A Game of Thrones – Review

Publication Date : August 1, 1996

Good day, Nerdies!

Actually, it is way too embarrassing to admit this, but well, honesty comes first, right? This is my very first time reading A Game of Thrones. And not just that, I’ve never watched the series either. So, it is my most virgin experience of GOT, and it is insane!

And if any of you happens to be just as embarrassing as me, come right in! No one? Let me speak to nobody then.

Before I go on, let me put this out first. There is, no better title than A Game of Thrones. It is the most perfect title could ever be given, and it is the ultimate essence of the whole series, which consists of beautifully but terribly long five tomes. I know, they’re such a hefty commitment to put yourself in, but I promise you, they’re more than worth it.

If you play a game of thrones, you win or you die.

Cersei Lannister

Teaser

There are seven kingdoms in Westeros, and only one king should rule them all. Robert Baratheon, once a handsome warrior who conquered and united all Westeros has now turned into a sluggish monarch who’s sitting uncomfortably in his ill-fitting throne. Robert is a man born for winning the war and not ruling the aftermath, who enjoys hunting more than governing. But a game of thrones is always at play, and it doesn’t matter if you choose to play or not. If you won’t take part, then other people will.

The Hand, the only man in the realm that can act in the King’s stead, has just died, and someone has to fill the seat. The quicker the better. Robert direly needs another man to do the job he badly detests. A man he can trust. There it is the sole reason of his visit to the North. Here far into the snow and old woods is where his best friend, Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell rules the singular area in the realm that still respects the ancient world and prays to the old Gods.

The King wants the honorable and scrupulous Lord Stark to be his Hand. Yet joining politics has never interested Ned, as the turbulent nature of it doesn’t amuse him. But the King is adamant, cause if there’s a man who he can trust like he does himself, it’s him. After some real convincing and even a bit nudge from his wife, Ned finally settles to go south, but not without heavy steps. And before he fully realizes what he’s agreed upon, he finds himself in King’s Landing, right at the very center of the turbulence, as the Hand of the King, for all the wrong reasons.

King’s Landing is where the monarch and his councils reign. On the other side of the coin, it’s also the place where cliques and houses vie for limited high status and positions. And as I said, either you engage in or not, the game of thrones is playing. Acting the Hand while constantly longing for the peace and serenity of the North will sooner get you killed than results.

Comments

Introduction part! How exciting! Tbh, intro has never been my fave, but it’s something that nobody can ever skip. Without a solid foundation, everything that happens after doesn’t really matter. And that is truer here and now, than in any other book. If you don’t read book one, and pay a lot of attention, you risk getting lost in the next books. In GOT series, you’ll see a number of things that come in overwhelming amount. I’m not joking. Names, places, landmarks like roads and rivers, cultural ornaments as in gods and prayers, tribes and titles, these are the things that you don’t necessarily need to memorize, but you have to at the very least, try to get a good grasp of them before you move on.

There’s nothing linear in GOT, nothing. Its narrative goes simultaneously in many different places and is told from various point of views. There’s no single hero or heroine and in here, it’s all about perspectives. It’s downright impossible to completely agree or disagree with anyone. The characters are there performing a story not because they each serve a purpose, but they live just as we live, without ever knowing the real reason. Dynamics materializes from various levels of intelligence, personalities, and values. Cunning beats naivety, cold hands defeat honor, basically just real life shit.

Because it’s such an ornate painting, it’s real hard to see any pattern this early. At this point, we’re given a glimpse of everything, but everyone who’s going to be important in the future is still way green and innocent. And in terms of ornaments, GOT is laying it super thick. History is absolutely not an abridged version, it covers lineage, power, and civilization history. Yes, civilization as in knowledge, culture and customs. The level of complexity is just unrivaled.

And here is the one thing that makes GOT very different than any other fantasy I’ve read. Sometimes, a story in sequel book onwards can be nothing like in the first book. However, more often than not, it’s only a narrative takes a dramatic turn. Well, in GOT, that’s not the feeling I got. Rather than the plot looking like a one way road that takes left and right turns, occasionally switchbacks and up and downhill, GOT is a long stack of dominos. You won’t see anything at first, but later on, you’ll understand why you have to take note of every single piece. So at the end of the day, we’ll be able to see the bigger picture, comprehend the dynamics, and if you’re lucky, to understand life. Blindly learn everything when you’re a child, and see why once you’ve become an adult. It’s almost like education.

6 Comments

  1. I haven’t seen the TV series either, but the books were wonderful.

    You’re right about the amount of detail, and the number of characters and perspectives the novel switches between. What I found really impressive was that, for all this, I never felt overwhelmed by any of it.

    There is supposed to be another book in the series (still) being written. I can’t wait 🙂

    1. Yes, you’re RIGHT!! This is actually the best story I’ve read in my entire life!! All those details are needed down to every single item, so we can have the most real story ever written (probably. lol)

        1. Yes. And as for the next book, he took a very long time to write each book, and it’s small wonder why, so really it can be long before the it comes out. But until then, I still have feast for crows and dance with dragons, lucky me!!

Leave a Reply to Carissa Cancel reply

%d bloggers like this: