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The Mistake of Starting A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones
I am a reader and a writer by nature, and I love the genre of fantasy. Given these two fact, I came late on the bandwagon of ASOIAF. Unfortunately, I am that person who judges books by their covers. If it's a nice cover, I usually buy the book whether it's a good read or not. I saw the show cover for A Game of Thrones and thought that it looked really cool, but I didn't buy it. More and more, I heard of this new HBO show called Game of Thrones, and it sounded like something I would enjoy. So I decided to check out this new book series called A Song of Ice and Fire.
I grew up watching and reading Tolkien's The Hobbit (the late 70s cartoon). I loved knights and dragon tales; the stories that expressed some kind of fantasy element. I fell in love with this genre mainly because of the magic and the amazing feats that the protagonists would have to go through. I just love the genre. Soon, my hands fell on the Harry Potter series, and I devoured them like they were nothing. Growing older, I found my extensive love for Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings trilogy. The amazing thoughtfulness that he put into his novels made me grasp what he was expressing gave me something to hold on to within the world. I read C.S. Lewis and devoured the Christian symbolism within the series. So, I knew this A Game of Thrones was for me, and I should be able to devour it too.
It took me from page 1. I couldn't stop reading, and the plots did more than thicken as my eyes swept across the page. Every word stored itself into my memory, and I knew that once I finished this tome that I would have to pick up the second. Thinking it was much like Tolkien's LOTR, I thought the plot lines would end in the third novel. Little did I know George R. R. Martin is still writing the seven (possibly eight) book series.
I finished the first book in little over a month because of the extensiveness of the plot. It wasn't up until my favorite character was killed that the books intrigued me more. The protagonist killed in the first novel, this was unheard of! But I read on... even when I finished, I had to commence the second in the series; therefore, I did!
A Clash of Kings
Book II immersed me like no other, picking up where we left off in A Game of Thrones. My favorite character was dead, so who could I root for now? Looking at my options, I had no idea where to start. Sansa was a whinny brat, Jon couldn't get any more emo, Tyrion was kinda cool, but Dany had dragons. Well, I was thrown into a loop with this new book with new character points of view. This was the first book I actually read where the chapters followed different characters, and I fell in love with this aspect of the series. It was a novel idea that i was soon beginning to grasp like an intellectual individual, and I enjoyed it.
As I followed the characters that I fell in love with in the first book, certain characters began to change... and not always for the good. Theon Greyjoy was one of the few characters that I would have liked to have seen in A Game of Thrones; until, his characterization began to change in A Clash of Kings. When his character changed, I couldn't believe what I was reading. The more I read the more I realized that there was no way that I could stop reading these books. I eventually had to buy the third novel, and it was then that I realized that there were more to this series than just three books. I saw the fourth novel and the newly released, hard-back fifth book, and I drooled over it for about a month until I could save the money to buy it.
Halfway through the second book, I itched to start reading the third. I needed to know what happened in the story. I had to find out. I soon finished the second novel and felt like I just opened a floodgate and my life was a lie through the literature that I had read prior to ASOIAF. I had never read a book where there wasn't a good guy or a bad guy. It was all perspective mostly. But we all know, those who have read the books and seen the series on HBO, we hate one person, Joffery. I couldn't put this book series down, and now I was engulfed in Martin's world of Westros. I wanted to live there... except without the killing off all characters that you've grown to know and love.
A Storm of Swords
Upon finishing the second book in the series, I swiftly picked up the third. This novel is possibly the turning point for me while reading. It took me a little while to read the entirety of this third book mainly because there was a lot going on within my life and the book itself. This was the first book that I believe I've ever abused, and when I say abused I mean I actually threw this book across the room, slammed it down, almost ripped pages out, and accidentally drowned. That last part was total accident, spilled some water on it. It wasn't that I hated this book but didn't like where the plot was going, as many would probably agree.
I have never grown so attached to so many character. Especially one in particular, Tyrion Lannister. He changed so much for me as I dove deeper within the series, and I believe it was because I could relate with him so much. We both have this love for reading and learning, and he enjoys using his head and wit to get himself out of situations that were very sticky. It was at the end of this tome that he became the ultimate favorite character for me because he loses everything but gains so much more.
Everyone, who has read or seen the show, knows of the Red Wedding. It was this that made me throw the book across the room. In one chapter, my favorite house died, and the one character I was rooting for died. **SPOILERS** Everyone dies!!!! Just kidding, but seriously! I couldn't believe that Martin would do this to me. I really felt like he did this just to see me cringe as my rooting house was annihilated. He drank my tears that fell from my face as I saw that I could never root for this house again.
On the other side of the spectrum, I found that the series was going places. The stories of each of the characters began to grow more than I expected. It thought the stories would be over just like that *snap*. So far, this tome became my favorite of the three that I read. What more could Martin put me in store for? What other character's death or surprises awaited me? Why did Martin draw me into his world of Westros?
It's funny because I knew all the answers of my questions. Once I finished the third novel, I went out to buy the fourth book of the series.
A Feast of Crows
The fourth novel, the loathed one, the one book I hated so much that I had for force myself to read it like the ones I had to read for my literature classes. When reading becomes a chore for me, I learn to hate reading what I'm reading. But I needed to finish this novel so that I could read the fifth book (the one where all my favorite characters within its contents). I chugged through the fourth book.
Filled with Cersi, Jamie, Arya, and Brienne, the whole contents filled with characters I didn't really like because they were usually the enemies, and I couldn't abide with the enemies. Until I began to read even more, I began to sympathize with the character I once hated. Clearly these "enemies" were misunderstood creatures. I grew to love certain characters and hated others because they were not up to par with my expectations.
I slugged through the fourth one only to be awakened with the fifth book, which I bought on my birthday as a gift for myself.
A Dance with Dragons
I started to devour this book as soon as I got my hands on it. I loved that it contained my favorite characters, and it was easier to read other than Feast for Crows. That was a bore until I realized that I couldn't help knowing that I would enjoy reading certain characters. Though this is also one book where many of my favored characters turned me off. And these were characters that I fell in love with from the first book.
This novel took me on a different journey than before, into a whole different part of the world of Westros. Though many of the characters I loved had passed on, I did take the opportunity to keep taps on the characters who were still alive. Tyrion and Jon Snow were two of the characters that I liked that were still alive, but who knows how long before they kick the bucket. One character that I liked in the beginning really angered me: Dany Targaryen. Her characterization throughout the fifth book really killed me. Ever since she stayed in Mareene, she's done nothing to show me she is ready to sit the Iron Throne.
Now I have to wait for books six and seven to be released. Martin does need to hurry, but as a writer, I know that he has a while to finish his story. As for many of the rumors that I have read. I'm slightly hoping that they are true about Jon Snow's parentage. Just don't always believe what you read.
The Opening to Game of Thrones (HBO show)
The HBO Show
So ideally, I began the show after reading the first book, and believe you me, the first season was the best season comparatively to the books. There were a few minor changes that I just had to deal with, but all-in-all, I thought the show was fantastic! Upon moving into the second and the continuing seasons, I began to feel that the show was taking a gargantuan plunge toward the bottom of a dying show. This past fifth season was possibly the biggest disappointment for all who have read the books. I have nothing against how the showmen portrayed the characters, but I don't think they've read the books.
Needless to say, read the books and you will get more out of them more than the show.