2.16: On Character and Ka

Here is a truth: Game of Thrones matters because of the vast array of often compelling characters put in situations to respond to extreme violence and sexuality. In other words, it isn’t just the conditions that interrupted their lives (the plot) but the characters themselves and the programming that each of them are born into that codes their response to the obstacles placed in their path.

We are all set upon a path. It wide and roughhewn, pointing in every possible direction. The act of living creates obstacles that fall unto that path and trigger us into motion or drive us to end our own journey. The act of moving, or not is often called self-determinism. I don’t know that naming a thing here really matters. It gives it power, yes, and even a framework by which to discuss from a philosophical or psychological standpoint, but ultimately discussing the composition of our motivations isn’t what this is about.

It’s about the characters.

The beauty of a story is to recognize the soul of the indivdual(s) living in it and to root for them or to hate them or wish them harm or joy or pleasure or ka. In that way we become a sort of ka-tet with the characters. I’m using King’s terms here. We become linked with them–the well written ones–or we wear them like pants and live in their place in the story and thrill with the movements that are made as they are to our liking or they are not.

Characters populate worlds and words and for any writer to find their way back to the heart of story they must find their way back to character.

Some Thoughts:

  1. Everything in the Universe happens for a reason, even if that reason is the butt remainder of some great and distant equation. It remains within our power and ability to give ourselves reason beyond the hand that shaped us. This, I believe, is central to the idea of being conscious.
  2. A long time ago Stephen King tapped into something in that way that authors sometimes do–In the way that Game of Thrones did, but greater more fully and deeply and more connected to the idea of real and true people–the ones who are awake and the ones still asleep, drifting along the path of their perspective beams or adrift between them.