Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Feast for Slow News Days

"Well, I noticed that people like swords and tits
so I thought: why not write about those?" 

-George R. R . Martin 
Wow, the internet has been awash with Game of Thrones spoilers lately, so much so that if you've somehow managed to avoid them and haven't seen this week's GOT, stop reading now. In fact, stay off the internet altogether. If you have seen it/don't give a shit about everyone's favorite quasi-medieval soap opera about ice zombies and nudity, please continue. Still there? Neat. Check this out. And this. And these. Yeah, they're all 'news' stories about Sunday night's murderific installment.

I guess I can understand people freaking out on Facebook, but the news? They're covering it like it's a real event with most of the articles devoted to telling us stab by stab what happened. What's the point? Anyone reading the article either already saw it so they know what happens or haven't seen it yet and don't want it spoiled for them by Eonline.
Sure it's not news, but that's never stopped anyone before. 
The original title for book 5
was much more appropriate

Oh, and hey, why is everybody so shocked? Sure, a bunch of (relatively) likable characters got murdered but even if someone hasn't read the books already, they've certainly seen the show before. By the end of season one they'd chopped off Sean Bean's head and threw an eight-year old out the window for catching a brother and sister getting all Luke and Leia on each other. I mean, practically every episode so far is chock full of murder, torture and incest. Why is anyone surprised that a third of the cast got killed off last night? Betrayal and murder are to GOT what alterna-rock montages and being terrible are to Grey's Anatomy. A surprising episode would involve Joffrey having two dates for the prom or Arya being offered a joint and learning a valuable lesson about saying no to drugs.

Incidentally, I still wouldn't tell
anyone about reading Shannara...
Anyway, while telling everybody about what you saw on TV last night isn't really the same thing as news, it is kind of weirdly gratifying to see everyone getting into a fantasy novel. There was a time where simply admitting that you'd read The Sword of Shannara* was tantamount to admitting that you had nothing to offer a potential sexual partner. Now, thanks to things like GOT, the Harry's Potter, and all 75 hours of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, we can publicly profess our geeky tendencies without fear of reprisal. Now nerdery is everywhere. It used to be months between sci-fi and fantasy movies and apart from Star Trek spin-offs, the closest we got to TV geekery was Beauty and the Beast (also written by George R. R. Martin...we owe this man).

It's only June and I've already seen Iron Man 3, Star Trek 12 and some bullshit about Tom Cruise not being gay in the future. There's still Man of Steel, Matt Damon as a cyborg and a Guillermo del Toro movie about giant robots punching equally giant monsters. Goddamn, it's a good time to be a nerd.
...does that make this science fiction or fantasy?

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