Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) (HBO Tie-In Edition)

Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) (HBO Tie-In Edition)

by George R. R. Martin
4.5 5398

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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5398 reviews.
ThomasHill More than 1 year ago
For anyone new to this series, whether you've just heard of it, or you've seen Game of Thrones on television, the first thing I would say is that these books are certainly not for children or the faint of heart. The violence is graphic and the sex (some would say) is pornographic. Rape is commonplace (often heard of, but rarely witnessed). A Song of Ice and Fire pulls no punches. It depicts a brutal world of treachery, murder, lust, and greed, in which even the good characters have to be ruthless if they wish to survive. Time Magazine has called Martin "the American Tolkien," but that is a superficial judgment. These books are nothing like Tolkien. Imagine the Sopranos in Middle Earth, and you'll get the picture. And yet, as dark and twisted as these books are, they are compelling. No sooner did I finish one book than I started the next, and I am eager for the publication of "A Dance With Dragons" in July 2011. This is because Martin's greatest strengths are plot and character. He weaves his tale out of many threads. The perspective shifts from chapter to chapter, as his main characters take their turns at center stage in Dickensian profusion. Some of them know what the other characters are up to, some think they do, and some don't know much at all. But each advances the complex plot, driving the story and the reader forward. There are two areas in particular where Martin does an excellent job. First, he is more ruthless to his characters than Steven King. No one is safe. No one. Second, almost all of his main characters are quite well rounded. They can surprise you. One character, for example, commits a horrific crime early in the series, and is known to have committed another. As the books go on and the portrait of his character develops, however, it becomes more difficult to pass a simple judgment because he begins taking actions the reader wants to admire him for. I had to keep reminding myself of what he had done before, and that, as someone says in one of the books, sins can be forgiven, but crimes must still be punished. The good guys aren't simply good, and the bad guys aren't simply bad. All in all, a good, fun read, if you're up for it. There is no middle ground.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly am disgusted at about half of the reviews being written about this book. People are trying to compare the book to other books that it should most deffinitaly not be compared to; like The Lord of The Rings. Did you ever come across any elves, orcs, dwarves, or talking trees while reading this book? No, no, no, and no. A Game of Thrones is not the Lord of The Rings, its a 100% different story. And if you are not mature enough to handle the sex, incest, and rape of this book, then it is obviously not a book for you. Those of us who enjoy this book are not perverts who masturbate to the sex, thats not what its there for... though some of you seem to think so. A Game of Thrones is about corruption and the evilest of evils, and its not exactly full of happy endings. Will you be anxiously waiting for a character to get out of an impossible situation, only to find that they don't? Yes. Will many of your favorite characters be killed off without much warning? Yes. You will even find yourself wanting to kill a few of the characters yourself. The author does such a great job portraying the problems of the 7 kingdoms, that you actually feel like you want to fix them yourself. All that being said, this story is not a fantasy filled with gallant knights who always triumph over evil, it is a book where happy endings are hard to come by. But does all this evil make this a bad book? Quite the opposite. I greatly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they can handle it.
