Archive | 10:31 pm

A Game of Trolls

1 Apr


Yesterday was Easter. I drove with my parents to New Jersey, where most of my family lives. We were driving past a heavily wooded and vaguely menacing area called the Pine Barrens, when they started talking about the Jersey devil, a small, dragonlike creature that apparently inhabits the woods. I thought they were fucking with me, until I looked it up. “Nasty little bugger,” said my dad.

Easter is, of course, a children’s holiday. A time of bunnies and candy and colored eggs. For the adults, we had the season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones.

Over at Huffington Post, Arts Editor Michael Hogan has a blog post up recapping the episode. I found the piece to be affable, if punchless; it passed the time as I gave my grandmother her pills and sat down to eat my breakfast. But, since you can’t do shit on the Internet without the trolls crawling out of the woodwork, the comments section is a veritable free-for-all of geeksnark. A sampling:


It’s unreal that you get to write a recap blog post with out [sic] even a basic comprehension of what is happening on the show and in the episode itself.


The “Knightsguard?” Face palm. This is your job. Can you at least find someone to watch with you who has read the books?


Why someone who has never read the books and can barely follow a storyline gets to write a recap of this awesome show I will never understand. “Knightsguard,” honestly.


Joffrey & Margaery aren’t married yet. They are only betrothed to each other. Please pay attention if you are going to write about the series.

That last point is pretty legitimate. A significant source of tension in the King’s Landing story arc derives from the possibility that Sansa may still marry Joffrey (as illustrated in the Blackwater episode, when Cersei frostily tells Sansa that she’d better learn how to use her pussy as a weapon “if you ever hope to be Queen”). If Joffrey was already married, Cersei would have no use for Sansa, and would likely have her shipped off to Harrenhal.

But these commenters aren’t merely criticizing the errors Hogan made in his haste to publish the piece in the few hours since the episode aired. They’re questioning his right to review the series in the first place.

Because–great God in heaven!–he has not even read the books! How could Hogan, who never even picked up A Storm of Swords, possibly examine the subtlety of that scene in which Jon Snow tricks Mance Rayder into accepting him into the wildling army? Why does he “get to” write these recaps?

Said the trolls. The fun continued on Twitter:

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Look, it’s not unreasonable to expect an executive editor at a major news outlet to avoid these sorts of mistakes. An editor shouldn’t need an editor. (And I think Hogan is nerd-baiting a little bit here by admitting that he hasn’t read the books and is using A Wiki of Ice and Fire as a reference.) But to argue that he–or anyone–is incapable of producing a serviceable recap because he or she hasn’t read the voluminous source material on which the show is based, is ludicrous hyperbole. He’s qualified because he’s an upper-level editor at HuffPost and he wanted the assignment. Believe me, those are all the credentials he needs.

(Note: I’ve been wanting to use that awesome rejection slip from AGNI–with the badass monkeydragon on its letterhead–since forever, and what better excuse than the GoT premiere? I’m trapped in Philadelphia until tomorrow, I am full of ham, and I think I may be acutely withdrawing from various substances. So, there you have it.)