Since I have been reminded over and over again by my dear friend and fellow author Patrick Martyn (and several others), I am making a pointed effort to get all the names right here. (Patrick, you better appreciate all of this.) So some time probably in the middle of last month, I started reading the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Game of Thrones. I’m not quite done with it yet, but I wanted to give an impression, for someone who’s coming in after the TV show’s made it big.
I walked in with at least a basic understanding of a few of the characters, since I live on the Internet, and Tumblr is a thing. If I see Tyrion mentioned, I can envision Peter Dinklage. I see Jon Snow, I can picture Kit Harrington. Daenerys Targaryen, I see Emilia Clarke. Ned Stark, Sean Bean. Etc, etc. It’s been nice, honestly. Because one of the most difficult things to get used to is that there are a lot of characters, and Martin introduces them to you chapter after chapter after chapter, and doesn’t do you a lot of favors by sticking them in a lot of different places. I think it took me two or three of his chapters before I realized that Ned and Eddard were the same person. (Sigh.)
That being said, once I’d read two or so chapters of everyone, I had a decent handle on who all the names where and who was attached to who. I’m still a little shaky, and I’m probably 2/3rds of the way done with this book, but I suppose that’s at least a little understandable. I do read quickly, and sometimes my brain drops things. And with as much background and as many houses exist in this world… It’s a little hard to grasp. I’m hoping by the end of it all, I’ll have a better idea.
But the truth from what I’ve heard of the show does seem to stand true: I can’t get attached to absolutely anyone, because they all die. Everyone dies. In the prologue, two people die, and the third in the prologue dies in the next chapter. I’d rather thought it was an exaggeration, but no…no, everyone in this show dies all the time. And unlike Supernatural or Doctor Who, these ones don’t come back. It’s somewhat distressing. Luckily, I’ve only had one or two “awww, that’s sad; I liked him” moments so far. I’m trying to keep them to a minimum. I can’t like anyone. (However, since it appears Dany and Tyrion are still in the show, I’m content liking them for a while. Some characters I like, I know die, and that’s going to be sad when it happens, but ah well.)
Despite the fact that I have so many other books to read, I’m genuinely enjoying A Game of Thrones, and I’ll eagerly read the others in the series. No matter how long it takes me to get through them. And I’ll update you as I finish them.