I am one of the few people who does not watch Game of Thrones. I started watching it, but couldn’t handle when an angry large man chopped off his horses head. This was much more visceral than the horse scene in The Godfather. I mean, I now have a mental image of what a cross section of a horse’s neck looks like. I can’t un-see that. Then Bil convinced me to try again, and I made it into the second season, until there was some really sadistic domestic (I guess you could call it that?) violence. I mean, people actually deal with that. It was just too much for me.

So, Bil’s been on my case to read the books for-ev-er. I even started this book a year or two ago and only got to the halfway point, where it dragged a bit and I set it aside for an Agatha Christie novel and didn’t look back. But then when one of my coaches at the gym said it was so great and I HAD to read it, it found it’s way back to my To Be Read stack. Bil is a little perturbed that I’ll listen to Jenn more than him, but he got what he wanted, so who’s he to complain?

My thoughts – spoilers from here on out, if you happen to also be a person who has not read book one or watched season 1 of the show.

The story is good. Like, really, really good. Even though it’s 800 pages, book 2 is 700 and books 3 and 4 are each over 1,000 pages – I really want to know what happens. So I’ll read the rest of the books – after a break.

I’m particularly interested in seeing how things shake out with a new world order rising with the ascension to the throne of a incredibly ill-prepared, childish, and selfish leader. I really felt for those Starks. Apparently, counting on other peoples’ sense of honor and duty (Ned) and a baseless assumption that “everything will be alright” (Sansa) doesn’t help any. Arya’s the only one who has any fucking idea.

Speaking of psychopaths, I’m pretty sure you could teach a college level psych course on personality disorders using this show instead of a text book. Narcissism, PTSD, Depression, Alcoholism, Sadism, Masochism, Megalomania, Oedipal Complex, Schizophrenia/Paranoia. And I suspect everyone in the Night’s Watch has SAD.

Towards the very end of the book, there’s this very climactic scene with Daenerys Targaryen. I think I was supposed to feel all girl-power about it, but reading this after the end of 2016, all I could think was: Wait. So the Dothraki will follow any khal so long as he can stay on top of a horse. That’s the only requirement. But, a group of people who have no food, no shelter, and really no identity since their previous community abandoned them, will not follow a khaleesi until she burns a witch at the stake and hatches three dragon eggs, and gets close enough to the fire that all her own hair singes off – THEN they’ll follow a khaleesi. Fucking glass ceilings, y’all.