Discussion #1: Game of Thrones Reading Challenge 2012

As promised, I will be posting monthly meme’s/discussions for both reading challenges I am hosting, Outlander and Game of Thrones. These are meant purely for fun and by no means required to participate in the challenges. I will post five questions for you all to mull over and I will answer one of the questions myself to start off the discussion. I also invite you to post your favorite quote or passage from the book as well.

You are welcome to link your responses or reviews back to your blog using the Mr Linky on the corresponding Discussion pages (in this case the Game of Thrones Monthly Meme/Discussion page) or you can simply leave your response in the comments. The goal is to have some fun discussions and talk about the books.

Challenge participants hopefully have had some time to read the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, Game of Thrones. but if not no worries we do have all year :) . No matter where you are in the book or series, you are more than welcome to discuss the book right along with us….

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think Ned insists on keeping Jon with the Stark family? Are Catelyn’s feelings really about Jon or do they have more to do with Ned’s refusal to tell her who the mother is? What does Catelyn’s treatment of Jon say about her own personality?
  2. For those of you who haven’t read ‘high fantasy’, did you find this first book intimidating or challenging? What was the most difficult thing for you to understand/read in this series? Was it the prose, point of view, or the over all story etc?
  3.  What do you make of the direwolves? Are they a bad omen? Do you think the direwolves foreshadow the coming of something more sinister than the fight of the throne? In what ways?
  4. Aerys Targaryen (the mad king), raped Lyanna Stark and murdered her brother, and then attempted to murder their allies–the Starks, Baratheons, and Arryns rebelled and overthrew the king. Afterward, Robert was crowned king. How much of his actions now are still revenge orientated? Do you think he is justified in his hatred of the Targaryens? Do you feel his actions, past and present, are justified?
  5. How do you feel about Jon’s choice to join the Night Watch? Do you think he is giving up his life and his gifts/talents? Do you think his choice is an honorable one? How did you feel when the Lord Commander gave Jon his family sword?

The Lit Bitch’s Response

Question #5: I think in many ways Jon is much to young to make such a huge decision and commitment as to join the Night Watch, but I think it is honorable. Though Catelyn forces his hand into service, Jon clearly had designs to join the watch long before he was told to. I think Jon has many talents that would not be recognized if he stayed on at Winterfell with his ‘family’. If anything I think the Night Watch will make him more worldly, valuable, and heroic. Out of all the Stark children, Jon really came out on top if you ask me. He now has a legit ‘family’ with his brothers, he has training, power, and opportunity to rise among the ranks.

What I think is unfortunate though, is that Jon is clearly hoping to gain his father’s approval/acceptance/recognition. The Lord Commander recognizes Jon’s need and also his many other honorable talents and welcomes him whole heartedly as his own ‘son’ but as thankful as Jon is he cannot fully embrace or accept the Lord Commander’s gesture. I know why Jon doesn’t accept–because he still holds out hope that his real father will proud of him–and not that Jon doesn’t love the Lord Commander as a mentor and father figure…it’s just not the same as having his own flesh and blood see his attributes.

In many ways I felt this was a boy-ish ideal on Jon’s part and because of that I still think he is too young to join the Night Watch. He knows nothing of women and love and he still holds on to boy-ish ideals and hopes rather than playing the hand which he was dealt. I think Jon still has a lot of growing up to do before he can fully come into his own as a character and part of the Night Watch.

Favorite Quote/Passage

Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.

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4 Comments

  1. Jerika

     /  January 30, 2012

    I agree that Jon’s potential can be realized more in the Night’s Watch compared to when he is just in Winterfell.

    I am linking my answers in the Mr. Linky you provided. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Helen

     /  March 25, 2012

    Nice one but…question #4 is wrong. Rhaegar, Aerys’ son “kidnapped” Lyanna (as far as we know – it’s not sure how unwilling she was). Aerys just burned both Lyanna’s eldest brother and father when they came to complain. And then Robert started rebellion because he was in love/obsessed with Lyanna.

    I found this one a bit too late, but I’ll check out the current meme.

    Reply
  1. Take Two Review: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R. R. Martin | The Lit Bitch

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