Fantasy geeks, it’s time to shine up your replica swords and fervently re-read the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series: HBO’s stellar-looking adaptation of Game of Thrones will soon be upon us. In order to get the hype ball rolling, the channel has released a fantastic little featurette, titled Invitation to Westeros, which introduces the big, beautiful, complex world of the Seven Kingdoms.
If you’re a total Ice and Fire newbie, this is actually a perfect little intro. If you think it looks too similar to Lord of the Rings, don’t fret! The series, and the first book in particular, presents a truly rich, deep, character-based world filled driven by nasty (and nice) human behavior, with a touch of the supernatural. If you like your fantasy with a strong dose of political intrigue, sex, and epic-scale power struggles, you really should jump on this series. As a bonus, there are plenty of powerful women and even some occasional (very occasional) lesbian sex. You really can’t go wrong with that.
I’m a die-hard fan of the books, and still confident that the adaptation will rock much, much harder than any Hobbit-y trilogy ever could. Mainly, this is because George R.R. Martin, the series author, is co-writing the screenplays and seems incredibly involved with every aspect of production. So much so that he’s totally lapsing on writing the next book in the series – but I digress.
Game of Thrones premieres on HBO on April 17. If you’re a fantasy geek of any stripe, you should speed through the book first (it might take you until April, but its quite a ride), then take in the audiovisual candy once the show debuts.