Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Winter is Coming"--Tune in Tomorrow

(Image:  Cover art to George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones)

When it comes to pop culture phenomenas, I'm one of the last to jump on the bandwagon.  Tomorrow night (17 April 2011), HBO will launch the miniseries Game of Thrones, based on the fantasy novel by George R.R. Martin. 

From what I saw of the 14-minute preview, the program promises to be fantastic.  My current dilemma, however, is this:  I just started reading the book.  As of now, I'm a mere 54 pages into the 807-page story.  Nor do I have HBO.  So I'll have to wait until the miniseries is availble on DVD, Blueray or holographic display.

For years I've heard a lot of buzz about Martin's fantasy books, which comprise the series known as A Song of Ice and Fire.  But I've also heard a considerable amount of negative comments too.  A glance at reveals not everyone is happy with the book (278 ratings less than 4-stars, out of 1,812):

Not to mention, the series fans have been waiting since 2005 for book #5 to appear on the shelves.
Despite the lack of closure, the gaming industry jumped ahead and created several products based on the Game of Thrones, or "GoT," in wargaming abbreviation-ese.

One of the first out the gate, was the boardgame, produced by Fantasy Flight Games, which unfortunately, is out of print:

Still going strong, is the collectable card game...

...and the Battles of Westeros:

While bringing up the rear are the role playing game (RPG) sourcebooks,which can be purchased and downloaded as PDFs:

I played the GoT boardgame once, a few years back and I enjoyed it.  (I won the game by not messing with anyone, which apparently, is contrary to the nature of the Lannister Family).  I didn't buy my own copy, because I didn't particularly care for the wooden, blocky playing pieces.

(Image from a game in session, posted on

I did manage to get a map of Westeros from an issue Dragon Magazine, when that gaming periodical was still in print.  While last week, I downloaded the RPG sourcebooks to use as reference material--and who knows--maybe even run a game session someday.

In the meantime, while Game of Thrones fans will be tuning in to tomorrow's show (or saving it to their DVR), I'll be "pouring over the books."

For anyone who merely want's to read the "Cliff Notes," here's a synopsis courtesy of Wikipedia:

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