It took me three tries to start seeing Game of Thrones; three tries, each attempt more torturous than the last. First time I heard of the series, I was in Senior Year in High School. I had gone out with my friend David to get the third season of Spartacus and we saw the first Season of Game of Thrones on display. He casually mentioned that he’s heard about this Game of Thrones and it was supposed to be like Spartacus. I shrugged it off; no series could be as awesome as Spartacus.
First try watching GOT after the hype from the early fans and I couldn’t get beyond the first episode. It seemed lazily scripted, hazy and boring to me. Second try watching it, after everyone had tried to force it down my throat and I couldn’t get beyond the first episode still. It just gathered more haziness after the first attempt – and why was everything so dark? On the third try, after everybody was already using the now hackneyed “you know nothing Jon Snow” line and after much of the world had taken to the show like moth to light, I got pass the first episode and I haven’t stopped since.
Episode 4 of the Season Finale of the show was released on a Monday morning, and halfway through work that morning, I smuggled myself to a location, and watched it with the keeness of a devotee; laughed where the jokes were told, shrank when the fear rose, cringed when Gendry made a fool of men and kept a tear for the pain that I hadn’t foreseen (No, I didn’t really cry). At this point, I was absolutely absolved into the GOT verse and I make no apologies. I mean, why not? It is, by every means, a fantastic show. The intrigue, the gore, the sheer majestic story telling and beyond that though, below all that, the endless life lessons. I used to find it corny when people say they learnt life altering lessons from movies, but GOT gives me reasons to feel otherwise.
In Episode 4 of the season finale, Sansa told The Hound that she is grateful for having had dealings with the likes of Geoffrey, Little Finger and Ramsey Bolton, because if she had not know them, she would have been a little bird all her life. Her perspective struck me, but what struck me more was how profoundly true her words were – and they are true. If she had not met these “monsters”, she would have led an easier, happier life perhaps, and she would have remained a prey in a game where preys only wait to be picked for meal. In meeting these sadnesses, she came to learn life in the harshest ways, but in ways that ensured that her lessons endure.
And her words got me thinking; about life, about losing, about failing, about suffering. And now I wonder that perhaps we underestimate the place of bad things. Perhaps we underappreciate the artistic appeal, the underlying beauty in ‘misfortune’, ‘suffering’, ‘faliure’. We all confess with our mouths that life is not a bed of roses, but ironically, we live half expecting it to be. And so we ululate in grave disappointment when we fail, when we fall short, when we suffer. I am guilty of this too, so I make no judgements. And for this, we suffer doubly; once for our sufferings themselves and then for failing to draw strength from them. We fail to utilise the great courage and drive that I have realised comes from negatives. We double over and collapse, crashing like dominoes. Oh, trust me, I know – been there, done that.
The point is, life is not easy – but hell, we have to live it. Life afterall, as Coldplay would say, is a guest house and we are to entertain whoever comes – a joy, a depression, a meaness, whatever momentary awareness, whatever unexpected visitor. And in living it, we are faced with two options when bad tidings do come (and they will); to learn and grow, or wilt and die (okay, maybe not exactly, but I needed the dramatic touch). I wouldn’t assure you that the first option is better – that’s your call; but I will bet that it is the option with more promises of positive yeild. Isn’t that what you were after all along? And I know this is a cliche point, and I hate cliches just as much as the next guy, but this is one time I will be indulgent – because the way I see it, this point is only cliche because it has been so dutifully reiterated, due to how important it is.
It’s like Denzel Washington once said, ease may be a bigger threat to success, than harsh conditions. Flip that, and you get that harsh conditions, addressed from the right perspective is the perfect fuel. And no, that’s not to say that ease is nonsense. Ease is desirable, don’t let any one tell you otherwise. We love ease, that’s why we bother in the first place. Privileges are beautiful things, serial success is a beautiful thing, but hardships or faliures are just as beautiful too, if we can utilise them right.
So, go on little bird; take the long road if you must, grow, learn through the hardships and maybe one day, you’ll wake up and find you’re the Queen you always wanted to be.