Thursday, December 21, 2017

'Conquest & Rebellion' Is a Riveting 'Game of Thrones' History Lesson

Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven Kingdoms is a special short about the rise and fall of the Targaryen dynasty.  Covering a span of a couple of centuries, it tells the story of how House Targaryen came into Westeros shortly before the fall of Valyria, how the Targaryens subjugated the Seven Kingdoms, and how Robert’s Rebellion brought Targaryen rule to an end.

It’s separated into ten chapters, and is narrated by Harry Lloyd, Conieth Hill, Aidan Gillen, Pilou Asbæk, Nikolaj Coster-Waldauin, and Sophie Turner – or, rather, by their respective Game of Thrones characters: Viserys Targaryen, Varys, Petyr Baelish, Euron Greyjoy, Jaime Lannister, and Sansa Stark.  Viserys did most of the narration, and I found him more compelling here than when he was in the show.
The animation is nothing remarkable – it won’t make anyone think it should be the groundwork of a Game of Thrones animated series.  It looks like a motion comic or an animated storyboard.  However, when matched with the in-character narration and solid sound design, the visual storytelling becomes truly alive and enthralling, and the narrative unfolds in a very immersive manner.

Conquest & Rebellion is as informative as it is riveting.  Though I have a broad understanding of Westeros history, there are parts here that I only learned for the first time and found extremely fascinating.
I can’t exactly say that I would have enjoyed real-life history more if it’s presented in the style of Conquest & Rebellion since I’ve always enjoyed reading about history in the first place.  Nonetheless, it’s not hard to see more people getting more interested in a History lesson if it’s tackled in a similar manner.

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