Remember, if you will, a time before Game of Thrones (the books or HBO, take your pick) had broken your heart. A time when nearly every single character was still alive, even that first one that broke your heart…and Game of Thrones #19 will take you there.
To be honest, we’re so far into the pathos now that I had forgotten a time before George R. R. Martin had written so many characters that he had to start killing them off in droves (If you’ve made it to the end of the first book/season, this is not a spoiler, only a “sorry pal” pat on the back for what’s to come. If you haven’t made it to the end of the first book/season, may the Seven and the old gods all help you).
At any rate, issue #19 puts us before (much) bloodshed, but after the Game of Thrones has begun in earnest and great armies are starting to march across Westeros. Tyrion, who has always been a favorite character of mine, is front and center in this issue as he brings the clans of the Mountains of the Moon into play in the larger war, serving as their leader/captive. But even with the Imp as entertainment, this issue is more of a chess game than an action flick—the armies are still maneuvering into place. If you’re looking at this issue as a newbie to Westeros, it’s novel and intriguing. If you’re looking at it as someone who has read about and/or seen the Red Wedding and survived, however, it’s a return to innocence—the Starks barter with the Freys for passage through the Twins with nothing more than a bit of suspicion. It’s a little heartbreaking.
I have the utmost respect for the creative team on these comics—it’s got to be very hard working on a story whose ending is still nebulous. It’s got a perfect balance of exposition (and there’s a lot of it in Game of Thrones) and action on the page, both in art and writing; explaining Timett son of Timett requires massive creativity in and of itself. But there’s something about this particular segment of the story that drags a little, and I don’t think that’s the fault of the artist, but rather the result of trying to adapt a gigantic novel to the comic book genre; inevitably, there are bound to be some slow parts. So for now, I’ll give Game of Thrones #19 3.5 out of 5 stars just for the lack of movement. I will, however, be revisiting the entire story arc of the Game of Thrones comics series in time for the series premiere on HBO on April 6, and might reach a different verdict once I’ve got the entire series under my belt. We’ll see.
Game of Thrones #19
Writer: George R. R. Martin
Artist: Tommy Patterson
Cover Artist: Mike S. Miller
The critically acclaimed adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s sweeping epic! Tyrion, under escort by a savage clan of warriors (and in a precarious position of being both their leader and their hostage) reunites with his father. Soon after, Tywin vows to uphold Tyrion’s promises to the clans . . . provided they fight for him against the army of Robb Stark!
On Sale: March 26, 2014
Diamond ID: JUL131009