Winter Is Coming…

… to HBO!

Wow – in what only can get a WOW from me, HBO has agreed to explore the possibility of bringing the epic fantasy “Song of Ice and Fire” to the small screen.

A Game of Thrones

George R.R. Martin

Not as a movie.
Not as a mini-series.
But as a series of mini-series.

Holy crap.

Okay – I’ll back up now.  As first pointed out astutely to me by estonianzulu, I was amazed that any network would take a shot at this material.  Martin’s series of fantasy novels, which I have blogged a bit about, have been one of the best-written series that I know.  The stories are complex, driven by excellently derived characters and operate on both a global and personal level.  Martin has crafted a story that breaks a lot of fantasy series taboos – including gritty sex and violence, and the deaths of major characters.

One reason that I never thought these would ever get a treatment on film is that they’re too massive and complicated for easy video storytelling.  Well, you can hang up the easy part.  As envisioned, each book (currently four books with the likely final total to be seven) would be a 12-hour series.  Remarkably gutsy call on a series that isn’t even finished yet.  The fifth book should be out sometime in 2007 (I hope – GRRM’s output has slowed as his epic has matured, which is a bit disturbing).  I'm guessing that the scale of the story will be like that of HBO's recent series Rome, which I saw a little of, but which hasn't cracked my need-to-dvr-list.

I hope this goes through and is true to the material (Martin is involved which also bodes poorly for his book-output).  I’ve enjoyed this series as much as anything that I’ve ever read and I recommend these books to anyone that enjoys great storytelling.

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10 thoughts on “Winter Is Coming…

  1. You've gotta watch Rome. I'd recommend renting the first season before even trying to watch the second. It's one of those series where you really have to know all of the back story. Sadly, though, the 2nd season will be its last.

  2. Saw your post over at sdede2's place. I notice you're also a member of the Philly Voxers group (although I haven't quite figured out the whole group thing yet and how it relates or doesn't to one's main Vox posts…. but I digress.) Anyway, I'm not much of a fantasy or sf reader these days. Used to read a lot of sf back in the day – Asimov, Heinlein, Herbert, etc. – but somehow they lost me or I them along the way. I've seen these Martin books around – they're usually prominently displayed at B&N. Might have to give one a try.

  3. sdede2 should be WARNED that the series is not finished. that's right – you'll read 3 wonderful installments of a saga…..with no ending. just setting expectations…….(i'm not bitter….)

  4. A Song of Ice and Fire on my television, that will be a thing of beauty. A series of mini-series, that will be grand indeed! I may have to order HBO just for this.These are some of the best books I have read, of any genre, and I am currently reading A Storm of Swords. The characters are great and the world he created is fantastic.

  5. Greywolf brought this post to my attention. I'm now just over a quarter of the way through A Storm of Swords and am thoroughly enjoying it. To be honest, I don't feel overly excited about a televised series. All too often such projects do not do justice to the books and, once one sees who plays whom, it becomes impossible to read the books without seeing each actor on one's mind's eye. I have no doubt that I will still watch it though, that is if it ever becomes available in Europe (I have no clue what HBO is). It is an awesome series of books to be sure.

  6. HBO is a US cable-only (fee) network and has been at the forefront of "quality" television programming for a good chunk of the last 15-20 years. They've developed some excellent series and haven't been afraid to try new and untested genres (some work some don't).
    Because they're pay-only — they don't need to adhere to the same nudity/violence standards of US broadcast networks. They're probably the best producer to try and pull this off. I'm really curious as to how they do it and I'm REALLY curious about the casting!

  7. I'm just about done with the first book in the series and I'm totally floored — unputdownable, magnificent storytelling. I'd be excited about this being filmed but I hope they manage to do a good job — I agree, though, HBO is a good bet. Did you know A Song of Ice and Fire was originally meant to be a 3-book series? Apparently it just sort of expanded wildly as GRRM kept writing… and I'm glad of that, it means so much more exciting reading.

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