I feel bad for (American) people who read ASOIAF after 2005 like yeah the old covers were a bit cheesy but the new covers are so boring and unimaginative.
i read them circa 2003 with the i think old bantam covers - jon (AGOT), stannis & mel (ACOK), tullies at hoster’s funeral (ASOS) - and while i remember thinking they looked awfully austere at the time (then again, i was 13), they soon reissued them with the godawful mspaint-looking ‘minimalist’ covers and i’ve never missed uninspired fantasy-novel cover paintings so much
LOL this is EXACTLY the story of me. Like, I never totally loved the old Bantam covers, but they got me interested, you know? There was still a draw, I’m pretty sure that if it weren’t for them I’d never have become interested in ASOIAF fanart and through that ASOIAF fandom in general. The new covers are so goddamn DULL. They’re just trying to make ASOIAF fit in to an image. Yes, sure, the old Bantam covers were also typical in a sense, but they kinda fit? Like, they were colorful in the way that the series itself is colorful. The new ones seem like such a BRAND to me. I never thought I’d miss cheesy fantasy novel, cover art BUT I DO. I SO DO.
Watching the AFFC cover go from the Stephen Youll painting with Jaime on it (which I thought was one of his better paintings; while Jon on AGOT and Team Dragonstone on ACOK seemed cheesy and garish, respectively, Cat on ASOS and Jaime on AFFC I thought were very nice paintings!) to the green cover with the dragon on it to the boring as fuck white with the boring as fuck metal shield on it was so depressing. They’re all shiny little photoshop products now. I just feel sorry for new readers. I’m sure they don’t need my pity but lol they’ve got it.
SAME HERE, SAAAAME HERE. also i find it depressing that there’s so much quasi-official fanart for the series out there that’s pretty gorgeous and spot-on and makes it into the art of ice and fire and the board games and such, but never onto any of the book covers or like, as design inspiration in the show at all? the covers are boring and, you’re right, branded-looking now; there’s no sense of like… the actual ornate, colorful fauxmedieval world of the books. it really robs it of any transportive quality while trying to make it seem Serious. what a lousy marketing trend.
as an aside, i have to say it’s really telling that pre-tv show - and hell, even post-tv show, honestly, just less so - tyrion has never made it onto promotional and cover art with anything resembling the frequency that jon and dany have. or even jaime. tyrion may not be my Babby Favorite but i think it’s really obvious that pre-dinklage, the marketers for asoiaf didn’t want to make it seem like the series was actually more primarily about some “unphotogenic” dude with dwarfism than it was about conventionally attractive teenagers — and hell, i still feel like dinklage mostly gets to be in as many tv promo pics as he does because he can stand next to coster-waldau and headey, even as popular as he now is
tyrion is a very popular character and always has been but i don’t think it’s a coincidence no one is ever chomping at the bit to put him on the cover of things. if you compare tyrion’s plot significance vs. tyrion’s popularity in art and promos to like, jon’s—or jaime’s for that matter—it’s pretty obvious what’s going on