Saturday, August 10, 2013

"A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin (Book + Season 1 Review)

Series: A Song of Ice & Fire #1
Genre: High Fantasy
Format: Mass Market Paperback; 811 Pages
Publication: September 1996 by Bantam Books
Cover Rating: 3/5 Stars

From Goodreads: The first volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. GAME OF THRONES is now a major TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.

My Thoughts: Like most people, I hopped on the GoT band wagon when HBO aired the series a couple of years ago. I was instantly hooked (and if I'm being honest, a little in love with Rob Stark). When the latest episode ended (The Red Wedding) I thought it was about time I stopped procrastinating and read the damn books already, because there was just NO WAY I could wait until the next season!

Usually, when books are made into movies or TV shows they end up being completely different species. Well, this just wasn't the case for GoT. HBO did a FANTASTIC job of replicating the book, pretty much word for word, scene for scene. Unfortunately, they did so good of a job, I got a little bored reading the book, but only because I knew what was coming every time I turned the page. If this had been my first time ever hearing the story, I would have devoured it.

My recommendation is, if you've seen the first season and can recall it all pretty well, I would find someone who's read the book and tell them to give you any highlights that the show may have skimmed over, then just go straight to book two (which the boyfriend assures me is a must read because it differs from the series).

Now, on to the (sort of) ****SPOILERS******

If you don't have a friend who's read it, here's one of the only highlights I would give: Ned has a sister, Lyanna, that King Robert was in love with (as on the show). But Lyanna was supposedly raped and taken by the former Prince Rhaegar Targaryan. During the previous war, Lyanna died (along with Rhaegar and all of his children). There's not a lot of background on this small story, the only thing that we really know is that Ned found his sister eventually and she made him promise something. It's eluded that she made him promise to take her back to Winterfell to be buried. HOWEVER, the boyfriend and I read up on some theories- has anyone seen this one:

L + R = J

Any guesses? I'll tell you (so now would be the time to stop reading if you don't like potential spoilers). 
Lyanna and Rhaegar MAY potentially be... Jon Snow's parents!!!! It makes sense right?! Honorable Ned doesn't seem the type to just fall prey to his lust and spawn a bastard. It just seems unlikely. However he would claim Jon to keep him alive during war, even if it would tarnish his rep. I just want to dig into these books now to find out if this is even a little true! Because I so want it to be.

All in all, I would completely recommend this book to first timers in the GoT world! It's a must read series for any of the die hard fans. 

My Rating:


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