Book Review: “The Photography of Game of Thrones”

Book thirty seven of my 2019 Reading Challenge.

The Photography of Game of Thrones

So I became a Game of Thrones fan a little later in the game than most and you can read more about that in my blog post here. I managed to get the first seven seasons finished before the eighth premiered so I was able to suffer with the rest of the world while watching the series finale. I not only fell in love with the stories, the heroism and the phenomenal acting, but I also fell in love with the cinematography, the set and the beautiful imagery that brought the whole series to life.

All of that is beautifully put together in the coffee table book The Photography of Game of Thrones. Series photographer Helen Sloan captured many wonderful shots of the acting and behind-the-scenes creation of GOT throughout its 10-year run. Each of the 850 photos was especially chosen and placed in a chapter to highlight the seven new gods of Westeros. Each chapter is also introduced with a synopsis of the god’s connection to the story and how certain characters and their behavior embody what that god symbolizes.

I’m a fan of photography and I’m a fan of Game of Thrones and this book was a wonderful Christmas gift that I didn’t waste any time leafing through. The never-before-seen photographs and candid shots were not only fun to see but also showed all the hard-work that went into the creation of each and every episode.

I’m hoping this year that I’ll be able to read the first book of George R.R Martin’s series that inspired it all so stay tuned for that.

Stay tuned for my next review: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Why I Jumped on the Game of Thrones Bandwagon

**This post contains spoilers from the final season of Game of Thrones.**

With the series finale of the HBO show Game of Thrones, I thought I’d share why I decided to jump on the ever-so-popular bandwagon.

I’ve always been a fan of fantasy, especially when you add in an original storyline and interesting characters that you get attached to. Of course, the author of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire that started the epic show knew how to make you fall in love with a character, and then he’d kill them off. G.R.R. Martin’s stories and characters were relatable even though they lived in the fictional seven kingdoms of Westeros.

The television adaptation of Martin’s stories made the characters even more relatable. The series, which began filming in 2009 has had a strong ten year run and gained followers from across the globe. The hype of the show grew more and more over the years and with the wait of a year and a half for the final season to premiere excitement grew even more intense.

It was this anticipation that friends around me had that made me want to join the Game of Thrones Fan Club. A lot of people always seem to want to avoid the mainstream trends and be original and I’m not afraid to admit I used to be one of those people. I’ve since realized that being a part of the mainstream isn’t always a bad thing and that you should watch what you want, eat what you crave, try that new hairstyle or buy that popular shirt because why not? Game of Thrones was one of those mainstream things that I told myself I didn’t need to watch. It again was the continuous build of excitement and the increase in fans around me that finally sealed the deal on whether or not I should watch the series.

About a year and a half ago I decided that I should probably check out this wonderful show that everyone was obsessed with. I began watching the show but didn’t get past the first season. It was hard to follow with all the plots, the characters and the strange going ons. It wasn’t until I finished school and had time to actually focus on the show that I started watching from the beginning again which was this past fall.

It was probably around the end of the first season when Ned Stark was executed that I got hooked. I felt for Arya and Sansa watching their father be killed for trying to uphold the truth and honor of the Iron Throne. I practically binged the rest of the series and slowed down when I got close to finishing season seven. As the last season had not yet premiered I wanted to savor the remainder of the streaming episodes. I was able to start and watch the eighth season as they came out every Sunday with the rest of the country.

Like all Game of Thrones fans, I had my hopes and predictions for the final season. Before the beginning of the eighth season, I was in the Targaryen Stark 2020 club and was all about the girl power that Daenerys exuded every chance she got. Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons was a role model.

I was rooting for Queen Daenerys until the end of the second episode. I really thought I wanted her to take the Iron Throne until her conversation with Sansa about the fate of the North. It was then that I realized the sweet and innocent girl from the first season was gone. The power hungry ruler had emerged and even supporters like the Starks weren’t going to be properly thanked after the war. And I had grown very fond of house Stark.

Unlike most fans (and critics), I think the final season was well written and effectively ended the series. I think Daenerys always had some form of evil, vengeance seeking part of her that remained dormant until she reached the point that she’d be able to act on it. In episode five, “The Bells”, she was given that opportunity.

Taking out her rage on the people of King’s Landing was a bit surprising, but it made sense. So when it came to either following murderous Queen Daenerys or ending the terror of more wars to come, Jon’s choice came with tears, but also with logic. Of course the assassination of the Dragon Queen couldn’t have gone unpunished so Jon’s exile and loss of the throne also made sense which many disagreed with.

Overall, the end of the series wasn’t my favorite, but it successfully wrapped up the decade long show.

It will be interesting to see how G.R.R. Martin finishes the series in his long-anticipated book. I haven’t read the books yet, but I’m looking forward to reading them in the near future.

For now though, our watch has ended.

Feature image from variety.com.