Game of Thrones bothered me at first with its obnoxiously hyper-Americanized fantasy, a genre of which I've never been particularly fond despite what my gaming habits might suggest (to be fair, I imagine hardcore D&D enthusiasts would consider my approach to roleplaying obnoxiously hyper-Japanified).
Now I'm starting to think that Game of Thrones, with its gritty anthropocentrism, subverts many of the fantasy tropes that I disliked.
I think I'll rewatch the first season.
I was with you until
implying masturbation is boring
But I catch your drift. The author goes well out of his way to distinguish Westeros from conventional fantasy settings, but the Children of the Forest are fucking Elves no matter what he says!
I was pleasantly surprised by the way the first season wrapped up. If the second season is as good as the first, I might read the last three books.
Personally I like how some ideas or topics are ¨enfleshed¨ in some scenes, for example in this first chapter of the new season, that interesting exchange of opinions between Littlefinger and Cersei about ¨power is knowledge¨ :P
And... (I'm probably going to sound like a masochist but) I also like the huge amount of aversion and anger that some characters make me feel (especially, Joffrey), and those feelings of uncertainty and stress each time one of my favourite characters is in danger (There is a high risk of death for all the characters in these novels since the characters serve the plot).
The Walking Dead (comics) follows a similar way, I think.
Is it possible to edit the original post to warn readers not to click Steve's comments?
This is currently my favourite tv show, and I'm looking forward to them redeeming A Murder of Crows when they reach Season 4.
If conveying a theme of defeat and emptiness was the aim of the book, then it certainly succeeded in bringing that feeling to the reading process!
I think the issue I had was that, due to the increase in characters that I wasn't particularly interested in, reading that book felt like a chore. I preferred A Dance with Dragons so much more, and I would guess that they will attempt to re-integrate those two books when it comes to adapting them to tv.
Tywin Lannister is the reason why i even bother with thrones...
not to bash george r.martin or anything but just because you let main characters die and make a world bleak and depressive doesnt mean greatest fantasy author ever...
seems like nobody bothers with good sci fi like the forever war or basically anything from phillip k.dick.
martin is an ace author for sure but i think people jump on the hype train a bit heavy. the tv series has really good actors even if the content leaves a bit to be desired its still worth watching. peter dinklage is amazing. i ahve the feeling one has to wait for something major to happen but then it kinda fizzles out. the only really big event in season 1 was eddard stark and the birth of the dragons. now i am still waiting, waiting for stannis move lol.
coming from the d&d front i have read DOZENS of fantasy novels.If there is one thing that definitely has to be put on tv its dungeous and dragons: dark sun.
sorry for being a dick now.
its not a session.
Its called season.
if anything it makes more and more people aware how awesome fantasy can be :) a simple truth the nerds knew all along.
There have been Dungeons and Dragons films, and they've been met with either apathy or disappointment by most.
I don't think being a good fantasy novel automatically qualifies you for being a good choice for a commercial adaptation, and I think Martin's series fits into the fantasy genre without really emphasizing huge fantasy elements: the sightings of white walkers, the dragons, the re-animated dead and legitimate Magic-use is really kept to a minimum and I think what engages people more is the melodrama, mystery and, in the case of the TV show, the multitude of naked medieval women. And obviously Tyrion.
I do agree however that the books are not as fantastic as they would seem to be from all the hype they currently get: my major irritation is the amount of repetition due to the way the chapters break up, so that every time you come back around to a character you get a quick summary of their motivations/drives. There's only so much I can take reading about Ned Stark's honor, Catelyn's motherly instinct and Daenarys' dragon spiel. I haven't tried this but I suspect it'd become painfully obvious if you put each character's entries into their own sequential order.
That is quite a misconception Daniel, not every high fantasy novel is as heavy handed as the stuff you described. There are a bazillion copies of LOTR, I agree, and most of them are bad.However they do not represent the genre by itself.
