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Topic: Game of Thrones discussion

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Subject: Game of Thrones discussion
Date Posted: 1/15/2013 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Not feeling great right now so I'm using my phone to post this. Gonna just ask what did you like/dislike about the book and what is your over all impression of it.



Last Edited on: 1/16/13 7:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/15/2013 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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I liked the book, and I will get around to reading the rest of the series. The ending was not an ending at all, just a pausing point, so you kind of have to continue unless you hated it. It's definitely an epic. It was a story of war, families, politics, and I think it could have been set at pretty much any time except for the ending scenario and one other point, I was really doubting it was actually a fantasy book until the dragon eggs came out. I knew they would be eventually hatched from the minute they appeared. At the beginning they had the white walkers but they were hazy on what they were until closer to the end when it was obvious they were some kind of zombie figure. That was about it for fantasy subjects, everything else was spoken of as legend, gone for hundreds of years. They had lost magic somewhere along the line, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are going to find it again.

Subject: Spoiler Alert!!
Date Posted: 1/15/2013 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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Yippee, discussion starting!  I found the book overall somewhat tedious in the beginning, but after stopping then starting again for this book club, I got interested about halfway through.  By the end I was chomping at the bit to get the next one.

I thought it was supposed to have more of a fantasy aspect, I guess from the comparisons to Lord of the Rings.  There seems to be just as much fighting and war.  There are zombies, at least that is what it appears the white walkers are, but no other fantasy figures until the end with the dragons.  There is a lot more intrigue, and many of the characters are neither all good or all bad.  Ned was a guy of high honor, and the Lannister twins seem to be very self centered and power hungry.  But Tyrion seems to be a bit of both, doing some really good things, and on the other hand being very self centered.  He seems to like to stir things up.  I liked Kahl Drogo and was sorry that they killed him off, but I think that had to happen to hatch the dragon eggs on the pyre.  

I had a problem with the sheer number of characters, but actually watching the HBO series helped a lot.  Once I figured out that the Kingslayer was Jamie Lannister, and some of the other knight's nicknames, it got easier.  The alliances between the families are not so clear cut, like the Frey's that own the bridge.  The two characters in the King's court, Varys and Littlefinger, are such double dealers, you never know where their interests lie and surprising when they turn against Ned.

Date Posted: 1/16/2013 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Real question #1 Is Ned too honorable or is it a naivety that he needs to get over?

(I must admit I'm not done with this book, Sweetie is taking up a lot of reading time and I've been "spring" cleaning as well.) I do think that Ned is a little naive but I don't think it's possible to be too honorable in his situation.

Date Posted: 1/16/2013 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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Ned is indeed too honorable, and he lacks the understanding of intrigue at court.  He believes in people and I think is astonished when he is betrayed.  He communicates his intentions without backing up his plan with notice to other people he could count on.  So, when he makes his announcement at court that the little twerp wasn't Robert's true son, he has no one to look out for him as Littlefinger reveals his duplicity.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/16/2013 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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He is naive and way too trusting. It's pretty bad when being betrayed by someone who told you that he wasn't to be trusted surprises you. He thinks most men (and women) are honorable when it counts and he is so wrong. He puts too much faith in Robert, the man who is king today is not the man that Ned knew years ago. He has gone soft and careless. Ned keeps giving Robert opportunities to be the man he was but it's too late and it just leaves him open to ruin. He also has a bit of denial going on. He seems to think it is all going to go away and acts too late. The way he handled the queen was just foolish.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
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Can I jump in?

I have read this book, and loved it.  I've actually read the first 2 of these, but stopped because I don't want to be too far ahead of the HBO series and know what's going to happen too far ahead.

Yes, Ned is entirely too honorable, but he does stand by his honor--showing that all those around him are lesser persons (if that makes any sense).  It is unfortunate, but necessary that he dies.

My favorite characters are Jon Snow and Daenerys.  Jon is more than he appears, and Dani is also.  And Tyrion (the Imp)--just love him!

I've had friends of mine have issues with the age of the kids in this book, but I just tell them that historically, kids married young and to get over it.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Sure Shelia the more the merrier.

