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East meets Westeros in Chinese ‘Game of Thrones’ commercial

East meets Westeros in Chinese ‘Game of Thrones’ commercial

With the much-anticipated third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones just getting underway, lots of people are rushing to capitalize on the show’s roaring success. One of the more bizarre attempts recently surfaced on China’s CCTV, which aired a commercial for the liquor brand Jian Nan Chun that draws heavily on (OK, pretty much copies) the TV show’s intro. While the Jian Nan version substitutes distinctly Chinese architecture for turrets and castles — and a very blustery snowscape where The Wall should be — the commercial still hits pretty close to the mark, as the gaming blog Kotaku points out:

Westeros locations, like King’s Landing and Winterfell, were turned into Chinese locations, such as Inner Hangu Pass and East of Yellow River…. The commercial’s animation is different, but many of the motifs, such as the swords, the spinning globes, the way the buildings are constructed, and the text, look like Game of Thrones.

The text reads "One of the Chinese Dynasties with the vastest territory … was divided into districts called Zheng Guan Shi Dao" and then goes on to list the districts before concluding: "A millennium later, the only one we still know is Jian Nan…. Not for administrative reasons, but because of Jian Nan Chun."

The series has an audience in China (see this amazing cover image for a bootleg copy of Season Two), perhaps because it strikes a chord with Chinese viewers. And for good reason. In an article about "China’s Game of Thrones," my colleague Isaac Stone Fish took a look at the country’s complex and often dynastic internal politics and alliances, which are almost, if not quite, worthy of Westeros.