by Jess Hart
I was hot off yet another re-read of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time in the autumn of 1999 and itching to get started on another book series. I had a mess of awful Pern novels I was slogging through to please my then-girlfriend (who had taken much quicker to the books I was trading her), a bunch of latter-series Dragonlance novels I'd blindly bought at used book stores and would ultimately never read, and a thick paperback copy of a book I'd purchased because the cover declared that Robert Jordan praised it by saying, "It's brlliant.". Not knowing what to expect, I cracked the spine intending to read a chapter or two and see what was so brilliant within. Seven hours later the sun was coming up outside and I was still transfixed by the novel in my hands, having put it down twice already just to flip the lights back on minutes later and continue the read.
This is Throne Games of Ice and Fire, and we're talking about George R.R. Martin here.
If you're not familiar with George R.R. Martin, his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, or the television series Game of Thrones based on those novels, then you are lying to me. You are right now lying to a computer screen, pretending that it can not only hear your telepathic lie but assuming that it will buy that deceit, which it will not. The IP is a bona fide phenomenon, having brought in fans from all corners to obsess over a fantasy epic in a way only ever glimpsed before when Peter Jackson put The Lord of the Rings to film. It is a true epic, the nerdy War and Peace written with such deft skill and detail that every little piece shines in its own way. It is the absolute best, and I am obsessed with it. This series will ultimately be about minutiae of Ice and Fire, detailing everything from minor characters and historical events to the real-life struggles of those of us waiting impatiently for the next book to be published. We'll examine the hits and misses of the television series, as well as those to come and those fated to never be. We'll talk Fire and Blood, Tales of Dunk and Egg, A World of Ice and Fire, and probably even delve into some of Martin's other work to examine themes and parallels between them and his magnum opus. We'll even discuss some of the other folks on the Internet sharing their theories, opinions, and appreciation for the series, which has astounded so many of us with its density and intensity. For now, though, let's just be content to be fans of the greatest fantasy epic ever written, and think about our favorite characters playing musical thrones until only one of them is ultimately left to sit where Aegon the Conqueror once did.
Right on his ass.
Jess Hart is the lead word scribbler at Dying of Exposure. Having read more books than is reasonable and being an old man he enjoys both literature and classic video games (and model-T fords, waving at leaving ships on the docks, and the stick and hoop game).