Struggles for power make for some compelling television, as the success of HBO's "Game of Thrones" has demonstrated. Word on Fire Research Assistant, Jack Thornton, takes us on a spin through the fantasy world of Westeros, where vies for power can teach us a lot about our own shortcomings.
The beginning of April was a high point for many Americans and I’m not talking about April Fools jokes, although those are fun too (I guess). No, I’m referring to cable TV season premieres. All the big, famous TV shows that win awards and accolades kicked off their new seasons earlier this month. The biggest winner, by a landslide, has been HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Its ratings have easily beaten out all other cable shows and have increased greatly over last season’s record high finale.
It is extremely popular and rapidly getting more so. Why?
Allow me to put my nerd pants on and give you a brief overview of the world contained within this show so you have some idea of what the heck I’m talking about. Don’t worry, I won’t reveal more than the basics so there are no spoilers here.
Most of the action happens within a land called Westeros—a place much like Tolkien’s Middle-earth except where wonders such as elves, goblins and dragons are accepted as real in Middle-earth, in Westeros they are seen as myths or, at best, extinct...
Here, Father Steve offers his commentary on the the popular HBO series, Rome, in light of Anthony Everitt's book, Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor. Father Steve takes a closer look at the legacy of two of the most influential rulers of the Ancient Eternal City in contrast to another widely known figure in roughly the same historical period...
This past week I enjoyed some down time and took the opportunity to watch the second season of the television series Rome
. The series was created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. McDonald for the BBC and aired in the United States on HBO. The creators of the series were all fans of the drama I Claudius
, an adaptation of the famous re-telling of the history of the Caesars by Robert Graves which appeared years ago on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater.
I share their enthusiasm for this production and was captivated by this drama, which provoked me as a young man to read not only Graves’ books, but also the writings of Suetonious, from whom Graves cribbed much of his material. Neither Rome
nor I Claudius
are intended for a general audience because of their visceral subject matter: profanity, sex, treachery, and violence abound. Those with more sensitive dispositions might cringe, but the story of Rome and the Caesars is a story about all these things and more. If you can’t take this kind of heat, you had best stay far away from the cauldron of the Caesars. (For those of you interested in Father Barron’s review of season one of “Rome” the link is here.