Jun 20, 2011

Missed Connections- Game of Thrones

12:37 PM

To say that HBO's Game of Thrones freshman season was a massive success would be an understatement on how well received the show has been amongst longtime Westeros trubies (readers of George R.R. Martin's books) and newbs like myself.  Whether its in comicshops, cafes, at the water-cooler, lurking forums or while hoopin with homies-- everyone that have watched an episode have been hooked into the phenomenon that brings em to the source material or just quoting off lines from their fave characters.  After two episodes in, I plunged into reading A Game of Thrones and am just nearing the end of book two,
 A Clash of Kings.  Though I have been reading the book in tandem with the series I gotta say that due to the outstanding level of production & acting-- when I read it is like my imagination now matches a face/voice with someone I haven't met before.  

With the amazing cliffhanger that we all got to rejoice in last night-- I thought it was time to sound off on everything that I have loved about the series, how it does or doesn't connect with the books and all else that comes to mind...including some SPOILERS (so don't read on if you haven't read past book 2 yet, you have been warned!)  Will be honing in on the characters that I have enjoyed most in the past 10 episodes- just talkin story and recounting some of their greatest hits. 

Daenerys Targaryen
The last dragon, (well, almost if we don't count her Uncle Aemon Targaryen, aka Maester Aemon of the Night's Watch), Khaleesi, played by the spectacular Emilia Clarke- has been enough for me to keep tuned in.  And yes, it was a visual, vivrant thing but as more of her talent and depth was shone well you know how that goes.  Season one has been on point with imagining the books from the start seeing how Dany starts off as a submissive, naive 13 yr old (thank Buddha they didn't try to cast younger) pawn to her ambitious older brother, Viserys.  And through her own experiences that made her grow up quick, channeling her inner-strength and commanding voice as Khalessi and soon after as Mother of Dragons.

The books tended to be more explicit on the "relations" between Daenerys and Viserys-- with her assuming she would be marrying her brother like the Targaryens do-- but keeping this plot point minute made the incestuous dynamic between Cersei and Jaime more powerful.  Glad that HBO went that route.  Khal Drogo and Dany were written for the series to have connected much faster than it is paced by Martin-- I suppose this is more mechanical to push the story as they were able to cram all 700+ pages of Book one in 10 episodes.  So guess that point is moot.

Dany's characterization is very similar to Ned Stark where they have a genuine sense of purity amongst the truly horrific, tainted environments-- but where Ned gets consumed by it all to his demise-- Dany adapts and becomes something far beyond what we even expect.  Like the pressurization that makes diamonds, Daenerys truly becomes a dragon born from fire and with the loss of her husband and child gives birth to three actual dragons-- long thought extinct.  Like the Starks' discovery of Direwolves-- she actualizes the 3-headed dragon sigil of House Targaryen.

How imaginative was the final sequence of Dany entering the inferno, only to be found after everything was ashes and smolder the next morning.  I felt that Ser. Jorah would have actually put up more of a fight in letting his infatuation throw her life away-- and I appreciated that they kept her hair nearly unscathed to show that she truly is the Unburnt.  I can't wait to see how well HBO visions her further travels East, especially with the labyrinth during her meeting with the Undying of Qarth.

Jon Snow
Like Dany, Tyrion and so many other popular characters- Jon is another "underdog" role that we want to succeed which is a struggle being the only bastard child of the noble House Stark.  Kinda a twerp standing next to his younger brother and now King of the North, Robb-- Jon finds a new family as a brother of the Night's Watch.   And within that role he learns that his position within the social strata is not as lowly as he believed  now living amongst sons of cooks, farmers, accused rapers and other riffraff.    

Besides maybe Bran, Jon seems to have the closest connection with his Direwolf, Ghost.  And like the once runty, albino pup he has found-- it is now the biggest and most fearsome of the pack, similar to Snow within the Night's Watch becoming squire to the Lord Commander of the Watch, Mormont.  Kit Harrington like many of the other young actors have solid foundations in theatre which meshes well with the calm yet at times erratic persona of Jon. 

