I lost the desire to read long, multi-volume books when I graduated from high school.  Needless to say I more than likely missed out on a lot of great stuff over the years.  I haven’t read a book for pleasure other than comic books, technical manuals and OS training materials in quite a long time.  Now that I have an iPad, I have access to ebooks and the chance to read again for entertainment has never been more appealing to me.

Now it is difficult for a nerd of my stature to admit that I have certain misgivings when it comes to ebooks.  That is a blog for another time and certainly isn’t what this particular blog is about.  Back last year HBO started dropping teasers for a new series called Game of Thrones.  Naturally I was interested immediately.  For those of you who don’t know, the series is based on A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of award winning bestsellers written by George R. R. Martin.  I plan on getting and reading these books in the very near future.

The first episode was a little slow and rather frustrating for those of us who have never read the books.  They didn’t go very far in describing circumstances for things or giving a great deal of detail into the character’s pasts.  But this is a ongoing series and I decided to overlook it in hopes that future episodes will explain more.  I even went as far as to watch the first episode multiple times hoping to catch something I missed.  It was a good idea because there are little bits and pieces you can put together.

The second episode (which aired last night) was by leaps and bounds better than the first.  The story went into some details of current events and started driving the ongoing plot of the series.  You started to get a sense of several of the main characters and what their motivations might be.  Needless to say I have developed hatred already for certain characters and I have grown to like and even love some others.

One of the most interesting characters for me so far is Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage).  He is one of two brothers of Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey).  He is a dwarf (little person), that gives him a distinctive vulnerability, but seems to be deeply rooted in the goings on of the world.  Having remarkable insight and a quick wit, he’s been the most interesting character so far.  It remains to be seen how he fits into the plots and schemes of the other two Lannister siblings.

Another character I loved right from the start is Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), the youngest daughter of Lord Eddard Stark (Sean Bean).  She’s a fearless and mischievous tomboy who would rather have a sword in her hand than a doll.  The second episode sees her get into a little trouble with King Robert Baratheon’s (Mark Addy) son which she handles with great ferociousness and courage.  I am looking forward to watching her character develop and grow up in this series.

All-in-all this is a well done series that is on its way to being another landmark for HBO.  Much like True Blood, you either love it or hate it.  I was quite surprised when I found out that HBO was taking a chance on another sci-fi/fantasy series.  Hopefully fans of the books will not be disappointed.  Unlike Tolken’s Lord of the Rings, this series is not yet finished and fans have been eagerly awaiting the next chapter since 2006.  The fifth book in the series, A Dance with Dragons is due to be released on July 12, 2011.  Two more books are planned for future release.  A list of the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series is below.

There is a grand scope to this series that makes you forget at times you’re watching a television series and not a feature length film.  They have barely scratched the surface in the overall story.  There are dangers beyond the wall, plots within realm and schemes of revenge.  It will be quite interesting to see how Game of Thrones plays out in the coming weeks.  I am almost wanting to hold off reading the books until at least the first season is over to avoid having the story spoiled.  If you like Lord of the Rings or are just looking for something new, check out Game of Thrones, Sunday nights at 9pm on HBO.

Winter is coming.

A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones (1996)
A Clash of Kings (1998)
A Storm of Swords (2000)
A Feast Crows (2005)
A Dance with Dragons (2011)  *According to Martin’s website
The Winds of Winter (forthcoming)
A Dream of Spring (forthcoming)