And Now My Watch Begins.

**SPOILERS** **DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE WATCHED SEASON 4**

ANOTHER Game of Thrones post ! This may as well be a Game of Thrones blog to be honest. But after last week’s episode, and as we teeter on the edge of another season finale, how could I not dedicate a small post to the epic-ness that was Season 4, Episode 10 of my beloved GOT ?! Yep, ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ stayed faithful to the tradition of the penultimate episode being the most action-packed, and exceeded all of my expectations. In fact, on second viewing, I would even say that ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ was not only the best episode of the whole season, but possibly the best out of all previous episode nine-ers, of which include Ned Stark’s beheading, the Battle of Blackwater Bay, and the infamous Red Wedding.

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Like most people, I suppose I was expecting the showdown between the Mountain and the Viper (or quite possibly another event which hasn’t happened yet so I shall not give it away) to be the focal point of Season 4, taking centre stage in the penultimate episode. Of course, when I saw the title of Episode 9, how could I not have guessed it would instead be the ultimate face-off between Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch vs. Mance Rayder’s Wildling army. I think a lot of people were slightly apprehensive about whether or not an entire episode devoted to JUST the Night’s Watch would work – even I admit that whilst the Night’s Watch/beyond the Wall scenes are visually stunning, the action can sometimes be lacking in excitement and purpose, not helped by Kit Harington’s often wooden portrayal of our Byronic hero, Jon Snow (that guy has absolutely perfected the thousand-yard stare!) Yes, unfortunately, like the rest of Westeros who only regard the Night’s Watch as motley crew of outcasts protecting the realm from ‘grumpkins and snarks and all the monsters your wet nurse warned you about’, people often seem to ignore the band of Black Brothers in favour of Khaleesi and her fire-breathing dragons, or Arya and the Hound’s strange mentor-mentee relationship. I’m only generalising of course. But my point is that the prospect of a whole hour dedicated to the Night’s Watch was rather disconcerting at first. ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ proved the naysayers oh so very wrong. Very VERY wrong !

Anyway, I don’t want to give a whole review of the episode, I just wanted to share with you some of my favourite parts, as I really was blown away by how amazing it was. I mean, the effects and the filming were just beautiful ! That 360 tracking shot of the ongoing fight at Castle Black was pure brilliance, not to mention the jaw-dropping scene when the scythe was freed from its icy confines, sweeping along the wall to take out some rather eager Wildlings who were getting too close for comfort. Something else which I really really loved was Ser Alliser Thorne’s speech, both to Jon Snow and to the rest of the Night’s Watch – as a character who has done nothing but more or less bully Jon Snow throughout the whole series, letting his petty emotions and pride stop him from doing what was in the best interests of the Night’s Watch, he proved that he could indeed back up all his bravado. Unlike Janos Slynt, former commander of the City Watch (when will he SHUT UP about that ?! We get it), Ser Alliser did not turn his back on his brothers like so many would expect him to do. Instead, he proved that he could admit to being wrong, and gave an impassioned speech about defending Castle Black before leading the attack on the Wildling invaders, even taking on the one and only Tormund Giantsbane.

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My absolute favourite scene, though, was that heart-stopping moment when that massive giant, clearly out for revenge, ran towards the gate that was being protected by the ever-loyal Grenn and a few other brothers. Grenn has been one of my most beloved secondary characters – people always see Sam as being Jon Snow’s truest and loyalist friend, which I’m not doubting he is (I am a Samwell Tarly fan!), but I think Grenn deserves that position too. I mean, he was the first brother to volunteer to accompany Jon Snow to Craster’s Keep in order to kill the mutineers, and he went down to the tunnels to protect the gate on Jon’s orders without question, despite knowing that it would probably result in his death. I thought it was a brilliant, proud, sad, inspiring moment when Grenn stood before the charging giant, encouraging the others to hold their ground, whilst they all recited their oath and draw their swords, all because Jon Snow had told them to defend the gate at all costs. I was weirdly moved by this touching moment, and as we only really ever get to hear snippets of the Night’s Watch oath I thought I’d post the entire thing here 🙂

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

Unfortunately for Grenn (and dear old Pyp !), we must finish the oath with the words ‘And now his watch is ended.’

