It was early 1997 and I was a freshman in high school when I told my friend about a fabulous idea I had for a novel. He was a well read and smart kid who eventually became the valedictorian of our class. He read classical literature, but his main love was science fiction and fantasy. I told him that I wanted to write an epic novel with a medieval fantasy setting not of this world. There would be struggles between noble families and different factions to claim the sole Throne of the King. He laughed and gave me a cop of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Needless to say, I was discouraged and scrapped the idea.
Whatever I was going to write would have fallen well short of the brilliant, interwoven and complex magnum opus that Martin published in 1996. His execution was flawless. There are many thought provoking and hidden storylines that keep you talking, just as many as the powerful plot that strikes you in the face and takes no prisoners. My favorite aspect of Martin's writing is that any character can meet their maker and suffer Death. The Grim Reaper can come calling any time.
Of course I encourage any fan of the TV show to read the books. However, it's not one of those 'the book is better than the show' type of things. The books are an unbelievable read--tough, that is true, but rewarding. Martin is a master of our time. And the TV show is well paced, the acting also stellar. I'd expect nothing less from HBO; HBO and FX have the best TV shows, hands down. It's undisputed--although, AMC is coming on strong. I'll do a review of Better Call Saul soon.
We'll also be doing a podcast on Game of Thrones. The podcast will have some spoilers. For now, I didn't want to spoil anything here. I just wanted to convey a beautifully run series and, at the same time, curse George R.R. Martin for taking millions of dollars out of my pocket. That could be me producing the show and raking in the estimated $15 million per year he receives. Sounds like sour grapes, huh? Oh, well...I'm damn excited for the season 5 opener, a day that seems to be better than Christmas! Who is going to take the Throne?