[Book] A Game of Thrones: The Comic Book Series, Issues 1-24 #TBR20

A Game of Thrones: The Comic Book Series is my 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th book read for the #TBR20 challenge…at least that is what I am counting them as…I actually read the comic books, but they were released in four graphic novel volumes, so I’m counting them for the purposes of the #TBR20 challenge!

I have had a long sordid history with a Game of Thrones.

First there was the TV show. Back in the Winter of 2013, the hubs and I watched the first season of Game of Thrones. When it ended, he was jonesing for more… Me? Not so much. I concluded it was too violent…I didn’t care much for the characters…I found the character names confusing…pile on, I hated Game of Thrones. After watching the first episode of the second season, with my husband looking on to my scowling face (I didn’t realize I was scowling…) he said, that’s it, I looked miserable. He released me from watching any more GoT.

Then there was the book.

Just because I wasn’t watching the show didn’t mean I wasn’t constantly reminded of “how good” a show GoT was, even though I felt differently. It seems EVERYbody is into Game of Thrones. “The show is awesome! The books are awesome! Go on! Read! Watch!” Read? Seriously? I reasoned with myself that if I read the book, at least I could take my time with it…ponder it, and take notes as I went. I got my hands on an ePub of George R.R. Martin’s a Song of Ice and Fire, the first book in the Game of Thrones series.

Last month, I started reading it. I got about 200 pages in, taking notes along the way so as not to get too confused with the plotlines…and then my friend Bill from Start to Continue Podcast lent me nine of his copies of the Game of Thrones comic book series, and I managed to locate the rest. That was all it took…I was hooked, and no margin notes needed!

The Game of Thrones comic book series came in eBook format (technically .cbr), so I was able to read it on my tablet, which, I have to say, was a very comfortable way of reading, and one that I haven’t really explored until now (ironic, since in my professional life I run a transcription service where I provide eTextbooks to students with disabilities). I won’t discount reading comics on paper – the feel, the smell, and the portability are things that I like about the printed page. However, being able to read on my tablet allowed me to brighten and enlarge the page if I needed to. It was a different experience, and one that I will explore further going forward.

The Game of Thrones comic books were adapted by Daniel Abraham from the George R.R. Martin book, and drawn by Tommy Patterson. I loved its execution, and how beautiful some of the slates were. You could tell great care was taken with each frame, and I really loved the watercolour quality of the colouring. I also appreciated how the comic book managed to move the story along.

Obviously, reading the Game of Thrones comic series went better than expected. I am not one to enjoy the Medieval Fantasy genre at all (I’m a Contemporary Fic gal myself), so I thought I would be getting very sleepy fast. But, Game of Thrones was different. It was more like a Medieval soap opera set in this fantastical world where people live in stone castles, feast on “meat and mead”, and pack swords. I particularly enjoyed how GoT was written like happy hour at a Medieval Times supper club, complete with addressing guys as “M’Lord,” ladies as “wenches” and in that environment having the characters speak crassly like we do today, such as “taking a shit in the woods.” I won’t go too much into the plot, except to say the story of the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons and Targaryans and how they play with each other is both immersive and shocking.

Speaking of shocking, there are things in this story that will make your jaw drop, particularly the themes around incest, and underaged brides. Now, I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed how women were portrayed in this book – I didn’t at all. Women in Game of Thrones are generally mistreated by men in some of the worst ways possible, which bothered me to watch it on the small screen, let alone see it dipicted in a comic book. I would even hazard that scowl I had on my face at the end of watching the first season had a lot to do with that exact subject matter. That said, if you are sensitive to images, or stories of domestic abuse and r—, I would give caution that this story can trigger a reaction…or just avoid Game of Thrones altogether.

Now, for the Game of Thrones name game.

Overall, I enjoyed Game of Thrones, my only real critique is how the characters are named. I don’t know if George R.R. Martin gave up on coming up with unique names for his characters or, lives to confuse his readers, but Game of Thrones is notorious for having multiple characters named the same name:

We have Robb Stark and Rob(ert) Baratheon.
Bran(don) Stark (Eddard Stark’s son) and Brandon Stark (Rickard Stark’s son).
Jon Arryn and Jon Snow.