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BRING ON THE SEASON 4 FINALE ! From then on, it’s just another struggle to stay alive for the next year so that I may continue watching the awesomeness that is Game of Thrones.

 

 

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Game of Thrones: A Beautiful Death

**SPOILERS AHEAD** **DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE WATCHED UP TO SEASON 4 (UNELSS YOU WANT TO)**

Yet ANOTHER Game of Thrones post everyone ! And, as always, there WILL be spoilers ahead but, to be honest, if you haven’t yet caught up to Season 4 I can only look at you in despair….the mind reels, it really does.

Anyway, whether you are a dedicated fan (the type who greets people with a friendly Valar Morghulis), or an eager newbie (the type who cannot BELIEVE they killed Ned Stark…like ohmygosh he’s the main character ?! WTF.), there is little doubting the sheer number of character deaths we see each season. The whole series is practically one big massacre. Proving his point with Ned Starks untimely beheading with his own sword, George R. R. Martin really does not care which of his characters he condemns to a grisly death. The tagline is supposedly ‘You Win or You Die’ but, honestly, the real message seems to be ‘You Win or George R. R. Martin kills you.’ We have seen wannabe Kings stabbed through the heart, actual Kings poisoned at their own wedding, colourful whores crucified on bedposts, and vengeful Prince’s literally crushed into bloody pieces. Yes, Martin is a monster……WHY ROBB STARK WHY ?! HE WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE CASTERLY ROCK AND AVENGE HIS FATHER’S SPIRIT !!!

Ahem…..so…..yes, back to the point of this post. HBO have teamed up with artist Robert M. Ball whose artistic project entitled ‘A Beautiful Death’ gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘graphic’. Ball has taken the demise of each character, transforming their gruesome, soul-crushing deaths into literal works of art, inspiring beauty and imagination into a world full of pain, suffering, and endless homicide.

So far, he has produced 38 pieces (Yes, that many characters have died already!), and you can find them all here http://beautifuldeath.com Today, I would simply like to share with you a handful of my favourite ones 🙂

 

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The nation gasped when Joffrey demanded for Ser Ilyn to ‘Bring me his head’ – referring to the head of the ever-honourable Ned Stark. Throughout Season 1, we were led to believe that Ned Stark was the central character, the one that nothing could ever possibly happen to. Yes, despite a few scrapes and near-calls, Ned would always be safe. WRONG. Season 1, Episode 9 saw Ser Illyn, the King’s Justice, chop off dear old Ned’s head with his own Valyrian steel sword, Ice. I suppose the fact that he was played by Sean Bean was a dead give away….the guy has died onscreen in about 99.9% of his works. Anyway, I love that Ball has depicted Ned’s beheading as a symbol of peace – I like to think that the doves (I assume they’re doves and not filthy crows or pigeons) flying out of his severed neck represent not only his state of rest in heaven, but also symbolise that his love and honour are not gone, but flying about Westeros watching over his family 🙂 As IF GOT would ever be that kind in reality !!

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Ah, Khal Drogo, Dany’s ‘Sun and Stars’. I’m probably going to anger a lot of Dany & Drogo shippers right now, but I never bought into their relationship. I mean, the guy was a total brute ! Before he met Dany, he seemed to have no problem raiding villages, killing innocents, and raping women. Even in his mighty, ‘I’M GOING TO TAKE OVER WESTEROS’ speech, he mentions how he will ‘rape their women and take their children as slaves’ whilst Dany lovingly looks on ! What a proud wife she must have been. I mean, I love Dany, but how can she strut about as a feminist, a fair leader, and a ‘breaker of chains’ when she was quite prepared to let her husband shackle up innocent children and potentially rape their mothers JUST to claim her mad, serial-killing father’s throne back ?! BITCH. Regardless, I still enjoy Drogo’s ‘beautiful death’ poster – I like the pretty horse in the starry night sky. This is all.

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I LOVED Ros the whore ! I don’t know whether it was the actress’s beautiful face or her silky-smooth voice, but I thought she had enormous onscreen presence. She was a rather admirable character – she went from the peasant wench of Winterfell to Littlefinger’s PA in King’s Landing all within the space of about a year. What a woman ! Unfortunately, Ros’s attempt to play the game of thrones ended in disaster as she lost to a more cunning participant – Littlefinger himself. Yes, that sneaky Master of Coin with the suspicious goatee gave his red-headed jewel to King Joffrey who was clearly very eager to try out his new crossbow. True to her nature, Ros did eventually end up in Joffrey’s bed, only she was rather impaled on it by 3 or 4 crossbow bolts. Ros, we salute you.