Genghis_Sean More than 1 year ago
As a lifelong reader of fantasy books and committed enough to them to have a six-year-old daughter named Eowyn, I found this series a unique approach to the genre. Martin has crafted a world with depth surpassing that of Tolkien himself, but whether or not this is a virtue is a matter for individual readers to decide. GoT easily has four times the characters of Lord of the Rings, and readers will get bogged down in trying to keep them straight, remembering whether or not they've been encountered before, and caring enough about them to remember them the next time they surface. Furthermore, I wasn't too far into the series before I realized the Martin's books have no true protagonist. The main character, if there is one, is the realm itself. That became a problem for me. I want to root for a character as he struggles to overcome obstacles, injustices, and moral dilemmas. However, that's very difficult to do in GoT because a significant portion of the characters are inherently despicable, and there is no place in his world for the idealistic, loyal, or principled. Such characters in his books inevitably fall prey to machinations of the ruthless. If Martin were to craft a Looney Tunes story, the Roadrunner would have his legs broken, braised, and then fed to him piecemeal by the Coyote while Bugs Bunney was forced to watch. Sure, there do remain a few admirable characters five books into the series but one must empathize with them cautiously since Martin will undoubtedly kill them off eventually. I read about Martin's characters with a sort of learned detachment and too often I'm forced to read simply in order to find out what happens next and not because I particularly care about that specific storyline. Still, the series is enjoyable and some of the characters are amazing. You'll grow to love them, even though you'll sometimes fear to turn the next page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never considered myself an admirer of the whole Fantasy genre. There was always a fine line I would never cross over. However, I think I stumbled onto something very special with A Game of Thrones and the whole A Song of Ice and Fire series. I was pleasantly surprised with this work. Never have I read a book where the chapters are separated into individual characters points of view, centered around that one character and their whole environment-it was very refreshing and brilliant of the author. I have found a little patience is asked of the potential reader when first entering the world of the Seven Kingdoms. The separate chapters and introductions of key characters may seem never ending, but with some interest and an open "trusting" mind follow Mr. Martin into his ever growing epic. However, if you find yourself completely lost with keeping which characters are "direwolf", "lion", or "stag"--flip to the back of the books and discover complete lists of houses, families, alliances, brief descriptions (believe me it will serve the new reader well to reintroduce themselves after finishing one book and moving onto the next). In A Game of Thrones, I overall adored the plot and was fascinated with the research that paid homage to medieval elements: the weapons, clothing, feudal system, battle scenes, war tactics, geography etc. It all just flowed beautifully where you believed you entered into a realistic world with minute touches of whimsy. I am happy, relieved and thankful to report to any interested readers that there were no to a few cliché fantasy characters/species. A Game of Thrones (as well as the whole series) is full of betrayal, adventure, drama, mystery, and classic revenge. I found myself gasping when thrilling and dismal surprises touched heroes and villians alike. Throughout the novel(s) the evidence of "grey" characters was an unexpected change from the usual light and dark personalities. The reader will also find that Mr. Martin has a talent to capture and bottle the element of foreshadowing (every "symbol" has a meaning that will resurface with a flash as the reader progresses into the ever growing plot). The only part(s) in this book (and series) that keeps it becoming a solid 5 star rating (for me) are the graphic sex sections and modern vulgar language. At first, I tried to remember history/ancient beliefs, human conditioning from the Medieval stand point and the warped entertainment expectations of today (sadly, sex sells). All of the needless scenes and language all seemed to sum back to something that unfortunately had to be there to push the realism and sell the product. Realism and product marketing aside, I must confess after awhile the graphic scenes and cussing (that seemed to come out of nowhere) started to wear on me and I desperately wished them gone from my vivid imagination. All negative aspects aside, I am very happy I stumbled upon this series and highly recommend for those readers who wish to escape from the stereotype of "fantasy".
Shadow Cornelison More than 1 year ago
Intriguing... addictive... leaves you wanting MORE!!! Many unexpected twists, mysterious happenings, and counterplots. Highly recommended, yet not for the faint of heart.
alexis14217 More than 1 year ago
I cannot put these books down! The characters are fantastic and the settings take your imagination to unthinkable places. This is my first "Fantasy" Series I am mostly into Bio's but as I said before I cannot put them down. The first few chapters of the Game of Thrones was alittle slow but get past that and you wont regret it.
cbaker71 More than 1 year ago
I cant get enough. Absolutely wonderful
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this wonderful book. The characters are well developed, the plot fascinating. I can only recommend this one.
Amanda Curtis More than 1 year ago
I first read this book long before it became an HBO series and loved it back then. Now, I am so far pleasantly surprised with the series and have started re-reading the books. I just hope this motivates the release of the latest book in the series- A Dance With Dragons! A must read. My favorite high fantasy series to date!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
O.K., I'l preface this with a warning; yes, there is sex. Yes, there is violence and rape and the "good guys" do, in fact, die on occasion. If you aren't mature enough to avoid homing in on that and ignoring everything else, don't read this series. If you do read it, you'll just end up writing another unfortunately poor review of a very well written book. With that in mind, I highly recommend reading this series. Martin does a great job of bringing to life a fantasy world that does not require magic to be present on every page. I feel that his descriptions of characters and places aren't long-winded so much as they are immersive. If you have the attention span of someone over twelve(or at least eighteen-that's how old I am), you should be able to keep track of what's going on and avoid losing interest. Also interesting- there really isn't a main character. The books follow a number of characters, and keep you interested in each one. One or two of them die, and that does have an impact on your emotions, but-get this-the good guys don't always pull through in real life, either. The loss of a few characters really makes you appreciate all of them, and keeps you from getting complacent and the story from becoming predictable. In short, read my warning, and if it doesn't apply to you, give A Song of Ice and Fire a shot. You just might like it.
