What a long, strange trip it’s been, 3.5 readers.
I was in my early 30s when this show began. I didn’t feel happy about my life at the time but looking back on it, I realize I should have. I guess that’s the thing about getting older – we only realize how good we used to have it when time goes by and things get worse and believe me, they can always get worse.
Still, there was a difference in my early 30s. I was unhappy that I’d gotten older, yet there seemed like there was enough time left to pull a happy life off – find a good job, lose weight conquer some of my health issues, meet a girl and start a family.
In the back of my mind I knew that age 40 was coming for me, slowly trudging my way like a white walker and just like a snow zombie, age 40 could not be bargained or reasoned with, could not be destroyed, it was coming and so I’d better deal with it. (I’m about a year and a few months from it eating my brains now.)
In other words, I suppose I would fit in as one of the characters on Game of Thrones. For seven years, the main characters have been aware that the Khaleesi, Queen of Dragons, was on her way to cross the Narrow Sea and toast everyone to a crispy, golden brown. As it turns out, she’s too nice to do that but they didn’t know that…and we aren’t entirely sure she won’t yet. The Khaleesi is trying to be kind and loving but she definitely has a switch that can be flipped that can make her want to cook you with the help of her big ass reptiles.
By the way, aren’t all the dragon action scenes great? We’ve been waiting a long time for them.
Anyway, like me ignoring the coming of age 40 and failing to get my life in order, the characters all fought over the Iron Throne. King Robert’s brother Stannis and Renley fought each other for it. Robb Stark didn’t want it but just wanted to bring his army to King’s Landing to make the Lannisters pay for killing his father, Ned. Those damn Greyjoys took advantage of the chaos to do some looting and pillaging. The Boltons got in on the mix. Honestly, I lose track of how many people wanted that throne. It was a lot.
But that was the point of the show. All the characters have known that a Khaleesi was coming but…she was so far away…and there were more pressing matters in front of them.
A smaller handful of characters also knew the white walkers were coming. They tried harder to warn people but no one would listen. There’s the rub, I suppose. If you actually see or experience a threat, you’re more likely to try to do something about it.
I’ve always seen the show as an allegory for America. We Americans spend so much time fighting each other over our differences – party lines, racial lines, class lines – we don’t stop to think about what we have in common, or to realize that the only thing we have to stop the outside forces who’d like to see this country burn from getting their way is each other.
The warring families could have set aside their differences and been in a better position to stop the Khaleesi from bringing her dragons to cook everyone up. Alas, they killed each other, decimated the country’s resources and now it’s easy pickens for the Mother of Dragons.
Had they not fought each other, they could have been in a better position to stop the white walkers. Now it may be too late.
Now as I get older, I see the show as an allegory for life. This past decade has moved so quickly and at the time, I felt out of control, powerless to fix things. I knew in the back of my mind that a myriad of health problems would be coming if I didn’t lose weight, that financial problems would come if I didn’t find a better job, that sadness would come if I didn’t find a girl.
Sad to say that by the end of season 7, I’ve only accomplished 1 out of 3. The good job was found and the financial problems are over, so I don’t have to worry about a looming white walker in the form of financial ruin…but…I still have to worry about a white walker in the form of a heart attack if I don’t lose weight…or a fat ass fire breathing dragon in the form of permanent bachelorhood/inability to father children due to old age.
And I guess that’s the moral of the story. We focus on the problems right in front of our faces. It’s too easy to delay the long term problems. “We’ll worry about the fat ass dragon or the evil white walkers when and/or if they get here” we say, rather than take the daily steps that, when done with regularity, build up over time and help us stave off the impending doom.
In short, I could have lost weight low these past seven years. That would have made me a healthier man today and would have made it easier to find a girl (wait I have VGRF but maybe this is the Alleged Man’s brain bleeding through), but I didn’t. Now I fear I may be too late and I might get bitten by the white walker of poor health or be eaten by the dragon of loneliness.
I worry it may be too late for me, 3.5 readers. However, if you are young, take the warning that this show provides and run with it.
In your life, you have your own personal white walker or perhaps, your own personal dragon. Maybe it’s money, or romance, or employment or health or addiction or what have you.
Whatever it is, know in the back of your mind that your white walker of a problem is slowly trudging its way down from the North, ready to eat your brains. Will you assemble an army within yourself to fight it and keep it at bay, or will you wake up one day and find a big chomp has been taken out of your brain and now it is too late?
You know that your Khaleesi of a problem is heading East. Slowly but surely, she’s kicking ass and taking names, growing her numbers and feeding her dragons so they get big and strong, the bigger and stronger to fricassee your oily hide. You’re placating yourself, telling yourself that you are young and have plenty of time before that problem becomes a reality. You’re also fooling yourself. Will you, again, assemble a personal army inside yourself to fight the dragons, or will you wake up one day and find yourself a charcoal briquette?
I can tell you seven years ago, when this show first began, I knew that if I didn’t get a better job, that if I didn’t lose weight and didn’t find a woman, I’d essentially end up approaching forty, feeling like a white walker had eaten my brain or a dragon had burnt me up.
Now I feel that way. Sure, I conquered the financial dragon. I kicked the financial white walker in the gonads. But I ignored the health dragon/white walker and the romance dragon/white walker and now I’m about to be fried and eaten.
Then again, I suppose it’s never really over until a white walker is actually chowing down on your brains or until a dragon has toasted you, so…I guess I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off and give it another try.
You should too, 3.5 readers. Feel free to tell me in the comments what you are going to do to keep your personal white walkers from eating your brains or your personal dragon from roasting you and chomping you up like a chicken nugget.
Remember, “Winter is coming.” That’s been the slogan of the show for seven years. Our own personal winters are coming – be they in the form of a heart attack because we didn’t eat better, or cancer because we didn’t take care of ourselves, or yuck, being that fifty year old in “da club” still trying to score a date because he didn’t pick someone and try to make the best of it when he was younger. Sure, Winter seems a long way away but it will be here soon enough and it will bring zombies…and dragons and apparently, a freaking zombie ass dragon.
What will you do to stave off your personal winter, 3.5 readers?