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Intrigue Incarnate
Though it contains a prologue, A Game of Thrones acts almost as a prologue to George R.R. Martin's entire A Song of Ice and Fire saga.

Don't let the initial hints of fantastic monsters, ancient orders, and heroic nobility fool you, this series is all about the hard realities of a medieval world. On the continent of Westeros, there are Seven Kingdoms and one King that sits The Iron Throne presiding over all. These kingdoms are woven together by a collection of families, some old and proud, others new and ambitious. They all want the same things: Power, glory, respect, love. And they will destroy each other to get theirs. Yet the actions of this dangerous game they play puts everyone in the balance, even as forgotten forces grow stronger in distant lands.

The narrative takes the form of varying points of view, showing the myriad sides of the overall story. This book, more than the others, has a classical fantasy feel. This is due to many of our main characters being members of House Stark, who have very idealistic notions about life. Martin breaks us of these misconceptions almost as brutally as he breaks his characters, slowly peeling the layers and revealing a Crapsaccharine World. All of them, regardless of personalities and principles, are confronted with the same themes of helplessness in the face of adversity and choosing between good or evil.

Points:
  • Daenerys Targaryen is a hell of a dynamic female character who surprises you in ways you don't expect.
  • The Starks are wonderfully realized characters who you feel for, especially Ned, Arya, Bran, and Robb. Catelyn and Sansa can be a chore, but are given enough depth to still be believable and sympathetic.
  • Tyrion Lannister is probably one of the wittiest fictional characters you'll encounter. Few dull moments with him.
  • GRRM's attention to detail, especially for castles, battles and clothing, is pretty staggering.
  • SO MANY JUICY MYSTERIES!
  • Sansa is portrayed as borderline retarded and keenly perceptive?
  • Jon Snow's chapters can feel a little too coming-of-agey, though still cool.
  • The Hound

The life that Martin breathes into this story and the amount of intrigue that he presents makes it an exciting journey that sparks an immediate desire to pick up the second book.
Agree on most points, but Sansa doesn't come across as idiotic to me, just incredibly sheltered and naive, which makes sense as she's Ned's eldest daughter.
comment #23747 coinneach 9th Apr 14
I agree. Suppose I was just really amazed at the sheer number of stupid decisions/conclusions she made while also making very sophisticated observations of her surroundings. Like I said, she's just as deep a character as the other Starks.
comment #23765 RoyFlowers 10th Apr 14
Sansa isn't "borderline retarded." She is, like coin said, sheltered and naive. Her character development is basically her idealism being shattered and being forced to grow up and adapt more to her situation.
comment #23791 Pannic 11th Apr 14
Sheltered and naive. Thus prone to making one ridiculously stupid after the next. It's not her fault, she's an innocent little girl in a horrible world. Explaining my choice of wording any further would lead to spoilers, I think.
comment #23853 RoyFlowers 15th Apr 14
Isn't Sansa like 12 or something when the story begins? Being naive and easily misled seems more realistic than anything. I've often thought a lot of the hate Joffrey gets is excessive too- sure, he's a vicious, stupid entitled little bastard, but he's also like barely in his teens and raised by a collection of domestic abusers, sociopaths and bloody-minded professional killers.
comment #23861 Bobchillingworth 15th Apr 14
Well, he's also a complete and utter sadist. Also, I think he's sixteen at the beginning of the show, as opposed to twelve in the books.
comment #23862 Pannic 15th Apr 14
Yeah, the ages of many of the younger characters in the show significantly change how sympathetic they are and/or their motivations.
comment #23863 Bobchillingworth 15th Apr 14
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