Nearly one third of the way through the book, here are some more thoughts I’ve had on Game of Thrones since I began reading it on Tuesday:
- I am so hooked on this book! Every free moment I can get I want to spend reading it and if I read 10 pages of Astounding (as much fun as that is) I then read 2 or 3 chapters of Thrones. In part this is just because I’m finding it to be such a good story, but I also think that after four straight months of reading nothing but short science fiction, my mind is welcoming the change of scenery.
- I’m really impressed with how closely the first three episode of the HBO series have stuck to the book. It is not just the events as they take place in the book, but even the viewpoint switches from one chapter to the next are followed closely in the series–something that had to have been a conscious decision I imagine. There are definitely details left out of the series, but it is almost like they took a full scene in the book and showed only the second half or two-thirds on the series. You don’t lose too much.
- Given all of the viewpoints from which the story is told, my favorites are Tyrion, Eddard (Ned), Jon, and Arya. Especially Tyrion. His image has been fixed in my mind as that of Peter Dinklage, who does a phenomenal job as this character and I wonder what I might have thought of him had I read the book before seeing the HBO series. I find Daenerys viewpoint interesting from time-to-time, as are Catelyn, Bran and Sansa, although I like Sansa the least.
- My favorite part of the book so far is the chapter from Bran’s point of view just before he wakes up from his coma. In the HBO series, he awakens as the direwolf, Lady is killed. In the book there is a preface to his waking up, a kind of dream that he is having that hints at much larger things to come and that scene is just a remarkable one.
- The book has been seriously reconsidering my position on high fantasy. I’ve tried reading Jordan and Brooks and Eddings in the past but never made it past the first chapter. Those reading this post who’ve read lots of high fantasy: what is it about Thrones that sets itself apart from these other books? I am still trying to figure out why I am so hooked on this one and couldn’t even scratch the surface on others.
- Part of the answer may be the HBO series. This has me reconsidering my position on adaptations. I’ve never been much of a fan of making books into movies or TV shows because the latter always seems to suffer. But the HBO series is remarkable and it is the first time that I can recall that I read a book because I was so fascinated by the show. (The closest I think I’ve come prior to this is Carl Sagan’s Contact, which I read after I found out the movie was coming out, but before I actually saw the movie. And I thought it too was one of those rare instances where the movie was nearly as good as the book, despite some changes.)
- I noticed that about 10% through the book is where the first episode of the series ended. About 20% is where the second ended and the third ends about 30% of the way through. That means the entire book could be covered in 10-12 episodes on HBO. Does this mean that season 2 will cover the second book? Does anyone know yet?
- I hope the book continues to maintain the standard it has set so far. And I hope that the other books in the series are just as good. I already see myself starting the next one as soon as I finish this one.
Stay tuned. I’m sure I will have more to say about this in the near future, particularly on how this book differed from my notions of what a high fantasy novel is alleged to be.