The Game of Thrones television series is meant to quicken the pace to which the viewer follows the Game of Thrones storyline from the book, hence, the chessboard illustrates the momentum of television show which is much like a chess game that has a cause and effect relationship, often times exchanging one piece for another. The first slide although only a title slide is meant to impress the point of having a grounded rational attack. The chessboard is meant to represent the plane at which the players namely royalty and members of the Nightwatch interact sometimes ultimately resulting in their death or murder. The outcome for some of the pieces on the board is indicative of their position on the board. The first slide I take a closer look at one of members of the night watch Ser Waymar Royce. Deciding on Ser Waymar Royce as being a pawn on the chessboard came for a couple reasons. For one the Nightwatch is meant to protect the seven kingdoms and often the affairs of the Nightwatch are kept behind the scenes. The duty of being on the Nightwatch also runs the risk of death by harsh weather conditions and other ends. That being said the Nightwatch is not meant for the light of heart and typically entails a lifetime of duty to the empire with little opportunity to return home and see family. The scene in the first slide attempts to capture Royce’s last moment before being killed by a whitewalker. There is the excerpt from the book included at the top left corner of the slide. The excerpt gives a more detailed version of Royce’s fight to the death which is overlooked in the television series. The scene ends in the television series with Royce glancing up with a sense of urgency and uncertainty before being killed. However the episode doesn’t reveal to us any engagement between Royce and the whitewalker rather we are left to believe that he dies immediately.
From reading the excerpt from the text we learn that Royce died with much more honor then the episode gives him in the show. The duty of the Nightwatch is to serve and protect the seven kingdoms even if it means putting your life on the line. Initially Royce and the other two men on the Nightwatch with him are looking for deserters of the Nightwatch which demonstrate how important retaining a sense of honor is to them. Unfortunately, the episode fails to see Royce through his term as being a leading officer in the Nightwatch. We are only left hearing the sound of the whitewalker’s sword being drawn and can assume Royce meets his death shortly after. The Nightwatch whose headquarters are a huge wall called the “Wall” serve as the front line for the seven kingdoms. In a similar fashion the Nightwatch would be fittingly positioned on the front line of the board where all the pawns are. Since the seven kingdoms can afford to lose men on the Nightwatch pons are representative of this because pawns typically disappear early on in a chess game and are susceptible to attack or be attacked first.
Losing a member of the Nightwatch is to be expected therefore the seven kingdoms especially royalty in the seven kingdoms doesn’t have time to mourn the loss of every individual dead Nightwatch man. The purpose of the Nightwatch, the pons, are to serve the rest of the kingdoms and in this case to serve the board in furthering the progress of their side. Although the conflict in the book and movie begin as being Nightwatch versus Whitewalkers the conflict becomes internalized. The conflict becomes internalized when the royal families in the seven kingdoms begin to influence one another. In the next slide three of Eddard Stark’s kids watch him as he beheads a deserter of the Nightwatch. The Starks are just one of the royal families in the seven kingdoms. The presence of Eddard’s Stark’s kids on the chessboard is not apparent but it can be assumed that royalty wouldn’t be pawns like members of the Nightwatch fighting out on the front lines.
Rather Stark’s kids are protected by their association to their father who although not king has influence over the king putting Eddard Stark as either a bishop, knight, or rook on either side of the king and queen. Bran Eddard Stark’s youngest son is asked by his father to be present at the execution of a deserter of the Nightwatch the same man that was with Ser Waymar Royce when he died. Bran and his brother Jon are there together watching their father carry out the watchman’s sentence. Bran’s older brother Robb stands ahead of his two brothers desensitized to the whole ordeal. The purpose of Bran’s presence at the sentencing was his father’s attempt to make Bran into a man. In the episode we see a young boy who is still conflicted about his father’s reasoning for sentencing this man to death a certain innocence that his older brothers Robb and Jon have left behind. The television series does well of drawing its attention in this scene to the unfitting presence of Bran who is just a boy and we really sympathize with his character because death is something hard to explain to children.
The excerpts from the book give us more insight into Bran’s thoughts which reveal he still hasn’t given up on his own reservations which are considered child like in exchange for his father’s words. In a similar fashion the Targaryens internalize the conflict of the seven kingdoms. The last remaining bloodline of the Targaryen’s are brother and sister. The brother, Viserys, is older and more commandeering over his younger sister. His father was the former king of the seven kingdoms making him the rightful heir to the throne. However, this proposition doesn’t sit well with the rest of the seven kingdoms that already have a new king. Viserys, on the chessboard, would be positioned close to the king and queen as a knight or bishop. His younger sister is a pon who he manipulates in order to further himself on his quest to be king of the seven kingdoms. The book offers a much less tame interpretation with Viserys being especially cold to his younger sister when she tells him that she’d rather go home than be queen. The book’s interpretation also offers a depiction of Daenerys as being much more submissive. In the excerpt on the fifth slide Viserys seems to have complete and utter control over his sister’s emotions let alone facial expressions. He asks her to stand up tall, show what little breasts she has, and smile to which she complies to all of these suggestions. In the television series, Daenerys appears to resist her brother’s manipulative tactics more so than she appears to in the text.
In conclusion, the momentum of show often picks up where the book leaves off however the book is more thorough in its descriptions of the characters and as we’ve already seen tends to make them appear more fickle than in the show. Other times the show appears to fall short of doing justice to the characters in the book and their unique circumstances which tend to be overlooked as we’ve already seen with the case of Ser Waymar Royce. The show does however for the most part keep the ideology of the book intact.
“I don’t want to be his queen” YouTube. 2012. 29 Jun. 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWqBZQg-RvY&feature=related
“Night’s Watchmans and the White Walkers” Youtube. 2012. 7 Jul. 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhonEowCBUw
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) Amazon. 2012. 22 Mar. 2011 http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0553386794/ref=sr_1_1?p=S005&keywords=game+of+thrones+book+1&ie=UTF8&qid=1336022277
“Winter is Coming” Youtube. 2012. 19 Apr. 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUm6HnNOtIo&feature=fvst
throne.jpg 2012. 20 Dec. 2008 http://photo-dictionary.com/phrase/472/throne.html#b%20-%20throne