Game of Scoliosis*, manly posture, suits, and other stuff.

*Kyphosis, actually, but that doesn’t sound that funny.

I saw this image yesterday, and I chuckled immediately. It was a reflexive laughter, and it took me awhile to understand what exactly had triggered my reaction.

That’s from the TV show Game of Thrones, in case you have been living under a rock these last years. Image Sauce: NYTimes

As I said, I laughed when I saw this, even before I had consciously processed what I had seen. A few minutes of heavy thunkin’ later, I realized what was wrong: they look ridiculous while trying to look cool, which is the worst kind of ridiculousness that exists.

Now, I haven’t seen a single GoT episode but I read the first three books many years ago and I recognize some of the characters. They are important characters, and they are the ones HBO chose to use in this image… but there’s no way I can take most of these people seriously. And that’s why I laughed because I realized they are supposing to be standing around looking cool or even “badass”, heroic figures in a fantasy land and so forth, but… (some of them anyway) look like your average millennial teenager with their crooked, forward neck and rounded shoulders, a result of spending all day looking down at their phones and obsessing over social media. To me, they look like larpers or cosplayers.

To be fair, it’s not all of them. Ironically, the achondroplasic dwarf carries his dress much better than Jon Snow or whasthername-Dragon Lady. It’s also not a coincidence that the older actors (the bald man -¿the eunuch?- and the old dude) look much better than the young actors. Jon Snow looks so bad, I feel bad for his neck and the headaches he must suffer if that’s his usual posture. I have looked up other pictures of him, and although in many he wears heavy clothing and furs, I suspect that may be close to his usual posture.

Jon Snow is almost stooping. Just look at his arms. He suffers from what is usually described as rounded shoulders (plus forward neck) a common modern ailment and a result of spending too much time in front of a computer or looking down at your phone. His arms are not on his sides, but slightly forward, with the thumbs almost pointing at each other. He looks awkward, tired, enervated, and certainly not menacing or tough or warrior-like, which I assumed is what he should look.

Try this: stand in front of a mirror in a natural, upright position. Your thumbs should be aiming forward or somewhat obliquely, and your palms should face your thighs. If your thumbs seem to point at each other or the dorsal side of your hand points forward or are on top of the frontal thigh, you have forward and rounded shoulders. It usually appears with a forward neck, which only compounds the problem since the head weights a lot, and bad posture puts tremendous stress on the neck muscles.

The Dragon Lady also looks odd and awkward, although I can’t put my finger on what exactly is the problem. It could be the dress, which may be ill-fitting. She certainly doesn’t look like royalty to me but as some XXI-century cute young woman cosplaying as someone else. What I know for sure, however, is that if I were in a diplomatic envoy of some kind and I met these guys, I’d ignore the two young women and Jon Snow and talk directly to the old man, the bald man, or the short one.

This is not a problem only for GoT. It’s way more widespread. Compare Sean Connery übermanly portrayal of James Bond and how he wore a suit:


From Russia with Love

With Daniel Craig’s stretched and wrinkled potato suit


You may not know why, but I’m sure you can feel there is something slightly off about it, at least if compared with the older image. Sure, he is a muscular fellow, which could explain his somewhat awkward or unbalanced posture, but there’s no reason a buff dude can’t wear a tuxedo like a normal person.

In some extreme cases, the men barely even look human. I call it the Eurocrat Look, not because it’s a purely European thing but because I first noticed when looking at pictures of Euro-bureaucrats trying to pose for a picture. Unlike old-time politicians, these ones barely even manage to look human when inside a suit, as if they were a boneless, alien lifeform that has possessed a human body but still hasn’t got the hang of it. And then there’s Ted Cruz:

ted cruz 3

Still, it’s not as silly as a Tory trying to do a Power Stance.


power pose
I don’t even know what that thing on the right is.

On the other hand, pick any old picture, and you will notice the difference immediately.

salvador segui
TFW Spanish anarchosyndicalists from the 20s sported suits better than contemporary capitalist pig-dogs and their political lackeys. Source: El Mundo

But I’m getting sidetracked. The point is, GoT should get a new tailor, at least one that understands there are colors beyond black, and they should tell their actors to stand like badass figures and not hunched millennials. Also, whether from ill-fitting clothes, bad habits, or alien bodysnatching, many modern men (and the younger they are the worst) look misshapen. And since I’m tired of posting pics of ugly politicians, here are two pictures of Nikita Klæstrup, a Danish political commentator who, if she has any back problems at all, is certainly not due to bad posture.

Consider this post cleansed and improved.




One thought on “Game of Scoliosis*, manly posture, suits, and other stuff.

  1. Pingback: Sensor Sweep: REH Guide, Realism, Short Stories, Street & Smith Pulp Sales, Star Wars –

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