I’m assuming I’m not the first person to blog about Game of Thrones, right? Yeah. I thought not. But that’s OK. I did stop and consider for a moment whether it was worth my time to even bother tossing my humble little opinion into such a crowded arena. With that many opinions bumping shoulders, you gotta figure a fair number are getting bumped over. Or just plain stomped on, kicked in the gut, and tossed into the nearest ditch. Left for dead.
Yeah. I know. Overactive imagination.
Anyway, in this blogging age when it is becoming an increasingly unavoidable requirement to have all posts be SEO friendly, Google search friendly, and just about any other kind of friendly that helps to increase blog post visibility (because who wants to shout in a vacuum), it’s seriously tempting to avoid writing about something that you know likely has a far less chance of getting top Google ratings and rankings than something with a bit less competition. And sometimes it pays to heed the signs along the road.
But as I approach the finish line of the 4th 1,000 page volume, A Feast for Crows, and the starting line of the equally lengthy volume 5, A Dance with Dragons, I figure I’ve earned the right to say a little something here. Because when you commit to 5,000 pages of fantasy, you’ve earned…well, something. Just saying that it’s easy to watch the HBO version (which I do religiously and have done since the first season), but sitting down and actually reading the full magnum opus? That takes stamina, buddy. So why do it? Aside from the fact that I love to read, or that I particularly love to read fantasy and science fiction, what has made me a full-fledged fan of Game of Thrones in particular is the detail.
Although it can certainly be argued that the sheer volume of detail can become overwhelming at times (once again, we’re talking about 5,000 pages), I find myself in awe of this man’s imagination. I consider myself a pretty imaginative person, to the point where it sometimes got me into trouble when I was a kid, but the excruciating amount of minute detail provided by Thrones creator George R.R. Martin is close to unbelievable. The man has me believing that there really must have been dragons, and that Casterly Rock has got to be on a map somewhere. Meereen too. I mean, they just had to exist. Somewhere there is a historical record of the Unsullied. I just know it. How else to explain all that historical background? All that description of the characters, the places, the smells, the sounds…
For those of us who continue to labor in the trenches, writing and crafting our stories, sharpening our imaginations, always trying to learn more about what else we can do to make our work that much better, Martin’s work stands right up there next to J.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Heinlein, Bradbury, Asimov, Herbert’s Dune, as the standard for how it’s done. It’s all about imagination, but for those creating new worlds and alternate universes, it’s the detail that amplifies and decorates the boundaries of that imagination.