There’s probably much to be said for ignoring popular frenzies – but I’ll tell ya, sometimes following the crowd will take you to unexpected places. For example, had someone informed me a few months ago that I’d give a fig about some feudal fantasy land full of competing royal houses, mythical beasts, and freeze-dried zombies– well, I would have been a tad skeptical and more than a little disappointed. I mean, I can enjoy the occasional flagon of mulled wine at a Ren Fest, but the line has to be drawn somewhere.
Well, the line has moved. A Game of Thrones is outstanding, both the book and the HBO series. I find myself caring deeply about the goings-on in the lands of Westeros. I worry about the Starks of Winterfell and their noble, yet naïve, approach to governance. I’m fascinated by the dragon-lovin’ exiled princess Daenerys “Stormborn” Targaryen, and her development into a fiery young queen. And boy-howdy do I detest those treacherous, incestuous, richy-rich Lannisters (with the big exception of Tyrion, the imp, whose small stature camouflages enormous potential as a statesman).
A Game of Thrones is the first book in George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” series. It’s something like 700 pages long, so I’m going to give you a piece of advice – if you have watched the show, or intend on doing so, skip the first book. The show stays very true to the text. Even much of the show’s dialogue is lifted directly from the book’s pages.
Am I encouraging you to eschew a book in favor of TV? Technically, yes. But just to free up your time to read something else. Like Tyrion says, “a mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.” I’m an embarrassment. -Ransom, Reference