I have to admit that my gut reaction to Dani's age at first was not kindly towards Martin, probably because I have nieces that age. I just remind myself that I had an aunt who was married at age 14 and was already having babies by then so it wasn't even that long ago that girls were married off at that age.

I'm a fan of Tyrion too but I'm still waiting for him to back stab me because he is a Lannister and I've been conditioned thus far to not trust Lannisters.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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Hi Sheila, welcome!  Daenerys is such an interesting character, she seems to find her own strength, especially towards her brother.  I cheered when she finally stood up to him, and again when she did nothing to shield him from Kahl Drago.

Tyrion is my husbands favorite character, he says Tyrion has all the best lines in the book.  He doesn't take himself too seriously, and is the most believable of all the characters - good, yet flawed, loves his family yet sees them for who they really are.  I am interested to see what he does next.

Jon Snow is also very interesting to watch.

Date Posted: 1/18/2013 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Why do you think Ned insists on keeping Jon with the Stark family? Are Catelyn’s feelings really about Jon or do they have more to do with Ned’s refusal to tell her who the mother is? What does Catelyn’s treatment of Jon say about her own personality?

Not being a parent I don't really understand Catelyn's refusal to even tolerate Jon's presense. It's odd to me that she would be so witchy about him especially since her children love him. It might also have a lot to do with the fact that my oldest brother is my half brother but I've never felt like he was seperate. I dunno I just don't get it. I think Ned insists on keeping Jon because that's his son and he loves him.

Date Posted: 1/18/2013 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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I think Catelyn sees Jon as a constant reminder of her husband's infidelity.  I don't think who Jon's mother is has any bearing on her feelings.  Ned keeps Jon with the family because of his honor, the responsibility of raising the boy is his.  Children feel differently about siblings, even half siblings, but Catelyn views Jon as a rival for her children's place in their fathers heart.  It is a different world from the one we live in, where only "true born" of legal married couples are "legitimate" and therefore worthy of holding a place in society.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/18/2013 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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I don't think who Jon's mother is has any bearing on Catelyn's feelings because I don't think she knows who his mother is but yeah, he's a reminder of infidelity. Even if it is the norm it's still like a slap in the face. He could also be a threat to her own children's inheritance if he ever decided to rise up against them, but I don't think that's in the cards. I do think that who Jon's mother is will be a big thing if it ever comes out. He has black hair doesn't he? Bet his mother is a Lannister or something bad like that.

Tyrion is the only character with any humor. He's a snarky little thing, and despite the book describing him as quite ugly Peter Dinklage is really a pretty good looking guy. There was an interview in Rolling Stone recently and they like those facial close ups, where it shows just the head. He looked perfectly normal and quite handsome with just the head shot. He sems like a pretty fun guy too, I haven't seen the show but he seems to be a really good fit for the part. He's also pretty much the smartest person in the whole kingdom, if he hadn't been hampered by his disability I'll bet there would have been a very different story. He seems to be decent at his core but he knows he has to play their game and is willing to do things he doesn't want to, even if they make him a little squidgy inside. So no, I wouldn't trust him, but I think he would try the hardest to do the right thing.

I don't care for Dani. She did evolve quite a bit in her fortunate coupling with Drago but she is going to cause a whole lot of trouble. She has that stupid dragon rule thing in her head and I can just see it, she is going to sweep over to the kingdom and cause a whole s***storm trying to get the area back under her rule. I don't think she will be a good queen and she is going to end up causing a whole lot of death and destruction at some point. 14 wasn't an odd age to be married at then, we're not talking about people with 80 year life spans. They grew up much younger. And you had to be young and strong to survive childbirth.



Last Edited on: 1/18/13 8:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/19/2013 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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Barb, your observation that Tyrion is the smartest person in the kingdom is right on target.  He is the only one that is a reader, saying that his mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone to stay sharp.  He sees past the immediate to the long term effects of actions. 

Date Posted: 1/20/2013 5:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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 What do you make of the direwolves? Are they a bad omen? Do you think the direwolves foreshadow the coming of something more sinister than the fight of the throne? In what ways?

I think they each represent their individual child and possibly forshadow what will happen to each later in the series.

