Yeah, it took me ages, but I don’t torrent or have cable.
Winter is coming
High fantasy, I now realise, is a form of the pastoral: it’s nice to imagine living a life that is more in touch with nature’s rhythms, and then defending that life against dirty, quasi-industrial Evil. I also now realise that it’s an aspect of high fantasy that is critical to my enjoyment of it, because it really bugs me that everyone in Westeros apart from Ned Stark is less in touch with the seasons of their world than an ordinary modern alienated schmuck like me is with his. (And how do the trees survive? Don’t get me started.) This is a shame, because the Wall and winter coming were one of the few things which the first novel left me curious about.
It’s not just that all but one of the sex scenes in the first series were incest, prostitution, rape or technical rape: it’s that they’re so disconnected from the rest of the story that they might as well be dream sequences. Stacks of nudity and titillation but very little sensuality and no sexual tension at all. Compared with Battlestar Galactica, say, it’s pretty bad.
The rest of it
That said, the sex scenes were my favourite parts. I found myself thinking “what a shame, this is going to give the genre a bad name” but everyone else likes it and I remembered that until I read the first novel last year, I hadn’t read any high fantasy for decades. I just don’t like it anymore, I suppose.
Oh, and that bit where Jamie Lannister says “I could care less what other people think”
That annoyed me so much that I went and deliberately spoilered the second, third and fourth novels by reading the remainder of Tiger Beatdown’s magnificent post. No regrets.