Title: A Game of Thrones.
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1.
Writer(s): George R.R. Martin.
Format: Hardcover – 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition.
Release Date: October 18 2016 (First Published August 6 1996).
My Overall Rating:
There’s something fundamentally reassuring to have power over others, to lay out the full strength of your will onto others, to dictate the decisions of others. To obtain such power, only a few will do what needs to be done. For some, a showcase of high moral standards might suffice to win over a mass of common mortals. For others, a showcase of brute force and terror leads to a kingdom fully at their mercy. Unfortunately, the true war begins from within as each person fights to do what they believe is right. But is it always what’s best for the realm? Infamously unfinished, the A Song of Ice and Fire series begins with writer George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and sends readers into a treacherous world where vice and vertu clash in a fiery tangle filled with absolute madness and subtle mayhem.
What is A Game of Thrones about? Behind the Wall, far into the northern wilderness, a strange, dark, and supernatural force silently awakens from the eeriest depths of the world. As these terrifying beings crawl their way into daylight, a war for power and control begins with the Starks of Winterfell arriving in King’s Landing and demystifying an unforgivable plot amidst the Lannisters. As an evil ploy sinisterly sees the day, opportunities too good to be true are taken advantage of to secure each kingdom’s path to glory and peace. Meanwhile, across the narrow sea, Targaryens seek to bring forth the wrath of their own fury fueled by their birthright to the throne of Westeros. As terror and calamity begin to take shape, the game of thrones begins.
“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.”— George R.R. Martin
Honour, valour, and honesty. They are sought in leaders, hammered into disciples, and held close to the heart by all. Yet in this universe, they do not assure your safety, peace of mind, or life itself. Told through multiple viewpoints that allow readers to follow, witness, and experience the lives of key characters who are destined for prophetic tragedy or fortune, the story mercilessly depicts the realm as a cruel environment where these values have no place in this world. Meticulously and brilliantly written to expose an intergenerational and transcendent exposure to good and evil, the story brings forth the inner conflict of these characters who face grand dilemmas that challenge them into making impossible decisions, often exposing their weaknesses but also their strengths.
As the story progresses and switches around between countless viewpoints, it also cleverly exposes the underlying political landscape that broils under a war-inclined civilization, a divided society that is often too proud to contemplate peace, communication, or understanding for one another. Hindered by their experiences of the past, unable to forgive or to seek redemption, these kingdoms bide their time for an opportunity to fight and win the game of thrones, and it is through their action that readers observe the unforgivable terrain in which these characters bathe, the innocence of a future generation molded by their ruthless parents, and the clash between good and evil. While many are blinded by the tragic events they are front and center of, it is what is brewing in the background that promises a tomorrow far too sinister to imagine.
A Game of Thrones is an exquisitely-written masterpiece heralding a ghastly and treacherous tale brimming with plans and ploys, loyalty and betrayal, love and death.