Book Post: Game of Thrones

It’s Tuesday and that means book day!  Thanks to my “book pusher” for a new stack of excellent paperbacks.  He’s supplied me with so many books that, added to my Kindle library of freebies, I will never run out of things to read.  And, thanks to him, I have been introduced to authors I would not have read.  It’s truly exciting to me and for those of you reading, I’m sure you understand.  For me, books have always been like good friends and there is always room for more!

Having said that, I mentioned before that Game of Thrones on HBO is back.  If you haven’t seen this and have the chance, I highly recommend it.  As far as fantasy series go, this one is truly amazing.  The best part is that it introduced me to George R.R. Martin and his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.  After the first season of the show, I purchased the first book for my Kindle.  Now, we all know that no book makes it to television or movies without some alteration and this is no exception.  However, for the most part, the changes make sense.  Some events happen in a different order and some events aren’t mentioned at all.  Since we’re into season three now, and I’ve read the first two books, I can tell you that some events and characters merely are later or earlier than in the books.  I won’t be specific because I hate spoilers!

One necessary change is in the age of some of the characters.  The books are a medieval swords and sorcery setting and we see very young people in very adult situations.  Which is logical for their setting but not acceptable in a live television show.  This doesn’t detract from the story too much when you watch the show.  One think I truly love about the show is that they’ve take dialogue directly from the book and used it in the script.  It’s wonderful to hear the characters speak these lines.

But, this is a book post so I’d like to talk about those a bit more.  As I said, I have read the first two, “A Game of Thrones” and “A Clash of Kings.”  When I first started, I was glad I had seen the show first because it helped me keep some of the characters straight.  There are many characters and you may feel that you need a program to keep track of them all.  The primary characters have very deep personalities.  Each has their own desires and motivations.  I found that some of them are very easy to like, some are easy to hate, and some will frustrate you with their behavior.  But I love that about them.  The environments are as rich as the people but the descriptions don’t take you out of the story.  Instead I felt that the descriptions were important to the feel and the scenes.

These books are not for the faint of heart.  These are very adult stories with scenes of violence and sex.  There are some very brutal events such as executions and battles.  I do not recommend this for the very young or very sensitive.  But, if you’re a swords and sorcery fan and familiar with these situations, there is nothing here that should keep you away.  None of it is gratuitous.  Every action has a purpose.

As a role player (Dungeons & Dragons), I appreciate the situations the characters are in.  These books take place in a fantasy realm like the ones we love from our games.  The show further brings it all to life in a way that I appreciate.  We see so few shows that take care to be this in depth to the subject matter that we love.

I do recommend both the books and the show.  Personally, I have chosen to make sure I watch the show first.  When season two started, I purchased book two after it was already a few episodes in.  Depending on how fast you read, you may wish to start later.  This way, the show was always ahead of my reading.  I’m very judgmental of shows and movies based on books that I have read.  So by watching first then reading, I haven’t been disappointed yet.  However you choose to do it, is up to your preference.  But, if you’re a fan of fantasy this is one series of books and shows you shouldn’t miss.

George R.R. Martin’s website: