Leitura para o fim-de-semana: uma longa entrevista ao criador de A Guerra dos Tronos

A quarta temporada de A Guerra dos Tronos aproxima-se do fim. Com a quinta já em preparação, os fãs da série têm uma preocupação: o autor, George R.R. Martin tem mais dois livros da saga previstos – mas nenhum está escrito. Portanto, o risco de só conhecermos o desfecho dos conflitos na terra dos sete reinos é real. Esse é apenas um dos temas desta longa entrevista da The Rolling Stone

Foto: Peter Yang

Foto: Peter Yang

George R.R. Martin: The Rolling Stone Interview

On a cold night in January, George R.R. Martin sits inside the Jean Cocteau Cinema, a revival theater that he owns in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he has lived since 1979. The Cinema had been showing the first three seasons of HBO’s megahit series Game of Thrones, which is based on Martin’s still-in-the-works sagaA Song of Ice and Fire. After viewing the ninth episode, “Baelor,” in which the story’s apparent hero, Ned Stark, is unexpectedly beheaded, with the screen falling to black, Martin sits quietly for several moments, then says, “As many times as I’ve watched this, it still has great effect. Of course for me, there’s so much more to the books.”

And much more to come: The Song of Ice and Fire cycle – first published in 1996 – currently stands at five volumes, with two more books ahead. Those final works, though, won’t be anytime soon. Because Martin is a meticulous and slow writer, it is likely that years will pass before we learn the fates of Daenerys and her dragons, the recriminatory Lannister siblings and the shellshocked progeny in the Stark family. There is even the chance that the HBO series might arrive at key plot points before the books do, and though Martin once dismissed that possibility, he’s now mindful of it. “I better get these books done,” he tells me, on a drive through the streets of Santa Fe.

Later on, Martin takes me to a small house with a book tower that serves as his office and writing space. (The home where he lives with his second wife, Parris, is nearby.) Martin has been writing since childhood, and started publishing science-fiction short stories just out of college in the early 1970s. They quickly established him as a serious and imaginative writer, telling tales of tragedy and, sometimes, of uncommon and hard-won redemption. He spent much of the Eighties and early Nineties working as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Then in 1991 he began A Game of Thrones, primarily a story about power and family, about the disastrous nature of both war and the human heart, and so far it has shown nobody – including the audience – any mercies. As is apparent in the fourth season, there are no guarantees that anybody in this story is safe.

At his office, Martin escorts me to the den where we would talk. The room’s walls hold glass cases, full of hundreds of beautiful miniatures of medieval figures and fantasy characters and scenes from Martin’s books. Near a staircase that leads to Martin’s library – at 65, he remains a voracious reader – stands a full-size and operational model of the famous Robby the Robot, from the 1956 film Forbidden Planet. “Robby the Robot,” he tells me, “it was a great kick to buy him and to show him off. A bunch of money sitting in a pile – what do I get out of that?”

Martin is an affable, candid, terrifically smart man, and he is loquacious. We talked for 10 hours that day, breaking only for dinner. His way of discussing Game of Thrones surprised me: He often spun questions into larger dissertations about history, war and society. Because Martin is a big man, with an infectious laugh and white hair, there might seem something of a Santa Claus aspect about him, except for his eyes, which are constantly flickering with thought – some of it quite dark – conveying a mind as shrewd as that belonging to any of his characters.

One of the more dominant themes in Game of Thronesis family. It’s what gives the characters purpose, but it also ruins them. What was your own sense of family and home like?
I was born in 1948, and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey, which is a peninsula just south of Jersey City. By bus, it was 45 minutes to the heart of Manhattan, but Bayonne really was a world in and of itself. New York was very close, but we didn’t go there very often. From the age of four I lived down on First Street, in the public-housing projects, facing the waters of Kill Van Kull, with Staten Island on the other side.

My father was a Martin, but he was of Italian and German descent. My mother was a Brady – Irish. I heard a lot from my mother about the heritage of the Bradys, who had been a pretty important family at certain points in Bayonne history. I knew at a very early age that we were poor. But I also knew that my family hadn’t always been poor. To get to my school, I had to walk past the house where my mother had been born, this house that had been our house once. I’ve looked back on that, of course, and in some of my stories there’s this sense of a lost golden age, where there were wonders and marvels undreamed of. Somehow what my mother told me set all that stuff into my imagination.