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It’s been over a year and I still can’t think of the Red Wedding without feeling an enormous twang of pain – Roose Bolton may aswell of stuck the knife in my own heart after he was done with Robb. Those pesky Lannisters ! As Ball’s ‘beautiful death’ picture shows, the violin chords of ‘The Rains of Castamere’, a song about how the Lannisters crushed the once wealthy and powerful House Castamere, led to Walder Frey’s halls running red with the blood of 2 remaining Starks, a recently married Stark, and a potential baby Stark. Not to mention the loyal dire wolf, Grey Wind. Why the wolf, Martin, why the damn wolf ? That’s all I want to know.

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Petyr Baelish, nickamed Littefinger, is probably one of my most favourite characters to watch. He’s such a sinister looking man ! I would even prefer to take on Tywin Lannister than try and outsmart Littlefinger. Out of everyone on the show, from psychos like Ramsay Snow (Bolton now) to cold-blooded killers like The Hound, Littlefinger is quite possibly the most ambitious, most intelligent, most cunning and calculating man in Westeros. The only person who could challenge him, I believe, is Roose Bolton. Anyway, Ball’s ‘beautiful death’ representation of Lysa Arryn’s fateful fall from her own Moon Door perfectly captures Littlefinger’s position in the show as the ultimate puppet master who is pulling all the strings, making the entire country dance for his amusement all the while believing they are the masters. I also like the way Lysa is represented here; for the crazy, troubled, psychotic woman that she was, Ball has turned her into what looks like a wounded bird – a creature to be pitied. Of course, as Littlefinger’s sigil is the Mockingbird, Lysa here becomes the fallen mockingbird, murdered by her own husband. I really cannot wait to see what Littlefinger will do next !

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Prince Oberyn. What can I say ? What a brilliant character, beautifully portrayed by Pedro Pascal ! Having read the books, House Martell is one of my favourite Houses, so it was great to finally see a member of House Martell being introduced to us in Season 4. Then…..HE GETS KILLED ! Okay, so I knew it was coming….but I hoped beyond all hope that the shows writers would change this tiny detail ! But they didn’t. Nope. Oberyn had his teeth punched from his mouth, his eyes gouged out, and his skull crushed into one big bloody mess. Nicknamed the ‘Red Viper’, Balls ‘beautiful death’ pictures captures Oberyn’s descent into death – a once great warrior, the Viper ends up rotting underground like so many others who have attempted to take on the Lannisters. What makes it even worse is that Oberyn ironically sealed his own death, as Ball represents with Oberyn’s spear impaled on the Viper – The Mountain may have been the one to do the deed, but Oberyn’s arrogance and overwhelming need to hear The Mountain confess to murdering Elia Martell resulted in his untimely, very very gruesome, death. WHY COULDN’T HE JUST LET IT GO ?! THE MOUNTAIN WAS ALMOST DEAD !!! R.I.P Prince Oberyn Martell.

 

So hope you enjoyed 🙂 Check out Ball’s other ‘beautiful death’ pictures – they really are wonderful ! And keep watching Game of Thrones. It’s only gonna get better 😀

Sansa Stark: Don’t Underestimate This Girl

**SPOILERS** DO NOT READ ON UNLESS YOU HAVE WATCHED UP TO SEASON 4 

In a land where bloodshed is rife, beheadings are the norm, and attendance at a wedding is practically a death sentence, the writers of Game of Thrones (yes that includes George R.R. Martin himself) could have easily taken the sexist route by having its female characters fall apart in this misogynistic medieval world, forcing them to become mere chess pieces in a male-dominated political game. They did not choose this route. Instead, in what is perhaps its most revered and compelling aspect, Game of Thrones is brimming with women who challenge their medieval conventions and constraints with their determination and strength, becoming formidable opponents to both men and women alike.

