I loved Game of Thrones from its very first episode. I was as shocked as any non-reader of the series at its Psycho-like twist in its penultimate first season episode. As soon as I could I grabbed a copy of the first novel. I read the rest and watched the series rush to its inevitable conclusion. I wasn’t as put off as some folks by plot turns that I felt I had seen coming, or at least had been hinted at as very possible outcomes. During the course of the show I probably even thought that some background of the dragon-loving Targaryan clan might be interesting to read. Boy, was I wrong about that. Fire & Blood, George R.R. Martin’s “history” of the Targaryan clan is a long, long, long read, and not a very good one. And to top it off, in typical GRRM fashion, this doorstop of a tome doesn’t even take us to the era of the television Targaryans. There’s another book to come, I fear. Or maybe even more than one. But they won’t be read by me.
To be fair, there were a few episodes, mainly about female Targaryans, in Fire & Blood that were fun stories, engaging the reader in classic GoT form. But they are surrounded by so, so many lists of characters with funky names and genealogies that even the invested GoT enthusiast can’t be expected to remember or care about any of them. After slogging through this mess of a book I’m not sure anymore what GRRM is up to. Does he have an editor? Does he want to even finish his unfinished GoT book series? Does it even matter? With an HBO prequel and teased additional GoT universe adaptations in the works maybe he has lost interest. I would suggest that he pick up a copy of Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur and do a re-read. I’m sure that tale of King Arthur and his knights and their ladies was one of his original inspirations for GoT. It is an entertaining, at times sexy and bloody medieval saga. It has everything that the first GoT novel had, with no filler. It is not a boring history, like Fire & Blood, either.
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