Winter is coming.

It’s the last few weeks before the Big Exams and the heat is on. Also, the heaters are on as med students huddle in common rooms, hospital libraries and the dark recesses of their own bedrooms in scholarly preparation. It doesn’t help that the temperature is shedding numbers and my fingers start to chill just typing on this keyboard.

Normally, I make it taboo for myself to write about medicine here, since this blog is supposed to be an escape from the world of physiology, pharmacology and lessons on how to be nice to patients. But, as the hard work of the past year comes to a point of culmination in the next month, I feel like my life is being absorbed in my studies. Almost like I am being absorbed.

The amount of learning demanded of us is ridiculous. Stress levels are high; students roam the corridors like zombies. I’m trying not to let it all rub off on me, but some days the combined feelings of expectation, competition and dread can be overwhelming. Yawning my face off while making the long drive from Rowville to Epping, and back from Epping to Rowville, only to come home to the loving embrace of my books…it’s no fun.

My philosophy to survive the next few weeks is to eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and perhaps most importantly, slack off from time to time. ‘Cause I know I’m the type of person who sometimes demands too much from herself, even when it’s uncalled for. After all, it’s only medicine. It’s not life. Not mine, anyway =)

As I am a little girl inside, one of my escape mechanisms is to crawl off into an imaginary world. This weekend past, the imaginary world was…*drumroll*…WESTEROS!!!

Yes, that is Boromir. And yes, this is the TV series adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. I finally checked out episodes one and two on the weekend after recommendations from both Kat and Jez. The reviews are right. It is a 9.5/10, and it does have a lot of boobs and gore…usually not in the same scenes.

I’ve never really seen epic fantasy done in a TV series format before (well, apart from Merlin, but I don’t know if that counts…) and to be honest I never expected this adaptation to work so well. The big budget is evident: the buildings, costumes, armour, scenery, everything…it’s all done in such detail that it’s effortlessly believable. I love the ratty black cloaks of the Night Watch. The helmet shaped like a leering lion. The hemlines of the woollen gowns stained with mud.

Each episode feels like a movie. It’s Lord of the Rings, but grittier. Instead of orcs, there’s the freaky White Walkers of the north. Instead of your bearded, axe-wielding dwarves, you have the cunning, whoring midget Tyrion Lannister. Instead of gypsies, you have the half-savage Dothraki tribe, who eat horse hearts and slay each other at weddings. The King isn’t benevolent. The good guys might not win. In fact, who are the good guys?

If you want to watch Game of Thrones you’ll need to keep your head around multiple characters and concurrent storylines, which might be easier if you’ve read the books, or have someone awesome sitting next to you to answer all your questions. (Me! Meee!)

After thoroughly enjoying the first two episodes, I got to wondering aloud about why it is that all humans crave adventure. It seems to be built into our physiology. Though we claim that we are creatures of habit, we tire of monotony and dream of our own personal epics. Whether you are a housewife who dreams of being 20 years younger and swept off your feet by a “perfect, ice-cold vampire” or a kid who puts on a stretchy Spidey suit, we are all mesmerised by the thought of being a part of something bigger. Of being a hero to someone else. Of changing the world, and maybe leaving a small legacy.

Maybe it’s a pointer to the fact that we were designed for more than just our physical, self-driven lives. Or maybe it’s an evolutionary twist designed to keep us striving for greater achievements. It’s up to you to decide.

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8 comments

  1. GoT is great! they are following the novel pretty well, which is a huge plus.

    and why do we crave adventure so much? because my life is so boring, that’s why! and reading and watching adventure stuff is a risk-free way for me to vicariously have an adventuresome life. ;)

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    1. I know, I’m surprised at the faithfulness of the adaptation! I think it captured the essence of George R. R. Martin’s style almost perfectly.

      Yes, I agree. Day to day life sort of pales against the backdrop of court intrigue and snow-draped scenery, doesn’t it? ;P Sigh.

      PS. Your blog is wonderful! Interesting book selections, too. Subscribed.

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  2. I’ve never heard of this series or read the books but with the rave review you’ve given it I’ve now added this to the list of distractions ! And I agree with you on that point about humans craving adventure. Sometimes I think about how we’ve already possibly saved someone’s life without realising it (or to be less dramatic, positively affected their future in some significant way X-D), like ‘Sliding Doors’ where Gwyneth Paltrow’s character misses/catches the train. Anyhow, I wish you all the best with studying ! Yes, I do hope that you slack off from time to time – I know you work really hard & you deserve it. Hopefully we can look back at these stressful moments and laugh about how we were so worried for nothing !

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    1. Haha, you remind me of the feeling I get when my “list of distractions” just keeps getting longer and longer. I noticed that you’ve put up 3 new posts in the past week or so–procrastinating much before exams? ;P ;P Hehehe. Yes, let’s look back on the holidays and laugh about our unwarranted stress levels =) Nothing ever seems as big in hindsight!

      PS. Love the thought about having altered someone’s future without realising it…;P Sliding Doors! Hee-hee.

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      1. Four in a little bit ! I’ve scheduled the post to come out at 00:00 X-D.

        Shall we do a lazy dinner after exams ? :-)

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