comments iconDay 34: Our Night with ‘Game of Thrones’ Star [pic]


Today walked: 15.20 miles

Total walk:  496.10 miles

Today raised:  £ 1,070.00 +  ¥ 7430.00

Total raised: £11,588.09 + ¥87,253.45

Now I realise that in giving this blog such a headline I am probably going to attract more readers of this blog than at any time over the past 35 days with the possible exception of our visit to ‘Downton Abbey’ (Highclere Castle).

The power of global culture and media is just huge but the growth of satellite and Netflix has created an insatiable appetite for the mini-series and the British are major players with series like: Dr Who, Downton Abbey, The Crown, Line of Duty, House of Cards, Taboo, Sherlock and of course Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is produced by US network HBO in Belfast and it has proved to be a huge tourist draw to the city.

Something I did not admit to our new celebrity friend last night was that, even though Game of Thrones is now in its seventh series–I have never watched a single episode. My previous boss, prime minister David Cameron was a great fan of the series and would relate plot themes to contemporary politics in what seemed an extremely plausible way but I was just a bit too mean to pay out the subscription.

For people like me let me offer a quick summary for free:

The first thing to say that it seems a bit in the style of Lord of the Rings which is no accident as the author of Game of Thrones, George R R Martin is a huge fan of the author of Lord of the Rings, J R R Tolkein. I was beginning to think that if I changed my name to Michael ‘R R’ Bates I could have a chance of writing a blockbuster series but in addition of having the right name apparently you also need to be a creative genius so I will just stick with ‘W’ and write blogs.

So, the plot, well its complicated, it has to be to run for seven series, but essentially there are nine noble families fighting for control of the mythical lands of Westeros to which they all seem to have some basis for a claim. In the midst of all their plotting and fighting an ancient enemy which had been dormant for a thousand years arises to threaten them all. The families distrust for each other must take second place to defeating the returning enemy, but does it? Watch the next series, starting now in the UK to see, having met one of the stars I am now inclined to subscribe.

It was a hard days walk yesterday as I mentioned and after 14 miles which seemed like 40 we arrived at our B&B for the night, Vumba, just outside of Lisburn. Roger the owner was extremely welcoming and wanted us to have the use of the whole house including a giant tv and even selection of whiskies. It was typical of the generosity and hospitality which seems to go with the amazing scenery in Northern Ireland.

We discussed my route into Belfast the next day and his recommendation was that we follow the new Towpath along the Lagan Valley all the way into West Belfast and even drew us a map to get there. I proved to be an inspired choice.

[Get on with it I hear you say–I have stuck with you for 500 words now where is the celebrity?]

Okay, so his name is Bob and Game of Thrones was his first job in acting. He simply responded to an advert in the newspaper with his friend. Bob has had a long career in performance sport but prefers to work with professionals. He is quite quiet and doesn’t say a lot. Unfortunately, he had a difference of opinion with a stunt man on his first day and he didn’t quite achieve the recognition that he deserved. I said to Roger that I felt he had real talent and should give it another go. Roger felt that unless they came back with an offer he couldn’t refuse then he would just stick to what he does best–show jumping.

Ps–Bob’s a horse.

Thanks for reading and Good Luck for Series 8 Bob.