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Game of Thrones?
bookgodess15 wrote in little_details
Two questions relating to the book A Clash of Kings, the second book  in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin: 

1.) On average, how many hours does it take to read? I know there are about 700 pages in the hardback edition, which gives me an idea, but I've heard that it's pretty dense writing that makes for slow reading. 
2.) Are there any moments halfway to three-quarters into the book where there's a plot twist/game-changer/something big that happens that really pulls you into reading more? I've read the Wikipedia summary, but it's super complex and I can't get a good sense of how the book actually unfolds. 

Basically, I need a character to talk about the book for a bit, but I haven't actually read the series. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so much!

Well, if you don't have time to read the series, I would suggest watching the show. Its not an exact copy, granted, but it is a fairly faithful adaptation nonetheless, and most of the really big moments in the books still take place in the TV show. :)

The series is full of moments that make reading go faster, and they are often surprising, because in a lot of books, cliffhanger moments usually don't happen until the end of a chapter, or the end of a book. Often in A Song of Ice and Fire, things happen whenever. Its part of the appeal of the series, and what keeps you interested, because you know that literally anyone could die. Specifically for Clash of Kings, there are a lot of wonderful surprise moments, and I can get into more details if you don't mind being spoiled.

Oh, and in terms of how long it takes to read, it really just depends on the person. It can be really dense, but I love politically motivated stories, even if they are slower in terms of writing. It also depends on how fast you read. I can read a eight hundred page book in about six hours, so I get through them quickly.

Edited at 2013-02-13 07:51 pm (UTC)

I read it over several days, so I'd guess it took between six and ten hours... I'm a particularly fast reader though.

*** Spoilers ***

Some game changers that occur between half and three quarters of the way through:

- Melisandre gives birth to a shadow, which murders Renly.
- Theon takes over Winterfell. He has two peasant boys killed and pretends they are Bran and Rickon, who have actually escaped.
- Jon is ordered to execute a Wildling, but can't bring himself to do it, and lets her go. She then captures him.

Then, neater the end, is the Battle of Blackwater, which is pretty much the climax of the book, but is probably the most gripping, dramatic part.

I went real live tears when I thought Bran and Rickon were dead. I wept even harder when I realized it was some poor boys who weren't even supposed to be here today. DAMN YOU THEON.

Does it have to be book 2? Because the game-changer moments everyone talks about are at the end of book 1 and most of the way through book 3.

yeah, that was my thought.

1. The first time I read it, it was over the course of about two or three days. If I don't put the book down and just plow through it, I can get it done in about ten hours, but that's just to get through it and not savor the events.

2.I assume you're at least familiar with the show, because otherwise I'm about to feel really bad. I hate spoiling people. At the risk of doing so, and in the vaguest terms possible, I remember that the end of chapter 51, "Theon" (Theon's fourth chapter as a point of view character in the book) made me start yelling the first time I read the books.

Can I ask why you need this? It would help me understand what you're looking for. Why this particular book, why is the timing important?

That book is pretty low-key in terms of game-changing moments, honestly. You can find brief descriptions of each chapter here, with links to a somewhat more detailed summary of each. My suggestions would be chapters 34, 42, 47, 49, or 59. Chapter 49 is the scene where Daenerys enters the House of the Undying. That would probably be my personal choice.

Edited at 2013-02-13 08:13 pm (UTC)

Let's see.

I think the death of Bran and Rickon occurs about there. They're not actually dead and that was a plot twist 3/4 the fans could see coming because based on the set up for the character of Bran as a greenseer, he could not possibly die yet. It would have left all that set up unfulfilled.

There's also the bit where Tyrion sends off 3 different betrothal proposals for his niece, Myrcella, and uses that to figure out who the spy is by finding out which one his sister Cersei will yell at him for. Not as much of a game changer.

The reason the Wiki is so dense is because GRRM's book series is packed full of TONS of material. How many hours it takes depends on how fast you read and how quickly you can get the connections between all of the plot points and characters.

Do not, under any circumstances, use the TV series. There are too many deviations in GOT Season 2 for it to help guide you for talking about ACOK.