The levels of symbolism and foreshadowing in the books that are especially harnessed with Snow are layered in well with sleight of hand cinematography and immaculate dialogue.  Speaking of bastards-- I missed completely in the books that Robert Barratheon's own bastard-- Gendry, took to the Black just like Snow.  Looking forward to the meetup there if he ever gets out of Harrenhal.  My insides are telling me that there is a lot more to Snow that we don't know about like his mysterious mother..could she have ties to what lies beyond the Wall? 

Bran Stark
Bran attempted murder (twice) was the major lynchpin starting the bloody feud between the Starks and Lannisters that rips the North and South in half.  The young Lord of Winterfell gets a lot more shine in the series as he embraces more of his dreamstate visions that hint at his potential for fusing his mind with other beings, first it is a three-eyed crow and later it is with his direwolf, Summer.

You need to read Clash of Kings or just wait next season to see the cool developments of Arya (also dreams that she is Nymeria, leading a pack of wolves through the war on her way to the Wall) and Bran's characters.  When Robb leaves Winterfell for war, leaving young Bran as the head of the Stark fam its some fun shit as we see how smart and instinctive he is in playing the role, though at times being fed lines and cues from Maester Luwin-- Bran begins to embrace some of the noble courtesies and practices as the head of House Stark.

It's really not until Bran gets closer to Osha and meets with Meera and Jojen of House Reed that I started to get more into just how awesome Bran is. 

Theon Greyjoy
Initially we see Theon as the brash, outspoken ward of Eddard Stark with a sibling-like bond to Robb.  Despite being raised by the Starks, sure in captivity...and giving oath for his sword and life to Robb when he is made King of the North-- once he is released to return back as a King to the Iron Islands, we see how truly conniving the guy is.  Like Jaime and Cersei, he is a failed character that you just love to hate.  His father Balon is displeased with the "soft" nature that his only son has grown into living amongst his enemies of House Stark.

The transformation that takes place with Theon displays his loyalty to his House and adds to even further conflict amonst the Seven Kingdoms.

So anticipating the glorious introduction of Asha Greyjoy and the Greyjoy Rebellion 2.0.  Ah why can't season 2 just start in the Winter of 2011, oh well guess the new saying will be Spring is Coming.

Tyrion Lannister
The overwhelming favorite for an individual Emmy this year has to go to Peter Dinklage for his XXL performance of the scintillating, nympho, dwarf son of Tywin Lannister.  Tyrion's quotables are like a medievil standup comedy show:

When being accused for attempted murder by the crazed Lysa Arryn, Tyrion confesses that...
When I was seven, I saw a servant girl bathing in the river. I stole her robe and she was forced to return to the castle naked and in tears. I closed my eyes, but I could still see her tits bouncing. When I was 10, I stuffed my uncle's boots with goat sh*t. When confronted with my crime, I blamed a squire. Poor boy was flogged, and I escaped justice. When I was 12 I milked my eel into a pot of turtle stew. I flogged the one-eyed snake, I skinned my sausage. I made the bald men cry into the turtle stew, which I believe my sister ate. At least I hope she did.

The Hound says I didn't pick you for a hunter...
The greatest in the land. My spear never misses

When asked how he wants to die by eventual sellsword Shagga...
In my own bed, at the age of 80, with a belly full of wine and a girls mouth around my c**k.

When Bran tells Tyrion he is not a cripple, he responds with...
Then I'm not a dwarf. My father will be rejoiced to hear it.

Imping ain't easy.  But if you find yourself in San Diego this July be sure to catch the recently announced HBO panel where not only will the creator and famed writer of the books be avail but also some of the talented cast and crew!  See you there!!

SDCC 2011:  Thursday, July 21
Game of Thrones:  Author George R.R. Martin will moderate the panel with attendees including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Jason Momoa and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The panel marks the freshman series first time at Comic-Con.

This post was written by:
big O
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