Wednesday, April 22, 2015

poetic tribute to A Song of Ice and Fire

The Lannisters, they hate them Starks
You know I tell it true
The Lannisters, they hate them Starks
—but fuck each other blue

In The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, one of the very first things that Stephen R. Donaldson forces us to witness is a rape: the "hero" of this ten-book series is a damn rapist. Going for something almost equally unpleasant, author George RR Martin, in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, introduces us to Jaime (pronounced "Jamie" but spelled the Spanish way) and Cersei Lannister—twins who enthusiastically bang each other in a manner reminiscent of any number of incestuous families throughout European history. Early on in the first novel, young little Brandon Stark, nimbly climbing up a tower wall, peeks inside an oriel and catches Jaime and Cersei rutting away. He's too young to understand what he's seen, but Jaime, taking no chances, pushes the boy off the tower, plunging little Bran to his... well, not to his death, but to his coma and paralysis.

I'm in the fourth book, now, maybe a hundred or so pages in, and the Jaime/Cersei thing has cooled down, especially now that Cersei is experiencing the stresses of being queen regent and Jaime has come back to King's Landing minus his sword hand, which—it's implied—was the hand that had made him the sexy beast he used to be. Having trained all his life to use his right hand as his sword hand, Jaime has, for all intents and purposes, been emasculated. Cersei, ever the horny pragmatist, senses this and has already moved on to other sexual prey, including Lancel, a very young cousin of hers. Full marks for keeping it in the family, eh?

In other news: because I've realized that the post I mean to write on A Song of Ice and Fire is going to be a monstrously huge reaction, I've decided that the only way to get it onto the blog is to divide the reaction into parts, and to write each part as a separate blog post. I've been gathering my thoughts and drafting a huge essay, but it occurs to me that one huge essay is so daunting a task that I'll never publish the damn thing. Breaking it up is better. So expect something soon—perhaps next week. This weekend is crazy busy: it's the wind-down period after midterms, and I've got a KMA teaching gig on Saturday, which promises to last all dingle-damn day. More on the Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryens soon.


1 comment:

  1. If you've had any issue with the pace of the books up to this point I'm afraid to tell you that books 4 and 5 might end up being a slog for you. They have been for many people. And as you probably know, they are parallel stories across the two books, not serial. If you like the character of Tyrion, for instance, you will not read about him at all in book 4.

    Are you watching the shows? They have greatly streamlined a lot of the filler Martin introduced into the books as he went along.

    I've reviewed each of the first four seasons and books at my site. If you are interested, here is the link to book 1 (and season 1):

    I look forward to your posts.



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