Thursday, April 4, 2013

"you win or you die"

oh, Jon Snow...

I didn't expect to like Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire this much. And judging by the reactions I've gotten from people who know me in real life (I think the fact that I differentiate between real life friends and internet friends means I spend too much time on the internet...), no one expected me to like this series this much either.

Let's take a moment to think about this: the only TV shows I've watched with regularity in the last half decade (I stream everything online) have been Gossip Girl, Revenge, and The Carrie Diaries. The last time I read anything in the fantasy genre was in 2007 when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out. Most of my favorite films are cinematic and contemplative—or, as my action-hungry movie-watching friends would say, "slow paced." As a Chinese-American suburban high school girl, I am about 82.7% sure that George R.R. Martin did not create the series with my demographic in mind.

But nevermind demographics (I remember reading that the average viewer of the show is a 41 year old male...hmmm...). I'll admit, I did have a pretty hard time getting into A Game of Thrones at first. It's been a while since I've read a book (did I say book? I meant tome) of that size with so many protagonists and foreign names of places, but once I got into it, I began to understand why this series is so immensely popular.

I was asked the other day what I liked about it, and my response made me realize that I liked it for all the same reasons I like all of my favorite films and novels—the characters are heartbreakingly human, caught in epic journeys greater than them all. I may have only read the first book and watched the first season (I'm ridiculous about reading books before watching adaptions, and I'm still waiting for A Clash of Kings to come before I'll let myself watch season 2), but I'm addicted already. And I promise (oh, promises! I'll certainly do my best to keep this one) I'll give a full review of the series once I finally catch up on the rest of the published A Song of Ice and Fire books!

a map of Westeros
On a different note, the show is spectacular as well. Although I'm normally one of those "the books are better!" people, I was blown away by how visually stunning the first season was.  The difficulty with high fantasy literature is the incredible amount of world-building required: the alternate universe created not only has to be original, but also has to echo familiarity that its readers can identify with. I think one of the main reasons I struggled with the book when I first started was because I couldn't quite imagine what Westeros was like; even constantly referring back to the map at the front of the book wasn't enough.

Seeing it all in action helped a lot with my appreciation. And I'm sure that I'm not the only one who thought so. I mean, it's got to be pretty good in terms of aesthetics if Helmut Lang's Fall 2012 collection was inspired by it. :)
"The starting point of inspiration for Fall 2012 came from a modern interpretation of the Game of Thrones guardians. Their dual existence of forest life and a stark, minimal world is embodied in the mixing of hard and soft fabrics, tree-bark printed leather, and minimal body-conscious silhouettes." 
- Nicole and Michael Colovos, creative directors at Helmut Lang
Here are some of my favorites:

Tell me, have you read and/or watched Game of Thrones, and how do you feel about its presence in popular culture?

xoxo, vivian

images from this post are taken from HELMUT LANG JOURNAL, nosculconcept and


  1. I'm a big big fan of Game of Thrones, and have watched all 2 seasons, and am eagerly anticipating the next episode of season 3! Although I usually prefer to read the books first before watching the show, I'm resisting the urge to pick up the book because the show is too epic, and I don't want to know what happens next...until it happens! Guess we are in opposite positions then :)

    ps LOVE the Helmut Lang's collection!

    x Gi

  2. lovely post, that fashion show is such a chic! <3

  3. Hey Viv! I've been good! What about you? Was just remembering you the other day when I was watching a movie based on Seattle and was trying to remember the name of the Space Needle. Was gonna tweet you to ask you but decided to google it instead. I like Game of Thrones too but I didn't find it as engrossing as everyone claims it is. I feel it appeals to men more. I love The Walking Dead and Pretty Little Liars though