Andrak More than 1 year ago
These books are not written for those that enjoy light reading. George takes us to a very believable world - amazing in scope - and introduces us to characters that are not only loveable, but some that are ruthlessly brutal. These books are raw; do not get attached to the characters! The enjoyment here is in the journey. if you let yourself escape into the world he's created, you will appreciate this series more. Please be patient, as things eventually work themselves out to their conclusion. (not always the conclusions the reader would envision) My only disappointment (and not with this book, but with the series) is that "A Feast for Crows" splits the narrative in half and you are left to wait for the fifth book to see what's happening to the other half of the characters. On top of this, George doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get the next book out, as it was originally slated to be out in December, 2009. A Song of Ice and Fire is/was slated to be a 7 part series, but at the pace at which they are being churned out, George may be too old and feeble to complete the series . . . The first three books in this series are nothing short of awesome - "Crows" falls short, but it's mostly because of the split narrative. I have a feeling, however, that the fifth book will be well worth the wait!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've found a lot of the reviews listed on the site as "most helpful" are pretty negative. Personally, I found this book to be an impressive piece of literature. I think a lot of the reviews placed unfair criticism on the novel. I noticed some reviews complaining about the graphic content of the book. There are few scenes with some relatively graphic scenes depicting rape, incest, and murder. You have to remember though that this book was heavily inspired by Medieval Europe, which was an extremely violent time in history. This isn't an innocent, happily ever after story like Lord of the Rings. This book uses a fictional world to paint a realistic picture of a grim time history. This book will captivate you and demand your attention, but it will not uplift you. Other reviews claim that it's a painfully slow read. For an 800 page book, I think it moves pretty quickly. The plot isn't particularly difficult to follow, and nor is there an excess of characters like some reviews. If you find this book a challenging read, you might just be stupid. Speaking of characters though, I found them to be the highlight of the book. They are thoroughly developed and feature lifelike, human personalities. Few are completely good or completely evil. They are all memorable characters, and I really connected with a few of them. The plot of this book is multi-dimensional and unpredictable. It's packed with mystery, adventure, and fantasy. The author has created a lifelike world with its own history, that makes the story that much more interesting. This truly is an imaginative and captivating story. If you enjoy a unique and memorable tale, I promise you will enjoy A Game of Thrones
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is indeed, a very good read, with characters with good and bad points, a non biased conflict, awesome fight sequences, and a realistic depiction of a medieval society. It's a great book to say the least. However, as a word of warning to young but advanced readers, this book contains bloody violence, disturbing content, and most of all, graphic scenes of sexuality, some of which are homosexual in nature ( not to offend any homosexual persons, merely to inform readers of content). Read carefully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Joffre is a dickwad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is fantastic, it's different than any other series I've read. However, I wasn't able to truly begin appreciating them until the 2nd/3rd book. Keep reading you'll be hooked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first book in this series is pretty good. At first, switching from character to character was a little odd, however, after the first few times it's natural and the story line picks up where the previous character leaves off. It's interesting to root for all sides in the story (even the "bad" guys) because you see it from their perspective. As the fifth book is about to come out, I don't think the series has been abandoned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a really good book. If you watched the show they stay on track. Of course they add and take stuff away for the show. If you like fantasy type books. Read this one. You will love this person and then by the middle of the book hate them. Its a great start for the series. Easy read. Kinda long but worth it.
