I still have a crush on Jon Snow. There, I said it. The TV series ruined my image of him to make him a tall and hot man, not a 14-year-old boy as is mentioned in the books. I also adore Tyron Lannister and Arya Stark because they seem to get all the best lines.
So welcome back to the world of blood, betrayal and a big old ice wall.
And how I have missed it!
You get to meet new characters, and visit old friends. There are new battles to be won, and more frenemies than you can shake a stick at. Be warned if you haven’t read the first book/seen the TV series (what kind of mad are you!) – there be spoilers ahead.
Ned Stark is dead. His eldest son, Robb, is named King of the North, and one of the younger Starks is crippled after seeing brother-and-sister Lannisters in an act that shouldn’t be shared by siblings. Joffrey is on the throne (technically), and his sport is beating up animals that get in his way and poor little Sansa Stark… who I didn’t feel too sorry for, by the way, because she really is stupid. Jon Snow is off finding his uncle the other side of the Wall with his albino direwolf, who is also amazing, and Theon Greyjoy has decided he wants to be king too and so has nicked a few ships from his dad to do it. It’s not many chapters before you lose count of kings and claimants to the throne.
Meanwhile, another favourite character of mine, Daenerys, is trekking across a massive desert with her dragons – because, if you hadn’t already guessed it, she wants to be queen.
Cersei (regent until Joffrey is “of age”) and the Imp (woo! Go Tyrion!) are having a battle of wills over the control and salvage of a starving King’s Landing, leaving the late king’s elder brother to sail across and whoops! insult his younger brother, who also wants to be king. Catelyn Stark is rushing about like a headless thing (no pun intended, and all respect to the late Ned) trying to get all the kings to talk and not hack at each other with armies, while Arya’s desperately trying to escape home, posing as a boy recruited into the Night’s Watch. Oh yeah, and if you’re not confused enough? Winter is coming… not just because the Starks keep saying it, it really is, everyone says so now; which means things are really only going to get worse.
These books are epic – not just for their huge 800+ pages, but because Martin covers an ENTIRE WORLD in one fell swoop. You’ve got different armies, families, religions, countries… the list could go on. The magic of it all? There isn’t a single weak link. Everything is so carefully thought out and it all fits together brilliantly. I don’t kid myself that I could ever be this good a writer, but I really wish I could be! I’m now leaving you to go back to my book – I have another 300 or so pages to go and not even a pack of direwolves will take me from it (though Jon Snow might).