Friday, June 17, 2011

A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones)

When visiting Madison for Spencer's graduation I got hooked into the HBO Series Game of Thrones.  It is based on a very well loved and reviewed book by George R. R. Martin.  The first book is A Game of Thrones but the series (4 books published, the 5th due out in a couple of weeks) is known as A Song of Ice and Fire.  Thanks to modern technology and the sleep wake cycles of college students (including recent graduates) I actually got to watch the first few episodes twice.  I was absolutely captivated by the story and the quality of the production.  The HBO web page is here.

The down side of course was that I don't get HBO on Reboot.  When I returned to New Bern I started searching all the local bars to see if any of them got HBO.  I figured we could have Game of Throne beer parties.  But none of the locations I searched out had HBO.

As an aside - Every bar of course had ESPN.  I have always wondered why people will sit in a bar and watch the talking heads on ESPN Sports Center with no sound.  I mean, I can understand listening to President Obama with no sound, you already know what he is going to say because he said it 10 hours ago, 20 hours ago, etc.  (An aside to the aside - OK, I tried to Rick Roll you on that one, but apparently has been taken down.)  Did you know that on average President Obama makes a public appearance every 10 hours?  I wonder how he keeps up with the schedule.  In fairness to President Obama he actually says something different every once in a while. The penultimate person for saying nothing, in my option, is Alan Colmes.

But I digress.  Having discovered that I was not going to be able to watch the show on TV I decided to go to the source and read the books.  Am I delighted that I did.  I managed to do nothing but read the entire set of four published books over the course of several days.  What a terrific story.  And the twists just keep on coming.  Now I have to wait for A Dance with Dragons (book 5) to be published. It is scheduled for July 12th.  Once again I do not understand Amazon, they have priced the Kindle edition higher than the physical book.  Bizarre.  And that strategy is really annoying Kindle owners.

Buying the books also turns out to be an excellent strategy since it appears that HBO can get five or six seasons out of the story.  I knew I could not wait that long.  I am already upset that there will be at least a book 6 and book 7.  A problem with many fantasy writers is the story just goes on and on - like the old joke about economists: "If you placed all the economists in the world head to foot they would not reach a conclusion."  The most famous sinner in this category is Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.  I have provided the link so you can get a few minutes of humor reading the reviews for book 10. Of course he didn't get the hint, he has released book 13!  In fact Jordan didn't live to finish the story so the final three books (book 14 is alleged to be the last one) has been written by a ghost writer.

But I digress again.  So to wrap up.  George R. R. Martin maintains a web page at which also contains a link to his blog.  It is full of fun stuff.

And I am in love with the character of Daenerys Targaryen played by the very lovely Emilia Clarke.  A link to her IMDB web page is here.  Enough said.  No spoilers here. "Fire and Blood"

"A Willing Foe and Sea-Room" - Its Friday after all!

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