Believe it or not, some TV fanatics were a little skeptical about the release of this now ‘epic’ drama. First of all, it sounds like a game you’d buy for a console and not a series based on a novel by the renowned author George R.R. Martin. And for those that knew the text, could a TV show really pull it off?.. Amazingly they did, and with more style and panache than any other TV show before it.
Despite some folks skepticism, what followed was a dramatic drama encompassing all the mythical creatures, Kings, Queens and dark forces – basically everything you’d expect from the novel. As the plot thickened, with lust, intrigue, literal backstabbing, and lots of blood shed, the show continues to grow an ever more rabid fanbase. We always have someone post the next day on the air dates page ‘when will season 4 of Game of Thrones air in the UK?’ (April 2014 if you’re interested.) ;)
But what makes it have such a devout following? Here are our top 5 reasons…
5. The Locations
Due to the nature of the fictional continents of Essos and Westeros, it was always going to be impossible to shoot Game of Thrones in one place. However, to take a tv show, and propose shooting it in 5 entirely different countries must have taken some serious location scouting! Although Northern Ireland serves as a main base of operations, Iceland doubles as ‘north of the wall’, with Malta, Morocco, and Croatia playing various parts of Essos and King’s Landing. With 3 production units running, in parallel, consisting of 6 directing teams, over 250 cast members, and over 700 crew, it’s fair to say, the organisation of the filming was as epic as the show they were making. On a side note, if Scotland had a few more film studios available, they may have used that as the main base of operations. Sadly for them, NI had more space. Scotland’s loss was most definitely Northern Ireland’s gain, boosting it’s economy by an estimated 77 million euros!
4. Joffrey Baratheon
This is possible a controversial choice… In season 1, I hated Viserys Targaryen (as played by Harry Lloyd, who I’m sure is lovely out of character), elder brother of Daenerys, and I never really thought they could produce another character quite so loathsome… Oh, how wrong I was… Joffery – the son of Cersei Lannister and (allegedly) Robert Baratheon… With ol’ Bobby (season 1 spoiler alert) kicking the bucket, the blonde haired spawn of pure evil gets to take the Iron Throne. From brutalizing prostitutes, to tormenting poor Sansa Stark, he is quite possibly the most vile, evil character ever to grace a tv screen… But he’s a character I love to hate. I’m waiting for the day the little sadistic brat gets his comeuppance, but until that day I’ll continue to loath him, and love every minute of it. If you see Jack Gleeson (who i’m sure is also a lovely chap out of character), shake the boy’s hand for managing to portray the epitome of the ultimate spoilt brat.
3. Daenerys Targaryen
Wonderfully played by Emilia Clarke, Daenerys has probably the most interesting of character arcs so far in the show. When we first meet her, she’s is living in exile with her vile brother Viserys, who’s trying to raise an army to take back the kingdom taken from them by Robert Baratheon’s rebellion. In a quest to raise an army, Viserys sells her to Dothraki Khal Drogo in the form of marriage to gain his soldiers. This doesn’t work out to well for the lad who, after insulting the Khal’s new bride one too many times, is (season 1 spoiler alert) given a new hat… made of hot melting gold. With her brother gone, and her new title as the Dothraki’s Khaleesi, Daenerys confidence begins to grow, as she cuts a swath through Essos, growing her army, and heading ever closer to Westeros and her revenge. Daenerys Stormborm of House Targaryen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons, we salute you.
2. The WTF Moments!
With the possible exception of Buffy, I don’t think any show has ever had so may ‘WTF!? I can’t believe they did that!!’ moments! From the aforementioned ‘golden hat’ incident, to Ned Stark’s brutal conclusion, to that scene in the 2nd to last episode of season 3, GoT is not a show that likes to pull it’s punches. You only had to look how nuts the Twitterverse went after the ‘red wedding’ airs to understand why critics have applauded the show’s action, drama and suspense. To date, Game of Thrones has been awarded 1 Golden Globe, with a total of 32 other wins and massive 75 nominations, and it’s moments like these that make you see why.
1. Tyrion Lannister
There are many reasons I love Tyrion. I love the fact that he’s a dwarf in a fantasy show, who is actually playing a character with dwarfism, rather than some fantasy race. I love his wit and sarcasm, and his wonderfully cutting comments. He’s so brilliantly played by Peter Dinklage, with such style and finesses, he makes him the only Lannister in the entire show you really hope comes out of it alive. Nicknamed ‘The Imp’, Tyrion has become adept at using his brain to overcome all the prejudice he’s face, and skillfully outwit his opponents. Plus the banter between Tyrion and his sellsword/protector Bronn is some of the best double act work in the entire show. And as season 2’s finale showed, he’s not someone you want to upset. I’m just waiting for the day he manages to find a way to drop that brat king Joffrey into a vat of wildfire…
There are of course so may other great things about GoT. The scheming Littlefinger and Margaery Tyrell. The ballsy Arya Stark and Ygritte. The list could go on forever. If you have a list of your top 5 things about Game of Thrones, feel free to leave them in the comments. You can find out more about the show on the official game of thrones site.