Book Response No.5

The book  “A Game of thrones” by George RR Martin follows the chaos of life in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Ned Stark is summoned by the King to be his Hand or chief adviser after the sudden death of Jon Arryn. Ned Stark is thrown into the political world of conspiracy and deceit. Whilst chaos ensues in the capitol the exiled “Dragon King” rises to power in the east.

The basis of the book is politics and control. Throughout the text they discuss the idea of playing the “Game of thrones” which is a dangerous power struggle between the 7 ruling families that control different regions of Westeros. Not a single person in the capitol city of King’s landing can be trusted, anyone can turn on anyone. “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die”.  This “Game of thrones” that the characters play represents the dangerous political world that we live in today. If somebody of power makes a single mistake  the rest of the world descends on them like a pack of wolves.

In the start of the text Ned Stark has to decide the fate of a deserter. Punishment for desertion is death. Instead of deciding the mans fate and leaving the rest up to one of his men, Ned kills the man himself out of principle. All of his children are forced to watch because Ned is teaching them how to be respected leaders.  “If you would take a mans life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes… If you cannot bear to do that, perhaps he does not deserve to die”. Honour is a powerful tool and without it we do not deserve to have power over others.  In a position of power relying on other people to your dirty work for you will undermine the respect that you have from other people.

Viserys is the exiled, self proclaimed “Dragon King”. He is an egotistical prick who feeds off control. Because he was born into royalty before he was exiled he has a intense air of self entitlement.  Viserys is incredibly childish in the fact that he gets angry when he does not get what he wants. Viserys’s death is incredibly ironic. All that he wanted his entire life was a golden crown and too have power over everyone in his life. Khal Drogo offers to give him this. Instead of creating a Golden crown for Viserys to wear he pours molten gold over Viserys head killing him. The gold hardens around his head in a spherical shape giving Viserys dead body the golden crown he has always desired. This is the only ending that Viserys deserved. This showed me that demanding something that you desire isn’t how you get something. Had Viserys been respected he may have finally achieved his goal.

“All Dwarf are bastards in their fathers eyes”. To me this quote is important because it shows me that no matter what you are people will always view you as something else. Tyrion Lannister was born a Dwarf and so is hated by his father and family. It is viewed as a sign of weakness that a member of a powerful family has a disability. People will always find a reason to dislike you or put you down. Like Tyrion, its best just to ignore what they think and embrace who you are instead of trying to fight against it.  “If they want to give you a name take it make it your own. Then they can’t hurt you with it anymore”. This taught me not to worry about what other people think or “label” me. I need to turn what weaknesses into my strengths so that they can’t be used against me.

One thing that I took away from the book is how to go about achieving goals. Viserys is so bent on conquering the Seven Kingdoms that he is even willing to sell his sister ( his only living family ) to a savage war-lord. I feel that George RR Martin was trying to show us that sometimes going to the extremes may not be the best way to achieve our goals. If we want to achieve something we would be better off putting our time into intelligent ideas.

Game of Thrones is definitely a book for mature people with high levels of graphic content and violence. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the fantasy side of it but I would also recommend it to anyone who is interested in the political intrigue of it.

One Reply to “Book Response No.5”

  1. Hi Tom. I have looked at this “Response 5” and well done for including specific details from the text throughout your discussion. I do think that you could expand on some of your final judgements about what you learn from these sections. Consider alternatives to the way characters, events, ideas were presented; how was the reader being manipulated through these details. Do these relate to your own personal experiences in any way?

Respond now!