A Dance with Dragons

Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library

A Dance with Dragons

Dance with Dragons cover artGeorge R.R. Martin made the big announcement that set all our fandom hearts alight when he posted one word on his website. Yes, that's right.  The fifth installment of the Song of Ice and Fire entited A Dance with Dragons comes out this July.  It was years in the making, but the saga finally continues.  And, just so you know, it's already on order at DC Public Library, so keep checking the library catalog to get onto the waitlist as soon as it shows up.  It'll hit the shelves in about two months. 

 

Sadly, I have to wait for it, too. But at least I have the currently running HBO adaptation to keep me going until release day!

Back in January I wrote about my obsession with Game of Thrones and my eagerness to watch the HBO adaptation.  When I returned from my epic vacation to Asia, I was greeted with the epic fantasy series premiere, and I have to say that I have been enjoying every delicious and twisted minute of it.  And then I read this absolutely scathing review of the HBO adaptation in the New York Times.  I asked myself, were we even watching the same show?  I mean, the opening credit sequence alone just made my heart stir.  Just watch it for yourself.

 I mean, this is completely epic. And the performances have been really great. Sean Bean and Lena Heady have been just absolutely pitch perfect. So what was wrong with Game of Thrones to the NY Times?  My guess, they obviously didn't read the series, and here's the quote that explains why.

"Since the arrival of “The Sopranos” more than a decade ago, HBO has distinguished itself as a corporate auteur committed, when it is as its most intelligent and dazzling, to examining the way that institutions are made and how they are upheld or fall apart: the Mafia, municipal government (“The Wire”), the Roman empire (“Rome”), the American West (“Deadwood”), religious fundamentalism (“Big Love”)."

If anything Game of Thrones is exactly about watching an institution fall apart and try to pull itself back together. I'm not giving away anything when I say that everything from Clash of Kings and onward chronicles the collapse of the government in Westeros and the vying for power to claim the iron throne and restore order to the kingdom.  In my previous article I was glowing about how this is the least fantastical fantasy series that I've ever read. It has all the trappings of fantasy with alchemy and dragons and a bit of magic thrown in for kicks, but this is a society that doesn't know they're in a fantasy world. The politics of Game of Thrones are not unlike actual feudal societies.

Forget the haters. This series is awesome. It's already been picked up for the second season, and that's a lot of money to gamble on something. HBO is confident and so am I. This is going to be one of the best things on television. Ever.

-- by Eric Riley