Game of Thrones: WDTPRS POLL

What can you readers tell me about the show “Game of Thrones“?

I keep hearing good things about the series.

Please DON’T post spoilers.  I (and others) may want to watch it.

Stick to general comments.

I have a POLL open.

Remember: No spoilers in the combox or you shall surely face The Wrath Of The Whatever From High Atop The Thing.

What about "Game of Thrones"

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  1. acardnal says:

    I have not seen “Thrones” but on one rare night when I watched “Saturday Night Live” because I couldn’t sleep, they had a parody of it and show some pixelated clips that were very sexually explicit. So I’m not sure I would watch it. I will wait and see what the results and comments of others here are.

    Alternatively, I would recommend the AMC series “Breaking Bad” although the first pilot episode was a bit risque, the remainder are tame. Excellent drama with some humor. I just completed watching season three on dvd; they are currently in season five.

  2. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    Haven’t seen it myself, but the general consensus among my friends is that it is a great mythological middle ages type drama. Power struggles for kingdoms and what not. On the other hand it contains rather gratuitous amounts of sexuality and nudity.

  3. LadyMedievalist says:

    I’ve only watched the first season , and while there is quite a bit of sexuality/nudity, most of it serves to prove a point or contribute to character development (I did say most, not all!). Other than that, it’s a great fantasy drama and I quite enjoyed the first season. That being said, I had difficulty with the violence, which is why I’ve been hesitant to watch the second season; the books were often difficult for me, and I’m a terribly visual person, so I haven’t wanted to watch the second season yet. We’ll see, though.

  4. Gaetano says:

    My wife and I are watching it now. I’m enjoying the story, but she believes there were worthier candidates for HBO to put into film. As other readers have already said, there is a good deal of nudity and sexual content. I would not recommend it to most people for that reason.

  5. I read the books a few years ago, and they are very well written. It is an excellent fantasy series.
    The books are every bit as sexually explicit as the show was (although to be fair, I only watched the first two episodes), but I found it rather worse seeing it as opposed to reading it. I guess you could say it was easier to self-censor when I was reading it.
    Anyway, I found the sexual content too graphic, so I stopped watching. It’s a shame though, because it really is an excellent story.

  6. sisu says:

    My husband and I rented the first 5 episodes, and only got through the first. We found it a laborious soap opera wrapped in the trappings of a fantasy genre, with monotonous dialog interspersed with the formulaic pattern of either graphic violence or nudity/soft core porn every 7 minutes or so, which is about the time crushing boredom has set in. We have a phrase for that, combining boring and horrifying – borrifying. It doesn’t hint at sex, it gives the lingering wide shot with full nudity. Between the orgy-dance, the boy surprises rutting couple, child-bride sex, and midget sex, we were honestly surprised the horses were safe.
    We usually enjoy sci-fi and fantasy genres, but found this weak in its reliance on cheap shock tactics to hold interest. Perhaps the story, whatever that is, would be interesting if it were condensed to one season, minus the graphic sexual freak show.

  7. OrthodoxChick says:

    Does option #3 in the poll translate to “so-so”?
    I’m with acardnal – haven’t seen it yet. So far, the comments I’m reading aren’t tempting me to. If it’s an HBO show, I can’t view it anyway. I refuse to pay one good cent to a network that airs LGBT shows because surely my subscription dollars would go toward funding such “crapola” (which translates to, well, you know…)

  8. Melody says:

    There needs to be an option for “Good, but will necessitate confession.”

    Good plot, waaaaaay too much sex. Don’t watch it. If you are really interested read the first novel. It still has some questionable content, but much less and one can skip it.

  9. A Priest says:

    I borrowed the DVD of season 1 from the library after a friend raved about the novels.

    Whatever the merits of the story (second-rate Tolkein imitation, without a religious or medieval sense, in my view), the HBO series contains regular soft-core porn scenes. These are not simply scenes with some nudity. We’re not talking an “R” rating here. They’re gratuitous, they’re explicit, and they’re frequent. No way around it.

    I had to turn it off – even after trying some judicious fast-forwarding – before I even finished episode 1. In my view, this show is gravely morally objectionable.

