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Notes on Reading the Iliad While Watching Game of Thrones

Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

  1. You settle in to the couch and feel pleasantly cultured, with a copy of Lattimore’s translation in one hand and the full cast of Britain’s Next Top Model in front of you on the widescreen. You think, casually, that David Denby would join you if he were able to get away from New York and what a conversation you could construct with them and he would leave thinking you were quite a clever fox, now, wouldn’t he?
  2. You observe that both GOT and the Iliad require attention and large brackets of time. This means both are equally valid cultural endeavors representing your finely tuned intellect.
  3. Is it just you or does Thetis sound a lot like Cersei? Uses feminine wiles to cause widespread destruction and death on behalf of sociopathically violent son? I see what you did there, George R.R. Martin.
  4. Game of Thrones seems much less violent when compared to Homer’s version of “epic.” Really, these White Walkers are basically ruffling these lads’ heads and saying, there’s a good boy, now have a sweet, compared to the vengeance wreaked by the Achaeans.
  5. So which GOT character would play Hektor if the regular entertainment at Winterfell went missing? You’d go with Ned Stark, obviously, but he just seems unlikely to participate in this kind of thing. You rather think he’d get stage fright. Bram would do a fabulous job if he could walk onto the stage; Hektor, unfortunately, had to spend a great deal of time off his horse. Jon and Rob could both do it if their senses of honor would permit. No, Hektor might be a lost cause to the honorable and nontheatrical men of Winterfell; best to put Arya in drag.
  6. That gets you thinking that Dany is kind of like an Aphrodite-Artemis sandwich. She’s warm and motherly and oh-my-beautiful, but she’s got that Mother of Dragons thing going on which is wild and untameable. You wonder what Jorah would say, then decide that is private information.
  7. Good gracious. You find yourself paying for episodes of GOT and yet you take the Iliad out of the library. You feel like you should be congratulated, somehow, for being a good citizen and supporter of the arts.

GCL, who is in the middle of GOT season 2 and The Iliad book 5. 

P.S. Yes, yes, we haven’t posted in two weeks. We’re very bad Gaudy editors. We plead an early Ferragosto and the start of a new job and a lot of other top-secret reasons which may or may not be linked to The Royal Baby. But back on the saddle we come, so look out for regular programming to resume this week.

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One comment on “Notes on Reading the Iliad While Watching Game of Thrones

  1. Meher Soni
    September 10, 2013

    *contains spoilers*

    I plan to write a paper on this. I do think that Hector and Andromache can be compared to Ned and Cat. The Stark family seems to be the only one which is not entirely dysfunctional in the series. It is the only picture of the family we see before everything goes to hell (unless you count Khaleesi and her dragons. Hmmm…)

    Also, fire imagery. Burning of Troy can be compared to the burning of Winterfell. There is so much use of fire imagery in both the texts, it’s crazy.

    ‘Valar Morghulis’ is essentially the humanistic message of the Iliad,

    Oh there is too much.

    Thanks for the article, I’m glad someone else sees the similarities and that I’m not losing my mind.

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This entry was posted on July 23, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , , , .

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