MODS: I'm not absolutely sure where to post this in these forums so my apologies if I end up getting it wrong ... please feel free to move it as required.
First of all a word of thanks ... I have heard that it was communities like this that pushed HBO for Peter Dinklage to be cast as Tyrion. An absolutely inspired choice if I may say.
Secondly, let me say there are SPOILERS in this so please be warned
I'm writing a review of the series so far (for my website) based on the books and the TV series. At time of writing I have read all the books (Kindle) and am less than 48 hours away from seeing second season finale on Sky. I have "Game Of Thrones: Season 1" on blu-ray.
Many of you, I know, will have come to this series from the books but both I and my best friend came to it from the "Game of Thrones" TV series which was superb. On the strength of that, as I've done with several other films/series, I (actually we) decided to read the books and I absolutely loved the first one ... brilliant can't fault it. The book was, like the TV series, quite awesome the former being more expansive and providing detail the series couldn't, whilst the latter had its own kinds of magic ... I prefer the on screen versions of Tyrion, Daenerys & Jamie but many other characters are better in the books.
The two of us read on ... books 2 and 3 weren't quite as good as the first but were still excellent but from book 4 in particular things went significantly downhill with the fourth book feeling like an introduction to great events to come and book 5, "A Dance With Dragons" utterly failing to deliver. The problem, it seems to me, is that book 5, part 1 is just too long, has too many irrelevant stories, too many irrelevant feeling new characters and stories about people not doing much of anything. An example of this (and again can I say SPOILER) is the introduction of the Dornish prince at the beginning of book 5, his shaping up as a major character, and subsequent death near its end ... why? I mean yeah, people can come back to life and maybe he will, but currently I'm forced to ask what the point was if he turned out to be so damned irrelevant? A worse one (for me) is the fate of Jon which nearly made me give up on the series ... I'm now in what I think of as "BSG Mode" in other words determined to read/watch on, reckoning it can only go uphill from here but seriously concerned that it can (as implied by the phrase) turn out to be much, much worse (as, in fact, it did in "Battlestar Galactica" ... there's a review of that on my site if anyone is interested in why I felt that way about that series).
But back to my concerns ... talking with my friend it became almost a catch-phrase to say something like, "well there goes another X chapters about Tyrion/Daenerys/Cersei doing absolutely nothing of interest whatsoever". In essence the plot simply did not seem to advance over book 5 in any significant way. Mr. Martin, it seems to us, could (should?) have combined both parts of book 5 and cut out the dross; the whole could (should) have been shorter than book 5 and the reader would have lost nothing of real value.
So that's my view on the series so far ... I'm still interested enough to carry on with it but it's almost a kind of bloody-minded fascination if you will, a hope that the book series will improve, a hope that the TV series will diverge more from the books (there seem to be elements of divergence in season 2), an almost sick feeling of déjà vu and a fading hope that that we aren't.
Finally, can I stress that this is not meant as a negative review of "A Song of Ice & Fire" but just outlines my concerns with where it's going, what is likely to happen and with the way if being written at present. I welcome any comments, especially any reasons to feel more upbeat, as I would really prefer my review to be more positive than it's currently shaping up to be.
Edited by Kekerusey, 05 June 2012 - 08:30 AM.