"..a bardy view!"

Game of Thrones

Game-of-ThronesAs usual I have arrived late to the party.

In this instance the "Game of Thrones" which is aired on Sky Atlantic.

I must admit I shy away from mythological fantasy, especially if penned by such questionable luminaries as J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis, and dare I say, J K Rowling. (Notice how each author initialises their moniker!) 

So not being a Sky subscriber I was ignorant not only of the TV production but also the author who inspired it – George R R Martin (two initials in that one – must be a winning formula) from his collection of epic novels entitled "A Song of Ice and Fire".

 I dipped my toe in (through the wonders of internet movie streaming) and I was immediately struck by the beautifully shot landscapes and settings – and particularly the intelligent acting and script.

This is not Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia. And it's certainly not for kids or even adult kids. It's an adult story, and in many respects offensive to sensitive eyes and ears – yet, some of the most respected British thespians of stage and screen are in this, and it's demonstrable.

But watching the first three episodes it is clear that the author has amalgamated Romano-British history, laced it with Arthurian legend, and even incorporated political intrigue and rivalry from the War of the Roses, and the Houses of York and Lancaster. Indeed, the great Ice Wall can easily be assumed to be Hadrian's Wall, separating the northern barbarian hordes from the civilised kingdoms in the south.

Add this to an extremely clever and observant dialogue, and it is clear why it's such a success. Many will watch it purely for the sex, violence and liberal nudity, yet it is not voyeuristic, and appears to have a relevant place in the grand scheme (well that's my excuse!)

Unsure of the accuracy to the original tome, I downloaded a free Kindle sample of the first chapter, and with the exception of some minor changes, it's seems to stick closely to the overall essence of the book.

The principle character is Lord Stark played by Sean Bean. Aye by gum! Who has morphed from the northern enigmatic and reckless heroic Sharpe of Bernard Cornwell's Napoleonic novels into a northern wise, careworn, browbeaten and thoroughly miserable old git with a heart. Yet, he is still very believable and supported by an outstanding cast.

It's not perfect of course and the libertine King of the Seven Kingdoms – Robert – overacts profusely; and the Dothraki Tribe across the sea is clearly cloned from the Klingons – even their language is similar. But the fact that most of the population of these kingdoms speak British English, with elements of Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and associated accents, gives it a reassuring gravitas. After all, a Hollywood star with a trans-Atlantic brogue would just blow all credibility out of the water.

So all in all this is a very intelligent drama, and reminds me of Shakespeare. It's not Shakespeare – but it attracts Shakespearian actors, and for that reason I for one look forward to the continuing episodes.

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June 1, 2013 - Posted by | Arts, Books, Culture, Education, Europe, Film, Game of Thrones, General, History, Politics, Religion, Science, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. An enthralling read here and I also loved the whole thing and have read a couple of the books.


    Comment by spookmoor | April 13, 2014 | Reply

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