The past few days of my life have been a blur of catching up on Game of Thrones. Sorry to those of you who have not read or watched it, but I am about to explain why I really love Martin’s writing style.
5) Purely Character Driven
The plot is propelled by points of view of different characters. This is extremely different from the current commercial, and popular way of writing in present tense in the first person. While the first person narrative can make a series like Hunger Games and Divergent a quick and easy read, the narration in third person limited to the point of view of an individual character has an odd, but captivating way of capturing the events of the story line.
4) Death is Death
Oftentimes when I read a novel or book series, death of characters is almost described as something peaceful, tragic, or poetic. This even happens in movies, with one character lovingly cradling the head of their dead companion. Action movies are a bit different; the main character usually flees the scene without much sentimental pondering. This cinematic view of dying almost desensitizes the actual effect and real implications of death. However, Martin goes through every gritty detail, showing how truly horrific and terrifying death can be — especially in wars.
3) Complex Complex Complex
To anyone else that has been completely lost while trying to hammer through one of The Songs of Ice and Fire series, you are in good company. It takes me a few good chapters to really understand what is going on, which would usually annoy me. However, with Martin, it’s almost like he is weaving little intricate details of plot together. I think it is easier to see this in the television show, since it becomes pretty blatant that the individual storylines will eventually come together. As an avid reader, though, I think it’s our reward for plowing through page after page, and finally having the realization of how it comes together. Also, I love being able to have my knowledge of what will happen next in the show, while my friends have to wait for a new episode. That must be how Martin feels, since we are all so eagerly waiting to see how the series ends.
2) The Little Sparks of Humor
George R. R. Martin is pretty straightforward in his writing, in my opinion. He describes the scenery, the characters, and a few other details, but lacks the flowery imagery that can be found in an Ian McEwan and Neil Gaiman novel. There are the odd moments where Martin will include just a small sentence (and sometimes even less) that adds a touch of humor. I don’t want to give spoilers, but to those who have read, I’m talking about:
“Hodor was Hodoring”
‘”I am not without mercy!’ cried he who was notorious for not having mercy.”
It takes a lot to make me actually laugh out loud. And I freely admit that I laughed out loud at that.
This might seem kind of odd as my number one favorite aspect, but I have good reasoning. The television show has a bit to do with this ranking. When I think of all of the other movies that I’ve seen a midget in, I can only think of Master of Disguise, The Wizard of Oz, and Elf. While I’m sure that the writers and everyone else working on these movies had the best of intentions, I can’t help but notice a certain type-casting with midgets, and who they are hired to portray. I’m sure none of these movies meant any harm, but I honestly cannot think of one major film that I’ve seen that features a midget in a leading, badass role. Sure, Tyrion is referred to as an “imp” and “half man” quite often in the book and show, but I think that it is so refreshing to see Peter Dinklage playing someone so brilliant and influential. I’m sure he’s played other amazing roles, since he’s such a great actor, but I’m excited to see him play someone critical, and important on a show that is so popular to the masses.
So that’s my little spiel on Game of Thrones. It’s been on my mind, so I figured I’d share it. Feel free to disagree! I know my brother certainly does not like anything with George R. R. Martin’s name on it. Please comment with your opinion and side of the story! I love debating writing styles, and their ups and downs. A great thing about having a blog is that I can actually carry a discussion about topics like this one.
Next time I’ll discuss some really great writing tips from places such as Pixar, and other odd, but refreshing finds on the internet.