Game of Thrones: You Live or Die, but Probably the Latter

I’ve been talking about movies and TV shows a lot lately. This is mainly due to the fact that my brain has been so taxed by grad school paraphernalia that even thinking about reading or going out with friends makes my brain dead mind go from barely beeping to flat lining in a matter of minutes due to the anxiety of doing anything remotely productive outside of homework.

In spite of all this, I have done some reading this year (53 in fact. I know, shocking, right? Someone plan a press conference immediately!) and right now I’ve decided to pick up where I left off in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and began reading the fifth book in the series, A Dance With Dragons.

If you haven’t heard of this magnificent series yet (which I don’t know why you wouldn’t, it’s been all the rage, especially in the  past year or so), then you’ve probably heard of the highly acclaimed HBO TV series based off the books called A Game of Thrones. My friend first introduced me to the show back in March and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s one of those shows that are richly detailed and intense, all the while capturing the essence of the books in rich detail on screen. It’s one of those shows that are so well played out in every sense of the word that it makes the viewer want to read the books if they haven’t done so already.

And that’s exactly what I did. Over the summer I began to read the first four books of the series in quick succession and they lived up to every expectation that I had for the books. I was pleased that the book followed the first book in minute detail and as I moved from one book to another, became enthralled and shocked with every surprise that Martin pulled out of his sleeve. These books follow various characters through politics, scandals, and intrigue as the most powerful houses in the world of Westeros  fight for power, privilege, and the Iron Throne. It made me wonder why I waited for so long to read these magnificent books when I first became aware of them last year.

When school started up in August, I stopped reading the books after the fourth book. I tried to get into A Dance With Dragons but school pulled me away from it, leaving me to drop the book after about 40 or 50 pages. Ever since then, my thoughts have kept going back to the world that George R.R. Martin, making me long to delve back into this rich, complicated world. Now, three months later I’ve picked the book up again and now 80 pages into this book over 900 pages. Just like the others, A Dance With Dragons is rich in detail and intrigue but because it’s picked up the other half of the characters that Martin didn’t write about in the last book, it makes it slow going since I know what happens for half of the book, or at least I think I do. George R.R. Martin has made an obvious declaration through these books that one should not make assumptions. To make assumptions or fall in love with certain characters could mean disaster; you don’t know whether or not someone’s going to die.

There is a couple characters that I’ve decided that I like a lot despite the carnage that has occurred in the previous four books. I’m almost afraid to mention them in case I have to bite my tongue in order to keep back the cries of anger that would ensue otherwise. So with that in mind, I keep my mouth shut and continue reading, hope for the best, and expect the worst.

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