Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's all geek to me

The other George: Selling his soul to the De...Disney
Disney buys Star Wars. I'm almost ready to consider buying into this 'signs of the apocalypse'-thing.
Okay, that's harsh. For all I know, with someone new at the helm, Star Wars Episode VII will be spectacular. The argument is that The Avengers turned out just fine. Also, I doubt it can be even worse than the prequel trilogy. 
Let Mark Hammill have a cameo in the beginning of the movie where he hands his lightsaber to ... his son or daughter, or some student, and take it from there, a whole new fresh story/angle and absolutely no recurring crap from the prequels and maybe...maybe.......It's frustrating that this franchise still has such a hold over me. This news has me all aggravated and I have trouble focusing at work. Seriously. It has such an emotional power over me.
Another positive thing is that I can take my son to see the films in the cinema because he will be old enough by then. I am trying to see the good points here, although I know Disney/Lucasfilm will continue to tear down everything they built into my imagination since childhood. The other option is to avoid the films, not see them. 'Cause that's gonna be just as easy as saying, 'yeah, I'll just skip The Winds of Winter because I don't think it'll be as good as the first three.' 
Enough about Star Wars, I'm on the Red Country homerun. I tells you, it is Abercrombie's best written book from a characterization perspective. Shame it's short. His world-building is perhaps the weakest in this book. 
Enough about Abercrombie. Also reached the 3/4 of The Wise Man's Fear, it's literally in a strange place now this story, not sure if I like this plot development or not. But by Hood, Rothfuss has a smooth quill. Enough about Rothfuss.
Prolific writer - and now also artist


The man whose prose led to the birth of, among gazillion websites, this very blog. He's announced his latest book, The Lands of Ice and Fire (at least I believe it's his, it has its name with huge letters on the cover) in which he's been kind enough to draw us particularly good-looking maps of the many places within his A Song of Ice and Fire setting. I didn't know he was such a talented artist but there you go, he's always got a trick up his sleeve. Tricks that generate cash flow. 
If it were 2004 or thereabouts, I would be all over this book, no seriously I'd buy two, one where I could rip out maps to put them on the wall and one to keep pristine. Now? Not really interested; curious, I admit. Mostly because Martin, using another trick from his sleeve, teases us with "unknown places never visited by characters". But no thanks. I'll buy The Winds of Winter. 

Oh, and it's November tomorrow! And Halloween tonight! But it's November tomorrow and that means National Novel Writing Month. I'm going to give it a shot this year, for the first time. It sounds so easy - write 1667 words a day and you have a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. It will be a novel full of plot holes, bad sentences, warped scenes and crappy crap but that's the point. At the end of the month you have a (very) rough draft. I'll keep at it as long as it's fun at any rate. Fun for the geeks!

Halloween has well and truly and finally invaded Scandinavia so tonight I'll probably walk around like a zombie (the gait is easy after a long day at work, I reckon) scaring the little ones. Muhahahaw! May the Force be with you on this Night of the Dead...buhuuuuu

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Still dripping red

I know I was rather gushing about Joe Abercrombie and his latest book Red Country yesterday, and the excitement is still high. Very, very few books keep me up later than I should, and even fewer books beckon me to read them in broad daylight when I have all manner of other things I should be doing. In fact, the only I can think of is George R.R. Martin. Even though A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons weren't all that, I ripped through them with ferocious interest, wanting to read on. That's what Abercrombie also manages. I'm halfway through Red Country by now, and that's saying something - I mean I've had a book like Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings on my night table since forever. Well, since it was published. And that was...August 2010. 
It's a thing, I guess. Both Martin and Abercrombie have these great characters to latch onto, and I believe the thing is that their characters are often sarcastic, witty, hardened, I don't know, but when characters talk in their books, they come alive in a way few other authors manage. The thing could be the gritty, down to earth style (well Abercrombie is taking it below the earth really whereas Martin is taking strides toward more epic fantasy), it could be the way they both condense their chapters into mini-stories interesting all on their own, I don't know...Is it the (often hideous) violence that is the draw for me? 
That said, I've also grown very fond of Erikson who is kind of in the opposite direction in many ways, but his stories too tend to have swearing sarcastic violent characters with wit to boot. And these three are my favorites, so yeah, it could be it. 
On the other side I am also enjoying the much milder tones of Rothfuss, and have always been and will always be enamored by The Lord of the Rings
I guess the conclusion is that I like most of my fantasy to be a tad dark, but with some rays of light shining through here and there...

