A Modest Preamble (…modest?)

Hey. Let me tell you a story, huh?

So.  About a thousand years ago, like ’96 or ’97, I happened to check out a book from my local public library. Being on a Tolkien kick at the time, I was quite interested in epic fantasy, and this one promised to be quite epic. I brought it home, and started reading.

And promptly lost interest. Huh. Can’t really say what I was thinking then, it was an awfully long time ago. But hey, no big deal, right? Plenty of other books to read.

Let’s move forward a few years, now.  Around 2005, back in the days when I was kinda sorta thinking about possibly completing my English major at some point in the near future (I may be stating that too strongly), a friend of mine was enthusing about a series he was reading, and as we had similar tastes I agreed to give it a try. So I picked up the first book (this being at a time wherein I was proving my independence by using my income to buy all my books, resulting in a large but monochromatic library of Science Fiction and Fantasy books) and I began to read.

Immediately I was gripped by a serious sense of deja vu. I could swear I had read this before… and as it turned out, I had. Even after a number of years I could still remember the intro. But I couldn’t remember why I had never finished it. Intrigued, I pressed on.

Honestly, I’m still not sure why I never finished it the first time. But this time, I definitely had a reason. You see, I hated it.

Oh, the introduction was good. I really enjoyed it. Terrible forces from beyond the edge of the world coming to destroy everything, good stuff. And then…nothing. Just human stupidity, politics, meaningless hate, and no sign of the promised invasion of ultimate evil. I was quite disappointed, let me tell you. So I tossed the damn thing aside again, and went on with my life (or an approximation thereof, let’s not get hung up on this point yet).

What book was it, you may ask? Well, it was George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones.

And so, we come to the present. I completed my English major a while back, and in complete defiance of narrative causality, I now drive forklifts for fun and profit. A Game of Thrones, more accurately and less commonly known as A Song of Ice and Fire (which, incidentally, I almost always refer to aloud as A Song of Fire and Ice, because accuracy is for chumps) is now extraordinarily popular, even outside my circle of friends. I blame television. So I am now in the position of having a residual hatred for something I know nothing about, or at least that everyone else knows more about than me. This is obviously unacceptable. No, not the forklifts part, I like forklifts. The ignorance part.

And so, this will be my project, and the initial goal of this blog: I will read George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones in its entirety, for the first time ever. I will summarize, I will analyze, I will give reason for my hate. Or, you know, maybe I’ll like it this time. It’s been just shy of two decades, after all, since I first picked up the tome. I’m different now, from what I was then. (For one thing, I have a forklift license, which makes a lot of things better.) But in any event, I’m going to see this thing through. And to prove it, I’m going to post my experiences here, every Wednesday.

I am the Dark Jackel. Welcome to my Howl.


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