“Don’t get attached to anyone, everyone dies,” No 1 Son warned me on Good Friday when I sat down to watch the first episode of Game of Thrones. He was right, sort of (don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this post) because two weeks and all five seasons later I was a bit of an emotional wreck, although fortunately enough decent and interesting characters remain to keep you interested.
I’m not really sure why I resisted it for so long – particularly as when I was in Northern Ireland I was taken to some of the locations along the glorious Antrim coast that are used in the series (and now I want to go back and I also want to visit all the other filming locations, including the ones in Seville). And I do enjoy historical fantasy if it’s in the 300-vein, which Game of Thrones definitely is. So after a fortnight of watching it back to back, I’m really glad I binged on it; the last time I mainlined a TV series like that was Breaking Bad.
OK, sometimes the storylines and plot developments in Game of Thrones can be a bit bizarre (it is fantasy, after all, although sometimes it can get a bit hammy, and sometimes downright silly and unintelligible); but mostly it’s absolutely gripping, with some astonishing acting, humour, a LOT of violence and of course sex, of every conceivable taste (it’s not something to watch with your mum in the room, or for that matter, anyone under the age of 16).
I have also developed a recent and unexpected passion for men with beards – in particular of course Robb Stark and Jon Snow (as played by the delectable Kit Harington. If it’s wrong I don’t want to be right).
And I have an overwhelming urge to dress up as Khaleesi/Daenerys Targaryen. One of the criticisms I’ve heard levelled at Game of Thrones is that there’s a lot of gratuitous female nudity; I’d argue that it’s counterbalanced by the male nudity, but more importantly, there are a lot of REALLY strong female characters in Game of Thrones, which makes it pretty ground-breaking. Even if they don’t all make it to season six (oh come on, that wasn’t a spoiler.)