Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin

Yes, it’s the Knights who say F**k.

Stars: Four and a half of five.

Review format: Just a summary  plus links.
Summary: You can’t summarize this thing. You could watch the TV show. However, here are highlights of the summary: In the novel, presenting various points of view and plot-lines, Martin introduces the noble houses of Westeros, the Wall, and the Targaryen plot-line. The novel begins with Lord Eddard Stark (Ned) in Winterfell, ancestral home of House Stark, a noble house of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and rulers of the North. King Robert asks Eddard to become the Hand of the King. Eddard agrees, against his instincts, and at the same time promises his wife, Lady Catelyn Stark to investigate the death of the previous Hand, Lord Jon Arryn, who may have been the victim of political intrigue involving King Robert’s wife, QueenCersei and her powerful family of House Lannister. The Prologue of the novel introduces the out-kingdom northern wilderness beyond the Wall, an ancient 700 foot high, 300 mile-long barrier of ice and magic fortifying the Seven Kingdoms, manned by the Brotherhood of the Night’s Watch.  Across the sea, Viserys Targaryen lives in exile with his thirteen year-old sister Daenerys and arranges to sell her in marriage to Khal Drogo, warlord of nomadic Dothraki horse warriors. (from the bloated summary on wikipedia)
Provenance: owned it since 1996. Re-reading in prep for first-time read of books 4 and 5 in the series.

Game of Thrones. Well, now. I read this book back when. We own an original hardcover, much battered and likely wine-stained.  I know people who’ve named server hardware after… ok, that’s enough geek-cred. Anyhow, I re-read this in July 2011 because it was finally time to catch up on the series. I’d gotten tired of all the characters dying, or not-dying, and stopped after book three. As the Prester John character says in Folk of the Air ‘You are doomed, fucking doomed.’

Nonetheless, I read it this year, so this’re’s my post about it.

Links and other reviews   (added by me, not generated)

Well, surprise, there are plenty of recent reviews! Who’dve thunk it?

  • I can’t laugh enough about these posts by MGK: Read them. The Game of Thrones parody cover is not the funniest, but it is my pretext for promoting them once again.
  • Jenny’s rant-or-review-or-maybe-discursion provides the perspective of a reader who wouldn’t normally open up a fantasy book like this.  And she uses really long funny tags. 🙂
  • Stainless Steel Droppings – a fantasy fan who owned it from way back, yet didn’t read it until it’d been out for 14 years. “These books are decidedly adult. There are moments of darkness and cruelty, befitting a time when life was more savage than it is at present. Anyone with a penchant for wanting to write off fantasy literature, for any of a number of reasons, should find A Game of Thrones a worthy contender to change their minds. There is a grit and realism in this book that gives it an authenticity that I feel is hard to achieve in this genre.”
  • Ah HAH – a recipe: “Tyrion listened with half a ear, as he sampled sweetcorn fritters and hot oatbread baked with bits of date, apple, and orange, and gnawed on the rib of a wild boar.” (Storm of Swords)


Shall I link to your review? Let me know in a comment or contact, and I can add the link here.

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  1. #1 by Jenny on October 1, 2011 - 10:31 am

    Yay you! I am a total bandwagon jumper and did not read these until after the miniseries already came out. I’m always like this with epic fantasy, I didn’t read Lord of the Rings until the Fellowship of the Ring movie came out.

    • #2 by Sandy M. on October 1, 2011 - 12:31 pm

      I’m actually looking for parked bandwagons these days, since it often means the series is finished instead of still being ruminated over by the author’s subconscious. So I get this lonely feeling in my review as I cheer for something that most others ‘discovered’ five years ago. When reviewing books that were published ten-plus years ago, I get few recent hits as I search for other reviews and linkage.

      That’s why I find the blogosphere contrast so noteworthy for the GRRM books. Yes, they’ve been around, but there’s current-day excitement and hundreds of reviews. It’s just funny how the converts outnumber the (ahem) creaky old-timers.

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