Now that I've started it, I've realize that, despite the grandiose scale of the entire series, these are surprisingly easy reads. I assume that, having watched the series, it makes it much easier for me to keep track of the characters, but even then, there is still the immense history and the political intrigues to deal with - and really, there are A LOT of characters. Yet, I know them all. No Wiki or legend necessary. I've read, or tried to read other epic fantasies like the Shannara or Wheel of Time series, where the pacing is ridiculously ponderous, or the characters and events are so many and so confusing that I need to keep notes. Not so with this series.
I believe a key to this is George R.R. Martin's style choice to have each chapter told from the point of view of any one of many characters. Not every character earns POV status, but those that do easily cover those that do not. Martin also does not waste time with preamble. Descriptions are pithy and never out of place. He even provides histories to certain characters or events, yet does not take up a lot of space doing so.
I found myself exhausted after reading Game of Thrones and took a break before starting the series again, but I realize now that my mental weariness was not due to the writing itself, but the ideas the book inspired
So now that I'm on A Clash of Kings, I am going to unleash my thoughts as I go along. Considering I've barely made it one hundred pages in and have managed this much already.....
Jon Snow is not Ned Stark's son, but instead, the son of Ned's sister Lyanna by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.
The exact nature of her relationship with Rhaegar is not presently clear, but shortly thereafter Rhaegar apparently abducted her. Robert and Brandon Stark believed that Lyanna had been taken against her will. Their anger over the event triggered Robert's Rebellion. After the sack of King's Landing, Eddard and six companions went to retrieve Lyanna at the building Rhaegar had named the Tower of Joy. They fought three Kingsguard knights stationed there, who killed all but Eddard and Howland Reed. Eddard found Lyanna dying in a "bed of blood" and clutching a withered wreath of blue roses. She forced him to make a promise to her, the contents of which are unknown, but which haunted Eddard for the rest of his life. She was sixteen years old at the time of her death. ~ A Wiki of Ice and Fire
I came to this conclusion during A Game of Thrones, and, reading Mormont confirming and expanding on Maester Aemon's story enhanced my suspicions. Aemon was a potential king whose vows prevented him from becoming so. Jon, too, could have claim to the throne as a member of House Targaryen, albeit a bastard member, but, now that he has taken the Black, as was Ned's plans, it cannot come to pass.
ETA: Blue roses! Blue roses! On an ice wall!!
The Three Mothers
|Cersei Lannister by Pojypojy|
Lysa Arryn is most certainly crazy, but her greatest concern is her son, whom she too loves dearly and would protect with her life, if needed and, rather than outright accuse anyone of murdering her husband, she takes him to the safety of her own lands.
|No Mother of the Year Awards for either of you.|