Game of Thrones – book 2

Finally… the George RR Martin’s A Clash Of Kings has been read.

So, MyBetterHalf and I have been watching HBO’s “Game of Thrones” for our Sunday-night-date-night. I’ve been reading the corresponding book, it helps me to keep the characters straight, have more background. The book and the show are complementary of each other. It seems that HBO does some things better, and Martin does some things better. HBO has better editors, and will skip over some chapters that add nothing to the story, there was one of Arya in the woods, HBO just skipped it. If the characters have a scary adventure before showing up to a plot point, HBO will just skip the adventure, and to the plot point.

Now, seems to me, the moral of the story is

  • The best laid plans of mice and men are mocked. (Nothing goes as planned in war.)
  • No one cares about the little people.

Which is why this book feels like a history book. I don’t really care about most of the characters. I really feel, that if I’m going to spend this much time reading and watching, it might as well be for something real. Seriously, this was 900 pages, and the story isn’t even half over!

Things Martin does good…sometimes, he will get inside the head, to the doubts and fears… Tyrian, knowing the girl he loves, realizes she is but an employee. Arya, when she has to learn how to survive as a captive prisoner. Kalessi as she doubts herself trying to reclaim her throne.

I like how Martin will use a quote, to sum up a secondary character:

  • Bronn, while watching fighting as opposed to checking out the ladies, “I can buy all the __ I want (at brothel)…, but someday my life may depend on knowing how they fight.”
  • Lady Brienne, “ladies die in childbed. No one sings songs about them.”
  • The Hound, “If you can’t protect yourself, die and get out of the way of those who can.” (Wow, now if that’s not a reference to Ayn Rand)

I like how Martin has the gods being a major force in several of the characters, especially the women of house Stark…they go to the gods, they pray, they doubt. HBO skipped over that, unfortunately.

HBO…some things I wish you had done. Mix it up racially. Think globally about your market. Peter Dinklage is the only actor that is absolutely necessary, a genius pick for casting.  So, you can keep the Lannisters white and blonde. (And, in past few episodes, I have enjoyed watching Jaime & Cersi, their wit and horribleness have been fun.) The others… pick someone else. Now, what if in thinking globally, you had cast some Chinese actors for the House Baratheon? African actors for House Stark? Indian actors for House Arryn. Fantasy does not have to be about northern European white peoples & tropes. Think about the critical acclaim you would get for using “minority” actors in such huge roles. Think about the potential billion Chinese customers, potential billion Indian customers, potential billion African customers. Grow your base, HBO, grow your global customer base.

Also… I have ranted many times… there is no need to invent a fake language, when there are hundreds of languages that are dieing. If the Dothraki horsemen had spoken Kimbundu or Piedmontese, that would have been cool.

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