Review published on December 31, 2012. Reviewed by Jade Cranwell
Nudge Reviewer Rating:
The Song of Fire and Ice series has turned into an international phenomenon since the release of the first book in 1996, and G.R.R. Martin has become known as one of the best – if not THE best – fantasy writers of all time. In 2011, the American channel, HBO, produced Game of Thrones, the first book adapted to the screen. It has become a huge success, with the second season having been shown and the third recently (at the time of writing) completed filming, to be on screen in April 2013. The TV adaption has introduced the books to a whole new audience, hence where this official companion book comes in.
This hardback book is beautifully bound and includes detailed chapters on each of the primary characters featured in the HBO series, complete with pictures of the cast – both in character and behind the scenes – and set.
Some aspects are more useful than others. The one thing that will be particularly helpful for both fans of the books and TV show is the brief history of each house and the family tree. How one person links to the next is by far one of the more confusing parts of the world of Westeros; once you’ve mastered this, everything else falls into place.
Marketed at fans of both the books and the TV show, I’m afraid that hard-core G.R.R. Martin fans will find it a rather empty read, if not a piece of work that ties together the books to screen transformation. The material used in the books is limited to using material from the first two seasons of the show, and therefore is not a complete record of everything that takes place over the six books published to date. There is still plenty more to come yet, and therefore this book will quickly become out of date.
On the positive side, another thing worth mentioning is the preface, written by the great man himself, George. R.R. Martin, and a foreword from the producers of Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The printed conversation between the two men is very funny as they reflect on the first and second HBO series’. They look at their favourite moments and what they like about each character, amongst other things. Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones is a must have companion for all fans of the series, just don’t expect it to have anything new.
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