Monday, February 24, 2014

HBO's "Game of Thrones": fantasy for the novice, maybe (and a good model for what another world could really be like)

I finally rented the first two episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, from 2011, as created by David Benioff and B.D. Weiss. 
Most viewers know that the series was adopted from a series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, “A Song of Fire and Ice”, of which the first is called “A Game of Thrones”.  The Pilot was called “Winter Is Coming” (or “Winterfell”), and the second was “The Kingsroad”.
Each DVD episode opens with a visual map of the entire fantasy universe of the Seven Kingdoms, well made with technie models.  You fly over what could be a model railroad layout, except that there are no trains, but lots of waterways.  The most interesting feature seems to be “The Wall” (any reference to the West Bank?) beyond which lies The North, which sounds analogous now to Putin’s Russia, particularly Siberia, filled with as many demons as people. 
In fact, the structure of the “world” reminds one of what one might find on a tidally locked planet, where one side is toward its sun, and the dark side is always cold (although more recent studies suggest such planets may have more even climates than had been supposed because of wind currents). 
The series seems to have a lot of nudity and violence – plenty of decapitations, with swords, which seem merciful (hint).  There’s a curious scene in the prologue where shirtless young men are getting haircuts.  Some of the feast scenes are fabulous.  These people seem to live well without electricity.

The series has prompted debate on Hollywood handles the piracy issue and releases popular showsto various media.  

HBO's site is here

Picture: from Ireland (Travel Expo in Washington). 

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