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Student Review: Game of Thrones

Grace Mower, PHS PaperClip Writer

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In July 2016, Home Box Office (HBO) announced that its hit series, “Game of Thrones,” would be ending after its eighth season. Now, in October 2018, loyal viewers are binge-watching old episodes and spreading theories on the show’s ending, who Azor Ahai is, and if Jon really is a Targaryen.

Season 8 of Thrones will premiere six episodes in 2019. Until then, fans will not be able to watch any new content. Once the show is officially over, there won’t be anything for fans to watch, either. But not every show-watcher has read the book series.

Thrones is based on a fantasy series of novels by George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF). The series is currently five books but is expected to be seven books total.

The series primarily follows the Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen families in a struggle for the Iron Throne and power over the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. They drag the other noble houses into their war, while a bigger one looms on the horizon.

I asked Ms. Kate Fitzpatrick, an English teacher at Portsmouth High School (PHS), why she believes the show is a cultural phenomenon. She said, “It has all the elements of a good drama – that being excellent casting, script writing, and set design. But primarily, I think it allows the viewers to watch a drama unfold that is unworldly but scarily like our own world. We can detach from it just enough, but still identify with the good versus evil theme and the power struggles between people and nations.”

Sam Borne, a freshman at PHS, is currently reading the second book in the series, A Clash of Kings. When I asked him if the characters were real/relatable to him, he said, “Some of them are, and some of them aren’t. In each character, I can see a piece of myself.”

Ms. Fitzpatrick would recommend Thrones to anyone who’s looking for a new fantasy show to watch. Not only can we identify with the themes and stories, but she also likes how it includes some classic fantasy elements – “I also love the dragons and The Walking Dead aspect of the White Walkers”.

But for those who already watch the show, Sam would recommend the books. It’s a long series, as each novel consists of 800-1200 pages, but Sam says any teen who’s a big reader will enjoy the books.

As a reader and a viewer, I also recommend both the books and show. The series is unique from others since the good versus evil theme is more complicated than that. It’s an intriguing, well-planned story, but also has basic themes and plots that are familiar to all readers.

The books and show have enough differences to be entertaining for fans who have already watched the show or read the books. I hope fans can enjoy both, and I wait with you for season 8 of Thrones and The Winds of Winter to be released.

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