MC reader: ‘Game of Thrones’ by George R. R. Martin

Game of Thrones’ tells the stories of characters that live in a fictional land where weather means life or death and the history is scattered with murder and mad kings.

As a lover of literature, I am a firm believer that you should read the book that inspired a film or TV show that has caught your eye, preferably before you watch said show, but I am not splitting hairs here. Starting with the book allows you to use your own imagination and often gives you access to information that can be left out of visual adaptations for a variety of reasons.

The HBO television series “Game of Thrones” has garnered almost as much hype as the scandalous novel “50 Shades of Grey.” The first season of “Game” is adapted from author George R. R. Martin’s sci-fi series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is the first novel of five in his saga, though the sixth book is in progress.

The world created by Martin will absorb you into the journey of discovery that the main characters experience. “Game of Thrones” tells the stories of characters that live in a fictional land where weather means life or death and the history is scattered with murder and mad kings. The territories are divided by geography and war between the noble families.

Each chapter of the book switches perspectives of a main character in order to include all sides of the action. The main family is the Starks of Winterfell, who become roped into the intrigues of the kingdom as the action progresses. King Robert Baratheon of the Seven Kingdoms honors his childhood friend Lord Eddard Stark with a high position in his Court, but the Queen and the members of her family of Lannister are hiding something that Stark’s honor leads him to discover — regardless of the costs.

One wrong move could send the families of Westeros into a war that would only distract them from the dangers lurking outside their lands that the keepers of the Wall know all too well. Lord Stark is forced to measure the importance of his honor, loyalty and love while he plays this “game of thrones”. Meanwhile, the exiled descendants of the House Targaryen, who previously ruled the Seven Kingdoms, are hatching plans to reconquer the lands and allying themselves with barbarians.

Who will come out on top — or at least the very least, survive — the fight for the Iron Throne? Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I plan on reading the rest of the “Song of Ice and Fire” series. The plot was compelling and the descriptive language paints a vivid picture of this world without relying on the HBO series to do it for me.

Despite the variety and sheer amount of characters, I felt like they were individually developed, and I wanted to know more about each one. One of my favorite parts about this book is that there is not one character that is completely good or evil to the core. Each one has both redeeming and negative traits that make “Game of Thrones” realistic, despite its fantasy genre label — except for Joffery, the Crown Prince. There is nothing likeable about him, and you will find that many of the characters agree with this statement.

Now that I have sung its praises, I will say that “Game of Thrones” could be considered a bit of a daunting read. First of all, my borrowed paperback copy is a mammoth 797 pages. So, this is not the type of book I would recommend delving into when your schoolwork gets serious because you will not want to put it down.

Another minor thing is that there are a lot of characters, and all of them have multiple names, titles and nicknames that are used interchangeably. This can get confusing trying to keep everyone straight, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a piece of cake. My final comments for “Game of Thrones” are to read this book and have an HBO marathon afterwards.

There’s war, love, family dynamics, mystery and, best of all, it is wellwritten. So, whether you are team Stark, Lannister or Targaryen, pick up this novel and remember, “winter is coming.”

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