...In stark contrast to my continued meddling with the online medieval warfare game, Wars of the Roses, where life is so bleak, so ... meaningless and full of pain™ as I get thrashed around a lot, often receiving the edge of a shield hammered into my character's face, teeth and blood and jawbone flying. Still, little by little I come by these little scraps of experience points (usually a meager five points for assisting someone else, or a larger sum for standing near a flag long enough without being slaughtered). If only I had a computer that was able to run the game without lag! When I have finally turned my character around to face an opponent, I either fall straight to my knees as he slits my throat, or the opponent has moved on, or been vanquished by someone on my team. Kind of embarrassing, really. Fortunately it's all with the mouse and the keyboard, and not with the shield and the sword back in the day. Still, the game does evoke some sense of dread as you move forward to where the enemies are waiting, and the game gets me sweating no doubt. Exciting and exhilarating, and I don't even have the computer to run it properly. One day...

One more round on the battlefield, and then back to the Red Country. I believe I have a new favorite character in fantasydom, and her name is Shy South. No, I have two new favorites - Temple is pretty much a vividly drawn character too, with nobody liking him and he being quite all right if you ask me. And the humor! If not the best fantasy out there, it is without doubt the funniest. I feel like quoting entire reams of banter from this book. If you didn't like Best Served Cold or The Heroes it might not be for you, though. For me, if the book keeps on being as entertaining as it is right now, Red Country may yet turn into his best effort. But poo on the editor who skipped more than one punctuation. If you don't respect punctuation, well, uh....something something.

Sorry mr. Erikson, Forge of Darkness may be a solid tale drenched in dark atmosphere and with a prose unequaled in the genre, but Red Country is popcorn and soda spattered with guts. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

As long as the country's red

So I was thinking of reading a chapter of A Storm of Swords, then Joe Abercrombie crashes down the mailbox with his latest novel, Red Country. Abercrombie is one of those utterly few authors who just demand me to get cracking right away, other books be damned. Well, he wasn't always like that; I struggled somewhat with his debut trilogy The First Law (especially that seconsd book felt like it took ages to read through), but both Best Served Cold and The Heroes had me reading vigorously long into the night. At his finest, Abercrombie is incredibly entertaining, and has only been getting better at his craft from book to book. 
And now Red Country. Well, as I pointed out in the Abercrombie-thread at 'Is Winter Coming?', I was immediately put off by this book. Now that was surprising. The cover is as glorious as the others, the blurb sounds just like it should...but as I opened the book and began to read...I was a bit miffed at how much it felt like I was reading a western. Not a fantasy inspired or influenced by the western genre, know, a western. So I actually let the book lie and continued with The Wise Man's Fear, in which Patrick Rothfuss is showing considerable improvement himself. 
Today, though, an hour or so ago, I decided to try Red Country again, and...yeah, you probably guessed it. Hook, line, sinker. Getting past those first pages and immersing myself, I am once again fully enjoying the experience and damn if this isn't simply fantastic stuff.
Joe is becoming a master, you heard it here (but probably not first). Chapters are thematically linked in more clever ways, he is really starting to outshine George RR Martin himself in the dialogue department, the humor is once again close to perfection (well I guess that's a matter of taste), there are some great characters of old showing up and a few new interesting ones as well, simply put this is - right now - feeling quite like it could turn into another hit. It's the kind of book where I continually have to take a quick break just to marvel at the wit, trying to savor the experience. It's the kind of storytelling I want everyone to experience, and talk about at the water cooler. You know, instead of the results of some football game or whatever. Abercrombie is growing more powerful than we can possibly imagine! There's one character I have problems with, a religious zealot, but I'm guessing (hoping) he'll sooner of later become enlightened. 

I did have a great time reading The Wise Man's Fear last night too, Rothfuss is really nailing it with this book (I didn't think too highly of the first one, it was entertaining but not Abercrombie-riveting); right now Kvothe is out in the woods searching for bandits, and the interaction he has with the mysterious Adem mercenary, Tempi, is really solid writing. Rothfuss does an amazing job, no doubt, but in a subtler, less provocative way. Abercrombie is more like a party, with the occasional time for a profound thought. 

