Yeah...sooo...I remember being completely in a passionate hate relationship with the first Game of Thrones book, a couple of posts ago, and just fell short of swearing that I'd never pick up another GoT book...well, about that...
I picked up the second book about a week after that post, because, to be honest, I did eventually sort of fall off the hate wagon, and I did fall in love with a couple of the characters in the first book. And as it usually happens when I start something and put it off, I wanted to see where this bloody story is heading.
I completed book two and have but 1/2 hour left of the last episode (S02E10) in the Game of Thrones HBO series that I'm watching on HBO Go. The combination of the books and TV series are creating a solid bit of conflict in my mind's eye. Not that I need the added confusion, since the books do a wonderful job already. I'm wondering whether the series is tapping into the later books, a little early.[spoiler alerts ahoy]
The plus about the series is seeing some really nice fight scenes and well-delivered dialogue by a cast that's pretty much all from the UK. Of course, there being a few Scottish actors doesn't hurt either ;)
So here are some things I'm debating, meditating on, and struggling with when it comes to reading the books and watching the HBO series:
Daenarys seems like a total clueless brat in the series, while much more pulled together in the book. At least that's my impression. It's no small wonder when you realize that season 2 is heading in a totally different direction than book 2--what on earth happened to the dragons and why is she in a love-hate relationship with Ser Mormont? I only noticed this coming to ahead in book three.
I like Arya in the book, but she's much more charming in the series. Kudos to the actress who shows equal parts grace and fierceness. However, the series have her chumming up to Lord Tywin, which really has me staring and wondering WTF?! Also, am I the only one who winces when they use rough language in front of the younger actors in the series?
I still dislike Jon Snow. Sorry Jon. I became disappointed with you early on. I could totally commiserate with Lady Catelyn, so it was a no contest. Then you go up to the wall and get into all sorts of crap once you're up North. I think his story line might be heading somewhere now that he's infiltrating the Wildlings. Maybe. I'll keep hoping.
Bran has me scratching my head with his holding pattern story line. So now he has green dreams and fugues via Summer. Good for him. Is he ever going to master that skill? Where is he heading? Anywhere? The Wall, really? Hmmm.
Robb almost made me pull my hair out with the "falling in love and, oops, accidentally screwing over the Freys in the process" thing he pulled. Is he being played? What the hell happened with strategy, young king?
Bronn is a ton of fun in the series, which in comparison to the books, he hasn't really been very active since he rescued Tyrion by stepping in as his champion. As evidence of his interesting personality, I offer the scene in the series where he jokes with Tyrion and Varys about the books, and another scene where he helps The Hound by killing a guy heading for the Hound and then winking. He may be growing on me.
Something that I really dislike about the series is how they harp on Joffrey's irredeemably sadistic personality. Thankfully, we only see him cowardly asking others to do his dirty work in the book, but we may see more of this nasty side of his later on. I didn't like the warning Sansa got about potential further abuse after Joff got engaged to Margaery. I am on pins and needles for poor, simple Sansa. She definitely didn't inherit the Stark wits, and likely is beginning to personify the weaker side Ned had, and which undid him. Kudos to the young actor portraying Joff, because that's quite the good job he's doing.
Another antihero I can't bear is Theon Greyjoy. What a clumsy wuss. Just to kiss up to his dad he goes and scrambles the North and leaves Winterfell and the Starks in shambles. You can see he's a capital craven, and I cannot wait, I count the minutes, until he gets his comeuppance. And honestly, why did Theon allow his people to kill Maester Lewin? That was a major downer in view how lightly Maester Pycelle got off in Kings Landing.
So now I come to King's Landing and two of my favorite characters...Tyrion and The Hound. These are a combination of complex and mysterious characters. We don't really understand their motivation. Tyrion seems like a total badass witty brain, except for his weakness when it comes to working women he ends up falling in love with. I guess he's a romantic, but does Shae really love him or just the lifestyle she's now grown accustomed to? Tyrion needs a reality check, and I fear Tywin is the person that will administer it to him. Looks like Tyrion may be another one of the author's pawns, and I dread to see where it' s-heading (pardon the pun).
And then The Hound. I like him because I don't understand him. He seems conflicted when he sees how Joffrey treats Sansa, but he seems vicious when he needs to be, and was courageous during the fight against Stannis' people outside the castle. He seems like he's protecting Sansa, but he likes to shock her at almost every turn. I realize she is almost asking for people to mistreat her, the way she just keeps repeating sad little oaths to Joffrey, but why does he seem taken by her? Is this a cat and mouse game that's heading somewhere? Also, I'm curious to find out the reason he disappeared, and why he pretty much made a point to say goodbye to Sansa before leaving.
So now, well into the third book, I hate Stannis with a passion, he's rather dull. I also see no future for Davos since his cough doesn't sound good. What other atrocities will come to the few characters I'm still rooting for?
It's been and will be quite a bumpy ride with these books.