I really tried to like ‘A Game of Thrones’, in both formats too. I watched the first episode of the TV series thinking: “Wow, this is technically great, but totally not compelling in the slightest”. I was given the first book and dutifully read it. I kept going with the series to see where it went, but wasn’t enjoying it at all. I stopped at the end of the third book. So I feel I gave it a good chance to impress me, didn’t like it, and thought that would be the end of it. Nope, I find myself constantly having to defend my dislike of the series. Warning: There will be swears.
People, random fucking people, ask me if I like the series; as if they’re hunting heretics. And guess what: there is no good answer to that question. If I am honest and say no then these are the responses I get:
1.A puzzled look (Did I hear that correctly?/Go home Grev, you’re drunk/What?).
2.A hurt look (Yes, I did hear that/He’s sober/How dare he?).
3.Questions like “Which books have you read?”, or “Did you watch it properly” (You didn’t watch/read enough to have an opinion/You’re lying).
4.An instant lecture on why Game of Thrones is groundbreaking and awesome (You. Are. So. Fucking. Wrong).
Any other response takes me straight to number four. I’m surprised at the response, and at how vocal it is. Now I don’t go and start conversations about GoT and then proceed to diss it. I only give my opinion when asked, well I used to, now I just change the subject. The problem was that I was asked all the time.
To be fair the people doing the asking sound like they’ve just discovered genre fiction, which is good. George R.R. Martin has bought more people into the Science Fiction/Fantasy fold, which is a testament to how accessible his writing is to a lot of people. I don’t begrudge people liking the books or the series. It will mean more shows like it will get made, and more books will be published, even if you don’t like the series everyone wins.
This whiney rant is more because people are trying to convert me to Game of Thrones. They don’t accept that I’ve given a shot, and they are determined to correct my error. They are the Jehovah’s Wittinesses of the fandom. This is also not a personal go at Mr Martin. He is a hugely talented writer, and by all accounts a really nice guy.
For me it comes down to two things:
1.I no longer care what happens to any of the characters. They are all an unlikeable bunch of twatcocks. It feels like, in an effort to show people in shades of grey, he’s gone too far and the rampant dickery eclipses all likeable traits.
2.The torture porn, yes people did (and still do) the most terrible things to each other, this is a fact. However we can make the point without going over each act in such gratuitous detail. The way torture is described gets more over the top and vile in each book. The point has been made, now you’re just getting off on it. Add in the fact that the violence has been very gendered; women get raped, men get tortured, and then there is another layer of problems.
Anyway, I just needed to put that down. I don’t expect anyone to stop liking the books, nor would I want them to. I just want to be able to not like Game of thrones in peace.