I'm really gushing tonight, am I not? I think both these authors deserve a little gushing, though. I laughed so hard last night when Kvothe was asked to tell a story, and he really didn't feel like it, so he told them the story of the boy with the golden screw in his belly button. It was so entertaining I had to read it aloud to lady Slynt, who had to laugh as well. Likewise earlier this fine Saturday evening reading Red Country I was just so entertained by many of the lines of dialogue and the character interactions, and I also noticed Abercrombie is getting badass at mixing up setting, exposition, backstory, characterization all into one coherent story. If the first chapter of Red Country doesn't convince you Joe is about to usurp the throne of fantasy, then try the second chapter. Okay, he won't usurp the throne. His books are perhaps too...I don't know, non-epic kind of? It's perhaps the world-building that is lacking the most in his books but then again there isn't room for it with so many wise-cracking fun characters and situations. As any fan of A Song of Ice and Fire should know, the throne is of course occupied by Steven Erikson. /trollface

So, as of now - my favorite fantasy authors, in no particular order are, Steven Erikson, George R.R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss and JRR Tolkien. That's probably about what most fantasy readers have in their top five, I guess. Not a very radical list, though I'd wager a good few people would find the works - at least of the three first I mentioned - pretty radical in terms of humor, violence, and sexuality.

All right, I just had to get that out of my system. I know not everyone likes Joe's works, but for me it's a match made in, ah, on a muddy battlefield. Really, I feel like quoting everything I've read so far. I know that when I get excited about something, I get excited about something so feel free to take any of the above with a pinch of salt.

I have to make a schedule now, though. Twenty minutes Red Country, twenty minutes The Wise Man's Fear, twenty minutes Deadhouse Gates and uh...well the rest shall have to wait, then. That's an hour every night already (though I suspect Red Country is captivating enough that I'll be reading it when I really shouldn't)...

Hey ho for fantasy literature. Me loves it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Between the lines

I've gotten myself across the halfway mark with Patrick Rothfuss' The Wise Man's Fear. Quite entertaining, I love that most chapters are fairly short and to the point, and it's a fun contrast to Erikson's Deadhouse Gates with its long chapters brimming with details I have to pay attention. So every night I'm reading a little further in both; and it's a nice experience reading two very different approaches to fantasy at the same time. This week (two days ago) also saw the release of my favorite band My Dying Bride's eleventh album, A Map of All Our Failures. I won't bleat about it here but I've been spending some serious time listening and enjoying it the last couple of days. 
Also brushing the dust off my shoulders to tackle another A Storm of Swords chapter. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

[Re-read] Jaime II: Two Kingslayers travel together when...

Dungeon crawls: Is there anything they can't do?
Finally I got rid of the WoW-bug. The repeated clicking of buttons to do the exact same thing, sometimes with different animations, does get old fast (although I did a dungeon run which was kind of funny; however, nobody talks or roleplays these days so it was just like being in a single-player game), so I'll be stopping my subscription again this month. And maybe go back in a year or so for another month. It really can be an entertaining game in its own special way, but not for long periods of time. Is my opinion, anyway.
Unfortunately, this week saw the release of Almost Human's dungeon level editor for their excellent Legend of Grimrock, and so I've been glued to the screen learning a little bit about lua scripting and building my own dungeon, 'The Ruins of Yultur'. Their editor is probably the most user-friendly content generator I ever saw for a computer game. You can build entire dungeon complexes without knowing a thing about scripting (although in this case, you can only use the assets already existing in the game); with a little scripting knowledge, you can get more creative and, if you're good enough I suppose, make something that only barely resembles the original game. Not that I'm there. At all. I spent an hour just getting a lock puzzle to work. But hey, it's fun. And it gives me an itch to play some good old fashioned AD&D or something like that. Ack, the days of yore, when countless hours were spent delving into the depths of dark dungeons, cracking bad jokes with friends as we stuffed our bodies with unhealthy but tasty drinks and foodstuffs.

Oh well. One way to scratch the itch is to read a good fantasy novel. And what do you know, the next chapter in A Storm of Swords features Ser Jaime Lannister, one of my all-time favorite characters regardless of genre. I must admit I found him less entertaining in A Feast for Crows and his one sorry chapter in A Dance with Dragons, but he really shines in this third volume of ice and fire. Almost rivaling Tyrion. Not a bad feat.

