Be Prepared to Rip Your Heart Out


Emily Bohatch, Editor

Wolves and lions prowl a war stricken countryside, hunting—ever hunting. Though the two share many commonalities—their high station, claims to their respective ecosystems, and strong connections to pack and clan—they are destined to be enemies, and to tear each other apart. From across the sea, the dragon watches and waits to strike, to reclaim the home of her fathers from these two lesser predators. The stag dances amidst the dust and struggle.  War rages on, and winter is coming.

These predators are not animals; in fact they are men in the fictional world created by George R. R. Martin. The Song of Ice and Fire series, more commonly referred to as the Game of Thrones series, brings readers out of the quotidian world of school, of work, of modern day life and delivers them to a realm of knights, castles, magic, and kings, transforming us all to real-life Don Quijote’s. We find ourselves perched between five clashing armies as men take chances and lose their lives all for the game of thrones.

Filled with twists, unexpected turns, dastardly plots, and whispered conspiracies, the series keeps you on your toes; just when you have a character pinned down, mental sword to his throat, he parries, sending a shower of sparks and unknown motives your way, leaving you dazed and defeated, waiting desperately for their last move. Wasn’t he their ally? Isn’t he the rightful king? Was this seemingly straightforward execution there to cover up a hidden romance?

Raunchy: this is, oftentimes, the first word that comes to mind when people think of the Game of Thrones series. In the minds of some, it even takes a place on the bookshelf next to Fifty Shades of Grey. Though “doing the nasty” is oftentimes part of the series, it is never totally without cause; almost always, the act itself occurs for the sake of character or plot development. So be at rest, tender hearted of the world, and power through, because, with our Lord Martin, everything has a reason.

Fair warning to all: you will lose everything you love. Much like the children orphaned by the war, you learn that life is a delicate thing, easily snuffed out by the winds of fighting and conquest.

George R. R. Martin, without a doubt, has dedicated himself to his research. Within his fantastical world, elements of our European ancestors’ struggle leak through the pages, adding a sort of credibility to Martin’s world. These characters instill within us empathy as we think that, at one time, the men who passed on their genes to us suffered similar fates. Martin goes so far as to use specific terms and colloquialisms belonging to an age long passed.

Over all, the series is fantastic, heart-wrenching, but fantastic. The struggle of the wolf and the lion makes readers’ hearts sing as they struggle to pick a side. Take heed, young readers, and hear me well: read the books.