necessarily know the traditions.  Just think of Tywin (and early Cersei, i think) yawning about the fact Daenerys had dragons....
  • 1) Would it help if someone said "Magic is a flat circle, Marty, it goes around and comes back again?"

    2)  The Westerosi don't strike me as the world's most internationally interested people.  There may well be an apocalyptic history in other parts of Planetos, not sure they would necessarily know the traditions.  Just think of Tywin (and early Cersei, i think) yawning about the fact Daenerys had dragons....
    It sounds like you're suggesting one of the spin-off series will be about a plucky gang of Dothraki and Quarthians battling some demonic Tremors-style creatures?  I'm down for that.
    Doctor_NickSanguinePenguin
  • Whenever I have these thoughts, I think I probably forgot something. Then I forget to look it up too. So I stay forever in the dark. 

    I will say this- the very first scene of the first episode is about the men of the Nights Watch discovering them so it makes it enough of an existential part of the story that I don't wonder "why did they come alive at the same time Jon Snow was growing up into the man who would unknowingly fuck his aunt" because it kind of makes whatever human politics that are going on seem like peanuts.

    It is curious to think about how an existential crisis on one continent doesn't affect the other at all. I guess they don't like water, but... 
    ken hale
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    ken hale said:
    So for some reason I started re-watching the show for the first time after the season 8 premiere, so here I am straddling my excitement for the conclusion and this newfound skepticism about the quality of the series in general.  I still love the show for all the really powerful scenes and memorable plot developments, and even though a lot of them don't really amount to much in the long run it's ok because this meandering, amorphous structure is what makes the story so compelling.

    That said, I have huge underlying issues with the world-building that I'm not sure are legitimate criticisms or just gripes, so I wanted to put it out here in a really awkward way.  Also, if these questions actually have answers and I'm just ignorant, let me know!

    1) Does it bother anyone else that no explanation was given, to my knowledge, of why the ice zombies and white walkers and whatever woke up now?  Why there's renewed magic and dragons all over the world?  Personally, I keep coming back to what the inciting event was, like that should be an important thing.

    2) In terms of world-building, I just think it's kind of dumb to have this apocalyptic mechanism that will only evidently affect one of the major continents.  Like, I keep thinking about everyone chilling in Quarth or on the Dothraki plains in season 8, and the Zombie King could march all the way to King's Landing or Dorne and it wouldn't even affect more than half this planet, if you include the continents we only hear mentioned.

    I got a lot of other things that really irritate me, but I guess those are two big ones.  I suppose my question is: does ASOIAF generally represent good or bugged world-building?
    1. I think this is one of the central mysteries of the story. We don’t know why. I agree if we don’t get an explanation by end of story it’s pretty weird. But there’s a lot to complain about. I mean, the first season the rangers go out like maybe 10-15 miles from the wall and encounter white walkers. Why has it taken them so Long to make their way south? 

    2. Per number 1. We have no idea what their capable of or what their plan is. There’s nothing to say Esso is safe. 
    ken hale
  • I don't think Essos is safe! The Night King can fly there on zombie Viserion. Also, the scene with the wights using chains to pull Viserion out of the lake means they might also be able to use boats to get to Essos.

    But I think there's something specific that the White Walkers want from Westeros (a Night's Queen).
    SanguinePenguinken hale
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