5. Sex, sex and more sex
Game of Thrones features more boobs than a Jeremy Clarkson career. And like the former Top Gear presenter, they’re occasionally joined by a couple of cocks. The amount of exposed flesh is definitely gratuitous, but the show’s so popular no-one seems to mind.
I’m certainly not complaining. Let’s just say the massacre of the Starks wasn’t the only scene that required a box of tissues. Ned’s beheading was also pretty emotional. What did you think I meant? Come on, get your mind out of the gutter. Death is a serious subject.
4. Girl power
Despite the show’s obsession with the female form, it’s refreshing to see women in powerful roles. Normally, fantasy epics revolve around men and their inability to get on with each other, but characters like Arya, Daenerys and Saiorse are a welcome change to the formula.
They’ve certainly empowered my wife – he says, making her a cup of tea under threat of having his head removed. I feel like Lord Varys sometimes.
“What’s that, moon of my life? You only wanted one sugar? Ouch! That burns! Yes, I’ll make you another one right away.”
Is it just me, or does Game of Thrones make you talk like a citizen of Westeros? The other day, I found myself looking out at the London skyline on a miserable day before turning to my friends and declaring solemnly: “Winter is coming.”
“But it’s only April,” they replied.
“I didn’t specify when, did I? Anyway, winter is coming eventually. And that’s a fact. Be gone with you.”
And recently, my wife phoned to tell me she was walking back from a night out. “Careful where you tread, my dear,” I warned her, wistfully. “For a great many dangers lurk in the darkness. The night is full of terrors.”
She was petrified, of course, but she got home safely. And I like to think that’s because I keep her on her toes.
2. Dragons and stuff
The first series of Game of Thrones had hardly any special effects. It was only when they realised how popular the show was going to be that HBO increased the budget. So, in the second series, the dragon eggs hatched. And now we have proper, fire-breathing monsters, along with White Walkers and giants.
The CGI is truly spectacular – easily on a par with the film industry – and for a TV series, that’s pretty impressive.
1. Blood and gore
What’s a fantasy epic without a good fight now and again? Game of Thrones has plenty, and they can be pretty brutal.
The show has never been scared of pushing the boundaries. It features incest, infanticide and cannibalism, so it’s no surprise that the violence can be harrowing. People are burnt alive, throats are cut open. Sometimes, even the odd private part gets lopped off.
A word of advice: maybe eat your dinner before watching it. Especially if you’re having sausages.
You can catch the new series of Game of Thrones on Sky Atlantic, Sunday April 12. Here’s a sneak peak: