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Thread: AGOT: new reader's thoughts
April 5th, 2011, 08:19 PM #1
AGOT: new reader's thoughts
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:Spoiler:"the things I do for love".
Last edited by Evil Agent; April 5th, 2011 at 09:48 PM.
April 6th, 2011, 09:18 AM #2
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- Aug 2009
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.
April 6th, 2011, 11:25 AM #3
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- Sep 2003
- Rhode Island, USA
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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.
April 6th, 2011, 11:40 AM #4
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: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 by columbob; April 7th, 2011 at 03:04 PM.
April 6th, 2011, 11:45 AM #5
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.
April 6th, 2011, 12:53 PM #6
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.
April 6th, 2011, 04:17 PM #7
April 7th, 2011, 07:55 AM #8
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
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!
April 7th, 2011, 05:58 PM #9
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.
April 12th, 2011, 05:45 PM #10
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.
April 12th, 2011, 07:04 PM #11
April 12th, 2011, 07:14 PM #12creatorofPretenGuest
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 creatorofPreten; April 12th, 2011 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Tyrion not Tywin
April 12th, 2011, 07:54 PM #13
April 13th, 2011, 11:04 PM #14creatorofPretenGuest
Thanks evil agent. I'll do that.
April 14th, 2011, 07:05 AM #15
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- Rhode Island, USA
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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.