A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) A Game of Thrones discussion


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message 1: by Rhine (last edited Dec 27, 2012 01:47PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rhine I know that Game of Thrones is super popular and that everyone loves it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the series is bad. I just expected more.

I'm on the third book and so far I'm still not impressed. George R.R. Martin is a good writer and the characters are extremely well-developed. But the story doesn't grip me and if I hadn't already bought the whole box set I'm not sure if I would continue to read it.

Does anyone else feel the same?


Allen Stroud I wonder why you weren't grabbed by it? I've had one or two people suggest the patchwork short chapter structure throws them off initially. I'd certainly be interested to know what 'more' you expected?


Rahul Nath Well what reasons do you have for not liking it? Perhaps you were looking for the staple elements of fantasy which are absent here. I love this series because there is no "hero" or any single central character, it is a story of the entire world as a whole. Plus the political intrigue is great, with all characters scheming and backstabbing to gain power. Also, GRRM isn't afraid to kill off important characters and thus, the series is always unpredictable.


message 4: by Rhine (last edited Dec 27, 2012 10:04PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rhine I don't mind the chapter structure, reading from different viewpoints is actually something that I like about it. I also like how the characters are often on a grey scale (not classic black/white).

It's just... I don't feel like much at all happens. Or that I just don't care what happens. There are some characters (even though they're not 2 dimensional) that I find plain boring to read about, such as Bran or Davos. I think part of why I don't like it much is that nothing you want to happen ever happens. The 'good' guys don't persevere over the 'bad' guys (actually, they usually die). I realize Martin does this on purpose but it frustrates me.

I think what more I also expected was a good or interesting magical system, which there is not much of. They could almost be 'normal' or 'realistic' books except for the dragons that don't do much (yet?) and Melisandre (and we don't know what exactly she does).

I can't really explain it I guess. Maybe Martin is just not for me. I do love epic fantasy (eg. Robin Hobb- Farseer Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson- Mistborn Trilogy, Patrick Rothfuss- Kingkiller Chronicles) so I know it's not the genre.

I'll need to finish the series now that I've started though, it is a fantasy must-read. I didn't enjoy Lord of the Rings that much either (gasp) but finished it.


Allen Stroud Okay, well, I think perhaps you'd find more to your liking in Joe Abercrombie His work has a similarly shaded feel to it and the writer is plainly aware of fantasy conventions, picking and choosing which ones he flirts with (like Martin), but I don't think you could accuse him of being too slow in his pacing.


Dimitris Nikiforos Rhine wrote: "I don't mind the chapter structure, reading from different viewpoints is actually something that I like about it. I also like how the characters are often on a grey scale (not classic black/white)...."

Hello Rhine! I absolutely love the LOTR trilogy and the Silmarillion. No, I'm not going to accuse you of "hubris" against Tolkien. If you didn't like it, you didn't like it, period.
In my opinion LOTR is fantasy at its best, but the Song of Ice and Fire is not fantasy. It's a very well written story with SOME fantasy elements. Because people are wielding swords and riding horses, that -always in my humble opinion- doesn't make it fantasy. Still it's a damn good story!

As for the magical system, I'll give you a hint. It is well know in Westeros that magic disappeared from the world when the last dragons died. Until recently, there were no living dragons in the world. Think about it.


Michael Parmerlee The story did not really "grip" me until the end of the third book. Until then, I was reading through the books and was entertained but didn't necessaril feel compeeled to keep going. Toward the end of the 3rd book, a lot happens and sets a bunch of things in motion, and I have since been tearing through the 4th and 5th books.


