#1 Posted by MKSKILLZ16 (147 posts) -

Recently the hype for this series has taken to my attention, and I was just wondering if the first novel in the series is a worthwhile endeavor if for instance I am a person who generally ignores or dislikes the fantasy genre? Typically I have avoided much in the way of fantasy, for example, I have never watched/read any of the Lord of the Rings novels/movies or played Dragon Age Origins because this genre has never really spoken to me. Basically: Will Game of Thrones change my mind on the fantasy genre?

#2 Edited by Dylabaloo (1573 posts) -

If you go in open minded, don't decide beforehand that your gonna hate it and give it a fair chance. Then yes it could maybe change your mind, the fantasy elements are played down, its all about the characters and their relationships with eachother and how their actions effect others.

#3 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

It's a fantasy series but, at least up until about 100 pages into the second book as I am, there isn't a massive amount of fantasy creatures. It's a fairly dark, realistic take on the genre so far.

#4 Posted by MiniPato (2807 posts) -

I haven't read nor watched Game of Thrones, but it certainly seems to be different from your typical orcs and elves fantasy, the kind of fantasy I'm tired of as well.

#5 Posted by Ragdrazi (2258 posts) -

I don't know. But I'm hoping Game of Thrones will change a lot of fantasy author's conception of the fantasy genre.

#6 Posted by MKSKILLZ16 (147 posts) -

Thanks for all of the replies, I think when I am able to enter into the series with an open mind towards fantasy, then I will try the series out and give it a fair shake.

#7 Posted by JeffGoldblum (3777 posts) -

I hate fantasy and love of Game of Thrones. So it probably won't change your mind on the genre, but you'll probably love it anyway.

#8 Posted by JustKamToo (830 posts) -

Calling ‘The game of thrones’ a fantasy book is a stretch as in the first book the fantasy is only really hinted at (I’ll not spoil anything) the later books it is fleshed out but your not hit in the face with magic and monsters.

But they are great books set in a great world.
#9 Posted by l4wd0g (2224 posts) -

The book is really dark, so if you read it, be ready.

#10 Posted by TheBaddestOfThemAll (30 posts) -

"Game of Thrones" is a dark medieval themed story. The fantasy in this story is only 20%. This book is very dark. You will love it. Unless you hate favorite characters dying as you turn the pages.

#11 Edited by SamSharp505 (208 posts) -

I started reading because of the series, and im halfway through the newest book now. I didn't like fantasy stuff that much before but it is quite grim and (apart from the mention of dragons) there isn't too much fantasy, magic etc. The only fantasy bits in are evil as hell, so you don't mind them. 
Also, after reading it, what I accepted as fantasy changed so I'm moving onto other books like it now, so it could change the way you see it yeah.

#12 Posted by CitizenKane (10682 posts) -

Game of Thrones isn't really all that much fantasy, except for a few aspects. It's more like medieval mythology.

#13 Posted by ptc (633 posts) -

Just read the first chapter/prologue of the first book.  If that doesn't suck you in, then the series probably isn't for you. 
#14 Posted by ztiworoh (910 posts) -

As a person who thinks a lot of fantasy is sort of silly, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) is easily my favorite book series. Don't read if for the fantasy, read it for the multilayered characters, political intrigue, and brilliant writing. That said, the fantasy elements are there, but toned down, especially in the first few books. Part of the plot of the books does involve magic/fantastical things slowly returning to the world (at the beginning, it's not very different than medieval Europe) but it is acknowledged that dragons existed but have died out, that there were once sorcerers, etc.

But yes, read it - the first 1/3 or so of the first book can be a bit confusing as they just sort of throw you into the world without a ton of explanation, but just go with it, it's worth the ride.

#15 Posted by Funkydupe (3458 posts) -

When is it starting up again?

#16 Posted by believer258 (12849 posts) -

I'm actually reading the first book right now. There are certainly hints of unrealistic things floating around but I don't remember any mentions of elves, dwarves, wizards, dark lords, or anything of that sort, though there are people who name themselves after dragons or claim to have dragon blood or something in them. Whether dragons exist or not or if that's just a saying because they're strong people is yet to be seen for me.

Anyway, if you're afraid of yet another Tolkienesque fantasy, don't be. It's not that. I'm not even sure if you can call it "fantasy" yet.

#17 Edited by Kerned (1183 posts) -

It's barely fantasy. It's much more accurate to describe it as historical fiction with light fantasy elements. That said, the first book has almost no fantasy elements at all. It's about politics and intrigue more than it is about magic and dragons. And please disregard the person who said that the series isn't for you if the prologue doesn't grab you. The prologue is not tonally similar to the rest of the book at all.

You really should give it a try though, it's a great book. I don't think it will change your mind about the fantasy genre though, because I wouldn't consider this a fantasy novel.

#18 Posted by crajon (23 posts) -

@MKSKILLZ16: I've never been able to like the fantasy genre myself, I'm not entirely sure why. I tried reading GOF, and it just confirmed that it's just not the genre for me. I do like fantasy games though, and feel games are much better medium for the genre.

#19 Posted by Jams (3043 posts) -

@MKSKILLZ16: I'm wondering, what is it about fantasy that you don't like?

#20 Posted by Blimble (301 posts) -

There's a chance as it is a lot more focused on politics and characters (the fanatasy elements are sparse and don't come till later mostly) but if you generally don't like fantasy or medieval style things you probably wont like it. It isn't a revolutionary series or anything. No harm in trying though

#21 Posted by Funkydupe (3458 posts) -

Yes, yes. So when does this start up on TV again?

#22 Edited by xyzygy (10595 posts) -

I'm halfway through the 4th book and even then there is hardly much fantasy. There is a sort of magic, but it's very mysterious, obscure, and not really the main focus. Even into the 4th book the politics and characters are by FAR the main attraction. I highly recommend it, it's amazing. I wouldn't even consider ASOIAF fantasy.

#23 Posted by Marcsman (3376 posts) -

They are fucking fantastic. One of if not the best series I ever read. More addictive than crack.

#24 Posted by phoenix6153 (65 posts) -

A Song of Ice and Fire isn't your normal fantasy type story with magic, fairies, ogres, etc. It's a much more realistic take on the genre and one that I got sucked into almost immediately after reading the prologue of the first novel. It's much more focused on the relationships of the characters, the politics of medieval type kingdoms, and how different classes are looked upon by those higher up. Such a great series...I'm just praying he finishes it!!! (fingers crossed)

#25 Posted by oraknabo (1567 posts) -

I'd say there's a chance you'll like it even if you don't like fantasy, but it's not going to make you suddenly want to start reading every other fantasy book series.

#26 Posted by xMEGADETHxSLY (484 posts) -


#27 Posted by rentfn (1377 posts) -

I'm not a fan of that genre either. I read the first book and thought ti was ok. I thought the second half of the first season of the show was good but not amazing like everyone else. That Genre isn't for everyone. All my friends are crazy about the show though.

#28 Edited by Meowshi (2917 posts) -

And I the only person peeved by all this, "this isn't your traditional fantasy book, there's no faeries and orcs and half-elvish merfolk!" nonsense? It sounds like you people haven't picked up a fantasy book since leaving high school. George R.R. Martin did not invent low-fantasy, quasi-historical fiction; and the fantasy genre has evolved quite a bit beyond your typical DnD/LotR-derivatives.

It honestly seems like you people don't like fantasy because you haven't really given it a chance to impress you. Whatever though, I'm getting off topic.

The books are really good, and I'd recommend watching the HBO series if you did the first book. It's really good too and it's so rare that television takes fantasy seriously.

#29 Posted by stryker1121 (1782 posts) -

OP posted this 18 months ago, but anyone curious about Song of Ice and Fire shouldn't worry about being knocked over the head w/ another typical Tokein-type fantasy.

