**WARNING: This blog post along with all others in Midnight Publishing’s “The Seven Sins of Writing” series may include spoilers from all eight seasons of the Game of Thrones TV show on HBO. If you have not yet watched the show and plan to, continue reading at your own risk.**
Our “Seven Sins of Writing” series examines the issues with the eighth season of the Game of Thrones television show. Part two focuses on the differences between believable and unbelievable plot twists. Several standout plot points occur in season eight that aren’t supported by prior evidence.
One of these is the underdeveloped transformation of Daenerys Targaryen. Her transition from a benevolent ruler to a sadistic killer of innocent civilians had no supporting plot points. A second is the decision of Tyrion Lannister to name Bran Stark as Westeros’s newest king. Bran throughout the series is cripple and spends years beyond the Wall when he was summoned to become the omniscient, god-like Three-Eyed Raven. He was picked over the rightful and most appropriate heir Jon Snow, who was actually born Aegon Targaryen.
Plot twists are some of the most enjoyable and compelling facets of a story. They are necessary if you want to intrigue your readers and keep them hooked. To execute a plot twist correctly, there is one key element that must be in place. Plausibility is necessary as not to anger your readers or thrust them out of the story you’ve been crafting.
The Necessary Element of Successful Plot Twists: Plausibility
The definition of plausibility is the quality of seeming probable or reasonable. Plot twists should surprise readers and can be strange or unexpected. However, a plot twist must have a logical foundation for occurrence. This foundation is often laid beforehand in the act of foreshadowing. They can also be a sudden development that drops your readers’ jaws but doesn’t require them to set aside their intelligence to believe it.
Example of Plausibility: Game of Thrones – “The Red Wedding” scene
“The Red Wedding” is perhaps one of the most famous scenes in the show and books history for its shock factor and it’s brutality. “The Red Wedding” takes place when main character Robb Stark and his pregnant wife, Talisa Stark, are lured into a trap and murdered in the home of Lord Walder Frey. This happens during the reception feast of a wedding between Stark’s uncle and one of Frey’s daughters (a marriage pact that Robb Stark broke to marry Talisa). Additionally, the Stark matriarch, Lady Catelyn Stark, is also present and violently killed following the massacre of her son, daughter-in-law, unborn grandchild and countrymen. In the TV version, there is no warning whatsoever to this massacre. It is a plot twist with massive consequences for the remainder of the storyline.
Why it Works
Although there was no warning to this unexpected twist in the show, there exists no argument to its implausibility. This is because of the man that Walder Frey is portrayed to be. A notoriously arrogant and lecherous character, Walder Frey is known for his shifty allegiances and power-hungry ways. Thus it makes perfect sense that he would betray the Starks and ambush them in such a low and underhanded manner. Additionally, the marriage pact the Starks broke is a direct insult to House Frey, which Walder took personally as he is thought to be “less than” the other Houses. This further supports sufficient reasoning/plausibility for this surprising plot twist.
Many of the plot points in season eight partly or completely lacked this element of probability. This is why it has received so much criticism from viewers who didn’t believe that they could have happened.
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