Leonard is drinking for a friend again today. No, not that one. Or THAT one. A whole new one! A sweet young friend of mine, who has been hurt. Hurt by a man, and I feel like I should have warned her because I’ve had some experience with the guy…..but gee, I really hoped it would work out different this time. Plus she probably wouldn’t have listened, because Peter Dinklage, Jason Momoa, and freakin’ dragons are a pretty potent combination.
Yes. My friend has been hurt by George R R Martin.*
(Oh, if you know nothing about Game of Thrones, feel free to skip this one. Maybe go read about when The Canadian went skiing)
So my friend loves Game of Thrones, and is devastated because apparently new episodes are delayed until next year. At which I laugh bitterly, hollowly, along with everyone else who read the books. Because now the show fans know a small portion of our pain……
Yes, I slogged my way through the books. Each one of them was door-stop hefty, although up to about 30% of the whole thing was just long, loving descriptions of every single feast that every single character ever went to. We don’t CARE if Daenerys is eating Dog in Honey and Crispy Fried Locust, George, get back to the damn story! Not that we should be surprised at George’s obsession with feasts, have you seen him? He’s like Jabba the Hutt with a wizard’s beard.
So anyway, I read the books, because the book is always better, and it was supposed to be a trilogy. A TRILOGY. Then at the end of the third book George says he’s sorry and it will take one more book to wrap this saga up. So I read the giant fourth book, even though Tyrion wasn’t in it at ALL, what kind of crap is THAT, George?? And the end of the fourth book he says he’s really, really sorry and it will just take one more, he promises. So I read the mammoth fifth book, and at the end of the fifth book George walks out and just leaves you hanging, with nothing explained or resolved, wondering if he’s ever coming back.
A few years ago a friend asked if he should read the books, and I responded with a resounding “NO! It’s too late for me, but save yourself!”, and a list reasons of why A Song of Fire and Ice is like a bad boyfriend. Including:
-It will consume all your time. Yes, it’s an attractive story. It’s all dark and mysterious and compelling! But it will suck you in, demand all your attention, and keep you up turning it’s pages when you’re really too tired to even enjoy it.
-It hurts you for no reason. After a while you become numb to the constant violent murders of your favorite characters. Or you think you have, then something like the Red Wedding happens and you wonder why you ever got involved with this thing ……
-It always leaves you hanging. No storyline is ever resolved. It just keeps getting MORE complicated. The only closure happens when someone dies ….. and not even always then.
-It makes promises and never follows through. See above.
I did try to watch the series, afterwards, and it turns out GoT is one of those rare exceptions to the “book is always better” rule. But I’d been ruined for it. It’s like this:
Let’s say you date this guy (the books) who promises so much and just lets you down over and over (Bad Boyfriend, see above). And then he leaves you and you’re upset and angry but also a little relieved, and you move on and realize you can do better, girlfriend! Then you meet his younger brother (the show).
And the younger brother is hotter and really seems to have his shit together, plus you know, less obsessed with feasts, so you go out a few times but……… Eh. You just have a bad feeling. He reminds you of his brother. It not him, it’s you, and you end it before you get too committed**.
And then your friend starts dating him, and you’re happy for her. She’s happy, she’s having a great time, and you really hope it works out. And THEN, he starts to act just like his brother. And you hope it’s just a blip, that he’s just super late*** this one time, but that baaaaad feeling is back again and you don’t want her hurt like you were.
Ok, I’ve officially pushed THAT analogy as far as it will go.
So my advice to my friend – and all GoT fans – is this: Don’t wait around pining. Make your own closure. Decide in your own head how the Epic Tale of the Iron Throne of Westeros ends, and that’s that. That’s what happened. No, shut up, that’s what happened. The first book was published in 1996. It’s time for a damn ending.****
Then if the show comes back and you like how they wrap it up, fine and dandy. If you DON’T like how they end it, well that’s just how the multiverse goes. Stick with your version. You have the power.
A rousing rendition of “I Will Survive” is possibly in order too.
*to be fair, I don’t actually know how much GRRM is involved with the tv show. But he started the whole thing plus I guess I’m still a little pissed off , so it’s All His Fault.
**I think I realized I wasn’t going to make it through the show when I knew Khal Drogo was going to die, and it was Jason “Scrummy Man-Hunk” Momoa.* No one should have to deal with that. Ok, it’s possible I’m also still a little bitter about the premature end of Stargate Atlantis. But that’s a whole other
rant blog post.
***A YEAR late
****someone could make good money online with a Game of Thrones Ending generator. You plug in your favorite and least favorite characters, click on “End the Bloody Saga Already!” and get instant closure. For those who lack the imagination to DIY.
*But not as scrummy as The Canadian, obviously.