Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Compare Encantadia and Game of Thrones

by Admin MT

I was juggling my day job and doing updates (using my mobile phone) on Encantadia Saga yesterday, when I came across tweets from certain people saying how Encantadia is nowhere near Game of Thrones.

Spare us, please.

When Mulawin first came into TV, I was ten. It was every kid’s dream to be a hero like Aguiluz or a warrior princess like Alwina. Then came Encantadia, where the magic and the universe it was built upon was so vastly big that my classmates would do their notebook compilation of the show’s characters, places, and objects during lunch break. The younger kids would role play in the streets or in the school quadrangle as if they have their ugatpaks and brilyantes of their own. It was a childhood truly memorable to any  kid like I was, something my generation can hold on to until my hair turns grey. If the 90s kids had the Power Rangers, well… the 2000s have what, handfuls of remarkable telefantasyas (both from GMA and ABS-CBN) to call their own.

Some six or seven years passed. I was a college student when I chanced upon a topic in an online thread I often visit. The forumers were discussing Game of Thrones (which was on its first season that time) and how they wished our local TV soaps would evolve into that same level of quality. I distinctly remember one of them saying how he loved Thrones because it reminded him of Encantadia, particularly its iconic 3D map opening credits. Curious, I downloaded the first episode. True enough, it was something I have not seen before. An epic and a different kind of storytelling made for TV, much like how Mulawin and Encantadia was, in 2005.

On Monday, Enca returns on TV. A comeback which is anticipated by fans old and new, more than a decade after it ended in 2006. But man, lately some millenials and Generation-Z teens won’t give a rest in comparing Encantadia to Game of Thrones.

If you are one of them, let me ask you these few questions:

How old were you when Encantadia was first seen on TV in 2005?

These “critics” would pass judgment as if they have watched all three books of Encantadia. Ask them who the parents of Cassiopea are and they’ll divert the question. If you don’t know the lore, don’t act as if you can fit Enca in the palm of your hands just as how you shouldn’t strut like you can enumerate the Unforgiveable Curses in Harry Potter when all you know about the franchise are the three main wizarding protagonists.

Have you considered the fact that Encantadia is a nightly TV show?

It is. Game of Thrones is a 10-episode weekly installment each year that goes as much as 9 million dollars per episode. While Enca may have a budget equal to three daily TV shows, it is not fair to compare these two productions. Just do the math.

Have you done something worthwhile with your adoration?

I love GoT. I have read the five books and watched all six seasons. It sparks discussion and debate when my friends and I talk about it.

Encantadia did the same in 2005. It has six full threads of discussion (5000 posts each) in PinoyExchange.com (more in other online forums). During its time up until now, the fans are enthusiastic enough to create fan art, fan fiction, and collectible toys and display figures.

Have you done something similar, aside from tweeting how you dig Daenerys Targaryen’s “My reign has just begun” line because it’s so cool to be a Game of Thrones fan nowadays?

These are just few questions that these quote-unquote critics should ask themselves while they do a reality check. They may school the fans of Enca as much as they want for having such “taste” but they can never take away from the fans the fun childhood they had because of telefantasyas like Encantadia.

Why is it so hard for us Filipinos to be proud of something our own? Is it that difficult to recognize and give credit to a show where it is due, a show that tries to differentiate in a TV landscape dominated by themes like adultery and violence?

When we hear news of Filipinos making names and their own marks as animators in Pixar, Pinoy comic artists in Marvel and DC, we beam with pride. Shall not we do the same with a Filipino-made TV series, recognized locally and internationally,  and set aside our prejudices to all things Western when it is right to do so? Kaya tayo nabubully ng China mga bes, eh.

They may laugh as hard as they want and criticize as they wish. Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy Encantadia on free TV at five episodes per week, up until December (or, until next year, if the seven gods will be good). We, telefantasya kids, need not wait for a whole year and download pirated 480p copies of a show just to feel cool and be cool.

I am just happy that the young ones will finally have something worthwhile and substantial to watch. Something to cultivate their imaginations more than their desires. The grown up fans, on the other hand, will all be filled with nostalgia as they enjoy the show for the second time.

Winter may be finally coming in Game of Thrones’ seventh season next year… But damn, it is time for Encantadia for Encantadia is finally back.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. lol says:

    6th thread pa lang yun ng Enca sa PEx. May typo sa thread title.

    Like

  2. Pinoyden says:

    This is really a good post for not comparing two different series. THanks

    Like

  3. Papashnea says:

    How can you expect people to not compare it to GoT when the opening alone of the new Encantadia is such a rip-off of GoT’s opening?

    Like

  4. Papashnea says:

    Aaaaand even Conan Stevens aka Ser Gregor Clegane was invited to Enca and you expect people to NOT compare it to GOT when you guys just make it so tempting? I’m not saying that people should measure Enca’s success and production against GOT. They’re apples and oranges. Each of them has its own strength. But maybe, just maybe, you guys should also stop and look at how things were/are being promoted to understand why viewers(fans and bandwagoners) are comparing it to GOT.

    I am saying this as a fan – as someone who loved(I still do!) the lore and the world. The first show was very intricate – I loved how the Mulawin were also part of the same world, I loved Cassiopeia’s(and Etheria’s) story, I loved Pirena’s journey of self-realization and redemption but what I’ve seen so far(first episode included) has been a let down. People keep asking me why I watch the show(and rant about it alone) and I keep on saying that maybe, just maybe, the current team will finally hit the right note. Hindi sana ako umasa sa wala. PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF EMRE.

    Also, #teamPirena tayo beh. Labyu.

    Like

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