It’s hard to write reviews for books that may contains major spoilers. Especially if the book you’re writing about is A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings. So, instead of talking about the plot, I’m going to talk about the series as a whole, and who my favorite characters are and why.
A Song of Ice and Fire is a complex series. Not just in terms of name dropping–which happens everywhere on the page–but also in terms of the span at which it is trying to accomplish. Normally in fantasy, you only get to read from the main hero’s perspective. You don’t get to see what his enemies are doing, or his friends, or his friend-enemies. But in A Clash of Kings, you get to see all of these interactions, and more. It’s a broad structure, one that can easily have no end, especially if you want to tell your story from the perspective of knights to kids in pot shops.
It’s a blessing, in this case, because I love learning more about my favorite characters.
Who are my favorite characters, you ask?
Jon Snow: because he has the bastard sword Longclaw, his amazing direwolf Ghost, he’s brave, and he has to live out his days on The Wall, where it’s really bloody cold. Any man that can keep that up for more ‘n a year is a good one in my book.
Arya Stark: she’s smart for her age, can pass for a boy (which is a good thing in this series), and wants to be more of a water-dancer (someone who fights with swords). Arya is also funny, and witty. She at least has brains where her sister Sansa kind of lacks them, due to her preparations for a life at court.
Tyrion Lannister: He’s wicked smart, not a traditionally beautiful-looking person, but fantastic all the same. Because he’s a dwarf, he can act like a fool in motley–meaning he can make japes, suggest things, and the king or queen might listen. He has tremendous influence over the people he’s working with, and does his best to keep his enemies close at hand, and tries to outwit even them. Tyrion is one of my favorite characters because of how he acts, he does his best not to appear hurt, especially when confronted with his lord father, Tywin Lannister.
Daenarys (Dany) Targaryen: she’s across the sea, coming into her own as a queen, has three dragons. Dany is determined, and doing the best she can to protect her khalasar–her band of people. She’s only 15 years old, and boy is she feisty. She will do anything to keep her people alive, and wants more than nothing to sit the Iron Throne in King’s Landing. But first, ships. I love it. She has definitely come a long since the first book.
Brandon (Bran) Stark: I know he’s a cripple now, but I really enjoy reading about his dreams. He’s a tough little boy, doing his best to be the prince in Winterfell, and love his family and his direwolf Summer. Summer is a good boy. He saved Bran’s life more than once. Free yourself once more, Bran!
I’m already close to 100 pages deep into A Storm of Swords. I’m excited to see where this series goes and what becomes of my favorite characters. I’m sure to pick up more favorite characters along the way.
Here’s some Game of Thrones inspired music from none other than Blind Guardian, an awesome German power metal band: