Why Game Of Thrones has become unwatchable

Game of Thrones quickly went from niche, small-screen fantasy show to a global juggernaut of a series—just look how quickly the stock of its star actors and actresses has risen along the way. Despite the millions tuning in every week though, there are signs that the show has become almost unwatchable over the last season or two…and here's the evidence. Be warned: spoilers follow for Game of Thrones seasons one to five.

Too Much Death

It happens so often we should no longer be surprised: from U2's chiming guitars to Family Guy's brazen humor, qualities that can seem so fresh and appealing at first can quickly become tired parodies of themselves. So it is with the high number of unexpected (and grisly) deaths in the world of Game of Thrones—in the beginning, they set the show apart. By the fifth season, they've become rather cliched. There are only so many main characters you can kill off before the audience starts shrugging in response.

Too Much Sex

Again, one of GoT's defining characteristics is now signaling its downfall. The frank and unflinching depiction of sex in the show initially raised eyebrows, but five seasons in, it's more likely to have viewers averting their eyes altogether. What's more, the scenes of intimate copulation have become a lot more sadistic and degrading (Cersei and Jamie, Ramsay and Sansa)—realistic and true to (medieval) life it may be, but for a large portion of the audience it's becoming a turn off rather than a turn on.

Too Much Bleakness

Everyone knows about the abundance of deaths in Game of Thrones. So on a related note, why is there so little happiness and good fortune? Gritty realism is all well and good, but after 50 episodes you start to yearn for a bit of respite from the onslaught. There are signs of light at the end of the tunnel for some of the characters, but showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss will no doubt dash our hopes again next time around.

Confusing Plotlines

Adapting George RR Martin's lengthy and labyrinthine tomes for the small screen was never going to be easy, and the GoT scriptwriters have done a decent job of cutting out some of the unnecessary background material along the way. But it's still very hard to remember anything about the plot beyond one or two main characters. Where did Bran go? Who is Arya taking revenge against? Exactly which characters has Littlefinger double-crossed? And do we care any more?

It Lacks Credibility

Game of Thrones fans like the show because it's the antithesis of the overplotted, implausible fare that takes up the rest of the television schedule. However, from Brienne looking away from the tower at exactly the wrong moment to Drogon swooping in to save Daenerys at exactly the right one, GoT has become far too much like a scripted story than a series of actual, plausible events. Fewer convenient plot turns in season six, please.

Bad Acting

You may not have noticed it in amongst all the special effects and violence and sex and set pieces, but the acting in Game of Thrones is actually pretty bad. A few notable exceptions aside, characters only exhibit one emotion: Stiff haughtiness for Daenerys, endearing naïveté from Sam, glowering frustration from Jon Snow, camp sarcasm from Varys, and so on. Would it hurt these actors and actresses to show a little range?

The Dullness Of Dorne

It may seem unfair to pick specifically on Dorne, but the subplots that played out in season five's exotic new location sum up everything that Game of Thrones has turned into: they were slow, confusing and barely plausible. If the rest of GoT is going to be as underwhelming as the arrival of the long-awaited band of Sand Snakes, then the cast and crew might as well pack up and go home now.