Draco MalfoyIt has been a tense and intensive two months, with school exams and first year university exams to be crammed for (or maybe not, as the case may be) but today all exams were at last out of the way and so this evening, as a special treat to we parents, who are only some three billion years behind current viewing habits , it was agreed that we would watch the opening episodes of Game of Thrones. The first episode was a page out of the Russell T Davies Doctor Who screenwriting style book (aka ‘give it as much welly as you possibly can and leave your viewers reeling’). Within minutes there were dead body parts – lots of them, in a rather pretty arrangement – and several blood-spurting decapitations and ghouls and incest and various graphic couplings and lots of nudity and an assassination attempt and treason and treachery aplenty and avalanches of visual and oral clichés and – hang on just a minute while I get my breath back. The funny thing is that it all seems strangely familiar. For example, Sean Bean plays Boromir. No, sorry, that was Lord of the Rings. Silly me! He plays Lord Eddard Stark. And for Joffrey Baratheon read Steerpike or Draco Malfoy (in my picture). Aren’t the messenger ravens just a little bit like the owls in Harry Potter? And those White Walkers, aren’t they just a little bit like the Orcs or maybe the Death Eaters? Oh well, you’ve got the idea. That would be why one of the scriptwriters, David Benioff, ‘jokingly’ described the series as being like ‘The Sopranos in Middle Earth.’ Why ‘jokingly’? That’s exactly what it is and, irritatingly, and despite all the clichés, it works – just look at the ratings. So relax, sit back, put your sunglasses on, don a cape to catch up all that spattered blood, suspend all credibility and enjoy.