“You Win or You Die”

When I first heard of the hugely popular HBO series, I thought of it to be some video game or the sorts and stayed very far away. In a while, the madness percolated to our subcontinent and it had been recommended by Akshay, Milan and Vidha; all three claimed that once one watched episode 1, there was no stopping. They were right.
Game of Thrones is the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin first published in 1996. HBO then picked it up and converted it into a ten-part series filmed across Belfast, Northern Ireland and Dubrovnik, Croatia among other locations which premiered on April 17, 2011.

As soon as I knew that the series were adapted from a book, I ordered the first part from Flipkart and read it cover to cover in a week. Martin’s writing is largely gripping – an absorbing combination of mystery, sweeping history, swashbuckling valour with an intensely personal sweep. The show created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss has represented the plot well, keeping true to the story and dialogues. The original score from the series by Ramin Djawadi and the introductory credit roll is mind-blowing – I don’t remember having seen a better packaged piece.

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
Set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the story chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the kingdom’s noble families for control of the Iron Throne; as the series opens, additional threats from the snow and ice covered region north of Westeros and from the eastern continent across a narrow sea are simultaneously beginning to rise. The casting is absolutely fantastic with Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage and Michelle Fairley fitting their characters perfectly in this medieval fantasy laced with direwolves and dragons.
I agree with CNN when they say that this is probably all because of Peter Jackson. The man brought fantasy to life, after The Lord of the Rings, motion picture trilogy. It is indeed testament to the evolution of fiction and fantasy fans.
A Game of Thrones is what is called ‘high fantasy’, with a lot more swords than sorcery. It’s a world of prophecies, exiled princesses, talking crows and magical trees. There is also a lot of death and lots of sex; the world is relentlessly bleak and war is hell. Among all of that, there is hope, there are ties that bind and honour has value. Several main characters are killed off mercilessly to signify that the in real life supposed heroes may not come through unscathed, and the readers are left to decide which characters are good or evil.
I have only completed watching Season 1 and the second season is on air now – all I say that I cannot wait for more!