Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Published by Bantam on January 1st 1970
Genres: Epic Fantasy
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Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it 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 vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.
It’s official — I have finally decided to read A Game of Thrones. It only took … oh, about 7 years from when it was first recommended to me. And, you know, watching the entire TV show.
That’s right — I’ve admitted it. I watched the show before I read the book. Truthfully, I took one look at how massive the books in the series were and consciously decided to watch the show first. Because otherwise, I would end up waiting 6+ years to watch the show 😉
I like the show more than the book.
Yes, my friends, the book didn’t steal my heart away.
Honestly, I just didn’t feel a connection with the characters. And it is SLOW. You can definitely tell that everything is moving in a direction, and that’s good. But good lord it takes a long time to develop. Unfortunately, it took a long time to feel invested in any of the characters too. If I hadn’t watched the show first, I honestly don’t think I would have finished the book. I just would have lost interest.
There were a few things I liked better in the book.
I definitely did enjoy getting a bit more depth in the character’s thoughts in the book. There were some things in the show that I didn’t entirely understand until I rewatched season 1 after having seen some later events. Those things made more sense having the character’s thoughts behind them when they initially happened.
The plots around Bran & Daenerys particularly felt more fleshed out in the book. Bran’s plotline is so ethereal at this point, that I can understand why it approached the way it was in the show, but it’s clear now that there’s so much more to it. And Daenerys … Well, getting her perspective right off the bat made me really appreciate her more quickly. I think the show did a decent job of showing her development, but the book did a better job. She’s the only character I liked more in the book.
The characters felt young and stupid.
The most remarkable thing about reading A Game of Thrones, to me, was just how incredibly young everyone was. John & Robb are fourteen. Sansa is eleven. They’re itty bitty!
Ned and Sansa actually pissed me off reading the book. I mean, how incredibly naive do you have to be? Yeah, I felt that way in the show too, but somehow having everything laid out in the book made it worse. I think it was because I actually knew what Ned was thinking. Things like “The woman was still here, even after three days. What was she thinking?” I wanted to be like NED, YOU WANKER; SHE’S NOT AN IDIOT LIKE YOU. I couldn’t tell if he was genuinely oblivious of any potential for crazy machinations (in which case complete stupidity because GAH you’re predecessor died) or if he was entirely convinced that a woman and a child couldn’t possibly be up to no good (in which case arrogant pigheaded stupidity because GAH you’re predecessor died).
Sansa at least was young enough to be excused for her lack of awareness. She was after all, only eleven.
I’m not even going to take the time to list the other stupid. It’s not worth it. Suffice to say that I spent a decent amount of time mentally yelling at characters for doing stupid things.
I like my characters to have a bit of common sense.
Will I continue reading the series?
I have no idea. I haven’t quite decided yet. I did like getting to hear the thoughts behind the deeds. And I’d be curious to see more behind Tyrion’s thoughts in some of the later books.
But in all honesty, I’m not sure I’ll have the patience for them. We shall see.