One of the core elements of fantasy is that it contains the fantastical. What could be more fantastical than the inhuman powers of magic wielded by the denizens of the universe? Magic is often found in fantasy books, although its provenance varies widely. In some universes, magic is an innate ability of certain people; in others it is merely the ability to bend wild forces of the universe to one’s will. What cannot be disputed is that magic has a significant effect on the worlds in which it exists.
When authors write magic into their books, they have to make a choice about how much of a factor it will be. Whether this choice is made consciously or not, it must be made, and it can make a big difference in how well the universe holds together. Magic, poorly incorporated, can result in instances of the Superman Problem, and, in doing so, cheapen the quality of an otherwise good book. I’m not bashing magic here. I’m saying that the way an author treats magic makes a huge difference in how well the constructed world holds up.
Judging a TV show based on the first episode is hard – and a little bit unfair to be honest. However, now that HBO’s new series Game of Thrones is two episodes in, I think it’s legitimate to start talking about what we think. Late one night, right before the series started, all of us had a huge (read: mildly alcohol fueled) debate about the books. It’s pretty clear we all feel quite strongly that the Song of Ice and Fire is an awesome series – undoubtedly why HBO picked it up – but it’s also complex, large, and unique. Can that carry over to the TV format in a way that doesn’t lose any of what makes it special, but is also accessible to people who haven’t read the books?
So it’s been a couple weeks since we’ve done a Weekend Watch, but fear not, because we are back. As usual, we want to take a few minutes to discuss our plans for the weekend and brag about how whatever we are doing/watching/reading is much better than what everyone else is doing/watching/reading. You are encouraged to chime in below.
The second teaser trailer for HBO’s upcoming TV adaptation of the first book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has just hit the Interwebs, and while it is only a teaser, I must say I am very excited by the look of it. As someone who only just recently started reading A Game of Thrones, I am very into this story right now, so the idea of a faithful adaptation sounds great to me. Read on to see the first and second teaser trailers.