AGOT: new reader's thoughts

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Evil Agent, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    I'm interested in the first impressions of any new readers who happen to be reading the book for the first time (perhaps in preparation for the HBO series), or maybe anyone doing a re-read.

    I first read the book ten years ago, but I've seen blogs out there that chronicle similar impressions by new readers, and it's always fun to read their thoughts as they discover these awesome books.

    So let's try to keep this spoiler free, or at least use spoiler tags.

    Although it's already been a decade(!), my first impressions are still clear in my mind. At the time, I was a big fan of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. It was the best and most epic series I had found, after Lord of the Rings. But I was up to Book 8 or so, and things were starting to go downhill. Then someone recommended A Game of Thrones to me. Surprisingly, I hadn't heard of it (it was about a year before I joined this forum). I remember thinking the prologue was creepy/cool, but it didn't blow me away. The moment that first really grabbed me me was finding the direwolf puppies. I love anything with wolves, plus I loved the eerie omen aspect of it all (the wolf being the sigil of House Stark, and the number of pups matching the number of Stark children). And the moment I was fully hooked came soon afterwards, with the simple words:
    "the things I do for love".
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  2. Snikt5

    Snikt5 www.Ritualofthestones.com

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    I've just re-read Game of Thrones (I plan to re-read all the books before the release in July - one book a month will do it).

    I first read GoT about 6 years ago. Like you, apart from the Wheel of time and Lord of the Rings I had not really read fantasy.

    I was blown away upon the first read and was reluctant to break my never re-read book motto. I am so glad I did. I loved it even more the second time round. There was so much that I had forgotten. Without going into any spoilers, I was surprised at how much some of the characters had changed to where they are now.

    It was also refreshnig to read the book having been already familiar with the world. Upon the first read, I struggled with the hundreds of characters introduced for the first 100 pages or so but this time I instantly appreciated who everyone was and where they came from.

    I am about to start Clash of Kings - man I forgot how small the print was in the UK edition.
     
  3. Spears&Buckler

    Spears&Buckler MJ Dusseault

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    These are a couple of posts I had in another thread which belong here. The first was originally posted on Sunday 3 April.

    I just started A Game of Thrones yesterday. I'm up to the part where Robert arrives in Winterfell, so it may be too early to form an opinion, but I think I already have.

    The most important elements in fantasy for me are characterization and worldbuilding, I think. I need to be invested in the characters and care about what happens with them. I also need to have a sense of history behind the world in which those characters live. A sense that the author has been there and spent a lot of time there, so to speak.

    I'm not that far into the story and I already want to be a Stark. Mr. Martin has me roped into that family and I care about every one of them. The small bits of the history of the Seven Kingdoms he gives to me are like little spoonfuls of ice-cream and I want more! (Ice cream is my vise, by the way). I love how he lets out a little at a time depending on the POV and leaves you thirsting for more. The world seems so complex already and I'm not even 100 deep!

    So, long story short (too late!) I'm loving it so far. I think I'll use this thread as a way to post my progress through this, my first reading of the book, and how I'm relating it to the TV show once it starts.


    And then this one from yesterday.

    I just passed the scene where Jamie Lannister says "The things I do for love." I knew Cersei and Jamie weren't going to be particularly nice but this was awful. A perfectly written passage which tore my heart out.
     
  4. columbob

    columbob Registered User

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    I started reading the series mid-february this year. I was already pretty familiar with the gist of the story through osmosis on the Internet and other people who'd read it before, plus the Fantasy Flight board game which is great.

    I was hooked right from the prologue. The world-building is pretty bare-bones and the influences behind the people are written right on their sleeves, but the writing and the characters are tops. I've heard some people say they're turned off by the soap opera-ish type of storytelling, bah. I love the situations in which Martin puts his characters.

    SPOILER WARNING!




    Even if I knew beforehand about a certain character's death in AGoT, my heart was still trying to get out of my chest when it did happen, I guess I was hoping that the story would play out differently, or thinking of all the ways it could have gone.

    I read through the first three books in a row, and am now taking a short break before Feast to read Wise Man's Fear, While-Luck Warrior, The Heroes and maybe some others.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  5. kansasbarbarian

    kansasbarbarian Registered User

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    I first read the series about 5 years ago and for me it is my favorite behind Prince of Nothing.
    I was hooked from the first. I also loved the part about finding the direwolves. I love the different pov's and the characterization is very well done.
    And the setting is absolutely fantastic.
     
