Book Club: ‘Game of Thrones’

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I could not put down “Game of Thrones” — a surprise plot twist from someone whose library is mostly fiction and detective novels. I saw the show’s first two seasons a few years ago and always meant to go back and keep watching. But just like my rock climbing dream, it hasn’t happened yet, so diving into the book series seemed like a daunting gamble that would either end in victory or me throwing this 800 page monster across the airplane.

TSA and I are both happy to report, the book was great. By the end, I had a better grasp of the characters, their motives, and the complex worlds of the seven kingdoms.

For those of you who are still confused why your friends keep saying “Winter is coming” and “Stop being a Joffrey,” the “Game of Thrones” is the mythical tale of seven kingdoms competing to rule the one iron throne. Each chapter of the novel is told from a different character’s point of view, sticking strictly to the virtuous, good-hearted characters to tell the tales of bloodshed, betrayal, travel, fighting, arranged love, and supernatural events.

Outside of “Harry Potter,” I’ve never been a huge fantasy buff. But the same way I felt about “Dune,” these books took me out of my element and gave me a new appreciation for their genres. George R.R. Martin created this entire world from nothing — that’s family histories, environments, mythical characters, relationships, dragons, white walkers, traditions, politics. It’s 800 pages of well-crafted, sucks-you-in-from-the-start magic that left me eager to continue reading the series. So before you write it off as “It’s just not for me,” give it a try but don’t get too attached to anyone. As Cersei Lannister foreshadows, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

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This is one of my favorite videos documenting 24 hours in the life of “Game of Thrones” and the show’s super-involved shoots spanning three continents at a single time.

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