I only watch it for the clothes -- and the braids, gotta have me some braids

Having survived Pledge Week on both of our local public TV stations, it was with a certain sense of entitlement that I wrapped myself in my cashmere blanket (Banana Republic's last good year, clearance, but I didn't come here to brag) - and settled back to enjoy Wolf Hall. It's not finished yet over here, but timing isn't crucial, what with all the spoilers swimming around the web.

We are experts on Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, both of us having read both books, and last fall we celebrated Still Another Big Anniversary by charging off to London in time to catch the closing West End performance of both. The standing ovation at the end of BUTB was of ManU caliber.  Dame Hilary was present at both performances.

So now, having watched 5 of the television installments, I offer our capsule ratings:

Pageantry and sense of trapped formality: West End. Coming soon (and expensively) to Broadway.
Foreboding and conveying what it might have been like to live in HVIII's times: telly
Best all around: unquestionably, the books.
What I'm glad I don't have to do: those elaborate dances.
Worst all around: The Tudors.

Well, whilst we await the publication of the third book in Dame Hilary's examination of the life and times of Thomas Cromwell, how to fill the aesthetic craving for pageantry, plotting and blood?

This post's title refers, of course, to Game of Thrones, in which an overdose of improbability is loosely blended with the above key ingredients. I can't watch it for more than 5 minutes at a time without wishing for a spaceship to land.

And yet, and yet - why is this setting so familiar? From whence comes this sense of déja vu? I know I haven't wasted any time reading the books.

I figured it out! Game of Thronesis the dark side, the anime version, of the adventures that Prince Valiant, Lady Aleta and Little Prince Arn would have had if they had flourished in a time with no censorship and no inhibitions. Like now. And of course most of the roles in Game of Thrones are played by human actors, not cartoon characters. But still...

A long, long time ago, I discovered a stash of Prince Valiant at a garage sale, and I was entranced. The comics were really old, the paper was smelly and crumbling and the ads for peculiar products were, um, dubious. But Val and Aleta's little family seemed just like a real family as seen on TV - wizards, misunderstandings, spells, having to get all dressed up for events, scary neighbors, rival lovers, having to practice archery, kids wanting strange furry pets, more scary neighbors...

I was delighted to learn that the strip was still going, and I still check out the noble prince and the Queen of the Misty Isles if I happen to be in a town that has a real Sunday paper (one with comics).

At the time that Game of Thrones  met HBO, I wasn't familiar with the GOT books, but I did read some of the pre-show analysis and discussion. After about 15 minutes of Episode 1, I decided that the pundits and critics had got it wrong. It's not a badly spelled version of the Wars of the Roses. It's the dark side of Prince Valiant. And those clothes! (except for poor Daenerys, who got naked early on -- was there no sunscreen in this alternate universe?)
well, the costumes are genius.

And the women's hair! I've been inspired to let my own hair grow long enough for some elegant braids, or some uber-glam waves, and it seems to be cooperating,  at a rate of about 7/16 of an inch per month, which is slower than it sounds. Meanwhile I'm a menace to anyone with long hair who stands too close to me. I need the practice.


And because GOT doesn't have enough -- I was going to say anachronisms but you have to know what time period you're meant to be in before you say something's doesn't belong in it -- oh, well, because you've been patient enough to read this far, here's  a smile.

I absolutely think that whoever makes these things up is a genius, rivalling only the original DrunkJCrew tumblr (Jen's, not those thieves').


  1. Can't wait for the third part of the series!

    Speaking of smiles there's a funny one of what happened when you bring Jon snow over for a dinner party!

  2. Love it. I'm on episode 4 of wolf hall and loving it! Have been a huge fan of GoT since the get-go, and Jon snow is awful dreamy.. But Prince Valiant? I forgot him! Off to go look online for some comics!

    1. I was astounded - ok, it doesn't take much to astound me - by how much the GOT characters resemble characters from Prince Valiant. Waiting for sword in stone.

  3. I've never seen either, but will one day. I need to watch tv that doesn't require too much concentration, so I can get work done. I think I will try the books first.
    I have been on a Jane Austen binge. Every P and P , 2 Emma's, Sense and Sensibility ,and I am gearing up for Northanger Abbey. I think they calm my blood pressure- there is really no intrigue, and certainly no gore....
    I did enjoy Grantchester, can't get in the right frame of mind for Call the Midwife now that Jenny is gone, and have never seen Mr. Selfridge....

  4. Gorgeous dishevelled hair. I would have been useless during those times as I have no discernible practical skills


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