|The Song of Fire and Ice books by George R. R. Martin|
4,705 pages later (plus one very intense weekend of video-watching), I finally know what all of the buzz is about. The miniseries of these books is one of the most popular shows in my library and THE one that people ask me if I've watched wanting to get my opinion. I had been putting off the visual rendition until I read the books though. Now I can discuss...
If you know epic fantasy novels or even historical fiction of certain eras, you will recognize many of the plots and themes in this series. The biggest variation from standard epic fantasy is that characters who the reader early on identifies as "major" can suddenly die - no last minute rescues, no reappearance after they've fallen off a cliff fighting some bad guy - totally and irrevocably dead. In some ways, I liked not being able to count on the "good guy" winning through; however, I will also admit that I became frustrated with the introduction of new plot lines that I didn't really care about started because of the cessation of another character's line (because that character was, yes, dead) that I was rooting for.
Another item of patron comment has been the amount of sex in the story. Hmmm... I will admit that the first season (all I've watched yet) does have much nudity that doesn't really seem relevant. The books do a better job - there are some pretty graphic sexual descriptions (especially for those only used to the fantasy genre - romance readers will not be shocked at all), but all are consistent with the characters involved and what's happening in their lives.
The third area I heard and read comments about is the depiction of women in the series. To this I say HUZZAH! As a female reader of fantasy, it gets hard to read one adult novel after another with only a token female character or none onstage - only lingering in the background as an inspiration for the male heroes (Arwen, I'm looking at you!). In juvenile fantasy literature, the balance of genders is much more equal. I would much rather read an accurate range of women in the world the author has built (from queens to whores) than not have any at all. Yes, the women in this series do not get a fair shake when you consider today's morals, but the novels are not set in a contemporary world. And, many of the female characters actually have many more options available to them than historical women of our world have. Brienne of Tarth may be mocked by the men, but she isn't burned at the stake like Joan of Arc. Plus, Arya Stark is definitely my favorite character in the entire series.
So, that's my take on the Game of Thrones / Song of Fire and Ice.
On a different subject, I also completed another goal today (which I will blog about in my next post) which led to an idea for the completion of a third goal ... the next part of this post is a contest (for goal #99). If you are the first person identify what the item in the photo below is used for and post that use in the comments, I will send you an item that I have made as a prize. The prize will depend on how far I need to ship it. I will give you a hint on the item ... I used it in completing one of my goals.
|In front of the basket is ?????|