What I Am Learning from George R. R. Martin

I know I’ve mentioned George R. R. Martin before, so I won’t go into much detail.

I’m currently in the middle of A Feast of Crows, fourth in the series A Song of Ice and Fire. Each book in the series averages at least 1000 pages, so how is it that a person of very short attention span (I write flash fiction for goodness sake) can stay interested in such a long series?

Here’s how: The world that Martin creates is enormous. There are more characters than you can shake a sword at. But the best part, the part that I am learning, is Martin’s use of perspective. By offering a fresh point-of-view with each chapter, we readers are shown depth that could not be provided by a single first-person account. Even the omniscient third-person perspective would grow tiresome for a story of this width and depth as we would tire of the narrator before the story was finished.

And as the series has progressed, I see how Martin is stretching his writing muscles by offering chapters from lesser-known characters to show new aspects of the tale that he has established thus far.

Now, before you hear me going on about A Song of Ice and Fire and decide to rush out and buy up the series yourself, you should know that this series would hardly be welcome in Sunday School. There is violence, sex, language, and sorcery. Pretty much all of the things that would preclude this series from getting the Dove seal of approval. And if you think you can avoid some of that by watching the HBO series A Game of Thrones, don’t kid yourself. I’ve heard that HBO has done a nice job of adapting the story to film and much of the original material has been left in.

So, for anyone who is still interested in the story, and perhaps getting a glimpse of some of the characters (without reading the books, of course), here’s another option.

Thank you Annie Cardi for sharing that video with us.


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