“When at last she slept, she dreamed of home. The kingsroad wound its way past Winterfell on its way to the Wall, and Yoren had promised he’d leave her there with no one any wiser about who she’d been. She yearned to see her mother again, and Robb and Bran and Rickon… but it was Jon Snow she thought of most. She wished somehow they could come to the Wall before Winterfell, so Jon might muss up her hair and call her “little sister.” She’d tell him, “I missed you,” and he’d say it too at the very same moment, the way they always used to say things together. She would have liked that. She would have liked that better than anything.”
Somehow, I convinced myself that attempting to reread the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series is a splendid and spectacular idea, so here I am! I asked around if anyone would be interested in joining and the people have spoken, so I present to you:
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE READALONG (the first book, at least 😂)
Are you as excited as I am to read thousands of pages? No? AWESOME! I have to say, I’m doing this for two reasons: to prove to myself that I can do it again, because I read these books a few years ago and everything is hazy and I lowkey think I read them in a dream, and, reason number two, I’m hoping that by rereading them, my sweet friend George will publish the Winds of Winter faster (by faster, I mean in this lifetime). Who said bookish black magic can’t/won’t work?
Aaaaanyway, how are we doing this? Well, I thought forcing people to commit to the entire series is cruel, so for now, we’re reading the first book, A Game of Thrones! If, after we’re done with it, people still want to go on (😂😂😂), I’ll set reading dates for the next books as well 😊
The readalong will start on April 1st! Strap on your reading glasses, tuck yourselves in, because Winter is coming! (or so they say…) I might host some discussion posts as we read along, to discuss theories and opinions and fangirl together, because that’s the entire point of a readalong. I’ll make sure to announce them beforehand 😊
I’m allowing 3 weeks for A Game of Thrones, so the aim is to finish it by April 23rd. However, the timeframe is only for the sake of orientation, you can read as fast or as slowly as you’re comfortable with 😊
I encourage you to post photos, quotes, opinions, questions, edits, discuss at length, because there’s plenty to choose from! Use the tag #asoiafreadalong, so everyone can find each other 😊
And, most importantly, HAVE FUN! 💖
P.S. It’d be hella awesome if you spread the word about this
Rhaella sees Elia’s neck straighten, her chin raised and her lips pursed as Loreza’s ever had whenever Aerys had said something to irk her. She looks so like Loreza, Rhaella thinks.
Loreza would have narrowed her eyes and hissed at Aerys, king be damned. But Elia simply says, “Your Grace.” She dips into the briefest of curtsies and crosses to Rhaella extending her arms for Rhaenys. Rhaella hands Elia her daughter, then watches as the Princess sweeps from the room, her neck still stiff.
Loreza had once said that any child of hers would have a spine of steel. When first she’d met Elia, Rhaella had wondered if Loreza mightn’t have failed. The girl seemed meek, and quiet–everything that Loreza had frowned upon during her time at court. But as she saw Elia Martell’s skirts whip around the doorframe of the chamber, Rhaella wondered if perhaps she was wrong.
“Not everyone fights with a sword,” Loreza had once said, when Rhaella had tried to convince Rhaegar to work harder in the yards. This was before he’d been determined to train, when he was a quiet and bookish boy. “Some are born for mace or spear.”
Loreza had always said the spear was more of a subtle instrument than a sword. Swords were for hacking at men, for throwing your body at them. Spears could be subtle and strong and could kill a man just as well far or near.
Elia Martell’s spine was a spear. Rhaella did not doubt that her daughter would hold a grudge quite as long as her mother had. Aerys only looked for swords–for the weapons that men brought into his court, especially after Duskendale. He never looked for the distant weapon, whose wielder was just out of arm’s reach.
He thought Ygritte might try to run, but she only stood there, waiting, looking at him. “You
never killed a woman before, did you?” When he shook his head, she said, “We die the same as
men. But you don’t need to do it. Mance would take you, I know he would. There’s secret ways.
Them crows would never catch us.” “I’m as much a crow as they are,” Jon said. She nodded, resigned. “Will you burn me, after?” “I can’t. The smoke might be seen.” “That’s so.” She shrugged. “Well, there’s worse places to end up than the belly of a
shadowcat.” He pulled Longclaw over a shoulder. “Aren’t you afraid?” “Last night I was,” she admitted. “But now the sun’s up.”
