Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Dance with Dragons

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for coming down and sharing in with our joy for nerdy stuff. JQ and I really appreciate your readership, for having followed this blog regularly for quite a long time :) We may never have chosen to be bitten by the geek bug, but we certainly choose to share our hobby with others in our lives.

You must have heard that HBO's take on the Game of Thrones (GoT) has finally arrived on TV (or download websites whatever your style is). Based on the legendary medieval-fantasy series by George R.R. Martin (and still on-going), GoT is a dark-fantasy world that is potmarked by intrigue, betrayal and lust. This time, I'll share a little on Martin's newly released book and more about the man himself.

An uncommon example of something common in Westeros: Ser Gregor Clegane aka Asshole-extraordinaire.

With some time on my hands, I had recently finished George R.R. Martin's 5th instalment of the Song of Ice and Fire series - A Dance with Dragons (ADwD). Martin never fails to disappoint, and delivers an engrossing tale filled with colorful details and very intriguing developments. Similar to the earlier books in the series, be prepared for classical Martin cliffhangers toward the end of ADwD!

ADwD did take a heck a lot of time to come out, being published 6 years after the previous book, A Feast for Crows. For those of us diving into the new book, I found it really helpful to read the summaries of the 4 previous books from Wiki of Ice and Fire to get myself back on track with the backstory of ADwD.

A spoiler-free tidbit I can share is this: the characters didn't have the auspices of facebook and the Internet, and be suspicious that the beginning of the Game of Thrones may seem neat in comparison to the chaos that happens throughout the series. Especially in this book, the spectres of the past will come biting on the asses of what was believed to be true!

Another thing that grabbed me was Martin's ability to extensively describe Medieval scenes filled with vivid detail...such as the ribald songs played during feasts, the 101 ways of making trenchers, and the many sigils that adorned knights and lords alike. Knowledge on medieval history and art may be one thing, but what Martin does on the side really spills the beans:

He does medieval miniature painting and collecting himself.

Some figures painted by the man George R.R. Martin himself (georgerrmartin.com)

You can take a look at his collection and this link, and he's more into the larger 54mm figures for their better detail compared to the smaller 25mm figures (traditionally used by Games Workshop). I guess he hasn't really seen the newer Warhammer collections, with improved molding techniques and greater artistic flair heh. Not sure if he'll go heads over heels over GW's Brettonia collection too :P

A gift from Fabio Feltrin to George R.R. Martin, Ser Brynden Tully of Riverrun. Check out the awesome detail (georgerrmartin.com).

Interestingly, his fans have also given him a fine collection of minis that resembled the characters from the books that are really well-painted to a professional grade. Martin's collection spans a very wide range of figures, as he also puts together dioramas of jousts, feasts, and villages...sometimes even commissioning custom sculpts! (eg. ladies in the court, a subject not common with miniature makers)

It's my guess that finding out about people's hobbies and their interests really makes them feel more human...which was certainly the case for me with George R.R. Martin. Hobbies are windows into one's soul, and I would dare say that this is why we fellow geeks/nerds bond so well with each other over the things that strike at our very hearts. Man, I love being a geek with fellow geeks.

Plus, George R.R. Martin also liked the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series :) Boo-yah.


  1. GoT and George R R Martin is truly on a class of its own in terms of Fantasy Novels.

    It has a taste of grit that puts many others to shame... Great post!

  2. Really like the last sentence you wrote..
    Hobbies definitely are windows to one soul indeed.

  3. All BSG fans are awesome.. And that includes George :)

  4. hawaiiwarhammerfanAugust 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    This really sounds like an interesting novel.
    Can it beat Warhammer? :P

  5. Hahah This novel reminds me of Bretonnia..
    Only Better... hahaha

  6. Nice one Yur.
    Bu yeah, I like how Josh says Hobbies are somehow a window to your soul.