  10. Phil_NL says:

    On the one hand, it’s one of the best-made series in years, and certainly the top fantasy one. On the other hand, it does contain quite a bit of sexual content, and contrary to LadyMedievalist I’d say quite a bit of it is needless and done for effect. (The violence on the other hand, is comparatively sedate, strangely enough). If you’ve seen Rome, the full version, a few years ago, it’d say it’s roughly comparable, both in terms of upsides and downsides.

    In all, it depends on whether you can filter out, in your mind, certain parts. There’s certainly some peril there; I’d definitely recommend watching in a way you can fast-forward. (which one would need to do now anyway, as there’s absolutely no point at all in starting mid-way. Just saw an episode again I earlier got on a transatlantic flight, and – having started form season 1 episode 1 – it made sense. Otherwise at least half won’t). In simple words: it’s sludge, but its the best sludge that has been produced in quite a while. But that doesn’t make the sludge go away.

  11. Phil_NL says:

    Erratum: that should have been “- it now made sense”.

  12. Archromanist says:

    I have read the first book and watched the first season.

    The book is a fine specimen of modern fantasy writing but it is not without its flaws. To begin with, it often borders on the tedious. Martin’s verbosity is his greatest technical failing as a writer. More importantly, however, there is something deeply disturbing about the metaphysic underlying the narrative. Superficially it seems like a traditional epic fantasy novel about kings and knights and damsels and dragons. But beneath the surface there is, I think, a profoundly bleak and confused view of the universe. One particularly problematic feature is how Martin accomplishes the moral compromise of one of the main characters (I’m not saying which!). The effect is curiously hollowing–what one thought was a fine tale with some genuine heroism, both ethical and physical, degenerates into a morally chaotic maelstrom. There are also scattered scenes of pornography in the book, but not enough to outweigh what merits it has.

    The television show, on the other hand, seriously ratchets up the amount of pornography–there is one scene in a brothel that actually IS softcore pornography. Someone above noted that most of this material “makes a point” or “contributes to character development.” I’m not persuaded of that, and even if I were, I don’t think it would justify its inclusion in the series. HBO continues its shameful tradition of going farther with every new big show. They even invented a whole new character, a prostitute named Roz, who is nude in every episode she appears in (and, in all fairness, she is a very beautiful woman).

    I suggest trying the first book. The show is, at best, a near occasion of sin. For many I’m sure it can be and is far worse.

  13. Joe in Canada says:

    I read the first 2 books and saw the first one on tv. I walked out. If you think it’s okay to watch porn and fast forward through the racy bits, then this might be fine. The books are better and you learn quickly how to skim over paragraphs. The characters are almost all “mixed”, or “complicated”, but not worth it.

    I gave up after 2 volumes, but at least I was alone. I can’t think of anyone I would watch this with, without embarassment.

  14. Lucas says:

    It’s outstanding.

    It can be pretty graphic, both with violence and sexual content, but it’s never overboard. And the sexual content is not really sexual/porn-like if you get my drift. It serves it’s purpose very well.

  15. Gregory DiPippo says:

    I got through the first 90 or so pages of the first book, skimmed through the rest to find out what happened, and decided I just could not waste any more of my life on such awful, unreadably clunky prose. Martin has aspirations to lyricism that far outstrip his talents, and the 21st century’s worst case thus far of “Fantasy Fiction Stupid Name Disease”. (scientific name “onomastomoria fantographica”) Laying aside the morality issues, he would also be a prime contender for Auberon Waugh’s annual prize for worst written sex scene(s).

  16. AnnAsher says:

    19 year old son: ” oh that’s really bad. It’s like Lord of the Rings but with sex – and I mean sex! ” I’ve never heard of it.

  17. Iowander says:

    I began watching it and enjoyed it, but I hated having to deal with pornography in it, and so I stopped watching because it’s just too near an occasion if sin for me. Why can’t good shows just be good shows? It’s like they have some kind of nipple a simulated sex act quota for every episode of every show on HBO just to make sure teenagers will watch.

