Recently, after having a look online at the progress being made on the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, I decided to revisit Game of Thrones, which is probably my favourite TV series of all time.
Why? Well, I don’t really know. Just seemed like a good series to watch while we have icy cold and wet weather in Cape Town. I was also bored and couldn’t find anything new to watch that kept my interest. My friends of course had only one conclusion to me revisiting a series most people loved, but will never watch again. Bewbies. Reprobates, all of them.
Now I can go prattling on about the books, the history and the writer, but you all now the ins and outs. And well, I’m a lazy person by nature, so….errr…no.
I’m just going to give you my thoughts and opinions and how my initial opinions changed by watching it again. Most reading this, if they will actually read it, will just say: “Meh…” and move on. But, I’m going to do it anyway. Because I’m a big nerd when it comes to Game of Thrones.
This is not a review…that was done and dusted. And if you are one the very few that never watched Game of Thrones, there are major spoilers in here.
Starting from scratch I watched the series unfold through fresh eyes, and the chain of events that brought the Seven Kingdoms to their knees, with one pivotal starting catalyst. Eddard Stark’s honour and obedience to his king, Robert Baratheon. By agreeing to bugger off all the way down to Kings Landing to become the Hand of the King, he unleashed all manner of horror on his family and himself. That’s where the poop hit the fan for the Starks and the whole world of Westeros.
Ned lost his head, war ensued and everything was thrown into turmoil.
But everyone that watched the series, knows the story, and that was just part of it. Many more intricate storylines shaped the epic tale.
From Jon Snow, a humble “bahsted’s” rapid ascension to Lord Commander of the Knights Watch and later King of the North, later on to emerge as Aegon Targaryen, to Daenerys Targaryen being bartered by her idiot brother, but later stepping out of a fire with three very cute dragon babies, and becoming a ruthless queen. Freeing slaves and conquering cities in Easteros, but her mind firmly set on the West and the Iron Throne.
Each character has their own story to tell, and the character progression is flawless. With only a few characters staying true to themselves, with Jon first and foremost among them. Unyielding in his quest, even after he dies for his troubles to save the wildlings and learns of his true identity.
Ask anyone who watched the series and most would probably say that Daenerys or Jon were their favourite characters. Some weirdos might even say Joffrey or Ramsey Bolton…watch out for those ones, they are weirdos. You might find your garnished head in a fridge somewhere.
But for me, the people that shined the most were Tyrion Lannister (my favourite character), Sandor Clegane, mostly because relate to his gruff and extremely rude exterior as well his filthy mouth and his zero f*cks attitude towards everyone, royalty or not, and of course, this guy….
Others were, Sansa (of course…grrrrr), Arya, Bronn and Samwell Tarly.
But, characters aside, there are a lot themes throughout the series. How cheap life seems in the Middle Ages setting of the series, even though its littered with Lord this and Ser (That’s who they spell it, relax.) that, Lady whoever and whatever. I mean people die like flies in this series, mostly very graphic and horrible deaths. There is ruthless cruelty, narcissism, even religious fanaticism by the barefoot High Sparrow, but what shines through the brightest is selfish greed..
The selfishness of everyone that fought, and committed horrible atrocities, like Stannis Baratheon who burned his own little daughter at the stake to further his cause, just to place their backsides on the Iron Throne. And probably the most selfish of them all, being Daenerys Targaryen.
But there is also unyielding and undying love in the series, even though that love is dodgy as hell. The incestuous love Jamie Lannister, a decent bloke at heart, bore for his vicious, spiteful, murdering and just all round horrible person, sister, Cersei Lannister. And she for him, although hers was a bit cheaper and a lot more shallow than his. He loved her right to the end, looked past her horrible personality traits and made himself an accomplice to some of her more brutal demands, like pushing Bran out of the tower window. “The things we do for love,” he says a few times. Errr… it’s incest dude…awkies.
The most incredible love though was the love Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion bore their “mother”. My heart broke, when I saw Drogon’s sorrow when Daenerys died. Nudging her with his nose. But even through his sorrowful rage, he could not kill her killer, as he was Aegon Targaryen, showing how deep the bonds are between the dragons and the Targaryens. Tyrion remarks that some people believe the dragons are wiser than humans, and I think it showed in the end.
