I just got through watching the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, it was a lot of fun. I was really big on fantasy when I was a teenager, reading a lot of D&D related books, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and so on. I never read anything by George RR Martin. In fact, I haven’t read anything in the fantasy genre for probably about a decade, since re-reading Tolkein’s books before Peter Jackson’s films came out. I had left the worlds of fantasy far behind.
But a few months back someone who had read Martin’s series was raving about it, and telling me that I had to watch the series. I wasn’t particularly keen, but tuned in knowing nothing at all about the story.
It is quite a good series. There is a lot of good acting, interesting characters, and a medieval world similar enough to ours to be familiar, but different enough to be intriguing. Where no one lives forever.
Which brings me back to the title of this post, a line spoken by a minor character, a fencing teacher to his young charge; “What do we say to the god of death? Not today.“ Despite all the interesting characters and remarkable scenes, it is that single line that has stuck with me the most.
The reason is not too hard to figure out of course. I’m still fighting depression, and while I am not suicidal, it is tough to get through every day. But no matter. For me it is not so much the god of death as the god of despair, of hopelessness. Of giving in and falling apart. And maybe that will happen someday. We are all mortal, and in the long run we are all fighting a losing battle.
The other day as I was out running in the blazing sunlight, sweating, suncream dripping into my eyes, my legs hurting. I wanted to stop exercising, to just say “bugger it” and give up and just shuffle home. But those two words came back to my mind, and I kept running, kept up the exercise routine that is helping to keep me sane.
The end will come someday. But it didn’t come that day. It didn’t come yesterday. And it won’t be today either. The god of death, along with his buddies, despair, delusion and defeat, can all bugger off as far as I'm concerned!