Rants for the Riff Raff: Game of Thrones
Chances are, you’ve probably already heard of this. The TV show premiered about a year ago to ridiculously high critical acclaim, and people all over the internet couldn’t stop talking about it. It’s based A Song of Ice and Fire, an unfinished epic fantasy series written by George R. R. Martin that has sold over 15 million copies and has been beloved by fantasy fans for over a decade. But, just in case you don’t go on the internet, turn on your TV, or read books, I’m going to rant about why I love this franchise so much.
I’ll start with the books, because that is where it all comes from. There are 5 books in the series right now, with 7 planned. Each book is roughly 1,000 pages long, and each chapter is from the perspective of a different character. In book 1, A Game of Thrones, there are 8 of theses characters. In A Clash of Kings, it expands to 9. In A Storm of Swords, 10. Feast For Crows, 12, and the most recent Dance With Dragons has a whopping 18.
So, needless to say, it’s a bit of an undertaking to catch up on the literary series. But it is absolutely worth it. Everything is so well thought out, so well written, and so realized that the pages fly by. It’s a complex, multi-layered, ambiguous story, told through characters that are all unique and fascinating.
You can compare the series to The Lord of the Rings. Both are epic fantasy stories set in extremely detailed worlds with iconic characters and fantastical cultures. But to me, the series feels closer to Harry Potter. It’s not that the two have similar thematic messages or related stories, but rather how real the world and all the characters living in that world feel, and how much I feel for them.
Also, this is what George R. R. Martin looks like-
He sure does love those sandkings.
For those of you who feel intimidated by the length and complexity of the books, fear not. HBO has done everybody a solid and adapted them into a TV series. Everything that makes the books great is on display in the show. The characters, the world, and the complexity of the story are all captured perfectly, and expanded upon through unique costumes and architecture.
The acting is fantastic. There are a few characters who did not look or act the way I expected, but they all work in the show extremely well. There are a fair number of children in the series, and all of them hold their own with the more experienced performers. There is really no way to single any one actor out, as they all are at the top of their game.
The writing is equally as engaging. While some episodes are co-written by Martin himself, the majority of it is done by executive producers D.B Weiss and David Benioff. A lot of the dialogue is taken from the books, but there are changes as well. These disparities are done for the sake of making the most interesting television possible, and they succeed every time.
Being a part of the instant gratification generation, the only real downside to this series is the wait time. There has been a year between the TV seasons, and there was a six year gap between the Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons. It’s possible the series will force Martin to write faster, but not a sure thing. Though they are well worth the wait, it can get a bit frustrating.
Luckily, some of those wait times are coming to an end. The first season is coming out on DVD and blu-ray this Tuesday, and season 2 premiers April 1st. A new trailer for it just debuted a couple nights ago, you can see it here-
Also, the show’s excellent, Emmy-winning opening title sequence was just parodied by The Simpsons, you can see that here-
Winter is coming.
By: Will Bray
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