1. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    A Game of Thrones

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by spklvr, Aug 22, 2011.

    A bit surprised I couldn't find another thread about this book. I only saw the one about A Dance with Dragons, and that's a bit too far ahead for me.

    This book was recommended by a friend whose taste in books I usually trust, and since I've seen people talk about the series a lot here, I decided to give it a try. I'm only a few chapters in, so please try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but so far I'm not really impressed.

    First of all, I am given so much information of names and places, and I have no idea which of them actually matters. It's especially annoying as I have only just somewhat realized who is who in the Stark family (and I'm like eight chapters in). The writing seems amateurish at times too, but it's usually decent and completely average writing. What bothers me the most is how they go on and on about the past, about people I don't yet care enough about to bother learning who is. Not a single scene can just be about the moment they are in. And if someone gets their hair ruffled one more time, I'm going to effing press delete in anger! I have an e-reader...

    Despite that, I can see some potential. When stuff actually gets going, it's usually interesting. I just wish it could get going a bit faster. What do you think of the book? Are the next books better/worse? Anything else you'd like to say?
     
  2. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    The past matters, because as in the real world past events in A Song of Ice and Fire inform both the present and the future.

    It's been so long since I read it I almost forgot, but the first two hundred pages aren't the best, it picks up as it goes along.
     
  3. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^Pretty much exactly what I was going to say. I had several friends recommend that I read the series, and when I first started I had a hard time getting into it. However, it sucked me in soon enough, and now I love it. It just takes a little while to really get going.
     
  4. Mifio
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    Mifio Member

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    Honestly the book DOES pick up. You have to work with it. The beginning is a great deal of names and locations. But once you get past the dryness, the book is incredible, ESPECIALLY about 250 or so pages in. I know that's quite a lot of dedication, but it's not really in the grand scheme of things. The rest of the book is great, and I just finished A Clash of Kings a week or so ago and it was even better than the first book.

    Though I will admit some characters are boring, namely Catelyn, Sansa, Bran, and Ned are pretty boring all throughout the book, but they all pick up over the course of the novel.

    Then you have Tyrion.
    Oh Tyrion.
    I love Tyrion.
     
  5. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I will admit some parts of the series gets a bit tedious. But then maybe thats because I really want to see the Others more.

    There are alot of times where alot of names will be given and I usually find myself skimming over the longer lists. I mean do I really need to know all these peoples names? Especially when they dont normally serve a purpose anytime soon if ever.

    But the book and the series is great.

    But it can be a bit slow at times but when things do happen... well its amazing.

    Oh and Tyrion. Might aswell join in. Tyrion is easily one of the highlights of any novel he is in.
     
  6. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    A Song of Ice and Fire is in an investment. You invest your time in all the tedious characterization and history lessons, for those moments of rich reward. Few authors can punch a reader in the face the way Martin does, and the only reason it hurts is because he spends so much time building characters and weaving an intricate history that binds them all.
     
  7. Mifio
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    Mifio Member

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    And Jon. I forgot Jon. Though he's much more interesting in A Clash of Kings, he's still good in Thrones.
     
  8. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jon has always been one of my favorite characters. Not just because of the mystery and the speculation surrounding this character but just because I just really enjoy his character. Watching him grow from dreaming of becoming a Brother in the Nightswatch to realizing what the Nights Watch truly is to well growing as a strong character and leader is great.

    Out of all the character PoV you definitely see him grow throughout the books. When I was reading A Dance With Dragons i had almost forgotten he is still just 15 or 16. Then again I forget maybe a year or two has passed since the opening of the series.
     
  9. Mifio
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    Mifio Member

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    To address some points you brought up in your OP, perhaps I can help.

    Quick rundown.
    Members of the Stark family include:
    1. Eddard 'Ned' Stark
    2. Lady Catelyn Stark
    3. Robb Stark
    4. Jon Snow (Ned's bastard)
    5. Sansa Stark
    6. Arya Stark
    7. Bran Stark
    8. Rickon Stark

    Important members of the Lannisters include
    1. Ser Jaime Lannister
    2. Tyrion Lannister
    3. Cersei Lannister
    4. Joffrey Lannister
    5. Ser Kevan Lannister
    6. Ser Tywin Lannister

    As you can assume if you've read more than 70 pages or so, the Starks and the Lannisters are not the bestest of buddies.

    You also have the King, Robert Baratheon, and a number of other characters that I won't go into detail on because spoilers are a no-no. Do you have any specific questions you want to ask? I'm sure I, or someone else, could answer them.
     
  10. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Ser Kevan and Tywin are very important members of the Lannister family :p
     
  11. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah you definitely cant forget Lord Tywin, the man who craps gold. Well allegedly. lol

    Though Kevan, if I remember right, doesnt really have that big of an importance until later on. That is if I didnt get him mixed up with someone else.
     
  12. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Personally, I enjoyed Game of Thrones from the start. Great series of books.
     
  13. Mifio
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    Mifio Member

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    I don't think he's gotten that far in the book yet XD. Tywin isn't until the last quarter or so, and I... Don't even think I know who Kevan is. And I'm past Clash. Either I missed something or there's quite a ways for him. :3

    But I shall add to the list!
     
