Magic is ruining Game of Thrones

Magic is not intrinsically boring. But it becomes so if its rules are randomly violated and its causes are aggressively withheld.

Game of Thrones thrives when it focuses on family relations.
(Image credit: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO)

Magic has always been part of Game of Thrones, but it didn't used to drive the action. That's changing. More and more, the show is indulging a tendency to fudge the reasons things happen. Why, to take a recent instance, did Benjen Stark show up exactly when Meera was collapsing in exhaustion (which also happened to be the very moment the wights found them)? The answer is no answer at all. The answer is Phlebotinum. The answer is: "magic".

That creeping dependence on the supernatural has been bad for Game of Thrones, with the show relying so heavily on magic to resolve things (fan favorites "Home" and "The Door" were both guilty of this) that we've come to see the brilliant dialogue and subtle power moves of episodes like this week's "Blood of My Blood" as mere "table-setting" for the heady joys of unexplained resurrections and poorly theorized time loops.

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