I obviously love to immerse myself in things I enjoy. I loved A Game of Thrones, so I wanted to experience it in every way I could. That include watching the TV series (which I do enjoy) and reading the graphic novel. What’s great about these two adaptations is that they don’t feed off each other. I’m actually more inclined to like the graphic novel than the TV series because there are things included in the graphic novel adaptation that were changed for the TV series. It was nice to go into this with both the book and the TV series in the back of my mind. To put it all into context: I watched a few episodes of the show first, then I listened to the audiobook, then I watched the rest of the show, then I read the graphic novel. I think noting the order in which all of this happened is important when it comes to how I formed my opinions of each medium. I have no problems with the show because I saw it before I read. Instead of having to change my idea of how characters looked for the show, I based my mental image of the characters, as I listened to the audiobook, on the actors in the show. With this graphic novel, I had to shift my image. I had to wipe the faces (and hair color) clean, and go back to my knowledge from the books. Luckily, I was prepared to do that. Now that all this context is out of the way, let me tell you about this graphic novel.
If you don’t know the story of A Game of Thrones let me direct you to my review of the audiobook, where I give a short summary of what it’s about so that I don’t have to repeat that here. I assume most readers interested in the graphic novels are interested because they have read the book or watched the show.
Something I found immediately helpful in preparing me for this graphic novel was the preface, written by Martin. He writes good-naturedly of his personal background with comics and also gives a brief history of their development from “funny books” to graphic novels. He also warns that if you’re looking for a comic book version of the show, you’ll be disappointed. I was actually very happy to read that. I love to look at fanart of this series, but too often that art is modeled after the show, not the books. It was refreshing to see a different take on all these characters. I really enjoyed the subtle differences in the story too. For example, when Viserys calls Dany a horselord’s slut on the way to Vaes Dothrak. In the show, she orders that he should not be harmed and gets back on her horse, and Rakharo tells Viserys he must walk the rest of the day. In the book, it’s Dany who tells Viserys to walk. I think it’s an important difference. It’s those little things that made me very happy with Abraham’s adaptation. The way Patterson dealt with flashbacks was also very pleasing. Flashbacks are something I missed in the show. I wanted to see Aerys and Rhaegar, but that would mean casting more people. I got to see them in the graphic novel, and the flashbacks were just perfect. The art is stunning. The attention to detail was wonderful. I can’t wait to read the second volume.
I recommend this graphic novel to readers 16+ due to language, adult themes, violence, sexual content, nudity, and gore. This one’s really meant for more mature readers.