Thursday 2 May 2013

Review: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

*cracks knuckles*

*stares at computer*

*walks away and makes a tea*

*stares at screen a bit more*

*spends an hour on Buzzfeed*

*gets sidetracked by Reddit*

*opens up review again*

*starts writing about procrastinating rather than actually starting a review*

*thinks it’s probably time to start the actual review now*

*stares at computer*

*makes another tea*

*ponders how long this can go on for*

*concludes probably not as long as A Game of Thrones*

Coz that was a long-ass book. Hey look, I’ve stopped using emotes (yes I googled that to learn what it’s called. More procrastination!). I bet you’re relieved I stopped doing that, aren't you? Not as relieved as I was upon finishing this book. Just look at my celebratory status on Goodreads.

Yep, A Game of Thrones was a struggle to get through. It was like giving birth (OK, there’s a 99.99999999 per cent chance it’s nothing like giving birth, but there’s this thing called hyperbole and I like it). I felt like I was physically pushing (note to self: probably best not to use that word after mentioning giving birth… or maybe the best idea ever?) my way through this. Much like this review. Don’t you love how much I’m rambling? No? Well you won’t like A Game of Thrones then. It’s full of rambling tangents.

I’m probably giving you the impression I didn’t like this book. Plot twist: I DID. Don’t you love surprises? If you don’t, don’t read this book. Unless you’ve seen the show Game of Thrones or been on Tumblr ever. Because then you won’t get any surprises. Yep, this book is exactly like the first season of the show. Down to the very words spoken by characters (otherwise known by smart people as DIALOGUE).

The show was amazingly faithful to its source material when it kicked off. Having loved the show, I naturally enjoyed the book. In fact, it’s a testament to George R. R. Martin’s (side not: I just typed Mountains instead of Martins. Thought you should know) writing that I loved this behemoth as much as I did, having basically seen it all before – multiple times (what, I didn’t rewatch the show a bamillion times) (OK I did) (I should probably stop using brackets now) (believe it or not, I am not drunk writing this. I maybe have just lost my mind a little bit).

Where was I? Oh, right. The book. Yes. As much as a struggle it was thanks to its length and my own brain funk (can you tell?!), it was still wonderful to be immersed in such a well-built world, populated with amazing characters. And by amazing, I mean flawed, believable, multi-faceted, complex, kick-ass, honourable, dishonourable, funny, creepy and all kinds of awesome. Seriously, I love the characters in this series. Arya is my fave, along with Tyrion, Jon Snow and Daenerys. I loved them even more in the book than I do in the show. I enjoyed getting extra insight into their thoughts and motivations, and a bit more backstory. The only thing I didn’t like was how young they were – especially Daenerys, considering some of the more sexual scenes. In my headcanon they were all older, as they appear on the show. Sorry George R. R. Martin, it was just too creepy otherwise.

My least favourite chapters were those focused on Bran. I just didn't connect with him at all, but I'm told he gets more awesome as the series progresses. I also wasn't a massive fan of Catelyn's point of view, but it was good to get a better understanding of her character. And as much hate as Sansa gets in the fandom, I gotta say I kinda love her. Probably because she's exactly like I was at that age, if I was, y'know, living in medieval/magical times. All I cared about was boys and dresses and lemon chocolate cakes. I wish I could say I was more like Arya, but I wasn't. I felt for Sansa, and not just in a certain Lady situation (though that was Heart. Breaking.). I don't get how people blame her for what went down at the end of the book - I have to admit, the timeline confused me a little with the jumping around between characters, but from what I could see Ned had most, if not all, of the responsibility - as he did in the show. Correct me if I'm wrong (seriously, I'd love to know someone else's view on this).

I'm taking a break from the series for awhile because it's quite exhausting to get through and I need a mental break. But I'm looking forward to the next one - and I'm even more excited about the books that I haven't "seen" on TV. Although I do know a lot of what happens in them anyway. Thanks, Tumblr.

Rating: 4/5

Eye Candy
Yeah, I couldn't get the show's cast out of my head. But that's OK, coz look...



  1. Unf. Those photos. ..

    Great review, I giggled a lot and I'm pretty sure I went through the same thing when I wrote mine!

    I'm glad you liked it :-) I definitely aged up some of the characters in my mind, although considering this is supposed to parallel the 14th-16th century (in terms of the war of the roses and the speech, etc) it is gross but accurate.

    I like Sansa too. I get annoyed with her a bit (ok a lot) but I also feel *really* sorry for her.

    1. Hehe thanks Kayleigh! GOT has that effect, doesn't it?
      Sansa does and says some silly things but then so did I when I was that age!

  2. Yay, glad you liked it! Those books ARE a struggle to stick with though, sometimes. I found book #3 (I think) particularly hard to get through. It took me forever. But the story is so good! GRRM just seriously needs to learn how to edit down a few hundred pages...

    1. Yes! I read somewhere the series was originally meant to be a trilogy or something like that and he just kept writing...

  3. Spoiler - Bran doesn't get more awesome, he gets more annoying! But I know others disagree with me.
    The books are worth sticking with, they have their difficult moments but are still very enjoyable on the whole.

    1. Oh no! A few people told me his chapters were worth it in the later books but I worry they'll just be annoying for me too.
      I definitely want to read the rest of the series, just not all at once.

  4. I'm a Sansa fan, so I'm totally with you. Yes, she does a lot of annoying things and makes some poor decisions in the first book, but she's, what, eleven years old at the time?

    My husband's always comparing Sansa to Arya, and I'm always telling him that he isn't being fair. Both of them have the exact skills they need to survive in their current situations, but they'd be lost if they switched places.

    You're right about Ned. I love the man, but he should have listened to his wife. Or Renly. Or Varys. OR ANYONE.

    This comment seems a little dramatic now that I'm rereading it. I just have a lot of feelings.

    1. Yay for Sansa love! You are so right - she's 11, what more can you expect? Not everyone can be like Arya.
      I have to say I did feel for Ned in the end when he did give up his honour in the hopes of saving himself/his daughters and, well...
      Feelings are good! This book definitely provokes them.

  5. Belle, I love this review. Also, words in asterixes are called emotes? I did not know this.
    I haven't read the book, or seen the show (I know, I know, crazy but true) but I really like your description of the characters. Maybe it's time I tried it?

    1. Thank you! Yes, I never knew that, it was interesting to learn!
      You should totally give this series a go. At least the TV show! It's awesome.

  6. I've read about the first 100 pages of GOT. I'm really looking forward to getting into it more. I still haven't watched the show. I told myself I had to read it first. I'm reading it b/c I want to watch the show :-)

    1. I kinda wish I'd read the books first so there'd be more surprises, but it was still enjoyable.

  7. Indeed a great book to read.. If your are in shopping mood right now, you must order books online, I mean this book.. It's sensational..