Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wester-hos: HBO's Game of Thrones, Season 1

Just finished Season 1 of "Game of Thrones." It being HBO, they should have called it "Porn of the Rings." Or perhaps "Naked Came the Ranger."

I'm not entirely sure why they had to include so much nekkid hanky panky, unless soft-core is cheaper to produce than CGI (which it probably is).

Still, it is simply amazing how many poor, impoverished slaves and whores in Westeros look like FHM cover models. And how good their dentistry is in that region. (Still, as a friend of mine remarked: "I'm pretty sure I don't want to see ugly people naked I get that enough in the mirror." Can't argue with that.)

Still. One wonders what is it about medieval fantasy that makes it so popular these days? Seventy years ago it was the invading-European-cattle-rancher-and-native-American-oppressed-defender-of-a-dying-people story (AKA Western/cowboy stories). Fifty years ago it was the space story. These days it's guys and gals living in low-tech-hell holes of the sort that no self respecting Third Worlder would want to live in in real life. (I mean really. Who wants to live in a country where people are often toasted and eaten by dragons? Or get turned into wombats by passing wizards?)

Maybe it's the fairy-tale aspect of it all. People want to escape from the reality of a country where our homes are being repossessed by banks who were paid trillions by the Government not to repossess them. They want to be rescued by knights in shining armor.

What the fairy tales don't mention is that the knight in shining armor paid hundreds of silver pieces for the charger, lance and armor, that the damsel in distress never has any money and that dragon corpses don't bring you anything if you try to market them. Hence the extreme shortage of knights in shining armor.

I know that dragon scales are in high demand by healers, but c'mon, pharmaceutical megacorporations are rarely found in high fantasy settings.

Did I mention the high cost of horse fodder? Not to mention the lifetime of training for the knight? And insurance. Life insurance premiums are hellish for knights. And also professional insurance as well. Dragons have a bad habit of calling the Round Table in on you if you fail to follow ethical procedures in dragon killing.

Add to that all those quarterly gatherings at the Round Table, Continuing Knightly Training seminars, plus all that time you have to spend networking with other knights.....and don't forget costs to stable the charger, wages for the Page, etc.

And the horse droppings. Endless, endless amounts of horse droppings. Of course that's no different from today, but....

And communications costs. Your crystal ball keeps going on the fritz, so you have to bring in a wizard-specialist to keep it on line.

You'd think that the princess' father, the king would pay for all. No such luck. All too often the damsel is a lowborn, povertystricken wench. Princesses generally travel with their own team of knights to guard them....

... and they can't live happily ever after, the knight in question is married and by definition is ALREADY living happily ever after. And if it is otherwise, if the knight's lady finds out, they may live ever after, but I guar-en-damn-TEE you it won't be 'happily.' (She'll CERTAINLY wind up keeping the castle.)

And the "Servants Unions" have made life hell on Knights who have servants. It's a wonder they could even close on negotiations in time to save the damsel.

And finally one must never, ever forget:

Sometimes. The. Dragon. Wins.

(- with thanks to my FB friends)

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Keep it clean for gene.