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Excellent review of the finale from Myles McNutt at the AVClub. Spoilers, obviously, but I think this quote is safe:

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[T]here’s a thematic consistency to the story here that rings true to me. I wrote above that the fanbase has been divided, with each of us bringing our own perspective, and I’m a viewer who values the thematic core of a show over an attachment to particular characters.

 

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Cathleen Falsani's official review of the GoT finale: "Why the 'Game of Thrones' Ending Was More Henri Nouwen Than George R.R. Martin"

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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On some abstract level, I guess I understand "prequels" over "sequels" but on another level, I don't. Much like the Star Wars prequels, I don't see how this would avoid the problem that the "prequels" in order to set up the situation in the show, has to end in at least temporary defeat. Also, the audience more or less knows how the story ends. I supposed there are some who care more about the "how did they get there" but, again, citing Star Wars, what is interesting or adds richness as a backstory is seldom as interesting as its own story. I can't really think of any prequels that enhanced the originals -- The Silmarillion? Ender's Game prequels? The Sword and the Stone? 

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The series will be set thousands of years before the events already seen in the "Thrones" series. It will follow the world's "descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour," a description read.

 

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I don't have any interest in the GOT prequel and agree with your premise, Ken.  I guess GODFATHER 2 is both a prequel and a sequel, so it's not an apt counterexample, but that's the best I could come up with.

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On the question of prequels enhancing the originals: Maybe with books more than movies/TV. The book The Sword in the Stone, as part of The Once and Future King, is lovely and plays a significant role in White's partially reworking Malory as a bildungsroman. Works well as a standalone, too. The cartoon, unfortunately, is a travesty.

In terms of GoT-world plot, there's not much in the prehistory of GoT that seems interesting, unless they can create compelling characters. I might not have stuck with GoT either, if I hadn't cared what happened to Arya.

Other book prequels that work, IMO: The Magician's Nephew, which I will defend to the death (figuratively) as the 6th Narnia Chronicle, rather than the first, because it refers to earlier books and also expects a level of maturity that LWW perhaps does not. Another is Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolo series (8 books), a historical novel sequence that is effective on its own, but also a prequel to her earlier Lymond Chronicles (6 books)--that's not really a spoiler, as she says as much in the preface of HN book 1. You don't need to know that before reading, but HN does add significantly to a re-read of LC.

Edited by BethR

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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