There are spoilers ahead for this book so proceed with caution!!
It starts with one of the best opening chapters I’ve ever read. You know you’re in for a chilling (pun intended) and brilliant ride. The prologue is set beyond the Wall, three men of the Night’s Watch are looking for signs of wildlings and instead find creatures that have been gone for thousands of years.
In ASOIAF the chapters are told from different points of view, we switch from person to person. It’s such a clever way of telling the story, especially one as complicated as this. Everyone gets more and more spread out across Westeros so it wouldn’t make sense to stay with one person. Although one character has many more chapters in this first book…Ned Stark.
I love how much of the history of Westeros we get in the book. All the religions and kingdoms fascinate me. But it doesn’t distract from the current events in the story. Westeros is a very dark and brutal place, with medieval values when it comes to women, people of colour and of course no one is allowed to be lgbt. The only place that seems chill is Dorne but we haven’t been properly introduced to them yet!
My favourite chapters are usually Tyrion’s, Jon’s or Catelyn’s. Although any mention of Cersei will have me on alert! It frustrates me that we don’t get to hear her thoughts until A Feast for Crows, the fourth book.
Character’s dreams play a big part in the books. “Everyone knows that dreams are prophetic.” – Sansa Stark. The Starks especially have really important dreams, Bran and Rickon both dream that their father is in the crypts after he was executed. Bran and Arya both have wolf dreams in which they become wolves and see the world through their eyes.
On a different note I cannot tell you how much I hate Robert Baratheon, he’s such a vile, self indulgent arsehole. The fact that Lyanna died obviously haunted Ned for years, because he’s her brother, but Robert thinks he had this weird claim to her. “You knew Lyanna’s beauty but not the iron underneath.” – Ned Stark. Robert went to war to ‘take her back’ and then when he won he painted Rhaegar Targaryen as a murderer. I am convinced as are many fans that Lyanna left of her own will because she loved Rhaegar as he loved her. Then Robert spends the next fifteen years treating Cersei like crap. I am genuinely surprised she didn’t have him killed a lot sooner, she really has the patience of a saint.
Ned being so honourable he risked all of his family’s lives…good job idiot. Seriously, what is wrong with you? Sure Joffrey is a sociopath, but with the right leaders beside him like Tywin Lannister (I also hate him but he is good at running the country) it would have been fine. It’s not like Stannis is any better, he’s practically a robot, no one likes him, why don’t we just avoid thousands of people dying in a war no one wanted. I could literally rant about Ned’s incompetence for hours.
It is terrifying how young some of the characters are. The show did at least one thing right in making Dany, Jon and Robb a lot older than they are in ASOIAF. They are all thirteen or fourteen at the beginning, Bran is only seven, Arya is nine and Sansa eleven. I completely forgot how young they were and it amazes me how they navigate the horrors to come at that age.
A confession: Despite Jaime and Cersei throwing Bran out of a window I somehow managed to forgive them. I blame their complicated characters and the phenomenal acting of Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster Waldau. From what we see of them in this first book, I don’t think I would have warmed to them at all. The Lannister siblings are deeply troubled, thanks to the worst father in Westeros – Tywin. If I could go back in Westeros time and adopt all three as children I would! They’re also the sassiest characters by some way which wins them all bonus points.
Characters who break my heart the most: Jon, Tyrion & Dany
Most underrated: Sansa – she’s just a child and she adapts so quickly at the end of the book to ensure her survival, yes she trusted too easily but she learnt her lesson.
On my kill list: Littlefinger, Joffrey, Robert, Lysa, The Mountain & Tywin.
Let me protect them: Arya, Sansa, Bran, Dany, Jon, Robb, Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime, Catelyn and all of the smallfolk of Westeros.
Favourite quotes: “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” – Ned Stark
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die, there is no middle ground.” – Cersei Lannister
“The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true.” – Syrio Forel
“For the first time in hundreds of years, the night came alive with the music of dragons.”
Favourite dynamic: Jon & Arya – they are so cute and they love each other so much! They think of each other all the way through their seperate journeys, they wonder what the other is doing and recall their childhood together. And Jon giving Arya her sword Needle was so important to her, it’s one of the few things she has left of Winterfell at the end of the book.
Favourite death: Robert Baratheon’s death is by far my favourite in the first book. I had a little chuckle because it was cleverly done, Robert was out hunting boar and his squire had been instructed to get him as drunk as possible. Then they let his arrogance and stupidity do the rest. Robert missed the boar and was speared in the stomach instead…shame (not).
I have started a Clash of Kings, it is one of my favourites, but it’s so sad! Seeing the war torn countryside through Arya’s eyes is so upsetting! But anyway let me know what you think of A Game of Thrones in the comments.