Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Insanity That Is Game Of Thrones

My first, second, third, fourth and fifth exposures to Game of Thrones had me convinced it was a misogynist's tale of rape and boobies. I wanted nothing to do with it, but the zealotry of its followers kept me coming back to give it another go.

Then I sprained my knee on a course in India, a course riddled with Game of Thrones fanatics, and ended up on bedrest in Ranikhet for two weeks. Thanks to the wisdom, generosity and foresight of a friend, the branch was stocked with a complete set of the series. 

So I fell under the spell of the Song of Fire and Ice the same way I fell under the spell of Harry Potter, by accident not design.

And I fell HARD.

The series is around 1,770,000 words so far and there are two more books in the works. Legions of people around the world are praying that the author, George R. R. Martin, doesn't croak before he finishes writing the story.

What makes these books so compelling? 

It's astounding how fully the author realizes the world of this epic saga. It's saying something that the narrative has proven to be a coherent whole so far despite the massive scale of this literary undertaking. George R. R. Martin doesn't appear to leave loose ends, consistently coming back to elaborate on seemingly minor details thousands of pages later. 

The series is also really fun to read in community. When I returned to the field, everyone was somewhere in the story and eager to discuss clues and theories. It felt like we were attempting to unravel a giant and complex mystery together, a mystery that required all hands on deck to solve.

So you see, as a team player, I have to weigh in...

Having finished what's currently published, here are some of my hunches, hopes and questions:
  • Theory numero uno is that Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, making his story a song of fire and ice.
  • I want to know what happened to all the missing bachelor uncles (Gerion Lannister, Benjen Stark, and I feel like there is someone else I am forgetting). 
  • What's the deal with the White Walkers? What's their end game? I like Jon's impulse to better understand them. 
  • Is Tyrion's Tysha the Sailor's Wife in Braavos? In any case, I want Tyrion and Tysha to meet up again.
  • I want Stoneheart to deal with Petyr Baelish.
  • Jaime and Brienne's romantic duel is going to end badly, with full servings of death, redemption, love, and sacrifice. I don't know who is going to die, but I suspect Jaime. 
  • How is Jon Snow going to not fully die? Because he is definitely not dead dead.
  • Lightbringer. How? Where? What? When? Is Lightbringer going to be born during Jaime and Brienne's duel?
  • I can't wait for Arya to reunite with any of her family members. 
  • Theon. I am so tired of Theon. What's his value in all of this? What's the larger role he has to play?
  • And I am over Cersei's incompetent, hellbitch ways. And I don't think walking naked across King's Landing makes up for the waste of time and energy that are her and her exploits.
  • A fun game to play is who would you put on Daenerys' queensguard and small council. That said, I have forgotten too many names to play this game well. 
  • Who will ride Viserion and Rhaegal?
There's a lot to ponder and with every day that passes since I finished the last book, I am loosing my grasp on the storyline. The television series, while visually sumptuous and well cast on the whole (Peter Dinklage), isn't helping as it went off the rails without George R.R.'s guidance in Season 5. 

What's a fan to do? Trawl the internet for crumbs and wait.