I almost cried when Rhaegal and Viserion died. Those scenes still haunt me.
Even though most of the Lannisters are murderous bastards, I could not help myself in admiring Tywin Lannister. His principles, his honour that drove him to want to expand his family name through the ages, but also his cunning, scheming mind. Methinks he could’ve been a good king actually. I firmly believe his common sense would’ve outshined his brutal nature.
Fans of the series whipped out pitchforks at the end of the last season, mainly because of the rushed tempo. I also felt like that when I watched it the first time after a long two year waiting period, instead of the normal year in between seasons.
But when you binge the series and watch it back to back, the flow of season 8 suddenly becomes natural. After the battle of “The Long Night”, the last three episodes still seem to be in a mad dash to the end. But I mean, no one expected Daenerys to wait patiently before running off to want to kill Cersei and claim her throne. So the rush is somewhat understandable, given her impatient personality. A trait she showed throughout the whole series.
And this is where my view on Daenerys dimmed. Seeing selfish glimpses through the series, blaming Tyrion and everyone else in her entourage for things beyond their control and being stubborn as hell, I should have anticipated what transpired in the end.
When you see her sitting on Drogon on a buidling’s roof after she attacked Kings Landing and the bells toll, you actually see her flip her lid, before se barbeques a whole city. Varys said, when a Targaryen is born, the world flips a coin. Probably to gamble on the cray cray of said Targaryen, and yet again, it came to pass.
As well as the almost fascist impression you get, when she addresses her army after a whole city was burned and most of its inhabitants killed. Flag to her right, her army standing in straight ordered lines in front of her, and she addressing them like the little silver haired dictator she is. It looked very Nazi like to me. That and the shot where Drogon’s wings unfurl behind her and you get a glimpse of her with Dragon wings.
Fans of the Dragon Queen will hate me for this, but in my opinion, she turned out to be the worst of them all. Her instability and selfish greed burning through her excuse that she wanted to “Break the wheel” and “create a better world” in the end. Words that fascists and dictators use. She also emotionally turned on Jon when she found out who he really was. He was happy to give it all up for her, but her self-serving nature just expected him to do exactly that, without question. And then getting her dragon saddle knickers in a twist, when he told his sisters. She even executed Varys, but it is fair to say he wanted to remove her as ruler.
True, she might have had good intentions in the beginning, but lost it when Cersei pushed a little too hard and killed almost a whole city. Not something you want to see in a ruler.
I loved the ending. Arya going West to see whats west of Westeros, Sansa becoming Queen of the North, Bran becoming King, exactly the right person for it, and then Jon…buggering off beyond the wall, leading a crowd of wildlings, no doubt going where he was happiest. I mean, face it, he was never comfortable with the leadership role the North threw on him, and even during his stint as Lord Commander, you can see his frustration, just under the surface. As he said numerous times: “I don’t want it, I never did.”
Perhaps the most exciting part was when Jon Snow met Daenerys. I think every single fan of the series couldn’t wait for it to happen. Hell, I waited two seasons for it to happen. And what transpired is exactly what everyone wanted. A bit of to and fro, but eventually sexy time. Awkies…your aunt, you little Targaryen pervert.
There is much that I haven’t mentioned. Bran’s journey to become the Three Eyed Raven, Arya’s journey with the Faceless men, Sansa’s brutal and horrifying path back to the North. Also, the assholes of the story. Most of whom are funny as they try and outdo each other by seeing who can be the most hated person. Joffrey, Ramsay Bolton and Euron Greyjoy jumps to mind. And of course…this guy…
This series has so much to offer.
Game of Thrones to me is the epitome of what a series should be. It has depravity of the worst kind, graphic violence, awesome battles, funny parts that have you laughing, captivating epic storytelling and character progression with twists and turns. It showcases character flaws even in our favourite characters, has stunning vistas and best of all….it has dragons.
Would you consider watching it again? You might be surprised to find that you enjoy it so much more than you did the first time. Especially when the pressure of who dies next is gone, because you know what happens and you pick up a lot of things you missed the first time.
Do it…you know you want to.
Last Updated: July 26, 2021