Should I (re)read Game of Thrones
June 4, 2012 10:13 AM Subscribe
I tried reading Game of Thrones a couple of years ago, and I hated it. I maybe made it through half. Just watched the first season of the series and I (mostly) really liked it. Now that I have some interest in the characters, will the things I hated bother me less, or should I just stick with the show?
posted by freshwater to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
First season/book spoilers below.
Things I Hated About the Book:
1. So much creepy sex. I'm a grownup, I like sex in books, but with the twincest and the whoring and the raping, it was just gross.
2. It seemed like there were pages and pages about the dire wolf cubs and other stuff that did not push the story forward. The pacing felt way too slow.
3. The ridiculous number of characters and POVs and weird spellings (I figure that this should be less of an issue).
4. Lots of misogyny. I don't need to escape into a world that hates women so very much.
Things I Like About the Show:
1. The wall -- the characters, the scenery, the suspense about the white walkers
3. The horribleness of Joffrey
4. Danaerys (aside from the rape)
6. Tyrion (of course)
7. The horribleness of Viserys
8. The plotting at court
9. The acting in general, and the complexity of the characters and their motivations
Things I Hate About the Show:
1. A bit more creepy sex than I need.
2. Daenerys getting raped a lot. And then realizing that she just needed to change positions to totally fall in love with her rapist.
3. These people seriously never noticed that black haired people don't have blond kids?
The rape and misogyny aspects are the big thing keeping me from getting the books right now. I never finished Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever because I was so disgusted by the way the rape was addressed.
Apparently the book shows this monumental love story between Danaerys and Drogo, but I don't want that. I can appreciate the story arc of a woman finding her one area of influence in a generally powerless situation, and using that to gain a little more agency. But I don't buy that a teenager being raped on a daily basis falls in love with her rapist and becomes completely thrilled with her lot in life. I also don't buy that a scene where a girl loses her virginity in public without the ability to consent is tender and romantic.
The book also seemed to be very misogynist, though I'm not sure whether that's just some of the characters or Martin. After seeing the show, I can believe that Martin is good at writing misogyny as a character trait, but also good at writing strong and valued women when appropriate. But I don't want to read the books if the misogyny really does underlie every character.
I think there was great character development through the acting in the show, and I don't feel like I need to learn more detail behind everything. But I am interested in learning more about Westeros, and I want more time with the characters. So will I enjoy the books, or will the things that pissed me off not get any better? Since I know that Drogo dies, I can probably push through that if the rest of the book makes it worth it, but the misogyny is a nonstarter.