Category Archives: Game of Thrones

An Easter Gift – The Game of Thrones on HBO

I know last Sunday was Easter Sunday and I should have been having dinner with the family and watching those six entertaining toddlers that are underfoot right now and those 2-3 preteens who avoid us like the plague, but my sister and mom were ill on Easter and since I had spent a good part of the week in their company, I did not want to infect all the beautifully dressed children; so I stayed home on Easter. This is the first year I have missed both the family Christmas and the family Easter festivities. Think of all the calories I saved myself. I also had to finish caulking the bathtub because I was expecting company later in the week and my bathtub occupies a prominent place in my one and only bathroom.

There was an unexpected bonus to reward me for my thoughtful absence from Easter dinner. Time Warner, my cable company, offered a whole weekend of free HBO viewing which I finally concluded involved all of the various HBO channels. One of the HBO channels was playing past episodes of The Game of Thrones all day leading up to the first offering for Season 3at 10 pm Sunday night. So instead of feasting on lasagna, which was the family dish of the day, and M&M’s and jelly beans, I got to feast on this ersatz middle ages saga which is adapted from the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.

Sometimes it is difficult to watch a movie after you have already read the book, and especially difficult as in this case I have read all five books published so far. As a reader you form a picture in your mind of what people look like and what locations look like and it is difficult for a movie to satisfy the images of one reader, let alone the many, many readers who have enjoyed these books. I have to say, after frying my brain with too much TV and by the time my eyes were begging for mercy; I found the TV version very satisfying. I will never know if it would have been easy to follow if I watched the TV presentations before reading the books, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of it except to take the roasted chicken out of the oven and to compose a plate of food to eat in front of the TV.

Now I argue with myself daily about whether or not I can add HBO (no) and if I will be able to wait until the DVD’s come to Netflix or to the library (yes). I have already fallen for far too many cable company offerings. Oh woe! Waiting is so difficult but I have my frugality to keep me happy. Does frugality make me as happy as indulgence? Of course not, but it really helps my bank account. I must stay strong. I did also manage to do a creditable job with the caulking during battle scenes.

Book 4 The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin – Book

A Feast for Crowsby George R.R. Martin is the fourth book in The Song of Ice and Fire Series or Game of Thrones as broadcast on HBO. This book starts off with goo-gobs of new people, and very few of the people we love to follow. This is a bridge book, a book that introduces new players in the Game of Thrones and ties their fates into the fates of the characters for which we have already formed attachments. We have learned to attach ourselves like barnacles to these characters because the author seems to have no compunctions about offing and maiming the characters we are most emotionally attached to. We cling in desperation.

Now we have even more characters to worry about. We have Prince Doran’s Court at Sunspear where Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella, has been sent as a ward and as the betrothed of Prince Trystane. Myrcella is a Baratheon (but actually a Lannister). We meet Prince Doran (a Martell) at the Water Garden enjoying the play of the children. Areo Hotah is his Captain of the Guards. Princess Arianne is the heir to the Sunspear. We meet the Sand Snakes. The Red Viper or Prince Oberyn of House Martell was killed in Book 3 by Ser Gregor Clegane (the Mountain) during a trial by combat so relations between King’s Landing (Cersei) and the Sunspear are strained. House Martell is connected to House Targaryen and Daenerys with her dragons through Prince Doran’s sister Elia who was murdered along with her offspring during the Sack of King’s Landing which put the Baratheon’s on the Iron Throne.

The second family we get to know in some detail is the Greyjoy family, Kings of the Isles and the North. Balon Greyjoy, the most recent King of the Iron Islands was killed in a fall. A Kingsmoot is held to decide who will follow him. He has a widow, Queen Alannys, a daughter, Asha, Captain of the Black Wind, a brother Euron, called Crow’s Eye, Captain of the Silence, and Victarion, Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet and Master of Iron Victory. Euron wins the right to rule the Iron Islands and he will be important because he has heard of the dragons and is off to find them and Dani Targaryen, who controls them. In fact, a number of our ambitious players in the Game of Thrones are beginning to get wind of the dragons.

We do get to watch Cersei make one mistake after another as she is so twisted by her suspicions, and her hatreds and jealousies that she cannot make objective decisions. She thinks that benefiting herself will benefit the kingdom but she ends up undermining all her own ambitions. Jaime, her lover and brother, is off wrapping up the loose ends of the war while Cersei is snipping the ribbons of rule and undoing the hard-won victory.

We touch base briefly with Arya and Sansa Stark who are still separated by more than just geography. We follow Samwell Tarly to Oldtown where the Hightowers reign. Jon Snow has sent him to become a maester or wise one. Sam intends to obey but not happily. Catelyn Stark seems to have been resurrected as some form of wraith or zombie. As Book 4 ends our female knight, Brienne, has been captured by the Broken Knights and is in serious danger of being hanged.

I don’t know why I like these books. War and mayhem are endless and life expectancy is short. There is almost no romance or joy, but there are larger-than-life characters. There are heroes, both male and female and that is what keeps me going, and, besides, Mr. Martin tells a great story and I want to know how it turns out. Still, I don’t see how the winter that threatens from the north and the terrible creatures that lurk beyond the Wall could plunge these people into anything worse than they already suffer in this insane Game of Thrones. However, we are assured that “winter is coming”, and that sounds pretty darn ominous.