When we think of GoT‘s headstrong females, our mind is immediately occupied with images of Daenerys ‘Khaleesi’ Targaryen who is marching towards Westeros with a small company of loyal dragons, an army of 8000 highly skilled soldiers, and 3 men who are completely at her mercy. Or how about the impressive Brienne of Tarth ? The 6ft 3″ blonde warrior could even give the beloved Hound a run for his money in a duel. Not to mention Theon Greyjoy’s sister, Yara Greyjoy, the commander of the Iron Islands’ entire naval fleet, who, as we saw in last week’s episode, is pretty handy with an axe.

GoT Women

Yes, these female characters reject the stereotypical forms of feminism, for these women are physically well-built, display signs of overt masculinity, and are clearly uncomfortable when faced with ideals of femininity, favouring chainmail and steel over dresses and flowers. However, what is so great about this show is that the writers have not simply put a woman in a suit of armour, shoved a sword in her hand and said, ‘Hey look feminists ! We’ve challenged social expectations – our women don’t sew or cook, they fight and kill in battle !’ No. There are in fact many female characters in GoT whose lack of physical prowess and skill in battle is more than made up for with their cutting wit, subtle astuteness, and unparalleled intelligence. I mean, I would not want to be on the receiving end of Lady Olenna Tyrell’s sharp tongue, nor would I want to be caught in the middle of a political mind game between the menacing Cersei Lannister and the devious Margaery Tyrell !

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I have recently introduced two of my friends to the Game of Thrones universe, and when I remarked to them about all the strong females in the show, they both said ‘Yes. Well, except for Sansa.’ Yes, sadly, whenever someone is asked who their favourite GoT character is, poor old Sansa Stark rarely makes the top of the list. However, having been a loyal fan of the books and an avid watcher of the television series from the very beginning, I can comfortably say that by Season 4, the beautiful Sansa has made it into my top 5 favourite characters to watch, and is, I believe, one of the strongest female characters on the show.

Sansa Stark

Ah there she is. With her stunning red hair, flawless bone structure, and beautiful physique, Sansa is the epitome of the perfect Lady of Westeros. She looks far too fragile to survive in such a brutal world as the one she lives in. The fact that her sister is Arya Stark doesn’t help her image. If you compare the two side by side, there is no doubting that Arya is the obvious choice when it comes to who is the most spirited and resilient – I mean, the girl is only 11 years old yet she can already wield a sword AND she’s killed THREE people with it ! Even when we are first introduced to the sisters in Season 1, Episode 1, we see Sansa happily enjoying her embroidery classes whilst Arya sneaks out to play bow and arrows with the Stark boys. If that isn’t juxtaposition then I don’t know what is. Okay, I admit it, even I was frustrated with Sansa at first; throughout Season 1, all she did was moan about how ‘Southern’ she wanted her hair to look, stuffed her face with lemon cakes, and spent her time daydreaming about marrying a handsome knight and being rescued from her wintery tower, all whilst rejecting her Northern roots, practically disowning her family, and pining after the psychotic Prince Joffrey. Yes, at first, Sansa seemed the stock ‘Damsel in Distress’ character, incapable of doing anything for herself or processing any thought which didn’t consist of pretty princes or gorgeous gowns.

Sansa Stark

However, we are currently on Season 4, and in that time Lords have been beheaded, Commanders have been exiled, Kings have been poisoned, and, yet, Sansa Stark remains. She is the Lone Wolf in the Lion’s Den (Starks vs. Lannisters reference incase you didn’t know….), but has so far managed to emerge with all her body parts intact – surely we have to give a teenage girl credit for such an impressive feat ! Seven Hells, even the brilliant Tyrion Lannister has felt the sting of the Lion’s claws, leaving him with a scar he will carry forever. Still, poor Sansa has had to withstand a lot of mental suffering during her stay at King’s Landing – she witnessed her father’s beheading, suffered abuse and humiliation at the hand of our dearly departed Joffers, was forced to marry Tyrion ‘the Dwarf’ Lannister, and silently endured the death of both her mother and her brother. Did she scream ? Did she run ? Did she drop kick Joffrey in the face ? Or call Cersei an evil, miserable bitch ? No. Sansa has never ceased to be anything but ladylike, graceful, and polite, but it’s not because she’s too brainless to do anything else, but because she understands that this is the only way to survive.

