When You Play The Game of Thrones…

A Game of Thrones is the first book in George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series.  There are currently 4 books in the series, with a 5th, A Dance with Dragons, coming out in a few months.

A Game of Thrones, which was recently turned into a mini-series by HBO, is an epic tale of honor, duty, and betrayal, told from the perspectives of 8 different characters; Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, Eddard Stark, his wife, Catelyn Tully and their children, Arya, Sansa, Bran, and Eddard’s bastard son, Jon Snow.  Outside the Stark Family, the story also follows the lives of two major characters, Tyrion Lannister, of the wealthy and powerful House of Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen, daughter of the dethroned, and murdered, King Aerys II Targaryen.

The events in A Game of Thrones take place a few years after the war wherein mad King Aerys II was deposed and murdered by one of his trusted guards. Eddard Stark was one of the key figures in the epic battle which heralded a new age and a new king, Eddard’s beloved friend, Robert Baratheon.

With the old mad King dead and a new King crowned, hope runs high among the people of the Seven Kingdoms. Though Robert Baratheon tries to uphold his duties as the new ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, he soon gives in to excessive drinking and whoring to the dismay of his council.  At the sudden death of his most trusted advisor, King Robert seeks the help and guidance of his long-time friend, Eddard Stark of Winterfell, and proclaims him the new Hand of the King.

However, darkness looms just over the horizon, as exiled descendants of King Aerys II, and heir to the Iron Throne plot to kill King Robert and re-claim the kingdom that is rightfully theirs.

Closer to home, dangers also  lurk in every corner, as Eddard Stark and members of his family discover secrets no one was ever meant to learn, and get caught up in a web of lies, deceit and betrayal.

The HBO mini-series has been pretty faithful to the novel, keeping with the sequence of events, and even using the same dialogue.  The 10-part mini-series seems to be finishing off the entire 1st book, with the second season in 2012 hopefully following the plot of the 2nd book in the series, A Clash of Kings.

Though intimidating at first because of its length, the short chapters in A Game of Thrones, told from the perspective of different characters make it a fast and quite interesting read.

After reading this first book in the series, I can’t help but feel that A Game of Thrones is just an introductory book, a prelude of things to come, setting the stage for the main events of the series, which might take place in the second book,  A Clash of Kings, or in the 3rd book, A Storm of Swords. 

As Queen Cersei Lannister so aptly put it:  “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

Let the games begin…

(Book 2:  A Clash of Kings)

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11 thoughts on “When You Play The Game of Thrones…

  1. Happy Clash of Kings reading… I stopped at the end of the first. I think I’m afraid to get attached to any of the characters least they die some horrific death. I swear if I find out Arya dies, I’m going to cry. lol.

  2. Oh, come on, BookRain! The best part about this series is that you can get super attached to the characters. Its the thrill of not knowing if they will fly or fall, live or die, succeed or fail, that keeps me coming back for more.

    I just started the third book, A Storm of Swords today, btw.

    • Yeah, and what I like about it is that it’s not predictable in a sense that sometimes major characters that you never thought would get killed actually get killed! How’s A Storm of Swords?

  3. Yeah, how’s A Storm of Swords? Anyone I like die? Lol. Just kidding. I suppose you guys are right about the thrill of not knowing, but boy it makes me nervous. Lol yeah and Tyrion is such an awesome character. I always liked this part in the book:

    “Remember this, boy. All dwarfs may be bastards, yet not all bastards need be dwarfs.” And with that he turned and sauntered back into the feast, whistling a tune. When he opened the door, the light from within threw his shadow clear across the yard, and for just a moment Tyrion Lannister stood tall as a king.

  4. Oh gosh… there are way better Tyrion quotes coming up for you then.

    By the time I got to ASOS I was pretty well indoctrinated on who was who and what was what, so it was easy to understand when the plot got a lot more complicated than it was back in AGOT. Back then it was Starks v. Lannisters w/ a Targaryen side story.

    Now… well, I could pretty much just list every house name and all of their allegiances plus all the crazy characters Daenerys and her brood encounter, plus back stories and seemingly random moments that lead to momentous events.

    The book has its low points too though…. some characters disappoint. I found myself stopping mid-chapter because I just didn’t want to believe what I was reading. But I guess that adds to the realism this fantasy series exudes.

    • Starks vs. Lannisters with a Daenerys side story pretty much sums up AGOT… I haven’t gotten very far in ACOK but when I flipped through the book I noticed that some chapters are Theon and Davos. I like that; it’s good that the book has fresh perspectives from different characters, not just the Starks and one Lannister and one Targaryen. I’ve always wondered why Cersei and Robb didn’t get their own chapters…

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