When You Review A Game of Thrones, You Win or Die.

Shamanic Rhythm

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How ironic that you chastise a critic for interpreting it as allegory for some of our modern predicaments, and yet in the same breath defend it as an allegory for a historical event.

Most fantasy, including Tolkien and post-Tolkien, is best understood as a distant descendent of the epic poem. Essentially, it celebrates some kind of 'heroism' in a very romantic understanding of the term, and details a series of events which are crucial to shaping the culture and history of a people. The vast body of literature on epic poetry is enough to indicate that they can both rely on verisimilitude and present complex allegories. Ovid's Metamorphoses contains both references to historical figures and events (Julius Caesar, Pythagoras) and many of the legends of Greco-Roman mythology that are best interpreted as allegory (Proserpina, Orpheus, Midas). Don't be so fast to decry people for reading contemporary fantasy also as allegory.
 

Archon

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Archon said:
Publisher?s Note: When You Review A Game of Thrones, You Win or Die.

It's about time reviewers started giving fantasy fiction the respect it deserves.

Read Full Article
Am I the ONLY Tolkien fan who noticed the error in this news post? Tolkien never wrote that speech by Aragorn at the Black Gate. That was entirely from the minds of the screenwriters. I know I sound real nerdy here but c'mon, no one else saw that?
 

sleeky01

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As a fan of the books (and potentially the TV series) a friend of mine e-mailed this authors "review of the reviewers". It gave me pause to think.

http://www.orbitbooks.net/2011/04/16/reviewing-the-reviewers/

Of particular note to me:

From the creative writing professor who won't accept "that kind" of work to the friend who sneers at you for buying the latest Harry Dresden to the professional critic who will make grand generalizations instead of real arguments, people who are interested in high culture, and in gaining social status by what they read and who they look down on, have always found an easy target in fantasy and science fiction
 

dvaleri

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If any of you guys like this series, you owe it to yourself to read Steven Erikson. Malazan, Book of the Fallen is by far and away the BEST fantasy series to date. The first book is called Gardens of the Moon...get it...read it...love it, thank me later!
 

Dana22

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Badwolf14 said:
I knew that if a series ever came out all the sex scenes would probably be something debated about lol...and when i heared HBO was doing it i knew they would definitely put in those scenes...especially after watching a season of Rome lol
But...Daenerys is only 13 years old :D
 

Viik

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Archon said:
Publisher?s Note: When You Review A Game of Thrones, You Win or Die.

It's about time reviewers started giving fantasy fiction the respect it deserves.

Read Full Article
Nice move, putting GOT on the same place as LOTOR by using slightly relevant comparings.
 

Archon

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If they want to start giving fantasy fiction its due, how about reviewing something other than this garbage....
 

IndianaJonny

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*sigh* I hear you, chum. It's not just gaming, I sometimes wonder if the mainstream media, ironically, no longer has any real grasp of the rapidly evolving zeitgeist when you see farcical 'about-faces' such as The Times's similarly opposing reviews of Mamma Mia. Their lack of awareness is just cringeworthy sometimes. I've pretty much given up on review articles unless I'm certain of the writer's subject authority and/or interest in the project.

But ignorance it is, and ignorance that needs to be resolved. How? Maybe 'invade' their world a little more. Evidently, we read their articles, but do they read ours? More content on the Escapist is excellent, but, to an extent, you're preaching to the converted here (or maybe you gave a voice and a place to those who had none, hmm, deep). Well, the Escapist is certainly well established now and a great base to work out from.

To this end, I wish you guys the best for the new podcast in the hope that it will reach a wider audience with such views. While we may snigger and (rightly?) ridicule material such as the Twilight novels or Mamma Mia musical, please continue to leave the bickering to the forums and stick with a high standard of objective journalism that recognises the important cultural impact of such events - the authority and power in consistently excellent journalism is as much a call-to-arms over the profile of a genre/topic as a set, stand-alone plee can be. Thones are not gained by single speeches alone but by the reputation and preparation behind such moves and the sustained momentum of efforts created by such words - huh, that's the first time Chess strategy has come it handy. :)
 

MetalDooley

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jono793 said:
I quite enjoyed Game of Thrones. Though, as someone who hasn?t read Song of Ice and Fire, I found the first episode over stuffed with exposition. But I suppose that?s an inevitable consequence of dealing with several chapters in just over an hour?s screen time.

