April needs to move it’s ass, because HBO’s next big series, A Game of Thrones will soon be upon us. To geeks such as myself who have read the four books currently out, it is known as A Song of Ice and Fire. The first season of the upcoming show is named A Game of Thrones after the first book of the series, which focuses on the seven kingdoms of the land called Westeros.
Westeros is a land not long removed from war. It’s previous ruling family – the Targaryens, were forcibly (understatement) exited from power. They fled to lands far away, where they now plot their return. The Targaryens present us with about half of the story.
As the other half plays out, we are entertained by some of the juiciest backstabbing scandals and political intrigue you can imagine. Between the seven kingdoms there is more deceit than you’d find on a Soap Opera, Law & Order and Jerry Springer combined. And it is all masterfully written by author George R. R. Martin, who worked very closely with HBO in the undertaking of Game of Thrones.
Martin’s world is a rather harsh one. I would put this story almost in the same vein as The Walking Dead, although riveting, there is very little to make you smile. The main characters you love go through traumatic and downright heartbreaking events, while the characters you love to hate find plenty of good fortune bestowed upon them. I’ve never been so hateful of a group of characters than I have of the Lannisters, who are the series’ most notable antagonists, but definitely not the only ones.
After watching the trailers and seeing the posters and production photos, I can almost guarantee you that this series will not disappoint. As a reader of the books, things look spot on visually and faithful to the book. The Iron Throne itself gave me the chills. The Iron Throne being the King’s throne, is made up of all conquered enemies. One character said it is the most uncomfortable seat, because being king should never be easy.
You will get realism with politics and many medieval aspects that are mirrored by our own world. But you also get a touch of fantasy and magic in the mix, but nothing too overboard… except for the fact that dragons existed in Westeros not too long ago.
And now, familiarize yourself with the Seven Kingdoms for a minute. There are maybe hints or teasers of things to come. Not many true spoilers but be wary.
The Seven Kingdoms
Winterfell: The Kingdom in the North where winters can last years, the Starks rule over the land and it’s borders to the North hold “The Wall” which holds back giants, savages and strange beings called The Others. And no they didn’t rip off Lost. You’ll find out a little more about them once the series is in full gear.
The Vale: The Eyrie is the fortress of those in power in the Vale of Arryn and is entirely surrounded by mountains. They have an interesting array of prison cells and my favorite surprise… the Moon Door.
Rivverun: The seat of power of the Tullys who are the kin to Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) wife. As you can probably imagine the main characteristic of their lands are indeed rivers.
Highgarden: The most fertile lands located in the region known as the Reach, these people pride themselves on their produce and flowers but they are a powerful house nonetheless.
The Iron Islands: A group of seven ridiculously harsh islands where the so-called “iron men” rule. They pride themselves on their seafaring expertise and their formerly glorious navy.
Casterly Rock: Located in what are known as the Westerlands which in turn are ruined by the Lannisters. They are basically the richest of the kingdoms, the head of the family Tywin Lannister rumored to indeed poop gold because they have so much of it. That theory is touched upon later in the series.
Storm’s End: The power located in the Storm Land’s and ruled over by the Baratheons who are an offshoot of the deposed Targaryens. A Baratheon, Robert, is the King of the Seven Kingdoms at the start of the series.
Dorne: The desert kingdom of Dorne is ruled over from its capital Sunspear by the Martells. Their kingdom was annexed into the seven by marriage to the now deposed Targaryens.
For those who skipped the trailer, the show premieres on April 17th.