As you guys miiiight remember, I’m taking part in A Game of Thrones readalong hosted by Lisa over at Baffled Books. So far I’ve read the first quarter of the book and seeing as I’ve got to write a progress report, you guys get to read (or ignore) my thoughts, feelings, and opinions about the book so far.
MAJOR WARNING: This Progress report contains spoilers. Extremely minor spoilers but spoilers kind of, just the same. If you don’t care, keep reading. If it bothers you, carefully think about whether or not you’re willing to risk it.
Holy cow. You guys have watched book-to-movie and book-to-series adaptations right? Right. Usually they leave out a ton of stuff, or go off track wherever they feel like, right? Right. But not Game of Thrones. I’ll admit, the only reason I even know about the book is because of the series. The only reason I knew about the series was because my very lovely boyfriend decided that he needed a break from the chick flicks. Am I glad about it? Hell yes! I LOVED the show. I am extremely upset that I have to wait until April for the next season. Damn you people! So in the meantime I decided to read the book.
Quite honestly, the series follows the book pretty closely. By pretty closely I mean, you read and you know everything that’s going to happen, what’s going to be said and end up feeling like you’re psychic or like you’ve read the book already. This feeling made reading a bit tedious at times because I already knew what was going to happen since it already happened so what was the point, right? Wrong. By not reading I would have missed out on the beautiful writing, the world building, and the character development. Guys, don’t even get me started on the character development (Unfortunately, I’m gonna talk about the character development but that’s further down). A Song of Fire and Ice has really proven itself to be this epic mindblow for me. It’s probably one of the best books for writers to read. No lie. I’m going to tell you why.
Yes! I have to talk about them! Because they are fricking awesome! This book is one that can be described as being seriously character intense. How so? There are like a million main characters! Well more like nine, but still. George Martin juggles nine main characters. Nine perspectives. And you know what? They’re all brilliantly developed.
For example, Catelyn. The loving, devoted wife and mother. She’s not perfect. She’s flawed. For fourteen years she’s hated a child, her husband’s bastard, because he represents her husband’s infidelity and the fact that her husband brought him to be raised under their roof alongside her children. As she sat, devastated and broken, at her comatose son’s side she wished that horror on Jon, the bastard, and in that moment she becomes something horrible, someone to be hated. She really displays the dark side of human nature. And I love it. Each character has more than one facet, nothing is simply black and white with them, all aspects of their natures have been shaded in every shade of grey imaginable and what we’re left with is a masterpiece.
In a word: brilliant. Written in third person, we’re treated to multiple switching perspectives but instead of being confused, everything flows remarkably well. Images fly off the page and it’s extremely easy to feel as if events are happening right before you. It’s not just that the author was a brilliant writer and has a way with words. It’s the world-building he’s put into the story as well. It is subtle but firm, done in a way that we don’t feel bombarded by information but by the end of a chapter we have gained a whole new understanding of the world the story is set in. We learn about their speech, their dress, family relations, religion, and the like and how it interacts within the world and what it says about the characters.
I probably couldn’t sum up this story, even if I really tried. I can only describe it as awesomely epic. It’s a fantasy (as far as I can tell) and it’s not the typical quest I’ve read. It’s intensely character-driven and focuses on the event that affect and shape a society. I love characters, really I do. I love how reading about these events and how the event really affect people. I don’t need you guys to go journey across the country and retrieve something precious from some evil force. I want to see people. I want to see people make decisions, fight, struggle, love, hate, make babies, and generally change the course of the entire world. I love watching the tides ebb in and out. I love watching different events cause other events that will have serious repercussions in the future. I love mapping that path.
Daenerys is the prime example. Robert wants to kill her because of her pregnancy. He hates her family for what they did to the only woman he ever loved and he’d like nothing more than to wipe all Targaryens off the face of the earth. Every attempt on her life makes her stronger, and someone is going to retaliate. How could they not? Of course we’ve got to wait for it to unfold. Dany’s not going anywhere really. Not yet. Just keep pushing her Robert. Just. Keep. Pushing. Her. (Can you tell she’s my favourite character?)
Okay guys thanks for sticking around while I went on about what I felt. Have you guys been reading the book? Tell me what you guys thought. If you wrote a progress report send me the link.