Rereading A Game of Thrones and I think fuckboy fans just forget that Ned loved Sansa so much he decided to declare himself a traitor. Like, listen to all you fuckboy fans who claim that Sansa got Ned killed, and how they hate her cause of that. Lord Eddard Stark wouldn’t be here for you hating Sansa.
I’ve been thinking of rereading the A Song of Ice and Fire series, in the hopes that this will speed up the publication of the 6th book (don’t ask me how I came to this conclusion, the answer is probably “magic”).
My questions are: would anyone else be interested in this? Should I organise a readalong? Would you want the readalong to be only for the first book? (they’re pretty dense and difficult to read, so I don’t know if a readalong for all of them would work). Or for all 5?
Starting a portrait series for A Song of Ice and Fire; I like the show fine but many faces aren’t what imagined when I read the books. Going to combine some of Game of Thrones’ costuming (one of the best things they do) with my own ideas and dreamcasts!!
WIP of Cersei, from my Instagram where I’ll be posting progress! (ASOIAF fans feel free to leave comments there of your own fancasts, anything you felt was missing from the show, character you especially want to see or have a vision for, etc.!!)
Would you recommend a song of ice and fire? I've liked a lot of the stuff you've talked about here, are they good?
I have a…complicated relationship with this series. I like a lot of the characters, I definitely enjoyed reading it when I did - it’s been a few years since my last reread, which I think was before A Dance with Dragons came out. A Dance with Dragons really annoyed me (mostly because I feel like it needed, like, three more rounds of edits and also why so many secret Targaryens) and my frustrations with Game of Thrones (the TV show) also kind of chased me away from the series further.
There are a lot of things that are cool about the series, especially if you’re familiar with the fantasy genre - I wouldn’t call GRRM the revolutionary force that some people make him out to be, but he does do interesting things with fantasy tropes, subverting or inverting them.
On the other hand, GRRM also falls into a lot of the same pitfalls that other “subversive” works of genre do - by inverting the supposedly sunny, everybody-lives nature of fantasy as a whole, he uses a lot of rape, murder, and violence to make his point that this is a nasty, gritty world. There’s a fair amount of fumbling when it comes to race and exoticism (in Essos but also in Dorne), and there really is an…alarming amount of rape and specifically violence directed toward women, some of which can be justified by the idea that “this is war, things are ugly” and some of which just feels gratuitous.
At this point I have a hard time whole-heartedly recommending the series the way I used to be able to, but all these caveats aside - it was a series I read and really enjoyed, and I remain attached to a number of the characters from it. If I did reread I imagine I would enjoy it less, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like it at all, and that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t like it.
Robb Stark is still absolutely my baby, and I will love Sandor Clegane forever, so there’s that.
There may be more to follow at some point, but while I’m stuck on a train, here have some thoughts:
Only Princess Nymeria of Ny Sar spoke against him [Garin of Chroyane]. “This is a war we cannot hope to win,” she warned, but the other princes shouted her down and pledged their swords to Garin. Even the warriors of her own Ny Sar were eager to fight, and Nymeria had no choice but to join the great alliance. (Ten Thousand Ships, TWOIAF)
I’m looking here at forethought. Nymeria is someone who clearly has a handle on what the damage of war may hold for her people. In this case, she’s right as fuck, given the destruction that the Valyrians bring to the Rhoyne. But there are a few things that I feel like bringing up.
Sansa Stark: She was just the first character I fell in love with. She was naive, but holds on to hope.
Arianne Martell: I didn’t always love her but after several rereads she grew to be a great favorite of mine. I just really like her relationship with her father and how it developed.
Ned Stark: His chapters are super interesting and should be reread, people usually do a basic reading of Ned’s characters and don’t dig deeper
Bran Stark: He’s literally the most important character in the series.
Catelyn Tully: Again she grew on me, I think her chapters offer so might insight into the patriarchy and how women believe they aren’t capable of being leaders.
