Okay I confess: I only picked up A Game of Thrones because of the hype. I’m not really crazy about the science fiction genre or stories set in medieval times. Sure, I loved the Camelot stories as a kid and I adore Margaret Atwood’s novels but that’s about it.
Everyone seems to be talking about George R.R. Martin’s books though, more so I guess because of the new HBO series based on the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire. As an arrogant twerp by nature, I often like to think of myself as a nonconformist. (Typical thought process: Yeah, I don’t have a Facebook account and that automatically makes me better and cooler than all of you shallow social media junkies who constantly need meaningless validation from your fellow shallow social media junkies.) But deep inside, I’m perfectly happy going along with the herd mentality. (And not having a Facebook account is more because of sheer laziness and ridiculous paranoia than some profound rebellion against online social norms.)
So I started reading the first book and was promptly bored with the laborious descriptions of formidable castles and dark forests. I get it; it’s the medieval period, the castles are huge and ancient and made of stone, and the forests are vast and mysterious and full of trees. Now can we please move along?
You see, I’m not the most intelligent reader around and my attention span is comparable to that of a five-year-old. So when the narrative stalls if only for a bit, I usually start stomping my feet (sometimes literally) and demand for something to happen. It’s still a great mystery how I was able to finish The Brothers Karamazov and actually managed to enjoy it (seriously, I loved it, and I’m not just being an arrogant twerp although there is that factor too). I’m also a fan of The Lord of the Rings series but I read them in high school and I guess I was not as impatient then.
Good thing A Game of Thrones doesn’t just wallow in laborious descriptions of castles and forests. Things actually did happen like a lot of people died, mostly through violent means (swordfights, massacres, beheadings, lots of blood basically). The direwolves were the coolest and now I want one. There were endearing characters like Arya and extremely annoying ones like her older sister Sansa (that girl needs some serious bitch-slapping). And Tyrion the Imp is the funniest smartass ever.
The best part though: zombie attack! Yes, in the land of kings and knights, epic battles and royal intrigues, gallant dialogues about honor and loyalty and all those nice stuff, there’s a zombie attack! This George R.R. Martin dude is a genius. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet but really, look out for it later in the story. Again, zombie attack! (I told you I’m not the most intelligent reader around).
So now I can’t wait to get the second book, A Clash of Kings, if only to have more of the zombie attacks (!). And to find out if Sansa gets bitch-slapped at some point.