With the exception of a few Michael Moorcock novels and Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy that I read back in the 1970s, I’ve never much cared for the fantasy genre. While I can appreciate their quality and the huge following they have, I simply have no interest in either the works or the adaptations of Tolkien, but this indifference came to an abrupt end at some point last year when my daughter Tanith inadvertently introduced me to the world of Game of Thrones.
I’ve now watched the entire series, as well as countless related videos on YouTube, while I’m also in the process of leisurely devouring all the books produced thus far by the genius George R. R. Martin. It’s as if I’ve died and gone to heaven, because these wonderful books are brimful of echoes of subjects that have enthralled me for decades, subjects such as the dynastic feuds of the Wars of the Roses, the lethal excesses of Imperial Rome, the tribal warfare of ancient Britain and the murderous intrigues of the Borgias, all intermingled with compelling, lurid details of poisonings, black magic, idol worship, religious mania, shape-shifting, exotic bestiaries, carnal excess and a hundred other mesmerising curiosities.
I had thought my joy was complete, that it was impossible to add to my sum total of pleasure as far as George R. R. Martin’s stunning creation is concerned, but now I’ve learned that my friend Rowley Irlam – pictured below in the red and yellow tabard, at the top right, from the days when we worked together on a touring mediaeval jousting tournament a quarter of a century ago – has now been nominated for a prestigious Emmy award as a result of his truly outstanding work as Stunt Coordinator on Game of Thrones.
If it were down to me, Rowley would be awarded a permanent residency at Buckingham Palace at the very least on account of the thrilling action sequences he’s engineered in this series that has the world in its spell, but just to be nominated is in itself an achievement I’m in awe of, so I wish him the very best of luck and I can only hope that those with the deciding votes in this matter award Rowley the recognition he so richly deserves.