Mitali Rhine wrote: "It's just... I don't feel like much at all happens. Or that I just don't care what happens. There are some characters (even though they're not 2 dimensional) that I find plain boring to read about, such as Bran or Davos. I think part of why I don't like it much is that nothing you want to happen ever happens. The 'good' guys don't persevere over the 'bad' guys (actually, they usually die). I realize Martin does this on purpose but it frustrates me. "

While I do like the books a lot, I agree with your criticisms. I loved GoT, but CoK, which I finished just a few days' ago, was really tough for me to get through, because so very little actually happens in it. About 70% of the 'story' revolves around people sitting around feeling sorry for themselves or doubting themselves or worrying about their loved ones. I don't expect non-stop action in a book - far from it - but it would be nice if the action started a bit earlier than well into the second half of the book.

Also, I agree that while the fact that good guys don't win keeps the stories unpredictable, it also backfires sometimes, in that it's hard to become invested in characters when you feel that they might be killed off summarily at any time. I've unfortunately come across some spoilers that a couple of the characters I like get killed in the later books, which makes me reluctant to read them. Ned's death in GoT was an audacious and very interesting twist - for an author to kill off the character that the reader has been lulled into considering the protagonist is definitely very unusual, to say the least. But it also backfires to some extent: Ned is the moral centre of GoT, the only genuinely good man in an amoral/immoral world. His death leaves a vacuum that is never adequately filled in CoK, and probably not in the later books either. There are certainly plently of good characters left, of course, such as Tyrion, for instance. But none of them have Ned's gravitas.


Mridupawan  Podder hahaha i know what u mean. I guess you won't like the Malazan books for the same reason. Cohesion. There is no specific formula for these books. They just move on. When I started reading Game of Thrones, it was okay for me. By book 2, i couldn't get enough of it. When I reached book 4, i just wanted to stop. Cersie and her brother were too much for me. But i kept ploughing. Just to read Arya, Jon and Tyrion. They're the best of the lot


Peter Freelancer wrote: "hahaha i know what u mean. I guess you won't like the Malazan books for the same reason. Cohesion. There is no specific formula for these books. They just move on. When I started reading Game of Th..."

No what you mean about the Malazan Books they jump around the time frame whereas GOT is at least linear within the story frame.


message 11: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I feel very similar. Neither the first book in the Game of Thrones or Lord Of The Rings series impressed me. I was just expecting something more. Having said this, I'm still hoping that things will begin to pick up in the next books.


Peter Sam wrote: "I feel very similar. Neither the first book in the Game of Thrones or Lord Of The Rings series impressed me. I was just expecting something more. Having said this, I'm still hoping that things will..."

Trust me,GOT gets down right nasty/vicious/blood thirsty/with characters dying right left and centre, with new and interesting characters popping up all over the place - George keeps you on your literary toes so to speak.


message 13: by Becky Dale (new) - added it

Becky Dale Rhine wrote: "I know that Game of Thrones is super popular and that everyone loves it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the series is bad. I just expected more."

I'm right there with you. I expected a series similar to Lord of the Rings with a highly-developed world - language included - that could suck me in for days on end. The first three books are the best GRRM has written in the series, but even those I left feeling a bit annoyed at times.

And Freelancer has it spot on: I'd rather just read Arya, Jon, and Tyrion until I die. I think their characters are the cleverest and that's where GRRM shines. I'll definitely keep reading them, but they aren't the epic fantasy thrillers I wanted them to be.


message 14: by Adam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adam Fuller I second the Joe Abercrombie recommendation from Allen. JA also writes dark, cynical fantasy, but his pacing and plotlines are much, much tighter than GRRM's. JA's world is nicely realized, and I like how his latest one shot novels are exploring and fleshing out various locales in his world.


message 15: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim C I am also on the opinion that GOT wasn't the best. I think the hype was so great that for me, it didn't live up to it. I was expecting fantasy, and this was not my idea of fantasy. This was more to me like a soap opera set in an earlier time period. As someone has mentioned, maybe I need more of a magical influence.


Jolynn Raymond I tore through the first three. GOT had me in its grip very early on and I haven't wanted to stop. Until the 4th book. I am struggling with so many new charaters and finding it hard to develop that good love, or hate, or love to hate relationship with them.

