Debate at my school: breaking bad vs game of thrones. Help me write my argument for breaking bad

I think the intimacy of Breaking Bad makes it a better, more satisfying show.

It has fewer characters that we get to know much better. Instead of the massive scope of a conflict involving dozens of major characters, spanning nations and continents, we get a central figure and the handful of people in his life who mean the most to him. By focusing on Walt's family we get to see how his choices directly effect them which is more dramatically resonant than when someone on GoT dies because of something done by somebody he never met someplace he'd never been.

Walt is much more relatable, both in motivation and because of the obstacles he faces. He's not a paragon of virtue or a Machiavellian character like so many on GoT are. There are two driving forces in Walt's psyche: A genuine (though not always well expressed) love for his family and a bruised ego. He really does want to provide for his wife, son, and daughter. At the beginning of the show, he becomes a criminal for them. He did not relish going into the drug trade early on. Anybody watching could empathize with Walt's dilemma, not only facing his imminent death but desperate to not let his family down. That keeps us invested in him even as he goes further and further, whether it's continuing his criminal descent or lying to keep his wife and son from discovering the truth. Everything he eventually did was rooted in selflessness and love.

And then there's his ego. When we meet him he's utterly emasculated. Every interaction is just another instance in which someone humiliates him, whether it's with his wife (no, I do not hate Skyler), his students, or his boss. We've all been in situations like that, and Walt is in one after another. And as he descends into criminality, he starts to rebel against these trespasses against his dignity. He stands up for himself. He gets even. It's a way of showing how empowering his transgressions are. When he curses at his boss or blows up a jackass's car, we get off on it because he's doing what we've all fantasized about doing. Walt becomes an outlaw, and Breaking Bad takes us with him on that journey by letting us be seduced by his triumphs.

And all of that relatability sets us up for the horrific consequences of his actions, actions that we've often cheered for, that start piling up higher and higher from season two until the series' bitter end. Suddenly we see just how destructive the qualities we share with Walt can be.

None of GoT's characters has that kind of effect on its audience. They're fascinating in their own way, but our relationship with Walter White is deeper and more harrowing than any we have with a Stark, a Snow, or a Lannister.

/r/breakingbad Thread