A Homage to Game of Thrones in Barcelona
Game of Thrones. If ever in entertainment history there was an epic climax after a suspenseful build up, the third episode of the final season has trumped all and claimed victory.
Bravo GOTeam, bravo.
The city of Barcelona actually pays a silent homage to Game of Thrones in many ways...
The Gothic Neighbourhood in Barcelona seems like a huge set of Game of Thrones. With its winding alleys and ancient architecture, one might expect to see Arya running around corners chasing cats or being chased by no one.
The Passeig del Born, in the Born neighbourhood, gets its name from the catalan verb bornear, to joust; and the street is where they once upon a time held the jousting competitions. Think season one, the Mountain and Loras Tyrell, when the Mountain smartly decapitates his horse upon losing to the Knight of Flowers. (Actually, speaking of flowers, on April 23rd the celebration of Saint George slaying a Dragon is held in Barcelona- the festival includes a customary exchange of roses and books which floods the city's streets with the smell of red roses and freshly printed pages.)
I know, youre thinking- ´yes yes that's all very cool, but which European medieval old city doesn't have it's own historical jousting street?´
Well, let's continue- Dragons. It so happens that in more modern times, Barcelona played host to the Universal Exposition (1888 to be precise), during which the fervour for modernity lead a group of architects to create a one of a kind architecture found in Barcelona, Gaudí is the most famous son of this momentous movement named Modernisme. However I would like to shed light on a building not by the wizard Gaudí, but rather one of his contemporaries- one Lluis Domenech i Muntaner (catalan names are so Game of Thrones). He constructed the structure which dominates the Park of the Citadel (no doubt Sam´s favourite park), called- The Castle of Three Dragons. As apt an abode as any for our Dragon Queen.
Now lets move onto the details found in the ancient stone art hiding all over the Old Town of Barcelona. Gargoyles which look like the undead, dragons as plentiful as the long-past period of the Targaryan dominion, and knights and archers battling all shapes of foe.
Beyond the architecture, the dining hall known as the Bar del Pla has a fine stock of Natural Wines, a new trend with its roots in old times slowly gaining land in the wine world. Natural wines have little to no intervention in the production process and as such are comparable to wines pre-industrial revolution. The kind of stuff that the sharp-witted Tyrion would chug back at the gallon while feasting on a beef cheek stew and mocking everyone at the round table into a wine-fueled stupor of laughter.
Incest? We got you. Charles, son of Phillip, known as the Bewitched, was the last remaining Man-heir of the House Hapsburg in Spain. He was born of the incestuous marriage of
Phillip IV of Spain to Mariana of Austria- uncle and niece respectively. Charles was named the bewitched as to explain away his diablo-possessed demeanour, he was generously described as short, lame, epileptic, senile and completely bald. Bearing little physical resemblance, but much of the character that we have found in the beloved Joffrey of House Lannister. As Charles left no legitimate heir to the throne, his death would spark a war amongst: the Holy Roman Empire, Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Hapsburg Spain, France and Bourbon Spain- just one short of a War of Seven Kingdoms. So while you´re thinking: ´Well Luke that's really great, great argument but it doesn´t matter cos they didn´t actually film any Game of Thrones in Barcelona.´
To that I would retort- no, the epic is written into the very city's fabric.
And the best part- as I go on concluding this post, I look up to the mediterranean sun streaming into the window of my apartment in the Gothic Neighbourhood, and on this fine day on the 1st of May, I can see that Summer is Coming.