Rick & Morty Theory: Season 4 Parodies Game of Thrones Fans
A fan theory posits that Rick & Morty parodied overzealous fans of Game of Thrones back in an early season 4 episode of the Adult Swim hit.
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One intriguing Rick & Morty fan theory claims the show parodied overzealous fans of Game of Thrones back in early season 4, the series is always ready to take a swipe at any pop culture phenomenon no matter how big it may be. Beginning as a raunchy spoof of Back to the Future back in 2013, Rick & Morty has since gone on to become a hugely successful animated adult sitcom in its own right thanks to its bizarre, inspired riffs on genre conventions.
Created by Community’s Dan Harmon and voice actor Justin Roiland, Rick & Morty follows the often-violent, always wild misadventures of the titular duo, foul-mouthed inventor extraordinaire Rick and his dim-witted but well-meaning grandson Morty. The show fuses elements of sci-fi with a ribald satire of family sitcoms, and ever since its third episode offered a surreal mash-up of Jurassic Park and Fantastic Voyage, Rick & Morty has never shied away from spoofing famous genre fare.
In fact, despite being ostensibly centered around spoofing sci-fi tropes, episodes of Rick & Morty have parodied everything from Marvel’s Avengers to political thrillers, to the Saw series, to the fantasy genre. It’s the last one that this fan theory concerns, as some fans of Rick & Morty have suggested that season 4’s episode 4 ‘Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim’s Morty’ is intended to be a response to over-involved fans of Game of Thrones and. more specifically, their reaction to the end of the series. Based on fantasy author George RR Martin’s bestselling book series of the same name, the HBO mega-hit Game of Thrones was a complex fantasy drama series whose vast scope and dark, morally ambiguous tone drew massive critical acclaim upon release. The series came to a controversial close in 2019, mishandling certain characters and ending on a darker and less triumphant note than many fans hoped for. However, Rick & Morty’s co-creators defended the ending, both in reality and, according to this theory, through their show.
Morty Is A Demanding Fantasy Fan
One reading of the episode’s plot, wherein Morty obtains and almost immediately abandons a pet dragon, posits that Morty is intended to represent fantasy fans who expected conventional escapism from Game of Thrones’ ending despite the show’s famously dark worldview and bleak tone. Despite spending an age pleading with Rick to acquire Balthromaw, when Morty discovers that dragons aren’t all fun, all the time, he immediately grows bored of the beast and has given up on spending time with him within a few minutes of the episode’s opening scene. There’s a pretty clear parallel between Morty’s constant demands for a dragon and subsequent quick dismissal once he’s bored, and the exaggerated image of Game of Thrones fans abandoning the series due to a perceived lack in writing quality and excessively dark tone after spending years clamoring for an ending. However, even in this reading Rick & Morty doesn’t find fans entirely at fault for their reaction.
But Balthromaw Is An Acquired Taste
Rick & Morty isn’t content to just write off demanding fans as the villain of their story. In a comically surreal and quintessentially Rick & Morty twist, Balthromaw turns out to be a surprisingly sexual character, a development that makes both the usually unflappable Rick and Morty uncomfortable and leads them to abandon the fantasy staple altogether. By the end of the episode, it’s not just the fair-weather dragon fan Morty, but both title characters who have decided that dragons are simply too much to deal with. If Morty reminds viewers of fans who abandoned Game of Thrones for not being what they expected, this scene reminds the audience of just how dark and discomfiting the ending of Game of Thrones was even for audiences who assumed they were prepared. The penultimate episode of the series, the brutally brilliant “The Bells,” was a rim endurance test of gory trauma, and Rick & Morty aren’t blaming fans for needing to take a step away from the show’s divisive coda.
Which Morty Doesn’t Want To Know
Moreover, Morty’s hope that Balthromaw will simply be a fun fantasy dragon and not a complicated (and surprisingly clingy) personality is reminiscent of fan’s hopes for Game of Thrones’ Daenerys to be a cut-and-dried heroine by the end of the show’s run, despite the show establishing itself a more psychologically and morally complex milieu in earlier seasons. After multiple seasons spent depicting Danerys as an increasingly unhinged and self-centered leader, it’s no surprise that Game of Thrones reframed the protagonist as a villain by the end of the series. Similarly, Balthromaw’s personality is never hidden from viewers, but Morty simply tries to avoid seeing aspects that don’t fit his fantasy ideal. Fittingly, Balthromaw’s memorable voice is provided by Game of Thrones star Liam Cunningham who played Ser Davos on the show, one of the advisors guilty of ignoring Danerys’ slide into instability.
Why The Theory Might Not Be Right
The evidence is pretty convincing that Roiland, Harmon, and Rick & Morty’s writer’s room intended to use this episode to comment on the cultural phenomenon of Game of Thrones’ ending. However, there is some evidence that the episode wasn’t written entirely in reaction to the HBO hit and its ending. For one thing, Rick & Morty’s season 4 was well into production by the time the finale aired, meaning the episode’s premise had likely been pitched before Game of Thrones’ finale. Furthermore, outside of the specific comparison to the reaction some Game of Thrones fans had to the show’s divisive finale, the episode could be read as a light-hearted spoof of fan culture more generally, particularly when Rick & Morty’s fanbase is often accused of being as over-involved as the most zealous Game of Thrones viewers.
How This Affects The Series
By parodying Game of Thrones without ever mentioning the title of the show, Rick & Morty proved once again (as with The Vindicators’ Marvel spoof) that the show can spoof pop culture phenomenons without mentioning them by name despite being a cult hit itself. Parodying not only the ending of Game of Thrones but also the fan reaction to it means Rick & Morty can also take on its own fans’ expectations, a theme later touched on in the episode “Never Ricking Morty” and hopefully soon to be expanded on in the upcoming Rick & Morty season 5. The show’s creators voiced their support for Game of Thrones’ controversial ending and in the episode, it’s easy to see why, as Harmon and Roiland are also in the business of surprising fans with dark twists and unexpected turns. By defending the edgy ending while also admitting that dark genre fare isn’t to everyone’s taste, this Rick & Morty episode balances its reaction to the Game of Thrones ending and fans’ feelings about it.
Link Source : https://screenrant.com/rick-morty-theory-season-4-game-thrones-fan-spoof-explained/