On Reading A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R. Martin.
For the longest time, I had been putting off watching HBO’s Game of Thrones. I’m not quite certain why, but I did. Then, one night, I tipped a toe to test the water and—violà—I’m plunging all the way in. For weeks (or months?), I sang songs the likes of which were sang throughout the Seven Kingdoms and the Free Cities. I binged watch and witnessed Isaac Hemsptead-Wright (the actor who plays Bran Stark) go from kid to teen, Sophie Turner (who plays Sansa Stark) from girl to young woman. It’s fair game to put it this way: I was
mildly obsessed. And then Season 4 had its finale. But I wanted more. So, naturally, I turned to the books. And thus commenced my love-hate relationship with Westeros.
Dang, were the books long! A Game of Thrones, the first book, is an 835-page behemoth and A Clash of Kings, the second one, is bigger still with 1,009 pages, both of which I consumed successively. By the beginning of August last year, I started A Storm of Swords (book 3, 1,177 pages) and I’ve only returned to it last January. I can go on and blame new releases like, say, The Magician’s Land (which I’ve been waiting for forever) and The Blood of Olympus (much later but which, again, I couldn’t be more nuts to read) or make excuses in the forms of Fangirl and Proxy and We Were Liars and Guardian and Landline or… Or. Or I can just admit that it overwhelmed me. It still does, actually.
Sure, I think the story is splendid—the scheming and politics, all that family drama, the supernatural. But GRRM can dedicate several paragraphs—in some particularly excruciating cases even a whole page—to building a scenery. Oh how Khaleesi’s gowns were detailed or that of a certain not-even-minor-character knight’s destrier’s grooming. I’m not saying it’s wrong; this is epic fantasy, that is to be expected. I’m not cool with it, yes. But time and again, I find myself turning the pages with eager anticipation to find out what happens with the Stark children—especially Bran and Sansa—or to read Queen Cersei’s threats or Tyrion’s perpetual wisdom or Catelyn’s sensitive chapters.
It’s the genre, I guess. When I returned to A Storm of Swords, I finished it. Will I continue? Heck yeah. I love—and hate—this series.
What about you? What book(s)/series do you love and hate simultaneously? Tell me in the comments below!