Miss Waffles recently handed me her dog-eared copy of A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin and said, “You’ve got to read this.” Dutifully, I opened to the first page and tried a couple of lines, only to be interrupted by her telling me, “Just don’t get too attached to any of the characters.”
I have to admit, I felt resentful for the first 300 pages or so, (the copy I read was 798 pages long), knowing that this book was going to take me around two weeks of precious reading time to finish.
Unfortunately for me, I enjoyed the story and plan to continue reading the remaining books in A Song of Ice and Fire, which is going to represent many more months of reading. And then, there is the television series. I’ve only just discovered Downton Abbey, so I won’t have time to watch Game of Thrones until approximately midway through 2023. Sigh.
As a latecomer to the whole A Game of Thrones phenomenon, I don’t expect to have anything to say here that hasn’t been said many times before.
However, I’ll say my piece anyway.
A Game of Thrones is an epic fantasy which follows three different storylines, which I imagine are all going to interconnect at some point over the next seven books. The setting is long ago, when dragons were real and before dire wolfs had become extinct. Seasons lasted for decades and the king sat on the Iron Throne. As you would expect for a story of this scale, political intrigues are the stuff of life.
Looming over the whole story is the threat of winter, which has been coming for years, and the Wall, which is apparently going to be vital when the kingdom requires protection from whatever lies beyond it during the coming winter.
I found the story to be fascinating and easy to read, although there were so many characters I needed to pay close attention to remember who was who. Miss Waffles’ warning was apt, as characters, good and bad, died frequently in all kinds blood-thirsty ways. There was plenty of cruel behaviour and situations in the story which were not to my taste, and it is possible that seeing these depicted on the television series may be too much for me, but George RR Martin certainly knows how to tell a story that absorbed all of my interest. I will continue with the remainder of the series, although I suspect with a longish break in between each book.
I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but I enjoyed the story so much that I did the following on-line quiz, Which Game Of Thrones Direwolf Are You?
As it turned out, I’m Nymeria. I forget the reasons why, but the explanation was quite flattering and appealed to my ego enormously.