Friday, March 23, 2012

The noble houses of A Game of Thrones

I'm getting very excited that HBO's Game of Thrones is returning with an action-packed, fantasy-filled, second season. I do like the world of Westeros, so I wanted to chime in on the different houses. HBO did videos for each one to get people interested in picking a side. But, I'm not going to show those even though I watched them. As a reader, I haven't picked a side as much as I've enjoyed all the story arcs. Here are the houses from my perspective.
House Lannister. The only one of the Lannisters that I like is Tyrion. He's clever and smart. Yet Jaime has shown remarkable growth after he had his sword arm cut off. I still don't much like him though. The Lannisters are smug and pretentious. They all have lily white skin, blue eyes, and blond hair. I would liken them to Hitler's "master race" with all the superiority that issues from such a statement. I think that this house would appeal to anyone that could identify with the need of feeling superior to someone else exclusively because of beauty or wealth and not ability. Lannisters are manipulative. They are the people that plot and plot if not against you...then each other. You can't trust a single one of them.
House Baratheon. I did like King Robert even though I thought he made a terrible monarch. I also like Renly (his younger brother) because he's gay and that (in my book) makes him more open-minded and understanding, because he has had to live in a world where people just assume that everyone is straight (and that this is natural). The Baratheons are a tough, honest house. This means that they won't lie to you. It also handicaps them because they assume everyone is like them and that's not true. They tell it like it is whether or not you care for their opinion. And they do know how to party. A Baratheon is the kind of person that would have your back in a fight. They have honor and I think that would be important to me in this world.
House Targaryen. Daenerys' brother died in season one and he was condescending, pompous, demanding, and evil. Daenerys herself has these same traits, but to a much lesser extent. Like about 5% of what her brother had. This I think seems to be at a tolerable level for someone that is a ruler of many people.  She's also cool-headed, intelligent about what she does, and seems to be quite calculating.  She's also fiercely loyal to anyone that serves her just so long as you do not cross her.  I also like that.  She's got your back even more so than a Baratheon.  I like Daenerys (not necessarily her house) and if I had to choose, I'd be in her camp and would predict that she would make the best ruler on the Iron Throne.
House Greyjoy. I hate this house. I wish George had not included it. Theon is a waste of skin (the irony is that he gets skinned). Asha sucks. They are a bunch of backstabbing, power-grubbing, rapists and murderers who live on the sea like pirates. I just really can't say anything I like about the Greyjoys. They are as likeable as a squid (shown prominently on their banner). I honestly can't say anything good about this house. There only existence, it seems, is to get involved with Daenerys at some point because as it is, her story has gotten boring.
House Stark. I loved this house. They are romantics. Loyal, honest, knightly, and hard-working. The decimation of the Starks leaves a sour taste in my mouth because they were legitimately good people.  And in A Dance with Dragons, Bran is doing some weird spiritual thing with trees that makes me wonder if George is smoking weed. I don't get how any of Bran's powers are even remotely tied to the story. Everytime he goes off on a Bran chapter, I think, "Okay another waste of fifty pages where some crippled boy flies around and teleports through trees but doesn't do anything and no one cares because...well...no one cares."

Anyway, Season 2 starts on April 1st. I'm really excited because it's sexy, romantic, cunning, dangerous, and all around riveting. And I'm most excited about the new character of Melissandre (sp?). She's just dang cool.

Which house are you?

34 comments:

  1. I'm glad I've read the books - or the mention of Jamie's future might have bothered me, as well as Theon and Bran.

    Still, I like your take on the houses and their traits. It'll probably be a year before I see season 2. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Still haven't read the first book and still don't have HBO.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I find myself cheering for Jaime Lannister more and more. Probably the best aspect of Game of Thrones is the growth of each character. They sometimes take a negative trajectory, but they all change as the story evolves. GRRM is truly a master of character development. He'll make you care about the fate of everyone involved, hero and scoundrel alike, simply because they aren't stagnate. You always know there's going to be change, so you keep reading.

    Couldn't be more excited for a television show to kick off! (Well, except maybe for the new season of Downton Abbey... but still pretty damned excited. : )

    ReplyDelete
  4. I find myself cheering for Jaime Lannister more and more. Probably the best aspect of Game of Thrones is the growth of each character. They sometimes take a negative trajectory, but they all change as the story evolves. GRRM is truly a master of character development. He'll make you care about the fate of everyone involved, hero and scoundrel alike, simply because they aren't stagnate. You always know there's going to be change, so you keep reading.

    Couldn't be more excited for a television show to kick off! (Well, except maybe for the new season of Downton Abbey... but still pretty damned excited. : )

    ReplyDelete
  5. Might have to pick up HBO when the season ends so I can stream them all on my iPad.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with you on the Greyjoys. And the Starks. And Tyrion Lannister.