Was your relationship with your parents close?
My father was a distant figure. I don’t think that he ever understood me, and I don’t know that I ever understood him. We didn’t use the term then, but you could probably say he was a functioning alcoholic. I saw him every day, but we hardly talked. The only thing that we really bonded over was sports.

Did you get out of Bayonne much before college?
We never had a car. My father always said that drinking and driving was very bad, and he was not going to give up drinking [laughs]. My world was a very small world. For many years I stared out of our living-room window at the lights of Staten Island. To me, those lights of Staten Island were like Shangri-La, and Singapore, and Shanghai, or whatever. I read books, and I dreamed of Mars, and the planets in those books, and of the Hyborian Age of Robert E. Howard’s Conan books, and later of Middle-earth – all these colorful places. I would dream of those places just as I dreamed of Staten Island, and Shanghai.”

A entrevista completa está aqui. 

Leitura para o fim-de-semana: as eleições indianas e a guerra dos tronos

Sim, sou fã de A Guerra dos Tronos. Não sou, obviamente, o único. Por isso, quando vi este artigo que compara o universo criado por George R. R. Martin às eleições indianas, não resisti. E a verdade é que a analogia está muito bem conseguida. Vale a pena ler. Aprendemos alguma coisa sobre a maior democracia do mundo – e também sobre a série do momento.

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How the Indian elections are just like “Game of Thrones”

  • By Thane Richard,

The most many Americans know about the election in India is the fact that they actually know nothing about it. While not hard to trump this lack of coverage, one political drama that is certainly getting more airtime across America are those in the world of Game of Thrones, which continues to break its own viewership records with each subsequent airing. May 11th’s episode had the most viewers yet: 7.16 million. Fortunately for America, the Indian election is eerily similar to the plots unfolding in Westeros. Because the plot of Game of Thrones is totally a simplification—not complicated at all—let’s break this down Ice and Fire style. I hope this doesn’t make things worse…

Background

In 1947, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru swept through India on the backs of dragons and conquered it from the British. Gandhi was assassinated and Nehru became the first prime minister, bringing over 500 independent princely states and other entities into the fold of the Union of India with the help of the Hand of the King (Home Minister) Vallabhbhai Patel. India as the our proverbial Seven Kingdoms was born. India also has a Wall in its north: the Line of Control between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir and the Line of Actual Control between Indian and Chinese Kashmir. In 1999, Pakistan tried to breach the Wall, triggering the Kargil War.

The Iron Throne was forged in Delhi, and Nehru became the head of a dynasty that has ruled India directly as Prime Ministers for 40 years and indirectly as head of the ruling party, the Congress, for 55 years (India has been independent for 67 years). The Nehru-Gandhi family took the Gandhi name when Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi (who was assassinated by her Queen’s Guard), married a man unrelated to the eponymous opposition leader. Currently, the Congress party rules India, but there is rebellion in the air. They are most definitely House Targaryen.

House Targaryen (Congress)

The brother-sister pair of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, great-grandchildren of Nehru, are seen as the future of the party. Rahul Gandhi has been the face of the Congress during this campaign, but he is largely viewed as inept at governance and the coddled child of a broken line. His sister, Priyanka, has never entered politics herself and has been involved from the sidelines via managing the campaigns of her mother and brother at various times. She is married to Robert Vadra who, coincidentally, is the chief of a powerful tribe of horselords from the east. Sadly, no, but he has been a source of controversy for her as some of his business dealings have come under scrutiny. Late in the present election, Priyanka became much more involved and her powerful and relatively easy assumption of the limelight has many believing that she is, in fact, the only future for the family and the Congress party. Unfortunately for her, she has no dragons, just allegedly billions of dollars in offshore bank accounts. No pressure, Khaleesi.

House Lannister (The Bharatiya Janata Party)

In the sense that he may usurp Congress, Narendra Modi is Robert Baratheon, but the BJP leader has a political ambition that even Tywin Lannister would find threatening. He is cunning, ruthless, and viewed by many as heartless for his alleged role in communal riots in 2002. He compared the sadness of the event to running over a puppy with a car(over 1,000 people were killed), he refuses to apologize for letting it happen under his watch, and further says he did “absolutely the right thing” in how he handled the unrest. Yet, his critics remain skeptical while his supporters either point to the Supreme Court having cleared his name last year or say “Hakuna Matata,” roll their eyes, and affirm that he has “matured.”

