I was told today that I need to watch "Game of Thrones" on HBO. My source, who shall remain unnamed (to protect their good name, and forestall jokes about their height, which is minimal) conveyed that it is, quote "the best show on television." Considering this individual is not by default a fan of fantasy, I thought that was high praise.
Then my source proceeded to chew me out for not having texting ability on my cell service, making me too hard to get a hold of.
(Muse: Wait, weren’t you just bitching out people for pooh-poohing e-readers? And you don’t even embrace a lesser technology? Right, no hypocrisy there. I spit on your text-less name, you hillbilly doofus neanderthal weasel.)
God, I hate that @*#&%( muse.
I also wondered – for the millionth time, on various subjects – what was wrong with me.
The reason for my self-examination today was pretty straightforward. I read Game of Thrones, which was Martin’s first book in the "Song of Fire and Ice" series. It’s relatively standard fantasy fare: medieval intrigue, lots of battling, mass sex and death, and a supernatural menace threatening everyone else. It should have been right up my alley. But for some reason, it left me colder than a witch’s … well, yeah.
I understand that not everyone likes the same things and nor should they; what a bland, homogenized art / literature / movie / music industry we would have if people did not have divergent tastes. But I should have liked Game of Thrones. I wanted to. The writing was good, the setting consistent, the characters fairly believable. For crying out loud, inside the first hundred pages, a child is thrown from a high tower to his near-death for witnessing .. ahem, something kinky. I should eat that up.
For some reason, the whole thing never quite clicked. That’s very frustrating and makes me extremely nervous. I could write a killer novel, be published, sell a million copies – and still have a nominal fantasy fan walk up and say, "Meh, it just didn’t do anything for me. Reads fine but no chemistry." I know that not everyone likes my writing but I rely on feedback to tell me how to improve it. I’d rather have someone tell me they didn’t and explain why – than give me a shrug without being able to cite a reason. I wouldn’t want to look George R. R. Martin in the face and say I didn’t like his book without being able to tell him why.
The feedback for Game of Thrones (the book) is generally good. 85-90% of the reviewers on Amazon give the first book 3-5 stars. I read through some of the negative comments and nothing really clicked there either (as to why I might not like it). This is opposed to the reviews for, say, Eragon, when I found plenty to agree with the bad reviews of both movie and books (i.e. from one review of Eragon: "Anne McCaffrey, who’s written two of my favorite children’s fantasy books Dragon Song and Dragon Singer, said that she gave it full praise. She must have been on acid. ")
Anyway, I’m so confused. I’ll give the TV show a look but I’ll always have that nagging worry in the back of my brain. If I don’t like it, I won’t keep watching … but if so, I hope can come up with a better reason than a shoulder shrug.