HBO's hit drama Game of Thrones just wrapped up its action-packed second season, leaving us around ten months to go before the show's third season premiere. That's a long time before we get to return to Westeros, for fans of the books and television series alike. And while television-only fans are strongly encouraged to delve into the story's printed form, those who have already read the books would certainly enjoy reading the new book 'Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.'
The book, which hit shelves on Tuesday, is a collection of essays about A Song of Ice and Fire, the series upon which Game of Thrones is based. The essays explore various aspects of the story and characters of Westeros, from exploring themes of romanticism and feminism, to exploring the roles that outcasts and freaks play, to (my favorite) psychologically examining key characters such as Arya, Theon, and Littlefinger.
Fans who haven't read the books might be a little lost in the pages of Beyond the Wall, though there are a few essays for the uninitiated. Daniel Abraham, for example, writes a piece on adapting the series into a graphic novel, while Ned Vizzini takes a broad look at the place of the series within the genre of fantasy (and in literature as a whole).
Published by the SmartPop imprint of BenBella Books, Beyond the Wall runs a short 272, leaving you with plenty of food for thought but also leaving you thirsting for more. It's a great temporary antidote to the long wait Game of Thrones fans are undergoing, both for the third season and for the sixth book in the series, The Winds of Winter.
You can order Beyond the Wall over at Amazon. You can also check out a review of it here.