Game of Thrones is HOT.
Kind of. But winter is coming.
My husband's fantasy-fiction-loving friends practically worship this series. I had to see what all the fuss was about. Plus, once again, trying desperately to read the book before watching the movie (or in this case, television series).
I don't have HBO, so I haven't been in a huge hurry to read this. I'm patient, I can wait to borrow the DVD from the library. Which is good, because I started it sometime last summer, I think. But then a few weeks ago, with the release of Season Two's DVD nigh, I felt like I ought to try to conquer the Seven Kingdoms.
Once I dug in, I read hundreds of pages in just a few days.
It is a sprawling tale if there ever was one.
Pros and cons, to be sure.
There are too many characters, and too many names. So many names that are similar to one another. There's Bran Stark, but then Tyrion's sword-for-hire is Bronn. There's Tyrion Lannister, whose father is Tywin Lannister. Readers complain about Charles Dickens' novels having many characters... child's play compared to George R.R. Martin. Fortunately, there's an appendix listing the characters, their relationship to one another, and with which noble house they are allied. VERY helpful.
I dislike oddball spellings just for the sake of being different. If you're referring to a Sir Mark, why is it necessary to call him "Ser Marq"? Why is the master called the "maester"? Pu-leese.
Okay, now that I've complained for a while, I admit that I do like the plot. It's interesting, and the cliffhanger ending is terrific. The female characters are more distinctive than the male ones, which is pretty unusual in fantasy, generally. Some readers dislike that the story is told from many different characters' perspectives - I like that strategy.
By the way, the amount of incest and other sordid human behavior is staggering.
The biggest criticism of the whole Game of Thrones series is how many primary characters get sacked - why would an author develop his characters just to kill them off? The website BetterBookTitles.com says it best: