Book Review: A Game Of Thrones (Book #1) by George R. R. Martin

“When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

The first book in the fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by American author George RR Martin is titled A Game of Thrones. The first edition was released on August 1st, 1996. The book was nominated for the 1997 World Fantasy Award and the 1997 Nebula Award and won the 1997 Locus Award. The 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novella went to Blood of the Dragon, which collected the Daenerys Targaryen chapters from the book. The book entered the New York Times Bestsellers list in January 2011 and peaked at No. 1 in July 2011.

 Martin introduces the stories of the Targaryens, the Wall, and the royal families of Westeros in the book by retelling the events from multiple points of view. The book served as the inspiration for a number of derivative works, including games. Additionally, the HBO television series Game of Thrones, which debuted in April 2011, is named after it and is based on it. Game of Thrones, a paperback TV tie-in reissue, was released in March 2013.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

My reaction to this novel...

Why I read this again is beyond me. I just adored and missed Game of Thrones, so when I saw that the prequel is now being made, I decided to reread this book series before I read the prequel and watch it on HBO.

Despite the book's obvious length, I believe it to be quite worthwhile. I was brought back to my binge-watching sessions for the show. I'm extremely surprised by how George R. R. Martin does it because I know how hard it is to write a novel, especially if you have a lot of characters.

The first time I read this book, I found it to be enjoyable. The first novel and the first season on HBO are quite similar. Most of this book has been included, with the exception of Ned's recurring recollections of Lyanna's pleading. This is why you won't recognize Lyanna's character from season 1. Ned continues to be my favorite character in both this first novel and the first season, and despite knowing how the book would finish, I was nonetheless affected by the hurt, wrath, and unfairness of the circumstances.

The descriptions of some characters, like Tyrion, that you will come across in the book differ from those in the television series. Although he was an imp in the series, his look was described differently in the novel.

I had to read this lengthy novel over a few days because of my busy schedule, but I still thought it was fun and thrilling. That's how it felt, like I was reading it for the first time. 

I genuinely love Game of Thrones, and I heartily suggest this book to anyone who misses it and wants to learn more since it has everything you need to know and will help you visualize many more scenarios than what we can see on television.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨(4.5/5)

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

Most of the time, if we change the way we look at things, our weaknesses may actually be our strengths. We all understand that sometimes we feel ashamed of our imperfections and wish we could forget them, but you know what? We must learn how to handle them and draw lessons from them since those who are around us won't forget them, and if we don't manage them favorably for ourselves, some people will use them against us.

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”

Some pain is difficult to forget, especially if it is deeply ingrained in our soul. Even if we believe it to be over and that we have moved on, even one memory or one remark can reopen the wound, making it seem as though it will never stop bleeding. That is how we know how painful things are in our life. 


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.