Initial thoughts on Game of Thrones

Let me start by saying that generally speaking, I am not a fan of fantasy fiction.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t like it, it simply means that I prefer other things (like science fiction) ahead of fantasy and there is enough science fiction to keep me busy for a lifetime. Also, I have this probably erroneous notion (one that will irritate fantasy writers the world over) that all fantasy stories are essentially retelling of The Lord of the Rings, a book that I thought was phenomenal. In a way, Tolkein ruined it for everyone else by writing the end-all, be-all of fantasy stories..

I’ve tried to read others and they just haven’t taken, and with so little time to spare, I’ve mostly given up trying.

But I was curious about the new HBO series, Game of Thrones, based of course on George R. R. Martin’s series, because no one does series better than HBO. (People: I love Dexter, but as good as it is, it’s just not quite up to the same standards as HBO stuff.) I’ve never read any of the books, but I sat down last Sunday to watch the premier and I was impressed. I sat down to watch last night and I was even more impressed. Great cast, good story so far, intriguing characters, and Peter Dinklage (who was brilliant in The Station Agent, to say nothing of the first two episodes of this new series).

The fact is, the HBO series has be intrigued enough to want to at least attempt reading the first book. I won’t be doing this any time soon as my reading quote is full for the foreseeable future. But it is the first time I’ve felt the urge to read high fantasy in more than two decades. I think this is a roundabout way of saying that I’ve really enjoy and been highly impressed with the HBO series thus far. Everyone involved should be proud of the effort.