*SPOILERS ABOUND READ AT YOUR OWN RISK*
I’ve been binge watching “Game of Thrones” for the past few days. Well, as much as I could. It’s a very hard show for me to binge watch; what with all the heavy drama, intricate plotting, innumerable characters, death of good characters, myriad subplots, and gratuitous sex and nudity. I stopped for a week at the episode before Ned Stark dies, just because I didn’t want to watch him die, before gritting my teeth and getting it over and done with.
But I’m finally through with it, and it is as epic as dozens of TV critics and general consensus has proclaimed it to be. (LOVE the opening theme by Ramin Djawadi, which underscores the grandeur of the show.) All the characters, no matter which side they are on, have complex motives and back-stories that make you unable to dismiss them outright, even if you hate them for their actions. Well, all except Joffrey, who is the evilest creature alive, and if he could just die painfully already, that would be great. I used to hate Theon Greyjoy too — even before he took over Winterfell, because he was just too arrogant for words and he has a hateful face — but he realised his wrongs in the end (too late, unfortunately) and no one deserves the torture he went through (except probably Joffrey).
Favourite subplot? Daenerys Targaryen and her quest to take back the Seven Kingdoms from across the Narrow Sea. She is one badass motherf**ker, and it’s been a pleasure watching her grow from a meek pawn in the first few episodes of Season 1 into the “Mother of Dragons”.
I like Jorah Mormont very much too — faithful knights who serve their masters with a heaping dose of unrequited love on the side always had a soft spot in my heart.
Favourite characters? Too many to count. Tyrion Lannister (for whom Peter Dinklage’s Emmy is well deserved), Shae “the funny whore”, Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Ygritte, Samwell Tarly (whom I’m very surprised survived as long as he has), Ser Davos Seaworth… even Jaime Lannister, after he lost his hand. It took me two and a half seasons to realise that Jaime Lannister reminds me of Sawyer from “Lost”, with his hair, wisecracks and general “punch”-wish attitude — where instead of wishing for death, he wishes to get punched — and above all, his capacity for humanity, even if he wishes to appear otherwise to the world. Sansa Stark, however, is one of the silliest girls alive. I shall say no more.
Favourite episode? Season 1, episode 1, because the Starks were all alive and still together in Winterfell, and everything hasn’t gone to shit yet. The Red Wedding episode is the most heart-shattering of all. Even readers of the book could have been lulled into a false sense of security because it was all going so well — much less non-readers who had no inkling at all — but things took a turn so drastically that no wonder there was such an uproar on the internets after it aired. I knew what was coming, and I still teared when it happened, especially when Robb looks brokenly at his mother and calls out to her, before Roose Bolton stabs him. And then Catelyn just WAILS, before she, too, is silenced. (And Arya! Her fear of being too late came true after all!)
And Ned Stark. Poor Ned Stark, for whom if he refused to be Hand of the King in the first place, his family would have been intact. I adore Sean Bean, and so was very upset to know that his presence on the show is so short-lived, but Ned Stark was too honourable to have survived in that cutthroat environment after Robert Baratheon died. But wait! He *could* still have been alive, if not for that $#&@*&! Joffrey going back on his word! #$&@*%#&!$@!
The sex and nudity is too much though. Just too much. I have never seen female characters (and it’s always the women, hardly the men) who like disrobing so much as in this show. HBO, it doesn’t mean that just because you can show nudity on air that you *should*. What, you won’t be able to call yourselves a premium cable channel if you didn’t have full-frontal nudity and simulated sex in every episode of your dramas? Where were all the male full-frontal shots in Band of Brothers then? Not that I want to see male genitalia anymore than I want to see boobs and vaginas, but women are already being objectified in society, and this show does so more than most with needless nudity and sex scenes (re: Littlefinger instructing the two whores in his brothel while he explains his motives), and it’s just degrading.