If you are besotted with notions of debauched savagery, harrowing penis mutilation, and weddings with roughly the same amount of emotional trauma as a night maki
If you are besotted with notions of debauched savagery, harrowing penis mutilation, and weddings with roughly the same amount of emotional trauma as a night making love to Simon Cowell, then chances are you’ve had a rollicking good time with season 3 of Game of Thrones. If by chance you are a ‘normal’ person, it may also be likely you enjoyed a stellar season of HBO’s stirring drama, with few notable problems for something so epic in its sensibility.
That epic sensibility is narrowed in the third season, giving a more exclusive focus to character, in the absence of outright war. With such a gigantic list of characters, season 3 took its time finding its feet, hopping from 5 minutes with one character, to a hurried 5 minutes with another character and so on, somewhat frustratingly unable to linger with anyone, although once up and running, it quickly gains traction, with a continued cruel devotion to the abhorrent treatment of its characters.
Where most TV programmes would allow space and time for growth and redemption following a mistake from a character, Game of Thrones pulls said character apart, enforcing debilitating lessons for even the most minor of transgressions, which make me wet myself from the sheer karmic cruelty of it all.
Sheer karmic cruelty
The most cutting example of this occurred in episode nine, ‘The Rains of Castamere,’ after which I literally screamed in despair at the sheer horrific nature of everything. Trying to stay spoiler free, but the amount of devastation felt by fans worldwide regarding the fatal event indicates the emotionally resonant connection held with the characters, especially the cute ones with nice beards. It is this connection the producers utilise to effectively break our souls.
Still, never mind. Where some events may cause a deepening of the gaping chasm within us, at least others we can bank on for stability. Arya Stark’s journey this season has been nothing less than riveting, most likely due to her general horrendous life up to this point, she continues to spiral downward in hatred, amplified via lessons of the heartless reality she populates.
While Arya’s journey may be a particular highlight, all characters evoke some reaction, sometimes one of misguided hope (in the case of poor Sansa) or fits of psychotic rage, during which I do everything in my power to stop myself dissolving into the TV screen and stabbing Joffrey to death myself with a blunt butter knife. These characters have moved us, stirred, shocked and enraged us, with episode nine inducing actual pain in my body from shock and disbelief.
And so I ask, what now dear friends?
So many highs and lows and delirious lightning bolts of insanity inducing drama have occurred that I’ve actually been under my bed the past week, crying mostly, occasionally dreaming about Daenerys Targaryen and her sexy dragons. Upon the realisation GoT won’t return for a while, I turned tentatively to the remote control, searching for something to fill the void, to aid this barren soul, this empty heart.
A snapshot of next Monday night’s programming, around the same time GoT aired, makes for reading about as exciting as a funeral directory. New series of Big Brother? I’ve written before on this site about my confusing love/hatred for BB, now the equivalent of a toddler dribbling warm creamy vomit down your favourite shirt.
Given Jeremy Irons’ recent comments about the potential of incest as a means of lowering tax payments (seriously), the second series of The Borgias might be worth a watch for some unintentional comedy, although if you didn’t watch the first season, I implore you switch your attention instead to Sky1, where Spartacus: Blood and Sand is being re-run. Featuring a traumatising amount of sex, violence and hardcore swearing, a casual episode of Spartacus might include hacking of limbs to stumps, one limbed topless transvestites, multiple swinging penises in a Roman locker room and some of the most wilfully hilarious dialogue you’ve ever heard.
Greasy 99p steak burger
If Game of Thrones is a gourmet steak burger cooked with all the trimmings by your friends’ hot mum, Spartacus is a greasy 99p cheeseburger with the wrong dressing. It may fill the void, but only temporarily.
You could catch up on Hannibal, which I whole heartedly recommend, a swimmingly nauseating blend of dark psychological crime and mouth-watering cookery, but if you don’t want to play catch up (you should), then wait with baited breath for the return of Luther on July 2nd.
Helmed by stirring performances from Idris Elba, he swaggers through each episode casually redefining the role of Morally Dubious Cop Who May Also Be A Loose Cannon in an entirely engrossing, preposterously addictive crime drama.
Until that time is nigh my friends, stay in or under your bed, be of no discernible help of identifiable joy to anyone, and nurse your Game of Thrones inflicted wounds, simultaneously cursing and blessing George RR Martin in your nightmare blighted sleep.
Photo: Suzi Pratt