George R. R. Martin – A Game of Thrones Audiobooktext
Okay, I’ll tell you right away, this post is going to be long. Like, long as a winter in the world of Game of Thrones.
I will start by digressing in order to clarify the division of the volumes, a story that people who have not read it and have not followed the editorial wanderings do not feel lost.
Game of Thrones suffered mistreatment from publishers during its transition to French translation. most likely for financial reasons. In short, the original cutting has been butchered, so the number of volumes has increased compared to the American edition: if in the US, four volumes (including one cut in two, which makes five) are currently out, no less than 13 volumes were released in France.
Recently, Pygmalion (for the large format) and J’ai Lu reissued the series respecting the original cut. J’ai Lu (this edition) offers a half-pocket, half-large format, with a price between the two as well. I highly recommend this edition. The covers are superb, it is less heavy than a large format, the paper is flexible, thin and pleasant. The edge does not get damaged when reading (which is almost a miracle given the thickness of the thing). The only negative criticism I would have to make is not to respect the original English-speaking titles. The integral 1, the integral 2, the integral 3 … Yeah okay, but these books have a title anyway, it would be cool to respect it, especially to speak of integral when it comes just to render to the original edition, what belongs to the original edition is to take the reader for a fool.
So, what I’m going to tell you about below (we’re getting there) is the complete volume 1, either A game of Thrones in English, or the Iron Throne & the Red Keep for the French cut. I like to think that all these editorial policies are only a reflection of what awaits us when reading the book.
The book begins with a prelude which will reveal to us one of the only elements of fantasy that we can find in this first volume: what the men of the North call the Others. Terrifying creatures confined behind the Wall that protects the rest of the continent from their misdeeds. What’s creepy is that the threat of what’s behind the Wall is far from the worst of what’s to come, elements of the story keep us from forgetting it and we wonder what will fall to them on the head in addition to everything else. The Others are the sword of Damocles of the Iron Throne. the wire will eventually break, that’s for sure, it’s all about knowing when. George RR Martin – A Game of Thrones Audiobook.
This is just the prelude. the beginning of the story sees the King (the one who places his posterior on the famous Iron Throne) coming to visit his old friend from the North, Eddard Stark to ask him to become the Hand of the King. the title of Main du Roi could be related to something like a prime minister, a bit like Mazarin was for Louis XIV, for example. Eddard, whose interest in power is limited to the administration of his fiefdom, is not very excited. He accepts anyway, because he doesn’t really have a choice. It all starts from there, and it will snowball.
The events will follow one another slowly at the beginning and then will accelerate. Alliances, betrayals, sordid family stories, murders, wars finally, nothing will be spared us. A precarious balance will be maintained until the breaking point that I symbolically associate with the words of Cersei (the King’s wife, I’m only telling you one thing, that’s a real bitch, that one) for Eddard Stark: “When we have fun in the Game of Thrones, we must win or perish, there is no middle ground.” And there, I assure you, we have shivers down our spines. In fact, the breaking point is linked to a major event that occurs shortly after these words from the queen.
Alongside this main plot, we will follow two parallel plots:
– the story of Jon Snow, Eddard’s bastard, who will join the brothers of the Night’s Watch, who are the guardians of the Wall. History of keeping an eye on our sword of Damocles number 1.
– the story of Daenerys and her brother, descendants of the former king whose place was taken by Robert, the aforementioned king who is also called the Usurper (all this to tell you that he arrived on the throne in a not very Catholic way). Daenerys and Viserys have gone into exile on another continent with very different customs from the country from which they come, of which they intend to recover the crown. Just to keep an eye on the sword of Damocles number 2.
Well, I told you it would be long, it’s not over yet. I have not yet said why this book is extremely brilliant:
- The complexity of the story
The richness of the intrigues, the reversals of the situation, the stories of the different families make the book very coherent, very realistic. the fact that the fantasy aspects are also little exploited makes them extraordinary, terrifying and exciting. It is impossible to trivialize them, which adds to the realism.
This complexity can make Game of Thrones difficult at first, a little off-putting to some. But it’s definitely worth holding on.
- The complexity of the world
GRR Martin offers us a world invented from scratch, super worked. The customs and lifestyles of different peoples are studied with precision. The author also has a knack for making fairly classic fantasy elements original.
- The plurality of points of view and characters
Another particularity of this cycle is that there is no main character. We could possibly say that there is a main family: the Stark family which is more highlighted in this first volume (which does not guarantee anything for the future, in my opinion).
The story is told from the perspective of eight different characters, in the third person. Each chapter is devoted to a character, not necessarily in a defined order: some return quickly, we will hear more about another for a while, and this can evolve throughout the story.
The hierarchy of characters is done in this way: main character from point of view (example: Eddard, Daenerys, Jon, Arya …), main character without a point of view (Robert, Cercei, Jaime, …), characters secondary (Jon’s friends at the Night’s Watch, Jorah Mormont, Mestre Luwin, …)
Do not imagine that because of this plurality of characters, it is not possible to become attached to them or that their psychology is primary. It’s quite the opposite.
Obviously, everyone will have their favorites. My two favorite female figures are Daenerys and Arya, who in this world where the male has power, stand out. The first while growing up and gaining confidence in a breathtaking way; the second is still very young but you can already feel her pugnacity, if in addition you compare her to her sister …
As for the male characters, Tyrion is a very interesting character. The only character in the Lannister family’s perspective, it’s unclear if he’s going to stay on the same side. His irony, his vision of the world, his sense of self-derision, his handicap make him very endearing. Jon also holds my attention, still very young, bastard of a great lord, engaged in the Night’s Watch, one wonders what will become of him and how he will evolve, for good or for bad?
I could talk about the characters for hours, there is so much to say. To avoid spoiling those who have not yet read the book, I will leave it there (and also because this post is getting really long).
- The storytelling talents of the author
GRR Martin is also a screenwriter. Well, it shows. We start flipping through the pages to find out who will be the next point of view character. Each end of a chapter is heartbreaking. At the same time, when a new one begins, we are excited to finally know what happens to the plot left open a few chapters earlier.
It is incredibly effective. It is advisable to read this book when you have time to spare, at the risk of suffering frustration that is difficult to bear. We come to want to spend sleepless nights there on the eve of a working day and that endless train journeys last even longer. George RR Martin – A Game of Thrones Audiobook.
This cycle has a flaw. That of not being finished and of suffering from the slow writing of its author. You should know before embarking on the adventure that the writing of the fifth volume is not finished, that after being released in English, you will have to wait for the translation with the following steps no doubt: large format cut out, small format cut, large format not cut, semi-format not cut. If you are like me a little obsessive on the editions of your favorite books, it will take a long time for volume 5 to appear in the I have read the full edition …
To make us wait, a series is in preparation on which GRR Martin is also working. It is an HBO series (Carnivalé, Deadwood, Rome …) which suggests a high quality. The first season will air in spring 2011.