After nearly a year of saying I wanted to start the Song of Ice and Fire series, I finally did. Of course I picked up the first book during the chaos week of moving/starting my new job so it took me a while to get through its 600+ pages, but it was well worth it!
And, you know the drill…spoilers ahead! Do not read on if you don’t want to know.
I had a friend tell me that the first season of Game of Thrones on HBO was word-for-word the same as the book and there was no need to read through the first book, just watch the series. However, being a stickler for books, I was bound and determined to read it.
After the first 100 pages, I gave in and watched the first episode. I learned that the TV series is NOT word-for-word the same as the book, it jumps around a little, and if I hadn’t read so far into the first book the series would have given things away right out of the gate. I later had a Game of Thrones enthusiast tell me not to watch the first two seasons until I’ve read books 1-3.
I am, however, still glad I watched the first episode because it put faces to the dozens of names in the book which made it much easier to keep them all straight.
Also, if you’re like me and absolutely can not do scary movies, I wouldn’t recommend watching the series. I can read all sorts of horrific stuff, but seeing it on a screen is a million times worse. The first episode alone freaked me out. After reading through the rest of the book there were definitely parts where I thought to myself I would NOT like to see this scene acted out. *AHEM* Viserys’ death? Jon fighting off that zombie thing? Eddard’s death?! Don’t even get me started on that one…
I’ve heard that author George R.R. Martin has been accused of loving to break his readers’ hearts and I can see why he’s earned that reputation. After hundreds of pages of building up Eddard Stark’s character, he is suddenly beheaded! I was heartbroken to lose the valiant and honorable Stark. Apparently loyalty and honesty is no way to play the Game of Thrones.
After the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, my favorite character by far is Daenerys Targaryen. At first she drove me mad the way she let Viserys walk all over her. Yeah, yeah, he was her brother, I get it, but he was horrible!!! As disturbing as his death was, I was so happy to see him go. I loved watching Dany’s character develop as she came to many realizations about the world and the people around her. She is such a strong female character and I admire her dedication to her husband and his culture, her willingness to do what is necessary, her strength, and her intelligence. I was so sad for her when she lost both her baby and her “sun and stars” at the end of book one, but I am so excited to see how her future pans out. Dragons??? This girl is ready to kick some ass.
Meanwhile, battle rages on over the throne across the sea. Too bad the lords have no idea that Dany is coming for them, otherwise the might be more willing to get themselves together.
I’m all for Robb as king, I was impressed with his leadership and the things he learned from his father: the ability to listen, to think critically and to anticipate his enemy’s moves. I really hope things pan out better for him than they did for his father.. It’ll be a tough road to be sure, with Renly in the way, but I think with Robb’s wits and Catelyn’s guidance, he has a fighting chance. I’m not even counting Joffery as a threat, though I probably should with his evil mother behind him…he doesn’t even have a legitimate claim to the throne (that one was a shocker too)!
Other characters of note: Arya. Love her. She’s so feisty! I’m rooting for her and Needle now that they’re on their own, but I’m nervous for her as well. She’s smart and strong but she’s so young…
Jon. I like him as well. He’s very smart and his heart is in the right place. I see him becoming a very large part of the Night’s Watch.
Tyrion. The comic relief of the story, the Imp is another one of my favorite characters. I’m never quite sure who he’s gunning for, though as he says, he never bets against his family. Sometimes I wonder though, whether his heart is really with the Lannisters…
So I broke down and had to order Clash of Kings online. I’ve been trying to stick to the library in an attempt to save money, but the nearest branch of the Boston Public Library had a long waiting list for the book and I couldn’t put it on hold because I don’t have a library card with them yet. Whatever, I found it for $5 online and hopefully it’ll be here soon!
Love to hear from other enthusiasts out there…PLEASE no spoilers though! I’m doing my best to stay away from the internet when it comes to this series, I’ve been warned there’s a lot of spoilers out there. Please keep it to the first book only!! 🙂