Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Game of Thrones ? Really? Yes!

I know this is a Tolkien blog, so blogging about another author might seem to be a sin right? Well no. George R.R Martin is , what many believe, the next Tolkien. Though he himself does not refer to himself as such. I wrote a comment on his blog (Not A Blog) about how I avoided reading him thinking he would be in the likes of R.A Salvator, and Terry Goodkind or Robert Jordan, and using the same old Tolkien cookie cut out (I call it) quest.

But I saw the HBO show and my wife and I really enjoyed it, so I picked up the books and started reading it right away.
George R.R. Martin answered back: "I love JRRT as well, and his work had a huge influence on mine... but we're very different people, and I was never interested in just trying to redo what he had already done. Even if I had been, I doubt I could have done it. The legions of Tolkien imitators have proved amply that only Tolkien can write Tolkien."

Well Ser, you have a new fan...me!

THE REVIEW: As short as I can make it.

The World is called Westeros. Here is what Game of Thrones Wiki says:
"Westeros is a great continent located in the far west of the known world. It is separated from the continent of Essos by a strip of water known as the Narrow Sea.
Almost the entire continent, barring only the lands in the furthest north beyond the Wall, is ruled by a single political entity known as the Seven Kingdoms, which holds fealty to the King on the Iron Throne in the city of King's Landing. The terms 'Seven Kingdoms' and 'Westeros' are normally used interchangeably.

With Winters lasting up to 10 years, and other seasons just as long, it is a hard land to live in.
  And this realm once held many kings until the rise of king Targaryen who controlled the Dragons. In this world Dragons = ultimate power. For 300 years all 7 kingdoms were ruled as one under the Targaryen family.
But power cannot last forever. The dragons all died and the Targaryan family lost the realm under Aerys II Targaryan. Also known as the Mad king. He died at the hands of one of his most trusted Knights guard. A blond knight of the house Lannister, called Jamie. Jamie would from that day forward be called Kingslayer. While Robert Baratheon of the Eldest of the house Baratheon fought at the battle of the Trident. Robert gained the throne with the help of a friend he considered a brother. Eddard Stark. Lord of Winterfell in the North.

Many years later Robert shows up at Winterfell to give a new job and tittle to Eddard, known as Ned, as the Kings Hand. He was to be the voice of the king and rule in his stead when he could not. The old Hand had died, and foul play was suspected. Poisoned. Ned took the position reluctantly and made south to Kingslanding. His oldest Bastard son is sent to the Wall. A wall of ice as tall as sky scrapers and spanning as far as the eye can see. It was built to keep the Others out. To defend the realm against monsters in the north.

Once at Kingslanding things get out of control and Ned is in deep over his head. There are spies, liars, manipulators, conniving politicians and the Queen Cersie, who happens to be the Kingslayers twin sister. She has no love for Ned, and Ned discovers something about her and her family that would bring Robert to rage if he ever found out.

In the south the last two heir of the late "Mad king" survive, and Dany (the female) is given to a great king of savage people. Though she falls in love with him and bears him a son, she is given 3 dead dragon eggs for her wedding gift. After an attempt to kill her (by Robert Baratheon, scared she will wage war on the 7 kingdoms with her new army of 20,000 Dathraki soldiers) her husband goes west to try and sail over the narrow sea to take the realm for her. He dies (long story..read the book) and she is left with the 3 eggs...

 Robert dies, Ned gets imprisoned for treason, his kids are in trouble, his 2nd eldest son(Robb) wages war on the Lannisters, and wants to free his father. Now the Lannisters have a Dwarf brother named Tyrion who is a hoot to read about. Two daughters of Ned name Arya and Sansa who have their own adventure and troubles, and Bran in Winterfell who goes through hell after breaking his neck in the first few chapters.

There is so much to this first book, its unreal. But Martin manages to keep you wanting to find out what happens to all of the characters. He really is cunning that way. I'm now on the 2nd book and its as good if not better. I do hope you go out and try these books for yourself and I do apologise for the quick review but these books a thick, 800-1200 pages each and so much stuff happens that no one can do it justice in a review. A must read.