The New Year celebration is over, but the year-end lists continue and Game Of Thrones dvd seems to be on just about all of them. James Poniewozik of Time has it at the top of his “TV to Look Forward to in 2011” list, HitFix has it on their “20 Anticipated New Shows for 2011” list, Ken Tucker of EW.com has it at the top of his “10 TV events to look forward to in 2011” list and IGN calls Thrones their most anticipated show on their “2011 Midseason TV Preview. ” UPDATE: We can add Blastr.com, MercuryNew.com (first entry), and Metacritic to the list as well.
All the hype surrounding the show seems to be translating into book sales. A Game of Thrones appeared at #25 on the New York Times bestseller list for mass market paperbacks last week and then climbed a spot to #24 in the most recently published list. I expect it will continue to climb as the show gets closer, and especially when Bantam releases the HBO tie-in edition.
Sibel Kekilli (Shae) added another nomination to her name for the lead role in the German film When We Leave (Die Fremde). Kekilli has won a number of awards for that role and others, while the film leads the nominations lists of the German Film Critics Awards and is this year’s German candidate for the foreign language film Academy Award.
Lastly, a site note of interest to our international readers, we just created a page that will track and list all the channels planning to air Game Of Thrones around the world. Check back often for up-to-date air times and stations as we plan to keep it updated.
ACoK gives us some meaty Arya chapters, some excellent Theon stuff, the great introduction of Brienne, and it introduces Stannis, who should be very interesting. Tyrion absolutely shines. And it ends with the (literally) explosive Battle of the Blackwater, Tyrion’s chain, etc. Good stuff!
But here’s the bad news: some of the character arcs in this one aren’t nearly as gripping (or even as clear-cut) as most are from AGoT. Dave and D. B. are going to have to dig into their bag of tricks to keep the average viewer motivated to follow various storylines that don’t seem to be making much progress.
And it’s not so much a failing in the source material as it is the hard transition from page to screen; for example the early Jon chapters in ACoK are very readable, with good dialogue (and Dolorous Edd). But not much actually happens during the inexorable march north. The Ygritte story, the Qhorin Halfhand stuff… that doesn’t hit ‘til near the end.
Dany has her own issues, as she does almost nothing interesting until the House of the Undying, which is also at the end of her arc. If they’re really pushing Jon and Dany as two of the three main storylines, this one’s going to be a real challenge.
It could be argued ACoK is merely the progression of story, while A Storm of Swords is the actual payoff, and it’s hard to argue that, at least where Jon and Dany are concerned. Book 3 gets remembered for its fabulous weddings, sure, but both Jon and Dany have huge, excellent climaxes in ASoS as well. The problem is getting them there.
To put it in perspective, I have many friends who have read AGoT. Almost all went on to read ACoK, but only half of them finished it. By comparison, those who finished ACoK and went on to read ASoS (arguably the crown jewel of the entire series thus far) stuck with the series, went on to read A Feast for Crows, and are now still pining for A Dance with Dragons like the rest of us.
I have my own fixes for some of the issues; with Jon, for instance, I would introduce Ygritte earlier… perhaps have a wildling band stage a bold raid on Mormont’s caravan. Something (anything) to break up the monotony of the plodding march toward the Fist of the First Men.
Dany’s harder. I still don’t have a fix for her. There’s a real chance viewers could simply forget about her unless D&D invent a few new and interesting side-jaunts for her before she gets to Qarth. Or maybe something in Qarth. Or possibly even move some of her epic events from ASoS to season two. Game of thrones dvd