The same problem happens when movie directors try to make movies of sword and sorcery ficition such as roberts e. howard conan the barbarian,kull the conquerer, solomon kane. I love the short stories, I read all of them, better yet I devoured them. I am also one of the idiots who gets dragged into believing that anytime a director tries to make an adaption for the big screen it turns out good...unfortunately I get soley dissapointed. Jason Mamaoa(Kal Drogo) was ok but the movie Conan was a turd. Solomon Kane was acceptable but certainly not great.
Most of it turns out bad because the wrong people do it.There is no passion involved. If Ridley Scott would be interested in doing a fantasy movie based on a novel I am sure it will turn out pretty good. I cannot wait for Prometheus and The Forever War.
The D&D movies? Dont even go there. They are the absolute bottom of the barrel. I kinda have this weird conspiracy theory in mind that these movies were done bad on purpose so that D&D stays kind of a niche hobby for the true nerds instead of getting completely exploitated by commercialism...
Jeremy Irons is however a comic genius lol...
Of course thats bullshit. :)
The movies however are not at all a true representation of anything D&D(4th edition sucks though). Game of thrones is far closer to that. I had a few campaigns with my groups over the years that had the same appeal, the same groundwork, the same basic ideas(political intrigue etc.) as a song of fire and ice without having even read any book in the series.
Too be honest most fantasy novels are not that full of that magical fluff that people think happens in fantasy lore. Low magic fantasy is pretty common in the fantasy genre and very welcomed.
Also, just because Martin keeps his fantasy elements to a low minimum doesn't mean they are not there. The last Novel of the series will DEFINITELY change that. White walkers from the north, dragons from the south...oh my. How much more archetypical fantasy can it get?
@Magdalena: Yes Martin has a hard on for Deanery Tagaryan. He loves"Dany" and devotes so much time fleshing out a character that by itself is pretty bland. I agree with everything you said, thats why Martin for me is NOT the king of fantasy.
Just because you let main characters die and make a world bleak and depressive doesnt mean greatest fantasy author ever...
Just because you can play an anthropomorphic ant character and hobbtis are changed into barbaric cannibals doesnt mean greatest D&D campaign setting ever...
Thanks for Hijacking Mini :)
lol true but its not so much about the character archetypes that you can play. Halflings and Kreen are pretty much banned for PCs...not because of their stats but because they suck and I hate them. :)
I like Sansa too,she might seem weak but in fact she is a very tough young little lady.
She is in a real bad position, basically she has to pretend all the time in order to not get her head chopped while still dealing with her fathers loss and the obvious longing for her remaining family members. Helpless to say the least...
That is quite a misconception Daniel, not every high fantasy novel is as heavy handed as the stuff you described.
I think Martin's series fits into the fantasy genre without really emphasizing huge fantasy elements: the sightings of white walkers, the dragons, the re-animated dead and legitimate Magic-use is really kept to a minimum
Explain to me how that is a misconception. What I've highlighted from the series are examples of unreal devices and archetypes that are not only central to the genre, but define it (hence, 'fantasy' as opposed to 'reality'). I don't think saying something along the lines of 'most people expect the fantasy genre to include things that are not real, not possible or represent fantastic creations' is a misconception, and I do think that A Game of Thrones manages to downplay those enough to engage audiences that wouldn't necessary flock to the fantasy genre.
As for my favourite characters....
1)Tyrion 2) Jon Snow 3) Davos 4) Sandor Clegane 5) Arya Stark
Littlefinger began to annoy me when he reached the Eyrie in the novels.
"I don't think being a good fantasy novel automatically qualifies you for being a good choice for a commercial adaptation, and I think Martin's series fits into the fantasy genre without really emphasizing huge fantasy elements"
there is the point i disagree, most people ASSUME that all fantasy literature features these elemtents that you described, it is not wrong to assume that because all in all it has been a fantasy clichee for decades, hell the name dungeons and DRAGONS implies that much already.which is a shame.
i think what draws people to the TV show of game of thrones is the fact that it has a good screenplay and interesting characters(the same with spartacus's tv show, 2nd seasons however was a bit weak). i for once love the sets and the costumes but i guess thats just me.
