It was a race against time. Time doesn’t stop for anyone, so they say. And for me it was so true. It was the matter of preserving my sanity or giving in after having struggled for so long. But I did it! It was unthinkable to give up, mean I never give up so easily, so why now. Just before the time-out could be announced, I did it!
If you are thinking what is it I’m rambling about, then let me update you. I have successfully completed the complete series of books of Game of Thrones before the start of the next season, Season 8. Yes, devoured them all, relished every page, ruminated on the twists and turns and right now basking in the satisfaction of a good hearty read. Life can’t get better. The series has kept me glued to it since the day I picked up the first tome. and then it just kept pulling me deeper and deeper into its folds. With each book, the story took a turn for the unexpected. And then I had to go on to the next book to know how it went further ahead.
As books go, it is a well written story. And most importantly the plot is kept together. The number of characters in the story is mind boggling. Keeping track of them and their role as the intrigues get more complex is a task by itself. Sometimes a character mentioned in the earlier pages of one book turns up in the next book. Thankfully each book ends with a detailed outline of all the families, major and minor, in the story and hence makes it easier to remember. The trials of the Starks and Lannisters is central to the storyline but each of the other families is deeply connected to either of them, through blood or loyalty. And therein lies the intrigues.
The distinction between the Westerosis and the cities across the seas is beautifully crafted. The Westerosi men were knights, full of chivalry and unfaltering code of conducts (well for some of them since there were exceptions galore), the men from the Slavers’ Bay were as slimy as the eels they loved to eat. Yunkhai, Astaphor, Ghis, Meereen, all had a distinct style of dressing. They loved colours, be it in their dresses or in their hair. It kind of was ironical. They loved colours yet they were the darkest of people with the goriest of traditions and practices. I was so repulsed when reading about some of the descriptions of the torture or battles that I had half a mind to skip those lines. But that would be unacceptable, so I trudged through those lines with pure distaste but I did.
Another thing which I loved about the books are the ways each of the cities or societies have been described. The descriptions are vivid and in detail. If you close your eyes when reading about them, you could easily see them in your mind. Even the camps of Ghiscari or Yunkhai. The filthy alleys, the stinking pestilence, the sweltering heat and humidity – I could feel them, smell them, imagine the squalid surroundings. It was truly revolting. And on the other end of the spectrum was the sheer indulgence of the ruling class. It was debauchery at another level. The silks and perfumes, the wines, the long lavish baths, the unapologetic gluttony; daily life was an orgy of sorts.
If you are already reading it, then I don’t want to, or rather don’t have to, say anything. You know what I’m saying. But for those who haven’t yet started off on the King’s Road, read it for the joy of reading. It feeds the soul in ways only a fellow GoT follower would understand. I’m still reeling with some of the unacceptable shocks and death in the last book but what can I say, the author if the master here.
Read in this sequence –
- A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire)
- A Clash of Kings
- A Storm of Swords
- A Feast For Crows
- a Dance with Dragons
The story isn’t complete yet but the TV series is out. The season 8 has commenced. So Valar dohaeris – All men must serve.