Tag Archives: GRRM

Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones

This is a review of “Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones” by Bryan Cogman, preface by George R. R. Martin, foreward by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

This was a gift to me from my fiancé for Valentine’s Day. Does that give you an indication of my (or indeed our) geekiness? But if you look closely, you will find that there are hearts on the cover…

This is a great book, especially for fans of the HBO show Game of Thrones, and the A Song of Ice and Fire books alike. Within, there is information and pictures detailing how the sets were formed and designed, character vignettes, clothing designs (and influences for the costumes), actor’s perspectives and little tidbits about how certain scenes were set up and filmed. It was a great read, and the pictures were fantastic. I loved reading about the transitions from artist’s realisations to actual television sets. There were entire sections devoted to different locales/families. I really enjoyed GRRM’s preface.

I would highly recommend giving this a miss if you’ve never watched Season 1 of Game of Thrones or read “A Game of Thrones“. There are also some teasers and set spoilers for Season 2 of the HBO series if you’ve not watched that yet.

And if you’ve never read or watched any of GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire masterpiece, what the hell are you doing?! Get to it!

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A Feast For Crows

This is a review of “A Feast For Crows” by George R. R. Martin.
It is the fourth book in A Song of Ice and Fire.

This book chronologically follows the events of “A Storm of Swords: 2 Blood and Gold“. This book focuses on a specific set of characters and only certain locations in the Realm.

SPOILER ALERT:
I would highly recommend not reading this review if you watch Game of Thrones and you don’t want to know what’s coming. I would also recommend not reading this review if you are wanting to read the books chronologically with no surprises. This review should ideally be read after you have read books one, two and three-1/three-2.

On the Iron Isles, a King must be chosen after the death of Balon Greyjoy. Aeron Damphair, priest of the Drowned God and brother to Balon, has called for a kingsmoot. A meeting where the people of The Iron Isles will decide who will lead them.

Down in Dorne, the bastard daughters of Oberon Martell call for vengeance. They wish to hunt down their father’s murderer and declare war on the Iron Throne. Will their uncle Prince Doran Martell of Dorne aid them?

Cersei Lannister is Queen Regent. Her second son Tommen is the King of Westeros. Her father Tywin Lannister is Hand of the King.
Or rather he was.
Cersei is woken in the dark of the night to be told of her Father’s death. And not only has her father been murdered-and in an unsavory manner at that- but her brother Tyrion has escaped imprisonment…

Brienne of Tarth is looking for Sansa Stark. She is hoping to find the girl and keep her safe; for the sake of Sansa’s dead mother, Lady Catelyn Stark, and for the sake of Jaime, who wishes to keep his promise to Lady Stark.

Samwell Tarly is being sent away from The Wall. He is to travel to Oldtown to become a Maestar. He is scared and doesn’t want to go. Leaving with him will be Gilly, the wildling girl, her newborn babe and Maestar Aemon.

Arya Stark, having spoken the words bestowed upon her by Jaqen H’ghar, is on her way to Braavos. She doesn’t really have a plan, but she is hoping to find Jaqen there.

Ser Jaime Lannister is adjusting to life without a hand. He is always busy with the duties of being Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Although being short one hand has its difficulties, it has woken Jaime up in a sense. He sees his sister in a whole new light…and she doesn’t look all that good.

While reading this book (and I am sure nearly everyone did this, and GRRM does address this at the end of the novel with a note to readers) I was like erm … this is great and everything and I have liked seeing chapters from new characters, and I liked that some old characters have been given a voice, but WHERE IS EVERYONE ELSE?

I am also very glad that I didn’t have to wait years and years for “A Dance With Dragons” (the next book in the series) like other fans would have. As GRRM has told us, the two books (4 and 5) run in tandem with one another. This also makes me excited/anxious about Seasons 4 and 5 of Game of Thrones.

Well I’m off to boogie with some Dragons…

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A Clash of Kings

This is a review of “A Clash of Kings” by George R. R. Martin. It is the second book in the Song of Ice and Fire and is the sequel to “A Game of Thrones“. Season two of HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on this novel.

And what a novel! First of all, this book was so long, I thought it would never end. But even better, I didn’t want it to end. I am so glad there are so many books left in the series for me to devour.

I must say: reading the novel and watching the beginning of Season 2 of Game of Thrones simultaneously was a little difficult to do. But I couldn’t pass up either! While this second season has deviated from the novel somewhat, I don’t have any problems with the changes (unlike the cringe inducing changes that occur in the Harry Potter movies) and they actually improved on the continuity of events.

The novel begins roughly where the first novel ended. We are introduced to new characters (in particular Stannis Baratheon and his followers), and characters who we already know are fleshed out (Theon Greyjoy for one).

SPOILERS: if you are an avid Game of Thrones viewer, I would suggest that perhaps this review is not for you. I do not want to inadvertently reveal something as yet unbeknownst to you. Same goes if you want to watch the first season of the show or read the first novel but never have. I would highly recommend averting your eyes, and leaving this review for a later date.

