*Warning: This review contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones*
Recently I began reading George R. R. Martin’s A Game Of Thrones which is the first book from his A Song Of Fire And Ice series. When it comes to the fantasy genre I must admit I am not always a huge fan and I am hardly ever impressed but this book is truly amazing.
Like most people who enjoy reading (and as a self-proclaimed bibliophile) I almost always prefer reading the books rather than watching the show/movie however for some reason I decided to watch the show first because honestly with school and everything going on at the time I didn’t have time to read the book. Everyone seemed super obsessed with the show though so I started watching it around the time when season 5 got over and tried my best to avoid spoilers. I have been totally obsessed with Game Of Thrones since then and since we still have to wait for a while before the next season I decided to start reading the books.
To imagine the setting in this book one must imagine an old-fashioned, misogynistic and corrupt world where seasons last for years and people die at the blink of an eye. The Seven Kingdoms are ruled by the incompetent King Robert who couldn’t care less about it and almost everyone around him seems to have their own selfish reasons for being there. Everyone who tries to fight for justice and what’s right seems to gain nothing much except a painful death. Also, most characters seem to be fighting for their “rightful” claim to the Iron Throne and are ready to hurt and destroy everyone in their path to gain it. Plus it includes a bunch of magical and mythical creatures too! There are of course Daenerys’s dragons and we can’t forget the White Walkers who are almost entirely indestructible.
The book is very similar to the show and the events are very similar if not the same. It begins just like the show too. However, the book brings to it a depth that cannot be shown on TV. It tells us background stories with far more details, it gives us more information about the characters and their ties with one another and most importantly it gives us a look into the thoughts and feelings of the characters. This is especially important in the case of characters such as Bran where he doesn’t really talk much and almost everything about his character involves his thoughts and mind.
Another character who I loved learning more about was Khaleesi. The book really helps explain her character more and I really enjoyed that. Also, Tyrion Lannister’s thoughts are just as funny and intriguing as his words. The book just makes me love him even more. I would have loved to read a little more about the thoughts of other characters such as Cersei, King Robert and perhaps even Joffrey but I’ll take what I can get.
In the story, Ned accepts King Roberts offer to become Hand to the King. Not that he had much of a choice. But soon he starts digging up some secrets and learns about things certain people (cough… the Lannister’s… cough…) would prefer to be kept quiet. Being a fair and just person he seems to always try to do the right thing but in a place like Westeros that is the most dangerous thing someone can try to do. Things soon begin to heat up and the ending will leave you shocked (unless like me you have seen the show and know what happens).
Meanwhile, Daenerys is at first unhappily married (sold off) to Khal Drago the ruler of the Dothraki. This is done by her brother Viserys. But soon she begins to embrace their barbaric way of life. And finds that she fits in with the Dorthraki better than she could have ever imagined. Her fascination for the dragon eggs given to her as a wedding gift grows. She seems strangely obsessed with them which will all lead to the end of the book where she emerges from flames cradling three baby dragons- the first living dragons seen in hundreds of years.
In conclusion, I believe everyone should read the entire series of A Song Of Fire And Ice at least once. Starting with A Game Of Thrones, of course. And especially if you’re a fan of the TV show. I really enjoyed the first book and am definitely going to read the other five too.
“Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like an armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.” – Tyrion Lannister
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