Sometimes you hear someone make a statement and you have to wonder, “Is he/she aware of the massive irony that is laced in their words?” Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad are undisputedly the awards winners for “most tense and/or shocking moments” of the 2013 TV year – both shows cementing reputations for bringing heroic types to brutal, vicious ends, while also showering the evil or unjust in rewards and riches for their misdeeds.
Apparently the world ain’t big enough for there to be such insidious people in two separate shows, because Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin is making the claim that the exploits of Walter White/Heisenberg have left him feeling that the villains of his massive fictional world of Westeros aren’t quite villainous enough…
“Amazing series. Amazing episode last night. Talk about a gut punch… Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros. (I need to do something about that)…”
Martin is, of course, racing a pretty serious clock right now: There are two more volumes of his A Song of Ice and Fire novel series to churn out, and the gap between the last two books was six years(!). Meanwhile, the Game of Thrones TV show is going at a season-a-year pace – with the current maximum stretch being two season per book – and (as of season 4 in 2014) three out of the five published volumes having already been adapted by HBO. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that time is running out for Martin to deliver his final two books – point being: Does he really have time to worry about developing a whole new big bad to rival Walter White?
Game of Thrones already has too many people, places, and different things to remember, and Martin has already established a lot of story that still needs sorting out – does he really have the room/time to develop an entirely new villain? Granted, there are already openings for there to be a new (and evil) face introduced into the world of Westeros (the leaders of the White Walkers and/or House of Black and White have yet to be seen, for instance – not to mention any threats waiting in Old Valyria) but how much time should be dedicated to building, developing and exploring that villain in the same way Breaking Bad took slow, careful care shaping Walter White’s descent into the dark pits of Heisenberg?
More interesting question: Are we even sure this NEEDS to be done?
We’re talking about Game of Thrones here. Ignoring the books (which never stop in their onslaught of twisted, shocking, brutal deaths) and just sticking to the show [Season 1 - 3 SPOILERS AHEAD!]: We’re talking about a series in which the main character got decapitated before the end of season 1, and the main characters to replace him got mass murdered in season 3 – complete with multiple stab wounds into a developing fetus. How do you get worse than that? [Breaking Bad SPOILERS AHEAD] – Misguided attempts to save the brother-in-law you’ve doomed to die? Doesn’t sound quite as bad, comparatively.
Listen, when George R.R. Martin starts dedicating his creative power to coming up with something worse than the rapists, sadists, murders, thieves, incestuous nymphs, liars and sociopaths he’s already given birth to – worse than the totally compromised man that Vince Gilligan methodically sculpted over the course of Breaking Bad’s epic run - we should all be worried. Very, very worried.
…Though, we wouldn’t be all that surprised if something in those last two Song of Ice and Fire books finally broke down the final sliver of light in our souls. Been pretty much headed that way from the start….
Breaking Bad is currently airing its final episodes.
Game of Thrones will be back for season 4 in spring 2014.
No telling when Martin will actually finish book 6, Winds of Winter.