Remember that one fateful weekend in April, where Endgame came out mere days before the Battle of Winterfell took place on Game of Thrones? Yeah, making it through that weekend required lots of wine or courage and at least a few frayed nerves. It seemed weird at the time that those monumental events occurred in such proximity, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how many connections these two franchises have in common. A new video essay from The Take is making this case, and proving why Endgame didn’t face the wrath that GoT did from fans.
The two are basically the same story, or at least have a scary amount of similarities, and the video lays them all out, noting that it’s not necessarily a coincidence. Master GoT craftsman George R.R. Martin said that the Marvel comics were major influences on his novels, bigger, he said, “than I would have dreamed.”
“These characters had personalities. Quirks, flaws, tempers,” Martin said. “The heroes were not all good, the villains were not all bad...The stories had twists and turns.” This is very evident in both works, and might even suggest why there are Starks in Westeros, a pretty mundane name compared to the rest there. Also, both Marvel comics and the world of Westeros were created using age-old tropes and arcs, so having two phenomenons pulling all of these influences at similar times were bound to thematically intersect at some point.
The Take states that even though they’re so similar and both investigate power and whether you can wield it correctly, their endings—and reactions to said endings—went two completely separate ways. That’s because where Endgame “harvested the storytelling seeds” it planted, Thrones definitely did not. The payoffs in the final movie of the Infinity Saga were numerous and even circled back to smaller moments in past MCU movies. The Talk calls it a “celebration” of the 11 years fans have spent with the MCU. It also gave them what they wanted without changing its “sincere emotional and playful” tone it’s kept through all 22 movies.
Game of Thrones basically took its seeds and, for the most part, didn’t water them. Because there were so many things that never mattered and never addressed in the end, the flaws in the show’s storytelling stood out that much more. For example, it never really mattered that Jon was a Targaryen; The Night King’s identity and purpose were never elaborated upon; oh and the “seeds” planted in the story about Daenerys’ murderous future weren’t “tended” to properly, making it feel wildly unearned. The Talk says this season had “plot armor,” where very few main characters died in order to “please” audiences, even ones that really had no business living through what they did, especially during the Battle of Winterfell.
Watch the full video above.