With season 7 of Game of Thrones mere nanoseconds away from kicking off – a slight bit of hyperbole but after waiting so long, it does feel like that – Michael Tucker aka Lessons From a Screenplay arrives with a timely look at the way HBO’s ratings juggernauts frames its narratives for maximum effect.
Using the storytelling lessons of Robert McKee’s Story, which says that “a scene is unified around desire, action, conflict and change“, Tucker expertly dissects a number of key scenes from Game of Thrones, including the epic 23 minute long Battle of the Bastards which sees Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), illustrating in the process how this most complex of shows skillfully uses the most simple of narrative devices to powerful effect.
In doing so, he underscores why this show is so successful – it’s not just epic for epic’s sake, a mistake made by many hollow modern blockbusters; rather, it employs great characters in extraordinary situations well-told where there are real issues at stake.
This creates a deep and compelling emotional resonance that invests people in the fate of the characters, and ultimately, the show itself.
But hey don’t take my word for it since Michael Tucker, who you can sponsor via Patreon, does it so much better.