Thursday, 24 April 2014

Reading A Game of Thrones

I started reading A Game of Thrones several months ago. And then I stopped, having read less than a fifth of the book. At the time I felt like the book was too slow-paced, there was too many characters and houses to keep track of and so many little details that the TV show couldn't include. It can't be denied that reading a book when you are already up to date with the TV show is a lot like re-reading a book; there is no point in doing it to see where the story goes. Instead you have to read it because you appreciated the story the first time around and now you want to re-experience it. When the premier of season four aired two weeks ago I suddenly picked up the book again and then I got hooked.

If you haven't seen the TV show I would like to say two things. First of all, where have you been the last few years? And secondly, go read this book. It takes a while to get into the story (because it is after all the introducing book in a long series) but it holds a steady pace after that. Don't give up on the politics of the houses in Westeros! After a while you'll remember the (crucial) difference between the Tyrells and the Martells. If you struggle with all the characters who are all named the same thing (Jeor Mormont, Jorah Mormont, Jorelle Mormont, what?) - download the World of Ice and Fire app. You can buy the pack for the first book so that there are no spoilers and it lists the houses, characters, places etc. There is even maps, which I personally loved because I knew exactly what the characters meant when they discussed battle strategies. Flank the right side of the river? The obvious choice m'lord.

It is well-written and easier to read than e.g. Lord of the Rings. (Funnier too.) Obviously I was already invested in the charaters but the book definitely allows you to get to know them better. The story is exciting and realistic, with so many different intrigues. Characters aren't good or evil, they are just humans with their own goals and motivations. I loved reading the book and I already knew what was going to happen. I can't even imagine how good this book would be if you had never seen the TV show. (So go read it.)

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