Monday, March 7, 2011

A Game of Thrones Thoughts

I am anxiously awaiting the start of A Game of Thrones on HBO in April. In preparation for the series I thought it would be a good idea to actually "read" the book. Rather than read it, I have actually been listening to it via Audible during my commutes. I finished the book today, and really cannot wait to see the show. If you have not taken a look at some of the previews for the show on You Tube I suggest you do. Really does look amazing.

I did buy a couple of games from Fantasy Flight now that I am all into the stories. I picked up Battle for Westeros and the Game of Thrones living card game. I might pick up the board game when reprinted as well. I think these two will hold me over.

A few thoughts on the book (spoilers ahead):

  • The Audible book is read by Roy Dotrice (who also plays the character of Grand Maester Pycelle in the series). He does a good job of narrating, bringing lots of life to the characters, though there are a few places where the wrong voice is used and you have to think carefully about who is actually saying the part. Good job reading though for a fairly complicated text.
  • It really is amazing how much changes from beginning to end. I knew from reading the description of the Game of Thrones board game (before I started the book) that the king died. That was not much of a shock regardless. Killing Eddard though was a huge shock. It seems that the story going forward will focus on Robb and Arya and Jon Snow. While they did have pretty major roles in the book, I would not have thought they would be the main characters at the end.
  • There is not much fantasy in this book. The dire wolves, and the 700 foot wall are pretty fantastic (I cannot wait to see the wall and the wolves in the series). Otherwise, you really don't get to much fantasy until you get to the end of the story of Daenerys. The blood magic and the dragons hatching start to bring a lot more fantasy into what was otherwise a story of intrigue at a medieval court.
  • Low fantasy yes, high sex yes! The sexual tension at court, the rape occurring as a spoil of war seem to fit fine. However, many of the descriptions of Daenerys seem to be overly sexual without any real purpose. Do we really need to know in such detail everywhere her handmaids place her perfume? Should make for an interesting series on HBO. Rome was not shy with the sexual content.
  • I have a feeling that Arya will play a fairly major role going forward. He makes an effort to point out that the Mormonts send women into battle, and Arya seems to have a talent for the sword. I also have a feeling that Jon Snow will do something to save Catelyns life, or otherwise endear himself to her. Not sure how that will work with him on the wall, but they spent so much time letting us know how much she hated him.
  • The book does such a good job of letting you alternately like and hate certain characters. Tyrion is made to be a character that you love to hate. He has the best lines. 
I have not decided if I will wait till the series is over before starting the next book. I am very anxious to hear what happens next as so much has been left hanging. I also don't want to get too far ahead of myself. I have a feeling though that I will start the next book soon.

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