Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's Binge-tastic!

I rarely do anything casually. It comes with having an obsessive personality (aka being a nerd [or geek. I don't care about your arbitrary definitions, I use those interchangeably]).

Instead, I binge. 

I watch an entire season of a show in a matter of days. I'll finish a book and find fan art for my screensaver. I'll read up for days on some pretty bizarre topics just because that topic is momentarily fascinating to me. I'll read 5 books by the same author in a row. 

Happily, I've generally learned to control this side of me. I'm still no casual observer, but I don't let something consume my life anymore. 


I'm in binge mode again right now. I've been binging on Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire, whichever you prefer. Books and series. I won't make many distinctions between the two in this post since they're both freaking amazing and the series follows the books really well so far. 

Also, I'll keep this spoiler free. At least I won't give away anything big. If you like to know nothing, you might want to skip this entire thing and start reading instead. I want to convince anyone I can to start reading these books. I like ruining lives like that. Cause chances are it'll ruin your life (in the best possible way, of course). 

First, a brief history of my experience with Game of Thrones (sorry purists, for better or worse, that's what people know it by). 

I read the first book a couple years before the show started. I started the second and faced a conundrum. I had been sucked into the Seven Kingdoms and I didn't see an end in sight. Normally this wouldn't have bothered me, but I had two reasons for stopping. First, I was starting graduate school and I didn't think I'd have time for leisurely reading (I was later proved oh so wrong on that point).  Second, I didn't want to get too far into the series until George R.R. Martin had finished it. At the time There were four books out of seven that had been published. I didn't want to climb further up the hill of adventure and war and incest until I knew there was going to be a summit. In short, I didn't want Martin to die on me before he finished the books. So I stopped. I then watched the first season, loved it, but decided I'd rather read the books first. Thus, I had decided to have nothing to do with Game of Thrones until the books were done. 

Then I saw the trailer for season three. And all the other advertising HBO paid for. 

I started watching season two. I was loving it so much but there wasn't enough Westeros in my life, so I started reading the first book again. I'm currently half way through the second (A Clash of Kings) and I've been keeping up with season three. Minus this last episode. 

That was more than brief. But now to my favorite part of all my posts. The in-no-particular-order List! This particular one is why I love the books and show so very, very much.  

1. The format of the books

Specifically, the chapters. Each chapter is told through the perspective of a different character. So far I've encountered 9 characters' chapters, and I'm still in store for more. Among other benefits, it prevents you from being bored (unless you're reading A Dance With Dragons, apparently). You read Jon's chapter and it moves to Tyrion. You're left thinking, "wait! What's going to happen to Jon?!" That makes you want to continue reading so you get back to Jon faster, but then you become engrossed with Tyrion and the cycle continues. First time I read Game of Thrones I couldn't put it down. I felt like a 13 year old again staying up WAY past when was good for me in order to keep reading. I had forgotten that feeling. It's a good one. 

2. Danerys Targaryen

The first of five favorite characters. I cannot overstate how crazy awesome this girl is. Her father was the Mad King years ago before he was overthrown (not unjustly - he earned his nickname) and she and her brother were exiled. At 14(ish) she's gearing up to take back the kingdom. She is the epitome of strength and bravery (not to mention a kick ass feminist!). Plus, she has dragons. 

3. Jon Snow

The second of five. Man of the Night's Watch, a basterd (there's just no nice way of saying that... illegitimate child?), a traitor, half-brother to a king, and one of the characters whose death would cause me to stop reading. I just can't not love him. It's always fun to have a crush when you're reading something.

4. Arya Stark

My favorite Stark and Jon's half-sister. Another character whose death I will not abide under any circumstance. As of right now, however, she's poised for great things. Like, really crazy awesome things. At least in the version I have playing out in my mind. She's the only one I really do that for since you can't predict anything that happens to anyone. She's pictured above pretending to be Arry the orphan boy. She's witnessed some terrible things and is all the more determined to seek revenge. Good grief, I love her. She totally had to White Fang her direworlf too. It was sad. 

5. Tyrion Lannister

Fourth favorite character (I dare you to read these books and pick just one). Tyrion the Imp and the only Lannister I actually like. I find the other characters interesting (especially Jaime), but I actually like Tyrion. I want him to survive. He's probably the most interesting character I've come across thus far and he's got all the best lines and quotes. I'm not as concerned for his welfare as say, Jon or Arya, but the story wouldn't be half as witty without him. Plus, Peter Dinklage. In my opinion, he's the best cast actor in the entire show. He's just so good! 

6. Bran Stark

Final favorite character. Although not nearly the last character I love reading about. Bran is only 7 when the book starts and he's Arya and Jon's younger brother. I don't know how Bran and Arya became the two who I'm most interested to see how they turn out, but they did. Maybe because they're both so young, but they both are headed toward very unique and just crazy interesting paths. Bran's is a slower story at times, but the more you read the more intriguing his story becomes.  

7. Dragons

Dragons, man! DRAGONS! 

8. White Walkers

They're basically ice zombies. Only not mindless. And they don't limit themselves to brains. I've seen and read very little of them thus far, but enough to scare me half to death. Any idea I may have about how the war will go is basically thrown out the window because of these guys. Or so I suspect. 

9. Direwolves

As a kid I always wanted a pet wolf. As far as wild animals go, I'd probably pick a wolf over any other. Which is why I've always been jealous of the Starks. 

Jon found a dead direwolf who had six pups, one for each of Ned Stark's children. Well, five for his "trueborn" children and one albino for his bastard son, Jon Snow. 

This is Bran's direwolf, Summer. This is one of my favorite moments of Bran's in the show. Imagine waking up to this. It's awesome. 

Jon's wolf, Ghost. How can you not love that face? 

Also Ghost, and not yet full grown. I'm excited to see how big these guys get. 

Robb Stark has a point here. 

10. The Hound, Sandor Clegane

I had no idea what to make of The Hound when we first met him, but I love him now. Maybe love is the wrong word, but he's SUPER intriguing. You assume he's a ruthless brute of a man, but he's all sorts of layered. I'm also very interested to see how his part in all this plays out. Although, really the only two I don't care about are Stannis and Theon. Mostly Theon. I really hate him. Speaking of hate...

11. Joffrey Baratheon 

There is no expletive strong enough for Joffrey Baratheon. He is one giant douche bag of a boy, king, and person. He's just so perfectly evil but not cunning. He's not a smart one. Just evil. I can't wait to watch him suffer. 

12. No one is safe

Every time you make a prediction, Martin kills a character. Rarely is that character one who deserves it. 

13. I don't know how I want it to end

Probably the most exciting thing about this series is I don't know how I want it to end. Yes, I want certain people to die, but who do I want to see on the Iron Throne? Okay, that one is easy because I want Daenerys on the throne, but the idea of the Seven Kingdoms splitting up isn't bad. Maybe I want Mance Rayder to free everyone in Westeros. Do I want Jon to rise to some high position of power or live a simple life away from The Wall? Do I want the Starks to reunite and live together again or have them all go off and do their own awesome things? I just don't know! And I love it! 

Seriously, start reading. 

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