In The Game Of Thrones Book-TV Confusion Zone

Kish and I have been happy to see the ads for the new season of Game of Thrones on HBO. We love the show and think that everyone could use a few more dragons in their lives.

My problem, however, is that I’ve read the books and watched the TV episodes. The books take you to events beyond the TV show, and now I’m having a hard time remembering where the HBO blockbuster left off. Seeing previews with Joffrey Baratheon — that miserable, sniveling little sadist — helps to place the show on the timeline of the overall story, but there are countless other characters that I need to place on the story arc. Let’s see . . . Robb’s been killed in a monumental act of betrayal at the Red Wedding, but where are Sansa and Arya? How about Brienne of Tarth? Where was the story of Jon Snow left off? How far has Cersei slid down the path to her own personal humiliation and madness?

With a tapestry as rich as that woven by George R.R. Martin in his books, with dozens of prominent characters and hundreds of weird-sounding names, it’s not hard to lose a plot thread or two. Fortunately, HBO has recognized that and has scheduled a catch-up program to allow us all to remember precisely where things stand.

Speaking of Martin, the release date for the next book in the series, The Winds of Winter, still has not been set. Martin continues to tantalize his fans, however, by periodically releasing parts of the book — including most recently a single paragraph about Tyrion Lannister. The internet buzz is that the book has been written in rough form, is more than 1,000 pages long, and is in the process of being edited, which probably means it won’t be hitting the bookstore shelves for some time. I hope we get plenty of advance notice, because I’ll need some lead time to reread the series and get back up to speed.

Season 4 of the HBO show, in the meantime, begins on April 6.

Mesmerized by Thrones

Wow, if you are looking for really interesting reading I would highly recommend the series of books George R. R. Martin (GRRM) has written from which Game of Thrones the HBO series is based. You can pick up the first four books in a paperback set, A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows for about $30 at Barnes and Noble.

The series is told in the third person from the point of view of his characters which he so richly develops (my favorite being Tyrion an imp whose mother died during his birth leaving his father to loathe him). Wiki places the books in the epic or high fantasy genre and I have several friends both male and female that are currently reading the series so it seems to have appeal for both sexes. All of us reading the series agree you find yourself staying up til early in the morning reading to find out what happens next and you really can’t put the books down.

The story is set in medieval times and revolves around several plots, a group of families who have at one time or another ruled the fictional continent of Westeros all wanting to rule it again, the threat from “others” who dwell beyond a great wall of ice which protects Westeros northern border and the desire of an exiled daughter of a deceased mad king to return to the throne and rule Westeros.

Probably the thing I like most about GRRM’s writing is the way he cleverly will make you believe one or more of his characters is dead and the fact that he does kill off major characters at a whim (maybe it’s just me, but I am tired of reading books where everything always works out for the main characters).

I just completed book three, A Storm of Swords which was the best so far so if you have been watching the HBO series season three will have many surprises in store for you. I did watch Season one when it came out on DVD and I happen to think that the books are much better than the HBO series itself. GRRM has written book five, A Dance with Dragons which was published in 2011 and he is currently writing book six, The Winds of Winter now.

All I know is I am hooked and you might be to if you give these a try – Happy Reading !