A Book Review
BY EMILY LUCIA
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die” (A Game of Thrones). Many of you have probably heard of or have seen the HBO television show Game of Thrones, but not many people know about the source material from which the show is derived. The
show is based off of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. The first season correlates with the first book A Game of Thrones. So if you’re looking for something to do before Season 4 hits television screens in April, why not read the books?
A Game of Thrones takes place in the fictional world of Westeros, a medieval type land. It follows characters like the honest Eddard “Ned” Stark, Jon Snow (Ned’s bastard son), Arya Stark (Ned’s youngest daughter), Tyrion Lannister (a dwarf, born to an extremely rich highborn family), Bran Stark (Ned’s son), Catelyn Stark (Ned’s wife), Sansa Stark (Ned’s oldest daughter), and Daenerys Targaryen (an exiled princess).
The book begins with a prologue in which we meet members of the Night’s Watch (The members of the Night’s Watch guard The Wall) as they scout the area beyond The Wall (The Wall is this giant wall of ice that keeps bad things out of Westeros). The group of four sends a single member to investigate a small clearing. Reluctantly, the member goes to the clearing and finds a bloody ring of dismembered bodies. Frightened, he returns to his companions who then follow him back to the clearing. The bodies are gone. They turn around to continue to search, but are stopped by the bodies, which are no longer dismembered, nor bloodied, but seemingly alive with a new distinct feature: Icy blue eyes. Later, we discover that these are called Wights (they’re basically ice zombies, but more on that later). A battle ensues and the member of the Night’s Watch that had found the bodies is the lone survivor. He runs as fast as he can to escape.
The story then turns to Ned Stark who has been asked by his friend Robert Baratheon, the King of Westeros, to be his Hand or royal advisor. Ned, the Protector of the North and Lord of Winterfell, is reluctant, but he wants to remain on good terms with his boyhood friend so he accepts and takes his two daughters and their pet dire wolves (a type of large wolf from the northern regions of Westeros) to Kingslanding (the capital of Westeros). He leaves his eldest son, Rob, in charge of Winterfell.
Meanwhile, the Lannister family is on a quest for power. Cersei is married to the King, her son Joffery is the crown prince, her brother, Jaime “The Kingslayer” is a knight of the Kingsguard, and Tyrion, the Imp, has his own agenda.
Across the narrow sea, Daenerys Targaryen, who was exiled as a child, plots her return to Westeros.
A Game of Thrones takes readers on a wild, political ride as Ned tries to find out what the Lannisters are hiding, Tyrion tries to find his place, Jon Snow tries to make something of himself and Daenerys tries to reclaim what was once hers. It’s a tale of adventure, a tale of war and a tale of mystery. A Game of Thrones is a must read. George R.R. Martin has a way with words, describing characters and locations, forming this fictional world into something that could be very real.
While reading this brilliant piece of literature, keep one thing in mind: “Winter is Coming”.