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May. 13th, 2010 (UTC)

I would argue, though, that you have to look at the very premise of the series. They're not trying to be historically accurate, they're just trying to tell a story that involves a lot of sex, violence and period clothing.

If I was watching a docu-drama I would be very upset if they didn't bring in the weight issue. But as it is, they want to keep the cast pretty and perfect so people don't turn away. And I'm very sorry, but watching an old grossly overweight man with a septic ulcer on his leg and potentially syphilitic brain have sex with a 15 year-old girl makes me feel physically ill just writing it down.

You're right, maybe they could have gone that way, and found ways around showing it. But I do think the appeal of the show to anyone who isn't a mad history buff would suffer. They need to get their ratings, after all, and I think they've made their target audience pretty clear.

Also there's is the whole thing of the stereotyping of the male lead and how he needs to be eyecandy (for this type of drama), being true to Henry VIII's physical form would go against that. Then there's the whole potential of unsettling people's values and making the show a fringe show, as if they were out to make a point. I don't know if it would have lasted as long, and I doubt it would have been mainstream. (It might have had more chance than if the lead was a fat woman of an ethnicity other than anglo/kelt and the damn show wasn't about her being ugly because she had braces).

So, basically, I think the show definitely needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It's not there to break barriers, or be historically accurate. It's there to show us a story with a lot of sex and a lot of violence and some pretty clothing. And Henry better stay a studmuffin, even a shouting one.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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