Game of Thrones

Yeah, I’m a fan.  Don’t get HBO, but I caught an episode during the first season when I was on the road.  I’d read the first book in the series several years ago and really enjoyed it, but when I bought the second one I was put off by the “23 characters in search of a plot” storyline.  I didn’t pick up the third.  But having watched one of the shows, I thought it very well done, as a lot of HBO productions are.  It was available on Netflix, so I put it in my queue.  Watched the first disc, then the second, then went to Amazon and bought the whole thing.  My wife and I were hooked.

I pre-ordered Season 2.  Waited the better part of a year for it to ship, and we blew through it the weekend after it arrived.

Season 3 is on pre-order now.

I discovered that I could order the five available books as a set in eBook format, and I had some Barnes & Noble gift cards (and the Nook app on my iPod Touch), so I did.  I just finished reading A Feast for Crows, and I’ve come to a conclusion:

George R.R. Martin is a sadist.

Four thousand or so pages into this, and not one character has had anything good happen to them (at least that didn’t later turn to sh!t).  Major sympathetic characters have been slain horribly.  Major evil characters have been slain horribly.  Major characters have been maimed.  (And there are a LOT of Major Characters.)

And it.  Keeps.  Dragging.  On.  And.  On.  And.  ON.

HBO has done, as far as I can tell, the almost unheard-of:  It has turned the movie version of a book or books into a BETTER product than the text version.  Granted, this is because the live-performance version FORCES the screenwriters to prune viciously and excerpt only those parts that will make good cinema, but in general this editing process destroys the story being told by the book.  Not in this case.

I appreciate the grand, sweeping vision – the breadth of the world that Martin has built and the characters he has filled (FILLED!) it with, but I have the uneasy feeling that at the end of this series (assuming Martin finishes it before he shuffles off this mortal coil) the Others will rule that world, and everyone we’ve come to love and hate will be horribly, horribly dead.

Hodor.

UPDATE:  Joke from the comments – G.R.R. Martin’s Twitter account has been closed.  He killed all 140 characters!

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