If Trump must start a nuclear war, at least let us finish Game of Thrones first
Yonden Lhatoo is worried about the life of one American above all others, after the US president’s extraordinary ‘fire and fury’ nuclear warning to North Korea
Help, are we all going to die? You heard US President Donald Trump this week threatening to unleash on North Korea “fire, fury and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before”.
Trump’s detractors may see it as more bombast from America’s tweeter-in-chief, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” as Shakespeare might have put it.
But you never know, because this is Trump, after all, and North Korea is now threatening a pre-emptive strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam, amid reports that Kim Jong-un has cleared a major hurdle in his quest for full nuclear capability by miniaturising a warhead to fit atop a missile that may reach the American mainland.
We all hope good sense prevails and Trump doesn’t end up initiating the end of days. Even if he doesn’t care what happens to millions of South Koreans and Japanese living under the threat of Armageddon á la Kim, surely he can’t dismiss the potential slaughter of Americans as mere collateral damage.
Which brings me to the more serious part of this column.
I’m not worried about American lives above everyone else’s – hopefully nobody has to die because of two unhinged custodians of nuclear power taking brinkmanship too far – but there is one American who must be kept safe, no matter what.
I’m talking about George R. R. Martin, the author of the epic fantasy book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, better known to most people as Game of Thrones, the HBO hit series that is, hands down, the best show on TV these days.
I’m watching the penultimate season, which began last month, and the story is just too good to be interrupted by anything – even nuclear war. The final season will be released next year or the year after, which is an eternity to wait for, especially when madmen are poised to set the real world on fire at any moment.
What happens to the likes of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Jaime Lannister has probably been decided already by HBO, without waiting for the author, who is notorious for his inability to meet deadlines. The TV show is already well ahead of his last book, which was released six years ago.
But if you’ve read the books, you’ll agree that the TV show is not a patch on Martin’s writing and sheer storytelling genius. He makes The Lord of the Rings look like a slow ride to grandma’s cottage. George R.R. Martin is J. R.R. Tolkien on steroids, and then some.
The author himself has said the remaining books will not necessarily stick to the TV plot line, which has already deviated from the original. The best is yet to be.
Hence it is imperative to bury this man in a bunker, where no mother of bombs can find him while he completes his unputdownable tale about the mother of dragons. Or freeze him cryogenically and thaw him out to continue writing when this impending winter is over.
Game of Thrones mastermind George RR Martin talks about death, his start in publishing and why writers really write
I don’t know about his other fans, but I’ve been worried about the need to keep Martin alive long before the nuclear threat. He doesn’t inspire much confidence in terms of physical fitness and looks like he enjoys his food and drink a bit too much, which may explain why, in addition to the sex, slaughter and skullduggery, he often dedicates pages to describing the cuisine of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. It’s lip-smacking stuff.
As for those dirty, rotten scoundrels who have hacked HBO and are leaking Game of Thrones scripts, death to spoilers, I say. The Others take you and flay you alive in perpetuity.
Winter is coming before the song of ice and fire ends. We know nothing, Jon Snow.
Yonden Lhatoo is the chief news editor at the Post