So in my opinion Game of Thrones is the best show on TV right now. I love it. And it got me to wondering what is it that separates a great show from a mediocre show, a phenomenon from a failure. What I'm talking about here is the art of storytelling. And I'm wondering, what were the right moves that George RR Martin made that turned his story into something so compelling? For me, I think if there is any ONE thing that I have taken from it, then it's the necessity of strong characters. The beginning of any good story, perhaps, isn't the plot at all but characters the viewer/reader will care about. After all, how many times have you heard people say "I just like hanging out with the characters" when talking about a movie or TV show, even when not a lot is actually happening plot-wise? I have heard it plenty. Broadening this concept just a little, building an interesting world (which includes the characters but isn't limited to them) I think is also very important. Much like hearing people say they enjoy "hanging out with the characters," I have often heard people say that they like "living in the world" of the story. With Game of Thrones, George RR Martin has crafted a rich and believable world with a lively mythology. It's the kind of place that I'd like to jump through the TV and spend some time in, and fans in a sense get to do just that every time they watch an episode.