So, I just found out about Game of Thrones* this year. I don’t know how I had never heard of it before since the first book in the series came out in 1996 and the TV show has been on (and kind of a hug deal) since 2011. I even worked at a book store for a couple of years while these books were huge and we literally could not keep them in stock and I never even looked at one. I just told people where they would be if we had any (ex: “See that empty shelf over there? If we had any in stock that’s where they would be.”). It bordered on willful ignorance. What a fool I was then.
You guys, you probably already know this, but Game of Thrones is really good. George R. R. Martin is good at writing. Also, independently, he’s great at snark. It’s no longer newsworthy, I know. But I still feel the need to say it.
It took me maybe a hundred pages of the first book to really get comfortable with the layout but it really works. It helps keep all the characters straight in your head. Also, if you’re really worried about someone awesome you can just read their chapters and make sure they live to the end of that particular book and then go back and find out what everyone else was doing without having a slow and steady panic attack for 900 or so pages. (I’m talking about Arya. In every book.)
I read the first book in May and then I had to take a four month break until I thought my heart had healed to start the second book – I was wrong. Four months was not long enough. But whatever, I finished the second one this week. I won’t have to wait quite as long to read the third partially, I think, because I’m growing numb to it. Everyone dies all the time. It’s hard to get attached because people have already told me so much of the plot because, again, this series has existed since 1996. And I think things can only be *SPOILERS* for about a year after they come out. If you don’t know/haven’t read it/haven’t seen it after a year, the fault is yours.
Anyways, Game of Thrones. The characters are amazingly well developed considering that there are several hundred of them wandering around interacting with each other. It is a little hard to keep track of who knows what and how since they’re communicating by freaking bird. (Side note: there’s magic in the world, they couldn’t come up with something more reliable than birds?) And when I’m reading the books I legitimately have feelings about them, although almost all of those feelings are hatred. Joffrey, man. Who could ever be such an asshole?
My rant on these books so far is surprisingly brief but here it goes. George R. R. Martin created this whole alternate universe that feels ever so much like medieval Europe. That’s no surprise, it’s by far the most common Fantasy setting. But he added dragons! And magic! But didn’t improve the societal structure at all. Could some ladies, sometimes, maybe not be raped/threatened with rape/raped in a way that everyone except that lady thinks is fine? Could you throw in a couple of different skin tones? If this were historical fiction or history, I would understand. And I hear the argument a lot that “That’s just how it was back then!” Which would be fine except for the dragons. Why are dragons more believable than equality? End rant. I may add more in future posts when I have read more of the books.
*Technically the series is called A Song of Ice and Fire but (1) I have not read that book in the series yet, (2) no one calls it that and (3) even the TV show is called Game of Thrones.
PS: I have only seen one episode of the show – the first one right after I finished the first book and it was full of things that were inaccurate for no reason so I do not know enough to talk about it. But the Oatmeal did a funny thing and I think you should know.