It seems like everyone with access to a functioning internet connection watched the table-setting fourth season premiere of mankind’s most reliable source of nudity, dragons and blindsides, Game Of Thrones, last night, gifting HBO with preliminary audience figures not seen since the series finale of its other cute little family drama, The Sopranos, promptly crashing the network’s on-demand streaming service HBO GO (a feat last month achieved by the True Detective finale) and projected torrenting figures suggesting Game Of Thrones’ S04E01, “Two Swords”, will surpass the mark set by S03E10, “Mhysa”, to become the most shared illegal download ever.
We now know that at least two of those eyeballs belonged to self-confessed Khaleesi barracker, former Australian Prime Minister and now-chillaxing Catelyn Stark surrogate intimately familiar with the back-stabbing tendencies of court politics, Julia Gillard, whose fandom was last year revealed in a Guardian Australia interview.
“I was given the DVDs over the summer period when I did get a little bit of time to watch so I watched them one after the other. I don’t get many lazy afternoons but I managed to have a few and now I am a bit of an addict,” Ms. Gillard said at the time. “I anxiously await the new episode each Monday night. I like it because I think the intrigue between the contending families is enough to sustain the storyline. I am not usually a consumer of things with fantasy elements in it but I very much enjoy it.”
She returns to The Guardian (this time as contributor) with a recap examining with no small amount of subtext one could read as reference to the passing of her own Rudd Wedding how the various power struggles currently playing out across Westeros mirrored her own time in politics, writing, “I first felt the addictive power of Game of Thrones when I was prime minister, living in a world where power was also pursued relentlessly, albeit far less colourfully,” later noting that “the characters of my world were nowhere near as good looking or exotically dressed.”