Game of Thrones (and nudity)

Second Life people seem to have a fascination for Game of Thrones, a TV series that I probably didn’t need to hyperlink to, such is its success in breaking out from being just a TV series to becoming a cultural phenomenon of our times. Just in case you’ve been hiding somewhere, it’s a fantasy drama that looks as if it might have been cast with the Middle Ages as its backdrop. Swords and, occasionally, a little bit of sorcery (not so much magic as things not of this world…the dead rise up, that sort of thing). I have to say that until recently I’ve been immune to it. But I have been aware of its phenomenal success within Second Life as it’s ideal and ripe for role-play within SL.

It’s based on a series of books written by George R.R. Martin, and being away from my computer last week, and billeted with a huge Game of Thrones fanatic, it meant that I spent some evenings watching the first series on DVD while simultaneously reading the first book by day.

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Having managed to work my way through both, my first impressions are that the TV series manages to surpass what is, to my mind, an appallingly written, almost teenaged text, a book that is by turn cliched and child-like. I would not be wasting any further time reading any of the remaining books, I have to say. I might be interested in giving further instalments of the TV series a view, were they to come across my radar, simply because it’s a great spectacle, almost epic in its delivery.

Another aspect of Game of Thrones that has caused great comment is the nudity it features. As usual, it’s predominantly of the actresses in it, and the thoughts of some of the cast regarding nudity can be read via this link.  I would suggest that some of the nudity is fine in the context of the show -a fantasy/medieval world would probably have contained a reasonable amount of commonplace nudity as part of life, and can therefore be defended, just as I suggested nudity in the recent airing of Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ on the BBC had nudity properly set in context. Some of it, however, may have simply been gratuitous, one of those devices TV producers use simply to draw in an audience.

Fortunately, Game of Thrones has enough of a spectacle about it to be able to tell a story (however badly it was originally written) to carry itself.

 

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With the role-play aspect of it uppermost in my mind, as well as the nudity, I’ve been getting some of our models to pose themselves within Second Life’s many Game of Thrones sims, to replicate what we see on screen.

Game of Thrones has possibly usurped Gor as SL’s leading fantasy role-play, despite which there are many Gorean sims still in SL with clothing that would be equally suitable for Game of Thrones. As many Game of Thrones sims will demand you dress ‘in character’, I’d suggest you first visit the Gorean Freebie Market. It’s possible to pick up some ‘peasant’ clothes that will more readily suit your visits to the Game of Thrones sims.

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One of our models poses in a GOT sim wearing Gorean ‘peasant’ clothes intended to keep her in character.

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Model Honey poses as ‘Daenerys’, the Queen of Dragons

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A black cloak clad member of the Nightwatch visits Daenerys

Note: with the Night’s Watch being clad in black (fur) capes, once again the clothing of Gorean role-play plays a key role in dressing characters for Game of Thrones role-play. Our commander of the Night’s Watch is wearing a Pekas Traveller cape, as located at the Port Haifa Gorean freebie sim (price L$0)

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As I’ve not read all of the books, or seen the entire series, I make no apologies for ‘inaccuracies’ in casting the SL-replicates-GOT scenes above and below. Game of Thrones is fantasy, so I felt under no pressure not to project my own fantasy on theoretical nude scenes replicated in SL.

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Dire wolf

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One of the intriguing elements of the nudity in Game of Thrones, to me, is the lack of pubic hair on many of the actresses featured. One would have imagined, in the context of the imagined period of history, that pubic hair would very much have been ‘in’. Lena Headley’s ‘Cersei’s nude walk of shame in the series has been the subject of discussion over the use of CGI and the use of body doubles.

I’d be interested to learn just how much CGI was involved in manipulation of the nude scenes. In today’s society, pubic hair is ‘out’, to the extent where (I’ve had this conversation in world) that ‘pubic hair isn’t natural’. Er, I think you’ll find it very much is natural. It seems from the images in Game of Thrones where there are naked actresses (or body doubles) involved, that pubic hair isn’t entirely clearly defined in many instances, trimmed in others. Photos of Lena Headley as Cersei (below) even suggest that a little bit of ‘digital airbrushing’ has been undertaken. Much in the manner of nude photography (even in nudist magazines of the 1950s/60s) of bygone eras, the way around the awful truth of a vagina was to airbrush.

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Vintage airbrushed nudes

Might it be that Lena Headley (or her body double’s) pubic preferences might have been altered? And if so, for what reason? Would it be for the purpose of creating something familiar, yet historically inaccurate) for a generation for whom pubic hair is unfamiliar?

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NEW YORK, NY ñ June 14, 2015: Game of Thrones Stannis begins to march. Dany is surrounded by strangers. Cersei seeks forgiveness. Jon is challenged. Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros. Political and sexual intrigue is pervasive. Across the sea, the last members of the previous and deposed ruling family, the Targaryens, are also scheming to regain the throne. The friction between the houses Stark, Lannister and Baratheon, and with the remaining great houses Greyjoy, Tully, Arryn, and Tyrell, leads to full-scale war. All while a very ancient evil awakens in the farthest north. Amidst the war and political confusion, a neglected military order of misfits, the Night's Watch, is all that stands between the realms of men and icy horrors beyond. Photograph:©HBO "Disclaimer: CM does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Any downloading fees charged by CM are for its services only, and do not, nor are they intended to convey to the user any Copyright or License in the material. By publishing this material, The Daily Mail expressly agrees to indemnify and to hold CM harmless from any claims, demands or causes of action arising out of or connected in any way with user's publication of the material."

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I’m also intrigued that Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark in the series, may be (or maybe already has?) going nude now that she has turned 18. This brings me back to the gratuitous nudity in the series and actresses used as tune-in bait. I distinctly remember reading a passage in the first book where Sansa’s dress is ruined by some horseplay with little sister Arya, so she returns to her chambers, strips off and falls asleep. Due to the age of the actress, nudity couldn’t be used in this context. Clearly, the makers could manage perfectly well without the nudity. But the instant she turns 18…she’s about to (have to) go nude? That does seem to me to be little more than gratuitous nudity and, possibly, the exploitation of a young actress, in her first major role, who may well have felt, or feels, under pressure to comply. That, I think, would be unacceptable.

Trine

 

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