I have a philosophical objection to the use of gratuitous full frontal nudity. Game of Thrones (and it?s spiritual predecessor Rome) throw out bums, tits (and to a lesser extent, rippling six-packs *grumble*), not because it?s editorially justified, but because they can get away with it in a historical/fantasy piece. If you were to put those same scenes in a modern setting, it would be considered porn. Movie Bob has spoken about the Hayes Code in the past, and this is basically the same thing.

Let me reiterate; I have no objection to nubile young (or older for that matter) actresses writhing around in their all-together. My concern is that period dramas are adopting a rather pornographic sensibility, which I?m not convinced is in the best interest of the genre.
While I agree that some series seem to be going over the top with sex/nudity(the amount of sex/nudity in Spartacus:Blood and Sand reached almost ridiculous levels at times,not that I objected mind)in the case of Game of Thrones I feel it is justifiable.Fact is there is plenty of sex and nude scenes in the novels.Virtually all the nudity and sex in the first episode is also in the novel(the exception being Tyrion in the brothel,I don't remember that scene in the book but it has been a while since I read it)so they're just filming what Martin wrote in this case
 

Archon

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The Incredible Bulk said:
Archon said:
Publisher?s Note: When You Review A Game of Thrones, You Win or Die.

It's about time reviewers started giving fantasy fiction the respect it deserves.

Read Full Article
Am I the ONLY Tolkien fan who noticed the error in this news post? Tolkien never wrote that speech by Aragorn at the Black Gate. That was entirely from the minds of the screenwriters. I know I sound real nerdy here but c'mon, no one else saw that?
Shhh, don't tell anyone. The quote fairly well summarizes Tolkien's viewpoint on "The Long Defeat" and the failings of men, so I hope my shortcut can be forgiven. :-|
 

Archon

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IndianaJonny said:
But ignorance it is, and ignorance that needs to be resolved. How? Maybe 'invade' their world a little more. Evidently, we read their articles, but do they read ours? More content on the Escapist is excellent, but, to an extent, you're preaching to the converted here (or maybe you gave a voice and a place to those who had none, hmm, deep). Well, the Escapist is certainly well established now and a great base to work out from.
My publisher's note was sent to the New York Times as an op-ed, but in their infinite wisdom they chose not to run it!
 

Archon

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Shamanic Rhythm said:
How ironic that you chastise a critic for interpreting it as allegory for some of our modern predicaments, and yet in the same breath defend it as an allegory for a historical event.

Most fantasy, including Tolkien and post-Tolkien, is best understood as a distant descendent of the epic poem. Essentially, it celebrates some kind of 'heroism' in a very romantic understanding of the term, and details a series of events which are crucial to shaping the culture and history of a people. The vast body of literature on epic poetry is enough to indicate that they can both rely on verisimilitude and present complex allegories. Ovid's Metamorphoses contains both references to historical figures and events (Julius Caesar, Pythagoras) and many of the legends of Greco-Roman mythology that are best interpreted as allegory (Proserpina, Orpheus, Midas). Don't be so fast to decry people for reading contemporary fantasy also as allegory.
Thanks for your thoughtful post. I respectfully disagree. There is no question that fantasy shares a lineage with the epic poem, the saga, and the chivalric romance. But what marks fantasy as different is that it generally does not take place in our world and is not meant to detail the events crucial to the shaping of our culture. This is a vast gulf that separates, for instance, the Aeneid from Game of Thrones.

Tolkien's own Lord of the Rings does try to bridge that gap, in that theoretically Middle Earth is our own earth in some distant and forgotten era, but most people are unaware of this, and there are no obvious connections between Middle Earth and our Earth. Moreover, Tolkien was the first person to formulate the theory of "secondary worlds", and it is the secondary world theory, rather than the ties to the culture-poem, that have taken hold in modern fantasy.

Therefore, I think a far stronger case is to be made that modern fantasy is the historical fiction of secondary worlds, rather than the modern day equivalent of the epic poem. Reasonable people can disagree on this, of course, but I don't think this makes my essay somehow "ironic".
 

Badwolf14

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Dana22 said:
Badwolf14 said:
I knew that if a series ever came out all the sex scenes would probably be something debated about lol...and when i heared HBO was doing it i knew they would definitely put in those scenes...especially after watching a season of Rome lol
But...Daenerys is only 13 years old :D

Shhhhh....>.>....they don't need to know that....<.<
 

Archon

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Archon said:
The Incredible Bulk said:
Archon said:
Publisher?s Note: When You Review A Game of Thrones, You Win or Die.

