Petyr Baelish; or, Why I Ordered 12 Rounds
The combination of HBO airing a new teaser for Game of Thrones Season 2 and my shameful purchase of 12 Rounds on Blu-ray has led me down a bizarre thought path. Namely, how large my love for some actors fundamentally alters my viewing, reading, and consumption habits. When HBO first announced its plans to adapt Game of Thrones, I had never heard of the series. It still shames my geek heart to admit as much. Naturally, I was curious, especially with the addition of Sean Bean. One other name on the extended cast list stuck out: Aidan Gillen. Why? Probably because I had just completed my epic run-through of The Wire (thanks to Amazon Gold Box) and all of its greatness aside (and it truly is outstanding!), Tommy Carcetti left a lasting impression on me (maybe not as much as McNulty et. al, but certainly more than Ziggy…okay, he sticks too). I am still not exactly sure why this happened but it largely revolves around his American accent being totally passable (to my ears) in the third season and then much more obvious in the fourth (I mean, I had a “wait…what?” moment). It may also relate to how his story became a fictional embodiment of why I am disillusioned with politics but, that’s a different blog topic.
One weekday afternoon during a school break, 12 Rounds was on HBO and thanks to Aidan’s name in the cast list and the New Orleans location, I was surprisingly sucked in. Please, do not trust my judgment on this movie. It is a John Cena movie that I claim to…not hate it. I have strong-armed friends into watching it. It has to be some combination of NOLA and Aidan but I think the story actually isn’t terrible. It was on my Amazon wish list since at least May and it finally dropped to a price where I could justify buying it without compromising too much integrity. But the fact that I monitored it for so long, praying for the price to drop, clearly indicates a devotion I am not quite ready to admit.
So, I had an overall interest in Game of Thrones. I read the first book in preparation for the series to begin. But I also kept in mind that Aidan would be playing Petyr Baelish, and that, more than anything kept my attention on his character in particular. I have a soft spot for many characters in Martin’s books and they fluctuate but thanks to Aidan’s casting, I got a chance to obsess over Petyr before I necessarily had a reason. His intrinsic Benjamin Linus-like qualities are exactly what I am attracted to and he starts to assert that towards the end of the first book. [Potential future blog post: Legacies of my love for Benjamin Linus. See: My current obsession with Loki as played by Tom Hiddleston.] I typically like the evil-ish mastermind with redeemable qualities, but in the case of Petyr Baelish, he is more of an expert at playing the Game than having any emotions. Another potential blog post (wheels are really turning today): How Tommy Carcetti is the origins story of Petyr Baelish. Tommy learns how to play the Game, as it were, of politics in The Wire, which is easily translatable to the Game of Thrones, ya know?