Direwolves and Dragons Volume

Direwolves and Dragons Volume 1.01

The most insightful essays on the HBO series Game of Thrones, now available in a single volume. Packed into these six long articles (86 pages, 21,000 words) you will find Pearson Moore’s analysis of the symbolism of Game of Thrones and his piercing essay on the thesis of the show. Anyone who wishes to truly understand this powerful new fantasy series needs to read these intriguing, entertaining analyses by the internet’s most trusted interpreter of television drama.

1. Instinctive Hon

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3 Responses to “Direwolves and Dragons Volume”

  1. G. McDonough Says:
    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Light, Thoughtful, Entertaining, May 2, 2011
    By 
    G. McDonough

    This review is from: Direwolves and Dragons Volume 1.01 (Kindle Edition)

    I enjoyed these brief essays. I liked the short introductions to Ned Stark and the TV series. The essays on the first two TV episodes were good. What surprised me the most was even though I know the novels relatively well (I almost wrote my master’s thesis on them) these essays shed light on aspects of the TV interpretation I had not considered. Moore looks at the story almost as if the TV production were its own creation. I find it a refreshing approach.

    I most enjoyed the essays looking at the symbolism and the thesis. I can be jaded when the discussion turns to these topics. I found in graduate school a tendency to over-analyze. In fact, it was my distaste for over-analysis of “A Song of Ice and Fire” that led me to change my thesis. I was pleased to find that my fears turned out to be ungrounded. Moore is in some respects charmingly naive in his assertions, especially regarding the influence of symbolism in the early narrative. But he says several times that he is not telling anyone what to believe about the story, the symbolism, and most of all about the thesis. I found the symbolism section enlightening, if only because I assumed I had picked up on most everything. I was surprised enough by what I read that I went back and rewatched the first 20 minutes of episode 1. What a surprise! I realized I still had the novels in my head, and Moore made me understand I had to treat the TV production as distinct from the novels. That discovery alone was worth the 99 cents I shelled out.

    The chapter on the thesis was interesting. I will say that I do not share the author’s opinion. But he gave me some new things to throw against the ideas I have held for a few years, and I find this a refreshing and unexpected experience. Moore is no expert, but he never pretends to be. But if he can cause me to wonder about a few connections I never thought to make, I feel the experience has been worth my time.

    This booklet is a fine bit of work by an enthusiast for television drama. It is an excellent sounding board for new thought, and requires readers to be on their toes. I no longer try to force every last drop of academic nonsense from the books I read. I found in this booklet a delightful afternoon of reading and reviewing the first two episodes. I was entertained, and I even had to think a bit. I hope to read more by Moore!

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  2. SamtheMan Says:
    4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This is GOOD!!!, May 5, 2011
    By 
    SamtheMan

    This review is from: Direwolves and Dragons Volume 1.01 (Kindle Edition)

    These are most excellent articles. I started reading this dude’s Lost articles at Dark UFO and they were excellent. I did not know anything about The Game of Thrones but when I saw Direwolves and Dragons I gave it a try. This story is awesome! And the dude’s articles in Direwolves and Dragons are so deep. He is doing the same thing he did with Lost Humanity and it is excellent. He puts words together that force you to think. It is the way he does it that gets to me.

    The best article is the one on symbolism. He goes into one scene and just tears it apart and makes everything make sense. It is the longest article in the book but it is awesome! When the series is over I am going to buy the Game of Thrones book. Now that I understand the symbolism the book should be a lot of fun to read.

    Pearson Moore is the most excellent writer about TV. If I could give six stars I would. If you want to understand The Game of Thrones, read this book!

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  3. Thomas W. Hopper Says:
    9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Scholarship stuck in the 1950s, May 1, 2011
    By 
    Thomas W. Hopper
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Direwolves and Dragons Volume 1.01 (Kindle Edition)

    Caveat: I have read the essays “Five Paths of the Maester,” “Meat and Blood,” and “Instinctive Honor.”

    Pearson Moore fearlessly dives in with a close reading of “Game of Thrones,” and that’s admirable. But it’s obvious that he places himself, not the text (print and film) of “A Game of Thrones,” at the center of his essays. He is needlessly self-referential, including a long digression in the “Maester” essay about his career as a scientist that only tangentially relates to the topic at hand. The “five paths” of the “Maester” essay could be summarized as a formal attention to plot, both that which happens in the four novels and what precedes them (paths 1-4), and then the historical context of “GoT” in GRRM’s literary career (path 5). The historical context of a work within an author’s life is a dead-end to fruitful criticism. It’s well and good that GRRM came to “GoT” after bowing out of television, but a better question for the text would be how his filmic style tells the story, and then how another set of filmic eyes decided to script a stylistically cinematic novel, not how the story got started. Moore starts to do this in his attention to sensory details within the story in the essay “Competing Cultures,” but doesn’t go where it needs to go.

    In the essay on Eddard, he does not define the term “hero,” which is problematic because of the different types of heroism and anti-heroism present within the novels (Eddard, Tyrion, Cercei, Daenerys, and Jon Snow, amongst others). The essay presumably wanted to talk about just Eddard, but if he wanted to talk just about Eddard’s heroism, then replace “hero” with “Eddard” in the essay. Grand statements like “For the hero, whose instincts are ruled not by passion but by principle, the most enduring feature of friendship is commitment,” fail when applied to Tyrion who freely betrays people and is quite in touch with his passions. Would Moore say that Tyrion is not a hero? There is an essay on Tyrion coming up, but after reading these I probably won’t read it, which is a shame.

    His constant rhetorical self-debasing (“an idiot like me,” “I’m just as smart as a bag of rocks”) fails because he doesn’t come off as humble, and make you consider the possibility to take him at his word. When discussing the direwolf scene, he takes for granted the solid connection between signifier and signified, which Derrida and Lacan convincingly argue to be a false assumption. The slippage between symbol and meaning is what gives a text its richness, and trying to pin down a definite meaning for every detail comes off as grasping for a conclusion.

    While I respect Moore for his boldness, his essays serve as a negative example for future GoT criticism. There are also several typos that suggest this was rushed to sale in order to capitalize on the show’s buzz. Save your dollar.

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