Game of Thrones: Best Program on Television?June 12, 2012
The thought of fantasy being so popular amongst TV audiences is something not so inconceivable. The fantasy population does stretch far and wide, and they, like all other keen fans embrace powerful stories. The only difference with Game of Thrones, however, is that a multitude of people are watching it. And I mean some who are quick to dismiss fantasy as a genre.
In an era where we are accepting of light mannered programs without much substance—Reality TV, anyone—Game of Thrones seems like a labyrinth of complexity in comparison. Yet at the heart of the tale are a group of characters not too unlike all of us, each sharing our common insecurities, and survival instincts. That the scheming in Game of Thrones might be slightly over the top does not make it any less captivating to watch.
As with all great stories, the source material plays a big part, and the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is featured at the top of many top fifty fantasy lists. Its author, George RR Martin, is considered a master of his craft, many comparing him to the magnificent JRR Tolkien, the unofficial Godfather of fantasy.
Many ardent readers of Martin’s book series are happy with HBO’s adaptation, many praising the unflinching violence and graphic sexual scenes. Although noted for not containing strong magical content at the beginning, Game of Thrones is slowly embracing its fantasy roots, with dragons, and un-dead men gracing our screens. This, however, enhances the show, with a gradual—rather than forced—shift to a full fantasy world.
The part of the show that has caught most people unawares, however, is Martin’s ability to kill main characters at will, moving swiftly on after, almost telling the audience to get over it. I will admit to moments where I just could not believe some of the things I was seeing, but the general unpredictability is keeping my interest alive.
The world of Television is still producing deeply engrossing programmes, each bringing their own unique messages. Game of Thrones, however, is setting the bar so high with its acting, and immensely complex—but absorbing—plots. As the second season comes to an end, people will be desperate to know what happens next, prompting many to plough through the books.
Although working with a prose of the highest quality, the producers have not been afraid to change things around, leaving readers of the novel in a strange place. Although witnessing events play out differently to what they know, most are embracing the changes, curious to see where it will lead in the grander scheme of things.
Whether you are a fan of the book or the TV show, Game of Thrones provides a rich and rewarding experience. I have no doubt in my mind that the HBO series most certainly holds a claim for being the best program on our screens.
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