Gottph's Reviews > A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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it was amazing

** spoiler alert ** "Hear Me Roar."

This book roared in a way no one could have imagined. Starting off one of the arguably best fantasy series of all time, A Game Of Thrones explored territory that was revolutionary to this genre. Aside from the fact that it spawned 4 (further 2 planned) sequels and one of the most successful TV series of all time, this book shines in what it strives to achieve.

George RR Martin created a world which felt like it had a life of it's own, full of characters whom you are able to empathise with to a degree which is unique in these stories. Unlike in the Lord of the Rings, nobody is clearly designated as good or evil. None of the 'dislikable' characters have plainly evil motivations, whereas none of the heroes are without their personal flaws. The series most popular character, Tyrion Lannister, is described by Martin as his favourite because he is the 'greyest' character. Cersei Lannister, who is seen in a negative light at first, worries as much about the safety of her 3 children as about her own power, whereas one of the 'noble' characters, Catelyn Stark, treats much-loved Jon Snow like he does not exist. This creates a situation in which the reader has an element of choice in the question whom he 'supports' in the Game of Thrones. Martin also experiments with the stereotypical symbols of good and bad. The Night Watch, clad in black and made up mostly of former criminals, turn out to be truly brave, whereas the Kingsguard, dressed in white, turn out to be plotting and corrupted beings.

Another achievement (or drawback) of the A Song of Ice and Fire series is the raw and brutal portrayal of life in a medieval setting. The excessive amount of violence, swearing and sex add to the gritty realism that the books and (especially) the TV series is known for. This is one of the more controversial aspects of this series. While this may scare of many readers, it also sets this series distinctly apart from other book series. Another part of the series is the killing of major characters. No one is safe from Martin's pen, as (SPOILER ALERT) poor Lord Stark found out (SPOILER ALERT). Due to the fact that you are able to empathise so well, it is always shocking when one of your favourite characters is brutally killed off.

To conclude: A Game Of Thrones is a masterpiece which is highly enjoyable to read, yet the rawness and the realism that is cemented into it makes it a read which is not for the faint hearted. Yet the shear size and scope of the continent of Westeros and the Free Cities alone make this a must read. 5 star.
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Reading Progress

January 18, 2016 – Shelved
January 18, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 7, 2016 – Started Reading
March 7, 2016 –
page 41
March 13, 2016 – Finished Reading

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