Missing the Forest for the Trees {or Dubrovnik for King's Landing}

I should start this by stating I am an avid watcher and big fan of the show Game of Thrones. 

I binged seasons 1-4 a few years ago and watched 5, 6, and the most recent 7 along with the rest of the desperate viewers complete with the practically required glass(es) of wine. 

Respect and admiration don't begin to cover my thoughts for all those involved in creating what is basically a weekly movie. And on with this point here:


I had the luxury of visiting Dubrovnik last week during the almost 3 week trip I have been on with my boyfriend Caleb. We know it's a luxury to travel and even more so to visit as many places as we have. So we don't take it for granted. 

We routed ourselves on an epic Balkans road trip and the home of the famed GOT "King's Landing" was the midpoint of our trip. 

IMG_7627.JPG

Trust me, we were just as excited as anyone else to see the sights and the beautiful city and hear a few things about the filming perhaps along the way. Little did we know the whole of this incredibly historic town is now overrun by GOT. You can't walk a few alleys without running into a memorabilia store, GOT map, or in-progress GOT tour. 

This has made the town epic income which of course is fantastic for their economy considering in the 90's they were being bombed by the Serbian rebellion groups in what would later come to be known as the Bosnian War. 

IMG_7603.JPG

Did you know the town was attacked so recently? During most of our lifetimes?? Well I sure didn't and it took a long time to find a museum to learn about it amongst the Stark/Lannister t-shirted crowds. We heard almost no tour guides speaking of the history of the city walls, the governing bodies (which changed hands several times over the years), or the people who defended the township. I have seen a lot of Europe and this is the least amount of available history I have ever encountered. We literally went back to our apartment (outside of Old Town, the area most popular and the one I am referencing of the GOT obsessed) to search YouTube videos to find out what was actually happening in the town. 

We were so sad by the pop culture that had overrun the history of the place. Granted, there is a high likelihood that the over presence of Hollywood-hype made us both feel like we had flown half way across the world and wound up right outside our front door in California. We may just be a few "Tour Of The Stars" or run-ins with Russel Simmons at Starbucks past our enthusiastic due dates. Or not. 


What am I trying to say here? 

I'm not entirely sure (sorry, I've eaten a LOT of carbs). I think as fun as it is to appreciate the fictional world of TV, we have to check ourselves. There was not actually a Battle of Blackwater. There WAS a siege of the city in 1991 during which 13 people lost their lives. 

There was no Joffrey name-day celebration. There WAS an eventual cease-fire called on the city 7 months later (after 43 had died) and 10 million dollars in damage were done to the city walls that were erected in the 12th-freaking-century (the same ones so popular for the exterior shots of "Kings Landing"). 

There is no Red Keep. There is a fantastically beautiful town rich in history as well as incredible scenery (and beer, some really good beer).

I think we as the face of the industry have a job to do beyond what is on a script. So I'm here playing my small part today (and eating more carbs). 

Real StuffSam Valentine