Brad's Reviews > A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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May 15, 11

bookshelves: sword-and-sorcery-opera, fantasy
Read in May, 2011, read count: 1

I am closing in on the end, so here's my third installment of my reading journal. My star rating is always where I am at in the book at the time of writing. It's going to fluctuate. Since I am writing about the book as I go, there will necessarily be spoilers, so don't continue if you want to avoid them.

My Game of Thrones Journal: volume iii

Eddard-- Now that was an ass whooping! Nicely done, Jaime. Already Catelyn’s rash decision is paying dividends for her family, as is Ned’s mouth costing him the power of the Hand. Dumbasses all. I do love the reality of injuries in this book, though. Bran falls, lives and winds up a cripple. Ned’s horse lands on him and he’s got a compound fracture. The realism in the injuries makes me happy.

Daenerys-- Viserys is the one character who seems to contain nothing to fear. What little danger he carried within himself evaporated as soon as he gave Dany to Khal Drogo. He is a fool, and too arrogant and racist by half to get very far with the Dothraki. He really seems to be nothing more than a way for Dany to grow and come into her own, which is fine by me, although I hope he’ll be more than that. Can’t stand his “wake the dragon” threats, though. I keep seeing Gowan (an 80s Canadian singer with a bad mullet) doing his little tai chi dance on Chichen Itza when Viserys says it, and Gowan is not an image of menace. No way. No how. That phrase makes me recoil.

Bran-- Good to see Bran out and on the horse. Getting glimpses of Rob’s poor decision making; he’s a chip off the old block. Theon Greyjoy ... why do I get the feeling that he is going to be wiping Rob’s blood off a blade at some point in this series. There hasn’t been much of him, but I get a sense that he is going to be seriously important. Nice fight, by the way.

Tyrion-- That harp of Marillion’s should really be Tyrion’s because that dwarf can play. So here’s what I think: Lysa’s a nutter and about as nice as Cersei (although that’s not all that fair to Cersei); Bronn is a cool guy, and Tyrion chooses his friends, or buys his followers, wisely; the dungeon of honeycomb cells is a great touch; Catelyn seems to be a pushover; and I am certain that Littlefinger sent the knife for Bran.

Eddard-- There are few things in our society that we see in a worse light than a man punching a woman. So why did I cheer inside when Robert bruised Cersei? Good chapter. Ned ... I want to love him, and sometimes I come very close, but then there is always a but ...

On another note, I continue to wonder if the ???’s really deserved to be usurped. How had a king was he? Are we starting this story with a giant pack of villains who are getting exactly what they deserve for all their disloyalty?

Catelyn-- There really is no denying the idiocy of Lysa. She’s not just mad but stupid as well, so contrasting her with Catelyn raises my estimation of Catelyn greatly. How in the Seven Kingdoms did Catelyn manage to turn out intelligent and sane surrounded by the people she was surrounded with? Speaking of Catelyn’s development, I really loved the glimpse into Littlefinger’s motivation for killing Arryn and setting up Ned in the street with Jaime. He is at the root of it all. What a bad ass. He is a truly great villain, and I figure he’s the main villain of the piece.

Finally, Huzzah! Bronn and Tyrion are a good team. I wonder if Cate’s going to offer them passage to Winterfell. It would be the politic thing to do.

Jon-- The boy who should be king, the only one with the wisdom for it, is stuck off on the Wall. How the hell is he going to get away from there? Will he die there? Is anyone else going to show the sort of wisdom Jon shows in saving Samwell. I doubt it.

Tyrion-- Nice to finally get to know a bit more about Tyrion and his feelings for his family. Interesting that he still loves Jaime despite Jaime’s role in his sexual humiliation and the destruction of his love for Myrish. But it’s good to know that Tyrion will be the instrument of Lord Tywin’s demise because it’s obvious he will. Beautiful. Once again something isn’t particularly original, but wow is it emotionally satisfying. Good to see , also, that Tyrion is building his own little army.

Eddard-- Doing the right thing ? It feels that way doesn’t it? But is Ned doing the right thing ? No investigation, the word of peasants being pushed by Lannister enemies, and extreme decision when Ned already knows that his position is weak (if he’s not allowed to arrest Jaime when he’s the victim, then how can you arrest the mountain on the word of peasants ... I mean, seriously!) And he never seeks even a single word from the accused. Obviously the Mountain did it, but I think Ned’s decision is a bad one. How many idiotic moves has Ned made now? He is a poor player in the Game of Thrones.

Sansa-- All the sympathy I’d been feeling for Sansa is shot to hell. She takes no responsibility for her actions, and she’s become shallow, or simply is shallow and I gave her too much credit. She’s as superficial as the boy/Prince she loves. Something tells me that she will be the death of him, and also the death of her father.

