Where should I jump on?

RightersBlock

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I've watched all 3 seasons of GOT and will watch the 4th season. Should I just skip the books associated with that season and get to the next book that there hasn't been a season of yet or should I start with Book 1 anyway? :eek:
 

Boaz

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RightersBlock, when springs says the show is lacking details, he means that you've never read nor heard the words "promise me, Ned", you've never heard of the Tower of Joy, you don't know what Jaime and Barristan thought of Rhaegar, you're not familiar with all the events of the Great Tourney of Harrenhal (Jaime's choice, Rhaegar's choice, and the story of the little crannogman), you've never been inside of Eddard's dreams, you don't know Eddard's regrets, you don't know the important things Dany saw in the Warlock's tower, you may not know the connection between Ser Jorah and the Old Bear, you may not have heard of the Doom of Valyria, you don't know the real story of Ramsey and Reek and Theon, you don't know that Ser Davos actually has seven sons, you don't know how funny Dolorous Edd can be, you don't know Ned Dayne, Rolph Spicer, Dontos Hollard, Black Walder, Maege Mormont, Balon Swann, Harwin, Jacelyn Bywater, May Stone, Bella, Merrett Frey, Small Paul, and many others.

You don't know the stories of the deceased... Lyanna Stark, Brandon Stark, Rickard Stark, Aerys II Targaryen, Rhaegar Targaryen, Joanna Lannister, Arthur Dayne, Ashara Dayne, Princess Elia, Princess Rhaenys, and Baby Aegon.

Also, the series is written in a peculiar method. Each chapter is told from one character's point of view. These POVs not only move the action, but allow the reader to understand the action through the eyes of a particular character. In A Game of Thrones, the Stark POVs dominate and we see the Lannisters as purely evil; the Greyjoys as renegades; the Baratheons as undisciplined (except for Stannis); the Martells as sneaky; the Tullys as honorable; and the Tyrells as opportunistic. But as the Lannisters, Greyjoys, and Martells gain more POVs, we begin to understand their motivations and we begin to see how they view the Starks... as poor, uneducated, bigoted, judgmental, inflexible, and over proud hillbillies.

Another thing... is that Season Three did not show all of A Storm of Swords (Book Three). If you started A Feast for Crows now, you would not know certain events in King's Landing, the Wall, and Mereen. You'll miss the Royal Wedding! And no one ever wants to miss one of those. You'll miss an epic duel of champions between a prince and a giant. You'll miss Mance Rayder's assault on The Wall... and a fight between a real giant and a blacksmith.

I know that you might think, "None of that seems important and besides I know the main story!" Well... I saw The Sixth Sense, and my thoughts went something like this, "I am following the plot... no problem... wait... WHAT?!?! Oh my goodness!!!! I never saw that coming." Now tell me truly, did you think Eddard was going to die? Or did you think he'd get out of it? Did you think Jaime would defenestrate Bran? Seriously, who starts a fantasy series by paralyzing one of the main candidates for adolescent hero? If you want the opportunity to see these things coming, then read the books.

You might also think, "Boaz, that's too much to remember. You're talking a cast of hundreds." Yes, I am. But if you don't get them fairly straight now, how are you going to learn them while simultaneously learning hundreds of new characters in AFFC and ADWD? The story just keeps getting bigger and bigger with at least ten new POVs in AFFC and ADWD.

My advice is to start now with AGOT and keep reading until Season Three starts, if you find no value to the books then move on to AFFC.

Edit: Plus, by starting at the beginning you'll learn Martin's style for this story. He hits the ground running and expects you to keep up. He does not really spoon feed his readers.
 

biodroid

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Unfortunately, the plot will have been spoiled due to the show so the shocks/surprises/twists won't have the desired impact. I read the first book and was 3 chapters ahead of each episode so I got the full impact. But I started reading book when season 2 was about 3 episodes in, it was still enjoyable but the impact was lost.
 

ArstenWhitebeard

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I watched the first season befiore reading any of the books, then read all 5 books in one mad dash before season 2 started.

I can tell you that reading the books AFTER watching the show is still very enjoyable. Hell, most people on here have read the books multiple times. Yes the main plot points will cease to be a surprise but you will pick up on many MANY subtle hints for things that haven't even happened yet, in the show or the books. There are also quite a few things that happen differently, as Boaz said. I love the show, it's great, but as with almost eveery screen adaptation throughout history, the books are WAY better.

So, start at the begining.
 

chongjasmine

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I think it will be better for you to start with book one of the series. In that sense, you will not miss out on the things that only appear in the books.
 

monsterchic

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I'm starting out with the books. Just finished A Game of Thrones and am now far into the second book. After I finish the series (as this has been taking up most of my free time for the last few days), I'll start watching the series.
 

Ashley R

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I've read the first book, and if that is as some have said the best in the series, then I would not be inclined to read the rest.

OTOH I've enjoyed the series and plan to watch the rest. AS for the merits of the books over the series there is a difference between a casual consumer and a fan.

In short, to answer the OP, there is no should. If you enjoy reading the books, read more, if not don't.
 

ArstenWhitebeard

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I've read the first book, and if that is as some have said the best in the series, then I would not be inclined to read the rest.

OTOH I've enjoyed the series and plan to watch the rest. AS for the merits of the books over the series there is a difference between a casual consumer and a fan.

In short, to answer the OP, there is no should. If you enjoy reading the books, read more, if not don't.

As always, there will be differences of opinion. Personally, I thought the 3rd book was the best.
 

Judderman

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Definitely start at the beginning to get all the great details. Books 4-5 aren't quite as good as the previous ones. Also season 4 of the tv series should actually include material from book 3 part 2 (book 3 is printed in two parts). That has more great surprises so definitely don't miss that.
 
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Like everyone has already said, read from the start. I picked up the books after series 1 aired on TV, and even though I knew what was going on all of the extra details made it more than worthwhile.
 

Boaz

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I'm house sitting for my folks now and the contractor sent over a guy to sand and stain the bannisters last week. And the guy and I got to talking about AGOT on HBO... maybe it was a subconscious thought on Joffrey is not a Baratheon and not a Lannister.... he's like a Bannister. Anyway.... he asked me the same exact question as the OP, RightersBlock. You guys know how long winded I can be... and I'm worse actually talking than typing... So, the guy finally asked me, "Don't the Starks get any vengeance?" I told him not up to the end of the third book (because he wanted to start reading book four). Then he got upset and exclaimed, "Sheesh! So there's no justice in the story?!?!" To which I responded, "I did not say there's no justice. I said the Starks don't get their vengeance." And his eyes lit up... "Oh! So... who...?" And I said, "Don't worry about the Bannisters, just worry about the bannisters."
 

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