If you are a regular reader of our blog, you may have noticed something. No, not the fact that we are narcissistic man-boys who have nothing better to do than write for a blog that 30 people read, but that we are pretty much obsessed with the universe of A Song of Ice and Fire, or in laymen terms, Game of Thrones. You will find several references sprinkled throughout our writing. If you ever bring it up in casual conversation with us around, we will talk your head off for an hour about how we would pledge fealty to the Starks, but that Tyrion is still our favorite character. We are ‘those guys’ that sit around and play the Game of Thrones board game for five hours at a time, all while making ridiculous references, stabbing each other in the back, and holding grudges against one another months later. Hell, McCannon still is furious that I turned on him in the second to last round of a game we played six months ago. We haven’t played the game since.
My point being that A Song of Ice and Fire is absolutely something that you have to experience. I don’t care if you are young or old, male or female, or whether you love fantasy or can’t stand it. This series has something for every single walk of life. Without further ado, here are the five reasons you should drop everything you are doing and immerse yourself in Game of Thrones. As always, the reasons are in reverse order. And don’t worry, there are no major spoilers ahead.
1) Everybody you know has recommended it to you: I am a big believer in the idea that just because something is popular doesn’t mean that it is a quality product, sometimes it means the opposite*. I guarantee you that at least five people have recommended either watching Game of Thrones or told you that you had to read the books, and you are probably a little skeptical.
*Look at Nickelback: Every single song they come out with is a shit stain sandwich that tastes exactly like the previous shit stain sandwich. Yet somehow, they still have rabid fans, make millions of dollars, and get laid significantly more than me or you.
But guess what? They are ABSOLUTEY right! The quality of both the show and the books really is unmatched. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that I think Game of Thrones Seasons 1 and 2 are some of the best TV seasons in the history of the medium and that the books are my favorite series I have ever read. I know that all the rage these days is being hipster and that we as individuals feel that we can’t like something unless we were the firsts to do so.
Please don’t let that attitude take away from what I promise will be one of the best literary and viewing experiences of your life. Once you take the plunge, you can finally join in in your co-workers conversations, tell your friends to get off your back, and have your mind blown. I haven’t met a single person that has actually dove in and didn’t like what they got*. Seems like a win-win-win to me.
*Eli’s stance: If you can read the prologue of the first book and then put it down, maybe this story isn’t for you. As for Eli, he couldn’t put it down. Neither could I.
2) If you don’t like to read, there is a TV show to watch: This is kind of piggy backing on the previous one, but I think it is still important to point out. Look, I know that over 5000 pages of small text about an imaginary medieval kingdom can seem daunting. And I realize that not everybody has that kind of time, energy, or passion to read. But that is the beauty of what HBO is doing: they are putting together one of the best produced and highest quality programming out there and they are making the plunge much less daunting. You can watch the first couple of seasons, see if you like it, and decide to read it if you want. If not? Well then you’ll eventually have 10 seasons of top-notch television to take up your time! Whatever floats your boat!
3) Dragons: Ben Franklin once said, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” But I think we all know that there is one more certainty: people love dragons. Whether it is in video games, movies, music, or television; people just can’t get enough of dragons. They are the ultimate magical beast, the final frontier for majestic creatures, and the keeper of secrets. With dragons come power, wealth, and fame. Every little kid dreams of slaying one to save the damsel in distress. Everybody wants to harness the power of the beast to help them rule the world.
Dragons play a huge role in Westeros, the setting of Game of Thrones, where one hasn’t been seen in over 150 years. But they are omnipresent throughout the narrative and hold the key to many of the mysteries in the universe. They also help speak to many of the themes sprinkled through the books: The illusion of power; strength; fear; secrecy; wealth. Not to mention the fact that they are totally badass.
4) You could spend twice as much time researching theories on the internet about the universe as you could actually reading the books: There is a reason that Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings have such rampant followings: they are amazing universes that are realistic enough that we could find ourselves a part of them while simultaneously letting us escape to a place that is deep, engaging, endless and imaginative. The same can be said for the A Song of Ice and Fire universe. To me, the sign of a strong universe is one that attracts thousands of fan theories, rampant speculations, and crosses into the main stream conscience.
I have spent probably hundreds of hours researching theories online, playing the board game, and talking about what I think will happen next with my friends. For those of you who have read ALL the books, I strongly recommend checking out both http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf and http://towerofthehand.com/ for several hours’ worth of really well thought out theories and speculation, as well as several interesting facts, foreshadowing, and insight that you probably missed on your first read through. It really helps add to the whole experience when reading the last chapter of the last book is only just the beginning of the adventure. A big kudos goes out to everybody that has contributed to this community. They are actually coming out with a book that focuses on thematic elements, character development, and general narrative structure. Simply amazing.
5) Shit like this happens throughout the whole series: I dare any of you to watch that scene and not immediately want to jump in. Not much else needs to be said.