Dark thriller rattles the tills …

Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen and friend from Games of Thrones

IT’S back and it’s kicking tail like a man possessed – HBO’s spectacular Game of Thrones’ raunchy bloodfest formula, this week into its fourth season, has the tills rattling like a dungeon chains.

The mediaeval TV thriller is proving a treasure trove for retailers with its glittering and gory array of merchandise from sigil pins to dragon eggs and warrior figurines.

Posters, coffee mugs, DVDs, figurines, tee-shirts, board games, cards, pop vinyls … everything and everyone’s up for grabs: the sadistic King Joffrey, the cunning dwarf Tyrion Lancaster, sexy dragon mother Daenerys Targaryen, regal bastard son Jon Snow and dozens more.

GoT merchandising is the latest in an almost bewildering selection of superhero, cartoon, comic and gaming diversions available in shops and online.

Geelong retailer Ben Blackney says the latest phenomenon enjoys the support typical of many cult shows.

“But personally I think this has moved into the mainstream,” he said. “This is now kind of across the board, with the kids watching it too.

“It’s one of those shows like Son of Anarchy, that first started with a cult following but then builds on it.

“It’s obviously aimed at adults with the action side of things and the sex is very popular, but the storyline is gripping and no main character in the show is safe.”

The build-up to the fourth season of Games of Thrones has witnessed a social media barrage of trailers, stories, spoilers, quizzes and more, but despite the onslaught the anticipation has been almost palpable.

The hit series is based on the fantasy novel series A Song of Fire and Ice and amid its violence and sex tackles issues such as corruption, loyalty, social classes, religion, crime, civil war and punishment … lots of punishment.

_ NOEL MURPHY

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.