Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Sonia Akavan
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What makes this saga one of the best fantasy book series of this age?

A Song of Ice and Fire is usually just referred to as the Game of Thrones series, in line with the HBO series of the same name, and when people hear that title, they recall epic battles, clever court intrigue, love and loss, and finally, victory or defeat.

The first novel, entitled “A Game of Thrones,” introduces us to the Seven Kingdoms and the ruling family, House Targaryen. This story centers on intrigue and court drama in the family.

The second book,“A Clash of Kings,” begins with war, rebellion, and the political moves that are essential. It is at this point of the novel that the reader gets to see the true nature of "Game of Thrones."

The third book, “A Storm of Swords,” is the best in the series. And while most fans say that the fifth one, called “A Dance with Dragons,” is the best of the last three, the third book brings together a number of plot threads that make it the strongest and most riveting. It is the one that brings forth several major characters who are vital to the series, particularly as it develops.

Storylines in A Song of Ice and Fire

It is a fitting place to start.

Martin has created an incredibly deep and detailed world. Not only is The Song of Ice and Fire populated by familiar creatures like dragons, wolves, and goats.

But the citizens of this world they reside in are just as fascinating. The real magic of Game of Thrones lies in the way it relates the history of its world and the people living in it. There’s a rich tapestry of history that helps to deepen the reader’s or watcher’s understanding of the characters and events.

A Game of Thrones tells the story of noble families and the feuds, alliances, and wars that both form and destroy them. The Lannister family’s rise to power is a great example of this.

During the War of the Usurper, House Targaryen had been defeated by Robert Baratheon. Robert had killed the Mad King and captured the dragons that made the Targaryen’s the most powerful family in Westeros at the time.

What Makes The Game of Thrones Books Unique

Among Fantasy Novels?

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin is such a unique fantasy book series. It does not follow the traditional fantasy novel template. There is no prophecy told by an old wizard. There is no mysterious ring of power set with a stone that will lead to destruction if fell into the wrong hands. Instead, George R.R. Martin focuses on the realistic aspects of the story. Unlike the traditional fantasy books, in which most characters are lucky enough not to die, in the Game of Thrones fantasy book series, many main characters die. Death is a common occurrence in every chapter of the book series.

The fantasy book series also differs from its competition because of the style of the author. George R.R. Martin is known to be a very powerful storyteller. He can present the story from alternate viewpoints and even point out the biased and sometimes prejudiced judgments that his characters make.

The grammar in his books is also exciting and fun to read. His sentence structure and punctuation is reminiscent of the language of Shakespeare.

The fantasy story is set in the fictional land called Westeros and is centered around a group of important families that live there. The series will span several generations and hundreds of characters, of which some get developed in depth, and some don’t but only mentioned briefly.

Rival Families: Starks and Lanisters

The Stark family is the house you are rooting for, the ones you’re supposed to love. However, to root for the Starks, you have to take a closer look at the other houses and families and realize all the complexity that exists in both families.

For instance, if you read deeper into the Lannister family, you’ll actually find a lot of positive things going on in that family.

For example, the Lannisters have a matriarch also leading the family. That could come as a surprise to a lot of people because they usually prefer the male figure to be the leader of the house.

They also have some good family values going on. The mother does not like the incest in the house, and she is teaching the children about how it is a wrong thing to do.

The Starks are often seen as the good people in the series, and they are, but you see much more evil coming from the Lannisters.

Good Vs. Evil Moral Codes in Game of Thrones Series

Any story with human beings in it is all about a conflict between good and evil forces.

The elements of human nature are what drives these two forces.

Game of Thrones is no exception to this rule.

George R.R Martin, the writer of the A Song of Ice and Fire, has clearly defined the moral codes of each of the primary characters in the story.

A careful analysis of his characters brings out the true moral trial of humanity.

He seems to have left no stone unturned to keep us engrossed in flipping those pages of the book.

Arguably, the best villains of this era are found in Westeros. They have their own sense of humanity and treat their enemies with respect.

The HBO TV series has done a fantastic job of portraying these characters.

One key action from the HBO series that has captured the mind of the imagination of millions of viewers is The Red Wedding.

This was a blunder of epic proportions.

On the other hand, the Oathbreaker Jaime Lannister, who shoots the king he sworn to protect, but his sense of moral code, proves to be stronger.

His character’s ending in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, however, is a tragedy, where he discovers both the power and the frailty of his body.

Symbolism in the G.o.T. Books

George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has inspired much more than his beloved Game of Thrones TV series. It has become a worldwide phenomenon and a must-have for any collection of fantasy fiction novels.

Martin's engaging characters, the world of Westeros, and its marvelous setting of medieval politics and dynastic wars inspired a generation of readers who wanted to be part of this culture, to be “one of them”. And even T–?Vault Boy” on your computer was named after a character in the book (T–?Vault Boy is one of the nine members of the Vault-Tec Assurance, a welfare corporation that has been taken over by a military faction in the game).

The book series has become a sensation worldwide. For the people that are obsessed with this story, there are many quotes and memorable lines that have been spread over the internet and inspired the people of this modern generation. You can even find some of these quotes engraved on rings.

Conclusion of Book Review for Song of Ice and Fire

This review is slightly different than all my other reviews. This book review has been about a series of books called “A Song of Ice and Fire” written by George R.R. Martin.

The series is mainly a fantasy fiction tetralogy that features three main story arcs.

There is also a collection of books that I have not mentioned as a part of the main series, namely The Dunk and Egg Stories.

The main series of books that are considered one story ark are:

  • Game of Thrones
  • A Clash of Kings
  • A Storm of Swords (Part 1)
  • A Storm of Swords (Part 2)
  • A Feast For Crows
  • A Dance with Dragons

There are several other books and short stories that add to the story arcs, and I’m sure if you are as enamoured with the series as I am, you’ll find yourself reading all of them.

And if you haven’t heard of this series before, what the heck are you doing? Go get the first book right now!