AH's Reviews > A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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Jun 13, 11

bookshelves: books-into-movies, chubby-chunkster, dragons, fantasy, favorites, first-in-series, historical, zzread-may2011, spies
Read from April 27 to May 08, 2011



OK, I’ll admit it. I had never even heard about Game of Thrones until HBO decided to produce the series. If someone had told me to read it a while back, I probably would have passed. But I watched the first episode of the show and I was hooked. My only problem was that huge cast of characters. Those men in armor all looked alike to me. I then decided that I had to read the book.

Wow! Epic! I am at a loss of words to describe this book. I will say that once I finished Game of Thrones, I ordered the rest of the series right away. To my chagrin, my favorite book store kept running out of copies. In the end I prevailed and got my hands on the next 3 books.

For those of you that are put off by the length of this book, it really does not feel like an 835 page tome. It reads fast. Chapters are not numbered; they are named for a specific character and told from that character’s point of view. It could be confusing, but it is not and the reader gets to see things from many different angles.

Let’s just say I had favorites. I would speed read to get to the characters I loved. Arya, Bran, Tyrion, and Daenerys were my favorites. Sansa’s chapters made me want to throttle her. I didn’t really care for Catelyn’s chapters either. Jon and Eddard (Ned)’s chapters were interesting.

I won’t go into the plot. Basically the title says it all. The smartest, sneakiest, most conniving ones seem to win (not sure if I’m right). I enjoy watching the game being played. Being honorable like Ned is definitely not an asset in this world. Ruthlessness and power hungry – those are the traits one needs. These characters make plotting and conniving seem like an Olympic sport. I love watching the side characters and the hangers on. Some of them such as Varys and Littlefinger are hard to figure out. It seems like the “Trust no one” motto would be a good one to follow.

The author put a lot of thought and research into this book. Each “House” has its own motto, sigil, color, flags, etc. The symbolism of these sigils is very important to the houses. For example, the sigil of House Stark is the direwolf. Each Stark child had a pet direwolf. The Stark family motto was “Winter is coming,” something that every Canadian can relate to.

Be prepared for some heartbreak. Characters do die in this book. Characters are much younger in this book than they are in the show. Be prepared for an epic read.
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Reading Progress

04/27/2011 page 17
2.0% "Amazing how close the prologue was to the TV series first episode. I think I'll enjoy this." 4 comments
04/29/2011 page 44
5.0% "Viserys is an ass, pimping out his sister Daenerys for power." 7 comments
04/30/2011 page 52
6.0% ""I swear to you, sitting on a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one...I sit on that damnable iron chair and listen to them complain until my mind is numb and my ass is raw...It can drive a man to madness, Ned. Half of them don't dare tell me the truth and the other half can't find it." --Robert to Ned reminiscing about the good old days."
04/30/2011 page 65
8.0% ""All dwarfs may be bastards, yet not all bastards need be dwarfs." --Tyrion seems to be the smartest character so far."
04/30/2011 page 82
10.0% ""You're not my son," he told Bran when they fetched him down, "you're a squirrel. So be it. If you must climb, then climb, but try not to let your mother see you.""
04/30/2011 page 92
11.0% ""Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.""
05/03/2011 page 109
13.0% ""A Dothraki wedding without at least three deaths is deemed a dull affair." ...Her wedding must have been especially blessed; before the day was over a dozen men had died."
05/03/2011 page 130
16.0% ""My mind is my weapon. My brother has a sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind...and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge...That's why I read so much, Jon Snow." --Tyrion" 2 comments
05/03/2011 page 161
19.0% ""Perchance later you'll tell me how a nine year old girl the size of a wet rat managed to disarm you with a broom handle and throw your sword into the river." --Prince Joffrey is such a whiny baby."
05/03/2011 page 165
20.0% "Interesting what goes on in Bran's head while he was recuperating."
05/03/2011 page 190
23.0% ""Let them see that their words can cut you, and you'll never be free of the mockery. If they want to give you a name, take it, make it your own. Then they can't hurt you anymore." Tyrion is a wise imp."
05/03/2011 page 195
23.0% "It seems like even kings like to live way past their means. I wonder what the implications of a large debt to that family will be?"
05/03/2011 page 238
29.0% ""The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends," Ser Jorah told her. "It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace." He gave a shrug. "They seldom are.""
05/03/2011 page 257
31.0% ""Is everyone someone's informer in this cursed city?"" 2 comments
05/03/2011 page 312
37.0% "

"You're too fat for your armor, Robert."

"Fat? Fat, is it? Is that how you speak to your King?" He let go his laughter, sudden as a storm. "Ah, damn you Ned, why are you always right?"

"
05/04/2011 page 344
41.0% "Arya's "dance" lessons are entertaining. I love the little mantras she keeps in her head to remain focused."
05/04/2011 page 374
45.0% ""My brother is undoubtedly arrogant," Tyrion Lannister replied. "My father is the soul of avarice, and my sweet sister Cersei lusts for power with every waking breath. I, however, am innocent as a little lamb. Shall I bleat for you?" He grinned." 7 comments
05/04/2011 page 374
45.0% "Interesting - all of the "bastard" children take on certain last names like Stone, Snow, Flowers, etc."
05/04/2011 page 382
46.0% "Lysa - All's I can say for this scene is Ewwww!!" 4 comments
05/04/2011 page 391
47.0% "Viserys is so vile. The Dothraki have great nicknames for him: Khal Rhal Mhar - The Sorefoot King and Khal Rhaggart - The Cart King. Too bad Viserys just doesn't get the Dothraki culture. He really acts "unkingly.""
05/05/2011 page 401
48.0% "For a 13 year old (yes she is only 13 in the book) Dany has realized the power she holds as Khaleesi. She no longer acts like a meek little girl. I like how her character develops."
05/05/2011 page 418
50.0% ""It would seem I've been a busy little fellow," he said with bitter sarcasm. "I wonder when I found the time to do all that slaying and murdering." --Tyrion"
05/05/2011 page 479
57.0% "Yeah, Arya! Throw that orange at your prissy sister." 3 comments
05/05/2011 page 493
59.0% "I can't believe Ned asked Cersei that question. I can't believe that she actually answered honestly." 7 comments
05/05/2011 page 495
59.0% ""When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.""
05/05/2011 page 505
60.0% "The Dothraki have some pretty barbaric customs to ensure that their khaleesi has "...the stallion that mounts the world."" 2 comments
05/05/2011 page 508
61.0% "I'm liking Khal Drogo's sense of humor when dealing with his brother in law Viserys." 2 comments
05/08/2011 page 533
64.0% "That Cersei sure works fast."
05/08/2011 page 536
64.0% ""I did warn you not to trust me, you know." --There is an amazing amount of betrayal and deceit in this book."
05/08/2011 page 558
67.0% "Stupid Sansa. So naive and trusting. Blinded by love."
05/08/2011 page 563
67.0% "Sam has a CSI moment and estimates the time of death of one of the missing men." 1 comment
05/08/2011 page 583
70.0% "

"And she says nothing of Arya, nothing, not so much as a word. Damn her! What is wrong with that girl?"

"She lost her wolf."

The wolves seem to have a power for the Starks."
05/08/2011 page 633
76.0% "Sansa is delusional if she thinks Joffrey even cares about her."
05/08/2011 page 634
76.0% ""The king eats, Robert had said, and the Hand takes the shit. How he had laughed. Yet he had gotten it wrong.""
05/08/2011 page 691
83.0% "

"Always follow a big man into battle."

Tyrion threw him a hard look. "And why is that?"

"They make such splendid targets. That one, he'll draw the eyes of every bowman on the field."

Laughing, Tyrion regarded the Mountain with fresh eyes. "I confess, I had not considered it in that light."

