Game of Thrones
The new HBO series Game of Thrones recently "concluded" about as inconclusively as it is possible to end. The final episode was almost like the first episode of a show, setting everything up. It is perhaps a testament to HBO's vision and ambition, or perhaps straightforward confidence in the quality of what they are doing. Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give the series is that it sent me back to reading fantasy something I don't think I've done since I was a teenager who worried about wraiths, hit points and laughed heartily at Tom Bombadil's nonsense. George R. R. Martin's trick is to keep things normal. Fantasy has never really been that fantastic. For a genre that boasts the vastness of its imagination, it speaks with a relatively limited cultural vocabulary: the setting is a European dark ages, dragons, trolls and whatnots abound and there are always dinky little maps and really silly names. Martin's names are relatively normal, Robb for one and Ned another. He tweaks rather than boldly makes up. King Joffrey is close enough to Jeffrey and all the knights are called Ser. He also keeps things in the background. There are obvious problems ahead in regard to diverging religious belief; the old gods versus the new, but no one sits down and explains this. I was surprised to find out this leanness of exposition was entirely Martin's doing, assuming that HBO screenwriters had lopped a lot of the Lore from the televised version, but the pace and the modern sensibility is right there in the book. Having managed to finished the HBO series and the book at the same time, the book will probably win out, in as much as I can start reading the second volume straight away.
How's it going mucca?
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John Bleasdale is a writer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Il Manifesto, as well as CineVue.Com and theStudioExec.com. He has also written a number of plays, screenplays and novels.