Any time new Game of Thrones information hits the web, I send out a volley of links to all my pals, prefaced with "OMG," "Holy s***!," or the ever-versatile "Ahhhhhhhhh!" But this time, after seeing HBO's latest tease for the upcoming fantasy series based on George R.R. Martin's books and blasting out the link, I received a surprising reply from an equally geek-minded friend: "Not really into it."
"Not really into it?" What!? Then it hit me. There's one major difference between the two of us: I am a huge fan of the book, and he hasn't ever opened the cover. It must be incredibly difficult for those who haven't read it to understand the anticipation felt by those of us who have, and a video featuring unfamiliar characters sitting on a pointy chair probably doesn't help things. As for me, I nearly passed out from jubilation after watching the minute-long video.
LOOK AT THE IRON THRONE! It's even better-looking than I imagined! Of course, those who haven't read the books don't know the difference between the throne in this trailer and the one in their bathroom. Nor can they appreciate hearing Tyrion Lannister boast of his wits over his swordplay, Littlefinger praising someone for not trusting him, or King Robert Baratheon preferring to instill fear instead of inspiring honor as a means of ruling the land.
This trailer may not display the impressive scale of the show that will draw in newbies to the world of Westeros (early reports of The Wall are glowing), but it aptly gets straight to the heart of the book: the promise of power and the way it corrupts character. Game of Thrones (the book) isn't driven by sorcerers' spells, giant castles, and whatever else comes from the imagination of a guy who was thrown into lockers in high school (though I'm not sure Martin could have ever fit in a locker); it's an engaging, character-driven story that could just as easily take place in modern times. It has the potential to bring fantasy even further into the collective mainstream, and that's why you'll see more and more fans of the show coming out of the woodwork over the next few months.
Are you going to read the book before HBO starts airing the series in April?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom