Gina Bellafante still doesn’t get what she should be sorry for. Her reply to women, fantasy fans, and people who are fond of sense, is much less offensive than her original review, but it doesn’t address the giant pile of poop into which she has stepped.
If Game of Thrones is going to succeed it will have to reach an audience outside of George R.R. Martin fans and readers of epic fantasy (we’ll call them swing voters). In her reply, Bellafante basically says, “I’m one of those people and the show didn’t work for me.” Fine. Then break it down as a piece of entertainment, the way you would any other new show, or compare it to other work in the genre.
But the problem isn’t that Bellafante didn’t like the show. The problem is that she didn’t actually review the show. She attacked genre fiction. She made completely goofy claims about what women look for in compelling television and fiction as well. Now she says that she’s sure ladies like fantasy, she just doesn’t know any of them. Well, here’s an idea, given that female fantasy fans and GRRM fans are EVERYWHERE these days, why not talk to a few before you put on your snob hat and start slinging condescension.
And, really, Bellafante isn’t a swing voter. She’s one of those people who registers Independent and then votes the same party every time. GoT’s success depends on people who may not have any love for fantasy but who don’t think it’s beneath them.
I loved the “Song of Ice & Fire” series (of which GoT is the first book) but I also recognize that it isn’t for everyone and that, yes, there are elements in the books (both in terms of structure and content) that warrant debate. The same is true for the first episode of GoT. Fantasy and genre fiction should be viewed with a critical eye– just one unclouded by contempt.