Caitlin Rickard: Winter is never coming

I’m just going to start it all off with the utter truth. There has never been a show I was more reluctant about than Game of Thrones.
Jun 18, 2014

I’m just going to start it all off with the utter truth.

There has never been a show I was more reluctant about than Game of Thrones.

Yes, I say this about many, many shows and topics, example, “why should I watch The Voice when American Idol has been on the air and in my vocabulary for years?” The answer is pure and simple, because it’s just better.

They, and “they” being the proverbial book and script writers and Hollywood execs, can write and create Science Fiction and vampire tales and stories of ancient kingdoms until they’re blue in the face and honestly they can fail nine times out of 10, but, for some reason, this generation, this age of viewing, is going to watch it and read it and buy into it hard.

First (and I’m sure there were plenty before this, I’m just going back to the more epic surge of fandom) there was Twilight. Never in a million years was I going to read that book, much less watch the movie, not that the first movie warranted the reaction it received. But then it became like oxygen to humans, super fans dubbed “Twi-hards” emerged and everyone was reading it and doing it, so here we are, gearing up for even more Sci-Fi books and movies like The Hunger Games and Divergent series’ and hit shows like The Vampire Diaries. True Blood and, of course, Game of Thrones.

I can say, that yeah, I’ve read and watched The Hunger Games and yeah, I watch True Blood, I absolutely love it. So I guess for all arguments sake I’ve given in to this fad as well.

And here I sit, having also given in to Game of Thrones… and I could not be more pleased or proud to admit it.

Once you get past your own reservations, there really is no way that you could not like this show. Unless you’re against incest and sex and alcohol and death and violence and witchcraft and dragons and dwarfs and nobility, and so forth and so on. 

Don’t let this turn you off though, it sounds a lot worse than it is, because when it’s all tied together, you think to yourself, “I wish I lived in Westeros!”

It really is a critics darling, having won and been nominated for countless awards, and a viewers delight.

What makes it so likeable? There is, quite literally, something for everyone. In fact, it’s sometimes near impossible to even keep up with the storylines and characters.

Each week we’re always introduced to a completely new kingdom or mythical land or conniving character to keep the plot thickening and, just as often, characters—even fan favorites and entire families—are killed off. 

You’ve always got to be on your toes when watching this show.

If you’re into nobility and the monarchy, your favorite plot will stay at home in the Seven Kingdoms, more importantly King’s Landing, and follow the Baratheon bloodline as the throne is always switching hands through death and duty. 

The story will also switch out between different kingdoms, from Winterfell to Harrenhal and beyond, for glimpses of different bloodlines, characters and plots ranging from poisoning the King, beheading the patriarch of the show and keeping the secret of the Queen’s affair with her twin brother. 

And what about those nasty white walkers that eat babies?

Those more into the undead can head to The Wall and hang with The Night’s Watch as they fend off “wildlings” and “white walkers” to protect the people of Westeros. Or you could follow the paralyzed and high born Bran Stark in his journey from escaping Winterfell to The Wall, following his foresight into the future and ability to change skin into other people and animals bodies.

Still not convinced? Though there are countless other lands and lines to follow, I’ve saved my favorite for last.

Stannis Baratheon and the Red Woman and the House Greyjoy will not see a spot on my line up.

On to the best.

When we first met Daenerys Targaryen she was merely a teenager thrust into the world of the wild Dothraki men at the mercy of her brother, who was aimed at taking back the throne (the Targaryens ruled the Seven Kingdoms for hundreds of years until a rebellion).

Fast-forward through having her brother killed, her Dothraki warlord husband and baby dying, and freeing thousands of men from slavery to then join her army, the girl has done some growing up. Don’t let me fail to mention her walking into a fire and coming out unburnt and with three hatched baby dragons. Hence, the Mother of Dragons was born and now lives and rules... across the sea, not yet in the Seven Kingdoms. Will the storylines ever collide?

For now, four seasons in, she is Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. And some other stuff, but that’s all I can remember on such short notice here. It takes a lot of breath and focus to introduce her, you see, but she’s still waiting to gain back her rightful title and throne in King’s Landing.

She’s beautiful, and so far truthful and just, and, along with Cersei Lannister (who’s actually quite evil) back in King’s Landing, she’s a major, major character. If she, or Cersei, ever dies I don’t think I could continue watching. 

That’s how invested into these families and this world you get. That’s why these kinds of shows and books do so well. The show, and the books, are limited points of view each week and each chapter, so you’re always left wanting a little more.

You go, George R.R. Martin!

I know this all sounds crazy, but trust me; it gets crazier, in more ways and words than this column could ever explain.

Of all the questions that this show begs though, from characters to castles, I think the one question that holds strong in the hearts of all fans is: Is winter ever coming?

Caitlin Rickard is a staff writer for The Democrat. Email her at crickard@lebanondemocrat.com or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.

 

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