Game of Thrones Binge!!!

I heard all of the chatter.  I read all of the seemingly meaningless Facebook posts with the obligatory "#GoT" included.  I figured it was hype.  This show wasn't my type of show anyway.  I had watched a bit of an episode when I visited my brother one day.  It was a soft core porn period piece.  No thank you.  Then I heard there were some elements of fantasy.  Dragons?  Ghosts?  Magic?  Nah.  This wasn't a show for me.  Then Saturday Night Live spoofed it as if it was directed by a horny 13 year old obsessed with nudity and that confirmed my decision.

This may have continued to be my view on this show if we had stayed in the States.  There are countless shows on countless channels to keep you busy in the US.  That's not so much the case here.  The shows on TV here are mostly cooking competitions, some type of singing show or a reality show from the US or UK.  I'm surprised there isn't a reality singing while cooking competition.  Come on, Channel 4.  You know you want to do it.

I still needed to quench my thirst for series'.  I love them.  I began downloading and streaming.  I used to be against downloading, but it's so convenient.  And am I really going to wait for a DVD box set?  It was official.  I was a binge watcher.  I cranked out the entire "Breaking Bad", "True Detective", "MTV's The Challenge Season 24" (don't judge me), both seasons of "House of Cards", "Eastbound and Down", "Under the Gunn" and more.  I got good at binge watching.  Too good.  After knocking out season two of "House of Cards" in less than 48 hours, I knew I had reached my prime.  I was in the big leagues.  It's time to try new shows.  I tried "Orange Is the New Black", but Swedie went ahead of me, so I never caught up.  I still may, but this was good news anyway.  I wasn't addicted to binging.  I just had dedication when I got hooked on a show.

So one day we're watching an episode of a Swedish children's cooking competition and thought to myself, "This can't be life."  Had I watched everything?  Was this cute 11 year old kid making a gorgeous custard that I will never know how good it is really the best thing I could be watching?  Maybe it was time to give "Game of Thrones" another go.  See what the craze was…

*****I really don't know exactly what I'm going to type next, but I'm pretty sure there will be SPOILERS.  If you have not watched Game of Thrones (GoT) and you plan on watching it, then I would suggest you stop reading here.  If you have watched GoT then you understand the excitement that will be displayed after this next series of asterisks***** 

The first episode was kind of slow.  Some frontal nudity made me think SNL was right.  Maybe it would be gratuitous.  The story was okay.  I could tell they were introducing the characters so maybe the story would come along.  In my mind I said I would give it three episodes to grab me.  That seemed fair.  Then, just as I was watching what seemed to be another gratuitous scene: Jamie secretly having sex with Cersei (eww.  That's his sister!), little Bran Stark discovers them (listen to your parents, boys and girls).  I was like, "Ooooh." But then Jamie stops smashing, pulls up his pants, walks over to the kid and throws him off of the tower!  Fade to black.  Roll credits.  WHAT?!!!  Swedie and I stared at the screen, jaw dropped for thirty seconds.  Then we looked at each other, jaws still dropped for ten seconds.  Then back to the TV.  We were hooked.  We watched the entire series in two weeks.

I don't know how viewers from the beginning did it.  Waiting a week to see what happens?  No bueno.  They ended every episode with a dramatic twist or death.  I learned quickly not to get attached to any characters.  First Bran Stark.  I thought he was dead.  But he wasn't.  Maybe there was some compassion after all.  They made me like Ned Stark.  Who doesn't like Ned Stark?  He is a man of honor and dignity.  He is the key character of the show.  His family is tied to the family of the king.  A king who happens to be one of his best friends.  Sure there was drama.  The king died.  The young king (a product of incest and not the rightful heir) is a jerk, but he won't kill Ned Stark.  Then he orders Ned Stark's head to be chopped off after Ned sacrifices his honor and dignity for his family!  What?!!  Who knows what happens next?!  I had to watch more.

My hatred for King Joffrey was/is completely unreasonable.  How did he stay alive for so long?  I have to give credit to that actor (Jack Gleeson).  I have never felt so strongly about any character on any show or movie.  Including "The Five Hearbeats" (more on that in another blog entry).  I hate the way he sneers at people.  How he sits his disgusting body on his disgusting throne.  How he couldn't even accept the gracious gift of a prostitute from his uncle (LOVE Tyrian, by the way) without being disgusting and making them hurt each other.  I can't find one redeeming quality in this slimy,  filthy result of incest.  But I loved hating him.  I thought he would be around forever to torture me.  I wondered when someone would kill him.  His death scene was amazing.  Him at his nastiest yet and then the poison kicks in.  I still see that purple, vein-filled, shaking face of his as he took his last poisoned breath.  There is justice in the world!!!  A lesser show would have gotten worse with the death of such a moving character.  Not GoT.  

It's amazing how the characters continue to bring the story along after their demise.  Ned Stark wasn't around that long, but his presence is still felt well into season 3.  Joffrey's nasty stench will probably linger until season 11.  That Stark family wedding massacre was insane.  Just when you think poor Arya is going to finally get back to her mother, the entire family gets slaughtered at a wedding reception.  Robb Stark's wife getting stabbed multiple times in her expecting stomach is an image that will last with me for years.  Crazy.  Also crazy is how characters I once hated are now some of the ones I like.  The Hound, for instance.  At first I hated him, but since he said, "Fuck the King!" I've been #TeamHound.  I even grew to like Jamie Lannister.  You gotta feel for a feared fighter that loses his sword hand.  And I also kind of feel for him being in love with his sister (though gross) and not being able to fully express it.  That's a COMPLETE 180, considering it was him that started the WHOLE MESS by pushing young (now crippled) Bran from the tower (listen to your parents, boys and girls).

Some story lines I can do without.  That whole Ramsey torture story is not entertaining to me.  Theon isn't likable and neither is Ramsey.  They should just kill each other.  I do think more will come from that, but I'm not sold yet.  I am also not so into the whole "White Walker" stuff.  What is their goal?  What's up with the baby taking?  Were they all kidnapped?  I could do without that.

One thing I cannot do without is my new boo Khaleesi.  I love how that character has been developed. She went from such a timid and weak character to this powerful and noble character.  She has her beliefs and she stands by them.  She is freeing slaves and has dragons.  How could you not like that?!  Her confidence and grace makes her character so beautiful to me.  I do feel like she's losing some control of that situation, though.  Where is the black dragon?  I'm so #TeamKhaleesi.  I hope it works out.  I've learned not to get too attached to characters, but please keep her alive.  

I thought I would lose my good friend Tyrion Lannister (the dwarf).  He may be my favorite character. He was the only one to stand up to Joffrey,  he is the only Lannister (besides Jamie after captivity) to show compassion and he overcame so much hatred and disappointment to become a pretty decent person.  But when that showboat fighter got his head busted like a watermelon at a Gallagher show, I thought it was over for Tyrion.  Alas, there was justice.  Jamie freed him and one small killing spree later my friend would not be killed… or will he…

What a show.  The binge was great while it lasted.  Now I'm all caught up and I want more.  I can't wait until the show returns.  Unfortunately I'll have to watch it week by week.  Poor me.  I've finally stopped having crazy dreams that I live in a GoT world.  There were many battles won and lost in my dreams during the binge.  I had also begun speaking to Swedie like I was a character from GoT.  Conversations included me talking about "My father and his father before him." Yeah, the binge had to end. If not for me, then for Lady Swedie, wife of Lord ExpatJon of Miami, father of Bash.  Until next time…


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