A Conundrum Of Fancy Chairs

Sharksplode.com - Geeky Nerdy T-Shirts, Funny Tee ShirtsWhat I know about Game Of Thrones: It’s an HBO mini-series based off a very popular book series by George R. R. Martin (I assume that’s a Tolkien reference) and all geeks seem to love it.

What I do not know about Game Of Thrones: Anything else.

I can tell this is going to be my new Harry Potter or Doctor Who, where it’s the geek franchise that everyone can rally behind with near universal geek adulation, but I end up 5 years late to the party.

I don’t even have HBO… though excuses such as that don’t seem to really hold up when you’re a motivated internet-type individual.

COMMENTERS: Feel free to discuss the first episode in the comments. I will use your words to further pretend I know what’s going on when this show comes up.

A NEW THING!!! I have launched Sharksplode.com. It is NOT a replacement for The HijiNKS ENSUE Store. It IS a place that I can put up my more niche, inside, “maybe not for everyone, but definitely for super geeks like us” shirt ideas.

The Doctor Is In T-Shirt

You can now order a “The Doctor Is In” shirt based off the “You’re The Last of The Time Lords, Charlie Brown” comic. It comes in blue or brown. So go check out the site, read the initial blog post and order you some wearable geekiness that will illicit awkward stares.

[Side note: I was up for 30+ hours straight between Sunday and… I guess Tuesday working on the site, getting it working/ready to go, etc. so I am horribly behind on comics at the moment. I appreciate your patience.]

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  1. Game of Thrones is just awesomely rich literature. It can be compared to the Lord of The Rings meets the Sopranos or The Wire. It's got great, complex, morally ambiguous characters (and so many of them!) It's hard to root for just one (currently I'm Team Daenerys and Team Snow). I suggest getting the audio books and popping a cd while you drive or something if you don't have time to read the juggernauts (some 800 pages and more) while you prep to catch the series. I'm so happy to see the characters in the flesh! (some more than others).

    • I'm a Tyrion girl myself 🙂 The Imp is pimp. Also, Arya, and surprisingly Jaime. I think he's the most well-developed character, yucky tendencies notwithstanding…

      • Tyrion and Arya are definitely the top-tier characters; I'm only halfway through the second book, though, and so far there hasn't been too much Jaime. Nonetheless, I think the actor they got for him seems absolutely perfect.

        I remember seeing him in Virtuality where he was playing the guy who would have been the main character (well, it's not so simple, but if you haven't seen Virtuality I don't want to spoil it; FOX only ever let one long episode of Ron Moore's post-BSG baby get made so it needs to be savored), and he exudes that "strong but flawed leading man" quality that an actor needs to make Jaime believable.

        Arya is almost equally as I imagined her; Tyrion far less so, but understandably and having loved him in shows like Threshold I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Peter Dinklage pull off some of the awesome Tyrion moments we have to look forward to 🙂

        So glad that HBO (unlike the fickle and self-destructive "big" networks) has already picked it up for a second season; I can already feel that a cancellation would break my heart.

    • Count me in for Team Stark, and not just because they sound like medieval ancestors to a certain armor-suited weapons designer.

  2. Honestly, I hadn't even heard of it until I read that idiotic "review" in the NY Times. Your face in panel 4 kills me!

  3. Go read these books immediately!
    Fun facts, by which I mean SPOILERS:

    they contain incest . . . between twins;
    a human woman nursing baby dragons;
    zombies with blue eyes, er, I mean white walkers;
    children that control dire wolves in their sleep
    cats sleeping with dogs (well, ok, not that one, but damn!
    Why are you reading this right now and not these books?
    What is WRONG with you?

    p.s. I have read and enjoyed these books.

  4. We have HBO and still haven't erased the recording of the first ep. Come over when you get a chance so you guys can watch it. Or listen to the audiobooks; downside: I've heard they're about 33 hours apiece.

    • Are you talking to Joel, or is this an open invitation?
      you might want to clarify before an army of geeks shows up in your doorstep.

      • Naw, they would have to figure out her home address.

        ….okay, I see your point, that doesn't sound like too difficult of a problem for the creepiest of geeks to figure out. But I'd suspect there's a high overlap between "people who would actually do that" and "people who won't leave their rooms" so she should be safe.

