About two months ago, I saw a preview for a new television show. At first I thought it was a sequel, or prequel, to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, thanks to Sean Bean being in two of the three movies(one of those movies portraying him as a corpse. Don’t say I spoiled it. If you haven’t seen those movies by now, you never will). I don’t know if this should be attributed to the success of the movies or Sean Bean’s acting abilities, but after watching almost the whole 1st season of what the preview was really about, Game of Thrones, I’m leaning towards the acting. Unless he just happens to pick projects with amazing story-lines, but that takes talent, too.
Game of Thrones is the medieval, sword-fighting, wench-banging, politically mesmerizing story of the seven kingdoms of Westeros, their leaders, and how they interact in a dark age. The story is believable, save for the body-snatching White Walkers that bring the possibility of a zombie apocalypse further back in time then it has ever been before. There’s a lot of blood, a lot of sex, and a whole lot of twisting story-lines.
To review it for a new viewer would seem almost impossible because of how many spoilers you may come into contact with, so I decided to focus on some of the main characters. In order to keep the actual stories of these characters a mystery, I elected to use a comparison set-up.
What we will be comparing characters to? Simple: beer. Beer has such a wide range of classes and tastes to play against the range of classes and tastes of the players in Game of Thrones, and beer is easier to to make safe for work than, say, sexual positions, and everyone is drinking and sword-fighting. I don’t know anything about medieval swordplay, and my housemate gives me enough grief about watching a “dirty show”, so I’ll stick with beer.
Character: Eddard “Ned” Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North.
Played By: Sean Bean
Beer: Newcastle Ale
Ned Stark and Newcastle Ale share a lot more than the first letters of their first name. They both have an endearing, but strict, code of values. They are both unassuming on the outside, but inside is a just and honorable temperament that has, for now, gotten them both through many a war. The idea that Newcastle is best drank when it is cold out is not lost on this fan-boy of the North, either.
Character: Jon Snow, bastard son of Ned Stark, recent recruit of The Night’s Watch.
Played By: Kit Harington
Beer: Bass Ale
Just as Jon Snow is the bastard son of Ned Stark, so does Bass Ale seem like the bastard son of Newcastle Ale. Both bastards seem to have hints of the strength and honor of their fathers, however do not fully grasp what makes their lords that much better. Perhaps it is a vintage thing, and one day Bass Ale will bloom before its hearty father. Then again, Jon Snow joined the virgin-league of The Night’s Watch, and Bass joined the ranks of breweries bought up by Molson Coors, so it is anybody’s guess how far these two breeds will be able to go.
Character: King Robert Baratheon, drunken womanizer
Played By: Mark Addy
Beer: Arrogant Bastard Ale
Don’t let the exterior of these two obnoxious entities fool you. Under the outer shell of this plump lush that likes to have his brother-and-law listen as he has sex with a line of prostitutes is a man that wants to do the right thing. So it goes with Arrogant Bastard Ale. The bitter beginning makes way for a warm, enduring after-taste along the lines of the most classic Belgian brews.
Character: Catelyn Stark
Played By: Michelle Fairley
Beer: Sierra Nevada
Strong-willed; loyal; seemingly for the older generation, but perky enough for the lower middle-aged; MILFs. These are some of the characteristics that Ned Stark’s wife and Sierra Nevada Pale share. I don’t know if Sierra Nevada has traveled quite as much as Lady Stark, but I do know that they both have a knack for being smooth enough to be wherever they need to be as a support system when what you really want isn’t on tap.
Character: Daenerys Targaryen
Played By: Emilia Clarke
Beer: Delirium Tremens
At first glance, both this beer and woman may seem submissive. Our first glimpse of the sensual blonde Daenerys is of her getting naked while her brother inspects his gift to Khal Drogo in one of the ugliest innuendos of incest I remember seeing. The first impression of Delirium Tremens is the same way: the white frosted bottle, the baby blue label with pink trim, the pink elephant. However, both this woman and beer are the perfect blend of strong will and tastiness that makes you love and respect them at the same time. Although it is unlikely that the Tremens bottle looks as good with its label off.
Character: Khal Drogo
Played By: Jason Momoa
Beer: Skullsplitter Ale
Not many in Westeros can understand the Dothraki people, but they fear them nonetheless. Naturally, their Khal would be the most feared of all, as he is the strongest of the tribe. Skullsplitter Ale is no different. It is just strong, unabashed beer with a high alcohol content and a taste that would overtake any other beer. Luckily, it also tastes good, but only for the selective few.
Character: Tyrion Lannister
Played By: Peter Dinklage
Beer: Red Stripe
Yes, short jokes are the easiest to do for Tyrion Lannister and Red Stripe, but there is more to it than that. In both of these stunted statures is definitive loyalty and honor that is scrambled within their knowledge of the world. Tyrion understands his predicaments, and doesn’t hold things against his enemies by association. This can also be said of Red Stripe, as people pass this by for something better, but always come back because of how steady a beer it is.
Character: Ser Jaime Lannister
Played By: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Beer: Coors Light
Some may say that this is a ridiculous comparison. “Ser Jaime is kind of bad-ass, and Coors Light is a girlie beer!” This is true, but think of it this way: Coors Light used to have those hot female twins in all their commercials, and you can still meet up with Coors Light Girls at bars during promotions. Unfortunately, things just got weird for both Coors and Ser Jaime, and their honor was cast away, leaving them heartless and disorientated. You begin to feel bad for the beer and the man by the end of it, but at the same time can’t forgive either of them.
Character: Renly Baratheon/Lora Tyrell
Played By: Gethin Anthony/Finn Jones
Beer: Mike’s Hard Combo Pack
Yeah, we went there. Unfortunately, Zima was discontinued.
Played By: Conleth Hill
You can’t really tell why Varys is around. This pudgy eunuch doesn’t seem to engage in anything, and when you think he will “for the betterment of the realm”, he does not. This just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Much like O’Doul’s. The idea is there, but the taste, and alcohol, is not, much like Varys’ balls.
Character: Petyr Balish
Played By: Aidan Gillen
Beer: Amstel Light
Both Petyr and Amstel Light are chameleons in their own right. Petyr plays for as many teams as possible in order to impair them all, and lead his one-man team to victory. While Amstel Light doesn’t seem to have any ominous goals, it is a balanced beer that seems to creep in everywhere, whether it be a middle-tier beer at a local bar or the low tier at a Belgian bar.
So where does that leave Games of Thrones itself? Simple: home-brewed beers. These take a long-ass time in comparison to just going to the store and picking up a six-pack. You need patience, attention to detail, and a dedication to getting the best product possible. So it goes with the Game of Throne series, which just ended its first season, and will return for a second season…in a year.
Haven’t had enough? Check out even more Game of Thrones characters explained…with more beer.