The ‘Game of Thrones’ Phenomenon

By now everyone has heard of ‘A Game of Thrones’ (GoT for short), which has been thrust into the limelight after the success of the television series. But before the screen adaptation there was a 1000 page novel. Written by George R R Martin, it encompasses the country of Westeros, its inhabitants and total warfare.

This article doesn’t review the show, the five books, the collectible cards or the RPG spinoffs; it simply discusses the fantasy phenomenon.

While the creation of a new world is an aspect of fiction required for general success, the characters are often the area determining greatness. In this, Martin has defeated all of his predecessors; not even The Lord of the Rings can boast the courage of the Stark family, the cunningness of the Lannisters, the history of the Targaryans or the boldness of the Baratheons.

Game Of Thrones

Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones

Nobody can be trusted in the world of Westeros, and therein lies the beauty; every single character (and there are hundreds) face both triumph and despair. Main protagonists die unexpectedly and there is no bias towards good or evil when it comes to a victor. This is a series for the ages

A brief synopsis of the first book: Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and father to six children, takes his army and a few of his boys along for a hunt.

After witnessing their father kill a deserter with a swift blow to the head, the boys discover six dire wolf pups. They decide to keep them as pets due to the fact that the Stark emblem is also a dire wolf. This causes a stir of wonder amongst the northern stronghold.

As the pages fly by we meet dozens of characters from other families, and each chapter is told from the  point of view of a key character. When the death of the King’s Hand rocks the country, Eddard Stark is asked to take his place. This requires him to leave his children and serve the realm.

To go into further depth would take hours; such is the enormity of the task. Readers grow to love and hate Martin’s complex creations, and are taken on a journey to greater lands that unravel an amazing story.

The recent television series does a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the book and is lucky enough to have Martin on board as an adviser. Season three will be airing in six months, giving new fans enough time to watch the first two series and begin exploring the novels.

Game of Thrones Sansa

Sansa Stark and her Dire Wolf

Personally, the books are the best series I’ve ever read, and as you may know I read a hell of a lot. A real sadness hits you when your favourite character is raped, crippled or killed. This is the power of George R R Martin.

I would love to hear the thoughts of others in terms of the books or TV series.

Who is your favourite character?

Which book did you find the best?

Which characters bore you, especially when a chapter is devoted to them?

Let the discussions begin.

As a studying journalist and passionate reader/writer, I will be creating reviews, articles and recommendations to fellow students to raise awareness for certain subjects.


  1. Rachael Koch

    16/09/2012 at 3:17 pm

    My favourite character at the beginning was Bran… And then he got pushed off a tower.

    Honestly, I found the constant bad stuff happening to everyone boring. I became desensitized to it, and it stopped me really caring about the characters, because I knew they we soon to be tortured, raped, etc!

    I think the ‘phenomenon’ is a bit overrated actually 🙂

  2. Chris Sutton

    16/09/2012 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Rach,

    I do agree that the bad stuff is excessive, but find it to be exciting in seeing who will succeed. My favourite character is Tyrion, simply because he is good at heart and doesn’t succumb to the influence of his power-obsessed family.

  3. Thomas

    13/10/2012 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I haven’t read the books but was captivated by the TV series so I’m guessing the books are pretty awesome-

    Tyrion would have to be my favourite character in the show. That actor is brilliant, such a powerful voice.

    I really like how the atmosphere is coloured by a world of dramatically different weather patterns too. I think this feature makes it more convincing as a world and not just a world “like this world but a little different.”

    Cheers for sharing the article mate!

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