End of An Era – A Song of Ice and Fire

Greeting’s everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great day and are sitting comfortable ready for my next post. This will be quite an open piece in which I delve into everything Game of Thrones related, starting with how it’s impacted me personally and the many other aspiring writers caught up within its magic over the years.

So firstly, we have the age old debate that’s always popping up in everyone’s conversation. TV show or books? This for many of us is a difficult one, good or bad there is an argument to be made for both, often leaving us fans exactly where we started, still unsure. In my experience reading a book series first and then moving onto the TV adaptation afterwords works best, you’ve then had time to build your own interpretation of what a character looks and sounds like. Game of Thrones however is the exception for me, perhaps because I made the mistake of watching the show first before reading a single book. I’d never watched something so vivid and untamed on TV, almost as an afterthought it suddenly dawned on me that WOW if this is what the show’s like then the books must be out of this world. They of course where unbelievably good, one of my all time favourites, but I still found myself awaiting each episode with an excitement much stronger than any chapter in the books. Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer here, most peoples opinions will vary when asked as it boils down to personal preference. Spending time to enjoy George Martin’s work is what’s most important.

One thing that cannot be denied though is whether from reading the books or watching an episode, I’d never felt so inspired to write. Not once did George Martin swerve something difficult or unpopular, many issues still prevelent in our own society today form regular themes throughout A Song of Ice and Fire. The challenges faced with politics, poverty, social divide, wealth and inequality are far from easy things to discuss let alone base major story arcs on. It was this out of all of Martin’s skill that kept me intrigued, he wasn’t afraid of the touchy subjects that some authors sugar coated, he knew exactly the right amount of detail and when to bring it into play. Now again this is subjective as not every story needs to convey such complex subjects, but for Martin in my opinion it worked. Encouraging me and probably others to express ourselves more in the future. These topics are all a part of normal life, and Martin wove them so effortlessly throughout his series that I now make an effort to use them in my own, where I can. Childrens stories are giving me the most enjoyment from my writing currently, so I tend to tame these down and make them subtle. I don’t want to scare the reader but it’s important that they see the world’s not all sweet roses.

Now I’ll let you in on a little secret, I absolutely love dragons in epic fantasy, many think they’re a tad cliché and certainly if overused can sometimes become tedious, but for me they really brought A Song of Ice and Fire to life. Especially throughout the show where more often than not I’d tune in blown away by their story arc and how they affected those around them. This is just one small thing that will keep me coming back time and time again for more. I simply couldn’t write this post without giving them a mention, who could forget Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal’s fiery reign? This was down to Martin’s effort in developing them all throughout the books and their steady growth during the show. They where badass , all three of them wreaking havoc. It just goes to show how incredible the brand is, for that’s what Game of Thrones has grown into, of all the incredible character development it was the dragons keeping me most engaged.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly I will touch on the legacy left behind by Game of Thrones. The reason I’m only touching on this is because I believe there is far more to come from both Martin and the shows creators David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss. We still have two books yet to be released and If reports are true, more than one spin off show planned for production. Add to all that the promise from Martin that his books will be steered towards a different ending when compared to the show and I’d say there is much legacy building still to be done. However even with all this on the way it’s hard to argue with what’s come before, the books and show have blazed a trail for so long now that it does feel a little like saying goodbye. Although it goes without saying that the story will live on, whether you find yourself re-reading the books hundred times or binging all 8 seasons at once, It’s inspiring stuff. When I’m struggling for motivation I often find it after picking up a piece of Martin’s work, the same can be said when I read Harry Potter. Occasionally reminding yourself what can be achieved with hard work, determination and a creative mind is all it takes. 

If you’re anything like me then you’ll need more worlds and dragons and drama to fill your inspiration levels with, so I’m going to highlight a few book series which have all those things in abundance. Firstly, The Shattered Sea series by Joe Abercrombie is a great place to start, there aren’t any dragons but it’s fast paced and full of betrayal. Targeted towards a younger adult market, I still found myself drawn in daily to see what had happened to my favourite characters, more than once shocked at how they’d changed. Secondly, and this is my joint favourite book series of all time, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams. This series has everything any avid fantasy reader could hope for, full of twists, turns and magical creatures, it’s a real sword and sorcery, good versus evil game changer. Martin himself quotes it as one of the inspirations for A Song of Ice and Fire. A mention for Christopher Paolini’s Inheritence Cycle I feel is merited as well, a very engaing read and lastly, the Dragon Prince series by Melanie Rawn. This is a series I happened upon by chance, and I’m really glad I did as it’s soon becoming an instant favourite with me. Based on powerful families all vying for supremacy with some harbouring magical gifts. Plenty of romance and time spent on character development makes this series a particularly enjoyable read, and of course as the name suggests we see lots of dragons.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed my ramblings, if so feel free to leave a comment below along with anything else you’d like me to discuss in the future.


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