A Song of Ice and Fire is a high fantasy story written for adults. April 17th, HBO will be launching a TV show based on the series, book 1 – A Game of Thrones – to be more specific. In light of this I thought a book review might be in order. If you are interested in the TV show game of thrones merchandise, you can find out more about it by clicking on the link lower in the article.
This summary does not give the book any justice, but it is meant as a reminder for anyone who has read the book and forgot, so they might prepare for the TV show.
The story begins with a prologue, set in a moonlit but cold forest. Three men, brothers of the Night’s watch have found a camp of wildlings, seemingly dead. When they look closer, the wildlings are gone, soon to be replaced by unnatural creatures, who soon kill two of the three men.
Chapter 1 – Bran
The book portrays the story in a point-of-view fashion. The title of a chapter means we see the chapter’s story as the character in the title sees it.
Bran is a 7-year-old boy who is taken in a company of about 20 men to see his first King’s Justice. A man, bound hand and foot is about to be beheaded by Bran’s father, Lord Eddard Stark, for desertion. It is the third man from the prologue, half mad from terror. Bran faces this bravely. After they head back to Winterfell, their home, Bran’s brother Robb and his bastard brother Jon Snow find a huge dead Direwolf, with 5 wolf pups. Jon convinces their father to let them keep the pups. 5 pups are a sign. He tells theirs father the pups were meant for his 5 trueborn children, 3 boys and 2 girls. He leaves himself out of this count but later finds the sixth pup, driven away from the rest. The sixth pup is an albino and will belong to Jon.
Catelyn is the Lady of Winterfell, wife of Eddard Stark. She find her lord husband in a godswood. She was of a different faith, she prayed indoors. The Starks had older blood. Like the First men, Starks prayed to the nameless old gods. She brings Ned heavy news. Ned used to be a ward of Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, who was like a father to him and Catelyn’s sister was married to him. Catelyn brings the news of Jon Arryn’s death. In addition. the king of the realm is coming for a visit. The king is a great friend of Ned. Together they usurped the old kind, who was insane.
We find Dany preparing to meet her soon to be husband for the first time. Her brother Visery’s has made a deal with certain influential, rich people to basically sell his sister in exchange for an army. Daenerys and Viserys are the last of the Targaryen line, who were dragonkings before Robert Baratheon usurped Aerys. Viserys is a cruel and probably mad with dreams and rage. Dany is a girl of 13.
The king arrives to Winterfell, with a host of 300. Robert Baratheon, the king, his wife Cersei Lannister, her brothers, Jaime and Tyrion, the imp and a huge host of followers and guards. We find out the king has changed somewhat since the last time they met, but he still is a great friend of Ned. They visit the tombs so the king can pay his respects to his first love, lady Lyanna, Ned’s sister, who would be queen, had she not been murdered before they were married.
Jon is seated at a separate table from his family. He is a bastard and as such does not belong among his trueborn siblings. He quite enjoys this, since it means he can get drunk for the first time while his siblings have to entertain the queens offspring. He is 14, and looks much more like his father than his trueborn brothers or sisters. His seat also let him feed his wolf, Ghost, while the others had to stay in the kennels. Ghost never made a sound, but dogs always seemed to fear him. Benjen Stark, Ned’s brother and a brother of the Night’s watch joins him and Jon tells him he would like to join the Night’s watch as well. Being a bastard, he had no rights to inherit in Winterfell. Benjen tries to dissuade him and Jon angrily and drunkly stumbles out of the great hall. Outside he meets Tyrion, the queen’s dwarf brother. After the initial scare, they come to a good conversation. Tyrion, shorter than Jon, with mismatched eyes, ugly and drunk, gives Jon a lessen about being a bastard and when he opens the doors of the great hall. the light from within makes Tyrion seem as tall as any king.
Catelyn tries to convince her husband to accept the king’s offer. The king proposed to Ned that he should become King’s hand and to also wed his elder daughter Sansa to prince Joffrey. During this argument, they are interrupted by maester Luwin, who brings a message from Lysa, Catelyn’s sister. The message is written in a code language, that only Catelyn knows. The message is a warning, saying Jon Arryn was murdered by the Lannisters, queen Cersei Lannister. In the end they decide Ned should go south to accept the position of King’s hand, taking his daughters Sansa and Arya and his son Bran with him. Since Jon would not be welcome in King’s Landing or in Winterfell, he would be allowed to take the black and join Night’s watch. Robb would stay in Winterfell to learn to be a lord. So would Rickon, who was only 3 years old.
Arya is a girl of 9 years. the younger sister of Ned Stark. She is not good at the typically womanly deeds. she is much more a tomboy. Of all the Stark children she looks the most like Jon Snow and their lord father. Instead of doing her needlework, she goes to see her wolf, which she named Nymeria, after a hero princess. Sansa, her sister has named her wolf Lady, which seems stupid to Arya. They both meet Jon, who is watching Bran and the princes younger brother Tommen practice their swordplay. On the other side of the field they see prince Joffrey with his guard. After Tommen and Bran are done, Robb is ready to challenge Joffrey, but Joff makes excuses in a way that clearly taunts Robb. He asks to fight with real steel instead of blunt tourney swords. They’re not allowed so Joffrey get’s to leave, with Robb fuming with fury behind. Arya, having seen the show, reluctantly returns to her hated needlework, where her mother and her septon await her with scolding looks.
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