  6. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    Hi everyone,

    As a courtesy to new readers, in addition to using the spoiler tags, I usually also put SPOILERS AHEAD. The forum software doesn't remove spoilers from notification emails, so people who get a response that way don't see the big black blob.
     
  7. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    Good point. Please make SPOILER WARNINGS very clear in this thread. I hate seeing any books (especially these ones) spoiled for new readers. A random youtube comment recently spoiled the first book for my friend, and last week some jerk was spoiling Book 3 on HBO's Game of Thrones facebook page. Be wary!
     
  8. Redpred

    Redpred Registered User

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    I'm currently re-reading a game of thrones (my 3rd time actually) in preparation for the tv series coming this month. I first read the series maybe 4 or 5 years ago, first time through absolutely loved them, probably my favourite fantasy series of all time. i read AGoT again about 2 years ago I believe (just that book mind not the whole series) and enjoyed it the second time also but not as much.

    This third time I'm really enjoying it again, I've forgotten enough that the story still seems fresh, but I remember enough about the characters and the world to not constantly be flicking to the maps and the family trees to see who's who. I've read about 300 pages since I started it again Monday and I intend to go on and re-read the whole series in the next month or two. Since it has been over 4 years since I last read the rest of the series I'm really looking forward to it as I'm sure I've forgotten a lot :)

    I don't think I've read anything since (fantasy or otherwise) that I have enjoyed as much as A Song of Ice and Fire, many of my friends have read it too (it was introduced to me by a friend and i subsequently introduced it to others) and we still talk and joke about the characters in it on a day to day basis so it feels like it has been a big part of my life over the last few years. I'm looking forward to the TV series immensely but in a way I'm a little sad that my own visions of the characters will be replaced by the one's depicted in the TV show, much like when I re-read LOTR after the movies that I kept seeing those actors instead of my own minds view of the characters. That and the small fear I have that some of the Locations in the tv series won't match up to my own imaginations version.

    Still though it will bring my favourite series to a lot of new readers (I allready am seeing it taking up more shelf room in bookshops with a version with Sean Bean on the cover turning up recently also) and it is riding high in the selling charts on many websites also which is also excellent. I hope if the show is a success it'll spur GRRM on to finish the series, ADWD is just about done but there's still 2 books left to the stories conclusion and I would hate to see it un-finished!
     
  9. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    Yes, there's something surreal about seeing the books everywhere and seeing photos of the gigantic billboards in NYC and L.A.

    For a long time I was the only person I knew who had read them. Now I have 5 friends currently reading the series, and it's a lot of fun being able to discuss the characters with them.

    As for re-reading, I've found these are some of the best books for re-reading out there. Apparently GRRM purposefully introduced all the mysteries and clues and details so that they would make for good re-reading. I've read the series three times through, and although the shock and surprise factor is gone, I think I've actually enjoyed them more each time.
     
  10. armungus

    armungus Aspiring Reprobate

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    Just started reading the first book after catching throne fever from all the HBO promos... and three chapters in, I'm really digging it. And besides Moorcock, there isn't much other fantasy I dig.
     
  11. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    And it brought you here, to make your first post. Welcome!

    I've been searching "game of thrones" on Twitter, and it seems as though a ton of people are currently reading the book for the first time! It makes me happy.
     
  12. A very different perspective (Just a personal opinion)

    I tend to approach things from a much narrower perspective than most people. I do characters, not plots generally, and I tend to focus in on just one or maybe two characters in any story, and then just wade through everything else which to me seems superfluous once I have found my focus.
    This works great if my focus is the or at least a main character. Unfortunately for me right now my focus is on Cersei Lannister. And I have eyes for no one else LOL

    So far I have bought the first book, and am about halfway through it now. The book I have is a large softcover, and is a bit awkward for reading, so since I needed the next 3 books I just recently ordered the first 4 in a boxset in paperback.

    Besides Cersei, I like Jamie marginally because Cersei claims to love him. And I like Tyrion because he's got attitude, but not enough to want to read about him if there was no Cersei. I guess I am a house Lannister fan. The Starks annoy me with their self righteousness. LOL

    I found choosing so many children to be viewpoint characters a bit annoying since these do not appear to be children's books. But it doesn't annoy me enough to quit reading.

    I find that I prefer single viewpoint stories to ones which are spread out among so many viewpoints, especially when I am truly not very interested in most of them. I would enjoy the books much more if Cersei became a viewpoint character, but I am not getting my hopes up. At least we get Tywin. And the following books may be different, I don't know.

    It seems to be my luck that my favorite characters tend to always have smallish parts. Either I am reading the wrong kind of books or I'm just going to have to write my own. *giggles* I do find the books to be well written, and the characterization is done nicely. I find no fault with the author that he and I share different interests. LOL

    I do want to read them all and watch the series for what little I can squeeze out. Unless of course Cersei gets killed off then I would stop most likely because the story for me would be over. Unless of course further into the books I find another character or two to root for. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2011
  13. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    If you're a Lannister fan already, do yourself a favour and keep reading. Books 3 and 4 in particular. I will say no more. ;)
     
  14. Thanks evil agent. I'll do that. :)
     
  15. Spears&Buckler

    Spears&Buckler MJ Dusseault

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    I'm loving this book. It's all I can do to not blow through it really quickly. I want to take my time and savor it and I also want the passages to be fresh in my mind for the show's premiere on Sunday. Can't wait!

    Although I'm not seeing wizards wielding magic and throwing fireballs around, there is a strange undertone of Wierd Crap Going Down, and I think it's a nice touch which is working really well.
     
  16. Daddy Darth

    Daddy Darth Boba Fett Lives

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    OH Yea! Awesome stuff. House Lannister certainly has some engaging and complex charachters.
     
  17. I am almost to the end of Book one now. I'm still house Lannister, but a few of the Starks are growing on me now. As well as Dany and a few minor characters.

    The very best line of all comes from Sansa. I hate her character, but this line was gold!!!!!! I don't know how to do spoiler tags, and I think this is a spoiler free thread, but after that line I am going to find it hard to hate her now.:p
     
  18. Seak

    Seak and I like to party.

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    Please share. :)

    Just go [ spoiler ] and [ /spoiler ]

    But don't include spaces in between the brackets.
     
  19. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    You might like Peter David's Sir Apropos of Nothing.

    You will also like Sansa even more as the books progress, I would suspect, and in regards to Team Lannister too.
     
  20. I don't want to marry you, Sansa wailed. "You chopped off my father's head.
    I giggled so much at that line. Not that I can blame her, of course. I am thinking now that Sansa has woken up and seen the light that her character does have possibilities.

    I just finished book one, and am feeling much more positively towards the series now. I am awed by Daenerys' character. She took a a while to grow on me, but by the end my mouth was gaping, and I was in awe. Also the dragon thing is pretty cool. :D

    Tyrion is a wonderful character because of his snarkiness, sarcasm, and wit, and because he is not perfect or beautiful, just smart and motivated to survive. He is quite entertaining.

    Jaime has possibilities of honor, and
    I liked his attitude when he got captured


    I love female villain characters, so of course Cersei will always be a favorite.

    Ned's death was a bit shocking, but since I didn't like him I did not mind.

    I do not care for Catelyn at all.

    Robb is an awful lot like his father, but he hasn't yet done anything to make me dislike him personally. He has done an amazing job with the tasks set before him, so I do have to give him credit, but cannot say that I actually like him.

    No opinion on Bran. I like that he is older in the series, I like that they aged all of the kids except for Arya.

    Arya is a strong personality, it's pretty hard to dislike her. I think that she could become interesting later on.

    Jon Snow was sometimes interesting and sometimes annoying. I did like learning about the wall and the wildlings. :)

    I also like Shae, and the maegi, and Ser Jorah Mormont.

    All in all the book was slow to catch my interest, but it picked up in the final three hundred pages or so, until I actually found myself engaged and remembering why I love to read so much. I do think the book has way too many viewpoint characters, and included a lot of unnecessary material. But I am looking forward to reading the second book.

    Go house Lannister. But go even further House Targaryen. ;)


    Kat G, thank you for the recommendation. I will check it out.

    Also Seak, thank you for sharing how to make spoiler tags as well. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2011