Fri. Apr 26th, 2019

The dragons that changed television

Los dragones  que cambiaron  la televisión

Winter has arrived. After almost two years of waiting, the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones opens tonight in U.S and, simultaneously, from the next dawn, in Spain. The fantasy series based on the literary universe of George R.R. Martin will end a decade of dominance as a television event par excellence. Since its premiere in the cable network HBO in April 2011 eight years have passed, and the panorama of television fiction has been transformed. What has been the contribution in this change of
Game of Thrones

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"In the first place, it has broken the barrier that separated the series and the cinema, not in the creative sense, which had already been overthrown, but in that of the visual invoice," he points out. Toni de la Torre, series critic and author of History of the series. "For the first time we can apply the concept of overproduction to a series," he says. Francesc Vilallonga, professor of cinema of the Ramon Llull University. "If you compare the first and last season aired, there is a huge evolution in terms of resources and special effects, from the dragons to the battles, which have increasingly raised the bar", says De la Torre.

For the first time a series has had a budget comparable to that of the large blockbusters of Hollywood, and "also has known how to properly invest that money combining very well the dramatic part with the most spectacular part without getting carried away and preventing special effects and resources from contaminating the plot", analyzes Vilallonga.

The series, released in 2011, has experienced a spectacular evolution in terms of resources and special effects

A second change that Game of Thrones has caused in the history of television is having broken the prejudice of the fantasy genre in the middle. "Thank you for believing in the dragons," said the makers of the series when they picked up their first Emmy as best drama series (already in its fifth season) in a television awards to date elusive to the genre. Game of thrones has been the entry door of the genre to television and partly because of its success platforms like Amazon are developing a new adaptation of
The Lord of the rings
of J.R. Tolkien, Netflix prepare
The witcher
, another series of stories and fantasy novels created by Andrzej Sapkowski, and HBO itself will shoot prequel to Game of Thrones. You can also add to this list the series of the franchise of
Star wars
that prepares the platform Disney.

Game of Thrones The history of television has changed and at the same time "it is surely the last bastion of a television consumed with weekly episodes, a consumption model that is doomed to disappear," Elena Neira, Professor of Communication Studies at the UOC. HBO (responsible for emblematic series such as
The Sopranos
The wire
) was reluctant to the platforms of
, but "the pressure of audiovisual piracy and the very inertia of the streaming they made the chain realize that they were losing market share and that if some program was going to allow them to acquire part of that quota, it was going to be Game of thrones, "Neira recalls. At the end of 2012, the HBO platform began its arrival in Europe through the Nordic countries and Spain arrived in November 2016.

On what this final installment can provide, De la Torre predicts that it will be the most spectacular of all, especially the final battle between the forces of King of the Night and the Poniente forces, "That at a visual level is expected to break everything". About the pool of who will occupy the iron throne (if someone occupies it depending on the outcome of that battle that will take place in the fifth chapter) and what will be the outcome chosen by the creators of the series, David Benioff and DB Weiss, "I will be disappointed if the classic heroes win because it would betray the spirit of the series, which has always been that the good and noble characters have nothing to do in this world next to the most cruel and evil."

The proliferation of online platforms in recent years has caused the audience to become increasingly fragmented

For Vilallonga, Game of Thrones has always played a lot with unpredictability, and "now the viewer is expected anything", and as the series also exceeded two literary referents two seasons ago, "you can not have any intuition of how it will end." Neira, on the other hand, does trust in a more predictable ending that will revolve around Daenerys, Jon Snow and the baby they fathered in the union that took place in the last chapter. Whatever the final chosen, "whoever is sure to win will be HBO and George R.R. Martin ", adds De la Torre.

After the release of the last episode of the series on May 19, the seriéfilos are going to feel a little orphans. Can a phenomenon such as Game of Thrones? "It's difficult for a fundamental reason: the new audiovisual distribution that has been popularized with the premiere of one shot of a whole season causes the content is not dosed and the memory of its viewing is less durable," explains Neira.

"The weekly broadcast of the chapters of a series contributes a lot to sediment a series in the collective imagination," says De la Torre. In a season of ten episodes (like the first six seasons of Game of Thrones), "between its complete broadcast, the previous and the post, we are talking about the series for three months; when it premieres complete a season of
Stranger things
on Netflix, it's talked about on premiere weekend and a little bit more. " Also the proliferation of online platforms in recent years (and those to come) causes the audience to become increasingly fragmented and makes it difficult for a content to be followed as massively as it has been with Game of Thrones. Piracy on the sidelines, of course.

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