Game of Thrones, Books 1-3 by George RR Martin (1996-2000)

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Over Christmas, Annie got me hooked on Game of Thrones, and by episode 8 of season 1, I knew this could be quite an addiction.  But then she went back to school, and without her trial HBO subscription, I stopped watching. But I remained curious.  As summer approached, I decided why not read the books instead of getting hooked on a show? So I checked out the first 5 books and started my quest to read all the books in the summer of 2018. As it turns out, they’re just as addictive as the shows (however, the library books are free), and after devouring the first three (Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords), I had to take a break and read something else.  I’ve been on a GOT reading hiatus for 2 or 3 weeks because I can get nothing else done while reading these drama sagas of medieval fantasy, a genre I’ve never even liked!  Nonetheless, I read for hours–sometimes skimming over parts I don’t love–to see what happens next. Yes, they’re too long (usually well over 1000 pages each), and yes, there’s often too many characters (many that aren’t important and needn’t be included), and yes, too many details too often. But…many of the characters are so interesting, complex, and well-developed, that even when they’re unlikeable (like Jamie and Tyrion), they’re still intriguing.  After three books, my favorite characters are Daenerys, Arya, and Catelyn.  I suppose it’s no wonder that the female characters are favs because they live in a male-powered world where women are nothing more than marriage dowry or sex slaves. So when they want more than that–and they remain principled–we’re cheering for them.

In addition to needing a break from the addictive reading, I also needed a break from a world of power-grabbing and back-stabbing (though literally, there’s stabbing every few pages).  If I didn’t feel like I’m already living in a world of a power hungry deranged dictator who will do and say anything to get what he wants, it might be more entertaining to read this “escapism” genre. But it feels like GOT and articles in The New York Times have a bit too much in common these days. Still, I’m about ready to go back to it.  I have three books to go and only a month left of summer.

 

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