Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Watched This Thing Called "Game of Thrones"

Boromir is Very Sad
The place where I buy my comics is called "Fautasy Realms," according to the sign. That's no typo -- that's just an upside down, dot-matrix-printed "n" in the store name, officially.

Back when Fautasy Realms was called "Virtual Reality," the owner talked about George R. R. Martin a lot, specifically about the sense of realism in his "Song of Ice and Fire" series. That didn't make me want to read the books.

A few years ago, when rumors of an HBO "Game of Thrones" project started bubbling up, and everyone freaked out about how amazing such a thing would be, I looked into the books a bit, and then realized that George R. R. Martin was the same guy who wrote that thing in "Wild Cards" about the superhero who was also a Volkswagen Beetle or something. So I stopped looking into the books.

Then, a bit before "Game of Thrones" actually premiered on HBO, I heard Sam Humphries, who I respect greatly for his wit and wisdom (long before he was a superfamous Marvel Comics Writer Extraordinaire), say that he loved the "Song of Ice and Fire" series even though he HATES ALL THINGS WITH ELVES AND SWORDS AND WIZARDS. So I bought "Game of Thrones."

I don't have HBO.

I tried to read "Game of Thrones" on a family cruise last summer, but I couldn't remember (or care to remember) all the characters in the opening 50 pages and I decided to read every New Mutants comic instead. I think I made the right choice.

I tried reading "Game of Thrones" again over the winter, and I got 150 pages into it, and I liked that Tyrion guy well enough but, let's be's a sleazy book, isn't it? Super sleazy, with incest and underage barbarian marriage-rape and mostly just a lot of pages that are like all the boring bits of "Lord of the Rings" without all the monsters and wizards and fancy obsession with British cuisine and pipe smoking. Also, it was just about the most plodding mystery story ever. Starring a guy named Ned.

I finally watched "Game of Thrones" last week. The whole first season.

Halfway through, I still thought it was sleazy and dull and yet the performances were strong enough to keep me watching and it looked nice all wintry and fur-lined and swordy.

But by the end, I wanted to know what happens next.

So I bought "A Clash of Kings." I have read the first two chapters. I think maybe I should go read all the "Youngblood" comics instead.

Though Boromir was pretty good in all those TV episodes. Too bad how it turned out for him. He'd make a good Chapel in the big-budget Youngblood movie. Boromir for Chapel. 2012!


android moser said...

Love the show, but won't even contemplate cracking one of the books until the series is over. And by then the list of books I *want* to read will be even

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Wow, I would've assumed you'd liked the books more than the show. I certainly did.

Actually, I'm listening to the whole series on audiobooks, and the guy who does the reading is fantastic. So maybe that helps.

Not having actually READ word of it, I guess there is something about Martin's prose that would probably feel tedious. Hearing it as unabridged audio, however, is fantastic.

I saw the first couple episodes of the HBO series immediately after finishing the book, and I was severely disappointed. Everything seemed so condensed, rushed, and dashed off, with no room to breathe. That's to be expected when adapting prose to live action, but this was one of the worst transfers I've seen.

Taken as a whole, the show ITSELF wasn't bad (I felt it was "okay"), but the aesthetic transfer (or whatever) between mediums left a lot to be desired.