If you watch Game of Thrones, you will know that it has a lot of layers to it. Like an onion that makes you weep the more you cut into it, the series has spawned multiple tributes and interpretations, ranging from the believable (as a parable to the Wars of the Roses) to the insane (the Bollywood retelling of a certain recent death). One of the most entertaining off-shoots has been the excellent web series School of Thrones.
Replacing the warring families of Westeros with the warring cliques of Westeros Valley High School, the three episodes follow various characters on their quest to win the coveted titles of Prom King and Prom Queen.
The Starks are now hipsters, the Lannisters are the bullies, Renly and Loras are the cool kids, Stannis and Melisandre are the convert brigade, and the Greyjoys are the swim team. Dany arrives in the midst of this brewing hormonal conflict as the new kid trying to navigate the dangerous politics of high school.
It does need to be said straight off the bat that the show is not massively original. The plot tries to be Mean Girls-esque and one of its most divisive points is the (over)use of internet meme humour. However, the jokes are funny and the parallels, while a little obvious, make for some excellent comedy. The family drama between Stannis and Renly is particularly amusing. Special mention also needs to be given to the opening credits as well; if only our high school doodles were half as artistic.
For fans of the webisode medium, there is something of an A-list quality to the cast and crew. The incredibly talented Mary Kate Wiles (Squaresville, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) plays Sansa Stark while Starkid’s Joey Richter (A Very Potter Musical, A Very Potter Sequel) is Theon Greyjoy. Even the behind-the-scenes crew consists of YouTube veterans, like, show producer, Whitney Milam.
Despite some obvious flaws, School of Thrones is a lot of fun to watch. Given the particularly gruesome nature of its inspiration, this makes for a nice change really and, unlike other online parodies like the College Humor 8-bit games, it successfully takes adult elements out of the source material whilst retaining its strengths. If only they made a Season 2!
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