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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pardon Me While I Digress

My husband has been trying to get me to read the George R. R. Martin "Game of Thrones" books for years. Fantasy is not my thing, so I resisted for a long time. Years.

Then they had to go and make a series on HBO. And they had to cast my very favoritest actor ever, Sean Bean, as Ned Stark. All of a sudden, I had a great desire to read the books. I received the first three as a Valentine's present. Bonus gift, the re-issue of the first book has Ned Stark on the cover -- be still my heart.

For those who haven't read these books, one thing to know is that Martin names each chapter after the character whose story is being told. So a chapter about Ned Stark is titled "Ned." A chapter about Jon Snow is titled "Jon." You get the idea. If you've read the books, or watched the series, you also know that Martin likes to kill off characters. As my husband so wisely told me when I started reading the books: "Don't get too attached to a character. George Martin likes to kill off your favorites." Excellent advice. Advice I wish I had taken to heart. I've sworn off these books more times than I can count. Always after I disregarded my husband's advice.

Anyway, between Martin killing off characters and naming the chapters after characters, I've been very careful not to read ahead. This includes trying very hard not to read chapter headings, so I'm shocked or excited to find out that someone has lived to fight another day. It really wasn't that hard, as I'm not one to read ahead anyway. 

So, I've carefully read the first three books. Then I start the 4th book and my hubby spilled the beans and told me one character that will be in the 4th book. No biggie, nothing ruined and I'm happy b/c it's one of my favorite characters. I read the prologue and thought to myself -- "I'll just flip to one chapter and see which character will be in the book." The exact opposite of the careful reading of the first 3 books. So I randomly flip open the book to find a chapter heading. The character for this chapter? The only character I knew for sure was in the book. Yup. The one my husband told me about. Too funny! I figured this is karma's way of telling me to stop cheating, put the book down and be patient.

I can't recommend these books enough. They're a wonderful read and a terrific story. Like the Wars of the Roses, but with dragons! (Stole that synopsis from the hubby as well -- he's so smart!) Even if you've watched the series, do yourself a favor and read the books. It will fill in some of the blanks and give you a more complete picture.

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