The Atlantic

Game of Thrones: A Brutal Fantasy With Mass Appeal

The fourth in a five-part series about HBO’s new show, which premieres this weekend
Source: HBO

HBO’s new series, Game of Thrones, premieres on Sunday. This week, we’re featuring five different takes on the show, which is the first foray into fantasy for a network that has built its programming on grimly realistic stories like The Sopranos and The Wire. Atlantic correspondent Alyssa Rosenberg began the conversation, and The American Prospect’s Adam Serwer and Mother Jones’s Nick Baumann continued it. Now, Amber Taylor picks up the thread:

HBO’s new adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s bestselling series of fantasy novels is yet more evidence that television, not motion pictures, is now where truly sweeping, complex stories are for ready lending and conversion), it's heartening to see a fantasy narrative given a respectful and serious airing. Because magic is so peripheral in the early episodes of , the fantasy trappings are not a long leap from these already familiar to viewers of shows like , , or . And after they've been hooked by the characters and complex plot, even people normally allergic to swords and sorcery won't be able to change the channel.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic8 min read
The Power Of Fear In The Thawing Arctic
Living north of the Arctic Circle meant learning fear and its power to motivate in the face of danger—whether from a bear or climate change.
The Atlantic10 min readPolitics
The 2020 Congressional-Retirement Tracker
For the second consecutive election, more Republicans than Democrats are forgoing reelection, a potentially ominous sign for the GOP in 2020.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Why Isn’t Trump Helping the Autoworkers?
The president has been happy to stand up for manufacturing employees on the campaign trail, but has done conspicuously little as GM workers go on strike.