Two weeks ago, I hadn’t watched a single episode of ‘Game of Thrones’. Then I had cable installed in my new place and got three months of free HBO. So, my wife and I checked On-Demand and didn’t look back until we had binge-watched the entire first and second seasons of the show.
I’ve been sitting here thinking about the most striking compliment I could write for ‘Game of Thrones’ until it suddenly came to me. This TV show has made me want to read fantasy novels. That’s saying a lot. I don’t want to read just any fantasy novels; I just want to read George R.R. Martin’s novels. After you’re left hanging when a bunch of ice zombies, led by a shrieking frozen commander atop a zombie horse, threaten to kill every living thing they come into contact with, it’s a tad hard to wait until Season Three.
These thoughts may be random and somewhat schizophrenic, but that’s because I burned through two seasons of this show extremely quickly and I’m just recounting how I felt.
Oh yeah, and if you didn’t already guess, there will be a lot of spoilers after this. A lot! You’ve been warned.
I recommend binge-watching good television whenever possible. When will we finally move to a TV watching model where entire seasons are produced and ready to watch as soon as they’re available to be streamed? (It’ll be fun to see how this goes with the new season of ‘Arrested Development’ on Netflix.)
The first couple day, we watched maybe four or five episodes. Obviously, we became attached to the Starks right away, but I also found myself pulling for Daenerys Targaryen, the silver-haired beauty who got naked about a dozen different times in the first six episodes.
Immediately, I was overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the series. It has so many characters, so many plots, subplots, sub-subplots, etc. With more political maneuvering than just about every other politically-centered TV show combined, those first five episodes were exhausting. They’re worth it, but exhausting nonetheless.
I’ve found myself rooting for a few people. At first, it’s hard not to pull for the Stark family, but as the show wears on, it seems as if the family’s goodness and propensity towards honor will ultimately be its downfall. Conventional storytelling methods don’t work in ‘Game of Thrones’. As Sansa says in ‘Blackwater’, referring to King Joffrey surviving the oncoming attack, “The worst ones always live.”
Daenerys is probably the character I hope will overcome everything. But knowing the show’s propensity for killing off main characters, I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets written out in a weird incestuous sex romp with her pet dragons. This is ‘Game of Thrones’, where literally anything is possible.
Even though I haven’t met him yet, I look forward to seeing who the king behind the wall turns out to be.
5. Arya Stark
3. Jaqen H’ghar
2. Daenerys Targaryen
1. Tyrion Lannister
Also, it’s kind of hard not to pull for the leader of the ice zombies. Which leads me to…
Seriously, the show has ice zombies. How freaking cool is that? I’m on Team Ice Zombies.
Nothing Is Off Limits
Not a single subject is too taboo for ‘Game of Thrones’. Incest is a common occurrence that’s looked upon with slight indifference rather than outright disgust. My jaw dropped when the sorceress gave birth to a killer muff monster. That was a scene I would’ve thought ridiculous in any other show, but here I was genuinely terrified. Then I started thinking about the real origins of the Smoke Monster in ‘Lost’. Ick!
Even with the risqué nature of the series, it never feels like its subject matter is a desperate call for attention (like ‘Spartacus’ on Starz). Here, all the sexuality, familial loving and gruesome violence is crucial to the character development and the plot. Graphic sex scenes aren’t just there to titillate, but usually have deeper meanings to the characters and their stories.
I’ve honestly never had so much fun with a show. ‘Game of Thrones’ is an encompassing fantasy world, intricately created by its author and the show-runners at HBO. The visual effects, especially for TV, are wonderfully done. That’s important because chintzy effects would’ve pulled me right out of the story.
After binge-watching, ‘Game of Thrones’ has quickly moved up my list of favorite TV shows. I’m mad that I have to wait until whenever the third season airs. Thank goodness for Comcast’s On-Demand feature, which let us watch ‘Game of Thrones’ back-to-back-to-back, legally.
Sometimes you just miss the boat on a show here and there. This was one of those times for me. Fortunately, I was able to rectify that quickly.