So I've been hearing about A Game of Thrones for a while now, but my knowledge until the other day has pretty much been limited the South Park episodes from this past winter, knowing there's a guy called Joffrey, that there's a dwarf named Tyrion, there's this event called the Red Wedding, and that lots of people die so don't get attached to anyone.
The Prophet picked up the ebook last month and finished earlier this week, then just bought a box set. So now that I have a paper copy in front of me (I'd have started reading earlier if I could find the copy I already had, but it disappeared on me) I figure it's time to read the series. I didn't really know much of anything about it, really, aside from what I said above and what I could guess from the title before I started reading. I'm expecting lots of intrigue.
Anyway, I figure I'll give ~50-100 page updates on my progress, my impressions, my hazards at guessing what will happen. I'm about two hundred pages in thus far, so first I'll just give my impression of that.
I. A Game of Thrones
First ~200 pages (Prologue to the time Littlefingers brings Ned to see Catelyn)
I've got to say right off the bat that I rather like Martin's prose. It's crisp with a bit of chew to it, although there's one point in the next section where I think it falls on its face by saying in the narration that someone looked like they had a stick up their butt. It's not overdone, but it's not bleakly minimalist either.
What's happened so far has been interesting. Bran getting thrown from the tower was not exactly shocking, given what he saw, though I was surprised with Catelyn when we learned who the dagger belonged to. I'm reserving judgment on Tyrion for later as a result of that - he's hard to read and his family does him no favors.
The king and queen, well the king's a naive buffoon. He's somewhat likable, until you get on the subject of Targaryens and realize that if he feels you're his enemy, he'll do anything. Some of that may be due to the queen's influence.
The Starks are interesting folk and generally interesting. Catelyn's no simple character, and she shows some moxie in going to get Ned information about the Lannisters, so I hope she continues to do stuff. Points off for how she treats Jon Snow - I like him, unreservedly so far. Arya's easily my favorite character, and I fully expect her to become a warrior. Bran just woke up, which is good news. Wondering if he'll remember what he saw, though. That vision he had hints that he might have magic? Robb seems okay, but we don't really have enough of him for a clear picture yet. Sansa seems a bit insipid. I did feel sorry for her when Lady was sentenced to die. Going to keep an eye out for sightings of Neymiria.
Regarding the Targaryens... Not too much to work with right now. Dany seems smart, but her brother... Don't like him. He's kind of completely terrible.
Stuff that seems important
* Bran woke up. So far he's only named his wolf. What else will come of it?
* Dany's bride gifts included the traditional weapons and dragon eggs. The eggs, obviously, will hatch at some point for her. The weapons are for Drogo, but I think they'll find their way back into her hands.
* Jon's up at the Wall. I'd guess he eventually takes charge up there
* The dagger used in the attempt on Bran belongs to Tyrion.
* What Bran saw was the queen and someone who was not the king. Running guesses are either her father, her brother Jaime, or Joffrey (probably not Joffrey, but he's an idiot so it's possible). Nobody else seems likely. ETA - it's been pointed out that I missed the word sister in that scene, so Jaime.
* Nymeria is out there somewhere. When that reunion happens, Arya's going to be a force to be reckoned with.
*Whatever those things in the prologue are - the Others? - they seem to turn people into them when they kill.
Predictions pulled out of nowhere
* The Red
-Lobster Wedding will be Sansa and Joffrey's wedding. Sansa, the King, and perhaps Ned will die there.
* The "Others" are massing an army north of the Wall and waiting for winter (also gladly letting the petty squabbles of the nobility south of the Wall weaken any potential resistance).
* Catelyn made it down to Ned, but I'm not so sure about her making it back up to Winterfell.