Monday, January 27, 2014

Why "Modern Day GAME OF THRONES" Won't Work

I recently saw someone on the internet mention that she was writing a YA contemporary Game of Thrones set in modern day. I don't know whether she plans to make it an actual "re-telling," or if it's basically just a story involving a lot of political intrigue, but either way, the idea makes me angry.

A real story is inseparable from its setting. Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire is a story that runs on feudalism, traditional ideas of gender, honor, and inheritance, and magical history. It's a story of wide-scale conflict, with competing factions from several different parts of the world, all with their own agendas and motives. It's not the type of story where you can simply pick up the basic plots and characters and stick them in an American high school. (I mean, sure, I'm a fan of School of Thrones and all, but that's because it's a silly parody of high school movies that's full of clever homages to Game of Thrones and Mean Girls, not because it's an impressive work of art in and of itself.)

Exactly what elements from this story is the author planning on incorporating into her novel? What sort of political intrigue is she planning? It had better not involve Student Council. (My personal philosophy of YA contemporary novels: Do not expect me to take it seriously if it centers on a furious battle for Student Council and/or Prom Court. Even as a teenager, I would have rolled my eyes.) Or maybe it involves real politics? Maybe a senator's kid discovers that the vice president is banging someone he shouldn't be banging, and thus there's a huge outcry about whether or not this person can be sworn in after the president's death. I mean, yeah, you have political intrigue, but a) political leaders having affairs and engaging in dirty business isn't something that's exclusive to Game of Thrones, and b) it'll be very hard to center this story around teenagers.

Honestly, I wish people would stop relying on other people's stories for ideas and instead come up with their own.

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