I was apprehensive about starting A Game of Thrones, I’ve never really gotten on with any Fantasy stories I’ve tried and whilst I’ve seen the show and enjoyed that, the books sitting there on the shelf were really rather intimidating and the show hadnt really inspired me to pick them up before and start reading. I was expecting that I’d be counting down the pages hoping that I’d finish in time for our meet up to discuss it, but I actually finished a few days shy of a week early (although admitedly I did start a week prior to the last meeting as I’d gotten ahead of myself) and quite enjoyed it, I’m actually looking forward to reading the next book through August, although I’m glad for the break between! I certainly couldn’t mainline them like my other half has the audiobooks, shes on the last one of the main series thats been written and has got to that stage in the same time its taken me to read just the one book!
My initial impressions are that the show sticks fairly closely to this first book, or at least what I remember of the key events in the first season stick fairly close to the events of the book, although I haven’t watched the first season through for a couple of years now so I could be wrong on that.
Let’s get this out of the way early, its a bit pervy. I know that things were very different in the kind of era that this was set, but this is a fantasy piece of work, its not set in any kind of reality, so the attention to detail regarding the physical developments and sexual treatments of some of the female characters were really uncomfortable to read. Also, it doesnt even really feel like Martin was writing this stuff because “thats how it would have been”, the writing comes across like he’s enjoying writing about these young girls, Daenerys in particular. The strong focus on how Daenerys ‘ relationship with Khal Drogo develops (somehow) from him raping her (because lets not beat around the bush, thats what it was) to her consenting and falling in love with him feels voyeuristic and I dreaded Daenerys ‘ chapters for that reason.
Another character I couldn’t get on with, but for very different reasons (and Danaerys’ weren’t strictly her fault) was Sansa. I know she’s been brought up with the equivalent of fairy tales in her head and been raised to be a lady, but shes a lady of the North and thus shouldn’t be so absolutely fucking naive all the god damned fucking time. Pretty much everything that goes wrong throughout the entire book (with maybe the exception of what started it all: Bran being pushed by Jaime) has Sansa’s naivety at its origins. Every time the girl opens her mouth I wanted her to shut up as she was always getting somebody, or to be more accurate, her family, into trouble. Losing Lady was unfair, I’ll agree to that but any body else would have seen Joffrey for who he was when faced with the situation with Arya and the baker boy. But time and again she fell foul of Cersey’s ability to scheme and turn things to her advantage, but then I can hardly blame her. Idiocy seems to be in the blood of the Starks.
The problem here is, I know alot of what happens to some of these characters. I know theres differences between the books and the show and that some characters and events are omitted from the latter for a variety of reasons so I’m really looking forward to seeing how things develop. I have to say, and I know this is heresy, but I was never a fan of Daenerys . In the show she has acts holier than thou even though, in my opinion, her decisions dont reflect how she see’s herself nor how others treat her. I’m wondering if alot of the love she receives from fans is down to who she is within the story, but we’ll have to wait and see for now.