Brienne of Tarth once told Catelyn Stark that she had courage, ‘Not battle courage perhaps but, I don’t know, a kind of woman’s courage.’ This is exactly what Sansa has – her hopes and dreams may have been ripped to shreds and fallen to pieces around her, but she slowly learns to use her femininity to her advantage, wearing her innocence and naivety as her battle armour. Like Tyrion once said to Jon Snow: ‘Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.’ So Sansa Stark sits prettily in her little cage, repeating her curtseys, and singing like a little dove, but she endures. She learns how to play the game of thrones, and has blossomed into one of its leading participants, unlike so many of her other female comrades who have been eliminated (Ros the Whore, Catelyn Stark, Lysa Arryn, Talisa).

So there we have it. Sansa Stark is not a warrior, she is not a soldier, she is not a killer, she is not a rebel. But she is a survivor. Personally, I truly believe that eventually Sansa will be the one to reclaim Winterfell in the name of her father and House Stark. I mean, Bran’s off beyond the Wall messing around with direwolves, three-eyed ravens and strange blonde-haired boys, Jon Snow is a loyal brother of the Night’s Watch, and Arya, whilst a complete bad-ass, is slightly out of control. It’s all down to Sansa. LONG LIVE SANSA !

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Also, the way Sansa bitch-slapped her ridiculously annoying cousin Robin in the latest episode was applause-worthy. 

 

Is Television the New Cinema ?

Hello ! Apologies for the lack of posting recently. I’ve been in work practically ALL WEEK ! Not to mention that I don’t really like posting something new unless it’s well written and worth reading 🙂 Ideally, I wanted the other set of Vintage Disney Princess drawings to be up and ready by now, but I’ve had absolutely no time to even get started on them, so, alas, you must wait another week or so for those beauties !

My lack of drawing can also be traced back to another source: my addiction to television. Yes, I admit it; I am ridiculously, unashamedly, and irrefutably obsessed with watching television. Everyone assumes that as an English Literature student I must spend most of my days with my nose in-between the pages of a 1000+ page book. Not an entirely inaccurate assumption mind you – my love of reading will never die ! But, unless you only watch The Jeremy Kyle Show, or don’t even own a television set (the latter is preferable when faced with the first prospect), there is no denying the recent surge in remarkably good, in some cases even extraordinary, television (Ahem, True Detective). It’s time to forget what you think is cinema’s dominance over the small screen.

Not too long ago, movies were the BIG thing, they were IT. If ever there was a great novel, play, or comic book out there, you could be rest assured that somebody, a producer or director or what not, would get their hands on it, acquire the rights, and, not long after, the written word would be slapped across the big screen, encapsulated in a two-hour+ epic propelled forward by a large Hollywood ensemble. I remember that only a few years back, every time I went to the cinema there would always be an onslaught of must-see-trailers before the actual film itself started, followed by the tagline ‘SUMMER OF CINEMA 2007’ or ‘SUMMER OF CINEMA 2008’ etc etc, you get the idea. And they weren’t kidding. Not that I’m saying cinema is suddenly bad now – there are still plenty of adaptions to the big screen that capture my attention and get my adrenaline pumping. Films such as The Hunger Games and The Hobbit are all 2-3 hour interpretations of incredible books and, in my opinion, do them wonderful justice. There is also something magical about going to the cinema that beats sitting on your sofa in front of a tiny screen by comparison. However, what I am saying is that the sudden rise in brilliant television is perhaps the way forward in terms of adaptations.

Just look at HBO’s Game of Thrones – could anyone really imagine George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire now being translated into a series of movies similar to the Harry Potter format ? The same goes for Robert Kirkman’s comic book series The Walking Dead – maybe once upon a time I could have seen this being adapted for the cinema in the same way that the Batman series was represented by Christopher Nolan’s impressive Dark Knight trilogy. But, now I could not envision any movie, no matter who it was directed by or who it starred, being able to compete with the way in which AMC’s The Walking Dead has brought the comic books to life with such vivid detail and clarity. Even past adaptions such as The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, whilst they remain incredible in themselves, I feel fall short in comparison to television’s recent interpretation of Thomas Harris’ novels: NBC’s Hannibal.

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The fact is that these television series, some of which have up to 22 episodes per season, provide us with much more detail and insight into these different worlds and characters than a movie ever could. Take the character Hannibal Lecter, the infamous serial-killing cannibal/brilliant psychiatrist from Harris’ suspense novels – whilst no one can doubt Anthony Hopkins’ incredible performance as Dr. Lecter in both The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, it is hard to envision any 2-hour movie being able to fully reconcile us to such a brilliantly complex character. Prequels and sequels have attempted to help us better understand Hannibal Lecter – Hannibal Rising (2007) revealed to us the origins of Dr. Lecter and the driving force behind his actions – but the lack of coherence across the series (i.e. same director, same shooting style, same actors), doesn’t quite do the character justice. The same applies to Game of Thrones‘ Tyrion Lannister, for how could we possibly begin to understand or appreciate this one-of-a-kind character, whose dry wit, sardonic bitterness, and intellectual prowess stems from his life-long torment for being a dwarf, if he were merely a figure in some blockbuster-movie where his screen time probably totalled at 30 minutes ?

With television growing and growing in popularity, the lines between TV and Cinema are becoming increasingly blurred. I mean, there used to be a distinction between those actors who starred in movies and those who starred in television, but I think we are beginning to see a substantial crossover as a number of Hollywood actors, many of whom started out in television, begin to return to the small screen. Martin Freeman is a prime example of such overlap – star of Ricky Gervais’ The Office, Freeman shot to international fame as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, but has since made a return to television with his continuing involvement in BBC’s Sherlock, and his recent portrayal as Lester Nygaard in FX’s Fargo. Yet, what has truly rendered the start of a new era in television is the participation of The Hunger Games’ Woody Harrelson and Oscar-winning Matthew McConaughey in HBO’s True Detective (a show which is possibly one of the best things to ever be aired on television). Many might disagree with me, but I seriously doubt that such massive Hollywood stars would have lent their names to a television production back in, say, 2009 even.

True Detective

And it is not hard to see why such actors are choosing to spread their talent across a multi-episode television series – where once television’s lower budget led to depictions of day-to-day reality rather than the fantastical escapism encountered in film, television is beginning to acquaint itself with massive special effects, making some episodes seem like they were intended for the big screen. The two which spring to my mind immediately is The Battle of Blackwater Bay depicted in Season 2, Episode 9 of Game of Thrones, and the incredible police-chase sequence at the end of Season1, Episode 4 of True Detective:

As you can now probably see, if you couldn’t before, I just love television. And I don’t mean any old television programme, although I am guilty of continuously watching The Only Way is Essex and Celebrity Big Brother (reality television is often the best form of escapism !). But, yeah, I can often think of nothing better than getting lost in a brilliant television show in the same way that I lose myself in the books that some are based on. I love having something to look forward to every week, something that I can research and read up on, characters that have back stories which can occupy me for hours and hours, and story-lines which engage me for weeks, possibly months on end rather than just that two hour trip to the cinema. I can only imagine how incredibly wonderful both Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings would have been if they had been 10 episode epics unfurled over 5 or more seasons. I mean, there’s still time to do that ! Just imagine an HBO rendering of The Lord of the Rings, where Middle-earth comes to life on the same scale as Westeros ! (Although The Lord of the Rings movies will always hold a special place in my heart) Or how amazing would it be to hear the words ‘Next week, on FX’s Harry Potter….’ Getting excited just thinking about it ! Personally I really think a television adaptation about James Potter and Sirius Black’s time at Hogwarts NEEDS to be made ! I already have the perfect cast list in mind….

Anyway, to conclude my weird-obsession with television, I’ve made a list of what I believe are some of the best television series out there, many of which are adaptations of books and the like. As I said earlier, I truly believe that television has the potential to accurately bring to life the written word more than any big budget, blockbuster movie ever will. In fact, it is not so much that television is now becoming indistinguishable from film, but, rather, is beginning to surpass it.

