During my original S1 viewing I was on Eddard Stark’s side all the way, even shedding a tear when he importunately lost his head.
But after reading the book (and while watching GOT-S1 for the second time) I spent every single episode vehemently cursing Eddard for being so deity-damned HONOURABLE. If only Ned were given the “just say NO” lesson in PhysEd at school, we wouldn’t have all had to endure 5+ books of emo-psychological torment.
And love them.
Truthfully, i felt inspired to write about the Game of Thrones book series due to the unexpected quantity of typos in the p-books (typos in print are much more annoying than in e-books where typos are expected because of text scanners, and can be fixed pretty easily).
I ignored the first few errors, but after 5 or 6 print typos i started taking photos to document them, shocked that so many mistakes survived throughout the publishing process.
An avid p-typo spotter for life, i used to be happy to find one in a magazine or newspaper and thrilled to find one in a book. Now it’s rare to find a book without typos, but GOT took it a little too far IMHO.
So I *was* going to write about how publishing, quality editorial and grammar itself has gone downhill in the last 15 years. Then i decided to quit complaining and just become an accredited editor (a trial “Accredited Editor” exam is here, and it appears to be a cinch).
Instead of errors, i thought it much better to bring attention to the creative side to George R R Martin’s writing, since creativity is one thing robots won’t be able to duplicate to the level of humans anytime soon.
These books are a literary masterpiece, blurring the line between traditional “good” and “bad” to the point where we adore the rogues and abhor the motherly types.
We identify with the base humanity of the characters, and manage to see clear parallels between our lives and the paranormal world that lies betwixt Westeros and the Wall.
But even more enjoyable for me is George R R Martin’s brilliant use of language. He blithely uses old words like “wyvern” and “caparisoned“, and in the same paragraph coins cultural and familial aphorisms (such as “It is known”, “Gods be good”, “Winter is coming”).
I also love how he creates new descriptive words by joining two together, like: sellsword, turncloak, wightwalker, shadowcat, direwolf, weirwood.
Even George R R Martin’s word usage in contemporary writings (aka his blog) is noteworthy, with his denouncement of the Republican’s as “oligarchs and racists clad in the skin of dead elephants” making it to the news this week.
His ability to string a quotable quote together, with perfect timing and context is unbelievable though. Brienne of Tarth and Tyrion are my two favourite characters in the books and they’re not even the sexy ones – this is a testament to George’s ability to foster reader affection for all his characters. He has a talent for using humour to help you love those characters you should hate, like Euron Crow’s Eye, Jamie Kingslayer, Tyrion the Imp.
A few of my favourite quotes:
You love your children.
It’s your one redeeming quality; that and your cheekbones.
~ Tyrion to Cersei
When the wildlings knocked him off the Bridge of Skulls, somehow he landed in a nice deep pool of water.
How lucky was that, missing all those rocks?
(Was it a long fall? Did landing in the pool of water save his life?)
He was dead already, from that axe in his head.
Still, it was pretty lucky, missing all those rocks.
~ Dolorous Edd
Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not.
Make it your strength.
Then it can never be your weakness.
Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.
Power is power.
Every man who has tasted my cooking has told me what a good whore I am.
Winter will never come for the likes of us.
Should we die in battle, they will surely sing of us, and it’s always summer in the songs.
In the songs all knights are gallant, all maids are beautiful, and the sun is always shining.
My absolute favourite quote by Tyrion (a scarred dwarf) is when he says something like this upon completing a successful escape:
What would I say if they find me?
No, I’m a different dwarf with a hideous facial scar?
And this statement makes me wish there were a prequel even though i’m “taking a break” before reading A Dance with Dragons:
My queen, all you say is true.
But Rhaegar lost on the trident.
He lost the battle, he lost the war, he lost the kingdom, and he lost his life.
His blood swirled downriver with the rubies from his breastplate, and Robert the Usurper rode over his corpse to steal the Iron Throne.
Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably.
And Rhaegar died.
~ Ser Jorah Mormont
On describing a character who hadn’t been seen in a few years:
His hair had retreated whilst his belly advanced inexorably against his doublet.
There are highlights from the Game of Thrones TV series too, where George R R Martin is credited as a producer and consultant… some of my most memorable ones:
Tyrion: Let’s play a new game.
Bronn: There’s a … knife game I can teach ya.
Tyrion: Does it involve the potential loss of fingers?
Bronn: Not if you win.
Tyrion: No. No fire games, no knife games. Let’s do something I’m good at.
Shae: What are you good at?
Tyrion: I happen to be a great judge of character.
Bronn: This sounds like a boring game.
Another dwarf joke:
Bronn: Stay low.
Tyrion: Stay low?
Bronn: If you’re lucky, no one will notice you.
The TV series is wonderful on its own, even if you haven’t read the books. Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo must surely be on the “best tragic love story of all time” list.
And Margaery’s boobs are spectacular in GOT S2Ep3 when she attempts to seduce Renly. If you think i’m being crass, here’s what i learned about boobs at the Louvre and the Vatican, evidently Jesus loves boobs a lot too so that makes all breasts okay in my opinion.