So, this chapter opens with Jaime spying an inn near the river, but it seems deserted. That's how quick Martin establishes an urge to read on - setting up questions like 'why is the inn deserted?', 'will they check it out?' and 'what will happen if there's someone hiding there?' I love it when a chapter quickly sets up something for the reader to wonder about. Makes you more invested. Ser Cleos Frey says that the inn was open the last time he was there, and Brienne voices our own suspicions: "There may be people (...) Hiding or dead." They end up angling toward the dock to go inspect this inn, Jaime still in his chains.

Jaime laughs when he recognizes the inn's sign - they have come to the Inn of the Kneeling Man. Jaime laughs because of the irony - the inn, according to Ser Cleos, "stands upon the very spot where the last King in the North knelt before Aegon the Conqueror to offer his submission." Jaime adds some additional backstory exposition to the explanation, but before we can really digest this information, Jaime finds himself "eye to eye with a loaded crossbow". That's a great and simple description. Really, it's so easy to imagine without Martin spending a lot of words on describing the scene - eye to eye with a loaded crossbow is all we need to see what's going on; and of course, Jaime won't be that interested in everything else (like, who is holding the crossbow) - he's staring right at a quarrel aimed at him. It's a "chunky" boy holding the crossbow, and he asks, "Lion, fish, or wolf?" which is kind of cool instead of "Lannister, Tully or Stark?" It also allows Jaime to reply ever so dryly, "We were hoping for capon." I chuckle.

Jaime threatens the boy - if he shoots Jaime, Ser Cleos will hack him to pieces and they'll both be dead. For the reader it's pretty tense as we know Cleos isn't all that much of a fighting man. I chuckle again when the boy wonders why Jaime is in chains, and he replies, "Killed some crossbowmen." This droll wit is certainly part of Jaime's appeal, and, as a side note, I feel they really captured this part of Jaime's character in the TV series.
The boy isn't the only one at the inn; a man steps through the cellar door, evidently having just butchered a horse so they have something to eat. I suspect horse meat is somewhat stringy and tasteless, but this is based purely on my reading of fantasy literature. I wonder whether any fantasy author has actually tried horse meat?  According to Wikipedia, horse meat is in fact a major meat in a few countries in Central Asia, who consume about four million or so horses a year. That sounds so weird. Consuming horses. I guess I'm too used to think of them as work animals, but hey, if you can eat chicken, pig or lamb or what have you, why not horse?  Martin does give us the impression eating horse isn't all that common in Westeros either, except during times of need - such as when the Riverlands are burning.

Jaime points out how honest the innkeep is, who says that the horse was old and tough, and that the bread is hard and the oatcakes stale - which is an interesting little line, because it causes me to reflect on the man's honesty - is he really honest? Right after, the man tells Jaime that he isn't the innkeep - the innkeep is buried out in the backyard with his "women". I like how Martin is playing with perception here; and also note how Jaime is the one doing most of the talking, even though he is the one in chains. Of course, since the chapter's POV is his, this makes the most sense from a literary viewpoint; it wouldn't be as direct or interesting if we read about Jaime listening to Brienne talking to the innkeep; but at the same time it shows us how quickly Jaime can take control of a situation, chains and manacles and shackles be damned. I like this scene a lot, it's like a standoff, no one trusting each other, a loaded weapon is involved, and nobody is saying everything they could be saying. I dearly hope this scene will make its way onto our television screens next year. Speaking of Jaime taking control, we see him pick the best chair before the others, another sign that he is gaining an upper hand somehow (oh, how ironic this sentence will be in not so long a time).

An interesting little detail here as he goes to sit down; he is annoyed by the sound of his chains clinking along with his movement: Before this is done, he thinks, I'll wrap these chains around the wench's throat, see how she likes them then. Again, we are witness to Martin's incredible attention to little details that flesh out his world. Not only does this foreshadow a certain event in a certain Tyrion chapter later in the novel, it could (and probably will) also foreshadow Jaime actually wrapping a chain of some sort around some woman's throat (I am referring to the valonquar prophecy in A Feast for Crows here). Great stuff.

