Wednesday, May 27, 2015

{My 5 Cents} A Game of Thrones, the book

As per usual I am behind the eight ball. I never started watching Game of Thrones, then tried to catch up, got through Season 1, got busy and that was that. The further I got behind, the harder it seemed to catch-up. Hubby is an avid watcher...along with the rest of the world.

Books are more my forte still being behind the eight ball, I decided to read the books instead. I have just finished Book 1, A Game of Thrones in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by high-fantasy writer George R R Martin.

See that man in the image on this post, he plays one of the main characters, Eddard Stark, known affectionately as Ned, in the TV Show. I liked him. I liked him a lot. I get the impression a lot of people liked him. That is the whole idea. Sadly, he didn't make it to the end of the book. He had his head removed on the command of a rather shitty little King. I admit to shedding a tear or two for the late Eddard Stark as he was killed in front of his two young daughters. I'd be surprised if I was alone.

It seems this is the talent of Martin, present the reader with marvelously brave, inspiring, good willed characters, make us love them, engage with them.....and then kill them off. Noooo! He certainly holds no punches. His characters are gritty; men, women and children alike. You really feel as if you get to know them.

This first book tells the story from the point of view of eight of the main characters; Eddard Stark, his wife Catelyn Stark, his two daughters Sansa and Arya Stark, his son Bran Stark and his bastard son Jon Snow. The other two view points are from Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen. Each chapter is marked with the name of the person telling their piece of the story.

Have to admit, I like this approach. The story flows well and you get all warm and snugly with each character as they tell you their deepest and darkest....before you are off to another character, place and set of issues. Never time to get bored.

The story is set in a fantasy world, that is somehow believable, or perhaps that is just because part of me wants it to be real. Martin takes us around the sweeping, treacherous, landscape of Westeros, Essos and The Wall, introducing us to the main houses of the Seven Kingdoms - Stark, Tully, Targaryen, Lannister, Baratheon and the Night's Watch.

The whole book is based around the Iron Throne and which house, family, alliance want it bad enough to do whatever it takes to get it. The Game is really set in full pace when the Hand of the King is killed and a domino effect of lies, deceit and ultimate game playing begins.

My favourite lines from the book:
"When you play a game of thrones, you win or your die"
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

My favourite character is too hard to choose at this stage. Big mentions to Arya for her spunk and Daenerys for her dragon blood and dragons.

So, if you like fantasy novels, dragons, swords, hand-to-hand combat, and more twists and turns than a bagel, this book is for you.

Have you read it?
Or do you just watch it?
or really you aren't in to it at all?


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