A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
By George R. R. Martin
Published August 1st 1996
It’s Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones! How can you not know about it already? What do you need me to say?
I guess I should say a bit more, though I suppose this review will be pretty general. After all, I’m an avid fan of the show, so it’s hard to not talk about the franchise as a whole. I suppose you’re all wondering why it has taken me so long to begin reading the books if I like the show too much. Well, the thing is these are very big books. Plus, I’d heard that there are a lot more character arcs in the books than in the show; it seemed like a lot of effort for a story I was already getting. I was relieved to see that in this book at least, things were pretty straight forward. There are eight viewpoint characters and three arcs, and it was all very easy to follow.
There are minor changes from the show, though no big ones at this point. Like most things, the book provides a lot more than the show in many aspects; we get more in the character’s heads, and get more of the history of the world and its characters. It was also just fun reliving the story in a different format; especially since this is the original A Game of Thrones experience. Even if you have watched all the TV show episodes, this book still has a lot to offer. What am I saying? Of course it does; it’s a book.
Now for those who don’t know much about the franchise at all, let me talk more generally about it. A Song of Ice and Fire has many of the standard fantasy tropes; Medieval Europe setting, kings, knights, dragons, magic, honour, all that stuff. But it’s still different. Most fantasy is concerned with good protagonists struggling against an external evil. Martin believes that the struggle between good and evil is fought ‘in the hearts of every human being’, and as such nearly all characters have their good and bad points. The setting is also a lot more realistic; Medieval Europe was not a place of peace and equality, and if you want to take your hoard of marauders across the narrow sea and reclaim your throne, you’re going to need to fund that trip. By raping and pillaging. There are also times were being good and honourable just aren’t enough to fix the world. This is a dark scary universe, and the characters all have to deal with that in their own way.
Oh yeah, and there is also a lot of sex and violence. This book doesn’t seem to have as much boobs and blood as the show, but that could just be due to the different mediums. There was one really ridiculous scene where Drago and Dany have sex… but he cums after only three thrusts. That poor couple. What could possibly be worse? Oh, wait a sec…
So as I said before, it’s Game of Thrones. But a book. Do I really need to say more?