"Inn of the Kneeling Man" (c) Fantasy Flight Games
So, they sit in the Inn, eating stale food, the boy with the crossbow keeping his weapon cocked and loaded. Not the most relaxing way of eating. The innkeep sits down with them, and turns to Cleos, whom he takes for the leader of the group (his other options are a talkative prisoner and a woman, so there you go); funny how Cleos quickly glances at Brienne, acknowledging that she is the leader and not him, before answering the keep when he asks about news from Riverrun. When the innkeep learns they are going to King's Landing he tells them it is a foolish idea, as Stannis is outside the walls with a hundred thousand men and a magic sword. This brings out a physical reaction in Jaime, but as he is chained there's nothing he can do. The innkeep further warns the party of lions and wolves prowling the kingsroad, but also "bands of broken men preying on anyone" which we'll see more of later. The discussion continues for a while, Brienne giving the innkeep information on how she intends to get to King's Landing. I remember the first time reading it that I was angry with her for spilling the beans to this untrustworthy-seeming fellow.

We get a little build-up of the character Lord Beric Dondarrion, briefly seen in A Game of Thrones, so by now it should be clear he'll feature later in the story. A legend is growing around Lord Beric, as we can discern from the innkeep's description of him; a lightning lord who cannot die, accompanied by a red priest wielding a sword of fire. The twist here is that, in a world so far rather devoid of fantastical elements, we'll see that there is truth to the story; Lord Beric will see several resurrections, though in Westeros there's a price to pay.

It seems quite obvious on re-reads that the innkeep is trying to steer Brienne to take a certain route so that he, or companions of his, can ambush her party down the road. Indeed I expected this would happen the first time around; Brienne and co. follow the innkeep's treacherous advice, get ambushed, and this would somehow free Jaime.

They go to the stables to purchase horses, Jaime advising Brienne (again assuming control of the situation, kind of); Brienne offers the man three golden dragons (which is much more than what Jaime suggests to pay for the animals) and their skiff which they don't need anymore. After some haggling which lends the scene credibility, Jaime tells Brienne that it will be difficult riding when he's chained up the way he is. Oooh! The innkeep tells them there's a smithy nearby, and so they go there to strike off his chains. Jaime gives Brienne a sharp look when he says "There's far too much horse shit about here for my taste. I would hate to step in it," suggesting to her (and us) that he's aware that the innkeep is playing them false and hoping Brienne gets it too. Brienne is still suspicious (no wonder) so she doesn't strike off his wrist chain, only the ankle chain; this will allow Jaime to sit a horse but still not have his hands free. The innkeep reiterates the route they should take, and Brienne thanks him for the advice and the trade, and it seems that Jaime doesn't realize that Brienne is actually playing the innkeep, ahead of the game, so to speak. It's an important part of the development of their relationship, because Jaime is going to realize that there is more to Brienne of Tarth than raw strength and a homely face. And so they leave the Inn of the Kneeling Man.

Oh, Tumblr.
Reaching the burned village the innkeep told them about, Brienne swings her horse onto the southern road; "Jaime was pleasantly surprised; it was the same choice he would have made." So Jaime and Brienne have something in common, whereas Ser Cleos Frey is a dumbass, objecting that it is the road the innkeep warned them against. Brienne lays it all out, how the innkeep is probably trying to lure them into a trap, and so we get that bit of development: Jaime gave her a grudging smile. Yes, Ser Jaime, prejudice is a vice. Get rid of it on your way to become a better man. I love how Brienne serves as a catalyst for Jaime's transformation, something that was lost I feel in A Feast for Crows; or rather, it could have gone on longer to make it more believable. His arc needs more time.

