Audiobook Review: Game of Thrones

April 17, 2012

Two years ago if you had mentioned the A Song of Ice and Fire series to someone on the street you would have been met with puzzled looks.  Today, HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of the hottest shows on television and they hype doesn’t look like it’s dying down in the least.

As a self-described nerd myself even I hadn’t heard of the series until the show was announced.  At that time I figured I’d better start reading the novels before the show hit the air as I prefer to read the novels first.  The tome clocks in at over 1000 dense pages of dialogue and description that would intimidate even the most seasoned fantasy fan.  Knowing this, I decided to pick up the novel as well as the audiobook so that I could make dents in the massive novel on my daily commute, on long walks and just about anywhere else I want to enter the world of Westeros.

That’s the great thing about audiobooks for me, the portability and the ability to make headway in your books even when you can’t sit down and stare at some paper.  And the Game of Thrones audiobook in particular is a gem in its own right because it is read by famous British actor Roy Dotrice!

The world of Westeros is filled with scores of characters and I’m not talking about minor, throw-away characters.  I mean the book features 20-30 major characters who really have an impact on the landscape.  Roy ends up using 10-20 different accents for each of these characters with the more prominent characters such as Jon, Tyrion and Dany all have completely unique voices.  He doesn’t just use high or low pitches for these characters either he gives them distinct intricacies that only an award winning actor could muster.  I find myself thinking back to those voices and even though I’ve now seen the show and those actors, I still feel the presence of Roy’s attributions in my characterizations of these people.

The book clocks in at around 60 hours on my iPod so you are going to be committing to a massive adventure but I promise it will be one worth taking.  Roy has also recorded the next four novels (which are all equally as long) so you’ll be happy to know that his wonderful talents extend throughout the series.

I recommend downloading the audiobooks at your favorite digital marketplace because to order them on CD would mean 40-50 CDs to keep track of.  I’m sure most of the people reading this audiobook blog have already made the switch to digital.

The audiobook makes a great companion to the HBO series that is taking the world by storm.  My wife and I have both read (and listened to!) the novels and are now watching the show together which is a great experience to share.  Be sure to check out the HBO schedule to find out when it hits the airwaves in your area.  You can also grab the first season on DVD or Blu-Ray as it was just released this spring.

The Game of Thrones audiobook is a great way to tear into this series when you can’t otherwise read the novels.  But even if you do have the opportunity to read, Roy Dotrice makes the journey all that more satisfying with his seemingly unlimited accents and crisp British accent transporting you to the world of Westeros. He added so much depth to these characters I recommend this audiobook without hesitation.

Jacob is the founder of HBO Watch, an online resource for HBO fans to discuss their favorite programs, find premiere dates and celebrate their favorite HBO series.  He currently lives in Seattle with his wife Lili and their Shiba Inu, Henry.

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