Why Not to Read ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’

By Serena Larkin on Mar 14, 2012 to Game of Thrones

Have you watched Game of Thrones and not yet read the books? Want to know why I don’t think you should? I know, I know, I’m a total booksnob, why am I telling you not to read the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin? Well, … Great as I think they are, I will quickly admit they may not be for everyone as well as of course I love dolling out flawless advice! And it is free of charge, so let us begin, as here are five good reasons not to read the books Game of Thrones is based on:

a game of thrones book cover e13312574198891. Everybody’s reading them – Don’t be a that person on the train, lugging around your chunky AGOT since you didn’t read it last year and you’re only just starting now. How embarrassing! Leave that for the nerds, the hipsters, the academic professionals, … all those other people who think reading is cool. Besides if you think books are for losers, we don’t want you in our fandom anyway.

2. Time will evaporate before your eyes – You will lose lots of precious time you could spending elsewhere, like on video games, sudoku, watching TV, dicking off on the internet… and what do people do these days? I wouldn’t know, but you’d be missing out on all that stuff since the ASOIAF should take probably on average about at least a month to read, if not longer. .. Unless you’re truly dedicated of course.

3. The obsession will never end – Yes, your commitment won’t be over just when you’ve reached the last page of A Dance With Dragons. You’ll feel the need to re-read, then check out opinions on the internet, and then maybe read the books all over again looking for things you missed. Maybe you’ll start an ASOIAF dedicated Tumblr, and then never leave the Tumblrsphere ever again. Maybe you’ll talk incessantly about them to all your friends and relatives until you’ve convinced everyone you know to read them.. except for your creepy uncle, naturally. Maybe like me you’ll start your own blog and feel the need to write for another one just so you can talk about them some more. This slope be slippery.

4. Your expectations will forever be set too high for other book series. While the ASOIAF might not be perfect, I can’t pick up another book without mentally checking it off against a list of standards that Martin set forth. In fact, I can’t even not think about the ASOIAF when reading other books now, but the real problem is I can’t help but feel I’ll never enjoy another series again. Of course I’ve had this feeling three other times in my life, after Harry Potter ended, after Battlestar Galatica ended (yeah it’s a TV show, but still), and after I finished reading all the available the Sookie Stackhouse Novels, – it is never a good feeling. Blergh.

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5. The content is killer – Not only you might get your heart ripped out when your new favorite characters die, but the story can be even more hazardous for the characters that live. You may also be grossed out in the process as flesh wounds, torture, mutilation, and other forms of degradation are common place. – These books aren’t for the meek. They are graphic and they are also sexually explicit. If you can’t handle extreme violence, rapey situations, and all that unfortunate jazz, you may want to go read something else. Though if you have seen the first season of Game of Thrones, I’m not sure why you would still be watching the show either.

At any rate, whether you read the books or not, at least know what you are getting into. The A Song of Ice and Fire series may just start dominating your entire existence. This way lay danger, you have been warned!

Until next week, when I’ll tell you why I think should read the books.  Adieu.


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  • one of all

    George Martin uses cheap tricks like “sex”,””violence”, “shock factor”, “fake realism”, “stereotypes” and “story cliches” and “tons of pages” to attract lots of readers and viewrs. Anyway the books, even thought well written in comparison with a lot of other fantasy series are nothing special ( they aren’t even considered “high fantasy”, like the “Lord of the Rings”, since the “element of magic” is for the most part absent ). The books are more or less borring, with hundreds of words of explanation “what was on the table”, or “how was knight Mr.X dressed”, while any and all action is fairly rare ( and when it comes, it usually is based on the “shock factor” again ). I mean there are plenty of good fantasy books or stories, where the reader can get surprised or shocked, without the need of killing 2/3 of the main characters. As for the plot… what plot? ( it’s all about “sex”, “violence” and “shock factor” now ). Very dissapointing series indeed.

  • y-bomb

    Here’s the real reason not to read the books. You will hate the show and never with it again. O watched season 1 then decided to get the book. After I finished agot the first I did was purchase the rest of em. As soon as I finishes sos I started season 2 and 3 and then at the first episode of 4, I stopped halfway and said “fuck this stupid sex show”.