  18. Fr Matthew says:

    I haven’t seen the show, but I read two and a half of the books. I liked the world the author creates, and really liked some of the characters. I was not happy about the sexual content (which gets more explicit with each book), although some of it really did contribute to the character development – but the same effect could achieved in other ways. Although one can usually skip those parts, that put me on the fence about continuing to read it.
    What finally killed it for me was the relentless negativity. It seems like little to nothing good ever happens – you get to like the characters, and then you just get to see them suffer in varying ways over and over again, and/or die. Yes, there are also some acts of valor and virtue, and snippets of humor, but mostly there’s a lot of foreboding, cruelty, suffering, infidelity, betrayal, and defeat. I went to Wikipedia to read the plots of the books I hadn’t gotten to yet, in order to see if things start getting better… and as far as I can tell, they don’t.

  19. Matthew78 says:

    Echoing many others on this thread, it’s a medieval/fantasy ‘Sopranos’, too much gore and pornography (yes, it goes well beyond ‘plot-driven’ sex, as if sex on the screen is somehow redeemable simply because it complements a plot). But with a few interesting plot twists and turns, and some decent character development, it keeps viewers watching. As others have noted, the sexual imagery is at best a near occasion of sin. The first season begins with your typical political struggle for power, but is far too riddled with debauchery to remain a good story.

  20. Faith says:

    You have to like fantasy to like “Thrones.” You do get sucked into the drama quickly. Yes its sexy, just like Chaucer.

  21. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I read the first book, and it was the worst slog of any Martin book I’d ever read with the least payoff. I also had problems with an obvious, less noble, less interesting ripoff of the Wars of the Roses being shoved together with a world where Very Bad Things were just over the border. The Wars of the Roses were the product of a relatively peaceful and prosperous England that could afford to have nobles duking it out.

    If Horrible Bad Things had been only a few hundred miles away from England and France and Scotland, England and France and Scotland would have been a lot more concerned about that than internecine power struggles or each other, and thus medieval history would have totally different. Martin postulates Horrible Bad Things Are Coming at the very beginning of the first book, and thus undercuts everything that follows as implausible and ridiculous. His people also do things that make no medieval sense, or which fail to have any of the obvious medieval consequences. And yes, tons of bleakness for no obvious reason, and tons of people you don’t care anything for or about.

    War and Peace is a nice quick read with a lot of fun bits, for all that it’s very long. Moby Dick is something of a technothriller with literary stuff. LOTR is only rough going in certain bits, like Mordor, and that’s because it’s harrowing, not boring. The first Game of Thrones book is a chore, and I totally fail to see why anyone would like any of the others. I guess it’s just one of those things.

  22. lelnet says:

    It depicts a very great deal of grossly immoral behavior going on, and it doesn’t traffic in euphamism or coy references to off-camera behavior. The sins of the villainous characters are right there, up front, and if you watch the show you’ll see them depicted right before your eyes. I am sure this is not a surprise.

    It does _not_, on the other hand, _glamorize_ immorality. It doesn’t dwell much on questions of Heaven and Hell, but there is no question, watching the show, about the places that sinful behavior leads us to during our lifetimes.

  23. bbmoe says:

    OK- the very first time I watched it I was with my mother in a nursing home situation, and the attendant was feeding her. I tuned in because my daughter RAVED about it on her FB page and I wanted to check out what she’s watching (she’s 20). So on comes the TV with a girl-on-girl voyeur situation in full swing.

    The attendant almost dropped the bowl of puree.

    To be fair, I tuned away for a few minutes and returned to the show which had moved on to more quotidian stuff, most of which I found poorly written and indifferently acted. Really, folks, it’s just mediocre. I guess it’s supposed to be Medieval fantasy, but there is exactly zero effort at portraying that time period beyond the stereotypical “Renaissance Faire” men-in-tights-playing-flutes ‘n tamborines. I don’t see how people can say it’s the best thing out there when there is Longmire, which is WONDERFUL. If you’re a Netflix-er, Arrested Development, and even Lillyhammer is fun (language warning.)

  24. GeekLady says:

    The books are pretty bad, I can only assume the TV adaptation, like all video adaptations, is worse. It being HBO, there’s a bunch of gratuitous sex and violence. But let me skip over to the books, they’re what I’m familiar with.

    The world has no comprehensive metaphysics, just a mishmash of Crystal Dragon Jesus religion (that’s a technical term) and idealized paganism that is fundamentally nonsensical. The pseudo Christianity is particularly inexplicable in the setting.

