Winter’s coming! I was super late for this series. The reason why I waited until the last season was announced to read these books and then watch the HBO show adaptation was because I’m always skeptical of anything that has a huge following and gets overly hyped-up. While I like a lot of movies, books, and music that are super popular and mainstream, I have my own criteria for what makes something worthwhile.
I’m not sure that I started on the best footing with Game of Thrones because my first introduction was through all the social media memes. I kind of understood what the plot was about from interviews with George R.R. Martin. He described it as taking inspiration from England’s monarchy. To me, a history geek, that told me it would probably be a power battle, blood-fest included. My instincts weren’t wrong. Then, I found out he mixed in some Tolkien-like fantasy with dragons and everything. Cool.
I’m gonna be honest. I still have trouble spelling some of the characters’ names. But if I look on Wikipedia to get them right, then I get discouraged about writing a series summary. Plus, I can’t really summarize the plot other than a power struggle between noble houses for the throne of the entire kingdom that Martin’s created. The books are so detailed that sometimes I found myself speed reading sections about characters that I didn’t quite like that much. Don’t judge me. It’s the reading equivalent of fast-forwarding to the scenes with your favorite show chapters.
My two favorite characters to follow both in the books and in the show were Arya Stark and, of course, Daenerys Targaryen. I’m low-key excited to see the new series about the House Targaryen. Martin’s work is artistic in the sense that he weaves so many multiple main story arcs into each other really, really well. Also, I have to give him props for not shying away from using the incest narrative of the Lannister twins. So many writers and creators are afraid of writing with that level of grittiness.
What else can I say about Game of Thrones? I think I will really enjoy the next book after A Dance of Dragons. It’s due to be released soon if I’m not mistaken. A part of me feels like Daenerys’ story is not quite finished. (I have a secret fan theory that she’s actually not really dead. It’s just a nagging feeling and hunch, but I’ve been wrong before.) This book series is definitely a great example of modern science/fantasy fiction done right, give it a read if you dare brave the wilds of Westeros.
Martin, George R.R. A Game of Thrones, Bantam Books, 2013.