Based on the hit series of books – ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ – by George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones (or GoT for short) is one of those series that can hook you almost from the start and have you become truly invested in the characters. This is true of both the book and TV series, for me. The plots with their twists and turns – interwoven with hints of things to come or past events that will shape the future of the story as a whole – are attention grabbing and clever but its the characters that make the story.
“The battle of good and evil is a great subject for any book and certainly for a fantasy book, but I think ultimately the battle between good and evil is weighed within the individual human heart and not necessarily between an army of people dressed in white and an army of people dressed in black. When I look at the world, I see that most real living breathing human beings are grey.”
~ George R. R. Martin
The beauty of Martin’s characters are the fact that they are ‘grey’ and this is why it’s so easy to get invested in them. They each have their faults, their ideals, their endearing or, in a lot of cases, redeeming qualities. Characters loved at the start soon have us doubting our love for them or worrying that they are heading for a dark place; whilst others, who we held contempt and dislike for, we suddenly find ourselves warming to and feeling sorry for them (damn you, Jaime Lannister). Then there’s Tyrion Lannister (played superbly by the fantastic Peter Dinklage), who I can’t believe that anyone can dislike. And Joffrey, who I can’t believe that anyone can like.
The other thing with Martin is that he is not afraid to kill his characters. Whether they be soldiers, nobles, whores, mothers, children or even the odd man’s best friend. So, being invested in a GoT character can well be a bad idea because you never know who the next person to cop it will be.
I watched the first episode of Series 4 with my lunch on Monday (I’d recorded the 2am simulcast showing from Sky Atlantic, since I was banned from watching it live) and as per usual, I wanted the next episode immediately. Especially considering I’m pretty sure I know what it will be. Which I can’t wait for.