Today on the Science Fiction Reality blog spot, writer and avid Game of Thrones fan, Kelly Atkinson, is my featured guest blogger in a discussion on George R.R. Martin’s best selling book series, A Song of Fire and Ice, and HBO’s production of the medieval fantasy epic.
Kelly will join us over the next several blog posts as we explore Martin’s and HBO’s fantasy world saga.
How About A Duel?
by Kelly Atkinson
It happens more and more often. You find yourself at a social gathering, perhaps speaking to others about swords. By free association, you ask everyone if they’re into Game of Thrones. Everyone—with maybe a couple of exceptions—starts talking at once.
You feel like you’re Blind Melon’s Bee Girl once she’s found her people.
But soon you’re aware of the fact that no one in this hypothetical circle has actually read the books.
Comments I’ve been witness to:
a) “They’re so LONG.”
RE: So were Wheel of Time, The Lord of the Rings, Lonesome Dove, and Harry Potter, but I don’t hear a lot of griping about those pieces of modern literature, or at least not as vehemently.
b) “There are too many characters.” – please see above
c) “Every time I like a character, GRRM KILLS THEM.”
RE: You were just bitching about the huge cast of characters. Now there’s one less—granted only to be replaced with three new ones, like the mythological Hydra. Westeros is a cruel land. People die and it sucks but try to remember this is the Fantasy Genre, with MAGIC involved, granting authors plenty of justifiable deus ex machina. Hey, I cried over the Red Wedding along with everyone else (TV show AND book 3). But I also laughed my head off when Tyrion shot his father in the gut with a crossbow (while Tywin was in the privy – “Turns out Tywin Lannister did NOT shit gold…”). GRRM will hurt you, but he usually makes up for it eventually. Toughen up.
d) “What’s Song of Ice and Fire? I thought we were talking about GOT.” –
RE: Sigh. Maybe you should just watch the series.
My point is, even if mild annoyance is filling my head while listening to these comments for the 20th time, I’m just happy more and more people understand the tiny ball of badassery that is Arya Stark.
We’re all family. Some people enjoy having a visual is all.
Now, the series is a gorgeous, multi-faceted epic that surpasses most stories of its immensity. HBO creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, are storytellers in their own right. The subtle differences in the plot(s) of the books and seasons are noticeable only to us dorks who’ve read the first five books ten times. And we don’t care!
- I’m glad Robb’s wife was murdered at the Red Wedding in the show—the shock of the violence in that already heartbreaking scene was mentally staggering.
- I’m glad Sansa seems darker and more conniving after years of abuse from Joffrey, Cersei, and now Little Finger.
- I’m ecstatic that the viewers can hopefully empathize with Varys after hearing about his castration. And the things Bastard Ramsay Snow has put Theon through weren’t even touched in the books (speaking of castration).
- The dire wolves are as beautiful as ever. We cry when they die… R.I.P. Lady and Grey Wind. Nymeria’s building an army to avenge you and all of your fallen Stark kin. And Shaggy Dog has been ready to go on a rampage for five books.(I’ll talk about Ghost and Summer in a separate entry; they deserve it.)
- I know SOIAF is not an easy read so I’m thankful for the show. The point of this first blog entry is to assure readers that I am an avid fan of both of the mediums used to tell this tale.
So let’s talk swords.
**Please note: Kelly Atkinson was not available for comment. The following bio was pieced together after speaking with…
…A dude who stamped her hand once at a Cramps concert
…David the Gnome’s friend, the talking fox Swift
…The ghost of Edgar Allan Poe
Kelly Atkinson was raised by a family of sentient black cats after her mortal family was murdered by a rabid gang of unicorns when she was seven-years old. They left only her alive so she could tell the authorities who dunnit.
After calling them out for plagiarizing Oliver Stone character catch phrases, she spat in their faces and then promptly cut out her own tongue with a Bowie knife just to foil their plan.
Luckily, black cats usually own computers.
She resides right behind you.
Next Monday by Kelly: Tragic Characters. A Discussion Inspired by Ned Stark and Viserys Targaryen
The Science Fiction Reality blog is a little science, a little fiction, a little about writing, a little real, and a lot of weird. (More on name change on Wednesday’s blog.)