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Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published October 22nd 2013
game of thrones, graphic novel, George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones the graphic novel, comic

Winter is coming to the kingdom of Westeros. Eddard Stark lives in the remote citadel of Winterfell with his wife and children, sandwiched between the dangers beyond the Wall to the North and the treachery and intrigues of the royal court to the South. Meanwhile, Prince Viserys, heir to the house Targaryen plots to regain what he sees as his rightful place as ruler of all Westeros. He bargains with a horde of nomad warriors called the Dothraki to support his kingship in exchange for his younger sister, Daenerys' hand in marriage.

You have probably seen or at least heard of the popular HBO television series A Game of Thrones. The graphic novel is not a tie-in from the show but rather an original adaptation of George R. R. Martin's books. Because of this, some of the characters don't look like the actors from the show and some minor aspects of the plot are different.

I confess I haven't read the novels yet, although I now want to, so I can't really comment on how faithful this adaptation is to them. I have seen the television series and liked it, but I enjoyed the graphic novel equally. There are a fair few little visual differences between this version and the TV series. For instance, the Stark children are obviously younger at the beginning of the story, something which would have been much harder to do in shooting a television show. Then there is the look of the Iron Throne, which is visual fairly different from the HBO version, and apparently closer to the author's vision of it. The "White Walkers" in the show are represented here as translucent elf-like figures with swords of ice.

The art is impressive, especially in the crowd scenes like the one in the Great Hall at Winterfell where you can make out so many distinct characters just doing their thing in the background and adding to the atmosphere. There are a lot of beautiful little touches, like the character's house sigils on their clothing and Tyrion Lannister's shadow stretching out like a giant looming over Jon Snow as he tells him that "all dwarfs may be bastards yet not all bastards need be dwarfs."

Volume one of A Game of Thrones: the Graphic Novel collects issues one to six in hardcover. It also includes an introduction from George R. R. Martin and lots of commentary by the series editor, adapter and artists and pencil sketches of various scenes. It has a gripping story, beautiful artwork and realistic characters you can't help but care about (though as the author himself warns, don't get too attached!). I recommend it to fans of the TV show or the books, and to anybody who enjoys epic fantasy.

Rated: 8/10
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Why? To enjoy a different perspective on the story.
Your Comment
I started to read Game of Thrones last night and already I don't think I'm going to make it through. The news of a graphic novel adaptation is very timely indeed.
by Carly Ogborne (score: 3|4626) 2476 days ago
You should read the books! They're delectable.
by devil (score: 1|27) 2477 days ago
Seriously, Carly?! You can't get through the first book? I've been reading the first one for the past week just before I go to sleep and am already half way through it! If you've watched the series, it's probably a bit easier to read the books as you can relate to the different characters alot easier. Keep perservering. It's definitely worth it and nowhere near as hard as Lord of the Rings, which is like reading Shakespear!!
by steve (score: 2|134) 2476 days ago
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