Some of the characters I'm invested in thankfully are still around, and I actually find myself flipping forward when I am ready to put my bookmark in to see how long I have to wait for the chapters that have the people I want to read about in them. I'm not saying I skip parts of the book and only read those I like, just saying I need to see how long before that character I am emotionally invested in returns. I love the strong female characters in all the books, but so far Asha is leaving me cold.

I am still in awe of GRRM's ability to create such multifaceted and believeable charactes and to have the ability to juggle so many of them. His world is lush and full and the paralles to our own and yes the politics make the whole place come alive.

I am loving FFC, just not nearly as much. I'm only a thrid of the way in, and so am waiting to get hooked with the new characters that have been introduced.


Allen Stroud Feast for Crows is definitely the weakest book. B- where the first three are A grades. Dances with Dragons is much better, but this doesn't just owe to the character balance. Some of the plotting in Feast is pretty obvious.


message 18: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Peter wrote: "Sam wrote: "I feel very similar. Neither the first book in the Game of Thrones or Lord Of The Rings series impressed me. I was just expecting something more. Having said this, I'm still hoping that..."

Well thank you for confirming my predictions! I'm going to get Clash of Kings very soon.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Rhine wrote: "I know that Game of Thrones is super popular and that everyone loves it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the series is bad. I just expected more.

I'm on the third book and so far I'm still not ..."


I don't think the series deserves its reputation. Its not a bad read, but I think I got caught up in the bandwagon a bit.

And by the 5th book my interest in it is seriously flagging. Over-rated.

Abercrombie and Rothfuss are better authors for me!


message 20: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Kuhn Um, I don't know what to say to that. What do you actually LIKE?!


Meran I loved LOTR. Also, the first book GoT..

I like the personal chapters. However, I don't think he visits them enough. He went a whole book without mentioning several main characters, then promised another whole book, in which they would feature. He cut that book in half, and didn't even visit those characters.

He began the series thinking it'd be a trilogy. (At the middle of the second book, I told my husband that it was going to be at least a 7 book series with 'this cast of a thousand!') I don't think the writing is tight enough... and also, many themes and events are stolen from other books. Yeah, they probably took place in 'real history'... but as I was reading all the books many events or even characters seemed familiar to me. Sure enough, I revisited Tad Williams' Memory of Shadow and Thorn and there they were. Now, GRRM says that until he read THAT series, he didn't think High Fantasy could be done properly. Then he TAKES from it? Really?

The only character I think is original is that of the female paladin character... Brienne.. I also like the Hound. He's developing them nicely. The others are rote. (There's always a King, and his Right hand, and the Evil others, etc)...

The Ice people are pretty much the Nazgul... I could go on but won't.

It's a nice story. Many scenes are over extended. I find the tightening up that the tv series is doing is improving the story. (I wish he'd done that in the books.) And I never thought I would EVER say "the movie or the tv series is better than the book". NEVER.

Yes, I'll keep reading. GRRM knows how readers are, for the most part. I have a very difficult time NOT finishing a series... (though I have. I don't like many of the main stream series. "Wheel of Time" is one.)

And Rothfuss is awesome. THAT one I can't wait the 4 years for. I distract myself with other books until his come out.


I've not read Abercrombie.


Allen Stroud Can't say I would compare GRRM to Tad Williams. I found him (Williams) far too slow and predictable. I'm saddened to learn that Martin likes Williams' books.

Wheel of Time is also very poor for pace. I think it's pretty plain that GRRM far outstrips both. I wouldn't call Wheel of Time mainstream at all.

The Joe Abercrombie interview with GRRM is very interesting. A little backslapping going on in places, but well worth a watch.

Scale and consequence are well realised in Westeros. The horror of warfare, the cost and sacrifice has a realism to it and, as you go further, the more tattered and frayed the ideals and banners become. I like that, but it's not to everyone's taste, if you're looking for a straight forward quest and feel good ending.


