The world and his wife seems to be talking about Game of Thrones, and with season five just kicking off on the Tee Vee now, it seemed like a good time to dedicate a blog post to all things Ice and Fire. Plus, there are just too many fecking excellent GoT memes out there on the web for me to pass it over.
Even if you’re not a watcher, you probably can’t help but be at least peripherally aware of the show, and if you’ve tried to get into it and failed miserably to get into it, I heartily suggest you try again, and keep trying until something sticks. This blog post will be something of a GoT mish-mash on my part, with possible spoilers at a couple of the links if you aren’t up to date with the show.
Read the books
Let’s get this out of the way first of all; read the Goddam books. I watched the first season of the show on TV and then got the books because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, and I really enjoyed them and pretty much ate them alive. That being said, I am a prolific reader, and enjoy huge saga-style tomes. Even so, they are pretty heavy going, require full engagement from the reader, and can be somewhat confusing, so if you are not already a keen reader, I totally understand why some people cannot get to grips with them.
If that is the case, rest assured that the TV show stays relatively true to the books and is also well worth watching for its own merits.
One issue that everyone is talking about is the fact that come the end of season five (the season that has just started airing) the TV show will have caught up with the books that George R. R. Martin has already written, and the saga is in no way finished. This presents two issues: HBO’s viewers are not likely to take kindly to a two (or more) year gap while Mr. Martin catches up, added to the fact that the child actors in the show are going to be fully grown and rather out of place in the story if there is a huge wait for the next season’s filming.
David Christopher Bell at Cracked has looked into this in detail.
What’s going to happen then!? Nobody knows. You also have to take into account the fact that Our Leader (George R. R. Martin) is no spring chicken, and no one is more aware than him that he might feasibly pop his clogs before the saga is completed. Apparently he has actually planned for this eventuality, and written a structure and guidance for a potential new writer to use to finish the saga, should he be rude enough to die before he’s done.
Fan theories on what will happen at the ultimate conclusion of the tale are rich on the internet, and Mr. Martin has actually strongly implied that at least one fan theory he has read almost exactly matches the bare bones of where he is going in the end. William Kosh over at Cracked has put together a list of some of the most weird and convincing GoT fan theories, and I have to say, points one and two on his list totally ring my bell, and I would not be surprised if they turn out to be almost wholly correct.
Remember, the dragon has three heads.
The watchers on the wall
Finally, probably one of my absolutely favourite pieces of prose of all time, the kind of piece that makes you think “goddamn, I fecking wish I wrote that” is the pledge of allegiance to the Night’s Watch.
“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.
I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children.
I shall wear no crowns and win no glory.
I shall live and die at my post.
I am the sword in the darkness.
I am the watcher on the walls.
I am the shield that guards the realms of men.
I pledge my life and honour to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”