I love the book series and enjoy the show quite a bit, too. As has been stated here, the series is more about political intrigue/world building/characterization than your usual high fantasy tropes and wizards hurling fireballs.

There are dark fantasy and even horror elements throughout the series, but that is often the backdrop to the political intrigue and maneuvering amongst the characters. There's great dialogue and fight scenes. The entire series is out in paperback, so there's no reason not to get into it if you're on the fence and generally enjoy some great, meticulously written world-building and storytelling.

#30 Posted by thomasnash (662 posts) -

It might do, depending one what you dislike about fantasy novels.

If you just dislike the magical and the fantastical, you might find yourself liking it. I kind of think of it as fantasy by the backdoor. At the start of the series it deploys it's fantasy bits quite sparingly and obliquely, and if you find yourself interested enough in the political and social stories, then you might not even notice that five books in things are getting pretty wild. On the other hand if those things never catch your attention then you might find that you just totally switch off towards the end.

If what bothers you about the genre is the generally fairly poor quality of the writing, then it you might not be able to get into it. I pushed through because I enjoyed the first series of the tv show, but if it hadn't been for that I might not have, because the first two books at least have the occasional clanger in tone, and I'm sure you've heard the jokes about his fondness for repetitive description (endless old men in boiled leather, endless descriptions of large feasts - I'm sure that some people love this stuff, or a food historian might be able to tease out some thematice point with the food descriptions, but in purely technical terms it really slows the story down and bulks the books in a way that feels unnecessary). However a lot of these issues do get ironed out in the latter half of the series (although they are perhaps replaced with other problems).

I'm not a massive fantasy fan so I can't say anything as to it's uniqueness in the genre or anything, but it certainly felt different to any of the (mostly children's and young adult) fantasy novels I'd read before, and if you like good world-building it's great at that.

#31 Posted by MideonNViscera (2269 posts) -

I'd say yes it could change your mind. Personally I was bored as hell of fantasy after growing up reading Dragonlance, then all the RPGs, plus the LotR overkill that happened. Game of Thrones is awesome though.

#32 Posted by Hunter5024 (6371 posts) -

@Meowshi said:

And I the only person peeved by all this, "this isn't your traditional fantasy book, there's no faeries and orcs and half-elvish merfolk!" nonsense? It sounds like you people haven't picked up a fantasy book since leaving high school. George R.R. Martin did not invent low-fantasy, quasi-historical fiction; and the fantasy genre has evolved quite a bit beyond your typical DnD/LotR-derivatives.

It honestly seems like you people don't like fantasy because you haven't really given it a chance to impress you. Whatever though, I'm getting off topic.

Now I don't have to write this myself, thank you sir.

#33 Edited by Sooty (8195 posts) -

@Funkydupe said:

Yes, yes. So when does this start up on TV again?

March 31st I think, guessing it's another 10 episode season covering half of A Storm of Swords and then another 10 in 2014 covering the rest, or maybe it's a 15-20 episode run, that'd be a nice surprise.

#34 Edited by HerbieBug (4228 posts) -

I dunno, man. The series is quite solid, with the exception of the last two books being uneven. That is in part due to Martin's reaction, I presume, to the high sales numbers of the first three. He gets a tad overambitious after book 3 and things unravel a bit. The last two books aren't 'bad', exactly, just bloated. I curious to see if Martin can recover. I equate books 4 and 5 to a race car driver who establishes a commanding lead only to fuck it up by making some foolhardy attempt to showboat. Will it cost him the race? It hasn't yet but we shall see what we shall see. :)

The great thing about books is that there are thousands and thousands of spectacular ones out there with more being written by the day. Give the first book of this series a shot. If you don't enjoy it, I'd say you can comfortably set it aside and move on to something else with confidence that the rest of the series isn't your cup o' tea.

#35 Posted by Breadfan (6803 posts) -

It's the West Wing of the fantasy genre.