Joanie's Reviews > A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Jun 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011, own, fantasy
Read from June 25 to July 18, 2011

What a world George R.R. Martin has created.

House Stark, rules Winterfell with Ned at the helm, his wife Catelyn, and their five children, not including Jon Snow, his surname so called for his lower status as a bastard. Having successfully won the throne for his best friend, Robert Baratheon (now the King), Ned has been living calmly up north for years. This is interrupted as Robert pays him a visit to request his aid to be his Hand, his second in command. Ned would much rather refuse, but with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the previous Hand, there is reason to protect his King...

and so sets forth the plot for this book, with Ned reluctantly playing the Game of Thrones again, amidst political intrigue, whispers, and deceit of friends and foes. The Queen and her family, the Lannisters, are powers to watch for, as are the other houses, not knowing whether their loyalties truly lie with the realm, or with the past Targaryen dynasty, whose founders ruled with dragons, but have long been extinct. The last two of the family (the 'Beggar King' and the princess) still live, having escaped the bloodbath from years previous, and are determined to regain their place on the Iron Throne. On top of all this, nature seems to beckon a long winter ever closer, and no one is sure of what lies up north beyond The Wall, but there are rumours and men are disappearing.

There's a little bit of everything that makes a story interesting in this book (and the series, I imagine): honour, familial ties, brotherhoods, romances, betrayals, alliances, battles, past regrets, and plenty of political maneuvering to keep the reader guessing. You can't ever be sure who will come up on top, if not to just fall from a higher place, with more to lose.

I'll have to admit, my interest to start this series was piqued by the HBO adaptation, which I followed religiously every week. And what a faithful transfer from page to the small screen it was! Even though I knew what was coming when I read this, I couldn't help but compare the two mediums and marvel at how deftly the show manages to capture the spirit of it all. And as a reader who rarely ventures into fantasy fiction, it was much easier to jump in with the visuals I've got from the show.

The sheer amount of detail, from the characters and their political allegiances, to the geography of this new land, can be a deterrent to starting the series, but it's a worthy leap to make. I can't wait to read the rest of the books, and hopefully won't have to wait too long 'til the series is completed. 15 years so far sounds daunting!
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Reading Progress

07/03/2011 page 99
15.0% "Great read so far. Shows how solid the TV adaptation is, I'm impressed." 4 comments
07/07/2011 page 250
37.0% "Wish I could move faster at this pace because the new book is coming soon. Argh. Still amazing. Appreciating Jory more and loving Arya with all my heart."
05/26/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Kayla It is such an epic series, you have no idea. I'm on the fourth book now, and I love 'em!

Joanie I'm getting a sense of the epic with the HBO series - completely addicted! I didn't want to start the series 'til S1 was over just so I can be surprised for TV this one time. Once I'm done this book I'll go back and revisit the 10 episodes to see what I missed the first time! Can't wait. ;D

Marissa I'm so excited for you to read these books!!! Best series ever :D

Joanie Haha, I'm excited for me too! Seems like everyone has either read them or is in the middle of reading them! Just joining the club!

Kayla Joanie wrote: "Haha, I'm excited for me too! Seems like everyone has either read them or is in the middle of reading them! Just joining the club!"

The power of HBO, lol!

Joanie Yep! And Sunday TV is a real draw! I keep having something to watch for Sunday nights, the lineup is always fantastic: Game of Thrones, True Blood, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, etc. ;D

Marie Antoinette I'm reading the third book right now and I'm scared! haha. GRRM is a sadist.

Joanie I'm already pitying the characters and I already know what happens in the first book, with the show and all! Ahhhh. It's going to get heart-wrenching.

Marie Antoinette Just finished the 3rd book. AH-MAZING.

Joanie Ahhh, I'm jealous! I'm a pretty speedy reader but I don't want to miss anything (even though I'm pretty sure I've forgotten 90% of the minor characters/bannermen for the houses) so I'm trying to savour it! Dying to know what happens next!

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