I have been stuck in another universe for the past few months. I escape there at the very end of draining days, or sometimes when I take a dip in the tub to soothe my aching muscles. Since around October I’ve been inhabiting a world that doesn’t exist, and I am starting to question my hold on reality…
…that’s right, l am knee-deep in book four of the Game of Thrones series. I don’t even know how it started, all I remember is picking up the first book at Target a few months back after hearing much internet fuss over the series, and the next thing I knew I hadn’t read anything else in months. This is not like me.
No, wait, it’s exactly like me – it’s just been a long time since I’ve stumbled upon an engaging series. I think the last time was about ten years ago when I read The Lord of the Rings, another of the fantasy genre, coincidentally.
Here’s the thing; these books are super long (each one clocks in at well over 1,000 pages) and there are so many of them, it’s been like a vendetta to finish the whole thing. Plus, just about every chapter ends with an invitation, nay, a demand to read more and find out what happens next. I am defenseless against its gravitational mind-suck.
Now, l don’t want to get into a discussion on the literary merits or level of perceived suckiness other individuals may believe regarding this series. I know historical/fantasy/drama/action/epic isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (I didn’t even know it was my cup of tea), and the whole series can be kind of dark and unladylike (the author, George R. R. Martin, has no qualms about killing off beloved characters), so I understand any hesitation when approaching it or distaste after finishing it. I am neutral in this regard, and will respect all opinions. All I know is that when I open these paperbacks, I am guaranteed to get pulled into an exciting world that is appealingly different from my own.
I also experienced a similar panic after I first finished all of Austen’s novels:
“What do you mean there’s no more?!”
The only way I got over it was to settle for something less amazing to read, and move on. It was hard adapting, but I got through it.
There is only one more book after I finish this one, and I’m beginning to feel like an alcoholic who’s reached the last pint of bourbon in the back of the cupboard; relief mixed with anxiety. My supply of smack is dwindling, guys.
Also, now I think I want a direwolf for Christmas. For those who don’t know about direwolves, they’re just like regular wolves, except like the 2.0 version – smarter, faster, more deadly, and adorable.
And look at them when they’re puppies!
Since I probably *won’t* be getting a cuddly mythical beast for Christmas, I’ll settle for this kind:
You used to be able to get them on Etsy. I’ll bet I could make them…with a lot of trial, error, and swearing. Then at least when I finish the series and commence with my usual novel-finishing grief, I’ll at least have an adorable little best friend to remind me of better days.
Have you ever experienced post-book grief?
Have you ever met such a drama queen?