Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.
I’ve read the first three and half books of this series before, mostly out of boredom. I read them, but I didn’t enjoy them. But recently, mostly thanks to everyone talking about the show non-stop, I decided to re-read them and get caught up.
Whatever didn’t click for me last time, clicked this time. I really enjoyed the books! I’m not sure if maybe I just wasn’t in the right headspace for GOT before (I was knee deep in deadlines and finishing my Master’s degree) or if maybe it’s just easier to keep up with who is who the second time around, especially with memes and gifs featuring the characters all over the place. It could just be knowing what’s going to happen, too. I liked the first book the first time, but the second I got into Theon Greyjoy’s POV, I started reading just to finish instead of for fun. Knowing his POV would be short lived made it much more bearable this time.
Even when I was bored with the books, I was impressed. George R.R Martin is my uncle’s idol, so thanks to him (my uncle), I’d already read some of Martin’s earlier work. There’s no one better at world building. His plots are unbelievably intricate. He’s in an entirely other caliber of writing, so there’s nothing a newbie writer like myself can say critically about his books.
If you’ve tried Game of Thrones, and given up, I urge you to try again. I’m really glad I did, because I’m completely engrossed in book four right now.