Tag Archives: American Literature

Soren the barn owl flying in a battle with a torch in his beak.

“Guardians of Ga’Hoole” Book Series Review

The cover of The Capture by Kathryn Lasky.I was really surprised by these books.  You see, I made the mistake of watching a film called “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.”  The film was awful, and I made the mistake of assuming that the book series the film was based on would be just as bad.  Later that year, another bad film came out based on my favourite TV show, The Last Airbender, and there were many who assumed the show must be as bad as the film.  Eventually I realized I was being a hypocrite, and so I decided to read the Guardians of Ga’Hoole Series by Kathryn Lasky.  These books surprised me because unlike the film, they’re really good.
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King Joffrey is the only well-written character in Game of Thrones.

King Joffrey: The Only Well-Written Character in Game of Thrones

Thus far, I’ve written a number of articles on George R. R. Martin’s horrendously boring A Song of Ice and Fire series.  Among these were two in which I analyzed some of the many poorly-written shells that pass for characters in Martin’s world.  In this article, however, I will discuss the villain of the first few volumes, King Joffrey.  Joffrey is the only well-written character in A Song of Ice and Fire, mostly because he’s the only character who’s internally consistent.
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Bronn the mercenary sings The Rains of Castamere.

The Music of Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones, the show that captivates fourteen-year-olds everywhere, is bad.  It’s not well-written; it’s not well-shot; it’s not well-lit; half the time it’s not even well-acted; and even the music to the opening credits is little more than a rip-off of better music.  When I first heard that opening theme, I liked it, and indeed it was what made me watch the show in the first place.  I’d watch the opening credits then suffer through the blandness that followed, but I was always struck by how similar it was to the theme from another show…
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“A Game of Thrones: Are You Not Entertained” by Robert Tracinski

Charles Dance's character facing his grandson the king.

I highly recommend you read this article by Robert Tracinski about Game of Thrones.  I personally feel that Game of Thrones is a symptom of a problem.  I frequently see sycophants droning on about how “great” the show is and how “realistic” the characters are, so it’s good to hear that I’m not alone in my concern about the nihilism that Game of Thrones promotes.

Stannis Baratheon arrives at The Wall on his horse.

Stannis Baratheon: Another One-Note Asshole

Stannis Baratheon, a character in Game of ThronesIn my last article concerning A Song of Ice and Fire, I discussed a character called Jon Snow.  He was, as are all George R. R. Martin’s characters, incredibly bland and unpleasant.  Although they’re all basically the same character, there are more of the same character to tear apart in these articles, so let’s get started with Stannis Baratheon.
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Jon Snow, a character in Game of Thrones

Jon Snow: The Boring Bastard

“What’s wrong with the characters in A Song of Ice and Fire,” you ask?  Well, let’s just take a look.  As for what’s wrong, where do I begin?  Why don’t I start with the fact that they’re all basically the same character?  You can’t really expect any better when an author divides his attention among a thousand of them, which is why you need to limit the number of pivotal characters in a story.  Every character in the story has, at most, a few personality traits to differentiate it from the cookie-cutter template that Martin applies to the lot of them.

I plan on suffering through several more of these character analyses, but I’ll start with the ever-tedious Jon Snow.  No, I’m not talking about Dr. John Snow, the Victorian physician who discovered that drinking polluted water was a bad thing—oh, I only wish!  Jon Snow is, amazingly, one of the least irritating of Martin’s characters.  I shudder to think of analyzing any of the others, but that’s Future Hamish’s problem!
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Conan The Barbarian

Epic Fantasy vs. “Sword and Sorcery”

I’d like to shed some light on a misconception concerning the genres of Epic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery.  For those who don’t know, the genre of Sword and Sorcery was created primarily by Robert E. Howard and thrived for many years in pulp magazines.  Epic Fantasy, on the other hand, was created by Tolkien with works such as The Hobbit after World War I and The Lord of the Rings after World War II.
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Bella Swan looking particularly cold.

Bella Swan: Sociopath or Psychopath?

As you’ve probably guessed if you’ve ever thought about it, the silent “p” in “psychopath” isn’t there just to confuse; the Ancient Greek letter “ψ” (called Ψι) represents the sound /ps/, which is used in the word “ψυχή,” which meant “soul” and was pronounced /pʰsyː.kʰɛ᷄ː/. “Psychopath” is derived from “ψυχή” and “πάθος” (suffering), and like many greek loanwords, the latin alphabet renders “ψ” as “ps.” I assume since /ps/ isn’t an especially easy way for non-greeks to begin a word, it therefore became just /s/ in other languages.
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A Game of Thrones Review: “A Little Adrift”

I had intended to touch upon this in my actual review of Chapter 16, but it slipped my mind when I actually sat down to write the review.  In case anyone needs further evidence in support of my claim that the direwolf’s slaughter had almost no effect on the characters, I found a quote by the author about just that while making sure I hadn’t misremembered anything.
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A Game of Thrones Review: One Dead Direwolf and a Whole Cast of Unlikable Characters

After looking at the first chapter of George R. R. Martin’s abhorrent A Song of Ice and Fire series, it almost goes without saying that we should, without warning, jump fifteen chapters ahead to one of the very worst this series has to offer, doesn’t it? Therefore I will jump straight to reviewing the chapter that should have made me quit reading this awful series.
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