Well apparently all I need is to post about checking in and how much progress I’ve made to really get reading. (Course a nasty cold that is keeping me stuck on the couch also helps too).
Now as a quick bit of background…I have not seen any episodes from the HBO show. I do however, wander around the internet which is filled with memes. So I knew a certain actor was killed off in season one, and it didn’t take too long for me to figure out who he was playing. Aside from that I really didn’t know what to expect in reading this.
So here is my review of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
My first impressions as I started the book was that this was going to be rough. With Martin’s style of jumping from one character to another (and almost never continuing the same plot points from one chapter to the next) I had a horrible time figuring out who the characters were and how much I should care. It also didn’t help that the mysterious events of the prologue were not readdressed until hundreds of pages later…and even then it was not really important to any of the plot.
I think my biggest complaint though was the children. Almost all of the next generation was between 10 and 15, but they weren’t expected to act like it. Now before you start yelling about it being more relevant in the time period (since this does have a medieval feel to it), I think it still just felt weird and maybe because the kids were so inconsistent. I’m supposed to believe that Dany is able to convince people who have no reason to care about her lineage to follow her as a ruler at the age of 14? At least Robb was raised with the expectation to lead so at 15 that’s a little closer to being believable. Then you have Joffrey who’s 12 still essentially throwing temper tantrums and Sansa at 11 who is pretty clueless. Throw in talk of sex and having babies themselves and it just gets a little creepy.
Now I can see why this was the start of such a popular tv series. It really was made for it. You can gloss over things like age (the actors of the kids I just mentioned were born in 1987, 1986, 1992 and 1996 according to imdb.com so that’s adding at least three years to each of them assuming filming happened in 2010). There is also so much plot and so many characters that you can bounce around all of the parts with a whole ensemble. Add in the sex and gore that HBO seems to love and you’ve got a hit.
My last thought is that for a fantasy novel, there sure is very little fantasy. A few mystical events happen here and there, but if it wasn’t for the direwolves there would be hundreds of pages where there’s no magic at all. Don’t get me wrong the political intrigue is interesting, but you could probably delete about 20 pages (50 tops) of content (which is about 800 pages) and I think most readers would believe this is the story of somewhere around here many years ago.
Right now I’m on the fence about whether or not I want to continue with the series. There are a few plotlines that have me interested, but there’s a whole lot of other stuff in the book I would need to deal with. I’m giving Game of Thrones two out of five stars.