How “Game of Thrones” led to literary discoveries


Malta, one of the filming locations for “Game of Thrones”. Image from Bobu, Wikimedia Commons.

Lately, I’ve gotten into watching “Game of Thrones” videos on YouTube. I haven’t seen most of this series about a group of feuding medieval families that’s appeared on HBO for the last six years, because it’s a bit too explicit for me.

But I have to admit that the story’s good and the acting, music, costumes, special effects, locations and sets are first-rate. They’re filming in location such as Croatia and Malta, which have some stunning scenery.

I find myself rooting for some of the better characters — Danerys, Tyrion, Arya, Sansa, Jon Snow and Brienne. I also like the opening credits (see below) and how they suggest the machinations of the various families in the show.

The final episode of season 6 is impressive. I love the build-up of the dramatic music, how it starts with a choral theme and how it ends right before the Sept incident.

I recognized some faces. Often, the cast list reads like a Who’s Who of British actors, with a smattering of actors from other countries. I recognized Harry Lloyd (Viserys) from his memorable performance as Baines in “The Family of Blood” episode of Dr. Who. So I looked him up on the Internet Movie Database and came up with a little surprise — he’s a descendant of Charles Dickens.

I started thinking: who else? Are there more well-known writers with famous descendants out there? So I made a little list to entertain you today.

Herman Melville: Liza Klausman (writer)

J.R.R. Tolkien: Michael Tolkien (writer)

Ernest Hemingway: Mariel Hemingway (actor and author) and Margaux Hemingway (model)

Jane Austen: Anna Chancellor (actress who would play Miss Bingley in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice)

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Patricia Cornwell (writer)

There’s a kind of comfort in knowing that a family keeps going through the years and the centuries. Sometimes the descendants even bear a strong resemblance to their famous ancestor or take up the same profession to become well-known in their own right.

I wonder about that sometimes. Is the ability to write or act well something that travels from generation to generation? Does a smidgen of that spark pass from one DNA cell to another? It’s interesting to speculate.

Video credit: Shadowmeme, YouTube.



Filed under Writing

11 responses to “How “Game of Thrones” led to literary discoveries

  1. I think if someone passes down those skills and thoughts in the family, then it does travel to other generations.

  2. I absolutely believe artistic talent is passed through genetics. My family has everything from artists, writers, actors, graphic designers, an architects, a cake decorator, a potter, and musicians. There are too many of us in the three living generations to be coincidence!

  3. I read the first two of the “Game of Throne” series before I realized I really didn’t like them. At all. When the show started, we gave it a (brief) try, then Garry said “ugh” and I doubled down on his ugh and said “yuk” and that has been that. Otherwise, both of us like historical drama, both as reading material and as theater. “Game of Thrones” is too much about killing. Gruesome killing. I know “dark” is fashionable and “witty and humorous” seems is out … but I need a bit of light-hearted fun with my art. Otherwise, it ceases to be entertainment and morphs into work.

  4. Who knows where creative expression and talent comes from. All I know is that some people have the good fortune to be able to nurture their talents while others may never get to showcase them due to external constraints like lack of resources or being barred from opportunities. With THE Hemmingway in your family tree, I imagine door are open to you that wouldn’t be opened to other, equally talented people.


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