  • Kerry

    1. You insult people who think reading is cool and then say if you don’t think reading is cool get out of our fandom. And everyone’s reading them because it’s a good series. If that’s embarrasing to you then you need a lesson in logic.
    2. Yes because masterbating and watching mindless porn is not a waste of time, but reading is. Actually anything you do is technically a waste of time. Time running out is inevitable, so its impossible to waste time. If you like reading, read.
    3. I can halfway agree, but obession occurs with any series
    4. I can actually agree on this point
    5. It’s called an adult book for a reason
    Seriously, read before you post your articles. This article was full of just snooty opinions of “I have to be the only one to read it or everyone will think I’m a nerd.” Game of Thrones is a fantasy…fantasy=nerd!! (Not to say that’s a bad thing, but seriously) I have read all five books just so you know.

    • Raul

      you aren’t getting it whatsoever

    • Andy

      Dude… really???

  • Samuel

    This article reconfirmed my last faith in humanity. If you like reading then read. I personally love to read and would rather read then do any of the things she stated in reason #1. And when I read, I perfectly know that time is going away but Id rather spend it reading. This article was audacious, incredibly biased, and narrowminded

  • http://profiles.google.com/tomthebomb67212 tom courtney

    wow, this article. just wow. you should be ashamed

    • agata

      A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four (Martin, George Rr) ebook , buy here online now: http://tinyurl.com/og3af39

  • Jordan

    I just finished a feast for crows. Waiting for a dance with dragons to release on paperback. Reading this series makes it hard to read other stories. I love the POV writing way to much. ALong with the expansive list of characters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406014886 Ayouta

    these child actors are NOT ONLY great at their job, they’re SO FREAKIN’ ARTICULATE in itewrvines! Seriously, they interview better than a lot of adult actors who’s been doing this for years! I saw an interview of Maise and she was so well-spoken! What do they feed their kids across the pond? lol

  • Mike

    You forgot the most important reason not to read it. Once you finish Dance with Dragons there’s probably going to be at least 4 more years until he gets around to writing the next one.

    • http://kissed-by-fire.com/ Serena Larkin

      This is true, that slipped my mind. Whoops. … Or maybe I’m in denial. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/minarets77 SWR4

    Harry Potter? Okay…
    Battlestar Galactica? Definitely.
    Sookie Stackhouse? Really? I find those books to be just barely one step above Twilight when it comes to literary prowess. I couldn’t get past Book 3.

    • http://kissed-by-fire.com/ Serena Larkin

      Yeah, really. :)

      Harris develops her characters, especially Sookie, really well over the long haul. See also Eric Northman. The books do have their ups and downs of course, but I wouldn’t be a moderator and a writer for Sookieverseblog if I thought they were crap. And I think they get better once you get past book 3. ;)

    • sammy101

      i feel so too…i know harry potter looks as though its for children but the power of j.k. rowling’s writting or literary skills must be applauded …and i feel the same for game of thrones..and as for stephenie mayers and as for the writer of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY ..i consider them too lucky ..becoz those novels look likethey are wriiten by a 12 yr old child who never passed in english !!maybe their msg was alright but the writing ..AS FOR GAME OF THRONES.,,the plot and the writing is just wow!!

  • lyta

    noooooooooo, I need an addiction to reading, to wait months (or years) dying to know what will happen to those characters, without this I am nothing, LOL. There is nothing better than that! social life is overrated anyway.

  • krtmd

    What the hell Serena? Where was this warning before I read the books?

    I seem to recall the chant “READ THEM” being shouted at me on the interwebs.

    • http://kissed-by-fire.com/ Serena Larkin

      Oh yeah, I’ve done that a lot haven’t I? How careless of me. :lol:

  • Huck

    The book series basically has consumed my life. Its bad because I dont even want to read anything else until book 6 comes out.
    on the other hand its an amazing story. so its your choice if you like fantasy this is the series for you!

  • http://lgenius.tumblr.com/ Lauren Grace

    Heed Serena’s warning!! ASOIAF will forever alter the course of your life.









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