Cheri Edwards Love the books.The show...not so much. Storm of swords was the last book I read quite some years ago....don't plan on reading the other books. and after 3 episodes of the show, that was all for me. It's a very well made show.....just not for me.


message 24: by C. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C. Powers I saw the show first and then started the books. I was trying to finish the second book before the second season but the darned show beat me. So...season 3 hasn't started yet, but I'm finally ahead...finishing book 4. The third book, Storm of Swords was awesome. It's the book that really captured me, but then I moved on to book 4, Feast for Crows, and I've really struggled with this one.

I think it's because GRRM used this book to focus on characters that have been on the back burner in all the other books. So I'm pushing through it to find out what book 5 has in store.

I didn't realize that GRRM only wrote 5 books. What now? I almost don't want to move on to the next book if I know I'm going to be left hanging.


message 25: by Saphana (last edited Jan 14, 2013 07:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Saphana Dimitris wrote: As for the magical system, I'll give you a hint. It is well know in Westeros that magic disappeared from the world when the last dragons died. Until recently, there were no living dragons in the world. Think about it.


Now that's a little presumptuous. We're 5 books in and as far as I can see, Rhine has it correct - we STILL don't know what Melisandre can do (apart from her being occasionally wrong in whatever it is she does) and the dragons have been caged until now.

So basically - nothing much has happened and the prose, pace and wit from the first 3 books has disappeared.


Kevin Syers Rhine wrote: "I know that Game of Thrones is super popular and that everyone loves it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the series is bad. I just expected more.

I'm on the third book and so far I'm still not ..."


I found an odd pattern will reading this series. I found book one to be really good, book two was almost unbearable, book three was entertaining only because of what happens with the plot and book four made me stop reading the series all together.

I actually like the show more than I like reading the series. You're definitely not alone in you displeasure.


Samuel S.B. Personally, nothing against the man but the truth is that maybe he needs to zero in on someone. There are points of view that I hate reading but then again others love them. I knowthe plot is all over but wonderfully built that you can imagine yourself in the world. I like the Imp, The people of Dorne, Jon, Dany and Arya.The only thing I hate is thatbsomewhere along the series he makes Dany forget what her true aim and goal is...I was glad that at the end of the last bookshe realised what she had to do.


Samuel S.B. Saphana wrote: "Dimitris wrote: As for the magical system, I'll give you a hint. It is well know in Westeros that magic disappeared from the world when the last dragons died. Until recently, there were no living d..."

I agree with you on this so much. We need to see Westeros facing the dragons


Dimitris Nikiforos Samuel wrote: "Saphana wrote: "Dimitris wrote: As for the magical system, I'll give you a hint. It is well know in Westeros that magic disappeared from the world when the last dragons died. Until recently, there ..."

The dragons are growing and don't forget the Others in the North. Good things are coming.


Saphana Dimitris wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Saphana wrote: "Dimitris wrote: As for the magical system, I'll give you a hint. It is well know in Westeros that magic disappeared from the world when the last dragons died. Until r..."

I believe you when you say "Good things are coming". The question is: when? 16 years have gotten us to a free Drogon carrying a sick Danny that doesn't have her wits around. The Others went missing in year 2. A winter has been predicted from book 1. It still has not come, even after the 5-year gap has been "bridged".

By now I'm no longer sure we WILL see dragons in Westeros and that was what had me going since 1996. Dragons in Westeros.


Samuel S.B. Saphana wrote: "Dimitris wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Saphana wrote: "Dimitris wrote: As for the magical system, I'll give you a hint. It is well know in Westeros that magic disappeared from the world when the last drag..."

I have to say that they are going to come into Westeros. I know for a fact that GRRM has listened to many of us. Yes we are dying to see Dany in Westeros and well seriously want her to go there and see where the true alligences lie. I also think that the Stark backstory is going to play a big role. They along with the imp, dany and dorne are the reasons I stick with the story


Dimitris Nikiforos @ Saphana and Samuel. I'm with you guys and yes, I also think that all this waiting is damn annoying and everyone's patience is running thin. I'm not so sure if I'd like to see a Targaryen on the iron throne though.
I'm a big supporter of the late king Robert but I don't think that Stannis is a good choice also.
Not every Baratheon is a good Baratheon.
BTW, Samuel really cool glasses man!


Samuel S.B. Dimitris wrote: "@ Saphana and Samuel. I'm with you guys and yes, I also think that all this waiting is damn annoying and everyone's patience is running thin. I'm not so sure if I'd like to see a Targaryen on the i..."

@Dimitris thank you first of all. Anyway, I would want to see Jon as king consort to Dany. I think the Starks need the time in the light after being betrayed by so many and the Targaryens need to remind people of loyalty.


message 34: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Loved Game of Thrones. I have reread the book a few times and enjoyed it every time. After that it seems to me that the series started slipping downhill. Clash was OK, Storm not so much, and Feast...I ended up skipping through and just read the parts that looked interesting. Have not picked up Dance and will not read anymore of the series until it's concluded. I did the same with the WoT series by Robert Jordan.


Bruna Bellini Rhine wrote: "I know that Game of Thrones is super popular and that everyone loves it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the series is bad. I just expected more. (...) Does anyone else feel the same? "

Ohh i totaaally feel the same as u! I read the till the 4th book, and it was dragging.. reaaally!
Every book ends worst than the other. Just bad things happens on it.. its so full of violence, and specially with chindren and animals... full of naked women, sex in every single page...!
anyway.. i'm done with it! too boring and not leading to any good! I have read lots of better fantasy books that this series!


Allen Stroud Care to suggest them Bruna?


Bruna Bellini Allen wrote: "Care to suggest them Bruna?"

Sure!
Well.. books from Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms are always great!
Forgotten Realms: The Year of Rogue Dragons
Forgotten Realms: The Harpers
Forgotten Realms: Starlight & Shadows
Forgotten Realms: Shandril's Saga
Forgotten Realms - Drizzt chronicles

I also enjoyed alot the Shadowdance series by David Dalglish and The Icemark Chronicles by Stuart Hill.
There are others too, but are books in portuguese and also in italian.


message 38: by Allen (last edited Jan 16, 2013 11:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Allen Stroud Okay some good options here, also gives a clear indication of the kind of story you like.

I would agree Dragonlance - particularly the Chronicles and the Legends trilogies, which are the best of those works, are very accessible stories with a clear readable structure. They are simplified LOTR for teenagers with teenage characters, made awesome and better than this by characters like Raistlin and the way Sturm and Flint's deaths were handled.

R A Salvatore and Drizzt? The first three are excellent. The rest? Well, the author had a good formula.

In general I've found TSR fiction to be a bit hit and miss, depends on the writer.

I don't think any of these can really compare to GRRM's stuff I'm afraid. They are easier reading, granted and tell a good story that you can pick up and put down.


message 39: by Bruna (last edited Jan 16, 2013 12:32PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bruna Bellini Well.. your opinion stil didnt make me change my mind about these series. For me, it is still a waste of time, with nothing to offer!
Sorry! ;)


Bruna Bellini Oh! And btw, if the book is a easy reading or not, that doesnt make a difference, as long the the story is good and have a good development.


Allen Stroud Sorry wasn't trying to change your mind. I think we can still have a discussion without worrying about agreeing, life would be pretty boring if everyone did! ;)


Bruna Bellini heheh agree! ;)


Allen Stroud I'm glad. My points in answer to yours then.

Re: good development. In these terms, GRRM's weakness lies in the intention as much as it is a strength for some. He's building on a big, big canvas, trying to give everything its proper depth. Some authors shortcut a little more and readers don't mind because the story has a narrow focus. I'd cite my own work, The Sword of Wisimir as a focused story which is much easier reading than GRRM.

