It’s not that I hate eunuchs, I just don’t feel anything. Take Grey Worm, for example, the perpetually scowling head of the Unsullied on Game of Thrones, which accounts for 99 percent of all the eunuchs I know.
I didn’t even realise he had a name until I stumbled across a plot synopsis for Season 8 – hitherto I had presumed Grey Worm was a monk … it does after all sound like a withered penis, not an absent one.
And likewise the maid – or whatever she did for Blondie besides her hair. Their occasional fumblings were plotwise as full, to borrow a metaphor from Blackadder, as Grey Worm’s underpants. Her capture was as inconsequential as arresting Zebedee as part of the White House’s War on Drugs.
Game of thrown bones
that’s not the last we’ll see of Missandei, as actress Nathalie Emmanuel has grabbed the lead in the TV adaptation of Four Weddings and a Funeral, one of the many new shows scheduled to broadcast this year that will feature stars from GOT.
While the cast of The Sopranos have been dominating American-Italian mafia shows for 20 years now, GOT’s cast is in pole position to take over everywhere – never mind the seven kingdoms, this will be global.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Kingslayer) has made a fast start with two terror attack films set in Copenhagen – with Carice van Houten (Melisandre) co-starring in Brian DePalma’s Domino, which is due to come out in the US on May 31 – while Jerome Flynn (Bronn) pops up in John Wick 3, which hit cinemas in May. And His Dark Materials, tipped to fill the adult fantasy void left by GOT, has recruited James Cosmo (Night Watch lord commander Jeor Mormont).
Duh! Do John wrong!
Relevant to this issue, two members of the Stark family are taking prominent roles in major cinematic releases: Rob and Sansa.
Richard Madden, who might have left the show at the right time to truly leave it behind, stars as John Reid, the manager and lover of Elton John, in Rocketman (69 on Metacritic; released on May 30). Directed by Dexter Fletcher, who finished Bohemian Rhapsody after its original director was sacked, Taron Egerton fills the five-inch platform shoes of the singer – and it’s clearly another music biopic the whole family can enjoy.
But how influential have Queen and John been as producers? The answer is enough to render any examination of the men behind the glamour or the pitfalls of fame as ultimately vacuous. As the Guardian laments: “Rocketman is an honest, heartfelt tribute to Elton John’s music and his public image. But the man itself eluded it.”
Sophie Turner, meanwhile – now 23; how did that happen? – has landed the lead in Dark Phoenix (Not Released Worldwide; June 6), the X-Men genesis film charting the rise of Jean Grey – a role she first played in X-Men: Apocalypse three years ago.
Not Lady Jane Grey!
With Jean Grey, the jeopardy is missing somewhat, as we know where she ends up (thanks Wikipedia for confirming that 16th century nine-day monarch Lady Jane Grey was somebody different) and the same is true of the characters in Hotel Mumbai (64; June 6). Nevertheless, it looks like a thrilling ride with Dev Patel and Armie Hammer (the twins in The Social Network) onboard.
Not sure if the same can be said about British films Edie (no Metacritic score; May 29) and The Bookshop (62; June 6), which were both released in 2017.
The former concerns an octogenarian mountaineer, the latter the opening of a new shop in a rural town in the late 1950s – back when Vladimir Nabokov was the biggest threat to the sanctity of village life, not dogging.
Movies-wise that leaves futuristic tale I am Mother (56; June 8, Netflix) starring Hilary Swank, and a welcome return for Deadwood (June 1, HBO Nordic) as a TV movie, with the action resuming a decade after the western series somewhat abruptly stopped after three seasons. Ian McShane (with an episode of GOT under his belt) will return as Al Swearengen, but not his main rival Cy Tolliver, as the actor Powers Boothe died in 2017.
Mirror, Meryl, Miley
Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale (S3; June 6, HBO Nordic) will discover if Aunt Lydia survived being stabbed by Emily, who has already escaped justice for running over a guard, poisoning a commander’s ex-wife and kicking a commander in the balls. Emily may be a suppressed woman in a totalitarian state run by religious zealots, but our sympathy can only extend so far!
Also returning are US president yarn Designated Survivor (S3; June 6, Netflix); Brazilian futuristic series 3% (S3; June 6, Netflix); dramedy Big Little Lies (S2; June 6, HBO Nordic) with Meryl Streep now attached; Black Mirror (S5; June 6, Netflix) with three episodes and Miley Cyrus onboard; imaginary friend cop series Happy! (S2; Netflix, June 5), spinoff Fear the Walking Dead (S5; HBO Nordic, June 3), LGBTQ drama Pose (S2; HBO Nordic, June 12) and San Francisco-based series Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City (S4; June 6, Netflix), which began in 1993 and was last seen in 2001.
Finally, we have Sanctuary (from May 30 on C More), an English-language psychological thriller series produced in Sweden about a woman (Astrid from Vikings) trying to make sense of her incarceration in a clinic. Matthew Modine and British actor Will Mellor are among what is a curious cast.
So no eunuchs – or at least not heading into episode one.