Olivia McCloskey

How in the world do you keep all of the character straight? I've been reading this book since May and haven't been able to force myself to finish it.

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Ashley Lankford Watch the show... I know it sounds dumb, because why would you want to do that because then you know whats going to happen and it will never be as good as the books. But I watched the first three seasons before I even knew it was a book series!! But by then I was so emotional invested in the characters I had no problem getting everything straight! And honestly I'm still only on the first book, but so far everything in the show stick really close to the book no major major differences so far, beside the kids ages.
aPriL does feral sometimes There is an appendix of Houses and characters in the back of my copy which I referred to a lot. I think that a commitment to read it every day is needed to remember the characters. This is absolutely not a book to read for a day or two, then put it down for three or more days, then go back to it or a day.

I read the book first, then I saw the first episode of the TV show. The TV show makes it easier to remember the characters because I think people are better at visual memory.
Charles I haven't read the books. But I did see on the Internet that they changed some character names when the originals sounded too much alike (Two Robbs, for example, so the show changed one to Robin). There was an Osha and an Asha, so Asha got changed to Yara. That may eliminate some of the confusion.
Michele I used the internet a lot in the beginning. I constantly referred to the family trees as well as maps of Westeros. I have these characters down pretty well but I still have to refer back from time to time, especially when the book talks about characters from the past. I do agree with others though that watching the first season of the show will help a lot. It also stays pretty true to the book. Keep with it though as the journey is well worth it.
Lincoln I tried to read this book when the first season came out - and there were just too many story lines, much less characters. After I watched the final season, it made a lot more sense - and the wiki and appendix would have helped a lot if I'd known about them.
dsreads have your computer or phone nearby entered on "a wiki of ice and fire". It makes the read so much better.
Marlowe Honestly? I used the ASOIAF wiki a lot. A lot a lot. Mostly during the first book, after which I mostly had the hang of the characters. After that, I used it less frequently.

As someone else mentioned, the appendix at the back of the book helps enormously as well.
Jaime Hendrickson I read the books and actually have never been able to finish watching the show. I was able to keep track of the characters by the appendix in the back that lists the houses. I would never lie and say I kept track of them all. People I didn't realize were important, and sort of skimmed over and then realized later were super important, I had to go back and reread the passages that they were in. But really I think it's a series you have to reread and I also have read the fire and ice wiki, that helped me. I always wonder how he (the author) keeps it all straight. I've read authors that had maybe a tenth of his characters and they've gone and changed their name or description of a character in book 8 or something :)
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