I am a huge fan of George R.R. Martin and his epic saga, Game of Thrones (GoT). His characters, plot, and imagery is simply exemplary. But having said that, any exotic character Martin brings in, I can’t help but think I have already seen it in one of our Hindu texts!
If there are Dragons in GoT, we have our birds Garuda and Jatayu, who are not only mighty but also extremely intelligent.
If GoT has got giants, we have plenty of Daityas and Danavas to match - from the very well-known Kumbhkarna and Hiranyakashipu to lessor known ones like Gajasura (there is an impressive description of Gajasura in Shiva Purana – his head touched the clouds, his breath caused the oceans to surge up, his fist reduced many mighty mountains to mere dust…and the descriptions go on!).
White walkers in GoT? We have our Pishachis! Jaqen H'ghar, the man without a face? We have the Asuras who are great magicians. You get my drift!
Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings are certainly to be read and enjoyed, but if you haven’t yet given the indigenous Hindu texts a try, then start now! Each story from our scripts - big or small – has an ingenious plot and is filled with magic, valour and great characters that you will love or abhor!
A good place to start is always with the unabridged versions of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. There are also Kathasarisagara and Panchatantra. And of course, my personal favourites, the Puranas! And there are plenty more if you want to delve deeper.
PS: I have stuck only to the exotic characters in GoT here but if you want a discussion on the similarities between GoT and Mahabharatha, do go ahead and Google!