Photo: Courtesy of Rakuten.
Editor's Note: When the Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones ran last year, we asked our friend Isaac Pritzker, a devoted GoT reader, to pen a response. He had been sitting on the knowledge of the bloodshed for 13 years and experienced a bit of delicious schadenfreude watching the rest of us squirm, and we wanted to understand his unapologetic revelry in our pain. Pritzker, who is currently working on his MFA in creative writing, declined, but offered to sympathize with show-watchers before season four kicked off.
Despite what you may read here, Isaac has assured us he is thrilled so many people have fallen into the George R.R. Martin folds. He just is a little stressed out. It's been a very, very long time for him. Take pity on his poor soul.
June 9, 2013.
That was the last taste we had of sweet, medieval-inspired nectar, and I know your heart simply trembles the thousand sorrows of the waiting. You have cried tears that have fallen like the rains of Castamere.
The date I am referring to is, of course, the season three closer of Game of Thrones.
Ten months! Yes, little one, you have waited 10 solid months for a taste of the sexual tension between Jaime and Brienne, or Bran as a wolf or a crow, a little taste of Tyrion being an unapologetic whoremonger. (His words, not mine.)
You have waited 43 long weeks, 302 endless days, 7,224 impossible hours, impatiently no doubt, to see Ygritte's butt again...and I weep for you.
I walked into Dog Eared Books on Valencia Street in San Francisco during the summer of '98, a pimply preteen, seeking "something like The Elf Stones of Shannara," probably. The storekeep dug around for a moment and then joyously pressed A Game of Thrones into my hands and smiled slyly. "I think you might like this."
Tolkien's sissy hobbits don't even "make water," let alone "piss," and in the first hundred pages of this masterpiece, a kid almost my age busts two siblings getting it on and gets pushed out of a window for it. The storekeep might as well have been Jesse Pinkman, sliding me a bag of the blue. I was hooked. Finished. I was cracked out on George R.R. Martin.
I demolished the first book. I devoured the second.
And, then I waited, just like you wait now.
My first wait was tolerable. I probably just played StarCraft between books two and three. The days blurred, one into another, but I survived. It was only two f***ing years.
Photo: Courtesy of AWOIAF.
(To put it into context, I read book three on a hand-me-down PalmPilot from my dad. On my bus rides to and from school, I finished A Storm of Swords. And, then I waited. Again. Just like you wait now. But. For. Five. Years.
I waited, oh, you know, FOR HIGH SCHOOL TO FINISH. Just real quick.
So, I hear all my friends lamenting, "Oh no! Ten months! Wahhhh, wahhhh!" What will happen to the Starks, they wonder. Will Jaime ever fight again?
I waited six years for book five, you simpering cravens. Do you have any idea what kind of cliff-hangers this guy leaves? I waited six entire years to find out if the Lannisters actually pay their debts or they were just being menacing! He makes that super ambiguous!
I didn't know if the dragons were gonna grow up big and strong. How big was "really big"? Like, the last dragons weren't that big, so were we talking big, like, Balerion? Or, were they going to be as big as the lesser dragons?! Or, maybe she was going to have to trade one for a boat...or what if one got killed or something? I just didn't even know, and IT WAS REALLY FREAKING SCARY.
I lived my life like this for six years.
I didn't even know if winter was really coming. It seemed like it was — the temperature was dropping, but their seasons are, like, super long, so it could have been a cold spell in October but not really "winter is coming" weather, so it was actually PRETTY HARD TO TELL. You all, sitting at home with your Netflixes and your cushy couches, you think you are waiting?
You know nothing, Jon Snow.
(Though, on the plus side, with all us fools watching, maybe Martin will actually finish the damn books...?)