Eddard-- Who plays the Game of Thrones best? It’s definitely a Lannister. I’d have said Tyrion until now. But Cersei may just be the master. Ned thinks he is a good player, both in morality and quality, but he isn’t. Cersei is cold and brilliant and powerful. Ned is detached and foolish and weak of mind. cersei is my favourite woman in the book, and if anyone deserves that throne it is her. I wish End was my favourite, though. I want to love him, but can’t

No middle ground, indeed.

Daenerys-- I loved the wild stallion heart eating ceremony, and I thought the after bath sex was well crafted and even erotic. With all that happens in this chapter, though (kick ass feasting, prophecy fulfillment, culture building, learning the value of dragon eggs, learning the value of true alliances, learning the depth of Daenerys’ pragmatism), the only thing I bet anyone wants to talk about when the finish reading it is the crowning of Viserys. And why not? That has to be one of the most fitting torture/executions ever delivered. Hard to feel bad for the little dragon, but I still did anyway. I had hoped for a more active role for him. I suppose, however, that he served his purpose, setting Dany on the path to whatever her fate may be.

Eddard -- Noticeable that Ned didn’t think of Jon when his thoughts turned to his family at home. Excellent work on Martin’s part. It suits the time and the way Ned would be.

I have to admit that I was surprised and disappointed by the manner of Robert’s death, though I shouldn’t have been surprised. I suppose the former is because it came sooner than I anticipated. From Robert’s death bed moan on, I found myself becoming more and more pissed at the stupidity of Ned. the man is an ASS. And a sillt half-wt, and if what Petyr says about Stannis is true, then Ned’s righteousness doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He helped Robert usurp the throne, so why turn it over to someone unfit who has little claim to it at best? Why not be Regent, avoid bloodshed and make sure the King on the throne is worthy by making him worthy? Oh, of course, bullshit bloodlaws. Ned deserves to get his ass kicked and I hope it is soon.

Jon -- Jon’s frustration and humiliation at becoming a steward was understandable, but the way he overcame it by listening to Sam was exceptional. He is who his father is not. I wonder, though, in the long run, if he’ll turn into a mini-Ned, or will the Night’s Watch give him the world experience to be a truly wise leader?

Eddard -- Holy shit! So awesome! Ned’s dead much sooner than I had hoped, and it was so kick ass. I looooovvvvvvveeeeeee Littlefinger! Ned’s stupidity finally bites him in the neck. Super well done on Martin’s part. it reminds me of John Byrne killing Guardian all those years ago. No one is safe. Ned is dead; long live Littlefinger!

Oh fuck! I was wrong. I misread it. I think Martin is partially to blame. Messy writing. What a shame
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Brie I have to say I really enjoy reading your journal entries, if you continue on in the series you should keep them up. You are right on with some things, and a bit off on others, so its really interesting to read and remember what I thought my first time through as well.

You seem to be enjoying it at this point, so may I ask why the 3 stars? It just seems from your descriptions you may like it more than that.

And what did you misread?

Brad Knowing that someone is actually following these journals, Brie, will make me keep going. I promise I will do this for Clash of Kings too. I think they're going to be fun to look back on someday.

So my three stars: totally based on the last Eddard chapter I read. I seriously thought that Littlefinger (I don't have the book handy so I can't quote it) hadn't just put a knife to Ned's throat to stop Lord Stark from fighting, I thought he'd put it in his throat and killed him unceremoniously. My mistake had to do with the Martin's verbage and me reading into it what I wanted to see. I thought it was one of those shocking moments where the supposed hero gets nailed prematurely, and I was thrilled, but then I reread what was written, realized I was wrong and felt totally deflated. But that's okay ... I expect Martin to reinflate me and get his star rating back on track.

Kelly ... of all Martin's flaws, him refusing to kill his characters is not one of them. He's infamous for it! I hope you enjoy the rest of the book! :)

Brad I figure Ned is doomed to die, which is cool. I just hope it has the same impact when it comes as his false death had on me, though i doubt that's possible. I created an anti-climax for myself.

Kelly Well hopefully you're still involved enough to enjoy it anyway. I love this journal! What a fitting way to go through this book.

Brad Yay! Two fans of the journal. Thanks, Kelly.

mark monday i love the journal! although i disagree heartily with many points.

but where do i find the earlier ones? i read journal no. 1 but i can't recall if i read no. 2.

Brad Volume ii for your enjoyment, mark.

I am kinda looking forward to reading this all back to myself when I am done. Everything is an instant reaction, so I imagine I will see things very differently once the whole story has come together.

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