Two things I want to discuss today that have nothing to do with gaming.
First off, I just have to write a short piece about Blood and Gold by George RR Martin. It's the second part of the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series that I discussed in an earlier blog post here. At that time I was still reading the first book, A Game of Thrones, and in the comments section my good pal Jahf wrote that the books got even better.
Well, now I know.
I've slowly gotten used to Martin's style, and try to assume nothing as I read; though it is difficult not to play out what you think may happen in your head. These books do kind of worm their way into your mind and make you think about them in a most peculiar way. A Kopfwurm (Headworm) if you like, as opposed to an Ohrwurm (Earworm). I'm going to try to write this without posting any spoilers, so you'll just have to take some of it on trust ;)
So, there I am reading the chapters about Edmure Tully's wedding to one of Walder Frey's daughters, and it is obvious Martin is leading up to something. I know how he works now, so I'm pretty sure I can guess what it is, or at least have an inkling. Martin has a way of totally blindsiding you however. What actually happened was nothing like I expected, and so unexpected that I literally sat staring at the book with my jaw agape like a character in some dodgy cartoon. The events that unfolded floored me. I couldn't believe what he had just done.
Jahf was right. I have really never read a fantasy series like this before. My earlier presumption that I now know Martin's methods have just flown out of the window like a bad-tempered crow. I'm lost in the woods and fields of Westeros again with nothing to guide me. I can't assume anything, and I can't wait to read on. Simply fantastic stuff.
Right, got that out of my system, so onto the other thing I wanted to mention. I heard the sad news yesterday that one of my favourite ever film composers, John Barry had died. Barry remains most famous for his James Bond scores (and rightly so, his Bond scores are an integral part of the experience), but he composed so many more great scores that it almost beggars belief. He was also a prolific and accomplished writer of the four minute pop song and won five Academy Awards.
My personal favourites are the themes to Zulu and Dances With Wolves, and We Have All The Time In The World. I have several Barry albums (compilations and soundtracks) on my ipod and I never, ever skip a John Barry piece when it comes on my shuffle. He could give even awful films a heart.
He will be sadly missed.
Generations are Weird
3 hours ago