Past Features

Turning Off The TV #2: Game of Thrones


Welcome to my new Thursday feature: Turning Off The TV! In this feature I’ll be recommending books similar to TV shows or films you may have enjoyed, both entire series and specific episodes.

The TV series this week is: Game of Thrones.

Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros.

The obvious thing here – read the books written by George R.R. Martin. But perhaps you’ve already read them, or for some reason you’re just not prepared to read them (yet!). They are all pretty hefty reads after all! So, whether you’ve read the books or not, here are some recommendations based on Game of Thrones – the covers link to each books’ respective Goodreads page.

The White Queen, The Kingmaker’s Daughter & The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

The White Queen The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

The Wars of the Roses were a big inspiration for George R.R. Martin whilst writing the series. These three books cover the life of Elizabeth Woodville, Queen Consort of England as wife of King Edward IV. Game of Thrones is full of strong female characters, just like Elizabeth, and I think if you like Cersei, Daenerys, Arya et al, you’ll love Gregory’s cast of characters.

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

An adventure story set during the Wars of the Roses, but unlike the books above, this one does not feature royalty as a main character.

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

The first book in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, George R.R. Martin has quoted Tad Williams – and this book in particular – as being a huge inspiration on his work. An epic fantasy published eight years or so before Martin’s own epic series, A Song of Ice and Fire, was published, it has some pretty good ratings and reviews on Goodreads!

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any others to recommend? Are you a fan of Game of Thrones?


13 thoughts on “Turning Off The TV #2: Game of Thrones”

  1. Of course I have read ASOIAF once or twice (or thrice). But I have never read any of your other recs. I don’t mind adding a couple though if its OK.

    Kate Elliot’s ‘Crossroads Trilogy’ to me felt like Ice and Fire Lite-though not in a bad way. It just picked a couple of similar threads and was a much more focused ride.

    And Dorothy’s Dunnett’s Lymond series is a different animal, but fans of the Littlefinger and Varys may like the little rascal in his run through sixteenth century Scotland.

    1. No problem, suggestions are welcome! I won’t add them to the main post, but they will remain here in the comments for others to read =)

      Ooh, the Lymond series sounds interesting – I actually really like Varys, he’s sneaky but somehow still dignified – or at least more dignified than Littlefinger.

  2. I am a fan of Game of Thrones, but I haven’t managed to get into the TV-show… Not the show’s fault I think, having seen the first season it is obviously a high-quality, well done series, but I noticed that after having read the books, the scope of the world in TV-series feels tiny. Really small. And that disturbed me, so I’m probably not going to finish the TV-series. The Black Arrow is great recommendation! It’s been a long while since I read any R. L. Stevenson.

    1. That’s the problem with adapting something so big I guess. Personally I love the series and I do agree that it does feel ‘smaller’, but imagine including all that detail in the TV show!

      I’m rewatching it at the moment actually, and occasionally I find myself wondering who someone is – and I’ve read all the books. So I can’t imagine how it would be if every character was included.

      1. I totally agree, screen adaptions are very different thing from written word. I think what I wanted to say (and maybe failed a bit) was that this is the case where the books have ruined the show for me. In a way I wish I could see the show before reading books because I’m sure I’d enjoy them both in this case :))

  3. I love this feature! I’ve read The Dragonbone Chair but not read any of the others. I’ve got a few Phillippa Gregory books on my shelf, but they’re not from this series (and I’ve yet to start them!)

    I didn’t love the show as much as the books, but I did still enjoy it, and it helps fuel my need for more Game of Thrones (always more). I’m starting a re-watch soon to try and introduce my family to my obsession!

    1. Thanks Faith =) I’ve read a couple of Phillippa Gregory books too, but not that particular series. I think we have it here at home though…

      I made my parents watch it and my mum REALLY likes it, which is so unusual as she has zero interest in fantasy normally. I guess that goes to show just how appealing it is to everyone! We’ve finished series one, now we’re trying to make some time for series two – and I’ll buy series three soon =D

  4. How did I not know that GRRM was influenced by Tad Williams’ MSaT trilogy? I love that series, it’s tied with Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books as my second favourite fantasy ever, lol.

    I just saw your comment above about how it appeals to everyone and it’s so true! My dad rarely–if ever–watches anything fantasy (it took a marathon the other year for my dad to come to understand and appreciate the LOTR movies. Now he can make references to the movie :D) but he really likes GoT 🙂

    1. Yup, apparently Williams was a huge influence. I’ve not read any Tad Williams books, but I was aware of them before writing this – now I have even more reason to give them a try 😉

      Yes! My mum NEVER reads or watches fantasy, and I sat down with both my parents and basically made them watch GoT. I expected my dad to love it and my mum to be really indifferent; well it turns out it’s the other way round. Me and mum are watching through the series together, we’re currently a few episodes into series three and she keeps asking when we’ll watch the next one 😉 Love it!

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