Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winter has come with a vengeance

I was quite wary when someone was gracious enough to give me this book on my 21st birthday on April three years ago. I have heard nothing of this author at all. So I put it aside, though, because I was in no mood to read novels lately. But thanks to Spartacus, I was in search for a new historical/medieval drama to watch. And A Game of Thrones had been a stellar recommendation in the fansites I’m a member of. I have yet to watch the HBO series, actually. I decided that, in the interest of humoring said friend who gifted me with the book, to read it first after finishing Brave New World. I found myself terribly captivated by Martin’s quaint and lavish prose so far that I feel like the TV series might spoil me in some way. There is a certain charming quality to the expositions in the book that eagerly translated a beauty within each character development and made a reader like me pause and contemplate on the subtlety of it all. I was very bewildered by the way the prose reeled me in so seamlessly into the setting and plot. Not even The Lord of the Rings got me so instantly spellbound (save perhaps, small moments in Tudors and Merlin but even those stories don’t compete much with A Game of Thrones, storyline-wise).

So I devotedly place myself into this intricately-woven piece of literature. I was only able to watch the HBO adaptation as soon as I finished the novel. It was a marvelous TV series but the original book itself is ten times more riveting and chilling in all the right and dark places. I really appreciated the strength of GRRM’s writing when it comes to POVs. You get to understand the characters and their actions and personalities because it feels more intimate when you see things through their perspectives as oppose to chronological chapters which I think HBO used (but it also works best in a television medium).

Favorite POVs: Catelyn Stark, Sansa Stark, Eddard Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Bran Stark, Daenerys Targaryen

Least Favorites: Jon Snow and Arya Stark

Crowning Moments of Awesome: Tyrion’s captivity and trial

Tearjerker Moments: Daenerys getting duped by a witch and paying for the price, Eddard’s deliverance, Sansa’s awakening

Most favorite characters: Tyrion Lannister, Catelyn Stark, Sansa Stark

Second favorites: Robert Baratheon, Daenerys, Eddard Stark

Sideline characters I enjoy: Bronn the sellsword, Varys the eunuch, Ser Jorah, and Khal Drogo

Torn-about-them: The Lannister twins Jaimie and Cersei, Littlefinger, Sandor Cleagne (The Hound)

Just hateful: Joffrey and Gregor Cleagne

Tiny moments I appreciate: The supposed ‘hero’ is not invincible or saved; the fact that a dwarf can be one of the most important characters despite his ‘handicap’; the politics of power that translates to our modern times quite easily; the different kinds of love for family (and the price to pay for loving too much); the struggle of honor and its doom because it’s surrounded by corrupt people and situations; and the clear-cut, interesting distinctions about what men prioritize most and what women want to protect.

RECOMMENDED: 8/10

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