Colin McEnroe Show: Fantasy, Reality And 'A Game Of Thrones'
What can George R.R. Martin's bestselling series tell us about society?
Why are we talking today about "Game of Thrones," an HBO series that begins its second season Sunday night?
The numbers alone are impressive. Three million people watched the final episode of the first season, which is a lot for a fantasy show on a cable premium channel. When you add in all the other ways to watch, it's more like 8 million sets of eyeballs per episode. The books by George R.R. Martin have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.
But it's more than that. Popular culture works when it taps into real anxieties about social change and unfolding history. "Game of Thrones" -- although it was first conceived and written in the mid-1990s -- may owe some of its popularity to the way its characters live under the Damoclean threat of climate change. Add in provocative questions about sex roles and a sub-group that recalls ancient stereotypes about Arabs and ... well, we are being spoken to on many levels.
Do you watch "Game of Thrones"? Have you read the books? Are you a fan of fantasy or do you steer clear of it?