I Have Been Watching… Game of Thrones (spoiler free!)

In which guest blogger Susie Sue tells us about her love for a dark and brutal drama, and shows off her holiday snaps!

 

Last summer I was lucky enough to go to the beautiful city of Seville in southern Spain. I visited the Alcázar,  better known as the seat of House Martell.

Alcazar
Sunspear, aka Seville

I mention this mainly to show off but also because there was nearly an hour wait to get in and also airport style security when you did get through. It was that popular.

With the new season of Game of Thrones  (Sky Atlantic, 9pm Mondays – or before that if you have Sky Go or Now etc) upon us I have asked myself why – why? – is such a brutal show so appealing to me – to us? 

As I’ve said before my go-to TV is the situation comedy. But when I started watching GoT I was immediately drawn in.

I do like Sci-Fi – Star Trek: The Next Generation is one of my favourite TV shows, and the Star Wars franchise has been part of my life since I was ten and Dad let me have the afternoon off school to take me to see it, but never ‘into’ fantasy. But here, here we have a whole other world. It has a map and everything (I’ve always loved a map, can’t read them, but they look great, especially this one).

The_known_world_HBO
Westeros and beyond (Image: gameofthones.wikia.com)


So from the start we have dramatic storylines that can do anything. There are brutal deaths and many people with no moral compass; events that send shivers down your spine and make you gasp and hold your hands up and say to yourself ‘Did that really just happen?’. No-one’s safe, not even the children.  Or the animals come to that. There are even dragons.

There are families torn apart, families who aren’t exactly loyal to each other. It’s not called ‘game’ of thrones for nothing. It’s about power. Politics. Violence. And yes, sex (which is why my 21 year old daughter is still too embarrassed to watch it with me, “Just in case”.

There are so many characters I’ll admit I have to watch more than once sometimes. That is, the ones that haven’t been disposed of in often, interesting and creative ways.
The acting is superlative. Often something unpleasant is happening; you don’t see it. You are directed to the witness or the perpetrator’s face, and that’s all you need to see. Your imagination does the rest. It’s far more unsettling that way.

By far my favourite character has to be Peter Dinklage as Tyrion. A wit as dry as the wine he constantly drinks, a father who never cared for him as his mother died giving birth to him; capable of good acts as well as not-good ones – he has to fight harder than anyone to survive. A heart breaking line he utters is “I’m guilty of being a dwarf.” For me, he’s the hero of the piece.

Tyrion
Tyrion’s motto for life

There have been accusations of misogyny towards GoT. I have to say I refute that entirely. The women are strong even when they face the worst scenarios that a woman can face: Daenerys, Arya, Sansa, Lady Stark, Brienne of Tarth, Cersei and that’s just off the top of my head. The way I see it: it’s the men who are emasculated and not always in the obvious ways. The women (and no, they don’t always survive) – they just deal with it all.

My adoration for GoT knows now bounds, from Winterfell to King’s Landing and beyond. The layers, the narrative the characters, so so much to take in, it is a thing of beauty not only visually but in the characters and the back stories and the world history.

And when we do come to the end and discover who takes the Iron Throne (I know who I want – and who I now think will) – when this fantasy world ends I pretty sure it won’t be – to mis-quote TS Eliot – with a whimper, but a bang.

 



 

 

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