Friday, September 7, 2012

Reading: Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

If you use the internet a lot but haven't heard of Game of Thrones, I'd be very surprised.  Game of Thrones has become an overnight cult success it seems.  The HBO show has finished it's second season and will soon be premiering with it's third.  Suddenly my Tumblr feed was full of Game of Thrones graphics, quotes, and book images.  My best friend's boyfriend loved the show and so it seemed did everyone else.  I began seeing the books in Target and in advertisements as I surfed the web.  It is no surprise that I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  I sat down to watch the show one night when I was at home.  I made sure to watch the show late at night because I had heard about the mature rating and didn't fancy watching the show with my parents.  At first I found the show to be dull and a bit too vulgar for my taste.  Despite it's vulgarities, I came to love the show after a few episodes (same can be said for Shameless) and decided I had better read the books.

Game of Thrones is the first book in a series titled "A Song of Ice and Fire".  It centers around Ned, a humble and moral man who has been called upon by the King, and one of Ned's once closest friends, to be the King's hand.  Ned wants to say no but feels he has no choice and with that he leaves his home of Winterfell, bringing along with him his two daughters (Sansa and Arya), to serve the realm.  While Ned is the main character of the story it is not always in his point of view.  Catelyn, Ned's wife, narrates along with Ned's bastard son Jon Snow, Ned's daughters Arya and Sansa, and Ned's young son Bran.  Two other characters narrate as well who have no relation to Ned.  One is Tyrion Lannister who was born a dwarf.  The other is Daenerys Targaryen who is the sister of Rhaegar Targaryen and daughter of King Aerys II, who sat on the Iron Throne until Tyrion's brother Jaime cut his head off.  Speaking of the Iron Throne, that is what this whole series is about!  It is a game of thrones...a competition, you could call it, between the high houses of the land.  

There were many things I loved about this book which include the characters and their many perspectives, the themes, the descriptions/writing/detail, and the realistic tone.  The characters were phenomenal.  Each one was fleshed out beautifully and their thoughts were written so well on the page.  I felt that I could relate to almost every one is a small way.  I enjoyed reading all of their accounts except for perhaps Catelyn's...I grew a bit bored with her and I often got mad at her decision making.  From Ned's moral character choices to Jon Snow's struggle for being born a bastard; from Arya's wishes of not being a proper lady and dreams of sword-fighting to Sansa's naive dreams of marrying Prince Joffery; from Tyrion's words of wisdom about his strength in mind to Daenerys falling in love and growing into a woman.  I loved them all in their own ways!  I think that is what kept me reading.  I loved how the plots of these character's were interwoven in a way that wasn't random but purely on purpose and genius on Martin's part. 

Another thing I loved about this book was the themes that it embraced.  It combines coming of age themes with the theme of standing to our principles while also bringing in the theme of the memory's that haunt us and partially shape who we are as human beings.  The writing was PHENOMENAL.  I write this in all caps because it's so true and I want to shout it to the whole world!  I read this book and know that I may never ever be able to write like that and I'm okay with it because it's so good!  The descriptions are so real and original and the words Martin uses depict scenes skillfully and...well, perfectly.  Between watching the show and reading the book I found myself cringing at deaths and moments filled with witchcraft and dead bodies that haunted people. That of shows just how amazing Martin is with his descriptions.  They bothered me!  I also should mention how amazing this world is that Martin has created.  It feels as real to me as Hogwarts!  The book is also very realistic despite it's fantasy label.  

When I finished the book I just couldn't believe I was done.  For a few days I still thought I was reading it.  I would reach over to my nightstand and see that it wasn't Game of Thrones sitting there but another book.  It left a strange and empty feeling in my heart.  Despite all of these amazing aspects to the book, there was one negative thing I noticed.  This story is incredibly vulgar.  I already mentioned that I moved past that but it still does bother me at times.  

Despite the vulgarity, I loved the book!  I am definitely giving it 5 out of 5 stars.  I'm not calling it a favorite but it is a book I recommend to everyone because you will not be disappointed.  Seriously, you should buy the book right now.  Don't get it at the library.  If you love to read and write than you will want this book on your shelf! I read the last hundred pages while I was on a cruise!  I was on a cruise and half the time I was thinking about Game of Thrones!  That's how awesome of a book it is!  And also, be sure to watch the show as well.  It is brilliant and sticks to the book 99% of the time.  I watch it and wish to God that Harry Potter would be adapted into an HBO show!  Also be warned that the ending is a tear-jerker.  It took a little while to set it.  When I read the book I became a little teary eyed but when I watched the scene on HBO I burst into tears.  I probably would have cried more reading the book if I had been alone and not on a cruise and I also would have cried more but unfortunately the internet spoiled the ending for me!

No comments:

Post a Comment