Pharyngula

HBO has this show now — you’ve heard about it? — recreating a most excellent fantasy series by George R.R. Martin. I enjoy a good fantasy story, and I think Martin is a fabulous writer…but man, I read the books, and I felt burned.

Here’s the basic premise established at the start of the first novel:

The kingdom descends into the chaos of civil war, while a mysterious supernatural threat arises far to the north, and an exiled princess across the sea plots to invade with the power of dragons. Many tangled plot lines are established with a horde of memorable characters.

Now here’s the situation at the end of the fourth novel: <SPOILERS!!!>

The kingdom is wracked with the chaos of civil war, while a mysterious supernatural threat stirs far to the north, and an exiled princess across the sea gathers her army to invade with the power of dragons. Many tangled plot lines are tangled even more deeply, a horde of memorable characters have died, and there is a new horde of memorable characters.

Martin really knows how to set a pot to boiling. He doesn’t know how to bring a delicious stew to the table. If you want to watch something churn and bubble entertainingly, you’re welcome to it, but if you’re hoping for a meal, go somewhere else.