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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
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No Spoilers

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

No Spoilers

Andrew Ryan

For all the idiotic things going on in Australian consciousness right now, one thing I’m sure many will acknowledge is that the latest season (5) of Game of Thrones just finished. It is done. Did winter come yet? I dunno, because I haven’t watched any of it. None. I decided that I would wait until it’s all released so that I can watch it all at once, or like, over days and a night probably. Greedy for that quick fix. Get it out of my system. Yeah.

Taking my daily peek at facebook over the season’s duration, I saw more than a few reactions to various episodes, but thanks to internet etiquette spoiler warnings I still have no idea what’s going on, other than the fact that an episode here or there was generally considered kind of boring, and that the ending was confusing, or a death was confusing, or something. I had my blinkers on. No spoilerz.

Game of Thrones is one of those shows that is expected to pack the biggest, bloodiest, sexiest punch one can imagine, every time, because that show does those things so well that people have begun to crave it, a huge punch, maybe for the same reason that all those older women were reading 50 Shades of Grey on the train for a little while, maybe. Masochism. Horny. Blood lust. Repressed animosity in the face of heavily policed civilized society. Those first few seasons, omg, I’d never encountered anything like it. And the television show episodes keep one’s interest, even through all the occasionally fatiguing complex family ties and political intrigue because omg filmic amping up of what was a little boring in the books and omg it’s soft porn and totally mindblowing violence omg. I was so excited every week to watch that fucking show on the great media set up Andy had in our old Footscray loungeroom and watch the ever-loving shit out of each episode. Hooked, mate. Sex-and-gore hooked.

The story had me hooked too, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had an avid interest in history since my high school history teacher opened my eyes to the fallacy of global politics after a particularly impassioned story about “communist oranges”. It was almost 15 years ago and I never wrote it down, so I can’t remember anything else about the story except the term “communist oranges”, but I know that was the turning point in my adolescence that lead to readingreadingreading about recent human history. Gotta learn from mistakes etc. I mention this not because I am the kinda human who thinks that Game of Thrones is actual real history, but like, those marriages and political wheelings and dealings echo quite loudly the footsteps of early European kingdoms and family lines. And I reckon a lot of people get a kick out of watching this fantasy elite wield their armies over the lives of that fantasy non-elite; a lust for a knowledge of that kind of power when most of us live like near slaves to whatever boss or land lord or debt you may have is hard to deny. Just wanna know what it’s like to be powerful man, just wanna know.

So past viewings of Game of Thrones seasons were The Most Satisfying Thing because it’s obvs written by a history nerd who loves mythology so much he had no choice but to write fantasy novels, and the visuals were all perfectly constructed smack bang sex gore like I said before brutal fun and dragons lol etc. And what the epic fuck does that say about us fans? How many turned away when that guy’s eyes got gouged out? Beheadings are banned on television but millions and millions of dollars are spent on a television show in which you watch people artfully edited to look like they’re really dying, and we’re artfully enticed when and when not to care about them and their deaths, it’s a dream, it’s a real fucking dream, gosh we could all learn a thing or too from the the financial lessons of Game of Thrones in terms of what is good for the ruling class to put their investments in so that a society functions properly and then maybe people won’t have their heads cut off or die of cold on the streets or children won’t be kept locked behind bars simply because their parents wanted to get them the fuck out of a war zone asap in the only way they could find out how to do asap, you know?

I’m not bagging out Game of Thrones, not really. I am very much looking forward to watching it, but I think in the midst of all this recent global and national political weirdness, I’ve had my fill of sex and gore escapism after watching two seasons of Vikings back to back the other week, and I think I prefer Vikings, because doing some learning about an old spirituality was fucking enjoyable and kind of nourishing and the babes are also way more babing and the costume design is more pleasing to my eyes as well so… I think my imminent Game of Thrones time may be a little tainted by this rekindled appreciation for a near rival television suitor. And it’s hard to ignore all those pressing concerns that I personally have no control over, and lying down to watch an expensive American TV show might feel like a fucking asshole move if I’m in the wrong mood and have read too much internet in the hours beforehand. But who knows what will happen when that theme music starts up all loud in my sound system, who knows how my body will respond, and maybe the familiarity of the characters will give me a hug and I’ll be straight back in to “yeah Cersei, drink that wine so you don’t get none on your lips you crazy bitch” and clapping with glee when Arya takes her revenge. Oh plz don’t break my heart, Arya’s gotta be the top dog in all this. Get that revenge, girl, get it.