That night on the southern road, they shelter in a small grove, without lighting a fire. Off in the distance, there are wolves howling (I can only assume this is Nymeria and her pack; though one could say that Nymeria is really on the move because there are always wolves howling in chapters taking place in the Riverlands). Cleos falls asleep, leaving the two to talk, which gives us some exposition on Brienne; how she always looked at herself as a man, a son, and what she hates about Jaime: He may not have harmed her, but he has harmed others, "those you were sworn to protect. The weak, the innocent..." Jaime tries to explain why he became a Kingsguard without mentioning it was mostly because of Cersei, his sister, and we get more backstory on the Lannister twins. Who remembers that Jaime squired to Ser Sumner Crakehall? Or which lord had a sleeping lion for his sigil? I love these background additions, breathing history into the setting. Not so much the line of Targaryens, but the lordly houses of Westeros, the medievally ones. There's a lot of info compressed here, the bitter irony being Jaime and Cersei trying to be near each other and ending up switching places and remaining far away from each other. There's a tragic love story here that is easy to forget when Jaime pushes Bran out of the window, a story that easily could have been turned into a romance novel on its own. An idea for a prequel, perhaps. You can read Robert's Rebellion: A Prequel to 'A Game of Thrones', I'd actually love to read about the Lannisters in Jaime & Cersei.

There's a great bit of back-and-forth between the two characters, Martin really makes their relation develop seamlessly, showing weaknesses in both of them. Brienne accusing Jaime of being evil for having slain King Aerys, yet not wanting to hear how stories are spreading about her own involvement with Renly's death. Of course, she's innocent, but is that what the world wants to hear? And has the world warped Jaime's story? It's complicated material for a fantasy novel, I guess, but it's also really lovely. Another successful pairing from the master of grimdark, then. It's also a scene I really feel needs to be in the TV show. I can imagine Nicolai Coster-Waldau (excuse my probably wrong spelling) blurting out the line, "Your wits are quicker than mine, I confess it. When they found me standing over my dead king, I never thought to say, 'No, no, it wasn't me, it was a shadow, a terrible cold shadow", delivered with mockery and disdain. Oh yes, I wring my hands at the mere thought of this scene coming to life with the two great actors donning the roles of Jaime and Brienne.

Jaime is really getting her riled up by the way, anger barely held in check by her vows. This is a woman who takes her honor and her oaths seriously, and as such is quite the opposite of Jaime, and this is also of course the reason the sparks are flying here.

Jaime remembers the moment when he came upon King Aerys, and it's a haunting little sequence giving us some juicy detail on how things actually went down in the throne room that fateful day. There's enough material here for another prequel, say, The Last Days of the Mad King. This is also the point in the story where, I suspect, readers begin to experience a change in how they feel about Ser Jaime Lannister. We begin to see the man behind the mask, so to speak; we get some honest insight from him, and start to realize he has, for most of his life, felt that he has been treated unfairly. There's more to him than swagger and cockiness, and plain badassery. Brilliant.

This relatively long chapter ends with two paragraphs - one telling us Jaime is dreaming of the dead, gowned in swirling green flames (which could allude to the Battle at Blackwater Bay, or something still to come - or it could just be his guilt playing out), and the last paragraph being Brienne kicking him in the ribs to wake him up; it has begun to rain, and before the sun comes up they are back in the saddle and riding.

Still my favorite piece of ASOIAF art.
After a tense scene at the Inn, Brienne revealing her cunning, Jaime beginning to show his humanity, and some very interesting backstory, that last paragraph is kind of an exhalation - here, perhaps wisely, the author deems it good enough to just end the sequence on a quiet note, instead of ramping it up with some cliffhanger, and I think it works well this way, with the three moving on in the rain and gloom, leaving us wanting to know what happens next without resorting to some cheap cliffhangery trick. By now, Jaime and Brienne's pairing is so interesting that it powers interest on its own, if you know what I mean.

And that concludes today's reread, next up is Jaime's brother Tyrion, so it's all good.

Will Jaime and Brienne end up wedded and bedded? Only more books in the series can tell. May they be published.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hopelessly lost

It's like the One Ring. Dangerous.
Bah, this whole week I've got nothing done. I want to blame Blizzard Entertainment, but I know it is my own fault.
I've slain a great number of cartoon foes, but it's fortunately already wearing off. Kind of fun to experience the Cataclysm expansion's zones, since I bought the set on release and never got that far before getting tired of the game. So now I've finished all the quests in the Mount Hyjal zone, and been sent to another zone, and the urge to continue is diminishing. Hit buttons, repeat hit buttons. Hit another button. Even did a dungeon run, with everyone silent and rushing through the content.
Looking forward to pulling the plug on this crazy crack and immerse myself in secondary worlds in healthier ways, like reading another chapter of A Storm of Swords.

I did watch episode 9 of the first Game of Thrones season the other day, though. I like that episode so much.