Last year, HBO premiered Game of Thrones , a new television series based on George R. R. Martin’s high fantasy series A Song of Fire and Ice. After a slow start, the show swept the fantasy world, garnering praise from critics and fans alike. This Sunday, Game of Thrones returns with its highly anticipated second season. I, for one, have been counting down for months, excited to see where the series leads. (I know, I know. If I had read the novels in the break between seasons, I wouldn’t be so anxious about what’s in store for the characters I love and loathe. I do plan on reading the novels at some point, but right now I’m too caught up in the stunning visual world of the TV series.)
Fantasy television series are not uncommon, but there are far more paranormal series (e.g., True Blood , Vampire Diaries , Supernatural ) than high fantasy. What sets Game of Thrones apart from every other television show I watch is the vastness and complexity of the series. It’s high fantasy similar to the Lord of the Rings  trilogy or the Chronicles of Narnia  movies, but on a more mature level. The world is in turmoil (both natural and man-made), the characters are fully formed, and the plot is a complex tapestry of interwoven storylines. The first season is only ten episodes long, and each episode is absolutely crucial.
If you missed the Game of Thrones hype last year and want to give it a try, check out the first season on DVD ! And if, like me, you have yet to pick up the novels the TV show is based on, be adventurous and request the first book today!
A Song of Fire and Ice Novels: