This article was featured on Huffingon Post.
Why is everybody talking about Game of Thrones? This is one question I have heard exactly two times, and two is more than enough times for me to go and write a huge article about the magnum opus that is Game of Thrones, secretly hoping that this article will compel them to watch at least the first five minutes of the series, ‘coz trust me, that’s all it takes to get you hooked.
If you belong to that rare species that hasn’t watched Game of Thrones or read the books on which it is based, and are wondering what the hell this hoopla is about, this post is for you. I am going to assume that you have been either living under a rock or were stranded on a secluded island like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, or worse, have just come out of prison, in which case it’s best you don’t watch this series (I don’t want you to get any more twisted, dark ideas than the ones that got you in prison in the first place).
Most millennials I know (and some who pretend to be so) have either watched the series (which is in its 6th season, by the way) or have read the books, or better, done both! And this is a rare situation where I get to say that the books are not better than the series. The books have more details, and more characters, which unfortunately had to be dispensed with (which also happens every so often in Game of Thrones) to fit in the meagre 10 television episodes that make a season of this phenomenal series. Each season covers a book from A Song of Ice and Fire series written by George RR Martin, which contains five books, thus far. Another exception Game of Thrones makes is that the series has not only covered all A Song of Ice and Fire books written so far, but has actually gone beyond — so readers don’t get to gloat about knowing more anymore.
For the uninitiated, A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of ‘epic fantasy’ (as the author likes to describe them) novels set in the Middle Ages, with three intricate plots woven through no less than 100, if not more, central characters. The first plot highlights the constant war between the Baratheon, Lannister, Martell, Targaryen, Arryn, Greyjoy, Tully, Tyrell and Stark dynasties to rule Westeros. The book begins with the second plot, introducing the superhuman ‘White Walkers’ often mentioned as the ‘Others’, who live beyond the Wall and are increasingly become a threat to the kingdom, eventually leading to the climax of the series. And the third plot showcases the rise of the fiery ‘Mother of Dragons’ — Daenerys Targaryen — who was exiled as a child and is now preparing to claim her right to the throne.
The television series takes its name from the first book of the series, A Game of Thrones. The following books are A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons, in that order, and the yet to be published The Winds of Winter, which is possibly the most-awaited book at the moment.
One may say that Game of Thrones is not for the faint-hearted and yet I have seen the daintiest girls enjoy this series like it were a juicy lamb chop. And why not? In addition to some really good-looking actors in all their glory, playing kings and princesses, there are dragons, wolves, face-changing men, and even some who rise from the dead!
The books are laced with hints and foreshadows, which have given birth to infinite fan theories. But, if you are only watching the series, you can never ever guess the next twist George RR Martin’s twisted mind is going to throw your way. Not until you’re in the 6th season and you think the Red Priestess will resuscitate John Snow and she actually does! That’s the only thing Game of Thrones television series fans have been able to predict so far and boy are we grateful that happened! Don’t worry, this is not a spoiler for you. You have a lot of catching up to do before you even understand what I am saying. So go online, watch the series, or buy the books and enjoy the gory feast. And you better hurry, ‘coz, “Winter is Coming”!