Sunday, January 29, 2012

'A very small man can cast a very large shadow'

Winter has yet to come - at least in the usual Johnstown fashion.

Just reminds me that we've got just a couple short months before the second book in George R.R. Martin's fantasy-epic-to-end-all-fantasy-epics, "A Song of Ice and Fire," is given the HBO series treatment.

I've been bewitched by the perpetual HBO hype-machine today, gorging myself on Game of Thrones Season 2 teaser footage. Read on and YOU CAN TOO, spoiler-free!

(But srsly, if you do fantasy and haven't read the first book or even watched the first season yet... I mean... I - I really don't know what to say to you.)

It's remarkable that series writers/adapters David Benioff and D.B. Weiss can cram all the scenery, all the drama, all the pathos of Martin's legendary yet unfinished septology into 10 hours of made-for-TV goodness.

The first book was encapsulated in 10 1-hour episodes that threw all the main plot points into the broiling stew kettle that is ASoIaF, like so many bits of carrot and parsley.

Almost a year and two well-deserved Emmys later (one for Peter Dinklage as the fantasy geek's id, Tyrion Lannister, and one for Outstanding Main Title Design), I clearly remember fan rage when the series was first announced to air on HBO, a network already known for its smart, character-driven dramas.

And Martin's characters are realistically nuanced, likable and detestable in the same breath. How can one hope to capture the full breadth of their individual narratives in hour-long installments while providing all the sword-plunging, back-stabbing, hot-sexing thrills of the novels?

You see, Martin crafts the story based purely on his characters' personal motivations and, in turn, is crafting the world of Westeros as he goes (most likely the reason why the release of ASoIaF sequels has stalled for years at a time - he really is making this up as he goes.)

Benioff and Weiss have remarked numerous times on how much of an undertaking - a labour of love - adapting this series for the small screen was.

Season 2 of GoT - the adaptation of "Clash of Kings," with the first book's title upheld for branding purposes - introduces more new characters than fans saw die in the first season. Throw in bigger battles (on land and sea) and you've got a series that commands an hour of your Sunday night.

Source: YouTube

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