Claudia's Reviews > A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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Jul 16, 11

bookshelves: 2011-book-challenge-150-books, sci-fi-fantasy
Read from July 01 to 16, 2011

Yay! Finished. 807 pages, with maps and family trees...I did it!

The more I think about this book, the more intrigued I am about what Martin has accomplished here...a huge tale of a world with thousands of years of history...ancient enemies and alliances. Sweeping conflicts, and small domestic scenes. Not seeing much fantasy yet...except for the creatures, and the Others, whom I've not met.

But what I'm coming back to with my final impressions are the women. Catelyn, Dany,Arya and her sister Sansa drove this story for me. Yes, it's about the game of thrones, and yes, it's about the intrigues and the conflicts. But it's about the women. There was a moving passage in one of Catelyn's chapters about waiting...waiting for her father, her betrothed, her husband, and now her son. Women wait. Women pick up the pieces. Women deal with the fallout of the game of thrones. Dany's another example. She was a pawn, and yet grew into a towering strength, no more so than at the end of the novel. Sansa and Arya are such mis-matched sisters and can barely stand being in the same room with the other. Every woman who's a sister can understand that, but their differences are so much more. I despair for each of them at the end of this book...neither seems to have much of a chance of true survival. Neither seems able to live up to the potential they possess as Catelyn's and Ned's children.

I know what saved me with this book is that it's character-driven. The multiple points of view allowed me to see the action through the eyes of the characters, even the ones I disliked. But this is about people, with all the fears and hopes and dreams all people have. They're just playing for such extreme stakes. You either win the game of thrones or you die.

I am not downplaying the men in the book. Ned, I love -- as a reader I KNEW he was 'too good' to survive -- he was the reluctant hero; he knew his choices were right but risky, and I cried when he was excuted. Bran I weep for. Jon, wonderful Jon...he so deserves to know who he is. And Tyrion...what an interesting character he is. I know that Jon and Tyrion will continue to play important roles in the coming books.

So...predictions: Bran is too smart not to figure out who maimed him -- I think Joss and Robb will continue to build alliances, to eventually face the other. Dany? Wow, what a wild card SHE is! And all I can say is I hope Jaime and Cersei get everything that's coming to them. I hope Jon learns who his mother is, and I hope he and Robb can find a way to work together.

The Forest, the Winter, the dragons...I don't see how these will play out, and there's still a runaway direwolf out there someplace...
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Reading Progress

07/01/2011 page 40
5.0% "Maps and family trees...2 strikes against this one."
07/02/2011 page 143
17.0% "The foreboding atmosphere is breathtaking..."
07/03/2011 page 251
30.0% "Still too many characters to keep up with, but I have to look up the names less and less!"
07/04/2011 page 275
33.0% "Not a lot of time to read today :("
07/12/2011 page 403
48.0% "Nearly half-way finished, and I can tell this won't end well for ANYONE!"
07/12/2011 page 454
54.0% "just found out Book #2 is 1200 pages long!! Are you kidding??" 1 comment
07/14/2011 page 525
63.0% "Oppressive...bad things keep happening"
07/15/2011 page 653
78.0% "Sinister...those Lannisters are evil, evil, evil!"

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