Five reasons why you should watch Game of Thrones

Published: April 4, 2013
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Game of Thrones (GOT) is among the most watched (and the most heavily pirated) TV shows in the world, based on the books of George R R Martin. PHOTO: FILE

The Middle-earth had its day on screen; it is now the story of Westeros taking the world by a storm, with the launch of season three of Game of Thrones, HBO’s flagship series.

Are you watching it yet?

For the uninitiated, Game of Thrones (GOT) is among the most watched (and the most heavily pirated) TV shows in the world, based on the books of George RR Martin.

If you aren’t following the show, here is a short explanation for what all the fuss is about:

The storylines:

Everybody loves a good story. Well, GOT has five or six brilliant stories running parallel to one another at the same time.

There’s no protagonist. Instead the stories circumabulate the majestic Iron Throne, and depict a free-for-all struggle of different characters in attaining or retaining it. The show leaps on as a series of shrewd political moves, which succeed or backfire in the most shocking and amusing ways possible.

The best part about GOT is that there is no distinctly benign party to root for. You can choose your own favourite (mine’s House Targaryen, in case you’re wondering), and hope for its endurance like it’s your sports team.

(House of  Targaryen)

A visual extravaganza:

The show is filmed at exotic sites in Morocco, Scotland, Croatia and several others. The scenes are shot all over the place, from the Tollymore forest in North Ireland to the breath taking Svínafellsjökull glacier in Iceland.

And if it’s not the scenery that you’re interested in, you’re sure to be enthralled by the beautifully choreographed battles, painstakingly designed costumes, and spell craft scenes edited to perfection.

Strong female characters:

If you liked Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, and bemoan the dearth of good non-stereotypical women on TV, GOT offers an abundance of them reining the course of history in Westeros.

It’s hardly surprising that the show has a massive female following, despite the original target audience being the ‘male geeks’.

 

From the honourable, sword-yielding Brienne of Tarth to the remorselessly deceptive Lady Cersei, each one of them comes with a richly drawn personality and back-story. And they’re all portrayed through outstanding performances by the GOT‘s award-winning cast.

 

The controversies:

Both cheered and booed, but never quite ignored; GOT has a flair for shocking audiences with imagery rarely ever seen on television.

A good example of it would be George W Bush’s head on a pike in the finale of the first season. Oh boy, that raised a ruckus!

Inspiring sub-plots:

Certain characters come with sub-stories that transcend the fantasy world of Westeros and directly address our current social environment.

 

Tyrion, the fiercely witty member of House Lannister, is a ‘little person’. He is occasionally mocked for his short height with terms like ‘imp’ and ‘dwarf’, but deals with all adversity with true gravitas. He advises another genealogically disadvantaged character in the series to wear his weakness ‘like armour’, so that none may be able to bully him for it.

In an industry where little persons are usually featured for little more than degrading physical comedy, Peter Dinklage’s key role as Tyrion is a breath of fresh, politically correct air. The moral of his story can be best expressed in the words of the Master of Whispers,

“A very small man can cast a very large shadow.”

PHOTOS: https://www.facebook.com/GameOfThrones

Read more by Faraz here, or follow him on Twitter @FarazTalat

Faraz Talat

Faraz Talat

A medical doctor and bubble-wrap enthusiast from Rawalpindi, who writes mostly about science and social politics (and bubble-wrap). He tweets @FarazTalat (twitter.com/FarazTalat)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.