Posts Tagged: A Dance with Dragons

My thoughts on GAME OF THRONES

Author George R. R. Martin tried desperately to talk HBO out of making a TV show out of his epic “Game of Thrones” books — for fear that a flop would kill his popular series, according to a new book.

In the preface to a new book, Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones, Martin recalls telling the shows future producers, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff that ‘[i]t’s too big. It’s too complicated. It’s too expensive,’ and that ‘Hollywood Boulevard is lined with the skulls and bleached bones.’ Read More »

A Dance with Dragons... a year later

When A Dance with Dragons was released, I didn’t write a review of it, in fact, I barely discussed within my community of fellow Fantasy fans. I wrote a piece or two about it, debated a bit with friends, but otherwise, I let one of Fantasy’s most impactful and anticipated releases slip me by. This is odd given that I run a fairly well trafficked Fantasy and Science Fiction publication, A Dribble of Ink, and a lot of my readers were interested in hearing my take on the fifth volume of Martin’s mega-successful A Song of Ice and Fire. But, I let them down, and, a year later, I’ve thought a lot of why I never wrote about the book, never formally reviewed it, despite enjoying it a fair bit more than the average fan seems to have, and it’s all because of expectations. Mine, and those of the fans around the world.

At first, as an entrenched fan, I felt special. Because, you see, I’d discovered Martin years earlier. He was my little secret. But, then it became clear that Martin wasn’t just a fad, wasn’t just a passing ghost of geekdom on the mainstream, he was a real thing. Maybe it was seeing Martin spoofed on Saturday Night Live, or when he was sitting there in the crowd at the Emmys, but finally it clicked with me. He’s not my secret anymore. Hell, he’s not even our secret anymore. Fantasy has a new ringleader, he wears a Greek sailor’s hat, thick glasses, and rides a wave of popularity the likes the genre hasn’t seen since The Lord of the Rings. Read More »

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George R.R. MartinYarr! Some mild spoilers for A Dance with Dragons and some egregious spoilers for the entirety of A Song of Ice and Fire appear in this article!

Well, well. Where to even begin? Having read several handfuls of reviews for A Dance with Dragons around the ‘net, it seems impossible to begin a commentary on the novel without referencing the infamous Wait™ and the fan vitriol (and endless passion) associated with Martin’s ever-growing audience. Of course, I’ve gone on record now and then to mentioned that I don’t really give a damn about waiting for a novel, this one or otherwise; there were plenty of wonderful stories to keep me occupied between A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, because, well… I enjoy many authors (new and well-established) alongside Mr. Martin — something I’m sure he would appreciate.

I’m now about 300 pages in. (I’m a slow reader, remember?) Bombs have been dropped (or eggs, mayhap?), ground has be re-tread (hello, Jon Snow!) and Tyrion has drank (drunk? drinked?) a lion’s share of wine. Besides one or two ‘twists’ (and one ‘fuck yeah!’ beheading), the pace of the narrative has been glacially slow, but enjoyable and engrossing all the same. The concise, labyrinthine storytelling of A Game of Thrones is now gone completely, replaced instead by a huge, sprawling behemoth of storytelling. Instead of having each chapter of the novel moving an overall novel-spanning narrative arc towards its conclusion (adding elements or perspectives only available to the viewpoint character), we now have three disparate stories running in parallel. Two of the major storylines, Dany and Tyrion, appear to be on a collision course (and, as the earlier novels would indicate, I expect that all the little connecting threads will appear retroactively once I look back on the completed novel), but Jon Snow’s chapters seem entirely self-contained (though, I suppose it could be argued that they were as such even as early as A Game of Thrones); and Bran Stark’s chapters, few-and-far-between (much to my chagrin) as they are, are even more disconnected from the rest of the narrative.
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