Posts Tagged ‘medieval revival’

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Game of Groans

posted: 6.13.13 by Jack Solomon

[Editor’s Note: This blog post discusses plot details from the recent “Game of Thrones” episode “The Rains of Castamere.”]

HBO’s highly successful adaptation of the George RR Martin “A Song of Fire and Ice” novels might have been titled “Middle Earth Meets the War of the Roses Meets the Sopranos Meets Quentin Tarantino.”  But I’ll admit that “Game of Thrones” was a much handier choice.

Up till now I’ve had nothing to say about the series beyond the fact that it is another signifier of a continuing medieval revival that began with the enthusiastic embrace of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by the baby boom generation back in the 1960s, and which has been continued not only by the successful filming of those works in the new millennium but by a whole series of “sword and sorcery” entertainments in popular literature, cinema, and video games (indeed, long before there was “World of Warcraft” there was “Dungeons and Dragons,” while Harry Potter himself is a descendant of Tolkien’s reworking of the wizard tradition).  But with the recent broadcasting of “The Rains of Castamere” episode of “Game of Thrones,” an interesting difference has appeared within this system of medieval-themed phenomena, and as I cannot say often enough, it is the differences within a semiotic system that points to cultural significance. [read more]

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