It's about time reviewers started giving fantasy fiction the respect it deserves.

Read Full Article
Am I the ONLY Tolkien fan who noticed the error in this news post? Tolkien never wrote that speech by Aragorn at the Black Gate. That was entirely from the minds of the screenwriters. I know I sound real nerdy here but c'mon, no one else saw that?
Shhh, don't tell anyone. The quote fairly well summarizes Tolkien's viewpoint on "The Long Defeat" and the failings of men, so I hope my shortcut can be forgiven. :-|
All right, I'll let it slide...haha.
 

Shamanic Rhythm

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Archon said:
Thanks for your thoughtful post. I respectfully disagree. There is no question that fantasy shares a lineage with the epic poem, the saga, and the chivalric romance. But what marks fantasy as different is that it generally does not take place in our world and is not meant to detail the events crucial to the shaping of our culture. This is a vast gulf that separates, for instance, the Aeneid from Game of Thrones.

Tolkien's own Lord of the Rings does try to bridge that gap, in that theoretically Middle Earth is our own earth in some distant and forgotten era, but most people are unaware of this, and there are no obvious connections between Middle Earth and our Earth. Moreover, Tolkien was the first person to formulate the theory of "secondary worlds", and it is the secondary world theory, rather than the ties to the culture-poem, that have taken hold in modern fantasy.

Therefore, I think a far stronger case is to be made that modern fantasy is the historical fiction of secondary worlds, rather than the modern day equivalent of the epic poem. Reasonable people can disagree on this, of course, but I don't think this makes my essay somehow "ironic".
With respect, I found it ironic simply that you were using historical allegory to challenge critics who read the series as an allegory for modern times, because both of them are equally valid interpretations under reader response theory.

I would also disagree that there are no obvious connections between Middle Earth and our Earth. Geographically it is almost a parody of our globe: that alone is enough to invite comparison between the two. The history of Middle Earth shares numerous similarities with the Bible, prompting religious readings; the book conforms to a number of racial and gender stereotypes, Tolkien's creation of an elvish 'language' invites philological comparison with Romance languages, and as a postwar novel depicting a great conflict with themes of sacrifice, loss and a battle against totalitarianism, comparison can be drawn with World War Two.

One can argue that events and themes in a 'secondary world' are chosen for their consistency with that secondary world, but one cannot forget that both the author and the reader are of this world, and the cultural attitudes of this world will therefore be crucial in both shaping and interpreting the novel.
 

IndianaJonny

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Archon said:
IndianaJonny said:
But ignorance it is, and ignorance that needs to be resolved. How? Maybe 'invade' their world a little more. Evidently, we read their articles, but do they read ours? More content on the Escapist is excellent, but, to an extent, you're preaching to the converted here (or maybe you gave a voice and a place to those who had none, hmm, deep). Well, the Escapist is certainly well established now and a great base to work out from.
My publisher's note was sent to the New York Times as an op-ed, but in their infinite wisdom they chose not to run it!
To my knowledge the BBC still employ a policy where for every complaint they receive about a show or program they assume 'X' amount of people enjoyed the feature - after all, we're more likely to comment if we disagree rather than concur with what's being said. I imagine bodies such as The New York Times employ similar procedures and it's not until a critical mass of either the public or academia (or a mixture of both) speak out that a prejudical viewpoint is re-assessed. I dislike the term 'lobbying', but I'll admit that us as gamers, your audience, could certainly do more to advocate gaming and its benefits to newbies and neighbours alike rather than simply expecting you, other magazines, games companies and trade bodies such as the ECA to fight these battles by yourselves. The parallel may seem extreme but there a similarities here to the Civil Rights movement - opinion needs to change both at the grass-roots level and in high office if we expect this state of affairs to improve. Well, I for one feel challenged by that and, once I've have some sleep, I'll go on and do my part.

Edit: Hmm, extending an olive branch to family/parental (gaming) advice websites such as whattheyplay [//www.whattheyplay.com/] might not be such a bad idea. It's hearts and minds, I guess.
 

Archon

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Shamanic Rhythm said:
Archon said:
Thanks for your thoughtful post. I respectfully disagree. There is no question that fantasy shares a lineage with the epic poem, the saga, and the chivalric romance. But what marks fantasy as different is that it generally does not take place in our world and is not meant to detail the events crucial to the shaping of our culture. This is a vast gulf that separates, for instance, the Aeneid from Game of Thrones.

Tolkien's own Lord of the Rings does try to bridge that gap, in that theoretically Middle Earth is our own earth in some distant and forgotten era, but most people are unaware of this, and there are no obvious connections between Middle Earth and our Earth. Moreover, Tolkien was the first person to formulate the theory of "secondary worlds", and it is the secondary world theory, rather than the ties to the culture-poem, that have taken hold in modern fantasy.

Therefore, I think a far stronger case is to be made that modern fantasy is the historical fiction of secondary worlds, rather than the modern day equivalent of the epic poem. Reasonable people can disagree on this, of course, but I don't think this makes my essay somehow "ironic".
With respect, I found it ironic simply that you were using historical allegory to challenge critics who read the series as an allegory for modern times, because both of them are equally valid interpretations under reader response theory.

I would also disagree that there are no obvious connections between Middle Earth and our Earth. Geographically it is almost a parody of our globe: that alone is enough to invite comparison between the two. The history of Middle Earth shares numerous similarities with the Bible, prompting religious readings; the book conforms to a number of racial and gender stereotypes, Tolkien's creation of an elvish 'language' invites philological comparison with Romance languages, and as a postwar novel depicting a great conflict with themes of sacrifice, loss and a battle against totalitarianism, comparison can be drawn with World War Two.

One can argue that events and themes in a 'secondary world' are chosen for their consistency with that secondary world, but one cannot forget that both the author and the reader are of this world, and the cultural attitudes of this world will therefore be crucial in both shaping and interpreting the novel.
Tolkine himself said he wrote LOTR and his legendarium as a sort of "alternate Earth," thousands of years before our recorded history. After the fall of Sauron and the end of the Third Age, the Age of Men (the Fourth Age) occurred. That supposed led to our world today...interesting food for thought nonetheless.
 

Riesel87

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These women belong in the kitchen and not on the end of a keyboard voicing their uninformed opinions for money. Regardless of their sex though, it annoys me when critics try and find some deep message hidden within a story, or rip it to pieces because its not exactly how they think it should be.

The song of ice and fire books are some of the most vivid fantasy reads out there and its nice to see the escapist giving the series a fair assessment, and using some common sense.
 

Riesel87

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MetalDooley said:
jono793 said:
I quite enjoyed Game of Thrones. Though, as someone who hasn?t read Song of Ice and Fire, I found the first episode over stuffed with exposition. But I suppose that?s an inevitable consequence of dealing with several chapters in just over an hour?s screen time.

I have a philosophical objection to the use of gratuitous full frontal nudity. Game of Thrones (and it?s spiritual predecessor Rome) throw out bums, tits (and to a lesser extent, rippling six-packs *grumble*), not because it?s editorially justified, but because they can get away with it in a historical/fantasy piece. If you were to put those same scenes in a modern setting, it would be considered porn. Movie Bob has spoken about the Hayes Code in the past, and this is basically the same thing.

Let me reiterate; I have no objection to nubile young (or older for that matter) actresses writhing around in their all-together. My concern is that period dramas are adopting a rather pornographic sensibility, which I?m not convinced is in the best interest of the genre.
While I agree that some series seem to be going over the top with sex/nudity(the amount of sex/nudity in Spartacus:Blood and Sand reached almost ridiculous levels at times,not that I objected mind)in the case of Game of Thrones I feel it is justifiable.Fact is there is plenty of sex and nude scenes in the novels.Virtually all the nudity and sex in the first episode is also in the novel(the exception being Tyrion in the brothel,I don't remember that scene in the book but it has been a while since I read it)so they're just filming what Martin wrote in this case
I must agree with MetalDooley on this. Spartacus is verging on pronographic, which may be nice in places,but adds nothing to the story and like you say has been thrown in because they can. However sex is in this book, like metaldooley said, and so it only reflects whats written. However i feel that sometimes and certainly in the case of Game of thrones, scenes of sex can set a tone needed for the stories atmosphere. It can symbolise the nature of the surroundings and time its set in, much like it does in Game of thrones.
 

Riesel87

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Wolfram01 said:
I loved reading A Game Of Thrones and I just watched the first episode of HBO's version last night, and loved it too. Espcially the boobies. So many boobies!

Anyway, critics are often rather dumb - or rather, uninformed. They're given something to critique and may or may not have sufficient background to properly asses it. It's one thing to give a more opinionated column but when trying to pass off some higher reaching ideas it doesn't work so well when you're full of shit.
spot on my friend