Jan 2, 2009

2009 and a happy Game of Thrones

Well, happy 2009 everyone and lets all hope this one turns out better than the previous one. Not that the mass murder of the Palestinian people leaves much room for actual hope, mind, but still. Things can always change for the best.

Game of ThronesAnyway, it's obvious I digress. Let's -for now- talk about things sillier and happier. Like The Game of Thrones for example; a luxuriant board game based on G.R.R. Martin's fantasy epic and a brilliant gift I very recently received. Now, I may well be past my obsession with all things fantasy, but I really love the still unfinished literary work of Mr. Martin and I'd even go as far as saying that, despite lacking professor Tolkien's prose, imaginary languages and incredibly detailed setting, The Game of Thrones is storywise the better book . It's brutal, gripping, unexpected, at times brilliantly smart, often sarcastic and features interesting characters (with excellent dialog) that are way more complex and realistic than genre stereotypes. Also it has apparently got itself the afforementioned board game. By Fantasy Flight no less.

Truth be said, I haven't played the Game of Thrones game just yet, but judging by what I've read in its rulebook, I'm pretty sure this will definitely turn out to be a deep and highly enjoyable strategic offering. Seems like an expanded version of Risk with added strategic and tactical elements, a bit of Diplomacy (yes!), a bidding part, some cards and no dice. It also -quite impressively- looks like this when posing in its full glory:

The Game Of Thrones Board GameLook at all those tokens... Wonderful aren't they? And have I mentioned the pieces are actually made of wood? No? Well, I will do so in the forthcoming review. Cheers!

Related @ Gnome's Lair:


  1. Lots of fantasy books are better then Tolkien, but they all pretty much owe their success to him.

  2. Can't argue with that... Then again I could. Or say that every successful sci-fi book owes its success to Poe.

  3. I personally don't think Tolkien was THAT good. Don't get me wrong, the guy was good, but not as much as people often regard him. A bit overrated in my humble opinion (but only a tiny bit).

    I've been hearing a lot about G.R.R. Martin lately but unfortunately his books just recently began to be translated to Portuguese, so I think I'll try the original English version.

    Oh, and BTW, remember my book? The story was getting too big (it's currently 500 pages long and the rest will easily take some 200 or more) so I decided to cut it in two and start making a clean copy of the first on the pc (remember I write by hand). My plan is to get it done by the end of the month, and after that I'm on the hunt for a publisher.

    Wish me luck :)

  4. I read Game of Thrones. It was good, but I thought it was a bit too much, too many characters. I realized Shakespearean casts(squared) seem typical for fantasy novels. The problem with 7-book series is that it can be filled with so much detail that the overall story can get lost. I will probably give the second Song of Fire and Ice novel a try, though, because GoT had enough interest to it.

    I've thought Moorcock's "Epic Pooh" was fairly on the mark with the problem with Tolkien--corrupted romanticism. (Yet, LotR makes Moorcock's list of the 100 best fantasy novels.)

    Both the GoT board game and RPG seem to be well received. I hope you get to try it out soon. (I'm actually headed out for a full day of board gaming tomorrow, something I haven't done in far, far too long.)

  5. Ahh, dear literary Nebacha, I think you've earned some kudos. Having a novel ready is really impressive and I wish you the best of luck with it. And if it becomes a hit in Portugal it will be dead easy to publish it in Greece too. And do try Martin.

    Well, guttertalk my friend, I would strongly suggest you read your way to "A Feast for Crows". It's glorious and cataclysmic it is. Epic Pooh -just read it- was incredibly interesting and enlightening in the ways fantasy can be seen at. Not sure if I agree 100%, but I might :)

    Enjoy your board game day, you lucky person.

  6. Then again Moorcock seems to have some very valid points... Excellent link!

  7. I've edged a step nearer to board gaming with a copy of Trivial Pursuit... Does that count?

    On the subject of Fantasy novels, I just never could drum up the enthusiasm (although all of my friends were big Moorcock fans growing up, due to the Hawkwind connection...)

    Did I ever tell you I know Tolkien's great grandaugher? What I did? Several times?

    Some things never change... You putting the kettle on... I'm all tee-total as it's the start of the year...

  8. But shouldn't it be called 'The Game of The Game of Thrones'?

  9. Pacian, that's technically true, but then the universe might explode due to the confusion...

  10. Yes, yes, Father, Trivial is fair game. Heh. And Ms. Tolkien? Why it's only the ...uhm... second time you mention it :) Oh, and here's your tea!

    Of course it should Pacian dear, of course it should.

    Ross, let's all hope them Babel fish don't get involved...

  11. You might be interested to know that you succeeded in convincing me to read the english version of a game of thrones. I'm currently on page...ahh...I don't know. It's the second chapter, right after the "deserter" (don't want to give away any spoilers here) is executed :)

  12. Excellent, excellent! And nothing has started yet my friend. You will soon be consumed. And sleepless. And fond of the Starks, though soon (ish) the Lanisters will get very interesting too. Enjoy it. I really envy you.