Friday, October 7, 2011

Rereading a Song of Ice and Fire

*Minor Spoilers*
"A Dance of Dragons" is currently weighing down my night table but before I crack open its mighty spine I'm re-reading the whole Song of Ice and Fire starting from book one. I sped through Game of Thrones and Clash of King and enjoyed them no less for the third or fourth re-reading. But now I'm now halfway through Storm of Swords and I'm find that my enthusiasm is beginning to wane.


When did everyone get so passive? Catelyn's story was never exactly enthralling, though rereading the series it's frightening to see just how much of what happens is her fault, starting with her ill-advised capture of Tyrion. After that her story gradually gets more depressing than Russian poetry. By SoS whenever a chapter with her name comes up, I just grit my teeth and think of England.  


But Cat was always meant to be a tragic heroine. Bran is a cripple learning that he has other skills. Sansa is a way to see what is happening at King's Landing. Those characters I understand being passive. But in SoS, some of the most proactive and interesting characters become little more than observers while others move them around like chess pieces. Davros is rescued but under the thrall of Stannis and Melisandre. Jaime is maimed and captured. Arya is being shuffled around for no obvious purpose but to show what happened to the Lightning Lord and get her ready to be shipped off for Braavos. Jon is a unwilling wildling now and being carried along by Manse's army. And even everyone's favourite conniving little imp, Tyrion is being mowed under by his father (though we know how that turns out).  Out of all the POV characters, Daenerys is the only who seems to be actually DOING anything.


It's the beginning of the middle of the series and I understand the need to move the characters around to where they need to be, but did it really need 1078 pages (on my ereader)?


But who am I to criticize? I'm still enjoying the series and so are a lot of other people (it has to be the best selling series since Harry Potter). Still at 600 pages in, I can't help but wish somebody would start to do something already. It will be interesting to see how they translate this one into a TV series.  

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