Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones

Postby Nathan Bransford » 30 Oct 2011, 09:44

Alright, who's read it and what do you think? Please use the spoiler button if you want to get too in depth because I'm just 1/4th of the way through GAME OF THRONES, but really curious to hear what everyone thinks of it and its massive success.

Also winter is coming.
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby GingerWrite » 30 Oct 2011, 10:48

Read the first one, stopped a little over half way in. Fantastic world building and character set up, but I couldn't detect an overall plot that made me invested for 800 pages plus 4 more books.
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow." - Dr. Suess
Worlds can grow and crumble beneath a writer's pen. We just need to find the right one.
http://startingonthewritepage.blogspot.com/ :)
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby MattLarkin » 31 Oct 2011, 05:58

Probably my favorite fantasy series, and I'm a big fantasy fan. Martin's ability to write character, to give each a unique voice you can actually care about is amazing. Every time he introduces a new character I feel like I don't want any more perspectives. And in the end, I always wind up caring about each of them anyway.
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby Nicole R » 31 Oct 2011, 07:11

I've read the first two books. Martin is a powerhouse writer and I love the fantasy genre, but after the second book, I just couldn't take the constant beating up on his characters. I'm all for making it difficult for 'em, but they NEVER get a break from Martin...seriously. It started to drive me nuts.

I'm sure I'll eventually cave and finish out the series, but for now I'm leaving it alone.
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby Margo » 31 Oct 2011, 08:33

Stopped two and a half books into the series, when a particular event gave me pause. I'm not someone who needs bluebird and rainbow endings, but this event pushed me too far after everything I've followed the characters through. I intended to pick it back up later.

Then I learned the intended end of the series from someone who works with him. I won't go back now, because
Spoiler:
I need something from stories that his books will not provide: hope.


In my opinion, his books are super popular because he creates extremely gripping characters. I just can't hang with
Spoiler:
what he does to them, and I'm not someone who feels writers should go easy on their characters, but he goes further than I as a reader am willing to follow
.
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby Margo » 31 Oct 2011, 08:39

GingerWrite wrote:Read the first one, stopped a little over half way in. Fantastic world building and character set up, but I couldn't detect an overall plot that made me invested for 800 pages plus 4 more books.


I read somewhere recently that he's a pantser rather than a plotter, and I have noticed that I have trouble with books written by pantsers (I rarely know that about the writer going in, of course). At a certain point I start to wonder where the story is going, because it feels like it's wandering, and sure enough, I find out the writer is a pantser. Which is not to say that pantsers can't write great, successful books, just that I prefer more structure not only as a writer but as a reader.
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby dios4vida » 31 Oct 2011, 13:07

My sister, who does not read fiction or fantasy, told me that I had to read it because it was amazing. I slogged through the first book mainly on the recommendation. I agree with what's been said about

Spoiler:
Mr. Martin beating up his characters and not having hope. The relentless all-bad-nothing-good was really hard on me,

and by the time I got to the end I was more than happy to leave it there.

I recognize Mr. Martin's immense skill at characterization, but I couldn't connect with any of them. They were either too whiny, too masochistic, or too malicious for my tastes.

Though, I do have to say that Mr. Martin has the best-ever

Spoiler:
death scene where the chieftan melts his golden belt and pours it onto the "I'm supposed to be king" boy's head. That was freakin' awesome.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby Beethovenfan » 31 Oct 2011, 23:30

I read them when they first came out and got 4 books into the series. I LOVED them. But, he took SOOOO long coming out with A Feast for Crows that by the time I finally got my copy I forgot who most of the characters were. So, I either re-read them all or give up. I gave up. He does introduce a lot of characters and can be easy to get lost in them all. Don't read it while watching TV (or some other distracting thing).

Dios4vida, that scene you refer to is a good one. It's one of the few that I remember vividly, even after so many years later.
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
~ Ludwig van Beethoven
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby Falls Apart » 03 Nov 2011, 23:18

Best. Books. In the history. Of ever. Read the first book in July, and was absolutely glued to them for the rest of the summer. Like ... wow. Words cannot describe. Just the complexity of the plot, the development of the characters, the utter subversion and deconstruction of common fantasy cliches resulting in this overpoweringly awesome series that paints a picture of how things would actually happen if high fantasy books were romotely realistic.

Love. These. Books!!!
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby knight_tour » 04 Nov 2011, 10:19

After LOTR these are the best fantasy books ever. I've read A Game of Thrones about five times and each of the other books twice, and I intend to start all over from the beginning soon once the paperback of the latest book comes out. I love the gritty, true-life feel and the fact that you can't predict most of what happens, which is how life truly is. I disagree with those who think Martin doesn't have a plot. I think he knows exactly what will happen with the primary characters; it's just that the plot is spread out over 7 books rather than one, so it's harder for some people to see it.
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby Falls Apart » 04 Nov 2011, 12:47

^^Exactly. If you really don't think he knows what he's doing ...

