Winter is Here: A Game of Thrones Reading Group

Dana Ryals & Kelley Minica, Librarian

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”

Jojen Reed to Bran Stark in Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

As any member of George R. R. Martin’s Stark family will tell you, winter is here. Have you been putting off reading the A Song of Ice and Fire (ASIOF) series, of which A Game of Thrones is first book? If so, let’s bring a little warmth to the winter and get cozy with a great book series. We can already hear your objections, so we came up with some potential reasons to prove to you that these are poor excuses. We have half a hundred, but here are just three – no japes.

“The books are too big.” Well, you’re right. They are big: 4,224 pages together. But if you’re a reader, what difference does it make if you read 13 small books or 5 big ones? Seriously, this series is worth your time – trust us.

“I’m not into fantasy.” Really? You don’t like dragons, beautiful and descriptive writing, adventure, political intrigue, and amazing three-dimensional characters? We don’t believe you.

“I’d rather read it as part of a book group.” Sweet. That’s what we thought as well! Madison College Libraries is hosting a Game of Thrones Book 1 discussion on Wednesday, February 3rd – plenty of time to read the first book. Learn the art of careful reading and academic dialogue in our discussions of the best book series in all the known world. Please join us and the legions of Unsullied – and if you don’t know what that means yet, you will soon know much about of the Martinverse – the universe of George R. R. Martin.

You know you’re totally obsessed with ASIOF when:

You consistently talk about the characters as if they are your friends. Except Cersei – nobody likes her.

Words from the Martinverse start creeping into your normal conversations, like “smallclothes,” “jape,” and “mummer’s farce.”

You re-read the books looking for any morsel you missed the first time through.

You realize that you are willing to overlook certain immoral deeds as long as it involves a character you like (such as Khal Drogo, or Tyrion, or Bronn, or Jamie, or Arya… but never Cersei).

You no longer ask, “Red or white,” but rather, “Arbor Gold or Dornish Sour Red” and wonder about the vintage.

You’ve asked yourself, “Am I getting enough stallion heart and garlic buttered snails in my diet?”

Your co-worker accuses you of taking his lunch. To prove you are innocent, you demand trial by combat.

You’ve priced swords and daggers online, spending far too much time thinking up cool names and backstories for the one you want.

You’re secretly hoping bell sleeves will make a comeback this season.

At the last wedding you attended, you asked to be seated closest to the exit.

You’re thinking of naming your next son Bronn.

Instead of asking someone what they think you ask them, “What do you see in the flames?”

So there you have it. Winter is coming.