Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sharing the Obsession

So you remember how last time I mentioned my newfound deep and abiding love of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series? With that in mind, I have to give a shout-out to my good friend Elizabeth, who makes mention of the men of Westeros in a recent blog post of her own about literature's most eligible man-candy. Check that out here at MyLittleCorneroftheVerse.

I've been up at my in-law's this week as the Husband has been away sounding like a grown-up as he goes on a week-long business trip to Detroit. I'm sorry, but 5 days on my own with this very demanding little guy is just not happening at this stage of the game. But this trip has meant that I have some willing extra hands to keep E occupied, which keeps us all sane...and gives me a chance to continue ploughing my way through A Storm of Swords. As the third book in the series, SoS keeps up the pace brilliantly. And despite the ever-growing cast of characters, I've never felt lost in a murky mire of details, or wondered if we weren't spreading ourselves a bit thin following so many different story lines. And I have to give credit to the fact that, as real as magic and the supernatural turn out to be in Martin's fantasy universe, it's been long enough since anyone's seen any convincing spectacle that most characters come to the book's more spectacular events with a healthy dose of skepticism...followed quickly by disbelief, some cognitive dissonance, and perhaps a grudging acceptance and fear of their new reality.

With all the characters Martin's narratives follow, it could be hard to choose a favourite, but I have to say I state my current choice without hesitation: Tyrion Lannister. The drinking, whoring, smart-mouthed youngest son of Westeros' most ice-cold mafia don  of a lord, Tywin Lannister. Not only is Tyrion a scheming conniving s.o.b. with a heart of gold, but he gets - forgive the pun - the short end of the stick as the midget baby whose birth killed his mother...two facts for which his father has never forgiven him. Yet Tyrion refuses to let the world get him down. In book one, Game of Thrones, Tyrion gives Jon Snow (the unfortunate bastard of Lord Eddard Stark) the advice that if you own every derisive nickname people can give you, there's no way for them to hurt you. You only let your tormentors win when you choose to take offence at their jibes.

Not to mention, Tyrion is a closet hopeless romantic. Despite his own advice, he always wishes he was as tall and handsome and dashing as his older brother, Jaime, and though he's none of the above, he still finds himself in the position of falling hopelessly in love with some woman and trying unsuccessfully to talk himself out of it. Plus, who can't feel a bit of sympathy once you get the storyline of his first clandestine whirlwind romance of a marriage, ruthlessly broken up by his ever-disapproving father?

But for now, I'll stop waxing eloquent and get back to reading. I have a sleeping baby, an hour or two to kill, and some pizza in the kitchen with my name on it. It's time to relax, bookworm style.

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