'Game of Thrones' has set the stakes pretty high for TV shows, especially for a historical piece that deals with the era of kings, queens, and pagan gods. As the show has reached its final season, chances are, fans will be left utterly unsatiated when things come to an end.
Fortunately, from May 1, Umberto Eco's 'The Name of the Rose' will be on TV for the first time, after it was adapted for the big screen back in 1986. Coming from director Giacomo Battiato, the eight-episode-long mini-series is already being hailed for its power structure, play on celibacy, and religion as a weapon to control the masses. Sounds familiar?
It does because HBO's 'Game of Thrones' has been dealing with these major themes for a very long time, only in a more aggressive fashion. However, as 'The Name of the Rose' is set to premiere on Sundance TV in May here's why every 'Game of Thrones' fans needs to watch the show:
1. A tale of kings, queens and everything in between
The events of 'Game of Thrones' are even older than the ones in 'The Name of The Rose' and yet the social structure in both the series are the same. You have the aristocrats or the royals trying to take over the world in their rightful positions but on a more subtle, yet dangerous level, there are the men of religion who know the world wouldn't function without them.
While 'Game of Thrones' focuses on the plight of the royals, 'The Name of The Rose' gives us a broad view into what happens behind the closed doors of a religious institution. A lot like the HBO series it opens with a murder, but instead of churning out a whole legacy from it, 'The Name of the Rose' digs deeper into the same pit to take out every piece of dirt and turn it to gold.
2. Politics and sex go hand in hand
Forget about the naked politics that has choked Westeros by the throat, 'The Name of the Rose' shows you what men - who have taken a vow of celibacy - can do with their suppressed desire. Heavily laden with riddles and puzzling dialogue, the show revolves chiefly around priests, monks, and every other religious soul who are no less corrupt than the incestuous Cersei and Jaime, or Jon and Daenerys. However, in the case of 'The Name of the Rose' sex takes a back seat but the very play between genders, about who dominates, plays a pivotal role in the mini-series.
3. Unrelatable yet real characters
We certainly do not relate to Cersei, or Bran, or Daenerys, or even Arya, when speaking about the characters of 'Game of Thrones' yet the very grounded reality of their lives makes them extremely compelling. Similarly, we will definitely not be able to relate to the Franciscan monk William of Baskerville (John Turturro), or his novice accomplice, Adso of Melk (Damien Hardung) who arrive at a secluded monastery in the Alps when a murder is reported.
Their quest to solve the murder brings them closer to the snaring guilt of religion and its inevitable impact on the lives of common people, just as the wars between kings in 'Game of Thrones' is practically destroying innocent civilians. However, even here, it is the dichotomy between mystery and religion which makes the characters and their quests as compelling as Arya's quest to kill the people on her list.
The show has already aired on Italy's national public service broadcaster Rai 1 and is about to reach the US pretty soon. As Sundance TV has acquired the series, US audiences will be able to watch the show starting May 1, at 11 p.m. ET.