Game of Thrones Night

DaenerysThis weekend, I watched the first six episodes of “Game of Thrones” with friends.  Bear in mind that I’ve only read the first couple chapters of the book by this point.  I’m going to try to give my thoughts on it without including any spoilers if I can help it.

We made up a drinking game to go along with the series.  The rules are rather simple–drink any time there is blood or nudity.

I really enjoy the complexity of the characters.  Most characters aren’t purely good or evil.  Even the corrupt king isn’t a bad person, he’s just very clearly unfit to rule and would rather just drink and be merry.  There are some characters that I absolutely despised though (Viserys was one, the queen was another).

I’m glad that it was HBO that decided to pick up the series.  One thing that bothers me in adaptations of books is when large plot points are left out in order to make the film adaptation okay for television.  For example, much of the plot of Philippa Gregory’s “The Other Boleyn Girl” took place in the bedroom of Henry VIII.  The movie had to be much more PG about it.  I was glad to see that “Game of Thrones” could include the amount of nudity/sex/violence that is essential to the plot.

Most episodes end in such a way that you find yourself wanting to watch the next one immediately.  We did that until the point that the birds were chirping and it was morning, and we couldn’t keep our eyes open for another minute.

I really enjoy the scenes with the Dothraki.  I think that Daenerys is a really cool character.  She starts off kind of shy and submissive, but then her twit of a brother sells her in marriage to a Dothraki warlord.  She really comes into her own then, becoming his queen and learning how to stand up for herself and be a good leader.  I know that my roommate and my boyfriend weren’t as big on the Dothraki scenes, but I am really drawn to them as the only non-European culture in the series thus far.  At the moment, I find horseback raiders who live beneath the sky more interesting than the incestuous monarchy.  Of course, there are those who would disagree with my opinion, such as in this article that claims that “Game of Thrones” is racist to the Dothraki.  I would wholeheartedly disagree, and will maintain that if it is indeed racist to the Dothraki, then Star Wars is racist to Tuskan Raiders, James Bond is racist against Russians, and Lord of the Rings is racist toward orcs.  If every fictional group got along with each other and had the same culture, there would be no story, no conflicts, no plot…

I can’t wait to watch the rest of the series, and I’m really looking forward to reading the books.

Comments make me happy! Please feel free to leave a reply.

9 comments

  1. Nice review for a newbie. 🙂 You said pretty much what I expected.

    Robert isn’t really corrupt by the way–he is just more suited to winning the throne, not warming it.

    My opintion–> The books are phenomenal and the series is epic.

    1. Haha, yeah… well, Robert is much better with wine and women than he is with actually understanding what’s going on in the kingdom. It’s more like he’s just clueless.

    1. It’s definitely worth checking out. I think that a series is a much better way to adapt a book than a movie because you don’t have to skip so much that’s important to the plot. From what I’ve heard from friends who have read it, the series is pretty true to the books, although there are a few points where the series creates a dialogue between two characters to illustrate a plot detail that was stream of consciousness thought in the books, which makes sense.

  2. also, i agree with your racism comment. people have a lot easier time demonizing another culture when they don’t look human (i.e. Tuskan Raiders, Orcs, etc.), but when it’s a person they have to start getting all political. anytime there’s struggles between two people, racism inevitably enters the picture. it’s the way of people, the way of life, and as you pointed out: it would be pretty damn dull if everyone got along. (at least when we’re talking entertainment).

  3. Daenerys improves I think as a character as the series continues. One of the more interesting character arcs for me in fact.

    The drinking game though, how could you take a drink each time there’s blood or nudity and live? Some episodes would leave you needing a liver transplant…

    The racism thing is nonsense IMO. For me one of the things the series was doing was showing how, as you got to know it, the culture of the Seven Kingdoms was just as bloody as that of the Dothraki. Possibly more so. It’s classic “who are the real barbarians” territory. To see it as demonising the Dothraki is to profoundly miss the point.

    1. We took very small drinks, lol. I think the culture of the Seven Kingdoms is more bloody than the Dothraki, although they like to pretend otherwise. Not just more bloody, but also less honest about it. I mean, even from the first episode you have the whole thing with poor Bran…

      1. Exactly. I think that’s part of the point. The Seven Kingdoms appear civilised, the Dothraki appear barbarian, but when the Dothraki try to overturn their rules they do it to their faces. In the Seven Kingdoms it’s poison, murder, and profoundly dishonest.

        The Dothraki are, for better or worse, what they profess themselves to be. The Seven Kingdoms aren’t. That’s why I think the racism charge so misses the point. The Dothraki aren’t orcs, they’re not really bad guys in any sense. Just people. I’m not to be honest a massive fan of the books but they definitely don’t demonise any group (except the ice zombies, but they do seem pretty demonic and who knows, perhaps after I bailed they get a bit of love too…).