  14. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I'll just side step potential spoilers and say that to members of the Lannister family, Tywin and Ser Kevan are vitally important.
     
  15. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aside from the intriguing and diverse characters, this series still has the two best chapters I've ever read in fiction. One's a wedding and the other about a viper and a mountain. Those were pure magic, with no actual magic at all in them. That grim, gritty feel is what I love about these books.

    As far as characters go, I have to say Tyrion is a star attraction, with his brother Jaime, a close second. I also really like Ned Stark, a just man in an unjust world.
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I like both Tyrion and Jaime as characters as well. I also quite like Arya.
     
  17. Mifio
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    Mifio Member

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    I like Arya after Thrones, didn't care for her too much during. But once Clash started up, hoo boy, she turned badass.

    I also really like Bronn and Tyrion, how they mesh and communicate with each other. It's brilliant.

    It's quite unfortunate that when I looked up who Ser Kevan was it showed me said spoiler. Oh well. I guessed as much.
     
  18. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    What confuses me right now is why King Robert married a Lannister. I mean, he seems to hate her. I'm also a bit confused about who Jon Arryn is and the relationship between Robert, Ned and him, and the past with Ned's siblings and who was supposed to marry who, and why did Robert become king? Maybe I'm not supposed to know all of that yet... And does anyone know of somewhere were there is a list of names of people and places that doesn't give spoilers? I tried the Games of Thrones wiki, but the first thing I read is Robert Baratheon WAS king, and I'm like... now I know that...
     
  19. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    As it happens, there is a list. It's at the back of the book and pretty comprehensive.
     
  20. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not in mine...
     
  21. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh that's a pity. All six books I've read so far had a hundred pages at the end detailing all the houses and the people belonging to and associated with each.
     
  22. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    As The Joker said, most copies come with a glossary at the back, which makes keeping track of that kind of thing easier. HBO's website for the television adaptation has a version of the glossary which may help, but just in case I tried to clarify the points you mentioned...

    Robert married Cersei Lannister because the Lannisters are the wealthiest house, and waging a successful rebellion is expensive.

    Jon Arryn was the mentor of Robert and Ned. King Aerys the Mad, the guy Robert overthrew, ordered Arryn to kill Robert and Ned, a command he refused. Jon Arryn served as the hand of the king to Robert, until his death.

    Robert wanted to marry Ned's sister Lyanna, but she was taken by Prince Rhaegar, the Mad King's son, and as far as we know was murdered. This is the event Robert has used to justify his rebellion and rule.
     
  23. Unit7
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    Avoid the wikis and such. They dont hide spoilers. But in the grand scheme of things, its a minor spoiler.

    EDIT: Oh look I should have read the other new posts in here. Agreen did a great job of explaining it...

    Oh well I'll keep mine up anyways. lol


    Well there isnt really any spoilers here so. Heres the run down.

    The Lannisters are the most powerful and rich family in Westeros. For a time the Lannisters backed Mad Aerys(the king at the time) Some stuff happened and they pulled out of the rebellion and eventually decided to back Robert.

    To ensure Robert keeps his throne Tywin thought it be best if he marry off his daughter Cersei to the Robert. Robert thought 'hey I'll have the lannisters on my side, so why not?'

    The marriage of Robert and Cersei was a marriage of convienience and a power move. With the Lannisters on his side through Marriage the rest of the Lords who were still loyal to the old King would back off. Robert would have a large amount of gold and the banners of the Lannister.

    The marriage sealed his seat as King. Of course I could have probably found an easier way of saying this.

    Most marriages in Westeros are not out of love but rather out other things. Cersei actually had no real say in whether or not she would marry Robert. Not that she wasn't unwilling... I am not sure the exact description she describes herself... but it implied that she was excited.


    As for Jon Arryn. Jon Arryn I believe was a father figure to both Ned and Robert. I believe when they were younger both Robert and Ned served under Jon Arryn in some compacity. I actually forget what they call them, but they might have been similar to what Theon is to the Starks.

    That or the Starks and the Baratheons were close friends and thought that Jon Arryn would be a great person for their boys to study under. or something.

    Either way he was a father figure towards Ned and Robert.
     
  24. BallerGamer
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    I agree that it gets hard to read the first couple of chapters. When someone tells me "wait 100 pages and you'll start getting into it!" I decide to drop it because if I've read that far, of course I'll have some attachment to it. But with Game of Thrones, it does get better, and it's more than worth it. And I'd say it's worth trudging through the beginning of the book for Tyrion Lannister alone. What I would do to watch him perform stand up.
     
  25. Dithnir
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    I enjoyed it for a few of the books but A Feast for Crows was deeply self indulgent, it seemed to drag on forever, a case of the Rowlings, if you'll forgive me, where the editor that once had a say in how they should keep the thing moving along no longer has any power because the books are perpetual money machines and the author can write what they like.

    I've heard there are good reviews for the latest one, but also I've read some reader reviews that suggest that once more, huge amounts of detail and time are spent on minor cast members suggesting yet more indulgence.

    The fans of course want the minutiae, the director's extended edition, in all its full pomp, but Feast for Crows is the first book where I was sorely tempted to actually skip chapters. Ever.
     

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