  5. I've just found out that I am required to pick up another book series or I lose my Geek Card.

    I really liked the first episode, though. Lots of characters to have to pay attention to. I just kept muttering to myself "Pretend it's like Dune but in Medieval times." It provided a nice mindset to allow all that information to flood my eye holes. It will probably reset before the second episode so I may yet be in trouble. Are there flowcharts?

    And at least Jason Momoa isn't being typecast as a barbarian or anything…. or, not.

  6. 5 years late? I was late to the series when I started reading them 10 years ago during a boring 5 weeks in Little Rock (don't ask).

  7. Oh, I love the first panel! She asks why you wanted to meet. Not why are you in the dumpster. This is a frequent occurrence?

  8. Either I missed a joke or that last panel is very, very close to being a non-sequitur. I still find it funny, for some odd reason. XD

    • I think the joke is Joel recognizes she knows more about it than he does and now craves hot dogs. And he thinks cloaks has something to do with it.
      Or maybe he wants to make cloaks for the hotdogs to wear.

      (I found it funnier before I tried to explain it.)

  9. Hey Joel, remember y'all's podcast re-enactment of the round table discussion with the "edgy" network execs? This is what HBO was talking about.

    I read the entire series for the first time about a year ago, so I was pretty enthused about the show… until I watched it. Pretty, yes. Great casting, absolutely! How the f*(# did they manage to make this even MORE objectifying and rape-y than the books already were?!? I mean, the whores were one thing, because hey- whores are awesome, but the whole "wedding night" scene was totally changed from the book TO MAKE IT MORE HORRIBLE WTFGRRM? Is the scriptwriter the same guy who wrote 'Girl W/ the Dragon Tattoo'?! I swear they needed a trigger warning for almost the entire pilot. I *might* still watch this and try to ignore the more horrible bits, but I sure as hell won't be recommending the show to anyone.

    If you want insanely complicated violent realistic-yet-fantasy novels, try Erikson's Malazan Empire series. It's all crazy undead gods and body swapping and demon dogs and epic badassery.

  10. I appear to be the only one in all of geek-dom that can't get behind that series. I read like 3 1/2 of them before I got so angry about <insert spoiler here> that I was just like "Screw it! And screw you, George R R Martin for sucking me in for several hundred pages worth of time!"

    That said, there are some really great characters and apparently you're a failure of a nerd if you don't like them, so…like them. And succeed at nerd.

    • You're not the only one, I don't know what spoiler you're referring to but I had to tap out at book four. George R R Martin strayed to far from the main characters and storylines leaving a whole book about characters I either hated or didn't give a shit about.

      I just finished Wise Man's Fear and I can't recommend that series enough. So good.

      • I know this is a little off topic, but : I couldn't agree more about WMF – Patrick Rothfuss is simply amazing. Every single geek/nerd/storylover should read his stuff. For a debut and follow up they are outstanding.

        Back on topic, I really don't like Sean Bean and his face on the posters for Game of Thrones has put me off – is this something I really should be investing time in (as a geek) or is it, like Lost, something I can ignore and feel relieved that I never got sucked into?

        I know that this is all subjective and we all like different stuff, but I have watched stuff based on recommendations off here before and been happy about it, but have avoided Glee & Lost (and any Heroes after midway thru S3) and been even happier about that.

        • Thanks, guys, for 1. making me realize I am not wandering through life alone in a haze of GoT discontent, and 2. the recommendation. I'll have to check it out! We'll see where it falls on my Robin Hobb scale of "Assassin to Skill Master."

          Oh, and humanprototype0, I wasn't even referring to any specific spoiler, more to the running spoiler/theme of all the books. I will say no more than that.

    • Me, I started reading them just before the third book came out, I think? And reading Book 1 and then going straight to book 2 was fine. But by the time Book 3 came out, I'd forgotten who most of the characters were, and most of the plot details, but I managed to struggle through most of it anyways, without quite ever entirely figuring out how it related to 1 & 2.

      By the time Book 4 came out I didn't have a CLUE who any of these people were or what they were doing or why I should care, and I gave up.

