In ‘A Game of Thrones,’ it’s ‘The Sopranos’ meets ‘The Lord of the Rings’

This week we turn to StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow, who takes a break from the Marcellus Shale to discuss summer reads with us. On his night stand these days, he says, is George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones.”

Summer affords many book lovers a little extra time to luxuriate between the covers. And we’re curious to hear what our NewsWorks cohort are finding of interest.

This week we turn to StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow, who takes a break from the Marcellus Shale to discuss summer reads with us.

On his night stand these days, he says, is George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones.” The book, the first in an as yet incomplete seven-volume series, was first published in 1996. Like many new fans, Detrow says he was sucked in by the HBO television series, whose third season will air in the spring.

The series traces the machinations of several ancient and powerful families all vying for control of the seven kingdoms of the fictional continent of Westeros. Detrow characterizes it as “kind of like a ‘Sopranos’ situation meets ‘Lord of the Rings.”

The books are full of war and conquest and carnage, and a few NewsWorks readers have complained about Martin’s propensity for killing off his main characters, but Detrow says he likes that aspect of the novels.

“There’s a moment when one of the main characters gets their head cut off,” Detrow says, “and that’s actually what sucked me in. I thought, ‘Wow, I can’t believe they just killed one of the main characters off. That’s great!'”

Detrow says fantasy is not his usual genre. He says he liked C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” series, but he could never get into J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. “A Game of Thrones” is different, he says.

“The characters all seem a lot more realistic. There’s good sides and bad sides to each character, to the point where it’s hard to know what to root for. […] You don’t know which character they’re going to kill off. You don’t know which one has the moral high ground because so many people give that up.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.