I can not comment on the HBO Series, because I do not have HBO unfortunately. I used to have HBO, and I miss it. Let’s not discuss it, it saddens me. A Game of Thrones is an awesome series of books. I am reading the second one now, but I was hooked pretty early on in the book. There are some really great characters in this book. In this first book of the series, there are Walkers/the Others which are walking dead. Not just you’re typical Walking Dead style zombie, no, these guys are fast and carry weapons. They can only be killed with fire. There is talk of giants, though you don’t “see” them in this book. There are dragons that you get to see a tiny bit of in this book. I get the feeling there will be a lot more critters as the series goes on. They have dire wolves, which are apparently extinct, but basically they are very very large wolves. This world is like a combination of Lord of the Rings and a Shakespearean tragedy. George R.R. Martin has become famous for killing everyone’s favorite characters. So far, in the first book, he only got one of my favs.
I love the way he writes, instead of chapters there are character names. You get to experience what is going on with a certain character. The characters that get voices in this book are:
Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark
The beginning has Ned at home with his wife and children at Winterfell. We learn that Ned is a man of honor and integrity (except for the one time he had sex with a woman other than his wife and produced his son John). He beheads a man for leaving the Night’s Watch (men who protect the wall that keeps the wild things like walkers out of the seven kingdoms). We learn that he and his childhood friend Robert Baratheon, lead a revolt against the old King Ageon Targaryen to avenge Ned’s sister Lyanna, who was betrothed to Robert. The now King Robert comes to Winterfell to visit Ned and asks him to be the King’s Hand because the old one died (which we find out later was murder). Ned doesn’t want to go, but Caitlin insists. He brought a ton of people, including his wife Cersei and her two brothers Jaimie Lannister (who actually killed the former King), and Tyrion Lannister (a dwarf, but the finest Lannister there is). Ned’s son Bran sees Cersei and Jaime having sex (they’re twins, I know gross), so Jaime tries to kill him. He drops him from high off the castle. The boy lives, but is crippled. Ned takes his two daughters south to where the king lives, where he finally discovers why the former Hand was killed…
Lady Caitlin Stark
Ned’s wife Caitlin is kind of annoying at times, she is very cruel to Ned’s son John Snow because he reminds her of his infidelity. We see the story from Caitlin’s point of view. She insisted that John be sent away when Ned went south, because she would not have him staying with her. Ned sent him to the Night’s Watch, who do not marry and have no children. It is a harsh life, and in turn she also gets a harsh life. Her daughter becomes a prisoner, her son fights a war, and another is crippled. She then learns that her father is dying.
Robb is Ned and Caitlin’s oldest son, he is fourteen when the book starts and goes through many changes. His mother leaves and he is forced to be Lord of Winterfell in his parents’ absence. He is aided by his dire wolf, Grey Wind, who rips out the throats of Robb’s enemies in war. Robb and John are close, and Robb is also close to his father’s ward Theon Greyjoy.
Robb and John are only months apart, his father went away to war right after he married Caitlin, who was actually supposed to marry his brother Brandon (he was killed). As I said, Caitlin was horrible to him and when Bran was hurt when he fell (nobody knows it was Jaime Lannister that dropped him) she told John it should have been him. Meanwhile John is like his father, very honorable. He even tried to make Caitlin feel better, right before she said that to him. I believe he was the one that found their dire wolves, their mother was dead and there were what he thought were 5 pups around her. He told his father they represented the Stark household, one for each of his children. They have a younger brother Rickon, so he was not including himself. Then he heard a noise and found Ghost, the albino that the others wouldn’t accept. John becomes a member of the Night’s Watch at the age of 15, and even faces one of the walkers and kills it. Burned his hand in the process.
Sansa is also annoying, like her mother. She is every bit a proper lady, which is what she named her dire wolf…Lady. Unfortunately Lady is killed at the insistence of Queen Cersei after Arya’s wolf attacked Prince Joffrey (whom Sansa is betrothed to) because he was going to hurt Arya. For ages Sansa blindly followed Joffrey, it was disgusting. That ended because he ordered her father killed. Then he started having her beaten, the little shit. Joffrey really has absolutely no redeeming qualities. Granted Sansa is only 11/12 years old, but she is annoying unlike her sister Arya. She betrayed her father by going to the queen and telling her that Ned was having her and her sister sent home, she didn’t want to leave Joffrey (she lived to regret that decision in a big way).
Arya is the shit, she is a tiny little spitfire that wields a sword. Before John left for the NIght’s Watch, he gave Arya a small sword she named Needle. She and John are closer than the others, they also look more like their father and each other than the others. Sansa’s friends called Arya Horseface, but her father said she looked and acted a lot like his sister Lyanna who was beautiful. She is 9 years old and her father eventually allows her to take fighting lessons with a master. He teaches her well. When the Queen looks to take Arya prisoner, but nobody could catch her. One of the Night’s Watch eventually gets her out of the city, with intentions on bringing her home to Winterfell. Her dire wolf was named Nymaria, and she sends her away so the Queen won’t kill her. Arya poses as a boy, at first unintentionally, then Yoren the Night’s Watch member that rescued her cuts her hair off and tells her to pretend to be a boy to protect her.
Bran is only 7/8 in this book. He sees the Queen screwing her twin brother while he was climbing the castle walls, literally. Jaime saw him, grabbed him from the window and then dropped him so he wouldn’t tell anyone what he saw (they were also talking about getting rid of his father and King Robert). Bran didn’t name his wolf until after he woke from his fall. He has strange dreams about talking Ravens, and eventually he seems to get into the head of his wolf that he eventually named Summer. The raven in his dreams helped him wake up, and told him winter is coming. When they talk of winter, it isn’t winter as we know it. Winter doesn’t just mean snow, they had a 9 year summer. Now winter is coming and it’s supposed to be very bad. That’s when the walkers and other things come. Winter isn’t in this book just yet, it’s building up to it. Eventually his brother leaves for war, and Bran is left to manage Winterfell (with loads of servants) and his little brother Rickon (3/4).
Tyrion is a dwarf, with a great big personality. He’s really funny and mouthy. He’s also got more honor and integrity than all of his family members combined. He is the brother of the Queen, and it seems most of his family is ashamed of him except for Jaime who loves him. He arrives at Winterfell with his family and the King, and then he goes with the Night’s Watch and John Snow. He and John Snow become friends. Later he gets kidnapped by Caitlin Stark (someone told her he tried to kill Bran), who takes him to her sister in this castle in the sky. He was put in this cell that had a slant to it and then dropped off to the sky. He was afraid to go to sleep, poor guy. He made friends though, or bought friends. Eventually his father has him go to prevent Joffrey from screwing up everything so horribly. Tyrion has his own plans…justice he said.
Danny is an amazing character. She starts off as this timid 13 year old girl. Her father and most of her family were murdered by Robert and his allies. Her mother was pregnant with her when it happened, and her brother Viserys is 21. He is a royal asshole. He beats her and pinches her nipples really hard, and treats her like shit. eventually he sells her to a Kahl, the ruler of his tribe in a desert country. She marries him, thinking he was a huge brute who would be cruel to her. He wasn’t, Drogo was awesome, she eventually called him her “sun and stars.” He called her “the moon of my life.” Drogo killed Viserys because of the way he treated Danny, he was insisting Drogo give him his crown. So Drogo melted gold and dumped it on his head. Eventually Drogo dies from injuries sustained in a battle, it was sad. Danny becomes a very strong female character and she’s only 14 by the end of the book. You can’t help but love Danny.