George R. R. Martin crafts a masterpiece in A Game of Thrones.
As a writer myself, he’s one of my idols. He writes in such a descriptive, entertaining way that the reader literally loses track of time. I’ve never looked at reading as an addiction until I picked up this book. Now, I can’t seem to put it down, and I don’t want to read anything else! There is something in A Game of Thrones for everyone. I will explain why you ought to give it a try.
A Game of Thrones leaves fans fully satisfied with each book (or episode) while simultaneously making them want more.
A Game of Thrones created some of the most passionate fans in the world, some of whom spend hours watching YouTube videos about the series to fill up the time before the next installment. The book and show are both so well done, fans believe this fantastical world of dragons, manticores, knights, and kings could actually exist.
Reading A Game of Thrones makes you smarter.
I can feel myself becoming more creative and more descriptive the more I read his work. Reading George’s book helps one to adopt his fun, interesting, and imaginative way of looking at the world.
Secondly, it’s just so damn entertaining.
If you read the first chapter, you’ll already be hooked. Martin draws readers in with his unique, poetic language and keeps them entranced with his enigmatic, captivating characters. Readers feel like they’re part of the story and becoming lost in Martin’s fantastical world is a wonderful experience.
Thirdly, Martin’s eloquence is extraordinary.
He doesn’t just describe the landscape. He paints it. The multiple settings of his book spring to life with so much vibrancy and color, one would think Martin was holding a camera rather than a pen. His book is alive, brimming with vivacity. I strive to achieve his level of creativity, and any reader can appreciate his passion for the world he creates.
Rather than saying the towers of the Eyrie are close together, he compares them to a bundle of arrows. Another example of his descriptive language is on page 425.
Here, Martin writes about Eddard’s dream/flashback of a duel outside the Tower of Joy.
George writes, “He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light… As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. ‘Eddard!’ she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood- streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.”
Like the characters Tyrion, Littlefinger, and Varys, George R.R. Martin is a master of words. He has amazing control of language. His characters don’t just walk. They saunter, march, and bound. They don’t just cry out. Rather, they wail, shudder, and scream.
Martin conveys important messages with incredible depth and clarity. Readers can learn a lot from the book’s characters and can apply those lessons to their own lives.
We learn from Tyrion the importance of training the mind: “…a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge. That’s why I read so much Jon Snow.” We also learn from him the importance of accepting ourselves for who we are: “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”
From Littlefinger, we learn to be careful of who we trust and to be aware of our surroundings. Through Circe, we examine the danger of pride and selfishness, and we see the importance of honor, courage, honesty, and strength with the characters Jon Snow and Ned Stark. Additionally, when Ned defies the king’s council and when Jon fights to protect Sam, we see the importance of standing up for what we believe in and for what we know is right even when those around us disagree. Lastly, we can admire and adopt the qualities of dutifulness and perseverance exhibited by Stannis Baratheon (although he’s in a later book in the series).
A Game of Thrones is a living, breathing organism.
Its plot is unpredictable, and its characters are so dynamic and life- like that they feel like real people. Fans quickly grow emotionally attached to characters. This elevates the suspense, especially once readers learn that Martin is not afraid to kill off main characters. His book reflects the danger of the Middle Ages, and no character is truly safe.
The characters are as mysterious as they’re dynamic.
Since Martin doesn’t reveal many details about his characters early one, readers and viewers get to play detective. They develop their own beliefs regarding the characters’ individual histories and secret agendas.
A Game of Thrones doesn’t hold back.
It doesn’t sugarcoat or make use of euphemisms. Like Robert Baratheon and Arya Stark, it’s tough and bold and like Ned, it’s honest. A Game of Thrones ‘puts it like it is.’ And while it contains masculine themes, it simultaneously celebrates the strong female character through Arya Stark’s development. A Game of Thrones criticizes women who restrain themselves to household and motherly roles through its depiction of Sansa and her weak- willed, fragile friends.
A distinction is evident between Sansa and Arya Stark. The girly, incapable Sansa has little aspirations outside of having Joffrey’s babies (although she gets better later on). On the other hand, Arya embodies the brave warrior archetype. She rebels against the expectations people around her have for what a woman is supposed to be and do. Arya is a stronger and far more admirable character than Sansa early in the book.
I warn readers that A Game of Thrones is not exactly ‘family friendly.’ Some of the language and violent and sexual themes present may not be appropriate for younger viewers. That being said, the honesty and realism in those portrayals are part of what make the book so appealing.
A Game of Thrones is honest in the way it portrays human beings.
No perfect hero exists in this novel. Each character has his/her own set of flaws. They are all forced into moral dilemmas, and every character makes mistakes. Ned beheads a deserter of The Night’s Watch (the man was terrified after white walkers attacked his party). SPOILER ALERT. Jon executes traitors of the Night’s Watch, one of whom was a child (though this is later in the series), and when King Robert must punish Joffrey and Arya, he ends up sentencing Sansa’s direwolf to death.
These questionable choices are what make the characters so intriguing.
They reflect the imperfections of our own personalities and the inner darkness that lies within each of us. Even though it’s fictional, Martin’s book provides realistic examples of what a hero is. A hero is not someone who always makes the right choice or someone who is ‘all good’. A hero is someone who has flaws and has the ‘inner darkness’ within but fights against it and works for the good of humanity. This is the kind of hero I like: a realistic hero we can all strive to be in our own lives.
Although this article is mainly about Martin’s first book, much of my analysis applies to the entire series. Each book is excellent in its own way, and there really is something in Martin’s books for everyone. Even if you’ve watched HBO’s Game of Thrones TV series, an outstanding adaption and one of my favorite television shows, I would still recommend reading them. His books contain additional details and characters that aren’t in the show. It’s a distinct experience from watching the story on a screen, and it’s one everyone should enjoy.
Consumers receive a mystery, a drama, a fantasy, and an adventure all in one book/show. Viewers and readers alike feel they’re experiencing something truly authentic, something genuine and unique. If you’re not currently a fan, you don’t know what you’re missing.
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Here’s some great and hilarious quotations by Tyrion Lannister: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/tyrion-lannister