Courtesy of HBO
It’s been a long time since a true fantasy drama has had a foothold in TV. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is looking to revamp that trend.
With a wildly successful first season under its belt, the show just recently debuted its second to equal praise from critics and viewers.
Based on the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” tells the tale of various warring houses in the land of Westeros all looking to claim the Iron Throne and control of the realm for themselves. The houses and the conflicts they enact bear a strong resemblance to the real life War of the Roses, and the series is indeed a veritable gold mine for students of history and politics.
For those less inclined to track real world parallels, “Game of Thrones” still offers intense drama with meticulously fleshed-out characters and blurring lines between villains and heroes.
The source books have a reputation for their willingness to break every narrative taboo on record (up to and including the killing of main characters), and the show has so far not disappointed in that realm. This knowledge that no one is safe keeps the drama from feeling stale or canned. We are not even sure if the heroes are really heroes, and, if they are, it is not certain that they will win.
The fictional universe of “Game of Thrones” presents one of the most compelling and realistic depictions of the nature of power and what men (and women) will do to get it. Perhaps then it is not fair to label it as fantasy. Either way, it is not a spectacle to be missed.