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George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords! HBO: Go-Go Game of Thrones Season 3
Game of Thrones Season 3 and why book fans are excited
Much like last year, HBO announced that Game of Thrones would be renewed for another season roughly around the launch of the current season, in this case, days after the second episode of the season, “The Night Lands” (see Elisabeth’s take on the episode). For fans of Game of Thrones whose experiences in Westeros are exclusive to the HBO show, words like A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords probably don’t mean a whole hell of a lot. For fans of the book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire”, however, this is incredible even beyond the general excitement of learning you’d have more of what may or may not be a quality show.
Season 2 is essentially A Clash of Kings, the second book in the series, a fine enough novel that probably got robbed of every genre book award (not that I care but it seems like the in thing to do to talk about or complain about awards now) the year it was published. Book 3, A Storm of Swords is another beast altogether. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Sure, it’s reliant on the context that came before, but as pure experience it ranks easily in my top 10 reads, and I’m not one of these people who started reading yesterday and think Suzanne Collins or Stieg Larsson wrote like. the. best. book. ever. A Storm of Swords, for me, is up there with the big modern releases like: House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski, Observatory Mansions by Edward Carey, Famished Road by Ben Okri, or offerings by Ishiguro, Murakami, Chabon, Auster and the (un)like. It’s AMAZING and towers over the installments that were already a genre ascending series on their own.
Along with the Game of Thrones season 3 renewal word, it was clarified that due to its length and density, A Storm of Swords would not be adaptable in the single 10-episode season format we have seen thus far. This is win-win because the readers will get more of what they want, as unmolested as possible, while also allowing HBO to rightfully milk the popularity of the property for all its worth (assuming it remains successful – Game of Thrones’ second season opened big).
This brings up two (my max at one time) thoughts to me. One, it allows for interesting editing choices that will be needed for A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons (book 4 and 5) to be adapted. The two books overlap a bit, following different POVS during the same time, so might actually come out more seamless on screen. Second, and this is just pure speculation, it gives Martin a bit of a time to put out more books. Let’s not get it rose-colored twisted, there have been 5 books (and some novellas) released in the last 20+ years. It was becoming seemingly rather apparent that these adaptations would lap the actual source material well before we see other books.
I would admit that it probably feels really good enjoying something while knowing that you have another season of Game of Thrones already in pocket. Fringe fans are hating.