Don't read this unless you've seen Season 2, Episode 5 of "Game of Thrones," entitled "The Ghost of Harrenhal."
A few weeks ago, after the first couple of episodes of "Game of Thrones'" second season had aired, I heard from someone on Twitter who was on the verge of checking out and giving up on the show. I don't remember exactly what the wording of his or her question was, I just recall that the query was along the lines of, "Does it get much darker than this?"
Those of us who have read the books are inclined to chuckle ominously at such questions -- certainly not to mock the questioner, because I absolutely understand and empathize with where that question came from. But it's hard not to look at the sweep of George R.R. Martin's tale and say, "This is the fun part!"
I kid (a little), but I understand why, for some people, what transpires in this story might just be too hard to take. I stopped watching "Breaking Bad" for a while after a certain event that occurred in that show's second season; it was too grim, too hard, too much for me to deal with at the time.
I bring all this up because, while I respect where that question comes from and I know that we all have different lines in the sand when it comes to these matters, I don't actually think "Game of Thrones" is too grim. It's not just that we're getting, in addition to the rather dark and dangerous tale, spectacular vistas, great acting and the occasional dash of well-calibrated black humor. Certainly those things help take our minds off the characters' utter desperation from time to time. Read More...