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Thoughts on this week’s Game of Thrones – “The Kingsroad”


Game of Thrones (TV series)

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Game of Thrones: “The Kingsroad” Or, “How to make love to your non-consensual husband”

I’ll admit, there isn’t much about Game of Thrones that screams high-class drama. This isn’t The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men, or even Treme. And while I might be eaten alive by A Song of Ice and Fire enthusiasts, I’m finding Game of Thrones more in line with fun, campy dramas like True Blood. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just that there isn’t much about Game of Thrones that inspires deep conversation the way the former shows do. Instead, I find myself talking about “how that blonde bitch just got owned by a little girl.” Entertainment is entertainment; it doesn’t need to always be sophisticated art. It’s why I will still see Fast 5. Or why people watch Glee. But at some level, the series deserves a more profound use of subtlety coupled with its epic bloodbaths in order to propel it another level of entertainment.

I think the problem with Game of Thrones is the expectation that show should be an Emmy contender. Should it embrace its ludicrousness or attempt to become a more intellectual piece? Can it do both? Certainly it’s succeeds at the former, with the evidence too long to count. Yet when it comes a more intellectual piece on family and loyalty, Game of Thrones can’t quite make it work. The cast is literally too large to explore any of the characters intimately, with only small vignettes into their struggles. And many of the more emotional moments are supplemented with frat humor; Daenerys’ plight could be an extremely moving piece on the limited power that women hold through their bodies, yet the quick cut to Daenerys and Khal Drogo in bed together for the first time is a bit too outlandish to take seriously. There’s no subtlety. In fact, subtlety isn’t anywhere to be found within the hour, kind of like those ice zombies from the first episode.

And again, that’s not a bad thing. If you like boobs, arranged marriages, incest, plots to kill a king, and canine badassery (and really, who doesn’t?), Game of Thrones succeeds. And I’m truly loving the experience. I just wish it handled its more emotional aspects with a tinge more subtlety and sophistication.

Grade: B

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One Response

  1. Sorry for my English, but it’s not my first language and I haven’t much time 🙂

    From these two episodes, I feel that GOT is simplified in comparison with the books.
    The problem is that 10 episodes are too few to introduce a completely new world, a very large cast and a tangled plot. There is much less space for the subtlety than in Mad Men (where there isn’t a different world and where there isn’t much plot) or in the Sopranos (where there isn’t a different world and where there is a central character).
    So, it seems to me that the comparison with True Blood is unfair.
    (Also, I feel that anyway GOT isn’t as trashy and superficial as True Blood. But my judgement is biased because I watch the show influenced by the books).

    (The Wire is on a different level, IMHO. I’ve never seen any other tv series with that subtlety)

    The Daenerys sex thing, considered alone, isn’t very interesting neither in the book. But it’s only a small part of a more important, longer, character evolution.
    But yes, there are already several situation that in the books are more complex and detailed. And I also have to say that the book itself improves a lot when it goes on, and that the later books get better than the first.

    So, let’s see.
    It will be difficult for GOT to reach the “higher” shows, but i think that also placing it with True Blood isn’t right. Maybe it will be on the Rome level (but with a better plot, IMHO :P). I don’t think that Rome is a particulary deep series… but it isn’t True Blood.

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