When Is It Time to Leave the Party?

I remember the first time I saw Game of Thrones. People had been talking about it online for a while, and I finally ordered the first disc from Netflix. I was living in St. Paul then, and I’m pretty sure it was winter. It’s always winter there, or so it seems.

With the very first scenes, I was hooked. The cinematography was exceptional, and it didn’t take me long to realize they weren’t pulling punches when it came to the harsh things in that reality. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen this series yet, but what happened to Bran made me gasp in horror.

Oh, boy! This is gonna be good! I thought. I told R about it, and because my recommendations have usually been solid, he started watching it too.

I caught up with the series, and when I moved to Florida, R and I set up a standing date for Sunday evening in front of the TV to watch GofT.

–SPOILERS–

It all went swimmingly until this season. I keep asking myself, what went wrong? Because hard as it is to admit, I started losing interest at the end of last season, and this one? I’m–omg!–bored.

Six episodes into a ten-episode season, and nothing much has happened. Sansa’s rape? Come on! Tell me you didn’t see that coming. Ramsey cut off someone’s dick, for chrissakes (and those scenes were horrifying; I cringed a lot). Of course he was gonna rape her. Arya in the Hall of Heads? Meh. I kept wondering how they got them into the holes up near the ceiling. There’s nothing like a dose of reality to kill the horror.

Another episode airs tonight (I’m writing this Sunday), and because I was over there this morning to deal with the lawn guy, I doubt I’ll make a special trip back just to see it. The DVR is recording it. I can catch it pretty much anytime this week, and I admit it’s no longer at the top of my list of things to do. I’m afraid of being disappointed again. There, I said it. I’ve been disappointed.

A couple or three weeks ago, I finally broke down and ordered the Kindle set of Martin’s first five novels in this series. The last one was written in 2011. That’s four fucking years ago. What the hell has he been doing since?

From Wiki: The first volume of the series, A Game of Thrones, was begun in 1991 and first published in 1996. The series has grown from a planned trilogy to seven volumes, the fifth and most recent of which, A Dance with Dragons, took Martin five years to write before its publication in 2011. The sixth novel, The Winds of Winter, is still being written.

goftR speculates HBO has slowed the plot lines because they’re desperately in need of new material Martin hasn’t gotten around to writing yet. Or maybe Martin is just bored with it. He started writing it in 1991, for chrissakes! That’s forever ago. I’d be tired of it by now, too.

I’m about 3% into the books. Yeah, you read that right: 3%. It’s a long series. I’ve enjoyed filling in the gaps in the HBO series. For instance, Jon is only fourteen in the first book, and not yet part of the Night Watch. I learned more about the palace intrigue at Winterfell. I’ll probably intersperse reading other books while I plow through these five, ’cause it’s a lot of words. A lot.

Martin’s style? Straightforward, direct, nothing pretty about the writing. The story is what drives you forward, not the prose. He needed a better editor. He “could see” and “could hear” instead of “saw” and “heard.” “No doubt” was used four times on one page. Minor quibbles, but I remember fingers moving on their own in one part, too. Let me tell you, it’s awful being an editor. You see every damn thing that should have been fixed and wasn’t. Did you know I edit as I read? I can’t help it. I mentally fix things on the fly. Oy!

But Martin is rich and famous, and I’m a nobody, so no one should pay attention to my thoughts on that anyway. 😉

And it’s another Monday. They keep coming ’round, don’t they? Hope y’all have a wonderful week ahead!

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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18 Responses to When Is It Time to Leave the Party?

  1. Helena Stone says:

    LOL, all of this post went completely over my head. I haven’t seen the series and I haven’t read the books (yes, the second part of that sentence is far more remarkable than the first). Dermot on the other hand has read the books and is a huge fan of them, waiting impatiently for the next one. This may be one of few series he’s not refusing to read until all instalments are available. I’ll probably read the books at some point. The sheer amount of catching up I have to do is intimidating me just a bit at the moment.

    • Well, catching up on the series is easier. Each season only runs ten episodes. They just began S5.

      Plowing through the books is going to take me a while, and I’m resigned to that. There are also other books I want to read, too, so there will be breaks. But given what I’ve read about the series, I think there’s a big chance the writers have slowed down to allow Martin to get ahead of them again, and that is not working in their favor. If viewers lose interest because the pace slows too much, well, everyone loses. The series revolves around intrigue of every sort, and this season has not seen enough of that. Neither has there been much character growth. My favorite characters aren’t getting enough air time, either. Like I said… bored.

