Learning From “A Game of Thrones”

English: Part of the A Game Of Thrones board g...

Who would have thought not having the internet at home would be so limiting? Roll on next week so I can get my posting back on track! Anyway, today’s post is going to take two forms: a quick review/update on the book, A Game of Thrones, as I now near the halfway mark and a few points about what I’ve been able to take and learn from it.

The Review

When I first starting reading A Game of Thrones, I was a little apprehensive. I’ve read a lot of badly crafted fantasy over the years, interspersed with some absolutely brilliant fantasy. More often than not, I abandon reading a novel if I don’t feel a connection or reason to keep reading – it’s a bad habit and it’s one I’m working on breaking. Why? Because every piece of writing has the power to teach me something about my own and even bad writing is worth reading. The reason I was apprehensive to read Martin’s (George R. R.) book is because I feared it wouldn’t draw me in and I’d be abandoning it in short order, forever tarnishing me as The One Who Never Finished A Game Of Thrones. I’d be very likely torn apart, chewed up and spit out by every fantasy community on the internet.

It’s lucky, then, that I now find myself… addicted!

Why am I finding myself unable to stop thinking about Martin’s world? Is it because his plot keeps delivering and taking on new twists when you least expect it? Perhaps. Is it the rich lore and history that he’s weaved into the fabric of Westeros? Maybe. Is it the characters, with their very human ambitions, fears and secrets? Definitely.

I suppose it comes from the author having been a screenwriter, but I find his dialogue is also one of the main things that I’m impressed with. It’s not like reading a book (you know, on paper and stuff), but it’s like listening to a really good audio book. All the dialogue feels so natural and each line fits perfectly. There’s no obvious infodumps or monologues. These people are as real as you’d want and they’re just speaking how they would if you met them. This is the mark of a good author – the ability to make everything seem so natural and un-forced that you leave the real world each time you read and actually inhabit the fantasy world itself.

Hopefully I’ll make steady progress through the last half and then I’ll share my final thoughts. I’m 99.9% sure it’s going to be all positive.

The Lesson (In Summary)

  1. Direwolves hate dwarfs
  2. Dothraki are all sex, sex, sex
  3. Arya Stark is more interesting than she first appears
  4. Jon Snow shows great potential
  5. The Lannisters cannot be trusted

Here’s a list of the book’s viewpoint characters, from my favourite to my least:

Tyrion Lannister

Jon Snow

Bran Stark

Arya Stark

Daenerys Targaryen

Ned Stark

Sansa Stark

Catelyn Stark

Come on, let’s hear who your favourite Song of Ice and Fire character is!

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3 thoughts on “Learning From “A Game of Thrones”

  1. tmso 20-Jun-2012 / 16:50

    Tyrion is hard to not like. I have to admit I enjoy his POVs, but Arya and Jon are my favorites. They have been from the start.

  2. leeduigon 25-Jun-2012 / 16:26

    Hi, James–nice site you’ve got here. I haven’t read A Game of Thrones (yet), but I could’ve told you that you can trust George R.R. Martin to produce quality work every time out. Meanwhile, I’ve subscribed to your blog, and I hope I can interest you in reading my Bell Mountain series (see my blog, http://leeduigon.com and click “Books” for information).
    –Lee Duigon

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