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A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones


by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones Theme of Coming of Age

A Game of Thrones is not a kid's book, that's for sure. But many of the most important characters in this book are pretty young, and we watch them grow and mature when faced with a crisis. Or, more likely, a series of several crises. From a pure numbers standpoint, five of the eight major POV characters are children, so we not only see them come of age through their actions; we also get to hear their thoughts and feelings as they grow up. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why this book seems so realistic: we all know what it's like to grow up. (Lucky for us, we didn't have to deal with dragon skulls and ruling kingdoms in the meantime.)

Questions About Coming of Age

  1. What makes characters come of age in A Game of Thrones? Is it just about getting older or is it about maturing in some other way? Is it about facing a hard choice and dealing with the consequences?
  2. Is there any flipside to coming of age? Um, coming out of age? A Game of Thrones has a few older characters, like Walder Frey and Barristan Selmy. How does the book (and the other characters in the book) treat these older characters?
  3. Who grows the most as a character in this book? Is it a young character who grows up? Or is it an older character who changes more? What makes these characters change?
  4. How do you feel about the young ages of many of the characters? For instance, when Martin reminds us that Daenerys is only fourteen when she's pregnant, is that supposed to shock us? Or is it just a reminder that this society treats childhood differently than our own?

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