    By the time he finally got book 5 released, I had stopped caring about any of the characters. The pseudo Christianity of the books utterly fails to inform most believer’s behavior, even though it supposedly proclaims the same virtues. Almost all characters behave horribly to everyone else, and if they don’t, such foolishness will get them killed.

    He kills off a ton of main POV characters, which might be more realistic, but makes the story ineffective and unpleasant to read. In fact, much of the books seems to exist only for shock value.

  25. disco says:

    I think it appeals more to the younger generation who are not so sensitive to violence and overt sexual content (to our shame). That said, I’m a fan.

  26. Thomas S says:

    Good story. Good production value… but the sex scenes can only be described as softcore pornography.

  27. mpolo says:

    I find the pornography in the series very disturbing. If you’re on a computer, you can hide the video to get the “character development” dialogue without the full nudity and graphic sexual scenes, but it’s a more than a bit disheartening how often this is necessary.

  28. Cornelius251 says:

    A friend enthusiastically described it as, “Lord of the Rings where everyone stabs everyone else in the back and there’s tons of sex.” That was enough to dissuade me from reading or watching.

  29. Hans says:

    I’ve never been able to bring myself to read the books because they seemed at a glance to be such an obvious LotR imitation, and I’ve been burned on that score before (can you say Sword of Sh…?, I can’t — or even quite remember how it’s spelled).

    I’ve seen some of the previews of the show, and they’ve been interesting — and technically well done — but not enough to entice me to get them (also no cable).

    Also, there’s something about the author when I’ve read or watched interviews or such (even apart from his use of two identical middle initials) that grates on me. I’m not quite sure what.

    It’s been a while since I read them, but another series (of books) I could recommend is Katherine Kurtz’ Deryni/Camber of Culdi series, especially the first six.

    Or if you prefer mysteries with a reasonably accurate historical sense, there are Margaret Frazer’s books set mostly in fifteenth-century England.

  30. flyfree432 says:

    I thought Rome was tame compared to Game of Thrones. I watched the whole first season of Thrones and pretty much hated it with a passion. And yes, you need to avert your eyes like every 5 minutes.

  31. Johnno says:

    Only saw the first episode, and there was gratuitous nudity for absolutely no reason than for HBO to show “OOOOoooh! Look how adult we are!!!”

    As a man trying to overcome temptation to look at pornography I will avoid watching it. I likewise warn any other men trying to fight this temptation. Don’t bother. There is no reason for it! Sexual themes can be done and protrayed without this overly unnecessary exploitation. One has to be careful how one uses nudity. It can be wonderfully impactful when handled correctly. Game of Thrones doesn’t care to do so. It’s there to sell the show based on the nudity and ‘adultness.’

  32. rayrondini says:

    I read the first book, and watched the first TV episode. While the story is, indeed, enthralling, witty, and well-written, the book and TV show (especially the TV show!) are filled with unnecessary gratuitous violence, vulgarity, and sexuality. The TV show, I’ve heard from devout fan-friends, is filled with both male and female nudity (including male full-frontal). Overall, for me, the genre is right in my wheelhouse, but this series is just too graphic, violent, and vulgar for me to partake.

  33. jkarpilo says:

    Several coworkers keep trying to convince me that I should watch it; the primary selling point being that there’s a lot of sex. One coworker’s quote: “Even if the scene isn’t a sex scene, they’ll put 2 people in the background having sex.” It’s prime time porn; the very fact that people argue that it’s not speaks to how completely desensitized our culture is.

  34. ml1948 says:

    I suggest you read the books.

    Yes, there is explicit sex, and no, it’s not in accordance with Christian doctrine. Same holds for Chaucer, Dostoevsky, Waugh, O’Connor, Percy, etc., etc. The question is always what is the point being made.

    There are honorable persons, even more cravens and knaves, and its what you’d expect of, say, a novel set in the Hundred Years War. I like the series, I root for my favorites (not all of whom are rewarded) and against the bad guys (not all of whom are punished). I read for the plot, the themes, and the characters – in most cases the sexual activities are key to understanding motivation and character.

    Can’t speak to the TV series. I saw a preview on Netflix, and I can say that it looks like the show is faithful to the geography and architecture. The Wall was amazing.

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