A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A Game of Thrones is the first book in George R.R. Martin’s Epic Fantasy saga, A Song of Ice and Fire.
Although it was originally published in 1996, this fantastically-imagined grimdark story has been hugely popular over the past decade, or more, since HBO’s release of the television adaptation, originally aired in April of 2011.
When I first read this book, in the Fall of 2015, I had already watched 5 Seasons of the show. I basically just picked it up to have extra content while I waited for Season 6 to release.
I know what some of you are thinking. You watched the series before you read the book? Believe it or not, that’s actually my preference. I was particularly glad I did it that way in this case, as it truly helped with pronunciation and picturing such a vast world in my head.
Unfortunately, I stopped reading after the third book. Not for any reason really. They’re just a commitment and we all know, I’m not crazy about commitments.
Either way, recently I have been missing this series. I never watched the final Season and most likely never will. In spite of this, I feel like it was time for me to revisit the world and continue on with the books.
I’m obviously hoping Mr. Martin graces us with the Winds of Winter at some point in the next couple of years. If he does, I’ll be ready…
This time through, I did listen to the audiobook for the first time, while following along in my paperback copy. It was such an enjoyable experience. The narration by Roy Dotrice is so great. He has a true storytelling voice.
I plan to continue my reread in this format. It’s so impressive to me how distinctive he can make such a vast cast of characters. I always knew what perspective he was reading from. There was never any confusion.
Speaking of the vast cast, I love this as a first installment to a series. What a way to kick it off. The world-building is so well done. A true master class.
The alternating perspectives really showcase the size and scope of the overall series. This early on, you can already tell how complex this is going to get, yet it never seems info-dumpy or boring. How does Martin work this magic?
It hits you a certain way reading this knowing the outcome for some of these characters. I feel like it made me more emotional because of that. For example, watching how close Catelyn and Robb are. Their relationship, what a good mother she is to him. Sure, she’s a total twat to Jon, but clearly she thinks she has her reasons.
I had forgotten how young a lot of these characters were at the start of this, particularly Dany, Sansa, Robb and Jon. It’s crazy the things they were going through already at such a young age. You gotta grow up quickly in Westeros.
Also, while I clearly remember that George likes to rip your still beating heart out of your chest, throw it to the floor and stomp on it, I forgot how soul-crushing the last, approximately, 150-pages of this book actually is.
East section at the conclusion of this is like being punched in the gut, over and over again. Stark family shattered. Dany shattered. Megs_bookrack shattered. There’s a theme here.
With this being said, I’m super stoked to continue on with this series. I remember the books getting better and better, so I’m excited to experience that again and to move further along than I did before.
I only have 1,228-books currently on my TBR. I’ll just reread this one real quick…
Listening to the audiobook this time around, but going to be following along in my old, well-loved paperback edition!
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