For weeks now, most of my friends have been raving about HBO’s new series Game of Thrones. I decided to wait until my regular shows had wrapped up before diving in, which ended up being a blessing and a curse. The downside? I think the series might have been over-hyped a bit, plus I really wanted to catch up before I started getting slammed with spoilers, so I watched seven episodes over the course of two or three days. It was a lot to take in. Luckily, none of the episodes are longer than an hour – I hate when HBO makes a movie-length pilot (I’m lookin’ at you, Treme and Boardwalk Empire) and I end up falling asleep while watching.
There are a couple positive aspects to waiting to watch, though, the most important being I got to treat my friends as on-demand encyclopedias of Game of Thrones knowledge. I bombarded one friend with constant texts asking “What’s going on?”, “Who’s that?”, “Why is this happening?”, “When will I get to see a dragon?”. (Don’t I sound like such a fun friend to have? Yes, I think so too.) I know, I know, there are a lot of Wikis out there that could probably give me this information. But it’s easier to just ask.
To be honest, it took me a while to get into Game of Thrones. I generally have a three-episode rule – I’ll give a series three episodes to win me over, and if I’m still not into it after those I’ll drop it. There are exceptions, though, as always. If the first episode really sucks, I won’t give it any more. Or, like in Game of Thrones, if I’m encouraged to stick it out, I will.
My overall problem with getting hooked on Thrones was that the episodes can feel a little long and boring. I don’t know about you, but I can tire of seeing people talk to one another in British accents about blood lines and bastards, ride around on ponies, and screw wenches in the same one sexual position. But in each of the first few episodes, there’s been at least one exciting moment to suck me back in. That, and the promise of more excitement to come from fans of the show, is what kept me returning. Oh, and also the fact that I have very little to watch this summer. (I miss you, Mad Men.)
|Three of my favorite characters on Game of Thrones|
There are a lot of characters, and it’s very difficult (at least for me, anyway, but I’m easily distracted) to understand all the relationships between them. I’d heard someone compare it to getting to know all the players on The Wire. In some sense, it’s similar – lots of characters who are connected in various, complicated ways – but I found it easier to understand The Wire after a few episodes. I’m not sure if I should even bother trying to explain the show to those of you who haven’t been watching because a) I’d probably get it wrong and b) If I did get it right, it probably wouldn’t make sense. But whatever, here goes nothing:
Basically, there are all these people living long ago and far away. There’s a throne, it’s iron. Everyone wants it, and a lot of people seem to have some kind of claim to it. There will be a fight for it. There’s a pretty blond princess in a far away land, who is the exiled daughter of the former “mad king”. There is the current king, his family, and other important families from various lands that are ruled by the king. Are you sold yet? I’m pretty sure that’s the worst summary of the show anyone has ever written. My apologies – though I think I’ve finally wrapped my brain around the gist of it internally, it’s hard to explain in a quick paragraph.
So what’s good about the show? Well, there’s a lot of sex and nudity, and I’m sure some of y’all will enjoy that. There’s action, like sword fighting and whatnot. There are surprised, twists, and a lot of deaths. There’s a dwarf played by Peter Dinklage who’s been a great, very funny character, and a little tomboy princess who is my personal favorite. (What can I say? I might not be a tomboy, but I can relate to her scrappy, sassy style.)
Now that I’ve watched seven episodes, I’m pretty hooked on the show. But I don’t think that happened until about episode six, and that’s a pretty long wait. Based on the ratio of female to male nude scenes, I’d say this show knows who it’s audience is, and it’s not me. But don’t think you won’t enjoy the show just because you’re not a 22 year-old male, or because you haven’t read the books (I haven’t, and likely won’t), or because you’re not into fantasy. It’s slow-going, but the show is heating up and I’m glad I’m watching it.