Ravens! Ca-caw! Ca-caw! Look Out! It's Ray Lewis!
Ok! JJ's back!
Now, where was I, before I went all Sean Bean-y? Ah yes, thoughts on the ole' Game of Thrones...
Before I get to the "book" part, a couple more points about the show. Or about two of the actors, anyways. One: Tyrion Lannister. The "imp" (no, not "gimp"! That's Pulp Fiction! Ha ha.) Played by...oh yes...Peter Dinklage. This guy:
When I was a kid, the most famous little person actor was a guy named Billy Barty. This guy:
Somebody needed a little person, they called Billy. And, don't get me wrong, Billy was great. But he wasn't "cool". Dinklage is cool. And his characters get on with the ladies. Did you see him in "Nip/Tuck"? All zen like and "hello Julia..." And "The Station Agent"? Ok, I didn't see it, but I heard he was very good in it! And Tyrion Lannister is a totally badass character. All smart and plotty and witty and shit.
So...you know...good for him.
Next! This guy:
Aiden Gillen. Good to see him again. Another guy whose career surprised me by its lack of bigness. Why, you ask? Not because of his portrayal of "Carcetti", the Baltimore city councillor/mayor in "The Wire", that's for sure. Listening to him bang out that crazy American accent on that show? I had to shake my head. Freaking waste of talent. So no, not the Wire. So what show? As if you don't know. Yes! Queer as Folk! (the original UK version of course). Holey moley, Gillen was like a force of nature on that show! Talk about bad ass characters. I can't even explain it! Thought about it! Tried! Couldn't! You know what I mean? You know what I mean.
Ok, the book! Sheesh, finally. Right?
First thing. The first folks you meet in the book? The Starks. Lords over the north part of this fictional world. As its in the north, its cold. And dreary. And shit, man, I'm from Winnipeg! And work in Ottawa! I get that! Cold. Short days. Frostbite. Etc. But sheesh, do they have to let that fact affect everything? Everybody walks around all grim discussing how "winter is coming" (which, to be fair, in this made up world for some reason lasts for years, but still!). See!?:
And the names for everything? Man. Their castle? Is it called "Warmandtoastyville"? Nope. "Refugefromthecold"? Nope. "Winterfell". Hey, that's a cozy name. And anybody born out of wedlock? They have to take a special last name. (Clearly there is no human rights legislation in this world, because I feel like that would be a no-no.) And what is the name they have to take? "Snow". Really? "Snow"? That's not too on the nose?
And then Lord Stark's sword? Does he have a name for it? You bet he does. What is it? "Ice". The only unsurprising thing is that it is not called "Ice IV" or "Ice XV". Like with people with this much imagination, how could this possibly be the first sword that some guy has named "Ice"?
Look, alls I am saying is that things might not be so dreary if you thought a little more about the positive stuff in life!
Next! The "Wall". The Wall is this structure erected hundreds and hundreds of years before the present time in the book. It is in the North and built to keep out bad folks, including mysterious folks called "The Others". And, oh yeah, it's seven hundred feet high. Do you know how high that is? If it was a building in present day Canada, it would be around the 15th tallest building in the country. The technological advancement of the folks in the present time of the book is roughly "middle ages". Ninety percent of the people in the book can't read. But somebody hundreds of years before built this seven hundred foot high wall, stretching for miles and miles. I'm just sayin' seems maybe a bit unlikely. And why seven hundred?! That's never explained! Why not six hundred? "Oh, we would storm the wall, if it were only six hundred feet high, not seven..." Like, I feel even two hundred feet high is probably going to get you the results you want, maybe? Three hundred, to be safe? Unless "the Others" have some sort of crazy climbing ability? Maybe that's in the next book? And the soldier guys patrol the top of the wall. Like "keep your eyes peeled, gents! They could pop over the wall any second!"
And then there's the "Dothraki". They live in tents. Ride around on horses. When they aren't repeatedly raping women. Or killing each other. And this big cheese "Dothrak"? It's a big deal because a Dothraki has to cut his hair if he is defeated in battle, and this guy's hair is really long. Which is fine, except that every fight these guys have with each other seems to be to the death. Like there's this wedding and these dudes start fighting and so this other guy says to the non-Dothraki bride, "oh it wouldn't be seen as a successful Dothraki wedding without X amount of deaths." And sure enough, one of the fighting dudes kills the other, and then it happens a bunch more times during the wedding. So who fucking cares about the hair? Isn't just the fact that you haven't been murdered yet enough? And what is up with all the killing? I mean, is this really any way to build a society?
And, again, they ride up to the big Dothraki city, and the gates are these hundred foot high wrought metal horses. Really? The way these guys are presented, I wouldn't have thought them capable of making a sandwich, yet I am supposed to believe the built a hundred foot high gate?
Then, at the end. This woman walks into this big bonfire. With these dragon eggs that are supposed to be petrified. (Oh, yeah, did I mention? This world has dragons. Or did. They're supposed to all be dead.) And she doesn't get all burned up. And dragon eggs hatch. And I am actually all cool with that. But then the dragons start nursing at this woman's breasts. That was a bit fucked up. And, like, I gotta assume dragons are some sort of reptile? Or at most, close to the bird family? But either way, not mammalian? As in, no drink-ey milk-y from momma's boob-y? And yet these dragons are all over it! Slurp, slurp slurp!
Finally...the biggest injustice of the book? Not one sign of this guy!
JJ (spin...parry...thrust...!) Out!