–With a huge international following HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ is likely the most popular TV show in the world.
–Season 7 will premiere on Sunday, July 16, 2017.
–Season 7 will consist of only 7 episodes. Previous seasons have had ten episodes.
One major component of the American identity is hard for the rest of the world to understand–the obsession with violence. In the USA, TV viewers will recoil at anything more than the tamest depiction of sex. The media will reflexively turn sexuality or nudity into a ‘scandal’ and unctuous ‘watchdog groups’ purporting to advance ‘family values’ will call for boycotts, fines and any number of other punishments to be meted out to anyone involved. Case in point–the absurd overreaction to Janet Jackson’s accidental (or not) breast exposure at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. It even received the downright silly sobriquet ‘NippleGate’.
The fallout from the very innocuous display of a (covered) Janet Jackson nipple could be the punchline of a joke–except it really happened. The sight of a nipple drove over a half million obviously well adjusted Americans to file official complaints with the FCC. Congressmen, senators and other political vermin castigated Jackson, co-conspirator Justin Timberlake and anyone else remotely involved. One of the bottom feeders of the religious right–an outfit known as the ‘Parents Television Council (PTC)’ acted as if Jackson had run over a basket of kittens with a steamroller on live TV. Actually, that’s violence and Americans are cool with that. The PTC kept the ridiculous story front and center acting as if some huge act of evil had been committed. The FCC handed out record fines (which thankfully were overturned by the courts) and–get this–some radio and TV stations enforced a *blacklist* of Jackson and Timberlake’s music and videos. One year out the satirical newspaper ‘The Onion’ underscored just how pitiful the entire fiasco was with the headline: “U.S. Children Still Traumatized One Year After Seeing Partially Exposed Breast On TV”.
THE USA SAYS ‘SEX AND NUDITY BAD, WAR AND VIOLENCE GOOD’
Interestingly, the ‘Parents Television Council’ and their ilk haven’t had a problem with the US government murdering anywhere from 1.3 million to as many as 4 million men, women and children in the Middle East on the flimsy pretext that they might hit a ‘terrorist’ in the process. Not that there’s any real evidence that they actually *have* hit any legitimate terrorists as they’ve reduced much of the region to rubble. In the process, they’ve created over 10 million refugees whom the US is now cynically *blaming* for terrorism despite compelling statistical evidence to the contrary. There are no ‘activist groups’ carping about this insane loss of life and every US President and the majority of politicians are completely supportive of the carnage. There’s also very little concern about the US violent crime rate which is the highest of any developed country in the world (and quite a few undeveloped countries including fun places like Iran, Libya and Bangladesh). Meanwhile, the rest of the world is busy moving into the future and embracing the digital revolution while the US government is trying to pretend that some new ‘enemy’ is ‘out to get us’ week after week. No wonder the United States is now an international laughing stock. There’s hardly any concern over a 7 figure body count purportedly in ‘revenge’ for a 16 year old terrorist attack but should a partially uncovered nipple interrupt a national sporting event Americans blow a gasket.
Which brings us to ‘Game of Thrones’ and another culture that loved violence, torture and death. The Medieval era made the most gruesome beheadings, eviscerations and general carnage in ‘slasher’ horror films look like ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood‘ by comparison. Remember the body count on ‘The Sopranos’ a decade plus ago? You ain’t seen nothing yet. I’m not going to give any ‘carnage spoilers’ since their shock value has produced some of the show’s most dramatic and memorable moments. Much like HBO’s iconic mob family series, much of the ‘off season’ discussion and focused on not only *who* will die in Season 7 but *how* they’ll die and who will do the killing. Mix in the huge cast (the ‘first to die’ odds include 38 separate betting interests) and the complex plot and there’s endless fodder for what I’ve dubbed the ‘Death and Dismemberment Props’. There will be no shortage of gruesome death and violence but here’s a warning to the ‘Parent’ Television Council’ and their wretched spawn–there’s also plenty of sex including enough taboos to make an adult film producer blush. We’ll get into that and a variety of other props in our next installment.
GAME OF THRONES SEASON 7 PROPOSITION BETTING ODDS
GAME OF THRONES DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT PROPS
First character to die in Season 7?
Petyr Baelish (Little Finger): +250
Ellaria Sand: +450
Gregor Clegane/The Mountain: +550
Jaime Lannister: +550
Cersei Lannister: +575
Any Sand Snake: +600
Jorah Mormont: +650
Euron Greyjoy: +650
Any White Walker: +750
Lady Melisandre: +850
Beric Dondarion: +900
Brienne of Tarth: +950
Olenna Tyrell: +1050
Davos Seaworth: +1050
Meera Reed: +1050
Lord Varys: +1050
Thoros of Myr: +1075
Yara Greyjoy: +1100
Randyll Tarly: +1100
Grey Worm: +1250
Tormund Giantsbane: +1250
Eddison Tollett: +1500
Daario Naharis: +1750
Benjen Stark: +1750
Sandor Clegane: +2100
Samwell Tarly: +2500
Theon Greyjoy: +2500
Robin Arryn: +4000
Sansa Stark: +5000
Character played by Jim Broadbent/Maester Marwyn:+6000
Arya Stark: +7500
Tyrion Lannister: +7500
Jon Snow: +9000
Daenerys Targaryen: +9000
Bran Stark: +9000
Method of First On-Screen Death in Season 7?
White Walker: +150
Sword/Axe (Not Beheading): +200
Arrow/Crossbow Bolt: +250
Burnt by Fire: +450
Any Magic: +750
Sacrificed (Lord of Light): +950
Hired Assassin: +1750
Thrown through the Moon Door: +2500
Trial by Combat: +3500
Head Crushed: +7500
Buried in Books of the Citadel: +7500
Arya Stark’s First Kill in Season 7?
Petyr Balish/Little Finger: +250
Thoros of Myr: +300
Beric Dondarrion: +300
Ilyn Payne: +750
Cersei Lannister: +950
Gregor The Mountain Clegane: +1750
Sandor The Hound Clegane: +2500
Will Tormund and/or Brienne die in Season 7?
Will Jamie Lannister kill Cersei Lannister in Season 7?
Will Jon Snow kill Petyr Baelish in Season 7?
Will Tyrion kill or be killed by Jamie and/or Cersei Lannister in Season 7?
Will anyone die at a wedding in Season 7?
Will any of the following characters come back to life in Season 7?
Khal Drogo: +950
Tywin Lannister: +1750
Viserys Targaryen: +1750
Red Viper: +3500
Ned Stark: +3500
Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun: +7000
None of the above characters come back to life: -5000
GAME OF THRONES SEASON 7 SURVIVAL PROPS
Will Ayra Stark be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Bran Stark be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Cersei Lannister be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Daenerys Targaryen be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Euron Greyjoy be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Gendry be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Jamie Lannister be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Jon Snow be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Lord Varys be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Melisandre be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Petyr Baelish (Little Finger) be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Sandor Clegane (The Hound) be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Sansa Stark be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Theon Greyjoy be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will Tyrion Lannister be alive at the end of Season 7?
Will all three of Daenerys’ dragons survive Season 7?