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A Game of Thrones – Prologue

A Games of Thrones - Prologue

Three rangers went into a forest; two are killed and one unknown

Welcome to the beginning of this amazing journey. Detailed summary of this chapter can be found here. Beware on clicking the links within this page if you want to avoid spoilers.

What a chapter it was, straight out from a horror movie. In this prologue, Martin shows us a glimpse of the bigger danger before the real game of thrones starts. He shows that there are magic and other worldly creature in the story, but then he makes us wait till the point that we forget that the real story is about something else. Remember this chapter as you move through the book because then only you can see how tiny all the squabbles are for the Iron Throne.

Scene Setup

Martin has built a strong atmosphere from the very beginning. You can hear the wind blowing, feel the cold, listen to the silence of woods, the wetness of the tree saps and others. Tell me if the below quote doesn’t make you feel something:

The woods gave answer: the rustle of leaves, the icy rush of the stream, a distant hoot of a snow owl. The Others made no sound

Loved the below line from Gared describing the cold

But the real enemy is the cold. It steals up on you quieter than Will, and at first you shiver and your teeth chatter and you stamp your feet and dream of mulled wine and nice hot fires. It burns, it does. Nothing burns like the cold. But only for a while. Then it gets inside you and starts to fill you up, and after a while you don’t have the strength to fight it. It’s easier just to sit down or go to sleep. They say you don’t feel any pain toward the end. First you go weak and drowsy, and everything starts to fade, and then it’s like sinking into a sea of warm milk. Peaceful, like.


And then we are introduced to 3 characters:

One is Ser Waymar Royce, third son of a lord, so definitely a spare. He is leading a ranging group for the first time north of the wall(talk of nepotism).

Next is Gared, an old guy who joined the Night Watch as a boy, so he has easily call out a green lordling.

And final is Will, whose point of view we are reading. He has also been to hundred of rangings.

But before we can discuss characters, growth, backstory or reason for joining the Watch, they are killed by Martin. Or you can say Others. Ok, at least two of them are.

But I guess we are missing the most important character introduced in this chapter(or you can say a species, as all of them were collectively called Others). But how magnificient it was

Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. Its armor seemed to change color as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees.

Have you noticed that they do talk to each other, in a voice that sounds like the crackling of ice. Martin has used colors as a strong literary tool. There is a mention of a color at least once every 3 page. If not outright, you can find it in names or places. A good discussion on the colors and themes can be found here

Playing with words

Martin is king of juxtaposition. And that is presented in the title of the series itself, “A Song of Ice and Fire”. It is interesting to look for such example through out the read. Some of the notable ones in this chapter:

  • nothing burns like the cold
  • a white shadow in the darkness
  • a blue that burned like ice
  • the droplets seemed red as fire when they touched the snow

How was reading experience? Share any thoughts or any interesting thing you noticed in the comments

Some interesting links

Sharing some interesting posts that I found related to this chapter.

Published inA Song of Ice and FireGame of ThronesReadalong

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