Tag Archives: HBO

“Game of Thrones” season 3 – Dinklage, Dragons, Flaming Swords – oh my!

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“…Me and THIS army…”

Full disclosure time, fellow nerds – I didn’t get on with “Game of Thrones”, at least in its television adaptation form.  I have yet to look at the books.

I tried two episodes, didn’t enjoy the mud-encrusted grittiness of the drama or empathise with many of the characters – it’s a real “It’s not you – it’s me” situation, I suspect.  It could well be that I just prefer my fantasy to be a bit more comforting, quite escapist and less of a mirror to our inhumanity (oh hai there, Markus Heitz!)

As many of you will be loving George R.R. Martin‘s grim saga of politics, family and fantastical realms, it would be remiss of me to not remind that there is a new trailer for the reasonably imminent season three now available.

Enjoy, I guess?

 

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Pole Axed

Rarely has the gulf in belief between the US and Europe been more clearly illustrated than by the recent, utterly inane, pseudo-controversy about a wax model of former US president George W. Bush‘s head appearing on a pole in an episode of HBO’s “A Game of Thrones.

TL;DR version for the Redditors?  Politicians are human, inherently untrustworthy and deserve scorn.  Move on with your lives.

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Putting aside the obvious fact that nobody would be any the wiser about this inconsequential, throwaway gag had the DVD commentary for season one’s box set not pointed it out, the resultant furore suggests quite worryingly that many Americans believe that their politicians (and, particularly, their presidents) are somehow utterly beyond reproach and deserving of a level of life-long respect which borders on blind idolatry and child-like worship.

Check out this take on the issue by Craig Eaton, Chairman of the Brooklyn Republican Party in noted UK tabloid beloved of nitwits, the Daily Mail – ‘I think that it’s despicable. As a country, Democrats, Republicans, we have to have respect for the office and the individuals. Once we lose that respect, the United States looks weak.’

Yes, an entirely reasonable sense of proportion there.  It’s not as if the American president, senators, congressmen and the like are elected officials who work for constituencies – i.e., the general public.  They are, of course, veritable Titans who walk amongst us and we should all be wearing knee pads on the off-chance that we might need to abruptly genuflect in their presence.

Give any politician an inch and they’ll never stop the ensuing power grab until their avarice and arrogance trips them up or very human hubris results in death on a massive scale.  Politicians, I feel strongly, should live daily in the mortal and justified fear that their electorate will yank them from office and replace them equally swiftly with somebody hopefully competent and not quite as self-serving – they are rarely, if ever, people who deserve anything more than suspicion and contempt.

And Mr Eaton, by the way, I’m pretty sure that Bush’s tenure as president did more to hurt his image and the world’s image of America than a blink-and-you miss it shot of a mannequin in profile head ever will.

In Europe, I like to think that we treat politicians with just the right amount of withering mistrust and quiet disdain – experience has taught us that such individuals are rarely public servants in the truest sense of the phrase and have the moral and ethical core of a sneak thief – that any American citizen goes to their grave believing that politicians are any better than the rest of us is a sign that the biggest con job of all time has been well and truly perpetrated on a sleeping electorate.

Besides, this B.S. non-controversy has clearly only been stirred up by the kind of vocal, cynical, right-of-centre bullies on the blogosphere and in American talk radio who get to place issues of no-importance in the public consciousness and then scream like spoilt children until they get what they want – witness HBO’s deplorably cowardly and censorial decision to remove the shot from future broadcasts of the season one “A Game of Thrones” finale and DVD releases.

So, broadly fascistic rewriting/erasing of something which barely matters to appease lardy, Red State cry babies on the basis that they might cancel their HBO subscription or not buy future season DVD sets.  Great. That’s progress for you.

I also love the false equivalence being thrown around by some of these Conservative blow hards on the issue – would we be as slow to offensive were the head being used Barack Obama?  Any politician is fair game for this kind of treatment – and the “Game of Thrones” shot wasn’t even intended as satire, if you believe the DVD commentary.  I dread to think what many Americans would make of the lack of esteem we Europeans hold our politicians in.  If they ever saw an episode of “Spitting Image” or “Have I Got News For You?” your average Mid-Western Republican would implode in red-cheeked, puffed-out outrage before prompt self-immolation on the spot.

So, not entirely a bad idea, then.

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“A Game of Thrones” – Metallic K.O.

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Over at A Metal State of Mind, atleastimhousebroken, sterling writer, metalhead and fan of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice & Fire” series has penned a series of posts matching characters from the epic fantasy saga to apropos metal songs (Sansa Stark?Nightwish!).

I confess that it’s testing my geek resolve – this bank holiday weekend in the UK might be the one in which I take my first steps into Westeros…

So many books/tv series – so little time…

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“A Game of Thrones Season 2” gets a new trailer

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So, that’s Carice Van Houten and Stephen Dillane in a picture from the second season of HBO’s fantasy adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones” series.  And if you go to YouTube, you can look at a trailer for the second series – looks great to me.  Shame I haven’t actually seen the first season yet.

On the face of it, this series is so very up my street.  Fantasy drama done right, made with a decent amount of money and care and cast with actors who don’t give the impression that they’re doing genre fans a favour by appearing in the show and are giving – egad! – actual performances.

I would love to watch it – but I’m having to wait for the DVD/Blu-Ray box sets as HBO have sold the show in the UK to satellite broadcaster Sky.  This wouldn’t be a problem, as some Sky channels have shown up on the Virgin Media cable platform which I subscribe to.

However, those lovely territorial peeing contests that tv companies insist on engaging in have meant that Sky shunted “A Game of Thrones” off onto their Sky Atlantic channel – which shows every HBO series from the last few years and stuff like “Battlestar Galactica” – and Virgin refuse to pay for carriage rights to the channel, which leaves me S.O.L. and probably a year behind the curve for the remainder of “A Game of Thrones” run.

Of course, I could do something radical like reading the original books and keep the box sets for a marathon session in the near future…

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