The third season of Game of Thrones ended on Sunday; and after the…well, let’s call it the “RW (there are SPOILERS in that link),” more people are talking about the show than ever. It’s time to jump on the bandwagon, and it’s time to read the books. The fourth season premieres on April 17, 2014, so you have ten months to burn through 770,000 words full of epic battles, love stories, political unrest, and Hodor.
So here are seven reasons why you (and everyone else in the world) should read George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series.
- Reading is good for you. Specifically, reading fiction is good for your brain. Put down the CEO autobiographies and the self-help books. Your brain wants to read about dragons and wargs and people who never existed, so LET IT.
- If you’re already a fan of the show, the books will help it make much more sense. I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones, and found myself unable to tell Theon from Robb from Jon Snow. So I opted to read the first book first, and then watch the first season. Now I totally understand the complex familial relationships and the individual personalities of each boy. Jon Snow has the black hair, Robb has the red, and Theon is Lily Allen’s brother from the song. Easy peasy.
- If you’re already a fan of the show, the books will help heighten your enjoyment. When Arya first met up with the band of black crow “recruits” heading with Yoren to the Wall, my husband next to me couldn’t care less. But I cheered and fist pumped on account of Hot Pie.
- If you’re not a fan of the show/don’t watch TV, reading the books will help you understand what all the weirdos on the internet and in your office are talking about. And it will give you the upper hand on spoilers. “Oh, Cheryl in accounting, you need me to turn in my TPS reports before the end of the day? Are you sure about that? Give me until 5:00 tomorrow or I’ll ‘accidentally’ let some interesting information about Tyrion slip.”
- The books flesh out the characters in new and exciting ways. There are so many characters who I started out hating or being bored by at the beginning of the books/TV series, but George R.R. Martin has a magical way of being able to flip the reader’s opinion about his characters. There’s always more under the surface (except for Joffrey. With him, it’s pretty much what you see is what you get). I never thought I’d find myself looking forward to a Davos chapter, but here we are.
- The Easter eggs. Along with lengthy descriptions of food and big brown nipples, all of the books are chock full of little character mentions and near misses that seem pointless at first, but are there for a reason. These little moments are especially important in books four and five (A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons), when several main characters have gone missing or into hiding.
- THE BOOKS ARE GOOD. It’s that simple. You will enjoy reading them. This will not be a chore. Yes, they are long. Yes, they are wordy. But for all the verbosity, even at the end of a particularly long chapter, I find myself jumping into the next chapter immediately. Martin is a wizard. He’s master of the slow burn. Let yourself be swept up into these stories, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Have you read the books? Why would you recommend them…or not recommend them?
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