      Dear Publisher: If you're going to have a multi-book series full of complex characters with conflicting motivations and tangled political intrigues, could you please put a damned summary of "The story til now" in the front? Huh? Would it really have been that difficult? It would have added like A PAGE OR TWO to a book already close to a thousand *Gasp not another PAGE* and made it possible for me to keep track of what the hell had happened in a book I read like THREE YEARS AGO.

      *Sigh* I did enjoy it (at least, the first two, when I had some idea of what the hell was going on) and I've always kinda thought maybe I should sit down and reread the entire series, front to back, now that it seems to basically be over. But that would mean rereading the first three books, so almost 3000 pages, so yeah, that's not gonna happen.

      • I've been there with other series'. Wikipedia is actually a big help to jog my memory before picking up the next one.

  11. Be sure to take the books in small doses if you have depressive of suicidal tendencies. They are tremendously well written, but grim as fuck.

  12. I had the same experience when talking to my fellow CliqueClack writers who apparently know everything about it… still don't know what the dang show is about. I think there are swords involved.

  13. I like to think of myself as being a pretty geeky individual and I try to stay up to date on Sci-Fi and Fantasy subjects. This, however, completely blindsided me. I started seeing some buzz about it from my friends so my current response when asked about it is, "I'm hearing a lot of buzz about it lately." and then hope the subject changes soon. Heck, the only thing I knew about George R. R. Martin before this was his Wild Card series. Oh, and that his middle initials sounds like Mork from Ork laughing, R R R.

    • That pretty much sums up my position too.
      although, Knowing George R. R. R. Arrr. Martin's work from the Wild Card books, I can definitely understand/imagine what people are saying about the tendency towards huge casts, and the "freaky stuff", as well as suddenly switching to focusing on lesser characters instead of the ones the reader has grown attached to. Since I noticed very similar things in the wild card books, but that series had the excuse of having multiple authors, which was what I enjoyed about it.

  14. Joel don't bother reading the books just watch the series and enjoy that. I think the lord of the rings analogy is very apt in that while the books are good they are also filled with ALOT of boring minutia that would get condensed out when being transferred to tv or movies.

    About a year ago I started reading the books, first one was ok, the second and third books I really liked, and then the series completely lost me two chapters into book four. Book four is made up of almost exclusively secondary and less than secondary characters that I didn't give a shit about. That and the fact that the end date of the series won't be for many years made me very unenthusiastic about reading any futher. That being said I'm definitely going to check out the show and will probably finish the books if and when G.R.R.M. finishes the series.

  15. "What I know about Game Of Thrones: It’s an HBO mini-series based off a very popular book series by George R. R. Martin (I assume that’s a Tolkien reference) and all geeks seem to love it.

    What I do not know about Game Of Thrones: Anything else."

    This describes my exact situation. I thought I was the only one.

  16. I know this comment contributes next to nothing, but I have to say it anyway. I'm in the same boat with the whole 'not catching on until years later' thing. I am only just now getting completely caught up with Doctor Who…And now I'm completely addicted. I just about peed my pants when I saw "The Doctor is In", for the first time. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome brain thoughts. I plan on buying about 20 of that shirt once I can afford it. Woot!

  17. I had only been tangentally aware of the series until I realized that the show was looming, and so a few weeks ago I loaded the first book onto my ereader and gave it a shot; it's definitely on the grim side, but the setting deserves it. And you read enough history and it becomes pretty apparent that nobles tend to be incestuous thin-skinned dicks, so even if that means sometimes you're rooting *against* a fair number of the characters it still rings very true, and that's something that's often sorely lacking in fantasy (some of us like realistic characters to be wielding the swords, thankyouverymuch).

    I've caught a few things that seem like departures from the novels so far, but they seem to be actually refinements, or am I crazy? For example, the


    three members of the Night's Watch; one of them ends up being the guy who's executed by Ned, where in the novel all three are killed by the White Walkers and the executed guy was just a random unrelated deserter from the Night's Watch. Storytelling-wise I thought that was a much tighter choice; I'm wondering if George R.R. Martin is having a Chuck Palahniuk moment, looking at the adaptation of his work and going "damn, good idea, wish I had thought of that!"

    And speaking of, I had to double-check WIkipedia to be sure that the novels ever called them the White Walkers; most of the time the folks seem to call them The Others, and I think White Walkers is far more evocative. So that's at least one more point for the TV series.



