"Game of Thrones" is almost on every lips of the people you come across. You yourself might be an ardent follower of the hit HBO TV series. But what you might not be aware of is the genius put behind in building up this epic fantasy series, by none other than the author himself of A song of ice and fire books: George RR Martin.
I myself was a huge fan of the TV series, without giving much thought to what would it be like in the books. Until my last vacation of Dec '15. I casually took up the first book of the series, which is 'A Game of Thrones', and before I knew, I was reading 'A Clash of Kings', then 'A Storm of Swords', followed by 'A Feast for Crows' and then 'A Dance with Dragons'.
GRRM has done some phenomenal work in setting up the whole picture: the maps of the 2 worlds, Westeros and Essos, the sub-plots, the life beyond the Wall, the religions, politics, supernatural elements, the romance, love and betrayal, and the things beyond your wildest imaginations. It wouldn't matter if you have seen the series or not, the books will get you hooked till the very end, and leave you awestruck the whole time. You would be taken away completely and your imagninations will paint a vivid picture of a whole new world.
In this writing style, each chapter is based on a character's perspective. Like a chapter named Jon would revolve around the events and thoughts of Jon Snow only, ie, you would follow Jon's plot, read his thoughts and see things around the world from his perspective. In this way, you get to live the lives of the characters yourself.
Like a warg, you could actually get inside the characters and live their life. The author splendidly built up the characters such that you get to know their true nature, purpose and evokes your emotions for them.
"This is what a king should look like."
-- thought Jon Snow, the first time he saw Jaime Lannister at the halls of Winterfell
Jaime bore true love for Cersei. They were inseperable since their early childhood. Infact, when his marriage was being arranged with Lysa Tully, that was when he considered joining the Kingsguard, thus releiving himself from marriages.
You might have a mixed notion about Jaime, considering the incidents of Bran, and attacking Ned Stark's men in King's Landing. But turns out, Jaime is of a rash character, and he kind of had reasons for acting so reckless. You must also reflect on the facts which shows a different view of his character:
When released by Catelyn, and was being escorted by Brienne, Jaime had decided that he would return the Stark girls to Catelyn.
The Mad King had Wildfire hidden all across the Capital, and was about to burn down the whole city along with all its people. But Jaime made sure that did not happen, when he pierced through the back of King Aerys with his sword. Thus, in a way, he had saved the entire population of the King's Landing. But in return, all he got was the brand Kingslayer, being called Oathbreaker throughout his life, and a man without honour.
Jaime had promised Catelyn that he would never raise swords against any Stark or Tully. Turned out, he did keep up to his promise. When he went to break the sieges of the Tully occupied castles, he could have used his forces against them, but all he did was talk his way into them and only negotiated.
During the feast held for Robert at Winterfell, Tyrion shared some piece of advice with Jon outside the hall. On his way back, when he opened the door, the light from within threw his shadow across the yard, and Jon saw that for just a moment, Tyrion Lannister stood as tall as a king.
"Ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.""
-- Varys (A Clash of Kings)
Tyrion is a small man, yet so big. He is quite different from the other Lannisters. His witty responses, soft spot in the heart, and rational nature will make him your favourite character. Plus, he slapped Joffery........4 times.
Stannis' introduction will make you feel sorry for him and his life. Throughout his life, he was the one less loved, was always overshadowed by his elder brother Robert Baratheon, and was not given his fair share for his accomplishments.
Stannis held the castle Storm's End against an year long siege, during Robert's rebellion. Stannis destroyed the Iron fleets during the Greyjoy's Rebellion. Stannis led the assault on Dragonstone, which was the last event in the Robert's Rebellion, and led to the fall of Targaryen dynasty, and the rise of Baratheon dynasty.
But in the end he couldn't even get a word of praise from Robert for all his efforts, and was just made lord of the lonely, barren island Dragonstone, while the great Baratheon castle Storm's End was given to his younger brother Renly, even after doing nothing. Moreover, Robert blamed Stannis for the escape of Daenerys and Viserys from Dragonstone, as if there was anything he could've done to prevent that.
All his life Stannis lived in the shadow of his older brother. Whatever he did, Robert had done it already, and better.
Stannis fell, lost the battle of Blackwater, but rose again, tried harder and never stopped. He never gave up. After Robert, Stannis had the best claim to the Iron Throne, and he was the one true king of Westeros. When the Wall was under attack and called out to all the Kings for support, Stannis was the one who came, the one who cared, and the one who did his duty.
"Few of the birds that Aemon had sent off had returned as yet. One reached Stannis, though. One found Dragonstone, and a king who still cared."
-- Samwell Tarly (A Storm of Swords)
Well, if I continued like this I would never be able to stop ;) I had so much to talk about the books, and it's probably best if my keep my post about this length only.
I would recommend you these books, no matter if you have seen the TV show or not. I would end with this quote I liked from the last book of the series :
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one."
-- Jojen Reed (A Dance with Dragons)
-- Bhrigu SrivastavaFirst of his name, King of the Blog