Due to S07 discussion of the show being absolutely everywhere in culture, and alll seasons of the show having over 95% ratings on RottenTomatoes, I decided to finally try watching Game of Thrones (GOT). The first thing I discovered is that Peter Dinklage is an absolute joy to watch in his role, and one can’t wait for his next scene. I got through S01 and a couple of episodes of S02, but ultimately gave up, primarily because I just wasn’t that into it and due to the show’s near obsession with overt and gratuitous displays of incest, homosexuality and the like. (The show’s uber violence leans toward the gratuitous as well.)
If you imagine Lord of the Rings as channeled through ‘Weimerican’ producers seeking transgression as an end in itself (the show is created by created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the novels of George R.R. Martin), you’ve got 80% of GOT. (Over at CC, Telemachus has an in-depth look at the show.)
Nonetheless, one can quickly discern themes of implicit whiteness, and wider depictions of ethnocentrism, despite Martin being, by all accounts, a Leftie. The show’s major themes have poignancy for today. There are diasporic peoples; a debt ridden central kingdom; a blonde race from ‘the North’; and a giant Wall on the northern border of the kingdom, which we are told is crucial be defended at all costs, as there are ominous and dangerous entities on its other side.
Above all else, the show fleshes out the duty to blood, family, and tribe that various warring factions all deploy in their own ways.
I wanted to like GOT, but I just couldn’t get into it.