I have been loving HBO's miniseries, "Game of Thrones," based on the novel by George R. R. Martin (my husband's reading the book now, and then I'm stealing it). And apparently I'm not the only one! :) There are a ton of awesome blogs about the series - and the books - all over the world! Just Google "Game of Thrones," and you'll see.
For those who need a quick overview, it's a tale of one throne, seven kingdoms, and a bunch of families vying for power. It reminds me very much of the War of the Roses, the Medieval civil war in England, which I studied in preparation for my characters in the acting company at Penn Ren (we covered A LOT of history in rehearsals).
I think that's why "Game of Thrones" works. It hearkens to a time we're familiar with, drawing upon tales of old like Ivanhoe, but it's definitely an original tale that has the fantastical inclusion of dragons and the undead.
The characters are also very rich. My favorite is Tyrion, a dwarf, played by the marvelous actor, Peter Dinklage, who proves his wit is sharper than than the swords most men carry. He is the son of a rich and terrible family, and his sister, Cersei, is a cut-throat queen with a "win or die" attitude. Her cold, cold smile speaks volumes.
Actress Lena Headey is obviously doing her job with this character, because... she scares me.
Then there's the rightful heir to the throne, a young girl named Daenerys, who is sold in marriage by her brat of a brother to a horse warlord named Drogo. But instead of withering under the strength of her warrior husband, Daenerys blooms and becomes a very strong woman of her own. I love that she's finding her power!
This theme of empowered women actually correlates to a book I'm reading called "A Discovery of Witches," by Deborah E. Harkness. The heroine is a brilliant Yale historian named Diana, who is a reluctant witch from a very powerful magical family. She's actually afraid to use her power, but the more she denies it, the more it becomes imperative that she must accept her supernatural talents and learn how to use her power.
There's also a delicious vampire and several daemons, and of course, lots of witches! It's a fun world that Ms. Harkness has built, combining fact with fiction, chemistry with alchemy. Think Bones meets Charmed (or more like the movie, Practical Magic) with a lot of classical references and wonderfully smart, sensual story-telling.
Of course, it's not lost on me that the theme of women finding their power is very prevalent in my life right now. And I'm excited to turn the page of my own adventures. :)