August 16, 2022

I’ve been listening to the great audiobook of George R.R. Martin’s first book Ice and Fire Song the book, Game of thrones, newly. It has been many years since I read the novel.

I still remember the first time. I was in a used bookstore here in my hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona and was browsing through books in the fantasy/sci-fi section when I came across a book I had never heard of by a writer I had never heard of, with the most engaging title I’ve seen in a fantasy book in a long time.

This edition was:

I opened the book to the front and started reading. I got it right away. Three men riding through a dark, snow-drenched forest. Members of some groups are called the Night Watch. The two of them were seasoned veterans of the Domains while their leader was an arrogant and untested young noble.

When I got to the segment where we saw others first, I knew I’d be making the purchase soon and putting off all social interactions so I could read it as quickly as possible. Ha:

“A shadow emerged from the darkness of the wood. I stood before Royce. He was tall, thin and hard as old bones, and his flesh as pale as milk. Her armor seemed to change color as she moved; here it was white as freshly fallen snow, and there black as a shadow, everywhere speckled with gray and the dark green of the trees. The patterns walk like moonlight on the water with every step you take.”

I stood there and read the whole introduction and then the first chapter and then I bought the book and went home to read more. This was at the time storm of swords It was published in 2000, before the towers fell, before the invasion of Iraq and only four years later Game of thrones It was published in 1996.

I worked in a bookstore (unused) around this time. Intoxicating days of the fantasy world. This was the same year Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire went out. I remember the copy sets of both novels, as excited readers queued up for Potter’s latest adventure. Martin’s work was not popular at that time, but he was already collecting a loyal following.

(and the goblet of fire It was released on July 8, 2020 and storm of swords He came out exactly one month later on August 8th.)

Anyway, I read all three of the great first novels in the series in short order and then eagerly waited for the next one. feast for crows It was released in 2005. It was actually just half a book. Martin Split dance with dragons The result was two books that came out years in 2011) but occurred across the same timeline. In other words, between the year 2000 when storm of swords Released now, 2022, we’ve only progressed in the chronology of the story in one book length.

I was 19 years old – only a year older than Theon Gray Joy in the books – when I found that copy Game of thrones. I’m now 41, and six years older than Eddard Stark (again, in the books, everyone is much older on the show). In 2000, I had no children. Now, my daughter, Arya, who is 15, a year older than Jon Snow and six years older than her namesake, Arya Stark, was in the first book.

Hearing the novel as an audiobook for the first time, and returning to Martin’s novels for the first time in years, reminds me of how smart he was as a writer and novelist. The characters he created are real and complex. Westeros is much more than most fantasy worlds. And the stories are so rich in history, tradition, and backstory, with so few clues to the past and a host of mysteries, that you can’t help but get lost in it all (in a good way).

Martin’s prose is rich and evocative, and his dialogue is textured and precise. Whether it’s a bloody battle or a tense exchange between Lannisters and Starks, Martin brings you back inside. Its twists and turns are unexpected. The death of his main character always serves a higher purpose and is not just there to shock. George R. R. Martin is simply one of the best writers in the field of works of fiction, and hearing the book reminds me why I fell in love with these in the first place. There is simply nothing else quite like them. Even some of my favorite fantasy series, like the great Joe Abercrombie first law The books, fail to capture my imagination quite the way Martin’s works.

This is the real tragedy. This is what makes me so sad about the endless waiting Winter winds. Eleven years have passed. I was 30 when the last book came out. I’m starting to think I’m going to be 50 when – so! – We read next. It feels like such a loss, such a missed opportunity. Martin is busy with many other projects. He is very rich and successful. But his masterpieces are still unfinished and the clock is ticking.

The HBO adaptation – up until the last two seasons – was a really cool attempt to adapt Martin’s work. But books are better and they are not close. I get depressed just thinking about how awesome this story is, and how badly we need Martin to finish it the way it’s supposed to – not the hasty, rotten ending of the TV show.

More from ForbesThe Winds of Winter: 7 Reasons why books end differently than Game of Thrones

Martin has expressed anger and resentment toward fans who are passionate about the subject, or who have expressed concerns that he might die before the books are finished. I can only point out that this passion – and its excesses – stem from love. Out of Love for Something Truly Great, written by one of the greatest fantasy authors of all time. Something we fear we won’t actually get. Sometimes I hope Martin finds his motivation in realizing that we love these books so much and that we all root for him to finish them.

Anyway, all this bothers me a lot. I am sad. Enjoy going back to the books for sure, but still very sad.

or not Dragon House It is a nice distraction for Winter winds woes.

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