I know what you’re thinking: What can a primetime soap about a southern California show and a bunch of dudes with swords waging war have in common? But read on, friends, and you’ll see that in some ways, GAME OF THRONES and KNOTS LANDING have more in common than you might think!
Location, Location, Location
Let’s start with the obvious: A big chunk of the Medieval swordplay takes place in a kingdom called Kings Landing, sort of a pre-cursor to the backstabbing suburbanites from the seaside community of Knots Landing.
The beheading of poor Ned Stark was a shocker. You don’t kill the lead character! Unless, of course, his name is Sid Fairgate and he becomes a literal cliffhanger by driving his car off a precipice in the season one finale only to die at the beginning season two.
Granted, Abby Cunningham didn’t sleep with her son Brian, but she could still probably teach Cersie Lannister a thing or two about doing whatever it takes to protect one’s child. Let’s not forget that Abby, wrongly assuming daughter Olivia to be a murderess, buried a guy beneath a playground and “confessed” to having killed him. (Something tells us Cersie would stop short of putting her own life on the line for the sake of Joffrey’s future!)
Just as we’d never have expected silver-haired Greg Sumner (played by REVENGE’s William Devane) to become the most swoon-worthy character on the California-based sudser, who could have imagined that a whore-loving, drink-swilling, morally-bankrupt dwarf (Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister) would steal our hearts?
Everyone in the suburbs would shake their heads and muttered “poor Val” whenever the blonde wound up being kicked around yet again by events beyond her control. (Heck, villainess Jill Bennett even mocked this fact when attempting to kill her nemesis and make it look like a suicide. “Everyone will believe it! Just listen to how the news rolls trippingly off the tongue: ‘Poor Val committed suicide.’”) In Kings Landing, that dubious honor falls to Sansa Stark, whose starry-eyed notions have made her the wife-to-be of tyrannical mini-king Joffrey.
Richard M. Simms is the executive editor of Soaps In Depth magazine and the author of Crimes Against Civility.