Airiz C's Reviews > A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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Jul 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: epic-fantasy, fantasy, mythology, science-fiction, heroes-to-die-for, my-favorites
Read in December, 2011

Political intrigue, medieval tropes, and Nordic mythologies—if any of these is your cup of tea (and if you have lots of time in your hands), you should try A Game of Thrones, the first book in George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

It is difficult to condense the storyline, but one thing is for sure: it is aptly titled. Basically, all the events revolve around the metonymic Iron Throne. The Iron throne is made up of one thousand swords surrendered by defeated enemies, forged into the shape of a chair, its edges still sharp and cold that anyone who is not careful enough while sitting on it may get himself cut…or killed. This is said to be the desired effect, for no king should sit comfortably while ruling the Seven Kingdoms. It took fifty-nine days, the flaming breaths of a legendary dragon, and the blood and honor of so many men to construct it. In A Game of Thrones, more blood is shed and more honor is sacrificed in the name of this throne and what it represents.

In the center of the conflict are the Starks of Winterfell, whose lives are jeopardized after getting involved in the political scandals of the Seven Kingdoms.

I half-expected this doorstopper to be choked with unnecessary embellishments, but I was in for a surprise. Martin takes the straightforward angle—he does not bother with frilly descriptions, yet he still successfully establishes a believable and intricate universe in the readers’ minds. Usually the prose I love is the kind that is slightly tinged by poetry, but I have no problem loving Martin’s writing whatsoever. Martin proves that unadorned realism is an efficient bullet in a contemporary bandoleer of writing styles.

It is important to note that while A Game of Thrones is not the first in its genre, it still stands out for zeroing in on the gritty and rotting portrait of the human spirit. Blind pride and the apathy it entails, humans’ inner animals that are forever lured by the pleasures of power and flesh, honor and the desperate battles to protect it, peace and the acknowledgment of its fleeting sweetness…Martin tackles them adroitly from the minds of eight viewpoint characters, never losing a beat. But that does not mean he neglects showing off the fantasy staples—he dedicates portions of the storyline to supernatural creatures too (like zombie-like creatures and dragons), and he consistently paints the colorful cultures of fictional lands with astonishing clarity.

Now we go to the characters. Tyrion “The Imp” Lannister easily became my favorite POV character, what with his sarcastic thought processes and fascinating outlook on things. I find him interesting and weirdly inspiring. He is practically a dwarf and is a recipient of all kinds of insults, but he never comes off as a pitiful person—what he lacks in physical appearance, he makes up for wisdom. Oh, he does clobber himself with self-deprecation sometimes, but only in a humorous way. His defense mechanism is not letting other people use his own weaknesses to destroy him. But most of all, it is “fun” to read from his POV since he, in theory, is the only viewpoint character who came from “the bad side.” Persuading the readers to rooting for someone from the enemy camp has never been this successful. Clearly, it is a testament to Martin’s writing prowess.

I also enjoyed Daenerys Targaryen’s chapters. If you get past the fancy name and her being white-haired and purple-eyed, it is easy to see that she is not a Mary Sue at all. She has her flaws, too. She may need a lot of character development, but who doesn’t? From the vulnerable girl who timidly follows her abusive brother, she has shown a passable amount of growth by the end of the book. I believe she will become more developed in the sequels.The Mongol-like culture of the Dothraki is a rough backdrop to her fragile character, and when she gradually learns to melt into it, it is easy to see the change in her.

Anyway, the other characters are quite okay. If Arya Stark has more chapters, I guess she’ll be my favorite too (I think she’s my fictional alter ego, haha!). What I am really expecting, though, is the fleshing out of Cersei Lannister that I saw in the HBO small screen adaptation. I am quite disappointed when I did not see that. The TV Cersei is much more layered than the one in the book, in my honest opinion. I wanted to worm inside her head, to learn where she gets all her twisted ideas, to know what fuels her motivations, to peek at what is really behind her cold facade…but no, I did not even get a glimpse of it. To be fair, she is not a POV character, and all of those who are were not around her a lot. I hope I get to know her more in the next books.

Anyone who reads this book must be prepared to invest more of their time for the brick-thick sequels, because you will not get any kind of “ending” with A Game of Thrones. Trust me on this.

Over all it is an amazing start. Four out of five stars!
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Reading Progress

11/24/2011 page 250
31.0%
11/28/2011 page 361
45.0% "I'm such a slow reader LOL. Anyway, I'm really liking it so far! I just wish Cersei Lannister will be given more exposure. I was so intrigued by her character." 1 comment
12/01/2011 page 550
68.0% "I feel like all Daenerys-centric chapter can make its own book. I think I'll enjoy her arc more if I read them separately but anyways--I'm liking it so far. Still, so few exposure for Cersei. :|"
12/01/2011 page 550
68.0% "I feel like all Daenerys-centric chapters can make its own book. I think I'll enjoy her arc more if I read them separately but anyways--I'm liking it so far. Still, so few exposure for Cersei. :|"
12/01/2011 page 550
68.0% "I feel like all Daenerys-centric chapters can make its own book. I think I'll enjoy her arc more if I read them separately but anyways--I'm liking the whole thing so far. Still, so few exposure for Cersei. :|" 3 comments
12/10/2011 page 807
100.0% "What a read! I think this one can easily be considered a contemporary fantasy classic. Review to follow. :)"
05/26/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Mark Kenneth fan ka na din ng A game of thrones?? =)


Airiz C ...no. Hindi ko pa nababasa. :P
HAHA. Just intrigued. Kaw? Fan ka?


message 3: by Shivam (new) - added it

Shivam hey do you know hindi


Mark Kenneth yup, its all about medieval stuff, but I have not yet read the book


message 5: by Shivam (new) - added it

Shivam do u know,hindi is a language


Airiz C kenneth wrote: "yup, its all about medieval stuff, but I have not yet read the book"

Oh. Ako kasi hindi ako nagiging fan ng book hanggat di ko nababasa. haha. I'll try this. XD


Airiz C Shivam wrote: "do u know,hindi is a language"

Yes we know. :)
But the word 'hindi', in our language, means 'no'. :)


Mark Kenneth reading it now, I love the Starks and the Targaryens =)


Mark Kenneth reading it now, I love the Starks and the Targaryens =)


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