“A Game of Thrones the Graphic Novel, Volume One” adapted by Daniel Abraham, art by Tommy Patterson (Bantam, 2012)

Game of Thrones
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For anyone familiar with George R. R. Martin, his work, and the books and authors he likes, it should come as no surprise that his good friend, Daniel Abraham of The Dragon’s Path, was the one chosen to adapt his bestselling first novel of his Song of Ice and Fire series, A Game of Thrones.  In the introduction, Martin gives a brief history of how the epic fantasy series came to be and the various adaptations that have been done, including the now popular and successful HBO series.  He also talks about their long search for the right artist to illustrate this graphic novel and how once they found Tommy Patterson; he was the right guy for the job.

In the first volume, the events take readers from the welcoming of King Baratheon to Winterfell, to their return to King’s Landing with their new King’s Hand, one Ned Stark, who was reluctant to take the position, but also is honor-bound to do what his king asks of him.  It is here that he learns from his wife, Catelyn, who he didn’t expect to see for some time, that the horrible accident that befell their son Bran was in fact cruelly intended, and shortly after an assassin was sent to finish the job.  The question now is who is behind this and why would this person wish such ill will against the Starks?

After the success of the HBO TV show, it was important that this graphic novel not just copy what had already been done, but come out with a new style and look, and Tommy Patterson certainly does this, with sharp detailed lines and glossy colors, giving the story both the grit and harshness, as well as the beauty and grandeur.  Abraham does a good job of adapting the story so far, condensing many hundreds of pages into just a couple hundred illustrated pages.  This first volume will be a delight to fans and a welcome introduction to people new to the series.

Originally written on May 14, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

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