I started reading A Game of Thrones, book one of A Song of Ice and Fire, on April 29th after much debating.
Did I really want to take on this massive undertaking?
Would I even like it?
Should I just watch the show?
I responded to each of these questions:
Just suck it up; you know you’ll eventually want to read them.
Can’t hurt to try this fantasy series. You’ve enjoyed other ones in the past.
And really? When have you ever decided to just watch something when you could read the book?”
Exactly two weeks later, I finished A Game of Thrones.
I’ve decided that in writing about any of these books, I’m want to try and avoid any real plot summaries. Trying to summarize in any way would do a disservice to the books because they are so detailed and in-depth that I’d end up confusing you, the reader, and not accomplishing much of anything. With that being said, another warning that there are bound to be spoilers even without summarizing the plot.
A Game of Thrones is a Stark heavy book, meaning that a majority of this novel’s points of view come from members of the Stark family. In fact, all but two points of view are from Starks. Because of this, I found myself rooting for them entirely. Don’t get me wrong, Tyrion is a complete badass and I loved whenever I would come to a Daenerys chapter, but I think in the back of my head I continuously thought “Tyrion should just switch teams and join the Starks, then they should go find Daenerys and she could be queen and there ya go, all problems solved.” Silly me. Eventually I had to come to terms that obviously this would not be happening
anytime soon (scratch that, ever). If anything, that’s what makes Martin’s entire series so great. I was wishing success for all these current narrators which is actually impossible (I stress current as in later books there are characters whom I am NOT rooting for). Sure, Tyrion is a dwarf scorned but he’s a Lannister through and through. And Daenerys, well Ned Stark had a hand in killing most of her family so I don’t think she’ll forgive and forget. And so I kept reading furiously, trying to see who would end up the victor in this game of thrones.
And basically, I received no answers at the end of book one. Just when I thought Daenerys was happy and her husband was more than just some brute, she has to smother him with a pillow because she loves him. Just when I think YES! Ned you go tell everyone that Cersei is an incestuous slut and her BRAT of a child-king is really a product of her relationship with her brother, he gets his head chopped off with his own longsword. Martin really knows how to pour on the happiness for his characters, huh?
I’ll admit, part of me wishes that I had written about A Game of Thrones immediately after reading it. The problem was that I had so many other books that I wanted to write about at the time. I had to write about them before they faded too much for me to compose anything remotely intelligent (here’s hoping that you found my past posts remotely intelligent). With that being said, now looking back on the first book of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, I can really appreciate how he was able to progress and develop from the first book. The lands that Martin describes in A Game of Thrones are just the tip of the iceberg in this fantasy world. And that leads me to A Clash of Kings.