A Game of Thrones is the first of the novels from the series A Song of Ice and Fire. If you are into fantasy novels, then this is the book for you. If you are a fan of the HBO series Game of Thrones, that covers all the books from A Song of Ice and Fire, this is the book for you. And if you are neither of those, then why are you reading this? I think this is proof enough.
A Game of Thrones – A new immense fantasy world
A Game of Thrones is the first installment from the series A Song of Ice and Fire. Since its publication in 1996, the series has won many fans, and even more when the books were screened as the HBO series Game of Thrones. First planned as the trilogy, the story grew, and the number of planned volumes grew into four, then six, and now seven novels. Five parts of the series have been published, and there are two more to go, or at least that’s how it’s planned.
A Song of Ice and Fire is often compared to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but George R. R. Martin is a contemporary writer, and he writes for the contemporary readers. Fantasy is not enough anymore.
A Game of Thrones introduces us to the world of Westeros. We meet the characters, and learn about their relationships. The Starks from the North are lead by a just and caring father, Eddard Ned Stark, the Warden of the North. His wife Catelyn is his support – their five children, Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon, are their joy.
However, Ned Stark has a slightly tarnished past, an infidelity from which his son Jon Snow was born. Even though Jon is accepted by everyone as an equal member of the family, Catelyn cannot stand the memory of Ned’s infidelity that Jon reminds her of daily.
Ned Stark’s friend Robert Baratheon, the King of the Westeros, is married to Cersei Lannister. They have three children, spoiled little brat Joffrey, and two kind younger children, Marcella and Tommen. After the death of King Robert’s hand, Jon Arryn, Ned Stark comes to take the position.
He unravels secrets that could mean the end of Cersei. As the story unfolds, this eventually leads to the death of King Robert, and turmoil in the kingdom, which later on turns into a war of mass proportions, taking all of the Westeros.
Cersei Lannister is a daughter of the richest man in Westeros, Tywin Lannister. Her twin brother Jaime is a knight famous for his skills in battle as much as a Kingslayer. When he was very young, he became a member of an elite king’s guard. Due to the madness of the king Aerys II Targaryen, Jaime Lannister killed him.
According to everyone in the kingdom, nothing can justify breaking an oath to protect the king, so his reputation is negative ever since. Tywin Lannister has another son, a dwarf named Tyrion Lannister. He is mocked for his looks, which makes him turn to his brains as his way of protection from the world that despises him.
Aerys II Targaryen was killed, but he was not left without all of his heirs. His son Viserys and younger daughter Daenerys Targaryen live in exile, trying to survive and gain their kingdom back. Vyseris even marries his sister to Khal Drogo, a Dothraki leader, in order to buy Khal Drogo’s army. Some time after, Daenerys manages to give life to three little dragons, and magic starts to come back into the world.
These are the most famous families or “Houses” in Westeros. There are other great Houses as well, but it would be too much to describe them all just now. Find out more about the two main rival houses of Westeros House Lannister and House Stark. More to follow soon.
Also, there are different kinds of creatures. There are common men, like those just described; but there are also the Others, magical creatures who sow death and destruction. There are legends of the Children of the Forest, and there are the mentioned dragons.
A Game of Thrones introduces us into a whole new world. What makes this world so fascinating is its complexity. As you can see from the description of only four families, there are many ties between them. Many characters are given their own voice, and from chapter to chapter, you can follow different characters and see their world the way they see it. Politics, religion, sexuality, death, crimes of murder, theft… it is all in-wrought into a world that resembles our real world. Once you step into this world, you cannot leave its inhabitors anymore.
The Game of Thrones is a game that all the noble families of Westeros play – everyone wants to be a king, but not everyone can. They all try their best, and there is often a thin line between the good and evil, but this book is ready to give you much more than the classic battle of good and evil.
If you want to immerse yourself into a world as complex as the real world which is still a fantasy of one man’s mind, A Song of Ice and Fire is the series to read starting with A Game of Thrones.