The Beasts of “Thrones”
There are many reasons to watch HBO’s Game of Thrones, including the superb acting, the complex plotting and character development, and the rich medieval settings inspired by European history. Animal life as depicted in the series includes both present day and extinct species as well as fantasy creatures, some of which serve the human characters. We are shown both dire wolves and dragons, for example, in continuing episodes. An obedient dire wolf like Ghost can keep you safe from just about any hazard you might encounter in the wilderness, and an army with dragons in service is capable of laying waste to a castle.
Beyond such creature features we are introduced to the concept of a warg or skin-shifter, who is a person capable of slipping mentally into the mind of an animal and dominating that beast, making it do their bidding and seeing through its eyes. Think mental dominance, kind of like Andy McGee’s character in Firestarter or the Jedi knights of Star Wars, but with an added remote viewing component. It’s handy, for example, to slip into the mind of a bird for aerial surveys of the enemy’s location, and causing wolves to attack foes is also a useful skill. Being a warg might be a nice power to have if you can’t actually shapeshift.
All in all, getting into Game of Thrones is a journey worthy of your time if you have any taste for medieval fantasy epics, and you can access past seasons on the “on demand” feature of cable services or pay per episode through Amazon. I’d recommend starting the series at the beginning and working your way sequentially through to avoid feeling hopelessly confused should you jump in mid-stream. Author George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire upon which the series is based is also quite a read…