Whoa. Wow. Gee wiz. These are among the many interjections I use to describe the amazing and captivating HBO series, Game of Thrones. People have been telling me over the past two years to watch it, but someone definitely should have sat me down and forced me to see this one-of-a-kind television phenomenon.
Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s medieval fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, the show follows the separate stories of the various Houses of the fictional lands of Westeros and Essos. And I just read that Martin drew much of his inspiration for the series on one of my favorite historical events: The War of Roses, in which the House of Lancaster and the House of York each make a claim to the English throne during the fifteenth century. Notice, if you will, that Lannister greatly resembles Lancaster, much like Stark resembles York. You go, George R. R. Martin.
The show follows the ambitious Daenerys Targaryen (aka Dany, aka Daenerys Stormborn, aka the khaleesi, aka “Mother of Dragons”), who is forced to marry the leader of the Dothraki, named Drogo. As cool as she is in season one – jumping into fires, hatching dragons, and all – she kind of becomes a broken record in season two.
Much like Emilie de Ravin’s character Claire Littleton in Lost, Daenerys spends the second season screaming about how no one’s going to take her dragons, but once they are taken from her, she continues to scream about getting her dragons back. Just replace “dragons” with “baby,” and she’s Claire!
The feud between the Lannisters and Starks turns to a war after SPOILER Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King, is murder for treason he did not commit in the wake of King Robert Baratheon’s death.
The new king, Joffrey of House Lannister, is a total jerk and no one likes him. I mean, if I had three bullets and Hitler, Stalin, and King Joffrey were in front of me, I’d probably shoot Joffrey all three times. Just saying.
All the while, Jon Snow, the bastard son of the late Ned Stark, is off with the Night’s Watch doing (Old) God(s) know(s) what. What I do know is that the White Walkers are back after thousands of years and they intend to kill, like, everyone.
Meanwhile, Arya Stark, Ned’s youngest daughter, escapes from King’s Landing, but becomes enslaved by the Lannisters in an attempt to return to the North. She disguises herself first as a boy, then as a mason’s daughter and becomes the servant girl for none other than Tywin Lannister, the head of House Lannister. She has a pretty cool storyline, good for her.
However, her sister, Sansa, has a shitty storyline. She’s being held captive by King Joffrey, who intends to wed her – which no longer makes sense now that House Stark has fallen from grace after her father was murder for treason and her brother, Robb, has started a rebellion against the crown. Regardless, Sansa’s story is boring.
While you’re not supposed to like the Lannisters, Tyrion Lannister, played by Emmy-winner Peter Dinklange, gives the House its only shred of humanity. He prides himself in caring for “cripples, bastards, and broken things,” as he, himself, is a dwarf (others call him “The Imp” or “The Half-Man”). He’s well educated and uses his wit to compensate for his lack of physical presence on the battlefield – just like he does at the end of season two with the magical “Wildfire” that sets the bay outside of King’s Landing aflame, engulfing Stannis’ rebellion fleet in flames.
I could go on and on about the various characters, but I think you get the point. If you’ve yet to see Game of Thrones, I suggest you re-evaluate you life and sort out your priorities. With only three seasons of ten episodes, each about fifty minutes long, you’re looking at less than thirty hours. One a day and you’ll be done in a month. Ten a day, and you’ll be done in three days. Thirty in a row and you’ll clock in at just over a day. Totally doable and totally up to you.