“Winter is coming. Winter is here.” So says Jon Snow at the beginning of the “Game of Thrones” companion piece, “Winter is Cumming,” screened in Hoyt auditorium on March 23. From visionary director and writer Axel Braun came a reimagining of the “Game of Thrones” universe featuring new and exciting versions of the characters we have all grown to know and love. The five-scene story brought us around the world of Westeros: from the Wall, to the Riverlands and even to the great capital city of King’s Landing. Overall, the action-packed offshoot had its ups and downs, but nevertheless delivered a worthwhile experience to fans biding their time until the next season hits HBO Go.
Even in today’s age of spinoffs, it’s rare to have a reboot like this come out while the original is still filming episodes. Mr. Braun, director and writer of the movie, didn’t reply to requests for comment on this odd circumstance. Nevertheless, Mr. Braum forwent the current actors of characters like Jon Snow and Jamie Lannister, instead utilizing new talent. Ygritte, Jon Snow’s wildling companion and sometimes lover, was played by Scartlett Fay, better known for her roles in “Detectives in Distress” and the 2012 hit “Tickle Hell Ticklish Pit Stop” as the iconic Electric Toothbrush Tickler. Perhaps the most stunning switch, however, was Evan Stone replacing Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. While at first hard to tell, a further—and extremely thoroughp–—analysis of Mr. Stone’s scene uncovered that while it looked like he was naturally four feet tall, the actor had in fact glued fake legs and shoes to his knees. Even though Mr. Stone was not as naturally inclined to the role, the choice wasn’t too hard to understand. Mr. Dinklage is clearly a gifted actor, with 10 award wins and 30 nominations to his name. Mr. Stone, however, can boast over 60 nominations and 21 wins, including his achievement of the highly coveted New Stud award for his work in “Space Nuts.”
Despite the litany of talent, some have still criticized the movie for straying from George R.R. Martin’s original vision for the characters of Westeros. Rewrites included a “dumbing down” of Brienne of Tarth, a hair color change for Ygritte and a scene where Varys reveals his enunich status, a subject of immense discussion in the books, to be a ruse. Further controversy emerged when Mr. Braun revealed that Margery Tyrell was in fact a lesbian or bisexual, a character trait which was to be revealed in the “The Winds of Winter” and was considered a major spoiler for book readers attending the Hoyt screening.
Despite the controversy, Mr. Braum’s film was a thoroughly fascinating take of the Westerosi universe so carefully constructed by George R.R. Martin. While I will agree there were a number of plot holes exposed throughout the film, I can say with certainty that all the exposed holes were filled by the end of the movie.