One was a summer smash and the other was a summer flop, but Game of Thrones and Your Highness were more similar than not. Beyond the obvious, the medieval fantasies shared more than a setting, character archetypes, and a penchant for quests. Here’s a rundown of some of the more specific elements the HBO epic had in common with the raunchy version of The Princess Bride.
Danny McBride’s Thadeous begins Your Highness sentenced to die by hanging at the hands of a dwarf king, but things don’t go quite as expected. The ensuing joke, like much of the film, is predictable but effective. Similarly, Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister provided much of Game of Thrones‘ levity, albeit with more well-written jokes.
The British actor is a veteran of stage and screen, and he’s typecast as a hard-to-please father in both works. However, considering the differences in tone, King Tallious is much more sympathetic than Tywin Lannister.
Highlighting one of history’s more unfortunate phenomenons, both Game of Thrones and Your Highness include eunuchs in key roles. Lord Varys is the master of whispers on GOT; neither the audience nor the other characters know his true intentions. In contrast, Julie is a put-upon slave who betrays Thadeous at the first opportunity. Ironically, both characters have balls.
Watching (Academy Award winner) Natalie Portman kick all types of medieval ass on her quest for revenge, I couldn’t help but think of young Arya Stark, the tomboyish daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark who cuts with both her wit and her sword. Give Arya a few years, and I’m sure she’ll be following Isabel’s lead.
One of the most rewarding character arcs in the first season of Game of Thrones belonged to Daenerys Targaryen, whose transition into adulthood was gut-wrenching, extreme, and dramatic. A key turning point in her development occurred when she was forced to eat an entire horse heart. Thadeous has a similar experience which, as you can guess, was not as dramatic.
The next two don’t get images, both to avoid spoilers and to keep the blog SFW.
Heads on pikes
This one is tough to write about without spoilers. Suffice to say “head on a pike” was an acceptable form of burial in medieval times.
Much has been made about the nudity in GOT, which some felt took away from the story (I disagree). The nudity in Your Highness is supposed to distract from the story, considering that most of the female extras were topless glamor models.
Your Highness is out on DVD today; expect Game of Thrones in the spring.