Daniel Mendelsohn Reviews “Game of Thrones,” the TV Series, for The New York Review of Books

In the November 7, 2013 issue of The New York Review of Books (which self began subscribing to last year, after she was exposed to its excellence at Hawthornden), Daniel Mendelsohn, one of the Review’s regular contributors, reviews the television adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones epic. Heaven, self is in heaven!

But before she begins quoting from the excellent and meticulous review, she would just like to mention that The Man casually made reference to the fact that “Game of Thrones” the TV series, was airing in January 2014.  This is approximately two months earlier than self expected.  Are you sure, are you sure, she asked The Man, over and over.  The Man insists it’s a fact.  Also, he adds, the new season of Justified is airing at around the same time.

Self’s ecstasy knows no bounds.

Last season (Season 2), self thrilled to the growing friendship of Brienne of Tarth and “Ser” Jaime Lannister, whooped when he rescued the maiden from a duel with an ornery bear, and rejoiced in the hot tub scenes.  She was, frankly, bored with Daenerys/Khaleesi, who became more and more Christ-like with each episode.  But self began to notice minor characters, like Khaleesi’s gorgeous handmaiden, and the one-eyed Hound, and a very unlikely pair named Sam and Gilly.

Anyhoo, Mendelsohn cheerfully establishes his “Game of Thrones” cred, in about the 30th paragraph of his long essay:  “I read each of the first three novels in a few days, happily addicted.”  Oh, BTW, son claims to have read everything by George R. R. Martin.  Self was so happy to hear this.  Martin is a great improvement over the last “cult” author son was into:  Dan Brown.

Mendelsohn begins his review thus:

. . .  a refugee princess — she is fourteen years old but already a widow, has silver hair and purple eyes, and happens to be part dragon — stands exhausted before the walls of a fabulous, vaguely Babylonian citadel called Qarth.  The last surviving scion of the deposed ruling family of a faraway land called Westeros, she has led a ragtag band of followers through the desert in the hopes of finding shelter here — and, ultimately, of obtaining military and financial support for her plan to recapture the Westerosi throne.

Well, that’s a great moment.  Mendelsohn doesn’t like Emilia Clarke’s performance, but enjoys Peter Dinklage.

He also writes this:

Those who complained about the TV series’ graphic and “exploitive” use of women’s bodies are missing the godswood for the weirwood trees:  whatever the prurient thrills they provide the audience, these demeaning scenes, like their counterparts in the novels, also function as a constant reminder of what the main female characters are escaping from.  “I don’t want to have a dozen sons,” one assertive young princess tells a suitor, “I want to have adventures.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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