Jun 30

HBO’s Game of Thrones is an epic fantasy based on George R. R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire books. After watching and loving the first few episodes of the TV series, I started reading the books. I only needed to read the prologue of the first book to make an awesome realization: This is a story about zombies.

Now, it’s not just about zombies. It’s also about war and dragons and sorcery and people. But I found the zombie part really compelling. In the prologue of the first book, A Game of Thrones, we are introduced to a creepy race of beings called the Others, which the characters speak of but don’t believe to exist. Then they meet one. It is gaunt and pale, with eyes that are blue and glowing. That is all well and creepy, but then we get to the part that caught my attention: After the Others kill a man, he comes back to life as one of them, also pale, gaunt, and with glowing blue eyes. Could the Others be zombies?

Game of Thrones - The Others

Game of Thrones - The Others


In truth, they’re not the typical zombie. It seems that these ones are capable of sword-fighting and talking, it’s unclear whether they eat brains, and of course there are the demonic blue eyes. But they’re definitely the living dead – and I expect that they’ll be coming in hordes.

The first season of Game of Thrones is a pretty faithful adaptation of the first book, and I’ve only just begun to read the second. So, if you haven’t seen the series, some of what I’m about to say might be spoilers, but not much. I’ll mostly be talking about the world Martin created, not the actual plot. You’ve been warned.

Game of Thrones - The Wall

Game of Thrones - The Wall


In this world, there is a wall cutting off the northern part of the continent, which is so ancient that no one knows quite who built it, or how or why. It’s almost 700 feet high and is simply called the Wall. The Others are a legend south of the Wall, spoken of mostly in jokes and children’s stories. But north of the Wall, we’ve seen that they’re real.

So, this situation seems rife for an epic zombie battle: We have an ancient wall that was likely built to keep the Others from infecting those in the south of the continent. We have the unexpected emergence of the Others in the north, though they are generally believed to be creatures of fairy tales. And we have them creating new Others – a swarm that must travel south to feed. I can’t wait to see what happens. I’m expecting some zombie mayhem.

Game of Thrones is a great series, regardless – but I’m happy to find a little living-dead action in there. Because everything is better with zombies, right?

47 Responses to “‘Game of Thrones’ as an Epic Zombie Fantasy”

  1. C says:

    Just for clarification, the White Walkers (the Others) are the race that was believed to be extinct. They are the ones that are quick with the sword and melt from the touch of Dragonestone. They have the ability to reanimate the dead as wights. These whites have pale skin, because they are dead, and glowing blue eyes but they are not White Walkers.

  2. sheribomb says:

    Okay! So far, in the TV series and the first book (which is all I’ve finished so far), I hadn’t figured out that distinction yet. But that makes sense — thanks! I was trying to get the next three books done before A Dance With Dragons comes out tomorrow, but they’re so long! I’m working on it. :)

  3. daphne says:

    .. I like that the unearthly blue eyes made me think of “blue ice”–

    the picture you posted is deliciously bone-chillingly frightening! the series opens with such a great scene- the wall. the little girl, first impaled with brown eyes- then this one, yikes!, dried blood on her tiny mouth–

    anyways, I saw this link? that seems to say that White Walkers and The Others are one and the same– ?
    http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/White_Walkers

  4. Franny says:

    There’s no need to rehash the plot of GRR Martin’s fabulous “A Song of Ice and Fire” series; everyone remotely interested in this extraordinary piece of fantasy/adventure is familiar with its medieval story-line.

    Things I liked in this HBO series…

    1.) it’s not often a movie-series turns out to be the perfect visual compliment to what many consider to be the gold standard for epic fantasy writing…but this does. It captures the atmosphere, the subtle edginess, those brutal, unexpected moments; it really does grasp the mood and essence of the book.

    2.) in addition to presenting a riveting tale, the production gives us acting that brings the books’ characters to life in realistic settings.

    3.) a computer enhanced animated map is shown as a short cut scene at the start of each episode. Giving those of us familiar with the books a brief refresher and those new to the series a sense of the geography, direction and distances.

    4.) a pulsating, musical score to start each episode that perfectly fits the heraldic spirit of this story.

    HBO has done a wonderful job making this first book (Game of Thrones), into a first rate TV series. 5 Stars.

    Have a nice day,
    Franny
    franny.best@buy.me” rel=”nofollow”>

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