Moving Too Far, Too Fast

We all knew that, this season, Game of Thrones the TV show would move past Game of Thrones, the books.  What I didn’t fully appreciate was how far, and how fast, the TV series would progress.

game-of-thrones-season-3-osha-630x355One of the most enjoyable things about the books in my view has been the deliberate pacing.  The stories have taken a long time to unfold, and in the meantime we got to revel in the sigils of the minor houses and what kind of elaborate food was being served at a banquet and the colors and cut of the doublet of some obscure lord who appeared briefly and then vanished from the storyline.  With the TV show, there’s none of that.  Major characters come and go and get knocked off at breakneck pace.

I hate it that characters I really liked are being killed right and left — like the wildling woman who watched after Bran and Rickon after Theon Greyjoy conquered Winterfell — but mostly I’m concerned that the story is just moving too darned fast.  In the George R.R. Martin world, it would have taken 300 succulent pages to get to the point of Daenerys torching the leaders of the Dothraki, and Sansa and Jon Snow resolving to march on Winterfell and try to kill the execrable Ramsay Bolton, but in the series it takes only an episode and a half.  How far are we going to get in the story line this year, anyway?

And that’s the big issue for me.  Much as I think the TV is great, I like the books even better.  What’s going to be left of the plot when this year’s episodes are over?  And if George R.R. Martin doesn’t bring out the next volume until next year’s episodes air, the disconnect is just going to be too much.

Slow down, HBO!

Ice Cold, But Well Told

I see by my weather app that it’s 34 degrees outside this morning.  Yes, that’s right — 34 degrees on May 16.  And by the way, it snowed in Cleveland yesterday.  So much for my heartfelt attempt to precipitate the final, certain arrival of spring by declaring that spring had sprung already.

9a6b8558e8701d3f676cb9551a465c97So today the good working stiffs of Columbus will bundle up in their winter gear and don their gloves, and when we get to the office we’ll talk about the weather.  We’ll talk about how we had to scrape ice off the windshield, and how worried we are about damage to the delicate flowers and strawberries in the garden that we planted last weekend, and how we actually had to turn the heat on last night, can you believe it, and how this is the coldest spring we can remember.  We’ll say it’s weird because it was a warmer than normal winter, so you’d expect a warmer spring, wouldn’t you?  We’ll shake our heads and declare, isn’t it just ridiculous?

We like talking about the weather because it’s one common touchstone.  We’ve all experienced it, and we can all express our dark, muttered views about it.  And when the weather sucks, as it has in Columbus all spring, it’s even better.  A pretty day or a basic summer thunderstorm might merit an offhand comment, but a spate of unusual weather, good or bad, can be sufficient to sustain a vigorous conversation among random co-workers for an entire long elevator ride.  Hey, it beats an uncomfortable, eyes forward period of total elevator silence!

One other nice thing about weather as a topic:  it’s safe.  When you candidly state that you think overnight freezing temperatures on the 16th of May is unforgivable and that Mother Nature must have gone on a bender or lost a bet with Father Time, you’re not likely to encounter any indignant opposition.  There aren’t any White Walkers out there ardently arguing that we should enjoy freezing temperatures all year long.

In fact, those of us in Columbus should be grateful for this ludicrously crappy spring.  Otherwise, we might be talking about presidential politics.