Not a Review of “Game of Thrones”

So recently, having waited over six years for the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series to come out, with no end to the waiting in sight, and being tired of missing out on all the delicious things that have been happening in the HBO adaptation “Game of Thrones” since it went past the end of A Dance with Dragons―Tyrion meets Dany! Starks return to Winterfell! Jon meets Dany! Dragons meet Lannisters!―I decided it was finally time to bite the bullet and wade through the discs from Netflix.

Don’t get too comfortable.

And there are a lot of discs.

Wife: “How many episodes are in this show?”
Me (looks it up online): “60 are available from Netflix. There’ll be like 75 by the time it’s finished.”
Wife: “How many episodes were in ‘Breaking Bad‘?”
Me (looks it up online): “62.”
(Wife is clearly disgruntled that ‘Breaking Bad’ has fewer episodes than ‘GoT’)

Now of course, because I’m watching the show, that means I’m also subjecting my wife to it, though the vast number of characters and plotlines (not to mention the funny names) all conspire to make her eyes glaze over. And, of course, there’s this:

Wife: “That’s gross.”

Because, yes, “Game of Thrones” does like the blood and guts and blood and decapitations and blood and hacked off limbs and did I mention the blood?

Wife: “Can this show go five minutes without a sword fight and 20 minutes without a sex scene?”
Me: “Well, HBO does like to remind you from time to time that you’re watching HBO.”
Wife: “I’m going to get a stopwatch and time it.”

That’s an experiment we haven’t done yet, but we probably should.

Despite the frequent gore, I have caught my wife starting to pay attention to the show, for various reasons.

People Magazine’s “Sexiest Barbarian Alive”

Wife (when Khal Drogo shows up): “Who’s the eye candy?”
Me: “That’s Khal Drogo.”
Wife: “I mean, I don’t think he’s eye candy. But I can see where the producers would think that people would think he’s eye candy.”
Me: “Uh-huh.”
Wife: “He’s awfully pretty for a barbarian.”
Me: “Well, don’t worry, he won’t be around for too long to offend you with his prettiness.”

She still doesn’t know exactly which people are who, in part because of all those names that are either crazy fantasy-show inventions or overly similar to each other.

Wife: “Bran? Bran? He’s named after a cereal? Has he got a brother named Oatmeal?”

And later:

Wife: “Now who’s that?”
Me: “That’s Bronn. He’s a swordsman who―”
Wife: “Bronn? First we have Bran, now we have Bronn?”
Me: “Uh-huh. And later on we’ll have a Brienne.”

She also kind of remembers who’s who based on their relationships with other characters, although she still has some trouble telling them apart. Especially when so many of them are blonde.

Not doing the nasty together.


Wife: “Is this the one who’s sleeping with his sister?”
Me: “No. They’re brother and sister, but they’re not sleeping together.”

Totally doing the nasty together.

Wife: “Okay, is this the one who’s sleeping with his sister?”
Me: “Yep.”

The plethora of beards is also problematic for character recognition.

Wife: “Which one is she married to?”
Me: “She’s married to the king.”
Wife: “Which one is the king?”
Me: “The one standing up.”
Wife: “They should make the king wear a crown all the time so we know who he is.”
Me: “You can’t tell Ned and the king apart?”
Wife: “No. They both have beards. They look exactly the same.”
Me (beat): “There are probably a lot of Sean Bean fans who would disagree with you.”

Hmm, then again, perhaps she has a point …

Still not Ned Stark.

Fortunately she has me to remind her who’s who when she has questions. Like when Viserys finally gets his golden crown:

Can you smell what the Khal is cookin’?

Wife: “Which idiot is this again?”
Me: “This is Viserys, the one who thinks he should be king of Westeros.”
Wife: “And he’s not sleeping with his sister, right?”

Or when she isn’t sure if someone is Cersei or the Khaleesi.

Wife: “Is this the one who’s married to the eye candy?”

Of course, there’s that whole medieval mindset that even the more sympathetic characters possess, which can make it hard for her to find them sympathetic.

Wife (while Khal Drogo is proclaiming how he’s going to kill all Dany’s enemies in Westeros, rape the women, sell their children as slaves, etc.): “She’s standing there listening to her beloved husband talk about raping women and selling slaves and stuff?”
Me: “Oh that’s just campaign talk.”

She has even made a couple of surprisingly accurate predictions regarding future plot points.

“Just you wait until I get my hands on my real sword.”

Wife: “Let me guess. Arya is going to escape and get revenge on everyone.”
Me: “Actually, yes, she does. Arya’s awesome. But in the books she’s still blind and living on the other side of the sea.”
Wife: “What?”
Me: “… It’s complicated.”

And when a couple rangers of the Night’s Watch are brought back from beyond the wall, stone-dead but surprisingly lacking in odor:

Wife: “I bet they’re not dead at all. I bet they’re under some kind of spell.”
Me: “Oh they’re dead all right.”
Wife: “Then I bet they’re zombies.”
Me: “That is more or less exactly what they are.”
Wife: “Medieval zombies!”

She’s even managed to tie GoT in with current events.

Wife (while the Lannisters are busily slaughtering Starks after ambushing them in King’s Landing): “They were all very bad people. There was violence on both sides.”
Me: “But mostly on the Lannister side.”
Wife: “Which ones are the Lannisters again?”

So despite all the blood and gore and the panoply of locales and characters with funny names or the same names, she has only fallen asleep a couple of times, towards the end of a few episodes; by the third or fourth episode she was definitely sort of kind of almost paying attention to the show. And this is how I can tell:

Wife: “That’s gross.”

Wife: “That’s gross.”

Wife: “Is this porn?”

Wife: “That’s gross.”

Yeah, we really do have to get that stopwatch running …

12 thoughts on “Not a Review of “Game of Thrones”

  1. Having binge watched GoT a couple of years ago to catch up my husband and I had similar reactions to the events in the show. In the early episodes there are so many characters I too had trouble telling them apart. At least when you get to the current season there are far fewer characters than in the first few seasons (since many have been killed off) which makes it easier to tell them apart. I loved your recreation of the dialog between you and your wife. My favorite line from you is “Oh that’s just campaign talk.”

    Thanks for the chuckle and enjoy the show.



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