In 1991 George R. R. Martin began writing the medieval fantasy series A Song of Fire and Ice. A world spanning the lands of Westeros and Essos. A world so grand that what had been originally planned as a 3 book series has gone to encompass 7 novels which include 3 prequel novellas. A world so vast that now it comes to the small screen in HBO’s new series Game of Thrones. When I first heard that HBO was producing the new series I admittedly had never heard of the series the show was based on. It’s possible that it may have been mentioned by one of my friends but if they had mentioned it I never bothered to pay attention. However once the series had been brought to my intention it took everything I had not to go out and buy every book available. Under normal circumstances I would have, but I wanted to watch the premiere and the rest of the series with fresh eyes. I didn’t want anything or anyone to taint my opinion. So in keeping with that spirit I turned a blind eye to any and all early reviews and tuned out anyone who had read the series.
Now as I sit here trying to wrap my mind around all that I witnessed in the premiere episode I can’t help but to think that the show is just beginning and I have already missed so much. The tightly packed premiere introduced us to what is sure to be a complex and interwoven story. A story that as proven in the very last moments of the hour can change in a moment. And it was in that moment that I knew I had to come back next week if only so I could eventually see justice served and hopefully in a crueler manner then what I saw go down in the beginning of the hour.
I suspect that the first episode is meant to set up story and introduce the characters that occupy the story. Which is to be expected and while some may find this to be tedious (mainly those that have read the series) I on the other hand take it as a necessary evil. I should have known from the start that Game of Thrones was going to be like no other when the opening shots while dark and somber in tone were filmed in such a way that the viewer saw everything that was happening. They wanted us to know the darkness this story held. But it wasn’t until we were introduced to the land of Braavos and the exiled prince Viserys that I knew this was a different world than any I had seen before. In a land filled with bright, vivid colors lurked a coldness that would not be denied.
Having spent the better part of the last 15 years creating the world that Game of Thrones encompasses I can’t help but to wonder if Martin is ready to handle the world in which he has no control over. The world of ratings and critics and the ever-changing taste of the average viewer. I wonder if he is prepared to stay true to the world he created or if he will as so many have before him bow to the trappings having a show on television creates. I wonder if he will continue to stand by his work when the inevitable page turns. In the meantime this viewer is looking forward to exploring the world he created.
Get the tattoo already!
Until next time,