When I started reading the first book of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, titles A Game of Thrones, I never thought that it would grow to be as huge as it has in the past three years. It was 2007 that I completed the book. I enjoyed the gritty fantasy world with minimal emphasis on magic and mythical beasts. Instead the heroes and monsters were quite human. I was also quite surprised to find that one of my favorite characters in the book did not survive until its completion. It broke the rules and made me think that anything could happen, as long as there were banners and houses involved.
Not long after I checked out the second book in the series, A Clash of Kings, from the local library. It took all of the things that I enjoyed in the first book and raised the bar even further leading me to search for a copy of the third book, A Storm of Swords. This book was mind-blowing and one of my favorite reads of all time. I was hooked on the series, the world, the carnage and most of all the narrative.
By that time, I’d heard some rumblings about a few of things regarding the series. First that fans that had found the books before me were not as happy with the fourth book as the ones before it. First of all it had taken far longer to publish than anticipated and once it had been published, the story arc did not live up to fan expectations.
It stemmed back to some argument that the author had with the publisher about the proper length of a book and the subsequent splitting of book four, A Feast for Crows into two books. The third thing that I heard was there were rumors of film production.
Having recently enjoyed, the third book in the series, I wasn’t going to let some complaints from fans keep me from checking out the fourth book for myself. I read it and while it didn’t live up to my expectations, I wouldn’t call it a bad book.
Years later the fifth book was published, at this time the HBO show was already in full swing. I began to feel the waiting pains that fans had complained of and I had mixed feelings about the book. It was wonderful to be back in the world of Westros, but I wanted more to happen. Meanwhile the TV show had made a splash and was growing ever more popular. I enjoy the show and while the books will always be my favored format, the show does an admirable job of bringing the story to the screen. Thus far I’ve watched the first two seasons and am eagerly awaiting my chance to watch the screen adaptation of my favorite of the books.
Now that you know my history with this series, it will you a better idea of why I am drawn, no pun intended, to this theme when creating my art. Some of my first ACEOs were my first set of Game of Thrones cards. Since that time, I created some Game of Thrones ATCs and some more GoT ATCs. Now this is the first theme that I have revisited for a series two.
My first series of Game of Thrones cards contained 8 cards, which is a respectable number. This time around the set contains thirteen cards. A number considered unlucky by some but as Burning Thirteen, a number of great significance for me.
The larger set allowed me to bring in a greater cast of characters which revisiting some that I drew in the first set. Tyrion is probably my favorite character in the Seven Kingdoms, though born a Lannister with all that money can offer him, he is dealt a difficult hand by life and by the dysfunctional family around him. This makes him more snarky, less snobby and more human. Though he is a half-man in stature he stands tall and stands up for himself which is admirable. This is why I took the opportunity to draw him again.
Cersei, Lord Varys and Dany are all major players that I felt worthy of a place in the second series. Dany of course is the mother of dragons and symbol of the return of magic to the world. Cersei is power-hungry and simply wants to feel loved by anyone and everyone. Meanwhile Lord Varys speaks with his little sparrows and runs his network of intrigue from behind the scenes. These are all interesting characters and I was glad to include them in the mix.
Others like Osha, Melisandre and Ygritte don’t factor into the story ealry on and only become important to the story later on. Great reasons to bring them in the second time around. Of these I am especially fond of the portrayal of Osha and Melisandre in the show. Osha in particular is a character that manages to shine more on the show than she did in the book. Props to Tonks for making that happen.
Rounding out the second set are more characters new and old that I am interested in. Arya Stark has graduated from sticking them with the pointy end to valar morghulis. Sansa has lost her life and finds hope with a hound. Margaery Tyrell dazzled with her costumes and her thirst for power and Lord Tywin Lanniser is sure that he will be the last lord standing in the game of thrones.
I really love this story and the characters that are at once real and exaggerated in their cruelty. The plot is unpredictable and there are still two books ahead to see what happens in all of the places of interest that I have grown to know and love. Plenty of time for a third set of cards in the future.
- 88 – Ygritte
- 89 – Maid of Tarth
- 90 – Stannis
- 91 – Cersei
- 92 – Lord Varys
- 93 – Lord Tywin Lannister
- 94 – Arya Stark
- 95 – Sansa Stark
- 96 – Dany mother of dragons
- 97 – Tyrion Lannister
- 98 – Margaery Tyrell
- 99 – Osha
- 100 – Melisandre
- 101 – Theon
|Color||Prismacolor and Copic Marker|
|Series||Game of Thrones II|
Written as part of MoJoWriMo, my 50,000 word NaNoWriMo writing spree in 2013