Date Posted: 1/20/2013 9:03 AM ET
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I like the direwolves, they add a bit of a fantasy dimension to the series.  Not sure what to make of them yet, as far as foreshadowing.  I didn't really think they foreshadowed anything so far.  I do expect Nymeria to find Arya later in the series.  They are protectors of their individual masters.  Will the dragons all be bound to Daenerys, or will they (like the direwolves) each be linked to an individual?  Remains to be seen.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/20/2013 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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I think they're more symbolic than portentious. They have so far been more like guardian angels. There were a couple times when they saved their master's lives. Killing the one girl's wolf was a mistake. She's iffy anyway, she'll turn out to betray her family. She's already chosen a side. I don't think she is so much in love with her prince/king as she thinks it's the winning side. She has no honor in her but she doesn't quite know that yet. I think killing her wolf either helped push her away from the family or is symbolic of it. She's been singled out, separated. Life is not going to go well for her. The cubs were meant to be a bond between them - 6 cubs, 6 siblings. And how the last odd white cub for Jon was pushed aside by the others, almost overlooked. An outsider for an outsider. Different from his siblings. Completely symbolic.

I think Nymeria will be back too, I was surprised she wasn't back soon after Arya went out on her own. I thought for sure she would show up and save her. But I just realized at this point she would be a give away as to who Arya is so I guess she can't come back yet.

Date Posted: 1/20/2013 5:21 PM ET
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I think that by the end of the book, Sansa knows she is trapped.  She was in love with Joffrey, but found out that her ideal is way off the truth.  If her direwolf hadn't been killed, she might have been able to escape.  She is forced to write a letter she doesn't want to write, and will have to marry Joffrey even though she is now afraid of him.  She saw his cruelty when he had her father beheaded in front of her, and again as he forced her to see his head on a spike.  She is now just a pawn in a much greater game with the Lannisters that she is powerless to do anything about. 

Good point, Barb, about Nymeria giving away who Arya is, I hadn't thought about that.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/20/2013 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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I hadn't either Carole until I was writing that. Thinking about her wandering around outside the castle and expecting the wolf to show up it dawned on me that wouldn't have been a good thing, lol.

Sansa being in love with the prince is a common sore point with me in stories. She was in love with him before she even met him, she hadn't even seen him. People in fiction fall in love a hell of a lot easier than they do in real life, and we always accept it. Makes me wonder just what it is that they're in love with. I'm not sure yet if Sansa is a little dumb or just really good at denial. I think she's finally figured out she isn't in a  very good position but it kind of had to hit her over the head for her to notice.

Date Posted: 1/21/2013 8:43 PM ET
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I don't think Sansa is truly in love with Joffrey, she is in love with the idea of being queen.  She likes the opulence of court as opposed to the relative bleakness of Winterfell.  She is deep into a superficial, teenage fantasy.  The rude awakening comes too late.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/21/2013 10:46 PM ET
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Yeah, that's probably true.

Date Posted: 1/23/2013 1:56 AM ET
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Yeah I don't think Sansa was really in love with Joffrey she basically had a crush on him based on the idea of being the future queen. I thought I was in love with a lot of guys without meeting them when I was young. I'm still convinced I'm in love with Elijah Wood and Chris O'donnell FTR.

On that note, Did you find it hard to remember that most of the characters were quite young? I did with some, like Dani, but not with others like Arya.

Date Posted: 1/23/2013 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2012
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I think the writing style made all the characters really vivid, regardless of their age. It was hard for me to remember the relationships between some of the people. I kept flipping back to the list at the end of the book. I was wondering if folks are reading the next one yet?

Date Posted: 1/23/2013 9:17 AM ET
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Yes, Chris, I completely forgot about their ages except for two characters - Arya and Joffrey. 

Darcy, I have book 2 on the way to me.  I probably won't get to it right away, but I am eager to know what happens with the dragons.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/23/2013 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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Only Dani really, she wasn't really written as a young person. She didn't have young thoughts very often.

Date Posted: 1/25/2013 3:41 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
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Tyrion is my favorite character, followed by Arya, then Dani. I have a theory about Jon Snow. I think he is Liana (Ned's sister, I might have her name wrong) and Robert's son. The book makes a big deal about Robert's bastards looking just like Robert. It's almost like he's trying to distract the reader. I think he's going to rule the throne with Dani.
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