”When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.”Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
As a Warden of the nort, Lord Eddard Stark counts it as a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengace-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.
A Game of Thrones was not something I started with a light heart. I knew that I would get hooked, and I knew that each book is more daunting than the last. After thinking through it about fifty times, I finally picked it up. And oh my God I’m so glad I did. This book was absolutely amazing. I found it to be more of a work of art than an actual book. Just thinking of all the dedication it takes me as a reader to get done with this series, I can only applaud George R.R. Martin for actually bothering to write it all down. Martin isn’t a man who just flies over scenes either, he’s very Tolkien-ish in that point, because he describes everything that happens, and every small, seemingly insignificant detail, believe me, it’s there, but then twenty pages later it turns out that it wasn’t an insignificant detail. Everything is important, and that’s what’s so amazing about this book. Halfway through, I ended up ordering the whole box set, so I’m currently reading A Clash of Kings. I’m going to try to be somewhat brief, but to be honest, I have so much to talk about right now.
I never believed that a book series could have this many characters that are actually characters if you know what I mean? They are not just a bunch of Mary Sues and Gary Stus jumping around, trying to pass for plausible characters. Most, if not all, of the characters in A Game of Thrones are actually believable as characters. I have already acquired quite a few favourites, so it’s only natural for me to talk a bit about each of them.
First I have to mention Jon Snow. I absolutely love him, as every other girl in the universe probably does (or should). He is the sort of mixture between lost puppy trying to find his way and the strong leader that I know that he will eventually become (if he doesn’t get killed in the meantime, it could happen).
The second favourite is without a doubt Daenerys. She is one of my favourite female main characters ever. The character growth she goes through in the first book is absolutely amazing. That there, that’s a perfect arch for how a character should grow throughout a book. Starting out as a young, shy girl of thirteen and ending up as an independent Khaleesi, Daenerys should be the prime example of how to write a good teenage girl. She provides a nice little side-plot, that sometimes makes me wish was the main plot.
Tyrion Lannister is the third (and final) favourite I will talk about, even though there are so many more. What Tyrion lacks in beauty, he certainly has in wit and self irony (which I don’t even know is a word, but I couldn’t find a good expression for it in English). He is one of the most complex and cunning characters in the entire book, and I crave to know more about him. Despite being high-born, he has an interesting back story, and a certain amount of revulsion for the people around him. Tyrion Lannister never disappoints. “Cut of his manhood and feed it to the goats.”
There are certainly many more favourites amongst the wide variety of characters, but if I were to write about every single one I would be doing this until next week. Maybe when I review A Clash of Kings. A few characters I need to name though, are Arya Stark, who is another girl that’s written very, very well. Robert Baratheon, which I absolutely loved as a king, Eddard Stark, who’s the fighter for justice, and so many, many more.“He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a Dragon.”
When it comes to the plot, I was pleasantly surprised once I got the hang of it. I had a certain amount of dread in me for the plot, afraid that it was going to be as slow-paced and boring as Lord of the Rings. But no, it wasn’t. The plot trots along at a decent pace, taking its time where it’s needed and rushing where that were needed.
I was very much a fan of the Nights Watch, which I have to point out that I did not like at all in the beginning. I did not like that Jon was shipped of to the wall, when he could have stayed behind, but it grew on me. Or rather, the characters that occupy the wall grew on me, making me like the Night Watch very much. The Wall and the Night Watch are set in a very realistic environment, and I could almost feel the cold as I was reading it. It’s not hard to understand that it’s not a very sought out occupation, but I also imagined it to be very, very beautiful there.
A thing I liked especially well, was the little side-story with the wolves. Or rather, how they came into the Stark children’s lives, and how they all came to have their own personalities. I especially love how dependent Bran and Jon are on their wolves, and how much Jon seems to rely on Ghosts.
What I love the most about this book and this series overall, are these small extra-plots that probably will come to more use later in the books. For example how everybody jokes with “The Others” and say “To the Others with you”, but they are actually terrified of the Others themselves.
There are very little things I don’t like with this book in general. But I can name a couple of things, and first and foremost, that is Catelyn Stark’s chapters. I found each and every one of them more boring than the last, and I would much rather have Robbs perspective on things. Maybe we’ll get to see more splendour from Catelyn later, but somehow I doubt it. One more thing (or character) I absolutely hated to the core of my bones. You all saw it coming. Joffrey. Joffrey is the stereotypical spoiled brat that we all love to hate. I have more loving feelings for Voldemort than I have for this little shitkid. He is the one character in the A Song of Ice and Fire Series that I would really and truly like to see dead.
I did believe that it would be so much more sex in this series than there actually is. Not disappointed, I’m just wondering how many adult books the readers who’s blushing by this book have read. Sure, there are a lot of innuendos, and a few “as he entered her”, but nothing I would really blush about.
I’m not quite sure what more to say. I’m not going to summarize the events, because the show exists, and most of you’ve already seen it. From what I’ve seen of the show, it stays very true to the books, so if you think 800-something pages per book is a little daunting, the show is a very good placebo.
I haven’t even brushed by half of what I love about this series in this little review (and I’m at about 1300 words). All I can say is read it, you will not regret it. 10/10 would recommend.