      In the novel, there were three members of the Night's Watch party. The young guy, "Will", the Knight, "Ser Waymar Royce", and an older guy "Gared". Will and Waymar Royce were killed by the creatures in the forest after leaving Gared behind to watch the horses. In the next chapter, the deserter from the Night's Watch was the third member of the party, "Gared", who fled afterwards. The tell was that he had the same injuries from frostbite described in the first chapter.


      Ultimately, it's unimportant which of them died how as they all ended up dead (sorta). But I thought the way they did it in the show was effective though nowhere as creepy as the novel since….


      In the novel, when they go back to the camp, all the bodies are gone because they have re-animated and they are the ones who come out and butcher Ser Waymar Royce while Will cowers in a tree. Royce then re-animates and kills Will.


      Alright, I've corrected a fellow nerd on a nerd subject on the internets. My nerd quota is filled for the day! Now I can go watch old episodes of Stargate SG-1. 😉

  18. I live in Australia. I accidentally discover the promotions of Game of Thrones online.
    And so I have just finished the first book.
    I get the references of all the comments above but I won't get to see the show on tv for probably over a year. . .

  19. I read half of the first book, and there were two references to incest, two loveless marriages, and a dead kid. The pace just seemed so slow though. At least "Wheel of Time" was fast-paced until I got drawn in (and then it slowed to a crawl).

    Just wanted to say that this comic is really drawn well. I like Joel's squinty-eyed look especially. It made me go back and look at the last couple and the one from last Thursday is great too.

  20. Best description of the series I've ever heard? (Spoiler for, like, the first five minutes of the show):

    It's like the War of the Roses, if there was a zombie apocalypse going on in Scotland.

  21. Game of Thrones isn't fantasy in the same way that LotR isn't homoerotic. Or the same way that Charile Sheen isn't f#@%ing nuts.

    I loved George R.R. Martin's writing for the Wild Card books. I may have to care about this series.

  22. This was a series I was planning on picking up after finishing the Wheel of Time books. I figure, if I can wade through entire books dedicated dresses while retaining info on 1600+ characters from Jordan, then there's nothing Grr Rrr Rrr Mrr can do to fluster me.

    Except maybe the twincest. That would indeed be cause for a fluster … or two.

  23. Wait, I thought being a "motivated internet-type individual" would lead you to NOT have HBO, or even cable for that matter.

  24. All I know about it is that it's got several hot shirtless guys in it. That's good enough for me!

    btw- it's a "mob" of wallabies 🙂

  25. Yeah, quite a few of us haven't heard of Game of Thrones (the books) before the series was announced, so you're part of the club. Joel, you should have been to WonderCon back in the start of April! It was Awesome! HBO brought the Throne and some costumes from the show, and I sat on the Throne! It is much more comfortable than something made of melted swords welded together sounds like. And that first episode: DAMN.

    • Honestly, that's pretty much it. Even a lot of people who are fans of the series will admit that he had a story he wanted to tell, did that really well for two books, then sort of lost track of wtf he was aiming for.

  26. Game of Thrones is an interesting long format show based on the game of Musical Chairs. Hot, sometimes naked, people must compete, dance, and fight their way to a throne just as the music stops. As people lose they are eaten alive by wolves. Ultimately, in the last episode two players will remain.

  27. I had never heard of Game of Thrones till some friends started ranting and raving all about the books and getting excited about the tv series. For weeks all I've heard was "Winter is Coming! Winter is Coming!"…. After seeing the first episode (even if you don't have HBO you can go to their website and watch it streamed. Duh :P) I am now curious about it to the point that Im gonna buy the box set of the first 4 books. There's a new one out in June and 2 more books in the works. I've heard that the books are like 1000 pages long….but I've got books longer then that that I've read in a week so it'll be interesting to say the least when I do start reading the books.

    • I dunno if I wouldn't wait. 😛 If a new book comes out in June, it's been YEARS since the last one, so you read through the 4 and you're like "Uh…" They were good books, but it leaves you screaming for resolution. Hopefully he doesn't die or give up before it can finish.

  28. Haven't watched more then the 1st episode (which was awesome!), but I've been following the books for years now and just say today DANCE OF DRAGONS IS OUT!!!!! Go read them now. Fact – children and wives don't need attention. Go read the books.

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