Shirley_Holmes More than 1 year ago
Originally posted on my blog: The Bibliophile's Corner First Thoughts: I have been wanting to read this series for a while. I have heard wonderful things about it and the show is a huge success on HBO. I have also been craving a good fantasy series that I can devour and I’m so glad I found this book. First 50-100 Pages: The first several chapters are amazing. You are introduced to so many characters, houses, families, agendas, and it is a little difficult to keep track of. But as the chapters go on it gets easier. Every character gets their own face in your head and their own personalities. Characters: Speaking of characters. There are so many good ones and so many that I want to drive a sword through. First, the ones I love: Arya, the spirited child of Eddard Stark who would rather play with swords than dress in skirts; Tyrion, the second son of the Lannister family, a small man with a big personality that I couldn’t help but love; Eddard, the lord of the Winterfell (played by Sean Bean in the show), he is a just and fair man and I fell in love with his loyalty and honesty; Jon, the bastard son of Eddard who joins the Black (members have to leave their family and become family with fellow bearers of the Black) is fiercely loyal to his father and his land; Daenerys, or Dany as she is called, is a Targaryan and pawn of her brothers in order to overthrown King Robert. She is a force to be reckoned with and I feel like she had the most growth throughout the book. Now for those I didn’t like: Cersei, the queen of Robert and a Lannister, she will do anything to get her family on the throne and I really disliked her incestuous relationship with her brother Jamie.;Joffery, Cersei’s son and the next in line to the throne. I absolutely hate him. He is cold and heartless; Sansa, Arya’s older sister and the daughter of Eddard. She is such an idiot! She could not see through Joffery’s coldness until it was too late and she so badly wanted to be a lady that I felt she betrayed her family; Catelyn, the wife of Eddard, is someone who I don’t hate, but I do not by any means love. She jumped too conclusions and acted without thought in many cases and essentially was the one who started the war. The best part of this book by far, is the change in perspectives. Each chapter changes between Eddard, Sansa, Arya, Catelyn, Jon, Dany, Bran, Plot: There is so much going on in this book, it’s crazy. At the beginning, we see mysterious happenings and killings done outside the Wall and the Night’s Watch are puzzled. After the prologue, we jump into the Stark family. Within the first few chapters, poor Bran is thrown from a window after uncovering the Lannister’s secret. Meanwhile, you have the Stark family trying to remain faithful to King Robert even though is married to the Lannister house. The Lannister house is manipulative and heartless and will do anything to get the throne. Then you have Dany and her brother who are teaming up with the Dothraki, the horse riders, so Viserys, Dany’s brother, can be king again. Then, as if human problems weren’t enough, there are supernatural beings living in the forest that made an appearance in the prologue still haunting the Wall. Final Thoughts: Guys. The ending. Holy crap almighty. The last chapter made me squeal and I really want to start the second book soon. This book is wonderful. If you are fantasy fan and haven’t read this book, please do. It is truly a great start to what I’m sure is an amazing series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After years on a reading hiatus i got into Game of Thrones after watching the HBO series. Now i cant get enough. Im about to finish the 3rd book and i cant wait to start the 4th. This is a great story - highly recommended.
Elia P Orta More than 1 year ago
I love this book,I cant wait to read them all. I'm trying to read them slowly since I watch the series on HBO but its so hard because it is such a good book.
ChiefRW More than 1 year ago
This is a story that keeps you turning the page. I have continued to book 2 and am still enthralled with the storytelling and detail.
kdheeb More than 1 year ago
It had me enthralled. Not my usual genre, but it kept my attention so much that it only took about 4-5 days to read 700+ pages.
Doetr More than 1 year ago
I own this series (what there is of it) and I am now going to buy the books for my Nook. This is one of the best series I have ever read. Right from the beginning I was taken in and even when some of my favorite characters died, there were plenty more to keep the story interesting. Does any one know if he has finished it yet?
FoustianBargain More than 1 year ago
You know your in trouble when the author thinks he is writing three books and ends up writing 7. This work is a masterpiece but George RR Martin is going to take a while finishing the series so if you have patience and are willing to wait another 5-11 years for the series to be completed I highly recommend this book.
swagswagswag More than 1 year ago
A Game of Thrones has a lot more depth while still remaining interesting.  The imagery really paints a picture in your mind.   You can see the gravel on the Wall and the rundown castle black at the base of it.   You can almost feel the cold air in the North and it has an atmosphere almost like a movie.   It feels like you are another character in the book following along silently.   I felt emotion as i read farther into the book. I was angry when Joffrey executed Ned and i was sad about what happened to Sansa afterwards.   The best part about the book is that it isnt predictable.   I thought the Nights Watch would be exactly what Jon wanted and that Ned would save the day and the crown would go to the rightful king. Instead it takes twists and turns and you don't know exactly what to expect.   I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in fantasy books or interested in books about drama. It has bits of almost every genre that everyone can enjoy a Game of Thrones.