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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Walking Game of Dead Thrones

Similarities are a plenty with "The Walking Dead" and "Games of Thrones"!

If you're fan of either show (and I know you are) you know how many similarities there are between the shows. You watch "Walking Dead" and all your "Game of Thrones" pals tell you all about Tyrion or Jon Snow. Or it's vice versa and people whisper in your ear all about Michonne and Carl. Or perhaps the graphic below says it all:

The cold hard fact is this: the shows have many similarities. Let's explore three today.

1. Kill Your Babies

Whether it the "Walking Dead" (WD hereafter) or the "Game of Thrones' (GoT) plenty of people have died in five seasons. And not just ancillary characters; we're talking big time players in both camps.

Now, be aware, there are others. And BIG others. Not minor roles. But every one of the above names played a major role in their respective shows. And the creators found it fit to kill them off. And many died ugly painful deaths. 

Think of poor Lori Grimes giving birth to Judith, and then being put down by Carl - her own young son - because she dies afterwards, and would eventually turn (to a zombie, of course). Or Joffrey, the king. His death came by poisoning; a woman's method according to many. And we got to watch him choke and spit and drool for two, three, maybe four minutes.

The shows' creators prove (almost weekly) that no one role will carry the series. No, it's a team effort.

2. Keep the Audience Wondering

Okay, let's be honest. One show has zombies and the other dragons. Wondering is mostly what we do while watching these two. But, the authors of the graphic novels (WD) and the massive book series (GoT) love to keep their audiences on their literal toes.

If you hadn't read the books, who actually foresaw Lord Eddard Stark's head being lopped off in the middle of season one (GoT)? Come on, I thought he was the star of the series. His image is on the DVD cover for that season. Who in the right mind kills of the star of the show? Ahhhh, G.R.R. Martin himself did it in the book (A Game of Thrones); thus, not a long stretch by the shows producers.

And how about the final scene at the end of season one in GoT? Daenarys Stormborn Targaryen steps into Drogo's funeral pyre (along with her three dragon eggs). I don't blame her, she doesn't want to live without Drogo, her "sun and stars" - I wish my wife would call me that. On top of that, her baby was born a mess (no, I'm not going into it right now) and Ser Jorah Mormont had to put him out of his misery. So Dani steps into the fire. And what happens?

She emerges covered in soot, but otherwise fine. AND she has three new babies with her. Baby Dragons; from what were believed to be petrified eggs...hundreds of years old.

Because I hadn't read the book, I didn't see it coming. But when she, and Drogon, and Viserion, and Rhaegal, rose alive, I almost dropped to my knees along with Ser Jorah. It was a great ending to a great season. She has Dragons, I say - DRAGONS!

3. Cliffhangers Abound (and darn good ones)

Let's take a peak at this in pictures first:

On the left we have Rick Grimes about to dispense his ordered justice on a resident (and a overall bad egg) of Alexandria. Right after Rick fires his shot, our eyes go up and we see Morgan (an old friend from season one) standing there - almost passing judgement on Rick (and the general environment). Where is the show headed in season six? Will the residents finally get along? Will Rick be banished, even though he was ordered to kill the jerk? Or is Morgan about to find out what happens to people that second-guess Rick Grimes? Stay tuned for season six.

And on the right, we have poor Jon Snow. The misunderstood bastard of Winterfell, and current Lord Commander of the Nights Watch. What you don't see is the pool of crimson blood collecting beneath his body on the otherwise pristine white snow. He's just been stabbed, a number of times, by his fellow brothers. What a bunch of traitors I say. They would argue that Snow is the traitor, and their vengeance is just. Hard to say, but there's a large question at the end of season five.

Is Jon Snow really dead? Really? Or is Melisandre going to bring him back to life? Or maybe his direwolf will cleanse his wounds and Snow can recover. All I know is that I don't think we've seen the last of Old Jonny Boy!

Both shows episodes, as well as each season, end with great cliffhangers. Real, decent cliffhangers; the ones that make you want to watch the next episode...NOW!

I know these are two completely different shows. One is set in modern times, the other thousands of years back. One is truly post-apocalyptic, while the other is pure dystopian. One has zombies that need avoiding and exterminating, the other focuses mostly on the bad people surrounding the good of the cast (or the bad people making up the cast). But in the end, if you watch them both, you can't help but see the many similarities.

Humanity people; both shows portray what happens to humanity in dark times. And it's not all good, is it? No, we didn't think so.

Until next time, have a safe and adventurous summer weekend (for all of you here in North America - where it's summer at least).

e a lake