Game of Thrones
The Walking Dead
Hannibal
Fargo
True Detective
Sherlock
Dracula
Sleepy Hollow
Downton Abbey
Sex and the City
Doctor Who
American Horror Story
Lost

Now don’t shoot me just because something like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, or Dexter isn’t up there, as I’m not an infinite pool of knowledge when it comes to every television show, and I’ve still yet to see the odd few ! But those are my favourites 🙂

Also, one more thing, and this is simply a personal reason for my obsession with recent television, but I am LOVING all the British actors being featured across many of these shows ! Sorry to all my American readers (if any), but as a proud Briton/Welshman/Englishman (Welshwoman, Englishwoman ?!), it is great to know that the world can now see the amount of talent we actually have on our tiny island. I mean, there is at least ONE Briton featured in almost all of the television shows I’ve named, most of which are American-produced. Let’s name a few…..well, for starters, almost the entire cast of Game of Thrones are British ! But we also have Martin Freeman in Fargo, Tom Mison in Sleepy Hollow, Andrew Lincoln and David Morrissey in The Walking Dead, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in Dracula, Hugh Dancy in Hannibal and Dominic Monaghan and Naveen Andrews in Lost. Yes, most of the time they are playing Americans (how GOOD is Freeman’s Midwestern accent in Fargo ?!), but it’s still inspiring to see them being cast in such big productions ! AH I LOVE IT ! Okay, so I just remembered that Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is actually Irish and not British, but hey, my surname is Irish so it still makes me proud !!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading ! Oh yeah, and watch True Detective. It’s amazing. I still can’t get over how ingenious it was – ‘You’re in Carcosa now.’ Just brilliant. Even if you just watch it for the opening sequence, that’s justifiable:

 

 

 

10 Reasons Why You MUST Watch ‘Game of Thrones’

So my last post, which hinted at a very fabulous drawing-inspired post-to-come, is taking a little longer than I expected. As you can probably tell by my ever so detailed sketch, drawing is not my forte, but the drawings I’m working on are something I’ve wanted to do for ages so I’m going to continue with it, and hopefully you’ll all be able to see the outcome in a few days time 🙂

Alas, to fill the void I’m sure you’re all feeling, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to a television series that I’m certain is close to all of your hearts…..GAME.OF.THRONES.!!!!

Unless you’ve literally, and I mean literally, been living under a rock since 2011, you should at least be vaguely aware of HBO’s Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin’s fictional fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire (I’ll not even venture to question why you haven’t watched it. The shock of someone not even witnessing one episode is too much for my heart to bear).

Admittedly, the series on first glance seems a bit daunting – the sheer size of the cast whose characters’ interwoven plot lines are set against a backdrop of beheadings, torture, prostitutes, and revenge points towards one word: INTENSE. Not to mention that it does appear perhaps too much inclined towards the fantasy angle – here there be Dragons who can destroy and conquer Kingdoms quicker than The Hobbit’s Smaug can roast a Dwarf, and the land is coated with vast castles, most of which would make Hogwarts literally look like a lego set. For someone like my friend Antonia, who feels physically sick at the mention of anything medieval or fantastical (such as the word ‘goblet’….), it’s understandable why something like Game of Thrones would send her, and those like her, running into the syrupy sweet arms of Glee, or into the fashion-forward, retro world of Mad Men.

However, despite a thick layer of fantasy spread onto an over-stuffed cake of blood, sex, incest, murder, and politics, Game of Thrones is most definitely a sweet treat that you won’t get sick of in a hurry; if you can will yourself to power through the first couple of episodes, which do require a certain level of patience (not to mention a strong stomach), you’ll likely find yourself taking BuzzFeed’s ‘Which Game of Thrones Character are you ?’ or ‘Which Game of Thrones House Do You Belong In ?’ the very next day.

So, for you GoT lovers out there, I’ve compiled a list to remind you why you love this series so much, and for you GoT virgins (shame on you !), this list is to show you exactly what you’re missing out on. Everyone needs a slice of the Game of Thrones cake, even if your slice does taste a little like blood and incest.

#1 – Hot Men (This is definitely the most important reason) 

ImageRobb Stark

#2 – It’s got it’s priorities in order

Cersei DrinkWine gif

#3 – It teaches you very valuable life lessons

Bronn

#4 – The Hair

Cersei Hair Daenerys Hair Daario Hair

#5 – Jerome Flynn from 90s pop duo ‘Robson & Jerome’ is in it. And he’s very witty. 

Bronn Quote Robson & Jerome

#6 – The Opening Credits 

#7 – Strong, bad-ass women

BIJvD7NCYAA-ySrAryaDany Quote

#8 – Did I mention the hot men ?

Jaime Gif Daario newRenly

#9 – Violence, violence, violence

POYTJoust Death

#10 – PETER DINKLAGE/TYRION LANNISTER

Tyrion