Eric Mesa's Reviews > A Storm of Swords

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
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really liked it
bookshelves: basis-for-tv-show

This book had a lot of great scenes - my favorite scenes from the TV show and more. (view spoiler) This was where the two versions of this story began to diverge wildly. Overall, I continue to understand why various choices were made given that HBO only has 10 hours a season to get their story told. However, I also now completely understand why people got so upset about the extra rape and anti-women stuff. The reunion scene between Jaime and Cersei in particular was quite a different tone.

Overall, the thesis of this book seemed to be the effects of the war the nobles were raging on everyone else. While the show touches on this, the book is rife with examples of how the smallfolk suffer horribly while the nobles mostly come out OK. Pretty prescient for GRRM to be writing, especially given the way wars have unevenly affected so many people in the decade(s) since this book was first written.

I'll end with quotes I highlighted while reading -- most of which I highlighted because I found them funny:

"Should you ever have a son, Sansa, beat him frequently so he learns to mind you."

"Comely? I have taught my Margaery what comely is worth, I hope. Somewhat less than a mummer’s fart."

"What sort of man is this Joffrey, who calls himself Baratheon but looks so very Lannister?”"

"But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife! ”

"The unfortunate Willas Tyrell was like to contract a sudden fatal case of sword-through-bowels, which could rather sour the alliance between Highgarden and Casterly Rock."

"Her legs were skinny but well muscled, the hair at the juncture of her thighs a brighter red than that on her head. Does that make it even luckier?

“Then perhaps seven courses would suffice. Three hundred guests instead of a thousand. I understand that a marriage can be just as binding without a dancing bear.” “The Tyrells would think us niggardly. I will have the wedding and the waterfront. If you cannot pay for them, say so, and I shall find a master of coin who can.”

“Bugger Joffrey, bugger the queen, and bugger that twisted little gargoyle she calls a brother. I’m done with their city, done with their Kingsguard, done with Lannisters. What’s a dog to do with lions, I ask you?”

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Reading Progress

February 19, 2016 – Started Reading
February 19, 2016 – Shelved
February 19, 2016 – Shelved as: basis-for-tv-show
February 19, 2016 –
1.0% "Finished reviewing the maps"
February 20, 2016 –
3.0% "Well, the Jaime/Brienne thing is pretty different - starting off with Cleos Frey being there. Also, it's fun that we have Jaime chapters now."
February 21, 2016 –
4.0% "How different to the rushed death of Hoster Tully in the TV show. Again, Cat seems to understand the consequences of her actions more than in the show."
February 22, 2016 –
5.0% "I think we just got the Nymeria scene we never got in the TV show."
February 23, 2016 –
8.0% "Tyrion's chapter was tragic. Davos chapter was really great. His despair and yet will to live fighting. The Sansa chapter was also great. I love any scene with Lady Olenna and she's just as witty as on the TV show."
February 25, 2016 –
10.0% "The difference in Mance Rayder and knowing he'd already seen Snow twice changes the dynamic between them a bit."
February 27, 2016 –
13.0% "It'll be interesting to see how the presence of the pentoshis changes the Dany story. Also, poor Davos."
February 28, 2016 –
15.0% "The book does a much better job than the tv show of conveying how rough the war is on the small folk"
February 29, 2016 –
17.0% "Arya's chapter was fun."
March 1, 2016 –
18.0% "I wonder why they changed so much about Robb's wife. My guess is to make her seem more sympathetic and less of an opportunistic marriage. I'll say I def have less sympathy for him breaking vows than during the TV show."
March 1, 2016 –
20.0% "Oh, Jon Snow the know-nothing"
March 2, 2016 –
21.0% "I always feel so bad for Arya. Next, a Tarly chapter! Diversity of viewpoint chapters in this book."
March 4, 2016 –
26.0% "The offset with The Others and Tarly is even more epic than the show. Rob deals with traitors. Briene and Jaime taken captive almost exactly as in the show."
March 5, 2016 –
28.0% "My favorite Dany part : the slaves"
March 6, 2016 –
31.0% "Not a fan of Bran chapters. Jon's virginity loss was quite a bit different."
March 7, 2016 –
34.0% "Sansa's wedding was even sadder when inside her head."
March 9, 2016 –
38.0% "Sympathy for Jaime comes earlier than in the TV show. On the other hand, we were cheated out of some more awesome Tyrion in the show vs this book."
March 9, 2016 –
40.0% "Poor, poor Tarly"
March 10, 2016 –
41.0% "Finally we get the name The Men without Banners. The book makes it clear these are men we've seen before. (Or maybe because it's my second time going through the narrative - different from the TV though it may be)"
March 11, 2016 –
42.0% "Must have been so crazy to read of the resurrection and realize perhaps there was some truth to the power or R'Hllor. I'm in the chapter with Cat in which her father died - once again more sympathy for book Cat than TV Cat."
March 11, 2016 –
46.0% "Jamie and Briene's bath scene and the Red Viper arrives at King's Landing. Slightly less cordial with Tyrion then on the show."
March 12, 2016 –
47.0% "So far the Arya/Hound scenes in the show are Arya/Men without Banners scenes in the book"
March 13, 2016 –
54.0% "Dany and Jamie's stories seem the most in sync with the TV show. Arya's the most different. Cat/Rob/Bran are somewhere in the middle."
March 16, 2016 –
55.0% "I wonder why the TV show didn't have the discussion of Rob's successor - and Snow. I guess because his wife in the show was pregnant on the first try?"
March 16, 2016 –
59.0% "Given the Frey reception I just read, the upcoming Red Wedding must have been such a shock."
March 19, 2016 –
62.0% "The Red Wedding!"
March 21, 2016 –
65.0% "The attack on the wall!"
March 23, 2016 –
66.0% "War is over at the wall. Looks liek that kid from the TV show doesn't exist. Or if he's the one who kills Ygritte I somehow missed that detail. Bran and Co are at the castle where in the TV show they meet Sam. Haven't finished that chapter so don't know if that ends up the same."
March 23, 2016 –
68.0% "So they do meet Tarly. The Mormont reveal for Dany is waaaaay different than the tv show."
March 24, 2016 –
69.0% "Just about to get to Joff's wedding. So excited."
March 24, 2016 –
72.0% "Joff wedding is over. I think Petyr just claimed that Cat list her virginity to him. But he seems to always be making claims like that so it's hard to know if it's true."
March 28, 2016 –
74.0% "So Jaime got back....Now I know why everyone got mad at the church rape. This was VERY different."
March 28, 2016 –
76.0% "Quite a different attack on the wall than the show"
March 29, 2016 –
77.0% "I know why they eliminated the Arya warg plot, but I think it adds some extra depth to her and her struggle"
March 31, 2016 –
79.0% "Tyrion's trial..."
April 1, 2016 –
80.0% "I can see why Jaime's chapter in the white room was mostly cut (they did keep in his rumination on a short chapter), but it does add so much more to his character. Likewise, with only 10 hours I can see why they cut Sansa going to The Fingers, but it does continue to show how slimy Littlefinger is. Then again, I think you get that from the show quite well enough."
April 2, 2016 –
84.0% "The Red Viper vs The Mountain. I think GRRM was channeling The Princess Bride. (which makes the casting in the show brilliant)"
April 3, 2016 –
87.0% "Poor Jaime. Too bad it took tragedy to teach him humility."
April 4, 2016 –
90.0% "I like book Tormund better than TV Tormund. Also, why is Arya the only Stark with fun chapters?"
April 6, 2016 – Finished Reading

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