Nerd School: A Game of Thrones Primer

by Joe on April 4, 2011

This will be the greatest TV show you won’t be watching. If you the reader are anything like the majority of the staff here at PA you are probably woefully behind on what’s the best new TV shows around. In fact I think this weekend I heard Anthony ask me “have you seen this show Friends?” C’mon you know you were late to the party on “Lost”, you just watched “Mr. Show” on IFC, and “Arrested Development” is still unwatched on your Netflix account.

But you can break that trend, April brings the start of what will probably be THE show to watch.

So, what,  it looks like Lord of the Rings? Well,  kinda, ya see its based off a fantasy book series. In fact 99% of all fantasy novels written in the last 40 years have been compared to LoTR. George R.R. Martin, the author of the popular book series on which the show is based, even has a simiar looking name! It also has made up languages, ancient made up history. Simply put though, it’s got swords. That’s right it’s full of swords and armor and knights, and bows and arrows, and everything else you pretended sticks were when you were a kid. Also it’s got Sean Bean doing what 006 does best. No, not tricking Nick Cage, swinging that badass sword!

(+200 nerd points for that reference)

But it’s what LoTR aint that makes GoT worth watching.

1. Political intrigue: Think the Tudors, but with less boring.

2. No cutesy bullshit: There are no Hobbits, no dwarf tossing, no treemen, etc…


(sad treebeard is sad)

3. Sexytime: The characters in GoT have a lot of sex, onscreen and off. The show probably be a midpoint between “The Tudors” and “Sparticus”. Yes, you will probably see penis.

(the censored stands for penis and boobies)

In the fantasy world of Westeros, the seven kingdoms are united under the rule of the King Robert Baratheon who won the throne in a civil war from House Targaryen.
The story starts with Robert coming to Winterfell, the realm of House Stark, and asking  Eddard to come to the capital to be his right hand man. Unfortunately, Robert is married to Cersei Lannister , whose’ secrets can tear apart the kingdom. The Lannisters want the throne, and are willing to do anything to get it.

Read Part 2 of the Primer on Season 2 Here

Starks – Good guys

Eddard- badass Boromir type guy without him crying about the damn ring every 5 minutes

Catelyn – Eddard’s wife, she was engaged to his brother before he was killed in the civil war, she’s a little batshit crazy

Robb- The oldest son, he’s important later in the story, he’s probably not going to do much this season

Sansa- The oldest daughter, she’s annoying, women hate her

Arya- second oldest daughter, she likes swords, has a horse face

Bran- second oldest boy, also annoying, he’s very important to the plot
John Snow- Eddard’s bastard son, goes off and joins the Night’s Watch and starts a subplot that will be very important later. Girl readers love him


Lannisters – Bad Guys

Robert- Technically a Baratheon, but he’s the king, probably the second most oblivious person in the book (next to Sansa). he’s just a pawn in Cersei’s game. In the strangest bit of casting he’s played by the guy from that terrible “Still Standing” show. I hate you CBS.
Cersei- the queen, she’s probably the most competent female in the plot, she’s played by Sarah Conner from the terrible terminator tv show that people only watched because Summer Glau was on it.
Jaime- her brother, member of an elite unit of knights, killed the previous king, All women love him. ALL WOMEN (if you read the book you get that joke)
Tyrion- The dwarf brother of Jaime and Cersei, and probably the best character in the series. Played by the guy who plays a dwarf in everything that needs a dwarf(look kids it’s the guy from Elf)

Joffrey- probably the most unlikable character ever in the history of literature. There is nothing better than an entitled kid as a villain.

Targaryen– This is the House of the old king of Westeros that were taken down during the rebellion, they’re going to have a subplot that might not seem like it affects the main plot, but it will.

Viserys- Exiled heir to the throne, also a douche.
Daenerys- his sister, used as a pawn to reclaim the throne
Khal Drogo- Badass leader of the Dothraki people that marries Daenerys, played by the dude from Stargate: Atlantis and the new Conan movie.

All of these characters play the game of thrones, but we know who’ll win.

I do


Read Part 2 of the Primer on Season 2 Here

Read Joe’s other articles:  Obama Trek Mutant Fatigue Sci-Fi A-Team Star Trek: A Different Generation, An Alternate History of the Doctor, Inn at the Crossroads interview, A Love Letter to Natalie Portman, Failed Star Trek Spinoffs, Thor Primer, Doctor Who Season 6 primer More

Check Out Joe’s weekly reviews:

Game of Thrones S1E1, S1E2, S1E3, S1E4,S1E5, S1E6, S1E7, S1E8, S1E9, S1E10

Doctor Who S6E1, S6E2, S6E3, S6E4, S6E5, S6E6, S6E7


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Anthony April 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm

What’s HBO?


david April 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Dis you watch ROME? what were your thoughts on that show?


Joe April 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I liked Rome a lot actually, good story, solid acting, but it did tend to get boring. I’m glad it ended when it did. I’m a much bigger fan of Sparticus.


WoT Fan April 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I’m interested to see how HBO treats Martin’s epic. These books are great, but there’s a lot to get to. The last series I can remember a tv show being created for was The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. While I found Legend of the Seeker an entertaining series, they strayed so far from the books it was hardly recognizable. The character names were the same, but the plot followed very loosely and details were changed. I, personally would love something to come of the Wheel of Time by the late great Robert Jordan. I don’t know how thats even remotely possible though given it’s size.


Joe April 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Y’know I thought Legend of the Seeker was a fun show, and I mentioned that once to a Terry Goodkind fan, I thought she was going to tear my innards out. Wheel of time is fantastic, but so dense and complex, I don’t think it would translate well enough to keep the fans happy. Have you read “The First Law” series by Joe Abercrombie? fantastic series I think it would work well as a miniseries at least.


WoT Fan April 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I have not they are on my list though


Joe April 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I might do a write up when I’m finished, but if I could give you a piece of advice, stay away from malazan. (shudders)


Pat A April 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I was really banking on “Perfect Couples” being the next Lost. Oh well.


Joe April 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm

That show could use a smoke monster


Pat A April 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Was that a Charlie Sheen reference?


Joe April 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm



sdf April 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm

This looks somewhat interesting but you have to be smoking crack to think this “looks like Lord of the Rings”.

And yeah, I don’t want to see damn dwarves in anything.


Joe April 5, 2011 at 11:39 am

Y’know I wrote without thinking. I rewatched the trailer and sure enough I saw Tyrion get tossed at least once. I don’t necessarily think it looks like LoTR, but I’ll be damned if i haven’t used that comparison at least once in conversation


Godric April 4, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Well done. Got a number of laughs out of me. GJ on the humor and super duper analysis.


Joe April 5, 2011 at 11:41 am

hopefully this’ll become a regular thing. next week I talk about the return of “The Doctor”


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