[Novel] A Song of Ice and Fire (George R.R. Martin)

Game of Thrones

George R.R. Martin crafts one of the most fantastic worlds of political intrigue and human drama in the realm of fiction, and is quite rightfully hailed as the current king of an otherwise stale genre.

Ironically, the TV series capture the essence of the books so well, I don’t know which I even prefer. Might as well lean towards the series for its amazing visuals and faster pace as Martin’s prose, while nice, is nothing to write home about, and while there seem to be a few minor changes between the two versions that become more apparent in later books, both are still essentially trying to tell the same story.

Positive: Negative:
Interesting, rich setting based on medieval Europe The pacing can feel a bit slow at times
Interesting, likable, relatively profound characters
Enthralling plot full of shocking twists
Interesting, well thought-out story concentrating on medieval life and politics


4 thoughts on “[Novel] A Song of Ice and Fire (George R.R. Martin)

    1. Oh, do they? I haven’t seen the newest season of the show yet, but I’ve seen the rest. Actually, I haven’t gone as far with the books, as I stopped on the second one and just glanced over random scenes in the rest since I felt I was only retreading the old path.

      All the minor changes, like character ages, I actually liked in TV series, so I figured I wouldn’t gain much by reading further. When exactly does the plot actually split season/book-wise? I guess I could try checking the books from that part again.


      1. That’s kind of a hard question.
        There are couple of plot lines omitted in the third season already (Catelyn Stark’s, for example). And then with each season it gets more and more different and complicated. Varys’ plotline only follows the source material in the first season and then slowly starts to drift away until it’s completely different in S5.
        The series’ Dorne plotline can’t follow the books anymore, it’s already evident, since they didn’t even include some of the characters and killed off others, who are still alive and well in the books.
        There are a lot of “catchups” going on in S6. They only just started to introduce some characters that were supposed to be introduced a season or two ago. And it seems they can’t really write them into story all that well at this point, so they come off as if they appear out of nowhere.
        So, yeah, there is no simple answer to (where does it start to differ?). If you’re interested in the changes, you’ll pretty much have to read the whole thing.

        In the end, in terms of how it “feels”, I guess you could just watch the show and be done with it (Of course, the writing clearly suffers in the S6, since they need to catch up). Even though there are pretty major differences already (like the whole factions of the war for the Iron Throne are missing), they still try to fit all the key points of the story in the show.


      2. I guess I was a bit hasty to state what I stated then.

        I might switch back to books if I feel the show’s starting to fall apart or something later, but so far I’m enjoying them equally well so the more fast-paced show takes the precedence.


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