Game of Thrones, and the real reason I have an aversion to fantasy fiction…

… I’ve never been much of a fan of fantasy fiction mostly because the stories are made up of people whose names I can’t pronounce; stupid Nordic, elfish sounding names with too many vowels and unnecessary “y”s living in some pseudo-medieval time, that have a genealogy longer and more dry than a phone book. I can never keep up with who sired who in the House of Whatever from the regal blood line of Lord Whosit. There’s that and [whisper] the other thing. Sometimes the fans of this type of genre unnerve me…

I firmly believe, no matter the popularity of cos-play and Cons, that no grown adult should be seen in public wearing a costume outside of Halloween. Second to my irrational fear of dinosaurs is my intense unease in the presence of a half naked grown man or woman dressed as a woodland elf with pointy ears, or a medieval serving wench, or a warlock or any other damn weird thing.

So it was with great trepidation that I set my fears aside and began reading Games of Thrones. So far it doesn’t suck. This is a monumental admission coming from me, but don’t expect to see me anywhere near a Ren-Fest anytime soon.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Daftpunkett

    Just curious,did you try to read the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings series? Tolkien was an ardent catholic ( he also wrote a beautiful essay on the Blessed Sacrament) and there CAN BE found quiet a bit of catholic typology in the books.   Of course, you might already know that.
    C.S. Lewis’  Out of The Silent Planet series is also very good.
    I have always had a special place in my heart for fantasy and science fiction, ever since I was little and my father read an illustrated version of the Ring Cycle (Norse Mythology) to me  , you may pick it up for your son, it was and still is awesome, I wish my toddler had the patience to read it with me now:  http://www.amazon.com/Doom-Gods-Oxford-Myths-Legends/dp/0192741284/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340046536&sr=1-1&keywords=the+doom+of+the+gods  .

    I married a guy who loves fantasy and sci-fi to the point that he will read anything. I roll my eyes, make fun of him and groan when I see some of the titles. My sister-in-law takes it a bit further, recently meeting her current boyfriend at a cosplay convention. He’s a Jedi who teaches jedi lightsaber classes out of Berkley Ca. (go figure).

    My point is, don’t let people scare you into disliking a genre that has so much to offer. Authors like Tolkien, Gene Wolf, and C.S. Lewis weren’t writing their books for creeps, they were writing literature to  enlighten readers. Oh guess what else?   All were practicing Christians.  humm not so creepy.

    Joseph Peirce also wrote a fantastic essay on the importance of mythology and fantasy. Sadly, I don’t have a link.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Do you mean Joseph Pearce’s book Man and Myth?  And I would consider Lewis and Tolkien well above par for modern fantasy that spawns all these weird subcultures and abnormal cosplay. 

      • Ink

        Modern fantasy is just a bunch of poseurs who want to be Tolkien.

        And I really don’t hear the term “cosplay” used outside of the anime world all that often… has it branched out to the other crazies?  I thought the Trekkies started it and then the anime nerds hijacked it.

  • GeekLady

    Too bad Game of Thrones isn’t fantasy so much as Mad Men set in a crystal-dragon Jesus medieval world whose pretend religion fundamentally fails at influencing the characters in any way whatsoever, unless it’s an excuse to make them act even more horrible. …I actually can’t diss it any worse than comparing it to Mad Men, either. I loathe that show, and that is what the book is. Medieval Mad Men. And boring.

  • http://twitter.com/dferg David Ferguson

    Nice post, Daftpunkett

    On the flip side of the author coin, George Martin, the author of The Game of Thrones is a pretty typical (meaning obnoxious leftist) celebrity author.  

    • Daftpunkett

      Funny enough I have had a feeling that was the case. All of my athiest friends who have never bothered to crack open a book on logic and rhetoric seem to love his work, much like “The Golden Compass” crowd.  I have reserved a copy at the library of Game of Thrones and still waiting to read it, but I don’t expect it to be mind blowing. I do think no matter what you can find something enlightening  in most sci-fi fantasy.  Its one reason I enjoy a good (or really stinking) Anne Rice book, there is still some good to get out of her books, you just have to flip through the dreadful descriptions of sex. early Dean Koontz (another practicing catholic) is much the same.

