Maybe it’s the rape, or the violence, or how it’s really boring. Everyone seems to have an opinion about why Game of Thrones, once a mesmerizing fantasy land that darkly mirrored modern day dilemmas, has become near unwatchable. (Which is not to say people have by any means ceased to watch it.) But there is one reason that rises above them all, and it is very simple.

Hardly any of the characters on Game of Thrones interact with each other anymore, due to the fact that A) many of them are dead and B) the ones that aren’t dead are too far away from one another to have relationships. Remember in Season 1, when all the Starks were alive and talking to one another, King’s Landing hadn’t been torn apart and people weren’t spread across Westeros like bits of a goat discarded by one of Dany’s dragons? That was a long time ago, and a different show altogether.

There is clearly a purpose to the Game of Thrones death knell: to demonstrate the brutality of clinging to life in a universe where no one is safe. But it comes at a narrative price; you kill off too many people and move the remaining ones apart from one another and what do you have left? Just a bunch of people with no real connection to one another milling around doing things you have no emotional investment in watching.

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The end.


Image via HBO of two characters actually connecting.