    I watched the first season recently. I tried to convince my significant other that we needed to get HBO for April 1st and keep it just long enough to watch the second season but as he hasn't read the second book yet, he didn't go for it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with you on every single one of these. But, what I do think Martin does well, is to always give you at least one character from each hated house that you hate less than the other (Asha Greyjoy), and one character you like less from the house you like (Stannis Baratheon).

    ReplyDelete
  8. I confess: I tried to read this and then gave up. I can't muster any interest in Game of Thrones a/k/a Gritty Reboot Of The Hobbit. I really wanted to read it because you're a good writer and seem like a good person but I gave up after the intro.

    Still, I was here. Thought you should know.

    ReplyDelete
  9. BTW, since "The Hunger Games" comes out today you should repost your review of the book or something.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Spoilers much?

    Luckily, I've read to the midpoint of the 4th book where I gave up in frustration and cursed Martin's name as a hack. I have faith that HBO will turn his over wordy book into something watchable but it should be interesting to see what gets cut (I vote for most of the 4th book).

    Like most my favorite was House Stark at the beginning but as I read through the books I wondered how they ever became rulers with their naivety. Jamie Lannister kind of grew on me in the 2nd and 3rd books and I'd pick him if not for his sister. The most king-like was Edwin but that's not going to happen so I'd pick Stannis and House Baratheon though he's a bit too inflexible to be a great ruler.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I went away with some friends two weeks ago and, I swear, we probably spent two hours dissecting this show!

    ReplyDelete
  12. tyrian and daenerys are my faves too. i hated losing the starks! i despise joffrey! and cersei. you describe them perfectly. they're ruthless!

    maybe i will give up reading and just watch, had to watch a little at first to figure out who was who in the beginning!

    ReplyDelete
  13. *Really* looking forward to Series 2 myself, which is being aired over here in the UK at about the same time. It's great TV.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I haven't read the books, but I think the Stark girl who takes secret fencing lessons felt like a character with great potential.

    mood

    ReplyDelete
  15. Since I haven't read the books, I skipped over the bulk of the post.
    I still have no intention of reading them.
    Maybe if he finishes the series without dying.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I keep hearing good things about Game of Thrones. I guess I need to pry open my wallet and pay for HBO.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love both the ASOIAF book series, and the Game of Thrones TV series. They've done wonders with the adaptation.

    My favourites are Dany, Jon and Tyrion. Melissandre really grew on me, and I'm so excited to see her in season two.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've only read the first book in the series, but from that experience, my favorite house is Stark.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm definitely going to get into this someday... I've heard AWESOME things and it looks fabulous.

    I've officially decided that if I need an opinion on something I'm going to you, Michael... you're going to be my read or not read/watch or not watch person ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Someday soon (I keep promising myself) I'm gonna get the first season on dvd and catch up on this series. Then your summary of these houses will make sense to me and I'll likely agree with you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. it will be an exciting second season, although I will miss Harry Lloyd, Jason Momoa and Sean Bean terribly :(
    I must admit that as someone who hasn't read teh books, all the families, and who is who, has been very confusing for me in the show, and I still can't really distinguish them. But I love the epic in my shows.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wait. When did Jamie lose his arm?

    I'm definitely House Targaryen. She means business.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love the books and the series. I'm House Stark, but Stark that has a thing for Targaryen. (I have a theory that the books will head in that direction!)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Series two is about to start here too...so excited... my favourite has always been House Stark.... hence why I'm not too happy with the way the last books turned out...

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've read the first book, and now am dithering on book 2. Haven't watched the series yet. Great take on the houses!


    ---Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

    ReplyDelete
  26. I watched an episode about 3 or four weeks ago - I upgraded my cable and it came with a free trial of HBO. I got lost in the episode, didn't know what was going on. I think I'll have to get the DVD collection and watch it all at once to get into it.

    It looks fabulous. I'm goig to favorite this post to refer back to when I get the chance to view the first season.


    .......dhole

    ReplyDelete
  27. I. Can't. Wait. For. This.

    I've got myself season 1 on DVD and I'm considering doing an episode/book readthrough/watchthough simultaneously.

    Seriously, I'm so excited for the next season.

    ReplyDelete
  28. dude, i am SO FRICKIN EXCITED for this to start.
    yeeeeeeeesssssssss...

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but I've heard such great things about this show. I hope season 1 comes to Netflix soon so I can catch up!

    ReplyDelete
  30. My GF starts her new job next week and with it enough money to get HBO again! We've been drooling to watch this show too.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Lannisters have green eyes. (Jamie, Cersei, Tywin, Joffrey, Tommen...I mean at least try to pay attention when you're reading.)

    You write like a child.

    ReplyDelete
  32. @Anon: You write like a fucking troll. Go troll somewhere else douchebag.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hey Michael, I just saw this post under the post for my cover reveal and I'm so glad I did. I always love to find another GoT fan! I'm totally obsessed and can't wait for S3 to come around. Reading this post made me even more excited for the series to be back. I wish I hadn't already finished all the available books, I'm obsessed with them too. :)

    ReplyDelete