Thursday, May 26, 2011

TWIOT: You Win or You Die, but Either Way, You Get Your Face Ruled

Peter Dinklage masterfully plays Tyrion Lannister in this landmark series
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I don't know if you know this yet, but my new televised obsession is the HBO medieval serial Game of Thrones. The show is based off the series of novels by George R.R. Martin called A Song of Fire and Ice, with GoT being the title of the first novel in the series. I don't know, I think in terms of titlage, Game of Thrones way rules over the other one, so right there, you get the feeling that it's going to be epic.

Through the first six episodes, that epicness is justified. The show combines so many different plot devices that it really is something for everyone. It has bloody gore and violence, and some of it is so innovative. Like this one, after the jump:

.gif Credit: Matt Ufford of WarmingGlow

Just in case you don't know what's going on there, it's murder by crowning. And by that I mean the guy is getting molten gold poured over his head. The show also has political intrigue, murder mystery, gratuitous nudity, elements of horror (the White Walkers, who were only shown once so far but will figure in big later on) and Peter Dinklage playing Tyrion Lannister, the sauciest and wittiest dwarf you'll ever encounter. I think this show has something for everyone.

Despite the above exampled depiction of ultraviolence being the norm rather than the exception, it doesn't turn the series into a freakshow. The core of the series, at least through six episodes, has been based on strong storytelling and great acting, the best of which comes from Dinklage as well as Sean Bean, who plays the main character Ned Stark. Right now, there are three or four main angles swirling around that look to coalesce sooner rather than later in a big way. All the characters have some sort of intertwining. Plus, the actual history of Westeros is so rich and developed but extra care is taken to let that shine through without making it an exercise in imagined history. It's actually made a part of the story rather than clunkily tossed in with meaningless displays of lectured exposition.

Right now, my wife is reading the novels, and if they remain as faithful to them as they are now, then things are going to get even more epic as this season and Season 2 progress (the show was renewed for a second season immediately after the first one). If you have HBO and you aren't watching this? They have the entire season on demand so you can catch up. If you don't have HBO, then I suggest getting this when it comes out on DVD, because it's that good so far. I don't expect it to drop off all that much.

The thing is, HBO comes out with so many great shows that it's hard not to go by the track record. For every clunker like John from Cincinnati, they have five critical smashes that either have their finger on the pulse of culture or are instrumental in shaping said culture. From a network that gave us The Sopranos, True Blood, Treme and several other great programs, it's not surprising they delivered with Game of Thrones. The tagline for the show is "You Win or You Die", but the only way you're not winning is if you're not watching. Highest recommendations.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

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