The Last Game of Kingdoms? Debbie Bennett
I had a really good idea for a blog post the other day. Can I remember what it was? Not a chance. I swear my brain is fried these days – whether with the current situation, age, hormones or quite possibly a combination of all three. So, I’m sitting here with greyer hair than I’ve ever had (do I need to bother dying it? I’m curious to see how grey I actually am as I’ve not gone natural for quite a few years …) and an absolute desperate burning need to visit the dental hygienist before all my expensive bridgework falls apart completely through lack of maintenance. Interesting times, are they not?
Is anybody watching The Last Kingdom on Netflix? We finished season 4 last week and I can’t help drawing parallels to Game of Thrones. I mean our Uhtred was quite clearly Jon Snow in a former life - same dress style, same strategist. He even looks the same! And Sansa has morphed into Aethelflaed, with Cersei becoming Aelswith. I’m loving it, but it makes me wonder whether anything is original any more. They say there are only seven original plots in fiction. There’s an article in The Telegraph too (but you need an account to read it properly – I know newspapers need to get their money from somewhere these days, now we are all reading online – but I really hate having to log in to read an article).
|I let Andy cut my fringe ...|
The Wikipedia article is interesting. As well as the seven plots, there’s a meta-plot and there’s only one character we are supposed to care about – our protagonist – even though there may be a cast of thousands. And this is where GoT straightaway breaks the mould as not only is there a huge cast, but there are numerous major characters and no one is more important than any other, except in their own heads. Maybe this is why it works well enough on screen, but I found the books long-winded, tedious and rambling. At least LK is firmly focussed on the luscious Uhtred!
In both series (and often in other films, tv and books) I get hugely annoyed by the way the characters can apparently move hundreds of miles, on foot, in less than a day or so. GoT spent half a season with a band of characters on the road north or south (I forget which) – a journey which they accomplished later on in half a day. At least Westeros is a fictional land. I was yelling at the tv last week when the Saxen group managed to get from Aylesbury to Winchester on foot in pretty much the same day. With small children in tow!
And why does everyone always have perfect teeth and good skin? Apart from the obvious stereotypical village idiot/hovel-dwelling bottom-of-the-heap few characters, our heroes and heroines are all perfectly manicured, buffed and polished with white smiles and clean hair. Really? I guess we don’t want realism, do we – and it’s never mentioned in books unless it’s relevant to the plot that the heroine has acne or the hero has bad breath and greasy hair … I was watching an old re-run of Sharpe the other night and they’re all wearing white uniforms. Why? I asked Andy. They’d get filthy, surely? Yes, he replied – that was the point. It gave the men something to do to keep their uniform clean, kept them occupied and out of mischief. But how? I wanted to know. No hot water, no Persil, no Vanish oxy-white doo-dah and no tumble dryers or irons. How did they manage to be clean and bright the next day? Nobody knows. Even the Vikings – sorry, the Danes – have lovely long silky beards with little beads in (no bits of food or dried beer/spit) and lovely black bits of leather that still look smart even when they get wet and muddy. It’s a mystery to me.
Anyway, I need a new series to watch. Any suggestions?