Thursday, September 06, 2012

Fantasy, Fans, and the Finish Line

Several months ago, I decided to see what all the water cooler fuss was about and began renting the ten-part HBO series "Game of Thrones,"Season One--"A Song of Ice and Fire." By the end of the first episode, my family and I were addicted to the tale as if to video crack.

The story, based upon George R.R. Martin's series of novels, is an epic fantasy saga set in a medieval world of brutal intrigue, compelling characters, and suspenseful story lines. There are warring factions, deadly conspiracies, lords and ladies, mythical creatures, lots of bloodshed, endless plot twists--in short, everything to keep a viewer glued to the screen for ten hours.

After the first couple of episodes, my family shunned the DVDs and instead downloaded the first novel onto their Kindles. I watched the video adaptation of the rest of the first book in solitude, lecturing myself that I had too many books to read and could just as easily watch instead of read. But upon the kids' rave reviews of the book and their repeated encouragement to read it, I went ahead and downloaded the novel onto my own Kindle. In fact, I downloaded the "4-book bundle." I'm now tearing through the first book, which I've already watched in its entirety on TV, and have several thousand pages of continuing story awaiting me. And I know from various bestseller lists that there's at least a fifth book, if not even more to come. Needless to say, my Kindle now travels everywhere with me--post office lines, dentist's waiting rooms, lunch breaks at work.

In the meanwhile, I pre-ordered the DVDs of Season Two, not yet released. I'll be racing the clock to finish both the first and second novels before watching it. My kids, having got the jump on me, are already well into the second book. Depending upon when Season Two is released, I may be the one hiding from the television while I let them go ahead and watch.

So that's my fair warning on "Game of Thrones." If you love good storytelling, don't begin if you don't have the time to finish.