What pulls a person in depends on the person. The thing that really pulls most people into the series happens in the first book. To me, the best parts of ACOK are the House of the Undying, Jaqen H'ghar & Arya, and Tyrion & the battle at King's Landing.

As far as game (heh) changing moments go, I would definitely point more to books 1 or 3. Really though more to 1, because the stuff that happens in book 3 is huge and people get tremendously upset (a) when talking about it and (b) when it's spoiled for them/someone else.

I assume you don't mind spoilers for this one, though, so here we go...

Specifically for book 2, though, I would call Renly's death a pretty big shocker. It made me let out a great big "OH MY GOD" in the middle of the break room at work, and then continue on in that vein for the rest of the chapter. The crap Theon pulls is pretty big, too, on the more upsetting end of things. Blackwater is huge and dramatic, and those parts are definitely hard to walk away from. But again, that is nearer the end. In general though, I would point more at book 1 for stuff that really pulls people in and lets them know this isn't your average fantasy novel. Also you've got more of a chance that people will have read it/seen the first season of the show (which is much more faithful than S2:ACoK was, btw), so there's a bit less of a chance of spoiling folks. =]

Renly's death is in the first part of the book. Otherwise it would be the best plot twist to mention.

I'd personally be hesitant to use a literary reference to a book that I haven't read... unless perhaps the general plot is SO well known that many people who haven't read it know what happens (e.g. Romeo and Juliet... but even then you don't know the details unless you've read/seen it). I would also be hesitant to give spoilers. I have not read the series or seen the TV show... but just in general, why would you use one book to spoil another? Anyone reading the comments on this thread either already knows what happens or (like me) doesn't care about being spoiled for this particular series.

But how would you like it if you started reading an unrelated book (which unlike fanfiction or a blog wouldn't have spoiler warnings on it) and one of the characters spoiled a book you hadn't read or a movie you hadn't seen.... but maybe you were planning to?

Unless there's a compelling reason that it MUST be that series, I would either use something that you are personally familiar with, or create a fiction within a fiction (have the character reading a book that does not actually exist... that way no one except perhaps the other characters will care to be spoiled). Alternately, use something so old and/or famous that most of your readers will already know the spoilery bit? Or refer to it in a way that those who are not spoiled won't be ("Wow, I just watched The Empire Strikes Back and I think my mind has been blown!" or something... people who know what you're talking about will know why, and other people might know that there is a spoiler to be had, but not exactly what it is)

Just my opinion. ;)

I agree. A made-up series sounds like the way to go here. Star Wars was completely ruined for me because there are so many pop culture references... I knew the whole plot before ever seeing it. Don't do that to your readers!

TV Tropes might actually be a good place to reference, provided you're disciplined enough not to spend the next four days of your life there and really don't mind spoilers. It breaks down the specific moments of WTF pretty well. ACOK has its own page:


The second book is low on Wham Chapters. The prologue to A Storm of Swords, the death of a major character in A Game of Thrones and possibly, arguably, a major character's amputation in ASOS are all I can think of besides the confirmation of a major fan theory during the fifth book. The only thing even close to what you're asking for is something from the end of ACOK, which I'll discuss at the end. I have a partly-done recap of A Clash of Kings that doesn't go very far in and will probably not help you. (I have a full recap of AGOT that's too long to post in an LJ comment.)

Okay, so this does give me one idea, if you're willing to make it AGOT instead, and that is Drogo's death. Or the dragons. Or... well, Dany meeting the people from Qarth happens too early in ACOK for it to work... and IDK.

The only other thing I can think of actually happens more than three quarters of the way through A Clash of Kings. Basically, Jaime Lannister has spent the book a prisoner of war in Riverrun. Hoping he'll somehow magically become honorable, Catelyn makes him promise to release her captive daughters (he has no authority to do so) and then goes behind the king's back to set Jaime free. The thing about this scene is that it's one long scene where we finally get to see more than a glimpse of Jaime, and it's surprising. He's been a cackling moustache-twirling villain up until that point, but now he's a witty, breathtakingly arrogant asshole with a very serious critique of his society's ideas about honor. That and an incestuous airhead. It's the point where liking Jaime went from unthinkable to something teenage girls might do.

I'd suggest that the show is different enough from the books that the wham episodes will not be exactly the same as the wham chapters/scenes.