Friday, January 11, 2013

Things I've Noticed: There's this book called Game of Thrones

Right now I’m in the process of jumping on the bandwagon that is A Song of Ice and Fire – better known to the viewing public as Game of Thrones.  As I’ve said in the past, I believe that if I’m going ot go around and tell people I love the Fantasy genre, it is probably worth my while to explore the popular texts in the field because that it what I’ll get asked about by people on the bus, or in class, or at work.

So onto A Game of Thrones.

I was just starting High School when the first book in the series A Game of Thrones was released.  As High school kids don’t have a lot of cash it was probably in grade eleven when I started noticing a lot of my friends were reading the recently released paperback edition.  The cover (pictured right) showed a guy dressed in black sitting on a horse in a winter setting with a castle in the background and what appeared to be a fire burning some part of the building.  The cover looked exciting, my friends who were reading the book told me it was probably a hundred times better than the DragonLance stuff I was currently reading (probably due to the graphic sex and violence, we were teenaged boys after all), so I added it to my list of series I should get around to reading.

I picked up the book to read on Monday.

Now I’ll admit, after four sequels, a lot of awards and two seasons of an award winning HBO series, I’m probably coming to this pretty late, but at the very least I’m starting before the series is finished being written, which is something I usually never do, to avoid the curse of the Wheel of Time – a wretched state that has only released it’s hold on of my high school friends in the last few days.

Anyway, back to property damage (some mild 22-year-old spoilers follow), at one point early in the novel an assassination attempt is made using the burning of a castle’s library to draw attention away from the event.  Watching the library burn, the castle’s mistress Catelyn Stark, watched “…the smoke rise into the sky and thought sadly of all the books the Starks had gathered over the centuries.”  And you know what – I got pretty upset!  Even though this small library is purely fictional and even if it wasn’t it would not in anyway be available to me, I was still thinking: Come on!  Couldn’t you burn down some other part of the castle?  Why does it always have to be the library!

Then I realized I was getting pretty upset of the fictional destruction of a non-existent library collection and I realized two things.

1)     George R.R. Martin can really write – he totally sucked me in to the story.


2)     Any doubts that I’m in the wrong field of study have pretty much left the building.

So there you go – while reading a twenty-two year old fantasy novel I was able to reaffirm my career and professional goals – not bad at all.

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