George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones keeps rolling right along with issue #13. This series has been nothing if not consistent, and this month’s issue is no exception. Here’s the official description from Dynamite:
In the aftermath of Jaime Lannister’s brutal attack upon Eddard Stark and his men, King Robert meets with the wounded Eddard—and presents him with a choice of evils: either Eddard accepts the heavy mantle of the King’s Hand once more . . . or Robert will appoint Jaime to the position. Adding to the troubles of House Stark, Tyrion Lannister wins his freedom from Catelyn Stark; now the Imp will return to his father, intent on revenge for his treatment at the hands of Cat and her mad sister. Meanwhile, far to the north, the bastard Jon Snow becomes a sworn brother of the Night’s Watch and must put his loyalty to the Starks aside.
I’m always reluctant to critique the actual plot of this series, as it’s the third version (that I can think of) of this story to come out. It’s been seventeen years since Martin released the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire and two since it exploded as a tv show on HBO. Odds are that the comic series is not your first introduction to the tale.
It’s important to note that the credits page lists Daniel Abraham as adapting this book, rather than writing it. While that would be technically true even if Abraham were writing a bit, the stark truth (Ha) is that he’s not writing. He’s not even really adapting. “Adapting” implies that he’s fitting the story to the format. He’s not. He’s just converting. It’s painfully obvious that GRRMaGoT is little more than a picture book.
Tommy Patterson‘s art is really the only reason you should consider picking this book up. This issue he creates an interesting background for a dream sequence, though he could have spiced things up a bit more. Catelyn Stark looks a bit too similar to her sister at one point. Robert Baratheon is one of the most visually interesting characters in any format, and Patterson carries him off nicely. The scenery at the Eyrie is consistently ephemeral and lovely, even though we don’t get wide-angle views.
I’m all in favor of supporting comics, but this is one case where you should just read the book. Or even just watch the show. At least that’s worthy of the term “adaptation.”
Zac Boone is optimistically expecting The Winds of Winter in 2014. He deserves to have his faith rewarded. Follow him on twitter.
S#!T Talking Central