i do believe that most well written fantasy(or from any genre really) novels can be adapted into a different medium. i can remember the time when people deemed LOTR impossible to adapt to the big screen, however peter jackson managed it and no matter what you and i think about the end result it was met with critical acclaim thus its a success.
next year ridley scott is going to film the forever war, another one of those novels that is " impossible" to make.
the whole point i am trying to make here is, that there are plenty of fantastic novellas. novels etc. that COULD be adapted into a tv show. in fact i like the format of a tv show nowadays because it gives the director and screenplay writers alot of room to develop their characters. i am however of the opinion that a tv show should have a definite beginning and a definite end, nothing is worse then sticking to a show only to be presented with a dissapointing finale a la lost or battlestar galactica.
I'm not quite sure what you're disagreeing with. The elements I described are examples of archetypes that define the genre. I don't want to belabor the point by delving into archetype and genre criticism, but I don't think many people would argue that texts within the Fantasy genre are defined by the inclusion of some elements or a finite list of things not found in the material/real world. If you generalise the examples I gave as 'Monsters', 'Dragons' and 'Magic', I don't think many would argue that these are some of the things they would expect from a text they picked up in the 'Fantasy' section of a bookstore.
Genres are formed via a community of reading. The idea that 'Fantasy including fantasy' is a misconception of the genre is a bit comical, and I wonder how you would define Fantasy if not in those terms I've outlined already.
The illiad and the bible are not described as fantasy but are historical epics...yet they still have the same elements in it as the fantasy genre. the point i am trying to make that any sort of fiction can be labelled as fantasy, just the stereotypical view on it is that it includes wise wizards with long white beards, some young handsome noble knight who has a big destiny ahead of him, a damsel in distress, an evil ruler(sorcerer), his minions and possibly some overkill monster(dragon, kraken etc.). sure you can blame king arthur's story for that, or if you want to go back further then we should mention "das niebelungen lied" or anything further down the road from nordic and greek mythology but seriously. the "archetypical" fantasy genre has evolved so much...into so much more. take neil gaiman's "american gods" for example. I am just tired when I tell people "I read fantasy novels" and the typical answer I get is "oh you mean like Harry Potter and Lord of the rings?" and I say...No not that kind. Nowadays I just say I read fiction :)
The Iliad is defined as an Epic, and this is quite clear in most criticism of that text. If you searched for it in a bookstore you'd probably find it under Classics or Poetry, but critically speaking it's not 'historical'.
The Bible fits into its own category, at least in Western culture. If you really had to shoehorn the Bible into a genre, it would probably be 'Biblical Literature'.
Genres are not there for you slap around like a red-headed step-child and make fit into any box you want it to. Even if you really, really, really (no, really) love a genre such as Fantasy, that doesn't mean that your opinion on the 'Real' Fantasy trumps the general understanding of what the Fantasy genre constitutes. And in this instance, Fantasy = Monsters, Magic and (to a lesser extent) Swordplay.
Let's also get something else out of the way: if a text has Monsters, Magic and Swordplay, that does not automatically qualify it for the Fantasy genre. Zofloya; or The Moor contains all of these but is defined as Gothic rather than Fantasy. One reason is that the Fantasy genre hadn't been invented yet, and another reason is that it fits into the general understanding of the Gothic genre better than it does Fantasy.
What you seem to be doing is confusing Genre with textual features. The birth of a genre is, generally, an historical event, and not something that is used to ret-con all manner of literature dating back to Greek mythology and beyond. Medieval Romance (Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, Le Morte D'Arthur) is not Fantasy. Mythology (Greek, Egyptian, Norse) is not Fantasy. These droids are not Fantasy.
The point is that Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are the typical examples of Fantasy. This is not a misconception, it's simply what most people who have a passing knowledge of Fantasy as a genre know the genre represents. What you seem to be doing is expecting the average reader with their average knowledge of Fantasy to become an expert in that genre to meet your expectations of the genre itself by trying to 'educate' people to your own subjective conception rather than the common, definitive one. 'Educating' people in this way is fine as a way of delving into the genre, but not as a way of re-appropriating the genre to fit into your own conception.