The history of the world can be reasonably explained as East against West. Separated once by the Hellespont and later by the Iron Curtain, this ethereal divide is the basis of much divergence in wealth, culture, thought and values. But the tides are changing. The last publications of both TIME and The Economist have cover stories on the latest installment between China and US, i.e. the rise of the East at the expense of the West.
And so explains the story of Westeros vs. Essos. In Westeros, the champions of great castles, flamboyant games and tight dresses are in a mutually disastrous war. In Essos, between the nomads, slaves and pockets of rich, exotic dragons are born. The storytelling is clearly a western perspective. The West used to tell stories of Vampires to discredit the East. The movie 300 made the Persian wars seem like the East was another world. Essos is equally unfamiliar yet rising and is becoming the plotline of record.
Game of Thrones takes the HBO formula of slow-moving, multi-faceted plotlines to the world of fantasy. Like Lord of the Rings, the proper nouns will intrigue geeks who’ve read the book and baffle the casual viewer. Instead, focus on the beautiful world (Morocco, Iceland, Ireland, Croatia) and the message of honour, courage and love. The show is unapologetic and unformulaic. Like in real life, the protagonist often loses. For honour, Ned dies. For love, Rob. In the penultimate episode, the line of the series comes to light: “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention”.
With the entire primary storyline cut, the shift to the East is clear. Daenerys, who has been the point of attention for viewers since the first episode (no explanation required) and since her jaw-dropping finale giving ‘birth’ to dragons, is now the primary plotline. With some dragons, an army and a potential lover, she is fit to conquer the inbreeding, devil worshiping West.