I read this book Game of Thrones a while back and it was just so full of emotions and angst and romance that it’s icky.
It opens with this scene that clearly indicates the brutality of the culture of Westeros, in which the Stark boys — Robb, Bran, and bastard-born Jon Snow — must watch their father execute a criminal. The Stark kiddos have a lot of feelings about this. They wonder how they’ll be able to do this job in the future, and do something like empathize with both their father and the convicted criminal. At the same time! They are like, ambivalent! Emotions more complex than rage? Cannot be borne. And if that’s not bad enough, on the way home, they pick up some direwolf puppies. For fuck’s sake. Puppies? Really? Yeah dudes, it’s a signpost of what’s to come: all the fee-fees, these characters have them.
In a cruel twist of irony, the favorite child of Matriarch Stark, who is always climbing things in clear defiance of his mother, is thrown from the ceiling of a tower because he witnesses some raunchy twincest in the second of this novel’s numerous sex scenes at roughly page 50 of this sentimental prose-alog. Catelyn, or Mama Stark, is really torn up about her kid’s ensuing coma, and takes out her sad helplessness on bastard-borne Jon Snow, because reasons. It’s almost like she had no villain to blame for something she felt sad about and projected onto the easiest possible target. Like, she reacts to emotions in a way complex yet simple. What the hell? And if that isn’t bad enough, once evidence implicates a certain Lannister, Catelyn loses all self-control and kidnaps a member of the royal family on her way home, thus starting a war because of her emotions.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Eddard, or Patriarch Stark, is asked to come to the capital by the king to replace the former chancellor, who has recently died under mysterious circumstances and was also something of a father figure for both Ned and the king — they share a scene in which they haz a sad about his death as well as that of Eddard’s sister Lyanna Stark, which I guess is supposed to be touching. Also, the king here alludes to his romance (!) with Lyanna and feels the need to visit the grave of his long-dead fiance. Why are we wasting time here? C’mon, get to the action, Martin! Ned really doesn’t want to go to King’s Landing, but agrees to anyway because he feels obligated to. More ambivalence. Sheesh. It’s almost like he has inner conflict or something.
Meanwhile else-world, the insipid child of the overthrown monarch Daenerys Targaryen is saddled with this husband she doesn’t have feelings for, and then has sex with him, and then kinda has romantic feelings about him, and then has sex with him again but on top. Or something.
Are we at page 150 yet?
Jon Snow continues to be torn between his feelings of loyalty to his family of origin and the new family he chose. Tyrion has feels about how half his family treats him like shit in spite of his commitment to the Lannisters. Arya is showing nascent stirrings of feelings about what her family needs and expects from her — a marital alliance — and what she really wants to do, which is what the boys get to. Sansa’s puppy is killed because she can’t navigate her feelings about her husband-to-be, the incorrigible douche Joffrey, and her loyalty to her family or… something… Actually, come to think of it, making tough choices because of conflicting loyalties is sort of a theme of this book. One might think that such a theme would mean there’s lots of emotions. But, no; that’d make this a girl book, because we all know feelings and Y chromosomes are mutually exclusive.