The book begins by describing events surrounding Stannis Baratheon, the true and “rightful” heir to the Iron Throne. Under the sway of the mysterious and somewhat sinister Red Priestess Melisandre of Asshai, Stannis appears to be a hard hearted and somewhat unlikable candidate for Kingship.

But never fear! As the the title suggests, there are plenty of Kings to choose from in this novel.

Renly Baratheon is not content to sit idly by and let his older brother Stannis take over the throne. While he agrees with Stannis and the late Eddard Stark on the illegitimacy of Prince Joffrey’s claim to the throne, he believes that he should be King and not Stannis.

After the death of his father, Robb Stark decides to march for King’s Landing. After gathering his forces in the North, his followers dub him The King in the North. Outraged by the death of his father, and fearful for his sisters safety, he wants nothing more than to defeat King Joffrey.

Joffrey and his mother, Queen Regent Cersei declare all of these “Kings” to be treasonous traitors. They hold Sansa Stark as a hostage to ensure compliance from Robb and Catelyn Stark. Unfortunately Joffrey had already beheaded their most valuable hostage in the last novel, and Arya Stark has disappeared from court and from Kings Landing.

Arya Stark, disguised as a boy, has been taken by Yoren, a Brother of The Nights Watch. Yoren intends to take her home to Winterfell. But war breaks out between the forces of the many Kings and the road to The Wall becomes a perilous place.

Jon Snow, the Stark bastard is at Castle Black on The Wall. Lord Commander Mormont of the Nights Watch decides that a large scale ranging north of the wall is in order after a man rose from the dead and tried to kill him. He gathers a large force of Brothers of the Nights Watch, and ranges north of the wall in an effort to learn more. He hopes to speak to The Wildlings, the free and lawless folk who dwell north of the wall, but each village they pass through while ranging is empty and void of people. News reaches their ears that Mance Rayder the so-called “King Beyond the Wall” is gathering all of The Wildlings…

Across the sea, Daenerys Targaryen is lost in the desert, thirsty, and trying to care for her newborn dragons. She wants nothing more than to travel by sea to claim her Iron Throne, but doesn’t really have the slightest inkling of how to go about it. Deserted by her Khalasar after the death of her husband Khal Drogo, she is left with only her blood riders and a few followers. Their numbers are dwindling due to thirst and extreme heat exhaustion; but Dany refuses to give up. She will sit upon The Iron Throne if it’s the last thing she’ll ever do.

So many details, so many new characters and plot lines to follow, but all of it comes together and pans out beautifully. The villains in this novel are truly vicious.

I really enjoyed this book!

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A Game of Thrones

This is a review of “A Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin. It is the first novel in A Song of Ice and Fire. It is also the inspiration for the awesome tv series “Game of Thrones” which airs on HBO.

Well I know I’ve made out like Lord Walder Frey and arrived late to the action. But I am glad that I arrived at all! I kept putting off watching the series because I wanted to read the books first. But in the end I gave in to the hype and watched Season 1 before reading any of the books. And I LOVED it. I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

This book was awesome. It was just as good as, and even better than the tv series. I don’t know if any review will ever do it justice. It is a book that has to be read and enjoyed. Filled with a myriad of well drawn characters and complex plot lines, it truly is a masterpiece in fantasy fiction.

Lord Eddard Stark rules Winterfell. His territory lies in the far north… well as far north as you can get south of The Wall. At Winterfell it is always cold. And that’s in summer. But as every Stark knows, winter is coming.

Strange happenings have been occurring north of The Wall, a towering barricade that protects the people from, well, from things that come from the North. White walkers (fanciful stories, or something much more sinister?), direwolves, wildlings… The north is dangerous ok? And the Brothers in Black, the Men of The Knight’s Watch need more men. They are thinly scattered across the vast expanse of The Wall and they know they cannot possibly take on a serious threat if one does emerge from the wilderness of the north…

Lord Eddard Stark is quite comfortable where is. He has his family, he has his duty and he has Winterfell. But when his old friend King Robert Baratheon pays him a visit, he knows he’s not going to like what the King has to say. King Robert requests that Lord Stark (Ned to his buddies) come back with him to court at King’s Landing to be the Hand of the King. Ned really would rather not, but cannot think of an honorable way to say no. So off Ned goes with his two daughters in tow to Kings Landing.

Tyrion Lannister is known as the imp. He is a dwarf (not the mining kind, just the short kind). He is brother to the Queen, Cersei, and her twin brother Jaime, Knight of the Kingsguard. He will always put his family first, even if he doesn’t like them very much. Tyrion has a knack of always being present at the wrong time…

Daenerys Targaryen is a Princess. Living in hiding with her older brother Viserys, they are the last known heirs to the lost throne. Their father King Aerys (The Mad King and last of the Dragon Kings) was murdered by The Kingslayer Ser Jaime Lannister. His throne was taken up by Robert Baratheon. The rest of their family was slaughtered, including the heir to the throne, their elder brother Rhaegor. Viserys will stop at nothing to get “his throne” back. He will even trade his sister to the savage Dothraki for an army…

An absolutely awesome book, even having read it after seeing Season 1 of Game of Thrones (thus I knew what was going to happen). Anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre will love this book and this series.

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