Editor’s Note: Matt Lynch is one of my closest friends and I’ve been trying to get him to write more since we’ve met. I think you’ll see why after you read this. This will be a weekly report posted after each episode of Game of Thrones. It will contain spoilers from the episode, obviously, but from the perspective of someone that has not read the books.
Episode 1 Review of Game of Thrones – by Matt Lynch
BenJen Stark to his brother, Lord Stark: \\You at a feast; it\\™s like a bear in a trap.\\
So, Good People, P.G. (hereinafter lovingly referred to as \\˜The Landlord\\™) and I were having a chat of late. Both being lovers of speculative fiction, we determined that I should consider contributing to the general upkeep and pleasantness of the site by setting some words to paper on a topic or two related to such. Finding myself at a loss for subject matter, I cast about blindly in the pitch for a bit. Then, lo it came to pass that HBO released upon the world the new series, Game of Thrones, based upon the much-beloved Song of Fire and Ice novels, authored by George R.R. Martin. Having never considered reading these books, their re-imagining and broadcast seemed a natural place to kick a running feature into existence: the whimsical notion that a newb such as myself (with regards to Martin’s epic series) might offer a unique and worthwhile perspective to the mix.
Now, a word or two about myself before we begin. I\\™m Irish and fatalistic, which in small doses can be terminal, but in large ones, exceptionally liberating. My people were the wards, the serfs and the fisherfolk of history. They mended the nets, hauled the cod and hacked the sod of destiny, never casting more than a scornful eye castle-ward. Thus, it seems, I am fated to care not one whit about political intrigue, fantastical or otherwise. I am much more drawn to blood, sex, earth and wave – with a wistful, nay Quixotic, passion for those who are destined to simply go down swingin\\™. Much more David Drake than Frank Herbert. Thus it was with more than a wee spot of trepidation, upon the urgings and exhortations of The Landlord, I affixed my eyes to the titular episode of this column.
Fortunately, my fears were quickly assuaged and interest piqued. Who, or what, are the White Walkers, fer\\™instance? I need an answer to this question, and the pursuit of such will likely force me to tune in again next week. That and the intense desire to see Viserys Targaryen disemboweled by honey badgers or other some such fitting punishment for his inhuman cruelty towards his doe-eyed sister.
Other wonderful table-setters, sure to drag me, the shotgun-and-cudgel type, enamored with combat and tortured souls in pursuit of holy vengeance, back to the intrigues of Westeros, include:
- Exactly how twisted an incestuous pair are twins Jaime and Cersei Lannister, that half of them considers the menstrual cycle of a thirteen-year old dinner conversation?
- What of Jon Snow? I smell a coming of age story in the making.
- Did the Dothraki wedding have at least three deaths or was it a \\˜dull affair\\™?
- Will poor, sweet Daenerys find love or death with her savage new husband?
- Is Bran Stark alive or dead?
- Where\\™s Robert Carlyle?
- And most importantly, why can\\™t more annoying, prissy schemers meet horrific and brutal ends, and why can\\™t this happen more quickly?
Yep, I\\™m going back \\“ despite my past inclinations. The Landlord prevails, yet again. And you, Good People, get to ride along with me. Root for my conversion or wish my damnation. Be amused or appalled. Either way, I offer you the spectacle of a newb abroad in strange realms. Cheers!