Monday, August 21, 2017

Why I think you should watch Game of Thrones

(although you aren’t into dragons, knights and sword-fighting)
The main reason I started reading Game of Thrones was because I’d seen on the Internet that there were two hot and adorable gay characters in it. Of course that only turned out to be an implied truth so no there weren’t any juicy details. Pun intended. (cue evil laugh) But it was a friend who convinced me to watch the T.V show. I’d be in Book Two and he’d already have finished watching Season 5, although he was patient enough not to spoil anything for me. I guess it’s an American thing, I personally don’t mind spoilers. I’d rather know some things now than get a mini heart attack later and Game of Thrones is filled with land mines. Anyway, last winter I decided to give the T.V show a go and I ended up binge watching all six seasons. I even re-watched the entire thing with my roommate back in college whom I persuaded to give the show a chance.
After season 6 ended with major cliff-hangers and prospect for larger battles, fans all across the globe had been feverishly awaiting the premiere of season 7 on July 16 this year (two days later on 18 in Bhutan because Indian Television). Since then, there have also been some major plot and episode leaks online. HBO even got hacked. So is Game of Thrones worthy of all this media storm, or is this just another show with superfluous promotion? I think Game of Thrones is the best T.V show I’ve ever watched, and here’s why.   
First things first, the real title of the series as written by the author George R. R. Martin is “A song of Ice and Fire”, and Game of Thrones is only Book One out of seven and more. However, the show runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss decided to name the T.V show ‘Game of Thrones’ because well yeah, that sounds pretty badass. Now the reasons;
1.     This is more than dragons, knights, monarchs and wars. If you listen to people talk about the show, the first impression you might get is that this is a medieval fantasy. Yes, and no. It has that component, obviously, but it also has so much more. Game of Thrones is a show in which Kings, Queens, Lords, Ladies, Knights and other sly players intelligently and ruthlessly try to topple each other down for power and wealth. There are a lot of mind games and puzzles involved, and the weirdest thing is, people who give zero fuck about rules and honor live longer. It’s highly satisfying to watch these strongly developed characters outwit each other, through words and actions. 
2.     There are two main houses in the story, Starks of Winterfell in the North, and Lannisters the ruling house in the capital, King’s Landing. The show is an invariable struggle for the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros amongst various houses and a few other dangerous players along the periphery.    
3.        If you get past which blonde hunk in armor is whose uncle, and which House with which banner is the warden of which castle, you will find some of the world’s finest screen lines. These dialogues are either picked right off the books, or are cleverly put together to encapsulate a number of events and ideas in a few shoots. The actors deliver these lines immaculately, and are extremely credible. Here are some of the most badass lines from the show: 
[Lord Varys is a eunuch and Lady Olenna is the sassy old matriarch of High Garden]
Lord Varys: I wanted to personally welcome you to King’s Landing. The city has been made brighter by your presence.
Lady Olenna: The city is made brighter by my presence? Is that your usual line, Lord Varys? Are you here to seduce me?
Lord Varys: A little obvious, perhaps.
Lady Olenna: Oh, no, please. Seduce away. It’s been so long. Although I rather think it’s all for naught. What happens when the non-existent bumps against the decrepit?
Lord Varys thoughtfully glances down at this crotch. (For those who don’t know, eunuch is someone whose penis has been cut off)
Lady Olenna: A question for the philosophers.   
 “I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago.” – Ned Stark 
 “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” – Ramsy Bolton
 “Any man who must say ‘I am the King’ is no true King.” – Tywin Lannister 
4.     The castings are dead right and accurate. Like, Kit Harrington for Jon Snow, Emilia Clarke for Daenerys, Peter Dinklage for Tryion Lannister, Lena Headey for Cerci etc. On top of that, the show runners even hired professionals to create a new language for Dothraki. Despite being surrounded by green screens and stroking stunt men wearing silly special effect jumpsuits while shooting, the actors convincingly and powerfully speak these alien languages.   
5.     The drama series contains a lot of killing and gore, but nothing you can’t handle. They’re far from anything that looks like Saw or Evil Dead. Although there were some violent scenes where I had to look away because I’m not a horror-movie person, they’re bearable for others. 
6.     You will be greeted with sudden and absolutely unexpected plot twists when you least anticipate them, making you question your own existence. I’m kidding, but they’ll surely make you swear out loud. Seriously though, I had to read some paragraphs several times over to check I read them right. There are characters you think are leading and wham! They die, and you’re like,  
7.     The story has strong characters that demand rooting for. You will naturally start rooting for certain characters, and they don’t even need to be good guys. There are hardly any good or bad guys in Game of Thrones. Most of them are somewhere in the middle, although a few may be extremists. One such character is Daenerys Targaryen. She begins the show as a beautiful sister of a crazy brother who is blinded by his thirst for the Iron Throne. He sells her off to the leader of a barbaric horde. Eventually though, Daenerys sways potent armies and men into following her, not only with her beauty but also with her firm belief, kind heart and morals. And well, three fully grown fire-breathing dragons. Daenerys grows up to become one of the most important characters in the show. 
8.      Game of Thrones is based on incredibly colossal volumes of imaginative writing. George R. R. Martin has created an unbelievably intricate word of stories that comprises of hundreds of characters, thousands of miles, a timeline that spans for centuries, and a history that extends for generations. If anyone knows how to write, it’s George R. R. Martin.
9.     A considerable amount of effort, resources and time gets invested in making the show. The special effects and CGI are of top quality. They actually build large structures only to be burned to ashes later. Also, some scenes that may look like CGI aren’t always so. For instance, in season 6, Jon Snow is seen bracing himself for a horde of horses charging towards him in full speed. While filming, 40 real horses were actually galloping towards Kit Harrington until the very last minute. Unreal. 
10. Nudity, incest and same-sex romance are in abundance. House Targaryen marries brothers off to their sisters, but no matter how invested we are in the story, because at the back of our mind we know it’s fiction, it’s not really disgusting. Also, in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, normal isn’t exactly in the terminology. There are steaming sex scenes, and after-sex politics talks. Definitely not your average fantasy with sweet dragons and turreted stone castles. Although, the episodes that premiere in Bhutan through Indian Television are highly censored versions. I mean they even cut a kiss following a pregnancy news bomb. How lame can this get!
11.                 Go crazy reading bizarre fan theories online. I do.  

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It's one of those hot, sky-blue days that taste of vanilla ice cream and summer and future, when your heart beats faster for no apparent reason, and when you're prepared to swear any oath that friendships never end.

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