The Red Priests were introduced at the beginning of book one, as were the Faceless Men (very briefly) and the Unsullied. This is long before they ever become important. The Royce family was in the prologue of GOT, but they only play a major role in Westeros's politics in book four. Also--possibly the best example--in book two--which I only noticed re-reading--
Spoiler:
we see Brandon in a heart tree! Which doesn't become clear until book five!
The realm has a whole history to it that the reader just naturally assimilates. Subplots are introduced whole books before they come into play. You don't need to pick up on all that to understand the story, but it makes it feel so real. If anything, it's overly detailed; I had some spare time on my hands and started trying to make a family tree chart (total nerd for genealogy, for whatever reason). It's. So. Complicated. Agh, stupid Freys ...

... I'm sory. In case you haven't realized, I'm quite obsessed :)
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby GingerWrite » 04 Nov 2011, 15:06

Oh, I didn't mean he didn't know what he was doing! I think he completely does. I just didn't get invested in an overall plot. Instead I loved certain characters, but only got to see them a couple times.
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow." - Dr. Suess
Worlds can grow and crumble beneath a writer's pen. We just need to find the right one.
http://startingonthewritepage.blogspot.com/ :)
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby rie warren » 04 Nov 2011, 18:16

I spent the past summer immersed on Martin's world! The realms, the intricate plots, the beautifully crafted characters placed in a medieval/magical/realistic setting had me hooked. The sheer expanse of the story is astounding. His words paint a lush picture (who else could make lamprey pie a mouth-watering treat?), but then the next few pages are so simply, craftily wrought with succinct visual descriptions...it's breathtaking.

I remember one point in Clash of Kings saying, 'No." Then a few pages on, shouting, 'No!" And then ten pages more throwing my kindle aside and railing so much my kids looked at me like I was insane. But those shocks he gives so unexpectedly didn't make me want to stop reading, they only made me want more (and cry, a little bit).

What I admire about Martin is he really appears to write the story as he envisions it, without pandering to an audience or even hinting at an HEA. I think this makes the glimpes of love and victory much more heady.

I admit to having hang-ups with the latest release once I'd finished. I just wanted one plot-line completed. Instead of three or four more introduced. But the new characters he gave--the new stories he created--far surpass my mere wants.

I'm one of those trusting readers. I try not to question the author's intentions. I try not to expect. I believe in their vision, however they want to give it. I think a fair amount of that naivite might be necessary when reading Fire and Ice, considering the breadth of the books, the depth of the plots, and the knowledge that even after A Dance with Dragons you might not be closer to anything resembling finality. I'm just too happy to wallow in his worlds.

'Course, once I'd finished Dragons, I was devasted. What was I gonna read now? And then I found Hunger Games...oy.
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby Mira » 05 Nov 2011, 14:05

I've met people who ADORE Martin, and when each book is released it's a huge celebration.

For me, unfortunately, I couldn't take the intense violence in the books. Too bloody for me. And although I really wanted to see how the story turned out, it was so sprawling, I thought the series was going to go on for a very long time. I think I'll wait until it's over, and read a synopsis, so that way I avoid the violent stuff.

What do you think, Nathan? Interested to hear your thoughts when you're ready to share them.
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Re: Game of Thrones

Postby trixie » 07 Nov 2011, 08:14

Ohh... I feel like this is such a loaded question. :)

I read GoT over the summer specifically because I wanted to watch the HBO series but knew I had to read the book first.

Three months later, I got through it. In no real order, here are my thoughts:

    1. Maybe it was due to the number of characters and settings he had to introduce, but I didn't feel like I actually got into the story until at least 1/2 way through. That seemed like a big ask of your readers, to hang on for 400-ish pages.
    2. Yes, the world building and character development were all amazing. Thankfully, there were maps. I referred to them every time I read. Along with the house information at the back. I needed all the supplemental material.
    3. Yes, Martin makes his characters go through hell. Yes, some get their just desserts.
    4. I finished GoT curious to know what happens next, but not "OMG I have to buy the next book right now!" curious.
    5. A piece of advice someone gave me when I told them I was starting, was to
    Spoiler:
    not fall in love with any one character because Martin would likely kill them off. I really hate feeling like an author killed off a primary character simply for shock value and yet, that's exactly what I think Martin did.
    They were right.
When I finished GoT, I took a much-needed break and then NaNo began. I'm still toying with the idea of reading the 2nd book, but the general consensus I've heard is that book 2 is a bit tedious, but everything really picks up in book 3. I'm not sure if I'm willing to give another 3 months of my life for a 2nd book in hopes of caring enough to read the 3rd.

For now, I'm glad I read GoT. I love fantasy and really enjoyed the story. Yet even as I type this, I feel wholly indifferent, like I'm trying to come up with great things to say. I feel like as a fantasy writer and lover, I should try book 2. Maybe in January when there's nothing to do in MN but stay indoors.
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