Brienne of Tarth: Ten times better than show version of her. I really can’t believe what the show did to our gentle maid in the books. Brienne is one of the softest characters in the series, and they turned her into walking violence. It’s tragic.
i haven't read a published book in years (fanfiction...) and was wondering if u could rec me some? i like large books (i consider 250 pages smoll) that are very thoughtful and deep and have a lot of meaning in them. literally just rec me every book that you remember reading, no matter how long ago you read it. that means it impacted you enough to still keep ap art of itself with you. i will look up every single book you list. thanks so much.
I have a list of book recommendations here, but i’ll narrow it down a little to the books which had a lasting and significant impact upon me.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling this is self explanatory, but i honestly wouldn’t be alive without harry potter. it means more than anything in the world to me. it’s not even a single part of me, i became the person that i am because of that series. please burry me in my house’s colours with my wand clasped between my hands.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt everything about this book is wonderful. the writing is a masterpiece and the novel is so captivating. it really changes your perspective on the world and leads to a lot of self-analysis. the novel is full of terrible characters, and yet you become so enchanted by richard’s story that you begin to sympathise with them. i think it’s better to read ‘the secret history’ slowly and carefully, as you will have the most memorable reading experience. tw: incest, murder, death.
Dare Me by Megan Abbott i can really relate to the characters of this novel and the trope that’s been created from ‘there’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls’. It’s a beautifully written novel and there is a lot to dissect and consider. If you’ve ever felt a never ending discontentment with life and are prone to self-destructive behaviour, i would definitely give this a go. tw: eating disorders, suicide mentions, death.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brönte although wuthering heights is a well known classic, many people don’t like it and find it to be a tedious read, but i adore it. i agree that the second half of the narrative is less captivating, but it is beautifully written and the final message of the story is very powerful. it really speaks to me as a story of passion, as passion can be a blissful love but it can also be a murderous rage, terrible decisions and horrific violence. i think brönte tells this perfectly. i also adore the ‘monsters in love’ element of the cathy and healthcliff relationship, because they are terrible people and sometimes that’s a whole lot more interesting to read. also check out this post by ahneboleyn.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov nabokov is a very talented writer, and lolita is another story about twisted passion and obsession. similarly to wuthering heights, it is more a story of hate than one of love. nabokov’s language stays with you forever, telling the most horrific series of events through beautifully written prose, distracting you from the reality of humbert’s abuse. ‘and the rest is rust and stardust’ is one of my all time favourite quotes. tw: pedophilia, sexual abuse, rape, murder.
1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell i read both of these books when i was twelve/thirteen, and ever since then they have stayed with me. animal farm made me realise my love for history, as i adored the politics of the story, and it quite possibly lead me to choosing history as my major today. i haven’t read 1984 in a very long time, but i don’t think it’s possible to read without permanently changing your perception of the world and other literature.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare macbeth is one of my favourite texts of all time and my favourite of all shakespeare’s plays. lady macbeth is one of the most fascinating characters, and i adore her story arc. if you haven’t read it, please give it a go!
Deathlessby Catherynne M. Valente i can’t even begin to describe this book, but it is breathtaking. one of the most well written novels. it definitely isn’t for everyone as it can be a little tricky to follow, but you should check it out.
A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin i read this when i was fourteen, and i completely devoured each book in under a week. i would read 250 pages a night during the school week, ignoring everything else because i was so lost in the story and characters. i regret reading it so quickly now, as i find it difficult to remember a lot of the minor characters or plots, but it means that a reread will be even better. this series redefines the fantasy genre, telling a very adult and often realistic narrative that happens to have dragons and dark magic. i love this series for bringing sansa stark into my life.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides the title is a bit of a spoiler, but it’s written from the perspective of some boys who observe five mysterious sisters in their neighbourhood. this novel perfectly fits the ‘there’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls’ trope that i adore so much. though the subject is quite serious and depressing, the language is enchanting and it almost feels like you’re dreaming. it’s quite a short book, but there is a lot to think about and i’d recommend reading it slowly to truly savour the writing. tw: depression, self harm, suicide.
Other novels that shaped my love for reading from an early age; A Series of Unfortunate Events, Nancy Drew, The Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials and all ofJacqueline Wilson’s books.