We’re just two seasons into Game of Thrones and already the TV community is dry-humping it like a nymphomaniac on deathrow, but shows like this don’t come along very often, so what the hell. Besides, you can’t beat a bit of hyperbole can you?
Speaking of which, at first glance this article reeks of it. Some would argue that the Lannisters aren’t even the best family in this Martinian masterpiece, let alone EVER, yet in the next couple of paragraphs, I’ll explain why Tyrion et al make for better television than The Cosbys, The Simpsons, The Sopranos, The Bluths etc etc etc.. What’s that? The Waltons? Get out.
No I’m only kidding, the Waltons were great. They made CBeebies look like Scarface, but you never caught John-Boy rolling around in the barn with one of his sisters, which is more than you can say about those bloody Lannisters (bloody being the right word of course).
Admittedly last night’s Game of Thrones finale saw them taking a back seat, but after last week’s fireworks it’s hardly a surprise – watching Cersei and Tyrion try and steal the show from each other was mesmerising. Only Hodor would deny that Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is the star of the series, but for my money Cersei (Lena Headey) beat him last week. Her sharp malevolence, commitment to realpolitik and vicious beauty made her own personal siege unforgettable.
Her relationship with Tyrion is also mesmerising. The way they circle each other, playing their own game within the game of thrones is enthralling, yet while Tyrion seems to have a moral code, on closer inspection we realise that he doesn’t have the same commitments as his sister. Cersei has long-since given up on Joffrey but would murder in cold blood to save her younger children. Anyway, a good villain is always more interesting than a good person.
Inherently, the Lannisters are a family of villains. Their villainy may exist on a sliding scale (from the uber-bastardry of Joffrey, to the ethical yet Mandelsonesque Tyrion) but watching family loyalty and personal ambition burn away at them is fascinating. Of all the families in Game of Thrones, it is they who sum the whole saga up. They’re hungry, ruthless, ingenious, violent, funny and psychotic, which makes them the most interesting bunch on television by a long way, especially when they start turning on each other.
Their story is the best part of the best show in town – and we haven’t even met them all yet either..