Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why you shouldn't dismiss 'Game of Thrones' (if you're over 18)

1. It's Not Really Fantasy

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.

Nice suit.

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?

More about Jon


Traxy said...

While some people might shrug at GoT because it's billed as fantasy, a lot of people will be drawn to it for exactly that purpose. We'll be watching it (Monday, yay!) because - well okay, we're both big fantasy fans - but because hubby has read the books they're based on and he really likes them. Sure I'll enjoy it too, and if not, it has Sean Bean and Jennifer Ehle - that's gotta be worth something! :)

Starheart said...

Hi Traxy, how come you never got around to reading them?
Actually Jennifer Ehle was cast initially but she was replaced after the pilot was filmed. Oh well. :(
Looks like you'll be watching it before me!

RAFrenzy said...

You wrote this post for me. :D I was going to pass over 'Game of Thrones', but I trust your judgment, so I'll have a look.

Traxy said...

Oh, so that's what happened. What a shame, I was looking forward to seeing her. :(

Don't really know, but there are plenty of fantasy authors I haven't read. Haven't even read the two latest Wheel of Time books yet (which says a lot, I LOVE those books with a passion), but I'm working on the first one. Occasionally. Keep finding a lot of other things to read all the time! I'll probably get around to reading Martin too eventually.

Starheart said...

While you're at it, check out the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb. I'd actually recommend it over Martin because it's easier to stomach.

Phylly3 said...

I've been trying to watch this show when I can find it on my cable provider. It's on at an odd time, so I sometimes miss it. I was glad you gave us the heads up way back when or I probably would have missed it altogether!
I don't turn my nose up at any genre, as I will enjoy anything that is well done. But give me some historical-type costume drama and especially actors with English accents and I am all over THAT!
I was never a huge Fantasy fan but I absolutely LOVED the whole Harry Potter series -- I think because it was partially based in the real world too. But I finally went back to The Hobbit and read the whole thing -- and loved that too. I'll bet you can guess why I tried again! :)
That Jon Snow is a real looker (I think he has an guy-liner dependency too!) But I was very happy to see Sean Bean too.
I wonder how many episodes it will be? It seems like it might have more than one season...

Starheart said...

Hi Phylly3!

Ohhhhh I'm so jealous! I don't have HBO. Will have to wait for the DVD after I'm a bit less busy with work.
It's been green lit for season 2. There are several books, the author hasn't finished the series yet!

Fanny/iz4blue said...

Btw it hasn't disappointed!! A pleasure to see Sean Bean (loveable character for once!) (scared for when he will die!! As SB is always doomed! LOL ) on my side of the pond & "Jon Snow" such a looker already feel sorry for those vows he has to take! Too bad you have to wait!!! I've got two friends via twitter who fill in the gaps when I can't follow stuff like Arya apparently being a left handed swordfighter!!