A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Game of Thrones is finally over. Other than a 5-minute futile attempt while psetting, I’ve never watched any of it. I was shocked to learn that the first episode had come out in 2011. I kind of knew that in the back of my mind, but it’s still crazy that it’s been 8 years. If Harry Potter were the fantasy franchise of the aughts, then GoT must be the equivalent of the teens. I had resisted reading the books for a while, but somehow the horrific reception of the last season finally pushed me over the edge.
1) “‘You have five trueborn children. Three sons, two daughters. The direwolf is the sigil of your House. Your children were meant to have these pups, my lord.'” – Jon
As with all good epic dramas, you need a big family and an illegitimate son. The direwolves are a nice addition, although they’re mostly used as a plot device to get the protagonists get out of sticky situations.
2) “‘It should have been you'” – Catelyn
Along with the illegitimate son, you need the emotional/irrational parent who messes things up.
3) “‘I’m desperately sentimental, sweet lady. Best not tell anyone. I have spent years convincing the court that I am wicked and cruel, and I should hate to see all that hard work go for naught.'” – Littlefinger
Littlefinger was one of the most enjoyable characters. His lines were provocative, and he always made things interesting.
4) “‘We all need to be mocked from time to time, Lord Mormont, lest we start to take ourselves too seriously.'” – Tyrion
This quote is very irrelevant, but I love the word “lest”, and this is a perfect “use word in a sentence” example.
5) “I was never so alive as when I was winning this throne, or so dead now that I’ve won it.”
I’m struggling to think of another fictional character who was as DOA as this king. It took a frustratingly long time for him to die.
6) “His cell was miserably small, even for a dwarf. Not five feet away, where a wall ought to have been, where a wall would be in a proper dungeon, the floor ended and the sky began.”
This sounds like a business opportunity. People would pay $$$$ for this glamping experience.
7) “‘The night of our wedding feast, the first time we shared a bed, he called me by your sister’s name.'” – Cersei
8) “‘You wear your honor like a suit of armor, Stark. You think it keeps you safe, but all it does is weigh you down and make it hard for you to move.'” – Littlefinger
What a great metaphor.
9) “‘The Freys have held the crossing for six hundred years, and for six hundred years they have never failed to exact their toll.'” – Catelyn
Own assets. Charge rent. Profit.
10) “‘I don’t want to marry you. You chopped off my father’s head!'” – Sansa
Sansa is helpless throughout the book, but this line makes up for her stupidity.
I really enjoyed these characters. The plot was largely predictable and unremarkable, but the cast of characters all had distinct, memorable personalities. The author’s decision to write each chapter from one character’s point of view was brilliant and maybe even necessary, considering how hard it was to keep track of everyone. Even though this book was awesome, I probably won’t read the rest of the series. It’s too long and not even finished yet. And it’s very difficult to avoid spoilers. It was easier to mentally block out GoT references when I had absolutely no knowledge, but now that I know the premise, it’s impossible.