An Era Ends: GAME OF THRONES and The MCU As The Last Giants

Entertainment history is going to look back at this time period as an era defined by longform serialized storytelling, with instalment-based stories conquering just about every narrative medium. Eventually this will end, not because serialized longform storytelling is bad but because all things fade away and change. Charles Dickens was telling stories in an environment like this one, just before the novel conquered all. And yet now the chapter has conquered the novel.

And yet when we look back at this period it’s going to be clear that there were two true standouts, two works that loom over all the others. Entertainment historians will argue about whether or not this period began with The Sopranos or with the interconnected nature of comic books, or with the endless storylines of soap operas, but I believe there will be a moment where it all peaked and that will be obvious. The two longform stories that dominate all others, and that define this very era, are Game of Thrones and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and neither will be replicable. Enjoy this moment while it lasts, because we’re at the summit.

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Earn Your No-Prize

I would love to get back to a No-Prize fan culture.

The No-Prize was something Marvel Comics gave out starting back in the 60s. The writers and artists and editors at Marvel recognized they would make mistakes, as they were only human and often weren’t as obsessively tuned into the minutia of the books they were creating as the fans were. The No-Prize was awarded to fans who found errors in the comics – usually continuity or logic errors – and explained them away using in-universe reasoning.

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