  2. I’m going to try to add a comment here without making a blog. haha The show (and the books) are long and tedious, but only because there are so many people to remember. The books are longer because Martin has to describe every meal that every person is having in full detail. I don’t need to know all of their meals. Just write, “they ate.” That’s all I need to know. He also describes every Ser with their genealogy so we know who they’re connected to like it’s the book of Genesis. When all we really wanted to watch the show for was the dragons! Get to the damned dragons already. Blahblahblah…dragons!!

    I’ve always liked reading the books compared to watching the Hollywood take on a story. There’s more detail in a book. You can feel what the writer feels. Most times (for me, anyway) when it’s shown on television, it’s been dumbed down. “Cloud Atlas” is a perfect example of this.

    Great post! As always.

    • I SO agree with you about dragons. They hardly use them at all! What a waste. And I was really pissed when Dany locked them up in the dark. Poor things. They should be lose to fly around and eat people. 😉

      Do you recommend reading Cloud Atlas? I slogged through the movie twice, and still feel like something was missing.

  3. As you know I watch this series too. I started on premier day. Never read the books and avoided spoilers so as you can imagine I was blown away. I have to agree with you on this lackluster season. Quite predictable and disappointing. GoT isn’t going past season 7 they announced and I keep hoping beyond hope it picks up for a climactic ending. Last nights episode gave me some hope with Cersei, and maybe Little Finger has an idea. But we shall see.

    • I haven’t seen last night’s episode yet. Perhaps I’ll catch it later today, when I go over to water.

      Are you saying they’re only doing seven seasons total? Because I could have sworn R said they’d been contracted for ten seasons.

      • 7. They announced it already that after season 7 GoT is ending. Because most seasons cover 2 of George’s books he said there is nothing past season 7. It will be complete.

        • If that’s the case, then why are they wasting one entire season on nothing? Because nothing much has happened yet. I’d think they’d start getting all these pretenders of the throne together at last, ya know? Let the fireworks fly!

          And give me more dragons! I need dragons. 🙂

  4. Jaycee Edward says:

    It’s loose, not lose. 😛 Love when that happens. Haha. Anyway, here’s my comment. I’ve never seen the series nor read a word he ‘s written. You, on the other hand, are a one-click, must-read author to me. So, to me, he’s the nobody.

  5. Lindsaysf says:

    I’ve read quite a few of the books and only seen occasional episodes of the TV show. I’m not that much into seeing blood. Reading about it is just fine, thank you. My impression is that the books are so far “ahead” of the TV series that they could keep going for years just on what he has done. George RR lives here in Santa Fe and is very active with the theater he bought. He arranges for awesome openings, sometimes getting movies before they open in mainstream theaters. He got a (the?) car from Mad Max here and folks did cosplay! He gets his writer and actor and director pals here for Q&A’s. He edited (i.e. assembled folks for) at least one book. I went to the panel for Dangerous Women – and got to find out about some new (to me) writers. One was Jim Butcher of Dresden Files fame! I know Martin goes to SDCC, and I suspect he goes to other CC’s as well. He seems to be having a blast!
    I’ve noticed with other famous prolific writers that their books have less rigorous editing, the more famous they get.

    • Because they’re too big to fail? 😉

      I’m glad Martin is having a good time–every author should experience this kind of success–but it has been several years since the last book was released, and if he’s writing seven total, shouldn’t he get them written? I don’t see how HBO can wrap up this series in two years if #6 isn’t finished yet and #7 hasn’t even been started.

  6. Allison says:

    I haven’t read the books because I wasn’t interested in that much of a timesink but my understanding is that the show veered away from the books starting around season two and have continued to grow further away since. That may be why they will be able to end it without him finishing the books.

    • Hm, I had the idea they were following the books pretty well until the last couple seasons, but I won’t know until I read them. The first couple chapters were difficult. A lot of character introductions and not much else going on, but then it started to take off and now I’m looking forward to what comes next. Some, of course, I already know, but I’m betting there’s lots that wasn’t included in the series.

      • Allison says:

        Kevin just told me I was wrong about this. I guess this season is the first that they went off on their own but that would still allow them to end it as they see fit.

        I have thought about reading them, it may still happen some day.

  7. A.M.B. says:

    I haven’t seen it! It just isn’t for me.

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