A Song of Ice and Fire – Hannah’s Review

Well, I too finished reading A Dance With Dragons. Being a lifelong Harry Potter superfan, I never thought I would pick up on another series the way I did with little Harry. This was my second time reading the series, and I will admit, I enjoyed it much more the second time through, specifically book 4, A Feast for Crows.
George RR Martin has managed to create a massive world filled with characters, languages, and rich history that all readers can enjoy, then live and breathe. Every character is so real, and sadly, some of the most honorable and like-able characters die because of their will to do the right thing. Sometimes I would find myself rooting for the “bad guys” because just like in life, no one is all good and all bad, but instead, a bit of both. Picking sides is frightening, because the characters are disposable, just like we are in “real” life. As to where I stand and what I desire for Westeros, I will say this: Winter is Coming.

Favorite Characters: Arya Stark (DUH!), Robb Stark, Jon Snow (basically, I love all the Starks but Sansa, but I am holding out hope that she becomes a total BA later in the series), Olenna Redwyne, and Jamie Lannister

Least Favorite Characters: Cersei Lannister (disgusting), Petyr Baelish, House Bolton, Quentyn Martell (idiot), Lysa Arryn (CREEP!)

Favorite Quotes: “When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” -Ser Loras Tyrell
“I expected the old weasel to piss in our wine and make us praise the vintage.” -Edmure Tully
“And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” -Maggy the Frog
“…A naked man has few secrets, but a flayed man’s got none.” -Reek

In truth, I could write pages and pages of reviews for each book. Reading this series has reminded me why I love reading: getting lost in the Riverlands, being chilled to the bone on the wall, tasting the sweet Dornish wine, sweating with Dany in the Free Cities, feeling the wind from the Moon Door, and best of all, watching the writing jump from the pages to television with HBO’s Game of Thrones. 

GRRM himself said it best:

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth.”

Because I love images, here is a beautiful one of each major house sigil.

And now, we are onto The Great Gatsby! If you would like to read along with us, we are setting our first goal of finishing 81 pages (the end of chapter 4, for those of you, like me, reading on eReaders) by Friday. That is tomorrow, which means I need to get to reading!

Valar Morghulis. Valar Dohaeris.
-Hannah

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