Game of Thrones #20
Adapted by Daniel Abraham
Art by Tommy Patterson
Colors by Sandra Molina & Ivan Nunes
Letters by Marshall Dillon
As with all popular franchises, Game of Thrones also has a comic. It’s not a great comic, but hey, if you’ve already read the books, watched the show, played the games, read the prequel novellas, flipped through the auxiliary material and you still crave more Game of Thrones, the only reason these comics exist is to give you the same great story again. I’m coming into this having never read the comic, but being intimately familiar with both the books and the show.
Well, I say great story, but it’s hard to tell if the comic is really a great story in its own right. Unlike most other major franchises with comic books, Game of Thrones has to stick to the story that’s already being told in two other media. Most dialogue, and a good chunk of the narration, I’m pretty sure, are only slight edits from the prose. As a comic, I fault it for using too much narration, but there’s no other way to tell the story of Game of Thrones. If the comic seeks to be something different from the show, it has to either be able to get into the backstory more or get inside the character’s heads better. Sadly, this makes the narration a necessary evil. The chunk of story that this issue decides to tackle is twofold. First is that bit where Daenerys (from here on referred to as Kelly C) stops a woman from being raped, and if you’ve seen the show you know how that turns out! (If you haven’t seen the show, she turns out to be a blood witch that murders Kelly C’s unborn child to save Khal Drogo, keeping his body alive but brain dead. Screw your spoilers, why are you reading reviews?) The second half of the book details the relationship between Jon Snow and Jeor Mormont, with Jon receiving the sword Longclaw.
The art looks more or less what I expected out of a Game of Thrones comic: Sketchy, sparsely detailed, to give that feeling of darkness and hopelessness that the book series so often achieves. The artist is able to draw the savage scenes brutally and reign in the grimdark when it comes to Jon hanging out with the Lord Commander. Boy, is the coloring problematic though. Often the colors look splotchy, with moments of being both too bright and too dark within the same panel. The coloring brings the book down from enjoyable to ugly.
I really don’t know who reads the Game of Thrones comics, but I was curious just to see if they were good. They aren’t great, but they aren’t terrible either. If you’re really jonesing for another trip to Westeros and the next episode is too far away, than I guess you could entertain yourself for twenty minutes with the comic. If you’re mad that the book is taking too long to come out, this comic covers chapters 60 and 61 of a series that has 344 chapters. It will take roughly 110 issues of the comic to catch up with the book. So, at least there’s that.