I’d been fighting against Game Of Thrones for some time. I saw it as a sub Lord Of The Rings sword and sorcery also-ran and I detest Lord Of The Rings with an unyielding passion – something to do with my Irish Celtic heritage and being unimpressed with a lesser culture’s need for invented mythology.
So I’d only seen a YouTube snatch or two – prophetic for Game Of Thrones – and had been relatively underwhelmed, even though I have close links to both Northern Ireland and Croatia where the series is famously filmed.
And then of course there was all the hype – a guaranteed turn-off – and the freshly reported fact that the preferred location for the series, Scotland, potentially missed out on £160 million in revenue by failing to have a big production studio available: TV production as economic driver rather than a hotbed of visual creativity.
Game Of Thrones is like a Led Zeppelin concept album come to life where both the soundtrack and the visuals blow your head off.
But then I wrenched my leg and was forced to put my feet up for a few days and social media drove my curiosity to catch up with the recently ended season of the show.
I was flabbergasted and immediately fell hook line and sinkered into the world of Westeros and Essos and the fighting factions. I became a banner man is spite of myself.
Game Of Thrones is like a Led Zeppelin concept album come to life where both the soundtrack and the visuals blow your head off. I remember great cult TV series from the past like The Man From Uncle, The Prisoner and Twin Peaks where you had to enter a world to really appreciate the unfolding narratives. But in Game Of Thrones I’ve seen things that I’d never thought I’d see on a TV screen, or rather on a computer monitor as I’ve been streaming all the episodes non stop for days now.
I blame the casting. First series leads Sean Bean and Mark Addy initially put me off as they’ve both been typecast as TV advertising voice over journeymen, but with the fresh young talent and the surprising, multidimensional and involving plotlines and characterisations I soon got drawn in, and even saw Messrs Bean and Addy in a revealing new light.
There’s something in the fact the series characters are invented archetypes riddled with strengths and weaknesses that make them even more credible as fully rounded human beings seen from many viewpoints. In this the show creates a whole definition of magical realism.
There are many breathtaking moments in every episode of GoT – too many to outline here – but if you’ve been fighting the temptation to get involved and see what all the fuss is about then now could be a good time.
Just think about it. According to the producers and the source material there could be at least another seven series of the show ahead. So my advice is don’t fight Game Of Thrones, it’ll cut your heart out and eat it.