  • kenneth

    I’m not a hardcore ren-faire guy, but I make a point of going once or twice a season. It is truly the nexus of all subcultures. It’s like the spaceport in Men in Black where every strange creature arrives, mingles and goes their respective ways at the end of the day. Role playing gamers, Sci-Fi folks, swingers, Goth kids (now its “Steampunk), bikers, folks who love wearing fur and/or leather that they will do so on 98 degree days. And there are lots of beautiful older women with natural long salt and pepper hair and form complimenting 16th Century clothing. Bestill my heart….

       There are also serious re-enactors, some of the most beautiful jewelry craftsmen you will ever see and ALL of the men that served as the inspiration for the Comic store owner on “The Simpsons.” There are also, of course, the chainmail-wearing lesbians. (I never could stay mad at them). Most people in attendance hold membership in at least two of the aforementioned subcultures.     It is one of the only places I can go where pagans are a demographic majority many days, although Catholics are by far a close second (Catholic boys rule the RPG world). 

       I love the place because everyone involved is fully aware of absurdity of it all and yet doesn’t let it detract from the experience one bit. Like William Shatner, we live our lives there as a Seth McFarlane-grade satire of ourselves. The perfect ren-fair moment was captured in the parking lot a handful of years ago. Right alongside the “down to the shoelaces” historical renactors in the parking lot that morning were two guys in full Star Wars stormtrooper armor. Nothing says Elizabethan England like stormtroopers! “These aren’t the papists we’re looking for. Move along”……:)

  • http://www.sainteasy.com/ Paige

    So I dunno about the books, but I heard that show is all beheadings and sex. 

  • Annie

    Game of thrones????? I only watched a few episodes but I have a serious problem with actors behaving like animals on heat.  I certainly won’t be buying the book anytime soon!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Which is why I read books and not watch TV. TV and movies sex up stories to entice viewership. So far, and I’m only 1/4 of a way into the book there is no sex and only one beheading.  

  • honeybee

    GOT is one of the worst written books I’ve ever wasted time on (the first one was OK, but I bailed after the second one, because I was bored out of my mind.)
    That said, the HBO show is quite entertaining. The show runners have done a good job of triming the bloated prose and tightening up the story.

    It is, of course, HBO, so if you have tender sensibilities around sex, violence and nudity, you should give it a pass.  If not, it’s a fun ride.

    And for those who think there isn’t any sex or violence in the books — you just havent’ gotten far enough yet.  Martin has some very disturbing proclivities.  Actually, I think HBO has toned that down, if anything.

    • Robert

      The writing was tired and trying too hard to be edgy. All darkness (because darkness, sex, and violence are more real – or at least more raw – than light and hope and meaning). When I got to a tenderly described scene of child rape around page 100, with no sign of any redeeming theme or feature, I sent it right back to the library.

    • Mimi

      I really enjoyed the first one, and struggled with the second one as well. I have the third one on my TBR pile, but I may skip it. 
      I agree, that the books portray women in the stereotypical SciFi way, which is graphic, to say the least.

  • Brian

    Ummm….didn’t you play period dress-up and go to a Downton Abbey party, which is cool by the way, but somewhat lessend the force of this particular gripe, no? Unless I misremember; if so, sorry.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Curse you and your good memory. And I even dressed up for a Harry Potter movie… but I swear it was for a friend not my own enjoyment! 

      Downton Abbey doesn’t count either cause I say so.  

      • Brian

        LOL! You will get no arguement from me regarding the virtue of emulating Downton. Like Tolkien, I refuse to give up wearing waistcoats with my suits!

  • Ellyn von Huben

    Weird made up names….yes, that is also a grievance of mine.  Just can’t get into them.  I can handle legit names from other languages, but some of the names in these books and TV series just give me a headache.  (Heaven forbid that  you get me started on running into names like that in real life….oy!)  Sybil, Edith, Mary, Sebastian, Cordelia, Julia – those are names that I can handle.  And I really like men named Beverly and Evelyn though I haven’t had the courage to use the names for my boys.  


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