"
05/08/2011 page 735
88.0% "No! NO! NO! Joffrey is an arrogant little prick." 2 comments
05/08/2011 page 750
90.0% ""She wondered how she could have ever thought him handsome. His lips were soft and red as the worms you found after a rain, and his eyes were vain and cruel." --Sansa finally sees the real Joffrey."
05/08/2011 page 767
92.0% "Dany's character continues to astound me. She transforms from a meek little girl to a smart young woman rather quickly."
05/08/2011 page 835
100.0% "Wow! I'm speechless. Ordering the next book right away." 6 comments

Comments (showing 1-38 of 38) (38 new)

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message 1: by Jen (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jen I started listening to the book recently. And I agree that it is pretty good. It totally sucked me in!


message 2: by Lisa O. (new) - added it

Lisa O. I just bought this book too. Do you suggest I watch an episode of the series to pique my interest?


message 3: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Lisa O. wrote: "I just bought this book too. Do you suggest I watch an episode of the series to pique my interest?"

The series is pretty true to the books, except that the children are all about 3-5 years older. There are a few extra scenes where they give you more info on a character. I found that it was easier to watch the show once I started reading the books. But that's just me. There are lots of characters to keep track of.


message 4: by jD (new) - rated it 4 stars

jD Good impressions AH. I loved it and plowed through them all last summer then was pissed when I found out there are 2-3 book left unwritten. One comes out this summer thank God. You are so right about greed and death. The deaths just keep on coming as you read further.


message 5: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Thanks jD. These books do make an impression. I'm halfway through the second one and I'm still enjoying them immensely. I did find the second one slow to start.


Wicked Incognito Now That's why I decided to read the books too--there are so many characters with so much back history, it's difficult to keep track. Seeing the names in print always helps me. I haven't read this yet, but I have it sitting by my bed. I don't know. I guess I'm scared that if I read the book I won't LOVE or anticipate the TV show as much as I've come to. I am going to read it though. Man, I love that show.


message 7: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I like both. But I know what will happen in the episode that I'll watch tonight.

The books do have an appendix with all the houses and their members, sigils, mottos, colors, alliegences, etc.


message 8: by jD (new) - rated it 4 stars

jD I love both the show and the books. I think the actress gives so much dimension to Danny and I actually like the Queen better in the tv show than I did in the book.


message 9: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I think it is better that Dani is older in the TV show. It makes her role a little more believable. I like book Queen Cersei better. Just a little more evil...


Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) I was optimistic and bought the boxed set - glad I did. I have not seen the series and won't until it comes out on DVD, but I loved the book. And yes, it is hard to keep up with the characters especially at the beginning. I am just starting the second book. My favorite characters were Jon, Robb, Bray, Arya, and Catelyn, but there are enough characters in there for everyone to have a different favorite! In the book the younger characters are children - but in medieval times Kings were children compared to ages now. To us in this time to have cast them at the ages they are in the book would have seemed really wrong. Isn't Sansa eleven or twelve in the book? Robb is 15 when he leads an army.


message 11: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I am finding the second book a little slower until about 40% of the way through. Then it seems to pick up. I've put it aside for a while because of other commitments, (the end of the school year is so busy) but I hope to get back to it by the end of next week.


Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) I think I am going to read something lighter along with it so if I am not in the mood for something so complex I can pick up a quicker read. I did that in the first part of this book and then got to where I could not put it down and didn't need it.


message 13: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH That's actually the best way to tackle that book. It's huge 1009 pages.


Greta is Erikasbuddy Holy crackers!! Awesome review and omg at the length of that book!!


message 15: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Thanks, Greta. The second book is longer - 1009 pages!

I enjoyed the book. It really does not feel like a huge book because of the way it is written.


message 16: by jD (new) - rated it 4 stars

jD Whatever you do, don't make my mistake. I took my eyes off Jon Snow and Danny's storylines by reading through them quickly to get to other plot lines. I got so caught up in the royal family and war that I really did not invest enough of my attention to those two and paid dearly by book 3.


message 17: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Oh no! I do like Danny's story so far. Jon, not as much. I'll keep that in mind as I read the next book.


message 18: by jD (new) - rated it 4 stars

jD exactly. Jon's story got boring but it becomes very important by the last book I read which was four or five, I forget. I read them all and am hooked on the tv show.


Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) You all are confusing but I will pay special attention to these two. I just started A Clash of Kings. Jon is one of my favorite characters anyway but thanks for the heads up! I hope they come out with the DVD as soon as the series is over (which I think is Sunday) since I do not have HBO. Kind of glad to read the book(s) first anyway.


message 20: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Halfway through Clash of Kings now. I'm loving Tyrion, especially when he gets to slap Joffrey around.


Regina I had no idea it was so big!!! I am at 60% and that means I have read over 500 pages, holy cow. I actually am irritated with Dany right now, not sure why. Weren't the parts about that compound Jon encountered gross beyond belief? GRRM always ratchets up the grossness level.


message 22: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Yup, really gross.


Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) I think I am not looking forward to that. I am only on page 31 and going to be away from home tomorrow and Saturday so can't read until Sunday. Some tonight maybe.


message 24: by jD (new) - rated it 4 stars

jD AH wrote: "Halfway through Clash of Kings now. I'm loving Tyrion, especially when he gets to slap Joffrey around."

I already liked the way Tyrion handled himself but reigning in Joffrey was a high for me. I hated that kid...do young and so evil.


message 25: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I already liked the way Tyrion handled himself but reigning in Joffrey was a high for me. I hated that kid...do young and so evil.

Young, evil, and absolutely clueless!


message 26: by Danny (new) - added it

Danny Your review told me that I do have to read it too and just like you I had no idea before HBO decided to do a series!


message 27: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Danny, did you watch the show? It follows the book well, except when they add a little extra nudity just because they are HBO, lol. I'm waiting for my husband to catch up before I read #3. More fun when you can share these books.


message 28: by Danny (new) - added it

Danny yes I LOVED the show. Last Saturday I watched 6 episodes in a row... it was epic!! and so sad... but since I loved the show so much I think I will start to read the books...

I looked at the audio, it's 33 hrs *died* I go for the book lool


message 29: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH The first book is >800 pages and they get longer. Best on an ereader because you won't get bonked by a book if you nod off. I can't see reading them back to back because it's just too long.

The Nothing But Reading Challenges group has a lively discussion on books 1 and 2. Spoilers all over so read at your own risk.


message 30: by Lora (new) - added it

Lora I want to read this series so bad but the length of each book scares me a little.

Nice review:)


message 31: by Danny (new) - added it

Danny Actually I LOVE long and thick books. Spending more time with the characters is something I love and enjoy. So I look forward reading them!


Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) I am into the second book but reading some lighter books in between sessions. Because each chapter follow a specific character it makes it easier to take some time off between chapters. Although the story is continuing of course, you leave that character at the end of each chapter and find out what someone else is doing at the same time.


message 33: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Lora wrote: "I want to read this series so bad but the length of each book scares me a little.

Nice review:)"


Thanks, Lora. Don't let the length frighten you away. Each chapter is named after a character and you can read one or a few chapters at a time. Time really does fly when you read this, really. Also there is a handy-dandy appendix at the end of all the houses,etc., just to keep them all straight. I hope you get a chance to read it.


message 34: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Danny wrote: "Actually I LOVE long and thick books. Spending more time with the characters is something I love and enjoy. So I look forward reading them!"

And I am looking forward to your review!


message 35: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) wrote: "I am into the second book but reading some lighter books in between sessions. Because each chapter follow a specific character it makes it easier to take some time off between chapters. Although ..."


I'm doing that too. I find it's just easier that way.


Greta is Erikasbuddy hey!! I'm thinking about reading this. I heard it's 'complex'. Do you think my little brain can keep up? :P Just curious!!

I haven't watched the series yet but Season 1 is on it's way to my house from the library very soon. I thought if I watched Season 1 then I might be ok with the book. But I still wonder if I'm going to be able to keep my attention on such a lengthy book.


message 37: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH The book pretty much follows the TV series. There are a lot of characters to keep up with, but you'll soon be hating or cheering them on. Just don't get attached to anyone, he loves to kill off characters.


Greta is Erikasbuddy owww!! Good to know!!


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