Modi has created a fervor amongst his fans with alluring promises of development and strong governance but he has also pushed away other prominent noble houses. Several regional Indian parties have broken their alliance with his party, the BJP, because of his polarizing personality. His home state of Gujarat (Casterly Rock) is one of the richest states in India and is viewed as an enviable microcosm of development that many across India dream of for themselves. The validity of the statistics around this development, though, and Modi’s personal role in driving them has been questioned. And from a human development standpoint, Gujarat’s growth has been lackluster. Many whisper that these mythical “development gold mines” under Casterly Rock are merely a visage.

House Stark (Aam Aadmi Party)

The lovable underdogs (underwolves?). The leader of the Aam Aadmi Party is a young and fresh politician named Arvind Kejriwal (Robb Stark) who has no background in politics. He worked as a civil servant in the Indian Revenue Service before becoming involved in the 2011 Delhi protests to pass anti-corruption reform. That movement evolved into a political party with him as its leader after millions of people in Delhi started chanting “King of the North!”

So king he became.

In an enormous electoral upset, his neophyte party won 28 out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly elections this past December and he became Chief Minister of Delhi. After 49 days, he resigned in order to campaign in the national election where, in just a few months, he assembled his newly found bannermen and fielded candidates in 434 constituencies (there are 543 total in India). Personally, he decided to challenge the might of Narendra Modi (Tywin Lannister) directly in the district of Varanasi: wolf versus lion in one of the oldest cities in the world. Most predict Modi will win, but young Robb Stark has one smashing victory already under his belt. Can he pull off another or has he walked into a political Red Wedding?

House Greyjoy (Trinamool National Congress)

Mamata Banerjee split from Congress in 1997 and formed her own party, the Trinamool National Congress (TMC). Since then, she has formed alliances with both major houses, the Congress and the BJP, and has generally seized on opportunities to raid the mainland to assert her party’s independence as its own seat of power in West Bengal (Iron Islands) where the party hails from and maintains its throne with a 63% majority of seats in the state assembly. She also has a nephew named Theon (Abhishek, actually) who is ambitiously contesting in this election for the first time. To be fair, one could likely argue that any one of the larger regional parties in India could take the mantel of House Greyjoy, but I opted for TNC.

House Martell (The Third Front)

The Third Front is actually a union of several different political parties with a strong presence in the perpetually warm southern region of India. Until 2011, one of their constituent parties ruled Kerala, which has the highest Human Development Index in India, according to a report by the Government of India, and the highest literacy rate in India. A Third Front party rules the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu and is a significant opposition force in neighboring Karnataka. Like Dorne, southern Indian culture is very distinct from that of the Seven Kingdoms. The food and dress of South Indians are unique and Hindi, the predominant language in northern India, has more in common linguistically with English than it does with the southern Dravidian languages. Even the hero and foe of theRamayana, one of India’s great epics, are viewed differently in the north and south. The Third Front was formed in opposition to the two major northern houses—they have never been outright loyal to Congress (Targaryen) and openly detest our Tywin Lannister, Narendra Modi. It should also be noted that the Third Front is significant in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Suffice to say, there are enough strong personalities and ruling family dramas in India to make for very interesting entertainment even without dragons, beheadings, and zombie ice monsters.”

Dez coisas que não sabem sobre A Guerra dos Tronos

No dia da emissão do segundo episódio da nova temporada de A Guerra dos Tronos em Portugal, ficam aqui 10 factos que provavelmente não conhecem sobre a série – incluindo uma cabeça de George W. Bush espetada num pau da primeira temporada.

A Guerra dos Tronos: 5,6 seios e 4,5 mortes por episódio

Ontem estreou em Portugal a nova temporada de A Guerra dos Tronos. A série é um fenómeno mundial. Tanto que o site Alltime Numbers traduziu o seu impacto em dados numéricos neste vídeo. Fica desde já um surpreendente: nos Estados Unidos, em 2012, 146 pais baptizaram as suas filhas de Khaleesi – rainha no dialecto dothraki.