‘Game of Thrones’ — an excellent, multidimensional read

Robert Davis, Staff Reporter

In a world where summers are short and winters last a lifetime, there is darkness in the air. In the North on the great wall guarded by the Night’s Watch, there are strange occurrences and the resurfacing of an issue thought long dead. In the South many are vying for power and are willing to backstab anyone to gain that power. The House of Stark is pulled into a deadly conflict between Houses for the Iron Throne. The deadliest of all games is being played — a game of thrones.

This is the overarching plot of the fantasy novel “A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones” written by George R.R. Martin.

This book is a great experience, complete with many twists and turns that most will not expect. George R.R. Martin has crafted strong characters that all have flaws, with no clear cut “good guys” or “bad guys.”

One example is Eddard Stark, who holds onto his honor strongly, but he doubts himself and is tempted to do something dishonorable to help save himself or others. This is but one example of how gray the moral decisions are.  Even in the presence of absolute evil, most of the decisions characters make have two perspectives that are not necessarily wrong.

George R.R. Martin has crafted strong characters that all have flaws, with no clear cut ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys.’

One such character who is not evil but not particularly good is Tyrion Lannister, a personal favorite. Tyrion Lannister does not lack a conscience; he just doesn’t hold onto honor tightly, leaning towards his conscience while relying on his cunning. He will backstab those he deems a threat.

Another strong point is the crafting of the world of this book. There is an obvious history preceding the events in the story that explain how the world came to be. It also has an interesting concept that Summers last a long time, but Winters last a lifetime, so cold that not even lords can save themselves. This is an original concept I have never seen before in a work of fiction. 

I recommend this book to many fantasy readers but not to those who are faint of heart.  The work is quite mature and Martin does not censor himself. “Game of Thrones” is an excellent read that includes action, political intrigue, tragedy, betrayal — and many twists you won’t expect.