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Why Should I Read This? A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

June 17, 2016
 At least Ned Stark doesn’t have to read all seven books to find out what happens to him.

At least Ned Stark doesn’t have to read all seven books to find out what happens to him.

No matter what time of year it is, people who watch Game of Thrones like to talk about Game of Thrones.  It can be annoying to the innocent bystanders who don’t watch it.  Even worse are the book snobs who have read the books and watch the show.  The book snobs have had an advantage for years because they’ve known what was going to happen on the show and would like to sprinkle spoiler hints just to piss off the rest of us who haven’t read the books.

Just so you know, I have nothing against book snobs.  I was a book snob when the Lord of the Rings movies came out.  And I’m still a comic book snob when it comes to superhero movies.  I’ve bored many non-comic book readers about how the movies are different from the original comic books.  I’ve lost friendships over it, and I don’t even have many friends.  So being a book snob isn’t necessarily meant as a negative.

As much as I respect them, it’s fun to annoy the book snobs by calling the book series A Game of ThronesA Game of Thrones is the name of the first book, the book snobs keep telling me.  The name of the entire series is A Song of Ice and Fire.  The book snobs are right, but they don’t need to remind me every time I mention the Game of Thrones books.  Everybody knows what I mean.  If I say A Song of Ice and Fire, a bunch of people who know about the Game of Thrones TV show but don’t give a crap about the books won’t know what I’m talking about.

So from here on out, I’m going to call A Song of Ice and Fire…  A Game of Thrones.

With the series overtaking the books, book snobs don’t have as much bragging rights anymore.  Now, they’re just as uncertain about what’s going to happen as the rest of us, especially since the show has changed a bunch of stuff.

A Song of Ice and Fire was originally supposed to be a trilogy.  Now it’s set for seven books, with only five of them completed.  But how do we know that author George R.R. Martin won’t decide that seven isn’t enough?  If three wasn’t enough, seven might not be either.  Three is usually the magic number for trilogies.  Once a trilogy goes beyond three books, plots get convoluted, and the reading experience deteriorates.  I’m not convinced that seven books will be enough, especially since Martin keeps adding subplots.

Plus, Martin writes other stuff.  A new Dunk and Egg book came out a few months ago.  If I were an avid fan of ASOIAF, I’d be pissed off that Martin is writing other stuff, even if it’s related to A Game of Thrones.  I’m sure Dunk and Egg is very entertaining, but it’s not Game of Thrones.

When I was younger, I hated cliffhangers because the time between episodes seemed to take forever.  Now I hate cliffhangers because I’m not sure I’ll be around to see the next episode.  I’m not being morbid; I’m just thinking about the odds.  Plus, George R. R. Martin might not be around either.  If he died before he finished writing Game of Thrones, I’d feel cheated.  Dude, I’d think to myself, you had over 20 years.  When the author dies before the series is completed, that’s the ultimate cliffhanger.

I don’t want some literary agent or estate lawyer “finding” Martin’s almost-completed manuscript in an attic and hiring another writer to do the editing.  If I can’t read the whole thing as it was meant to be read, I don’t want to read it at all.


It’s much more detailed than the series, book snobs tell me.  Sometimes in the show, things happened that might seem not to make sense, but the books explain it better.  Characters have different personalities.  Some events are completely different.  The first three books supposedly are great, and even the fourth and fifth books have moments of greatness, even if the plots get complicated and stories are told from points of view of characters you might not care about.

Maybe it would be fun to see what changes the TV show made, except the book snobs have already told me.  In a way, watching the show is more fun now because the book snobs don’t know much more than I do.  And now that the TV show has passed the books, there may be even more changes and the book snobs won’t know it until the book series is completed in a few years… or more!

Ha ha book snobs!

It could be fun reading A Game of Thrones, but there are other books that I want to read.  And they don’t have television shows based on them.  And they’re already completely written.


What do you think?  What other good reasons are there to read A Game of Thrones?   Do you trust George R.R. Martin to finish the series?


While you’re waiting for George R.R. Martin to finish A Song of Ice and Fire, you can read one of my ebooks.  They’re short and done.

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  1. It sounds like Game of Thrones the tv show has eclipsed ASOIAF the books. A lot of people say the book is always better than the movie, but when I think of The Graduate, The Godfather, or Forrest Gump, I’m thinking of the movie, as are most other people too, most of the time (not all the time). Most people think of the movie version of these, not the book version, is what I mean. Is the same thing happening with Game of Thrones? Probably. And which probably means the movie version is better. Which happens sometimes. Might add The Shawshank Redemption to that list.

    • The Graduate was a book? The Godfather was a book? Forrest Gump was a book?

      Ha ha! I’ve had those conversations too. In fact, I was one of those guys who asked: The Graduate was a book?

  2. I don’t think Martin will ever complete the book series. I have thought of that sometime now. Also, the TV series is way ahead already. Would he like to end his book series based on TV series? If he is egoistic about his creativity, he will never do it.

    • The book snobs whom I discuss this with say that Martin’s version will be far better than anything the show comes up with. They might be right. In fact, I hope they’re right and that we’re all around to read it.

  3. Oh my god i totally understand how you feel! I have a friend who has read Atonement, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and LOTR and keeps going on and on and on about how the books are better and doesn’t even let us enjoy discussing the movie, always bringing in topics not not in the movie or overly pretentious answers from the books. Gosh it’s annoying!

    Coming to your questions, i think Martin will complete the book series, even if the show eclipses them because the show has lead to an enormous number of sales of his books. Releasing the last two books will lead him to earn a lot of money and sell a lot of copies.

    • Ha! I was one of those fans annoying others about how the LOTR books were better than the movies. But I didn’t care they left out Tom Bombadil. I wasn’t THAT hardcore.

      “Releasing the last two books will lead him to earn a lot of money and sell a lot of copies.”-

      If he ever gets around to releasing the last book, even I will probably buy it.

  4. Squeal of excitement, I’ve just started reading Game of Thrones and am up to page 394. I’m too frightened to read your review in case I find out what happens next… although someone else warned me not to get attached to any of the characters.

  5. I have read the books that came out when the TV series was just starting out, and I’m watching the series now. I do think that there is a possibility that Martin could die before he finishes the books, so I think watching the series is a safer bet: I’m sure there has to be something in the contract between Martin and HBO that plots out the story to the end just in case the books never get completed, so no matter what happens with the books, the series would get to the end either way. (And even if Martin doesn’t yet know how the story ends, because the series is not a one man effort, the series creators would be able to finish it.)

  6. Call me Cordelia permalink

    I want to believe that he will finish the series! I am one of those who is up to date on the TV series, but only recently started the book series (just finished book 2). I love them both. The books definitely has more details, but if it hadn’t been for the show, I would not have gone back to retry the books.

  7. I have seen the first season which I found to be slow and boring for my taste. A close friend who used to pester me to follow the series recently confessed that the TV series is dull. The only reason that she and most people follow it because followers compulsively discuss it and nobody likes being segregated in the conversation.

    • “The only reason that she and most people follow it because followers compulsively discuss it and nobody likes being segregated in the conversation.”-

      If your friend doesn’t want to waste the hour watching the show, she can just go to Twitter right after the show’s over, and she’ll be caught up in two minutes.

  8. I hope George finishes the book, I love the TV show and the books, but the books are always best.

  9. thescreenbeat permalink

    I feel like the books are even slower than the show! I like the show because it helps me visualize the whole thing. With the books there’s just too much going on and it takes a lot of brain power to keep track.

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