What GRRM does quote often is builds a narrative up, then kicks it down, forcing the reader to start again with their idea of where it's going. This is either a) innovative and exciting when it happens or b) Frustrating or even c) A bit of both.

Most writers recognise where their reader wants to go. GRRM does too, but plays with this expectation quite cruelly at times. This can encourage readers to walk away as much as it encourages others to read on.


Saphana Allen wrote: "I'm glad. My points in answer to yours then.

Re: good development. In these terms, GRRM's weakness lies in the intention as much as it is a strength for some. He's building on a big, big canvas, t..."


About that "build-up-kicking-down"-bit. That's not done on purpose. GRRM has often stated that he hates "outlines" for stories (gardener vs. architect etc. etc.) and that shows. And not in a good way, I'm afraid. Brandon Sanderson might not have as much talent as GRRM, but he has a clear concept, work discipline and planned outlines and when you look at The Way of Kings you notice the difference.

What's more, he can write a story without overmuch violence, swearing, rape ...


Bruna Bellini Allen wrote: "I'm glad. My points in answer to yours then."

I love big books, really! But a big book full of stalling.. its really annoying! For me, he doesnt have a clue what is writing, anymore.. and keep stalling till the next one, so readers that still wants to know how is going to end the story or like it, will spend more money in the next books.
I also dont like series that get too long! The story always get lost.
There are too many books to still read, and i dont want to waste more of my precious time with this series. ^^
And about your books, it seems cool! ^^ Goodluck with them!
Btw, i wont keep discussing THIS anymore bcause, i think our point of view, will never match! hehe And also my english doesnt help. =( hehe Sorry! ^^


Allen Stroud Saphana wrote: "About that "build-up-kicking-down"-bit. That's not done on purpose. GRRM has often stated that he hates "outlines" for stories (gardener vs. architect etc. etc.) and that shows. And not in a good way, I'm afraid."

I would agree to a point. However, he does write all the individual character stories in linear form then cuts them up and sticks them together in a patchwork. This does indicate some planning!

However, I do think he suffers from being overly popular and therefore editors are nervous of suggesting revisions. I feel 'Feast' isn't good and he lost a lot of fans by writing a filler book. Still, he's a long way to go before he becomes Robert Jordan!

Brandon Sanderson might not have as much talent as GRRM, but he has a clear concept, work discipline and planned outlines and when you look at The Way of Kings you notice the difference.

I will read this then and see.


Shawn GRRM is almost considered anti-fantasy to me. Very similar to Breaking Bad, or Gantz. I like the unpredictability. I like the 'real' characters. The two things that truly bother me about typical fantasy are that they are littered with Deus ex machina and the characters are black and white. They use magic to get their characters out of situations that they can't reasonably write around. Most fantasy characters are predictably aligned and never do anything surprising.

Granted, he has his issues. I could find some flaw with every book and every author I have ever read. His pacing is slowing down. His killing off or maiming of characters has started to seem a little forced at times to me. He has spent more time than I would have liked on characters that are less interesting to me.

I am willing to look past certain things for aspects of a story that I like and an hour or two a day for a week is not exactly wasting my life away for even a mediocre book.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Rhine wrote: "I know that Game of Thrones is super popular and that everyone loves it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the series is bad. I just expected more.

I'm on the third book and so far I'm still not ..."


I agree completely. Not sure how it got so popular (was it anywhere near as popular before the TV show came out?).

Shawn (message 49) - Comparing GRRM to Breaking Bad? HOW DARE YOU, SIR?! If I had a dueling glove, I would slap you with it.


message 49: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken I've read all five and book 4 I thought lost track of the original idea. It seemed to go off somewhat in a different direction, most of the characters seemed not to be there. For me the ones that really count.

I have also read the Hedge Knight which takes place 100 years before the start of the 1st book.


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