I am late to the Game of Thrones bandwagon. Partly because of a lack of Pay TV in our house, but mostly due to an aversion to all things fantasy-based. If there’s any form of sorcery or conjuring, for example, I’m not interested. One glimpse of anything supernatural and my brain switches off. I have no truck with cauldrons, spells, magical powers etc. ‘Wait!’ I hear you say, ‘aren’t you mistaking Game of Thrones for Merlin? Similar hairstyles, DIFFERENT SHOW.’ Well yeah, but I watched the first episode of GoT last night and there was this weird girl with white eyes and that glazed-over ‘I’m spooooky’ thing going on. She probably has a Magic Happens sticker on her broomstick, or whatever mode of transport she gets around on; magic carpet, winged monkey, tardis, they’re all the same to me. (Hear what I’m saying?)
Yet, as Pythagoras may or may not have said, you can’t argue with numbers*. Heaps of people watch Game of Thrones. People who can quote from Breaking Bad season five, people don’t even have Magic Happens stickers. It’s got Mass Appeal. In light of this, when I was offered a free weekly with my weekend rental at the DVD store, I spotted GoT season one and thought, ‘Hey, millions of people can’t be wrong!’.**
So last night Husband and I sat down in front of GoT and I made a real effort to put my genre prejudices aside. Perhaps it was due to the lack of fantastical elements in the pilot episode, but I found it quite bearable, even entertaining. How does it compare to other fantasy fare? I couldn’t say, but I dare say there are a whole lot more breasts than The Hobbit.***
There is are advantages to this, firstly being the amount of women that come with them. It’s good to see female characters in, well, anything. It’s even better to see them as more than two-dimensional after-thoughts. After only one episode, it’s too early to say whether the female characters will be able to retain their clothes long enough to bring a substantial element to the narrative. I remain hopeful.
Other than the breasts, there are a lot of details. I’ve learnt that I’m not good with details and perhaps it’s this rather than the cauldrons that puts me off fantasy. From what I understand there’s a large guy in a big fur coat in the North, he’s quite powerful and has five sons who – going from their hairstyles – may or may not play in indie bands. There’s another guy in a bigger coat who is king and he wants the first guy to be his hand man or handy man, or something, the air conditioner was on when we were watching and it kind of drowns out about seventy five percent of the dialogue. There were also some wolf cubs who the indie-band guys could have killed but didn’t, thank GOODNESS because I can handle decapitations and disembowelments, but for goodness sake, don’t kill the puppies.
Anyway, I’m going to watch another episode tonight. The jury is still out as to whether I will be converted, but in the meantime, I think I’m going to grow my hair.
*Was he a mathematician? I don’t know, stuff with numbers has the same effect on my brain as fantasy.
**One Direction are a popular band, proving the fact that yes, millions of people can be wrong.
***’Breasts!’ I hear you say. ‘What’s your problem with breasts? Everyone loves breasts, you ridiculous Christian wowser!’ Let’s be clear, I don’t have a problem with breasts, I’ve got some myself. I don’t even have a problem with seeing them on other people. Really, I don’t. All I’m asking for is a level playing field. It seems ridiculously unfair to me that it should just be female characters always getting their kit off. Old argument, I know.