At first I dismissed 'North and South' because the trailer showed me just another period drama. What's the point of watching old stuffy stuff? It also had a hero that wasn't traditionally handsome. Unforgivably shallow but true.
Why the embarrassing glib confessions? Because I don't want people passing over Game of Thrones just because it's 'silly fantasy stuff'. The only reason Game of Thrones sits in the fantasy genre is because the geographical setting technically doesn't exist. It's really a human drama.
Take for example Jon Snow (picture above). His dad Ned had an affair with Jon's mother and because he's such a good father he takes full custody of Jon. Enter Ned's wife Catelyn, a Jon-hater with the burning red fury of a cheated wife. Jon grows up desperate to prove himself just as good as any of Ned's legitimate sons, but with Catelyn's chilling glares he comes to realise he'll never be anything if he stays home. So he goes to the one place where all men start equal, the military. See, no elves or fairies!
Fantasy is always a hard sell because the names are so corny, like 'Wizard's First Rule' by Terry Goodkind or 'Ship of Destiny' by Robin Hobb. Silly names sound like the games children play, and no one takes that seriously. But these characters are well thought out, full of anxieties and back story. They're forced to make bad choices to avoid worse situations, and unlike in most fantasy you really care about them.
Normally I avoid fantasy. My friends have been pleading with me to read 'Chronicles of Thomas Covenant' by Donaldson but I can't get past the blurb. "...outcast destined to become the saviour of an alternate world..." Oh please. I'm so over reading about the weedy misunderstood dreamer that turns out to be the world saviour. I also can't stand the melodramatic posturing in these overly expensive tv dramas - there's no real heart. But Game of Thrones is different. Just give it a chance, a 3 episode chance?
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