Characters whose names sound the same: Tyrion, Theon, Tywin

And then having a main character named two names within the same sentence, as is the case with Eddard Stark, a.k.a. Ned.

See what I’m saying? It can get confusing without a notepad nearby.

At any rate, this Game of Thrones franchise has been an interesting journey. I think I am ready to rewatch the show now. And I better get on that because WINTER IS COMING…

IMG_20150728_091152

8/10

A Game of Thrones: Comic Book Series #1-24
Dynamite Entertainment
2011-2014

#TBR20 Project Participant!! (but it’s taking me a lifetime!)

The “To Be Read 20” Project, is created and hosted by Eva Stalker at evastalker.com. The goal of the project is to read through 20 books I own before buying any more books.

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31 comments

  1. Great review. I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of the art style, but I think I might have to get my hands on a few copies and see what I think of these.

    I think the name issue comes down to GRRM wanting authenticity in the universe. It’s obviously modelled around a certain, actual period of time in Europe and the Middle East, and there really was a dearth of variety in names back then. Just as an example, in the Tudor dynastic period of just over 100 years, there were 4 Henrys, 4 James’, 4 Marys, 3 Catherines, 2 Annes, 2 Elizabeths and so on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have not yet delved into GoT. Your issues with the names is exactly why. I remember seeing LotR — Two Towers. Even having read the book, I couldn’t keep the characters straight in my head. Too many bearded males that all more or less looked the same to me!

    The artwork here looks great though.

    Kudos on attempting to read 20 books! I’d like to finish 2 this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, LotR never really stuck with me. K had read them, and he can’t understand why I don’t care much to watch and rewatch the movies. I just can’t keep them all straight!

      I am 10 books in now! Not bad for someone who only read one book last year!

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  3. I’ve had a couple of these out of the library and they’re OK! Having watched most of the series (haven’t yet seen the most recent season), I know what you mean about keeping everyone straight. Many people have complained about that – and once you figure it all out, he kills off a bunch and introduces more! Haha.

    Well done! Glad you’re sticking it out for the TBR. I’m fairly close (I think 16 or 17 down, now). But I’m thisclose to 100 books read for 2015 already, lots of graphic novels (the list is on the KMA, under TBR-Aaron. I always count them as books read because by the time you digest the story, and marvel at the artwork, and re-read sections you loved… yeah, it’s the same time it takes to read a short novel. In fact, my next TBR book is a graphic novel, but it’s the biggest, most involved thing I’ve tackled in a looong time!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not this time, nope. It’s been a while since I read that one (I LOVED IT).

        It’s an Alan Moore called From Hell. Yes, there was a (terrible) movie for it, but this graphic novel is stunning. And with all the annotations at the end… this was a serious investment in time and energy! Wow!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I have Black Hole as well. It’s… um… whoa. Just don’t read it before bed, if you’re prone to weird/scary dreams. It’s… quite a thing. And this coming from the guy currently reading From Hell right before bed!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thanks for the tip!
              You say you are close to 100 books read. I take it, the ones on the TRB20 are books in your collection, and the others are books from elsewhere (the library, etc)?

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            1. For me, I count any that I read, because I have such a hard time reading as it is. But, I am sticking with it! 10 this year! Not bad!

              Like

  4. Glad you were able to sink your teeth into these! I wasn’t quite happy with the art but they served as a great companion to the show for me. Allowed me to figure out the back histories and whispered political manoeuvring I might of missed.
    I’ll have to get those remaining volumes from you at some point, but not for a while….I prefer watching the show first, then giving it a read after. So much for my imagination eh!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 10 books out of 20 down Sarca? Whoa you’re halfway there!
    I was talking to my sister about G of T this weekend, she had the same thoughts you did about season 1 of the show and never went back. Nice to hear there’s hope for the series in graphic book form.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I read all five books. They hooked me from the beginning, though I certainly understand your issues with them. The show was well cast and the acting was good but I never made it far past season one, mostly because I preferred the books.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Me and my wife just finished watching the series….I had no idea it was in comic book form etc…the show like u say is totally violent …..but I kept watching …ha….nice written article Sarca!

    Liked by 1 person

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